Divided We Sit

imagesFor 227 years, the American Flag has been a never-wavering symbol of pride in the United States, what many consider the greatest country in the world. To not hang it outside your house on a sunny day is blasphemy, to keep it outside during a rainstorm is illegal, and to not recognize it during the playing of our National Anthem at sporting events is considered an act of defamation that is beyond the pale. And no, I’m not talking about Gabby Douglas at the Olympics this year, partly because there was no political motive behind her lack of hand placement over her heart and partly because to call a young woman who traveled all the way to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to represent the USA in one of the most physically and technically challenging sports ever conceived un-American is to call Reaganomics a form of socialism. Who I’m actually talking about is Colin Kaepernick, Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, who went so far as to Continue reading

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Suck it Up & Vote

voteOver the last several months, the phrase circulating throughout the American electorate even more so than any half-assed name-calling The Donald concocts in his Mean Girls-style burn book is “this election is bigger than you and me.” As admittedly more eloquent and truthful than anything that has spewed out of The Donald’s talk-hole over the last fourteen months, it has its flaws. It wrongly brings about the idea that this election will be decided by more than just an individual’s vote. Yes, in a more broad, ideological sense, what the Election of 2016 is posing is a kind of ideological civil war not seen since the Civil Rights Movement five decades ago and is indeed much larger than you or me (yet not quite as large as Chris Christie). But at the end of the day, it’s your vote that will decide the 45th President of the United States.

It is no secret that there is a great deal of political apathy in America today, especially among college-aged people. The question that I want to answer is whether or not this apathy is justified among our fresh, idealistic young minds.
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American Conservatism: The Beginning of the End

imgresThe death throes of conservatism in America have been predicted to have happened earlier in American history. In the 1830s, with Andrew Jackson and his old-timey xenophobic spirit; in the 1860s, with John C. Calhoun and his states’ rights fervor; in the 1960s with Barry Goldwater and his everything-but-reserved RNC speech about conservative radicalism; in the 1970s, with Richard Nixon and his paranoia and insatiable appetite for illegally gathering information on his enemies; in the 2000s, with George W. Bush and his cocaine-addled thought processes; in 2012, with Mitt Romney and his unrelatable Mormonism. The point is, conservatism’s neck has been on the chopping block for nearly two-hundred years, but the executioner always missed the final blow. But now, that blow is here, in the form of political in-fighting, manic displays of feudal loyalty, and the introduction of a man who has the power to burn the entire GOP infrastructure to the cold, hard ground and replace it with a shiny, phallic tower in New York City.

Yes, Donald Trump. The orange-faced narcissist himself. He could’ve been stopped; there could’ve been a way to nominate anybody but the Continue reading

On Time

imgresTime. It’s the single most constant and constricting force in the universe. Ancient Arabs were the first to organize time in uniform intervals that laid the groundwork for how we now measure it. In the late 18th century, the French tried to fuck with it for some reason, and it went very poorly, but that’s a story for another post. Anyway, time is what gets you up in the morning, what limits how much you prune yourself in the shower, what forces you to weigh the pros and cons of foregoing your morning Starbucks in order for you to not be late for work, what tells you when you’re able to leave the chattel slave pen that many refer to as the office in which you work, what tells you how many minutes over you were on your parking meter (for which you received a hefty fine); time keeps society at large moving and evolving. On a smaller scale, however, time controls your life. Now, that’s a frightening postulation to come to terms with. Your entire life you’ve always held to the notion that you are in charge of your life in all aspects, but in all reality you are at the mercy of what time allows you to accomplish. You can either take advantage of the time that you have, which is an amount that is impossible for you or anybody else to really know, or you can let time spin you through the ebbs and flows of whatever might happen next. And I know that I’m sounding very existentially melancholy, but I assure you that what I’m saying has a point. Continue reading

Bang Bang

I can empathize when somebody has profound love for certain things. I love a good song, a great movie, deep conversations, the occasional joke or two. But unlike many people’s loves, mine don’t have the ability to kill people on a mass scale with relative ease and efficiency. If you can’t figure out what I’m talking about, it’s guns. I’m talking about guns; those things where you pull back a trigger and seconds later the lifeless bodies of innocent people fall to the ground in front of you. However, guns do have other practical uses. You can use them to end the lives of innocent creatures for sport —a totally sane and in no way hyper-masculine activity—, you can lovingly display them on a gun rack in the back window of your car next to your Confederate flag window sticker, you can get intoxicated with your equally gun-toting friends and shoot precariously placed cans and bottles off of your back porch in a residential neighborhood, you can even  carry them around in public just in case you see a guy you don’t like the look of and feel the urge to whip out your handy-dandy Glock to administer some vigilante street justice. All of these things and many more are literally at your finger tips, and whose gonna stop you? Not the government, that’s for sure. But why not? Continue reading

How Much Are You Worth?

imagesOn a scale of 1 to 10, what are you? I’d say that I’m about a 7. I’m not physically repulsive, but I’m also not a Greek God. I’m not an optimal height, but I think it works out pretty adequately. I don’t need glasses, but I suppose there’s nothing necessarily wrong with wearing them; some styles of glasses, however, absolutely should not exist in this world. I dress well, so that’s a plus. Right? I’m pretty funny, or a least I like to think so. All these blog posts would be for nothing otherwise. I’m externally a nice guy, and that’s all anybody really sees most of the time, so we’re good on that front. And I think I’m smart. I was smart enough to not flunk out of my first year of college, so that’s pretty decent, huh?

The real questions that we as a society are confronted with, though, are how are you supposed to measure your self-worth? Is it measured by your own standards, or by the standards of loved ones, or friends, or strangers? Does every aspect about you go into making this measurement, or just the physical or mental? Is there a sliding scale that really does go from 1 to 10? Well, The Groneng Report can’t answer all those questions, but it will sure as Hell try.  Continue reading

The Problem With North Carolina

Screen-Shot-2016-01-17-at-13.29.23-640x480Well you’d think that America would be able to screw the lid on their taboo outlook on the LGBT community, after 6 decades of tireless, contested progress. Sadly though, there’s still got to be a few people who bring up more traditionalist turmoil in the wake of positive progressive change.

Now, these “few people” I speak of are the lawmakers of North Carolina, who have decided that it would be a good idea to infamously put themselves in the national spotlight by effectively offending the entirety of America with textbook conservative and discriminatory policies. The newest of North Carolina’s evangelical-traditionalist lovechild policies is House Bill 2, affectionately dubbed “the Bathroom Bill.” This bill (which was signed into law earlier this spring) makes it so that no matter your current gender, you must use the public bathroom that Continue reading

I Don’t Believe in Goodbye

d256ccef39448de2fa4187494f1fdf01It’s over. Freshman year of college is over. I’ve completed the homework, endured the lectures, done the studying, and taken the exams, so I can say that I have not flunked out of college just yet. And you all know what my being free of the tortures of the American private education system means? More blog updates! Yes, you read right; I can now update this blog on a regular basis. Whether you like it or not, I’m here to badger all of you with my usually pointless anecdotes and un-valuable life lessons.

But yes, freshman year is over. I feel like I could both break down into bittersweet tears or do a few joyous back flips and break out into song. I’ll probably do neither, as I like to think of myself as a regular, sane human being (plus I physically am not capable of doing any sort of flip), but I really feel as if those two courses of action are more than appropriate in this moment.

If you look back on when I first came to college, I was a Continue reading

Too Much to Handle

election-20161Ladies and gentlemen, I can understand your frustration. It has been too long since you have last heard from me. For that, I apologize. I could fabricate a very loosely held-up excuse as to why The Groneng Report has not been updated in quite a while, but the simple truth is that I’ve gone through an intellectual dry spell both comically and analytically. I’ve written drafts of things that were kind of important to me, but have scrapped them and waited for something to spark my fingers into frantically typing. And at long last, the spark has sparked. What is that spark, you might ask? Well, it’s politics. Before you all close this tab, hear me out. There are some interesting new developments that may help shape this 2016 Presidential Election, most of which look to hurt the GOP (how unfortunate). So, with that I invite you sit back, relax, and enjoy the confusion. Continue reading