Wednesday, June 25, 2014

On the Acts of Activism

The comic that caused a flame war.
I recently got into a little online spat with someone regarding feminism. I thought that feminism is a valid drive for gender equality, and he thought that feminism is a form of gyno-fascism whose only goal is to enslave the Y-chromosomed masses and use us only as human tables, man-chariots for their hoisted thrones, and involuntary sperm donors*. He even informed me that female privilege exists, which is why 90% of prison inmates are men. First of all, what are you women doing that you’re getting away with so many crimes and not going to jail? Second of all, what a yutz. After I stated a few counterpoints to his non-points, he accused me of “White Knighting” and ended with, “They’re not going to sleep with you”.

So...yes...a yutz.

This is also reminds me of the first time I protested anti-gay protesters at a Pride parade. Every one of them thought I was gay, which is why I was out there making fun of them. When I told them that I was not, they were dumbfounded. Why on earth would I be out here if I were not gay myself???

More yutzes.

This seems to be an ongoing train of thought: if one is an activist for a cause, or even just agrees with it, then that person is a member of the group that will benefit from the cause’s goal. If the person is NOT a member of the group, then the reason he/she is upholding the cause is because he/she wants to have sex with members of the group. Let us venture down this rabbit hole: I once started a Fundly account to raise money for a homeless woman who was working her way through university. I have spoken out against the post-9-11 anti-Muslim sentiment that permeates society. I once voted for a candidate on the grounds that she wanted to mandate that all buildings have access to entry for handicapped individuals. I that Dan Snyder is a stubborn oblivious idiot because of his refusal to change the NFL Washington team’s name to something that is NOT a Native American racial epithet. If we go by the general train of thought, my ideal sexual partner is a homeless partially college educated paraplegic Muslim Cherokee hermaphrodite. That is ridiculous. Obviously, I want a quadriplegic.
All I was thinking during Pride was, "I'm
gonna get so much dick for this..." -_-

The only thing that is true is that I do like to have sex with women. However, that is not why I would support the tenets of feminism as I see them; that has everything to do with me not being a myopic putz. There is no other way to describe the idea that people only fight for causes that do not directly benefit them because they want to get “benefits” from those who do except utterly stupid. People fight for causes, especially ones regarding equality, because they are not selfish assholes. This lapse of logic is also the infuriating reason why some black people, when approached about supporting LGBT equality, will reply, “We have our own problems. We need to get our rights first!” Blacks in America did not free themselves from slavery’s shackles, nor did they combat Jim Crow on their own. Women didn't gain suffrage by their own means. Men with some common sense supported them. Gay and lesbians are MAYBE 9% of the population in the States. Marriage equality is favoured by over half of the nation. Is over half of the nation gay now? No.

It is hypocritical for me to fight for the rights of one at the expense of the rights of three others. We all work together, or we all fall. When we get out of the habit of assuming everyone fighting for the rights of those outside of their Venn diagram or only doing it for their own benefit. We’ll be a lot better.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to meet my friend Runs with Scissors al-Shahid.

*Actually, the man chariot thing sounds kind of hot. Don’t you fucking judge me!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Washington R*****ns Update

Good news: the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the trademark registrations of the Washington R*****ns name! It’s only “good” news because they did this before, and The R*****ns owner at the time appealed, and they got it back the registration. it is doubtful that Dan Snyder will change the name any time soon, though, because Dan Snyder is likely oblivious of his own hubris...which is why it is called hubris...back in March, instead of considering a name change, he did a little “outreach” by founding the Washington R*****ns Original Americans Foundation, a non-profit that would provide warm coats and jackets to poor Native Americans. Because the last time a white man gave bunch of fabric to indigenous people, it worked out really well. For the white man. The indigenous people died.

The word “r*****n” is offensive to an entire ethnicity and to a lot of people outside of the ethnicity. Yes, the name was supposedly chosen in reverence for original coach//player Lone Star Dietz, but the team was founded by George Preston Marshall, the premiere racist of the NFL, and the name has always been offensive. Claiming that the name R*****n was endowed on the team to honour Dietz doesn’t make it okay. That’s like calling him the “good Injun”.

People discuss the tradition of the name, even though teams change names all the time. Fine. Let’s talk tradition. Traditionally, they were the Boston Braves. Traditionally, I wouldn’t be able to type this, because reading would have garnered me a date with the gallows, that is if I wasn’t already tortured to death. Traditionally, women weren’t allowed to own property. There are a lot of traditions that the US had, and we got rid of the bad ones. Apparently, doing terrible things to the indigenous people is a tradition that has not yet died. I said it before, but really, this is controversy is not a bunch of whiny people trying to be socially polite. Perhaps if I rewrote the first two paragraphs in a different way, with less asterisks…

Good news: the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the trademark registrations of the Washington Niggers name! It’s only “good” news because they did this before in 1995, and The Niggers owner at the time appealed, and they got it back the registration. it is doubtful that Dan Snyder will change the name any time soon, though, because Dan Snyder is likely oblivious of his own hubris...which is why it is called hubris...back in March, instead of considering a name change, he did a little “outreach” by founding the Washington Niggers Involuntary Immigrants Foundation, a non-profit that would provide provide free boat rides to poor African Americans to farms where they would learn farming techniques on a tobacco or cotton farm. Because the last time a white man gave bunch black people a free cruise, it worked out really well. For the white man. The black people died.

The word “nigger” is offensive to an entire ethnicity and to a lot of people outside of the ethnicity. Yes, the name was supposedly chosen in reverence for original coach/player Kenny Washington, but the team was founded by George Preston Marshall, the premiere racist of the NFL, and the name has always been offensive. Claiming that the name Nigger was endowed on the team to honour Washington doesn’t make it okay. That’s like calling him the “good nigger”.

If that didn’t want to make you punch stuff, I don’t know what will. My hope that Snyder will do the right thing is still nearly non-existent, though.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jumping the Guns

“Gun Control means using two hands in my land.” -Posdnous, Stakes Is High

That is one of my favourite and sadly true lines from De La Soul. It was mean to talk about the state of things growing up in the ghetto, but with all the relaxed gun laws in this country, it pretty much applies anywhere now. We’re averaging about 4 mass shootings a month in the last 18 months. The last few were particularly troubling. There were some school shootings, a Nice Guy™ on a rampage, and a couple of anti-government nuts in Las Vegas.

Every time people try to talk about refining the gun laws, gun lobbyists pull the strings of the marionettes in Congress they have and make them say it’s “too soon” to talk about gun control. Wayne LaPierre of the NRA says things like, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”...Except of course that time when a good “guy” WITHOUT a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun.

There were “open carry” demonstrations Texas in the last few weeks, where people with open carry licenses would walk into public places brandishing their firearms. They’re just showing off their 2nd Amendment rights, they say. They don’t really care if they’re scaring the hell out of children and parents in Chipotle, Sonic, etc. Oddly, they haven’t done any banking with their weapons strapped to them. The plus side with the open carry demonstrations, you at least know who in the room has the smallest penis.

There is a way to end this craziness. We can cut down the school shootings. We will not have to worry about assault rifles flopping around while we order burritos. You all know what must be done, but no one is willing to admit it. Ladies and gentlemen and all in between: We need to stop letting white people have assault rifles.

This will not reduce the violence in urban centers and the inner city, but we already know that no one cares about stopping that! Why else would there be such a wide cut in education in the nations? Food and health assistance have been cut, drug law enforcement has been all about punishment and not rehabilitation, social programs that got kids off the street and into rec centers and learning new things have been cut, there’s been a version of Stop & Frisk around since 1865...we get it! You don’t care about brown people! We got the hint when you called it Amber Alert, and not Lakeisha Lookout, or Where’s Juan. Besides, back when the NRA supported gun control, the States pretty much made it nearly impossible for brown people to legally have handguns and assault rifles, since everyone was afraid of brown people having handguns and assault rifles.

By not selling guns to white people, we can be safeguarded from having to see horrors like Newtown and Las Vegas and Isla Vista on the news again. We can still stay blissfully ignorant of our cities’ Garden of Earthly Delights with more drugs and guns and violence depicted. We can pretend that all the violence in the inner city is completely the residents’ own faults and that of poor public policy and the residual effects of institutionalised subjugation of various ethnicities for various reasons. Best of all, all that paranoid jingoistic talk of Obama taking all your guns will actually be true! So overall, you get to go to the movies or malls or schools without having to worry about getting shot, you don’t have to see penis with small penises in Target or Chipotle, you can blame the President for things out of his control, and you can still treat people from the inner city like they’re Morlocks! Don’t worry. We’re used to it. This is America, after all!

I don’t have any issues with people owning guns. People hunt for food all the time, and after watching Food Inc., A freshly shot turkey sounds a lot better than a Butterball. An assault rifle only has one purpose: to kill people. That is why it was made. I have even shot an assault rifle at a target...not IN a Target. It was fun, but really, if keeping assault rifles out of non-SWAT -military hands means I don't get to shoot one again, then fuck it. I'm secure enough in the size of my penis that I don't feel the need to carry one around in a Pinkberry. People ranting about the government trying to curtail their Second Amendment rights with strict regulations seem to forget that the first three words if the Amendment is, "A well regulated". It's as if they are cherry picking the Constitution, like the way bigots try to justify their hatred by picking out just a few lines in the Bib-...ohhhhh...

My points still stands. Stop giving white people assault guns. I swear, if we took the same approach to gun control that we did to fire prevention, every child would be equipped with a flame thrower by the age of five.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hey Man, your Priv Is Showing

There is an entity as old as civilization that keeps rearing its head. It’s privilege. It is bestowed upon people at birth to those in position to wield power over anyone who they deem a target for subjugation. It comes in many shapes and sizes. There’s white privilege, male privilege, rich privilege, religious privilege, etc. There is a huge Venn diagram that one can imagine. In North America, the white able-bodied straight affluent Protestant Christian man has the biggest Priv on the block. The poor black lesbian Jewish woman with scoliosis is very sad.

For the most part, people are unaware of their Privs. They walk around, fly unzipped, with their Privs just flopping around in the breeze, unaware that they’re waving it in everyone’s face who are sitting around minding their own business. Indirect effects are everywhere. Privs are why for a long time the first thing some detectives asked a victim of an assault was what she was wearing. It is also why a lot of teenage girls are sent home from school for wearing “distracting” clothes, when it should be on the onus of the boys to control themselves and keep their Privs in their pants. Indirectly, the fact that women are a little over 50% of the US population, but only 18.5% of the Congressional representative population is a result of general societal Priv waving. It is also why women’s health is such a big issue in legislatures, yet erection pills are in high quantity and covered by nearly every health insurance company. Sometimes Privs cross streams. I’m sure a white Priv is why Jenji Kohan had  to anchor her show about life in a women’s prison to a pretty white lady star in order to get it on the air, but a male Priv is why some awards and critics categorize it as a comedy instead of a drama, or at least comedy-drama. In Nerdertainment, People’s Privs are the reason why in the last 37 years, there have been 7 Batman films, 6 Superman films, 5 Spider-Man films, 3 Iron Man films, 3 Captain America films, and not one damn Wonder Woman film.  Floppy Privs are also the reason an excuse for that oversight is that she’s too strong...but Hulk, twice. Or her origin story is too complicated...but Wolverine, twice. Or people won’t relate to her origins in ancient mythology...but Thor, twice. Or her story just generally won’t make sense to the general public...but a film with a talking tree man and a RACCOON with a MACHINE GUN.*

And don't get me started on straight privilege (Straightitlement?)! Straight people wave their Privs around like they're going to fall off in 24 hours! People go CRAZY if two guys so much as give each other a small peck on the lips in public. Straight Privs may people say things like, "How am i going to explain your marriage to my kids?" What they should be explaining to their kids is how much of idiots their parents are.

The Nice Guy™ and the Pickup Artist® are results of male privilege. The former whines about why they can’t have a human for being so nice, unaware that the idea that you get a human for being nice is disgusting and also illegal thanks to the 13th Amendment. The latter doesn’t even see women as humans. He sees them as gazelles, and his only goal is to attack the weakest gazelle in a herd. Both think that they are great guys, but they are completely oblivious that the chill they are feeling is their Privs hanging out in the open air.

I was born with male privilege, of which I try to be aware, lest I gain a sense of entitlement. Male Priv is likely the most powerful Priv in the world. Regardless of religion, race, or what have you, you cannot deny that men have laid waste to the world whipping their Privs around. So many wars; so many fights...Over the years, we men have successfully found 1000 ways to oppress women and people who look or speak differently from us, so much so that we actually convinced them to oppress themselves in some instances! That is hardcore! If you don’t believe me, look up Judge Jeanine Howard. She gave a rapist a light sentence and community service in a RAPE CRISIS CENTER, because the victim didn’t cry, and she wasn’t a virgin. That is some powerful Priv!

Some with privilege know they have it, whether they call it that or not. In the past, cognizant entitlement led to things like selling daughters into marriage and witch hunts and genocide of entire cities/countries and various justifications for slavery, including the concoction of the a race/class system that had lasted for 500+ years and still residually poisons many people’s minds in their attitudes toward people who may be lighter or darker than your average paper bag. These are all examples of people pulling their Privs out and loudly slapping them on the table.  George Will, professional horrible human being. said in an op-ed for the Washington Post that in regards to college sexual assault, it is a “coveted status” to be  victim of sexual assault. His Priv was WAY out. Only someone from a place of entitlement would even think such a thing. It’s the type of thing that keeps victims in the shadows, as they have been doing for years. That’s the type of attitude that gets people killed. It fosters an environment where it is always the victim, woman or man, is forever at fault for what happened.

It is about time we start calling people on their Priv exposure. I don’t mean just typing away in your journal about it or talking amongst your friends about people’s oblivious offences. When someone says something with his/her Priv hanging out, tell them, “Hey, your Priv is showing”. If you’re brown and well dressed and someone says you look like a pimp, ask why not a banker? If you’re a man and someone lauds you on your sexual conquests yet calls the woman who is dating two men a slut, ask him the difference between her and you. When people say things like, “Why is there a [Black/Hispanic/LGBT/Women’s/Asian/Jewish] History Month, but no [White/Men’s/Straight/Christian] History Month?”, slap their Privs out of their hands. When you see Family Guy and yet another rape joke is aired, turn it off. If someone asks you why they can't say the word "nigger" even though black people say it all the time, tell them, "Slavery", and then look at them sternly and silently until they shrink away. If you hear George Will or Pat Robertson speak...try to resist the urge to jump across the table. If someone offends you and you call them on it and they demand an explanation as to why what they said was offensive, that's their Priv. Don't humour it unless they apologize first. The onus is not on you to explain why a person in blackface or calling someone slutty when she's just in a tank top and shorts on a hot day is offensive. They can Google their own ignorance.

We need a more civil society. That won’t happen with everyone’s Priv hanging out in the wind.

*In Marvel's defense, they DID come out with Elektra, and DC/WB and Marvel/Disney are more competitors than comrades, but the fact stands that there are no mainstream female superhero movies out of wither camp beyond animated features.

Monday, June 9, 2014

50 First Dates: How I Learned to Stop Kvetching & Love the Fade Away™

I try to live my life being as much of a mensch as I can be. Being an asshole to people just yields more strife, so unless someone is being an asshole to me or someone else, I then I try to treat all with respect...except short people. I push them into snow banks...creepy little adorable munchkins.

I use this tenet in my dating life as well. Sadly, not many other people do. There is one practise that somewhat annoys me. It’s the Fade Away™*.

Garfunkel and Oates describe the Fade Away in verse, which you need to see.

An aside: Garfunkel and Oates are funnier than Flight of the Conchords. There; I said it.

If you don’t feel like watching a damn video, the Fade Away™ is when Hypothetical You®✝ date someone, and when you realise that you are no longer interested or have little good connection with the person, and instead of telling him/her that, you just kind of disappear from his/her life without actually verbalising that you are no longer interested, kind of like a wispy spirit or my dad. It’s a lame way to end a relationship, no matter how long or short or deep or superficial said relationship may be. It shows little respect for the other person, who is left wondering what went wrong and why you couldn't just say, “Sorry, not interested!” It also shows a little cowardice on Hypothetical Your® part. Grow a pair of testes and/or ovaries, and tell the person!

In a perfect world, it would be a sound train of thought to believe that people should own up to and express their thoughts to people they are dating. It is such a simple remedy to an annoying problem. Sadly, it is not. It is a world rife with complications and inequalities. Some people are hypocrites; some are unbalanced and take things much harder than they should. Some feel emboldened by their sense of privilege that they can do whatever they want without regard for the consequences of others’ well-being. This is partially why sometimes dating can suck. Therefore, the Fade Away™ must exist for some situations. There should be some sort of ground rules for implementation of the Fade Away™, though. Though I’m speaking from my heterosexual male perspective, I hope these can be universal truths for all relationships:

  • (Universal) First Date Fadeaway™: Hypothetical You® went on one or two dates, and the chemistry is just not there...meh...If you didn't get intimate, then I don’t think it’s a big deal if you don’t finalise. It’s likely you both didn't feel the spark. Move on, and smile at each other and be cordial if you see each other on the street.
  • (Universal) First Date Fadeaway™ with Benefits: Sometimes sex complicates things. So you went on one or two dates, and on one or two of them, you both decided that naked Twister is a good idea. If, for whatever reason you just weren't feeling the spark after the sexy times, then it would be a very good idea to tell the person who was lucky enough to see you in all your Venusian/Adonisian glory that it is not going to happen again. Some people take the act of copulation a lot more seriously than others, and that is why I think this should be. It may suck for one party to hear, but at least you both know where you stand. It saves a lot of headache. Again, move on, and smile at each other and be cordial if you see each other on the street.
  • (Men) Multi-Date Fade Away™: Male You® went on multiple dates, possibly went on an hour road trip or two to see Trombone Shorty or Deftones live at the MegaDome, and eventually knew this was not going to work out. BE A MAN AND SAY SO INSTEAD OF STRINGING HER ALONG. It doesn't matter if your reason for losing interest that she cut your hair funnily or that she is a part-time coke mule, show some respect and tell her that it’s done, even if you don’t say the reason...though a reason would be nice. As much as men say that a woman is “crazy”, that is generally bullshit. Maybe she’s “crazy” because too many men with the lack of testicular fortitude tell her that they want to part ways keep crossing her path in her dating adventures! Stop the Cray-Shaming™, and TELL HER IT’S DONE.
  • (Women) Multi-Date Fade Away™: Female You® went on multiple dates, possibly went on an hour road trip or two to see Trombone Shorty or Deftones live at the MegaDome, and eventually knew this was not going to work out. It would be nice if you COULD always state matter-of-factly that you are no longer interested in dating someone, but this is where most of the complication enters. You must contend with men who are unaware of the social power they wield, and men who are oblivious to the power even though they whip it around like a guy going commando with his fly open. If you are just getting to know a person, you don’t know if the person is going to be unreasonably verbally or physically abusive after hearing adverse news, or if he’s the stalking type, or if he’s a Nice Guy™ or Pick Up Artist®, or if he is just a reasonable human being who will be disappointed, but in the end will respect your wishes and be cordial to you when you cross paths in the street. The latter men will be annoyed with your mode of ending things since they ARE reasonable people who deserve more respect than that. They will be annoyed that you didn't get to know them enough to that they would not fly off the handle at rejection. However, they will be more annoyed with the belligerent dude-bros and Nice Guys™ and Pick Up Artists® who make the Fade-Away necessary for the sake of your own safety. If the reasonable men in the street, they will likely not hold your fading against you, and be cordial.

I must admit, I have been guilty of the Fade Away™ at times. I’m not proud of that and won’t excuse my actions, but I am trying to make amends for my past mistakes. Like I said, I try to be a mensch. It is sad that the Fade Away™ necessary for some, but safety is important, and sadly, there are a lot of man-boys around who think they are owed a human and act out quite badly when they don’t get one. They apparently never read the 13th Amendment; no one gets rights to a human anymore, no matter how much one complains. Until that is understood, We need to respect the Fade Away™ no matter how much we hate it.

*I am quite certain the term “Fade Away™” is not yet trademarked. I just learned the shortcut way to type ™ in Google Docs, and I am abusing my new found power.

✝Hypothetical You® refers to a hypothetical entity I concocted to more smoothly explain The Fade Away™. It may or may not apply specifically to you, the reader...also I learned shortcut way to make the ® symbol in Google Docs, and I am abusing my new found power.

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