Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm not so sure its the "will of the people"


From speaker.gov.


I knew full well that when I said I was gonna step back from gender for a bit that gender discourse would not pause until I returned. So I'm gonna come back from my seclusion for just a bit to say something.

Have to say I really don't like the idea of cutting off taxpayer funding for abortion. Needless to say there are good reasons to justify it and I just don't think its the will of the people to cut off that funding nor do I think they are listening to the people.

So no I do not support HR3.


(However I do have one other thing to say. I'm sure it will be tempting to pull out the "men don't get to have a say in abortion" argument. Bear in mind that this is not just about abortion rights but a matter of using tax payer money for abortion. And the last time I checked while not having a uterus men pay taxes too. So that argument is going to come off sounding like they shouldn't have a say in where the tax money that they pay goes. So while a man may have no business in whether or not a woman should or can get an abortion you're fooling yourself if you think you can use his gender to shut him out of the conversation of whether or not the tax money he pays, just like you do, goes towards them.)

Searching the Tempest for Evidence of the Darkangel, The Source of The Spell

As you may know I'm not in the best of moods these days (and it doesn't help that my back decided I wasn't going in to work today). Well when my mood shifts so does my taste in music, which is why I have such a large collection.


VNV Nation - "Tempest"


Arcana Obscura - "Evidence"


VNV Nation - "Darkangel"


Anders Manga - "The Source"


Black Heart Procession - "The Spell"

See you folks next month.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

All is not well in Danny's Corner...

Don't ask me where The Nightmare Begins.

All I can say is that I'm staring Into The Darkness.

For the longest time I've been Fighting The Darkness.

But at some point something managed to Infect Me.

Something has managed to Touch Me in a way that I knew was totally wrong but rather than resist I embraced it.

My heart of gold has become a Heart of Black.

I'm no longer a confused Castaway in Darkness.

I was a member of the very Dark Covnant I had called myself fighting against.

The Miasma has clouded my mind.

Before continuing my part in the fight against darkness I have to return from my own Dark World.

To put it simply after all the time I've spent in talking to people recently I've come to realize that I've been poisoned. Poisoned with blind hatred to the point where I simply look for opportunities to lash out (actually not so much look for opportunities to lash out but rather when they come I go too far) Poisoned to the point where I simply don't bother listing to other people people because I've already decided that they simply aren't going to listen or that they will just find any excuse to write off what I say.

Yes I've come across A LOT of people like that in my day but I think its come to where I just don't bother hearing them out because I know what they are gonna say. But despite how often I may be right there are plenty of times where I'm wrong and don't realize it (or perhaps don't want to admit it).

I've been trying to pull this poison out of my system for the last few days (look for the appearance of a person named AB, good people and a hell of lot better than a lot of the feminists I've had the 'privilege' of crossing paths with) while making sure to avoid others like the plague (who knew that being a virgin for a long time was proof of creepiness, not agreeing with the assumption that no man has any respect for women is a mark of privilege, and while men who have been hurt by women should know better than to generalize all women as bad its okay for women who have been hurt by men to generalize all men as bad).

Oh and when a fat guy shares his feelings the most important thing to remember is that while it may suck for fat guys women are the real victims of fat hatred so fat guys need to get over themselves, check their male privilege, and get to work on helping women or some silly shit like that. Translation, "Fat hatred is actually fat woman hatred and fat acceptance is actually fat woman acceptance because fat guys really don't have it that bad right? Just look at Homer Simpson and how Kevin James is type cast." (Yeah and we can tell which white people are racist by looking for the ones that don't have black friends.) But damn I know I'm on the edge because even as someone tried to show support I was really close to snapping at them because they used that damn lip service line "Patriarchy Hurts Men Too".

It looks like I've gotten to the point that now that I'm finally starting to speak up my fears over having to deal with people that would rather I just pretend that being male is a cakewalk have evolved into blind rage. Maybe its burnout. Maybe its that I'm angry. Maybe its that I'm tired. Maybe its that I'm burned out, angry, and tired of being held to some expectation that I as a man am simply not allowed to talk freely unless I get proper approval from people who have decided they know my life better than I do.


In conclusion I'm taking a gender break. More than likely I'll keep posting other stuff but I'm out of meds and I'm just not in the fucking mood to deal with gender right now. I'm sure I'll be back but I have no idea how long I'll be away (no more than a week I bet). The comments are set for post moderation (meaning they actually show up right when you post them and I moderate later) so by all means continue talking. I'm just taking a break on gender.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 36

Show me whacha' working wit!

Ask Dad: I Want My Man to Get Circumcised:"I'm very much in love with a new man. I think he's the one. Marriage material. There's just one little problem. He's uncut, and I hate to say it, but it really grosses me out. I want him to get circumcised, but how could I possibly ask?" I REALLY hope this is a satire site or an intentional overblowing of the situation to show how outrageous it is.

Chromatic Casting: Remixing The Dark Knight Rises: A few different ideas on casting the various character in the Batman scene.

Negative Externalities: Parenting Fail?

Man Stroke Woman.. LOL

Kids are all right with just mom: Of course such evidence doesn't get interpreted as trying to kick dads into shape and get them into their kids lives. Nah this data means that dads are useless parents. Nice.

Woman Runs Down Cousin Over Denied Facebook Friend Request: Damn. Its really not that serious.

Transatlantic tug-of-love boy, 12, gets to tell court he wants to live with father and brother in U.S.: You know I wonder how this would go down if it were a case of a 12 year old boy wanting to go back to him mom. That dad would probably be treated like an international kidnapper already.

Spike Lee has no Oscar: Is the film director pointing out a race issue that persists after so long or is he crying sour grapes over the fact that after all these years there still isn't one in his trophy case?

Men should concentrate on playing with their children and leave the care to women: I don't know James Dennis but I think his comment pretty much sums up what I think of that article:
"What utter nonsense.

Why is a study that concludes that women would be better off if they just stayed at home and did the housework never published? Because it would be denounced as sexist rubbish.

As is this."


The Inspiration for Lady Gaga's New Perfume: Blood and Semen: Okay I'm all for freedom of expression and I'm not saying she shouldn't release such a scent. On the other hand I'm very familiar with the smells of blood and semen. The smell of blood isn't that bad (in fact I kinda like it....). There really isn't that much of a smell to semen (in fact I think an odor in semen can be indicative of either odd/bad diet or a medical issue). I just hope she isn't talking about dried semen, that stuff can stink pretty bad. In the end though I think this is just an attention grab to get people talking. Well I think it worked.

Featured Comment: Who Gets to Define Racism? The Victim or the Perpetrator?: I'd expand that question to "The Victim, The Perpetrator, or a Third Party that's interjected itself into the equation?"

So why is it all right for women to be sexist about MEN?: With Andy Gray and Richard Keys coming under much deserved scrutiny I think its very worth asking why a lot of women get such a free pass on sexist attitudes and remarks towards men. I don't agree with everything the guy says in that article but he makes a good point on that though.

Battered wife's compensation cut because she is 'used to violence': This is a big problem. Victims of crimes should not be left out in the cold at all much less be told that the fact that they are 'used to violence' that was reaped upon them by someone else is proof enough to reduce benefits. (And also a special shoutout to the people that think the Daily Mail only exists when its posting things of an anti-woman slant).

What TV and Movies Get Wrong About Sex: Even as a virgin I find this to be pretty f'n funny. (I must find it funny because I've seen these scenarios happen so much on tv.)

North Carolina Dad Fights Son’s Adoption and Wins: Its good to know that Roberto Alvarez was able to earn his rights to be with his child. I mean so what if the mom tried to, hide the child from him so she could put it up for adoption, lost that bid, then went for and got primary custody, and that she pretty much had to be proven to not be the primary caretaker for the child in order for him to get custody?

Fatherless Boys Three Times More Suicidal: "'Researchers from the University of Toronto studied 6,647 adults, including almost 700 who had been under the age of 18 when their parents divorced and found men from divorced families were three times more likely to have seriously considered suicide than adult males whose parents had not divorced."

Cures For Paralysis, Diabetes And Blindness Hindered By Patents: "Thankfully, more and more people are recognizing this issue. Scientists working on things involving embryonic stem cell research are complaining that patents are massively hindering their ability to advance their research, and it may be holding back cures for paralysis, diabetes and blindness, among other things.">


Courtesy of Got Cheeks?.


I think I'm going on a bit of a gender hiatus (I'll explain that in a bit). But more than likely I'll still continue on with the non gendered stuff. Take it easy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lawsuit over contaminated water at Camp Lejeune

If you recall back in 2009 I had mentioned a problem with former marines developing breast cancer from exposure to contaminated water at the Camp Lejeune marine base in Jacksonville, NC. It looks like now at least one former marine has filed a lawsuit against the federal government.
A former Marine has filed a $16 million lawsuit against the federal government, claiming that contaminated water at Camp Lejeune caused him to contract a rare form of breast cancer.
After serving at Camp Lejeune from 1957-1959 Joel Shriberg of Pinehurst was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, which has spread to his lungs.

It is believed that before the tainted wells were closed during the 80s (after nearly 3 decades of people accessing them) upwards of 1 million people could have been exposed to the tainted water.

These folks literally put their lives on the line for us. They shouldn't be treated like this.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Microaggressions

Well now what do we have here? It would seem that someone has started a tumblr page by the name of Microaggressions dedicated to those exact moments in our everyday lives when we are reminded that one (or many) of our characteristics is cause to tease, harass, humiliate, silence, and otherwise badmout us.

So when you read these comments you're not just getting the reaction that someone had to a particular comment with the comment itself somewhere. No you are getting a zoom lens in on the comment itself so you can see exactly what it was that hurt the person posting.

Such as when guys are written off as gay when they don't fit some ideal script of what a real man is supposed to be.

Or when basically told that your race and gender mean you are unreliable. (I hope that guy was in a position to walk out on that interview.)

Or when people think you have to be a certain gender in order to be into certain movies.

I wish the brains behind that place luck.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Men, Boys, and Education



Check this video out (I originally posted this over at Ethecofem a week or so ago). Its Ali Carr-Chellman speaking on the problems that boys and men are having in education these days.

The thing is she brings up good stuff that needs to be talked about. I've noticed when it comes to talking about education its almost a sin to bring up the idea of helping boys. No I'm not trying to be like the people who actually do go overboard with it demands on helping boys to the direct detriment of girls and possibly not even helping boys in the first place. I'm talking about people who will look at the fact that boys are lagging behind girls in nearly every metric and then deny the fact that gender has anything to do with it.

And that's part of what she hits on. She talks about how the current in environment in schools seems to be totally out of sync with the boys of today. I'm not saying that the school systems should flip its scripts in order to help boys. I'm talking about actually paying attention to why boys are lagging behind rather than just writing them off as dumb jocks, trouble makers, or diagnosed as having some sort of disorder.

Pretty interesting. She didn't hit on everything that needs to be covered (but come on she only had about 12 minutes) but I think her talk serves as a good introduction to the big conversation that needs to happen on this topic.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sound advice or more poor eating choices?

So it would seem that food company Kraft is working on developing a vending machine that is capable of viewing your face and recommending food choices.

I wonder how smoothly this would really go. As a person who can be very indecisive about dinner I like the idea of something that can make suggestions. However I'm a bit curious about what it would go on to make a suggestion with.

(Source):
So, when he or she passes by the kiosk, the digital signage, equipped with a freaky sort of Anonymous Video Analytics technology, zooms in on his or her face and instantly determines gender and age group to guess what products might exert some allure

First while I can see age as being pretty easy for a computer to pick up on I'm a bit lost on how a computer can scan a face and determine its gender (and that's not even getting to people who don't bother with the whole gender binary thing). But even past all that I'm curious to know what it would suggest.

Would the machine scan the face of a 20 year old guy and recommend hot pockets (meaning would the machine just follow the presumption that 20 year old guys don't know how to cook and only want microwave junk food)? Perhaps it will pick up a 40 year old woman and provide a recipe for lasagna (meaning would the machine just assume that as an adult woman she must know how to cook)?

I'm just not seeing how this machine can scan a face and possibly account for all sorts of factors like being vegetarian or vegan, being lactose intolerant, not eating certain (or no) meats for religious/cultural reasons, etc...

But now that I think about it more than likely it will be a case of the machine scanning your face for the first time then having you set up some sort of account where you can tweek those settings. But even beyond that I have one other question.

Considering that this vending machine is being made by a major corporation that traffics some rather unhealthy foods can we really trust it to recommend food options that actually are good for you or will we be subjected to a continuous stream of Kraft product placements? Will this thing point us to fresh fruits, veggies, and meats or will it have us just going for the Kraft processed foods instead of the Proctor and Gamble processed foods?

I wonder how it will turn out.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Does gender really have nothing to with it?

Okay so I'm going through my Stats page in Blogger and I came across a link to a post I used recently about the funny attempt to prove misandry doesn't exist. Well I went back and actually looked at the comments and two of the last three comments piqued my interest (the third one is actually by the owner of the blog and if nothing else just shows how ignorant and misandric she really is so avoid that one).

First there is this by orvillelloyddouglas:
Of course,misandry exists and only a misandrist would say it doesn’t exist. No one is disputing women encoutner sexual oppression in society but to suggest men do not encounter discrimination is sexist!

The author of this piece definitely sounds like a misandrist because he or she refuses to acknowledge the fact men do encounter barriers in society such as men of colour. Let me guess, the author of this piece totally ignores men of colour, gay men, immigrant men of all races are vulnerable in society.

Men do encounter discrimination. Why do some women act as though sexism only affects their lives? The word “sexism” isn’t just for one specific gender it affects BOTH genders! I am a black man and black men encounter misandry on multiple levels in terms of employment, housing, education, dealing with the police. Young black men are most likely to die by the time we are 30 compared to our white counterparts. Black men are incarcerated at a higher rate in American than white men. Men do encounter discrimination and I believe it is misandrist of the author of this article to state otherwise.

and then this one by my pal April:
You’re really just talking about racism. The issues you face as a black man do not affect white men in the same way. You’re not discriminated against because you’re a man, but because you’re black (judging from the examples you gave in your comment). Obviously that is a problem, but not the one being discussed in this thread.


As you can see orvillelloyddouglas has countered the author's rather silly claim that misandry does not exist and April seems to think that his gender has nothing to do with the things that he points out. Let's see.

Employment - If you are familiar with the fact that largest portion of America's prison population is made up of black and latino men you can see how this will affect our odds at a job if we have a record. Education also plays in to this.

Education - When you look at the stats boys are lagging behind girls in nearly every demographic that's measured these days. Girls (who have often out done boys in language and writing fields) are catching up and surpassing boys in the science and math fields (while still keeping their lead in language and writing). Yes black boys are lagging behind white boys but anyone that tries to make this about race is only trying to keep from lending a helping hand to boys. Even if all those black boys woke up white tomorrow they would STILL be lagging behind girls.

Dealing with the police - This is probably the only one where that "its not gender, its race" argument has a leg to stand on. While police brutality happens to men and women it seems that it happens to people of color more often than whites.

But orvillelloyddouglas does make one other point that I think even the so called "progressives" seem to miss.
Let me guess, the author of this piece totally ignores men of colour, gay men, immigrant men of all races are vulnerable in society.
If you look at men of color and women color you can plainly see that racism affects them differently. Black men are stereotyped as oversexxed thugs while black women are stereotyped as gold diggers who pop out babies to hoard welfare benefits. Latin women are stereotyped as being maids and baby factories while Latin men are stereotyped as thugs and gardeners. The list goes on. Point is racism does change up with gender.

Take a look at homosexuality. You really want to say that a gay man's gender really has nothing to do with the homophobia he experiences? You're lying if you try to say such a thing. Part of the gender policing in homophobia against gay men is to tease, harass, abuse, and otherwise torment them because they are violating a major part of the script of being a "real man". Part of why homophobes go nuts is over the fact that gay men aren't sexually interested in women and that somehow means they are not "real men". If that's not a case to support the existence of misandry then I don't know what is.

And just to drive the point home let's talk about transgender men. Oh there are lot of people out there that think is a man wasn't born with a penis then he's not a "real man". Don't have testicles? No man card for you. Don't have a penis that can get erect in order to (look back up at homophobia) penetrate a woman? Man status revoked. Unable to impregnate a woman? No sperm = not a man. Hold up you still have breasts, ovaries, labia, and a vagina? Imposter!

And just like homophobes, some transphobes have no problem escalating to violence.

While some of what he was saying was racism some of what he was pointing was indeed, despite what others might think (and I'll leave it at that since I'm involving April in this and unlike the writer of that blog I actually have respect for April), hatred against men because of their gender. Folks misandry exist and no amount spewed hatred or attempting to make all about women is going to change that.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Are we moving a little too fast with motion controlled gaming?


via Kotaku


I've been getting my game on for a long time and one of the things that's really been gaining a lot of steam in the gaming world is the concept of motion gaming.

Unlike the olden days of gaming when our only option to have characters to perform motions and actions in game was to press a plastic button which was set to send a command through the controller through wires to the game console we now have the ability to simply wave around a remote in order to do such things. The three major consoles (Nintendo's Wii, Sony's Playstation 3, and Microsoft's Xbox 360) each have such offerings (with the 360 actually allowing to do such things without even having to hold a remote). People say its the future of gaming. If the future of gaming is to go along with this path I think there might be a bit of an issue that a lot of people may not have taken notice of.

There are a lot of people out there who cannot perform those motions.

Think about it for a bit. Consider how many people in this world there are that have some sort of physical limitation or disability that would keep them from doing stuff like this. Even further than (what would be) simple hand and arm motions (to most of us) there are actually some rather complex movements going on in those games. There are people out there who simple are not able to do long series of jumps, hops, arm waving, etc....

Am I trying to make the case that game developers should just drop the idea of motion control gaming altogether in order to find something that would be more inclusive? Of course not if for no other reason than the fact that there are other potential uses for such technology (which may possibly even be used to help those people with such limitations and disabilities). I just don't want there to be some mass exodus to motion control gaming that would result in leaving a lot of gamers hanging because they cannot full use of the latest gaming tech for reasons beyond their control.

Weekly Mashup Stage 35

Pretty hectic week people. But here are the goods.

Artistic License: DC Blows It With 'Young Justice': Jill Rayburn of Airlock Alpha on her opinion of what direction the new Cartoon Network series should have taken with the origins of some of the characters.

Bob never got consent.: "According to the sexual ethics of Jaclyn Friedman, Hugo Schwyzer, other many other feminists, what Bob did was coercive and unethical. Yet Bob is forgiven because he was able to sexually arouse his partner. Bob stuck to his guns in the face of his partner’s obvious discomfort with what he was doing, and yet his pushiness and sexual entitlement goes unnoticed and unmentioned in the breathless prose of the vignette because he successfully pulled it off."

'Black Panther' movie in development: It would seem that Marvel is really getting to business and not just limiting their big screen love to the mega stars (like X-Men and Spiderman). Check out the comments for some pretty interesting opinions for who would take on the mantle of the Black Panther. But more importantly I really hope they don't make this movie so shiny that they ignore the plights of what is going on in Africa these days.

Gender and Support Systems: "These discussions can veer into the realm of gender essentialism and stereotypes pretty quickly, but I'm feeling bold today. Let's talk about it anyway. Eric Vanderhoff replied to Jess, "Men are culturally expected not to need it and much less apt to seek or receive it." And Socioprof added, "Men in general tend to have less social support than women. This is across race and increases with age.""

How Facebook Used White Space To Crush Myspace: A reminder that being at the top of the mountain doesn't mean you've won and can rest on your laurels.

'Being Human' Cast on Nudity, 'No Touching' and Keeping Secrets: TVSquad sits down for a Q&A session with the three lead characters of the North American version of the British series 'Being Human'. The series is airing in the US on the SyFy Channel Monday nights at 9pm EST.


The next Olympic sport?


Dr. Phil and His Viewers Don’t See Eye to Eye on Women’s Domestic Violence Against Men.: It looks like Dr. Phil needs to take his advice and stop trying to silence male victims of violence.


Boards of Canada - Macquarie Ridge


Alright folks see you next week!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Phototherapy. Why can't I do that?

As you may have recently heard I am not a fan of having my picture taken. And I aim to do something about it.

I think Ellen Fisher Turk just gave me a good idea. From her main page:
I use image-still or video to help women see past who they think they are. I photograph women who suffer from negative body image brought on by rape, incest, eating disorders, cancer or just plain life.

This is an invitation to participate in a process that will completely change how you view yourself.

I'm not a skilled photographer mind you but I don't see why I can't do that for myself. So I've started a bit of an experiment in hopes that it will help me overcome my hated of having my picture taken.

Starting earlier this week when I come home from work I pull out my digital camera and I take a few pictures of myself. Nothing fancy just a simple pose in what I wore to work that day (three button polo and basic dress slacks). I usually take about 3-5 pictures. So far I think it is helping me overcome the fear.

Who knows maybe one day I'll get bold enough to not only be able to take a picture without being disgusted but I might even get bold enough to actually post pictures of myself on a regular basis.

This should be a grand experience.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wow, the first comment? On the real?

So last night I spilled my guys on my hatred of having my picture taken and that hatred being based on being fat. Renee decided she wanted to put it up at here place. At first I wasn't going to out of worry that I'll just be dismissed. But then I told myself, "You know self, if you don't speak up people won't know you're talking." The guy had a point so I went for it. I'm thinking there will be at least some discussion jumping off on this. A little faith. A little bit of exchange. You know all that good stuff that needs to happen for real change to occur. I thought wrong.

Not just the first comment. No the second comment as well (replying in agreement with the first of course).

deathbystereo:
I definitely agree that fat-shaming needs to end, period, but I wouldn't agree that it's in any way more harsh for men than women (re: "And I get the feeling that there is an extra bit of pain that fat guys feel"). I've seen the difference between being perceived as a fat woman and as a fat man (I'm a transgender man), and the former is much more drastic (with the intersection of misogyny and fat-shaming, and women's bodies being considered everyone's property), though both are obviously terrible and should never happen in a moral world.

I wish more people would stop judging others' weight, period, and I'm sorry you have to go through it - I know the feeling.

Translation: "I know it sucks for you sweetie but rest assured women are the real victims of fat hatred."

I mean really that would have been more honest, more direct, and few keystrokes.

But more specifically I wonder about something here.

(I'm a transgender man)
This if I'm understanding this correctly I take this to mean that this person was a woman who transitioned to a man. Chances are this happened after this person became an adult. So we could be very well have someone who doesn't know how it is to grow from a fat boy into a fat man. Unless I'm wrong about the growing up of this person (and I might be) then to the devil with this person trying to tell me that its not that bad to live the life of a fat man in comparison to "the real victims".

Oh and this:
(with the intersection of misogyny and fat-shaming, and women's bodies being considered everyone's property)
While that it true this person seems to want to use this as a way to negate the intersection of misandry, and fat-shaming, and men's lives being considered an open field for everyone to comment on while said men are expected to "man up" and pretend it doesn't hurt. This would not be the first time someone has tried to use the experiences of women as "proof" that what happens to men really doesn't happen.

Next up:
I agree, deathbystereo. While there is social discrimination against fat men, it is not so prevalent or harsh as against women. Women have been proven to lose wages and to experience extreme discrepancy in health care that is not seen by fat men. "being fat and being a guy is not a cakewalk." is true, but it is also true that anti-fat hate hits women harder.

I dare anyone reading this to tell me that if the genders were reversed (like say saying that the anti-family hatred of the court system hits men harder) it would not be shrugged off as mansplaining, or misogyny, or dismissive, or oppressive, or whatever else they can pile on. Oh and it would also be Oppression Olympics. Speaking of isn't it odd that people don't want to play Oppression Olympics until they are sure their team really does have it worse?

Now that I have that off my chest (I posted a much nicer version of this over at her place because this full response is touching too many tangents) I want to tip my Fro to Renee for reaching her olive branch out. Its a damn shame that those two saw fit to spit on her branch, knock it out of her hand, stomp it to pieces, and then throw those pieces and some dirt off the ground in my face. But at least Renee tried and that's a good thing.

Look folks there aren't that many fat guys that are willing to talk about how painful it is to simply be a fat guy in this world. Mind you with attitudes like those two its pretty obvious why. I'm at the fuck it point and I'm not going to let small minded dismissers with misandrist tendencies like those two to mess it up for me and anyone else that wants to speak up.

Alright I got some other blogs to read and prep my Weekly Mashup.

I'm out.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A man, his fat, and his hatred of photos

I've talked about fat before. I've talked about being a fat guy before, namely the fact there are a lot of people who really don't want to believe that being fat and being a guy is not a cakewalk. Well as part of what I'm trying to this year I want to make some real progress and I'm really going to try to get over one spector that has haunted me for the vast majority of my life.

I absolutely hate having my picture taken.

Let me clarify. A few weeks ago I was at a friend's house with some other friends (we were seeing off a friend that's in the Army about to go to the Middle East) and one friend pulled up a folder of pictures. When they got to pictures of me I literally turned away from the laptop until I heard him hit the arrow key to scroll to the next picture.

You see as a fat guy people like to draw conclusions about you. You're an athlete (and let me tell you that assumption is not as cool as it sounds). You're not very smart (I don't know how the association between fat and stupid makes sense). You have unhealthy eating habits. You are gonna die young. You hate exercise and physical activity (totally conflicting with the assumption of being an athlete). The list goes on.

For longer than I can recall now this is the type of stuff I've heard and I've taken it in so deeply that I actually pray for the very invisibility that people say they are burdened with. Maybe its a sign that something is wrong with me but I don't feel invisible with my fat. In fact I feel like I'm the elephant in the room (yeah you see what did there right?). And elephant that wishes he were a fly.

To be so hurt by simple characteristic you wish you could fade into the background. No to be so hurt by the way people put so much stock in a simple characteristic you wish you could fade into the background. And I get the feeling that there is an extra bit of pain that fat guys feel. You see as part of the script of being a man we are not only not supposed to let things like that hurt us but in the event that they do we are not supposed to talk about it. Not show it. Just keep it bottled up inside let people pick on us and then go home and cry ourselves to sleep at night. And the way fat guys are shown on tv its not wonder people go around thinking its all good in the hood to tease, pick on, and otherwise harass us.

If you look at the way we are portrayed on tv we supposedly like being identified by our fat. It makes us funny. It makes us stupid comic relief. It makes us acceptable for other people to acknowledge our existence. In fact I've come across people who have actually tried to cite tv characters as proof that there is nothing wrong with being a fat guy (and let me tell you I'm making myself use "fat guy" as much as possible in order make myself okay with using it). Yeah Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, and Kevin James' character on King of Queens prove that everyone is fine with the existence of fat guys. When obviously uninformed people make silly comments like that I just want to commit violence. But then I'd be the crazy fat guy (and remember I'm black so I'd become the Big Scary Black Man) and it would be my fault for "taking it personally". Yeah.

You remember what Yoda said about the dark side in The Phantom Menace?

"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering."


Fear over the shame of being fat.
Angry at the thought of seeing your fat in a picture.
Hatred over the thought of a permanent recording of your fat for all to see.
Suffering from the fear, anger, and hatred that cause you to avoid cameras.

It's time all that changed.

I'm still not sure how but I'm going to make it a point to work on my own body image. I refuse to let other people be the measure of how much I like myself. I refuse to live in fear of cameras. I refuse to continue to wish I could fade into the background.

Yes change will happen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekly Menu Extra Stage!!!!!!

I still don't know what to call this stuff. You see I needed something to go with some baked fish I made (baked it in the oven with cayenne pepper, ginger, sea salt, and a little bit of butter). In the end I did something like this.

1 bag of fresh spinach

1/2 box of whole wheat rotini

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of mushrooms

sea salt

black pepper

Thyme

Oregano

Basil



Boil the rotini according to the directions and set aside. Next in a hot skillet with some olive oil heat up the diced tomatoes. I thankfully did these alone because they had a lot of water in them which I drained off as they heated up (I'm betting there would have been less water if I had used a fresh tomato and diced it myself). Once you've drained off the water toss in the spinach. Notice how the spinach draws up. Next toss in the mushrooms and mixed it all together. Add in the rotini. Toss it all together and add in the seasonings. Remove from heat.

It tastes good but I have no earthly clue what the hell to call it.

Any ideas? Enjoy.

Weekly Menu Extra Stage!!!!!

Remember a while back I made that sauce that I thought was close to Heinz 57? I was planning on making that sauce again but then I asked myself why do that when I can make up another?

If you recall I linked to a recipe for homemade ketchup. Well I thought to myself that if someone can use tomato paste for homemade ketchup why not do the same for BBQ sauce since most BBQ sauces involve ketchup?

This is going to make a lot of BBQ sauce so don't be scared to decrease the ingredients.

2 - 29oz. cans of tomato sauce.

32 oz. bag of dark brown sugar

1/4 cup yellow mustard - Any brand will do since you're just using enough to add a bit of tangy to it.

About 4tbsp. of ground ginger - I know that sounds like a lot but honestly I wished I had used more, or perhaps better quality ground ginger.

2 tbsp. of Cayenne pepper

I mixed all of this up in my crock pop and let it go on high for about 2 hours. While the sugar is certainly a bad thing here my goal here was to cut on all the preservatives that are in the store bought ketchups that are usually put in homemade sauces. The next time I do this (or any other BBQ sauce) I'll make sure to check the sugar.

I've got one more to share (but I have no earthly idea what to call it).

Weekly Menu Extra Stage!!!!

Its been a while since I've put up a new post in this series. Thing is I usually only post things that I think are noteworthy so I don't post very often when I cook. However due to really pushing to make changes in myself this year I've actually been cooking quite a bit and just had not had a chance to post. In fact I'm gonna split this into multiple parts. Let's begin.

Chicken Noodle Bowl

1 pack of Udon Noodles (they come in single serving packs like Oodles N Noodles but unlike those Udon Noodles are not dehydrated but are actually still wet and are vacuum packed).

1 small can of mushrooms - You don't need a lot of them since you're only making one bowl.

1 package of broccoli slaw - This stuff is awesome. Its a mixture of shredded broccoli, carrots, and red cabbage. But again you don't need a lot.

1 boneless skinless chicken breast

Soy Sauce

Sesame Seeds

1 chicken bullion cube

Okay first thing to do is toss out the flavor packet that comes with the Udon noodles. Those things are full of sodium and pretty much taste like salt with no other flavor. Go ahead and get some water in to a post and start bringing it to a bowl. Be mindful of how much water you use because while you want enough to boil the noodles you don't too much which would dilute the chicken bullion cube. While that is going go ahead and cut up your chicken breast into chunks. The key is to get them as small as possible so they cook faster. Pan fry the chunks of chicken and mushrooms seasoning them how you like (I only used a small bit of sea salt and black pepper) in oil and set aside. You should be able to cook the chicken before the water gets to a boil for the noodles. Boil the noodles for about 3-4 minutes depending on your liking.

Here comes the tricky part but its only tricky if you care about presentation. Once the noodles are ready you need to get them into your bowl WITHOUT simply draining them over the sink. You need to save the water (remember it has the chicken bullion dissolved in it). I recommend taking a fork and patiently scooping them out into the serving bowl. After getting them out spread some of the broccoli slaw over the noodles. Add the pan fried chicken/mushrooms on top of or around the broccoli slaw. Now that water that you just scooped the noodles out of? Pour it over the entire dish. Drizzle some soy sauce and sesame seed oil over everything then sprinkle some sesame seeds over it and prestochangomagico:



And let me tell you that damn thing is off the hook!

Next up Brown Ginger Sugar BBQ Sauce!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 34

You've probably noticed the slow down in posting around here. The reason for that is that due to the changes I'm making this year I'm left with not much time to sit around blogging. But don't worry I'll still try to keep the Weekly Mashups going.

Local Teen Creates LGBT Anti-Bullying Self-Defense Seminar: Bushido Judo School at North Duke Crossing 3600 North Duke St. Suite #102
Durham, NC from 2:00pm - 4:00pm. Sunday, January 23rd.

A Dose of Stupid v42: It would seem that it wasn't the mind and choice of a single man that led to the violence and death at Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s meeting last weekend. No it was masculinity itself that caused it to happen apparently.

Community Is About Enabling People To Be Heard; And You Need Community To Succeed Online: The importance of community when trying to be successful online.

(Courtesy of Food Politics. Its not perfect but its got some useful information. You can click on it to enlarge it for better viewing.)


BBC’s ‘The Last Refuge’ Gives Information about Male Victims of DV: "Perhaps the most important point is that the family dynamics that lead to domestic violence are much the same whether the perpetrator is male, female or both. Like the fictional situation portrayed in “Believe Me,” the men in “The Last Refuge” describe female partners who begin with small criticisms and controlling behaviors and, as the relationship gets better established, become less and less tolerant of behavior most of us see as appropriate."

Woman seduces teen boys, gets probation, and her attorney pooh-poohs what happened as a 'rite of passage': "The district attorney, Ms. Ditka, refuted Mr. Thomassey's enlightened comments: "When it's a woman offender on a boy, it's an atta boy. When it's a man offender on a girl, it's the horror of all horrors. I don't see a difference. These are impressionable children."

A Seriously Sick Attitude About Men: Amy Alkon on the very common but misguided and frankly misandrist belief that male = sex offender.

Men Are People Too: The radical notion that men are people.

From Rap Music to Rap Sheet: (from link at edweek) "Let me get this straight. If I score 18 points in the second quarter or get shot six times, there's no question of my authenticity? But it's these culturally reinforced stereotypes that are literally killing our black boys." This is definitely something that needs to be addressed.

Are you going to buy the Verizon iPhone?


Found this in the comment section of Renee's. Enjoy.


Alright people, til next time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Random Challenge: Poetry

One of the things I told myself I will do this year is to try out things that I've either never done before, are rather challenging, or have not had much luck with in the past. This time I want to take on poetry.

If you know me you know that I am the last person you would call poetic. For some reason I just didn't get that creative part of the Scorpio sign (I don't care what that new alignment says, I'm a Scorpio dammit). Well I've decided to give it a shot. Here goes.

Crimson Kiss

Returning home at twilight, wasting away in the night
I long for your crimson kiss

Lulled into Falling by Julee Cruise, my angelic muse
I long for your crimson kiss

Bottle to glass, watching the sweet redness pass
I long for your crimson kiss

Tilting back to sip, parting top and bottom lip
I long for your crimson kiss

Merging with my body and soul, making me feel whole
I long for your crimson kiss

With consciousness waning, and slumber gaining
I long for your crimson kiss


What do you think? Not an epic work worthy of reprinting 100 years from now but not bad for being buzzed on pomegranate wine while listing to the Twin Peaks soundtrack if I say so myself.

I'll have to try this more often, it was fun coming up with that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Funny, he doesn't look Spanish

The forces of infection and illness have conspired against me and have gotten my sick. Yeah its this weird things where once a year (usually Jan. or Dec.) I'll get sick. Yeah like the Belmonts vs Dracula or something. Its all good because this ailment doesn't realize who its fucking with. So while I may be out of it for a bit this battle will not end well for the poor virus that's got a hold of me.


If you didn't know I'm a bit of a fan of a series of video games that you may have heard about. Its all about these Fighters who gather every so often to fight on the Street. Yeah I'm talking about Street Fighter. Today I want to talk about race and video games.

One of the characters from the series is a man by the name of Vega (well originally Balrog but that's a mess I don't want to get into).



If you don't know Vega is a narcissistic matador that is vain to the point of obsession (the mask is to protect his beautiful face) and has no qualms about killing those he deems ugly. In fact one of his quotes from the old Street Fighter II Animated Film has him speaking to Chun Li, "My hobby is to slowly peel the skin off the rabbits I catch. Especially cute little bunnies like you." A real piece of work I know.

So anyway today I'm listening to the music from his stage in Super Street Fighter 4 and something hit me.


I put the link up here because that music is awesome and so that you could get to the comments if you wanted to see them.

Some of the comments talk about how his not only does his music sound more French than Spanish but he himself doesn't look Spanish. I was actually in the middle of chiming in to agree when I figured.

Who the hell am I to tell someone that they don't look like their ethnicity?

At a quick look he doesn't appear to be any more Spanish than I am. He looks like your standard run of the mill white guy (the hair varies from brunette to blonde) and you think to yourself (or at least I did) that that's not right.

No Spanish people are supposed to have darker skin and black hair right? Of course not. While there are certainly specific traits that are very common among certain people those traits are not indicators of one's ethnicity and the absence of traits doesn't automatically mean that a given person cannot be of a certain group.

So while our aerial assailant may not have the traits that a Spanish person is "supposed to have" that doesn't mean that he cannot be Spanish.

Take it easy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 33

Its on again.

I've decided that I'm going to buy an ebook reader in the next few months so the research is on. Here's an article about the difference between LCD and E-Ink readers and an article that sizes up the major ebook readers in a face off of features. After talking to Nook owner and Kindle owner this weekend and looking at their respective sites I am pretty firmly set in the Nook camp. Feel free to throw in your own two cents though.

B of A Eliminates Free Checking for Lower-Income Customers: Its becoming more and more apparent what America B of A is trying to be the bank of.

Arguing Over The Copyright In Schindler's List -- The Actual List, Not The Movie: "The movie Schindler's List famously covers the story of Oskar Schindler, who saved over 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust by creating his "list" of essential workers, which kept them from being sent to their deaths. Now that the list itself is famous, apparently there's a bit of a legal fight over the copyright on the actual list (found via THREsq)." Damn shame that something as historic as this list has been drug into the outrageousness of copyright battles.

Is Social Media Changing Manhood?: "What impact is the digitization of all media and the creation of powerful social networks having on the role of gender in our society? Specifically, is there some wrong-headed vision of manhood that is being annihilated? Are we moving past gender in the social media or is a truer picture of men emerging? And, finally, what of the growing evidence that women, like in education, are showing signs of dominating the new medium?"

Worlds Most Stylish Otaku Room?: I REALLY want to live in this room.

Editing Out Violent Masculinity: A post from a relatively new (or at least I think it is) from a site meant to reclaim masculinity. (Personally I get the feeling that I won't be welcome over there for too long but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't check it out.)

More pretty pictures: (But fair warning the text is in Russian.)

Man Up Campaign: While I can get down with what they are trying to do am I the only person who has a problem with a group taking a phrase that strike MANY chords with men today in MANY different ways and pretending it can be reclaimed by only focusing a single chord? I'm sure its a good project but its going to take a whole hell of a lot more wrong with that phrase than violence against women.

James Franco: 'Maybe I'm gay': I just want to say that I love his attitude there.

What was that someone said about Rethinking the Hague Convention?


Well I guess if they let it go on "Teen Mom"...



Take it easy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why I don't listen to rap battles anymore



I decided to use this as an example because of the good sound quality and for the fact that it takes a lot of the commonly used attacks in rap battles and spells them out in plain language (because frankly when it comes to rapping there are dozens of ways to say these things without the actual words). (The original audio can be found here

If you pay attention to this clip you will notice that the vast majority of that battle was just a trading of insults. Its like someone decided that Rhythmic Dirty Dozens was a good idea and it just caught on. I mean yeah it can be interesting to come up with different ways to tell a guy he's pathetic but after a while it gets boring. And I think there is a deeper question.

Okay as I'm sure you've noticed many of the common ways to "battle" a guy is to insult either his street cred, sexuality, or the women in his life. I'll leave it to feminists and womanists to go on about the misogyny in rap. Frankly I don't think the anti-woman sentiment, while extremely offensive and in need of being eliminated, isn't the the core of the problem.

Its not like these rappers start a battle with the intent of insulting the women in their opponent's life for the sole sake of insulting the women in his opponent's life. No they start a battle with the intent of insulting their opponent. Which leads me to my question.

When did rap become all about rappers attacking each other?

Now its not like this just hit me today. No I've seen this going on for a long time its just that since getting a clear view of the damaged masculinity that we have forced down on us I've gotten a better of idea of how to express this.

You see as men we are socialized into the thought that we must prove that we are better than other men in order to matter. This kind of thinking can lead to disastrous results one of which being the willingness to do whatever it takes to be the best. So I guess at some point the idea was introduced that in order for rappers to prove they are the best the optimal tactic was to not build themselves up but rather tear down other opponents. And from there someone came to the conclusion that throwing a dash of chivalry by insulting the women in an opponents life was the ultimate topping.

At the possible cost of the rap battle scene what I think really needs to happen is that those guys need to be shown that its not required to tear down the masculinity of other men (and by extension insult other people) in order assert their own masculinity. Mind you if the negativity was taken out and people still managed to have good solid battles then I'm all in for listening.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The nitty and gritty of male geeks

I consider myself a geek and since I'm male that would make me a male geek. One of the topics that's been pretty hot these days is how male geeks treat female geeks that try to get into the various types of geekdom (games, Star Wars, computers, etc...). Something I see are often long posts about how male geeks are so horrible to female geeks and how those male geeks are so terrible for their misogyny. One thing I don't see a lot is exactly where that treatment comes from. Well some might talk about it but I don't think its being brought up enough to be effective. So why don't I just throw in my two cents.

Short and sweet do you know what led to a lot of males to get into geekiness? Being socially awkward can be quite painful when confronted by "normal people". There's only so much abuse one can take from the "normal guys and girls" before you just leave for greener grass. As a way to carve out their own piece of existence they went off to make their geek communities. Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek, interest in math and science, etc... Finally these guys had their own slice of heaven where they could not just exist but live without being harassed.

Well after a while girls started to show interest in some of those same things and, like any person who is looking for people with similar interests, tried to work their way in with those male geeks. While there are plenty of guy geeks who have no problem with this (either because they are hoping for romance/sex or because they are extremely excited to have someone to share interests with or whatever) there are those who don't take kindly to the "invasion of their space".

Hold up a bit. I think this needs a bit of explaining. You see to an extent I think some of that apprehension toward female geeks may be justified. Think about it like this. A lot of male geeks are heterosexual and are therefore interested in girls/women. Thing is they may be taking interest in "normal girls". You know the ones that probably had a hand in ostracizing those male geeks and driving them off to their own slice of heaven to start with. So when they see girls coming in they feel threatened. The very fact that they are girls is probably triggering something. Triggering something that doesn't go off with other guys coming in (because guys don't match their sexual orientation).

Now I'm sure that someone, somewhere, is flying off the handle because I'm not damning male geeks for their horrible treatment of female geeks, whining about male privilege, or some other easy score for points. Well fuck them because they aren't paying attention.

The reason I want to flesh this shit out is because if people really care about female geeks not being harassed by male geeks then let's actually get to why they do it rather than writing them off as woman haters. Despite the way I've been done by women in my life I don't want them to be excluded from the geekdoms they want to get into for such sexist reasons. I'm not trying to excuse their behavior. I'm trying to figure it out because how can you stop something if you don't know how and why it happens?

How does one branch out?

I've been running my shop here for almost three years and I think I've finally gotten interested in branching out and networking with other bloggers and doing bigger things.

But I'm not entirely sure to go about it.

I think this is an extension of the fact that I have a hard time with the idea of going out there and mixing and mingling with people. Yes I'm a total wallflower.

And I get the feeling that it doesn't help that I tend to talk about things that people seem to not want to talk about.

So at this point I'm left wondering how in the world do all those other bloggers I see seem to have such an easy time branching out.

Oh well.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What is it about that nine months?

Alright I can fully see why men should not have the final say in whether a given woman has an abortions or not. Now that we have that out of the way can someone tell me something.

What is it about that nine month headstart that magically translates into said given woman having full unchallenged control over a child's life once that child is born?

I've gone over it before and here it is again. Girl has a baby and she takes it upon herself to decide what the dad's role in that child's life gonna be.
She assumed that her boyfriend Christian would go along with the plan, and as long as she assumed that, all was well.

But then Christian began reading from his own script. He decided he wanted to parent his son and that decision was not welcomed by his girlfriend. So their relationship went south.
Well now. It would seem that since this young girl didn't want or determined she could not support the child they created she speaks for Christian and decided to put the child up for adoption anyway.

Sounds familiar right?

You know the drill. Society tells men/boys that we are not supposed to want to be there for our kids. People go on and on about how men need to "man up" and take responsibility for their kids as if men are the only problem at work. And more than likely those same people will ignore this case until Christan loses custody and then come out of the woodwork to call him a deadbeat.

When it comes to parenting society has decided that the nine months a woman carries a child means that she has the sole vote on anything and everything in that child's life once they are born. That's not good.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Now what did I just say?

Just a few days ago I was talking about how men are socialized to think that its necessary to cut down the manhood of other men in order to boost their own. Well look at what Chris Brown and B2K member De'Mario Thornton a.k.a. Raz-B have done.

Now most people are gonna see this and stop at calling these guys on homophobia then high five each other for being so progressive.

That's only part of the story. In effect those people think the reason Al-Queda is causing trouble is because they have access to AK-7s. Homophobia was the weapon but it was not the cause of this "war".

You see the reason they went on that shouting match isn't because they were setting out to insult gays. Oh what they did was wrong and they shouldn't get a free pass on it and I'm not trying to advocate such a thing. However if we really want to get to the heart of the matter and prevent this type of behavior once and for all we have to really get down to why they did it.

Each one was trying to assert his superiority over the other.

Yes each man was trying to make the other look like less of a man in front of the Twitter universe in order show that he was the better man in the exchange. There should be no need for that. In my opinion if Thornton really wanted to know "how can n -- s like @ebenet & @ChrisBrown disrespect women as Intelligent as @HalleBerry11 [and] @Rihanna." then maybe he should have just asked him directly instead of throwing comments out like that. Yes given that both of these men are celebrities (I mean look at how quick this blew up) meaning he probably wouldn't have had that hard of a time getting in contact with Brown I kinda think he made that comment for the sole purpose of provoking a response out of him (or possibly trying to score brownie points for him self by kicking an easy target).

Either way what they did was wrong and should not have happened for more reasons that the homophobia that went on during the conversation.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 32

Alright people I'm sure you're doing a lot of blog reading instead of going out to party or spent time with loved ones right? Riiiiight? Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!
Well just in case you didn't go out last night (I did!!!) or if you are recovered enough to start reading blogs this morning here's what I've come across this week.

Protecting Kids: Rethinking the Hague Convention: Apparently when a Convention is broken more often by women it means that the Convention is faulty. Fro tip to Fathers and Families.

Things I Would Like To Not Care About: "Some of these, like how employers perceive fat applicants or how medical professionals’ biases harm fat patients, do affect my life in very real ways. I can advocate for myself, I can overdress to seem “more professional than thou”, but all I can do is the best I can."

Nicole Kidman Helps Show Positive Side of Non-Custodial Motherhood: "For Kidman and the other mothers mentioned, not having the kids around 24/7 means you have the freedom to pursue other endeavors. That suggests that women can move away from seeing themselves in strictly maternal terms, from measuring themselves by only a maternal yardstick."

Deep snow. Really deep snow.: As soon as New York gets some shit like this then I'll be more understanding of the FUCKING constant coverage of every snow flake that falls in that damn state.

Adfail, For Men: Looks like I'm not the only one that sees how advertising has pretty much decided to shit all over men while expecting us to buy their products.

Anger: A reminder that anger is not just a tool of the darkside. When properly utilized it can be quite useful in getting things in motion.

Girl gang's grip on London underworld revealed: An article on the little known history of women's participation in the dark underbelly of London.

In reforming schools, quality of teaching often overlooked: One of the California's poorest performing schools is starting to see results after looking at something many school reform efforts don't - Teachers. Tip of the Fro to Why Boys Fail.

Michigan Supreme Court: Dad’s Rights Terminated but He Still Must Pay Support: And people have the fucking nerve to get mad when men say they are treated like walking wallets.

Verizon may only net Apple 2.5 million more iPhone sales: I'll be that total would have been a hell of lot more if Apple hadn't have been such jerks and stayed AT&T exclusive for so damn long. Hell one of the reasons I got the Samsung Fascinate was because I got tired of waiting for either AT&T to realize that there would be profit in operating in my area or for Apple to get on the ball with Verizon. So Apple can now kiss my ass until at least 2012 when my current contract runs out.

"BofA Tries To Foreclose On Home Despite Not A Single Missed Payment Honestly I hope this couple sues the holy hell out of Bank of America and it gets renamed Bank of ______ and ______. And you can best believe if this were the other way around and this couple had done something like that to Bank of America they would staring at massive fines and hard time in prison.

Chinese Scientists Invent Electro-Abs For Women's Chests: I'm really not sure what to make of this. But I have to admit I really like the music playing during the ad.


Man fuck yo camera!


Happy New Year to all!!!!!!