#All Lives Matter is Bullshit

By Austin B. Hahn

I find people funny who say, “All lives matter,” because they’re usually the same people who don’t do anything to help marginalized groups such as the disabled, the elderly, the exploited, the LGBT community, the poor, racial minorities, those who face pollution, or women. I’m sorry, but since when the fuck have you ever cared about all lives?

Don’t get me wrong. It would be one thing if you said, “All lives matter,” and you had a history of helping underprivileged people, but you don’t, so you should shut the fuck up.

July 18th, 2015

By Austin B. Hahn

Dear Journal:

Fuck the gym! I decided to skip it and have sweets for dinner. Marie Antoinette once said, “Let them eat cake,” so I did. Besides, why am I staying in shape . . . so I can get good dick? Ha! I’m afraid that’s about as scarce as a good politician in this country. I’m so fuckin’ tired of looking good and some tired-ass-old bozo messages me on Grindr. Sometimes I don’t understand men. They want a hot piece of ass, but some of them don’t even have a good dick, so they try to compensate for it by driving a big truck.

The ones who really piss me off are the hypocrites. They’re the ones who want someone good-looking, but they themselves look like shit. When some guys message me, I just want to reply, “Have you ever thought about asking yourself this: would you fuck you? If the answer is no, then please do not send me a message, or come back to me after you’ve been consistently going to the gym three to four times a week for about a month and a half.”

This one goes to any woman who is reading this right now: raise your sexpectations! Do not let Tubby McTubbertin be your bare minimum standard of what a man should look like to you. Men are not supposed to have phantom babies. Ladies, you shave your legs, wear makeup, wax your pussies, and you don’t complain. The least he can do is go to the fuckin’ gym, and if he has money, then he can afford to fix himself up.

Anyway, I’m not done complaining.

I was recently at a wedding, which was awful to say the least. No one there was polite enough to ask, “Hey, Austin, so tell me your story about how you fingered someone in a taxi cab?” so, while I was there, I never once said, “Gee, thank you for asking.” My conversations didn’t expand beyond the dull question, “How are you?” which I can’t stand, along with several other phrases:

“I’m (nationality). I have a hot temper.”

Why do some people use their ancestry or nationality as an excuse to justify their bitchy behavior? “Oh I’m Irish,” or, “I’m Italian,” or, “I’m Cuban, and when the Cuban gets angry . . .” Hey guess what? I’m a human being, and I don’t give a fuck.

“Bless you.”

How come some people can say to a complete stranger, “Bless you,” but they can’t stick up for someone they don’t know who’s being physically attacked? This colloquialism exposes how insincere the English language is. Bless me? For what? Because I sneezed? It doesn’t make sense. In Spanish they say, “salud,” which, directly translated, means “health.” That makes sense. You’re sneezing. Maybe you have a cold. Maybe you’re falling ill. Who knows? The point is it makes more sense. I’m amazed that people can tell me, “Bless you,” for doing something as frivolous as sneezing, but when I volunteer at a foodbank, I’ll be lucky if anyone even says, “Bye and thanks for your time.”

“Sorry.”

This word has probably been used more than condoms. “Sorry” has become a social norm to use in everyday conversation in U.S. American culture, but no one means it! “Sorry, sorry, sorry!” Bitch, what are you sorry for? There’s even a game called “Sorry!” It’s ridiculous. People in the United States apologize for slamming the door, interrupting someone during a phone conversation, farting in public, belching at the dinner table, and the list goes on. The proper response, in these contexts, would be, “Excuse me.” On the contrary, if they were to get into a dispute with someone, the majority of them would be reluctant to apologize and say, “I was wrong,” because their egos are more important to them. This commonly, overused word also shows how superficial the English language is.

“Live every day as if it were your last.”

I cannot begin to recall how many divorced bitches I have seen who have an expression, such as this one, hanging up on a wall somewhere in their home. I can find the same quote on multiple Facebook and Instagram pages, “Live, Laugh, Love”, for instance, which I find funny because it’s usually posted by people who don’t do any of those things in actual life. What’s more, if everyone were to live each day as if it were their last, the world would be crazy. Would you want to see me twerking my fat ass on top of a table at McDonald’s or getting fucked by a sexy mailman in public? Don’t you tell me you would! Unless you’re a voyeuristic whore, you wouldn’t like to see what I do on casual Friday.

“Have a good one.”

What am I supposed to have that’s good??? A blowjob? A drink? A vacation? Be more specific. If you want to wish me a good day, a nice weekend, or a wonderful vacation, then say so.

“I’m good.”

When I ask someone, “How are you?” I want to know how that person is feeling. Being vague by saying, “I’m good,” tells me absolutely nothing. What is “good” to you? For some, “good” means they’re feeling happy while for others it means they’re as high as the Eiffel Tower. I understand there are certain social situations that require discretion, but if I’m asking how you’re doing, it’s because you’re a friend or a family member, and I care. I don’t ask people I don’t know how they’re feeling, which brings me to my final thoughts . . .

I’m not a car salesman or a pretentious asshole . . . well, at least I try not to be. Since I’m not getting paid to kiss anyone’s ass, I’m not going to pretend to be interested in somebody for the sake of small talk. I’m a passionate person, and I don’t appreciate false statements of well-being. With the exception of detached professionalism and avoiding disclosure in the business world, don’t come to me with your bullshit asking, “How are you?” when you don’t care. It’s annoying, and people rarely like to feel as if they’re talking to a robot. Connect with people by asking something genuine instead, and open yourself up.

We only scratch the surface in artificial conversations. When we share ourselves and we’re receptive to others through listening using non-judgmental body language, we create opportunities to form relationships with people we might’ve been looking for our whole lives. You could be talking with the love of your life, your best friend, your business partner who helps launch your career, or you might learn something from someone you wished you would’ve learned years ago. Take risks in communication. Approach someone with more depth than just, “Hi. How are you?” and you will discover how the power of your everyday communication affects your life.

Words, Words, Words

By Austin B. Hahn

Writing for scholarship essays can be frustrating, especially when superfluous words are a requirement. I was applying for a scholarship that wanted 800-1000 words, and then it hit me: why do I need to write hundreds of words to get my point across? I know what I want to say on the topic, but I don’t have 800-1000 words. Whenever I write an essay or a post on Tumblr, I just write. Unless I’m being instructed to do so otherwise for a school assignment, I don’t determine how long a paper will be. Length is irrelevant.

How come people mistake quantity for quality? Sometimes I can say more with less. Other times I will have more to say. Regardless of length, it’s the content of the information in the message that matters. I don’t write to take up space on paper. I write because I have something to say.

Education should teach people to articulate and organize their messages instead of requiring them to write five, ten, or twenty-page essays. Considering the rapid speed of global communication networks, how many people still read hundreds of pages in a day? I don’t know anyone my age that does.

I’m not advocating that we dumb down education or that what’s short and to the point is “better”; I’m advocating that we abolish the notion that more words equates with a stronger argument or a valid point.

Every so often I will read an online article that consists of several pages, and when I finish it, I don’t see anything written in the comments section. People don’t want to get caught up in pages of verbosity trying to figure out a message that could have been written in a few paragraphs. They want to know the information. Give them the details instead of flaunting your vocabulary to show how much you love the dictionary. Besides, no one wants to read sesquipedalian loquaciousness.

The Power of Cultural Influence on Communication

By Austin B. Hahn

My culture influences the way I make meaning of symbols and gestures. This in turn, affects how I conduct my personal behavior in social settings. I am also instilled with a set of values, and my idea about how the world works could be considered subversive, similar to someone else’s, or inspiring. Either way, my culture has accustomed me to a standard of social practices that I use when I go out in the world and apply for a job, when I conduct business with someone, and when I talk to a friend or a family member. Taking all of the aforementioned into consideration, whenever I find my culturally influenced communicative behaviors colliding with another person’s in a negative way, I am sensitized to the cultural practices that I have been shaped with. This also reminds me of the importance to learn about the communicative styles of other cultures. As a result, my family co-culture, and the ever changing global culture of the 21st century, merge to help form the beliefs I have today.

Intercultural Communication

By Austin B. Hahn

What role does competent communication play in helping alleviate outright prejudice and discrimination?

The competent communicator acknowledges that negative feelings may arise when interacting with people from another culture, but he or she minimizes them by understanding the values that pertain to that culture. This helps to eliminate the need to stereotype and simplify a cultural group. By doing so, the competent communicator is aware that not every member will be “typical” of that culture and that each individual has their own identity.