In Which I Shamelessly Ask For Donations (For A Worthy Cause, Of Course)

Hey. As I’ve stated before, I have autism. I recently discovered that this qualifies me for a service dog. I’ve sent in the info, and have talked with the company, and found out that the cost is a little over $13,000 USD.

Yikes!

So, I’ve started a GoFundMe page. If you could donate, that would be great. Even if you can’t, it would help if you could just share the page. Please. I’m not begging I’m totally begging, but this would really help me a lot. Thanks for your time and consideration, and (hopefully) your donation.

-Sam

P.S. Just click this link or the one above to be taken to the page in a new tab.

P.P.S. Also, if you have any other ideas on fundraising (which I’ve only done once before and discovered I totally suck at), please share them with me in the comments or through an email (my email is on the right side). Thanks! 🙂

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A Rant Of Sorts

Hey. So, the other day I shared a video on Facebook (can’t find the link now, sorry). The video itself was about how you shouldn’t just assume someone wants to be called a “he” or a “she” and to call someone “them” instead until you discover their preference. I commented how I get that some people don’t identify as a male or female and just want to be known as, like, a person or a banana or something, and that if they want to designate a gender-neutral word, they can feel free, but they shouldn’t butcher the English language to do it, because “they” is a plural word, not a singular one.

Someone commented back — very snootily (is that a word?), I might add — about how:

  1. it’s obvious that I have no respect for people who struggle with gender identify because I dared to use the word banana,
  2. “they” actually isn’t a plural word, and besides, we create the English language so therefore that makes it the right usage,
  3. and basically how I’m an intolerant little shit who steals candy from babies and kills puppies and shit.
What The Hell GIF

original image found here

First of all, let me say this: I get that some people don’t think of themselves as male or female. Just because I used a banana in my example doesn’t mean I’m a fucking moron. I used it to illustrate a point, which is how absurd it is that people are trying to identify as something other than a person (by that, I mean that they’re trying to come up with concepts like “non-binary” and shit instead of just saying they identify as a human being, which would be the simplest way).

I have autism. Yes, it may not seem like it because I’m what is considered “high-functioning”, but that doesn’t mean I’m normal. I’m not. Social cues don’t register in my brain. If there was a test on reading body language, I would probably score a 10, because odds are that I would at least get a couple questions right by chance. Sometimes I say things that people take to be insulting when I meant no harm by it, and sometimes I take things that others say as insults even though they aren’t. I just don’t know. Something is programmed wrong in my brain. I can’t control it. That doesn’t mean I’m a dumbass (I actually have a genius IQ, and people with autism tend to be smarter overall than those who don’t have autism).

Now on to the second point. “They” is a plural fucking word. It is used to describe two or more people, among other things. The official definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary is as follows:

[third person plural] Used to refer to two or more people or things previously mentioned or easily identified. ‘the two men could get life sentences if they are convicted’

And:

[singular third person plural] Used to refer to a person of unspecified gender. ‘ask a friend if they could help’

The Dictionary.com definition is:

nominative plural of he, she, and it

And:

(used with a singular indefinite pronoun or singular noun antecedent in place of the definite masculine he or the definite feminine she): Whoever is of voting age, whether they are interested in politics or not, should vote.

And by the way, the second definitions from both sources doesn’t mean that you can substitute the word “they” with “he” or “she” at will; it means that if you’re discussing a non-specified person, or a generalized person (in this case, a friend and a voter, respectively), then it is acceptable to use the word “they” to describe that person.

As for the third point, I don’t fucking care what you think of me.

Bazinga I Don't Care GIF

original image found here

You don’t fucking matter. I can count on two hands the people / groups of people whose opinions matter to me, and you sure as hell aren’t even close to being one of them. However, because I am using this post to negate your entire argument, I will say that I don’t fucking care what the hell you choose to identify as. It’s not my problem. It’s not for me to judge, unless you actually want to identify as a banana, in which case shut the fuck up (with the exceptions being actual bananas; they can identify as bananas). Just because I made a joke about it doesn’t mean I disrespect the people who actually struggle with gender identity and all that crap. It just means I made a fucking joke. People joke about things they shouldn’t all the time. I couldn’t even tell you the number of autism-related jokes I’ve heard. There are four I can find videos of and one more that I can think of (The Aspy’s) off the top of my head in Family Guy alone (by the way, I laughed my ass off while watching them). And don’t you dare fucking tell me that autism can’t compare to gender identity as a problem, because while it might not be on the same page on the types of issues that arise, you’re an ignorant, naive SOB if you think living with autism isn’t a challenge every second of every day.

So yeah, I don’t think it’s acceptable to use “they” to describe a single, specific person. If you really want to eliminate gender roles, come up with a gender-neutral word, like we have “he” for a male and “she” for a female (traditionally). [EDIT (I meant to include this initially): Maybe the problem isn’t that people don’t identify as a “he” or a “she”; maybe the problem is that we all have pre-conceived notions about what it means to be a “he” or a “she”.] Also, because I know this will come up: this is not meant as an “attack” against the person who disrespectfully “disagreed” with my point of view, this is meant as a response to said person (and there’s another way to avoid using “him”, “her”, or “them”; who knew?!).

I think that’s about it. This was a really long post, and I know I didn’t try as hard to speak in a professional tone, as I do with politics, because I was just so pissed off, and for that, I do apologize. However, this needed to be said, and while I’m sure there are many nicer ways to say it, I think this best represents my feelings. If you have any questions about how to interpret something written here, don’t just assume I’m trying to insult someone; ask me what I mean, okay? Seriously, I’m not trying to be an asshole (if I were, there would be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind, even in the mind of an autistic person, because when I’m being bitchy, I make it painfully obvious so my words aren’t misconstrued as sarcastic or anything).

Thank you to all who kept reading until the end.

-Sam

Here’s Why The Popular Vote Doesn’t Decide The Election

Almost a year after the 2016 presidential election, people are still complaining about how Hillary Clinton should be president because she won the popular vote. I’ve seen posts by some of these people asking “why should your vote count more than mine?” (can’t find the Facebook post to get the link, sorry). The answer is, it shouldn’t, and that is why we have the Electoral College. While I’m not saying it is perfect (I’ll talk more about this either later in the post or in another post), it is better than the popular vote being the deciding factor.

The way the Electoral College works is that each state has a certain amount of elected representatives who cast their votes based upon the outcome of their state’s popular vote (at least, that’s what they’re supposed to do). In most of the states, the candidate who the majority of the representatives vote for receives all of the votes from that state. However, there are exceptions, in which case each candidate gets any and all votes that are for them from the states that don’t follow the aforementioned all-or-nothing way.

There are two groups of elected representatives who cast their votes, the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the Senate, each state elects two Senators. In the House of Representatives, the number of representatives to be elected is based upon a state’s population. For example, as you can see in the below map of the number of seats in House of Representatives each state has (I don’t know if is correct or not, but it gets the point across), California, a heavily-populated state, has 55 representatives who vote, while Rhode Island, a state with a much smaller population than California, only has 4 seats in the House of Representatives.

Electoral Votes Map

click here for original image

Some of you may be wondering why there are two groups. Basically, when the current system was being created, people in small states were worried that the larger states would control the country if the system were based on population alone. This would be a problem because different states have different interests, obviously. However, the larger states didn’t think it would be fair if the smaller states had an equal say in things, since obviously the larger states were speaking on behalf of much more people. As a compromise, it was decided that there would be two groups of representatives, one based on population (House of Representatives) and one where every state has an equal say (Senate), and any bills would have to be passed by both groups in order to find their way to the president’s desk and be signed into law. I would add a link to a webpage that has more details, but I just wrote this all down from the top of my head from what I remember from a very detailed year of US I with Dos, and I’m too lazy I don’t feel like looking one up right now. However, feel free to use a Google search for more info. A good search term would probably be “origins of US electoral system” or something like that.

Circling back to the first paragraph of this post, this is exactly how no one person’s vote counts more than another’s (except for, of course, the elected Congressmen and women, but they’re supposed to vote the way their state did, as I stated above). If the election were decided on the popular vote alone, the larger states would have control of the Unites States simply because they have more people living there. The problem with that is that the economy of each state varies. For example, while one state’s economy may be centered around agriculture, another state’s economy may revolve around industry. Let’s say the agricultural state is less populated than the industrial state. If popular vote was the deciding factor in any decision affecting the economy, then the industrial state would have control, and while laws, reforms, and regulations that may help industry would most likely be passed, laws, reforms, and regulations that may help agriculture would be tossed aside, leaving the agricultural state to suffer.

Of course, as with any system, there are flaws. Personally, I think we should keep the idea of representatives, but divide each state into as many sections as it has votes (for example, Rhode Island would be divided into six sections, four for the House of Representatives and two for the Senate), and the outcome of the popular vote of each section should decide one vote. Also, it should not be a winner-take-all system, as it is in most states. Before I really get going outlining my plan for Electoral College reform (which I actually do have, because it was a history project of mine in high school), I’m going to stop myself, because that isn’t why I started this post. Another time, perhaps.

Before I begin to bore you (if I haven’t already), I’m going to end this post. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or even use Google to try and find an answer. Thanks for reading!

-Sam