First, let’s review Poe’s Law.   Without a blatant indication that you’re kidding, any parody is indistinguishable from whatever it’s parodying.  Poe’s law refers to extremism or fundamentalism, but think about those Onion article headlines that for a split second you thought were real.  In fact, there are people (not you, you’re too savvy) that mistake satire for the real thing all the time.

I reaaaaallly hope I’m about to do that, to take seriously what’s meant in jest.

Because every time Usher’s new song I Don’t Mind comes on the radio, I listen to it with my mouth open in shock. Usher croons about how he doesn’t mind at all that his girlfriend is a stripper because he knows she’s gotta make money somehow.

This is humor, right?  Because if it isn’t, I’m completely baffled why I haven’t heard women everywhere decry this song.  As much as, yay for Usher for stating he doesn’t mind if his “shawty” dances on a pole because that doesn’t make her a “ho”, NO ONE HAS A PROBLEM WITH THE FACT THAT THE ONLY WAY HIS WOMAN CAN MAKE RENT IS BY BEING AN OBJECT FOR MEN?

Why can’t he write, “Hey I don’t mind/who you serve a summons to/as long as you come home and work on my briefs”? Perhaps, “I don’t mind/all the men you’ve been seeing/because I know you only touch them with your stethoscope”? (more…)

anxiety-girl

2/11/15.

When i first saw this cartoon several years ago (thanks hyperbole and a half), i laughed out loud. Then i got teary and nervous, and then i laughed again. Anxiety is a funny thing. Except when it’s not funny. Like whenever it happens. i happen to be writing this while in the middle of a spinning soup of Too Much, and getting it out seemed like a good thing to do.

Oh NO! Another blog post about the topic of MENTAL HEALTH!? It’s ALL BEEN SAID! ALL of it! Every single LAST THOUGHT EVER. Sorry. Needed to let the inner voice yelling that self-consciousness directly into my brain-pan have a moment in the spotlight. Here’s a great first impression, i’m sure. OOPS I’M SORRY I THINK I JUST POURED RED HEART JUICE ON YOUR FANCY RUG! i’m still considering deleting all of this and just writing it on a card to send to PostSecret. Ok sorry done with that part.

Buzzfeed likes to put out entertaining listicles on 10 Things People With Anxiety Know To Be True and while they are funny and lighthearted, they also (embarrassed to admit) really hit me in the guts sometimes. Hidden amongst fauxritcles (new word i just made up, pronounced “foharticles” or “farticles”, you’re welcome) and quizzes on How To Not Be A Basic Bae (?) are some little nuggets of “oh, someone that deals with this actually wrote it.” (more…)

Editor’s Note: Some of our posts on Rational Creatures will be cross-posts from writers’ existing blogs – this is one of those. Erin Myers blogs about her cancer diagnosis, but also anything and everything else. Her writing is full of truth, humor, and sarcasm, and it’s always a treat to read. Here she is. – Chelsea

“Nature, Mr Allnut, is what we are put on this earth to rise above.”

– Katherine Hepburn as Rose Sayers in The African Queen

I am wrestling with what to believe in. When I write, I usually try to find a focus point, but this mess of a post, veering dangerously close to a freshman year dorm room conversation, is a reflection of the churning in my head right now, so here it is.

Those in my life who are religious and believe in a higher power sometimes wonder what comforts there are for those who don’t believe in God.

One comfort is that you can’t take science – or nature – personally. If there’s no God, you never feel betrayed by God. Does a leaf feel betrayed when it falls to the ground to glow red for a few days, then rot? Does a mouse feel betrayed when a snake swallows it? On the other hand, a beaver builds a dam to live in, a bird builds a nest – even animals and maybe plants look at nature and go, yeah, but I can improve on this – I don’t have to just lay here and get et, I can run! I don’t have to starve or freeze to death: I can build a nest.

We like to think that part of what makes us human is that we see how things are and try to make them how they should be – with potentially wondrous or disastrous results – but although our brains give us more power to change things than plants or animals, it’s really just survival, isn’t it? All life does it.

I love the paradox of that line from the African Queen. It’s inspiring to “rise above nature”, but rising above nature IS nature.

Read more at The View from the 21st Floor

It occurred to me suddenly a few weeks ago that I know a lot of cool people.

I did already know that, I guess. I regularly meet with friends or read their status updates/tweets and say to myself, “Damn, I will never be as cool as ____.” But a few weeks ago there was a perfect storm of coolness and talent, when within a few days of each other, three different friends published great blog posts. The startling thing was that for one of them, I previously had no idea she even wrote a blog. This is a person to whom I would pay money to read their grocery list, as it’s probably hilarious.

I’ve started something like three blogs myself in the past. I have the urge to write frequently, but not, it seemed, frequently enough for me to truly maintain a blog. Part of this was expectations I put on myself that I should write at least a couple times a week if I was going to be a “real” blogger. Part of it was simply that after a few posts, I burned off the fuel that pushed me into starting the blog in the first place. Part of it was that I started the blog with a theme in mind, and quickly discovered I wanted to write about other stuff too, but worried it would be too random.

So when I realized that this funny, brilliant woman – who I haven’t named so far, but just realized that I’m being silly so I’ll tell you it’s Corri Pasko – had a blog that I didn’t know existed, a blog that she’d updated maybe three times in the last six months, I had a minor epiphany. It was this: I bet that a lot of my (smarter, funnier) friends are like me in this small way. They want to write more, DO write some, but feel like they can’t or won’t write enough to really maintain a blog. Or maybe they DO maintain a blog, but I’ve somehow missed the Facebook post linking to it or whatever, and I don’t want that to happen, because damn it I want to read their stuff!

Thus, this blog was born. It’s a place for fabulous people to contribute some of their stuff, with no required topics or posting frequency, no stress of maintaining anything, no pressure – just treat the world to your fabulousness. For now it’s my lovely friends who have put themselves forward and said they wanted to write. Others are welcome to do the same.

For now we are all women, all Chicagoans, all theater people – but we are also all another 1,000 things, and I guess that’s another thing I want out in the world. Nobody is one thing, we are all small shivering naked animals, and we all contain multitudes.

We’ll start today with a cross-post from Erin Myers’ fabulous blog The View from the 21st Floor. Later this week you’ll get to read posts about anxiety, expectations, and CTA ads, just to name a few. So follow along and enjoy.