Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have a good one!!!

After finishing up several posts (and still one to go but that can wait since I'm off tomorrow) I'm about to go back to work and keep a coworker company who would otherwise be at work by herself at the stroke of midnight (and dat's just some bullshit.)

Don't cause too much trouble folks!!!!

My over due Christmas round up

I know I might as well be a year late doing this since I'll bet literally everyone else in the blogsphere has already done theirs but here goes (and this gives us a small break before part three of "I knew they could see eye to eye!").

Went out of town to visit my brother and his family (wife and two daughters). Lots of food. Lots of alcohol. Lots of good time. Found out my brother has been trying to design a family crest as part of an original tattoo he wants. Depending on when he finishes it I will certainly work said crest into a tattoo for myself. I mistakenly slept through Christmas morning and missed my nieces opening their presents (they say they woke me up and I went back to sleep but I have no recollection of that...).

As for me I didn't come away with a lot but that's cool because I did get was cool. From the Secret Santa at work I got some books ("The Darkest Evening of the Year" by Dean Koontz, "Cross" by James Patterson, and "The Appeal" by John Grisham) and BADLY need wallet. Now I have some motivation to finish reading Harry Potter book four. From the company I work for I got a $25 card to WalMart and another from my boss. And they were well spent. I was able to get some necessities (it was Christmas and a few days before payday, I was broke) and the season 1 box set of Angel. I've been a big fan of the show for a long time and now that the box sets are only $15 at WalMart they will be mine...oh yes...they will be mine.

So maybe I didn't come away with a lot of loot but I am very thankful for the loot I got. All in all it was a good chance to relax. Unfortunately all that patience, calm, and tranquility was short lived.

I knew they could see eye to eye! Part 2

Okay last time I was talking about how the Feministing community was raking Britney Spear's new video, "Womanizer".

About a day or so ago I saw Glenn Sacks talking about the same video but from a different angle than the Feministing community.

Now instead of talking about one of the myths of male sexuality ("Men always want sex therefore its okay to treat them badly.") Glenn chose to focus on the violence the man in the video suffers at the hands of women and how it is received by an audience.

In his post he links to a clip of Good Morning America and the hostesses are talking about Britney. While talking there is a clip of the Womanizer video playing. Why does the audience cheer when Britney kicks the guy in the crotch?

I'm pretty sure that there is no way a mainstream male pop singer could get away with treating a woman like that. Try to imagine if Justine Timberlake was throwing a woman around like that, getting ganged up on and groped by group of men, kicked in the crotch, and then when he was "done" with her just tossed her to the side.

Male against female violence is definitely wrong but for some reason it gets policed more than female against male violence. If you look at out culture (namely sitcoms) you will see how violence against a woman is treated as serious business (as it should) while violence against a man is funny at best and encouraged (passed off as "empowering") at worst. And there is one simple reason why such things go on on tv, music, and commercials.

Money.

You know those same producers I talked about in part one that are willing to drag one group through the mud in order to gain the approval of the other groups? They are at work here too, feeding stereotypes about men. "A man can't be hurt by a woman." "A man can't be raped by a woman." "A man should never attack a woman but if a woman attacks a man then he must have done something to deserve it." "A woman can't rape a man." "If he had an erection then that means he wanted."(So far I've only heard that one from women, go figure.)

These days such myths and stereotypes are politically correct therefore its okay to play off of them.

I'd really like to see the day when those things are not only no longer politically correct but all pointed out for the sexist, misandrist, nonsense they are.



Okay you have a video that is clearly offensive to men and both sides recognize it. Why it is good to see that they do that alone is not what made me think to do this post. One more part to go.


(I know this seems jumbled but I had to get these thoughts down somewhere so I can sort through them.)

The home stretch...

Pop Quiz hotshot. You have less that 24 hours left before 2009 starts. For more years than you can probably imagine you have been making resolutions. So what its gonna be this time? What vows, promises, and resolutions have you set for yourself in 2009? I myself plan to:

1. Finally get my finances right to move.

2. At least make an attempt at learning a musical instrument.

3. To make actual progress on designing and getting the tatoo done that I've been thinking of for the last 2-4 years.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I knew they could see eye to eye! Part 1

Well they could if each weren't so busy trying to tear the other side's eyes out that is.

Go take a look at Britney Spear's new video Womanizer (I refuse to embed it).

So about two weeks ago there was a post on Feministing about it. The writer comes at this from the very valid angle of how this video perpetuates the myth of male sexuality.

Come on don't act like you've never encountered someone that thought that all straight guys (and perhaps gay men too and I just haven't seen it) think about sex all the time, want to have sex all the time, and if we could get away with it we'd have sex all the time. And based on that one can conclude that a man could never be raped by a woman. Why? Because "deep down inside he knows he wanted it".

That's what we call a myth.

Contrary to what pop culture may say about male sexuality this is not the case. First let's just do a gender switch. What is the usual reaction if a woman was raped and the notion came up that she really wanted it? Yes there are a lot of people out there that would believe that but there are also a hell of a lot of people out there that would argue against such a statement. So if its unfair to say that a female rape victim really wanted it then why is it fine and dandy to say that a male rape rape victim really wanted?

So the question is why is it okay to assume that since a man always wants sex there is no such thing as "against his will"?

The writer says that such a thing is a patriarchal value. That's close but I think there is something else that is just as powerful and (IMO) more widespread that that. Yes the notion that men always want it (and therefore cannot revoke consent) is an old and long ingrained idea but in this day and age I wonder why is such an old and wrong idea still being fed. I'm gonna say money. Hear me out for a moment.

Video producers are basically marketing the artists they produce videos for. And like any one else that is in marketing video producers are out to make the most money for the least effort possible (and by least effort I mean abiding by what is politically correct at the time). Unfortunately with this approach a lot of people will be offended and lot of toes will be stepped on. Commercials with idiot dads who are rescued by all knowing all forgiving wives. TV shows moms who are "too weak" to do things like fix a car, mow the lawn, or hunt. Music videos that say since men want sex so badly they are always consenting and therefore cannot be raped. It pays to insult or hurt one group to entertain the other groups.

And not only is such a video telling men that they cannot refuse consent but it tells women that since men want sex very badly it's okay to hit them, push them, and abuse them over it.

Okay this is going a bit longer than intended so I'm gonna split this one up.

This is what the MRM is talking about

Glenn Sacks put this up earlier today.

Alright most of us agree that minors should not have sex and in fact it is a crime to have sex with a minor. Well when two minors have "consensual" sex how does one go about dealing out punishment?

Well it seems that Pastorius Elementary School has decided that when a young teenage boy and girl have "consensual" sex only the boy should get in trouble. In this particular case the young boy was suspended for first 5 then 10 days from school while she received no punishment.

What kind of lesson do you teach your young girls and boys when you have two kids break the school rules but only one of them gets punished. Yes I know you're thinking double standard and you're correct to do so. This isn't the first time a female has gotten preferential treatment over a male (and damn sure won't be the last).

A couple of kids have sex and only one gets in trouble. Suspending them both would make sense. Not suspending either of them until the matter was investigated would make sense. But based on the info in that story it makes no sense that he got suspended and she walked away scot free.


PS: Yeah and I also notice that his name is dropped in the first sentence and then mentioned 10 more times. Take a moment to count how many times her name was mentioned.

This is what feminism is talking about

Renee put this up earlier today.

Okay I'm sure most of you will agree that violence is wrong and in the idea world no one would have to even consider resorting to it. However we do not live in an ideal world and violence is a common thing in this non-ideal world.

In fact many people go by sayings like "violence begets violence", "two wrongs do make a right", "an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind" and so on. But what if you are in trapped in a situation in which your body, and possibly your very life, is in danger? Would you be able to commit violence in order to prevent violence from being committed against yourself?

Well Charris Bowers was willing to do such a thing. However it would seem that committing violence in self-defense is a crime. Kinda reminds you of grade school when the bully would pick on someone until they fought back but the teacher would then deal punishment the kid that fought back instead of the bully.

A woman's husband tries to force her to have sex when she didn't want to so she fights back. If anything I would say perhaps both of them getting arrested until things could be sorted out but to only arrest one of them is not right at all.









PS: However Renee did mention one thing that I don't fully agree with.
Loranna didn't cut off her husbands penis because she got bored one day, she did it in response to the abusive relationship that she was involved in.

I wouldn't have a problem with what Loranna did if she had cut his penis off during a struggle or came at him head on. No she did it in the middle of the night while he was sleep. Yeah she just happen to snap while he was defenseless... One could say she pulled a Mary Winkler but since this came first I guess you could say Mary Winkler pulled a Loranna Bobbit.

Demonic Fury at Work

At first I thought I was gonna have some cool shit to put into my 100th post but so far this week has been so shitty that I just have to vent.

I know that I'm probably about one declaration away from claiming an activist title and all but some days after putting up with the bullshit that I put up with at work I just feel like committing violence. No need to be shy I'm sure you've had those moments in you life when things like patience, calm, and tranquility go straight out the window and the inner demon takes over. So let me ask you. When you think dark thoughts like that is there music playing in your mind and if so what is it?

Here's mine:

The song playing in the background is called Demon's Theme by LTJ Bukem. I'm most of you will recognize the video clips of Akuma (which roughly translates into devil or demon) from the Street Fighter series of video games. Pure unadultred violence...

Even after A Thousand Years our bond is still Unbreakable. I thank my Lucky stars that I Found You.

I know I said I was gonna ease off the song title link posts (mainly for the sake of saving ideas) but its been right at month since my last one. And besides I can't leave Sally hanging. Once a month sounds like a good frequency for these so here goes.


Sting - A Thousand Years
I remember first hearing this song back in 2003 on the way to the funeral of the mother of a former boss of mine. Let me tell from what I gathered of the woman I was riding with (my current boss at the time) I would have never guess she was into Sting. Honestly up to that point the only Sting song I knew of was Desert Rose. I need to go look up more of his stuff.




Alicia Keys - Unbreakable
To put it shortly the woman has soul and can work a piano like no other. She has been in the spotlight for the last several years and she was writing for other artists before that if I'm not mistaken. I can so see Alicia being around for a very, very long time.




Biff Naked - Lucky
I'm sure I'm not the only person that noticed that this song was used in not one but two vampire dramas. Just about everyone knows about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (it was used in one of early season 4 episodes) I chose a video with clips from the good but tragically short lived show "Moonlight". I really hope the SciFi Channel picks up the reruns (a great way to kill time until the final run of Battlestar Galactica and the return of Eureka).




Interstate - I Found You (From Paul Oakenfold's "Creamfields" album)
In my opinion when you want something that combines the laid back "sit on the beach and sip a drink while reading" calm of Cafe del Mar and the "moving and shaking on the dance floor until you're drenched in sweat and have to go outside for air" energy of whatever genre you dance to, vocal trance is the way to go. The beats are just strong enough to get you on the dance floor but the vocals (often done by women who have had their voices electronically altered to give them an etheral sound) are light enough to keep you from going all out. Such a nice blend.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back in the Office...

Okay I'm back.

600+ hits on my google reader. Not bad...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Out of the Office...

Okay I'm about to go out of the office again. This time I'm going to visit my brother and his family for Christmas. Meaning no posts until at least Sunday. I was planning to giving you a game to keep you entertained while I was away but due to unforeseen computer problems (which I think are related to the vid card i installed last night) I am not out of time and have to his the road now.

Until I return...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I guess the gong was broken...

Saw this today over at Bikerbernie's.

Okay first off yes I do think that some of the stuff he was talking about in his routine was offensive. Most of the time when someone goes off on a comedian all you hear about is the fact that said comedian said something offensive and they check some privilege or something like that. What I want to talk about (and other than at Bikerbernie's I've yet to hear a peep about this from anywhere else) is the fact that one of the two women that confronted him on stage actually punched him.

I have no problem with the fact that they thought his material was offensive. I have no problem with the fact that they wanted to say something about it. But attacking him? They could have walked out. They could have continued shouting at him. Hell they could have even somehow got a mike of their own and cracked jokes on him until the crowd turned against him (well they were shouting some jokes about him but if I heard them right they were the usual "insert insult about a man's sexual performance that women like to resort to" stuff.

Anyone reading this is gonna have one hell of a time convincing me that if two guys ran up on stage and one of them punched Paul Poundstone in the middle of a set they would not have landed in jail. The bouncers would have descended on them like vultures.

The fact that a woman can just walk up to a man and punch him in the head ON FILM and not get pounced on...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Doing good things can feel so good

I was reading this a few days ago and I started thinking about the acts of kindness I've performed over the years. Freshmen year when I chatted up a woman who was waiting for a cab at 2am on an empty campus. Helping the young girl my friends and I encountered walking down the street late one night (in her prom dress). This past Black Friday when I helped a woman out by putting a trampoline she bought into the back of her SUV. It would seem I have another one to add to the list.

I live in what people call the boondocks. By that I mean that in order to get anything beyond the bare necessities I still have to "go to town". When I do this I have two choices on where to go. East or West. For as long as I can remember I've always gone west. In fact I had not gone beyond 10 miles east of my house in over 10 years. Well a married couple I hang out with wrecked their car (the deer around here are like no other) and needed to get a rental replacement while it was in for repairs. I agreed to take them to the rental spot which was 1 hour east. Why not I haven't been out there in over 10 years. It would seem that it was a good thing I did.


After finishing up with my friends and taking time to ponder life while staring out at the ocean from the beach (yeah I live barely 1 hour away from The Outer Banks in North Carolina and have not been out there in that long) I head back home. Just to give a description of the 60 miles 40 of them are a stretch of road where there is NOTHING but woods and canals deep enough for cars to totally sink into on both sides, soft shoulders, and wild animals (namely bear, wolves, foxes). Not only that but NO cell phone service works in this space. I'll put it to you like this: My dad is a 59 year old retired cop and he won't drive back there at night unless it is the dire straits emergency.

So anyway I'm heading back with just enough time to cross that 40 mile stretch before sundown (I spent too much time at the beach) and I see an SUV and a family of five on the side of the road stuck in the mud at the start of said 40 mile stretch. With their luggage and Christmas presents out on the ground it looks like they had tried to push it out but to no avail. One of them was trying use her cell phone but her carrier doesn't work in that area. I offer help in the form of my cell phone to call for a tow truck. After about a 45-minute wait a tow truck came and got them out of the mud and they were on their way.

It was a good thing that they had gotten stuck where they were. If they had been about 20 miles further east (where even my cell phone would not have worked) and about 1 hour later (after sundown) their is no telling what would have happened to them (they were from Florida so they had no clue about the area). Interesting that going that way for the first time in over ten years put me in a position to help a stranded family out.

It didn't cross my mind to respond to their offer of payment with anything uplifting and spiffy like, "Just pay it forward.", but I'm sure that wasn't the main point here right? Just a simple "No thanks." and off I went.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's illegal to fight off a stranger?

I have a scenario. Imagine you are the parent of a 12 year old girl. A breaker goes out and you send said 12 year old daughter to reset it. Once your daughter gets outside three men in a van pull up and try to drag her off, calling her a prostitute.

You're inside the house and you hear your daughter screaming for help. What do you?

I think it's safe to assume that anyone reading this would have rushed outside at top speed ready to lay someone the fuck out for attacking their child right? And more than likely it said defense would be justified right? Apparently this is not always the case.

Read about this incident from about 2 years ago that is still haunting an innocent family.

Yes you read that right. Three cops who were responding to a report that three white prostitutes were soliciting a white male and a black male. Well it would seem that even after going to the wrong house they mistook the young girl for one of the protitutes in question because she had on "tight shorts". Nevermind the fact that this young girl is African-American though.

You would think that it would end there right? Oh no its not that easy. After getting out of the hospital for two black eyes and throat and ear drum injuries (I wonder if they had the right woman would they still have started off with such rough treatment. I though you had to identify yourself as a cop before moving for the arrest...) it would seem that the police decided that the girl and her father who went out to help her after hearing her scream for her Daddy have been arrested for assulting a peace officer.

So there you have it. A girl fights back against strangers (the cops were in plain clothes) who are trying to drag her off and her dad comes out swinging to protect her like a parent should and they get arrested for it. It goes without saying that this is more than likely that this arrest is nothing more than the city trying to save face. The police don't want to admit they screwed up by going to the wrong location so now they want to cover it up by crying that they were "just doing their job".

A little girl is terrorized by the police and a father that fought to protect his daughter are they are the criminals?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Thin Blurry Line

Cara over at The Curvature has a post up. The subject of the post touches one of the biggest issues in science: robots and human relations.

The post in question is about an image of a what appears to be a woman with a game controller extending from her waist. Was the image in question meant to depict a woman that has had her humanity and free will stripped and reduced to a object of pleasure or an object of pleasure that, while looking like a woman, is not meant to be connected to a real woman in anyway whatsoever?

Now I personally think of that pic as an object that should not be construed with a real woman but I can fully understand how someone would conclude the image does indeed depict a woman that has been reduced to a controllable thing that exists for the pleasure of her controller. So that has me thinking, where is line between fantasy and real and what is considered to be crossing it?

Perhaps the line is based on how much of the woman is depicted:

1. If that image is reducing a woman to a pleasure object then who is to say that a fleshlight is objectifying due to the fact that all the "unnecessary" parts a woman's body are removed and the user is only left with the "important" part.

2. Perhaps if you take that fleshlight and add a basic rubber body around it. Now its been upgraded from a portable vagina to blowup doll. Now that its in the crude shape of a woman does this mean that it has now become offensive to women?

3. Now take away that crude rubber skin and add a lifelike cyberskin. The device is in the shape of a woman and has "skin". Is it Objectifying yet?

4. Okay this time we'll add facial features, breasts, hair, fingernails, movable joints, a voicebox, etc. The result would be something that Geppetto would be jealous of.

At what point do you say that the line has been crossed and you no longer just have a sex toy for your sexual pleasure but have decided that all the parts of a woman's body are not needed and its best to just discard the the useless ones?

I have to say that the mentality of the owner of the object can offer quite a bit of insight into that. How does the owner treat the women in their life? Do they tend to stay away from real women? What types of fantasies does the owner have about women?

Monday, December 15, 2008

10 songs that should be in Rock Band

Since I don't feel like trying to make up for the last 2 missed song title link posts (I think I'm gonna cut back on them so I can spread them over time) I'll make a music post about Rock Band.

Rock Band you ask? Why that is a music game that is available on the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii consoles. Just like the name says the game allows up to four players simulate the experience of a band (singer, guitarist, bassist, and/or drummer). Check out a video right here. Singer on top then from left to right are guitarist, drummer, and bassist. Yes I know that is a woman singing Chop Suey and it doesn't quite feel right but its game and she can sing whatever she wants right? Speaking of I was at a party while I was on vacation and heard a black woman at the party fucking rock the vocals on this song so I know a woman can sing it.

Now after seeing that I'm sure you can think of a lot songs you would just love to play right? Here's my picks.

1. High and Mighty Color - Ichi no Hana

2. Spongebob Movie OST - Goofy Goober Rock (Laugh all you want but this song rocks hard.)

3. Korn - Freak on a Leash (This song is in the recently released Guitar Hero World Tour)

4. Devics - Key

5. Stance Punks - No Boy No Cry (I personally think the drummer should get an automatic 100% score if he/she can hit all the drum beats in the first 20 seconds of this song.)

6. Alanis Morrissette - You Oughta Know

7. Garbage - The World is Not Enough

8. Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children OST - One Winged Angel (The only vocals in this song is choir like chanting so the singer may not be happy about this one.)

9. Saliva - Ladies and Gentlemen (The clips are from the Halo games but the song is by Saliva)

10. Angie Hart - Blue

So what would you like to try your hand at playing?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

300+ posts?

Come on people how am I supposed to catch up on the over 300 posts that popped up in my Google reader since I went out of the office? I'll more than likely have to perform a bit of triage.

Managed to take a lot of pics the day I went site seeing this past Wednesday but I have to go through them first and remove the blurry pics and duplicates first before I put them up.

Here's to playing catch up...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Out of the Office...

I'm out of town on my vacation so I will be "out of the office" for a few days. That means almost no posting and I also owe a song title link post. I should be back to my regular posting schedule later this week.

Later!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Good idea....Bad idea...

After years ofhelplessness at the hands of the husbands that abandoned and beat them and the corrupt police officials that would not help them women of India's northern Uttar Pradesh state's Banda have decided to band together to form The Gulabi Gang.

Now I'm sure that most people will agree that there is nothing wrong with using force, even lethal force, against someone that is attacking you and threatening your life. However if this story is true (with emphasis on the if its true part). I think someone has either gone a bit too far or the Minority Report Rule is in effect.

It would seem that in order to resolve the conflict that has been tearing two villages in Papua New Guinea apart for the last 20 years the women of the villages decided to kill all newborn boys. Apparently the train of though is that men cause conflict therefore if there are no men there will be no conflict. Get it? Instead of killing the ones that are actually causing the conflict just kill ALL the males so that there is absolutely no chance that conflict will break out. Why wait until they actually commit the crime when you can just kill them before they are even old enough to comprehend what crime, violence, and murder are?


Now you have two instances in which violence is being used in the name of justice but I'm sure you can tell that they are not the same. In one case you have people fighting back against their actual attackers. In the other you have people preemptively wiping out an entire gender on a count of the future violence they might cause.

And don't think I didn't notice the biased reporting in the PNG story. In the Gulagi Gang coverage the article is correctly focused on the women who have suffered at the hands of evil husbands and corrupt police. But for some odd reason in the PNG story its all about the women who were forced to commit such horrible crimes (I guess it really does hurt the parent more than the child...). But considering that there are no victims to speak to the reporters had to take whatever information they could get.

I really hope that this is story in Papua New Guinea is not true (from what I can tell people are still trying to verify it and there are some claiming that it is not real) because it if is I really don't see why they should be allowed to get away with village wide gendercide like that but more importantly to think that an entire generation of boys is gone is just shocking.



(PS - I'm kinda upset over the fact that in some of the comment sections on sites with the PNG story is posted there are people actually saying that exterminiting all those boys was a good idea. Misandry at its finest...)

Monday, December 1, 2008

This is what feminism is talking about...

Okay anyone that has ever read my blog here can conclude that I am not the biggest fan of feminist. I really don't have problems with the base premise of equality but once its members begin to splinter off into their own variations of feminism things get dicey. But even as a non-feminist (not to be confused with anti-feminist) it's as plain as the nose on my face that shit like this not cool.

I saw this over at Renee's earlier today.

I don't agree with everything that feminists are talking about but I can totally understand where they are coming from. Pirelli is a tire company that makes an annual calendar for its top clients. Well it seems that this year's calendar was designed with a certain "exotic" flavor. Mind you by exotic I mean showing "other" cultures as wild, beastial, and abusive. And there is also the part where the women of that culture (and women of "the normal" culture as well) are targets of the abusive and violent ways of that "other" culture.

When are people going to get to the point where they can do things without resorting to -isms for inspiration?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The embrace of Your Loving Arms means The End of my Lonliness

It would seem that Frau Sally Benz has taken a fancy to my song title link posts.


Your Loving Arms - Armin Van Buuren Remix (w/ vocals by Karen Overton)
When you want to just listen to a nonstop mix of beats, rhythms, and sounds there's nothing better than a dj mix. This song comes from the album A State of Trance 2006 by Armin Van Buuren.



Llorca - The End
From the album Ambient Lounge Vol. 1. More of the laid back mellow music I listen to. Its amazing how stressed I am despite owning so much mellow music.



Tomcraft - Loneliness
As someone that really does not like to dance I sure like dance music don't I? Well yes I do. It's just something about the energy that flows through dance music that I just can't get away from. From a four disc album titled "The No.1 Trance Classics".



Now it's time to go think about next week link.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Forgive me for I have sinned...

We all know yesterday was Thanksgiving. Plenty of food, drink, laughing, and merriment. So I'm just gonna skip to something someone said late last night. I was over at my sister's place and a cousin of one of her friends was over. He had already eaten one Thanksgiving meal and we were all joking about him eating so much. But one thing that he said rang through my head though.

I make sure to clean my plate because there are people that don't have this much food.
Good point.
Last night I ate only one meal but in that one meal I ate so much that I had indigestion all night and even though that meal was about 6pm last night I am just starting to get hungry again. I'm sure there are countless people who only had enough to satisfy their basic hunger and countless more that went hungry last night.
Ever since I can remember I've always said that I was thankful for my meals but I've never really thought about that on Thanksgiving (or at any other time of the year for that matter)before he said that but its so true. And it makes me feel horrible. The fact that I have access to enough food that I can actually get sick from eating while there are people who are sick because they do not have access to enough food to eat.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't you hate it when...

...you get a song stuck in your head and not only can you not get it out of your head but you are compelled by some mystic force to constantly listen to said song? Yeah that is what I am going through right now. My current compulsion:


M.I.A. - Paper Planes

Yeah I know I'm a bit behind the times (I think this song was used in the fairly recent movie "Pineapple Express") but oh well. I can't get this damn song out of my head. Hell I'm listening to it right now as I type this post . Pretty much my only recourse is to just let it run its course. If I listen to it enough I should eventually get tired of it and will never want to hear it again...


Edit: Just surfing youtube and I found this:



I suppose this is the "unofficial" dance to go with this song.

Oh come on...

I just finished watching this week's Law and Order:SVU. If you don't want spoilers then stop reading this.

Long story short Judge Donnelly (played by Judith Light) actually steps in as the prosecutor in order to prosecute a woman who had been on the run from a murder charge for 34 years. It turns out when the woman was originally charged Donnelly was the ADA assigned to prosecute and the suspect managed to escape (by requesting a private meeting, asking to go to the bathroom then escaping).

As a result Donnelly was humiliated in the DA's office and spent years working her way back up. I can see how tough it would have been for a woman trying to make her way up in the judicial system in the 70s (she even commented that before being offered the case her boss actually asked her husband if she had permission to take the case).

Once the trial starts she comes after this woman with everything she had. Despite her assurances of the contrary it really looked like her interest was not justice but revenge for having her career setback and "setting back the image of women". But at the end of the trial (yes at the end, not by the end) she has a change of heart. The suspect is found not guilty of the murder but is found guilty for going on the run. Even more than that Donnelly then recommends probation. The suspect and Benson both wonder what prompted the change of heart. Her answer:

"Back then I...was trying to so hard to be one of the boys...I...forgot why I became a lawyer."

So it wasn't because she realized that she was motivated by revenge and not justice. It was because she was trying to be "one of the boys". While it is true that women are often pressured to do things they would normally not do (which I guess is why some people will try to associate negative things like anger, violence, and the desire for revenge with maleness) in order to get ahead I find it hard to believe that Donnelly's motive for pressing that woman so hard was because she wanted to fit in. I'll put my money on revenge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I take this hand...

Okay one thing I've noticed is how people are so quick to claim their ally status with another group of people. Now I can agree that to claim ally status is an attempt to reach out to said group and show them that you wish to assist them in their efforts in any way possible (from marching with them in rallies to linking to their blogs to get the word out).
There is nothing wrong with that but at the same time I've never felt right claiming ally status with any group (and if you've been reading my ramblings for any amount of time you will notice this). There is a reason for that.


I don't think its my place to claim ally status with another group.

Now don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that I don't want to help other groups in their efforts. What I am saying is that in doing the things that I do to help other groups I just don't think ally status is something I can just claim and then act accordingly to maintain it.

Under normal circumstances when it comes to ally status its a two way street. The nations that formed the Allied Powers during WWII all agreed to form that alliance. It wasn't as if the United States just said one day that they were in an alliance with the other nations and the others just fell in line with it. Someone proposed the idea to the nations in question and it was up to them to accept or decline the offer. If one of the nations had declined I'm pretty sure the US couldn't or wouldn't just go around claiming to be allies of that nation. Now I am aware that the situation changes a bit when it comes to ally status between different groups.

Okay let's take the GLBT community for instance. Now if I wish to have ally status with that community I would have to actually do things to aid them and further their cause. Such tasks would be to change my own ways to ensure that I am not committing the same offenses that the community is speaking out against. Another would be to help spread their words (which other than asking questions is about as much as I could do since I am not a member of that community) to as many outlets as I can. In the midst of performing such deeds I just don't think it would be my place to claim that I am an ally of the GLBT community. That makes it sound like I'm encroaching on their territory. It seems to me that it would be up to the GLBT community to claim me as an ally.

I'm not trying to put any burden on them by saying this but I do think that it is up to the community (or at least members of it) that you are trying to assist to decide if you are an ally to their cause (which I think would most likely be based on whether or not what you are doing is aiding their cause). Again its not like I'm trying to pass the buck to them but in fact I'm trying to say that it is on me to earn their trust. It is up to me to help them in the best way I can. It is up to me to offer my hand. They just have to decide if they want to take it or not.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I don't need this!

If you recall last Saturday there was a nationwide (even though I understand there were even some international locations too) protest of Proposition 8. Originally I had said that I had plans and would not be able to go. Well my schedule was altered at the last moment and I was able to go to one of the locations.

And an educational experience it was. I have a talent and pleasure for being able to go unnoticed (I call it Easily Forgettable Presence) and it paid off that day. Just leaning back and listening to people talk opened my eyes in a way that reading their words never could. I spent a good portion of the afternoon listening to one of the guys there. He was an older man who was talking about his lover that was unable to be there himself because being seen there would have put his career in danger. I've read a lot of blogs that tell stories of being scared to speak up for fear of their careers, families, and even lives being endangered but to have someone say that just put a lot more power behind the words. And I really didn't blame him for not offering his own name during the conversation.

Sure enough there was a small crew from the local news station to record some footage. Damn.

The reason I waited a week to post this is because this was an event for the gay community, it was their day, and it was about them. However what happened later that night pissed me off to no end and I just have to vent.

Later that night I got home and was about to go to a friend's house to chill and that is when it happened. As I'm heading out to my car my dad comes to the porch and repeatedly flips the light switch like there was a rave in my house. I knew it was 11pm and the local news was on and I knew what he going nuts about. Knowing full well there was no power on earth that would make him just forget it I entertained him.

I go back inside and he is going fucking insane. You'd think we'd won the damn Super Bowl. "Look you're on tv!", "You gotta see this!", "Look at this!" Now don't get his excitement confused with the basic, "OMG someone I know is on TV!" excitement. So he sees some footage that was taken of me at the site and proceeds to tell me, "You don't know how this makes you look." more times than I care to count. He spends a few minutes telling me that people will think that I'm gay for being there and he says it in a tone like I don't know how people in the country operate.

But the kicker in all this was his last bit of insight.

"With my job I don't need this!"

I just walked out the door pissed off at him. What popped in my head was the conversation I had earlier with that guy about his lover who wasn't there for fear of his career. But at least his fears were valid. My dad was afraid his career might be in danger because people might think his son was gay.

Now I've had people assume I was gay before and its never bothered me. But for some reason hearing some silly shit like this from my own father pissed me off to no end. All this makes me wonder how he would react if I were gay and came out of the closet about it. In the end I wouldn't not give a shit what he thought (but that is based on other things as well) but curiosity has always been one of my biggest faults. I don't want to believe that my dad would be homophobic but again I wonder...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

That's The Way to light My Fire with your Burning Heat!!!

Now I know that the title of this post can probably be taken several ways but I liked how it feel into place so I went with it. All of the songs in this sentence can be found in the various versions of Dance Dance Revolution.


KC & The Sunshine Band - I'm sure you're heard this song before. At first I thought it was odd to hear this on a Japanese video game but then I came to realize that this was not the first and it would not be the last.





Dance Dance Revolution 1st Mix - My Fire
Most of the music in the Dance Dance Revolution (screw this I'm just using DDR from here on out) is faced paced for the sake of getting you hyped up and moving. Despite its age this song still gets me amped to play (to the point that I wish my back would let me start playing again).





DDR Burning Heat - Remember that side scrolling space shooter Gradius from way back in the day? Yeah those are Konami games just like the DDR series which gave them the chance to remix some of those old themes. And I have to say that the old 16-bit sounds blend with the modern sounds to make a nice nostalgic track.




I'm going to have to dig up my copy of Stepmania. What is Stepmania you ask? Well that is a free DDR simulator that allows you to play on you keyboard. A nice thing for people who are physically unable to play or are too shy to get on a DDR machine in public.

BTW most of the songs that you hear in these games are shortened versions of standard full length songs so don't be scared to search them out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who got game? She got game.

You don't get too many Jackie Robinson moments in pro sports so find it interesting to have one happen during my life time. The gender barrier in Japan's profession baseball league has been broken by 16 year old Eri Yoshida.

According to the article she drew inspiration from Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and his (not as in he invented it but he is one of few major pitchers to use it effectively) knuckleball pitch, which is a difficult pitch to learn much less master or use on a regular basis.

The team manager says, "Her sidearm knuckleballs dip and sway, and could be an effective weapon for us,".

Not to say that she wants to but perhaps as she gets experience and fame in Japan we may one day see her on the list of talents being brought from Japan to America to play. I hope she has a great career.

(For the record I think watching baseball is the one thing in this world that can actually bore me to tears but everyone gets down their own way.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

After 10 long years...

About 10 years ago I was a member of a now defunct (for the most part defunct but a few of us still keep up with each other on MySpace) group of AOL chatters that went by the name The Regs. Someone in that group passed around a song that was labeled Mystery.mp3 asking if anyone knew what the song was called. For the life us no one knew what it was called. There was no tag info on it either for months we would ask if anyone had ID'd it yet and the answer was always no. Over time the group drifted apart and the identity of that song was lost to the ages...or so I thought.

Every once in a while I would try in vain to find the name of the song for my own satisfaction. Well tonight I upgraded my version of WinAmp and discover that it has the ability to search out any missing info on your songs like title, artist, album, etc... I was having a good bit of success with so I say what the hell and give it a try with my copy of Myster.mp3 and I got a hit. All the info was in Japanese characters except for the song title which should the name "Be in the Mirror". A search of that on google lead me to the answer.





A blasted song from Tekken 2. I've spent almost 10 years trying to identify a song and it was from a video game. While I was never a fan of Tekken it kinda makes me feel bad that I used to call myself a gamer but didn't recognize a song from one of most popular fighting series in gaming history.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nation-Wide Protest Against Prop. 8

Petulant over at Shakesville is helping to spread the word on a nationwide protest of the recently passed Proposition 8.

For those of you that don't know what Prop 8 is it is a measure that was passed in the state of California last week that bans gay marriage.

I've already expressed my displeasure at this proposition. I wish I could make it to one of the locations (I'm going to be in Greenville, NC but I'm gonna be tied up the entire day) so I can get a chance to speak face to space with gay rights advocates.

Hopefully there will be a great turn out for this tomorrow and plenty of attention will generated from it and even more hopefully some positive change will take place as a result.

Sorry Renee

Okay in the last year or so my attention has been drawn to various human right issues. Now as person who doesn't know a lot as well not being a member of many of the groups one reads about you're gonna get my bumps and bruises (whether they are my own fault is another story). And along the way you will genuinely incur the wrath of other bloggers and other bloggers will just auto-hate because you agree with them. But I think to day I almost had the former happen because of the latter.

Over at Womanist Musings Renee put a post about how one group's rights (in this instance the rights of gays) should not take precedence over another. She gave her own interpretation of what the poster the person in the picture is carrying and I offered a different one.

Well since some people just can't stand to hear a different opinion they resort to childish tactics. Accuse them of derailing, insult you, and my personal favorite call them a troll. Just think of it like calling someone a witch or accusing someone of conspiring against the establishment. They can't confront you on what you say so they have to pick other avenues. That is pretty much what happened to me on that thread.

Well when it happens you can do one of two things. You can either try to defend yourself or you can just leave. Now defending yourself is a noble thing. Who wants to be attacked, especially when its uncalled for? The problem is when you do that you run the risk of taking the discussion off course which in turn proves the people right that you were trying to take the discussion off course.

And that is what I was about to do to Renee's discussion today. I went in tried to say something got attacked in my efforts to set the record straight I ended up taking things off course. And it really didn't help that in responding I said some pretty mean stuff too. My bad Renee. So now that I've decided to defend myself and almost ruin the topic what else is there left to do? Leave. And that is I'll do. Sure I'll lurk it but it would be better for me to stop commenting.

Sorry Renee.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just who in the hell does she think she is?

I really don't care that much about the lives of celebrities but this one is a real trip. Recently Guy Ritchie had a heart felt reunion with his two sons Rocco and David. For the time being he has custody of the two boys but it looks like Madonna has a set of demands that Guy should be abiding by while he has them with him.

1. Under no circumstances should they read newspapers magazines or be allowed to watch TV or DVD.

A parent has the responsibility of being mindful of what their children watch or read but this is crazy. Certain shows, certain DVDs, and certain reading material makes sense but none at all? This sounds like she is trying to control their exposure to the outside world.


2. They must adhere at all times to a macrobiotic, vegetarian, organic diet with no processed or refined food.

I can understand this. A parent wants to make sure their children are eating proper.


3. All water they drink, even when it is dilute organic juice, should be Kabbalah water (mountain spring water blessed by leaders of the Kabbalah religion she follows).

In addition to item 2 I can also see the religious significant of this.


4.They should wear the clothes Madonna has sent with them on the flight. If they need to be bought they should not contain man-made fibres.

Same as 3.


5. Their hands should be regularly cleaned with disinfectant spray if they are in public places.

I can understand the parental instinct but this almost borderline OCD.


6. They should not be bought toys which are spiritually or ethically sound.

Maybe this is my agnosticism speaking but I really don't see how religion should make a difference in what toys a child should be able to play with.


7. Guy should not discuss the separation with them

Yeah I agree the goal here should be to not upset the kids with such negative things but I wonder if she is mindful of this when she has custody of them...


8. Madonna should have phone contact with the boys as much as three or four times a day at time set by her.

I'm all for staying in contact but wonder if Guy would have this prerogative if situations were reversed.


9. The boys should not be introduced to Guy's new friends, especially any new female friends he has attracted since the separation.

This is just controlling. And I'm sure she realizes that to abide by this would mean that he would have to choose his children over his new friends, especially female ones.


10. Madonna has encouraged the access to give him time with the boys, rather than his parents spending large amounts of time with the boys.

So Guy's parents are not good enough for them?


11. The boys should not be photographed while with Guy. It is his responsibility to organize security so that does not happen.

So one of the queens of parading around with adopted children from foreign nations is suddenly worried about them being photographed with their dad?


12. At bedtime, Guy should read David the English Rose books Madonna.

She even wants to control what he should read them at bed time. He can't read them Jack and Beanstalk or some story of his own?


I can't believe the nerve of this woman. She is really trying to be the dominant parent from a few thousand miles away. There is no doubt what the reaction would be when if this were reversed and Guy was trying to be the dominant parent from thousands of miles away. Then it would be him trying to exert his control over her and the kids or something like that.

To paraphrase Simon the Digger: "Just who in the hell does she think she is!?!?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I blame American Pie...

When I was in high school (in the mid 90s) I realized I had a thing for older women. At that time when other high school guys are checking out teachers and students their own age I noticed that I was paying a bit more attention to the teachers. Even now I can recall my teachers (especially my history and Spanish teachers) more clearly than the girls in my class.

In college it was the same thing. I was looking at the grad students and professors than I did the women around my own age (and I even had a crush on a classmate that's 10 years older than I but that is a another story for another day). Well around that time a movie by the name of American Pie released.

Even with all the nonsense and comedy in that film (but I do like that fact that they centered around four different guys to show that not all high school guys think like that) it was pretty funny. But more importantly that movie introduced the term M.I.L.F. For the two of you that don't know what that means Mother I'd Like to Fuck. At first I embraced the term as a label for my attraction to older women. But now I almost wish no one had ever put that phrase together.

The term does not even scratch the surface of what I (and I'm sure other people) feel about older women. American Pie made it sound like an attraction to older women is just the desire to shag a "mature woman". And even porn sites have picked up on it (just take my word that you DO NOT want to search MILF in a search engine) There is more to it like there is more to being attracted to any person. You enjoy their looks. You enjoy being with them. You want to talk with them. You want to hear them talk. And while part of the attraction may be sexual its only just that...a part.

They don't all want to maintain their violent ways...

Borrowed from Llencelyn.

People like Dortel Williams are living proof that some prisoners, even those who have no chance of ever seeing the outside world again, do not want maintain their violent and criminal ways. Its a shame that such programs are not getting the support they need. With recidivism rates so high one would think that such programs would be springing up all over the place. But considering that people get so much pleasure out of "predicting" that most inmates become repeat offenders I can see why they would not be motivated to actually help criminals stay out of prison once they get out or at least try to improve the lives of the ones that are there for life.

Black Male Privilege Eh? Part 3

Okay I know its been a while but I've been a bit busy. Back in parts 1 and 2 I started my break down of Jewel Woods Black Male Privilege list. Here goes the third and final part of my critique of the his list.


College
66. In college, I will have the opportunity to date outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women will.
67. I have the privilege of having the phrase "sewing my wild oats" apply to my sex as if it were natural.
68. I know that the further I go in education the more success I will have with women.
69. In college, black male professors will be involved in interracial marriages at much higher rates than members of the opposite sex will.
70. By the time I enter college, and even through college, I have the privilege of not having to worry whether I will be able to marry a black woman.
71. In college, I will experience a level of status and prestige that is not offered to black women even though black women may outnumber me and out perform me academically.
72. If I go to an HBCU, I will have incredible opportunities to exploit black women

66. I wonder why that is. Is it because black men are more willing to go outside the race than black women, women other races are more willing to date black men than men of other races are willing to date black women, or maybe something else?

67. Since that plays off of the stereotype that men (especially black men) are mindless beasts that only want sex this is not a privilege. Being assumed to have sex on the brain all the time is natural is not a privilege.

68. True...but is that because women moreso than men look to "marry up"?

69. How is that a privilege?

70. Not being expected to marry a black woman? Agreed.

71. Agreed.

72. Not sure about that one...




Communication/Language
73. What is defined as "News" in Black America is defined by men.
74. I can choose to be emotionally withdrawn and not communicate in a relationships and it be considered unfortunate but normal.
75. I can dismissively refer to another persons grievances as ^*ing.
76. I have the privilege of not knowing what words and concepts like patriarchy, phallocentric, complicity, colluding, and obfuscation mean.

73. Agreed.

74. Agreed but should I choose to be emotionally open and communicate in a relationship I run the risk of having my masculinity questioned.

75. Agreed.

76. I get the feeling this is the obligatory, "I have the privilege of being blind to my privilege." statement. Given the solid material in this list I really hope he is not trying to throw this in there as the usual, "Anyone that doesn't agree with me is just refusing to acknowledge their privilege." trump card.




Relationships
77. I have the privilege of marrying outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women marry.
78. My "strength" as a man is never connected with the failure of the black family, whereas the strength of black women is routinely associated with the failure of the black family.
79. If I am considering a divorce, I know that I have substantially more marriage, and cohabitation options than my spouse.
80. Chances are I will be defined as a "good man" by things I do not do as much as what I do. If I don't beat, cheat, or lie, then I am a considered a "good man". In comparison, women are rarely defined as "good women" based on what they do not do.
81. I have the privilege of not having to assume most of the household or child-care responsibilities.
82. I have the privilege of having not been raised with domestic responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and washing that takes up disproportionately more time as adults.

77. Same as 66.

78. That I don't agree with. Its often thrown in the faces of black men that they are responsible for the failure of the black family. Being told they we knock up women then, run out on our children, out on the streets "hustlin" and "gangbangin". And while the target of such harassment may not be the black man's "strength" it is often his integrity, loyalty, and intelligence that come under fire.

79. Agreed and I also have the privilege of being more likely to get blamed for the divorce (I must have cheated on her, abused her, etc...)

80. Agreed.

81. Agreed and my spouse also has the privilege of not having to assume most of the outside of the home work.

82. Agreed.




Church & Religious Traditions
83. In the Black Church, the majority of the pastoral leadership is male.
84. In the Black Church Tradition, most of the theology has a male point of view. For example, most will assume that the man is the head of household.

83. True and this seems to be prevailant in all churches.

84. True and this seems to be prevailant in all churches.





Physical Safety
85. I do not have to worry about being considered a traitor to my race if I call the police on a member of the opposite sex.
86. I have the privilege of knowing men who are physically or sexually abusive to women and yet I still call them friends.
87. I can video tape women in public- often without their consent - with male complicity.
88. I can be courteous to a person of the opposite sex that I do not know and say "Hello" or "Hi" and not fear that it will be taken as a come-on or fear being stalked because of it.
89. I can use physical violence or the threat of physical violence to get what I want when other tactics fail in a relationship.
90. If I get into a physical altercation with a person of the opposite sex, I will most likely be able to impose my will physically on that person
91. I can go to parades or other public events and not worry about being physically and sexually molested by persons of the opposite sex.
92. I can touch and physically grope women's bodies in public- often without their consent- with male complicity.
93. In general, I have the freedom to travel in the night without fear.
94. I am able to be out in public without fear of being sexually harassed by individuals or groups of the opposite sex.

85. Agreed. I just have to worry about being called a coward, not being believed, or even being arrested myself instead.

86. Hold up. If this were a privilege this would in imply that women should have friends that they know are abusive. Its a problem indeed but a privilege?

87. Agreed.

88. Agreed.

89. As many cases that are popping up these days of women doing the same thing (and getting away with it) I'm not sure this can be considered male exclusive anymore.

90. This is often an unavoidable biological fact. Even in the utopia the many human rights activists dream this will still hold true. What would be removed is the desire to do so. But the fact that it is possible is not a privilege. And weapons can be pretty damn good equalizers...

91. Agreed.

92. Agreed.

93. Agreed.

94. Agreed.




Well there you have it. Am I silly enough to think that my breakdown of this list is some prophetic message that will open everyone's eyes? No. Am I silly enough to think that everyone will agree with the things I've said in this series? No. Am I silly enough to think that my opinions on this list are absolute and unwavering? No. But hopefully anyone that disagrees will be civil enough to talk it out.

Part 1
Part 2

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rise Hunter, lest Hallucinations of a Ruined World leave you crying Into The Night.


Kanno Yoko & Origa - Rise
This is the opening theme to Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig. If you like technology and political intrigue then I HIGHLY recommend this show. 2nd Gig is the second season of the series but you don't really have to see season one (but it is good though) to understand it.



Bjork - Hunter
You know I love me some Bjork. Not only is this song mellow while simultaneously full of powerful but the transformation into a bear is cool. Reminds me that I must restart my research on power animals and totems...



In The Nursery - Hallucinations (Dream world mix)
I first heard this song on the old Street Fighter II anime movie. It is played before one the most badass anime fights ever (Chun Li totally owns Vega).



Chrono Trigger OST - Ruined World
This is the over world theme for the ruined future you have to look forward to if you fail to defeat Lavos in 1999. I hear this game is about to be released for the DS with new content.



Julee Cruise - Into the Night
Twin Peaks was a weird ass show but it has some of the nicest music. Soft and sad. It really fit the mood for a show that was about the investigation of a young girl's death. And I have to say that as a guy I can so totally imagine Julee's voice as a siren whose gentle voice would lure me to my death.




Okay so I didn't quite get this done by midnight but I have to say to have thought of this in about 30min. I feel good about myself. My day may have been crappy but at least I got to end it on a good note.

Two unexpected birthday presents...

An employee at one of our branches dropped off a stash of Halloween leftover candy when she came by my office today. This stash is f'n huge. It was a bag of mini Hershey candy bars (not the tiny ones, the ones that are about 2in. long). It sucks that I was so bogged down in Help Desk calls that I did not get to thank her in person. But I did make certain send her a thank you email.

And then Portly Dyke decided to reveal her true full name. Now that is a big deal. Its pretty scary to give your full name these days with ID theft, threats, and other nonsense. I know she didn't do it for me specifically but since she is one of the feminists that restored my faith the movement I think its a big deal.

Maybe one of these days I'll have the guts to give the other two thirds of my name.

Now I'm off to try to write a song title link post in record time...

28 Years Later...

No I'm not talking about a sequel to 28 Weeks Later. I'm talking about my birthday. I have to say that I do feel a bit older but that's not simply because I am numerically older. My body is worn. My soul is tired. My mind is weary.

I have to say that has been the most hellified day of the entire week. Building pcs while talking trying to answer phone calls for tech support from a few hundred employees is not an easy thing and today really shows it.

Well I'm working late tonight so I better go.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So...

We now have a new president coming in. And I have to say that having Bush leave office in a few months and knowing that the next in line is not an older white guy is a nice birthday present indeed (which is coming up in a few hours).

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say that all older white guys are bad presidents I'm saying that it is refreshing to see people get over the assumption that the leader of the free world has to be on.

And I'm not naive enough to think that Obama's successful run for the White House will remove all the problem plaguing this country, namely racism. I'll bet that even as you read this somewhere there is someone calling him a nigger, coon, uncle tom, etc....(and I'll bet they aren't all white). But what his run for the White House means is that things are getting better. Think about it. Do you think that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have had a snowball's chance in hell going for the White House in '64? I'm sure we can all agree he wouldn't have.

We (and by we I don't mean just black people but ALL of us) can't afford to rest on our laurels yet but a big stepping stone like this is just too big to overlook.

And the identity of the next butt in the chair of the Oval Office was not the only thing up in the air yesterday:


Proposition K:
This was a measure on the ballot in San Francisco, California. If passed it would have stopped police from "enforcing laws against sex workers and eliminate funding for anti-prostitution programs." Such a proposition would have been a great help to sex workers. It would have taken away some of the fear of going to police when they need help. Just like any other occupation sex workers face job hazards and should be protected. OSHA is there to make sure construction and industrial areas are safe. There is legal recourse for people who are treated unfairly by their employers. So adding some protection for sex workers makes sense right?

Then why was it voted down? I don't live in San Francisco and I don't live in California. I've never been a sex worker and I've never known a sex worker (mind you I may have known them and they chose not to tell me). But even I can tell that this measure was logical and sound idea. Don't believe me? Then check out the word of a woman that fits two of the four things I named (she is a sex worker and knows many sex workers).


Proposition 8:
This makes me sad. How in the world can anyone with a straight face vote for a measure that would ban marriage between two loving adults based on nothing more than the fact that the two loving adults are the same gender? That's it. They are adults. They are both consenting. But because they would both use the same bathroom at a public place they can't get married in California.


And in a very close race in for the governor seat here in NC Beverly Purdue became the first female governor in our states history.

Okay I was gonna add more but my left forearm is killing me. I think carpal tunnel may be kicking in...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Almost there...

Bottom of the 9th

Victory Road

The Home Stretch

The Last Lap

The Final Countdown

The Two Minute Warning

The Last Call

The Final Round

Whatever you want to call it the polls are going to be opening in next several hours and with those openings come our opportunity to voice our opinions. Whatever the issues are in your area. Whatever the issues are in your state. Whatever you feel about the issues on the national scale. This is your chance to say your peace.

We only get the chance to change the shape of our nation once every few years so we better make it count.

Walk, drive, bike, crawl, dance, slither, or however. Make your way to the polls and make your voice count...

Check out the word by Jay Smooth for some extra motivation:



For the Obama supporters I heard an interesting quote on NPR last week. I didn't get who said it so if anyone reading this knows please tell me. Forgive me if this isn't 100% accurate.


Rosa sat to Martin could walk.
Martin walked so Obama could run.
Obama ran so our children could fly.

Friday, October 31, 2008

There's a lot going on this week

Okay I've been reading Womanist Musings for several months now. I haven't agreed with always seen eye to eye but I have to say that I'm feeling a lot of what she says:

The Oppression Olympics are a damn waste of time.

She questions why European style hair is the norm and deviating from the norm can lead to a racist confrontation.

Proclaims that she will not be ashamed of her naturally occurring bodily functions.

Gets the word out on missing children(and she also has a small gadget on her site that that a displays alerts on missing children.


But like I said I don't always see eye to eye with her.

Recently in the Dallas area the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus system began running an awareness campaign on domestic violence. I would like to say that most people would agree that DV is wrong no matter who the abuser is and who the abused is but I don't think that is the case.

On a daily basis you can find stories about people who are attacked by their spouses/significant others and the media will dance around the term domestic violence. Some of those victims are men. Some of those abusers are men. Some of those abusers are women. Some of those victims are women. Sadly when people try to bring attention to certain stories they get attacked.

One of the people trying to bring attention to that ad campaign in Dallas is Glenn Sacks. Why is he bringing attention? Because so far but ONE of the ads (and that one is about suicide) portray men as abusers and women as victims. Thats right according to this "awareness" campaign all DV abusers are men and all DV victims are women. Well given that Glenn Sacks is an MRA (men's rights advocate) he has a problem with this and is encouraging people to contact DART about such misleading ads.

So what is Renee's reaction?

Well it should come as no surprise to anyone that Mr.Sacks (I won't link to him) is continuing on with his misogynistic attacks against women. In his teeny little world, it is all about the penis, and if you don't have one your story does not deserve to be told. We certainly cannot have a world where women speak out against the violence and the oppression that they face at the hands of men, that would be far to threatening to patriarchy.

She starts off with accusing him of making it all about men when it is indeed about men and using this as a chance to back up her personal attacks against MRAs.

This is a series of ads that are raising awareness about DV by starting off with the assumption that only men commit DV and only women can be victims of DV. No one questions that more women are targets of DV than men but for some reason trying to say something about female abusers is "silencing" female victims.

One of the commentors is actually making some sense:

I agree with you that that's exclusionary and hurtful to male victims of intimate partner violence, Danny. What I'm saying is that a guy for whom that was the real issue would mount a campaign to get ads depicting male victims up there, too--not to have the existing ads removed.

Now it would be constructive to start a campaign to focus on male victims and female abusers (since there are a LOT of people who refuse to admit that either exist). And in fact Glenn has done quite a few posts on men who were abused by women but the article he would be speaking of would often call it everything but DV.

So I have to admit trying to put focus on male victims and female abusers would be a viable option rather than ending the campaign.

However...


The only people who find this offensive to fathers have a vastly lower opinion of most fathers than I do.

Not so. I would say that the people who find those ads offensive to fathers have a low opinion of the masses upon masses of people who buy into the all abusers are men and all victims are women nonsense. Call me cynical all you wish but agencies know that they can use misleading ads to fool the masses.




Well it looks like some effect has been made. One of Glenn's posts on the subject has links to before and after versions of the "Signs of an Abusive Relationship" page at The Family Place site.


Yes this post is muddled. I started it at like 1am and I've been sleep deprived for the last week. But I felt it important to get these down before lose them.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm sorry...

The reason I've been so quite this week is because I'm working my usual job during the day and then helping my local volunteer fire department with its annual haunted house. This means I leave home at about 8am and don't return until almost 10pm. This also means that I haven't posted in almost a week (and it looks like Sally is a bit busy too). If it makes you feel any better I haven't been playing my MMOs (I'm drifting away from Mabinogi to pick up Lord of the Rings Online) either. So as a bit of an apology for going silent for so long and since its Halloween I'll give you some treats: anime. Most people are used to watching the standard American horror movies but how many of you watch anime on Halloween? Well if you feel like watching some here are a few you may wanna check out.

L.I.L.Y. Cat
This is an old school cheesy sci-fi in the vein of the first Alien film. An alien bacteria from space gets onto a space ship and begins to kill the crew. Not original I know but it is a classic and music sets the mood so nicely. I couldn't find a clip of it to link but hell this movie is so old and cheap you can buy for about $5 or you can get it through...other means...

Vampire Hunter D
One does not talk about anime horror without mentioning Vampire Hunter D. I mean what can you say about a half human/half vampire who has a disobedient hand that talks back? The link to is about a 4 minute clip of the movie.

Petshop of Horrors
Do you like shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits? Then you should check this out. The Petshop of Horrors is a petshop that is operated by a man named Count D that sells "rare and exotic pets". The pets that he sells are known to have special abilities and because of those abilities the buyer must sign a contract that lists 3 conditions that MUST be followed lest the consequences be dire. I'm sure you can see how formulatic the series can be but the episodes are still pretty interesting to me. It was orginally a 41 chapter manga (available in 10 graphic novels) and four of those stories were chosen to be animated.

Now is this all there is to choose from? Hell no. But I can't give you everything can I? Well hopefully I'll get back to some sort of regularity next week.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

...I Hope you will Come To Me. I Miss You.

It took a bit more effort than I thought to link the titles of six Bjork songs. But that's what I get for skipping a week.


Bjork - Hope
The sound quality isn't all that great on this but it was the only copy I could find that allowed embedding.



Bjork - Come To Me



Bjork - I Miss You


Now I'm off to finish my costume for the haunted house I'm working in starting tomorrow.

It's Oh So Quiet in this Hidden Place I feel like Crying...

Yeah I was a little busy last week so I didn't get around to making a song title link post. So here's to making it up. This week I'm showing my love for Bjork. Her music is mostly on the calm mellow side but her video's are usually some of the weirdest. She doesn't just think outside the box she takes the box and turns it into a hat.


Bjork - It's Oh So Quiet




Bjork - Hidden Place



Bjork - Crying

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lynch

What was the first thing you thought about when you read the title of this post? I'm sure I know but I wanted to ask for a reason.

More than likely when you read that word the first thing you think about is how black men were hanged by white plantation owners during the days of slavery. Thing is lynching was also a very common method of execution for pirates.

The reason I bring this up is because I'm helping my local volunteer fire department put on a haunted house next week. One of the guys working it had wanted to put up some skeletons in nooses as part of the decoration. Now I've known this guy for several years and I am certain that since he is big fan of pirates he clearly meant it as executing pirates and not hanging black men. However since most people would not understand what his point was they would just decide that he was being racist we decided not to go with that idea. (And we're in the South to give an idea of just how big the "outrage" would be).

On one hand I'm all for calling people out on their racism but can you call it "calling out racism" if you're just bullying someone into doing or not doing something because people may be likely to take the most negative interpretation of it and run with it?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

...but that's not the main issue at hand here.


Anyone who has been paying attention to the GLBT community recently knows about Proposition 8. In case you don't know Prop 8 it is a measure that will be on California's ballot this year. What is the measure you ask? It's a measure designed to eliminate the right for homosexual couples to marry.

To say that the gay community has had a hard lot in life would be a severe understatement. Targeted for all sorts of things from name calling to countless acts of discrimination to even murder. Yes there are several walks of life that have faced those things and many facing those things even as you read this. Yet the gay community has to deal with one thing that most of those other groups don't have to deal with. I've had my share of mistreatment due to being born into the combination of being black and male. Women the world over have been and are being mistreated just being born female. There are men who have to put up with mistreatment due to their gender. However as long as those women, other men, and myself are heterosexual we don't have to worry about being targeted for harassment over who we fall in love with.

You can try to think about that and goodness knows I have. To have to be worried about what gender you are attracted to. I've never been in a relationship but I just can't think about how it would feel to not be able to make public displays of affection with the woman I'm in love with. Or pretending to be heterosexual because I don't know who may attack me for being gay. Or hiding my feelings out fear of losing friends or being disowned from my family. Do us both a favor and go check out the perspective of a woman who can think of how it would feel.

Most activists are angry and they should be but honestly I'm past anger (not to say that anyone else should though). I've gone into sadness, confusion, and pity. To know that there are people in this day and age that have to keep it a secret who they fall in love with makes me sad. To know that there are people in this day and age that think someone's sexual orientation makes them fair game for harassment confuses me. To know that in this day and age anyone who thinks that sexual orientation is a proper way to base how they treat someone, such people have my pity.





Now I'm sure you're a bit confused by the title of this post. The title is because of one other part of the ad. When the "Gender Auditors" measured the couple for inspection why did they have to throw in a penis size joke on the guy? That ad could have very easily gotten its point across without resorting the age old tried and true formula of insulting the size of a guy's penis. And even though it would be just as wrong I didn't hear them make jokes about the woman's labia not being symmetrical or taking pictures of them. So to explain the title of the post it means, "Yes this ad is making fun of men but that's not the main issue at hand here.

HTML, CSS, XML, XTML, WTF!?!?!?!?

Okay I got the bright idea that I was gonna do some customization to my spot here. But damn if things aren't a bit more detailed and difficult than they were in the simple days of HTML. It would seem that I'm going to have to spend some time learning some languages in order further customize things (the basic things that the Dashboard offers are okay but I know there's more out there).

Perhaps a Blogging for Dummies book?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Either they are responsible or not...

We are all constantly told that children are below the age of consent and therefore should not be held accountable for their actions within reason. A kid starts a fight at school and they get suspended. A boy graffiti tags the side of a building he gets community service. A girl shoplifts and she gets arrested. All of those things sound like reasonable measures for the crimes they commit. But what about when "the crime" is something outside the norm or when victim ends up getting punished for being a victim?

First there's the under aged boy who was raped by an adult woman. Yes I know the word rape does not come up in that article but at the time of the sexual acts she was 19 and he was 15. To make matters worse she got pregnant as a result. To make it worse still the under aged boy has been sued for child support. To make it even worse still a judge ordered him to pay $50/month in child support. Stop to take that shit in.

Yes an adult woman raped an under aged boy, got pregnant by him, sued him for child support, and won. Okay how can this happen? So you have a person who has been declared unable to consent to sex due to age. But at the same time this person, who was declared unable to consent to sex due to age, has been deemed responsible for the child that was produced as a result of him being raped. And that doesn't even cover the fact that a rapist is keeping custody of the child that was born out of her raping the child's father.

Next we have an under aged girl who distributed nude photos of herself to other minors. Now as mentioned before under aged kids are not able to consent to sexual acts because of them not being old enough. So why has she been arrested and now faces two charges: illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a second degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth degree felony?

When a child is forced by an adult to pose for nude photos for distribution we all know that is a crime due to the fact that a person is being forced and that person that is being forced is a child. But when a child decides to pose for her own nude photos and distribute its a crime? A person under the age of consent is declared to not be able to consent to sexual acts. The charges she faces implies that she is of age and knowingly performed illegal acts.



So on one hand you have people who have been legally declared to be unable to consent to sexual acts but on the other hand those same people are being treated like of age adults for the sexual acts they commit. Either they are under aged kids that cannot be held responsible for their actions or they are not. Can't have it both ways.