Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Gaslighting Primer

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of psychological abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity.
The term owes its origin to the 1938 play Gas Light and has been used in clinical and research literature.

Though gaslighting is a tool often employed by abusers -- the most classic gaslighting scenario (and the first one our minds jump to) is an evil, mustache-twirling man gaslighting his naive female lover.  The truth of gaslighting is more nuanced: it can occur anywhere from anyone.  Gaslighting is a form of passive-aggressive behavior.  In order to identify it, it is useful to look at the goals of the gaslighter.  

The goal of gaslighting is to force a person who opposes the gaslighter’s will into doing what the gaslighter wants because it seems like the only way to regain order, peace, happiness, or sanity.  

Gaslighting Example A

A classic example of gaslighting is the bully of the schoolyard, office, or family party who makes a deliberately upsetting statement and then backpedals with “I was only joking.”  If the victim does not go along with the joke, the bully accuses them of having no sense of humor.  However, if the victim manages to turn the joke on the bully, for instance, replying with, “Were you born an insufferable prick or do you have to work at it?”  The bully will react by either sulking or outright violence.

Gaslighting Example B

Another form of gaslighting is to question the victim’s past, for example “Your mother must have hurt you bad for you to hate women so much.”  The gaslighter loves to reframe incidents he or she does not know the first thing about, assuming a mantle of expertise in order to appear more authoritative, and in doing so will show any number of his or her own biases.  Though the best strategy is to avoid responding, one can always return by tactfully questioning the gaslighter’s past, for instance, “Your mother must have dropped you on your head before she threw you in the dumpster with the other wannabe abortions, it would explain SO MUCH about your personality.” The ultimate gaslighting behavior is the "but the world we had before you went vegan was NORMAL and now you are RUINING it!" form of gaslighting, which is the type parents often inflict upon their children. This form also happens among groups of friends. For instance, when a person decides she is no longer going to eat, wear, or use animals, her friends and family will react by: 1. Accusing the vegan of ruining get-togethers when it is they who have made gatherings a battleground due to the presence of a few veggie hot dogs 2. Making veganism the butt of every joke, because it is just so darn unusual 3. Making trés original statements like "you can't save all the animals in the world from suffering, so why even try?" Once again, avoiding a response is highly recommended, but if you have to interact because oh I dunno, maybe you enjoy having family and friends, you must learn not to talk to them. At least sometimes. What I mean is that at some point, you have shown the people you love videos like Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, Vegucated, Blackfish, and How Not To Die; you have given them materials, cookbooks, website links, and everything it takes to make a positive change, and yet they don't. Perhaps they are still in that ugly place where they are gaslighting you in a feeble attempt to make you believe their exploitation of animals is "normal". Don't fight them. Put on a serene, beatific smile. Do nice things, be polite, be courteous. Now sit back and watch as they go bonkers trying to make you as angry as they are, trying to get that reaction that never happens. Let them give you the silent treatment. When they begin talking to you again, act like it never happened. Ask, "Are you feeling okay? I haven't heard from you in awhile." In this way, you will turn the gaslighter's portrait of you as "abnormal" or "unbalanced" into their Kryptonite... into that which they fear the most: A MIRROR. Perhaps you, with your pleasant demeanor and sweet disposition, are not the insane one after all. Could all of that cognitive dissonance be their own??? Is it possible the VEGAN IS RIGHT???

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

30 Questions Parents Should Never Ask A Childfree Misanthrope

Cognitive dissonance about overpopulation shows itself in odd, backwards ways.  When the parent of one or more biological children stumbles upon a person who is childfree by choice, a deep and resonant fear of the increasingly-obvious phenomenon known as the Sixth Extinction rears its ugly head.  This cameo appearance throws the breeding human into schizoid overdrive, vivifying phantoms of scarcity that will someday include her own descendants, whom in turn will curse those who brought them onto a dying planet that needed another human “miracle” like the motorcyclist needed an open manhole cover.

When her internal mental chaos trumps tact, the procreating party will often pose questions of a most gauche and uncouth nature.  Though none of the following statements/questions deserve the dignity of an answer, here are a few I have come up with off the top of my misanthropic head.  For the sake of manners, I do not suggest uttering them in response, even if the original question was twice as rude.

1. “You’re not having children?  What a bad decision.”

First, how dare you?  Second, I could say the exact same thing about your decision to have children, but unlike me, it’s too late for you to change your mind.

2.  “Now that I have children, my life has true meaning.”

That is pathetic and puts way more pressure on your kid than is fair.

3. “You’re a crazy cat lady in training.”

Crazy Cat Lady is called my goal in LIFE.  CCLs FUREVER!!!!

4.  “You think you’re tired?  You don’t know what tired is.”

I am reminded of the man who kept hitting himself in the face with a hammer and then complained his nose was broken and his hospital bill was high.

5. “You’re being selfish.”

By f**king without the foresight of birth control, you created a mirror of yourself out of your own flesh on a planet where thousands of species go extinct every day as a direct result of human overpopulation.  In a world of 7.5 billion, people like you invented selfishness -- my hat is off to you.

6. “You’ll change your mind when you meet the right man.”

Thanks for assuming I’m straight and that all heterosexual women can aspire to is male companionship.  The 1950s called; they want their trope back.

7. “What are you waiting for?”

I’m waiting for humans to become a species I like and want to perpetuate.

8. “Your mom had you!”

Wow.  Much logic.

9. “You’re missing out on one of the best things in life.”

It’s also one of the absolute de facto worst.  

10. “Tick tock.”

Isn’t that the insidious sound of your youth slipping away?  While I’m spending mine building businesses, writing books, and fighting for social justice, you’re whittling away the hours with piles of diapers, sticky furniture, and neon-colored cartoon shows that make Donald Trump’s rambling monologues seem intelligent in comparison.

11. “It’s a mom thing.”

Doing the right thing for oneself and one’s planet is a childfree thing.

12. “That’s a shame.  You might regret it.”

Once again, you might (probably) regret bringing a new human onto this Earth, as well you should.  Regretting the unchangeable fact you created a human life seems way worse than the alternative.

13. “What’s wrong with you?”

I got 99 problems, but wanting to have kids ain’t one.

14. “That size of house for just the two of you?  It’s a waste of space.”

I’m just making room for all the pets you guys abandon when you dump them at the shelter upon breeding a new, unneeded human.  The pig is going to need her own private suite; she can’t possibly be expected share the cat’s boudoir.

15. “You would be such a great mom.”

I am a great mom.  You don’t get the Crazy Cat Lady title without serious credentials.  Actually, my cat is happier, smarter, and less spoiled than your kid, which I guess is testament to good parenting on my part.

16. “Just find a donor and have kids.  I’ll babysit.”

How about no?  BTW I wouldn’t trust you to babysit my sea monkeys, seeing the way your toddler behaves in public.  Whatever are you feeding him?

17. “It’s different when they’re your own.”

I’m not so vain to think my own flesh mirror is somehow better than other people’s because it contains my DNA.  

18. “Don’t wait too long.”

Why, because Miami, London, and New York will be under water so that’s three less places for them to move?  Why, because droughts, including the ongoing one in the US, will be worse and further along?  Why, because the Great Garbage Patch in the ocean will be the size of Russia instead of the size of Texas?  

19. “You’d better hurry up and give your husband a child before he goes and finds someone who will.”

Your life is so very, very sad if you would even think of saying that aloud.

20. “You don’t have children, so you won’t understand.”

I don’t WANT to understand the motivations of someone who hits themselves in the face with a hammer ON PURPOSE.

21. “You don’t know what real love is.”

And I don’t want you to show me.

22. “Wait until your biological clock kicks in.”

My biological clock just kicked.  It is also childfree.

23. Aren’t you worried there won’t be anyone to take care of you when you are older?

So you are saying you had kids so they could be your unpaid nursemaids when you are drooling, senile, and in diapers.  Who’s the selfish one?

24. “Do you hate people?”

“Hate” does not begin to cover the seething enmity I feel towards my fellow Homo stupidens.  Any species dumb enough to bring down its own omnicidal extinction does not deserve the flattery of my own uterus-created donation to its ranks.

25. “What will you do with your life?”

What will you do after spending your best years chasing after rugrats, cleaning up messes, or working at a job you hate to put a roof over their heads instead of risking it all to follow your dreams?  I am already doing my life; yours is the one that is on hold.

26. “Is it because you don’t want to pass your genes onto someone else?”

My genes are totally superior to yours, actually.  I have all sorts of genetic pluses, like a big brain, robust health, fantastic endurance, symmetry, and a natural resistance to addiction.  The thing I don’t want to pass on to someone else is the worsening future of this planet.  That’s why if I really wanted children, I would adopt them.

27. “Won’t your partner leave you when they find out?”


28. “Are you even a woman?”

Heaven help your children if they’re transgender, you prick.

29. “How can you ever hope to be a family?”

True families come in all shapes and sizes and degrees of furriness, and they’re not always related by blood or species.

30. “Having children is what we were put on this Earth to do.”

Said the yeast in the Petri dish after a spoonful of sugar was introduced.  Science hint: This does not end well for the yeast.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hillary or Trump? Two Candidates, Three Visions of the Future

The upcoming American election has brought out hysterics, vacuous trolls, and borderline-violent wackadoos in profusion, each more adamant than the next that life on this planet will end if his candidate is not chosen.  This is normal and expected, however, it is amplified by the internet as bottom-dwelling nutjobs everywhere turn their brief attention spans away from porn to voice their opinions on Which Rich Person Gets To Rule the World.

Dutifully and gullibly they file to their local polling places, blackening ovals and getting a red, white, and blue sticker for their efforts.  Somebody wins, and by somebody I mean somebody in the top echelons gets richer at the expense of the bottom and middle, whose kids cannot afford college without staggering debt or who have to go into medical bankruptcy.  But I digress.

In this essay, I will postulate three scenarios for two candidates.  One is a toupeed Cheeto version of Spongebob with racism Tourette’s.  The other is a shrill, deafening, umbrella stand-worshipping genocidal maniac in a pantsuit.

One guaranteed way to drive any devotee of the collapsing Democratic party to her Xanax cabinet is to casually mention a possible Trump presidency.  Upon this suggestion, which I would recommend executing online in case she has access to knives, a flame war will occur in which both you and the Flabby Burnt Sienna Nutcracker will be compared to a megalomaniac dictator faster than you can say Reductio ad Hitlerum.

Of course a Clinton presidency is presumed, so nobody faints or goes apeshit looney tunes upon its suggestion. Clinton is the holy resurrection of Obama, and Obama was the resurrection of George W. Bush, or at least G.W.’s policies on war, finance, and other trivial matters.

As I mentioned earlier, two candidates, three scenarios a piece.  Scenario One is Best Case Scenario, and/or Highly Unlikely Unicorn Fart and Sparkle Rainbows Version.  Scenario Two is What Is Most Likely to Happen.  Scenario Three will be Worst Case Scenario.

Since it is still assumed he will lose, let’s start with Donald Trump, shall we?


Defeating all of his critic’s expectations, Donald Trump actually follows through, beginning his presidency by reducing the US’s role in NATO and ending military buildup in the Baltic states.  His investment in US infrastructure and schools creates jobs.  He creates legislation that forces some American companies to manufacture their products within the US, driving up the price of goods and services.  A brief economic slowdown is experienced prior to a boom that ensures his 8 year presidency.  He demolishes environmental regulations, resulting in unprecedented pollution of rivers, streams, and air, but nobody thinks long term (not even those with children) so whatever.  Let the great-grandkids deal with new and exotic cancers.  His restrictions upon immigration and enforcement of existing immigration laws drives wages upward. He hits Control-Alt-Delete on Obamacare as promised and replaces it with an enhanced version of Medicare for all.  There are slightly fewer mass shootings because the demonic male population is just so damn happy, they don’t feel like using their guns for anything other than assassinating innocent animals in the forest.


You start comparing Trump to Obama by year 2 of his presidency, not because of an increase in self-tanner usage but because his policies turn out to be almost exactly the same as the former.  A stalemate in Congress prevents him from ending Obamacare, so that broken parasite of the last of the middle class’s wealth lurches onward, leaving a swath of medical bankruptcies in its wake.  You find that when you get sick, you cannot afford to go to the doctor.  Trump is able to pass a few laws that help small businesses, which keep the economy from total collapse.  He finds himself held hostage by the usual cadre of psychotic bankers and neocons, and therefore unable to withdraw from the dozens of skirmishes, regime changes, and proxy wars the US was embroiled in under Democratic rule.  Slightly more money is allotted towards people who served in the military.  Trump becomes known as the most hated President of all time, mostly for his dismally unedited soundbites, ridiculous family members, and lack of filter.  


Puffed up by a wave of prosperity, success once again goes to Trump’s big orange puffy head.  China tries to annex Taiwan and Trump tries some punitive war-games, like heavily taxing all imports from China.  Trade with China is fractured and a war nearly breaks out.  Trump, wanting desperately to be liked, soothes the hurt fee-fees and goes back to business as usual.  The US goes into another long recession and Trump is rightly blamed.  Racist cops continue to harass and murder black people and other people of color without interruption.  


The economy lurches on, bolstered by constant war and the continued gutting of the middle class.  A renewable energy bubble combined with a new oil discovery in one of the US’s client states results in a slightly less oil-dependent America.  By mistake, a referendum is passed that enables a single-payer health insurance system that accidentally demolishes the old system.  There are slightly fewer mass shootings because gun control laws are made and semi-enforced.  The TPP being passed results in a short-term burst of economic prosperity.  Marijuana is legalized at the federal level, further demolishing the old health insurance model and making way for new forms of medicine.  


Cost of living and housing prices continue to climb.  That neighbor of yours who could not get a job because he was holding out for 80K a year becomes homeless and effectively disappears, becoming a nonperson.  Your health insurance bill goes up… again.  Everyone inches ever-closer to not being able to afford their lives, except for the people in the rich neighborhood.  Some new country is chosen for regime change and refugees stream outward.  The weather gets weirder and weirder, with 107 degree temperatures in April in some places.  Planned Parenthood is given more funding, which causes Christians everywhere to lose their minds despite the Bible being hunky-dory with abortion. Oil prices rise when Clinton is re-elected to a second term and fracking begins to come back at the end of her term.


Clinton “accidentally” bombs a hospital or orphan’s home in St. Petersburg despite treaties and agreements being firmly in place.  In return, Putin says: “Just stahp.”  Clinton does not listen and lobs a small, thinkable (according to Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama) nuclear weapon at St. Petersburg.  Russia responds by shooting it out of the sky somewhere in space and annihilates Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas in return.  

Psycho Hillary and her neocon puppet masters return fire, taking out all of Russia’s oil fields and thus crushing Russia’s and Europe’s economy.  Oops.  Russia responds by annihilating the rest of America outside the three previously mentioned cities, turning the entire northern hemisphere into a chilly, lonely, radioactive glass factory for the next five hundred years.  All of these events take place within the span of 30 minutes.

At least global warming was prevented!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How To Collect A Special Snowflake Award

Sure, you are unique, just like the other 7.whatever billion people on this planet.  But are you a Special Snowflake?  Can you stomach the rigors of demanding attention wherever you go, even in situations that may be considered “inappropriate” or “dangerous”?  Can you suspend your ability to discriminate long enough to maintain the profound delusion that the world owes you good fortune, a living, or untold riches…  just for being you?  
You know you want it.

If you answered Yes, you just might be a Special Snowflake.  

If your hobbies include gazing fondly in mirrors and meticulously planning every detail of your future life (the one that will happen when you are fabulously wealthy for no logical reason) then you just might be a Special Snowflake.  Other pursuits that may provide fulfillment are:

-Decanting your own farts
-Masturbating to images of people who look suspiciously like you
-Pretending to submit your will to gods that promise eternal life for your special snowflake soul

Remember, being a Special Snowflake takes work.  You have to earn it.  Here is some advice if you want to achieve the pinnacle of Special Snowflakedom:

1. Cultivate ingratitude.  Do not, under any circumstances, appreciate what you have!  The trademark state of a Special Snowflake is constant, unrelenting, shameless, bitter disappointment in the way everything has turned out.  So what if there are people struggling harder than you -- do not rub the sheen off your sacred Special Snowflake self by empathizing with them!  Are you able to afford fresh fruit in both wintertime and summertime?  Bah, who thinks about that, besides inner city dwellers and ancient Romans?  Not you.  Time off on the weekends?  Ridiculous, as no true Special Snowflake should ever have to do an activity as demeaning as work.  Cute boyfriend?  Nice, but you’d rather have a celebrity.  A nice, rent-free house to live in?  That’s nothing.  Sofia Coppola’s dad bought her many houses and a directing career.  It’s Paris (Hilton) or bust -- if you can’t have the life of a pampered, coke-snorting heiress, you might as well kill yourself.  Don’t kill yourself though, because that could make you ineligible for a Special Snowflake Award!

2. Complain, complain, complain.  Since you are more intelligent than everyone else, you need to make your dissatisfaction apparent or else those dumbkofs will get the impression it isn’t all about you.  On an airplane because a doting relative bought you a trip to Hawaii?  Complain about the bad service and cramped seats.  Walking through the park with another person?  Wrinkle your nose in disgust at a homeless person on a nearby bench.  In a restaurant?  Threaten to leave because they don’t have an item you want.  Be a diva.  You’re a star!  Getting along is for chumps and poors.

3. Go vegan, and then go back to eating meat.  This one is CRUCIAL.  In order to convince the world that you are one of a kind, hijack a tiny part of the most important social justice movement of our time and make it about you for as long as you can stand, say six months to a year.  You have to do it long enough so you can get much-needed attention and investment from people you can dupe into thinking you have a conscience. The advantage of pretending to be vegan is you can optionally create a blog about your transition, monetize that blog, and then renege on any faux promises you made to the animals, sucking in even more clicks and ad revenue.  Don’t forget to pepper the internet with declarations of “I listened to my body and it told me to eat meat” and “I couldn’t live without bacon” so you can appeal to the masses who desperately want to validate their dairy, meat, and egg habits.  If you end up gaining weight or getting sick as a result of going back to eating flesh, chicken abortions, and titty squirts, make sure you hide your illnesses as much as you possibly can.  Remember, God will give you an afterlife of blowjobs and deep fried chocolate ice cream if you repent at least three seconds before you die, so whatever you do in this life, including atheism, cheating, exploitation, or murder, makes absolutely no difference.  

Just a word of warning: Special Snowflakes, especially Special Snowflakes who win awards, age faster than the average Snowflake, mostly because they are so very tired all the time.  Colossal, all-consuming, morbid self-interest is an exhausting occupation.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Newness is an obsession in our world, at the direct expense and devaluation of the old.  In some ways, equating newness with superiority is practical.  New car runs better than old car.  Freshly baked bread tastes better than old bread.  New teacher replaces crusty retiree and brings needed positive energy to classroom.  

There are real downsides to fetishizing newness, and they are currently biting our society in the ass pretty hard.  Here are a few examples and their results:

New electronics!
Planned obsolescence and teeming landfills.
New clothes!
Child sweatshop labor in Bangladesh in collapsing buildings.
ZOMG kitties and puppies at the mall pet store!
Any shelter animal over 6 months of age dies there, usually by injection or gas.
Under new management!
New pantheon of grotesquely overpaid paperclip jockeys who assign you at least 3x more work at the same pay.
She’s a virgin!
License to commodify and rape because maleness is evolutionary suicide.
She’s pregnant!
Fetus alert!  Preserve the unborn’s life at all costs, including the woman’s autonomy, health, finances, and future.

If you want to understand the problems inherent with newness-obsession, rent or steal yourself a viewing of any big-budget American film made after the year 2000.  Preferably the film should be a SEQUEL or a REBOOT, but any crappy blockbuster that involves superheroes or aliens will do.  


 What you are looking for is a portrait of ‘Murica, a relatively new Empire that churns these crappy reboot/sequels out at a rate of at least 20 per month during peak moviegoing season.  Like the milksop children of a fervid Evangelical and his crispy-poodle haired, dead-eyed walking uterus of a wife, the offspring of American big-budget film directors is disturbingly homogenous, as if one giant super egg split off into various smaller eggs a la the asexual reproduction process described in Brave New World.  

There will be lots of car chases, explosions, and at least one unattractive yet funny sidekick. Exploration of human relationships will be limited to token happy heterosexual romance between a dominant male and a skinny woman, some beloved parent or mentor conveniently dying either on or off-script, and the rescue of a pregnant woman or young child in distress.  Plot?  There isn’t one, however, there are loose ramblings about Our Hero needing to protect the Earth from Apocalypse.  

Said Apocalypse is caused by whatever CGI supervillain can be conjured out of the psychological morass of manufactured Islamophobia and deindustrialization-anxiety zeitgeist that constitutes current thought. Now with more Earth-magma slurping prostheses

Notice how important newness is as a factor in the film.  It’s almost the starring role, isn’t it?  The explosions are bigger and brighter.  There are more of them than last year/decade.  The actors are either young or aggressively Photoshopped to look that way.  The hero has new powers, a new vehicle, a brighter, shinier costume.  The alien/villain adversary is a “NEW DIMENSION OF EVIL” and can perform new evil deeds with his large, enhanced, Earth-core sucking appendages. In which newness begins to SUCK  

What everyone fails to realize, let alone mention, is that newness can suck.  That first sexual experience?  It’s routinely awful, awkward, and weird for at least 50% of those involved.  The machines designed to keep grandma alive despite her kidneys and liver failing?  I wouldn’t call that form of subsistence a life.  All those new human “miracle” babies being born to the tune of 350,000 plus per day?  They’re leading us down the quick garden path to the possible near term extinction of life as we know it.  All that new technology that was supposed to save us from the consequences of human greed and reckless environmental omnicide?  Clearly not working.

That aging celebrity (maybe he was in the movie you watched!) who sired a child at age 68 and whose plastic surgery attempts to look younger have rendered him as a ghastly, perpetually-surprised burn victim version of his former self?  

Wouldn’t it be better if he just let himself GROW OLD?