Scrub it clean
The heart and soul
Scrub it clean
Until it is red and gleaming

Then you can be like the rest
Heartless, restless, uncaring
Fuck with impunity, betray with ease
Then you may finally fit in

Scrub it clean
The heart and soul
Allow the black fire
To burn with it's icy coldness.

So I Met This Boy, Again (or, I love it when a plan comes together)

About a week and a half ago I went out for what I expected was going to be a quiet night. A friend of mine from a city about an hour away was there. He is a sweet guy who I like to hang out with. Fun, nice, has his head on his shoulders. With him was another guy. At first I thought it might be his boyfriend or something but as the night went on I found out it was just a close friend and said close friend (of the really cute boy variety) wanted to meet me. We hung out throughout the evening and had fun. His name is Brandon and is also a really nice, fun guy. Oh he has a lot of that gay bitchiness I love too but is just a good, fun kid.

Collapse )
Triskel Tapestry

I Yam What I Yam

First Draft of Essay for Bardic Guild Circle 2 Composition, for use in ritual.

This turned out to be a mixture of them my ideas for I Yam What I Yam and We Come

We've come this day to approach the Kindreds. To assert our right to approach the hallows and lift up our sacrifice in words and deeds. To keep the old bargain with Gods and Goddesses. To assert the worth and aid of the spirits of this world. To remember in love and honor our ancestors. We've come this day assured in who we are and bound by ancient memory. We call out to the cosmos and all who reside there in the knowledge that we too have our parts to play and we too have power to make rule over chaos.

But how do we know? How can we be assured that our voices and hearts have the ability to bring meaning to the cosmos? How can we know that the Kindreds all will harken to our call? How do we know we have a right to approach the hallows at all and face the kindreds three?

In the myths of the Tuathe De Dannan we read of the stories of the Milesans. People of the folk, like you or I, who came to Ireland and made peace with the Tuathe De. But they were asked move out into the sea, beyond the ninth wave, and when the appointed time came the druids of the Tuathe called up a storm to keep them from landing and we read of Amergin, the judge and druid of the Milesans, who spoke of his own power, and hence the power of all people, and asserted his right to the lands, asserted his own power and strength, and in so doing over came the druids of the Tuathe. In time the Tuathe De Dannan became the Gods and Goddesses Milesansbut on that day the words of Amergin* rang true:

I am the wind that blows across the sea;
I am the wave of the ocean;
I am the murmur of the billows;
I am the bull of the seven combats;
I am the vulture on the rock;
I am a ray of the sun;
I am the fairest of flowers;
I am a wild boar in valor;
I am a salmon in the pool;
I am a lake on the plain;
I am the skill of the craftsman;
I am a word of science;
I am the spearpoint that gives battle;
I am the God who creates in the head of man the fire of thought.

We tend, sometimes, in this modern age to view the Gods and Goddesses as beings with ultimate control over us. This is, perhaps, indicative of our culture and times when so many religious traditions about us assert that their own deities are all powerful and have ultimate control in our lives. But the ancients did not necessarily view their Gods in such a way. They were allies and partners, beings of inspiration and wisdom, even sometimes something to dread or fear but throughout it all is the notion that the folk to had a power and ability to call to them, to make right that which is wrong, and to assert our own will and knowledge into the bargain as a whole.

As beings who also create order from chaos. As beings who uphold the ancient bargain of a gift for a gift. As the hosts at the fire. We assert our right, we uphold our power, we acknowledge our significant place in the scope of all things. We worship the Kindreds because they are beings of power and might. We hold our relationships with them to be worthy and fulfilling and a way to make manifest our care and love for the world about us and to inspire us with creativity and wisdom to face what we must in our own lives. We give to the Kindreds in the knowledge that they in turn will give to us. But we give freely as powerful beings in our own right. Beings with words, and hands, and minds to make the changes we seek and build a better tomorrow.

Who is it that enlightens the assembly upon the mountain, if not I?
Who tells the ages of the moon, if not I?
Who shows the place where the sun goes to rest, if not I?
Who is the God that fashions enchantments-- The enchantment of battle and the wind of change?

Let us the then gather once more.
Let us assert our right to call to the cosmos to gather as a folk and invite the Kindreds to this sacred space. Let our voices carry throughout the worlds and realms. Let all that hear its sound know we come, as the ancients came, to worship, to grow, to strengthen the bonds that hold us tightly together.
Folk and kindred alike.
Let us gather once more.
So Be It

Song of Amergin translation by Peter Berresford Ellis
Word Count, not counting the poem: 635
Smoking Bear

Just Some Stuff

Brainstorming ideas for Bardic Guild 2nd Circle Essayist Composition.

ADF folk please let me know what you think of these, any you would really like to see and/or hear? Also if you have any other ideas I would be grateful.

General Essays

WE are solitaries
- an argument that solitaries should consider giving full ADF rites at their home shrines and include the use of "we" and "our" instead of focusing on "I" and "my" thereby stengthening their ties to the organization.

The Human Face of ADF
- arguing against the idea that the Gods are transcendent in our lives and instead are a power we can call upon to strengthen, inspire, and excite ourselves in order to solve problems and face the world.

Where the Magic Happens
- The nature of magic ADF ritual and an argument to include more and creative workings in our rites

We Have Gathered (may be instead used for "in ritual")
- Essay exploring just what it is we do here in ADF and why we gather for ritual, festivals, and events at all.

I Talk To Dead People
- Arguing for a mediumist approach in approaching the ancestor spirits.

For Use in Ritual

We Call For Blessing
- Essay explaining who the keepers of the waters are. Inlcuded in the text is the actual call for blessings as part of ADF Ritual

We Come
- Essay explaining why we gather for ritual.

I Yam What I Yam
- Defending our right to call to the Kindreds

Idol Thoughts

So ... I just went through the entire archives of the ADF-Leadership list looking at the Brushwood Idol controversy.

Here are my thoughts:

- The Nemeton at Brushwood certainly was billed as an ADF National Nemeton or at the very least the Nemeton in use at the Annual Meeting. This may have been inaccurate but the evidence (the asking for donations for it's improvement on the website and just the way we have referred to it over the years) leaves little doubt to most of us that this is the case. I certainly, and I was not alone, thought of it as such.
- The argument of "why didn't you speak up sooner" is easily the most offensive response in regards to this thread. Many of us HAVE spoken up sooner on all kinds of issues. We were ignored and marginalized. Also, it is kind of hard to speak up about something you have no clue about. Had I been asked if what I thought about an idol representing the GK with an erect phallus I would have expressed my feelings that this was inappropriate.
- About the same number of people were speaking up for and against the inclusion of the idols into the space. To somehow coach this as only a couple people causing trouble is disingenuous and disrespectful.
- ADF clergy are supposed to be trained on how to approach conflict ... in my opinion they need a refresher course or to seriously examine the course they are currently using.
- Despite the complaints leveled against one another and the (now) common tone of discussion that it was "hate filled" and/or ridiculous I actually saw absolutely ZERO examples of hate language and what, was for the most part, pretty respectful exchange of ideas. I did see a one or two people whose feelings were hurt by their concerns being dismissed.
- I do not believe the dismissal of concerns were intentional but it did (and does) happen. When an issue or concern is brought up that is in disagreement of people in leadership it is almost always dismissed by redirection. The argument looks like this "If you don't like "X* in ADF you should be more involved" or "If you want something different in ADF you should give more money" or "you can't make everyone happy" or "This isn't at all important, we have better things to think about" or "that's how Isaac did it, it's his fault" or (and this one really gets to me) "I/My Partner/Other Person is really sick right now and have no time for your petty concerns". Sorry folks, all of us have health issues and other things to deal with. I hate to break it to you but you are not special. As much as I love a lot of you and send you my wishes for your recovery it does NOT make my or anyone else's concerns invalid.

I honestly don't care about the idol. The old idol(s) never worked for me and the new ones don't work for me either. Even still I have been involved in some pretty powerful rituals in the space. I won't (and never have) give offerings to the idols or address them when I do ritual there. I do have the ability to direct my minds eye elsewhere. And I certainly will NEVER subjugate myself to any being by kneeling before them. However, I understand that for some people that this is not the case. I especially understand the concern that by using an idol so inexcusably male that it seems to point that all GKs are male and a continuation of the idea that we are not a Pan-IE organization.

The issue, for me, is NOT about the idols themselves. It is about the way we handle concerns/issues in ADF. Simply put, it seems to me, that if you are not in the inner circle (and by inner circle I mean, hate to say it, Clergy or who they chose to include) your concerns will never be validated. I have even been told (just a couple days ago) that by expressing my concerns I an invalidating the "hard work" of our clergy. This is exactly what I and others have brought up as concerns as to the nature of Clergy in ADF over the years. We are led by them in every conceivable way with absolutely NO ability to check or balance their influence.

In the end I guess I have to make a choice. Stick with the organization as it is or move on because I simply do not see it changing. For the record, and I have to say this because every time some one brings up whether ADF is the right fit for them it is said, I DO NOT WANT to leave ADF. I love the organization and many people in it. I think we are failing our membership and our goals. I believe in the vision and scope of ADF but I do not see that we are living up to either. What we have is a very small cadre of people making all the decisions and running the organization as they see fit and basically ignoring and writing off anyone who brings up concerns.

Example of Secular Neopagan Ritual for Midsummer 2012

I wrote this tonight as well. An idea of a secular neopagan ritual form has been bouncing around in my skull for awhile. No idea what, if anything, I will do with it but after putting a couples of work into it I decided it would be a shame not to share. Neopagans who read this will find little surprising here but it is all original. I would expect this rite, with experienced ritualists and a small group, to take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Prepare the ritual site by obtaining 3 candles colored white, yellow or gold, and black or brown (and matches or lighter and snuffer). Also needed; a charger or largish plate, a small bell, a knife or wand of some sort, cord, rope, or twine of some sort long enough to be knotted 9 times, a bowl filled with clean water (and towel for drying if needed), and a chalice (any pretty glass will do) with some liquid for drinking.

Place candles in one corner of altar, which should be centered within the ritual space, grouped together. The charger or plate in the center. The cord, knife, bell, bowl and chalice off to one side or another. Placement is not really important but the overall scene should be pleasing to the eye and look intentional not just a haphazard collection of “stuff” upon the altar.

Initiating the rite
Approach the altar and take a few breaths to clear the mind, ring the bell in three steady, paced tones.

Statement of purpose
A participant says:

We have come to do as was done before, since the most ancient of days. To approach the world in ritual and word. To assert my our right to create order in the face of chaos. To celebrate the height of summer, the longest day and acknowledge, even now, the turning towards the long dark. May we speak truth in this space, may we speak with power in this space, may we be blessed in this undertaking.

A participant leads the following meditation:

Stand (sit) calmly now, centered upon the earth, feet upon the ground beneath you. Picture in your minds eye roots growing from the soles of your feet. Roots burrowing deep into the Earth below you. Through the floor, extending deeper, through the dirt. Deeper now through the bedrock below. Deeper, deeper the grow. See in your minds eye a pool there below. Cool and still waters deep beneath the Earth. Feel the coolness of their touch and your roots touch the surface. See the ripples pass across the surface of the waters and feel the energy and power you have found. Breath deep …. and feel the waters rising up through your roots. Up, up past the bedrock, the dirt below you, through the floor. Feel the waters pouring into your feet, rising now into your calves, your thighs. Feel the waters filling you past your loins and belly. Filling you with their cool and steady power. Filling now your chest and shoulders, your arms, wrists, and hands. Filling your head until your whole body, all of you, if filled with the cool and steady waters of the Earth.

Picture now the sun above you. Today at it's height of power and light. See it shining upon the crown of your head. It's light fool of heat and strength. Feel it's light mingling with the waters that fill you. See the light pouring into your head and shoulders, down your arms and hands. See the light shining within your chest and down to your belly. Mingling always with the waters of the Earth. See the light shining in your loins and thighs, your calves and feet. See the light now filling you completely, just as the waters do. Every piece of you is filled with the heat and strength of the Earth. Every part of you is feeling with the calm and cool of the waters. Feel them mingle there, coalescing into a unified whole.

When you are ready, open your eyes. You … child of the Earth and Sun.

Creating Ritual Space
When ready, following the meditation, a participant approaches the altar prepared with a tool to light the candles. Starting first with the white candle the participant says:

I name this space in honor of all those who have come before. The wise ancients, our forebears and ancestors, and all of those whose dedication and drive enabled a new pagan path in these times. I name this space in honor of all those who have come before.

Next, lighting the yellow or gold candle the participant says:

I name this space in honor of this day. Midsummer, the longest day, when the growing green surrounds us and the light of summer and is at it's highest. Celebrate here in the summer fullness. I name this space in honor of this day.

Next, lighting the black or brown candle the participant says:

I name this space in honor of the turning of the year. Acknowledging that even now, even at the height of the power and joy of summer that we turn towards the long dark. From this day on the light diminishes. I name this space in honor of the turning of the year.

A participant takes up the knife or wand and facing away from the altar, with the tool aimed away as well. walks a slow circle, clock wise, around the altar. Picturing in their minds eye a circle be cast. When returning to the beginning point says:

The circle is cast. This space is now named and sealed. Let no one enter here except those by our call and welcome.

The Call
A participant says:

We celebrate now the height and power of summer. As has been done before, since the most ancient of days, We cast our voice into the world affirmed in our right to create order in a chaotic world. All of those within the sound of my voice, let the truth and power of this rite ring true to bring us blessing, fulfillment, and peace in all the days to come.

A participant says:

Now into silence we fall. Contemplating this day, and focusing always on the needs of our hearts
Now into silence we fall.
Now into silence ...

Silence should last a minimum of two minutes.

Seasonal/Event Specific Customs
Ritual Bathing:
A participant says:

We clean away all those things which hold us back. We clean away all those things which do not allow our own inner light to shine through. We clean away all those things we do not need. (Let all come forward)

Participants each come forward and wash hands in the bowl, focusing on cleaning away that which is not needed and holds them back and then dries hands with towel.

A participant says:

May our voices resound throughout. We have come in word in ritual. We have once more called to the world. We have once more asserted our right and intention. We have come in celebration and with the knowledge that we have power and place within time and within the world about us.

May my our voices resound throughout.
So Be It.

Taken and interpreted. The omen SHOULD NOT be on whether the ritual was successful or correct or if it is good or bad but on advice and ideas to focus on in the coming days.

A participant takes up the chalice and says:

We take now a blessing. A blessing we bestow upon ourselves. A blessing we bestow upon each other. A blessing affirmed by family and friends. A symbol of our own power and strength, just as the summers power and strength is at it's highest this day. A symbol which acknowledges also our brokenness and need, just as the year, this day, turns towards the long dark. We take now a blessing.
So Be It.

Invites all to partake.

A participant takes up the cord and, while tying each knot, says:

1st knot: We bind to us now the power and strength of this midsummer day
2nd knot: We bind to us now the knowledge that the wheel of the year is always turning
3rd knot: We bind to us now our right to face the world in ritual and word
4th knot: We bind to us now the knowledge of our own power and magic
5th knot: We bind to us now the rightness of our undertaking this day
6th knot: We bind to us now fullness and acceptance of our place within the world
7th knot: We bind to us now all of that lifts us up and gives us hope
8th knot: We bind to us now all that good and right within our lives
9th knot: We bind to us now love, peace, and justice everywhere and to all peoples

As we have tied these knots upon this cord so have we tied these ideas with our intention upon our very souls. May they never be undone.

Knotted cord should be placed upon the charger. Participants are invited to come forward and to touch the cord enduing both it and themselves with the intention of the working. The cord should never be untied.

After all who wish have come forward a participant says:

We have come in ritual and word
We have come in strength and power
We have come in truth and rightness

We have taken blessing and performed our work
Let us now, then, close this ritual

Opening Ritual Space
A participant takes up the knife or wand and faces away from the altar, with the tool aimed away as well, walking around the ritual space picture the releasing of the circle. At the completion of the circle says:

The circle is released, may all who entered here in peace leave in peace

A participant takes up the snuffer and extinguishes the candles after all three are out says:

All that was named in this space is now released but never forgotten.

A Participant says:

This rite is at an end
May the peace and blessing we have sought this day remain
This day and forever more.
So Be It and Blessed Be

Basic Outline for a Secular Neopagan Ritual

Just an idea been bouncing around in my head. I did some research and couldn't find much so I wrote some of my own ideas tonight. ADF members will see a lot they recognize.

1. Initiating the rite
music signal, bells, group meditation etc.

2. Statement of purpose

3. Preparation
purification, meditation, or other means to prepare participant(s)

4. Creating Ritual Space
by any means appropriate to participant(s).

5. The call
Restatement of the purpose of the rite
Affirmation of participant(s) right

6. Silence
contemplate on the call, reason for ritual, need etc.

7. Seasonal/Event Specific Customs

8. Prayer
finalizing the “sending” portion of the rite

9. Omen
by any means appropriate to the participant(s)

10. Blessing

11. Working
most secular rites should include some working, may be as complicated or as simple as the participant(s) and need require

12. Affirmation

13. Opening Ritual Space

14. Closing

Here's Your Sign

I will admit it, I like labels. I know a lot of people don't. They just want to be who they are and not worry about what to call it but I like to define things. Politically I am, what I like to call, a radical moderate. I believe that compromise and common sense are exactly what is missing in our modern political world today and without these we have little chance of any real change or progression at all. Religiously I am an Agnostic, Reform and Neopagan Druid, and Humanist. Philosophically I am Hedonist and Neochivalrist. Throughout this time of depression it has been important to me to define how I come to terms with the world.

I am a Reform Druid because I believe that Nature is good. And I don't mean just the growing green of nature. I believe the world about us, the universe itself, is good. Worthy of respect and worship.

I am a Neopagan Druid because I find fulfillment, inspiration, and strength in the ritual and in calling out to the old Gods and Goddesses, the Ancestors, and Worldly Spirits.

I am a Humanist because I consider human concerns, ideas, and progress to be of great value. I do not see humans as "outside" of nature or fallen or the problem to be overcome. In fact I see our humanity as our greatest strength. I also do not believe, even though I do interact with Gods as beings, that they are the cause of nor solution to either my own problems or the problems of the world. We must face them ourselves and a wholly capable and empowered to do so. Instead I call to the Gods and Spirits for inspiration, focus, and creativity. To support me in my very human endeavors.

I am Agnostic because I honestly have no idea as to the nature of the Gods and Spirits I call to. Are they fully real and separate beings? Are they part of some collective unconscious? Are they only facets of my own psyche? I have no idea and in the long run it really isn't that important to me.

I am a Hedonist because I believe the pursuit of happiness and pleasure is an attainable and worthwhile goal. I do not believe that humans are corrupt or that pleasure should be avoided. There is this idea, and I see it everywhere (even within the Pagan and Gay communities) that somehow to seek pleasure is harmful or shameful. Sex, revelry, true joy should be avoided. To give into them is to give into one's base and primal natures. I disagree. I believe that denying our base and primal natures is far more dangerous in the long run and, in the end, the only life worth living is the one where pleasure outweighs the pain. Sin is a concept I deny in every breath. The only real sin is to live in denial, regret, or fear and the only beings you are sinning against, even in those cases, is yourself and the "you" you are meant to be.

I am a Neochivalrist because I believe that idealism, loyalty, humility, grandeur and love are a worthwhile and an earnest way to live. I suppose that some people may not understand being both a Hedonist and a Neochivalrist. They seem somehow opposite concepts. One is a code of how to live in honor while the other is seeking pleasure for pleasure's sake. I don't see it that way. In fact I feel they are inherently intertwined. It is only by (attempting to) live with humility and loyalty that pleasure is worthwhile for both myself and for others. It is only in believing in something and pursuing it that passion is fulfilling. It is only in accepting love into my life and in acknowledging that all people are worthy of love that true connections are made. I cannot separate the two concepts.

I also live by an ethic that has become important to me. It is adapted from Oisin's conversation with St. Patrick in "Of Gods and Men" by Lady Gregory when he said, "The three things the Fianna lived by were the truth in our hearts, the strength in our hands, and fulfilment in our tongues." I have adapted it slightly because of the line "strength in our hands" (which I have also read as "strength in our arms"). I am not ashamed of my physical strength. I am quite proud of it really. Genetically I have been blessed to be healthy, vital, and able my entire life. This could change at any time however, and I am well aware of that, and more importantly there are many, many people I know and have known who are not able, who deal with health and/or emotional issues, and who I consider to be amazing people and inspirations. An ethic one lives by, in my opinion, should be one that all can live by. Even if they can't or chose not to. I attempt to live my life upholding the truth in my heart, the strength of my character, and with fulfillment on my tongue. Everyday.

Finally, I have an ultimate goal. When my life is at an end, when the final page has been written, I would like to know that I have left behind a something of value that will live on beyond me and a name that will be remembered as good and worthy.

Celebration, Come On! (or, why I make a big deal about my birthday)

So, in just a few days I will be celebrating my birthday. The day itself is actually March 13th but I chose this weekend for fun and games at the local watering hole. I think it is going to be a great deal of fun. A lot of my friends are coming who I have not seen in a long time as well as a large group from my work (where I am sharing the evening with another Team Member).

This is really only the second year where I have made a big deal about my birthday. Growing up my family never really did much. I had the obligatory cake and gifts as a child but I can only remember one time that I had a "party" proper and that was really only a couple of friends. As I got older we would usually go to dinner as a family and (since I am not a big cake fan) my mother would always buy me some chocolate chip cookies. After I came out I never made a big deal either. I was 25 when I came out so I just felt like I was too old for all that stuff. I felt like I was too old for a lot of things. I tended to be way too serious about life in general to be honest. But last year I decided to make a big deal of it. Instead of waiting for someone to throw me a party (or make me a banner) I made an event on Facebook and invited people to share in the fun. A lot of people came, said local watering hole made a big deal about it, and a good friend who is a performer brought me on stage. It was a blast and a crazy, black out, drunken mess (as it should be).

In the last few years the way I view the world has changed a lot. I worked really, really hard at my previous job. A place, and with a lot of people, that never really appreciated it. I made a ton of sacrifices as far as not living the life I wanted to be living because of this idea of success or work ethic. Don't get me wrong. I am ambitious, I have goals for myself, I believe I have a lot to offer but when it came down to it, when one third of the workforce there was separated, my name was right there on the list. This was early in the unemployment swing a number of years ago and I was fooled that I wouldn't have trouble finding something new. I believe it is a testament to my hard work and dedication that, at the time, no less then 4 people from the corporate staff of a fortune 500 company contacted me to see if there was anything they could do to help. Including people like the Chief Sustainability Officer of the entire corporation. I turned them down. I wonder to this day what my life may be like if I didn't. There is a good chance I would be living in Toledo right now, for one, but I doubt I would be as happy as I am now (even though things are still hard).

Now I choose to live a certain way. This includes the above mentioned hard work and dedication. I take my work life seriously, I want to do the best I can (which I still believe is better then a lot of people can manage ... call it ego, I don't care). and I hate failure with a passion. At the same time, my work life will never, ever define me again. I am not what I do. I am who I am. In the last couple of years I have made so many amazing friends and met so many people that I never would have before. This is a struggle with some of my older friends. They don't necessarily like that I came out of my protective bubble and am willing and likely to make new friends too. But the rewards have far outweighed the negatives. Most of my friends, today, tend to be between the ages of 18 and 25. I don't really know how this happened. As I am nearing 38 a lot of these guys and gals are literally young enough to be my children and yet this is not the kind of relationship I have with them. In fact many times, especially lately, they have been the ones offering me a helping hand and advice.

My decision is to live my life. It's that simple. To face my fears, to try new things, to love unconditionally, to offer all of myself, as damn near as I can manage it, every day. Sometimes this is simple things, I am determined to dance every night I go out at least once -- something I have always been afraid to do because I am not a good dancer and a big guy, I am afraid of being judged. Some are big things like refusing to turn away from my feelings of desire and love -- I deserve it and I will find it. I try to look and plan for tomorrow but I live for today. Tomorrow I may be unemployed. Tomorrow I may be out on the street. Tomorrow I may be lost, sick, confused, without hope, but today I am alive and I will live.

This is why I make a big deal of my birthday. It is more than an excuse to party, though party it shall be, it is a message to the universe that I am still here. That I am proud of who I am. That I am worthy of celebrating. It is also a message to all my friends (close, not so close, acquaintances, everyone) is important to me and that I want them by my side. No regrets.

Until Then and Always
~ Jamie

(x-posted to Facebook)

Internet Crazy Parent Guy

There has been a video floating around on Facebook and various blogs. I am not going to link to it.

In the video a father sits in an yard chair wearing a cowboy hat and reads a letter he took from his 15 year old daughter's Facebook wall complaining about her parents. There is little doubt in my mind that his daughter was exaggerating. Teenagers do this, teenagers have always done this. I am almost 38 years old but I well remember what it was like being a teenager. How stressful everything could be. How unfair everything felt. Hell, I am almost 38 years old and I still struggle to find coping methods to deal with the world some times. At 15 I had even less.

The father, literally shaking with rage, read his daughter's private letter aloud, then explained how truly terrible her life would be now. How her life was basically over. Then he takes out a gun and shoots her laptop.

This video is widely praised as amazing parenting. I think it is abuse, plain and simple. Abuse does not always come in the form of a punch to the face or sexual batterment. Abuse most often takes the form of the emotional. This man basically showed his daughter that he can, and he will, destroy her and everything she holds dear if she makes him angry. New reports, coming form the father himself I might add, claim that the daughter is ok with what happened and is adjusting well.


If you had a father that pulled out a gun and shot things when you made him mad what would you say when he questioned you on how you felt about his actions? Damn right you would say that everything is ok.

Look, I am not a parent. But I used to be a child and I interact with children and parents every day. I firmly believe discipline is lacking in our modern society. Things ARE different then they were when I was child. I had parents, teachers, coaches, and intructors who expected certain things from me and I gave them because I understood if I didn't I would loose privileges. My martial arts instructors where some of most discipline minded people I have ever known and I respected them. I respected their insight, their skill, and I wanted to be like them so much. My teachers seemed to be successful, achieving adults. The type we all wished to be. That was the world I lived in, that was the life I led. Still I rebelled, still I complained. I said a million times worse things abut my parents and teachers then this girl did on her Facebook page. Because I had not yet learned the skills on how to deal with the emotional stress of living in this world gave me.

Do I wish for a return to this kind of atmosphere? Not really. At the same time these people in my life were earning my respect they were also destroying me. Not a week went by in my martial arts school without an instructor, an adult, referring to a student, a child, as a faggot. This student was usually me and most times it happened where no one else could hear. Always "joking" of course but all the same. I remember our health teacher in high school literally cringing and complaining, to students, how he was forced to speak about homosexuality. This isn't just about gay issues though. These same men were leading lives that were so far removed from what they were teaching us. They put on an image of perfection while their home lives fell apart. Pretty often from their own doing. What I am saying here is that this world I lived in, believed in with all my heart, was a lie. And the women role models in my life, all teachers, were some of the most angry people I ever have known. With a handful of exceptions some of the worst human beings I have ever known. They demeaned or ignored whomever they didn't want to work with. They were bad at their jobs and then blamed the students. I don't know much about their personal lives but professionally they were a joke.

If you tell me how you got your ass kicked as a child and this led you to be a stronger adult. That is a lie too.

I agree with the concept that parents need to be parents first. I have seen the mistake many times where a parent wishes to be the best friend. It never works and is likely a form of abuse or neglect as well. But you are supposed to be a functioning adult. A role model. If you're wondering why the world keeps saying you are a crazy lunatic it may well be because you appear to us as a crazy fucking lunatic.

I hope this guy learns something. But I doubt it. He believes he already has it figured out.