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.
Due to a lot of factors, my boys aren’t really involved in scouting any longer. I am supportive of scouting and even though I’m aware of the larger issues that surround the Scout’s continued public disapproval of LGBTQ kids (and atheist kids for that matter), I’ve seen some attempts by the organization to soften their stance.
The people my kids have worked with are good people and whatever the national chapter of the Scouts may choose to do, our troop is a good troop that, I think, would not engage in this kind of discrimination. If my kids were still engaged in Scouts, I don’t think I’d pull them over this because I’d be punishing my kids by taking away something they enjoy.
And that makes me kind of crazy. Because on the one hand, I wouldn’t want to punish my kids for being who they are. On the other hand, the Boy Scouts just punished a kid for being who they are.
As we move (slowly) towards acceptance of homosexuality in our society (even as some fight to be able to discriminate free from consequence), transgender rights has now become a new arena and I fear this fight will be harder because people don’t get it.
If you’ve spent your entire life being totally comfortable with your gender, you have no way of understanding someone who is identified as a boy because they were born with a penis but has spent their entire life playing the role of a boy.
As an actor, I get to stop being a character I don’t like when I’m done with the performance. Someone who is pretending to be a gender with which they do not identify never gets the chance to step off stage. They are constantly pretending. And it is exhausting.
Giving them the freedom to stop pretending ought to be something we all celebrate. It ought to be something that makes us happy because we ought to want other people to be happy.
I mean, aside from pedophile priests. You gotta draw the line somewhere.
But we don’t give a fuck about that because we are more concerned with who is peeing in the stall next to our kid. Our kid doesn’t care because they just want to get back to the playground. They probably didn’t even notice the person in the stall next to them.
Our own discomfort with the idea of gender identity is the problem. If we are cool with the gender identity we were assigned at birth, we can’t understand why anyone else isn’t.
The Boy Scouts should be a place where young men (and by that I mean people who identify as young men) can learn how to be responsible adult men. Part of that responsibility should be learning to accept that we aren’t all the same. Their rigidity is disheartening to say the least.
For four days, US Army Veteran Larry Jefferson was the official Santa Claus at the Mall of America. He was also black. The result was a whole lot of black kids got to sit on the lap of a Santa who looked like them. Sounds awful.
It sure was to these racists who believe that white characters should stay white no matter how mythological those figures might be.
The racists spouting their hatred for the concept of a Santa that wasn’t pasty white got so out of hand, the Star Tribune had to shut down comments on the article.
Now I will admit that the legends that gave rise to Santa Claus would certainly suggest a white Santa Claus is more accurate than – say – a white Jesus. However, it would seem to me that if we can embrace the idea of Billy Bob Thornton as (a drunk) Santa Claus, the idea of a black Santa shouldn’t result in anyone – what’s the phrase I’m looking for – giving a shit.
So in the giving spirit of the season, let’s give ourselves some time to reflect that a black Santa Claus is a good thing. And remember that every time someone uses the term alt-right, what they really mean is “racist doucebag.”
Milo Yiannopoulos, whose name is a pain to spell and is so much of a creepy fuck that I’m not even going to try, was invited to speak at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He’s well known as an outspoken racist and anti-GLBTQ crusader. As you might expect, a lot of students were upset he was coming.
Free speech is a tricky thing. I mean, does the guy have a right to say what he says?
Unfortunately, yes. Should he be given a paid platform to say these things?
I don’t think he should. I think he should be swept out the door with the other insects we don’t want to kill but also don’t want in our homes. But I understand that Universities have a responsibility to expose students to all perspectives.
Now I will argue that if they want to expose kids to thinking from the right, people like Condoleeza Rice might represent a better option than Milo Yo-yoasaurus. I don’t agree with her on a lot of things but she’s not a racist.
In any case, Milo Yog-Sothoth was given the platform to speak and he was a racist and homophobic fuck, which shouldn’t have surprised anyone. However, he went so far as to show a picture of a trans student and use her dead name.
That, my friends, is bordering on a violent act. The trans community already faces challenges that are unparalleled. What Yorkshire Puddingpolos did to this student is unconscionable.
Fortunately, Yip-yip dogapus doesn’t have a conscience. So he’ll keep saying this shit. And people will keep paying him to say it. In the name of “fairness.”
In an act that isn’t being labelled terrorism because the perpetrator was white and nobody ended up being killed, a dude walked into a pizzeria in Washington D.C. to “investigate” a bullshit conspiracy theory that the restaurant was a front for a child prostitution ring run by the Clintons.
That’s fucked up. Even more fucked up, the son of incoming National Security Advisor Lt. General Michel Flynn tweeted his support for the conspiracy theory (but just barely avoided tweeting support for the gunman). Essentially he said, “until you prove the theory is false, we will keep talking about it.”
The problem with conspiracy theories is you can’t prove them false. The people who believe them will constantly find new reasons to support the idea it is a conspiracy and all your proof to the contrary is just more evidence of a cover up.
In the meantime, it is doing real and demonstrable harm to actual human beings and to an actual business. If Donald Trump gave two shits about anyone but himself, he would use Twitter to debunk this kind of nonsense rather than using it to whine about how Saturday Night Live is making fun of him.
Carl and Angel Larson, who are “good Christians,” are concerned their wedding video business might be sullied should they be forced by anti-discrimination laws to video a same sex couple getting married.
So concerned are they that their religious right to discriminate might be infringed, they are suing the state of Minnesota to ensure they don’t find themselves in that situation. The lawsuit, in effect, says that anti-discrimination laws are unconstitutional.
Look, given that our President-elected by Russia is likely to appoint justices friendly to this kind of religious freedom bullshit, it is probably best for same-sex couples to stay away from businesses like this one because the resulting lawsuit might have extremely dubious consequences. But what do you do when the businesses pre-emptively go to court?
And I’m left to wonder, is this what Jesus meant when he said “turn the other cheek?” I mean, these people aren’t being asked to shoot pornography. They are being asked shoot video featuring a couple of guys (or girls) who love each other getting married while surrounded by their friends and family. Kinky.
Oh wait – they aren’t being asked to do that. Yet. They just don’t want anyone to ask them because if they say no, they are going to look like assholes.
Sore losers like the North Carolina Assembly are quite possibly worse than sore winners (Donald Trump). In this case, the NC Assembly is so upset the people of their state elected a Democrat to the Governor’s mansion, they called an emergency special session to limit his powers.
Of course, they claim they were going to do that anyway. They just feel they need to do it faster because of who the people elected.
The legislation was passed to limit appointments made by the Governor and to also create road blocks between plaintiffs and the State Supreme Court are so blatantly partisan, the lawmakers passing them should be embarrassed. Elections have consequences. Parties lose.
The Democrats are already well aware of this fact.
When a party loses, the worst thing they can do is this kind of scorched earth legislation. Their own constituents should be telling them to stop being assholes and accept that a Democratic governor should be able to do the same fucking stuff a Republican governor was able to do.
I try to convince myself that the Republican party wants what is best for people and they just disagree with me on ideology. When they engage in this kind of sore loser bullshit, however, it is hard for me to think of their party as anything but a party unwilling to share power with anyone.
I’m probably just including this story because given how many words I have devoted to my distaste for Donald Trump, I want it to be known that at least one dude dislikes him more than me.
But seriously, asshole, vandalism isn’t the answer. It makes people who support Trump look more reasonable than those of us who know he’s a bigoted, misogynistic, narcissist, who would probably be the worst President in the history of our country. Which is saying a lot since Buchanan set the bar pretty low, not even George W. Bush was able to limbo under it.
I’ve read people likening it to the destruction of statues of Lenin or Hussein but the thing is: Trump hasn’t been elected yet. And hopefully he’s not going to be. Does it make sense that we should destroy a statue of John McCain simply because we don’t like his stance on using the Senate to blockade the Supreme Court?
Or destroy a statue of George W. Bush because he was a terrible President?
I don’t think there is justification for this kind of behavior. If you think it would be wrong for someone to destroy something that says Hillary Clinton (or Gary Johnson or Jill Stein), it is just as wrong to destroy something that says Donald Trump.
If you’ve got a problem with Trump, how about you work your ass off to make sure he doesn’t get elected? Read More…
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.
This was posted back in March but I only found it this week. I’m sorry – I was slacking.
Basically, this is a crazy religious screed about why Rey is a terrible character because women are weaker than men (the Bible says so) and any time a woman kicks some ass (especially superior male ass), it’s lazy storytelling. It happens all the time. Except for nearly every fucking movie ever made.
He doesn’t just have a problem with Rey, mind you. He’s also got problems with Furiosa, Ripley, and pretty much every other female character who wasn’t in need of rescuing by a man.
When he is talking about the obvious physical differences between most men and most women, you could almost give him a pass. Then he says this:
It’s not just a matter of small bodies versus big bodies. Women are the weaker sex because they’re more timid and emotionally vulnerable and tender-hearted than men. God made them that way.
Oh, I get it. You suddenly got a degree in psychology by reading the Bible. Women are more timid? How can they be when they have to put up with bullshit like this every day?
I’m sick of the “God created women to be this way don’t blame me it’s in the Bible/Koran/whatever the fuck religious book I happen to read” argument. Talk about lazy storytelling.
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.