The First 5 Things I Remembered Piss Me Off

I quit my job so I’m going to have a blog again! You’re welcome.

Feel free to skip to the list if you don’t want to hear about my life.

Just kidding! This is a personal blog. There is no escaping my life. Sorry.

While I have become a kinder, gentler Rhi thanks to the magic of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and a drug developed to combat seizures — well, mostly escaping the claws of American Corporate “Capitalism” — that does not mean that I am stupid. And anyone who is happy, or even vaguely ok, with the state of the world right now…is stupid. Full stop.

Important note: I personally define stupid as willfully ignorant. Indeed, measuring intelligence without controlling for access to education is willfully ignorant. Don’t know what willful ignorance is? Go ask your resident racist grandfather literally any history question you know the answer to and observe. Even better, offer to teach them Common Core math! Or keep reading, because I’m about to give a convoluted personal example #branding.

“Happiness” itself is a tricky bugger to definite, as it is not an evolutionarily necessary human state. Indeed, the prevalence of people who would have said “I am in a lovely mood! I shall skip through this jungle naked singing to the sun!” during the caveman times makes me really question Darwin’s work. For me, “happiness” is not the oscillation between neutrality and euphoria without sinking to the depths of depression; it’s the ability to respond positively to good fortune instead of going “OH MY GOD THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO ME WHAT’S THE CATCH PLEASE DON’T HURT MY DOG.”

So what is the state of the word? Let’s check-the-motherfuckin-facts, a verb that will hopefully immigrate into Merriam-Webster soon: the arctic will probably melt next week, I live in a country where millions of people still think Trump is smart just because he’s rich, and despite the existence of Bay Area traffic as proof of overpopulation, we still have to argue over whether birth control is a good idea or not. If I’m being true to my values as a person, I’m going to be angry at all that bullshit.

But I wasn’t, because I was ignoring it on purpose. I was being willfully ignorant.

As I was processing all this with my therapist, I finally felt connected to the cliched concern that seeking treatment for mental health challenges will fundamentally change who you are as a person. I’ve gotten too comfortable, afraid to unleash the parts of myself that people don’t like.

That’s the most intoxicating thing about happiness — it feels so nice to be liked that I lost track of the characteristics that gave me pride in myself in my darkest hours.

In part, I think this is because I’ve spent a good chunk of my life defending myself from the Martha Mitchell Effect. I learned recently about this effect — it’s essentially when people get labeled as crazy because what they are saying seems so outlandish, but then later the world finds out that this supposedly crazy individual was correct.

Of course this effect is named after a woman.

It is actually named after a woman who was the first to out Richard Nixon as a cheating, disgusting pimple of a man using illegal tactics to retain the presidency. Like I’ve experienced, she was written off as a hysterical, alcoholic gossip whore. I highly recommend listening to Episode 1, Season 1 of the podcast Slow Burn to learn more about her story. Eh, there’s probably a better place to learn about her, but that’s where I heard about her #citeyoursources.

Now, I’m not saying I do not have a mental heath challenge. However, I do have a unique perspective on things given my atypical upbringing, and it has always been difficult for me to tease out whether an unpopular opinion of mine is me actually misunderstanding the nature of reality, or the world giving me the Martha Mitchell treatment.

Real talk? I’m usually right, at least about external reality (truth about the outside world, not truth about myself). If you are the kind of asshole who wouldn’t have voted for gay marriage in 1990 but would today: please smack yourself in the face with your computer/smartphone/device, especially if you considered calling me cocky for saying that.

In America, just being out as a “socialist” can get you a dose of the Martha Mitchell treatment. Indeed, having an overtly political identity is enough, socialist or otherwise. Dear Neo-Nazis: this does not apply to you. You’re crazy (and once again, I can say that because I’m crazy, but you watch your filthy mouth)!

But you know what? I’m proud of being that bitch. I watched this country go from thinking my family was an abomination to at least pretending to think homophobia makes you a bigot. I stand for something, and not because Rachel Maddow or Bill O’Reilly told me to think that way. As I told a student recently: “I don’t care if you argue pro. I don’t care if you argue con. You just better have thought it through.” But there’s some conclusions you’ll never reach if you’re really checking all the facts. Looking at you, fucking Nazis.

And while I’ve learned how to be a better communicator — and to pick my battles — thinking for yourself generally does not lead to being popular.

So this fall, I want to reconnect to my rage. It has started with some political and historical podcasts and checking the news daily. I’m curious to see if I’ll be angry about different things, how that anger feels different, and how my communication of that anger may change.

Thus far, it mostly comes out as “oh, honey,” when I hear someone say something I saw on a Facebook meme. You have been warned.

So, without further ado, I went ahead and wrote a list of the first ten things, in order, that I could think of that still really chap my ass:

1. Mediocre white men doing a shit job at things more competent people would fucking CRUSH if given the opportunity.

I first started getting riled up about this when I got my iPhone 7 and realized that was one of the models that had no headphone jack. 

Objectively, this is a terrible decision. It is a terrible decision that, in a purely free market economy (which Americans think they want until they find out Social Security is communism), would have led to mass firings and fresh opportunities for engineers and product managers who — ghasp! — took an interest in creating innovations that don’t require me to figure out what blue teeth have to do with the internet. come for the jokes, stay for the run-on sentences.

But then I watched the Game of Thrones final season and really lost my fucking shit. Look, any half-woke feminist could have told you men who put shaved vaginas in a medieval setting but claim to be “real and gritty” should not be taken too seriously. Any quarter-woke feminist could have told you they weren’t that creative after one of their first original plot-lines included the line “you need bad pussy.” And while it was never confirmed that they killed off Ros’s character (red-headed prostitute who moved from Winterfell to King’s Landing) just because the actress refused to be naked anymore…it’s a little too believable for comfort, and kinda gross given they killed her off by having a child psychopath tie her up on a wall and shoot her in the tits (I think? I always skip that scene).

And what of the consequences? At least for the Game of Thrones show-runners-who-will-not-be-named, they got millions of dollars and Star Wars. As a somewhat aspiring artist, fuck that.

This heading also applies to our president.

2. Racist trolls getting MLK Day off work. 

I’m sure that a higher percentage of white people get this day off than black people, given continued gaps in opportunity and the fact that most service sector jobs are not given the day off.

I struggle with what to do here. I definitely think people who actually give a fuck about antiracism should absolutely get a day off, and you know I’m serious because I used to adverbs.


You should be disqualified from participation in MLK “fun” if you a) can only quote from “I have a dream” b) refuse to acknowledge MLK had socialist tendencies c) are a registered Republican and/or d) only pretend to like MLK because he was the “non-violent one.”

The list goes on, but I’m out of rage shape, and I’m pretty sure a list within a list is bad writing. That being said, I 100% volunteer to assist in the re-education of my fellow Americans, assuming lunch is provided and it is not Domino’s. And if the day should be about anything, it should be acknowledging Americans need to be re-educated about our racist past and its ongoing effects.

Full disclosure, I wrote this before Joe Biden did…whatever that was. But I think it illustrates my point beautifully.

3. Free Speech 

Of course I am not in favor of censorship — I don’t think I’d last very long in such a world. People have regularly joked that I would not have survived the Salem witch trials. Oh wait, that was me, and I definitely would not have. We are all victims of the Martha Mitchell Effect.

However, I think Americans need to have a long sit and think over what it means to value free speech. Why we value free speech to begin with. And whether we want to drag its name through the mud because we’re too simplistic to realize calling Nazis trash for exercising their rights to free speech is the correct exercise of your free speech. 

Free speech don’t mean shit if we’re only listening to the sounds of our own voices. Free speech don’t mean shit if you think your opinion on climate change is as valid as someone who has devoted their entire adult life to researching our ozone layer — unless you are that adult. Free speech don’t mean shit if only two sides get to have an opinion. Free speech, right now, don’t mean shit. So until it does, I don’t really care what your opinion of it is.

Ahhh yes, I missed being that bitch.

4. Shopping

I am now a retail XL (mostly) and 30 in pants. Woohoo, I can find my size in stores!

Except! Most manufacturers require stores to order clothes in packs which come with one XS, two S, two M, two L, and one XL. This distribution has nothing to do with sales or the average size of actual humans. Indeed, the most common size would be the XL. What this means is that you will never find your size unless you actually are XS – M, or happen to be shopping on delivery day. This is also why all the good shit on sale is S. And no, this is not coming from a place of jealousy. This is coming from a place of I used to be a fashion buyer and a size M. Hell, when I had my depression body I was a S in tops and dresses!

Wait…this isn’t really about shopping…

5. The Fashion Industry

The one lovable thing about the industry – Project Runway – was ruined for me once I realized many of the contestants are gay men insisting that women look like boys so that their clothes will look good. I do not mean this to body-shame the naturally skinny; I, too, have lust in my heart every time I see a picture of Shane from The L Word. Actually, I was way more into Max/Daniela Sea but we’ll save an awkward exploration of my teenage sexuality for another day.

Wait…What soapbox am I supposed to be on?Oh! Fashion Sucks!

In the world of “the customer is always right,” shouldn’t it be the job of designers to make us look good, as opposed to it being our job to manipulate our bodies using diarrhea tea to make your overpriced, unethically produced clothes look good?

I am especially enraged here because I am such a part of the problem — though my last 3 dress purchases were from local artists at my new favorite boutique. Change is possible!

Since I actually wrote something positive…THE END.



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