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  • HyperHam 3:48 pm on May 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: idiots,   

    I can’t get over it till you get your head out of your ass. 

    So.

     

    So, on Come Round (a party/promotion thing), a group photo won first prize for an Indian food feast.  In the photo are 3 women dressed in lovely approximations of Saris, a dude with a sombrero on his head (okay…), a guy doing a cartoon facial approximation of an Indian man, complete with giant bindi (which makes no sense, as Indian men generally don’t wear bindi, but whatever), a guy who browned up with a bald cap and round glasses for a Ghandi look, and a woman in a Pocahontas outfit.  Yeah.  Wrong Indian.

    Anywhoo, some dude on Monkey’s f-list  just didn’t know what the problem was, and that everyone nowadays was way too sensitive, blah, blah, blah, and I immediately thought of the recent brilliant essay by John Scalzi, where he defines life as a game, and that Straight White Male is the easiest setting.  This guy happens to be gay, but we’ll let the premise stand.  In the game of life, certain people get bonus points right off the bat for having a certain parentage, nationality, etc.  Now, whether they choose to acknowledge the leg up they got is irrelevant; the fact is, they got it.   Fact remains, other people didn’t.  What bugs me is when people like this dude try to gloss over stuff like this in an effort to minimize the yuckiness that comes from it.

    Fact is, I used to do the same thing – put people and situations in little boxes in an effort to not have to think about them.  Gays were gross because they went against God.  Then in college I met  a girl named Trinity, who happened to be a lesbian.  She was a nice girl.  Studious.  Funny.  She wasn’t gross at all!  And from that moment on, things became more difficult.  I was forced to look at how other people were treated, and their history, and that stuff is hard, and made my head hurt.  It’d be easier to just pretend that pre-conceived notions were correct, that everyone is equal (except the ones we don’t like, like the gross gays, or the lazy blacks and Mexicans, or the shifty Jews, or the power hungry Chinese, or…), and that if everyone was just as cool about shit as we were, then it would all be okay.

    And here’s the eventual problem with that kind of thinking.  Just because *you’re* cool with a picture like that, doesn’t actually make it okay.  As I said to the fella who said it wasn’t fair that I was assuming that they were being racist, and they could just be getting into the spirit of the Indian food party:

    “Historically, in the US, white people have not blacked their faces in an effort to seem authentically black, hispanic, indian, etc. They have done it in a long standing effort to mock, belittle, and in many cases in the south, threaten. Perhaps, however, here in the UK whites have been far more advanced, and blacken up their faces, slap a MASSIVE red dot on their foreheads, and put costume facial hair on in an effort to truly understand the history, dignity, and commonality of the Indian people. But somehow, I doubt it. I’m willing to bet if you asked the bloke on the right about his bindi, for instance, he would probably not be able to tell you that it is a sacred symbol representing the most holy of chakras. Maybe, he would. But I doubt it. And maybe the lady on the far left, in the outfit 4 sizes too small, could tell you the history of the tribe of First Peoples of the Americas that she fashioned her outfit from. (fun fact: Pocahontas was of the Algonquian tribe). Or, and this is more than likely, she would say “Oh, it was Indian food, so I went as an Indian. HAR HAR”. So while I *could* go out on a limb and say that the fellow in the bronzer with the bald cap and sheet is going in order to bring awareness of Mahatma Ghandi and his nation’s non-violent resistance and eventual overthrow of one of the most powerful armies in the world, Occam’s razor would tell us he’s more than likely an asshole who thought it would be a larf.”

    As expected, his argument followed that I should be just as upset if a Brit put on a beret and pretended to be French, etc, conveniently forgetting the fact that he was describing another predominantly white, first world nation.   In his mind, because no one has ever lorded any kind of power or influence over him in an effort to take away his dignity, it no longer happens.  Black face?  Just a way to get in character.  Making a slanty eyed face around an Asian person?  All in fun!  Because he has never been victimized for his skin tone, everyone else should just get the fuck over it.  (I do wonder what his reaction would have been had they all been dressed in unfair gay stereotypes – the fey ‘faggot’, the pedophile, the butch lesbo, the early 1980’s dude rotting from AIDS.  I wonder if he’d have gone to bat for them so quickly then…)

    I think it’s this type of self-enforced ignorance that bugs me the most.  It’s one thing to never pay attention in class, and not understand the history of blackface/using the Asian features as a vehicle of fear-mongering/zeroing in on a ‘lower’ group in an effort to further push them down/etc, it’s quite another to see a complete representation of that, and then brush it off as someone else’s problem, and if they get upset, it’s them being over-sensitive.   It’s pathetic.

    A month or so ago, Monkey met me at the door with some news.  Seems he and Baby Alex were playing alone in the grass, when our drunk, racist as fuck neighbour yelled from inside their home “FUCKING CHINKS”.  Classy.  I wanted to go over there and rip their faces off, but Monkey stopped me.  He’s been called Chinky so many times, it doesn’t even surprise him.  Hurts him, yes, but doesn’t surprise him.  So you can say, “‘We’ve moved on”, but I know better, because I live in the world where this stuff still happens.  Where assholes haven’t “moved on”, and where only slightly less assholish people make excuses for them.

    I’m sure the guy I got into it with today over the photo would make excuses for my neighbour as well.  He’d probably say that because they were in their house, yelling outside to my husband and child, (who were alone in the garden), that I can’t be sure what they were yelling about.  Maybe they are Renaissance faire enthusiasts who accidentally ruined their chain-mail armor, and now needed to resolder the individual chinks in the pattern.  Maybe they were doing some DIY home renovation and found a fissure in the undercoating of the wall, meaning it was now structurally unsound.  Or maybe, just maybe, the neighbours who are historically known for making horribly racist jokes and being drunks, were combining those two, and called my baby a fucking chink.  Because in his world, it doesn’t happen.  To him.  So, it doesn’t matter.

    I accept that it’s a crooked game, but the only game in town.  You accept Occam’s razor.

     

    I’ll get over it, when you stop doing it.

     

     

     

     
  • HyperHam 8:39 am on May 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: amendment one, bigots, burn bridges, idiots, north carolina, north versus south   

    At the next civil war, just let them LEAVE. 

    Monkey jokes occasionally that he’d love to live in the US again, and I roll my eyes and humor him. Lately, it’s been much easier to roll my eyes, and much harder to find the humor in my home country.  Actions like those of North Carolina on Tuesday make it even more difficult to think about ever returning.

    For those of you not in the know, North Carolina residents voted to pass an amendment to their state’s constitution that would define the ONLY legally recognized union as a marriage between a man and a woman.  While the surface stupidity is plainly obvious to anyone who paid attention in 8th grade civics class (the 14th Amendment clearly states:  All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws),  there is a fantastic additional layer of idiocy to the law.  Essentially, if you are a heterosexual couple who are unmarried, or had a civil partnership (versus a marriage), you no longer have protection under the law.  Good luck if your kid gets sick and needs to go to the hospital, or one of you dies and you were hoping to have instant access to the rest of the estate – you no longer get those rights.  Ha!  It’s funny because it’s horrible.

    Now, North Carolinians who voted for this will claim that it’s a completely fair law, and simply codified the current understanding of marriage.  They, of course, are morons.  It did far more than that, and now impede on the rights of anyone not married.  It’s the very textbook definition of un-Constitutional.  Of course, if anyone who had drafted the amendment had bothered to ask a lawyer, any lawyer, they would have known that.  But, they didn’t.  Even when every law school in the state came out against the wording of the amendment, they still went ahead.  And as predicted, the petition to repeal the law has already begun.  Now, unless they get a judge that has recently suffered a brain injury (or is Southern, duh), this amendment will hopefully be relegated to the trash heap, much to the cries of ‘librul judges!’ and ‘state’s rights!’.  And the process will begin anew.  Idiots will try to legislate their idiocy, and when they are legally smacked down, will cry martyrdom of their rights to hate everyone else.

    You may have voted for this law, and think yourself safe in the knowledge that your union will be fine.  But remember, with the slippery slope of bigoted and discriminatory legislature, comes your chance to get screwed.  Say you voted for this law, and are in a heterosexually but interracial marriage.  In 2011, 46% of Mississippi GOP members surveyed wanted to make interracial marriage illegal again.  Let me say that again, so you get it:  Just a year ago, 46% of Mississippi GOP members wished they could make it illegal for your marriage to exist.  All they need is a few more years, and for 5% more people to take their white hoods off before they enter a voting booth, and it will be done.  Say you are a woman and voted for this amendment.  Hold the phone, sister!  The good reverend (and frequent Fox News contributor) Jesse Lee Peterson thinks the biggest mistake America ever made was giving women the right to vote.  What’s to stop him from holding a referendum next year?  All he needs is a majority in a male-laden state (I’m looking at you,  Alaska), and the womens’ right in the northern most state are stripped.  And as a bonus, he is using Scripture to get rid of your rights, the same way you did with amendment one!  Bonus irony!

    And this is why we should have let the South secede 150 years or so ago.  These people are morons.  And yes, that makes me sound elitist, because I AM.  

    I AM BETTER THAN THEM.  

    AND SO ARE YOU.  

    We, the rational states, the blue states, the libruls, are better than most of the south.  We make more than they do, and pay more into federal taxes while taking less out.  The leeches on our federal tax dollars?  Overwhelmingly southern.  If the silly bitches want to go on about pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, I WANT MY FUCKING BOOTS BACK.  Massachusetts has had gay marriage for almost a decade now, and not only has civilization not fallen, their divorce rate is less than half of the Godly states like North Carolina.   Red states are by and large dumber than Blue states in math and science, and overall in education, of the bottom 10 states in ed. rankings, the deep south takes 6 spots.  In fact, the only category that southern states top out on is which states are the most unhealthy.  Great, when universal healthcare is portioned out, I get to pay for your sickly asses too?   So, the northern states have to carry the nation for taxes, for education, for health, and for family values like divorce rates, and yet the South, and moreover the Conservatives, are the “patriots” who wave flags screaming ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ while they legislate everything from what two consenting adults do in the bedroom, to how deep a woman should be forcibly penetrated before she can have an abortion?

    BULLSHIT.  

    I CALL BULLSHIT.  

    And so should you.

    Aren’t you sick of being labelled traitors for understanding how the whole Constitution works, not just the 2nd Amendment?  Aren’t you tired of being beaten over the head with the same lies and bigotry wrapped up in a religious text, only to be told you are intolerant when you disagree?  Don’t you think it’s fucking ridiculous that ignorance is prized as a virtue, and getting an education, any kind of education, is frowned on as ‘snobby’?

    Then do something about it.

    Stop biting your tongue when these idiots let loose with whatever bullshit Fox News fed them that night.  Don’t be the one who wants to make peace at family gatherings.  Pull their heads out of the sand for one damn minute of their lives and show them the straight facts.  Because we can placate these morons till the cows come home, but nothing will change – it will just get worse. Yes, you will lose high school friends you never bothered to keep in touch with till Facebook arrived – oh well.  Yes, that one weird uncle of yours will stop sending you a Christmas card.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few bigots.  Stop being nice.  Start being factual, honest, and belligerent with the damn truth.

    I can’t do much from here – while I am still forced to pay taxes to the US, even though I no longer live there, I cannot vote in most elections (because I don’t have a residence, thus cannot meet residency requirements).  As a super bonus, my kid, born in the UK but with US citizenship, will be forced to pay taxes every year to a country he does not live in, and has to sign up for Selective Service when he turns 18, and can be drafted the next time some numpty decides to invade Iraq for the umteenth time, buthe can never vote.  Taxation, without representation.  So when I say it’s on your shoulders, it’s on your shoulders.

    Monkey says I am being overdramatic, that if we moved back, of course we’d live in an uber educated, liberal area.  But what is to stop the crackhead state next to us from pulling this kind of crap, and tangentially affecting our lives?  Because in this moment, there are families all over the nation who were planning on moving to NC for a job, or higher education, who are now scrambling to understand this ass-backwards law, and if they will lose their legal rights as a married gay couple, straight unmarried couple, or civilly partnered couple.  They are shitting bricks now because yet another stupid state couldn’t be bothered to read the laws on the books before shoving this idiocy into the world.  In this moment, there are thousands of unmarried couples who lost any legal protection they had, and have little to no recourse.  They can’t just up stakes and move, they are stuck in a state that considers them sub-human.  And I hope no foreign investors are looking at building in NC – can you imagine a company from Denmark, or Norway showing up to build a factory, only to find out that this shit is on the books?  They will pull out so fast it will make your head spin.  And why?  All because some bigots are too…fucking…stupid to do any better.

    Sorry, folks, I wish this was funnier.  I love dark comedy, but my country circling the drain can’t even be put into subversive humor.

     
  • HyperHam 4:41 pm on April 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: geek girls, idiots, open source boob project, twilight   

    Being a Geek Girl, or why Twilight pisses me off 

    There is a debate in the blogosphere about Twilight, and the ingrained misogyny behind it.  Oh, I don’t mean the outright misogyny of the story itself, I mean the criticism of it.  Apparently, if you hate on Twilight, you may just hate women.  Interesting.  And by interesting, I mean increasingly infuriating.

    The Ferrett’s stance is that when teenaged girls come together to like something, THEY (whoever THEY are – are you on the THEY newsletter?  You totally should be, it tells the rest of THEY what THEY should hate on at any time) want to tear the girls down.  By ripping on Twilight, THEY “… sends a bulletin to teenaged girls that whatever you like, you should change that shit right away.  Because you’re kind of silly and stupid, and maybe you should alter yourself to like better things.”

    And you know what?  He’s right.   If you like these books, a small part of me *does* think you are dumb, and that you *should* like better things.  Fine, I’ll take up the women-hating flag on this one.  And here’s why…

    These girls SHOULD like better things.  These girls should strive to read something better than shittily written drivel that is incredibly disempowering.  Wow, wooden characters, stilted dialogue, piss poor story development, *and* I get to be taught that girls should feel proud to be stalked, to have an overprotective boyfriend who ‘loves’ them enough to micromanage them, and eventually serve as nothing but a vessel for whatever her mate wants for her – don’t worry about college plans or your own life goals, you need to be a wife and mother now, and THAT’S ENOUGH.  Woo-whee, who do I throw money at to get those great lessons, wrapped in awful prose?  If Myers would have pushed a pro-anorexia agenda, or a pro-cutting agenda, I’d be just as pissed.  Young girls SHOULD be told that starving themselves is bad, and that they need help if they start DIY bloodletting.    But because she wraps it in a ‘romance’ packaging, it’s somehow OMGZ EVIL for me to find fault with it.

    See, if I was Ferrett, I really wouldn’t have drawn my line in the sand on Twilight.  If I was him, I would be angry at Stephanie Myers and every shit writer like her who churned out this drivel, while writers who create works featuring strong female protagonists languish on the slush pile.  I would be angry at the PR machine that dresses up this misogynist fantasy and sells it as ‘true love’.  I would be angry at the parents who think YA that is smart and challenges you but has sex, violence, or language (like So Shelly by Ty Roth) should be monitored, but that little girls, just figuring out their identity, should live in a Bella and Edward licensed world.  That  is who I would be angry with, not people who dare to point out Twilight’s many, many faults.

    I tell ya, there is nothing like being told you are a woman hater for hating on a book that hates women.

    It’s bad enough that reading comic books as a child I was taught that women were simply pawns in villains’ machinations against the hero; later, that women could be ‘super’, but only if their mammary glands could serve as flotation devices; and finally, that you could be reasonably proportioned and smart, but only if you were dead; seriously, the first strong woman that I saw in the pages who wasn’t stacked like a porn star was Death, from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.  So to be told that I am a misogynist for not liking Twilight is a slap in the face.

    Double points if the person telling you this is one of the main proponants of the ill fated Open Source Boob Project.

    Triple points if he has also said of women who, after repeatedly saying no to a guy who bugs them for a drink/dance/date, finally give in and say ‘yes’:   “I can’t decry the process of “asking repeatedly,” mainly because it’s the only stimuli a lot of women respond to.  Frankly, I think any woman who has to be begged fifteen times before she eventually accepts should be drug into the back alleyways and beaten, because her rampant need for a string of pleadings trains the wrong sort of men that no doesn’t mean no.”  (What.  The.  Fuck.)

    Yeah, apparently *I* am the one who hates women.  Of course.

    The more I think about this, the angrier I am getting, so I am just going to stop now.

     

    Fuck Twilight.

     

     

     
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