Roasting Myself

Roasting Myself

Of my very few talents, offending myself is one of them.

It’s hard to remember a time when my hair wasn’t dyed some offbeat, quirky color (aside from now). Pink, blue, purple, green, or some ugly combination of these. This is a way to showcase my extreme individuality. It makes me special. It’s just as hard to remember a time when I wore something relatively normal looking. Whether it be an atrocious thrifted Alfred Dunner blazer, color blocked 80’s windbreakers, wedgie-giving mom jeans, or bright yellow clown-like Dr. Martens. I describe my personal style as “ugly pretty.” Others would say the same, sans “pretty.” At this point I’m used to being called a hipster, and used to enthusiastically denying it in an attempt to hide the fact that this makes me ecstatic. People say my appearance screams “offended millennial.” And I’m not even an offended millennial. I just like, can’t even believe you think that. Like I’m offended that you think I’m offended.

Shortly after my (very late) 18th birthday this year, I Uber-ed with some friends to a Tattoo and Piercing parlor not far from campus. I know what you’re thinking – that we got regrettable matching tattoos across our chests or un-matching but just as regrettable lower back stamps. Thankfully, you are mistaken. Instead I opted for a septum piercing, something few other liberal teenage girls have. My dad thinks I look like a bull, which is just so narrow-minded. Beauty standards are changing, old man. And besides – it makes me look absolutely unique.

I listen to a lot of alternative, indie music. Anyone with a real record label is a guilty pleasure. I tell people that I liked Neutral Milk Hotel before Will Grayson, Will Grayson came out, even though it isn’t true. My guitar pick from the Violent Femmes concert is my most valued possession. Similar to many Youtube comments on old music videos, I claim I was born in the wrong generation. Deep in my soul, I feel that I was also born in the wrong city. I belong in Portland, not Pittsburgh. I saw Jack White in concert and pretended that I understood why he chose not to play Seven Nation Army. He’s an artist, after all, and shouldn’t be defined by one incredible, amazing, astounding, iconic, awesome, hype song. He shouldn’t feel obliged to play the song that made him famous, for the people who pay his bills.

As you may have guessed, I am a vegetarian. I enjoy twelve dollar avocado toast topped with the weeds that grow in between cracks in the sidewalk from a hole-in-the-wall shop whose menu is written on a chalkboard wall. Kale and quinoa salads are a staple. I threatened to release the family dog back into the wild (where he belongs, even though he would die within six minutes) if they didn’t go vegetarian as well. My hippie mother has taken to this change well. I told her that her spirit guides are smiling upon her. My macho father really has no choice not to. I told him that muscle milk is vegetarian safe, even though I do not know this for sure. Everything else we buy is locally sourced, of course. Not only is it better for our bodies and the environment, but it supports small businesses! Corporations are evil, greedy, sinful, and essentially run by Sith lords.

When I signed the metaphorical offended millennial contract, I agreed to be “woke af," which, of course I am. Rachel Maddow is my queen and king and my sole source of news. Everyone else is wrong. I only trust Rachel. No news is valid until she tells me so. A man I once knew told me he called her “Rachel Mad-cow.” I pulled a few strings and he hasn’t been seen since. I also am a strong advocate for safe spaces, though I am actually quite unsure about what they are. I’m also Bernie or bust – obviously. This was a hard decision, not to support a woman. She was just too corporate. When someone says something I do not agree with, my best option is to retreat to an established bubble of liberalness. I fall asleep to Elizabeth Warren speeches to recover from the ideological attacks. Protesting is my favorite hobby. For DACA, for PETA, against circuses and zoos, for women’s rights, at bra burning rallies, against all beauty companies, against every celebrity who didn’t vote for Bernie, against the patriarchy in general. If I do not remain woke, I will most likely be sacrificed by my peers to Fox News.

To the liberals reading this – do not worry. I’m very liberal, honestly. But I’m also able to make fun of myself and my ideology, and take a roast at the expense of the left. And this is something I think we all need to work on.

Popular Right Now

Islam Is Not A Religion Of Peace, But Neither Is Christianity

Let's have in honest converation about the relgious doctrine of Islam


Islam is not a religion of peace.

Christianity is also not a religion of peace.

But, most people in both religions are generally peaceful.

More specifically, bringing up the doctrine of Christianity is a terrible rebuttal to justify the doctrine of Islam.

That is like saying, "Fascism is not a good political ideology. Well, Communism isn't any good either. So, Fascism is not that bad after all."

One evil does not justify another evil. Christianity's sins do not justify Islam's.

The reason why this article is focused on Islam and not Christianity is the modern prevalence of religious violence in the Islamic world. Christianity is not without its evil but there is far less international terrorist attacks and mass killing perpetrated by Christians today than by those of Islam.

First, let's define "religious killings," which is much more specific than a practicer of a religion committing a murder.

A religious killings are directly correlated with the doctrines of the faith. That is different a human acting on some type of natural impulse killing someone.

For example, an Islamic father honor killing his daughter who was raped is a religious killing. But an Islamic man who catches his wife cheating and kills her on the spot is a murder, not a religious killing. The second man may be Islamic but the doctrine of Islam cannot be rationally held at fault for that killing. Many men with many different religions or experience would make the same heinous mistake of taking a life.

Second, criticizing a doctrine or a religion is not a criticism of everyone that practices the religion.

It is not even a criticism of everyone who make mistake while inspired by the religions. Human are willing to do heinous things when governed by a bad cause. Not every World War 2 Nazis was a homicidal maniac but human nature tells them to act this way in order to survive in their environment. It is hard to fault a person from traits that comes from evolutionary biology and natural selection.

However, commenting on a philosophy, ideology or a religion is not off limits. Every doctrine that inspires human action should be open for review. The religion may be part of a person's identity and it holds a special place in its heart but that does not mean it should be immune to criticism.

Finally, before going into a deconstruction of the myth that Islam is a religion of peace, there needs to be a note about the silencing of talking about Islam.

There is a notion in Western Society that if a person criticizes Islam, then that person hates all Muslims and the person suffers from Islamophobia. That is not the case, a person to criticize religion without becoming Donald Trump. In Western Society criticizing fundamental Christians is never seen as an attack on all Christians because there is a lot of bad ideas in the Bible that Christians act on. Therefore, criticizing Islam should have the same benefit of the doubt because the Quran has many bad ideas in it.

The Quran advocates for war on unbelievers a multitude of times. No these verses are not a misreading or bad interpretation the text. Here are two explicit verses from the Quran that directly tell Followers to engage in violence:

Quran 2: 191-193:

"And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah (disbelief or unrest) is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists and wrong-doers)"

Quran 2: 216:

"Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

There is no rational way to interrupt these passages in a peaceful way. The whole premise of both passages is to inspire followers that war against the unbeliever is justified.

The first verse advocates for genocide against non-believers for the mere transgression that a society worships a different god or worships another god along with Allah.

The second passage is arguable more dangerous because the first passage just advocate that fighting may be a necessity, while the second passage encourages it. The second passage claims that war on the unbeliever is a good thing under the eyes of Allah.

The reason why these passages are dangerous is because they directly incite religious violence. For most followers of Allah, these passages are ignored or they convince themselves the passages means something they do not. However, for a large numbers of followers that view the text of the Quran as the unedited words of Allah, these texts become extremely dangerous. These passages become all the rational they need to wage war on non-believers.

This is dangerous because there are millions of followers of Islam worldwide that believe every statement in the Quran is true.

Therefore, the Quran becomes a direct motivation and cause for its followers to attack non-followers. Rationally one can understand where the Islam follower comes from, if a person truly believes that Allah or God himself wrote these words then why would you not comply.

Especially when there is verses in the Quran that says the Follower who does not fight the infidel is not as worthy of a Follower that does wage war against the non-believer (Quran 4:95). Finally, when male Followers are told that their martyrdom fighting for the faith will be rewarded with an eternity in paradise with 72 virgins for personal pleasure. If a Follower truly believes all of this is the spoken word of Allah then there is more rational why a person would commit these atrocities then why they would not.

Men and women are radicalized by these passages on a daily basis.

No, it is not just the poor kid in Iraq that lost his family to an American bombing run that indiscriminately kills civilians but also the middle classed Saudi Arabian child or some Western white kid that finds the Quran appealing. If radicalization were just poor people, then society would not have much to be worried about. However, Heads of States, college educated people and wealthy Islamic Followers are all being radicalized and the common dominator is the doctrine of Islam.

Osama Bin Laden, one of the most infamous terrorist in history, was not a poor lad that was screwed by the United States military industrial complex. Bin Laden was the son of a billionaire, that received an education through college from great schools. There is no other just cause for Bin Laden to orchestrate such grievous attacks on humanity besides religious inspirations. A person can rationally tie Islam Followers gravitation towards terrorism to a specific verse. Quran 3: 51 tells readers,

"Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers."

Any rational person can tie Islamic passages like this directly to terrorism. It is not a complicated correlation to like Nazism and Jewish persecution to Christianity. The Holy Book of Islam directly encourages the Followers of Islam to inflict terrorism unto the non-believer.

So why do some many people deny these obvious truths about Islam and violence?

Political Correctness and the want to not be viewed as a bigot. The correlations here are as direct as the terrors of the Spanish Inquisitions and Catholicism and no one is afraid to retrospect and say, "Yes Christianity caused the direct murder of thousands of people". A person would not even be controversial if one stated that both World Wars has significant religious undertones. However if anyone states that terrorism and violence has a direct link with Islam then there is an outcry.

Even President Obama refused to use the terms Islam and Muslim when publicly talking about the War on Terrorism. I am a hypocrite also because I used the term Islamic Follower instead of Muslim in an attempt to sound more political correct.

That is a problem when society refuse to use terms that are correct in an attempt to not offend anyone. Imagine if scientist could not report their findings because the underlying politics. Society needs to be able to have open dialogue about this problem or else it will never heal. Society needs to throw away the worrisome about being politically correct and focus on identifying the problems and solving them.

The world of Islam needs to open themselves up to this criticism.

There can no longer be a closing of dialogue where the West cannot speak on the doctrines of Islam because they are not partakers (That applies to all organized religion too, especially the Catholic Church). People who draw Muhammed must no longer be threatened with attacks on their life.

When Islamic women and men speak up about the sins of Islam, they must stop being silenced. If humanity is going to take steps into the future with better technology and more dangerous weaponry, then we need to solve this problem with Islam and gradually to organized religion at all.

If not it will doom us way before we get there…

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this article follow my podcast on Twitter @MccrayMassMedia for more likewise discussions.

Cover Image Credit:

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Appetite-Ruining Moments You, A Liberal Millennial, Have At Dinner With Conservative Parents

The feeling of dinner turning into a 12 vs 1 wrestling match is all too familiar for me.

Family dinners are all fun and good meals until that one relative gives their political view and a hush falls over the table. If you are anything like me, you may have a placemat in the dining room but it can feel like you're the odd man out. What I'm talking about is being that ONE liberal in a family of conservatives.

These political differences can turn any holiday dinner or Sunday gathering into a nightmare. From personal experience, here are 10 things that might happen to you at a conservative family dinner table.

1. Being told you will change your mind in the future

The truth is maybe I will but the possibility of future new opinions does not demean those I hold now. Who knows what I'll value in 20 years, all I know is that at this moment, my feelings and thoughts are valid.

2. Finding out who your parents/grandparents voted for

Yes, you may have suspected their choice but deep down you'd hoped for otherwise (wishful thinking I guess) and hearing it out loud was enough to make you choke on mashed potatoes.

3.Turning the TV off to avoid conversation

The five o'clock news comes on and you practically sprint to the remote. The last thing you want is an argument over fake news.

4. Questioning how everything could be Obama's fault?

Granted, no one is perfect but the blame for every fault in this nation cannot be put on one man. Oh, and the "Thanks Obama!" joke is getting old.

5. At some point, you get called a liberal snowflake.

But I believe enough snowflakes can cause quite the avalanche. *shrugs shoulders*

6. "I'm not racist but..."

Take a shot every time a family member says this. I guarantee it'll make the second half of the sentence much more bearable.

7. Or better yet, when a sentence starts with "Those people,".

Which is basically code for any group of people that don't look, think, or act like them.

8. Having tattoos/piercings makes your opinion invalid

It isn't a rare occurrence for the ink on your skin to be mistaken for impulsiveness and apparently make you incapable of having an intelligent thought, or maybe just a thought different from theirs.

9. Being elbowed for talking under your breath

And when a whisper of defiance slips from your mouth, it isn't uncommon for you to get the oh-so-subtle kick under the table.

10. And finally, when you speak up, the dinner table becomes WW3

It can sometimes feel, when you find the courage to voice your opinion, that the entire table gangs up on you. The feeling of dinner turning into a 12 vs 1 wrestling match is all too familiar to me.

Of course, at the end of the day these are your family members and no difference in political or social views can change that. Sometimes the best you can do is keep your head down and pass the green beans. Conservative or liberal, this is the family you are stuck with because unlike friends, you don't get to choose your family.

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

Related Content

Facebook Comments