Taboo Topics: Choosing to be Childfree

Hi. I am a 25-year-old woman who has no desire to have children now or in the future. I am going to be childless or, to use the term I learned in college and rather prefer, childfree. Shocking! Or is it? In this day and age in the 21st century, is it really all that shocking for young women not to have or want kids?

I only count this as a taboo topic because it is, from what I perceive, still a relevant social expectation that women get married and have children. Oh, you can have a job now, but your real job is to raise a family—that’s what’s at the core of a woman’s worth. It’s what the Bible says after all, that women will be “preserved” through childbearing!

Well now. As both a Christian and a modern woman, I have to say I think this edict is positively medieval and, even more to the point, pardon me, bullshit.

Giving birth to a baby doesn’t make you worthy of being seen as a saint any more than being a sperm donor makes a man worthy of being seen as one either. Having children doesn’t automatically make you a good or bad person, doesn’t make you better than someone else, just like watching horror movies doesn’t make someone a bad person and going to church doesn’t make someone a good person. But then again, the Bible’s got plenty of bullshit in it. There are A LOT of things in there that I don’t believe were inspired by a loving, fair God but more by cowardly, power-hungry, fallible men, and this is one of them, but I digress.

I don’t have a grip on what this expectation is like for young men; I presume they’re asked about when they’re going to settle down and have kids just as much as we young ladies are. The only difference is, that in the past, they didn’t have to to have a fair quality of life. Women come from a background of economic oppression (unable to vote, to own or inherit property, to attend school, to work certain jobs) and sometimes even emotional repression and had to get with a man just to survive, until what, like the 1970s? Wasn’t that the height of women’s lib?

We’ve got a long way to go still—hell, look who got elected as our president—for women and other minority groups to be treated as equals to men and the majority, but we’ve come pretty dang far in 50 years. Scores of women are getting an education. Most women have jobs and dare I say careers. Girls are no longer being programmed by Disney to think they have to wait on Prince Charming to swoop in and save them. They can make a happily ever after happen on their own. Relationships are now a choice. Sex is a choice. Having children (in most cases) is a choice. We don’t have to if we don’t want to because we now have the economic and emotional means (by claiming our independence and inherent resilience) to take care of ourselves.

So why do people still care? Why do people want to control aspects of others’ lives that they have no business trying to be a part of? One of the great mysteries of humanity. I think it has to do with pinpointing what’s different and talking about it. Wondering about it. Feeling superior to it. Feeling sorry for it. Being puzzled by it. Whatever it is, it’s because of some satisfaction someone gets from marking another person as different and therefore separate. People just love putting others into categories—makes it easier to judge them. It’s like an alarm goes off in his or her brain: “Whee-ooh! Whee-ooh! Something different than my own values/beliefs/conceits! Whee-ooh! Whee-ooh! Must react! Must select judgment! Anger? Envy? Confusion? Pity? Disapproval? Select judgment!”

In my experience God likes variety, so people are diverse. We’re not meant to fit one certain category under one certain label. But some people just can’t let it go. Someone even called me an “evolutionary failure” because I’m going against what people were meant to do, which is procreate. Look, I don’t give a damn what evolutionary biology says I’m supposed to; I’m more than a body.

Here, these are my personal reasons I don’t want children:

  • Because I am mentally ill. I have OCD and anxiety and have struggled with profound depression for almost 15 years, and I know some parts of these illnesses are genetic. I do not want to pass this kind of pain and dysfunction on to an innocent child, nor would I want my children burdened with my baggage or to be burdened myself with theirs.
  • Because I’m not in a relationship. There is no man in my life with whom I would consider entering a lifetime commitment that includes children and I would not want to raise a child by myself. My mother was a single parent and I was raised as an only child—I have seen how hard the single parent must work and know the suffering of the child who feels she is neglected because of it. I’m not saying it’s not doable, of course it is, but I have assessed myself as not strong enough to be able to handle both a career and motherhood.
  • Because I identify as asexual. Yes, we asexuals exist. We even have a website (AVEN)! An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction and, therefore, has an extremely low libido or sex drive. For example, when I look at handsome men (or even beautiful women), they please me aesthetically, as in I like to look at them to appreciate their beauty, but never do I feel the desire to copulate with them. To make a baby, you have to have sex. Frankly I don’t want to have sex. Ever. Even the thought of it frightens me and repulses me. I will be content as a clam to die a virgin, and even more content that I didn’t have to experience the pain of my cervix stretching five times its natural width to squeeze out a gooey, screaming little person into the world. Yeah, no thanks.
  • Because of the world we live in. Speaking of the world, I’ve found I’m not too fond of it anymore. Lately, thoughts of suicide have become a cozy alternative to realizing I probably have another 50 years on this frosty, merciless, miserable rock we call Earth (yes, I’m in therapy). My outlook on life has become so pessimistic that the thought of bringing a child into this world actually awakens a ghost-like guilt in my chest. I think I would feel bad for having a child. I would feel like I’d never be able to protect him or her. He or she could get shot at school or at the movie theater or the mall. Fall victim to cyberbullying or date rape. Get killed in one of the wars that always seem to be raging. I’ve heard mothers say the exact opposite, that they want their children here to experience the good in life. Well, from my standpoint the means don’t justify the ends.
  • Because of overpopulation. We have over seven billion people on the planet. Plenty of other people are having children. I don’t need to add to the overcrowding we’re sure to experience in the decades to come.
  • Because I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. To give a short explanation, PCOS means your hormones are messed up, bestowing upon you the lovely gifts of irregular periods (I haven’t had one since August 2016), excess body hair and weight and a bunch of cysts on the outsides of your ovaries. Because it is a hormonal disorder, it is difficult for women with PCOS to conceive. Knowing it’d be extra hard for me to get pregnant just reinforces my desire not to have kids. I’m not going to spend my money on fertility treatments. I’m saving that shit for me!
  • Because I am a selfish, impatient person. I don’t believe I have the maternal spark—I’m compassionate and affectionate but not nurturing. I’m not keen on focusing what little energy my mental illnesses afford me on someone else, and a child should be a parent’s number one priority. Because of the type of person I am and because I have a long-term goal of being a writer, for which I would absolutely sacrifice time spent on trying to have a family, I honestly don’t feel like it’d be fair of me to have a child. Wouldn’t be fair to her or him. So the most unselfish thing a selfish person like me could do is not have any children in the first place.

There are plenty more reasons not to want children. There are also plenty of reasons to want them and many downfalls to not having them, I acknowledge that. I will grow old alone. There will be no phone calls, no visits from grandchildren. No one to help me shower or go to the bathroom when I’m old and decrepit. There will only be silence, the unspoken voices of what and who could have been. I will never know the feeling of what it’s like to be pregnant, never know the intimacies of the miracle of life growing inside me. And, for all my bluster, when I’m feeling particularly depressed and worthless, I do feel like less of a woman for not wanting kids/being virtually unable to bear them. I know it’s not true. I know I can contribute to society without giving the world another person to house, but not being a mom in a world and a generation where it feels like everybody else is makes me feel inferior to them.

So then we just have to look at the positives for not having children: I’ll save myself around $250,000 (I learned on Dr. Phil that that’s about what it takes to raise a kid from birth to age 18); I don’t have to have force myself to have sex (woo hoo!); I don’t have to worry about gaining even more weight and trying to get back in shape after delivery; I get to be in control of my schedule—I can sleep when I want and don’t have to change diapers or go to boring school talent shows; I’ll save myself the worry and grief and pain that inevitably comes with raising a teenager (pssht, I’ve got enough grief, I don’t need anyone else’s). I’ll be free, in other words, to pursue my own interests, responsible for me and only me.

And that kind of freedom is the life for me.

What about you? Do you want to be childfree to? Why or why not? Tell me in the comments below.

-BP

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Millennial Nostalgia: Things We Grew Up with that Are 10 Years Old This Year

Yes, I realize I missed posting last month, and I’m going to make up for it with this post by addressing the topic I missed.

To ignite a little nostalgia—and also to make you feel really old so I’m not alone in the feeling—here is a list of things that debuted or rose to popularity 10 years ago, in the year 2007.

Songs

  • “Umbrella” by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z
  • “Low” by Flo Rida
  • “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles (ah, the first big single from my favorite singer)
  • “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
  • “Lip Gloss” by Lil’ Mama
  • “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White Ts
  • “Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé
  • “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5
  • “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy (remember that stupid dance? I do)
  • “Cupid’s Chokehold” by Gym Class Heroes
  • “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis
  • “This Is Why I’m Hot” by MIMS
  • “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston (where did he go, by the way?)
  • “Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat
  • “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder
  • “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake
  • “Teardrops on My Guitar” by Taylor Swift (I remember this as her first big hit)
  • “It’s Not Over” by Daughtry (still can’t believe he was voted off that season of American Idol)
  • “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie
  • “Like a Boy” by Ciara
  • “It Ends Tonight” by The All-American Rejects
  • “Apologize” by Timbaland feat. OneRepublic
  • “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse
  • “Walk Away (Remember Me)” by Paula DeAnda (I miss her! Haven’t seen her since she was eliminated on season 6 of The Voice…)

I was still listening to these songs on a CD player back when the volumes of Now That’s What I Call Music CDs were still in the 20s!

Books

  • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (we all had a copy reserved, did we not? I KNOW I DID)
  • The Shack by Wm. Paul Young (the book I’m currently reading at the request of my half-sister)
  • Blaze by Richard Bachman (Stephen King’s pseudonym)
  • Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
  • City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  • Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  • The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
  • 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (I vehemently want to make something clear: I am only mentioning this book because it was popular in 2007, not because I support the Twilight series because I DON’T)

Movies

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (I saw this three times in the theater and it has become one of my top five favorite movies of all time because it’s one of the only movies that completely met and satisfied my expectations)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (my least favorite of the Potter films)
  • Transformers
  • Hairspray (remake) (which I loved)
  • Halloween (remake) (which I hated—way too gratuitous and made almost all the characters unlikable)
  • The Simpsons Movie
  • Spider-Man 3 (which I, as the Queen of Unpopular Opinions, liked)
  • I Am Legend
  • Saw IV
  • Freedom Writers (I think we all watched this in English class, lol)
  • Juno
  • American Gangster
  • Black Snake Moan
  • 300
  • Knocked Up
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
  • 28 Weeks Later
  • 1408 (I looove this movie)
  • The Mist (I also looove this movie)
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • Live Free or Die Hard
  • Ratatouille
  • P.S. I Love You
  • Rush Hour 3 (I own the other two but not this one if that tells you anything…)
  • Enchanted (Amy Adams is amazing…someone tell me why she hasn’t been awarded an Oscar yet)
  • The Darjeeling Limited
  • Gone Baby Gone
  • 30 Days of Night (not bad, not bad)
  • There Will Be Blood
  • No Country for Old Men

TV Shows

  • Chuck
  • Chelsea Lately
  • The Sarah Silverman Program
  • Gossip Girl
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • iCarly
  • Yo Gabba Gabba!
  • Wizards of Waverly Place
  • Kitchen Nightmares
  • Rock of Love (with Bret Michaels)
  • Road Rules
  • Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?
  • Californication
  • Burn Notice
  • Mad Men

I watch(ed) almost none of these…except the ocassional Kitchen Nightmares or AYSTAFG episode and the sequel series to Rock of Love. Why? I have no idea. Don’t judge me! 😀

Video Games

  • BioShock
  • Portal
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Halo 3
  • Mass Effect
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • God of War II
  • Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
  • Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Silent Hill: Origins

I was still gaming on my Gameboy Advance SP (SpongeBob, Star Wars, Fantastic Four, Harry Potter, Fairly OddParents, etc.), so I didn’t play any of these.

Fads/Other Popular Things

  • Crocs
  • Velour tracksuits
  • The iPhone
  • American Idol
  • High School Musical 2
  • Hannah Montana
  • Bratz Dolls
  • Trying to interpret the series finale of The Sopranos
  • Talking about Britney Spears’ public meltdown (I’m not judging her; it’s tough having a mental illness…and that statement is an understatement)
  • Rickrolling

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

A lot has changed yet some things have not. And I don’t know about you, but I wish I could go back. The year 2007, when I was 15-16, was one of the best years of my life. Sophomore year was better than freshman year. I loved my teachers and the sports I played and the music I lost myself in. I was practicing my writing by penning horror fan fiction. I miss the security of all those things. I miss it like the sky misses the sun when it sets. And I, and anyone else who misses his or her halcyon days, have to accept that the sun set on 2007 ten years ago.

That’s just the way it is. Now all there is to do is focus on making 2017 another great year.

Let’s hope we can and let’s hope it is.

Was 2007 a good year for you? How well do you remember these 2007 hits? Do you remember 2007? If you do, feel free to tell me how in the comments below.

-BP

Guilty Pleasure: Not Particularly…Again

Welp, I’m late. Not that anyone cares since nobody reads these posts, but I’m just dropping in to say there will be No Guilty Pleasure post for the month of January (I don’t care what the date listed says, I’m posting this at 7:50 p.m. on January 31st) for personal reasons. Personal reasons that may or may not carry over into February. It’s too early to tell. :/

I hope you’ve had a good start to the new year. Hopefully there will be new, positive developments for us all as the year unfolds.

-BP

My Favorites: “My Favorite Time of Year”

Happy Holidays! And for those of you who celebrate either one, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! Since it’s the season for winter music, I thought I’d share a beloved holiday tune of mine: “Favorite Time of Year” by India.Arie, Joe Sample and Tori Kelly. Though released just last year, I very nearly consider it to be a classic for the cozy, quaint pictures the lyrics paint amid a sprinkling of jingle bells and a cheery piano soundtrack.

India.Arie and Tori Kelly trade off verses before coming together to explain “why Christmas is [their] favorite time of year,” with India’s tones warm and dulcet like freshly made chocolate drops and Tori’s like a mix of sugar and sunshine. It’s impossible to feel cold listening to these ladies.

The artists are only one reason I cherish the song. Another? Because I can relate to a lot of the lyrics:

  • “Kids are making angels in the snow” (of course most of us have done that!)
  • “Magic tricks by Uncle Joe” (I have an Uncle Joe)
  • “You can feel the loving in the air” (I feel like you really can feel the care in the air—the kindness and compassion and gratefulness)
  • “Grandma sitting in her favorite chair/With a halo of silver hair (I have a grandma with silver hair)
  • With a smile lighting up the room/So sad grandpa’s gone too soon (while I still have my lovely grandmother, my grandpa is deceased, having passed almost ten years ago)
  • “Chocolate smells fill the room” (not just chocolate but those of cinnamon, turkey, ham and potatoes too!)
  • “Santa’s ringing bells outside the door” (a little reminder to do your good deed for the year and drop some money in the Salvation Army bucket)
  • “Ate so much I’m about to pop” (I always do this)
  • “There’s no place I’d rather be/Than with you, my family (this is true for me)
  • “Your loving is the sweetest thing I know” (because of my mother and grandmother I know what it is to be unconditionally loved and it is indeed the most incredible feeling)
  • “This is why Christmas is my favorite time of year” (it’s mine too—it’s exciting and sweet, filled with laughs and togetherness)

My absolute favorite part of the song, though, is the line,

“Everybody smile, 1,2,3/Time for Tyler Perry’s new movie!”

It makes me grin if not downright chuckle. It’s a funny thing to say itself, but the really charming part is when India.Arie delivers the Tyler Perry line, she sounds like she’s giggling too! I love listening to such a genuine moment of joy captured on recording. And you know what follows? A subtle round of applause. Oh, lololol. It’s just awesome. And like the rest of us India must know the man releases a movie, like, every month. They just did a Madea Halloween—I’m sure there’s a Madea Christmas special in there somewhere.

So if you’re in the mood for a good Christmas song, this one immediately “takes you there.” The ladies are soothing, the music bounces beyond the lyrics, which fittingly support the song with reasons why holidays are our best times and why they are universal, using gentle reminders to be grateful for what and whom we have.

I’d post a link to the video but won’t since I don’t have YouTube’s permission to do so/am not comfortable doing so without permission. If you’d like to have a listen, make sure you click on the India.Arie version, not the Debby Ryan song of the same name (though hers is probably good too).

May you have warm, safe and happy holidays wherever you are.

-BP

Recently Awesome: American Horror Story: Roanoke

I believe the chronicle of the lost colony of Roanoke is relatively common knowledge among most fans of the paranormal, even if they don’t know the specific details. In short back in the 16th century a group of English settlers vanished from their North Carolina colony, leaving behind a single word carved into wood: “Croatoan.” There are a plethora of theories as to what the word means as awell as happened to the colonists but no definitive answer. Their erasure remains a mystery. While parts of the Roanoke legend have been intertwined with other horror works, such as Supernatural and Vanishing on 7th Street, what AHS  focused on in its latest entry in the anthology is, of course, the more supernatural tilt of an explanation for the people’s disappearance.

And really, would we have it any other way?

(MINOR spoilers ahead.)

Told in a set of 10 tight episodes, the multiverse-laden events of Roanoke  are told to the audience always from the point of view of a camera, which is the other predominant motif of the season. I thought it was a brilliant concept to do a frame story, loosely defined by this English major as “a story within a story”—the documentary of “real life” events called My Roanoke Nightmare and its sequel series, now set in “real life,” Return to Roanoke: 3 Days in Hell.

My Roanoke Nightmare consists of dramatizations of the harrowing ordeal of the Miller couple, Matt and Shelby, who provided interviews that are intercut alongside the reenactments. In “reality” Matt is portrayed by André Holland and Shelby by Lily Rabe; in the documentary, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Sarah Paulson play actors who play Matt and Shelby. (It’s a lot less confusing if you just watch it.) Also involved are Matt’s sister, Lee Harris (Adina Porter and Angela Bassett), her daughter, Flora, a number of learned, well-meaning guests, a backwoods bunch, and the colonists themselves, most notably The Butcher (Susan Berger and Kathy Bates) and her supernatural superior, the witch Scáthach (Lady Gaga).

Long ago The Butcher murdered her fellow settlers and gave herself to Scáthach, tethering them all to the forested land of the Mott home in North Carolina. The Butcher, to put it lightly, does not appreciate visitors and subsequently uses her victims and all the dark creatures at her disposal to terrorize and ultimately slaughter all who step foot on the blood-soaked land. Matt, Shelby, and Lee manage to escape only to join their actor counterparts for Return to Roanoke: 3 Days in Hell  (why return to the nightmare house? You know people in horror movies/shows make stupid decisions). This time around, many, many of the guests of this historical murder house are not so fortunate.

So, why did I find this particular season awesome?

1. Lee Harris. While I liked both Shelby and Matt, I thought some of their intentions and actions were a bit poorly explained. Lee’s motivations were always crystal clear: everything she does, she does out of the will to survive for her daughter and her brother. I find that horror often has heart, and Lee’s desperation to protect and sacrifice what she must for her child’s well-being is endearing. And as noble as that sounds, dear reader, do not leave here thinking she is a selfless, one-note character. She is also a recovering alcoholic and accused murderer. No one’s hands are clean in this house. Also, on a more personal note, I liked having a dynamic woman of color at the forefront of a horror-centric story, something that doesn’t happen often enough. Kudos as always, Ryan Murphy, for your inclusion of people of color, women with sexual agency and LGBT characters. Thank youuuu.

2. Satirical Implications on Society’s Obsession with Crime. Besides two documentaries, the story is told through news coverage, camera phones, the head-cams of a trio of hapless fame-seekers, a clip of Paleyfest, spoofs of shows like Ghost Hunters/Paranormal State and Snapped and coverage of a trial. It just speaks to the fact that we live in an age where cameras are ubiquitous, an age where nothing is sacred and murder is exploited, even arguably glorified, for ratings and hits on Twitter and Instagram. Now if that’s not scary, I don’t know what is. (Yes, I wish I had a more intelligent commentary on this season’s satire, but I just noticed it, I didn’t have anything smart to say about it. Meh.)

3. The Joy of Being Scared (in Controlled Circumstances). Like I mentioned last month, I am a fan of terror in controlled circumstances: movies, shows, books, video games, haunted houses on Halloween. I enjoy a good slow scare, the kind that creeps up on you and chills you to the bone, keeps you thinking in bed at night. I also enjoy the quick scares, the rush of adrenaline, the instant panic, the belly laughs when you realize it wasn’t that big of a deal/all over. It cracks me up. It’s all a different kind of joy, much darker, more perverse. Rarer and harsher and blunter, like a blow to the head. Only when you choose horror it’s like you bleed a little bit of joy instead. (Rhyme not intended but glad for it anyway.)

There was a large body count this season and a couple jump scares got me. There was also this creepy crawling chick who crab-walked on all fours—I hate unnatural locomotion! It’s so disturbing! But in the best and worst possible ways…Dread and wonder coupled together this year to make a monstrous martini. I won’t say I got drunk off this season but the buzz was morbidly pleasant indeed.

After six years of histrionic horror, I wouldn’t say Ryan Murphy’s monster (pun intended) had its most haunting season ever, but it was a story-telling triumph for the series.

Did you watch American Horror Story: Roanoke? If you did, what did you think of it? What’s your favorite season?

If you want to give a holler about this hallmark of horror, leave a comment below. Thanks.

-BP

This May Interest You: My Horror Movie Collection

What better time of the year to celebrate spine-tingling scares and hair-raising horror movies than Halloween (or, if you want to get technical, Halloween Eve)?

I wasn’t always a horror fan. Growing up, I literally had to hide while watching Gremlins and The Others. By the time I was 12 I decided something needed to be done. I was tired of people thinking I couldn’t handle what they could. I began to rent and buy every classic horror movie I could get my hands on. I watched the behind-the-scenes documentaries and studied the special effects. Researched the actors. Listened to the commentaries. The exposure therapy worked and I became inured to the (relatively) formulaic genre. Rooted for the girls and guys who fought back (when I wasn’t rooting for Freddy Krueger so I could get some more bad puns, that is).  Wrote fan fiction about the killers. And enjoyed myself. I found out I liked being scared in controlled circumstances. I liked finding out killers’ backstories. I liked horror movies.

As a teen I even covered my bedroom walls with lists of horror movies and checked them off as soon as I’d seen them.

Now that I’m in my mid-twenties I’m a fan of the old favorites but not particularly anything super recent. I prefer a little story with my scares so the slashers nowadays no longer do it for me. I still love the occasional outing to a (FAKE) haunted house and a Stephen King book or two…or a hundred.

Now, for my collection (and please, let me know some of your favorites!):

Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein

The Wolf Man (1941)

Psycho (1960), Psycho II, Psycho III, Psycho IV: The Beginning

Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Vault of Horror (which is terrible but came in a two-disc set with my Tales from the Crypt)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (remake)

Jaws

The Omen (1976), Omen III: The Final Conflict (aaand then they had Part IV, which wasn’t very good)

Carrie (1976)

Halloween (1978), Halloween 2*, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers*, Halloween: H20*Halloween: Resurrection 

The Shining

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (yeah, okay), Jason X

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (again, yeah right), Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Freddy vs. Jason

Child’s Play, Child’s Play 3 (don’t ask me why I don’t have 2), Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky

Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth*Hellraiser: Bloodline*, Hellraiser: Inferno*, Hellraiser: Deader*, Hellraiser: Hellworld (and I ain’t watching the ones without Doug Bradley)*

Misery

The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Hannibal Rising

Leprechaun 3, Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (don’t judge me, lol)

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight

Wishmaster, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies

The Sixth Sense

The Blair Witch Project

Hollow Man

American Psycho

Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4

Thir13en Ghosts

Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2

Willard (2003)

Gothika

AVP: Alien vs. Predator

Shaun of the Dead

Secret Window

Saw, Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI, Saw: The Final Chapter (again, I hear they’re making Part VIII)

Hide and Seek

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

War of the Worlds (2005)

30 Days of Night*

1408

The Mist

Quarantine

Zombieland

Paranormal Activity

The Human Centipede: First Sequence, The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence (who said feminists have no sense of humor? The material is so offensive it literally can’t be taken seriously)

* denotes an update – a movie I’ve just purchased or bought again after giving it away, lol

-BP

Taboo Topics: The 2016 U.S. Election

Yep, I’m going there. I just want to have a quick, honest discussion about who and what I’m considering and why.

I am not voting for Donald Trump. Based on his comments about Mexican immigrants and Hispanic judge Gonzalo Curiel and a BuzzFeedNews compilation comparing his general quotes about women with the way Obama has spoken about women, I perceive Trump to be a bigot and a misogynist, and I refuse to vote for somebody who so blatantly represents an attitude I don’t respect.

I was originally set to vote for Hillary Clinton simply because my family is Democrat and I have liberal leanings, but after this whole email debacle and her escaping charges, I don’t know if I want to vote for her because so many of my friends distrust her. I don’t have a real opinion of Hillary myself, so it’s possible to be swayed by the people around me, the people I respect, and so many of them are extremely offended by her using her private email (instead of State Department email) to discuss classified material. My best friend, who is an Army veteran, then explained to me the Benghazi incident and how that factored into her distrust of Clinton, and I can’t pretend like her opinion doesn’t have an effect.

Apparently there’s no way to gauge if Clinton learned her lesson—who says she’d do things like this in the future?

Do we condemn not for what she has done but for what she could do? Do we murder Caesar just because of what he might do? Well, yes, if you’re Brutus and Cassius and the other conspirators. And half of the American people, I guess.

I still maintain that we don’t know that she would repeat her mistakes, but it’s true we also don’t know that she wouldn’t, so I can see people not wanting to take the chance.

“She already had her chance,” they’d say, “and she blew it. More than once.”

But I am a Christian. Isn’t our religion based on forgiveness? It’s kind of funny for me to be talking in a broad sense about forgiveness because I have such a hard time with it personally.

Can’t she redeem herself? Isn’t there anything she can do to prove she’d be a good president? For me I think there are things she can do. For you it might be a different case, and I respect that.

But after her that leaves Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, about whom I know literally nothing other than his name. And that he called Trump a “pussy.” LAWL

I talked to my mother about voting for Johnson and she said not voting for Hillary would basically be a vote for Trump, as she predicts Johnson won’t get enough votes to become president.

Well, damn. So what’s the friggin’ point? It seems like it’s not going to come out good either way you slice it, so why bother voting at all? It’s not like one little vote is going to matter in the long run…

I know, I know. This is not how young people are supposed to be thinking. We’re supposed to be thinking about the people who fought and died to give us our God-given right to have our voices heard and counted—I especially should take notice considering I’m both a woman and a person of color. There were times when people like me were only counted as 3/5 of a person, and I have the audacity to take advantage of my position in society now and say that I don’t want to vote? I know it’s societal blasphemy, I know, but it’s how I feel. I didn’t say I wouldn’t vote, but am I excited about it? Do I feel like my vote matters? Not really.

I’m not normally a cynical person, but whenever it comes to politics (a subject about which I admit I know next to nothing), I just think to myself that whoever wins is going to have some small victories that everyone will look past due to whatever awful mistakes they’re going to make. It’s not like that’s not all the media and the people focus on anyway: the negative. You never hear about anything good Obama’s done anymore—it’s just about why the Republicans are glad he’s leaving this year. Yeah, really looking forward to more coverage like that: pissed off people whose problems seem to be going nowhere because the president and Congress can’t get themselves together.

On Facebook I told one of my friends that I didn’t want to vote. I told her what my mother said about the Gary Johnson situation.

She replied: “I don’t vote on who I think is going to win, I vote for who I think is right.”

Her statement is a powerful one, don’t you think? I do, and I think she’s right. It’s the principle of the matter. If you go down, you go down doing what you think is right.

The only question is… who is right for our nation?

Some days I think I’ve made up my mind on Clinton. On other days I feel guilty supporting her and lean toward Johnson. Then the next day it’s like, “Does a third party vote even matter?”

I hate this. Politics. It makes me come off like I’m stupid and don’t have an opinion on my nation but the truth is that I kind of don’t. I just want equal rights and opportunities for everyone and support for the middle class. And who’s going to get our country that?

Who?

Whoever I think will, that’s who I’m going to vote for.

Who are you voting for and why? Why do you think it’s important to vote? If you’d care to, I’d love have some comments on this topic.

-BP

P.S. To whoever’s our future president:

Please, please do your best to do right by the American people. All of them. Not just the whites or the blacks or the 1%. All of us, because it’s only as a nation that we can stand together. And at the end of the day I want to be proud of what we stand for, not ashamed. Keep us together as best you can. Don’t divide our home.