Category Archives: WTF

Mmm Meth & Marijuana: If You Do Drugs, You Will Die The End

“Once upon a time there was a girl named Wendy who was very beautiful and very happy and had lots of friends but then one day she did some heroin and got addicted and lost everything and then she died.
The End.”

– A very, um, beautiful poem on an ad in the DEA Museum

Who the hell knew the DEA had a museum? Not me, and not my friend Ed — otherwise we would have gone years ago. Honestly, it’s everything you would expect it to be…terrible and hilarious, all at once. I highly recommend that you go if you’re ever in Pentagon City.

 

I already talked about the museum in my first ever YouTube video (woohoo!), but it’s even worse than the comical portrayal of marijuana. Obviously the DEA is stuck in the mindset that drug use should be criminalized instead of treated as addiction (or, in moderation, left alone) and that the police need to be armed and treated as a militia in order to “combat” the problem.

In reality, the War on Drugs is a dated and terrible concept, a waste of resources that could be better used on almost anything else.  For anyone who is interested in understanding the link between racism and the War on Drugs, check out The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. It’s a fantastic book, and honestly should be on high school required reading lists. Her argument is that the drug laws in America recreate the Jim Crow laws; because it’s okay to discriminate against felons, making laws and enforcing them in a way that make a disproportionate amount of black people criminals allows for continued racial discrimination.

As we walked around the museum, Ed pointed out all of the cocaine exhibits kind of implied that it looked like they didn’t want to criminalize blow for a while. I agreed — white people were doing coke, so there wasn’t the drive to punish them for it. I think we’re all aware of the disgusting differences in the laws between cocaine and crack, but it was startling to see the history.

“These green snake-skin shoes were worn in the early 1970s by a federal drug agent working undercover in the Detroit band business: ‘These drug dealers were jet setters, white guys trying to be like black guys, dealing in PCP and then cocaine.'”

As we make the transition to decriminalization of marijuana, let’s not forget that FAFSA requires students have no drug convictions on their record. Can we even imagine the number of students that couldn’t afford to go to college because they got caught with small amount of marijuana or cocaine? Underage drinking citations don’t come with a loss of federal funds for school.

How many decades have been spent teaching our children that marijuana is a schedule one drug because it’s extremely dangerous — that it’s on par with heroin and less dangerous than cocaine (a schedule two drug)? How many teenagers have disregarded everything they’ve heard the FDA or their teachers or parents say about drugs after they smoked pot for the first time or hung out with people who smoke? I mean, if weed is more dangerous than coke…bring it on!

I think American society is slowly becoming disgusted with the loss of freedom (and lives) that is a direct result of the drug war. We’re constantly hearing about “isolated incidents” — they clearly aren’t isolated. We’re no Portugal, but I’m hopeful that people will get tired of hearing about our legal system and police doing things like….

Of course, I did see parents that were glad to teach their children the crack den and the head shop are equal evils, so who knows what is in store for America.

wendy

 

Ever Wonder What It’s Like to Drive in DC?

Mostly it’s parking tickets and speed cameras, unless you’re Marion Barry. Then it’s all driving your car the wrong way down a road and smashing into other people, and a couple grand in unpaid tickets.

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 You’re welcome, world. He’s our gift to you.

The Problem With Little White Girls Volunteering for Things They Don’t Know How to Do

Dear Pippa Biddle,

I recently saw your blog post about “voluntourism” and it irritated me enough to want to respond. I promise to talk about myself and my experiences as much as you did, and maybe together we can make some kind of conclusion – a part of writing that you kind of skipped out on.

I remember when I went to Moore, OK and no one hated me.

I remember when I went to Moore, OK and I don’t have any guilt over going.

In high school, I travelled to Tanzania as part of a school trip. There were 14 white girls, 1 black girl who, to her frustration, was called white by almost everyone we met in Tanzania, and a few teachers/chaperones.

Ah, okay. This is the obligatory sentence about the evils of whitey that justifies the headline. Well, in high school I worked almost full time at Alexandria Buick Pontiac GMC. I was one of the only white people in the dealership, FWIW.

$3000 bought us a week at an orphanage, a half built library, and a few pickup soccer games, followed by a week long safari.

$3000 would probably have bought my friends and me a shit ton of Grey Goose and maybe a weeklong beach trip. However, my public high school definitely taught me I shouldn’t start sentences with dollar signs. This isn’t a Ke$ha song.

Our mission while at the orphanage was to build a library.

My mission at Buick was to build a better car buying experience.

Turns out that we, a group of highly educated private boarding school students were so bad at the most basic construction work that each night the men had to take down the structurally unsound bricks we had laid and rebuild the structure so that, when we woke up in the morning, we would be unaware of our failure. It is likely that this was a daily ritual. Us mixing cement and laying bricks for 6+ hours, them undoing our work after the sun set, re-laying the bricks, and then acting as if nothing had happened so that the cycle could continue.

Turns out that I, as a high school student who skipped math and psych class regularly, was not qualified to save GM from going bankrupt.
Look, Pippa, I don’t even know where to start here – likely because your sentence was so fucking long I got confused.
Turns out that you, as a group of presumably rich high school students with no background in manual labor, weren’t qualified TO FUCKING BUILD HOUSES???? No. Freaking. Way.
What “men” were doing this?? The men that organized your trip? Local men that worked alongside you? I don’t know, because you never tell us.
And how do you know that this was happening? Your only evidence is that you were unaware and “it [was] likely.” That isn’t exactly the strongest argument I’ve ever heard.

Basically, we failed at the sole purpose of our being there. It would have been more cost effective, stimulative of the local economy, and efficient for the orphanage to take our money and hire locals to do the work, but there we were trying to build straight walls without a level.

Basically, if your sole purpose of volunteer work is to build a structure and not to have a lasting impact on people’s lives, you’re doing it wrong.
Basically, if your sole purpose was to do something you had no experience doing, you’re ridiculously naïve.
Basically, if your budget was such shit that no one bought a level, you should really take this up with the organization that sent you.

That same summer, I started working in the Dominican Republic at a summer camp I helped organize for HIV+ children. Within days, it was obvious that my rudimentary Spanish set me so far apart from the local Dominican staff that I might as well have been an alien.

So you went to Tanzania to build a library, and then you went to the Dominican Republic to help HIV+ children? You don’t speak Spanish, and I assume you don’t speak Swahili (what the hell did your fancy education even get you?). Where is the consistency or your passion? You’ve made it clear that helping people wasn’t your priority in Tanzania…just building a library. You don’t bring skilled work to the table, you don’t have a medical background, you don’t speak another language…why aren’t you picking a region you care about or a task you care about and focusing on that?
My background is in Arabic. I majored in it in college (along with Middle East Studies), and I minored in French. I continue my education now with conferences and independent research on the region. I have many friends from the region, and I’ve traveled extensively. I have an understanding of certain countries and their cultures (Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan) from my studies, my travels, and my friends. If I had the ability, I would go to Lebanon and help out with Syrian refugees, even if just for a week…but I likely wouldn’t do any volunteer work in Tanzania or the Dominican Republic.

However, I have stopped attending having finally accepting that my presence is not the godsend I was coached by non-profits, documentaries, and service programs to believe it would be.

This is the only sentence in your entire post that you place blame in the correct place.

It turns out that I, a little white girl, am good at a lot of things. I am good at raising money, training volunteers, collecting items, coordinating programs, and telling stories. I am flexible, creative, and able to think on my feet. On paper I am, by most people’s standards, highly qualified to do international aid. But I shouldn’t be.

It turns out that you, as a little white girl, aren’t actually listing any qualities that would make you good at volunteering in developing nations. The Peace Corps has its fair share of problems, but I would wager it’s considered the standard for international volunteer work…and what you just named has nothing to do with what they’re looking for. Instead, they list things like “those with specialized skills” and “Spanish or French” speaking abilities. Last I checked honkies can speak French and have specialized skills. Even the little folk. Even the ones with vaginas.

Before you sign up for a volunteer trip anywhere in the world this summer, consider whether you possess the skill set necessary for that trip to be successful. If yes, awesome. If not, it might be a good idea to reconsider your trip. Sadly, taking part in international aid where you aren’t particularly helpful is not benign. It’s detrimental. It slows down positive growth and perpetuates the “white savior” complex that, for hundreds of years, has haunted both the countries we are trying to ‘save’ and our (more recently) own psyches.

Pippa, why is your only blame on the people who just want to help? Why is your knee jerk reaction to talk about white savior complexes, instead of focusing on the crappy organizations that accept these kids into their programs? The organizations that don’t make an effort to match people up with something that they could actually connect to? At NO POINT here have you backed up your claims of white people being the problem. I suppose on your little high school trip the black girl rocked it and was totally effective? If not, how can you call this white savior complex? How do you explain her? What the fuck issues do you have?

I’m sorry you didn’t find whatever you were looking for on your trips, and I’m sorry that your private boarding school didn’t produce a better writer.

 

Thanks so much to everyone who has helped make this so successful! Follow me on Facebook or Instagram, and make sure you subscribe to my blog!

 

OKCupid Shocks World With Corporate Version of a Face Only Photo

For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m slowly but surely working on a book about my online dating experiences. That being said…I obviously have an opinion on the announcement that OKCupid was messing with its users by lying about compatibility. That opinion is..no fucking shit.

I didn’t go on one or two online dates. I mean, I used OKCupid so much they let me become a moderator or something. I used OKCupid like it was my job. And I never, ever put much stock into their stupid little percentages.

My first ever online date was through POF (Plenty of Fish), so it became the default tag...but most of these were OKC.

My first ever online date was through POF (Plenty of Fish), so it became the default tag…but most of these were OKC.

Here’s examples of conversations that I had with guys I had a high match percentage with.

The scene is a Starbucks, the time is 8 pm. This is DC; it makes sense. Our connections on OKC include we’re both into politics and we’re sarcastic. High rating. Conversation has been going mediocre.
Him: Well, let’s just get this out of the way. Are you a Jew?
Me: No…
Him: GOOD.

This is still in the initial text/OKC messaging phase. We’re making plans to meet so we’ve exchanged numbers. Again a high match percentage — likely due to a mutual interest in politics and love of the first few seasons of Arrested Development.
Him: Do you want to see my dick?
Me: No.
Him: [sends dick pic]
Me: [vows to only give out Google Voice number so pictures can be screened]
A month passes.
Him: I didn’t realize you were such a prude.

So much love!

I guess it should be tiny penises coming out of the beaker.

I mean, how are people surprised by this? I don’t expect that everyone is a career online dater, but surely you must have noticed you were matched with some crazy fucking people at one point. My best friend and I used to talk about how a very high match percentage (over 87%) was basically a guarantee the guy would be off his rocker. Also, it’s dating. I already exercised caution and assumed everyone lied. I did, even if it wasn’t always intentional…sometimes your values and opinions change. What was mandatory to me in January might have been some somewhat important in June.

The moral of the story here: don’t invest too much faith in an online quiz that takes into consideration whether a user considers it “mandatory” their potential date likes anal.

Though deleting text from users’ profiles might explain why my disclaimer didn’t work. I ended up putting at the top of my page, “I’m not interested in having sex with you for money (or anytime soon), and I’m certainly not interested in dick pics.” Maybe OKC deleted the “not.” That would definitely explain a lot.

Detroit Continues Bending Over Backwards for Sports

I imagine you all have been eagerly anticipating the new Red Wings arena, so I’m pleased to inform you that the design for the new $450 million arena has now been released. $450 million sounds like a lot, but only around $280 million will be publicly financed. Chump change! I’m pretty sure we spend that on corn farmers in a single week.

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If you’ve never been, parts of Detroit look so bad that you forget you’re in America. So how is the city paying for this arena? Well, it kind of comes from the Detroit Public School system — the Downtown Development Authority, who is footing much of the bill, is allowed to take the school-tax funds for anything related to economic development. Because sports and stuff = thriving economy.

Of course, sports get another perk in Detroit — free water! Who owes the most money to the DWSD?
Palmer Park (city run golf course): $422,295
Joe Louis Arena (city owned arena, current home of the Red Wings): $80,255.25
Ford Field (city owned stadium, home of the Tigers): $55,803.94

Oh, okay. So who is getting their water shut off in Detroit? Just the regular consumers who owe over $150. Look, sports are important. They bring in so much money for Detroit. DWSD can’t just be shutting off the water at arenas and stadiums. Probably all those people not paying their water bills are busy spending their money at the stadiums!! Look at all that cash flowing in from sports! Miguel Cabrera alone is raking in $292 million; I can’t even imagine what that translates into for the Detroit economy. Trickle down!

Of course, the arena will create jobs — 1,100 of them, to be exact. Good! With only 165,488 unemployed people in Detroit, taxpayers will only need to shell out $38,700,000,000 for everyone in Detroit to get a job!

I think Mike Ilitch, the man behind this, has done a lot of Detroit. I don’t hate him. But I know that I do not trust this arena or its promises at all — I expect this to be more gentrification of the immediate area, and a lot less revitalizing. I do not trust that anything will be done correctly in the construction of this arena, given the water bill issue. Detroit has problems that run so deep it’s impossible to create 1,100 jobs and act like something is actually being done. There’s ways to backhandedly get $280 million to rebuild a stadium, but no one can make the argument that buying school and city buses that can actually run in the cold is economic revitalization? Jesus Christ — if you depend on the buses in Detroit in the winter, you’re screwed because half the time it’s too damn cold for them to come get you.

Cities don’t even make money off of stadiums, so this whole thing is a joke. I don’t believe that in an area without real public transit (sorry, PeopleMover), an expensive stadium will change life for most Detroiters. Detroit is a hockey town, but maybe it’s time people sit back and remember that Detroit is also a shipping town. Priorities.

 

 

In honor of next week’s TSA fee increase, here’s a fun game! Guess which ONE of these items I’ve had confiscated from my carry on…and which 2 I’ve flown with, no problems. Out of DCA. You know…the District of Columbia’s airport.

photo (15) copy

I’ll be back next week with an entry about the misery that is the TSA — I’ve spent my week traveling back to Maryland, and delayed flights and bag searches take a lot out of me. In the meantime, follow me on Facebook or Instagram!

Incredibly Irritating Things People Are Doing to Protest Hobby Lobby

Today is an entire day brought to us by The Onion, because the things I’m reading certainly can’t be real life. I lasted a whopping 3 weeks in retail, mostly because I have very little patience for stupid bullshit. Well, thank God I don’t work at Hobby Lobby! “Why, Manda?” you ask. “Do you use one of the 4 forms of birth control their health insurance doesn’t cover?” Pfft, please. I’ve spent the past 8 years working freelance as my own LLC — I don’t even have health insurance.

So what’s the issue? Oh, just people acting like a bunch of assholes by terrorizing people who are paid between $9.50-14 an hour, which is like 1/5 of what they should be getting to deal with stupid shit like rearranging craft letters to spell out pro-choice.

hobbylobbyWhen I had to sort shirts by size, I wanted to blow my fucking brains out. I bet the employees find this really endearing.

Oh, but don’t worry – in case you think that’s just stupid, they also brought condoms to hand out. In the store. Which DOESN’T MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE. I might be out of the health care loop, but is there some magical PPO that gives you free condoms? Are Hobby Lobby employees banned from 7-11?? WHAT POINT ARE THESE PEOPLE EVEN TRYING TO PROVE? Do y’all know why I have this stupid stick in my arm? Partially because I don’t want kids, partially because I get blackout causing migraines if I’m not on birth control. GREAT. Once a month, I’ll just take your stupid condom and use it to help keep myself from chewing off my own tongue while I writhe around on the floor, crying over my cramps and vomiting until my migraine causes me to see nothing but black dots.

“Here, I’ve decided that because you work for Hobby Lobby and make double what the average retail employee makes, you must be really, really stupid. So I bought you these condoms. Because you’re poor. And stupid. Also since I’m not a customer and I’m just here to hand out my free stuff, I’m sure your boss doesn’t want me here. Glad I could make your job more difficult and awkward, and possibly get you in trouble. #GoWomen!”

What a bunch of condescending tools. It’s just belitting the people who work there — and making their jobs and lives more difficult. How presumptuous to walk in, just knowing everyone is so miserable to work there and can’t wait for you to show them the light. How highly you must think of yourself.

Plus, let’s be real. You’re handing out something that goes on a penis. To women. Yes, you’re really helping this whole birth control thing. I’d be WAY more impressed if people went and bought like 10 morning after pills and handed them out. Stick it to the man!

planbMaybe “protestors” could spell out “Plan B” with craft letters, and directly below it fill a clear decorative vase with marbles and one-step pills.

The comments on each article I read (mistake number one: reading news article comments) suggested more crazy, creative, awesome things to do to protest. Like buy things and return them, over and over. That way real customers will have to wait and get angry! Or ask employees where things are and take up a lot of their time; it’ll waste the owners money (paying employees to help people who aren’t making purchases) and certainly won’t annoy the piss out of low paid staff who have to be nice to you.

Hey guys, I’m really getting into the spirit of all these awesome antics. I even have a suggestion! Maybe next we can take spray paint and just draw beautiful graffiti of a uterus over the front door of every Hobby Lobby!