wednes: (Wednes Poison)
Dear Nazis,

Congratulations! American apathy and misplaced aggression have created an environment that has allowed you emerge proudly from your hidey holes. You white supremacists have always had a wealth of pride, but ya'll don't even wear masks anymore. You present yourself as 'bravely' unafraid of the repercussions of your bullshit--which can only mean that you either think most people agree with you, or that the few who DO agree with you are powerful enough to protect you from those who don't. Good for you!
Take heed though, because whatever WWII books you've been reading--you clearly haven't quite made it to the end. Spoiler Alert: Hitler went out like a bitch. A #Cyka, if you will (and you know you will). Hitler's is one of the only suicides we can call "weak" and "candy-ass" and borne of "pure selfishness."

Now that you know about Hitler's cowardly suicide, his tacit deathbed realization that he'd been wrong all along, you can knock off that crazy bullshit and devote your time to other things. Right? RIGHT?!?
With that in mind, here's a list of things Nazis can do now that they know following Hitler is a huge fucking waste of time (because I just told them). Get ready for fun, Nazis!!

1. Charity Work. You love white people? Awesome. Charities that help white people include homeless shelters, halfway houses, drug treatment centers, mental health centers, food banks, blood drives, or just lending an elderly neighbor a hand with yard work or household repairs.
You're likely to find that helping the people you support is more fulfilling than trying to hurt the people you don't. Bonus: You'll also be less likely to do prison time.

2. Read. No offense, but a lot of you white supremacists have appalling grammar. I heard somewhere that anyone who wants to live in America should learn English. Well, you've been gifted 13 years of tax-payer funded education (you wacky socialist, you!). Still, you don't have it down yet if your misspelled, unpunctuated, 7-dots-in-an-ellipses Tweets are any indication. Take some time and get your proficiency up to say, a 6th grade level.
After all, the best way to feel superior to and smarter than others is to gain wisdom and knowledge, then apply what you learned to your life. You can do it!!!

3. Church. Or more appropriately: Catechism. You guys talk a lot about god this and god that, but you missed the memos on community, loving your fellow man (regardless of skin pigmentation) feeding the poor, and giving comfort to the weak and afflicted. If you still haven't found morality after attending church for a year, talk to an atheist or TST member. They can help.

4. Crafts. Everybody loves crafts. Glue popsicle sticks to make a swastikkka that will send your friends into a Furher. Use dry pasta and glitter to create a Dakow diorama that will give your great grandparents flashbacks. Paint your toy train to look like...I'm not finishing that sentence because, ew. Anyway, staying inside to craft keeps you from going out and seeing all the people you're frightened of you're against.

5. Send away your DNA for testing. This serves several purposes. First, most of you will learn that you have African ancestors. Second, most of you will learn that you have Latino, Asian, Middle-Eastern, or other non-lily-white ancestors. When you get your results, they must be read aloud at the next Klan meeting, Nazi rally, or white supremacy bake sale (you guys do that, right?). Finally, the rest of us might be able to figure out if virulent hate is ever passed genetically.

6. ISIS. If all else fails, and you really want to pretend that your violent sadism is part of a deeply felt, god-sent religious agenda, Congratulations! You feel the same way as ISIS. You hate American freedoms (like speech, and existing without being murdered by the Klan) and are against Democracy, the Free Market, Religious Freedom, and everything written on the Statue of Liberty. Lucky you! There's a group in place already fighting for those ideals, and they fear hate women almost as much as you do!
Bonus: Vlad Putin is also down with ISIS, and I hear he knows the 45th POTUS.

You're welcome.

Nazis

Aug. 12th, 2017 06:44 pm
wednes: (Irate typist)
I live in a country with Nazis in it.
They helped elect the POTUS, who does not denounce white supremacy.
Coincidentally, he does not know even the most basic aspects of world (or even US) history. Which I guess means we're all condemned to repeat it.

Or we would, if climate change wasn't going to kill us all first.

One thing's for certain...I'm going to continue to smoke as much pot as I fucking want to, because I am sad and hopeless and unlikely to live to see 60.

For whatever reason, it seemed important to tell everyone about it.

In other news, the last grisly murder in Hellish Calling turned into a gay sex scene. I hate writing sex scenes, because the words we use to talk about sex all seem clinical or absurd. But this totally happened.
wednes: (Eye of Wednes)
Did you see the piece in Teen Vogue about a makeup artist that transformed a white model, giving her the look of a woman of color? Apparently, people are calling this "blackface" and saying how super offensive it is. As you might think, I disagree.

Obviously, whether someone is offended is between them and the art. My point is not to tell anyone that they shouldn't be offended. But blackface and minstrel shows are not remotely the same as using makeup to transform a model. It's not done to mock, harass, stereotype, or profit from the images of POC. Again, if that still offends you, that's your business. But telling the artist that he's hateful is not cool. Demanding that he take down his work or stop making it is also not cool.

There's something else though. There's an idea among white liberals now that if you hear any POC say they don't like something--you're not allowed to like it either, else you're oppressing people. Obviously, not all POC will agree on any one issue, and suggesting that they should or do is pretty fucking racist. It's a good thing for us white people to ease up on the idea that everything should be catered toward us. But I'm already tired of having white people explain to me that my views are wrong--because they once spoke to a POC who held a differing opinion. I know POC too. How many do I have to find that agree with me before I'm allowed to maintain my personal opinion?

In the end, the purpose of art is to challenge people, make them think. That means being uncomfortable sometimes. It also means that people will discuss, even argue, the way they see art differently. That's not just okay, it's vital and necessary. By that same token, there's no art (or humor, for that matter) that one couldn't describe as offensive to someone or something.

Take one of my fave paintings, Picasso's Guernica (take THAT!).
Here's a smattering of what people might say about that painting if it were unveiled today, and depicted a more modern tragedy:
"He's making a painting about [tragedy]? What sicko wants to see that?"
"Oh sure, profit off the war why don't you? Fascist!"
"This asshole wouldn't be painting pretty pictures if he'd ever fucking been in a battle!"
"Where does he get off speaking for people of [place]?!?"
"There's nothing artistic about war. War is hell."
"I'm so sick of hearing about [event], why can't people just let things go?"
"Artsy Fartsy cuck paints woman holding dead baby, calls it art. Bullshit."
"We should boycott [museum] and make sure Picasso never works again!"
"Fuck painters! Sit inside all day and didn't even join the military! MAGA"
and so forth.
"Great, another white man speaking for minorities! Shut up and listen, Pablo!"

IDEA: I've been thinking about a project wherein people send me jokes and I explain what's potentially offensive about them. The point is to demonstrate that ANY joke can be considered offensive, because every joke comes from a place of absurdity or exaggeration. I just don't know how to figure out the mechanics of such a thing. Is Twitter the best place for that? Or a Reddit AMA?

Example:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
"Who are YOU to interrogate that chicken? He was probably escaping from the harrowing industrial farm complex where chickens like him/her are tortured every day. But you don't care about that, you savage carnivore! Where that bird wants to go is none of your business, they don't owe you an explanation, and it's offensive that you would even ask."

I would accept responses within a specified period. The goal would be for people to try to find a joke that can't possibly be described as offensive, then I point out how it could be.

Ultimately, we're all allowed to find things awesome or offensive if we want to (or against our will, I suppose), and to share those thoughts with the world. What we don't get to do is force people to stop expressing themselves because we don't like what they're saying. Sure, we may want to limit our exposure to such things, or even limit the venues that allow such people/works to have a voice. I wouldn't want my tuition dollars supporting an Ann Coulter or Milo speech. But they still should be allowed to speak.

The Signs

May. 23rd, 2017 12:48 am
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
I'm trying to identify the signs of when a person starts slipping into alt-right theology. I'm not sure if the people I'm noticing have always been a little off, but I know a few people now who have gone from normal and reasonably intelligent to Alex Jones listening, Glenn Beck agreeing, 'why are people so hateful to Trump/Pence' spewing.

Imma focus on two guys I knew in college. I don't wanna use their real names, so I'll call one Bee and one Jay.
When I met Bee, he was a non-trad student with a giant ego who acted like he was way smarter than other students because he "waited to go to school." What? He treated women poorly, drank a lot, lied to get out of trouble, paid me to do assignments, and presented himself differently to different people in huge and humiliating ways. We also slept together a bunch of times, and he told everybody not only that we DIDN'T sleep together, but that I was telling people we had and nobody should listen to me. I won't bother explaining how hurtful that was to a fat girl who thought she had a friend with benefits.
So when I ran into this dude on Facebook years later, he told me all about his wife before asking if I wanted to meet someplace and fuck. When I said No, I got a long diatribe about how I didn't understand how the world worked. He started sending me insane links and racist shit all the time. I'd try to discuss it with him, but he just went more and more off the deep end. Finally he said he was going to ban me from Facebook. I eventually learned he thought that if he banned someone from his page, they couldn't go on FB at all. Smart, right?

Jay and I had a similar background, except we lived in the same house. We ran in the same departments, had the same friends, and fooled around a few times despite never actually dating. Because college, yo. We did a few projects later on, and again, I was offered some no-strings sex even though Jay was clearly in a committed, live-in relationship with someone. I don't mention the sex stuff to advertise myself as a slut or whatever. It's just that treating women as a tool rather than a person seems part and parcel to the alt-right. (and make no mistake, if you're STILL supporting what Trump and Pence are doing, you're alt-right)
After 9/11, I started getting racist forwards from Jay. When I told him at length why I didn't want him sending me racist, anti-Muslim shit, he told me it was no big deal and not to get riled. Lately, Jay has been posting stuff on social media, then saying he doesn't want to discuss it. He deletes comments he doesn't agree with, and makes outlandish statements he can't defend with a single fact or verifiable example.
If Jay says something "happens equally on the left and right," Jay needs to back that shit up with at least two examples. Telling someone to "google it" when they ask you to defend some outlandish assertion you've made? No. If you know the facts of the point you're making, either state them or admit you don't have any.

Sure, it's not a lie to say that I get fired up about politics. The word "obnoxious" may not even be far off at times. While I've always done this, it's extra important now that so many poor/middle-class people are about to have their lives made a whole lot more difficult, dangerous, and full of denial of services.
On the off chance that one of my comments is deleted, I spend a few minutes considering whether I've been rude, off topic, or said something false. If none of those are the case though, I'm out. I don't have an interest in playing on an unlevel field. I have to do that in real life every day, so I'll be damned if I do it in conversations with friends. I won't discuss anything in a forum where dissent is silenced. Even if I'm not the one being silenced, I don't want any part of that.

These are the signs I've noticed in people turning toward the alt-right"
--Dislike for/distortion of PC Culture (being sensitive to the fact that not everyone is the same gender, religion, race, color, orientation, etc as you are, and that there's nothing wrong with that)
--Victim Blaming
--Vague admiration for how things "used to be," usually while forgetting many, many things from that era.
--Lumping people into groups and then into We and They.
--Being angry about things they can't explain ("Hillary did Benghazi" What do you mean? What do you think she did exactly? "Look it up, stoopit")
--Anti-woman sentiment (includes lying to wife/gf, trivializing or minimizing their concerns, slut-shaming, as well as basic rape culture stuff)
--Complaining about other people's English when they write like a sleepy toddler.
--Pro-confederacy or anti-BLM statements (including "it's my heritage")
--Distorting other people's statements to more easily discredit them
--Denying that they've said things they've said
--Refusing to take major news outlets seriously--including WaPo, NYT, and Reuters.
--Asking for explanations, then shouting over responses

Why is this important? Honestly, I wish it wasn't.
I wish this was as simple as "Oh, you like Reagan? I think he's a liar who doesn't give a shit about the poor, so I'm for Jimmy Carter." You can disagree for a bit and then talk about something else. Now, supporting DJT means thinking women should be punished for having an abortion, or that banning people from our country based on their religion is not just okay--but a step in the right direction. To support this administration, you have to either believe, or not care that the law will reflect beliefs, in misogyny, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and that will ensure that most people will no longer be able to get treatment for illnesses or injuries regardless of their seriousness. Oh, and you have to be okay with Christianity (and ONLY Christianity) being taught in public schools.
I know I'm not exactly saying anything new here. But dammit, this is getting harder and harder as time goes on. I can't imagine the logic or reasoning of why a normal, educated adult would suddenly buy into that garbage. The answer has to be that it's not as sudden as I think it is...
wednes: (Diamonds)
As any regular reader knows, we're not wealthy people. That doesn't stop me though, from engaging in an occasional indulgence. There's a company called Florence Scovel that advertises like crazy on Facebook. I confess, I find many of their shiny baubles appealing. Turns out, there were some things I didn't know about them.

For one thing, they totally co-opted Project Semicolon by selling pieces featuring the logo and semicolon--but without giving credit, or a share, to the late founder Amy Bleuel (who passed a few weeks ago). I didn't discover that until I researched them their following the shady way they ripped me off.

A little over a month ago, I ordered a cheap ring that looked sort of like my engagement ring. No big whoop, right? Just a little splurge. A few days after placing the order, I got a notice that my order had shipped. Awesome, right?



A few days later, the package had not moved. I waited 2 weeks, receiving nothing. Then this:

 photo Florence Scovel2_zpsjsgdqoua.png

That indicated to me that the package should have arrived by then. But it hadn't. Not really feeling that ring anymore, I asked for a refund.
 photo Florence Scovel3_zpsk81grcbx.png

Sometimes I do get the buyer's remorse over splurges. Anywhoo...this is how they answered:
 photo Florence Scovel4_zpsxh55skpp.png

This means that even though Florence Scovel sent me a SHIPPING CONFIRMATION (you know, the thing that confirms shipment of your item), they hadn't ever shipped it. It was all a lie. Well, charging my card was real, but the item? Not so much. Yet, they were cool asking me to review an item they know damn well they never sent. And before anyone asks-- I spent 5 years working for a mail order company. So I'm not blind to the inner workings of such things.
BTW, the "end of next week" they refer to is the end of last week. No item, no ship confirmation, no nothing except another request for me to review the item I never got.

Irate, I responded that since they never sent me the item, they should have no problem giving me my money back. Again, it's not as if I spent thousands of dollars. With shipping, it was just over $20. It's the principle. And offering me 20% off my next order to make up for some shit that never arrived? Seriously? I began to wonder if Florence Scovel was pranking me. But they're not that funny.

 photo Florence Scovel5_zpsvgvgh4fo.png

In the end, they've told me that they'll refund me so long as I sent back the item I never received--the one they never actually shipped. Today is April 25th, and I never got a shipping confirmation (not that I'd have believed it) for the supposed back-order shipment. So they're just keeping my money and not giving a rat's ass.

So...all of you in Facebook land who sees constant ads for the pretties and shinies at Florence Scovel? Don't do it. You'd be better off throwing that money into the sewer. At least then you wouldn't have to wait a month to be sure you'd been ripped off.

Medicine

Apr. 19th, 2017 10:31 pm
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
I'm taking a new medicine (no, it's not insulin) that comes in a pen. I give myself a shot in the stomach every morning, which isn't remotely as bone-chillingly horrible as it sounds. With these pens, you screw them into the pen and give the shot. Then you throw the needle part away and use a fresh one the next day.

After 2 weeks, I needed more "pen needles." I can't seem to get them. My pharmacy doesn't appear to have them, so my doc called them in to a medical supplier. They called me today to say that while they do have what I need, they can't take my insurance.

I said "Can I just get a week's worth and pay for it without the insurance? I just used my last one." The lady paused. I heard typing, and she came back with "No." I wasn't sure I heard her correctly. She repeated, "No, they're prohibitively expensive." And she said this to me AFTER reading that I have an Ann Arbor mailing address. This place is a shithole, but many people assume we have money because we have an Ann Arbor address.

Long story short, nobody seems able to help me get them.
Desperate, I look them up online so I can at least find out how much I need to scrape together to get them.

Come to find out, Amazon has a box of 100 for under $15.
What the hell?!?

I'm pondering this, because it happened the same week I got CPAP supplies from the local medical equipment supplier--MedEquip Ann Arbor, if you're wondering. The charge for one "gel mask with headgear" is $149. But I was charged an additional $50 (billing only, it said) for headgear. But guess what? I only got one headgear. I called the place, and they assured me several times that even thought it SAYS the $150 price covers headgear, they actually have to charge me an extra $50 for reasons they can't explain.

Guess what? Amazon sells the gel masks for $70 (without headgear) and $20 for the headgear. So they're charging more than twice what another retailer is for the same exact products. Same brands, models, everything.
When I asked about this, they explained that part of what I was paying for was "the convenience" of having them bill my insurance--which doesn't cover these full amounts. But it WOULD cover everything if they weren't overcharging me out the ass.

I'm not sure what I want to do about that. Can I bill my insurance for reimbursement for stuff I bought on Amazon? How does that even work?
It seems like this kind of fuckery is just another thing making health care shitty in America. If we had single payer, companies that overcharge by this much would never get a government contract and would have to either charge fairly or GTFO.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
Heated discussions with outspoken feminists often make me more angry and frustrated than trying to talk sense into DJT apologists. Maybe it's because I expect more from those who claim to be "woke." Maybe it's because I presume that "being reasonable" means thinking pretty much like I do.

A blogger I enjoy posted on Facebook comparing Bill Cosby's treatment in re: his many rapes, with Bill O'Reilly and his allegations of sexual harassment. Their claim was that these two men were being treated differently from each other, and that the explanation for this was, of course, racism.

I don't mind saying that this seems like bullshit to me. No, I'm not denying that racism is alive and well, or that it often finds its way into the legal system. Of course it does. That's not why this claim doesn't work for me.

Point 1: Cosby drugged and raped at least 40 women while O'Reilly is accused of sexual harassment. If there are allegations of inappropriate touching or anything physical, I am not aware of them.
When commenters brought this up, we were told that these distinctions don't matter.
Um, what? Of course it matters. It matters in terms of criminal law, and it matters in the event of civil lawsuits. What a person does absolutely matters.
Example: Murdering your spouse is well, murder. Beating your spouse, while completely fucked, is not murder. So if two people do these things, one is a murderer and one isn't. Ergo, them not being charged with the same crime has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that they committed different crimes.

Point 2: No one has been charged with anything, meaning nothing has been adjudicated. How can one make a claim that one person is being punished more severely than the other when neither has been punished by the law?
Yes, Cosby has been formally charged. Again, he raped a bunch of people. Depending on the state, O'Reilly's harassment may or may not result in criminal charges. But we do know that he paid women off to avoid civil lawsuits.

Point 3: Much has been made of the unofficial punishments for these men. Public shaming, reruns taken out of syndication, unfavorable press and memes, etc. These men are no doubt experiencing different reactions from their fan bases. But does anyone really think that's solely because of race?
Do we think Bill O'Reilly's audience is made up of radical feminists who will ride him out of town on a rail for being shitty to women? No. it's made up of men who probably think if women don't want to hear him masturbating on the phone, they shouldn't wear skirts or high heels to work. O'Reilly has always been an arrogant blowhard who appeals to wannabe arrogant blowhards.
Meanwhile, Cosby has always presented himself as a kind of moral arbiter, as far back as the Fat Albert show. When you spend decades pretending to be a model husband, father, industry professional, and community leader, you have much farther (further?) to fall. Again, this is not racism. It's the difference between a fan base of crotchety old men versus sitcom-loving American families.

Ascribing motives to strangers is always tricky territory. But what really chaps my ass is this idea that dissenting comments should be deleted. Thinking that rape and harassment are different doesn't make me "part of the problem," nor does it mean I'm trivializing sexual assault. Bullshit accusations like that are why some people think they dislike feminists and feminism.

On my own page, I invite discussion from pretty much anyone. If someone proves that they're unable to discern facts from fevered dreams, persist in name calling or verbal abuse after being warned, or are spouting racist, sexist, or delusional nonsense, they get banned. It's pretty rare. I never delete comments though, because people should own the shit they say online. Taking it down gives them a free pass to pretend it never happened. Plus, I'm not afraid of words, ideas, thoughts, or language even when I strongly disagree with them. I don't mind saying that cowardly bullshit like that pisses me off. Shutting down conversations is the thing that keeps us from connecting with each other and finding common ground.
Obviously, people can run their own pages how they like. But I don't think I'll ever understand the concept of posting something (ie: inviting discussion) and then deleting every comment you don't agree with. That's just preening and posturing. It's not interacting with your readership, and it's certainly no way to consider things in a new way.

In a sense, this exchange illustrates why I didn't call myself a feminist for a long time. I equated feminism with people bitching about comedians not being sensitive enough, or pretending that their offense means every joke they don't like can never be told again. Like deleting comments, saying people shouldn't joke about things is saying "I refuse to have my opinions challenged." Or more confrontationally put, "I'm too afraid to consider that I might not be 100% right on this issue." That's nothing to feel proud or smug about.

In other news, my time at Livejournal is done. They won't allow cross posting since I don't agree to their TOS, and I don't.
wednes: (OMG!!!)
As many of you know, I've been blogging at Livejournal since 2002. When they sold their site to Russians who gave far less control over content, I started blogging at Dreamwidth and cross posting to LJ instead. I've always continued to read at both places, and to make sure my own posts make it there.

I have a pet conspiracy theory about Russia and our internet. It's one that seems increasingly true the more things happen in the world with President Cyka.  It seems super obvious to me that this Syria bombing is 100% fuckery to make us stop questioning DJT's many Russian connections.  And just like every time he gives a speech where he doesn't manage to sound like a sundowning mental patient...the media can't shut up about how "presidential" he's being.  STOP BEING FOOLED.

Even if he was being super Presidential, bombing some random base and killing civilians isn't going to make Assad suddenly be cooler to his own people.  Maybe if we were going to kill Assad or swoop in and take his Sarin and shit, that might make sense.  But we're not doing that.  We're shooting missiles that are killing civilians--in order to demonstrate how fucking awful it is to kill civilians.  And before anyone gives me that shit about how war has casualties, I'll remind you all that once again, we have not declared war.  As usual, we just started shooting shit up and daring the rest of the world to either join in or stop us.  And because most of the rest of the world aren't the buttinski's that we are, they don't.

Anyway...
I went over to Livejournal today to take down my account.  See, any digital info that's stored outside the US can legally be given to the CIA without any sort of authorization. So when I got a notice saying that there's a new TOS, I did not agree.  They also have a policy against "political solicitation."  I'm not 100% on what political solicitation involves, but I'm reasonably sure that I engage in it.  Even if I didn't, I'd prefer to have at least the semblance of privacy as I cling to the idea that no government agency is interested in what I'm getting up to online.  

My plan was absolutely to take my entire account down.  But in order to do that, I have to agree to the new TOS.  I do not agree, and I'm not about to say that I do.  If I agree, doesn't that mean they can keep a copy of all my old blogs?  But if I don't do anything, they already have my old blogs.  Presuming a reality where I've said things that would make Putin mad (like say, I do not like POTUS45 and think he's a lying cyka), I'd just as soon live in a world where that doesn't put me in danger.  I order a lot of delivery food, so poisoning me would be pretty easy.

And you know that guy loves to poison people.

For now, I'm not doing anything and will try to continue crossposting there.  Not sure if they'll let me though.  When I said "not now" to the new TOS, the only choice they gave me was "Log Out."  Pretty scary what happens inside of just a few years, right?  
wednes: (Stephen King)
I'm going to preface this by saying that of course people have different tastes in movies and books. While I do sometimes feel judgy toward people that defend literary or live-action garbage, I recognize that this is a shitty trait I should continue trying to shake. People are allowed to like whatever the hell they want. That's not the point I'm making here. With that out of the way...

What do horror writers and fans think they're accomplishing by talking shit about Stephen King? What is achieved by insulting the work that inspired so many people to pursue the genre, and writing in general? Even if you weren't personally influenced by King, someone you were influenced by was.
Do you think you're being edgy or outside-the-box by pretending that Carrie isn't a good novel? Or that you felt nothing when reading Pet Sematary? Or that The Shining didn't scare you ever, at any point? I'm not saying people are wrong for not having King on their top-ten lists or whatever. But this bland "I don't see what the big deal is about Stephen King" bullshit has to stop. When you say that, you're revealing your own ignorance far more than you're making a statement about King and his work. Besides, it's not possible to dislike everything he's written--unless you haven't read enough.

Until Daniel Craig happened, I did not give half a rat's ass about James Bond. He's basically what a 12-year-old boy thinks it's like to be a spy. I've not read the books, but the movies are silly and campy and don't seem to realize that they are. But I understand that it's a wildly popular series and that people have strong love feelings for it. I can also tell the difference between something being objectively bad, or simply not being to my taste. Bond films are simply not what I'm looking for in a film.

Stephen King is like The Beatles. You can't possibly dislike all of it. There's too damn much. And it's all so different. I Wanna Hold Your Hand and The White Album are worlds apart. Come to think of it, I haven't even read all of King. I haven't touched any of the Dark Tower stuff (no pinkie wags please), and never got around to the JFK thing. The point is that there's so much King work, much of which is not even horror. Don't believe me, read Eyes of the Dragon to your (older than toddler) kids.

King's work isn't perfect. I'm not here to say that it is. He's got that "magical negro" problem. Most of his sex scenes are basically the same. He's got a clear bias against fat people. One could argue that he has a definite formula, but must also admit that he changed it up after a time. His wife characters are often interchangeable.

Admittedly, I'm one of those people who came to love and understand horror because of Stephen King. I was a kid when Salem's Lot and The Shining and Carrie came out. One might argue that 9 was too young to read such things. But fuck that. Letting me read whatever the hell I wanted is one of a very small number of things my mother got totally right. We also watched almost whatever we wanted, horror wise. That's how I got to see Alien and Fulci's Zombi at the drive-in. But I digress.

Rage. I get why he wants it out of print, because actual school shooters had actual copies nearby when they actually killed people. But dammit. If we're really gonna ban every book people use to excuse horrible deeds, the Christian Bible should be ripped off shelves tomorrow. If I was ever gonna direct a short based on a King story, Rage would definitely be the one. And yes, I know it's technically a Bachman.

Those early collections of King's shorts are practically a class in how to tell stories. How to reveal information to the reader for the most impact. How to let readers identify with someone in a very short amount of time. When to use 1st person POV versus 3rd. Stuff like Strawberry Spring and I Know What You Need and The Man Who Loved Flowers inspired me in ways I didn't even notice until I started publishing my own horror stories.
They don't call him the Master of Horror solely because he sells a lot of books. There's more to it than that. Read Danse Macabre, or On Writing (easily the best book ever on the craft, regardless of your genre) and then tell me he hasn't earned his place in both horror history and literary history in general. How can you know anything about horror at all and not know that?!?

Ya wanna fight about it?
Let's Get It On.
wednes: (Inception)
Yeah, it's the same depression and doubt that happens all the time.
I'd been sleeping too much and tired all the time, even waking up often in the middle of the night. That hasn't happened much since I started using a CPAP. Turns out, my sinuses were stuffy and it was impeding my breathing. Since I still have decent health insurance, I got my nasal spray refilled and that's going well.

Speaking of insurance, if the ACA repeal goes through, I'll be fucked. Like a lot of you, it took me years of trial and error (in which I destroyed relationships, jobs, my own credibility, pursuing career goals, etc etc) to find a med combination that worked without debilitating side effects.
If the repeal goes into effect, no insurance company will be required to cover prescription drugs. Also, no mental health care so even if talk therapy was enough without meds (it isn't), I wouldn't even be able to see anyone for less than $200 an hour. My meds are not generic, so those would be at least $350 a month for one, and $750 a month for the other. That's not counting anything I take for blood pressure, which is some. A few of those are generic, which means I probably could afford enough to not die. But since I'll be making the lives of everyone around me miserable--that's not exactly a blessing.

Funny, since every time someone wants to talk about gun violence, the GOP explains that the "real" problem is inadequate mental health care. Their solution is to take away mental health care--not just for the 24 million people who will lose health care, but for the roughly 2/3 of us not rich enough to afford comprehensive plans and the giant deductibles they'll carry.

So yeah, that's gonna suck.
On the plus side, I might be heading toward a manic binge. Yeah, that sucks for my happiness and well being and all. But I'm getting actual fiction writing done. The screenplay is slowly happening, and short fictions are happening even faster.
I was able to put together a new collection bag for my Arizer today. Most of you probably don't know what that is or why it's awesome. But I assure you, it's a wee accomplishment that gives me a slight sense of pride.
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
It's no secret that I take issue with some of the messages in Disney movies. I hate how 90% of the time, everyone looks exactly like what they are. Heroes are attractive, villains are ugly (exception for Snow White's Evil Queen), fat people are jolly, women have crazy-long hair. And until recently, with minimal exception, the girl stories end with a wedding, while the boy stories end with a coronation. Okay, not Pinochio, and not Jungle Book. But come on.

So...Beauty and the Beast is being retold, and parents and chicks are going goo-goo for it.

I don't mind telling you that I have never understood the appeal of this story.
An old man steals a rose from a giant, wealthy-looking estate. He gives it to his daughter. We find out that the estate is owned by a beast. Literally, a hairy cloven-hooved person with a foul temperament and a distaste for all people.
What's his problem? Well, one night an old lady came to him for help. He refused to help her. So she cursed him with ugliness.
Later, the girl stays with the beast, and they end up falling in love. That somehow breaks the spell and the beast turns into a hero--by which I mean he becomes handsome.

Really? I mean...REALLY?

Sometimes Beast breaks the spell by finding it in his heart to love a beautiful young woman who is also the sweetest, kindest person who ever lived. Sounds like she wouldn't be particularly difficult to love, right?
Sometimes the amazing part is that the woman falls in love with beast. Because what woman could possibly love an ugly person with a foul temper (insert Melania Drumpf joke here)?

So at best, this is a story about a dickish man who was mean to an old lady, but learned to be kind to a hot young girl.
At worst, it's a story about an abusive relationship where the woman gradually accepts that this is probably the best she'll do. Or maybe it's a story about how loving an awful man long enough will change him into someone better.
Do women really need the message that if you stay with a mean, abusive man long enough, he'll eventually become the person you want him to be? Are you fucking kidding me? Is Disney kidding all of us?

Seriously...until Twilight (which is similar, thematically) this was the worst story ever in terms of the lessons it teaches young women. I mean, Cinderella is pretty bad. And most Disney women do sit around waiting for someone to rescue them (until very recently). But this one seems far worse than even the usual Disney fare.

Am I missing something? What is it about this story that people respond to?
Is it the music? The talking clock?
Why does anyone like this? Why would anyone let their kid near it?
I'd really like to know.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
I've spoken before in this blog about the importance of "fake news" shows like Daily Show and Colbert Report. Nutshelled, it's a way for people to keep up with what's happening in the world without becoming suicidally depressed. TDS and CR always made sure to have accurate facts, and a clear way of explaining why whatever thing was fucked up. Watching regular news can be difficult without the comic relief and camaraderie.

Even though Jon Stewart gave up TDS (he's got a new show coming to HBO), we've somehow ended up with more shows in a similar vein. John Oliver is killing it on his show, and Sam Bee is doing likewise on hers. Wilmore took a softer and more focused stance on issues--and he ended up getting canceled. Colbert is on CBS now, and has only recently resumed his snarkery. His new show was pretty corporate for a while there.

H wonders why I watch shows that talk about politics all the time. They make me angry, and make me want to talk about the issues with him--which is isn't really a fan of. As far as he's concerned, if he can't do anything to fix it, discussing it is moot. I understand that point, but I certainly don't share it.

When I hear about all the awful things happening in the world, and see millions of duped idiots falling for nonsense--I get sad, and angry. You know, the way decent people do when the world is being a dick and innocent people are suffering for it. The helplessness we all feel can be crippling at times. Yet we've still got to pick ourselves up, get back to work or life or whatever as if anything we do actually matters. YMMV, obviously.
A good way to alleviate the sadness and anger is to watch even funnier people than I talk about the issues, explain why they're batshit, and basically confirm the stuff I was already thinking. One might call that an echo chamber, but since it's based firmly in reality, I don't mind. I feel better after watching Trevor, or John Oliver, or even Jon Stewart clips online. I have almost no power in the world, so I need to be reminded that far more visible people who are taken far more seriously than I, agree.
wednes: (Zombie Cart)
Like most horror fans, Creepshow has always been high on my list of fave horror movies. I love the cast, the camp, the gruesomeness, and that hilarious dub where it's super obvious that Adrienne Barbeau called Emily Vanderbilt a cunt. Hahahaaha.

H and I watched an awesome documentary about it recently. Apparently, it was on the UK DVD reissue that never actually came to this side of the pond. That's bullshit, BTW. Because then I had to download it on the grey market. Shame on me!

I have always thought of the middle story, Something to Tide You Over as being about revenge zombies. Ted Danson "steals" Leslie Neilson's wife, so he buries them both in the sand up to their necks so they can drown slowly when the tide comes in. It really is masterful suspense and drama. Over-the-top performances make this essentially two-man piece (the chick is mainly a prop) a thrilling watch no matter how many times I see it.

So...In the documentary, Savini refers to these characters as "ghosts." I must say, it never occurred to me to even consider that these might be ghosts. That's probably because Creepshow is Romero and Savini, who are just naturally associated with zombies. Stephen King has done both zombie and ghost stuff (and in-between stuff like 'Salem's Lot, which is technically vampires--but ones that are highly shambly and zombie-like).
It is true that the zombies/ghosts suddenly appear on the other side of rooms, just behind the guy they're tormenting. That can suggest ghosts more than zombies. I had always presumed that revenge zombies are inherently magical, so they could just do stuff like that. Now I wonder if my willing suspension of disbelief is overactive. Probably not though, because watching the Arrowverse is one long exercise in repressing my inner cries of "Shenanigans!"

I ask you, horror fans and cineasts, are they zombies, or are they ghosts?
Do you have an immediate reaction to this that differs from your thoughtful one?
I hate the idea of disagreeing with Savini about his own work (which is funny, considering how often I want to tell Nicotero to go fuck himself), but I'm just not seeing what he's seeing.
What say you?

Argh!

Feb. 5th, 2017 03:54 pm
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
So much annoyance.

Power and internet took turns going out all friggin' weekend. That's dumb, because I certainly don't need help NOT getting any work done. So I'm working today and tomorrow instead of taking some much needed time to work on the outline for my screenplay.

Yeah, I'm taking another stab at this screenplay, this time with a writing partner.

Our door buzzer has been broken for more than a week. Given the impatience of the UPS guy, I've missed a package or two. Just review stuff, but still. A week is a long time for a maintenance request...or was until we lived in this shithole.

Looking at houses bears no fruit. I fear that we'll be trapped here forever.

Somehow, my website/Email domain expired. I thought everything was automatic, but some bullcrap happened and my site was down for almost a week. Lame. Worse, I use that Email for tons of vital work stuff. So it also kept me from getting paid. Imagine my surprise when my bank account was suddenly down to single digits.

All things considered, this is minor shit. Aside from having to pay bank overdraft fees when automatic payments go through, none of this causes more than extreme annoyance.

In other news, droves of politically engaged people are taking long breaks from social media. I understand why that's necessary because this shit is exhausting. But I also think that's what evil people rely on...decent people being too tired and frustrated to keep fighting.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
When they're not talking about the Nazi rally down the street, a lot of people are talking about health care. Health care in America has sucked for a long time, almost got better, but then kinda didn't. Now? It's going to be worse than it's ever been, and for whatever reason, some poor people are happy about it.

I guess if your insurance company decided to raise rates and deductibles, that's bad news for you. But they didn't do that because they couldn't afford to pay for care. They did it so they can still make tremendous profits while providing some people with limited care. The problem isn't how much things cost--it's that HEALTH CARE SHOULD NOT BE RUN FOR A PROFIT. I'm still not clear on how that isn't obvious. Like air and water (yes, we also pay for some of those things), being able to get regular checkups and shots, take the pills you need to stave off disease and whatnot, should not be something every non-rich American has to stress about.

When I was a kid, if someone got bad news from a doctor--their first move was to get A Second Opinion. Because doctor's are people, people who have opinions and who make mistakes. When's the last time you heard about a non-rich person going to talk to a different doctor because they didn't like what the first one had to say? Honestly, I don't think I know anyone who has done this. Sometimes if a mental health doc doesn't work out, people try a different one months or years later when they can. But I don't know anyone with the luxury of shopping around for doctors...and I do know a lot of people who are quite comfortable financially.

But then, rich people have always used doctors differently than the rest of us. Ever see a movie where a woman is crying--usually because something awful has happened? And the men say "She's hysterical. Get her a doctor." I know I've been hysterical a few times in my life. Other times, I've been so angry that I've literally come out swinging. Never, EVER has anyone called a doctor to come to my home and give me a sedative. Again, I don't know anyone this has ever happened to. it's more likely that the person would be loaded into an ambulance and carted away.

On the bright side, we've also done away with the bizarre practice of doctor's not telling women what's wrong with them. There's a story in my family about a mother of young children who's doc discovers that she has cancer. It's fatal, and there isn't much time left. The doctor then discussed his finding with the mother's husband, and the two of them discussed what the mother would be told. Um, WHAT? The story is that the husband respected the mother enough to tell her the truth, which is supposed to be awesome of him. The larger point, obviously, is that it would be monstrous not to tell a mother (or anyone) that they are dying, because of some weird sexist reasons I can't begin to fathom.

Anyway, I predict that medical care is about to reach a Soylent Green-ish lack of access. I think the Supreme Court will hear an overturn of Roe V Wade in the coming months. I'm also pretty sure the minimum wage will be abolished. Once that happens, it could be outright revolution. Walmarts will be burned to the ground--which honestly, would be pretty hilarious.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
It's well-known by all literate people that I am not a fan of the Great Orange Cyka-Elect. (Look it up, it's a Russian word, and it's hilarious) But now, he has reached the subjective and fabled land of TOO FAR.

On December 14th, I asserted copyright over the word "Unpresidented." The context was the vain hope that the Electoral College would do what it was designed to do--rescue us from a Nazi-enabling rapist who's already in bed with the Russians. They didn't. Of course there are great arguments on both sides of this, none of which I'm going to detail here.
Because that's not the point of this post.

The point is that Drumpf stole my word. Funny, since I rarely consider myself rich enough to rob. His stupid misspelled Tweet that inadvertently turned MY word into a hashtag has stolen my internet thunder, hasn't it? Okay, no it probably hasn't. It's still hilarious though. I should probably just be happy that he didn't put my beautiful word in the same Tweet as a white supremacist or a lady unfavorably rated with Drumpf's numeric system that lets us all know which chicks he'd sexually assault if there were no cameras. But I digress.

"Unpresidented" is my word. My word. Mine! Down down, go go, mine. *jumps up and down like Daffy Duck during a tantrum*

Besides, once Drumpf is impeached or resigns in a huff because some high school newspaper criticized his latest racist speech--we can all use the word "Unpresidented" again. Hope to see you all then. ;-)
wednes: (Peanut Butter/Jelly)
Okay, we all know that President Drumpf is going to be a nightmare wrapped in a clusterfuck, wrapped in a urine-soaked hellscape. Chances are, we'll completely lose our ability to feel outrage by the first State of the Union address.

And yet...there are people who are going out of their way to make the best out of what promises to be nonstop global embarrassment. And for these things, we thank you:

The crackdown on fake news. Eventually, most of us were fooled by some "news" story that was at best, an exaggeration and at worst, flat out fiction. Sure, one could argue that a fake-news crackdown now is too little too late. But at least this isn't like guns where we get angry about it over and over but never actually take steps to address the problem. People are now being given the tools they need to recognize fake news from the real deal. Who knows, maybe that will inspire more news sites to stop being such lying liars. They might even start editing stories or hiring actual journalists to write them.

The Obama Biden memes. These are just delightful. It's nice being reminded that pretty much everyone woke is horrified by Drumpf's mean-spirited incompetence.

TIME magazine trolling the hell out of Drumpf with their Person of the Year cover. My gods, this is hilarious. He's touring the country thanking his fans and bragging about how awesome he is (and how it should still be MAN of the year. I agree on one point though, as calling POTUS-E a "person" is a bit of a stretch) while they're putting horns on his head and literally illustrating that he's all just for show.

Jon Stewart's new show on HBO. I don't know that this was a direct result of the election. I'm just glad it's happening.

All the jokes about who Drumpf is appointing to this or that. The Joker in charge of law enforcement in Gotham. Cruella DeVille heading a national ASPCA committee. Hell, maybe if I stop insulting him on Twitter, POTUS-E will put me in charge of the DEA. Just think of all the cool shit I could steal from civilia--...I mean, legally confiscate and "destroy." Seriously though, the fact that we can all still make genuinely funny jokes about it (the internets, not me necessarily) reminds us all that a) we're in it together, and b) most Americans don't think this is okay.

Yeah...most Americans don't think any political party should conspire with the Russians. FFS, Putin is so old-school that he's still poisoning his enemies like he's living in ancient Rome. Nor do most people think we should be on the same side as the KKK. If there's any good reason to remind ourselves that Drumpf lost the popular vote by a large margin, it's so we can remember that Americans are still basically good. We should also remember to work toward making voting easier. How do we go about that?

We know deep down that the Electoral College probably will not grow a collective conscience and save us from Drumpf. Despite the fact that he lost the popular vote. Despite the fact that he clearly colluded with Russia, and has no plan to give up his business interests in any meaningful way. Despite the fact that...well, no point on going over all that again.
But if it turned out that the EC does have a purpose...or just in case they do rescue us from Drumpftastrophe...I'd like to assert copyright on the word:
Unpresidented

Get it? Because this never would have happened before in our lifetime, AND the KKKlandidate-in-cheif would be un-presidented. Ha HA!

In the end, things in our beloved nation look bad. But it's not all bad. And we're damn sure not powerless.
wednes: (Sad)
The Good:

I voted. I'm so glad I did, because several analysts have said Ann Arbor was a potentially pivotal factor--as late as 11pm. We lost in the end, but I can at least know that I did what I could.

I'm gratified to see the good guys coming together, vowing to protect the vulnerable--because they're gonna need it. I'm not an especially powerful person, but if I can do something to help you or someone you know who is being oppressed, bullied, terrorized...please ask. I'll do what I can.

The Bad:

Duh, everything about losing two branches of government before they proceed to corrupt the third. I can't even express the disappointment, sadness, and fear I feel. When Obama got elected, a lot of gun enthusiasts were afraid that their guns would be confiscated, and a lot of uninformed (or lied to, Thanks FOX "news") people thought the ACA was going to murder their grandmother. Obama supporters tried to explain to those people that their fears were unfounded, and kind of silly in their unlikeliness.

But now, when Muslims, Mexicans, the LGBT community, African Americans, children, women, and everyone who isn't alt-right says they're afraid--the response from the Drumpf camp is akin to "Yeah, you should be. You people are in for it now."

Watching Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert both try to put on a brave face was...painful. It hurt to watch. I miss Mitt Romney. Hell, I miss John McCain--and he's batshit now.

Congratulations, America.
You've really outdone yourself this time.

If nothing else, it'll be fun to see the memes you post when Drumpf only fulfills the campaign promises that fuck people over (legally protected bigotry, even further restrictions on abortion, the return of stop-and-frisk), not the ones that help the middle class and below (jobs).

Me too.

Oct. 30th, 2016 02:46 am
wednes: (Doctor Literally Too Stupid)
I know this is an incredibly common viewpoint, but I will be very happy when this election is over. I'm excited to go back to a time when Drumpf's hideous face wasn't on my TV and news feed friggin' constantly.

Of course, Drumpf has said that in no way is he starting his own news channel. That means that he is absolutely 100% starting his own news channel. Funny since the departure of Ailes has made FOX news seem positively reasonable (but still biased) compared to FOX under Ailes. As awful as she is, I would love to see Megyn Kelly put in charge of the FOX puppets while Trevor Noah spends a ton of time cataloging the lies the Drumpf "news" organization tells.

Will violence break out after Hillary wins? Probably, but just a little. And you can bet all those cowardly white dudes open carrying through the streets will run home like bitches should the REAL military show up to smack them down. But if the contrast of the Aemon Bundy nonsense with the protestors at DAPL means anything (and I think we all know that it does), the alt-right goons will be cuffed peacefully and held overnight before being released with apologies.

In other news, this Carl Panzram documentary on Netflix is pretty good.
HBO saw my tweet about Larry Sanders show, so they asked for my address so they could send me a present. Cool, right? I predict that it will be a keychain and maybe a shirt that won't fit me. Still, that'll be fun.
I owe one of my Canadian friends a package, but can't seem to find a place where I can mail it. Looks like I may have to take a special trip to an actual post office (which means going out during the day) just to send it. Ugh.
wednes: (The Horror Within)
In case you hadn't heard, The Horror Within website will be offline as of Nov. Sadly, I have neither the time nor the money to do this project as well as I want to. Too busy trying to chase the green and be a "real writer" to do all the non-essential horror writing that I want to. In fact, I'm doing almost no writing that I'm not getting decently paid for these days. I had many hopes and plans for The Horror Within, which honestly were not very realistic after our Kickstarter was a giant fail.

You may ask, Wednes, do you ever get tired of writing books people don't read, making audiobooks no one buys, publishing stories no one gives a shit about, or generally planning things that never end up happening in the way you intended?
Yes, in fact. Yes, I do. H says I only think I fail at stuff because I'm always trying new stuff. I dunno. I haven't written a book in forever, and haven't published one since 2012. I don't even have an idea for a book I'd feel passionate about. I have to think that if none of my stuff has taken off by now, it isn't going to. My mom's voice echoes in the back of my head, making me wonder why I ever thought I had enough talent to write anything in the first place.

Rather than whine about how everyone else's life seems to work out, and how writers I think are totally shitty have huge patreon funding and legions of fans--I'll just thank everyone for their support and figure out what thing I want to fail at next.

As for things to fail at, I'm taking suggestions.
wednes: (Heavenly Creatures)
Finally saw the new Ghostbusters after hearing whinging man-children go on and on about how it's "unnecessary" and how they're only making it with women to be "PC." Because as I've explained before--letting ladies star in a movie is a special gift from the men who run the world. Now that we got our lady-movie, we should all sit down, shut up, know our places, and stop making such an emotional fuss.

This post will have major spoilers, so scroll past now if you don't want to know.

Okay then...

Things I loved about this movie:

Erin is shown at the beginning with a shitty boyfriend. American viewers are trained to know that this is laying the foundation for a romantic subplot. Won't it be awesome when she finds a man who is worthy of her? She deserves it.
Except...she doesn't. Erin flirts with Kevin (more on him later), but doesn't wind up with a new man at the end. This is not thrown in our faces, it's just what happens. Love it. Love that we can have a happy ending (giggity?) without finding love as a prerequisite.

Kevin. First, I don't condone that he was sexually harassed in the film, on a human level. It is not right for Erin to have said and done some of the things she did. But that's the point. In movie-trope terms, Kevin is the Miss Moneypenny, the Miss Tessmacher, Phoebe Cates in a red bikini, the...every hot woman thrown into a movie for no other reason than the movie needed a hot chick. Kevin is also super stupid--just like most ladies in man-movies. And they had to rescue him.
I especially love that at one point, I was thinking "Okay, I like what they're doing with Kevin, bit I wish they'd had him do more. It's kind of a waste of a Hemsworth." And then he got possessed by the bad guy. And then he danced. Oh my Zod...he danced.
Turns out, objectifying people is fun. I see why men enjoy it. And it should be noted that Kevin never expressed displeasure for anything that went on. That doesn't excuse Erin's conduct, but it makes it less squicky.

Abby was super physical and awesome. She reminds me of Chris Farley without the cocaine and early death. Oops. I just made myself sad...

The women were genuinely friends. They didn't try to one-up each other, didn't talk about ways to improve each other's appearance, or PR skills, or anything really. They just supported one another and got shit done. Much care was taken to NOT see these women as messing around with ghost stuff until they all landed husbands.

Jillian. Holy shit, Kate McKinnon was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Okay, that may be an exaggeration--but only a slight one. Jillian is gay, right? I mean, they don't say it. But it seems like they hinted at it enough times that they wanted us to be able to pick up on it without making it (or anyone's sexuality) the focus of the plot. Not sure I've ever been so instantly taken with and charmed by a new character in anything.
I'm not exactly sure why I got choked up during Jillian's big fighting scene. Not sure if I just loved her character that much, or if I was truly overwhelmed by the amount of raw girl power. At least for a minute, I was picturing little girls in Jillian costumes for Halloween instead of being goddamn Frozen princesses or lady-Batmans in a frilly pink dress.

Humor. There was soooo much great humor. I especially liked the gag with Ed Begley Junoir--when they say they talked to him and the tour guide is all "He died 15 years ago...whoooOOOOOooooo." But then it was his son. Ha!

Patty was also great. I like that she didn't veer into "sassy black chick stereotype." At the same time, she was truthfully portrayed--at least to my middle-aged white lady mind. Plus her necklace helped me remember the character's name. Plus, Leslie Jones is so not the type that often gets to be a lead in something. I hope to see her in lots more roles like this. She's way too entertaining to be relegated to the funny friend or quirky office mate.

Cameos. Wow! They were really well done in how they were timed. Seeing Bill Murray was no surprise--though just when I worried that we didn't see enough of him--he came back. Toward the end, I was all "I don't see why Dan Ackroyd couldn't have shown up..." and then he did. I knew there was no Moranis cameo going in, but that still sucked. Ernie Hudson, duh. That was great. And as the credits rolled, I was like, "Well, it would have been cool to see Sigourney Weaver, but I can understand why she might be too busy to--OMG THERE SHE IS!!!" So awesome.

EDIT: I almost forgot to mention the Harold Ramis bust. That was great.

I honestly don't see what there is to dislike about the movie. If you really saw it and hated it, I have to think you were looking for reasons to. I'm told that there were some plot holes that the extended version (the one I saw) fixed. I can't speak to that. But the tone, premise, cast, villain, themes, all of it. So good. If I had a daughter, I'd buy her a copy of it immediately--so she could put it on her movie shelf next to A League of Their Own.

If you honestly couldn't find things to like about it, I'd love to hear why. Not why you think it didn't need to be made, or why you hate that they cast mostly women. I mean a reason why you didn't like the film itself.
Because the movie I saw was fun, touching, hilarious, and another affirmation that women can carry a film that has wide appeal. I really wish I'd seen it before I made my list of Family Friendly Halloween movies. It would have been in the top three.
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
Talking about politics is getting ridiculous, even for those of us who don't feel a need to find euphemisms for the word PUSSY. If you still think Drumpf is the sort of person who should run the country...it doesn't matter. You're probably not reading this post anyway. Why would you?

I do find it frightening how many people (roughly 98% men) are still twisting themselves like balloon animals in their efforts to excuse Drumpf's more rapey escapades. Because I don't have time to respond to every absurd comment or note I get when I discuss such things, lemme just stop a few of you before you get started. If you're tempted to say any of the following, here are my responses.

--"If you're trying to convince me that--"
I'll stop you right there. I have no idea who you are. I don't care what you believe, and emphatically not writing anything to convince YOU of something. You must think an awful lot of yourself if you think my comments on Drumpf have anything to do with you.

--"Saying 'Drumpf' is racist against Germans."
First of all, go fuck yourself. That's his family name. Also, I'm German too. As is easily verifiable, The Donald told Jon Stewart that refusing to use the name Leibovitz publicly meant he was ashamed of his heritage. I'm merely holding Drumpf to that same standard.

--"Stop slut shaming Melania."
I haven't. Though I do think she has terrible taste in husbands.

--"By saying Drumpf shouldn't hit on married women, you're not considering whether or not they're poly."
Sure, poly couples are a thing, they exist. But what I said was that if one is going to argue a "presumption of consent" because a woman smiled at Drumpf, that surely her being married should remove at least some of that presumption. At the same time, I think the "presumption of consent" argument is bullshit. Drumpf is objectively not sexy--and him thinking every woman wants him is at once laughable and disgusting.

--"You just love Hillary."
What are you, new? I supported Bernie, and he was the first presidential candidate I ever donated to. I do think she's capable and more than qualified for the job. But you know, there are plenty of high school sophomores who would do a better job and fill us with more confidence than Drumpf.

--"Stop saying Pussy."
No.

Have a nice weekend, America!
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
In all of our (totally justified) horror over The Donald, we seem to be forgetting something important. Yes, Drumpf is a racist misogynist, a master of demagoguery...we know he's the personification of mammon, the truest representation of greed, avarice, gluttony for what passes for glory in his world.

He's also woefully inept, a blithering, blustering incompetent.
He can't run a casino, let alone a country. At all. Not even a little.

Remember when we all thought Dubya was too dumb to run a country, and how he made such a big deal out of saying he's The Decider. That's because Cheney and his people: Rumsfeld, Rove, Libby and the rest were really running things. We all knew it, even though we preferred to blame Dubya for all the fucked up, authoritarian crap that happened. And why not? The guy's got a real Backpfeifengesicht on him!

So here we are again, with a Republican nominee who is, at best, a complete and utter asshat. A failure on a scale so grand, he'd literally have made more money if he'd done absolutely nothing and just collected interest on the money he inherited. And he could hold the highest office in all the land. Which means...

Vice President Mike Pence would be running things. Hell, Drumpf might even quit a month into his first term. There's no way he's ready for the schedule the POTUS has to keep. After embarrassing America on the world stage a few times, he'll never get over the bad press. But whether Drumpf leaves of his own accord, is impeached after some ridiculous act of stupidity he probably didn't even know was illegal, or if he just stands around twiddling his thumbs while Pence runs things--Mike Pence will have far too much power.

Let's not forget, Mike Pence is the guy who signed that ridiculous legal discrimination bill that made Indiana suddenly look like the worst state in the nation (giving Florida, Utah, and Alabama much needed reprieves). Pence would love to wipe Planned Parenthood completely off the map, and has said that condoms don't actually prevent any diseases. He's the guy that wants funerals for fetuses when there's an abortion or a miscarriage. And of course, Mike Pence said there's "no scientific evidence" that cigarettes cause cancer...because he was taking major cash from Brown & Williamson, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, and US Tobacco. For reals. I'm sure we can guess where he stands on Citizen's United.

If any of you are thinking about voting for Drumpf, you should keep in mind that Pence will be, as Fearless Leader has said, "in charge of foreign and domestic policy." That's basically everything. So while Drumpf is busy trying to take us back to 1955 (ie: Make American Great Again), Pence may actually succeed in taking us back to 1955, on race relations, women's rights, reproductive health, LGBT issues, the minimum wage, unions, and a few things I'm probably forgetting. The only place the Republicans ever want to be modern is on tax laws for the super rich. Those should always be the lowest in history, right?

Don't forget, Drumpf fans, Mike Pence is also a career politician. We know how you haaate that.
wednes: (Really?)
Like many of you, I have a family. And within that family, there are a wide range of people, some of whom believe things I think are patently batshit. My favorite Aunt once told me she'd never vote Bernie because "he's a socialist." I have a cousin who swears the min wage shouldn't be raised because it mostly applies to kids working part time, and that Citizens United is a "free speech" issue. I enjoy spirited debates when I encounter beliefs like that, but I find not everyone is willing to discuss what they believe.

So today, my youngest cousin posts a hate video....Cut for what prompted this post )

This led me to think that one reason it's so difficult to talk about racism is this idea white people have--that the only way to be "racist" is to be in a skinhead group, the KKK, or to liberally use the N-word. Kids, that's not so. Even if you've never uttered a racial slur, you can still be less than inclusive. Tim Burton probably does not hate minorities. There's no evidence to say he does. But that doesn't mean it isn't an issue that his movies have very few POC. Thinking "white" people/culture/hairstyles are "normal" and everything else is "other/different/weird/ethnic" is a problem in terms of race relations. So is presuming that every character in every book is white unless the author specifically says they aren't. So if someone tells you that you aren't being inclusive, or racially sensitive, or are being kind of a dick, they aren't necessarily saying you're Mel Gibson or Hitler. That doesn't mean you shouldn't hear them out. Though yes, you have free speech and can absolutely choose to tell them to fuck off.

To that end, I say: Ron Weasley.
JK Rowling made Ron Weasley racist on purpose, and for this very reason. He's not a Death Eater, he's one of the heroes. He's not a supremacist, but he's got issues with squibs (they have one in the family, but he's never talked to them), werewolves, giants, Durmstrangs (or maybe just the one who's sweet on his gal), and Slytherins among others. He's also fine with house elves in servitude and considers Dobby an odd man out (in fairness, so does Hagrid).
Ron isn't a bad kid. He's not malicious, though I do find him petty and tantrummy at times. I don't think he's hateful either. He just believes certain things because they make sense to him, and has never bothered to question it. You know, like how a lot of the people who go around talking smack about Muslims have never knowingly had a conversation with one--or if they have, they come away saying they're "ONE of the Good Ones." It's why the Washington Redskins logo doesn't offend people who have never been called a "redskin" out of hate. Why WOULD they understand it?

But after someone explains it fully, to respond by saying they're lying or being "overly sensitive" is...pretty racist.

When I hear someone say something overtly bigoted, the first thing I try to do is ask questions to make sure I got that right. "Are you being sarcastic? Are you saying he deserved to be shot because he took his earpiece out? Are you saying all Muslims want to kill us for our freedoms?" The answer to that question usually determines whether a discussion ensues, or a screaming match, or I just disable notifications for that post. Calling someone a "racist" is a bad idea most times, since no one, even members of the KKKlan, actually admits that they're racist. Besides, "racist" is a label we slap on a person to let them know we don't like their opinion. It doesn't help anything. Nothing is solved by calling someone a racist. But opening a dialogue? That might help.
It's hard to hear that you're not being racially or culturally sensitive. I hate hearing it, and my first impulse is to explain why I'm not. But dammit, if you've got any kind of privilege, you also have an obligation to acknowledge it, and to think about how life might be (or listen to people when they explain it to you) for those who don't have it.

People tell me it's "not worth it" to "argue" with people on the internet. I maintain that discussions can make all the difference in the world if both parties have some modicum of respect for whoever they're talking to. If I'm wrong, I wanna know why. I want facts or a fresh perspective that tell me why my thinking is wrong, and what I should have noticed that I didn't. I deserve the chance to say, Holy Shit, Long Duk Dong is TOTALLY racist, and I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner.
So yeah, if you begin by calling someone a racist because they posted a meme they didn't even read carefully, the ensuing discussion probably won't go well. But if you open up an actual dialogue you might actually get somewhere. Not always. Some people love being angry and hateful, it's like a fuzzy warm blanket to them. But usually, people just don't want to be afraid. If they learn why they don't have to, that might also help.

Ultimately, my cousin took down the fake video because she "didn't want to argue." I think that's a shame, because the ensuing discussion was a good read.
wednes: (Eclipse)
Last week, I had a doc appt on Wednesday. I hate going to the doc. Actually, I hate going anywhere. I don't like being around people or in environments I don't have any control over. The older I become, the worse this is. But I needed med refills and an A1C, so I arranged my whole week so I'd be sure to make it to this appointment.

The doc was sick and canceled on me. That sucked. It was almost shopping day, so I needed my refills called in. I made another appt for Friday--the last possible day to get them called in so we could pick them up on grocery day.
The doc was still sick and canceled again. At this point, I was annoyed for myself and kinda worried for my doc. Also, I asked the nurse to call in all my scrips.

Long story short, nothing worked. I still don't have my meds and it's Wednesday afternoon. Right now, my left foot has been tapping for about 2 1/2 days. I'm supposed to be working, but my attention span is shorter than JoJo's. It took me three hours to figure out what to have for dinner because even thinking about it seemed so overwhelming that I almost just went back to bed. My anxiety is through the roof. Then I made the foolish mistake of reading the news--the kind of news that really makes me wish we owned a car. I hate for H to be out and about so late at night. He doesn't even tell me now when cops hassle him and ask his business. I worry so much that he doesn't want to worry me further--which in turn makes me feel like a basket case a'la Myra in Deathtrap.

I've also been doing this new thing, where I train my brain to stop thinking about something awful and start thinking about...absolutely anything else. So when I remember that Nightmare Client thinks he totally got one over on us, I can make my brain think about something else (like say, Doctor Who) instead of getting angrier and angrier until I'm punching pillows. It's been going well. I'm getting pretty good about this--even knowing that many people developed this skill as children. I'm a crazy-pants, and I'm just getting around to it now.
It's a whole lot more difficult without my psyche meds. I even caught myself wondering if my doc wasn't messing with me on purpose because I'm so shitty about attending appointments. But that would be insane, right? That's the rambling of a paranoid mind, right? RIGHT?!?

Watching The Daily Show though, always helps me feel better. No matter how crazy I get, I still have a complete understanding of why Barack Obama wasn't at work in the Oval Office during 9/11. Because seriously, WHAT?!?

So yeah, my mind is going both fast and slow. It's laser focused on stuff that doesn't matter while being completely unable to focus on the stuff I need to do. Should be awesome to see how this all impacts my review of American Horror Story tonight.
wednes: (Wizard or the Skull)
Disclaimer: Medical pot is legal in my state. Even if one doesn't have a medmar card, getting caught with pot in my town is like a traffic ticket. If the laws are different in your town, for fuck's sake, don't smoke any pot. This post is not meant as a substitute for medical or legal advice. Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

As many of you know, I switched to vaping a few years ago. After about 2 months, I lost my perpetual pot cough and my vocal range returned to just about where it was when I was in college. That was awesome. I also tend to go through less herb, and H says smooching me is hardly like licking an ashtray at all. So that's nice too. ;-)

I've been using the Magic Flight Launch Box. I'm a fan. They're pretty inexpensive, and they come with a lifetime replacement warranty. I end up getting a new one about every year since they just kind of wear out. The screens rip after a while, or a flaw in the wood gets bigger, stuff like that. The customer service at MFLB is outstanding, I've literally never had a problem. I also bought the AC adapter, which also has lifetime replacement and am on my 3rd one. Always awesome, they are.
But you know, I work from home now and have a rather robust vaping schedule. If I'm not working or asleep or on my way out, I like to be at least a little high. The MFLB seems to be more for casual partakers. Apparently, I'm partaking at expert or advanced level. An aficionado if you will. I needed something better, but didn't remotely have the scratch to spend on a volcano.

So a year or so ago, I did a bit of research and saw that Snoop Dogg (AKA Snoop Lion, AKA The Guy I'd Love to Toke With) endorses a line of vapes with a company called Grenco. They had these amazingly inexpensive dealies, and offered a discount for my first order. Why the hell not, right?

I got a couple of these, called the G Slim Vape Pen. I got one for daubs, and one for "ground material." I do enjoy that ground material, you know. Apparently the part called a "tank" goes bad after a couple months, so you have to keep replacing them. They cost half as much as the entire pen. Ditto the bottom (the part that isn't the tank) because that's the battery. If I stuck with those vape pens, I'd be basically buying a few each year. Lame, but not bad if they worked well. Their tagline should totally be, "Fuck it, they're cheap."

Whelp, I couldn't get either device to vape properly. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. It combusted no matter how hard the draw, how little heat I applied. Combustion. Every time. I had that problem with the launch box, but with practice I got better. That was not the case with these. Did Snoop Dogg steer me wrong? No...that couldn't be.

I contacted Grenco Science. I explained the problem I was having with the vape pens and how vaping isn't supposed to taste like eating lunch out of a used fireplace. See, if you stop smoking and only vape, smoke tastes super rank to you within a short amount of time. I hate smoking now, even joints. Gross...I imagine the way a non-smokers feels about cigs. Besides, if I wanted to combust, all I'd need is a bic. The Grenco rep I talked to basically said yes, the vape pens always combust.

I said, "Well, then they aren't really vape pens, are they?" No, they aren't. But that doesn't stop Grenco from putting Snoop Dogg's name on them and selling them as such.
The rep explained that I'd need to spend at least $90 to get one that wouldn't combust on me--which is two models more expensive than the ones I bought (which I got a few of, since I thought it was my fault they didn't work right).
They assured me that this other unit would be fine. No parts that need to be replaced (except screens, such is life). No combusting. Snoop Dogg endorsed.
Note: Yeah, I'm a grown-ass woman who shouldn't be motivated to purchase something because a famous person put their name on it. But dammit, this isn't some greedy loon. Snoop Dogg isn't an asshole or a fake, so why would he put his name on a sub-par product? If I ever meet him, I'll ask him. The vape also came with a Snoop Dogg album called "Bush." It's a good listen.

Having used this product for a few months, let me say a few things:
--It doesn't combust. So that's great!
--The setup is such that the screen clogs with each draw. Bad.
--It takes over 3 hours to charge, which gives about an hour of use. Bad.
--You can't use it while it's charging. Bad.
--It takes 1.5-3 minutes to heat up all the way, depending on the battery. Bad.
But all that is just luck of the draw, right? After all, it retails for less than $100.

Then after two months, the goddamn mouthpiece (made of cheap plastic) cracked in two places. I wasn't even touching it. It was just hot. But...they told me this wouldn't need extra parts, I worried. What if they didn't sell the part separately? Well, they DO sell the part separately. Because see, they know it's a cheap plastic part that would need to be replaced often. Yet they told me to my face (well, a chat window) that I wouldn't need to keep replacing parts.

To add insult to injury, the goddamn part--which you can't use the fucking thing without--was out of stock. So again, they know that this is a problem, and advised me to buy it anyway. The whole point of talking to customer service first is to find out things the website doesn't say. This was the opposite of customer service--and I've worked in sales and customer service for over 20 years. I can't imagine lying that boldly to a customer about what they should purchase. Seriously, I hope the commission was worth it.

I explained all of this to *another* rep, who didn't appear to give half a fuck about all the money I'd spent with them to STILL not have a working vape. In fact, I was informed that their BEST vape (which costs roughly twice what the last one did) doesn't have any of those problems. Had anyone bothered to tell me that in the beginning, I wouldn't have spent so damn much money on vapes that don't vape and parts that don't last. I would have just bought the good one--that I now cannot afford.

So yeah, I are sad.
Grenco Science can kiss my ass.
Snoop Dogg, we're still cool.
I gotta say though, maybe put some more thought in where you let people put your name. They're making you look like someone who doesn't take weed seriously.
wednes: (Neville)
You know what's weird? Given the popularity of Harry Potter fandom with women my age, I'd have expected people in my social media feeds to be losing their minds over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They weren't. Nobody has been all "Oh, you haven't read it yet?!? It's soooo good." None of that. Now that I've read it, I totally understand why.

Cut, because here and Goodreads are some of the only places you can still cut for spoilers. )

So if you feel like reading it and don't want to spend, let me know and I'll loan it to you for Kindle. It's a pretty short read.
wednes: (Stabbity)
I haven't blogged in a while. To be honest, my thinker has been a little cloudy of late, and I'm slowly working it all out via the printed word. Can you even bear to hear someone else prattling on about what they think Drumpf is teaching us about America? No? I don't blame you. Feel free to skip this post. For the rest of you...

The U.S of A. has the biggest and most well-funded military in the world. War is where much of our technological advancement comes from (though good old capitalism is no slouch in that arena), and where most of our discretionary income goes. If one argued that military spending was a drug, America would be long overdue for an intervention--we've become beyond obsessive with being well-armed. OVER armed, I think. Ready for anything, even though we're not really ready for things like say, a biological attack. Readiness is a lie, and most of us know that.

Still, as Drumpf loves to point out, we have a YUGE and impressive military. We could fuck up pretty much any country we wanted, especially if we didn't give a crap about loss of life (evidence suggests that we don't). We've used our military to topple democratically elected leaders in other countries. We've armed terrorists who were actively fighting their governments and killing law-abiding citizens. Saddam Hussein wouldn't have had two sticks to rub together if it weren't for us. We've used our military to torture people, and to hold suspects illegally and without charge or counsel. In much of the world, not only are we not "da best," we're not even the Good Guys.

We've all listened to most of what Drumpf has spouted as his ideas for foreign policy: building a wall, keeping out members of one religion, killing terrorist's families, carpet bombing nations we have not declared war on, and even using nukes. Reasonable people can agree that he shouldn't drive a car, let alone be given nuclear codes. And yet, it could happen. If too many people vote 3rd party and split the rational vote, it could happen.

If another country elected a dumbass maniac tire fire like Drumpf, one who threatened to kill our families and banish those of a religion they didn't care for--what would we do? Remember, we're a people who think a cashier saying "Happy Holidays" is being oppressive, and that Occupy Wallstreet protestors deserved to be beaten and pepper sprayed for "not having jobs" and "blocking the street." So I say again--what would we do to another country who elected such a hateful, disgusting, sexist bigot who threatened war crimes as an opener--and was still voted to the highest office in the land???

Seriously. What reason would they have NOT to invade us, attack us, remove the despot from office? If Drumpf was elected president, the rest of the world would have good reason to bomb us back to the stone age. It would suck, but we'd deserve it.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
As most of you know, we lost our battle with Nightmare Client's bank, and he robbed us of almost $3,000 (plus fees). Later, he had some rented legal firm send us a hilarious "cease and desist" that suggests that I posted a bunch of bad Amazon reviews on his terrible book (which would be absolutely legal for me to do, though I didn't do that). Losing the money was a drag, but not ruinous to us thanks to everyone having our backs. I still think it's some bullshit that we weren't even allowed to talk to the people at NC's bank. PayPal purportedly argued for us, but we have no idea what happened or what was said. Even more than the money, it bites that NC actually gets to walk away thinking he was vindicated. The bank didn't remotely get the full story.

Anyway...I learned recently that Alex Nouri (that's Nightmare Client's name, BTW. I see no more reason not to release it) has pulled the same fuckery with another freelancer. From what I can tell, it was the same bullshit that happened with us. Incessant Emails and phone calls, demanding near constant attention, pretending that not hearing back within the hour is "unprofessional." Shit like that. All the while, this ass professes to be "patient" and "understanding." I'm pretty sure he's a drunk, and he seems to have some mental health issues as well. So when the freelancer has finally had enough and walks away, the chargebacks begin even though the work is done. That's also when the bizarre accusations start.

You know how some people talk about how they have friends in high places? Apparently NC has friends who are cops, lawyers, bankers, politicians, and more. Yet he can't seem to convince more than one person (who I strongly suspect is him) to leave his book a good review? Nickel, please.

What I want is to blast this jackasses name and history of fuckery to every freelancer known to mankind. I want to make sure no one is EVER taken advantage of by this self-important, ignorant fuckstick again. I'm putting together a list of warning sites for editors, writers, graphic and web designers, and would love it if you all can hip me to the ones you know about or recommend.

Never in my life have I met (let alone worked with) someone so simultaneously ignorant and arrogant. It boggles the mind that he thinks so much of himself while being such a stupid, needy numpty...I need to contact the people of Scotland so I can amass a more appropriate list of insults. ;-) Despite my impressive vocabulary, I really don't have the words to adequately convey my disgust for this preening jackass and his laughable excuse for "writing" as he steals from hardworking freelancers in revenge for not constantly getting his way. (I can't put a live hyperlink in a print book no matter how hard I try, and I can't magically start coding after saying again and again that I don't code).
wednes: (Dancing Hurley)
We haven't heard anything else from Nightmare Client since we got that ridiculous letter from his rented legal firm. While that may seem like good news, it worries me.

Some facts:

--Nightmare Client is sure I'm responsible for all of his bad Amazon reviews, and therefore his lack of sales.

--I am not responsible for any, and Amazon can verify this if they so choose.

--As of the 13th of this month, the 21-day deadline sent by the lawyers will be up. As such, Nightmare Client will realize he's powerless in this situation.

I worry that once he realizes this, he will be driven even more insane. While he hasn't made direct threats of violence, it's obvious that he's fuckin' nuts. The stuff we've been sent via Email is delusional to the point of actual psychosis.

NC also knows things about us, like H's work schedule and how often I'm here alone.

We don't have room for a dog (I've been wanting one for a while now) and H won't even discuss having a gun in the house. I very much see his point, and am mostly in agreement. I have a taser, which is meant to discourage people from bothering me. I imagine it would be useless against someone who broke in here with the express purpose of doing me physical harm. And I'm telling you all--I wouldn't put that past this guy for a second. As I keep saying, he sounds deluded to me.

So the question is: How do I keep myself safe from this deranged maniac?
I seriously need ideas.
wednes: (Eclipse)
Weather wise, in-between seasons are my most hated times of year. It's hot in here, 76 degrees in fact--with the door wall slightly open (we can't open it a lot, because JoJo goes through screens like I go through Nature Valley cashew bars). I turned the fan on (the one that connects through the heat/air) and it's still 76 friggin degrees in here. Plus it's humid. I loathe humidity.

I ordered us a fan from Amazon. Amazon Prime used to offer overnight shipping for $5 more. Now it's $7 more. Not only that, but Saturday used to count as a business day. But today, I ordered a fan and with two-day shipping, I won't have it until Tuesday. Still, it's cheaper than getting a cab to the store and back. That would actually cost more than the fan itself.

So, whine whine, complain complain...because my brain refuses to function when it's this hot.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
People who know us know that H is a wicked talented graphic designer. I love his work, but obvs I'm biased. He's made many cards and gifts for people--lots of posters, printed scripts with cool covers, etc. He designs all my marketing stuff, and created the logos for Under the Bed magazine and The Horror Within, among other things. He's designed some awesome book covers and more marketing stuff for friends, family, and clients.

I'd been pestering him to put a portfolio together, so he could make more money doing something he loves and is awesome at. He didn't. A year ago I figured, screw it. We'll start a business together. I can do book layout and editing, he can do cover and internal graphics. Together, we could help people self-publish their books, and maybe even publish some people outside what I already did with the magazine (except with better communication and more money), and what I do with the site now (again, with more money). So we've had a few clients and done some good work.

Then...one of our clients took some of H's designs to H's day-job for printing. I'm not saying the name of H's work here, and if you know it, please refrain from saying so in the comments. Anyway, this led to questions that then led to H's work informing him that he is not allowed to perform, for profit, any service that his company offers. Even if it's to people who were not customers already. Even if it's something he doesn't actually do for this company, and therefore doesn't involve poaching customers. Even though it doesn't involve using his work's equipment or resources, or wouldn't impact his job function in any way. Even though he's been with the company for almost 20 years and has never been reprimanded in any capacity. He isn't allowed to use his skills to make money on his own time, because employees of his company in another facility H has never even been to, do something similar to what he does--design graphics.

I can't even put into words how sad and angry I am about this.
Our new business was going really well. We had annoying clients who paid us a good wage, and let us work together to do great things for a variety of projects. It was great and promised to only get more awesome as time went on.

Now it's over.
Sure, I can still take on clients for layout and editing. But I don't have H's skills backing me up. We can't offer cover design services or marketing support that requires the use of graphics (ie: most of it). We'd never be a full-service company for people who want to publish books. All because an obscenely profitable and absurdly huge company thinks they have a right to tell H what to do in his own time, with his own computers and talent. And being H, he's not even going to argue with them. Because that's the kind of employee he is.
I can't even let H know the full extent of my disappointment and anger, because he already feels really bad about it.

So long, [name of company redacted].
You were a good dream.
wednes: (Hazel 2)
I was watching That 70's Show recently because TVLand or whoever started them over from the beginning. Before Eric and Donna got together, Hyde made a pretty serious play for Donna. He even learned how to dance so he could dance with her when they skipped town to go to a disco. Her response? "Shut up and dance." Here's what Hyde did:
Kept dancing.
Maintained a respectful distance.
Was happy for his best friend when he got together with her.
Let it go.

What didn't Hyde do?
Kiss her anyway.
Call her a bitch/tease/whore/slut/dyke/etc.
Tell her how sorry she'd be some day.
Shoot up a women's studies class.
Keep pestering her in the hopes that she'd change her mind.
Remind her and everyone else what a Nice Guy (TM) he was.
Develop a disturbing and ever-growing hatred of women.

Even though Hyde is considered less than a moral ideal on that show, he was totally cool about the things that matter. Steven Hyde teaches us that you can drink underage, smoke pot, be lazy on occasion, reject the establishment, and come from a trashy family of terrible people--and still be a good person.

The concept of friend-zoning someone is still pretty hilarious to me. I suspect that teens have been subjected to such a glut of stupid romantic comedies and teen sex romp movies that boys think they have some sort of dramatic imperative to "fight for" and "win" the girl of their dreams. If they don't, they're either a complete loser or they "gave up too soon." That's a shame, because the idea of waiting around until She suddenly sees you as a sex god is about as silly as asking Elon Musk to turn you into Captain America.

I grew up as a fat teenager in the 80's. Back in the day, the concept of "friend zoning" did not exist. If you liked someone and they didn't like you that way you were supposed to get the hell over it and move on. Hanging around with them in the hopes that they'd change their mind about you was considered pathetic. Trust me, I know of whence I speak on this. Never, at no time, EVER was the object of your affection considered an asshole for the mere "crime" of not finding you attractive. Why? Because that would be stupid. That's not how attraction works. And yeah, those unrequited teenage crushes can hurt like hell, I know that too. But your pain doesn't mean anyone owes you anything.

As far as I've seen women never expect someone who doesn't find them attractive to suddenly do so after they're nice for a long time or whatever. But somehow, lots of men do. What's more--these men are often the last ones who would consider dating a fat chick or someone considered not stereotypically beautiful. I'm reminded of the American Dad episode where Francine "lets herself go" to prove that Stan loves her for her true self, and he ends up putting his own eyes out because she's so ugly to him that he can't look at her. He says something like 'Francine, I want a beautiful wife. If marriage was about connection, I'd have married that fat girl I had all those great conversations with.'

This philosophy basically boils down to, "Why don't any really HOT girls realize that beauty is only skin deep?" Because life is not a beer commercial, you assholes. And hanging around waiting for your "nice" friendship to morph into a sex parade is not what a "nice guy" would do.
It's what predators do.
wednes: (Doctor Literally Too Stupid)
Remember last summer when Facebook decided I was a liar with a fake name? I had to go through all this bullshit of sending IDs, having them ask for more, sending more, having them tell me they couldn't read what I've sent (despite it being perfectly legible). Eventually, they told me everything was fine. It wasn't. I notice too that Photobucket deleted my screencaps of my Emails with Facebook people. I presume they're in cahoots. Days later, I was again told that this was all fine. Apparently, it still isn't.
Woke up last night to find myself locked out of Facebook AGAIN. The message? "Please change your name. It looks like the name on your Facebook account may not be your authentic name. We ask everyone to use the name they go by in real life so friends know who they're connecting with."
I could count on my fingers the number of people who know me by my legal name, which is Wednesday Lee [H's last name, which I took legally when I got married]. So much foolishness. How many IDs do I need to show Facebook in order to keep arguing politics with strangers and looking at pictures of cats and dinners? Seriously.


It occurs to me, that I won't be able to log into Photobucket for this week's reviews since my login has always been via Facebook. So, if they don't fix this shit by Sunday, this foolishness will start costing me real jobs and actual money.
EDIT: Looks like I can log in via Twitter, who appears to be the lesser asshole in this situation. It's generally the users on Twitter who suck, not Twitter itself.

I wish there was a way to do what I normally do on the Internets without having to bow and scrape to a company that only uses us as marketing chattel in the first place, gives no control over content, and then occasionally accuses us of not knowing our own names. WTF. #Annoyance

Busy

Feb. 8th, 2016 11:21 am
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
I haven't posted at all in February yet. So I feel like I should even though I don't have much to say. Oh wait, there is one thing.

If you're voting for Hillary Clinton solely because you think "it's about time for a woman president," you should shut your face. Sure, it would be nice if gender was less an issue when we choose politicians. But gender isn't relevant to whether or not someone is right for the job, would do a good job, or is the strongest choice for the position at hand.

Me, I don't find Hillary to be trustworthy. She always seems fake and forced, plus she loves big banks. I get that she's experienced and strong-willed, but if she's not strong-willed about stuff I think is important (single payer health care, $15 or higher minimum wage, less war), why the hell should I support her?

Trump

Jan. 28th, 2016 03:19 am
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
I'm trying to say as little as possible about Trump, while still not ignoring his more vile tendencies. I can't imagine that he could ever actually win the presidency. The primaries are mostly wank for the majority of candidates. I'm honestly not sure Trump wants to be POTUS in the first place. But since he's never done anything with skill, honesty, or integrity, I wouldn't expect him to be honest about his true intentions.

I'm not surprised that Republicans and "undecided" voters gravitate toward a showman who lives to shock people with the asinine things he says. I should think the main reason other Republicans don't like Trump is that it's highly possible that he'll get the GOP nomination. And that there's no way in hell that he can win.

It's also looking like Hilldog is not gonna get her wish this time around either. Bernie would have to fall seriously ill (or worse) to lose this thing to her. Yeah, she has a ton of experience and would do a passable job. But she's not really going to do shit about income inequality, the minimum wage, veterans affairs, campaign finance, and a lot of other shit that's fucking things up for everyone who isn't upper-middle class or above.

Honestly, I think what I hate most about Trump this week is that he actually makes me want to defend Megyn Kelly. But dammit, the enemy of my enemy can't always be my friend. She truly is a vile woman.

Um...

Jan. 19th, 2016 01:12 pm
wednes: (Homer/Stones)
Am I the only one who remembers that Glenn Frey was kind of an asshole? Not quite as bad as Don Henley though.

Both of those dudes were bitter jags when the Beavis and Butthead album knocked Eagles Greatest Hits off the charts. "I guess we'll all get together in 20 years for the Beavis and Butthead reunion."

And then we did.

Because Beavis and Butthead are hilarious.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)
OMFG, I hate everything today.

The washer in our building has been broken since well before Christmas. Once it had been broken for two weeks, they magnanimously decided to allow H a key to a different building to use their washer. Alas, they kept his driver's license (they claim they gave it back, but it's fucking nowhere to be found) so now we can't do any more laundry until H gets a new one from secretary of state--or they actually fix the goddamn thing.

See, our lease says we live in a building with a washer and dryer. They don't give a shit. When I call to say "What's the holdup, it's been over a month," they also don't care. There's no recognition that "Oh, that's gotta suck for people who don't drive to not be able to do their laundry." Nope. It's like they've never worked a customer service gig before, and have no idea that sometimes--people just want to know that you give a rat's ass about fixing their problem. I shouldn't have to explain, for example, that if they don't have an answer for me, they need to call me back when they get one.

Also, I had to buy more socks.

I also have a client driving me insane, and who honestly seems to think that I'm sitting around doing nothing any time I'm not doing work for him. He knows very little about the book market or the industry in general--but refuses to take the advice of those who do. I foresee that he's going to pay me to handle his marketing, then blame me when the book doesn't sell--even though the reason it won't sell is that nobody is going to pay $20 for an eBook by someone they've never heard of, on a topic that's on its way out. Cripes!
The AHS finale tonight (which I'm SURE will disappoint), and the general tenor of the internet being...well, it's the internet. I imagine I don't have to explain.

I'm not gonna go on and on about this, but if you think that within 48-hours of David Bowie's death is a good time to call him a "kiddie rapist" because he may have had sex with an underage groupie in the 70's...fuck you. You couldn't possibly care about that or you'd have brought it up sometime in the 70's, or 80's, or 90's, etc. But no, you clickbaity sons of bitches can't wait to garner a few pennies per click off the not-yet-cold body of a man who--even after he knew he was dying, put together something amazing for his fans.
Let me just say that while there is certainly the potential for abuse when adults have sex with teenagers--not all teen/adult sex is rape (you'll notice that ages of consent vary from state to state) and that people don't magically go from frightened child-victims to fully competent, informed adults upon the occasion of their 18th birthday (or 17th, or 15th, depending on the state). Moreover, I'm tired of people dictating how other people's sexual experiences should be judged...or the idea that they should be judged at all. If an individual asks for your help or guidance, you should give it. If they haven't, stay the fuck out of it.
wednes: (TV!!!)
Every now and then, someone will express surprise to me that I have this person or that person as an online friend, despite them spouting unpopular views or having strong opinions I don't agree with, or even doing shitty things like posting spoilers on purpose. But people who know me well know that I enjoy dialoging about tough topics--especially among those with whom I disagree. I don't want my life to be an echo chamber of shit I already agree with. Plus, I don't know everything, and people I don't agree with are more likely to know shit that I don't know. Though they might still be bugfuck wrong. ;-)

Today I saw a post referencing Jessica Jones on Netflix. Someone else was basically saying that because in the first episode, there was a single joke they didn't like (a joke that was insensitive to, and at the expense of, fat people), they "had no interest in" the rest of the series. Now obviously, people can choose to watch whatever the hell they want. But I found it curious that this post came from a person who, every day, argues that people need to seek out information that conflicts with what they've been taught, and that they need to be more respectful of alternate/new viewpoints. I really can see both sides of this.

On the one hand, we can all choose only to expose ourselves to people, things, ideas, and speech that is to our liking. For most people, watching TV is a leisure time activity and is supposed to be fun. Plenty of people watch TV and movies to escape the bullshit they see out in the world--so the last friggin thing they need is to see mean shit on their down time.
Personally, I like my viewing material to be more challenging, so I often seek out things that will make me think, feel discomfort, ponder and debate, or get really, really scared as I wonder what I'd do if what was happening to the characters was happening to me. But that's me--overall, my life is pretty easy.

On the other hand, I think it's myopic and incredibly limiting to say "I don't like something this character said, so I'm not going to expose myself to any of this material." In this case, that means missing out on the entirety of Jessica Jones, which would be a bummer for anyone who appreciates complex characters, or in-depth discussion of issues like responsibility, trauma, control, and consent. Plus, it's an awesome cast in a well-plotted show that everyone can get something out of--you know, unless they bail after Ep1.
When I say, "It's only a show," I'm not saying that what happens in fiction doesn't matter because it's just pretend. But I *am* saying that fictional characters shouldn't have the same impact as real-life people doing and saying real-life things. If they do, you might need to step back.
The characters in the TV aren't your friends. The rules of interpersonal communication do not apply. Watching a program doesn't make you complicit in the actions of the fictional characters--not even the protagonists. The Godfather is one of the greatest films ever made. Yet most of us don't leave the theatre wishing we had Luca Brasi's job. It's possible to laugh at Three's Company (for lack of a better example) without actually thinking homophobia is hilarious or that gay people deserve to be mocked or belittled.
Surely we're not so fragile that we have to scurry away from any speech we don't like, or pretend that everyone who appears in fictional media has to conform to our personal standards of morality or interpersonal communication-- or we just can't bear to look?!? Or is it a question of feeling "disrespected" by jokes? It might bear keeping in mind that TV shows and movies aren't made with any 1 audience member in mind. If they were, we'd probably know that before tuning in. Why is it so easy for some of us to be offended by people who literally don't know we exist? I'm certainly guilty of this.

It's possible that I'm assigning emotions or motivations incorrectly to behaviors I don't like. It might be that I loathe the superior air with which people say "I don't watch THAT" as if not watching something is analogous to actually doing something that helps oppressed people. Maybe it's the idea that you really can't have dramatic conflict in a world where no one has a problem with women, or men, or rich people, or poor people, or racial minorities, or religious minorities, or fat people, trans people, gay people, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, or takes issue with how people dress, how they dance, who they date, where they come from, or whether or not they can grammar.
EVERYONE sees the world through their own filters. EVERYONE judges other people for reasons seen and unseen. If you think you don't, sorry--but you're a filthy liar.
The more types of people we expose ourselves to, the more we learn about our fellow humans. Obviously, there are valid reasons not to befriend a mafioso, or a gaggle of methheads, or a pray-the-gay-away commune in real-life. But in media? One of the best steps we can take toward understanding each other is to expose ourselves to as much varied media as we can--and do our best to understand what we see viscerally--not just turning our backs on new material one rough comment in. We can do better than that. And for most of us, our lives are comfortable enough that we can safely expose ourselves to a whole helluva lot via the media at our disposal without collapsing into a quivering puddle of sobs or annoying short-lived outrage that doesn't go anywhere.

So kids, watch what you like--or don't watch. But if I may personify Television for a moment: I promise that the mean old TV-box isn't going to hurt you unless you let it. It's just a box. I promise. And if you let fear and potential discomfort keep you from exploring all the box has to offer, the least you can do is not blame it on the box.
wednes: (OMG!!!)
As most of you know, my relationship with children is complex.
There are plenty of individual children that I enjoy very much. I like talking with them, buying them presents, hanging out, watching movies--a lot of the stuff I like to do anyway is more fun to do with an enthusiastic young kid.

Also...some kids are annoying little shits. It's usually not their fault, since they always have at least one parent who's also an annoying shit. But once a kid gets to be 12 or 13, they know damn well when they're being little assholes, and they need to stop that shit if they want an invite to my home.

There's a kid living in my building now. She screams at the top of her lungs on a regular basis, and for no apparent reason. Now, I expect this to happen at home--where I might occasionally hear it from my own apartment. If this was a sometime thing, it wouldn't be that annoying. But it happens at all hours (and this is ME, of no fixed schedule saying that). She screams in the hallway, while running up and down the stairs, and just outside our bedroom window. Okay, that's "outside" and kids should probably have outside places where they can scream--but dammit, there shouldn't be a kid screaming outside my bedroom window for hours at a time.
Worst part is? She's never alone. There's always a parent with her--one that doesn't seem to think that the screaming in the hall, up and down the stairs, whenever they enter or exit the building--is a problem.

I'm certainly petty and manic enough to want to place some speakers directly outside this family's door and treat them to some German industrial music when they least expect it. But it might also be nice if there was a way to say "Shut your kid up, why don't you," and not have it sound like "You are a terrible parent, and might should try doing better before I kick your ass." I'm told that my opinions on other people's parenting can seem judgy and rude. At the same time, I think parents only get shitty about my parenting observations when they know damn well that I'm right. *snerk*
wednes: (Santa?)
Have you seen this picture?
 photo 12316143_10206744484384965_2987863546914017243_n_zpsb7sc4orq.jpg
Some lady posted it on Facebook, saying how funny it was that her kid would probably never forgive her. The pic got tons of comments of people LOLing and guffawing over how knee-slappingly hysterical it is that the kid was so angry. People are sharing it all over as if this kid's pain and feelings of betrayal are the stuff of real comedy.

Not surprisingly, it makes me sick.
Look, I get that it's common for parents to collude to tell most American kids the same dumb lie about a jolly fat guy who breaks into their house and leaves gifts. Of course, people breaking into houses isn't funny, no, not even when it happens to little MacCauley Culkin.
Kids taking things from strangers used to also be strongly cautioned against--until we figured out that most kids are kidnapped or molested by people they already know. But yeah, I do understand that Santa is a fun thing for parents to do. Ditto that "there's a doll watching you at all times," elf thing. I get that many people think "pretending" is different from lying, and that this distinction is different in every household. When your teenager "pretends" that they were studying when they were actually out getting high and having sex--I doubt that it will be seen as "hilarious" or "just part of growing up" the way the Santa lie is. Even if "every kid goes through that."

Surely, once the kid actually asks whether Santa (or the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, Jesus) is real or made-up, a parent has an obligation to tell the truth? Everyone keeps telling me it's harmless, or even a good thing for parents to lie to kids. I'm just not seeing it. Of course, I have enough issues that my own life isn't a prime example of what any parent should or should not do. But I can't get my head around why you'd lie to a kid if you don't want them to lie to you.

Let's say though, that lying to kids is fine because they're just kids and kids should just shut up and do what they're told. It's not, but let's say that it is.
Once you realize that your lie has hurt and upset your child, that they don't believe they can trust you anymore and are devastated--why the fuck would you be laughing at that?
If I understand this right, the "joke" is that Santa isn't very important and that kids will "get over it." Maybe parents have forgotten that being a kid is not easy. You're little, you can't do all the things people around you can do. You're trying to figure everything out and find your place in the world you live in. Why the hell is it FUNNY for the people who are supposed to be helping you to a) lie to you, and b) laugh at the fact that their lies have compromised your relationship? Isn't laughing at pain you caused the action of a playground bully?

To a kid, Santa is a very, very big deal. Personally, I used to wish that Santa would find my real parents who were happy and successful and really wanted me around--but I digress. Santa is as important to a kid as your marriage is to you. If you got a divorce, would it be FUNNY for your ex to post a vid of you crying? After all, you'll "get over it," right? Maybe all his buddies can laugh at how upset you are--because thinking that marriage would last was (like Santa) utterly ridiculous, right? Sheesh.
wednes: (Go Crazy?)


Been thinking a lot about online trolls. The point of trolling, when it began, was what trolls used to call "causing emotion." Essentially, the "joke" was that people got mad at stuff that wasn't real. Why wasn't it real? Because it was on the internet.
When someone says something that isn't true, you weren't supposed to call them a liar anymore, according to trolls. Sure, they said something that was knowingly false, and for the purpose of making you believe it. But it was a prank, a TROLL. And hahaha, because by believing something that a person told you--you "fell for it." Yep, you've been trolled. Even in the early days of the internets, trolling was just lying and then pretending it was a joke. You know, because advancing the idea that no human should ever trust another is side-splittingly hilarious, or something.

Later, "troll" became a catch-all phrase for assholes who spread assholery online for their own assholish reasons. Women talking about their own rape trauma--troll trots over to a women's health forum to call other members "sluts and teases." Gay chatroom for suicidal kids is trolled by trolls that say "Do it, Fag, nobody cares about you anyway!" Hahahaha--TROLLING! Isn't that funny? *eyeroll* It's the internet version of a drive-by. No accountability, no real reason for it. Just fuckery for its own sake. Aside from the fact that I don't see the humor in being shitty to strangers for no reason--I have to wonder about the mental stability of a person who thinks such a thing is clever, chuckleworthy, or even a good use of their time.
Sure, misogyny, racism, sexism, homophobia are already huge issues in society, and would be even without the internet. Duh. But this sort of trolling smacks of nihilism that asserts that communication is useless, ideas are dumb, and all the good the internet can do should be interrupted by useless dickheads so desperate to create a ripple in the virtual water that they hurl not just stones--but intense hatred, vile threats, and general evil intent. But HAHAHA! Because "trolling!"

At one point, it seemed like clever people might take trolling back. There was a movement to troll in ways that were funny, witty, and not meant to terrorize anyone, or encourage any suicides. But alas, it didn't last.

From where I'm sitting, modern trolls can be translated thusly:
--You care about something, and that is dumb.
--I said something that wasn't true and you believed me, and that is dumb.
--I don't agree with you [vulgarities, threats, insanity], and that is dumb.
--People are enjoying something--we'll see about THAT.
--People are improving a situation--we'll see about THAT.
--Something terrible has happened, but I don't care because it wasn't me.
--Actually witty trolling that isn't meant to belittle or harm anyone.

Even trolling on behalf of outright anarchy would make more sense to me than trolling with the intent of hurting strangers on purpose. You know, people who basically say, "Hey, I'm a fucking asshole. If people are upset because of a fucking asshole, that's their problem." People who think that way should probably just commit themselves to a mental institution and not come out until they're better. But they won't, because they're assholes. Maybe a fun troll would be to SWAT them, except instead of a calling SWAT, call the nice young men in their clean white coats to come and take them Awaaaaaaay (to the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time).
No, that won't happen.
But it's a beautiful dream.
wednes: (Really?)
How much more disgusted is it possible to be with one's countrymen? Every time I think I've reached maximum disgust between the Tea Party and all their nonsense, in-your-face gun activists who can't go out to dinner without packing major heat, and Donald Trump being treated as if he's actually a viable presidential candidate--I get schooled on how cowardly and terrible Americans can be.

I know plenty of Christians online and in RL--of all stripes. I know Mormons who think it's their duty to keep having more children as long as they can, even though they aren't able to support them financially. I know Baptists who were taught, and still struggle with, slut-shaming being the duty of any good parent. I know Catholics who honestly believe that using birth control is a one-way ticket to damnation. I don't agree with these things. Frankly, I doubt the veracity of those who claim to honestly adopt these beliefs as part of their worship of a purportedly benevolent god.

But here's the thing: I've been hearing for years now about how we have to do everything the bible says, lest we be immoral. Of course the people who say this don't really mean it--because they wear glasses to church, eat shrimp, don poly-cotton blends, get haircuts, etc, etc, etc. They also don't own slaves or force rape victims to marry their attackers. But hey, we have to follow at least the spirit of the bible, right? For morality? That's why we're supposed to applaud people like Cliven whatever the fuck who trespassed to graze his cattle, or Kim Davis who "took a stand" against those awful gays with all that gayness. It's because of the bible that we have to refuse to make pizzas for gay weddings or rip our kids out of scouts because the leader is gay. It's why Planned Parenthood is getting ridden out of town on a rail despite a profound and immediate need for it. Because Jesus, because bible.

But now...that war orphans, widows, displaced families are desperately seeking asylum--what do we do? "Sorry, all full. Sorry (not sorry) but none of you can come here." Shit, this cowardly bullshit is even coming from the very people who wouldn't even fucking be here if it wasn't for the US taking in refugees. I'm looking at YOU, Ted Cruz, you shrewish sack of crap. And the Anne Frank thing? It's actually true. She might still be alive now if we hadn't wanted to "stay out of it."

If you have honestly informed yourself about the Paris attacks and the overall refugee situation caused by Daesh (which was, in fact, largely caused by the good ol' US of A), and your takeaway is that they're all Muslims which means all terrorists which means GTFO? You are a monster. You aren't living by traditional Christian morality, and you sure as fuck don't believe that #AllLivesMatter despite your insistence to the contrary. As many others have said better than I: By refusing refugees, we are giving in to terrorists. We're giving them exactly what they want.

The "that's too bad, but this isn't my problem" school of foreign policy has been our ugliest export for some time. We fuck with any country that has something we want, claiming it's about 'necessary regime change' or 'exporting democracy.' But we do fuckall in countries where abominations happen all the goddamn time. Why aren't we helping oppressed Chinese workers? Or any of the other non-Paris places that have been bombed by terrorists in the last few weeks? Because we don't actually care about the people in these places. As a nation, we only care about what we can get from them.

The United States of America has the biggest, baddest, most well-funded armed forces in the world. Yet we're cowering in fear at people running for their lives from the very people we profess to hate? Are we really that lily-livered? Where are all the gun-enthusiasts who need fucking rocket launchers and semi-auto machine guns to "protect their families?" Why aren't they standing by the borders, ushering refugees in and offering to dispatch anyone who tries any terrorist shit?
No, I don't think we are entirely cowardly. But I do think we're that hateful. I think we, as a people, are absolutely callous enough to hear about refugees and think "Well who the hell told them to live in [insert godforsaken hellhole here] in the first place?" You know, the same way people say "Hey, if you didn't want to be treated like shit for 50 hours a week and still not be able to afford a doctor, why'd you choose to work at [minimum wage shithole]?"

The response to this refugee crisis is another embarrassingly ugly case of demonizing victims because it's easier to hate than to help. It's simpler to say "Hey, they brought this on themselves," than to say "Holy shit, that's awful--what can I do to help." It may be true that taking in displaced people or donating $50 won't "solve" the problem of terrorism. There will always be disgruntled assholes who think hurting people is fun and use that excuse to advance some bugfuck ideology. But what there should never be, are people who see these atrocities and say "I'd like to help, but helping might make something go badly for me, so I don't think I'll even try."

I've seen the way some of you react when your basement floods. Now imagine that your house was blown up, half your family dead, your son stolen and forced to fight for terror, and you're literally running for your life. Now imagine a bunch of comfy AF Americans sitting amid central heating, watching Netflix and eating food they can drive to the store and get without anyone shooting at them--got it? Imagine them saying that you can't stay in an empty hotel and get a cold shower and decent sleep, because they're afraid you might be the people you're actually fleeing from.
Then tell me you wouldn't fucking hate the people who did that to you.

So if you're saying that, if you're saying anything like that--stop it.
Just fucking stop.

Hats

Nov. 16th, 2015 04:51 am
wednes: (Jack Mocks)
We finally broke down Friday night and turned the heat on. Obvs, heat is expensive and less necessary than air conditioning as far as we're concerned. Being cold merely means putting on more clothes. Being hot turns our home into a nightmarish hellscape in which no work can be done.

Joke's on us though, because our heat doesn't work. Some maintenance guy came by a few weeks ago. He looked at our thermostat, did nothing, then left saying all was well. I now suspect that his job was turning on the heat to make sure it worked. No dice. No heat is not considered an emergency unless you can see your breathe while inside. Dicks.

So hopefully today one of those dickheads will come out here and fix it. Let's hope he's able to do this without fucking with my toothbrush (again).

In the mean time, I'm wearing a jacket and hat inside. That means JoJo's usual trick of scratching the shit out of me to get my attention--doesn't work. Too much coat for his little claws to manage.

Currently, the temperature reads 61 degrees, but I think it's actually colder than that. I feel like I just bit into a York peppermint patty, and am now standing on a frozen mountain top.

Also, all you people who have already posted TWD spoilers are assholes. Seriously.

Assholes

Oct. 26th, 2015 06:04 pm
wednes: (Zombie B&W)
It seems we need a reminder, so here's an updated list of things. What kind of things? Well, these are things which--if you do them--make it perfectly fine to label you as an asshole. Don't want to be an asshole? Start by not doing these things.

--Post spoilers. We're all glad that you have time to watch The Walking Dead as it airs. But for people with kids, jobs, lives, can't afford cable, etc--they have to watch later. Telling everyone what happens without giving a shit about their enjoyment of the show makes you an asshole. Stop being an asshole.

--Bullshit. Making ridiculous, bullshit assertions online probably already makes you an asshole. But if you're asked for facts to back up your buffoonery and reply "Hey, I'm not gonna do your research for you," you are an asshole. Don't make absurd statements if you can't back them up with facts. And by "facts," I don't mean FOX news, Brietbart, Blaze, or any other bullshit rag. Also, you're not being a "devil's advocate," nor are you "just sayin'." Stop being an asshole.

--Make fun of someone's shitty job. Everyone needs money to live (unless you're a rich asshole or someone else is paying your way). Mocking someone for the degrading job they have, the paltry money they receive, or the horrible treatment they get from customers or bosses is NOT funny. Don't make fun of people for working--especially if you're also the kind of asshole that talks shit about people who get SNAP, disability, or unemployment. Stop being an asshole.

--Turn every discussion into extremes. Gun control does not mean "take everyone's guns away and never let anyone have them again." Pro-choice doesn't mean "taxpayer funded abortions for everyone." Saying no subject is off limits for comedy doesn't mean it'll be a celebration of racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. Everyone you don't like isn't Hitler. Everyone who disagrees with you is not "oppressive." Stop being an asshole.

--Your kids. I like kids, honestly I do. But when you let them come into my house and trash the place because you'd rather smoke my pot than watch them--you're not just being an asshole. You're teaching assholery to a new generation. Sure, dropping something is an accident--which is why the kid was told not to pick it up in the first place. No, I don't expect a small child to know better. I expect you, the fucking parent, to know better and act accordingly. Stop being an asshole.

--Borrowing shit. Not everything I own is okay for borrowing. Stop making that face. We've probably all lost shit to "borrowing," and it sucks. It may not be personal that I'm not letting you borrow a signed, numbered copy of something. But even if it is, I'm under no obligation to let anyone take my shit out of my home. Stop being an asshole about it.

--Lying. I know a lot of the same people you know. So if you're out there spewing crap about people I love (or me), we'll all find out about it eventually. I'm genuinely sorry that the giant chip on your shoulder prevents you from being honest. But if you make it my problem, you may be shocked at how thoroughly I remove you from my life. And you have yourself to blame--because you were an asshole.

--"Sorry, not sorry." Fuck you. Just fuck you. Sorry, not sorry the current "I'm not racist but..." or "I'm not a complete asshole, but..." Sorry, not sorry to be the one to break it to you--but you ARE a complete asshole. Stop it.
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
It's always a drag when I try to have a civil disagreement with feminist-activists, and have to end up explaining that no, I'm not okay with racism, I'm not cool with sexism, but I do think it's okay to tackle these subjects via humor that is not always politically correct.

It's a bigger drag when I'm accused of being "part of the problem" because I disagree that artists are morally or ethically wrong because they approach subjects in a way that leaves a few individuals offended.

Comedy is supposed to be offensive at times. That's not to say that racist, homophobic, or other hateful humor should be celebrated. But the fact that a joke might make you wince, groan, or roll your eyes isn't necessarily indicative of an amoral comedian who thinks your pain is hilarious. If you're so offended that you can't stand to hear more--by all means, turn it off. Nobody is making you watch. Feel free to shout from the rooftops how offended you are. But, if you can, let's not leap to the conclusion that anyone who would dare offend you is a terrible person who doesn't deserve an audience...or oxygen.

Nobody has to find Amy Schumer funny if they don't want to, or Lena Dunham, or Daniel Tosh, or any other funny writer. I don't like Jeff Dunham; I think Larry the Cable Guy embodies much that is wrong with America, and that the best joke Jeff Foxworthy ever told is the one where he got famous. And yet, somehow, I'm able to live my life even knowing that these celebrations of stupidity exist.

Silencing artists is not the best, second best, or 53rd best way to end oppression, or hate, to give the disenfranchised a lift, or to improve anything ever. If fighting for social justice means so much to you (and it probably should), do something tangible about it rather than just tearing down artists because you're angry that people like them even after they've offended little ol' YOU. No artist is obligated to be all things to all people. You are not entitled to a world where no one is ever offended. Even if that could exist, it would be boring to the point of madness, and would likely never evolve or move forward. Discomfort spurs us to action. Being comfortable spurs us to apathy. If we didn't have air conditioners or TVs, I bet a lot more of us would be politically and socially engaged. But that's a topic for another day.

None of this is meant to say that people shouldn't complain when they're offended. They should if they want to. And just as everyone has the right to talk about being offended, so does everyone have the right to offend. I'm sick to fucking death of those who think any hint of offensiveness is morally and/or ethically wrong. Or worse, this idea that if someone is offended, that a) the speaker shouldn't get to speak anymore, and b) the intent of the speaker "doesn't matter." If someone has misinterpreted something, of course intent matters.

In the end, I think there really are people who complain just to demonstrate how very aware they are--even though said complaining is the kind of obstinate, accusatory pompousness that doesn't lead to a discussion or to the finding of common ground. It's not helpful to anyone, and should probably just stop. But it won't. Because the people who engage in it, for all their self-righteousness and feigned empathy, won't even consider examining their own behavior.
wednes: (Default)
On a huge "She Wants Revenge" kick after the Hunger-inspired killy group sex scene in the AHSH premiere last night. Not a bad ep, but as usual, seeing everyone complain about how much they dislike the show (that they somehow keep watching in the 5th year) is equally fun. I can't imagine hate-watching a show this fun, but to each their own, I suppose.

Was delighted to see that Kevin McCarthy (no, not the good one from Invasion of the Body Snatchers and UHF and such) is no longer trying to be Speaker of the House. Seems that if you hate gays, think women are stupid, and loathe the immigrants you hire to do the shit you think is beneath you, the only thing that can make the GOP hate you is you giving up their plan. So yeah, telling everyone that Benghazi was just a long con to discredit Hillary was never going to go his way. Even though most of us knew that already. Still, it's terrifying to think that John Boehner is the lesser of many evils in that instance.

BTW, I saw a few people making jokes about Boehner's orange face and not knowing what's up with that. Kids, Boehner is an alcoholic--the sort that drinks all day. When some people drink, they get red in the face. That makes it really obvious that they're stumbling around wasted, which is still considered unbecoming of a congressman--even on the right. Hence, the orange face that makes the red accents less obvious. You're welcome.
wednes: (Colbert Well Done)
Remember a few weeks, maybe a month ago, I found out H and I weren't getting the check from our 2013 income tax refile? I was super bummed because it was my fault and we sort of needed the money? Well, the check mysteriously arrived today, over a month after it was supposed to and after we were told it wasn't coming at all.

Wha--?

My back is still stiff and sore and terrible. Normally I'd do some stretches while lying on the floor. But the vacuum we bought last year is already broken and H doesn't want to buy one from Craigslist. So I'm not lying on a floor that hasn't been vacuumed in a month. No, not even when I'm in pain.

That bitch from Nerdly who talked shit about me in a review (and stole one of my pics, which has since been removed) is now attempting to justify her terrible behavior. Did you know that being transexual makes you the spokesperson for every transexual? I had no idea. Fascinating, right? Too bad I'm so "disrespectful" and need to "educate" myself. *shakes head*

Honestly, is there a difference between "she revealed herself to be a biological male" and "she revealed herself to be a transgendered woman" in terms of respect or dignity? If my phrasing (the first one) was honestly disrespectful, I do want to know about it. Though I maintain that calling me out publicly while lumping me in with people who made Crying Game jokes or used the term "He/She" is right out. The review was for Penny Dreadful, which is set in a time period before terms like transgendered or transexual were used, as far as I know. I find this annoying because a) I don't think I'm an ignorant or hateful person, and b) if my verbiage is off, I want to discuss it rather than fend off an accusation--especially from a total stranger. Gah.

ahhhhhhhh

Aug. 25th, 2015 01:14 pm
wednes: (Sow the Seed)
Been spending less time on the internets lately.
Result?
I hate people slightly less than I usually do.

Facebook does this weird thing now where it keeps automatically switching the feed I'm reading back to the "home" feed. The Home feed has the posts of every (according to FB's weird "we're hiding tons of random posts from people you've already said you want to read, because fuck you" matrix) person who I've friended back, and all their shitty ramblings. Whereas I read from a list called "Buddies," which is people and groups I'm genuinely interested in, and haven't hidden or blocked due to the barrage of misinformed, hateful, or churchy garbage that makes my blood boil. So when I'm reading my list and suddenly come across 5 "repost if you love Jesus" memes in a row followed by some hateful shit about fat people, welfare recipients, or Obama--I know FB has switched me back.

And yes, boiling blood is a major health issue for me.
Even worse than back pain.

That said, this Ashley Madison thing is bumming me out. Specifically, the glee with which people celebrate the doxxing and even subsequent suicides of people who were doing things that are, in short, none of anyone's goddamn business. Sure, if you're lying to your partner--you're probably an asshole. Though your partner might be a worse asshole. Or you might want to keep your family together for your kids. Or you might be in a place where you had little or no choice over who you'd marry. Or you might be somewhere you could be killed for being gay or trans. Or your partner might not care if you have affairs as long as they aren't humiliated publicly over it.
In short, if you think the Ashley Madison hackers are a benevolent group of justice-seekers standing up for marital fidelity, you're fucking kidding yourselves. At best, they are jaded asshats who've been hurt by a cheater and therefore don't care who else gets hurt as they punish a few strangers for things that are--again, none of their goddamn business.
If you're defending the shits who think doxxing is funny or "justice," I hope you take a long look at the way you live. Ask yourself if you do anything you wouldn't want splashed all over the alternative internet--and eventually the regular internet. Anything strangers would be thrilled to shame you for, that could potentially hurt your spouse, children, parents, friends, jobs, or anyone else you've dared to care about. Maybe ease up on the internet lynch mobs and concentrate on living your life as best you can. And stop being such self-righteous assholes.
wednes: (OMG!!!)
I'm doing a really, super good job of not freaking the hell out even though at least 3 hatchling centipedes have come out of our bathroom faucet in the last 2 days. I dismissed the first one as a random fluke--at H's behest. That's after screeching like a little girl, obviously.

I am most displeased.
H promises that he is taking care of it, which I guess means purification by fire (my idea) will be a backup plan.

Maintenance around here is usually hardcore weaksauce. But this time something will be done or we will move the hell out of here despite our intense poverty. I'd rather stay at the friggin shelter than deal with venomous insects breeding in our goddamn water supply.

As a horror writer, this is the sort of thing I would never include in a story because it seems cartoonishly horrific. Now that I'm living it though...I might have to.
In the mean time, I'm going to continue my quest for calm.

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