When I Need Some Uplifting

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Today, while shopping for the house I was working in, I had a bit more supermarket stress. It was based on the fact that I was looking for toad in the hole mix and they didn’t have it. As usual, it seemed that every aisle I wanted to go down to look for it was crowded with people and I felt my anxiety levels begin to rise. Fortunately, I found some batter mix and bought that and even more fortunate, it was the right choice. Anxiety levels dropped after that.

We all have things that uplift us. Many of the song lyrics I have posted have done that job for me. However, the words I have found the most uplifting and motivating didn’t come from any song. It comes from the film, “Miracle” about the big 1980 Olympic ice hockey game between the USA and USSR. The speech that coach Herb Brooks made, fantastically portrayed by Kurt Russell, was the big locker-room speech before the game. That speech was key in inspiring the underdog American team to the biggest upset in hockey history. If it could do that for them, it uplifts me and I’m sure those words can be an inspiration to many. Therefore, I would like to share it:

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Song Lyric Quote: Danger Danger- One Step From Paradise

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It really doesn’t matter

Don’t go and throw it all away.

Cause we[re one step from paradise,

So close but still so far away

We’re just one step from paradise,

Together we’ll find paradise one day.

Those who follow my other 80smetalman’s Blog will get to hear this song in its entirety.

I Won’t Be Watching the Royal Wedding

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The main reason is that I’ll be at work on Saturday and Saturday is the day, Melvin (I’ll call him that), has his trip out to buy items which cater to his interests, namely models, post cards or DVDs. So, I’ll travelling to and from one of his favourite places in which to procure such items that match his interests. I shouldn’t be anywhere near a television and even if I was, I know Melvin wouldn’t want to watch it any as he would declare it boring. This too is a good thing because if he wanted to watch it, I would be forced to watch it with him and I don’t want to do that.

First of all, before I start my little rant, I would like to say I wish Harry and Megan all the happiness they deserve. It’s great when anyone finds the person they wish to hopefully spend the rest of their lives with, whether it’s a prince, a film star or even what the conservatives in the US and Britain call a ‘benefit slob.’ This doesn’t mean that I have to be glued to the television watching the ceremony and that is not an insult to the happy couple. I believe if they wanted me to watch them get married, they would have sent me an invitation.

The soldiers of King George III

My main reason for not wanting to see the big wedding is that I am not a royalist. Growing up American, I had years of how the American people rose up against oppression by a king, (I know in reality it was the British Parliament levying all those taxes on the colonies but that’s not the point here), kicked out those whom they felt were symbols of that oppression and formed an independent republic, pounded into my head in history lessons. That is why the US Constitution forbids bestowing any titles of nobility. Therefore, watching a symbol monarchy goes against what I was taught in school.

Let me kill another stereotype. Most Americans really don’t care about the Royal Family. Yes, a few upper middle class women are getting really excited about it and it’s enough to make George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin spin in their graves, but most of America will not be watching the wedding. Saying that, a lot of people in the native country won’t be watching it either. Anyway, most Americans, while happy for the couple, don’t really care enough to want to watch in on television.

While I won’t be watching the wedding, I won’t begrudge anyone who does. It is their choice and in Britain, I realize it’s part of history and tradition. Besides, the royal family is reported to bring far more money into the UK through tourism than what the government spends to keep them. Who am I to argue with that? Nor will I. The UK is my adopted country now and in some ways, it has treated me better than the country I was born and grew up in but that doesn’t mean I have to watch a royal wedding on that account. So again, I wish Harry and Megan to have a very happy day! I just won’t be watching it.

To buy He Was Weird go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526635842&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking About This Sends My Asperger’s Through the Roof

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Ever since last week, when I posted about my reflections on the Netflix television show, “Dear White People,” my mind has been going in one thousand different directions. This is because since my time in the marines, the issue of race and everything to do with it has played havoc with my anxieties. Common sense should tell me not to think about it, let alone write any posts on the subject. However, for someone with conditions like Asperger’s Syndrome and DAMP, not thinking about it is more difficult than thinking about it.

Too many variables on the subject have been thrown into the mixture in my mind and all of them are vying for recognition when thinking about it. There’s the stereotypes, both good and bad, how it is portrayed in the media, contributions by others and finally, my own experiences with it. This is a lethal cocktail mentally and has caused a war inside my head. The only way I know how to deal with it is to write about it in the hopes that it will eventually make sense. So far it hasn’t.

It is also probably the reason why I am so into watching “Dear White People.” Part of me hopes that it will bring me some sort of understanding. So far, I am totally enjoying the programme because it does make you think. I mean really think. However, not all of it is truly positive. Some of the misjudged racial stereotypes I’ve held in the past come to mind at times. One thing that keeps coming up, because the incident which triggers actions and reactions from blacks and whites, is the controversy surrounding a ‘Black Face’ party held by some white students at the university. This is an example of the conflict in my mind. My brain is telling me that the white students are being racist, the party is insulting to black people. However, one counter that springs to mind and in a way, I’m slightly disappointed that the programme didn’t use it themselves is: “White people didn’t complain at the movie, ‘White Chicks.'” Now I know that this statement is ludicrous but this won’t stop some white people from using it as their defence or justification.

Living in Great Britain hasn’t lessened my anxieties about race. In fact, it has put a different emphasis on it. Over the past two years, there have been scandals involving men of Pakistani origin who have been sexually abusing young white British girls. This has set off a big debate in the UK but one of the excuses churned out as to why this abuse was allowed to go on for so long was that people were afraid of being called ‘racist.’ While the shooting of black men by American police officers in the US has been news on both sides of the Atlantic, the police forces dealing with the sexual abuse in the UK have tried to justify their lack of attention and poor police work in the matter by stating that if they had gotten involved, they would have been called ‘racist.’ To me, that’s a cop out by the police but saying that, it’s not an excuse for racism against the Pakistani community in Britain. This along with other issues has poured oil on the flames caused by the war on the subject taking place in my brain.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I’m still trying to make sense of the issue of race in my own mind. Maybe I never will fully but I would like to make enough sense of it to stem the war inside my head. That could bring my anxieties down a lot. Then again, the one question that has never been answered, which goes back to the days in the service, is: “Why did the African-Americans in the service target me when there was the perfect target in their midst?” See, the blacks seemed to go after me, when I posed no threat to them but they never ever went after the redneck mountain boy who openly admitted he was in the Klu Klux Klan. I invite anyone of African descent to answer this question because when it is answered, it will smash down a major wall in my mind.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526417720&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

Song Lyrics for Bikers: Axl Rudi Pell- Forever Angel

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Sometimes it seems like you’re dancing with the devil

And you recognise, the price for freedom is high.

The brotherhood in your life is your highest calling.

You’re the chosen ones, all for one and for all.

Riding with your brothers through the wind and the rain

You’re proud of your colour and can feel no pain.

Forever angel, keeping on riding

And fight for your rights.

Forever angel, roaring thunder

Through endless nights.

 

New TV Show Opened My Eyes

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A few weeks ago, another blog called “TV & City” posted about a show on Netflix called “Dear White People.” After reading the post, I became rather intrigued about the programme. It is a dark comedy about a group of African-American students who attend a predominantly white Ivy League university. It started slow but by the end of the first episode, the show had gotten me seriously thinking about race issues and I had to watch the second.

What really got my attention during Episode One, Series One, was the scene near the end when the main character, Sam, brings her white boyfriend to a meeting of African- American student groups on campus. The dialogue between the boyfriend and an black male becomes heated enough to the point where the white boyfriend asks, “Are you gong to hit me now?” The black man responds, very well I might add, with, “I don’t use my fists. In fact, I should hit you for asking if me if I’m going to hit you.”

This definitely awoke something inside me. From my experiences in the service and for the first few years after leaving, I believed the stereotype that young black men would rather use their fists as opposed to their words. The weird thing was, I thought that I was one of the few white people who actually thought this, boy was I stupid!

True, there are black men out there who resort to using fists before words. Then again, there are white men who do to. The redneck mountain boy, whom I mentioned in an ancient post was always threatening to kick people’s asses and throughout the 32 years I’ve lived in the UK, I have seen some British men who are like it too. However, most people and that includes African-Americans, would rather settle differences by using their words instead of their fists. Just like I protest when people outside America stereotype all Americans, I know it’s wrong to stereotype others and I should not let a couple of experiences lead me to believe the stereotype that all black men would rather use their fists to settle a situation.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1525802487&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

Supermarket Stress and Politics

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I have been thinking about my post a week and a half ago about supermarkets and how they can stress me out and cause me all sorts of anxieties. What I have been thinking most about is my reluctance to use self service checkouts because one- they really raise my anxiety levels and two- I want to keep supermarket cashiers in a job. Now with my strange but beautiful mind, (something all with Asperger’s Syndrome possess), I am now thinking about it in regards to the socialism vs capitalism debate.

While I have leanings to socialism, I do recognize that pure socialism isn’t good and neither is pure capitalism. You need a little of both and I will use my views on self service checkouts to demonstrate this.

Pure capitalism- In pure capitalism, all cashiers would be out of a job and self-service checkouts would be installed in every store. This is because you don’t have to pay machines, nor do they take vacations or sick time. You would probably only need one or two staff to monitor the checkouts. However, what about the elderly and those with special needs? What if they are unable to use the self-service? Sure, the shop might have one or two staff there to deal with it but that would also slow things down. Plus, some people actually like dealing with people rather than machines. Then there’s the fact that loads more people will be out of work because they have been replaced by machines. So, while it might be profitable to have stores with nothing but self service checkouts, it wouldn’t always work and it’s not very humanitarian.

Pure Socialism- The government passes a law to ban all self-service checkouts in supermarkets to save jobs. On humanitarian grounds, this is a great idea. However, there are some people who have only bought one item and in a desperate rush to be somewhere. Is it fair to make them go through a manned register? Not all people are people persons. Also, going back to the first sentence in this paragraph, when governments pass laws to force people to do something, they don’t always like it, even if they agree with it in principle. I’ve seen that with mandatory recycling.

My answer to this is to have a good number of manned tills at every supermarket and make sure there’s enough people on them. That’s one of my conspiracy theories. Sometimes you have long lines because there are less than half the staffed lanes open. I think supermarkets do this to get more people to use self service and that’s why I usually wait in line at a staffed till unless I’m have only bought one item and in a rush and all the lines are too long. We need some self-service as well. They can work together.