Margaux’s mumblings …

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A little ranting never hurt anyone. In fact sometimes a little rant is all you need.

Margaux Burkhart, Staff Writer

Those who have met me may describe me as pessimistic, argumentative, or a hater. I am completely fine with that. I associate heavily with those words, and they describe me well. I hate a lot of things and don’t care too much about being an optimist. This month’s opinion topics include the Pledge of Allegiance, people who complain about masks, people who romanticize poor health, people who eat in restaurants but don’t tip, and Batman. Welcome to Margaux’s Mumblings. 

The Pledge of Allegiance 

The Pledge of Allegiance has been ingrained in the brains of millions of people across America, including mine. I picked a problem with it my freshman year and have not looked back since. In fact, I just seem to pick up more reasons to resent the cult-like pledge. 

I know I’m not the only one, either. If you ever ask someone from another country, they think the pledge is strange. The only other places I have been able to find that use a pledge in a similar way to America are Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and North Korea. It’s commonly seen as a sign of an authoritarian government. 

The pledge seems normal to us because we were raised on it, but when you really think about it, what’s normal about it? We pledge allegiance with our hand over our heart every single day to the country? What purpose does that serve? I can guarantee that if any “patriot” saw some people from another country chanting in unison to a flag with their hands on their heart, they would assume it’s a cult. This is because, at face value, the ritual is cult-ish. 

Another issue I pose with the pledge is the way it states “under god.” America really likes to highlight and flaunt its freedom of religion, and yet, this is influencing kids towards Christianity. You can say that people have the choice to sit down; yet, whenever I sit during the pledge I get judging eyes staring at me. Every single time without fail. That doesn’t seem very inclusive to me.

My final fit with the flag bases off of that judgment. People judge those who don’t stand for the flag because not only is it expected but it’s also written in the U.S. flag code. This puts hypocrisy into play. Folks abide by the pledge part of the flag code, yet rep American flag shirts and towels and also call THAT patriotism. The U.S. flag code clearly displays that printing the American flag on anything that is not a flag is disrespectful, but it seems to be an American pride thing to rep the flag. Why is it okay to break that bit of the flag code but enforce The Pledge of Allegiance? It is hypocritical. 

People who complain about masks

It seems that everywhere I go that a mask mandate is in place, there are people wearing their masks wrong or complaining about having to wear masks. This grinds my gears like nothing else. I want to shed some light on why it’s so frustrating to see. 

Starting with improperly wearing your mask, I don’t understand it. There is absolutely no way that out of the hundreds of different types of masks available you have not been able to find one to properly fit your face, so the mask not fitting you isn’t a viable excuse. This means that you are purposefully wearing it below your nose or on your chin.

 By wearing it below your nose, you look silly because people still aren’t seeing your face. The only thing you are achieving is preventing the mask from working. By wearing it on your chin, it looks like a diaper on your face and you are completely preventing it from working. From experience, I can say that this also makes the mask much less comfortable to wear. If those people were to wear them right, I doubt they would have a problem with the masks. 

When it comes to complaining about the masks, not being able to breathe is a common excuse, though, it’s really not a good excuse since science has consistently proven that zero disabilities prevent you from wearing a mask. I can also speak of not being able to breathe being a poor excuse because last semester, I used to run two laps every single day in gym class with my mask up and on correctly. I have also worked 13 hour shifts with a mask on the entire time. You can wear it for the eight-hour school day or for fifteen minutes in a grocery store.

Last and probably the most important point is that it’s just plain inconsiderate. Think of the people around you. The effectiveness of masks is greatly increased when all people are properly wearing their masks as opposed to one or just a few. What if the person properly wearing their mask is at high risk? Maybe their parents or their grandparents that they see every weekend are. If you get COVID and spread it to them it can be deadly. Don’t be the superspreader.

Update: The past few paragraphs were written prior to 3/7/22 (the mask mandate becoming optional). For the school day, it is absolutely your choice to wear or not wear a mask. However, now that we are back to school with optional masks, I have a new grievance. I have continuously noticed people who are choosing to wear their mask and yet are wearing it wrong. Students, please educate yourself. If the mask is not properly covering your mouth and nose, it is not protecting you from COVID. For the love of all that is good, just take it off at that point; I genuinely do not understand. 

People who romanticize poor health

I have been guilty of this one in the past, but since I have grown from it, I am allowed to constructively criticize. I can’t stand it when people romanticize having poor health. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re lucky. I am speaking about people who brag about how little sleep they get or how they never eat or drink, which is damaging for a couple of reasons. 

First things first: romanticizing poor health can have negative impacts on people around you that are actually struggling with real issues. Let’s say someone has anorexia, and they have to sit and listen to you brag about how you never eat breakfast. Do you know how bad that can make them feel? Or someone who has insomnia hearing you talk about how you choose to not get sleep. You just come off as the inconsiderate one every time. 

Second issue with this is that it can cause people to develop issues. Maybe when you’re bragging about how you haven’t eaten in days, someone who is heavier than you thinks that is the way to get thin. You may have just given them a reason to starve themself. By constantly talking about how you don’t take care of yourself, you are consequently normalizing poor health. Why would you want to encourage such a thing? 

I would like to put a disclaimer that this does not apply to people who are actually struggling, and I am not urging you to silence your issues. If you are needing help with mental or physical health issues, please seek it out. Caveat to that: you do not need to voice it to everyone. Oversharing to your class will not help you, and it will be perceived as oversharing. I am sorry to say, but it’s true, someone who has never met you doesn’t need to know your deepest troubles. Please confide in a trusted friend or adult. This article is not meant to belittle anyone’s issues, but simply to call out those who are creating issues for attention.

People who eat in restaurants but don’t tip

As a waitress, almost all of the money I make is based on tips. My wage from my work is $4 an hour, and that’s after three raises. The base wage is $3.13 at my job. I always do my job well, but it sometimes doesn’t seem to matter. People often come into the restaurant, eat inside, and then don’t tip even when I know I gave them great service. Obviously, this is a problem, but it boils my blood enough to want to give a good rant about it.

I understand that some people may not be able to afford a tip, and I do not blame them for that. However, every restaurant I know of has a to-go option. You are taking up a table in my section for up to an hour when someone who will actually give me money could have been sitting there. You have wasted my time and directly caused me to lose money. By doing this you are causing others to struggle financially. 

As a teenager, I don’t have bills to worry about, and I don’t yet need the money I make, but that’s not the case for everyone. Many of my coworkers are adults who rely on waitressing to get their bills paid. By wasting their time and skimping them out on money, you are causing them to possibly miss a meal for themselves just so they’ll be able to pay rent. Does that sound fair? It’s not by any means, especially because the aftermath usually results in tears. 

One argument I often hear is that you only tip the waitress if they do an exceptional job. That is absolutely ridiculous and untrue. Do you realize where you live? America babe, the capitalist nation. In order for employers to save money, it is legal for them to pay under minimum wage as long as the employee gets tips. This is how hundreds of thousands of restaurants across the United States function. You are paying them to do their jobs, meaning take your order and check on you. If they do that and nothing more, they still deserve to get paid. I’m not blaming anyone for not tipping when they are given genuinely bad service, but if your waitress does an average job, they have earned money. 

Batman 

I am going to make it clear right off the bat (haha, get it?) that I don’t like superheroes in general, but I stand by it that Batman is specifically lame. He is the worst superhero, and I think it’s weird that boys and girls alike idolize him. Batman is the last thing the world needs, another rich white man.

What is cool about an entitled rich loser thriving off of his fathers money? Batman didn’t even build up his own wealth; it’s inherited from his father’s businesses. He chose to use it to fight crime, but it just looks like he thinks he’s above the law, in turn acting like every single rich white guy I know. I know I keep drilling in that point, but it is seriously so lame to me.

Back to the bat, it is also lame that he only fights crime at night. You don’t think the people of Gotham would just adapt to committing crimes during the day? Sticking to the dark does next to nothing. Whenever it does do something, Batman doesn’t kill them. What’s that about? So you spend all of this time pursuing super villains, just to set them free? Joker has been caught and let go by Batman many times. Batman knows what will happen while he’s alive. By keeping him alive, it might as well be an invitation for him to kill more, which takes Batman off from being morally sound. 

Batman does all of this while literally just using high tech inventions. He has no powers; that’s so lousy. What’s super about this “superhero”? His money that he didn’t earn? I just do not understand why you would idolize Batman over a cool superhero with powers, like Wonder Woman. These other heroes also seem to have a higher success rate since they aren’t weak and will actually kill when necessary. Nothing about this guy is cool, and if you think differently, I don’t understand your thought process. 

Final Mumble

I have a lot of strong opinions that can be perceived as targeted or offensive, but I urge you not to take them to heart. Unless you really want to, I can’t really stop you from doing that. I hope you’ve enjoyed my tangents, and if you’d like to suggest a topic to me or even debate me about one I’ve discussed, you can reach me at [email protected]. Until next time.