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|Saturday, April 8th, 2006|
Of all the phrases out there that make no sense and have little basis in reality, "humorless feminist" is way up there. Someone obviously forgot to tell Margaret Cho or Alison Bechdel that they're humorless. I mean, for god's sakes, most of the feminists I've met have been pretty damn funny people and I've met quite a few. I think the "humorless feminist" stereotype only exists in the imagination of right-wingers and porn-addicted liberal dudes who aren't quite as liberal as they fancy themselves to be. If you want unfunny, how about the legions of boring jokes about "polacks" and "dumb blondes?" That might be a good place to start.
|In Vino Veritas
Most people, I think, have had the experience of dealing with someone who was friendly (or at least polite) with them while sober, but obnoxious, rude, or even downright mean when drunk. So, you get to see what they're really like when alcohol takes away various social restraints. I seem to occasionally face the opposite issue; I have people who ignore me or don't pay much attention to me when sober be very nice and friendly towards me when drunk. It used to be because I was pretty weird, and I think people are sort of shy about approaching a weirdo, however nice he might be, if they're sober. But recently, I've become at least somewhat more conventional and normal, so maybe it's not that. It's interesting.
|Wednesday, March 8th, 2006|
|The Next Logical Extension
I'm going to have fun with some various trends and see where they're going to go, judging by the next logical extension of that trend.
First, there's the crossover of Christian entertainment in traditionally secular areas. And not just entertainment, you also have Christian gyms, business associations, and coffeeshops. There's Christian rap, rock, and metal, Christian romance novels, Christian action movies, etc. There pretty much hasn't been any part of popular secular culture that doesn't have some sort of corporate Christian equivalent. So, I think the next logical extension is evangelical Christian pornography. Now, I can imagine that the first Christian porn films will be pretty softcore, but as time goes along, there will be hardcore Christian pornography as well. This is analogus to Christian metal, which used to be pretty weak and watered down, with fairly lightweight bands like Stryper. But now you're starting to see more extreme metal music with Christian themes. I'd imagine that your typical Christian pornographic movie will not differ greatly from secular pornogrpahy, though the performers will purport to be married and performing their sexual acts only for procreation. And any declarations of "Oh God! Oh God!" will be replaced by something euphemistic and suitably non-blasphemous. Either that, or the Christian pornography will be a graphic morality tale that eventually punishes the wanton woman or women in the end, or they have some sort of epiphany. So, with Christian pornography, conservative evangelical Christians can disrespect women in entirely new ways.
Second, I forsee the continuing (and unecessary) hypertropying of automobiles. It used to be that suburbanites with a midlife crisis or a small penis would get something like a Jeep or a pickup truck to satisfy their vague feelings of inadequacy. Then came ever-larger SUVs. As if that weren't enough, we now see enormous Hummers all across the affluent suburbs of America. So I say, why stop there? If we can take an enormous military vehicle and make it all plush for civilians, let's go all the way. The next development in enormous cars will be called the SAV or Suburban Assault Vehicle. It will be sort of like a Hummer, but it will have monster truck tires, be even longer, will be armor-plated (because you never know when your quiet suburban neighborhood will erupt in guerilla warfare), it will be extremely plush on the interior, and it will have guns all over it. So if some motherfucker at the mall tries to steal your spot, you can blast him right then and there. Anyway, if you have the kind of cash necessary to buy an SAV with all the trimmings, you probably have enough cash to hire a primo defense team for your trial.
Third, I believe that Wal-Mart will eventually lobby Congress for the repeal of the 13th Amendment. When agressively forcing down the prices from suppliers, bullying municipalities into giving subsidies, and underpaying and overworking the employees just isn't enough, they can drive prices down even further by having involuntary labor, that peculiar institution. Just think of it; wages of $0.00 per hour, no benefits, no nuthin', though you might have to shell out a bit on chains. They'll also make sure to bring back the Fugitive Slave Act so no uppity Wal-Mart slaves try to get any funny ideas by running away. Hmmm.... I hope no Waltons get ahold of this idea, they might take me seriously.
|Friday, October 7th, 2005|
|Confessions Meme, yanked from Delany
[ ] I am bisexual.
[ ] I am homosexual.
[ ] I've run away from home.
[x] I listen to political music.
[ ] I collect(ed) comic books.
[ ] I shut others out when I'm sad.
[x] Open up to others easily.
[ ] Keeping a secret from the world.
[x] I watch the news. (Countdown With Keith Olbermann rules!)
[x] I own over 5 rap CDs. (I own seven. Two from Wu-Tang Clan, one from NWA, one from Cypress Hill, one from Run-DMC, one from Tone-Loc, and one from Onyx).
[ ] I own an ipod.
[x] I own something from Hot topic. (okay, not Hot Topic, but Spencers. It's a Killswitch Engage t-shirt)
[ ] I love Disney movies.
[ ] I am a sucker for eyes.
[ ] I don't kill bugs. (Mosquitoes have forfeited their right to live)
[X] I curse regularly. (fuck yeah)
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name.
[ ] I've slipped out a "lol" in a real conversation.
[ ] I like Spam.
[x] I bake well. (I do bake some mean oatmeal cookies, but that's about it)
[ ] I would wear pajamas to school. (I don't have much dignity, but I do have some)
[ ] I own something from Abercrombie. (fuck no)
[ ] I have a job. (though that will hopefully change soon)
[ ] I love Martha Stewart.
[x] I am in love with someone.
[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
[x] I am self conscious.
[X] I like to laugh.
[ ] I smoke a pack a day. (I've never smoked a commercial cigarette)
[ ] I loved Go Ask Alice.
[ ] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[ ] I can't swallow pills.
[ ] I have many scars. (few mental and fewer physical)
[x] I've been out of this country. (UK, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Turkey, and Israel)
[x] I believe in ghosts. (I've never seen one, but I saw Stoney the Seeing Eye Dog going crazy around a building that's suppsed to have ghosts, for no apparent reason, so you never know)
[ ] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room. (I went to sleep once after seeing a black widow spider a few feet away. Granted, I'd been hiking all day and I was tired, but it didn't really bother me much)
[x] I am really ticklish.
[x] I love chocolate. (I could go for a nice babka)
[x] I bite my nails.
[x] I am comfortable with being me.
[x] I play computer games/video games when I'm bored.
[ ] Gotten lost in the city.
[x] Saw a shooting star.
[ ] I had a serious Surgery.
[ ] Gone out in public in your pajamas.
[ ] I have kissed a stranger.
[ ] Hugged a stranger.
[x] Been in a fist fight with the same sex.
[ ] Been arrested.
[ ] Laughed and had your drink come out of your nose.
[x] Pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
[x] Made out in an elevator. (Sackler Gallery of Art, yeah!)
[ ] Swore at your parents. (I swear around them frequently, at them, never)
[ ] Kicked a guy where it hurts.
[ ] Been skydiving.
[ ] Been bungee jumping.
[ ] Broken a bone.
[x] Played spin the bottle.
[x] Gotten stitches.
[ ] Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
[X] Bit someone.
[x] Been to Niagara Falls.
[x] Gotten the chicken pox.
[x] Crashed into a car. (just a fender-bender, though)
[ ] Been to Japan.
[x] Ridden in a taxi.
[ ] Been fired.
[x] Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
[ ] Stole something from your job
[ ] Gone on a blind date.
[ ] Had a crush on a teacher/coach.
[ ] Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
[x] Been to Europe.
[ ] Slept with a co-worker
[ ] Been married.
[ ] Gotten divorced.
[x] Saw someone dying.
[x] Driven over 400 miles in one day.
[x] Been to Canada.
[X] Been on a plane.
[ ] Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
[ ] Thrown up in a bar.
[x] Eaten Sushi.
[ ] Been snowboarding.
[ ] Been skiing.
[x] Been ice skating.
[x] Met someone in person from the internet. (close to 40 internet people)
[ ] Been to a motocross show.
[x] Going to or have gone to college.
[ ] Done hard drugs.
[x] Taken painkillers.(that percodan was good stuff)
|Monday, September 19th, 2005|
|The Decline, according to some
According to various political groups whom I disagree with, they all bitch and moan about how America has been going downhill since various points of time.
Hard-core anti-government libertarians think America has been going downhill since the US Supreme Court switched gears in 1938 and said that the Federal government had broad powers to make things better in the country with major social programs and new rules and regulations like a 40 hour work week and the National Labor Relations Board and whatnot. These libertarian jerkoffs believe that the Constitution has been in exile since 1938. Of course, if we'd listened to them, we'd be a third world country.
If you listen to racist conservatives, they'd tell you this country has been going downhill since Brown v. Board in 1954 or perhaps the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Or, as my dad's neighbor put it more crudely: "This country's been going downhill since we gave those goddamn niggers their rights."
According to DLC and neo-conservative types, people who are former liberals, they'd say that things started going downhill around the time that Bob Dylan plugged in his guitar in 1965. After that, blacks, women, and gays started getting "uppity" and all the fun went out of being a patronizing liberal.
|Wednesday, September 14th, 2005|
|What can I say....
....that hasn't been said before about Hurricane Katrina? The only thing I wonder about is whether Bush is completely incompetent or evil. One of the few encouraging things I've seen was on Countdown with Keith Olbermann was a poll that showed that a vast majority of people think that the people left behind in New Orleans were victims of circumstance and not bums or whatever.
|Stoner metal review #1
I highly reccomend Clutch's latest album, Robot Hive/Exodus. It's got a great hard rockin' stoner rock feel to it, without being totally 1970s retro. It's got the big, heavy riffs that I love, plodding drums, intellectual (if surreal) lyrics, bass that you can dance to, and some nice organs layered over top. I don't know too many hard rock or metal bands out there that can be danced to, but Clutch is one of them. And I love the weird and interesting lyrics. And the organ layered on top prevents it from sounding like a lot of other stoner rock/metal bands. It's good stuff.
|Thursday, July 21st, 2005|
I think there are three formulae for determining what cops are like. If you talk to conservative/authoritarian/police family types, they'll tell you that 100% or 99% of cops are good, save for maybe "a few bad apples." I personally use the 50/50 formula, which says that about half of all cops are cops for the right reasons (helping people and keeping them safe) and the other half are cops for all the wrong reasons (they're bullies or they like power or whatnot). Another school of thought is the 10-80-10 school, which says that 10% of cops are great, 80% are okay, but will look the other way when bad shit happens, and the other 10% are horrible and ruin things for everyone. But that last ten percent gets away with it only because the 80% lets them.
Interesting formulae to contemplate.
|Monday, July 11th, 2005|
|I had the loveliest dream last night
I have a problem with indie snobs and rock critc types, even though I have a great deal of disdain for much of top 40 music, be it rock, rap, or straight-up pop. But anyway, last night, I dreamt that I was playing in a band, in front of some people and we were rockin' out to some Ramones songs and I was singing. So, I was all pumped up after those high-energy songs and I said "yeah!" and moved to give this guy, who played guitar a high-five. The guitar guy was one of those indie/rock critic types; skinny, hip haircut, shoegazing style, ironically hip, etc etc. Not a sincere bone in his body. But reasonably talented, and I recognized that and was trying to, like, enjoy the music with him. But he wasn't having any of that. He glared at me like I was the most uncool person alive. That pissed me off, so I said "music snob" and he came after me, all mad and stuff. Perhaps I was a bit caustic to him, so I apologized sincerely and told him I took it back. Well, that wasn't good enough for him. It turned out, that in addition to his other personality flaws, he was one of these easily-offended-never-accept-an-apology types. I hate people like that. If you can't accept a sincere apology, particularly for a minor offense, fuck you. But, I was still being reasonable and I tried to walk with the guy to calm him down, because, after all, we were in a band together and whatnot. And I said "look, you can like what you like, of course, but just don't treat me with contempt and don't physically attack me." And then the asshole shoved me.
That was it, I'd had it. No More Mister Nice Guy, to quote another rock star whom I like completely without a sense of irony. I realized that this guy was attacking me not because he was some football playing bullnecked bully, but becasue he was a skinny wimp who thought that I was an even bigger wimp. While I'm pretty nonviolent, there are some things I won't tolerate. So I put him in a headlock, punched him in the face, kicked his legs out from under him, threw him into the mud, and rubbed his face in it. Damn, that felt good.
Just in case anyone reading this is a hip indie rock critic type, don't think I'm endorsing violence against people like you. I'm not. I'm nonviolent, mostly. Just don't treat me like I'm some knuckledragger because I unironically like Iron Maiden. Music should be listened to because it's interesting and talented or makes you happy or joyful, or helps you express rage or feel catharsis. If you listen to music for the sole purpose of being hipper-than-thou or elite or too cool or whatever, I pity you. Another disclaimer: I personally like a number of people who might or might not have musical tastes in this area. If you're one of those people, I'm not directing this criticism at you and I think nothing less of you.
And on a related note, I'm going to attack Usta-Bees, as Tom Tomorrow put it in one of his strips. He was talking about people who "usta-be" of one political stripe, but switched sides due to some event or another (ie, pro-Bush "liberals" like Ron Silver and Dennis Miller switching to the right because of 9/11). But my criticism of this is on the musical side. I can't stand people who make sure to tell me how they used to like the various heavy metal bands I'm a fan of, but that they're much too cool for that now and only listen to the punk rock du jour or whatever. Screw that. I can't think of a single band or musician I stopped liking just because I liked them when I was 14 or whatever. Just because my musical tastes have become more refined doesn't mean I need to stop liking things I liked back in the day. Okay, maybe I don't like Kriss Kross anymore, but that's really it. And again: if you happen to be someone I know who has expressed sentiments that I am criticizing to me and you're a friend of mine, I think nothing less of you, because you're probably so cool overall that I'd never hold that against you.
I think I have issues. But I feel better now.
|Tuesday, June 28th, 2005|
|A Shrine to Mike Malloy
I've really been posting a lot today, which is a good thing, because I haven't been blogging nearly enough.
Anyway, I love listening to the Mike Malloy show on Air America Radio. His rants are tremendous. This isn't exactly NPR. It's definitely not fair and certainly not "Fair and Balanced." Some liberals complain that Malloy is too much into name calling and demonizing, but that's missing the point. The show is catharsis. And unlike right-wing hosts, Malloy doesn't encourage violence against people who disagree with you, he just verbally scorches them. Frankly, it's cathartic, with all this right-wing trash talking on the airwaves, the suck-ups in the media, and conservative control of government. It's time for the silent progressive majority to get loud and get even. Some liberals will complain that we shouldn't get in the gutter with the rightwing trash-talkers. I say that's nonsense. You've gotta be bareknuckled to win in politics and anyway, not everyone shares your weak-kneed middle-class biases. NPR is boring. Malloy is entertaining. I can see Limbaugh's appeal- someone who reinforces your prejudices and your own opinions and does so with humor and moral outrage and mockery. So, listening to a steady diet of ranters is probably bad for your intellectual health, but every now and then, it's damn good for catharsis.
This brings me to a larger point, in fact. Democrats do not lose or win elections because they're "too liberal" or "too strident." They also do not do a convincing job of being more-hawk-than-thou. That doesn't win elections. You win elections by not hedging, but being a straight talker, by not qualifiying everying you say. Kerry was too aloof and Dukakis was too cold. That's what caused their losses, not being liberals. Bob Dole is plenty conservative, but he lost to Clinton. Clinton wasn't that combative, but he could make up for it by being charming and funny. But anyway, being too strident will not hurt Democrats, as long as they have the charisma to back it up. What the Republicans do is not just bad policy, it's TOTALLY IMMORAL. So a little righteous anger is not out of place.
I love Malloy's various references to conservatives. Limbaugh is the Pig Man. Bush is the Giggling Killer. Rumsfeld is the Smirking Killer, which is a very apt description. That man looks like he was born with a smirk on his face. He feels no remorse whatsover for shaking Saddam Hussein's hand 20 years ago and giving him the okay to slaughter thousands upon thousands of Iranians and Kurds. And he likewise feels no remorse in slaughtering thousands upon thousands of Iraqis with this futile, idiotic war. But Malloy's best reference was to Cheney, calling him a "demon from the furthest reaches of hell." A very fitting description for this very evil man.
I like Malloy because he tells it like it is. I'm tired of milquetoast "liberals" on TV being wussy and getting steamrolled by some fascist guest. It's good to hear tough talk out of someone who doesn't advocate violence.
|Smackdown on Racist Apologists
One common line that you hear from racism/slavery apologists is that Africans were primarily responsible for selling other Africans into American slavery. While this is at least somewhat true, it also misses the point entirely. European slave traders do not bear any less responsibility for buying and selling human beings just because the original salesmen happend to be black. And American and Carribean slave owners still bear full responsibility for creating that demand for slaves. Just because blacks participated in the slave trade does not mean whites are any less responsible for the horrors of slavery. The next time some shithead brings this up to me, he's going to get smacked (I say he, because 90% of the dumbasses who say this are men, though there are certainly plenty of women who think it, but it's men who tend to say it more often than not).
|Good Libraries and Libraries that Suck
Public libraries ought to be friendly and welcoming places for both adults and especially for children. Some libraries are better at this than others. I grew up in Vienna, Virginia and the Patrick Henry library definitely falls under the good catergory. The librarians were nice, it had a good selection of children's books for a small library and it stayed nice even after a long renovation. It was a pretty place both before and after the renovation. It's not the Library of Congress by any means, but it's made with handsome brick and it's light and airy inside. The books are in good condition. There's fast internet access and up-to-date computers.
On the other end of the spectrum is the library that I rarely deal with now. It too is a small library, but it's selection of books seems somehow less than Patrick Henry's. The books they do have are in poor condition. For god's sakes, they didn't even have all three volumes of Lord of the Rings. And what they did have was totally falling apart. This is not a poor town, either. The internet access sucks and the librarians acted like they were doing me a favor by letting me use the piece of shit computers. The internet kept cutting out and I was barely even able to check my email and send one or two, to let people know I was still alive. And the librarians were mean, too. Who's ever heard of a mean librarian?!? All the librarians I knew growing up were very friendly and helpful and kind to children, as well. The ones here were short with me and glared at me suspiciously and were generally unhelpful. I'm not trying to rip off Camden County, just give me a goddamn card. I can't give you a New Jersey driver's lisence because I JUST MOVED HERE, GIVE ME A BREAK. For fuck's sakes. They should be encouraging reading. Anyway, maybe I'm being unrealistic, but they could have been nicer about it.
|Thursday, June 2nd, 2005|
Back in October of 2002, I was in an anti-war march in DC and I looked up into a hotel. Standing at a window was a woman who was giving all of us protestors a big thumbs down. Back then, probably a majority of Americans thought that invading Iraq was a swell idea. But I wonder if now, with a majority of Americans thinking this war was at the least a mistake, if that woman still supports the war.
|Saturday, May 28th, 2005|
|One Hundred Things I Love About America
(in no particular order)
1. The Grand Canyon
2. Capon Spring, West Virginia
3. Abraham Lincoln
4. Randi Rhodes
5. Mike Malloy
6. Havasupai Canyon
7. New York pizza
8. Emma Goldman
9. The Baltimore Orioles
10. Pearl Jam
11. The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
12. The Empire State Building
13. Michael Moore
14. Fireworks on the 4th of July
15. "The Star Spangled Banner" (I normally hate patriotic songs, but I love our national anthem)
16. A certain woman in the western part of the Keystone State who knows who she is
17. Drew University
18. Killswitch Engage
19. Bob Dylan
20. Steve Earle
22. The Troc
24. The San Juan Mountains
25. East Maui
26. Barack Obama
27. Barbara Boxer
28. Wrigley Field
29. The Women's Hall of Fame (Seneca Falls, NY)
30. The Baseball Hall of Fame (Cooperstown, NY)
31. Martin Luther King, Jr.
32. Malcolm X
33. Muhammad Ali
34. Dolley Madison
35. The Dan Sickles murder trial
40. All of my cool teachers and coaches and professors
41. My family
42. My friends
43. The Washington Redskins
44. Bill and Hillary Clinton (for pissing off Republicans, not for centrist policy)
45. Noam Chomsky
46. The Delaware Water Gap
47. The Appalachian Trail
48. Luray Caverns
49. Southern fried chicken
50. The idea that everyone should have equal opportunity
51. Roe v. Wade
52. Brown v. Board
53. Lawrence v. Texas
54. Dupont Circle
55. The George Washington Parkway
56. Rock Creek Park
57. Harper's Ferry
58. Gettysburg National Battlefield Park
59. The Gettysburg Address
60. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
61. Elanor Roosevelt
62. The Lincoln Memorial
64. PATCO (the train, not the air traffic controller's union, though unions are good, generally)
65. The Washington Wizards
66. The Baltimore Ravens
67. Camden Yards
68. Socialist Yiddish newspapers
69. Socialist immigrants in general
70. Keith Olbermann
71. Molly Ivins
72. Jon Stewart
73. My wacky ex-coworkers at the Trolley and the National Park Service
74. Barbara Ehrenreich
75. Howard Dean
76. Fort McHenry
77. Mt. Holyoke (the actual mountain, not the college, which I have no opinion about)
78. The Screaming Trees (one of the most underrated rock bands ever)
79. Anthrax (the band, not the disease)
80. Greek diners
81. Jewish delis
82. Mexican taco/burrito places
83. Chinese restaurants
84. Indian restaurants
85. Hopi tacos
86. Navajo sweat lodge ceremonies
87. Jeanette Rankin
88. Harriet Tubman
89. Frederick Douglass
90. George Washington
91. The Korean War Veterans Memorial
92. Waimea Canyon
93. Mt. Haleakela
94. Brian Schweitzer
95. George R.R. Martin
96. Mark Twain
97. Hank Williams I and III
99. Tattoo Mom's
100. 98 Rock
|Sunday, May 8th, 2005|
|Yanked from Kos- this is great stuff
CNN: Ringbearers still at large
Mordor (CNN) - Reports from the field have just arrived that the notorious group of ring bearers known mysteriously only as "the nine" were spotted by a band of orcs entering the terrorist safe haven known as "Lothlorien" several days ago.
Diaries :: Hummingbird's diary :: :: Trackback ::
The Mordor State Department issued an official proclamation today that the group were known to be armed and dangerous and had already caused the death of many orcs in the region as well as the notorious brutal murder of a high ranking Balrog previously residing in Moria. They warn that any concerned citizens were to contact the Mordor Foreign affairs office immediately with information as to the whereabouts of these fugitives and to not try and confront them themselves.
"We will act in our utmost to bring these terrorists to justice" President Sauron declared today. "These terrorists are attacking our way of life, our culture and the way we live. The world must know that the collected will of the dark lords minions will be strong and resolute."
First detected in the town of Bree in the north of middle Earth, these terrorists wasted no time in coldly taking the lives of all nine Ringwraith Agents when it was discovered that they were on a plot to topple Mordor. It is believed that the group is composed of primarily hobbits backed up by support from a wide variety of races including dwarves, elves, humans and a mysterious backer only known as "Mithrander".
"I must stress, hobbits are a primarily peace loving race" President Sauron warned today after a spate of hate attacks against hobbit dwellings. "These hobbits are extremists, fundamentalists, they do not speak for hobbit kind".
Agents also believe that these terrorists have strong links to the group that assassinated the foreign diplomat Smaug earlier this age. If so, it would explain the impressive array of mythical weapons that the group has acquired.
So far, the terrorist group has been utilizing safe houses in Elvish country to evade capture and have slipped past even the most stringent defences the Dark Lord has set in place. Residents are afraid for their children and people have stopped going out at night. "How am I going to let my kids go out and torture humans if I know that theres a group of orc killers roaming the countryside?" a concerned mother said today.
Experts believe that, if these rogues are not brought to justice, a rash of copy-cat attacks will follow and severely hurt the economy.
-- written by CNN correspondent, Saruman
FROM:LOTR by CNN
|Friday, May 6th, 2005|
|A Meme yanked from Delany
Three names you go by:
2. my last name
3. a variation on my last name
Three screen names you have:
Three things you like about yourself:
1. I'm a concise writer
2. I know all sorts of interesting stuff
3. I'm easy to get along with
Three things you hate/dislike about yourself:
3. Avoid problems
Three parts of your heritage:
3. That's it
Three things that scare you:
1. Failing at anything
2. Bad things happening to loved ones
3. Militant conservatism
Three of your everyday essentials:
1. It really depends
Three things you are wearing right now:
2. blue jeans
3. a black ponytail holder
Three of your favorite bands/artists:
1. Iron Maiden
2. Judas Priest
3. In Flames
Three of your favorite songs at present:
1. "Copperhead Road" by Steve Earle
2. "Pinball Map" by In Flames
3. "Needled 24/7" by Children of Bodom
Three new things you want to try in the next 12 months:
1. Working a law-oriented job full-time and hopefully for pay
2. Being more efficient
3. writing more
Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
1. Toleration for the music I like
2. Lots of things of mutual interest
3. Similar worldview
Three physical things that appeal to you about those to whom you are attracted:
1. This is probably a stupid question to ask a guy, even a pro-feminist guy like me.
Three things you just can't do:
1. Be a professional asshole
2. Lie convincingly to support doing something bad
3. Draw well
Three of your favorite hobbies:
2. Strategy computer games
Three things you want to do very much right now:
1. Succeed in my exams
2. get a good summer job
3. have some sex
Three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Capon Spring, WV
2. Montana, for some hiking and camping
3. Some place in Europe or Asia or Africa with lots of cool ruins
Three kids’ names: for either a boy or girl:
3. Mohammed (that, I think, would confuse people at Hebrew school)
Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Visit every continent
2. Get elected to public office or help elect someone to public office
3. Learn how to give bus tours of lots of cities
|Sunday, May 1st, 2005|
|Runaway Bride Bullshit
So, apparently, the people in this runaway bride's hometown and the news media (particularly the news media) feel "betrayed." Why? Because some poor woman under a lot of pressure took off and made up some stupid story? But why do these death-loving ghouls really feel betrayed? Because there's no grusome, sexy murder story? No Scott and Laci, no Susan Smith's two poor drowned kids, no 24 hour TV news reports about DNA and hair and semen, none of that. She betrayed the news media by not giving them the perverted entertainment of voyeuristic stories of sex, abuse, and murder, committed against an attractive, young, white woman. But for all the sleazy attention the media pays to stories of violence against women, do you ever hear them calling for an end to misogyny? That's what causes this stuff. Can't have any feminism, because that might slow down the pace of these sexy, gory mediafests. It's just sick.
|Thursday, April 28th, 2005|
|A challenge for conservatives on abortion
From all that I've gathered, all attempts to restrict or eliminate abortion legally do little or nothing to reduce the actual abortion rate. In the meantime, when you increase access to abortion and contraceptives, the abortion rate goes down (particularly in combination with increased social spending and spending on healthcare). So, are these conservatives more interested in reducing the number of abortions in this country, or do they just hate women. If it's the former, they should vote Democratic and vote pro-choice, or at least pro-contraceptive (like antiabortion Senate Democratic Minority Leader, Harry Reid). That will reduce the abortion rate, not prohibitionist policies. But, if they're against abortion because they hate women and want to control women, they'll continue to ram their heads against the brick wall of facts and support prohibitionism.
|Sunday, April 24th, 2005|
|How to Not Become a Bitter Old Neo-Conservative
A guide for young, white, male liberals/leftists/progressives.
Back in the day, you had a bunch of intellectual white male liberal/radical/progressive dudes who were all about free speech, civil rights, an expanded welfare state, even Marxism and other good things. But, as time went on, things changed. As the New Left gained strength and expanded to other areas (peace activism, women's rights, gay rights), these white, male lefties started getting angry and bitter and began to turn from their old ideals. According to idiots like Irving Kristol, they got "mugged by reality." But, the fact is, most of them were just jerks with good ideas to begin with, who turned into jerks with bad idea. They could deal with things when they were in charge; when Bob Dylan was still playing folk music; when blacks were politely asking for their rights; when the left gave the government a free hand in foreign policy; when gays and lesbians kept their mouths shut; when women worked in supporting roles and kept their mouths shut; when male students kept their hair short; and when, basically, nobody got too uppity. But, as the 1960s went on, these formerly leftist guys couldn't or wouldn't handle the changes that came. The anti-war movement became more and more visible and popular, men grew their hair long, feminists became increasingly vocal about their mistreatment not only in society at large, but within supposedly leftist movements, Bob Dylan plugged in and rock music became louder and heavier, blacks became increasingly radical, and the Stonewall riot set off the gay rights movement. All of these developments were natural reactions to the slow pace of change and problems within the existing structure of the left. Granted, some of this got a little out of hand (Eldridge Cleaver advocating rape, Valerie Solanas shooting Andy Warhol, the Weather Underground and the SLA), but generally, these new movements represented true change for the better in America and did succeed, to some extent, in bringing many positive changes to the country. But these old lefties, they weren't having any of this. So they took their toys, went home, and became neoconservatives.
So, nowadays, these neocons have none of their old beliefs, save for an obnoxious Leninist-Trotskyite dogmatism and a belief in vanguardism and all that. They're hawks on foreign policy, they don't like affirmative action, and while they don't care one way or another about social issues, they have no problem courting hatemongers in order to advance their adgenda.
But, it's not inevitable that young, intellectual lefties will become mean, embittered old neocons. It can be avoided, if you ditch some of your priveleged attitudes. Here are some suggestions:
1. Just because a woman insists that her right to choose to have an abortion or not is non-negotiable does not mean a) that she doesn't like you, b) that she's deliberately trying to hurt your feelings, c) that she's trying to make the Democrats lose, and d) that she's distracting from "real issues" with mere fluff.
2. Stop watching porn, or at least cut back on it. Porn may be protected speech and ought to be defended from censorship, but it's not useful or helpful and it certainly doesn't improve your opinion of women. Related to this: stop calling women who criticize porn Republican stooges or censors. 99 times out of 100, they're not asking the government to abridge the 1st Amendment, they're just asking for women to be respected. Think about it.
3. Don't expect black people or other racial minorities to like you just because you're liberal. Don't go insisting that affirmative action isn't fair to whites or that it ought to be class-based- racist whites don't care how rich black people are, they're still black. Try listening, for a change.
4. Don't go blaming the gay rights movement for losing the election. This is counterproductive. Just because (shrinking) majorities think that gay marriage is wrong doesn't mean that the time isn't right to fight for it. Re-read Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail to see what he thought about being told that it wasn't the right time to fight for his rights.
5. Don't dismiss poor or working class people with socially conservative views out of hand. You don't have to pander to their social views, indeed, this is counterproductive. But try to find other reasons to get them to vote for you. Support real economic reform, not bandaid solutions.
6. Don't lose heart. Just because conservatives trash you all the time, just because you might not get love and support from non-white or non-straight or non-male folks on the left doesn't mean the world's over, just because things might look tough it's not hopeless. Go forward with an open mind and open ears and the courage to believe in what's right. Remember why you're on the left. If you're doing it for adulation, or worse, to get laid, you might want to rethink. Don't take the easy way out and become a "centrist" or an embittered neocon, just because things aren't in your control or aren't turning out 100% the way you want them to turn out.
All that said, I'm more optimistic about the future of the left and I do think we can avoid the mistakes and blind spots of the past. We've all got to come together, stop sniping at each other, and take on the real challenges in this country.
|Random Cat Noises
Purrrr purrrrrrrr purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr