Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Name Is Earl

I don't like the show but the title fits. Okay people I may be disappearing for a bit. Take a look at the picture (click on the thumbnail for a closer look).



The green is a map of America.

The red is the projected path of Hurricane Earl as of about 7:30 pm.

The yellow dot is where I live.

I'll keep you folks posted.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sorrowful Kids Struggle in the Misty City

I've been watching a lot of anime lately and have just hit a bit a bit of a nostalgic streak. Ah memories.


Zillion: Burning Night - NAGEKI NO KIDS ("Sorrowful Kids")
This is from an OVA (original video animation) based on the anime series Zillion. Pretty basic plot nothing special. But its among the first anime titles I ever saw so it holds a place in my heart.


Robot Carnival - Struggle
Robot Carnival is an anthology project done by multiple animators (kinda like Animatrix) and directors all set around this old traveling carnival that's inhabited by robots. Its a series of aimed short from different people but to me the music is better than the anime itself. This track Struggle is one of my favorites.


Old Dominion Tank Police - Misty City
Ah an old classic. The Tank Police are just that. A police unit that uses tanks. Why you ask? Because in this crime drama/action title set in the not too distant future crime is so bad the police needed tanks to fight back (and the chief of police actually says that tactical nukes aren't such a bad idea either). But more importantly this anime introduced me to one of the first kickass women I'd ever seen in anime, Leona Ozaki.

Be back with the next song title link in a few weeks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 13

Have anything interesting to share?

Recording Industry Using Net Neutrality Debate To Try To Link Child Porn With Copyright Infringement Again: It takes a special kind of scum to try to invoke child porn in order get special protections for your outdated business model. Copyright infringement is nowhere near the same caliber of crime as child porn.

Fat Stigma: We know it exists, but what do we do about it?: Dr Samantha Thomas is asking the simple question of how to deal with fat stigma. Personally I agree with one of the commenters that the medial community will have a central role in this. Think about it. Whenever someone engages in fat stigma what's the one thing they will almost go for? That's right they will almost without fail talk about how "unhealthy" someone's size is.

Tiger cub found among stuffed toys in Bangkok luggage: That woman and the people she was in league with (or maybe in league with, she might have been solo) should be ashamed of herself.

New research into domestic abuse against trans people: "So the publication of any new research is to be applauded, even though it’s more likely to confirm what many trans people already know to be depressingly true, anecdotally if not from personal experience, namely that the levels of domestic abuse and violence we face are alarmingly and unacceptably high."

100-km Chinese traffic jam enters Day 9: Damn. That's all I have to say. Damn.

Star Wars Yoga: Balance with The Force, you will achieve.

Protein that destroys HIV discovered: A possible breakthrough in the fight against HIV/AIDS?

The New Game Industry is not being harmed by the Used Game Market: A breakdown on why the game industry needs to quit complaining about the used game market. The game industry is not being cheated when gamers purchase used games.

Faking a pregnancy?: That's pretty rough. But I'm sure someone somewhere is already declaring that the woman was the victim all along.

Sexuality:Looks like I'm not the only person of question sexuality.

And just because...



See ya next week.

Theater Thursday Extended: Huge Episode 7 & 8 "Poker Face" and "Birthdays"

Okay I was a bit under the weather these last few days (the tooth again, I'm just holding out til my dentist appointment this coming Thursday) so I fell off on my review of the last few episodes of Huge before the finale. Here's what happened to the boys in episodes 7 & 8.

Episode 7 "Poker Face"

At the start off with Will ready to fuck a bug the fuck up before Becca gets her to toss it outside.

George gets his props from Rand on the leading the spirit quest and Shay returned from handling her family business (her daughter had meningitis). Amber comes to his cabin at night and he sends her away. Maybe its hit him that they should not be messing around...or maybe not because at the end of the episode he meets Amber out in the woods one night and they kiss. He fesses up to Rand about Amber and Will getting lost.

Piznarski gets right into messing with Shay (which costs everyone 50 situps during morning exercise). On a trail run he rags on her again, and she does not take it kindly. She kinda goes drill sergeant on him. At the end of the episode he sees Shay ending a phone call and then start crying. And I think he has a crush on Chloe

Ian keeps going on and on about Amber to Becca and Will. Its one thing to like someone but its quite another when it gets to the point where you're bugging other people about your crush. Rand's dad decided it would be a good idea to teach the kids to play poker (with elbow noodles as money). And he gets mad points for using the word Jewbacca (in reference to his hair). I wonder if he realizes that Will seems to kinda have a things for him.

I really like Alistair. He seems to have grown to like having Trent call him Athena.

Trent opened up a bit during one of their sharing circle sessions. He shares that he feels like by being at that camp he is under pressure to come back a different person. Which seems to be a common sentiment among other campers.


Episode 8 "Birthdays"

George continues to do inappropriate things with Amber.

I don't think I like Chloe. Its one thing to not like siblings but to not even acknowledge your twin, that's just horrible. Trent drops it on George that it is Alistair's birthday (mind you Chloe is planning a birthday party of her own). He strikes up a conversation with Chloe asking about how she celebrates her birthdays but gets interrupted. The guys give him a birthday card to celebrate. During the following conversation he lets loose the quote of the episode by Alistair: "I hate when someone gets you a present that just shows they don't know the first thing about you. Its like they bought a present for the person they wish you were."

A bit later Trent asks Chloe about how she celebrates her birthdays and she point blank asks if he told him. I think it bothers Trent to some degree that Chloe doesn't acknowledge her brother. And she didn't even invite him to her birthday party.

But considering how things went it might be better that he wasn't there.

At one point at Chloe's party in a game of Truth or Dare Piznarski dares Amber to kiss Chloe. Okay it looks like Piz is wrapped up in that whole "girls kissing iz teh hawtness" thing. Honestly I've never really gotten that (must a part of that who Male Gaze thing who knows). Well turn about is fair play when Amber dares him back to kiss a guy. Start the roll downhill. Amber runs off to barf (Amber stole some alcohol from Poppy to bring to the party). After a few minutes of pitching a fit (and Trent to take one for the team) they decide that Piz should go kiss Alistair. Trent stays behind to wait for Chloe to return and Ian walks Amber back to her cabin.

Ian gets Amber back to the cabin just in time to stop Will from going to meet Becca to work on runes (and instead spend the night nursing Amber's drunk ass and letting her know she knows about her and George).

Piz gets Alistair alone, chats for a bit (even talking about sexuality), and then kisses him. Chloe and Trent get there just in time to see the aftermath. I take it from her reaction to Piz (she pretty much blows up on him) that she does care about her brother at least somewhat. And somehow Ian ended up meeting Becca to work on runes.

And who knew that Rand was dating one guy while casually fucking another.


In the end Piz lost mad points in my book for what he did to Alistair. Not only because of what he did but later on Alistair tells Ian that that was his first kiss. I have to say that if my first kiss was taken over some dumbass dare I'd be highly pissed as well. Definitely a jerk move on Piz's part.

Well that's where we stand after episodes 7 & 8.

Friday, August 27, 2010

And all it took was a lawsuit to tell this is was sexist...

If you recall from earlier this year about British Airways straight up sexist policy of not allowing men (and only men) to sit near unaccompanied children on flights.

Well it looks like it only took a high profile for them to get rid of it.

But as with most ingrained sexist presumptions people try to hold on to them and justify them.
"The end of discrimination is good news but most business travellers usually want to sit as far away as possible from unaccompanied children so this is unlikely to have a big impact on where people sit on-board."
If that is the case then why institute a policy that pretty much forces businessmen to move away from unaccompanied kids? Based on that they couldn't have just left those men alone and they would have just avoided those kids. Problem is not all of the men on those flights are businessmen. And if its "unlikely to have a big impact on where people sit on-board" then why make the policy in the first place?
A spokesman for BA said: "We carry tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors every year and take great pride in the service that we provide to them and their parents.
Wow. Sexism against male travelers is a service?
"We have recently changed our internal advice to our seating and airport teams to ensure that the seating of unaccompanied minors is managed in a safe but non discriminatory manner."
In other words they have finally realized (or finally have been forced to admit) that being male is not a criteria for being a threat to unaccompanied minors.

Good. Now they can get back being on the look out for actual threats rather than thinking they could discriminate against all male travelers and call it a day.

Is there any group that is okay to insult?

I was reading a post over at Feministe today and came across this comment. Well it was one part in particular that caught my eye.
It would be wrong to say I prefer not to tell hurtful jokes. I just prefer to direct the hurt upwards instead of downwards – which I explain to straight white men as “It’s funny when the pupil puts a tack on the headmaster’s chair: it’s not funny when the headmaster does the same thing to the pupil.”

It’s funny when women make fun of men. When black people make fun of white people. When gay people make fun of straight people. When disprivilege makes fun of privilege.
I can't get behind that.

In my recent times of dealing in human rights I've come to conclude that getting a positive on a privilege check on someone gives the green light to make fun of them. Even neverminding how presumptuous it is to just declare someone privileged by identifying a characteristic I personally think that insulting anyone is pretty much wrong unless they insulted you first.

And when you tie it into the post itself (about marginalized people being expected to be the bigger person when offended) you're left with the conclusion that its okay to presume someone is privileged, insult them, and since they aren't a marginalized group, they should have to take it.

Bullshit.

This is pretty much in line with the silly belief that there is no such thing as female against male sexism. All it is another way for people to protect certain groups (usually ones they are a part of) from being called out on their own -ist behavior.

I mean thinking this out in my mind if I were having a conversation with a white women it would be okay for me to insult her race and she would have a greenlight to insult my gender. Yeah right...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Theater Thursday: Huge Episode 6: Spirit Quest

Okay as you may have noticed I've gotten WAY behind on my blogging of Huge and how the guys are doing. By my calculation the season finale should be airing next week and I have four episodes built up. So what I'm going to do is take the next four days going over the previous four episodes as a little refresh for (what I calculate to be) the season finale on Monday. First up episode 6, Spirit Quest.

This episode involved the kids being taken out on a spirit quest led by George (as a last minute replacement for Shay who leaves on family business). There's hinting that he was offered the lead role because one of his grandfathers is Native American. Given how this comes up a few more times I kinda think there was some "Oh he's got Indian in him. He'll know how to do it right."

Early on Trent asks Ian to join him for a game of frisbee, which he declines. You know I wonder if Trent is just trying to be friends with Ian or if something else is at work.

Regardless of how he ended up leading the quest this ended up being a bit of a George episode. At first he and Poppy seemed to be at each other's throats with how to run the show. He let them pick their own partners. She overrides and mixes them up at random. He was ready to call it a night. She overrides and forms a circle (complete with Talking Stick) and prompts a moment of reflection. There is a definite sense of George seeming like he just wants to get through it while Poppy wants to actually have a quest (she once attended the camp and did a quest).

After waking up Poppy brings up the idea of having the kids name themselves. Alistair (who partnered with Trent and was looking at him as he got dressed, more hint of a possible crush) renames himself Athena. While collecting firewood he and Trent find a shroom, okay Alastair leaves on out and Trent "finds" it. Yeah Trent eats it. Later that night two things happen as they talk. Alastair explains to Trent that it shouldn't matter what name he picks (you hear that male gender role?). Trent also learns that Chloe is indeed Alastair's twin sister. You know I'm really starting to think there is more to Trent that just the big dumb jock thing. No wonder Athena might have a bit of a crush on him.

During the day Amber and Will get lost and separate. George manages to find Amber first and they kiss (yeah this relationship is all kinds of inappropriate). Next he finds Will and they return to the others.

All in all George seems to have found a bit of confidence (although he's really playing with fire by smooching with Amber) and Trent not only respects Alastair's new name but actually calls him by it. Good stuff.

I'll be touching on episode 7 tomorrow.

The Gender Swap episode

A very common episode type in many television series that deal in science fiction, magic, or supernatural forces is the body swap episode. Characters of the show, by some means that is usually reversed in exactly 30 or 60 minutes.

One subset of that is the gender swap episode. Similar to the body swap but more nuanced in that its specifically centers around how the characters involved come to terms with the fact that they are a different gender than what they started with. The SyFy original program Warehouse13 had its Gender Swap episode last night.

You ever notice that a lot of those episodes are usually:
1. Man and woman switch.
2. Swapped man and woman freak-out.
3. Swapped man and woman go nuts trying to find the way to reverse it.
4. In between trying to reverse it the swapped people go through a bit of trial and error trying to cope with being a different gender.
5. The swap is reversed. Both people admit that the other gender doesn't have it as easy as they thought before and share tips and advice.
6. The End.

Boring isn't it? I'd love to see an episode where two characters of different genders (mind you people shouldn't be required to follow the gender binary but if they want to...) and it not follow that script.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not sure what to call this one...

So Hugo has a post up about men and their role in feminist spaces. Go check it out its worth a read but I want to take a bit of space to clear something up.

There's this comment by the user kristina:
No offense to Danny but he comes off as a little whiny, but let me explain. Women have always been policed by women and men to stay in their role, but only recently did men get policed by women to change their role and men to stay in their role (the feminist movement was the start of this). When you look at it in this light it’s obvious to see that men are defending their privilege (their privilege to only be questioned by men). Men are finally feeling the pressure that women have felt for centuries and amazingly enough they are reacting the same way women did when we started the feminist movement…The anger of some men is misdirected at feminists because they(feminists) are speaking up against women’s roles, and therefore threatening men’s roles by adding the pressure that women have ALWAYS felt. So excuse me if I’m missing some sympathy for men who don’t want to separate from the roles SOCIETY is enforcing, the same thing that feminism wants, yet men fight so vehemently against.
I'm gonna be nice and let that first sentence slide. Here goes.
Women have always been policed by women and men to stay in their role, but only recently did men get policed by women to change their role and men to stay in their role (the feminist movement was the start of this).
This is a sentiment that I've heard a few times before. For some reason there are those out there that think that no man has ever been treated unfairly because of his gender until after the start of the feminist movement. Also note how kristina manages to conclude that the pressure on men to change or not is along a strictly gendered line where women are the only ones that want men to change and only men want men to stay the same. My own experience (and I'll bet a lot of other men's experiences too) pretty much show that to be a lie. There are men who want men to change and men who want men to not change. There are women who want men to change and women who want men to not change. Trying to absolve women of any and all wrong doing in the gender realm is NOT going to help make things better for people.
When you look at it in this light it’s obvious to see that men are defending their privilege (their privilege to only be questioned by men).
Lay in the false foundation then build the false house. Yes there are men that are trying to defend their privilege but that does not translate into presuming that every man is doing this. In fact even the existence of male feminists (not to mention MRAs and other men who identify by other titles or no title at all) would contradict that assumption wouldn't it?
Men are finally feeling the pressure that women have felt for centuries and amazingly enough they are reacting the same way women did when we started the feminist movement…
Again with the false house. Who is to say that no man has even wanted to go outside his gender role before now?
The anger of some men is misdirected at feminists because they(feminists) are speaking up against women’s roles, and therefore threatening men’s roles by adding the pressure that women have ALWAYS felt.
This I can agree with. There are some men out there who enjoy unfair privileges and will fight tooth and nail to keep them. Problem is people take that fact, staple it on the foreheads of all men, then cry foul when men aren't coming in droves to joy feminism.
So excuse me if I’m missing some sympathy for men who don’t want to separate from the roles SOCIETY is enforcing, the same thing that feminism wants, yet men fight so vehemently against.
And this is why I don't go rushing to join up with feminism. For some reason the men that don't want society to change for the better are held up as the representation of all of us and then used as "proof" that none of us, except for the few enlightened male feminists want change.

Now that I have that off my chest I will say that she did follow up with this:
Danny, if my assumptions of your intentions are wrong it’s ok to tell me, I won’t jump down your throat just because you’re a man, the only reason I said anything was because it sounded similar to MRA arguments, it was to engage discussion though I may have done that poorly and I’m sorry.
She did apologize for her words and I'm cool with that. Gender is a hot topic and its real easy to to get heated up real fast. But one other thing. "MRA arguments"? I really hope she isn't one of those who has written off the entire MRA movement...

Monday, August 23, 2010

I see people are shocked again...

As we saw with Melissa Huckaby last year in the death of Sandra Cantu people are just shocked to hear that a woman, much less a mother, can kill. And it looks like we are about to "shocked" again.

See the title of this article? "S.C. town wonders: Why did two little boys have to die?"

Okay I'm not trying to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction but I'm really starting to get bored of how people just can't seem to deal with the idea of a woman killing children much less her own while firing up the electric chair when a man so much as looks at a child wrong.

Given that this is just happened recently its too early to try to flatly say whether Shaquan Duley killed those boys. Its possible there is something that will show she's innocent for all we know. But by all that is holy I wish people would give up the "But she's a girl!" defense.

Well at least they are down overall...

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released is preliminary reports for workplace deaths for 2009 and it shows that they are at its lowest levels in over 10 years. In fact if you look at the first page of that report you will see that workplace deaths have been on a somewhat constant decline since 2006. That is good news don't get me wrong. But I'm gonna take a moment to talk about something that most of the places that are bringing this report up are not mentioning.

The vast majority of workplace deaths are still comprised of men.

If you look at page 10 of that report you'll see that even though men worked 56% of the hours worked in 2009 93% of workplace deaths were of men.

Maybe its a matter of people just being so used to men doing the majority of the dangerous work that their gender just doesn't matter anymore. Maybe that's why when you see workplace accidents like the miners that are currently trapped in a gold/copper in Chile all you see is "workers", "miners", "employees", but never mention of gender. I hope those guys pull through just fine.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Downtime



This is a picture that's been making its rounds around the internet this week and I just had to comment on it.

You see as black men chances are those two men have the same set of expectations heaped on them that most of us do. Hypersexual with women. Criminal/Thug. Lazy. Abandon our children. And so on. But above all else we are expected to not show any emotions beyond lust and rage.

And those expectations are why some people are flipping the fuck out over that picture. Even the person that posted used the caption, "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK HOW SLEEPY YOU ARE...".

Obvious homophobia aside (because while it possible that they are a couple we can't say that for sure) I think there is more to why people don't like that picture. They can't stand the idea of black men (but I think this reaction would be the same regardless of the race of the men in question) being comfortable enough with each other to be able to lean on each other like that, figuratively and literally.

This fear of men being close to each other is very damaging to men. It causes us to go around with pent up emotions that we are afraid to express in positive or harmless ways until we reach a breaking point and express them in negative ways (which are suddenly okay).

Renee says that men loving men is a beautiful thing. While she is free to believe that I at a more basic level men being comfortable enough with each other to do that in this day and age is so promising. Promising of a day when such moments aren't thought of as being gay and then presuming that such moments are wrong. Promising of a day when a moment of downtime like that isn't cause to tease and ridicule. Promising of a day when such a moment is seen as simply that, a moment.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Is My Husband GAY?

Okay before you go nuts hear me out and check out this article over at ChristWire. (I got to it through a mention of it at Huffington Post.)

You know how I roll when I come across stuff like this that tries to bind men inside a tiny box of what is acceptable behavior for us or using even the slightest thing to instantly label us. I like to take it apart and make fun of it. Here goes "a list of 15 commonly-accepted characteristics of men struggling with homosexuality within a marriage". (Okay I'm not married but I engage in a lot of these behaviors or want to engage in them and know married men who do and would as well.)

1) Secretive late night use of cellphones and computers
Porn addiction is closely associated with homosexuality and a secretive nature implies he’s trying to hide something from you. Be on the lookout for a man who doesn’t want to web surf or answer phone calls in your presence. Texting is another favorite trick used by adulterers. For the sake of trust, a married couple should share everything, including phone logs, email accounts, chat friends and website histories.

Okay I've never fully understood how porn addiction could be closely associated with homosexuality unless said person is watching gay porn so I'll leave that part along. The confusing there here is after that first sentence the rest of the comment here is descriptive of any situation where adultery MAY be going on. So how exactly does it point to homosexuality? No idea.

2) Looks at other men in a flirtatious way
When you’re out in public, does he spend too much time looking at other men? Is he fond of winking at people? Does he get visibly upset when someone does not return a compliment about his physical appearance?

Okay if he is actually flirting then maybe there's something to it. Have they considered that he might be bisexual?

3) Feigning attention in church and prayer groups
Have you noticed a lack of interest in spiritual issues? Does it ever seem as if he’s just using church as an excuse to spend time around young men? Does he volunteer to mentor in all-male groups?

Okay this one almost sounds like a contradiction. If he lacks interest in spiritual issues he might be gay but if he engages in spiritual activities with young men (because apparently gay men only go for young guys...). Add this to the thought that trying to spend time around women as a sign of trying to get with them and you have a trap where no matter what the guy does he's up to something wrong. And what's wrong with working with all male groups. I mean damn do we really have to be around women all the time or something? (Does this mean that a woman that spends time volunteering to mentor all female groups might be gay as well?)

4) Overly fastidious about his appearance and the home
Natural men have a certain amount of grit about them. They sweat and they smell. Homosexuals often abhor this sort of thing and will also be incredibly particular about the cleanliness of the home. Does your man tweeze his eyebrows, trim his pubic hairs or use face moisturizers? Is he picky about brand name shampoos? Does he spend more time getting ready for a night out than you do?

The time someone starts complaining about how men are oh so privileged over women for not being expected to smell like Freshly Bloomed Lavender Plants After A Light Misty Spring Rain I want them to remember stuff like this. Apparently we are supposed to smell like motoroil and ballsweat (yes I went there) in order to assert that we are men. This item is just the usual bullshit about how men are expected to be dirty in order to prove our manhood. Moving on!

5) Gym membership but no interest in sports
Gay men use the gym as a place to socialize and to have secret liaisons in the bathrooms. They like to work out their bodies without the competition of sports play. Afterward, they use the showers and steam rooms to engage in sexual activity beyond the prying eyes of women. If your man returns from the gym too exhausted to talk or have sex, that is a worrisome sign.

Staying fit? No. Wanting to be healthy? Nope. Want to get a workout without having go find a game? Never. It would seem that the only reasons men to go gyms are to play sports and fuck each other.

6) Clothes that are too tight and too “trendy”
Gay men don’t need words to communicate their availability for sex “hook ups.” They silently broadcast the news by showing off their lean, hard bodies in designer clothing labels. If your husband owns skinny jeans and looks at his buttocks in the mirror or if he wears an inordinate number of small-sized t-shirts, it is probably worthwhile to pay more attention to his private activities.

Hold up. I thought guys did that stuff to show off for women too. This is getting so damn confusing. Didn't even know that I don't like tight clothes because of my body. Nah I don't like tight clothes because I'm not gay.

7) Strange sexual demands
Fetishism is a sign that a man is seeking a harder thrill beyond the normal intimacy of heterosexual relations. The woman may not appeal to the deep desires that are coming to the surface as the marriage drags on. If there is a sudden interest in sodomy, sadomasochism, lubricants, role-play, sex toys or other non-traditional intercourse methods, this is clearly an indication of deep emotional abnormalities.

Okay come on this is too easy. Even a feminist can take this "sign" apart. Basically its telling us that if he is up for anything other than basic run off the mill missionary Tab A into Slot B sex then something is wrong with him. I know I've talked about this one before.

8) More interested in the men than the women in pornographic films
Pornography is a dangerous element in any marriage but there are many Christians who feel watching it does add something to their sexual lives. If you have gone down this road and find that your man perks up at the sight of the men in these sorts of videos, you should be concerned. If he selects films because of specific male actors, this is an obvious sign that he is suffering from a crisis of ego and desire.

Men finding men attractive is a "sign that he suffering from a crisis of ego and desire"? The more and more I go through this list I get the feeling that the writer of it and the people that buy into it would have their worlds totally destroyed at the thought of a bisexual guy much less a gay guy.

9) Travels frequently to big cities or Asia
Some husbands will spend a great deal of money traveling far from home to hide their deplorable same-sex actions. Big cities offer indulgence of every kind. From gay bars and clubs to prostitutes and sex bathhouses, a man seeking encounters can find them easily if he’s so inclined. Is there ever really a good excuse for a husband to visit Thailand or San Francisco without his wife?

Big cities or Asia? The way this sounds the writer doesn't seem to think that sneaking off with women is that big a deal. And as for there being a good excuse for a husband to visit Thailand or San Fransisco without his wife ummmm....yeah its called work. Last time I checked a lot of big business goes on in those places.

10) Too many friendly young male friends
Someone who makes an extra effort to surround themselves with younger men should raise concerns in any community. If this is the case with your husband, ask yourself if he prefers their company to that of women. Do they touch each other or embrace in long hugs? Do they exchange expensive, personal gifts like scarves or cologne?

Now if we have too many peers that are like us we might be gay too? This relates to what I said in item 3. If we're trying to spend time with most women then we're accused of being gay or trying to have sex with them and now apparently trying to spend time around men is a sign of being gay. Fuck.

11) Sassy, sarcastic and ironic around his friends
A man who is secretly engaged in homosexual activity with others may exhibit feminine qualities when they get together in a group. In a sense, he has “let his hair down” and this will be seen in excessive back talk and speaking with one’s hands.

Feminine qualities? They went there with a straight face? So what does it mean if we do that shit around women too? I think I'm really starting to lose my resolve to take this list apart. This item is just too much.

12) Love of pop culture
It’s quite common for young men to enjoy the science fiction end of popular culture, but when your husband becomes overly obsessed with romantic and feminine shows, that is cause for alarm. Gossip websites, Glee and The Golden Girls are three well-documented icons of the gay movement that genuine heterosexual men avoid.

Gossip sites bore me, Golden Girls is a classic 80s that stands the test of time, and I can't stand musicals. But I'm quite fond of Amelie, came closer to crying than ever in the last 10 years because of one song from the movie Nine, and have fingernails that make some women threaten to cut them off. Oh and then there's all the Ghost Whisperer, Pretty Little Liars, and Charmed I've watched in my day. And here's the kicker (you better sit down for this one). I actually watched "Incredibly True Adventure of 2 Girls in Love" and "But I'm A Cheerleader" for reasons that don't include "watching teh hawtt chix make out". Tee Hee.

13) Extroverted about his bare chest in public
Does he go shirtless in the back yard or at picnics when other men are around? Does he wear a speedo at the beach? Does it seem like he’s purposely standing right in the middle of a crowd to show off his chest and arm muscles, peppering people with questions about how strong he looks? He may be craving physical affirmation from other men and desperately looking for hints of shared desires in those around him.

This is another one of those confusing mixed signals. From what I recall the reason guys do this is to 1)Show off for women and 2)Let the other guys around know that there is someone better looking than them (and thus making them jealous of their superior woman attracting body) and will therefore attract any women around.
But oh well.

14) Sudden heavy drinking
Sometimes people dealing with an unbearable emotional issue like homosexuality will turn to alcohol to hide their distress. Does your man disappear on drinking binges for long hours without answering his cellphone? Is there a strange odor about him when he returns, some strange mix of cigarettes and gel? Does he cry frequently?

Usually when a man disappears for a long time the first thought is he's with another woman (double that if he's not answering his cell phone). Gel? Okay the last thing men need is to be told that something is wrong with us when we cry. Its hard enough to put with it from the rest of society but when one of the places where a man should be free to open himself up is telling him that crying may be a sign of homosexuality?

15) Ladies, have you dated men in the past who turned out to be gay?
This is an important question to ask yourself when your marriage starts to have problems. Statistics have shown that women who have encountered gay men romantically in the past are the most likely to repeat this mistake in future relationships. If you answered yes, you should ask yourself whether you’re honestly looking for a man or just a shopping companion. Is sharing gossip more important to you than raising children? Ultimately, it’s a question of getting your priorities straight!

I think the person has watched too many episodes of Will and Grace. And between gossip, raising children, being a man, and shopping companion I'm willing to bet there are plenty that can do all four just fine. (I myself can only fulfill two of those four but that's another story.)

Men have had to put up with ages of expectations like this and I've really grown sick of them. Sick of being told I have to act a certain way or I'm not a man. Sick of having to say the right things, do the right things, smell the right way, do the right activities, etc... just to let the world know that I am a man.

And the part the really scares me here is that this is coming from a place that worships an all powerful being that is supposed to be benevolent and accepting of all people.

I know there was a reason I didn't take up the Church when my parents showed it to me....

About that whole illegal immigrant thing....

The next time anyone opens their mouth about illegal aliens and immigrants and all that bear this in mind:

(Courtesy of Huggington Post.)

If you really want to get down to it on who belongs here and who doesn't the Native Americans should be tossing the rest of us out on our asses.

(If you can't see the image it is of three Native Americans looking out to sea as a ship from Europe approaches. The dialogue reads:
Native American 1: "Are they legal?"
Native American 2: "What do we do if they have babies?"
Native American 3: "Is it too late to build a fence?")

Weekly Mashup Stage 12

Its the end of week and you know what that means.

Singer in Germany's top girl band facing jail as she admits having sex with men without telling them she had HIV: "A singer in a girl band is facing the threat of a long jail term for having unprotected sex with several men without telling them she was HIV positive."

Why are some pharmaceuticals so expensive?: Brian Palmer of slate.com takes a few minutes to go into why some pills end up costing consumers so much money. (Hint: Its not all about the cost of R&D.)

Aarti Paarti: Food blogger Aarti Sequeira is the winner of recent "Next Food Network Star" competition.

Anti-Dad Backlash to Court Rulings Begins in Germany: Robert Franklin reminds us that parenting rights for dads are not going to come as easily as they should. Did you know that in Germany in an unmarried couple the father had to apply for his parental rights and it was solely up to the mother to allow him to exercise them?

Mom Suing After Wet T-Shirt Leads to Arrest at Fla. Splash Park: Its all around jacked up story but this should raise eyebrows. "Marks said he is also concerned about the city's alleged refusal to disclose information on the database into which the officer allegedly said she wanted to put his client's name."

Russian Tycoon Orders Workers to Find God or Get Fired: "A Russian tycoon has told 6,000 workers at his private dairy company that they'll be fired if they've ever had an abortion, or if those who are "living in sin" don't get married within two months."

Century-Old Scotch Now Off The Rocks In Antarctica: It sucks that its going to be locked away in a museum. I don't even like scotch but I'll bet that shit is off the chain.

Navy Man Claims Aviator Call Signs Get Too Personal: So it took the introduction of minorities and women for people to finally realize that call signs might just be a little offensive? I suppose I'll just have to chalk this up to "Better late then never.".

What Drives A Mom To Kill?: Personally I think we would all be better off we as a society would get over this belief that the capacity to bear children somehow makes women immune to killing their own children.

Russian Scholar Warns Of US Climate Change Weapon: I have to.
Bond: You expect me to talk?
Dr. No.: No Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.

CDC: US Circumcision Rate Has Plunged to 33%: So if what some say is true (that circumcision reduces the risk of STDs/STIs) then there should be an increase in STD/STI rates about 15-18 years from now right? I'm not proposing those boys be used as a test case I'm just asking a question following the logic of people who insist that boys should be circumcised as a way to prevent those things.

Saudi criminal faces having spinal cord severed after paralysing victim with meat cleaver: Dem cats is gangsta over.

Sympathy Grifting: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Fraud: The folks at Racialicious talk about how the right combination of race and gender can garner sympathy...and how some will take full advantage of it.

Yeah. Whoever built this must have Win for their last name.






Have any interesting links to share?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Its just a fad you say?

You know about that whole courgar thing going on these days right? Yeah its thing that has people all hyped up about the sexiness of older women who go for younger guys. Its gotten out of hand and it looks like there may be some numbers that suggest that such women don't exist in the numbers the media would have you believe.

Frankly I'm sick to death of the whole thing. I said a while back that I blame American Pie for it suddenly becoming cool for guys to be attracted to older women. That's why you have Cougar Town, that's why you have people going gaga over MILFs that are barely 30, and that is why you still don't want to search MILF in a search engine these days.

I have to admit that I'm not so sure that I like it better that my preference for older women is "cool" these days than before when I my preference for older women made me weird. But it doesn't matter. Fads and trends wax, wane, ebb, and flow. But my preferences are my forever.

Synthe-Flesh?

Yeah technology is just amazing. According to this post at io9 a company has developed a gel called Nexagon that interacts with the bodies cells to speed up the healing process.
Unlike an antibiotic cream, which promotes healing by preventing infection, Nexagon is actually speeding up your body's healing process. Or, in the case of ulcers, it's jumpstarting a healing process that's failed to start. Doctors have been testing Nexagon on people with chronic ulcers on their legs, which are wounds that essentially never heal or take at least six months to do so. After just four weeks, some patients reported they were completely healed up.
That's just wild. I remember barely 10 years ago reading scifi novels about where compounds like this would be applied to injuries and cut recovery time to days instead of the weeks it would take in the real world. I supposed the real world is catching up to science fiction.

Of course that's when the dark side of science fiction pops into my head and I imagine this stuff turning people into either crazed killers or zombies.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Working on being a man pt.4

Its been a while since I made an entry on this but I came across a post at Tranifesto that sparked a little something. Now mind you I'm barely scratching the surface of what Matt is getting at so I highly recommend you go check him out.

(This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man.)

Let me ask you something. Do you think your body needs to be wrapped in a specific package or come with certain parts in order to be considered a man?

Of course not. I could break down and go into all the parts that make up what we often associate with being a man but lets just go straight to that one. Yes I'm talking about the penis.

As our current understanding of biology says those of us who have penises are ID'd as male. And according to the script those of us who are male are supposed to be men and the penis is supposed to be a defining part of one's manhood.

Its not that serious.

The thing is trying to bind the definition of being a man to something as arbitrary as a penis (or any body part) is just a method of trying to bind people to certain expectations and/or exclude people from an certain group and/or trying (and let me tell you as a man that this side of grass is not always greener despite what a lot of people may say). I myself have a penis, enjoy having it, am not ashamed of having it, and wouldn't give it up for anything. But I can safely say (well I can now, I can't be certain of how long I've felt this way but the answer isn't always) that that isn't what makes me a man.

There's really not a lot to it. No long post that takes 20min. to read. No attempt at trying to flood you with stats and numbers in order to make the post look thought provoking. No just as simple as this.

Having a penis is not indicative of being a man.

As for what indicative...well I'll get into that another day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 11

You know the drill folks. You know I just realized that in my efforts to share the things I find during the week I've not been inviting people to share what they've been checking out. So don't be scared to share yours since I'm showing you mine.

YouAndMeArePure.com: An article about a dating site for virgins. Yeah I know...

Pepsi Refresh Project: Just reminding you to support the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women.

Fat is an adjective, not an attack: RMJ breaks it down why the word "fat" is simple descriptive word, nothing more nothing less.

N.H. Woman Allegedly Had Role In Rwanda Genocide: Just when I thought I had heard it all. "A woman born in Rwanda is awaiting trial in New Hampshire on charges that she lied about her role in that country's genocide when seeking to become a U.S. citizen. If convicted of falsifying her paperwork, Beatrice Munyenyezi could lose her citizenship, spend up to 10 years in prison and be deported to Rwanda, where supporters fear for her life."

Body of French Chef Found Stuffed in Freezer: The body of retired French chef Jean-Francois Poinard was found stuffed in freezer. Police say it may have been there as long as two years.

Three Kids Fly Unaccompanied To Nashville With Babysitting Money, Airlines Doesn't Ask Questions: "So on Tuesday, the adventurous trio took a cab to the Jacksonville airport with their own money, and spent $700 on Southwest Airlines tickets to Nashville. Southwest Airlines never asked any questions. They went through security and boarded the plane." So is this the same Southwest Airlines that has no problem kicking a fat person off a plane?

Algebra for Dummies: Mathematical 'Proof' of the Inferiority of Homosexuals: Yeah this is definitely a sign that the antigay crowd is running out of ideas.

Bulletin Board v88: Toy Soldier's weekly mashup.

Drop It Like It's Hot: Renee's weekly mashup.

Take it easy folks...

Aftermath

Well now that that's over and I've had the night to sleep it off I kinda find myself wondering.

One of the reasons I set up shop here was because I wanted to share my ideas and tell my stories in hopes of getting along with and working with other people. I've been able to pull off the first two just fine but I've had a pretty hard time with the third one.

And from what happened yesterday I think there are two forces at work keeping me from that third objective.

First I really don't like it when people try to tell me what my life is. As far as I can tell no one likes have their own experiences and lives dismissed so its not like this feeling is unique to me.

Second I haven't gotten the hang of picking my battles. Despite the fact that the issues we may fight over will need to be dealt with one day sometimes you just have to let some things go. That's always been a tough thing for me. Yes I know some of those folks in that thread went all out for not reason and went off the deep end for no reason. But I think now I would have been better off not wasting my time giving their ranting any attention.

I'll continue to blog. I'll continue to tell my stories and experiences. But I just have to make the resolve to not waste my time on people who think they theories are iron clad just because they've been around for a long time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

An exercise in anger management

As the title says this is an exercise in anger management. I can almost guarantee that this is going to get ugly. I do want to give a big shout out and tip of the Fro to Unnatural Forces's guide on commenting.

So I'm checking out a post at Feministe. I hadn't posted on it until yesterday and when I went to look at it today I was think that since it was far from the top of the page the conversation had pretty much died but curiosity won so I looked anyway. and say someone had replied.

Thinking I'm getting some conversation going I replied back. Well apparently I fucked up by not simply accepting that all men hold power over all women and to question it is just childish nitpicking and hairsplitting that derails from the "real" discussion.

I responded.

That's when I'm pretty much told that I should have just accepted that false generalization as fact and just moved on.

At this point I almost think step two of Unnatural Force's guide saved me, almost literally. When I read that remark my heart rate shot up and I actually started shaking. You see in my time of trying to talk to feminists I've met good ones, reasonable ones, nasty ones, and bad ones. And one of the tactics I've seen from the nasty and bad ones is to go to great lengths to minimize the experiences of men (with no qualms about lying and generalizing) in order to make women's lot in life look even worse and make men look all the more evil. Well damn that. I'm all for bringing gender equality for all people but I REFUSE to act like my life is nothing but a lap of luxury just so they can feel better about themselves.

Now truthfully in hindsight I probably should have just been the better person and let it slide but its hard to do that. Something I need to learn to do sometime, but hard.

So the back and forth goes on for a bit longer until someone apparently decided that when all else fails just condescend:
What I would suggest, though, if you are earnest about wanting to dismantle yourself of the unearned male privilege you carry, is for you to read some feminist theory (say the past 40 years worth).
Okay so I haven't read all 40 years of it. But it seems that if you do disagree with some of it then the only reason you do is because you didn't read all it. I guess.
Then you might be able to carry on a legitimate debate about how to dismantle privilege, rather than dribbling on about how privilege is selective and obvious and how it’s totes unfair for women to suggest that men, even the nice men, have social, economic, political, and religious privilege over women.
I'm gonna have to find that section in the 40 years of theory that says that the unfair advantages that women have over men really don't count or matter and that addressing and dealing with male privilege will fix everything. And really "dribbling"?
[I'll lob you an easy ball though -- you can even do this kind of homework over the weekend. Why don't you go around the town you are living in and check out how easy it is to buy condoms. You could also check out affordability of condoms, selection of condoms, hours of the day when your access to condoms is restricted by business needs, etc. Then you can compare the relative ease of procuring male contraceptives to the current political backlash against women's access to birth control. If you can't spot the privilege during your escapades, your lot in life is truly hopeless.]
The lesson here folks is that the privileges that men have over women actually DOES wipe any that women have over men and any and all damages that happen to men. Oh and its also okay for feminists to insult people. Well chances are that person probably don't think its insulting they're just "calling me out" I'm sure.

So remember:
1. When it comes to looking at gender imbalances the only ones that count are the ones in which men are favored over women.
2. Its okay to talk to some feminists as long as you don't directly challenge what they have already decided as fact.
3. To point out how the system favors men over women is insightful commentary that needs to see the light of day while pointing out how the system favors women over men is dribble that's nothing more than a woman hating misogynistic attempt at making it "all about teh menz".
4. Its okay to insult people in feminist spaces as long as you are an accepted part of the in crowd.
5. Echo chambers are very wily creatures. They disguise themselves as open forums of discussion to lure you in. And by the time you realize that by not being a part of the in crowd its too late.
6. Despite being activists that are named in relation to people of the female persuasion there are some feminists who actually can speak on the lives of men and in the event that a man comes along whose existence does not match the conclusions they have already drawn then he is wrong, not paying attention, trying to make it all about men, and in general an evil patriarchal woman hating misogynistic douche bag that is too stupid to realize that in order for the world to be a better place he must sweep his own experiences and life under the rug because they don't matter.

And then people have the nerve to wonder why the entire feminist movement isn't just blindly celebrated with unquestioned praise?

Fuck that and fuck some of them.

Goddamn that felt good.

"Mysterious Lump"?

I'm sorry but this post is pretty much hilarious to me.

Before editing
 
After editing



Edit: You can view the images through the link but I'll put them up here as well. Click on the thumbnail for a closer look.

Personally having worn pants for pretty much all my life and having a penis of my own I highly doubt that is a fold in the fabric. I'm finding it hard to believe that even with his weight shifted like he has in that pose that type of wrinkle would result. If the pants were too big for him I still doubt that type of wrinkle would come up.

My money says the guy was wearing boxer (or perhaps nothing) and the penis decided it just had to get into the shot as well.

But at the same time I do have one wonder. If that is his penis judging by where the wrinkle ends this pretty much has to mean that he has a fairly long torso and his pants are hiked up above his waist.

But really I just found this funny because they called it a "mysterious lump".

But how do you bring this stuff up?

(I'm going to be talking about violence of both a physical and sexual nature. Tread carefully.)

Okay just about anyone who has any interest in gender equality knows what's going on in many parts of Africa. Violence of all sorts from rape, assault, murder and even genocide, civil unrest, chaos. Well one thing I've noticed is that the when the mainstream media talks about these events they pretty limit it to the things the men in those areas are doing to the women and children in those areas.

Now before you try to write me off as trying to make it all about teh menz let me ask you something. How do you like it when atrocities that happen to people of your demographic are largely ignored? I'm sure you have an answer for that question (especially if you consider yourself an activist for human rights). Now let me ask you something else. Do you think its fair for the atrocities that happen to people who may not be of your demographic to go largely ignored? Of course not.

When talking about this region of the world about the only thing you hear about the men and boys there is that boys are forced into military service and that men are committing atrocities against women and children. If one didn't know any better you would think that that was all that was happening over there. Well its not.

First off I want to say again that I'm not saying this in order say that women are bad. I'm not trying to "add balance", "tip the scales", or any games like that. I'm saying this because if people really want to put an end to the violence they have to take all of the crimes going on seriously rather than the current heavily gendered look the media is currently offering.

I was looking around today and saw this. The chilling part is that the first four paragraphs tell of five stories of rape with male victims (and I think its worth nothing that just like in many male against female rape stories the writer here seems to be a bit hesitant at using the word rape while recapping those events).
In November last year, we carried a heart-rending story of three women who kidnapped an 18-year-old man in Chitungwiza and forced him to be intimate with one of them. Of all the places, they chose to commit the heinous act at a cathedral in Harare's city centre.

This was followed by another story of a 15-year-old boy who was abducted by three men in Warren Park and forced to be intimate with a woman at knife-point at a secluded spot in the suburb. And only last month, a Mwenezi man was drugged and forced to be intimate with two women who had offered him a lift along the Masvingo-Ngundu road.

Before that, four women forced themselves on a 25-year-old Masvingo man at gunpoint after forcing him to drink an unknown concoction that later led him to pass out for eight hours. As if that was not enough, two women forced a 44-year-old man to be intimate with them while another man stood guard. The incident happened last Tuesday near Banket in Mashonaland West.
But I think the other language throughout the article kinda gives a tell about why people think this type of crime is so shocking.
Rape cases in Zimbabwe have always been associated with men raping women. But the kind of rape we are witnessing now baffles the mind.
That association is what's causing the bafflement now. While the majority of rapes in Zimbabwe have been male against female just like in other parts of the world (even here in the States) people have settled into the "fact" that the very definition of rape is a sexual crime that men commit against women. This is why people have such a hard time coming to terms with the fact that women can and do commit sex crimes (this also applies to most violent and physical crimes).

Truthfully I think this is a group misunderstanding here. A combination that "women don't do stuff like that", "men want sex all the time", and (most dangerous ingredient of all) people who profit from that illusion have created and maintained that "fact". The vast majority of us have fallen for that illusion but it becomes pretty clear who is really interested in tearing it down and who is interested in keeping it up. From what I can tell the people who simply refuse to acknowledge such crimes are the ones that need the illusion to stay up. Their need for it to stay up could range from profit (which could be votes, money, political power, etc...) to refusing to admit that just maybe they don't have it all figured out yet to not wanting to lose their control in the discourse. Who knows but I guess in the end it doesn't really matter why all that's important is that the illusion needs to come down if any real work is going to get done.

This is a pretty odd question:
When it appeared the police and the courts were beginning to have the upper hand in dealing with rape against women and minors, we now have this new phenomenon. What has become of some among us lately?
You know that means? That means that the gendered approach to rape isn't as effective as some have already decided it is. It doesn't do as much good hear about a rape and instantly go to thinking that it was a man that raped a woman/girl. They actually have to apply an open mind. And not to sound too cynical but maybe if they hadn't adopted that narrow "man = perp/woman = victim" gendered mindset in the first place they wouldn't be having such a hard time now.

Now back to my question in the title of the post. How does one bring this stuff up so that it gets the attention it needs without being attacked for it? Thing is people pretty much think that being a man/boy is nothing but a cake walk and being a woman/girl is nothing but an endless line of oppressive burdens so they don't know how to act when they are confronted with things like this.

But its not going away. In fact it could very well get worse since people are choosing to ignore it (sounds familiar right?) rather than deal with it.

Something's going to have to change.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No Theater Thursday Tonight

Yeah I've had a pretty fucked up week the least of which includes a serious ass toothache (I think it might be a wisdom tooth coming in). Put this one on my tab.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The answer to that is quite easy

So I see this post over at Shakesville today and I see this:
They're also plain old sexist for a number of reasons. For one thing, this is always a crisis for black women. As one of my colleagues pointed out when we did a presentation on this, the percentage of black men who have never been married is quite similar (43% maybe--I need to find the number she unearthed) but we never hear about the black man's marriage crisis.
The folks in the comment section seem to have a hard time realizing why this is the case. But I suppose it that would be hard for people who seem to not be able to get past the idea of male privilege and all that shit.

The reason people aren't talking about a marriage crisis among any section of men is because as men the script says that we supposed to actively dodge the concept of marriage. That's why when a guy says he doesn't want to marry people don't go nuts. Its because he's "not supposed" to want to marry. No possibility that he might not want to marry at that point in his life, or that he doesn't want to marry the person he is with at that point in his life, or maybe he is actually not ready. No he has a case of committophobia which is genetic of course (its embedded in the Y chromosome).

Now I'm not trying to say that its fair that women are expected to marry. A part of the script of being a woman is that women "are supposed" to want to find a man (and it MUST be a man mind you) and marry above all other desires. It sucks. Its unfair. But its not like when it comes to marriage the pain is as one sided as some like to act like it is.

Actually it is

So it would seem that Australian magistrate has rules that the words nigger and sand nigger are not offensive.

62 year old Denis Mulheron, in an effort to urge Labour MP Miss Peta-Kaye Croft to reform immigration laws sent in a fax to Croft's office saying that said laws need to be tightened in order to deal with, "'n****rs' and sandn****r terrorists', as well as Muslim women with circumcised genitals". Also Mulheron refered to indigenous Australian Aborigines as 'Abos' - a term that Aboriginal people regard as highly offensive.

Okay I really don't care what some Australian guy and some Australian magistrate think is offensive or not. Despite the original orgins of the word nigger (simply meaning ignorant) that word has a history of being used as a derogatory description of people of African decent. There is absolutely no question that there are those who find that word offensive. Its one thing for an individual to say its not offensive to them but this is quite another for someone who has pretty much zero chance of having that word used against him to declare that its not offensive.

Apparently his defense includes:
He had grown up, he said, with the slang terms for Arabs and black Africans and he did not believe the words were offensive.
His upbringing and his beliefs have no bearing on the history of that word. I was brought thinking that calling someone lame was not offensive. Doesn't mean that calling some lame is okay. Next there's this:
'I'm not a member of the "cafe, chardonnary and socialist" set - to me that is everyday language,' he told the court.
If I didn't know any better I would think that this guy thinks that regular common folk are okay with that language and to be offended by it means that one is high class. Yeah right.

But I have to say that the real kicker is that while magistrate didn't condone the language and thought it was crude it would not be considered offensive by a "reasonable" person.

What. The. Fuck?

So when I and other black people can be reminded of an era of history where our ancestors were treated like farm equipment because of our skin color I'm being unreasonable. When people of Arab decent are racially profiled as terrorists they are being unreasonable.

Fuck that. Fuck Mulheron. Fuck that magistrate. And fuck anyone who has the fucking gall to say that such words are not offensive to a "reasonable" person.

But considering other acts of racism that have gone down in this country I guess I should not be surprised.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DV and Double Standards

I was reading this over at Glenn Sack's place and I was reminded of something. The post is about a little social experiment.
ABC News did an informative little experiment. It hired a couple of actors, a young man and a young woman, and sent them out into an urban park. They had the woman verbally and physically abuse the man; she hit him repeatedly, screamed insults in his ear, slapped him grabbed him by the hair, etc. ABC had cameras stationed nearby to surreptitiously record the responses of passersby. What the cameras show is nothing less than astonishing.
This reminded me of a similar experiment that was done on the Tyra Banks show a few years ago.

Tyra ran an experiment in which she would plant two people acting out interpersonal scenarios out in public and gauge the reaction of passersby. They would start out arguing and then one would begin to get violent. Each scenario was run several times in several different spots.

First she ran a scenario of a male/male couple with one getting increasingly hostile with the other before getting into full on violence. No one interfered, tried to break up the fight, or call for help. Oh there were people who looked, stopped and looked, and even a few that took pictures. But no one got involved.

Next she ran a scenario of a female/female couple. The reactions of passersby was pretty much the same as that of the male/male couple.

The third one she ran was of a male/female coupe with the male escalating. Oh this is when people decided to step up. In one run of it a firefighter interfered and stopped the guy from hurting her. This firefighter was brought onto the show and was asked about why he got involved. But the one that took the cake was when during one of the runnings of this scenario in which Tyra and her producers had to come out and stop the guy from getting arrested. Yes two actual NYPD cops responded to several calls of a guy attacking a woman. Odd thing is that the cops (who were brought onto the show as well) said they got several calls about this one run of the scenario with one caller reporting that the man had a knife. Weird because none of the actors/actresses in any of the scenarios had weapons.

So despite what some may say there are people who do take at least male against female violence very seriously and are willing to do quite a bit to do something about it, even lie. Domestic violence is a major problem that needs to be dealt with. We could use more people like that firefighter and those people who called in (well except for the one the lied).

But honestly while I agree that its serious business there was one thing that really pissed me off about the experiment that Tyra ran. Notice what it is?

There comes a time...

...when you have to realize that maybe, just maybe, you investing just a little too much time in a game.

Saw this over at Slashdot today and I just shook my head.

If you play an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) for so long that your losses actually make the top page of a major blog then you might need to rethink your priorities.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 10

In my every so busy week I just don't have time to write out fleshed out thoughts on every thing article/post/story I my eyes cross paths with. Hell there are even headlines that catch my eye but I never actually go back and read them. (Which reminds me. Disclaimer: Just because I post it here doesn't mean I fully agree with or believe in it.)

Bulletin Board v86 Toy Soldier's Weekly Bulletin Board

One Case Shows Folly of Child Support Interest: A really messed up case of child support interest. "So we've got a man living in abject poverty, but that's not the real bad news. The bad news is that he'll always be there. He'll live that way until the day he dies. His current indebtedness is about $95,000. At 9% per annum, the interest alone will run about $8,550, while his $435 monthly payment totals $5,220 per year. In other words, he's adding about $3,330 per year to his debt. Even Sisyphus had it better than Williams. If Williams lives to be, say, 80, his children will be in their forties, fifties and sixties, he'll still be paying for them, still be living in poverty and be about $196,000 in debt. "

How to counter rape as a weapon of war: "He [Chris Dolan] added: "It is quite amazing how, once the terms of a debate have been set - in this case about sexual violence being something affecting women only - it becomes impossible and even unthinkable to discuss other realities."" (I actually got this from Toy Soldier's Bulletin Board but thought it needed a place up front.)

Make Your Own In-N-Out Double-Double Burger at Home: I have no idea what an In-N-Out Burger is but apparently their Double Burger is good enough that people have taken the time to reverse engineer it in order to discover how to make them at home.

Life, Panoramic: Life, Panoramic is a new site (by a former writer at the tech blog Gizmodo) whose purpose is to share the stories of as many hometowns as possible. Whose stories you ask? Why yours. The site takes photo submissions (which captions/descriptions) and posts them for the world to see. I'm really thinking of submitting my home town. I think I can safely bet that no one would know it was me.

What is “The Mirror”?: "The most fun I had getting dressed up as a man was when I was able to think of that clothing as a costume, not really “me,” and when I was with good friends. Prom comes to mind as a time when I didn’t like the clothing I was wearing, but still had fun with the whole experience of getting dressed up and going out."

How to read (and comment on) a motherfucking blog post: Yeah this one is going over to the Interesting Tidbits section.

Obama signs bill reducing cocaine sentencing gap: "The Fair Sentencing Act repeals a five-year mandatory sentence for first time offenders, and for repeat offenders with less than 28 grams of crack cocaine. The old law set the mandatory sentence for conviction at five grams."

Men’s Movement: A Plea for Unity: If our proletariat (average members) were better informed, they could exert sufficient influence upon leaders to work in unison, but the printed and internet forums that exist are too small to do the necessary educating. One internet forum pursues tangential issues.
It’s easy to see what’s wrong with us, but it’s much harder and more complicated to address the problems.

4 Myths about Alcohol: By all means get your drink on, but get your drink on responsibly.

See ya later.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Profit over Patients?

I was reading this over at Techdirt today and I have concluded that this is truly a fucked up world we live in.

The long and short of it is that there is an illness known as Fabry's Disease that the pharmaceutical company Genzyme has developed a treatment for by the name of Fabrazyme.

Well Genzyme is unable to produce it quantities sufficient enough to meet the needs of the patients with this disease. But guess what?
Now, in a true free market, when supply was less than demand, a competitor would step up production, but (oh wait!) there can't be any competitor, because the patent means that Genzyme is currently the only one legally allowed to make the drug.
So that quite literally means that if another company were to start making this disease treating possible life saving drug (and apparently there is one confirmed death from this) they would be violating patent laws and would be staring down the barrel of a lawsuit.

This is what they call some ole bullshit. First of all you have people suffering from something that has a known treatment but they can't get it because the only company that can make it can't keep up. Second of all:
The actual research for Fabrazyme was actually done by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine financed by the National Institute of Health. Yes, you read that right. This drug was discovered with taxpayer money... but they were still able to get a patent and then license it to Genzyme.
So the research and development that brought this drug into being was paid for by taxpayers (that would be us) but its still patentable.

This is something that really needs to be a part of healthcare reform. Its goddamn ridiculous that people are suffering from a disease because the one company that can make the drug can't keep up with demand and no one else can make it for fear of getting sued. We have now gotten to the point where someone's "right to profit" has been given priority over the well being of actual people.

Pretty funny...

Saw this over at Salon yesterday and just had to share.



However what I don't get is how this tape is "feminist". Maybe its just another one of those attempts at trying to claim anything positive as feminist....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Three Strikes

I'm gonna be quick here so check this out and like the title of this post says I'm just gonna hit the strikes real quick.

Strike 1:
She sought sugar daddies to pay $1,000 per week for her company and sex.
Okay you should really be mindful of relationship advice from a person who in the industry they give an okay to. Unless you think that her directly (at least formerly) benefiting from the actions of adulterous men have nothing with her opinion here.

Strike 2:
"It's better to walk the dog on a leash than let it escape through an unseen hole in the back fence."
I'm sure she didn't meant it literally but I'll point it out just in case. Despite what popular feelings of angry women may be men are not dogs. And if you are having a problem understanding that then think about the phrase, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.", and how its used by men talking about having sexual relationships with women but not committing for the long term. So in short women aren't cows and men aren't dogs.

Strike 3:Well the rest of the article. This woman's words are loaded with presuming that the way men are is biologically set. I've grown bored with the "men are hardwired to want sex all the time" line.

Okay I'm glad that this negotiated infidelity is something that is working for her (pretty much sounds like any other open relationship I've heard about and besides how can it be "negotiation infidelity" when the negotiation sets the terms of what is and is not off limits, wouldn't that just be a nontraditional form of fidelity?) but trying to push it as the norm isn't much better than trying to come down on people who do engage in this type of relationship.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tax Holiday Weekend in North Carolina

I'm not sure if other states have something like this but here in North Carolina there is one weekend a year in which the %8 sales tax is suspended on school related items (school supplies, clothes, pcs, calculators, etc...). A lot of parents take this time to get their kids ready for school and I'll be the first to say that I take advantage of the time to buy clothes for work. Well one of my local news stations put up an article saying that an estimated $12.3 million in taxes will be lost this weekend. That seems a bit steep to me.

Okay like I said the sales tax rate is 8% so if $12.3 million is 8% of the total revenue then by my math they are basing that on $153.75 million in total sales (12.3 being 8% of 153.75).

I'm sorry but that sounds high to me. It might be right but I have a hard time believing it.

But anyway I fully intent to take advantage of this weekend and get in some badly needed clothes shopping.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Food and Control

Are you by chance familiar with the show Men of a Certain Age? Its a pretty interesting show that started on TNT last year starring Andre Bauer, Scott Bakula, and Ray Romano. The show centers around these men in their late 40s in various points in life (one is married with 2 kids and works at his father's car lot, one is divorced with 2 kids and owns his own party supply store, and the third is a never was actor who works temp jobs) and how they face life and what it drops on them.

The point of those post is to talk about the season finale and how something in that episode hit me pretty close to home.

Andre Bauer plays the role of Owen Thoreau, Jr. He's married with two sons and works at his father's car lot. He is also overweight and diabetic. At one point in the episode after coming home from a party with his wife she says she's ready for bed and Owen sends tells her he will be up shortly. Before going upstairs he raids the kitchen and and gorges on various snacks. Little did he know one of his sons was recording him. The son ends up sleeping under the couch with the video recorder in hand. Owen takes the recorder, yells at his son, then watches the footage of himself eating.

He and his wife have a conversation over his eating and he explains why he does it.

If you pay attention to Owen like many men (myself included) we feel overwhelmed by life and things just get out of control. And in that feeling like everything is beyond our control there is a search for something we do control. Something that's ours and no one can take from us. And in Owen's case it was eating. As a person who is trying to overcome a very similar circumstance I can say that there is something satisfying about being able to eat whatever one wants when every other part of your life is out of control and outside your own grasp.

Just like people who self injury, drink, do drugs, and engage in all sorts of other damaging (or possibly damaging) activities gorging on food like that gives a sense of pleasure. A sense of, "This is something that no one has any say so over. No one has a say over what I eat and drink."

I know it sounds sad but that's just how it is (for some people mind you). When you don't think you have any control you will reach for anything that resembles control, no matter what.

Having realized this one would think that the solution would be simple. Its one thing to say "Take control of your life." but its quite another to actually do it.

Here's to me taking control of my life.