Bad Headline Theater
Dear liberal friends. We had a bad election. We are going to have a bad run here and the conservatives are going to do a lot of stuff that makes us angry. At least fifty percent of the time, our anger will be justified.
Some of the time, though, we need to make sure we understand what is making us angry.
Earlier this week, a friend posted this article with the headline “Dino’s Gyros Cans Employee who Took off for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest.”
Now it is true Dino’s Gyros canned an employee who didn’t show up for work and it is true that employee was taking part in the day without immigrants protest. This headline would make you think Dino’s Gyros were Capitalist fucks who didn’t give a shit about causes important to their employees.
And let’s be fair – they may be.
The truth, which we see if we read the whole article, is that they admitted they should not have fired him because he was participating in a legal strike and they offered him his job back with a raise. He turned it down.
Then there is this story which has the headline “Oklahoma Legislature Just Passed the Most Oppressive law Against Women in History.”
In this case, the law in question is pretty horrible. It requires a woman to get permission from the father before she has an abortion, which is some seriously misogynistic bullshit because it takes a woman’s control of her own body away from her.
But – and given the headline this is super important – the law hasn’t passed yet. Later in the article you will read that it has only been passed out of committee.
And believe me, if the legislature actually passes this law as it is written, I’m going to be bringing it up again. And I will find an opportunity to refer to Oklahoma lawmakers as “controlling gibbons who care about the lives and health of women only slightly less than they care about the lives and health of babies once they are born” when that happens.
All the bad laws in the world don’t justify a headline that is demonstrably untrue. In a world where the term “fake news” is used as a weapon, we have to be doubly sure we are precise.
President-Elect Trump (fuuuuuuuuck) tweeted this week that flag burners should go to jail for a year or lose their citizenship. Nothing about how burning the flag is a constitutionally protected right and he just doesn’t like it. No – he thinks people should lose their citizenship if they burn the flag.
While Trump fills his cabinet with individuals who will repeal or cripple the Affordable Care Act (which is sure as fuck going to affect me and my family), we talk about flag burning.
OK, so let’s talk about it. And let’s ditch the “flag burning is a reprehensible act but it is protected” part of the conversation. It’s as if we all need to hold up our hands and protest that we don’t like something because so many people are bothered by it.
And that is what pisses me off. Who gives an actual fuck? Has anyone ever been harmed by the burning of a flag? I mean besides the person burning the flag who might have, you know, gotten a burn because they were holding a burning piece of cloth?
Why have we, as Americans, decided that burning the flag is a despicable act? It’s a flag! A piece of cloth. It is not our country.
That the flag has become a sacred relic is embarrassing. So let me step up and say I don’t have an issue with anyone burning a flag. I’m reasonably certain that a country with enough nuclear capability to turn every other continent into a pile of atomic slag is strong enough to handle a few flags on fire.
I’m sick of the feeling that before we say something (flag burning, abortion, Hillary Clinton) is OK, we have to acknowledge how awful it is.
There is nothing awful about burning a flag. Our freedoms are not irreparably damaged when a flag is set on fire. In fact, our freedoms are enhanced. Burning a flag is an act of defiance but it is also an act of celebration.
It celebrates our right as citizens to openly criticize our government. Have we forgotten how many places on Earth that is not allowed? Is that really what we want here?
If it isn’t, then nobody should say “flag burning is a horrible act.” We should, instead, say “flag burning is a celebration of our constitution.”
And the thing is – this is all a distraction. Flags don’t get burned a lot. In fact, they hardly ever get burned at all. The fact we are talking about something that almost never happens is a ridiculous waste of time.
Our response should be “huh. Someone burned a flag. I wouldn’t even know about this if it weren’t for the 24 hour news cycle.”
Now who the fuck is in Trump’s cabinet again?
In another move meant to remind us how important control of the Supreme Court has become, Oklahoma appears poised to test exactly how far you can go in the control of women’s health decisions.
The state governor has not yet decided whether or not to sign this bill, which goes so far as to tell the state medical board which doctors they can certify.
Rather than targeting the mothers, this law rewards doctors who perform abortions with felony charges. Even if the abortion is required to save the life of the mother.
More and more, it becomes clear that lawmakers on one side of the issue are far more concerned about the next generation than the current one. Unless we are talking about global climate change. Or overpopulation. Or pollution.
Then the needs (or wants) of this generation are far more important.
Unless, of course, they need to go to the bathroom.
So Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear came out with an expansion and it includes a transgender character. Which is cool.
No word on what bathrooms the character is allowed to use. I suppose it depends on the state…
Anyway, a bunch of dickweed gamers are apparently pissed because the writer of the game had the audacity to introduce her social opinions into a video game! They are dropping one star reviews in the gamer equivalent of carpet bombing. With Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
Amber Scott, who wrote the game, has this to say:
As I’ve said before (and I won’t say much more on this subject other than to get my perspective out there): I’m the writer and creator. I get to make decisions about who I write about and why. I don’t like writing about straight/white/cis people all the time. It’s not reflective of the real world, it sets up s/w/c as the “normal” baseline from which “other” characters must be added, and it’s boring.
So that seems pretty logical. Nobody should give a shit.
But apparently including a transgender character in a fictional world that has ogres and goblins is just to unrealistic for some gamers. The best solution, of course, is to shut up and complain about the gameplay.
So the Japanese are still whaling in the name of “legitimate research.” They headed off for their yearly kill of Minke whales and, among the 333 whales they were permitted to kill, they managed to bag 200 pregnant females.
To be fair – when you are killing a whale, you can’t tell if it is a pregnant female. I’m sure if they had known that almost 2/3 of the whales they were killing were pregnant, they would have killed them anyway.
The excuse they give is that they are researching the breeding habits of whales or some other bullshit that basically comes down to “fuck you, rest of the world, we just want to kill whales.”
I don’t get it. I really don’t. All this bullshit to keep the members of four whaling vessels employed.
If they can’t find any other jobs for these guys, Trump could probably use some help building a wall. I don’t think he has any problems with the Japanese.
Oh. Um….never mind….
Before I go on my traditional mini rant, let me begin by saying the head of Xbox games, who sponsored the party, and the head of Microsoft both came out saying, in effect, “holy shit was that a horrible decision and we feel like complete assholes and while we can’t actually say we are going to fire whoever put this party together, we are totally going to fire whoever put this party together.”
So I don’t want to pile too much abuse on a company that seems to recognize how stupid it was to host a women in gaming panel on the same day they hired some sexy Catholic schoolgirls to encourage gamer nerds to dance.
I will, however, heap abuse on whoever actually decided to hire the sexy Catholic schoolgirls.
Because what in the hell were they thinking? In a time when their industry is under heavy fire for not really giving a shit about women gamers, they decided it’d be a good time to blatantly not give a shit about women gamers.
They could have hired ripped dudes to dress up as Italian plumbers for a little gender balance and it still would have been a dumb PR move but probably wouldn’t have resulted in quite the uproar they are currently experiencing.
I realize the return on investment may have seemed lower given gaming is still very much a male dominated industry but when you are throwing thousands of dollars at a dance party for gamers, you may have already been making poor investment choices.
Maybe if it had been a Dance Dance Revolution party for gamers…
PS: After reading this article, I do think it’s important to address the dancers. They were doing a job for which they were hired. There is nothing wrong with that.
I don’t know what is more bothersome, the fact Tiegs chose to say this at all or the fact she supported her claim by saying she heard it from Dr. Oz. You know – the same Dr. Oz who regularly supports miracle cures and herbal remedies that don’t work.
He seems like the definitive source to use when discussing a healthy weight. Or health in general.
Speaking as a diabetic, I am well aware that excess weight can be unhealthy. I understand that while fat shaming is a thing and needs to be avoided, there is also a need to talk about the fact that weighing too much can be unhealthy.
But the amount of weight Tiegs carries around (not very much) can also be unhealthy.
When a public figure starts talking about who weighs too much, it makes a difference. Especially to young women who are being told all sorts of things about what their body should look like.
Now I personally don’t have a problem with my doctor telling me I could stand to lose a few pounds because he knows my medical history and makes recommendations meant to improve my overall health. If Cheryl Tiegs showed up and started to talk to me about how much weight I needed to lose, I’d be less inclined to give a shit.
So please, Cheryl, shut up about what other women should weigh. Leave that kind of unsolicited medical advice to Dr. Oz.