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Shit That Pissed Me Off – 10/17

Feminist Speaker Forced To Cancel Her Talk After She was Threatened

She didn’t cancel the talk because she was threatened, you understand.  She was still going to speak.

But she asked for protection against someone who claimed he was going to open fire on her and Utah law prevented police from patting down attendees at the event.

So a guy (I’m assuming it was a guy) threatens to shoot her and the police can’t even stop anyone from carrying a gun to her talk.  Because the right to carry a firearm wherever the fuck you want is more important than the right to keep people with firearms out of a place where someone has threatened to kill people with a firearm.

And spare me the good guy with the gun/bad guy with a gun thing.  If the bad guy with a gun gets into the event, he (again I’m assuming it is a guy) will be able to kill his target before anyone kills him.  And that’s all he cares about.

So best case scenario is this asshole (who was probably making empty threats but they still worked) would have died after accomplishing his stated goal.  Which is what he expected would happen anyway.  Great solution, Utah!

Utah!  Where you can't stop homosexuals from getting married and you also can't stop people from bringing their guns to the wedding!

Utah! Where you can’t stop homosexuals from getting married and you also can’t stop people from bringing their guns to the wedding!

Please note that I’m not talking about Gamergate for a few reasons.  First, it has been talked to death and the people doing most of the talking are assholes who don’t deserve my time.

And second, we need to stop naming every scandal after Watergate.  It is just so completely unoriginal.  Have you guys heard of the Teapot Dome Scandal?  That’s a great name for a scandal!  Now everything is NounGate.

Nixon is dead, folks.  We need to move on.

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Shit that Pissed me off – 10/3

All this Hatred of the Common Core

The particular article I linked to calls it “Obama’s Common Core” even though the President had nothing to do with it.  However, if you are conservative and don’t like something in government, you need to blame it on Obama.

Common core mathematics actually tries to teach kids how to do math the same way we already do it in our heads.  As has been explained every time someone new complains about Common Core.

Suddenly, the whole thing has become a liberal vs. conservative thing.  Look at how these liberals are messing up education with their weird math stuff!

Look at all these liberal numbers!  Screw diversity!  We are in a post racial numbers society!

Look at all these liberal numbers! Screw diversity! We are in a post-racial-numbers society!

Common core is a tool kids can use to learn math.  Any good teacher will tell you that it is not the only tool and the more tools we give kids, the better the odds will be that they can learn.

Common core isn’t turning your kids into Democrats!  Obama doesn’t want your kids to be bad at math.

He just wants them to commit voter fraud!  They don’t teach that in Math class.

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Shit that Pissed Me off – 7/25

Syrians are Destroying Sculptures Because Allah

Dear everyone in the world:  Just because your particular strain of god does not approve of something is no reason to take that thing away from the rest of us.

When you destroy a sculpture that is thousands of years old, you can’t just make a new one.

This has existed for thousands of years and Allah has done nothing about it.  Therefore we must!

This has existed for thousands of years and Allah has done nothing about it. Therefore we must!

Unfortunately, this sculpture ended up in one of those places where the prevailing belief system says that historical significance is not a good enough reason to keep something around if there is a face on it.

So thanks, religious extremists, for taking something away from the rest of the world because you believe it will lead to eternal damnation! You guys are the best!

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Shit that Pissed me off – 7/18

A Lot of People are Freaking out About Immigrant Children

Here’s what I genuinely don’t understand:

The far right is super concerned about the rights of unborn children.

Once the kids are born, though, they don’t really give a fuck.  Especially if those kids weren’t born in America.

In this case, we have a Republican candidate so anxious to show how anti-immigrant he is, he stages a protest with a busload of immigrant kids.  Too bad it turns out the kids were actually from a YMCA camp.  Apparently they use school busses to move all kinds of kids around.  Who knew?

Look!  Its a school bus!  I'll bet there are illegal immigrants in there!

Look! Its a school bus! I’ll bet there are illegal immigrants in there!

Seriously, does anyone do research before setting up a photo-op?

But more seriously, these are children! This immigration “crisis” is bullshit election year stuff.  There are all sorts of people crossing our borders all the time.  Politicians only care every two years.

The rest of the time, they only care if there are enough immigrants around to pick their food, cook their food, and clean their houses.  And they don’t give a shit about how many of them are on school busses.

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Drunk Gaming

I was at a convention this weekend that has two major attractions.  Tabletop gaming and booze.

This leads to a lot of late night gaming with drunk people.  Because I don’t drink, I have the opportunity to observe the behaviors that make drunk gaming a great spectator sport.

Take, for instance, the game “Resistance.”  Players are either member of the resistance or spies trying to thwart the resistance.  Pretty much the entire game is spent fostering an atmosphere of fear and mistrust.  By the end of the game, everyone is basically shouting HE’S A SPY DON’T PICK HIM! I’M NOT SPY! THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT A SPY WOULD SAY!

It’s a great game to play with people you already don’t like.

Drunk “resistance” is about the same except the game starts with everyone shouting HE’S A SPY DON’T PICK HIM! I’M NOT SPY! THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT A SPY WOULD SAY!

That takes place before anyone even knows if they are Resistance or a Spy.

Once you deal the cards that identify the spies, you immediately prepare to re-deal the cards because someone is going to say “Cool! I’ve always wanted to play a spy!  Oops!  I meant Resistance.  I always wanted to play Resistance.  I’m not a spy.”

After this happens a third time, someone says fuck it and leaves to get another beer.  Someone else joins who has never played the game.

All eight players at the table loudly explain the game at the same time.  It sounds something like this:

THE RULES ARE SUPER EASY. WE’RE ALL SPIES ON A MISSION TO RESISTANCE A VOTE!  TEAM LEADERS DEAL CARDS TO THE SPIES AND THEN EVERYONE DOESN’T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO KNOW UNTIL THEY DEAL THEIR SUCCESS CARD FACE UP WHICH YOU CAN ONLY USE IF YOU ARE A SPY.  THE SPIES KNOW WHO EACH GUN MISSION DECIDES WHICH CARDS BUT WHATEVER YOU DO REJECT THE MISSION.  GOT IT?

New person drunkenly nods and the game begins again.

Eventually someone will say something like IF I PLAY THIS CARD WILL YOU BE ABLE TO TELL I’M A SPY?

Then everyone lets out a collective groan and they start over.  With another new player.

I’ve never seen a game of drunk “Resistance” played all the way to the finish.

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Friend a Day – Michael Lee

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Photo by Peter Verrant

I met Michael the back in the early days of CONvergence.  He was part of a group that brought in Gary Russell as one of our first guests of honor.   Mike has always been passionate about Dr. Who, fandom, and conventions.

When I stepped down as a CONvergence director, Mike was elected to take my place and I couldn’t have been happier because I knew the convention would be in good hands.

He’s stepping away from the board of CONvergence this year but in the last several years, his interests in conventions have grown to the point he is currently helping with a Worldcon bid.

Mike can be a bit quiet until you get to know him but he certainly has his opinions and is willing to share them.

In the years that he has run the convention, I’ve seen him work tirelessly to make things better when he perceives a problem.  He has taken the initiative time and again to fix problems that wouldn’t have been fixed had he not made the choice to act.  He seems willing to commit whatever extra time it takes to make sure something gets done right.

At the convention, he has also served as a calming influence when tempers begin to flare.

I wouldn’t say he is the biggest Dr. Who fan I know but he is a big Dr. Who fan.  For the last several years, he has been the “candyman” who brought new episodes over to our house.  I know that on such evenings, my kids were a lot happier to see him than anyone else.  In that way, he’s passed his love of the show on to a new generation.

I really enjoy talking to Mike when there is something that excites him.  For someone who is so typically laid back, his personality completely changes and he lights up like a big kid.  That reaction betrays the passion that is always just below the surface.

I know that Mike will continue to be involved with CONvergence as long as the convention is around.  That’s a good thing because the con needs people like him.

You can find his blog at michaell.org.

Geeks Without God Get Into a Mexican Standoff

Geeks Without GodThis weekend, we recorded two podcasts at Die Laughing.  On Friday night, we talked to local comedian Patrick Bauer about his favorite filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino.

I, of course, felt the need to discuss how Bill is completely wrong about Batman at the end of  Kill Bill, Vol 2.  Because if you are going to talk about the awesomeness of Tarantino, you need to spend a little while talking about his most egregious mistake.

We traverse the whole of his filmography, spending strangely small amounts of time on Django Unchained.  As one might expect, I enjoy a nerdy film conversation so this one was a treat to record.  It was also a treat to record in front of a live audience.  Thanks to everyone who came out!

 

 

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