On playing chess in the desert

So what you’re really saying about Israel is that it’s the rook protecting the king, the United States/West from harm and blame, and the Palestinians are being exploited for the sake of continuing instability in the middle east to ensure western dominance. Or am I misunderstanding something?

America isn’t the king. America is the player. The king is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and as the rook, Israel isn’t so much protecting the king as it is left vulnerable to attack while the king uses the rook for shade.

Since you guys seem so interested in exploring this chess metaphor, the opposing king is the Islamic Republic of Iran. The opposing player is either China or Russia, depending on the move. (Although some would say at this point, America is also playing against itself.)

The queen is Iraq, although it could also be Egypt, depending on the game. (Egypt used to be the queen until Sadat was assassinated. After that, diplomatic relations shifted, and Iraq became the queen. Hell, under Nasser, Egypt was the opposing queen.) The opposing queen is currently the Assad regime in Syria, and the opposing castled rook equivalent would be Hezbollah.

Both sides use Palestinians as pawns. America uses the State of Palestine as a pawn, and the opposing side uses Hamas as a pawn. Either way, pawns are meant for sacrificing, and the Palestinian people suffer.

Oh, and the game isn’t about western dominance. The game is about global energy policy. In a word, oil. Everything else is public relations.

On fun-sized advice

please talk about mike brown. please.please bring light as to what’s happening in Ferguson.
Fuck. The. Police.

What do you mean by “Israel is a castled rook, and the Palestinians are pawns”?

Learn how to play chess, read a book on geopolitical strategy, and figure it out for yourself.

Why would anyone want to be a big fish in a small pond, rather than small fish in a big pond?
So as not to get eaten.

Am I an asshole for doing whatever it means for me to succeed, even if it means ripping out peoples’ throats if they get in my way?
Yes. In fact, you’re an asshole just for talking like that.

Your playlists don’t pause. Please add functionality.

Yes they do. The play button turns into a pause button and appears in the lower left of the album cover art during playback. Pay attention.

Your Robin Williams entry made me feel ill. “A father figure for our generation”? He acted in a few hollywood comedies that you watched; that’s the extent of the involvement he had in your life. Stop grasping at straws to turn a hollywood suicide into a way to make this about you.
Ew. You’re a gross little person. I hope you really did feel ill. I hope it was physically debilitating. I hope it ruined your whole night, and I hope in the future, you get that same ill feeling every time your emotional ignorance causes you to miss the fucking point. Maybe then you’d stop acting like such a piece of shit.

On timing

Is falling in love all about timing? Should it be the perfect timing like when both sides need to bound to someone and that hot smart partner you just met suddenly becomes a pure love?

Yes. Falling in love is equal parts chemistry and timing, but that’s not much of an insight. Hell, the entire fucking universe is equal parts chemistry and timing.

Still, don’t get too wrapped up in notions like “perfect timing” or “pure love.” That’s fairy-tale thinking, and it’s not how the world works.

Sure, serendipity exists, and it’s wonderful when it happens, but resist the urge to equate that kind of thing with magical ideas like destiny or fate rather than just the dumb fucking luck that it is.

On dating an addict

Heard a suspicious phone call between my girl and her old dope dealer. Conversation ended with “Hey I need to text you about that” I know she’s already relapsed, and she’s been sober less than three weeks, and she shoots it up and she’s like severely malnourished and sickly from how much she was doing. Good enough reason to look through her phone?

Maybe, but don’t think of it as a good enough reason to look through her phone. Think further ahead than that.

If you take those first steps and violate her privacy, then you have to be willing to follow through with a potentially relationship ending intervention.

Are you prepared to face the consequences? Because whatever turns up on her phone, this shit isn’t gonna end well. It’s either gonna confirm what you already know to be true, or it’s evidence that neither of you can trust one another in the first place.

You’re fucked either way, so you know, do what you gotta do to keep her safe right up until you’re done, and once you’re done, stay fucking done.

On Robin Williams

Ugh. I never get upset about celebrity deaths. Why am I so upset about Robin Williams?
Because he was a father figure for our generation. That was his role as a celebrity, and it doesn’t matter that the emotions we feel for him are a product of popular culture — they are still very real, and it’s always devastating to lose a father.

I’ve never cried over a celebrity death before. I’ve struggled with depression and suicidal ideation my whole life and I guess it really just hit home. Don’t really have a question but fuck. Maybe I will get the help I need and he will have saved others who feel the same way.
It’s okay. You’re supposed to cry when you’re grieving.

Do you have a favorite Robin Williams role?
Mr. Keating in Dead Poets Society

I only met Robin Williams a few times (went to camp with his daughter) but he was one of the most kind, compassionate individuals I’ve ever had the good fortune to interact with. He was the kind of person who actually looked at you and saw you when you spoke, and cared about what you had to say, no matter how trivial. His death is hitting me hard even though the last time I saw him was years ago, and I know it probably is for everyone else too. The world lost a beautiful human today, and it breaks my heart to think of him living in so much pain for so long. I also recently read an article about David Foster Wallace, and grew up knowing the Hemingways and I watched my dad slowly kill himself with alcohol and…I don’t know. It seems like so many of these brilliant, tortured artists end up killing themselves, whether indirectly or outright. And I know it’s stupid, but I’ve felt the depths of despair and depression and I’ve felt the draw of suicide, and watching all of these exceptional people succumb to it….do you think maybe there’s something to it? Like maybe they know something we don’t? Or am I just being an asshole and romanticizing a chemical imbalance? Or that such highly sensitive people (as artists are wont to be) take in so much of the darkness around them that it becomes too much to bear? Sorry for rambling, I guess I’m just trying to make sense of this shitty situation where there is no sense at all to be had. It’s also my dad’s 4 year death anniversary tomorrow so I might be projecting, just a little. What are your feelings on suicide and depression? Do you have any light to shed?

I’ve answered plenty of questions about suicide and depression, and everyone is gonna be rushing to shed light on that shit for the next couple days. Honestly, I don’t feel like adding to the cacophony.

Robin Williams lived an outstanding life. He also lived a full life. However much pain he was in, I just hope he was at peace. I have to trust that he was ready, and in the end, the particulars of how he chose to make his exit aren’t any of our fucking business.

On staying emotionally paralyzed

Regarding "On Someone Better" I, too, feel the same but I also doubt that I will change and grow all that much. I thought she was IT, the end of the line, the person to end all persons and dating for me. I have a hard time accepting she did find someone better and that her life is moving in a better direction [ again, rationally, she just has way more opportunities and prospects ]. Is there any flaw in this logic?

What logic? Your sad-sack bullshit is nothing but a string of excuses for wallowing in your own self-pity.

She wasn’t IT. There is no “person to end all persons.” She’s just some girl you fell in love with, and yeah, it hurts like hell when that kind of thing falls apart, but at some point you gotta get your shit together, dude.

There’s no such thing as soul mates. At best, we find a life partner or two, and this last girl isn’t gonna be one of yours. Another girl might be, but you gotta pull your head out of your ass and move the fuck on.

Also, relationships aren’t a zero-sum game. This shit isn’t a competition. She didn’t find someone better than you. She found someone better for her — in other words, someone with whom she is more compatible. That’s not a reflection on you unless you need it to be for all that wallowing you’re doing.

The only way to really fuck up your life is to let yourself stay emotionally paralyzed. Don’t be a fucking loser. Start moving on, and quit looking for reasons not to grow and change.

(Oh, and that shitty little voice in the back of your head that just whined, “moving on is easier said than done,” that’s the voice you need to start telling to shut the fuck up.)

On someone better

My boyfriend of 2 years just broke up with me. Besides the emotional turbulence, which I know will pass, I’m pretty sure rationally that I don’t have great chances of ever finding someone better for me.

Actually, that’s pretty much the opposite of rational.

Getting dumped sucks, and right now it’s perfectly understandable for you to feel like you’ll never find someone better. It may even seem like a logical conclusion, but it’s not.

The fault in your logic is that you aren’t going to stay the same person you are today. Yes, the emotional turbulence will pass, but more than that, you’re going to continue growing and changing, so it’s perfectly okay if you never find someone better for the person you are at the moment, because that’s not who you’re always going to be.

Whatever you do, don’t set this guy up in your mind to be “the one that got away.” He isn’t, and that’s not really a thing. That kind of thinking is just a bullshit excuse people use to let themselves stay emotionally paralyzed.

Keep your shit together, and start moving on, because the point isn’t to find someone better. The point is to be someone better, and if you do it for yourself, I promise that one day, you’ll look back on the boyfriend who you thought was perfect at the time, and all he’ll seem like is a quaint exercise in early love.

On fun-sized advice

How do people really into BDSM go from slapping and blindfolding and belittling their partners to ‘ok we have to go grocery shopping now’… seems so awkward afterwards.
If things seem awkward afterwards, then you’re doing it wrong. (And by “it” I’m not referring to the sex, kinky or otherwise. I’m referring to clear and open communication with your partner.)

What is the difference between male ego and regular ego?
What’s the difference between a male human and a regular human?

Is love without the forever part worth it?
There is no forever part. Everything is temporary. What you’re really asking is whether love without the commitment part is worth it. I tend to think it is, but it won’t feel that way during the phase of inevitable heartbreak.

I’ve been dating this guy for 8 months. I think he’s pretty much perfect, but we haven’t said I love you. Is it odd he hasn’t said it yet or should I give him time and not rush him? Or should I just suck it up and tell him?
Why tell it to him when you can’t even tell it to yourself? You didn’t say, “I love him.” You said, “I think he’s pretty much perfect,” which is code for, “He meets all of my criteria, but I’m not really in love with him.” Sorry, babe. If you can’t even say it to yourself, saying it out loud won’t suddenly make it true.

My roommate expects me to treat her like a sick child while she’s hungover. She wants me to make her food, bring her juice, rub her head, etc. I feel like she brought the hangover on herself, so she should take care of herself the next day. Am I insensitive? Or is she an entitled brat?
Bitch can get her own juice.

You made a typo in that last post.
Thanks, but if you wanna be on my spellcheck patrol squad, you’re gonna have to include the title of the post and the specific error.

Aren’t you ever tired of pretending to care?
I may get exhausted from time to time, but I’m not pretending.

Tell me what to do.

Think for yourself.

On criticizing israel

I’m horrified by Israel’s actions. I’m culturally Jewish, but I identify as an atheist, study Arabic literature at university, and can’t support Zionism. I’m surrounded by people who think I’m a “bad Jew” if/when I criticize Israel. What’s the politest way to tell them to fuck off?

Fuck being polite. Get loud and stay angry. Anyone who supports Israel’s crimes of apartheid (and more recently, genocide) against the Palestinian people is on the wrong side of history.

If you’re surrounded by hardline assholes who think you’re a “bad Jew” for criticizing Israel, then show them these horrifying war photos from Gaza. (Warning: they are extremely graphic. I’m not kidding. The images are gruesome, and they will fucking haunt you.)

Tell them that if being a “good Jew” means blindly supporting Israel’s murder of innocent civilians (many of whom are children), then you’re proud to be a “bad Jew.” Tell them that criticizing the State of Israel isn’t the same thing as criticizing the Nation of Israel, and tell them that it’s every citizen’s duty to protest the unjust actions of their government.

On mutual needs and compatibility

My boyfriend says he loves me, but only wants to see me like once or twice (max) a week. We both have shit going on in our lives, so sometimes this just ends up being status quo, but it hurts me when he passes on proposed plans because we’d seen each other the day or two before. Am I being too needy? Should I just chill the fuck out and be happy that he wants to hang when he does?

Okay, stop. Let’s take a step back from what you think is the problem, and let’s attempt to reframe the way you think about pretty much everything.

First, let’s examine your phrasing: "Am I being too needy? Should I just chill the fuck out and be happy that he wants to hang out when he does?"

These questions typify how you think with regard to your relationship, and it’s not healthy. The implication is that your boyfriend’s behavior is both appropriate and inflexible, and that if your emotional needs aren’t being met, it’s because there’s inherently something wrong with you.

That’s a fucked up way to look at the world. Would it ever even occur to you to use phrasing like, "Is my boyfriend being too aloof? Should I just put my foot down and demand that he hang out with me more often?" I’m not suggesting that’s the best approach, but you need to hear what it sounds like to not be a doormat.

At the very least, you should start thinking in terms of mutual needs and compatibility. The question you should really be asking is, "Are my relationship needs compatible with his relationship needs?"

Maybe they are, and you guys just have a lot of shit going on right now. Maybe they aren’t, and the relationship is too low a priority for him. Either way, convenience and inertia can’t be the only reasons you’re sticking around. If you aren’t getting what you need, have the emotional maturity to ask for it, and if it’s not likely to change, have the self-respect to move the fuck on.