What I Learned From Criminal Minds #bingewatching #criminalminds

So I recently finished up my binge watching of Criminal Minds. Yup, that’s right. I have watched every single episode to date of 11 seasons. And here is what I learned from it all:

  1. Don’t be mean to people because they could be a serial killer.
  2. Don’t think in the box. Always think outside the box
  3. Don’t get into a box willingly
  4. Don’t google anything you don’t want Penelope Garcia to see.
  5. There is no such thing as secrecy.
  6. Don’t go anywhere near a gun shop
  7. Don’t go on vacation alone
  8. Don’t go on vacation with your family
  9. Don’t get involved with the mob, mafia or any other organized crime
  10. Don’t join a cult
  11. Don’t go skydiving
  12. Don’t hide from CCTV
  13. Don’t take LSD
  14. Don’t leave your drinks unattended
  15. Don’t take a taxi
  16. Don’t breathe in toxic or poisoned air
  17. Don’t join a killing pack
  18. Don’t get in strange cars
  19. Don’t trust anyone
  20. Don’t get married
  21. Don’t read fairy tales to your kids
  22. Don’t hire a hitman
  23. Don’t use public transportation
  24. Don’t reject anyone
  25. Don’t be a street artist
  26. Don’t join an experimental community
  27. Don’t use a ride-share service
  28. Don’t get kidnapped
  29. Don’t end a relationship
  30. Don’t leave your children unattended
  31. Don’t go to war
  32. Don’t get PTSD
  33. Don’t make personal connections
  34. Don’t get shot
  35. Don’t seek revenge
  36. Don’t auction children off
  37. Don’t avoid dealing with personal issues
  38. Don’t make decisions that will mess up your career
  39. Don’t answer your cell phone
  40. Don’t avoid answering your cell phone
  41. Don’t go to pep rallies
  42. Don’t make abrupt departures
  43. Don’t read science fiction
  44. Don’t be a prostitute
  45. Don’t get involved in politics
  46. Don’t piss off your supervisor
  47. Don’t question things
  48. Don’t discount multiple personality disorders
  49. Don’t prank Morgan or Reid
  50. Don’t question Reid’s knowledge
  51. Don’t torture people
  52. Don’t drug people
  53. Don’t kill people
  54. Don’t have a troubled childhood
  55. Don’t struggle
  56. Don’t become addicted to drugs
  57. Don’t become an alcoholic
  58. Don’t become homeless
  59. Don’t rape people
  60. Don’t be a radical environmentalist
  61. Don’t go hunting
  62. Don’t go to parties
  63. Don’t go camping
  64. Don’t go into the mountains
  65. Don’t go into the woods
  66. Don’t use religion as an excuse
  67. Don’t go to a small college
  68. Don’t go to a big college
  69. Don’t walk alone at night
  70. Don’t walk alone in the day
  71. Don’t go to public places
  72. Don’t be a vigilante
  73. Don’t dream
  74. Don’t join a gang
  75. Don’t commit crimes
  76. Don’t witness a crime
  77. Don’t impede a federal investigation
  78. Don’t boost your public image
  79. Don’t post everything on social media
  80. Don’t be vain
  81. Don’t empathise with suspects
  82. Don’t travel as a couple
  83. Don’t stay in a cabin
  84. Don’t live in the middle of nowhere
  85. Don’t own guns
  86. Don’t antagonize others
  87. Don’t be a police officer
  88. Don’t be an FBI Agent
  89. Don’t be blonde
  90. Don’t get into car accidents
  91. Don’t get in the way of road rage
  92. Don’t belittle others
  93. Don’t kidnap people
  94. Don’t hire a psychic
  95. Don’t be an over enthusiastic criminology student
  96. Don’t investigate crimes on your own
  97. Don’t talk to high class call-girls
  98. Don’t set fire to others
  99. Don’t go on spring break
  100. Don’t confront others
  101. Don’t be a woman
  102. Don’t come in contact with anthrax
  103. Don’t feed people to pigs
  104. Don’t perform medical experiments
  105. Don’t have a breakdown
  106. Don’t go to a pharmacy
  107. Don’t go to a bank
  108. Don’t trust a judge
  109. Don’t impregnate women unwillingly
  110. Don’t sell babies
  111. Don’t have an alter ego
  112. Don’t be a psycho
  113. Don’t be a soul sucking journalist
  114. Don’t have your home invaded
  115. Don’t escape custody
  116. Don’t go on a killing spree
  117. Don’t yell at others
  118. Don’t play an online choking game
  119. Don’t be a trigger
  120. Don’t spiral out of control
  121. Don’t be a con artist
  122. Don’t sell drugs
  123. Don’t be part of a pyramid scheme
  124. Don’t be a pillar in the community
  125. Don’t be a trucker
  126. Don’t have daddy issues
  127. Don’t have mommy issues
  128. Don’t illegally cross the border
  129. Don’t legally cross the border
  130. Don’t post videos online
  131. Don’t talk to anyone online
  132. Don’t meet people online
  133. Don’t stick around during a heatwave
  134. Don’t be taken hostage
  135. Don’t be racist
  136. Don’t be sexist
  137. Don’t be an accomplice
  138. Don’t mysteriously vanish
  139. Don’t make deals with others
  140. Don’t go out on Halloween
  141. Don’t tell anyone anything about you or your life
  142. Don’t order takeout delivery from the same restaurant repeatedly
  143. Don’t let anyone into your house
  144. Don’t have headaches
  145. Don’t ignore doctor’s orders
  146. Don’t be unusual
  147. Don’t hire a self-motivational coach
  148. Don’t act suspicious
  149. Don’t target victims
  150. Don’t fake your own death
  151. Don’t die
  152. Don’t have a secret life
  153. Don’t become injured
  154. Don’t trust anyone, ever
  155. Don’t let human traffickers know you are a cop
  156. Don’t trust human traffickers
  157. Don’t bully others
  158. Don’t take credit for someone else’s work
  159. Don’t get a brain injury
  160. Don’t go to a lake
  161. Don’t send your kids to a military academy
  162. Don’t join the boxing scene
  163. Don’t join an underground fighting ring
  164. Don’t imitate the Zodiac killer
  165. Don’t romanticize killers
  166. Don’t snub old friends
  167. Don’t play the piano
  168. Don’t gamble
  169. Don’t be superstitious
  170. Don’t be too friendly
  171. Don’t fail
  172. Don’t wander the desert
  173. Don’t sleep
  174. Don’t stop at rest stops
  175. Don’t worship the devil
  176. Don’t purchase real estate
  177. Don’t be a real estate agent
  178. Don’t lie
  179. Don’t test others
  180. Don’t have a phone
  181. Don’t kill animals
  182. Don’t be a student
  183. Don’t meet face-to-face
  184. Don’t replicate crimes
  185. Don’t have an identity crisis
  186. Don’t fall in love
  187. Don’t be a pedophile
  188. Don’t be a nanny
  189. Don’t overdose on E
  190. Don’t go for a run
  191. Don’t do step aerobics in your house
  192. Don’t take away your kid’s dolls
  193. Don’t be an awful parent
  194. Don’t emulate movies
  195. Don’t become estranged from others
  196. Don’t get too close to others
  197. Don’t be violent
  198. Don’t believe in segregation
  199. Don’t be a bigot
  200. Don’t be a homophobe
  201. Don’t retire
  202. Don’t work
  203. Don’t become unemployed
  204. Don’t go on secret missions
  205. Don’t go to therapy
  206. Don’t avoid going to therapy
  207. Don’t hire a babysitter
  208. Don’t be a babysitter
  209. Don’t engage in family feuds
  210. Don’t obsess over Greek mythology
  211. Don’t get shot
  212. Don’t engage in crossfire
  213. Don’t steal
  214. Don’t suffer a family tragedy
  215. Don’t be delusional
  216. Don’t suffer from an obsessive skin disorder
  217. Don’t suppress feelings
  218. Don’t be a highly-regarded attorney
  219. Don’t have uncontrollable urges
  220. Don’t be a loner
  221. Don’t be anti-social
  222. Don’t be charismatic
  223. Don’t be confident
  224. Don’t be insecure
  225. Don’t commemorate anniversaries
  226. Don’t ignore anniversaries
  227. Don’t build a bomb
  228. Don’t abuse others
  229. Don’t talk to inmates
  230. Don’t ignore inmates
  231. Don’t make political enemies
  232. Don’t respond to others
  233. Don’t avoid responding to others
  234. Don’t uncover secrets
  235. Don’t control people’s minds
  236. Don’t believe in monsters
  237. Don’t be a teenager
  238. Don’t be a kid
  239. Don’t be an adult
  240. Don’t be in the wrong place at the right time
  241. Don’t leave the house
  242. Don’t stay at home
  243. Don’t think about anything
  244. Don’t even think about thinking about anything
  245. Just don’t

Really… Don’t! Everyone, everywhere is a serial killer, mass murderer, rapist or pedophile.

That’s what I learned.

 

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“Human rights… It’s just not for me…”

Let me set the scene for you.

I’m at a Dartmouth College Activities Fair and I’m manning the Amnesty International table. Ya know, handing out the pamphlets and talking about what we do.

Then one student comes up the the table and asks “What do you guys do?”

I go into my mini spiel about our petitions, protest, activities, lectures and the workshops we organize.

His response, “Human rights… It’s just not for me.”

Now usually when people aren’t interested in Amnesty International, I’m like ok whatever, it is a time commitment that some people can’t do. But this response got to me.

“What do you mean human rights aren’t for you?” I asked. He looked weirded out by my question and he walked away.

But what is that even supposed to mean? It blew my mind and still continues to blow my mind. With my former years teaching ESL, I soon found out that many international adults had NO IDEA what human rights were and that they were entitled to  safety, water, citizenship, asylum, security etc.

There is this mentality that so long as you have human rights, it doesn’t matter if others have or don’t have human rights. But the truth of the matter is, if we, people who have human rights, don’t call for the human rights of others, our silence implies complicity. It implies that we think it is ok for others to get tortured for different beliefs, or sentenced to death for different ways of life.

That complicity then becomes normalization. The offence and clear disregard for human rights becomes normalized, like a domino effect… and how long before the normalized human rights offending ends up on our doorstep? Who is to say it’s not on our doorstep already?

Wake up. Human rights are for all of us and we all need to care about everybody because any one of us could be next. Not only that, but we should care about other’s human rights because it is right and just. Where are your ice cold hearts?

Who was the last person you ate dinner with?

Who was the last person you ate dinner with?

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Family meals are such a funny thing these days. As a kid we always ate dinner together as a family. We also had a family brunch every Saturday and Sunday. As we got older and people’s schedules became more hectic things changed and fluctuated, but we managed to still have a family dinner more nights than not.

These days, I suppose it all depends on what mood everyone is in and what each of us is up to. Sometimes we all eat together. Other times we all eat separately. Somedays a couple of us eat together why the other one does their thing.

I don’t really know people, particularly young adults, who have regular family dinners anymore. I can see why parents get so emotional when their kids go to university. Once the kids leave for college, the chances of having regular family meals, even after leaving university, go down significantly.

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There is nothing casual about civilian casualties

Are you a Daily Mail reader? I won’t lie, I usually read the Daily Mail for a laugh. Some of these stories they come up with… they’re just interesting and chuckle-worthy to say the least. I do, however, know that I should never read an article concerning a serious matter on the Daily Mail website. But alas, I torture myself every time and even worse, I always scroll down to the comments section to read the vile things people feel so confidently typing, but rarely say in person.

Some of the worst things I’ve read include:

Comments about how “Real” refugees shouldn’t have phones- Many refugees are fleeing war. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have possessions. Cell phones are no longer a first world standard. Get over it because I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of refugees don’t have these fancy contracts and money to spend speaking hours on the phone.

Comments about how “real” refugees shouldn’t be allowed to wear makeup- First of all, I saw the video this ignoramus was commenting on and the woman did not have makeup up. She was and is naturally gorgeous. Perfect contours, skin and thick eyebrows. She’s prettier than all of us put together. That comment was pure jealousy. Plus, considering everything these refugees have been through, so what if she gets to put on a tiny bit of makeup. She deserves to feel beautiful and like her normal self after the torment of fleeing her country and home.

Comments about how refugees are only in it for the benefits- You know what benefit they really want. The benefit of life!!! I can’t entertain that nonsense.

Comments about how Syrians should fight for their country- This is the silliest comment of all. Syrians have been fighting for their country for years. They’re not only fighting against ISIS, you know. They’re fighting against the Assad regime and the US and Russia and the whole list of countries that have been striking Syria. What weapons do these innocent civilians have that they can use against a whole world? The numbers don’t add up. The worst part is so many refugees are children. Do we really expect children to fight? Because if we allowed that the Daily Mail commenters would comment about how child soldiers are wrong.

Comments about how refugees desire to continue their education makes them economic migrants and not refugees- You realize that these people have had their entire lives come to a complete halt. They’ve literally been sitting around starving and waiting to die. A whole generation of young Syrians is growing up illiterate and unable to do basic math or know much about anything other than war. These refugees aren’t coming over just so they can take advantage of university education. No, if they could have stayed in Syria and continued their education they would have. But there are no teachers left in schools in Syria because there are no schools left. The schools that are left get used as shelters and makeshift community centers.

Comments about how “we” should bomb “them all”- That is an incitement of terror and makes you complicit in murder. Just putting that out there, you horrible human being. I have no problem with seeing ISIS and Assad terrorist thugs get blasted off this earth, however the legal thing to do would be to capture them and try them in a court of international law, in which they would be found guilty and live a long and tortuous life in maximum security prisons. But there is nothing casual about bombing an entire city, killing innocent civilians and calling them casualties.

Comments about how everyone in Raqaa is an ISIS terrorist and that if they weren’t they would have left- Yes, Raqaa is an ISIS headquarter. Yes, ISIS controls the city, but is everyone there a supporter of ISIS, no? But to openly oppose it would leave you dead or tortured. Why don’t people leave? They don’t have the money. Sure smugglers could get you out, but where would you go? The smugglers will take all your money, risk your life and leave you penniless on a raft in the Mediterranean or in the desert on the way to a desolate refugee camp or in some other destroyed part of Syria.

Comments judging refugees for being separated from their families- Seriously? Is this the Olympic category for most vile comment made? Because if it is, you win. People get separated from their families in all sorts of ways that most people would find inconceivable. But it happens all the time. Talk to anyone whose family has been through a war or some sort of catastrophe: I can guarantee you that a majority of people will tell you they have at least one family member that ended up alone or separated from the rest.

Comments about how refugees have “such nice tents”- This dude commented on how her tent was so nice that she couldn’t possibly be a “real” refugee and that she probably has all this money stashed away. How deep in the dirt is your head exactly? Much of this type of supplies has been provided by aid workers, charity organizations and normal human people with hearts that donated much needed goods, such as tents. Do you want to live on a tent on a street corner when it’s raining and cold? No, especially since winter is nearing. You’re just a horrible person for thinking this

Comments stating the run of the mill stereotypes- The long list of racial slurs, insults, and stereotypes that I won’t humor by listing. You know the type orientalist rubbish that is slanderous, libel, disgusting and horrible filth, but Facebook won’t take it down because they’re too worked up taking pictures down of women’s bodies.

 

My conclusions: Firstly, humans are awful. I don’t know how people can be awful. I doubt most of these hateful commenters could handle  day in the life of a refugee. If you really think “we don’t owe them anything,” then you clearly have no idea how complicit our governments are in making Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world, the situation that they are in today.

Secondly, we haven’t learned from history one bit. These comments– ugh just look at some of the things people said during WWII about refugees. Please and compare those comments to now.

And lastly, I can’t be the only one who sees comparison in 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq with the Paris Attacks and the subsequent bombing of Raqaa.

Civilians, particularly children are innocent and pay the highest toll in wartime situations. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know what the answers to terrorism, racism, discrimination and bigotry are. Offhand I would say education, but we all know the world isn’t that simple.

All I want is for people to think for 30 seconds before they type these horrible comments. I pray your ignorant minds become enlightened with knowledge, wisdom and empathy.