Yesterday, I was invited to be the featured reader at the Not-So-Silent Planet, a speculative fiction open mic presented by Wordsprout. I was flattered and, of course, incredibly nervous because I didn’t know what I was going to write and, as always, I had no idea if it was the least bit funny.
The inspiration for this particular story came from the phrase “I just wish there weren’t so many bass players.” I don’t know why as I have no particular hatred for bass players. The phrase just struck me as funny. Over the course of the day, I managed to find a bunch of words to wrap around that phrase and this is the story that emerged. Honestly, I think it works better read aloud.
But I liked it. And I think it worked well. So I’m putting it out on the internet for people to enjoy or ignore. Warning: this story does not contain any cats.
File this under “laws that will never pass but what absolute insensitive fuckwit would even propose such a thing?”
South Dakota representative Roger Hunt is really concerned about transgender children being allowed to participate in sports based on their gender identity and he wants to make sure that kids are carefully forced into his personal definition of their gender.
The only way to do this, he reasons through legislation, is to force kids to produce a birth certificate and also to submit to a genital inspection. Score one for trans shaming but also score one for embarrassing every child who wants to participate in sports!
What’s that Billy? You want to play Football? Not until we make sure you have a penis!
Don’t worry, Billy! It’s not discrimination. Your sister Sally wants to play volleyball but she can’t do that until we see her vagina!
BTW – Hunt isn’t alone. There’s also this fuckwit in Virginia.
With Christmas and January 1st falling on Fridays, I’ve been a bit backlogged on this column. That means this week might feature more anger than usual. If you are a regular reader, I’m sorry for the time off.
The sheer amount of privilege these guys exhibit when they talk about how difficult it is for them to fly coach is remarkable. What is frightening, though, is some of the points they make are completely fair. I hate that.
Imagine you are a super popular preacher who has to travel all over the country. Imagine you are flying somewhere new almost every day. If you had to fly commercial air the whole time, it would be a lot less convenient.
I mean, you’d get all the first class upgrades and I’m pretty sure whoever is bringing you in to speak would be paying for your ticket but it would still be less convenient. If you schedule yourself that tightly, it would likely be very difficult to get everywhere you needed to go with commercial airlines. You might have to cut back on your appearances or something. Which would be a damn shame.
Thing is, they are getting luxury jets paid for by convincing poor people to give them money. Lots and lots of money. And they have conversations with god on their planes (not kidding – watch the video) in which god apparently tells them that they should want a better plane.
Which means it is time to fleece the poor people again!
The debate over guns in our country is filled with disinformation on both sides. Yeah – you heard me – both sides. Being someone who isn’t all that nuts about guns, I totally get that I don’t know everything and some of the stuff I think I know is probably wrong. I would like to believe people on the other side of the debate understand the same thing.
What I know is that I don’t like guns. I don’t like it when I’m around people with guns. Even police officers make me nervous.
I also know that not liking guns is different from saying “let’s get rid of all the guns.”
But look, I think the NRA is about the worst thing that can happen to the gun debate. Because they are intractable. Because they are a regular source of bad information. And because they make shit up.
In specific, I want talk about the phrase “the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
I mean, that sounds like a really reasonable thing to say, right? If all of the good guys out there are armed, the bad guys don’t stand a chance!
Here’s the problem, though. Everyone thinks they are the good guy.
I don’t usually experience nerd excitement over films any more. I remember going to The Phantom Menace thinking I was getting new Star Wars for the first time in forever and realizing that Star Wars doesn’t have to be awesome. It can be bland and nonsensical.
I remember watching The Matrix a few dozen times and thinking whatever the Wachoskis had planned for that universe, there was no way they could mess it up. I remember being dead certain that Peter Jackson could make a trilogy about The Hobbit that was going to be just as awesome as The Lord of the Rings.
So entering the theater to see The Force Awakens, I was not vibrating with excitement. I was guardedly optimistic.
And while The Force Awakens may not have ensured I will be excited about every nerd title that comes to theaters from now on, I can honestly say it made me excited about Star Wars again. For the first time since The Empire Strikes Back, the next film can’t come soon enough.
I realize the internet does not require my take on the film. I’m writing it anyway.
And I’m going to focus on one thing: what I loved about the film. The film has faults. They aren’t huge and they don’t border on the gaffes that filled the prequels or even Return of the Jedi. But they are there. And if you want to focus on them, you go right ahead. You have as much right to dislike the film as I do to like it.
I don’t like it, though. I love it. And here’s why.
In the wake of a shooting spree in San Bernardino, fourteen victims and two suspects lay dead. News agencies were left with one important task: to find a way to convince people to watch their coverage over the coverage on a different network.
When the authorities apparently cleared the apartment where the two shooters lived, reporters stormed the apartment and began sifting through toys in the baby’s room, toiletries in the bathroom, and any other detail they could get their hand on. And then they reported on it under the mistaken impression that people gave a fuck.
I guess they did it because nobody was going to let them sift through the toiletries of the victims.
Amazingly, this absolutely crazed frenzy managed to achieve what would have seemed to be impossible: It nearly made the reporters look worse than people who had committed mass murder.
In the video (which is complete bullshit and anyone who watches it and sympathizes with the filmmakers can just fuck the hell right off), a couple of guys trick a girl to prove that when she claims she has a boyfriend, she doesn’t actually have a boyfriend. What a bitch, amirite?
No. She’s just not interested. But she’s probably learned that if she says “I’m not interested,” the answer could likely be “why not?”
At that point, she has to lie and come up with some nice way to tell the guy he seems kind of sleazy and makes her feel unsafe or she can tell him the truth. She’ll probably lie because when most of us are confronted with the choice of telling someone they are a sleaze or telling them something slightly nicer, we’ll go the nicer route.
Also, she’s probably learned that if she tells him that he is sleazy and makes her feel unsafe, he could ask her why she thinks that and then call her a “cunt” or a “bitch” or “frigid” and say she deserves to get raped.
Here’s the sad part, though, for the girl in this video, no answer is OK. If she says he’s kind of sleazy (because he is) and she isn’t interested, she’s a bitch. If she lies to be nice or just to avoid a more unpleasant conversation that she doesn’t want to have because fuck him she’s trying to study and he should have just left her the fuck alone, she’s still a bitch because she lied!