It's been 20 years since I first lost a good friend to suicide. It was incredibly difficult, at that young age, to understand why what happened happened. This was compounded by the fact that we had all just seen our friend the previous week, and he seemed to be doing so well (this was during the college years, when people branch out into their new lives, and it isn't uncommon to lose touch for extended periods). What we didn't know was that our friend had been privately battling depression for quite some time.
At his funeral, a different friend's mother came up to a group of us, and had a very candid conversation. We all knew that she had her own struggles with mental wellness, but it just wasn't the sort of thing that was discussed in open company. She was also a very reserved woman, which made this doubly out of character for her.
What she told us was basically this: Our friend was battling with something huge. Something that wore him down, a little more each day. He eventually reached a point where it just hurt too much to stay alive. He wasn't being selfish, and he wasn't trying to punish anyone else. He just didn't see any other options for himself. It was an incredibly generous gesture that she made to us, and I still appreciate her effort. It has meant a lot to me over the years.
It's heartbreaking to think about the loneliness, isolation, and desperation my friend experienced in his last days. I feel a lot of sadness, and a lot of regret, but I hold no anger towards my friend.
Robin Williams death will be in the news a lot in the near future. It is my hope that this will help people talk more openly about mental illness. It is a topic that naturally makes us uncomfortable, so it is easy to try to ignore or trivialize it.
For the sake of our brothers and sisters that are in pain, we need to get over these stigmas. We need to signal that our arms are open, and that we are here for those in need. We need to be able to talk about this, openly and honestly.
And lastly, if you find yourself struggling, please seek help. There is no shame in it, and you are not alone.


Thank you, Westboro Baptist Church. Thank you for providing such a wonderfully cartoonish caricature of hate and intolerance. Thank you for providing inspiration to the youth of today to stand up to bigotry, small mindedness, and hate.
I get such a warm feeling when I see a handful of you spreading your message of hate, and then I look at the hundreds that show up to peacefully demonstrate the values of love and understanding. You helped make that happen. You gave them a reason to be together.
You are truly doing the lord's work. In your own twisted, wonderful way, you are making the world a better place for everyone else.


I don't know if any of you have heard, but I have a daughter. It is an interesting thing, to consider her growing up. I'm not going to lie, I'm not thrilled about the thought of her ever having sex. I'm old fashioned that way. But, that is my baggage, not hers.

That brings me to this piece of news making the rounds. The tl/dr version of this story is that this girl, who sounds like she has a pretty promising future ahead of her, protested against a conservative christian abstinence only advocate giving a presentation at her high school. According to all reports that I have read, the speech was mean spirited and full of misinformation. Then her principal berated her for exercising her right to free speech (and contrary to what some people want to believe, children are also protected by the first amendment), the threatened to call her future college and impugn her character, all in an attempt to silence and admonish her.

Which brings me back to my daughter. As I said, I'm not thrilled about the prospect of her someday becoming sexually active. I'm also not stupid enough to think that is never going to happen. As much as I would like her to stay my little girl forever, I would also like her to be educated about her body, and be truthfully informed about her options and safety. I certainly don't want my daughter to be shamed for her feelings and curiosity, and I don't want her fed misinformation that could lead her to making poor choices (like being told that condoms aren't effective). And I certainly don't want my daughter to be subjected to a mean spirited religious nut's misinformed rantings, and subsequently to be threatened by the people that are supposed to be helping guide her towards adulthood.

In short, this story infuriates me, as I think it should for all of us. Especially anyone with a daughter.

I wish Katelyn Campbell best of luck in her future, and I would like to congratulate her parents on giving her what seems to be a good start. I also hope that Principal George Aulenbacher enjoys his Google search results for the rest of his life. They should prove amusing.

*West Virginia is a heavy promoter of abstinence only education. It also has a high rate of teen pregnancy (which seems to be a trend in other abstinence only states as well). Is abstinence the safest option? Yes. It's also not going to happen. I am always amused by people that wonder why kids are having sex, and how we can stop it. Here is why kids have sex: it's the same reason adults have sex. Because it feels really really good. Kids have all the urges that we do, with less experience about how to deal with them. Instead of ignoring these facts, we need to be pragmatic. We need to be supportive, and teach them how best to be safe.



Evil Old Ladie Barbie

I've been trying to think of a two word combination that when heard or read has the ability to so instantly enrage me more than this pair:

Ann Coulter

And all I can come up with is "child molester".

Just the mention of her name in an article, and I experience a deep, visceral reaction. Although, I must admit, when I see her (as opposed to reading her name), I get an even more interesting reaction. First, there is the hatred. The deep deep hatred of her. Of the shit she knowingly puts into the world, all for the purpose of enriching herself. There are few people worse than those who purposefully make the world a shittier place for their own benefit. But then another thing happens. I am struck with something like a detached, scientific curiosity.

What exactly is she? She almost appears to be human. Not quite, but almost. Like if you looked at sketches of aging fashion models, and then tried to make a human from those sketches. It's like a toymaker made an evil, shrewish looking Barbie doll, shoved a black heart in her chest, and gave her the mind of the world's biggest asshole. Then the Sugar Plum Fairy, in a drunken mistake, turned her into a real girl.

Fuck her.


I followed this person on 8 mile the other day. Took a couple tried to get this picture.