The Delusional Democracy of the United States of Oligarchy

Although the United States considers itself a democracy, I believe it leans towards an oligarchic style of government.

A study that ended in 2014 conducted by Princeton seems to prove that the United States is now an oligarchy. The country began losing its democratic status in the 1980’s, alongside the increase of the wage gap between the ninety-nine and one percent. Political policies enacted since 1980’s seem to be for the sole interest of the one percent. It just so happens that the same time political policies favor the rich coincides with the period of time, where the rich become richer while the ninety-nine percent were stagnant. A possibility here is that since the wealth of the one percent increases, their abilities to influence politics increase. It has gotten so bad that the political candidates cannot have campaigns without the assistance of the one percent. The amount of money necessary for the candidate to be considered competitive is two to three hundred million dollars. Candidates are expected to raise this amount of money by themselves. However, realistically, they cannot do so without the help of the one percent lobbyist. The lobbyist give candidates money and expect political favors when those candidates come into office, which gives the one percent political power.

Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President, said “There’s no way now for you to get the Democratic or Republican nomination without being able to raise two or three hundred million dollars, or more. I would not be inclined to do that, and I would not be capable of doing it.”

Money gives the one percent the ability to win political arguments against the ninety-nine percent.

People who believe the U.S. is still democracy say that the one percent and the ninety-nine percent are approximately even in the amount of victories that concern political arguments. The one percent wins 53% of political debates while the middle class wins 47%. If America is composed of ninety-nine percent middle class and below and one percent upper class, shouldn’t any victory by the one percent be considered a failure of democracy, and even further a perfect example of oligarchy. The very definition of oligarchy means a small group of people controlling politics. This is exactly what the one percent is. They use money to control political debates and favor for themselves.

If we want to revert the U.S. back into democracy, then we have to take money out of political equation. Money gives the power to the few and leaves the many to rot in horrible living conditions and stagnant wages.


This time I will use….
Conflict Theory

This is a classic example of Conflict Theory. Like I have been mentioning this entire time, money gives the power to the one percent to be influential in political debates that they should not have any influence on. However, the middle class and below, who do not have money, do not have as much influence as the one percent do. This causes power disparity within our society. This is not what Democracy is, where everyone is supposed to have an equal say and the government is supposed to work for the majority of the people, whether they be rich or poor.




Let’s say I just found out about Gorillas Being an existing kind of animal, would That alone Qualify me to become one?

Hold on there, this title sounds like a mad man wrote it! Aha!
Let me put this title through a decoding program, that should clear things up.

*Decoding program activated*
Let’s say I just found out about
Gorillas (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people)
Being an existing kind of animal, would
That alone
Qualify me to become one?
*Decoding complete*

Brilliant code, huh? (I know it is horrible. Shh) No one would have ever figured it out if it wasn’t for this fantastic decoding program. I would have probably been classified as mentally ill, like transgender people have been classified as for a long time, and before them we classified lesbians, gays and bisexuals as mentally ill too.

To quickly answer the decoded question. No, just because someone knew the LGBTQ* community existed, that person does not automatically become apart of that community. It is not like the knowledge of its existence means I will slowly be indoctrinated into the ranks of the LGBTQ* community. That is ridiculous.

*I would like to acknowledge that while the community is known as LGBTQ*, the full acronym is LGBTTQQIAAP and stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendertranssexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexualally, and pansexual.*

Most people in our society have accepted the LGBTQ* community lifestyle. Not that they needed our acceptance to live their lives, but it does show how society is becoming more and more progressive the more active the LGTBQ community has become. When people become exposed to new ideas for a long time and see that these new ideas are not as threatening as they once feared, they accept it and move on.  The same can be said about children. If introduced to an idea early in life, they can become more accustomed to it while skipping the whole fear phase. That is why we introduce new languages to new kids, and that is why in Europe, supervised alcohol drinking for minors is practiced. Children are accepting of new idea (language, moderation of alcohol) and can integrate and adapt it into their lives with ease and mostly without fear. In Europe, kids are often introduced to alcohol at a young age, so that when they become of legal drinking age they do not binge it to dangerous levels. The alcohol becomes something common to them and they treat almost as normally as they would treat apple juice. This is exactly what some cartoons and anime in America have been doing as of late.

As the people in this society progress, so does the media. More specifically, children’s entertainment. However, this progression in cartoons has been met with uproar from parents. They do not want their kids exposed to the LGBTQ* community at all. They treat it like an infectious disease. If their children see a lesbian on television, they could somehow become corrupted. Again, ridiculous.

Children’s entertainment has become more open about exposing children to the LGBTQ* community. An example of this is Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Avatar: The last Airbender is a cartoon I discussed in my last blog. Korra is the sequel to that show and is progressive in more than just one way. Within Korra’s story, there are progressive messages about racial representation, women, body image, politics, mental illness, religion and sexual identification. The show has no agenda concerning these ideas, as they all blend seamlessly with the story telling. I could write an entire blog entry discussing all the progressive ideas in Korra but for now I will just stick to talking about the shows connection to the LGBTQ*.

*Spoiler Alert* This discussion concerns the ending of Korra. *Spoiler Alert*

In season one of Korra, Korra expressed her feelings for one of the main male characters. She liked him and by the end of season one they were dating. During season two, they broke up and never got back together. They broke up because of incompatibility that does not concern any of the character’s sexuality. By the end of season two, Korra had become close friends with Asami, another main female character. At the very last scene of the end of the show at the fourth season, Korra and Asami stood in a portal together holding hands and gazing at each other’s eye. This final scene was meant to say that Korra had started a homosexual relationship with Asami.  Show creator Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino confirmed that the they intended for the final scene to make Korra’s and Asami’s new relationship clear. Bryan Konietzko even stated that the idea to end the show with Korra and Asami together was planned as early as season one and that ever since season two the show had been slowly planting the “seeds” of their relationship. When asked directly about Korra’s sexuality, Bryan told fans that Korra was a bisexual and had been a bisexual ever since the show started.

The target audience for avatar has always been for people as young as five years old. Introducing concepts like homosexuality and bisexuality to kids at a young age is fantastic. It allows children to grow accustomed to such concepts so that the concepts do not seem so foreign to them later on. However, not everyone is happy with such progressive concepts being expressed in a cartoon.

Many fans and parents are simply outraged with the presentation of a homosexual relationship in a cartoon. They were fine with a heterosexual relationship that displayed signs of affection like kissing in a children’s show, but a homosexual relationship that only displayed signs of affection by meaningfully holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes, NAY! (no) that is unacceptable. Fans of the show even went as far as to say that people who said Korra was a bisexual were delusional and that they twisted the ending of the show to work for their own personal agenda. Other fans say that the homosexual relationship ruined the show and that the creators ruined it in order to push a social issue.

The show presented many social issue, but somehow this one social issue managed to ruin the show above all the others. The Legend of Korra is not the first show to be put down for feature a non-heterosexual character.

In 1942, Japan produced an anime, Yu-Yu Hakusho, that featured a transgender character named Miyuki. In episode twenty-four, she was outed as a biological man who identified as a woman. However, when the show was translated into English and broadcaster in America in 2002, all scenes concerning Miyuki’s identity were re-written or deleted. This transcript of the anime shows the difference between the original Japanese script and the edited American script. These scenes were edited because Toonami, the company that aired the anime, knew what kind of reaction they were going to get. They edited the show to avoid all the hate they would receive from the American public. Japan had a progressive attitude all the way back in the 1900’s and it was accepted by most Japanese people. There was no uproar and no articles. However, in 21st century America, a bisexual character can still cause a huge uproar.

It is not like American television did not try to have such a progressive attitude. Its more likely the case that it was not allowed to do so. An extreme example of this would be the cartoon Gargoyles aired in 1994. This cartoon had a confirmed gay character named Lexington, but Disney did not allow the show creators or voice actors to explore his sexuality in the cartoon. The American progressive attitude was there in the late 1900’s but it was just suppressed.

As of late, there is no force that can suppress that attitude, parents can be as outraged as much as they want to be, but as long as the show is good there is nothing they can physically do. Television has continued to release series that star and have characters that are gay, lesbian, transgender, asexual and as of late pansexual.

A recent cartoon called Rick and Morty features a pansexual main character. Show co-creator, Justin Roiland, confirmed that Rick was possibly television’s first pansexual. I have never heard of the term pansexual until I saw this announcement. I had heard of the term homosexual and bisexual before being introduced to it by any cartoon but never have I heard the term pansexual. A cartoon had introduced a new term to me so that if I were to come across a pansexual person, I would already know what it meant and would not make that person feel awkward for having to explain what pansexuality meant.

We, as a society, have become more progressive, and so has television. New ideas will be presented to kids so that they would be more accepting of members of their societies and new ideas within their societies. If the next generation is to move forward and further evolve the progressive attitude of the current generation, some ideas need to be nicely introduced early in their lives, and what better medium than cartoons.


This time I will use…..
Symbolic Interactionalism

In the 1980’s HIV began spreading in the United States and most of the cases that were known involved gay men. When the media announced this they did not know that HIV was not specific to gay men. The media seemed to believe that homosexuality was the only way a person could contract HIV. People began associating homosexuals with HIV and eventually that evolved to thinking of homosexuals as sexual deviants. This thought process eventually involved anyone that was not heterosexual. Non-heterosexuality became related to sexual acts, and as such people did not want their children to hear anything about it. Sexual deviants became permanently associated with non-heterosexuality and since we would not talk about sex in cartoons they would not want to see non-homosexuality in cartoons.

Whitewashing The Truth Out of The Media.

I am white, even whiter than the words you are now reading. However, I am not ignorant of whitewashing and I do not like it for many reasons, especially when it concerns animated and comic representations in the media.

I will warn you that I may be slightly bias on this topic as I tend to watch a lot of anime (Japanese animation media) and might feel strongly about source material being played by representatives of that source. I will try to limit my bias and I apologize for it in advance.

Whitewashing, for anyone who does not know, is when a white actor is used for a role meant to be played by another race. Sometimes, a white man will be literally painted black or brown to match the role he is supposed to play and sometimes a role will completely ignore race and be changed to accommodate white actors. Hollywood has a long history of whitewashing and while it is not as bad as it was in the past it is still a rampant habit.

One of the worst cases of whitewashing in the modern era was shown in the live-action version of Avatar: The Last Airbender. In the original animated version, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the heroes were depicted as being of Asian and Native-American descent, while the villains were depicted as being of Chinese descent. However, in the live-action version directed by M. Night Shyamalan, all the heroes were white and all the villains were Indians. The entirety of the Fire Nation (the country where the villains in the animated series come from) was of Indian descent. Simply put, they took away the cultural diversity from the entire show and made it so that everyone good was white and everyone bad was not. Upon further inspection of the live-action movie, it came to my attention that all the truly evil characters, like General Zhao, were played by Indian actors while the characters that eventually switch sides from bad to good, like Prince Zuko and Uncle Iroh, were played by British and Persian actors that had a lighter skin tone than the rest of the Fire Nation actors. It is as if the movie blatantly says white is good, dark is bad and light dark can go either way because they are blessed enough to be a little bit lighter. This is the best and worst example of whitewashing.

I would think this image does the best to show this movie’s blatant whitewashing.

This live-action movie came out in 2010 and is, in my opinion, the worst case of whitewashing in the modern age.

There have been other and more recent examples of movies that participate in whitewashing.

Ghost in a Shell is an anime and manga made in Japan following the story of Motoko Kusanagi, a Japanese cyborg counter-terrorist officer. While Motoko is never mentioned to be specifically Japanese, it does not feel right for a Japanese produced media to have the main role taken by a white actress. In this case, Scarlet Johansson was cast as Motoko when there are a plethora of Asian-American actresses who could take her place. The story takes place in Japan and the fully augmented hero, Motoko should be played by a Japanese actor. While anime never designs its characters to “look” Asian it is assumed and mostly even directly said that the characters are of Japanese descent. While Motoko is fully augmented and is therefore racially null, she was created in Japan and I would have a hard time imaging that Japan would make a fully augmented officer white in a nation that is predominantly Asian.

I am sure that many people who watch and enjoy anime, and even those who do not, would agree on which image suits Motoko Kusanagi better.
In the anime she is depicted as this :

I would say that Scarlet Johansson is not the best fit for the role, especially if any Asian can produce something like this:GhostShellMEScarlet.jpgWhile I personally did not really like Motoko being played by Scarlet, publisher Sam Yoshida of Kodansha did not seem to be bothered by it. He said that he never imagined Motoko to be played by a Japanese actress and that Scarlet has a nice “cyber punk” look that fits Motoko. He also said that Scarlet would bring nice publicity to Ghost in a Shell and might attract new people to the media of Japanese anime and manga. He did not have a problem with a white actor playing the main role in a Japanese created media. However, that might be because he knows that a non-white actress won’t make much people watch the movie and that an actress like Scarlet would bring viewers who have never heard of the original source material.

I have to say he has a point. If this movie did not have Scarlet, it would probably only attract people who are familiar with Ghost in a Shell and would therefore make the movie earnings less. He also makes another good point in that it will bring more attention to anime as a media. How can any fan of anime be mad at an idea that would make more people interested in anime?

While this case of whitewashing may have reason that benefit the source material, it is still a shame that an Asian actress could not be cast for a part that I, and most other people, think should be played by an Asian actress. While I do not like it, the reasoning keeps me complacent.

While many Asian-Americans get annoyed at whitewashing in Hollywood, Asians around the world are uncaring of it. They see it as something that is bound to happen. They even admit that the same happens in their own countries. They shrug of the “whitewashing phenomenon” and say that it is just a way to pander to “marketability needs” and that the same things happens in their own country; well known Asian actors are cast repeatedly in roles meant for other races.

While they make a good point that marketability depends on well known actors being a part of new movies,  it does not mean that all roles designed for different races should completely neglect those racial backgrounds and be whitewashed.


This time I will use…..
Conflict Theory

FINALLY! A paradigm that is not Symbolic Interactionalism. Conflict theory fits whitewashing rather nicely. We can look at it from the perspective of the business behind the media.

Movies are mainly watched for one of two reasons. Either someone likes the story or someone likes the actors/ actresses. While a story might appeal to some people and not others, known actors appeal to a broader majority of people. If I had acting skills and was cast in a movie with an amazing story, the movie probably would not make as much money as a movie with Jim Carrey and a slightly less interesting story. That is because people know Jim Carrey while I am this unknown person with no fame to my name. Jim Carrey would attract viewers with his name alone. In the interest of making money, directors would hire Jim Carrey over an unknown person in a heart beat. Studios compete with other studios for the money of movie-goers. In order to get the advantage over another studio, directors hire actors and actresses who are well known to draw in a bigger crowd. Rarely will a studio risk profit by hiring someone unknown (no matter what the actual role calls for) and allow another studio to dominate the theaters because they hired someone more well known. This competition over the money of viewers would be a reason why less known actors/ actresses (including Asian actors/ actresses) are hired for roles that call for Asian descent.

If Not Hate Crimes, Then What?

*Ignore the actual reporter, he is known to give biased and incomplete information for his own agenda. The only thing you should watch is the actual video. Nothing else!*

This video is absolutely disgusting, and the fact that it is seen as a hate crime is also ridiculous.
Now what I am about to discuss is going to come from a European born white boy whose whole family (mostly) has a career in the military and law reinforcement in the United States, Germany and France. I personally have never had trouble with the cops. The most first hand experience I had was when I first came to the United States as a kid and was fooling around jumping over turnstiles in the subway. I got a firm talking to and a smile and got sent right back to my mom. So as you can see, I might not be the best person to talk about this, but my feelings for the subject are strong because I am part of a family that values police and military work.

Anyhow, now that you know my standpoint and have watched the video, (go ahead watch it, I can wait) let us discuss this video. You might be shocked to hear me say that both people in this video disgust me and that, from my view, they are both in the wrong. While I will admit the cop is the first offender, the reaction the woman had was… moronic and antagonizing in a way. We cannot say that this incident was a hate crime. That is the easy way out. We have to see this problem for what it is; unfit officers and antagonizing civilians.  Let us talk about the civilian first.

When you see a cop, from what I have been taught, you generally listen to whatever he says. If he seems nice and willing to talk, you talk, but do not argue too much. His job is to enforce the Law and you will have better luck arguing with lawyers and judges, people without guns. Even though I am from a family of cops, I was taught to treat cops like a ticking time bomb. “Listen and obey, you can argue when you have lawyers and your family there”, is what my dad used to say. I believe this stand true, especially in the video we saw. The woman exited the vehicle without being told to do so and ignored the cop completely and called other cops. I would be pissed off if someone ignored me while I was trying to order food, let alone while I am trying to enforce a violation of the law I thought I saw. She should have just accepted what the cop was saying, even if it led to an arrest. She also should not have fought the cop while he was trying to arrest her. It does not matter if the arrest was lawful or not, she should have taken the arrest and argued her case with other officer at the precinct and the lawyers and judges that would have eventually been there.  Cops are the law (that is what they think) and we as civilians need to obey that “law”. While the law enforced by them may not be just is up to the judge that will oversee the case. We as civilians should not argue with the law enforcement and instead argue with the judges and our lawyers. I do not say this to empower the cops, I am saying to empower people to be smart about how to pick their fights. Better to be arrested than shot by unfit police officers.

Yes, an unfit officer. I am not only going to attack the civilian, but I am going to verbally attack the officer. First of all, based on what has been going on recently the woman has every right to be terrified and the officer should understand this and take steps to make her feel at ease. Black Americans and police have not had the best relationship these past years, especially recently. Immediately screaming at her for a traffic violation was not the right choice. Her fear does not excuse her actions but the officer should have taken it into account and acted differently. The officer should have never raised his voice unnecessarily. Also before he arrested her, he should have issued a verbal warning of arrest. He should have not immediately grabbed her. This entire situation could have been handled by the officer in a much more professional manner. Counter to that, the woman could have handled his aggression in a much more proper manner as well.

People will look at this and say that this is more violence against black people in America. They would look at this and mark it as a hate crime under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. However the issue here should not be racial discrimination and hate crime that everyone wants to see. That is the easy answer. A hate crime happens because someone has honest hatred towards a different race. How is it possible that the entire police force of the 21st century all hate minorities?
Well, it is not the case. The issue here is police selection and training.

Police training in the United States lasts an average of 15 weeks containing about 500 hours of training. This is an insignificant amount of time compared to the amount hours and years needed by other occupations. Other occupations can make their decision overtime. A businessman can have hours to make a decision, a lawyer can have weeks to prepare for a case and a doctor can have months to ready up for a surgery. Police officers, on the other hand, have to make snap decisions. If they do not react properly, they can break under pressure and the squeeze of time and in haste and fear fire of a bullet or two…or sixteen bullets. To have a training of fifteen weeks that is supposed to prepare someone for this kind of stress is laughable, especially when compared to police training in Europe. Officers in Germany have to undergo police training that lasts thirty-one weeks, while officers in France undergo police training that lasts thirty-six weeks. Police training in the United States needs to prepare officers to deal with people who pose a threat to other people. People wielding knives should not be dealt with firearms, instead they should be dealt with equipment that leads to incapacitate, not permanently incapacitate. In England, officers are taught to reach for their tasers first when dealing with a knife wielding victim, while officers in the United States are taught to reach for their guns whenever their safety comes into question. United States officers should be taught in a similar fashion. Perhaps, this small difference in police training can lead to a decrease in violence against all people, especially minorities that are targeted and labeled as hate crime victims.

However, training is not all that matter. The selection of police in the United States needs to be more targeted to the qualities needed in a police officer. There is no amount of training that can change an officers mind when it comes to making a decision “to shoot or not shoot” while their safety is in question. The issue can be related to police recruitment. Currently, police officers can be hired or rejected based on their level of aggression. The criteria concerning aggression is a hired officer cannot be too docile. A docile person would not be hired currently because he is not aggressive enough to be assertive. Docile people can be taught to be assertive and are usually more reasonable as they tend to not want to be aggressive. However, it is hard and near impossible to take the aggression out of a hired officer, especially with the lack of training. It is easier to teach assertiveness than it is to teach docility.

While I would blame both the civilian and the officer in the video, I place the most blame on the officer and his lack of training. I also recognize that there have been similar and more violent cases that can be attributed to simple hatred and placed under the banner of hate crime, but I also want people to realize that not all these incidents are hate crimes and that the problem lies in how officers are trained and hired, and how civilians react.


This time I will use…..
Symbolic Interactionalism

This time, this sociological paradigm has to do with media representation of both groups. As I have discussed before, media representation of black people has not always been great. The media usually represents them as criminals. This influences the cops and leads them to be more harsh when dealing with Black Americans because they expect them to be a problematic latent criminal. They would handle a black alleged criminal differently than a white alleged criminal for that reason. Their treatment is then viewed as a hate crime. This is why we need to hire officers that are not aggressive but assertive. When they associate black with criminal they can take assertive actions to do what they think is just, instead of jumping to aggression because of their fear of the black latent criminal.

The same paradigm would also apply to media representation of cops. Lately, the news has been filled with cops and their “hate crimes.” When people see this it would be easy for them to get riled up and scared when they are confronted by a cop. They would think their lives are in danger when being stopped by a cop.

The media makes cops scared of black people and so they are aggressive towards them, expecting them to be criminals.

The media also makes civilians afraid of cops and so they are frightened and act rashly sometimes, expecting the cops to be violent towards them.

Domestic Violence: The Prequel

Mysterious tittle, right? If you have been reading this blog then you know I am a white male. I have had no relationships in the past, so my opinions do not come from experience, but rather I would say they come from common sense and how I was raised. These opinions have grown and developed as I have been educated and recently I have come to see a pretty simple conclusion about domestic violence. The conclusion is; Do not do it! Do not tolerate it! It is bad and will most likely lead to someone’s death. In other words the sequel to domestic violence is DEATH!

Domestic violence includes any abuse (both physical and mental) that occurs in a family or household and can be directed at children, siblings, elders and significant partners. However, for the purpose of this blog entry, I will be mainly talking about domestic abuse with significant partners. While I also realize that this is an issue for same sex couples I will be focusing on heterosexual couples, but the ideas expressed should apply in a nearly similar fashion to all significant partnerships.

The forefront of domestic abuse is centered around heterosexual couples, more specifically around women. Sixty-Eight percent of murdered women died in some relation to domestic violence. When women accept domestic violence as a norm, they make it easier for their abuser to go a little step further each time until the result is death. Behavior like this should not be tolerated by women, it should be reported immediately and handled. Allowing such actions to continue only lead to the dehumanization of women, and thus it becomes easier to be violent with a non-human object and ultimately it makes it easier to attack an object with murderous intent. This article is an example of what can happen when someone stays silent for too long. A history of domestic violence can mortally end a family. It would have been better if the woman addressed the issue and broke up the family without the loss of any life.

I am making this sound like a woman issue but that is far from the truth. Men are often the ones enacting the abuse and men can even be on the receiving end of the abuse. This is a societal issue and should be addressed as such.
How do we address it as a societal issue?
Well I am not a sociologist, nor am I a professional in this field but we can start by doing a simple and pretty obvious thing.
Time to sound like a broken record, but these words hold true as a way society can help fix the problem that is domestic violence.
Stop abuse when you see it, whether it be a man abusing a woman or a woman abusing a man.

I have only been addressing the victim’s side of the issue. I did this not to engage in victim blaming but to make victims aware that there are only two ways in which abuse can end. Abuse can end when the victim stands up and breaks their silence by reporting it themselves or by alerting someone else to help them report it. This way abuse will have no sequel.If allowed to continue abuse will most likely end in a bloody sequel: murder. To end domestic violence one must not remain silent, whether it be a bystander or a victim. This victim put her career on the line to speak up against domestic violence in her life. She was a professional wrestler, and to admit that she was getting abused at home by her significant other would be to admit weakness in a career that does not tolerate it. However this was not the case, she received support from all her fellow female athletes. Speaking out against domestic violence is not an admittance to weakness, it is a display of the strength one possesses to stand up for themselves.  While there are many strong reasons victims do not report the abuse, no reason should be strong enough to justify risking a person’s life.


This time I will use…..
Symbolic Interactionalism.

The media has always used women as objects of attention. In the media’s view, the only marketability a woman has is her body. Women are always used as sex objects. When people see this on television or in ads repeatedly they see it as the norm. It is as if, subconsciously, women have become objects. They have become dehumanized little by little that they are considered as objects or at least as sub-human. When people think of them as sub human, abuse is easier to do. There is no guilt because women are objects after all. Women (the symbol) have become associated with nothing more than mere objects with no humanity and it rather easy to punch a pillow, kick a wall and shoot a cup than it is to punch, kick or shoot an actual person.