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RSI: To Just Function is a Problem

Though Self Improvement is intrinsic to the journey, I have a problem with how we’re expected to just function. I’m sitting in my dining room, my music playing and my roommate testing his Magic deck. With my fingers on the keyboard, I’m typing words while my entire life of decisions swirl around in my head. I’ve already started, deleted, and restarted thrice. I’ve settled on this topic because I believe that this statement is a universally relatable fact.

See, I’ve been calculating things like hours and dollars a lot lately; asking the ever important question: “What is the best use of my time?”  and in doing so, I’ve realized that I spend too many hours commuting and recovering from my commute.

Avoid minimum wage activities.

Here’s My#50percent: if you aren’t constantly asking yourself what the best use of your time is, you aren’t doing this life thing right. The best use of your time doesn’t have to always be work. Now, you might have a hard time believing that I just put those words in writing, so I’ll explain. Right now, the best use of my time is this conversation with you. In a few minutes or so, the best use of my time will be the deep coma I’ll have earned after working my regular job and coming home to pour the benefits of my musings onto this page. Tomorrow, the best use of my time will be seeking the long-term solution to my MWA–minimum wage activity–problem. Get it?

I have a problem with how we’re expected to just function because we aren’t being taught these concepts. Then, even when we are, the design of the system pushes us into the activities we’re supposed to be avoiding. I have a problem with how we’re expected to just function because there should be more to life than just function. Unfortunately, life is a series of MWA’s when you aren’t born into financial wealth or provided the education AND the opportunity to capitalize on what you’ve learned. We shouldn’t be made to feel guilty when we want to spend irreplaceable moments doing enjoyable things. We also shouldn’t be made to feel guilty when we have to sacrifice that many more hours of life that we’ll never get back working jobs that we’d rather simply Not because just functioning is expensive.

Those Minimum Wage Activities that we’re supposed to be avoiding are often the elements of life that keep us sane. Some clean to work through thoughts, unpleasantness, and turmoil. Some drive just to feel like they’re going somewhere. Sometimes, an MWA is the only thing protecting the general public from yet another mass shooting… but the expectation is that we function without regard for the inequity of the design. I have a problem with that.

Do More. Require Better.

Weddings, Reunions, Dental vists, and SHAKE UPS!

So you may have noticed someone has been missing a lot lately. You may have even noticed when he goes missing he doesn’t always explain why. Well…yeah no real explanation, sorry for that.

 

In other news I have been gone meeting old friends, getting massive dental work, and being best man in a wedding. Shout out to Superfans Chris and Ania Moncrief(aka Superman and Lois Lane) who celebrated their love in the classiest of weddings this past weekend.

 

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

But that Shakeup word is here again for good reason. 

 

Things are about to get interesting. Not only has WDDIJ been dealing with the …well Hilarious nature of advertising negotiations, but as you may have noticed we’ve lost a few authors. These things are not points to worry over. Trust me. In fact, the very way you view WDDIJ is about to change for the better.

 

In a short explanation, we’re doing an overhaul.

Why?

Because at 5500 views, we are little less than halfway to the year two viewership goal, and its only been 3 months.

In short, I’ve been short sighted.

 

To remedy that, I had to get to work.

And believe you me, the work is paying off.

Launching this fall is our interview series “Imperial Dreams”

Launching sooner rather than later this summer is a new format to the website

And Look for some shake ups in the staff as well.

Nothing drastic folks, but we want you to have a great experience.

And we want you to come to us for more of your daily content.

SO we need to be a place you want to come to.

And since I’ve been slacking on that. It is time to pick up the pace.

Of course I could tell you so much more, but as you know…

WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Wrath of Ruthless: An Open letter to Mark Summers

Severely...severely disappointed.

Severely…severely disappointed.

Dear Professor Summers,

I was a proud graduate in the spring of 2013 from Barry School of Law. Sure, I wasn’t the head of the class. And sure, I had no plans to stay in Florida, but I loved my time there all the same. One of the things I enjoyed was an opportunity you helped talk many of us into, the Summer in Spain program. So you must understand I was initially shocked when I found out you were the one making disparaging remarks about those who had not passed the February Bar Exam. I didn’t want to believe it at first. Certainly you are not a lax professor or ineffectual grader. Including my own tireless efforts, I can say that I knew few people who had your classes and didn’t work hard for the grades they received. Most of them took that same approach to the bar exam. Most of us in general took that approach to the bar exam.

Which is why your email(which I did receive a copy of) was so disgusting to me. Motivation, tough love, the more stick than carrot approach, and everything else is fine. If you feel that the current crop of 3Ls isn’t taking bar prep seriously, just as some professors believed the same about my 3L class, there were better ways to express that. Indeed when that claim was lobbed at my class it didn’t come in the form of a public calling out or at the expense of any other graduates. Your chosen path was far less professional, and for someone who is supposed to be an example of professionalism to each and every student at Barry, you leave me severely disappointed. And since it isn’t fair to lob complaints without regard for my own situation, I’ll get to the heart of my annoyance.

I didn’t pass the July Missouri Bar Exam. I missed by 10 points, and I was devastated. Not because I had approached it as though it didn’t matter, but because I had taken the two months prior and my entire spring semester and focused them directly on passing. It was the only goal I had. Hearing the success from the class before me was more pressure, but like my classmates all we did was work to make sure we passed. And I was one of the few who didn’t. Since we didn’t pass like many of the February takers, by your logic we also had the wrong attitude and should not be trusted by clients. What kind of educator, much lesson fellow legal professional would make such a blanket statement about anyone. And how should the ones who did pass the bar exam in February feel about your comments? I received my results and found out I passed. Should I and the others feel our passage was the providence of dumb luck and not the months of stress, mental anguish, preparation, endurance, studying, and buying into the bar exam prep we received?

You do yourself as much disservice as you do to all of us who attempted to pass the exam. You didn’t take very specific aim at the current students and utilize this as a teaching moment to motivate them. You kicked vulnerable human beings who are recovering from their low point and laughed at the sacrifices they made. You disrespected the students you in part taught, and the people who have supported them in their personal lives and at Barry itself. And speaking as the son of a 40 year plus educator, you give them all a dark mark of disrespect as well. And the worst part is I doubt you’ll find what you said wrong. I doubt you’ll understand, despite all of the vitriol poured out over social media, and I’m sure at Barry itself, that you used the worst kind of  half-hearted attempt to motivate. I’d call for your firing, or a public statement from students and faculty that denounces your comment and exposes your mentality for the warped and destructive idiocy that it is, but that isn’t my way. So I’ll let this open letter stand as how I respond to your comments, close my wallet when Barry asks for Alumni donations, and privately help and encourage every student that I can to pass the bar. Because that is what you should have been doing. And since you decided to drop the ball, it’s up to better human beings to pick it up. For now, leave the motivational emails and messages to the bar prep folks, you’re clearly no good at it.

– Matthew Elisha Williams

Notes From Your Favorite Super Villain: You are not a unique snowflake…and neither is your kid.

You...ARE NOT SPECIAL!

You…ARE NOT SPECIAL!

I normally don’t break from my planned post. Today’s post was going to be a lead in to next week’s WDDIJ podcast and some reaction to the feedback from my first Wrath of Ruthless podcast. Instead I’m going to address something that I predict now will end with Your Favorite Super Villain receiving hate emails from parents starting with “You don’t know anything because you don’t have kids.” To those people who are sending them, you suck at parenting, because I real parent would understand everything I’m about to say. So let’s get into it.

Your kid is a bully because you suck at parenting.

This all started because in my office we were talking about bullying, cyber bullying and general bully culture. And that’s when I went on a bit of a tirade about the creation of a bully. The reality is kids do not become bullies apropos of nothing. And the modern bully first culture is a development of the same problems exacerbated by technological advancement. Children have no responsibility. And in modern civilization(We’ll talk society vs. Civilization another day), we have decided that permissiveness is better than the mere possibility of stifling potential. The pendulum has swung far in the opposite direction of previous generations. Kids used to rebel because their parents would not allow certain activities. Now they don’t rebel they demand. More tech, better clothes, specialized diets, and the like used to be just general complaints of any kid, now they are the teenaged(and much younger) rallying cry.

But permissiveness has become telling kids over and over how special they are. The belief that if you just tell your kid they are awesome enough times that their self esteem and personal drive will lead them to dizzying heights of achievements among their peer group and the world at large. But this is so wrong it is almost criminal. You are not teaching them to socialize, you are teaching them that they are above reproach, and because children have no concept of social cues or responsibility they bring this mentality along when with other children. But lets go a bit deeper, because this isn’t the only piece.

When you participate in the glorification and then destruction of everything from celebrities to political figures to athletes you teach your children who have no other frame of reference that this is not to be done to each other that it is okay. Let’s use Tiger Woods cause he’s easy to understand. When you take vocal shots at Tiger and his actions you often aren’t explaining that your problem is his infidelity, not his performance prior to it. SO to a kid who hasn’t had the years of understanding the nuanced relationship between personal and professional lives, it seems like it is okay to take on someone who has achieved some separation between themselves and the rest of society. Essentially, that you can be justified in tearing down anyone. And that the higher their profile the more okay it is.

Well what do you think a kid is going to do when they see someone else has an achievement? What about when their peer group clearly sees the other kid has gotten separation between themselves and your kid and the rest? Exactly. You’ve just built a bully. And it doesn’t matter whether the kid is a physical take your lunch money bully, or an internet troll, or one of those annoying 12 year olds who plays online and doesn’t understand how offensive screaming they are going to rape your mom, calling you a faggot, or calling you a nigger really is.

But the inverse is also true. Because a well adjusted kid can both avoid bullying, and avoid being a bully themselves. But that requires you to stop believing you are a special unique snowflake as well. That requires you to know more than just the basics about your child’s school and general socialization environment. That requires you stop being entitled, and annoying, and generally unaware that you are building the kind of monster even we of the Super Villain community dislike. You who do nothing when your 4 year old is being an annoying brat in line…well EVERYWHERE, when they are kicking the seat in front of them on the plane. When they won’t shut up because you brought them to a rated R movie at 9pm on a Friday(I choose to believe God has a special punishment for every single one of you people). And any excuse you have will be met with…then don’t bring your kid there, or do that at another time, or you made the choice so do your DAMN JOB. Yes I just blamed the last 2 decades of internet trolls and bullies on you parents. And do you know why? Because if an adult is being an asshole and gets into a fight over it, it is their fault. BUT, if they’ve always been offending folks for the sake of offense, and now use the internet’s anonymity for it? Well that’s a nurture problem. And that is your fault. Tyler Durden was right, you are not a unique snowflake. You’re an idiot and should never have been allowed to breed in the first place. Since you have, fix your problem, or stop burdening the rest of us.

– THE Ruthless Wonder aka “Lex Luthor”

The Wrath of Ruthless: Birth of an Empire!

Matador

The editing issues are over and I can finally say that the personal show of Words Don’t Do It Justice’s THE Ruthless Wonder not A Ruthless Wonder is ready for your consumption. For the inaugural show The Ruthless Wonder was joined by WDDIJ R Revolution member Reign for 3 topics. It’s a 2 hour show, but we’ve also provided links to the first and second half of the show. This time he’s taking on the Gods of Egypt film controversy, as well as 2 other topics. Listen and enjoy via download or via the WDDIJ media player.

The FULL Episode :

WoR Episode 1 part 1:

WoR Episode 1 part 2:

State of the Union: Still Waiting for Change

I was conversing with a friend not long ago, and he randomly asked me if I watch this show. I said “No, but I’ve heard of it…” to which he responded with a link. As I watched and listened, I was reminded of the first time I saw it. It was actually on someone else’s blogLand of the Free...—a man whose company I’d love to keep if for no other reason than because I think the conversation would be stirring and all kinds of mind-blowing—and although I can no longer recall the exact article he featured the video in, then, just like now, I was instantly invigorated. Not so much because of the first half of the rant, but because of the things he listed after he said “… We sure used to be.” I was inspired to act and to be among those who affect change… a change that we are all sorely in need of. Then I took a nap.

Here I sit with another opportunity to say something, do something that matters, and all I can do is hope that my message reaches one person… one person whose mind and heart are just as open as a 7eleven on a Friday night. We can do better, and we have to. The day some politician decided that corporate interests were more valuable than his constituents was the first day of this nation’s decent into the pits of mediocrity. It happened so long ago, I often fear that we’ve no hope for any real improvement. Fortunately, giving up really isn’t in my nature.

So again, here I sit, talking to you. Many of you voted for Change back in November 2008. I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting. I don’t blame him. I believe that he has done a lot with the crappy hand he was dealt, but not enough to affect the kind of change this nation needs to get back to the days where “… We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it; it didn’t make us feel inferior…” Back to a time where people were informed, and being informed and passionate didn’t mean that you had too much time on your hands. No, it meant that you took civic duty and personal responsibility for your place in this land. We shouldn’t just be content to trod along between work and home with our smart phones, social media, and flat screen TVs. We’ve allowed ourselves to get sloppy and stupid; prideless and petty. We have to do better.

He said “… I want a human moment from you.” That was mine. Your homework: share your human moment with the class. Open up about how you feel about the State of Our Union. Let’s not settle into just being democrats, republicans, capitalists, or libertarians. Let’s be human for a moment and talk about where this nation is per your point of view.

Watch Your TONE!

I’m back, and the first thing I’m talking about is tone? Has Ruthless gone soft? Not on your life. I’m being very deliberate here. Let’s get to it.

During the break I unleashed a bit of back and forth in the groups I frequent online by dropping some admittedly loaded discussion on them. How did I do this? Well I didn’t go personally provoking people so calm down. I linked up two videos, one per group, where the speaker presented a highly controversial opinion. Did I necessarily agree with the two speakers? Come on people that’s  a softball, I’m rather non-committal about most people’s opinions other than my own. So each speaker was chosen for one reason. They didn’t yell. Why no yelling? Because as we often hear, it isn’t about what you say, but how you say it. But here’s the beautiful notion of this experiment. Them yelling didn’t stop that criticism.

Without divulging the group names we’ll just say that each one was used with their full awareness I was using the discussion for a piece here and were warned that the point of the discussion, was both their reactions and the discussion about them. One of the goals was to challenge some long-standing opinions and beliefs that existed. And see how such a challenge, despite coming with a warning would be perceived. Even my own reactions were a calculated set of responses to keep from turning the discussion into my posting the material and how wrong or right I was. And outside two noted examples where I had to defend myself(1 oddly enough was to someone who’s known me for the last 6 years), the process was flawless. So let’s get back to that general tenor of the discussion bomb I dropped.

Yes despite both speakers(1 male, 1 female), speaking in very calm and rational voices, they were perceived as having turned off people due to their “tone.” A common response to the female speaker being “I’d respect her if she hadn’t said it like that.” But remember, neither speaker was yelling, very few curse words appear, and most of the time anything I would consider inflammatory was combined with study results as evidence. But here’s what I wanted to wait until now to tell you. Both videos lacked the person’s face. And that choice I made to test not only the initial perceptions, but to see if anyone would jump at the chance to take a personal shot at them for not showing their face. And of course they did. Because if this is the test of how welcoming of change American society is, you lot have so many failures among you that we are all in trouble.

So let’s talk about the subject matter. The first was a topic in a group that often talks about relationships. And here I dropped a video from a white woman, who explained why she makes it a point to say she doesn’t date non-white men in her dating profile, despite actually being okay with it. For about 11 minutes, she explains everything from the perception of women who date interracially, to the filtering effect of saying it, to some points which dealt with the kind of black men she and women like her want to avoid. At no point does she yell or otherwise get angry-voiced in the video, but like a good speaker she uses voice inflection at times to differentiate her points. So of course the first thing she got called was a racist slut. And then the group started in on how mean she was, and then when asked most said it wasn’t what she was saying but how she said it. And of course when some group members appeared later on and started defending her points, discussion slowed down as people clearly were either tired of the anger that had ben stirred up, or could not retort in the face of more logic. It should be noted that I don’t really agree with most of what she was doing or her reasoning for it. But I will admit that I see some of the logic. Filter out the people you don’t want to talk to, so you can more easily connect with the ones you do. She’s sneaky, and I of course got called more than a few names for posting it(Which I responded to in trademark fashion), but what I did and didn’t agree with wasn’t a tone issue.

That being said, the second video was a much more tense discussion. Why? Well it was another skirmish in the ongoing tensions between black men and women. Never let it be said I’m uncontroversial. So how was this video different? Well the discussion immediately started with a comment that the unseen speaker may not be black. Seeing that, I knew I was in for a ride I didn’t get the first time. What do I mean by that? Well during the first discussion, most of the people resorted to calling the woman all manner of sexually dismissive names. Even the women who commented aimed at me and her on a level that was F**ked to be sure, but not quite all out. The second video turned into a rage fest so fast I had to ask if people were actually watching the video before commenting. And guess what. They weren’t. Of the people with the most negative comments of both videos, most hadn’t gotten beyond 3 to 5 minutes of the videos. That’s about half of the first video, but only a third at best of the second, which was  15 minutes long.

So what conclusions did we find? Well 1, I’m going to be so much more emotionless and cold in discussion in both groups. But that’s more of an annoyance at my personal treatment when I warn people ahead of time. But more importantly I learned exactly how bullshit that watch your tone statement is. Think about this a bit deeper. To mask their disagreement with the speakers, and their unwillingness to accept the facts presented, they said the person’s tone was off-putting. But their tone wasn’t the real problem. We tell people more flies with honey than vinegar. But clearly that isn’t true. Each speaker took a calm, rational, reasonable, and logical approach. But what was the common complaint? They shouldn’t have said it like that. Now if you’re reading this blog, you know I’m not exactly a fan of subduing any part of my points, much less my tone. But in the face of this I was even more sure of myself. Why? Because contrary information should inform the opinion and update the perceptions. And just because I don’t like what the facts show doesn’t mean I get to ignore them.

And that’s where this post on tone wraps up. If a person is giving you facts, and you have only emotional responses, you lost already. Facts in fact DO trump your feelings. And both of these speakers gave nothing but facts. Do they apply to every single person? Of course not, the white woman didn’t really account for professional black men while deriding most other races(including the racist white guys), and the black man didn’t really get into other subsets of black women in his arguments. But both accounted for this more than once by saying this wasn’t about all of the groups they spoke on. Apparently that wasn’t enough. You will get no such warning from me though. You and I know by now I’m a self styled Super Villain. I embrace the viciousness of my Ruthlessness. And that’s why you read this blog. So to put it bluntly, take your tone comments and shove them right back up where you got them from. I’m back from the bar prep cave. I have a long hit list of people on my shit list, and first up next week are…ah ah ah no spoilers. Get your eyes back on the blog next week for Wrath of Ruthless Part 3. I’d tell you more but…Words Don’t Do It Justice.

– THE Ruthless Wonder