#WAR

In baseball, there is a sabermetric called WAR. That stands for Wins Above Replacement. In essence, this statistic creates a hypothetical player considered to be run of the mill average player at their position. Let me restate, this player does not exist in reality, but is a place of measurement of what an average player would look like. It calculates a player’s complete contribution to the team. It takes into consideration all parts of the game: hitting, running, and defense (there are different metrics for pitchers).

Using this is a metaphor, what if we were to create a WAR for the president. Since the president is so fond of #winning, what if he were judged against an average replacement president. For the purposes of this argument, I will suggest that the average president sticks with the status quo. Things don’t get better. Things don’t get worse. …


My Barbaric Yawp

Over the last few weeks I have been politically hibernating. I have been socially hibernating. I have been culturally hibernating. I needed a break. Some rest. Some relaxation.

None of it happened.

For the last few weeks I have been more or less sitting back and observing. Not engaging. Sharing a few posts. Now I understand why I post. Something built up inside.

My ire.

My disillusionment with society.

My inability to understand how people can have such skewed priorities.

My sincere anger with hypocrisy.

My wavering hope about the way things are going.

In the last few days it…


You know, I am tired of being told I am to blame. I am so tired of the self-righteous living in their safe little bubbles saying that everything is fine and I am part of the problem for being critical of what is going on. So, do you want to know how I feel? Here it is.

There is a reason that I am critical of what is going on. I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent. Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault. People love me. And you know what? I’ve been very successful. Everybody loves me. And why do they love me? …


I remember when I was a high school English teacher, I used to teach a lesson on similes. You know, a comparison using like or as? I used to tell my students that there was a particular reason to use a comparison….to help gain a greater understanding of something. So, we then started talking about similes (and other comparisons). I would start with giving a simile stem and having them fill out the end.

All men are _________.

In almost every occasion, there would be two answers.

Pigs

Dogs

So, I asked the students what about men were like pigs? The trough? Rolling around in the mud? Sex (just so you know, pigs are some of the most meticulous lovers in the animal world)? …


This isn’t one of my regular blog posts (www.andrewtkemp.com/blog). This is actually a response to a conversation. But, here we go.

Okay, so the other day I posted the following on Facebook, “I am tired of Republicans saying, ‘You had your turn, now it is ours.’ Our turn didn’t rely on misogyny, racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. So, piss off.” It was met with equal parts agreement and ire. That I can accept. We, as a people, are divided right now. Like it or not, we are.

I would like to say that it is unique to this time period, but it isn’t. We have always been divided. Sure, I know people will argue that we have had times where we were of a singular mind. Maybe during wars. But, even then, that was only the spoken narrative. We were still divided. …


______ Culture

We live in a misogynistic society. We live in a sexist society. We live in a shallow society.

Yes, I said it.

I am not saying that all men are misogynists or sexist or shallow. But, as a society, those that are dominant are.

Over the last few days I have seen posts making fun of sexual assault. For example, a former classmate of mine (who I have known since the first grade) had the following shared with him on his page (I had seen it before). “Hello my name is Charmin and I want someone to notify my Senator or my congressman or the FBI, that back in the 60s and into the 70s an old man named Mr. Whipple used to squeeze me inappropriately, even though people told him repeatedly don’t squeeze the Charmin…I demand Justice!” Of course, the picture was of toilet paper. …


We are exploited. In every way. And by we, I mean we. All of us. The common and the uncommon. The people you see every day. The nameless walking past you in the hallway, standing with you on the elevator, shopping with you in your local box store. We are all exploited. Economically. Politically. Spiritually. Educationally.

Take a minute and think about our lives. We live in our moments of bliss. We get a small raise. We get a good grade. We meet people at our places of worship. We blast Facebook posts about injustice. …


When I was younger, I was in search of faith. Some kind of faith. But, because of my upbringing, I teetered between agnosticism and atheism. For a while, I really didn’t distinguish between the two. But, after doing some research, reading some religious texts, and having many conversations I started understand the nuance between two. I was agnostic. Honestly, I didn’t know. I didn’t have a conception of a higher being. An atheist, however, chooses to not believe in God. This in itself shows a conception of a God in which to disbelieve. It is a willful choice. Mind you, I realize that this is a simplified definition of atheism and I know there are a myriad of reasons to not believe. …


Over the past two years, I have been pondering what it means to be a citizen of the United States. Well, that isn’t true. I have always pondered it. But as the conversation becomes more and more complicated, as people are interpreting the Constitution to fit their needs, as “being American,” is being defined by more and more limited definitions, I have been thinking about what it means to be us (and US). More specifically, I have been considering the obsession we have with the symbolism of the nation. Particularly, the flag.

The flag is a rectangular piece of fabric, sometimes one piece, sometimes stitched together. The flag has seven, horizontal red stripes alternating with six horizontal white stripes that symbolize the original colonies. At the upper left (a blue field with 50 stars, one for each state). Over the course of post-revolution history, the flag has changed based on the number of states. …


For a moment, let us suspend our disbelief. Let’s say I went out and bought a gun. I am not talking about a modified AR-15. I am talking about a simple handgun. I will even go so far as to make it a .357. Okay, so we have the scene set. Now, because I have a second amendment right to own such a firearm and I am celebrating my right to do so, what do I do next?

How about one of the two things?

One, I could use my handgun to go out and shoot someone. No one in particular. Just someone. Someone that is bothering me. …

About

Andrew T. Kemp, Ed.D.

Associate professor of curriculum, instruction, and social justice, father, and working to make things better.

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