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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Erick Erickson, Conservative Denial, and the Minimum Wage



Erick Erickson, while filling in for Rush Limbaugh last week, spent part of his time addressing minimum wage. He parroted the usual conservative talking points on abolishing minimum wage, but he said something else that many people found telling. Erick Erickson stated the minimum wage is "mostly people who failed at life and high school kids." He went on:
Seriously, look, I don't mean to be ugly with you people, what? So, my producer from my show is in here, and he's just staring at me. Can't believe I said this. If you're a 30-something-year-old person, and you're making minimum wage, you've probably failed at life.
Notice what he didn't say. Erickson didn't say "If you're a liberal, or black, or gay, or a single mom, or Hispanic." He said "30-something-year-old person."  In other words, his comments apply to conservatives, too. Which begs the question: How many middle class or poor conservatives heard Erick Erickson's words, and while they were dressing for their minimum wage job, nodded their heads, and agreed?

Erick Erickson is not just a "conservative blogger." He is a frequent guest on Fox, he was a contributor to CNN, he runs a right-wing blog called Red State, and when he fills in for Limbaugh, his audience is in the millions. So, a lot of people pay attention to him, even when he's obviously insulting them. Conservative denial runs deep, however, and it stands to reason that poor right-wingers think Erickson was talking about someone else.

We've all been there. We've watched LGBT conservatives with our jaws in our laps, trying to figure out how a person can be LGBT and be part of a political party that wants to deny them basic rights. We've watched African American conservatives while pounding our heads on solid objects, listening to them deny the racism inherent in their party. Conservative "Christians," following a message of hate and intolerance. Conservative women, minimizing rape and domestic violence in droves.

Remember when Mitt Romney finally made his tax rate of 14.7% public? Our tax rate is 28% and we don't make anywhere near six figures, much less what Mitt Romney makes. We are solidly middle class, and our tax rate is double Romney's. You try explaining why that's wrong to a conservative. Go ahead. You know what you'll hear. Trickle down economics (here's a chart proving it doesn't work), the rich are job creators (nope), it's only "moochers" who don't pay taxes. Moochers, FYI, translates into liberals and minorities.

It's the same denial and disconnect that allows a conservative to despise abortion AND 55,000+ kids from South America, coming to the United States to escape war, violence, and poverty. The same denial and disconnect that allows most of the right wing to decry socialism as they cash their Social Security checks, and rely on Medicare. They scream for FEMA when disaster strikes, but don't want their tax dollars used on government programs. They hate anything that smacks of socialism, unless it's socialism that helps them. And I would bet that they want to abolish minimum wage, but not their minimum wage.

This is a topic I have written about, pondered, and questioned for years. How did the right wing convince people to vote against their own best interests? How do they keep doing it? Look at Mississippi. Poorest state in the country, and one of the most conservative. They hate President Obama, hate liberals, love the GOP. The same GOP that wants to do away with safety nets conservative Mississippians rely on every day to feed themselves and their families, go to the doctor, pay their rent. But try explaining that to them, and they'll argue with you until their lips fall off.

In all seriousness, what is it? How did the new and unimproved version of the GOP convince an entire demographic to destroy themselves? They've always been like this, the right wing: Reagan's mythical Welfare Queen, the Bush tax cuts, the rhetoric, and the bold-face lies. But have we ever seen so many poor and middle class people champion policies and politicians whose main goal is the destruction of the middle class and poor?

You and I both know there were conservatives, in their 30's and making minimum wage, who agreed with what Erick Erickson said. What I would like to know is how the conservative party-pundits and politicians-have managed to brainwash about half the population of the United States. I don't understand this at all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Letter to CeeLo Green



Dear CeeLo Green,

You don't know me, wouldn't recognize me if we bumped into each other on the sidewalk. I know you, though. Up until quite recently, you could have called me a fan. From your days of Gnarls Barkley and "Crazy," all the way up to "F*** You/Forget You," I was a fan. You have an amazing voice, but recently you used your Twitter voice to send out some truly disturbing comments about rape.

You have since "apologized" for your comments, in such a way as to imply you didn't make them in the first place. Your exact words were:
I truly and deeply apologize for the comments attributed to me on Twitter. Those comments were idiotic, untrue and not what I believe.
First, Mr. Green, let's look at the original comments. In light of your recent no contest plea, your comments on Twitter were, shall we say, enlightening.


You compare a woman being raped to having your home broken into, and you write that if the person you are raping is unconscious, it doesn't count.

Mr. Green, the first time I was raped, I was a teenager. My boyfriend gave me apple cider with something in it, and when I woke up, I was bleeding and in pain. He raped me, but in your world, he didn't. Yes, I read your "apology," which was worded similarly to a Rush Limbaugh apology. You seem to think that it's necessary to qualify rape. Are you like Todd Akin, who believes in "legitimate rape?" Or Whoopi Goldberg who, in her defense of Roman Polanski, said what he did wasn't "rape-rape?" Are there different levels of sexual assault, Mr. Green? Was the Steubenville, Ohio rape victim raped, or not so much, because she was "passed out?"

The second time I was raped, it would qualify in your world as rape. A parking lot, a hand around my throat, visible bruising and trauma. But I had been drinking, so perhaps you would give that predator a pass, because somehow, it was my fault?

No one but you and your alleged victim knows what happened the night you drugged her. But I have to wonder what reason you would have for doing that, if not to sexually assault her. The LAPD declined to charge you with a sex crime, due to lack of evidence. By the way, Mr. Green, this is why so many rapes go unreported. There are people like you in police departments all over the country, all over the world, who qualify rape, and if a rape doesn't meet their parameters, well, it's not "rape-rape."

It is rape, sir. If a person cannot give consent, it's rape. It's rape if you "roofie" someone just as sure as it's rape if your attacker has his or her hand around your throat, or a gun to your head. Maybe you raped that woman, maybe you didn't. Your Tweets tell me that you probably did, but we'll never know. Thanks to you, and others like you, victims of rape are raped twice, three times, and often, more than that. You, Mr. Green, are the problem. You're not alone, oh no, but you are the current poster child for narcissism and lack of empathy.

You have a son, I believe, named Kingston. Are you teaching your son that there is such a thing as "rape-rape?" That if "someone is passed out they're not even WITH you consciously!so WITH implies consent"? Are you teaching him that it's okay to put a controlled substance into a woman's drink, because if you're famous, you get community service and probation?

I have a son as well, Mr Green. You know what I teach him? No means no, and if she can't say no for whatever reason, it's still no. Anything else is rape. Not legitimate rape, not "rape-rape." Rape.

Your former fan and a survivor of sexual assault,

Erin Nanasi

Thursday, August 28, 2014

If You Give A Nine Year Old An Uzi


This past Monday, a nine year old girl accidentally shot and killed a firearms instructor on a gun range in Arizona. Her parents visited Last Stop, a shooting range that is part of a tour given by a group called Bullets and Burgers, and thought it would be fun (?) to let their nine year old daughter fire an Uzi. On automatic.

The video of the incident shows Charles Vacca, the instructor, helping the little girl in pigtails get into the correct stance, and with the Uzi on semi-automatic, he tells her to fire one shot. She does, Vacca reaches down to the Uzi, changes the semi-automatic setting to automatic, and tells her to fire. According to multiple sources, the little girl was unable to control the recoil, and shot Vacca who was standing to her left.

Arizona has no laws prohibiting this. Arizona has no minimum age requirement for firing guns, and while there are federal laws that prohibit anyone under the age of eighteen from possessing a handgun, there are exceptions made for gun ranges. Other gun ranges in Arizona do not allow young children to handle weapons like an Uzi, but Last Stop isn't one of them. From the Bullets and Burgers website, and the New York Times, customers can:

...shoot a wide variety of fully automatic machine and belt fed guns including the AK-47, Colt M-16, MP5/40, FN FAL, Bren, M4, M249, M60, PKM and M203 Grenade Launcher.

That includes customers who are eight years old.

Charles Vacca was a war veteran, who had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. One has to wonder why he would work for a company that puts deadly weapons into the hands of children, after seeing deadly weapons in the hands of children while he was at war. We cannot ask him, because a tragedy of almost Greek proportions unfolded Monday and he is dead, while a child is traumatized, possibly for life.

Wednesday afternoon, NRA Women, a group we can presume loves firearms, and obviously has no empathy, tact, or public relations staff, released a Tweet. The screenshot below is from a Mother Jones article:


Two days. NRA Women posted this incredibly thoughtless Tweet two days after a nine year old girl was given an Uzi on full auto, and a combat veteran was killed.

And about that combat veteran. Over the past three days, I have read some of the most heartless, selfish, cruel, and flat out mean comments about his death. He deserved it, we're better off now that he's dead, one more "ammosexual" gone, Darwin award winner, etc. No. You don't get to lay all the blame on the dead back of Charles Vacca. You don't even get to lay it at the feet of that poor child's parents. We own this, at least part of it, because we wring our hands, and we shed our tears after every goddamn one of these "accidents," but what do we do? What do we change? Oh yay, Open Carry Texas can't take their guns into Starbucks, but they can still wander around Dallas or Austin, armed to the gills.

Our politicians for the most part are terrified of the NRA, and John Lott, and gun extremists. People elect representatives with "A" ratings from the NRA, those men and women don't just magically appear in the House. Maybe your family members voted for representatives who are subservient to the NRA, maybe you did. My rep has an "A" rating from the NRA, he received money from them, and he's a Blue Dog Democrat. The people who run against him are fringe conservative birthers, who think the Earth is about 6,000 years old, support a theocracy, and hate the LGBT community. What the hell am I supposed to do?

That's the problem, in a nutshell. We are forced to vote for people who might be wholly owned by the NRA, but at least they might not want to shove creationism down our kids' throats. If you live in rural America, it's even worse. Our rep has to suck up to the hunters and the "sportsmen," because they comprise the majority of his demographic. He might lose in November, because he supports marriage equality. He loves guns, and gets that Holy Grail rating from the NRA, but he still might lose to someone who is honestly more conservative than Michele Bachmann.

We need better choices. I would love the DNC to stand up to the NRA, and to only back candidates with what I consider the Holy Grail rating: an "F." It will never happen, because Democratic candidates represent small towns, towns like mine, filled with paranoid, angry white people, who think President Obama was born in Kenya, and love their guns. And never forget that the real reason most politicians get into politics in the first place is the power. They have to appeal to the majority, and if the majority is made up of lunatics who do cling to guns and the Bible (in that order), that's the vote they seek.

If we want to change anything, if we want to live in a country where you cannot give a nine year old an Uzi, we must demand better candidates, better representation, better laws. We cannot just sit back, complacent and petulant, waiting for "someone else" to make it happen. It's up to us, because I think it's pretty obvious we have no one in power brave enough to really do what needs to be done.

No one should be able to give a nine year old an Uzi. Guns should not be marketed to children, the way they are at Crickett Firearms. And we-the voters, the citizens of the United States of America-deserve, and must demand, representatives with the courage to create legislation to stop this insanity.

This is not Koch America, or ALEC America, or NRA America. It's our America, and it's time to stand up for what's right. Research your candidates before you head to the voting booth in November. If you're like me, and you're stuck with a Blue Dog, call them, tell them the only reason they got your vote this time is they're not a right winger. Then start looking for a better candidate. Hell, run yourself. But we need to defend our country against gun extremists, and people who use traumatic events like Monday to promote more guns, more guns, more guns.

We can no longer just stand by and live in a country where we have to ask "What happens if you give a nine year old an Uzi?" We need to live in a country where that can never happen. And that is up to us.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Bachmann Diaries: Exclusive Interview with Sean Hannity


Dear Diary,

It's been a very hard and sad week. A bank robber named Michael Black Brown was shot by a very brave police officer in Missouri. As usual, the liberals immediately began screaming about how the robber was a Negro black man, and the police officer was white, so obviously, racism was the motivation for the shooting. It turns out that the police officer had his orbital bone broken, and was taken to Iowa for a CT scan. I hate Jim Hoft.

In order to get the facts behind all the liberal rhetoric, I called my BFF, Sean Hannity, to find out the truth, and discover what it's really like to be a black man in America. I'm going to put the interview here first, then Sunday, after church, write it up for World Net Daily. Hopefully, it will go viral, because if anyone knows about the black experience, it's Sean.

(I will be QB for Queen Bachmann, and Sean will be SHIT for Sean Hannity Interview Topic.)

QB: Sean, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today.

SHIT: Michele, of course. You and I have been friends for such a long time, and I love what you and Rep. King did in Texas a few weeks ago. Boy, you two had a lot of fun!

QB: Well, Steve and I have fun wherever we go, whether to Joplin to tour the storm damage, or to Texas to watch illegals get shot. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about Ferguson, and of course, that brave officer, Darren Wilson.

SHIT: Michele, no one knows about the black experience like I do. As you know, I have a slightly olive complexion on camera, so people often assume I am Mexican or mixed race. And I have been discriminated against, mostly by Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, Lawrence O'Donnell, Mediaite, and other left-wing communists.

QB: Have you ever been shot by a police officer?

SHIT: No, of course not, because I would never steal cheap cigars, or try to smoke the pot, or threaten a person with a firearm. I own many firearms, and respect everyone's right to own how ever many they want. Except thugs, looters, commies, liberals, and Howard Fineman. Police officers have the most stressful job in the world, next to being a congressperson or a journalist for Fox News, and I respect them far too much. When I had a break in at my Hampton estate, our local police were extremely polite and thorough, even asking me if I had any colored staff members who might have committed this awful crime.

QB: Oh my gosh, was anyone hurt?

SHIT: No, thank goodness, but they stole my wife's entire collection of Dreamsicles, including a very rare black Dreamsicle wedding cake topper. Michele, tell me, if there were racism in America, would there be any such thing as a black Dreamsicle wedding cake topper?

QB: That's an excellent point, Sean. Now, let's talk a little bit about Darren Wilson. I understand good, Christian Americans have raised almost $250,000 for his family and legal fees, is that right?

SHIT: It is indeed. While the liberal media was whining about a police officer doing his job, and ignoring the thousands of looters and thugs, decent, patriotic Americans started a fundraiser for Darren Wilson. I say God bless them.

QB: Sean, you have to feel badly for Mark Michael Brown's family. After all, I'm sure his mother had no idea he was a criminal, and she did lose a son that day.

SHIT: Michele, I feel awful for his family. It's always the loved ones who pay the heaviest price when young people choose to lead a criminal life. Smoking the pot, stealing cigars, walking down the middle of the street. Really, I just want to reach out to his family and give them a gentle hug. Maybe a handshake.

QB: Were you surprised to learn that the early reports of Darren Wilson's injuries were false?

SHIT: I'm still not convinced they were, Michele. Michael Brown was stoned out of his mind, he had already committed grand theft larceny, and he was huge. Almost 7 feet tall from what I understand, and he weighed over 350 pounds. If you saw someone hopped up on God knows what charging towards you, what would you do? Why, you'd stop him any way you could. Unless he was Shaquille O'Neal of course.

(Diary, I had to look up how to spell that-I'm not good with "ethnic" names.)

QB: Sean, I know you need to dash off to a meeting with David Koch, so I thank you so much for this talk! This was really fun, and I'd love to do it again.

SHIT: Michele, it is always a pleasure to speak with you, and I hope to be calling you Madame President someday.

End of interview.

Sean Hannity is so wise.

Diary, this was very tiring, so I am going to take a bubble bath while Marcus paints my toenails.

Hugs and Kisses-Queen Michele, future ruler of Godlandia.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

When liberals get it wrong


Liberals sometimes get things really wrong. I've done it: I fell for a satirical article quite a few years ago, and lost a good friend because of it. In my early days of writing for the internet, I would guess I didn't research as well as I could have. I learned from my mistakes, and am now very careful about what I write, post, share, quote, you name it. Now I don't get things wrong very often, and if I have even an inkling of a doubt, off I go to research. Wednesday, it seems, was a day when research was ignored, and liberals got a few things really wrong.

The first thing to greet me Wednesday morning were a flurry of prison rape jokes. Rick Perry's mugshot is winging around the web, and a helluva lot of liberals decided it would be effing hilarious to create prison rape joke memes with said photo. For example:


See? Isn't that funny? Rape is funny. Wait, no it's not, it's only funny if it's prison rape. Well, that can't be right, because liberals went batshit insane when Rick Perry refused to implement federal guidelines that would help combat rape in prison. Oh, you're being ironic. How super nifty would it be if the guy who refused to help combat prison rape was a victim of prison rape? I can answer that for you.

Not. At. All.

I cannot stand Rick Perry. I think he is a hypocrite of gargantuan proportions, and I think the liberals creating and sharing these prison rape memes are hypocrites, too. The same people who screamed to high heaven when Congress refused to pass VAWA are now cheering the rape of another person. It's a joke, Erin, lighten up, Erin, oh are you butthurt, Erin, are you offended by something on the internet, Erin, OMG, grow up! This is what you are told if you dare point out prison rape isn't funny. And yes, the people telling you this are liberals.

The second things to greet me when, against my better judgment, I came back online after lunch, were a post about ISIS and an article from the hate group, Britain First. The post was written by a liberal, and the article was shared by a liberal. Paraphrasing the post: Can we all admit now (after ISIS beheaded freelance journalist James Foley) that saying Islam is a normal religion is like saying the Nazis were just a political party?

Yes, because every single Muslim in the entire world is a terrorist, just like every single Christian in the entire world supports Westboro Baptist Church. I'm a Christian, and using this person's logic, I must also be conservative, pro-fetus, anti-child, hate the LGBT community, believe Jesus was white, and think Michael Brown got what was coming to him. The Muslims I know are wonderful, peaceful, bright, amazing people, who condemn all violence. Is Keith Ellison a terrorist? Is Muhammad Ali?

Then the article, from Britain First. For the love of God, are you kidding me? Britain First is a hate group, founded by James Dowson, who was once "dubbed 'the man who owned the BNP.'" Wednesday wasn't the first time I'd seen crap from Britain First. Someone I really believed was an intelligent, insightful person began sharing their propaganda last year, and it made my skin crawl. It takes five seconds to discover what Britain First is, but perhaps that's just too much time. Or perhaps the liberals who are posting those xenophobic articles agree with the content.

Lest you think I am just picking on my people today, let me close with Mike Ditka, former coach of the Chicago Bears, and all-around douche rocket. Mr. Ditka doesn't like all this hullabaloo about the Washington Redskins name, oh no he doesn't. Quoted by The Washington Post, Ditka says:

What’s all the stink over the Redskin name? It’s so much [expletive] it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin, what are you going to call them, a Proudskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.Its been the name of the team since the beginning of football. It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. Leave it alone. These people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.
Mike Ditka, philosopher, flaming conservative, insensitive twit.

That was Wednesday. Dodging idiocy, ignorance, and racism both overt and subtle from both sides, all while trying not to throw my computer monitor out a window. Obviously, the monitor survived. And obviously, given the nature of the internet, the idiocy, ignorance, and racism aren't going anywhere.

The prison rape memes are still being promoted on social media, the post about Islam and the article from Britain First are still up on Facebook, and daring to question one or all three will get you attacked. By fellow liberals. Which all begs the question: Aren't we supposed to be better than this?

I'm really asking. If we're not, if it's perfectly okay to lower ourselves to the level of Stormfront, or Drudge, or Breitbart, please let me know. I won't do it, but it would be nice to understand the new rules.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams, society, media, and the internet



Moments after learning of the death of Robin Williams, I went to ABC News.com. The photo you see above is what greeted me on their homepage. The screenshot came from my friend John Henry's Facebook page, but this is precisely what you saw on ABC News' website. A statement from the family, asking for privacy, and a banner, boasting of aerial views of Robin Williams' house. 

CBS interviewed a man who claimed to have been in AA with Williams. Quick-what does that second "A" stand for? Anonymous. So, some guy decides his 15 minutes of fame are more important than honoring the ONE rule for AA that promises people struggling with addiction they are safe. Heck, he got on CBS; hope it was worth it.

Then there's the press conference given by one Keith Boyd who, according to his very lengthy email signature, is a Lieutenant with the Marin County Sheriff's Department, and the assistant chief deputy coroner. During the press conference, Keith Boyd released incredibly graphic and salacious details of Robin Williams' death, the scene, and the manner in which Williams died. Boyd also released Williams' home address. Lt. Boyd's explanation to me (via a form email) was less than enlightening. 

While it is true that many of the details given to the media by Lt. Boyd possibly would have come out, the question remains: Did he really have to say what he said? Did he really need to share graphic descriptions? Given the seemingly rabid lust society in general has for trauma, and feeding off other people's suffering, perhaps he did. Perhaps Lt. Boyd got a call from Edelman PR.

In an article shared by David Halperin, an actual journalist, Gawker reveals what Edelman PR told their social media clients to do in response to Robin Williams' death. They posted a blog on their website entitled "Carpe Diem," which outlined tactics their clients could use to "engage" on social media. From the Edelman piece:

There’s a very careful line they need to walk so as to not seem exploitive of a terrible situation but at the same time, it is a national teachable moment that shouldn’t be ignored.


A pro-life website and Rush Limbaugh may have taken Edelman's advice to heart. The website, Life News, posted an article claiming an abortion in Robin Williams' past may have contributed to his depression. The author of the Life News article, Kevin Burke, shared a quote from from an interview Williams gave to The Guardian about how he behaved when he was drinking. Burke then "re-imagined" the quote as being about abortion. As for Limbaugh, well just Google "Rush Limbaugh Robin Williams." I refuse to link to it. Suffice it to say, Limbaugh says horrid things, and shows what a heartless, horrible, soulless bastard he truly is.

Finally, Zelda Williams, Robin Williams' daughter, has quit social media. Ms. Williams was ruthlessly attacked in the days following her father's death online by "people" who mined her accounts for photos of her dad, posted cruel comments to her about Robin Williams, and criticized her for not having more photos of him available. This is her statement, via Instagram:

I will be leaving this account for a but while I heal and decide if I'll be deleting it or not. In this difficult time, please try to be respectful of the accounts of myself, my family and my friends. Mining our accounts for photos of dad, or judging me on the number of them is cruel and unnecessary. There are a couple throughout, but the real private moments I shared with him were precious, quiet, and believe it or not, not full of photos or 'selfies'. I shared him with a world where everyone was taking their photo with him, but I was lucky enough to spend time with him without cameras too. That was more than enough, and I'm grateful for what little time I had. My favorite photos of family are framed in my house, not posted on social media, and they 'll remain there. They would've wound up on the news or blogs then, and they certainly would now. That's not what I want for our memories together. Thank you for your respect and understanding in this difficult time. Goodbye. Xo


This is who we have become, for the most part. I know there are people out there who find all of this-the media, the press release, the pro-life article, Rush Limbaugh, the attacks on Zelda Williams-deeply disturbing, and morally offensive. But how many watched those aerial shots of Robin Williams' house? How many listened to that press release, relishing the details? How many agree with the pro-life piece, or Rush Limbaugh? How many members of our society attacked a young woman who was trying to come to grips with the death of her father?

We seem to have lost our humanity somewhere along the way. Empathy is practically non-existent. A PR firm used Robin Williams' death as a tool to increase traffic for their clients. I am embarrassed and ashamed to be part of the internet today. I am enraged at anyone who would use the death of another person to promote themselves. And that wasn't just Limbaugh. I personally saw quite a few websites publish "tributes" to Robin Williams, and share them not with mental health Facebook pages, or suicide prevention pages, but with big, political pages. The only reason those articles were written was to drive traffic. 

This article is being written because I am pissed off, I am sad, I am shocked, and I am ashamed. Ashamed to write online, because by doing so, I might be lumped in with the sociopaths who used Robin Williams' death for self-promotion. Ashamed of anyone who watched those aerial shots, or delighted in the unnecessarily graphic details, or attacked Zelda Williams, or called people who struggle with suicidal thoughts cowards, weak, and selfish. 

I guess today is one of those days I am just ashamed of humanity. Or what's left of it.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

PewDiePie and Markiplier: What fresh hell is this?

Image of PewDiePie and Markiplier from Google

Our son introduced us to two "internet sensations" Saturday night: PewDiePie and Markiplier. These two gentlemen make money, a lot of money, recording themselves playing video games, then posting the videos to You Tube. In other words (and I am not going to apologize for my take on this at all), while the average salary for a nurse here in the U.S. is about $65,000 a year, there are people making millions of dollars a year playing video games.

Markiplier, whose real name is Mark Fischbach, has over 2.5 million subscribers on his You Tube channel. His videos have garnered almost 600 million views. Yes, I wrote that correctly. I watched one of these videos last night, at the urging of the teenager, called "Turbo Dismount: EXPLOSION PERFECTION." Take a look yourself. Perhaps someone younger than I can explain why this has 719,607 views. What I saw was a grown man, yelling, laughing, swearing, and chatting while he pretended to drive numerous animated vehicles into solid objects, blowing them up and dismembering his avatar.

I had some trouble discovering just how much money Fischbach makes playing video games, but I did read a few articles detailing his charity work. His most recent livestream was last month, and viewers could purchase tee-shirts, or simply donate money, and support the Best Friends Animal Society. So, while I still do not understand why this is a thing, at least Fischbach uses some of his money is commendable ways.

Now, PewDiePie. This guy is a multi-millionaire, with 29 million-plus You Tube subscribers. He has his own store, where you can buy tee-shirts, he has a website, and he's been featured in articles in Variety, The Guardian, and The Atlantic. PewDiePie's real name is Felix Kjellberg. He's 24, has representation, and has more money than you and I will ever even see. And he makes all of it playing video games. This month, PewDiePie released a free I-Phone app.

According to an article published by Business Insider, Kjellberg is the wealthiest You Tube-r on the planet. The article describes him as a "foul-mouthed Swedish video game commentator who has absolutely dominated You Tube over the last year." Business Insider retrieved PewDiePie's estimated income from Social Blade.com, which uses You Tube stats to rank online "stars." Kjellberg has a first-place Social Blade rank, and his estimated monthly income, after You Tube takes their cut, is $208,000 on the low side, all the way to $1.7 million on the high side.

The third wealthiest You Tube-r is a an unnamed Brazilian woman who opens, assembles, plays with, and reviews Disney toys. Business Insider points out her commentary is done in a "soothing voice." She makes anywhere from $505,000 to $5 million a year. The wide range is due to the fickle nature of the InTerWebz, and the 45% cut You Tube gets.

Average salary for a nurse in the U.S.: $65,000 a year. Average salary for a firefighter: $49,000. Average salary for a public school teacher: $56,000. I could give you salary info for the NFL, but we all know athletes are grossly overpaid.

It makes sense then, when one of my son's friends tells me he doesn't want to to go to college, because "that's not where the money is." It makes sense that suddenly, my son wants to start a You Tube channel, where he plays Call of Duty, and gives a running commentary. It makes sense that some guy named Blaze Life Hammer records himself fishing in an MMPORG called Wizard101, and thousands of people watch. Blaze only has about 54,000 subscribers, but give him time: he'll most likely be on some richest You Tube-r list in the next few years.

The future of our nation is education, but try telling that to a 16-year old kid who sees someone named PewDiePie making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month playing video games, and dropping F-bombs. Our son still wants to go to to college and be an architect, thank God. Other parents may not be so lucky as to have a young adult focused enough to stay the course. Yes, both Markiplier and PewDiePie donate a lot of money to charity, but that's due to the fact that they make so much. More than anyone should, doing what they do.

To a parent, especially parents with teenagers, this is a fresh hell. Young, often male (at least the gamers) You Tube "stars," making money hand over fist by doing nothing of consequence. That's a teenagers' dream-to get paid to sit around all day and play video games. Or play with Disney toys. Or eat candy, like Emmy Made in Japan.

Yes, the world is dark sometimes, and we need distractions. We need music, movies, art, books. We need walks outside, and hugs, and chocolate, and laughter. But I do not understand a society that makes someone like PewDiePie a millionaire anymore than I understand a society that makes Kim Kardashian famous. We elevate people of no importance to "stardom," while ignoring the men and women who struggle to make the world a better place.

Our son is going to college, he is going to be an architect, he is going to build green homes-homes that use sustainable resources, solar power, and leave less of a carbon footprint on the planet. Because in a hundred years, PewDiePie will be forgotten, and our son's homes will still stand.