Category Archives: Controversy…Ya Gotta Love It

“Bare Breasts Are Only The Beginning…”

(First and foremost, I won’t pretend to know the struggle that women face on a day to day basis with regards to inequality, nor do I speak on their behalf when discussing said matter. I do believe wholeheartedly that they should be given every right, power and privilege they deserve (as does every human being, male or female), but until some mysterious alien light beams down upon me from above, giving me the power to change the entire world with a single hand gesture, I can only think the way I think and comment on the things that I see. With that said, I present to you my thoughts on “Go Topless Day”.) 

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(Photo: Scoopnest.com)

For the past few days, I noticed that most of the feeds on my social media mentioned the impending arrival of “Go Topless Day”. As I mentioned before, I’m completely for raising gender equality awareness, but I have to admit I was slightly confused when hearing the news. How could women baring their breasts change the way the world sees them? As I often do when I find myself naive on a particular topic, I took the time to do some research. I studied a little history on women’s rights, looked up a few laws in various countries regarding toplessness, visited several websites which promoted the “go topless” movement, found dozens of write-ups and hundreds of photos encouraging others to go topless in support of gender equality, and saw bare breasts…lots and lots of bare breasts. What I didn’t find, however, was an explanation as to how women around the world taking off their tops could possibly change the…

…then it hit me.

Right smack in the middle of my blind, stupid, male face, it hit me.

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(Photo: GoTopless.org / Scoopnest.com)

Bare breasts were so much more than bare breasts. How could I have not seen it before? It was so obvious! I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, so the fact that such a simple answer had eluded me so was baffling. Then, after a few seconds of quiet introspection, I realized why I hadn’t figured it out earlier.

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(Photo: KardsUnlimited.com)

Regardless of the fact that I was raised in 4-5 different countries with different cultures, regardless of the fact that I was raised by two loving, impartial parents, regardless of my personal belief that both sexes were created equal, the world had subconsciously planted a seed. It was a seed which said “A woman’s breasts are to be seen as sexual, erotic parts of the female anatomy that should be covered up at all times. Breasts are not to used to feed babies in public. Breasts are not to fall out by accident. Breasts are not to be bared when one is hot. And in absolutely no way is a woman’s bare chest to be considered neutral or completely normal, like a man’s.

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(Photo: Twitter – @SheKnows)

No matter how unbiased, objective and feminist I believed I was, deep down inside I was seeing women in exactly the same way that most of the rest of the world saw them…differently! Without even realizing it, I failed to notice that women aren’t removing their tops to raise eyebrows or stop traffic. They’re not holding up “Free The Nipple” signs to cause commotions and turn heads. And they definitely didn’t start the #GoToplessDay hashtag just to have a reason to throw parades.

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(Photo: GoTopless.org)

They’re doing all of the above for one very simple reason…to be the same.

– F

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, This Thing Called Life

“All Cops Aren’t Bad…Just The A**holes.”

“The problem with a lot of the statements/comments I’ve read lately regarding police officers, federal agents, private security employees and various other areas of employment involving ‘positions of power’ is that they’re ‘blanket statements’. Too often people are so quick to say ‘All cops are bad’. Unfortunately blanket statements are used in all types of situations these days, especially via social media…where an image/video can spread like wildfire before the truth of the event actually unfolds.”

“I try to avoid making these types of statements because I’ve traveled the world and have had the opportunity to meet different types of people of various races, religions and backgrounds. I’ve learned not to assume that the attitude, negativity and bad behavior I receive from one person will be the same attitude, negativity and bad behavior I’ll receive from other people of that same race, religion or background. In other words, what people look like and what they do for a living doesn’t amount to the type of person they are. The type of person they are is determined by exactly that…the type of person they are. Some of my dearest friends are police officers, security guards, federal agents, and bouncers. They’re not racist, bigots, biased or violent people. They’re confronted every day with situations that test their will, resolve, patience and survival, yet they behave in a manner which coincides with their character. They’re not good people because they’re cops, agents, or security. They’re simply good people who happen to be in those jobs.”

“The men in the video below for example are, for lack of a more politically correct word, a**holes. Again, I don’t know the logistics of the situation, I’m simply making an assumption due to what I’m seeing in this video. Could they be two great cops that are treating the cameraman in this manner because the cameraman is a scumbag they know from ‘around the way’? Sure. Could they be two cool dudes that were just told to act this way by their overbearing superior? Yes. If they are in fact just a**holes however, they’re not a**holes because they’re cops, they’re simply a**holes who happen to BE cops. If they were teachers, farmers, construction workers, or McDonald’s fry-guys, they’d probably STILL be a**holes.”

(Click to watch video via YouTube)

(Click to watch video via YouTube)

“Of course, there will be those of you that disagree with me. Like I said, everyone has had different experiences in their lives and everyone is different than I am, thus everyone won’t think the same way that I do…some people just hate uniformed individuals. There will be those of you that say having a gun, a badge, a siren and the daily duty of dealing with criminals MAKES you an a**hole…but this is an observation I won’t agree with. I was a bouncer for years in NYC. Did I talk a little more trash because I knew the nightclub or my fellow boys in black would back me up? Sure. Did I expect to get to the front of the line at certain spots because of who I was and who I worked for? Of course. But deep down inside I was the person that I was, with the responsible mindset and moral integrity that I had. I never beat someone to within an inch of their lives or worse because I could get away with it, because deep down inside I simply wasn’t the typer of person that would do that…regardless of the power behind my position of authority.”

“I know my words here won’t be world-changing. My thoughts on this matter should be taken simply as they are…my thoughts on this matter. If you’re the type of open-minded person that might learn a thing or two from people other than yourself however, here’s the one seed I’d like to plant: take people for WHO they are, HOW they act and WHAT they do. Exterior appearances can be deceiving. They can lead you to believe something untrue about someone. They can also cause you to miss out on knowing some of the best people on this earth.”

“Try not to see your fellow humans as the clothes they wear, the jobs they have, the car they drive or the entity they pray to…try to see them for who they really are.”

  • F

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, Globetrotting, Really America?, The Good In Mankind

“Women Should Laugh Whenever They Please.”

This is Seda, one of the funniest, coolest, most beautiful Turkish women I know.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

The Deputy Prime Minister of her country, Bulent Arinc, recently said during an Eid el-Fitr meeting (which marked the end of the Muslim period of fasting, Ramadan) that a woman “should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times.“ He went on to say “A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent,” (TheGuardian.com):

Bulent Arinc (photo: Onedio.com)

Bulent Arinc (photo: Onedio.com)

To me, hearing someone make a statement like that is equivalent to hearing someone say “Don’t laugh”, “Don’t smile”, or “Don’t be happy”. I wonder, why would a person want someone else to suppress their happiness? Even more so, I wonder, why would a man want another human being to hide their happiness just because she’s a woman?

I wonder, if he knew the difficulties of being a woman in today’s man-run world, would he say such things?

If he knew what it was like to live in a country where your leaders make public statements regarding when and how you should show physical happiness, would he say such things?

If he was a father or husband whose stress, hardships and everyday emotional burdens could be blown out like a match upon hearing the joyous laughter of his wife or daughter when arriving home, would he say such things?

…if he knew how bold, sincere and intoxicating my friend Seda’s laugh was, would he say such things?

– F

#direnkahkaha #direnkadin

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, Hear Me Roar, This...I Just Don't Get

The President: “To Respect Or Not To Respect?”

Well ladies and gentlemen, the hour is upon us.

In just a few weeks our country will be voting on its next President. I promised myself I wouldn’t begin writing on this particular subject matter…mostly because I think it’s a controversial topic of discussion, quick to pit friends and family members against one another and I hardly have the desire or time to argue with my readers. The other reason I have for not wanting to open the proverbial “can of worms” that is political conversations is the simple fact that there are hundreds of issues to discuss regarding politics. There are multiple candidates to choose from, numerous positions and stands that each of them represents, bills and laws to concur with that each of them may or may not pass…not to mention the moral, religious, economical, judiciary and scholastic views they represent.

…but I digress.

One area of the political world I would like to quickly rant on is the bad-mouthing, poo-flinging and general disrespect I constantly see hurled in the direction of the office of the President of this country. I remember when the title of Commander In Chief deserved a salute or a handshake, regardless of one’s political opinion or vote. I remember when this country used to respect the office of the President of the United States simply because it was what it was.

Now we have millionaire, attention-hungry windbags like Donald Trump throwing money at it like it’s a street whore.

I’m not saying that I’m a fan (or not) of our current President, or even the one before him. (As I mentioned earlier, I’ll keep who I did and didn’t vote for to myself…no arguments for me today) It just seems to me that all we ever do as Americans now is curse the President, talk about him on television, berate him with signs in our front yards and now publicly offer him money to do something just because we feel it should be done. Perhaps it’s my “old school” way of thinking, but the President is not some “friend of ours”. He’s not some clown who’s paid to be laughed at. He’s not some showgirl or pole-dancer on a platform showing skin for dollars.

He’s the President.

It’s true we can think what we want about him as obviously not all of us voted for him, but when we start to do these “public finger-pointing sessions” I have to admit it really breaks my heart as an American. I can’t imagine someone calling their boss (or their spouse’s boss) names on Facebook. I can’t imagine someone calling their parents (or their friend’s parents) something other than sir or m’am in public. I can’t imagine someone trash-talking a general, veteran or Supreme Court judge to their faces. Why? Because I believe their title earns them a certain amount of respect publicly regardless of how they may feel about them privately. Yet, the leader of our country, the one person we as American should at least treat like a human being when we come across him…gets spit on metaphorically and belittled verbally as if he were our worst enemy.

It’s sad, pathetic and I’m vehemently opposed to it.

We should know better than that America…and we should be ashamed of ourselves.

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, Hear Me Roar, Really America?, This...I Just Don't Get

“A Quick Bit Of Facebook Advice.”

Yes.

We’ve all heard the warnings. We all know someone that has a sad story to tell. We’ve all almost become victims ourselves and probably didn’t even realize it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about Facebook privacy.

I don’t want to spend too much time discussing it, but I do want to quickly touch upon one of the areas that would save a lot of you a lot of potentially embarrassing situations. An area that goes hand in hand with my day to day activities: your Facebook photos.

Your Facebook photos can be set in a way so that only the people that are your Facebook friends can see them. You’ve probably acquired tons of them over the years and chances are you don’t want strangers seeing half of them because you’re drinking, throwing up a finger, looking fatter than usual, just waking up or are in some other way being inappropriate. You can hide most of them to the general public by selecting each individual album and setting it from “Public” to “Friends”. This can also be done with the album “Profile Pictures”.

Take my advice…do this.

* Note: Changing these particular settings won’t save you if your boss is your Facebook friend. *

* Secondary Note: Know who your Facebook friends are! *

Your “Cover Photos” however, must remain set to “Public”. This is a general Facebook default setting that can’t be changed. So these are the pictures that the entire planet can see no matter what you do. Make these your cool, impressive, sexy, orphan-saving, churchgoing, non-smoking/drinking/tongue out photos. That way when you apply for a job, start dating someone new, or get stalked by your parents…..you won’t look like a total a**.

Here’s one final piece of advice for those of you who desire to be truly Facebook savvy. The albums in your page can also be set to “Custom”. There are varying degrees of “Custom”, ranging anywhere from “Only Me”, to only someone in a certain group. If you really must post photos of a party that got a tad ‘outta hand’ and you have no other way to get photos to everyone at that party. Simply create an album, change it to “Custom”, then add the names of the individuals at the party one by one. However, if they tag themselves, then all of their friends will be able to see them in that particular photo. Other than that, only your party will be able to see exactly what went on ‘the night before’.

Voila.

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, Nightlife

“No 9/11 Mosque? Tough Crowd…”

I love NY, and I love the fact that it made me the New Yorker I am today.
I also love my fellow New Yorkers, and not just because they all happen to live in New York, arguably the most well known, talked about, and sought after city in the world. New Yorkers are so much more than that. They’re all from other places, which makes them the closest thing to being European/American. This, as you guys know, is exactly what I am…so I hold a personal, biased love for them.
Um, I mean us.
Us New Yorkers also have the ability to be able to tell you exactly what we’re thinking, any time of day, all day, every day, twice, in very few words…which usually start with the letter “F”. It is this brass, forward, confident, self-empowering style that caused me to immediately fall for this big, bad, Apple.
* Note: I’d like to express a personal apology to all my friends in Kansas, but just because I went to college there doesn’t mean I’ll ever claim being a Kansan. I love you guys, and it was a nice place to live during some of my formative years, but I’m only Italian, or New Yorker…no Kansan. I’ve got a NY license and everything now, get off my back!! *
…but I digress.
It is perhaps due to the intimate relationship I have with the City (NY gets the big “C”) that never sleeps that I’m exactly torn down the middle of this “mosque being built near the 9/11 site” issue. Well, that and the fact that I’m half American, and probably bleed red, white, and blue…Italian white though.

Half of me is proud of the fact that Mayor Bloomberg and “the gang” want the mosque to go up based simply on the fact that we’re America (hell yeah), and anyone can be American (except illegal aliens, terrorists, and a few select folks in Arizona), and everyone has the right to worship who they want to worship (unless the person you want to worship is David Koresh) here in America.
We’re fair, that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it. We have to be stand by what we said, and we have to lead by example, and be right…even when that means doing something that may seem wrong. That’s the way that we, as Americans, are going to do things around here because we have rules…AMERICAN rules, and those will never die. Born in the U.S.A. Talk to me Goose. Some folks were made to wave the flag, ooooh, that red white and blue.
The flip-side of that coin however, is me thinking “You wanna build a mosque WHERE..?” Not because the people building it are Muslim, or Arab, or believe in a different God than I do…or whatever else it is everyone who’s against them is complaining about. I just think it’s a little sketchy because it was folks from that way of life (allegedly), representing that nation (supposedly), and claiming to be followers of that religion (probably) that most of us here in America don’t follow.

Call me crazy, but folks who have all that in common with the terrorists that caused one of the most tragically memorable moments in America’s history would have to have some major balls to just want to build their place of praise…well…right there. Wasn’t there some other block in this gigantic City that they could’ve chosen..?? That’s kind of like the relatives of the person who killed your kids asking you and your spouse if they can move in across the hall from you.
This is officially the first time I’ve ever ended one of my blog entries with a question, but as I have no official position (because I’m having trouble choosing one), and I really don’t know what else to say, it seems like just this once, it may be the correct thing to do.
…what do you think?
-F

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, New York City, Religion

“Give me a screwdriver…I’m taking the door off this stupid closet.”

I awoke this morning (ok, it was 3pm, but you get my drift) to an article on Yahoo stating that Ricky Martin has decided to come “out of the closet” after all these years and announce that he is gay.

I wasn’t sure if it was just me, or if perhaps I was jumping the gun years ago when I first saw his “She bangs” video…but I thought he was gay ALREADY. How is this a new development..? Granted, we could discuss the accuracy of my “gay-dar” for hours, seeing as I’m not homosexual, or lesbian, or bisexual (for those of you not hip to the hip talk, “gay-dar” is “gay radar”). For that matter, we could discuss the accuracy of a homosexual’s “gay-dar” as well, as I’m sure even THEY are wrong sometimes. Hell, while we’re at it, we could digress altogether and discuss the stereotypical assumptions of humanity as a whole, and question why anyone even HAS a “gay-dar” in the first place…accurate or not. That’s not what I came to talk about today however…because I don’t want to be here all day writing just as I’m sure you don’t want to be here all day reading.

What I DID come to do today was ask a simple question: “Does anybody really care..?”

I understand that as humans, we generally like to know what’s going on in the world…especially in the case of celebrities. People like to be up on their gossip. They like to have information on certain subject matter because it gives them the upper hand in conversation. As soon as you heard that Michael Jackson died, you felt the need to tell someone immediately. But no one wanted to be the first person to HEAR that Michael Jackson had died.

What I don’t understand however, is why someone being homosexual/lesbian/bisexual is STILL news..??

It’s 2010 for crying outloud! A woman won the Academy Award for directing for the first time in history. Our President signed a law finalizing health care which could change all of our lives significantly. Earthquakes are killing people by the hundreds of thousands. Our natural resources are depleting every single minute of the day. Our economy is garbage…not trash…GARBAGE.

…and Ricky Martin being gay when I already thought he WAS gay is the first thing I read about when I wake up?

I was halfway through the process of calling a few gay friends of mine and asking them: “Why would homosexuals even feel the need to stay IN the closet? Why not just tell everyone the moment you find out? Why not just live your life normally regardless of what other people think of you?”

I mean, I don’t go around all day telling people that I’m a heterosexual. I don’t make announcements to the general public that I’m a Christian. I don’t hold press conferences in the wee hours of the morning to tell the world that I’m a mulatto.

So why hide ANYTHING..?

Then it occurred to me…it’s not gays that are afraid to come out of the closet. It’s the U.S. as a whole that is afraid to accept the fact that there even IS a closet.

Seriously America, do we really still care about an individual’s sexual practices?

So your male neighbor sleeps with men. Who cares? How does that affect your day to day activities? So you know a girl that sleeps with girls. So what? Are they having sex with one another on your lawn? On your couch? IN YOUR BED? Can you hear the Elton John music blaring through the walls of their apartment? You can’t..?

So what do you CARE?

Haven’t we, a nation BUILT on maintaining ones rights, religions and beliefs…surpassed this way of thinking? Can’t we, a veritable melting pot of nationalities, thought processes and dirty secrets, just keep our mouths shut and ACCEPT that we can’t control who other people have sex with??

I can’t say this for sure (as I have no idea what the exact statistics are), but if I had to guess I’d say that the U.S. is the leader in cursing, fornication, porn, theft, larceny, erotic asphyxiation, abortions, rapes, murders, envelope-pushing television, porn, and “Skin-amax”.

Maybe we could get over a few folks’ desire to sleep with the same sex…no?

Or maybe I should just get my “gay-dar” checked…

– F

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, Really America?, This...I Just Don't Get