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Feb. 24th, 2015

Oh Holy Shit

Yesterday I turned 23 and I was going to post about my birthday. Until I saw this insane plan to make people comment on fanfiction for a college class, and all of a sudden recounting my boring birthday celebration didn't seem all that important anymore. There is more information on this topic here

And dear god, I'm horrified by this. I'm incredibly relieved that I'm such a shitty writer that I've never gotten on the radar of any of these professor-types. And I'm glad that my most popular fic ever is written under a sock account (which I'm not going to give out here, given the circumstances). And even that is crappy enough that nobody would have ever thought to make it required reading for a college course.

Look, I am a college student. I have been a college student for five years. I am very well familiar with college students. This is one of the worst things these professors could have possibly done to fanfiction writers. College students are, quite often, tone-deaf galoots, and that's putting it politely. Trust me, I could say way more on the subject, but I'm not going to, because I'm going to assume most people know what I'm talking about. Let's just say that Accepted and Animal House were made for a reason. The idea of some of the people I go to school with barging into some poor unsuspecting author's work and leaving the sort of dumbass comments I'd expect from them is making me cringe in my desk chair. And I'm not even a well-known writer! I have like five people that regularly read this blog, maybe a few more for my old fic, and most people who know me in real life don't know I read/write fic. I've been careful to keep my two lives separate, partially out of fear of something like this happening! Well, okay, maybe not this happening, because in what universe is fanfiction considered an appropriate topic for a college class? Some of the stuff that's required reading for this class is explicit slash fic, or explicit incest fic. I would assume that would get the professor reprimanded at the very least, but maybe not. After all we're supposed to be adults...

Good lord, it's like all of my nightmares came true at once, and I'm not even involved! I can only imagine that it is much worse for the writers involved.

Jan. 19th, 2015

Dorms Are Not Supposed To Be Re-education Camps

Apparently it's now required to discuss your most private thoughts with the RA if you live on campus at the University of Delaware.

According to the article, students at the University of Delaware are being required to submit to a fairly invasive questionnare administered by their Resident Advisor f they live in the dormitories. If they refuse or do not answer the questions “properly” they can be reported to the campus police, or face other disciplinary action.

It seems that the logic behind this is to educate students on issues their peers might face. Okay, fine. But why does that need to include invasive questions about the student's sexual orientation, and why does it need to delve so deeply into the student's personal lives? My first year at university, I had a very good RA, who helped me through a difficult time after I found out that a friend of mine had died very suddenly. But I sure as hell wouldn't have wanted to discuss things like my “sexual awakening” with him. He was a good guy, but that was none of his damn business. And getting into people's political beliefs? That was of no concern to the rest of the people on my floor. I barely spoke to any of them! A few of them I strongly disliked!

I'm also pretty disturbed by the way the article states that the students were forced to act out racial stereotypes, in the name of “breaking them down.” I'm sorry, but I don't really see how that's going to demolish any stereotypes. All it's going to do is make everyone very uncomfortable.

I'm honestly quite shocked, and very glad that I moved back in with my parents. Dormitory life was just annoying, when I lived in one. At least all I had to deal with was annoying neighbors, not this gulag-type environment.

If you're a university student, and you've been subjected to something invasive like this, I would suggest that you contact FIRE, the organization this article came from. They might be able to help you better than I could. Even if you are comfortable with the questions being asked, please understand that not everyone might be. I certainly do not want to discuss my sexuality or my family life IRL with people I barely know.

Jan. 8th, 2015

La Pelouse Se Tient Avec La France

Please excuse my bad Google Translate French for the title. I never took French- I took Spanish in middle and high school although never achieved fluency, and my second language is Japanese. But after the events of yesterday I felt it important to express my solidarity with the French people.

Here in America, sometimes it seems like we’ve become too accustomed to mass murders. A lot of the time, we turn on the news and go, “another one? Where was it this time? Oh, on the other side of the country? That’s awful but at least it’s not going to impact my life,” and we move on. But when something similar happens in another country, it can be even more shocking to us. We’re used to having shooting sprees in the US, and we expect things like this from some other countries- Nigeria and China seem to have similar events relatively commonly, and incidents like this seem to happen in parts of the Middle East almost daily. But when it happens in a country that we don’t usually hear of as being prone to this kind of thing. It’s very surprising when it happens in Europe, because if you believe our news media here, either nobody in Europe has any guns so how the hell are they going to go on a shooting spree, or that Europe is a lot more enlightened and progressive than we are, depending on what channel you watch or what blogs you read. But that’s really neither here nor there- what I want to talk about is the event that took place yesterday, where 12 people were murdered at a magazine headquarters.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not really saying that the cartoons published that incited the killers were tasteful or classy. Far from it. They were actually fairly offensive to the average person (well, in the US at least- I fully admit that I’ve never been to France and know very little about what French social norms are like.). However. Civilized people do not go around murdering other people who said something they found offensive. If we did that, humanity would die out, since pretty much everyone has, at one point or another, said something that offended someone else. That’s not the way that logical people do business, and fortunately. 99% of humanity falls into the category. Most people are not going to go on a homicidal rampage because they were offended, and thank god for that. But there is still that 1% that does drastic things in the name of whatever their ideology is. 1000-500 years ago, it was the Christian religion, with the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. 70 years ago, it was the Nazis, with the Holocaust. 50 years ago, it was the Communists, with the gulags and the killing fields. Today, unfortunately, it seems like there are more and more people willing to do these drastic things, and it’s not even limited to anything in particular. Some people blame Islam and Muslims, and given ISIS, 9/11, and yesterday’s attack on Charlie Hebdo, it is easy to see why some people would think that. But let’s remember that people within recent memory have committed similar atrocities for other, completely unrelated reasons. Cho Seung-hui shot up Virginia Tech- he had no connection to Islam at all. Adam Lanza killed twenty elementary school students, same thing. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords survived an assassination attempt by a lone crazy person. The day before yesterday, there may even have been a racially motivated attack on a NAACP office in Colorado, although nothing is confirmed at this point in time. It is important to remember that there are people who are willing to murder other people for no reason, or very flimsy reasons, but most people are not like that. That goes for everyone. Most Muslims are reasonable, normal people who want to live their lives like everyone else.

That said. I am in no way excusing what happened at Charlie Hebdo. I condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms. Free speech is very important to me. It is one of the principles that my home country was founded on, and it’s something that I hold very dear to me. Being able to say what I want (well, within reason- can’t go around threatening to murder people) is a freedom that my family wouldn’t have had if they’d stayed in their country of origin. It is a fundamental human right that I consider extremely important. Even being able to write this blog is something that I wouldn’t be able to do without fear if I was in certain other places. An attack on free speech is an attack on humanity as a whole. Being able to discuss things freely without fear of government repercussions, or crazy people murdering us, is how our species will move forward in the future. We cannot give in to people who want to silence free expression and exchange, even if we find some of that expression distasteful or disgusting. As Voltaire said, “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It might be a good idea to begin to apply a cost-benefit analysis when it comes to expressing yourself, but in a perfect world, nobody would be murdered for what they say. While I’m not posting offensive caricatures, what if someone took offense to what I’ve written on my blog, either in this post, or in the past? Would I have to worry about being gunned down in my home or my workplace? What if I said something off the cuff to a friend, and someone overheard and got offended? Would that give that person the right to kill me? I sincerely hope not, because I like to think that, as a whole, we are better than that.

The main takeaway I wish to give to this post is that freedom of speech is important. So are your fellow humans. Do not allow justified anger to turn into attacks on innocent people who had nothing to do with the incident- it is a lesson we have learned the hard way in the United States. But also never forget that freedom of speech is one of the most important things we can have, as a species. Attack on freedom of speech is an attack on all of us. And that even despite differences of opinion, you can fight for what you believe in, even if what you stand up for is against everything else you stand for in general. One of the deceased was a police officer who’d gone to respond to the shootings. He was Muslim, and he lost his life protecting the freedom of the press and the lives of the staff of the magazine. His name was Ahmed Merabet. Do not let his death be in vain. Do not let the deaths of Frederic Boisseau, Franck Brinsolaro, Jean Cabut, Elsa Cayat, Stephane Charbonnier, Philippe Honore, Barnard Maris, Mustapha Ourrad, Michel Renaud, Bernard Verlhac, and Georges Wolinski be in vain.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed.

Nov. 7th, 2014

Bad Intentions

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I do think that has happened somewhat in fandom. The whole current “social justice” clusterfuck that's spawned all kinds of bullshit in fandom (the trigger warning disasters, stalking and harassment of writers who don't follow the prescribed ideology of the month, and a number of other situations I could list but won't because then we'd be here until Christmas), for the most part, probably started that way. Well-intentioned people began to want to rid fandom of undesirable elements. And I'm not saying that sarcastically. If you're doing something for fun, most people don't want to run across horrifying racist invective, for example. And let's be realistic- there was some of that. But once they'd run out of really obvious, blatantly offensive things to go after, they found that they weren't satisfied so they went after things that might have been borderline. Again, that's arguably acceptable, But there wasn't as much of that as they'd like, either, so then they turned to fandom as a whole. The result has been several years of stewing resentment on both sides of the issue. The “social justice warriors” are frustrated that no one is listening to their demands (as those demands become ever more onerous and, quite frankly, ridiculous), and the writers are frustrated that they can't write what they want anymore without worrying that someone is going to jump down their throat. I've seen people lose their jobs because they posted slash fics- someone found their IRL identity, called their boss, and complained, all because they thought it was sexist that there were no women in this person's PWP slash fics. I've seen people savage a middle-school-aged kid who was writing her first story, for the reason that she gave a historical person an OC girlfriend. The reason that was so offensive and worthy of calling a middle-schooler a “homophobic cunt?” Because there's some evidence that the historical dude was gay. But overall, that's not what I'm talking about. Regardless of the original intent of these people, it's pretty clear that what we have now has become corrupted and used as a stick to whack people upside the head with.

But that's not what I'm talking about.

Recently, it has come to light that among professional sci-fi writers, someone has been lurking among them that uses these social issues as ammunition in their personal crusade, This person did not start with good intentions. This person's original intention was to fuck shit up, period. And they hurt a lot of people. People lost their jobs, someone attempted suicide, and it created a climate of fear amongst many professional authors. But because this individual used the language of good intentions (they're just trying to end racism and homophobia! They're a good person, honestly), they got a lot of people to go along with it.

Obviously I'm not a professional sci-fi writer. I'm not a professional anything. So I've been observing this from the outside. However, I do feel like it backs up what I've been thinking for a long time. Good intentions aren't enough anymore. Wanting to rid your fandom of racism and sexism and anything else is a noble cause. Doxxing people in pursuit of that goal is... not so noble. Harassing people in pursuit of that goal is... also not so noble. And you might think that you mean well, and you probably do. But your actions provide cover for those that don't mean well, and it leaves a trail of destruction behind them.

No comments on this, guys.

Sep. 2nd, 2014

People > Animals, or Racism Isn't Okay Because You Like Bunnies

You guys know me, I don't like to get involved in this kind of kerfuffle. But today, I saw something, that even though it happened six months ago now, pissed me off so much that I had to say something, I couldn't stay quiet. Honestly, I'm furious, at a whole lot of people.

It started when my mom told me about a weird encounter she had in the Sephora in the mall where we live. I had asked her to buy me some concealer. Unfortunately they were out of the kind I usually get (that works on my ghost-white skin- seriously, I'm like half a shade darker than printer paper so finding American makeup that works on me is a challenge) so she was looking at some other brands that had a wide range of colors, hoping there might be one that wouldn't look alarmingly orange if I used it to cover up a zit. One of those brands was Tarte. She was trying to decide if the light concealer was going to work for me when another customer came up to her and told her, and I quote (well, my mother's rendition of what the other woman told her): “You shouldn't buy that shit, the company's owned by a bunch of MURDERERS.”

My mom's reaction was basically “WTF.” And so she asked the other woman what the hell she was on about. The woman's response? “Oh, the woman who started the company sold it to the Japanese and they torture animals to death!”

By this point my mom was kind of weirded out, but the woman continued going on and on and on, telling my mom that she should give her her email address so she could send her some information on animal testing and how horrible it is. My mother politely declined, came home without buying anything, and told me what had happened. So I looked it up.

Yes, in March of this year, Tarte Cosmetics was purchased by Kose, a Japanese company that manufactures, among a lot of other things, cosmetics. Some of Kose's brands include Anna Sui, Paul&Joe Beaute, Rimmel, Softymo, and Happy Bath Day, all companies I own (or have owned in the past) items from.

And people went berserk, because Kose, according to Japanese laws, sometimes conducts animal tests. Apparently this is way more of a hot-button issue than I thought, because I haven't seen that much invective directed at a corporation since... ever, probably. And a lot of what I read was really disgusting- and this was on moderated pages, at that. Some of what was still there would have made WWII propagandists go “guys, that's a bit far, don't you think?” I really do not want to see what the comments that said “removed” said. And no, I will not be linking to them, I don’t want that shit on my blog even indirectly.

Considering I have a lot of Japanese friends, I was... disturbed, to say the least. Comments saying that they hoped Japanese women who bought Kose cosmetics had acid dripped into their eyes were all over the place, comments about wanting to vivisect Kose customers, comments about wanting to torture the founder of Tarte Cosmetics “the way the animals would be tortured...” it was really disgusting, alarming, and truthfully, enough to probably get the comment writers on an FBI watch list. I hope they ended up on an FBI watch list, because some of them definitely seemed more than willing to go do something atrocious in the name of “saving the animals.” What I want to know is- do these dumbfucks not realize that they're talking about torturing people to death, in the name of saving some lab rats? I'm sorry, but I view threats to my friends and myself (since I own and use Kose products) to be quite a bit more serious than the fate of some rats. Do you take medication at all? Even Advil for a headache? Then you've used products that were tested on animals. The people who were ranting and raving about this call themselves “cruelty free.” Really? I'd say wishing horrible torture on women from a different culture is pretty fucking cruel.

Here in the US, we seem to be a lot more sentimental about animals than people in most other countries. In fact, in most places in the world, people would be absolutely horrified to know that Americans are slapping stuff on themselves that hasn't been tested. I spoke to many of my friends while I was working on this article and a lot of them were very disturbed at the idea that American companies are allowed to sell products that have not undergone the safety tests that are required in their countries. One of my friends, S, was very alarmed when I told him I used products that have been certified as “free from animal testing.” “You put that shit on your FACE?!” he yelled at me. “What happens if you get chemical burns or something?! How do they know it’s safe?!”

Look, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think animal testing should be conducted if it can be at all avoided- some things, like medications, really do need to go through a very stringent testing process before they can be given to people, even for testing. If the medication immediately kills the mouse or whatever, you probably don’t want to give it to people. I think, for the most part, cosmetic animal testing is unnecessary. But different countries have different laws for the safety of their citizens. There are some popular cosmetic products that are available in Asia and Europe that are not available here in the US, at least not through actual brick and mortar stores, because they would require more testing by the FDA before they could be sold to Americans. And I can tell you right now that they probably wouldn’t test the stuff on FDA employees. I think we can all agree that unnecessary animal cruelty is a bad thing. The difference is, that depending on the country of original, the standard for necessary vs. unnecessary will be different. I’m not sure where we should draw that line, either.

But I do think we should draw the line at making terroristic threats. And I’m pretty sure threatening to kill people because they use a makeup product you don’t like can fall under the heading of terroristic threats.

May. 26th, 2014

Conspiracy and Disrespect

I wasn't planning on writing about this, because I don't usually cover this sort of thing, and I think a lot of the coverage that is given in these events is extremely disrespectful to the victims. However, I've come across some things that are far more disrespectful than anything I could write for this post, so I'm going to do it.

On Saturday, a severely disturbed man named Elliot Rodgers went on a rampage in California, killing seven people (including himself). He was lonely and bitter, and blamed society for his inability to get a girlfriend. His plan was to kill an entire sorority of girls who he felt rejected him, and then kill anyone he came across on his way to his family's house, where he would kill his stepmother and younger brother. He was narcissistic, sociopathic, and misanthropic. He blamed quite literally everyone except himself for his problems, and planned to take revenge on humanity as a whole. He was bitter about still being a virgin in his twenties, refused to seek help from a psychiatrist (even though his family was concerned about him), and especially hated happy people in romantic relationships. In his manifesto, he blames World of Warcraft for his inability to connect with other people, his parents for divorcing, his father for not teaching him how to form romantic relationships with women, and his mother for not remarrying a rich man. He was racist, sexist, and probably needed to be institutionalized years ago. None of this is in dispute. The man was very seriously disturbed- skimming over his manifesto (which I will not link to), I was reminded quite a bit of American Psycho.

What is in dispute is the way that people are rushing to judgment, indicting everything in the world other than Elliot Rodger himself. People have blamed everything from capitalism to Reddit, from World of Warcraft (apparently not realizing that Rodgers blamed WoW himself) to men's rights activists, to 4chan to Youtube (where he uploaded a lot of his barely-coherent ranting). As usual, when something like this happens, people have begun to blame America's gun laws, and started calling for stricter gun control. People are blaming the men's rights community and are calling for the people involved in that to be all rounded up and interviewed, if not quarantined. I've seen calls for all of Reddit to be shut down, despite the fact that it's not been proven that Rodgers even ever visited Reddit. I've seen articles blaming capitalism, although even after reading them I'm still not entirely sure what they thought the solution would be. In the Soviet Union, there were also spree killers, so communism isn't going to solve anything, I don't think. But that's not really what this post is about. If you want to look for things discussing Rodgers' motives, you can go to the Washington Post or the New York Times, or even /r/news, if you want commentary rather than articles. You can find plenty of people on the Internet dissecting why he did what he did. And that's part of the problem.

Personally, I feel like the pages and pages of meta discussing potential motives for why this guy went on a homicidal rampage very disrespectful to his victims. These people have not even had funerals yet and there's individuals out there going on and on about how they were killed because the murderer... apparently subscribed to capitalism, watched too much Youtube, played too much World of Warcraft, or spent too much time on the Internet. Really, anything other than “this guy was severely disturbed and angry at just about everything” is speculation, and I find it in incredibly poor taste to try to come up with potential motives other than what has already been established. Stop trying to lay the blame on outside factors that probably didn't even know the guy existed. World of Warcraft did not make this guy murder his roommates. Reddit did not drive him to want to kill an entire sorority full of blonde girls. Money did not whisper in his ear that the reason he was lonely was because of everyone else. The man blamed everyone but himself for his problems.

Do not blame everything but Elliot Rodgers for what Elliot Rodgers did.

I hope the survivors recover quickly, and that the families and friends of the deceased can find peace.

No comments on this, guys. I don’t get comments all that often anyway, but I really don’t want half-assed attempts to pin the blame on things that only have a tenuous connection to the situation. I’ve seen other bloggers discussions about this same damn thing get derailed by some clown linking to the “blame capitalism” article, and after I just spent like 800 words explaining why that’s bullshit I don’t want that here, either.

Apr. 30th, 2014

Do you like the Lawn?

Do you like the Internet in general?

Do you like freedom?

Then please sign this and help protect Net Neutrality.

Nov. 18th, 2013

Moral Bankruptcy in Blogs


I have been feeling rather ill since I stumbled across a certain website. I was researching something for my geology class, and I (rather stupidly) put only the guy's surname into Google. There was also some feminist theorist who had the same surname as the geologist, and was more notorious. Being half asleep, I clicked on the first link that came up on the Google machine, and suddenly, I found myself falling down the rabbit hole into the dark world of radical feminist separatism.

I don't want to post a direct link to the blog because the blogger obsessively follows trackbacks, and I do not want this psychopath on my Lawn. There is a very real chance that she would attempt to dox me, so I'm not going to put a clickthrough. However, if you Google “FactCheckMe” you'll find the blog.

The blog is quite literally so extreme that it's on a terrorist watch list, and is blocked through filtering software in the entire country of Russia.

Here's a quote:

Well it’s rather hard to answer your questions FCM, but I’ve studied martial arts, and I don’t fear men. I have decided in advance that I’m going to beat the heck out of any man who bothers me. I just have a brutal rage and a total contempt for men. Also, I really hardly spend any time with them, am in women only organizations. Women are either going to have to train to be at war with these monsters or nothing is ever going to change. I am aware that lesbians are raped and brutalized, but I also know that I have done battle with men, gotten a tooth knocked out, smashed them back, taken a baseball bat to attackers, shoved the football jock jerk down a flight of stairs for grabbing at a girls’ butt.
I just accept the fact that I’m an amazon, that my ancient traditions are warlike, and that I assume all men are enemies. I just don’t waste time with this. It amazes me that all women aren’t getting black belts in karate, and that women still mix in places with lots of creepy straight men. I’d rather go down fighting, I’d rather just brutalize the monsters. I have no mercy, no feeling for them, have been known to kick teenage boys in the head for calling girls bitches, I just don’t give a damn. Sure I’ve suffered injuries etc., but my hatred is so extreme, my contempt so completely total, that this fuels a rage very few men experience from women. I battle men constantly, shove them, grab them by the throat— remember I absolutely hate them with such passion that I delight in making their lives a living hell. So if women want freedom, women are going to have to declare war on the pigs and monsters, you’re going to have to kick them out of your houses, your lives, and you’re going to have to stop having male children. It’s really as simple as that, and if women can’t summon the rage to destroy these porn dogs and creeps, well, we’ll continue to have them rule our lives, terrorize our daughters and make cities unlivable.
Hatred tends to cast out fear. I just don’t have the deferential socialization that most straight women display day in and day out. I’ve been a radical separatist for so long, I can’t even imagine the worlds straight women live in. And I have to be very brutal with straight women — no baby pictures, no husbands, no boyfriends… with me, you don’t impose men on me. They are never welcome, never tolerated and that’s that.
When women really learn that they are at war, and that patriarchy must be overthrown like any other colonial power, we’ll get somewhere. You can’t negotiate with these monsters, they are inherently evil, that’s who men are. So if you believe this, you don’t fear them, you wish for their death, you celebrate every man killed in war, in car crashes and by women who have had enough.
I can’t explain this further, it just is my world. Most women are pretty freaked out by it, but again, they are male pleasers and door mats, they have no real desire for freedom, they believe they can placate pigs. And if women don’t rise up and realize what this is all really about, they will be raped and killed anyway. The real truth is that at least you have fought back. All women can find men who are weaker… some puny little idiot uses the word bitch… well, that’s easy, a fist to the face quickly, a swift and sharp kick to the ribs, and down they go. A boot on their face, well placed spit and pure hatred for any insult they level at women. Teenage boy, age 10, calls a woman a bitch, smack! I have no mercy, compassion or feeling for men and boys… just get them out of my way, and shut them up.


Someday this psychopath is going to piss off the wrong person, or punch in the face a person with a concealed weapons permit. Even me- I don't have kid of my own, but I have a very strong “mother grizzly bear” instinc when it comes to kids. If some psychotic bitch tried to beat a little boy in my presence I'd attack her myself. And these people wonder why they're on fucking terrorist watch lists. No shit you're on a terrorist watch list, you just advocated murdering 10-year-olds for calling you a bitch. That is not compatible with a civilized society... or even really an uncivilized society. Hell, I'm pretty sure even monkeys don't behave like that.
So, that's why I haven't really been posting a lot lately. I shouldn't have read that shit, because it's stuck with me to a disturbing degree. I've been having nightmares about it- a psychotic, screeching harpy murdering my brother, my father, my friends... it's a recurringnightmare since I found that blog. I've tried to disengage, not think about it, but almost every night since I read that shit, I've had similar dreams. Last night, in fact, I had a dream that an enormously fat woman with a baseball bat bashed in the head of a little kid, while I stood there, powerless to stop it. I woke up in a cold sweat.
I seriously encourage everyone to not search for this blog- you'll end up with nightmares. I honestly can't remember the last time I had this bad of a reaction to something I read. It's absolutely nightmarish, is what it is.
Hey, NSA? Instead of watching me, why don't you watch these fucking lunatics?

Nov. 1st, 2013

Movember is Offensive Now?

As today is the first day of November, all around the world there will be men shaving off all their facial hair to grow a mustache for Movember. For those not in the know, Movember is a fundraising drive for prostate cancer awareness and research that sprang up on the back of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which happens in October. During the month of November, guys grow a mustache and collect money for research on prostate cancer. Women can participate too, by helping to collect money as well. Sometimes they'll draw eyeliner mustaches on themselves while doing the collections and fundraising.

Until recently, I never thought there would be people who have a problem with raising money and awareness for cancer research. Cancer sucks. The sooner we can find a cure the better off humanity will be. But with the Susan G. Komen disaster last year, I started to realize that maybe all of this fundraising wasn't as good as it seemed to be. Still, though, I never in a million years would have thought to tell anyone that they shouldn't try to raise money for a cause like that.

And then, this morning, one of my relatives posted this link on Facebook with the caption: “WHAT THE FUCK.” Which pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter.

In case you don't want to click the link, it's an article about how Movember is offensive. Apparently, it is offensive because only cisgender men (as in, not transgender) can grow mustaches, and that it leaves out transgender men. Which, okay, fine. But transgender men can't get prostate cancer. Because they don't have prostates. And you don't have to be a cisgender man to participate in Movember. You might not be able to grow a mustache, but there's no law that says you can't help raise money or participate in other ways. Prostate cancer doesn't care what your gender identity or sexual orientation is. If you have a prostate, you can get prostate cancer.

Secondly, the author goes on to say that Middle Eastern men can't do Movember because of racial profiling. Now, I'm not saying that racial profiling is not a problem, but last year, I knew a number of Middle Eastern men who participated. In fact, in one of my classes, I was in a group project with a guy from Saudi Arabia who ended up raising almost two thousand dollars in November, and he donated it all to research.

I seriously don't get what the writer of that article hopes to accomplish by hating on a charity that helps to combat a serious illness. Would she rather people died of prostate cancer? Would she rather that nobody really cared, and that this disease continued to kill people? I don't want my dad or my brother or my male friends to die of cancer. I don't want anyone to die of any kind of cancer.
If you don't like Movember, don't participate, don't donate money. But don't cause problems for the people who are participating, either.

Oct. 29th, 2013

In the past week, not only have my life plans basically evaporated, leaving me confused and irritated, I've now become the target of a scammer. I'm posting this here partially to shame the duckfucker, and also to help people avoid falling for the same situation. Apparently it's fairly common, and I actually made the mistake of responding to the first email. I thought it was legitimate at first, and then I started to think it was kind of suspicious and did some research. Here are the emails I received in their entirety:

Dear Manager,

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks)

This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration in China and Asia. We received an application from Huahong Ltd on July 8, 2013. They want to register " goeskaboominsanejournal " as their internet keyword and China/Asia/Hongkong (CN/ASIA/HK) domain names. But after checking it, we find this name conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China or not?

Best Regards,

Jim
General Manager
Shanghai Office (Head Office)
[Address and phone numbers redacted]


I responded as though it was legitimate, thanking the guy for letting me know and saying that I am not a business, this is a personal blog, and that I do not have any business contacts in China. I thought that was the end of it, and then three days ago I got another email, this time from a different person: Jiang Zhifa.

Dear Sirs,

Our company based in chinese office, our company has submitted the " goeskaboomsanejournal " as CN(.cn/.com.cn/.net.cn/.org.cn) domain name and Internet Keyword, we are waiting for Mr. Jim's approval. We think this name is very important for our products in Chinese market. Even though Mr. Jim advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name.


Best regards

Jiang zhifa


By this point I had figured out it was a scam, and I did not respond to the email. I had read online that a few days after getting this email, I would be getting another email from the first guy, telling me that these people would be attempting to go ahead and register the domain name they had originally planned on using- my domain name, and that they would send me pricing information so that I could register it before they did.

In case you don't know, if you are not a company or individual based in China, you cannot register the .cn domain. That is for Chinese nationals only, not foreigners. That's how you know this is a scam- you can pay all the money you want but you will not be allowed to register with a .cn domain name if you're not Chinese. The exception to this is for big multinational corporations with Chinese customers (example: Microsoft). As I am not Microsoft, it's impossible for me to get a .cn domain name.

Sure enough, this morning I woke up to check my email, and here's what was there.

Dear [my name redacted],

Based on your company having no relationship with them, we have suggested they should choose another name to avoid this conflict but they insist on this name as CN domain names (.cn/.com.cn/.net.cn/.org.cn) and internet keyword on the internet. In our opinion, maybe they do the similar business as your company and register it to promote his company.
According to the domain name registration principle: The domain names and internet keyword which applied based on the international principle are opened to companies as well as individuals. Any companies or individuals have rights to register any domain name and internet keyword which are unregistered. Because your company haven't registered this name as CN domains and internet keyword on the internet, anyone can obtain them by registration. However, in order to avoid this conflict, the trademark or original name owner has priority to make this registration in our audit period. If your company is the original owner of this name and want to register these CN domain names (.cn/.com.cn/.net.cn/.org.cn) and internet keyword to prevent anybody from using them, please inform us. We can send an application form and the price list to you and help you register these within dispute period.

Kind regards
Jim


Jim, if you're reading this, I wish you no ill will, but I will not respond to any further emails. Go try to scam people somewhere else, since I'm not falling for it.

Aug. 10th, 2013

Letter To A Younger Fic Writer

And yes, I'm aware of how pretentious this is, but after seeing a high school freshman get excoriated for the unbearable sin of writing a less-than-politically-correct fic, I couldn't help myself.

To the attackers- people, back the fuck off. That fourteen-year-old who you just tore apart for putting a supposedly gay historical dude in a straight relationship, in the background of a fic set in a historical canon? Congratulations on making your side look bad. Seriously? I don't know the sexual orientation of every single historical dude out there, and if the situation made sense for the plot (which it did, according to you), then what's your problem? It's not like the historical dude is going to sue, he's been dead since 18-whatever. Especially since I went to Wikipedia and looked up the guy in question- he was married to a woman (granted, it was a very brief marriage, but he was still married to a woman, which shoots some holes in your argument right there). And what you, as adults, consider to be “common knowledge” might not actually be common knowledge to anyone younger than your demographic group, or outside of your chosen profession. I don't expect everyone to know what a Linux kernel or bash shell is, because that's just not reasonable.

Also, seriously? Picking on a kid? Didn't your momma ever teach you to pick on someone your own size?

To the kid- I know it sucks, starting out writing in today's hyper-sensitive environment. By the way, your story was very impressive- much better than anything I could have ever hoped to have written when I was your age. But, there is one thing you need to be aware of- today's fandom climate, especially in certain fandoms, is sort of like a pack(?) of piranhas. They will eat you alive if you do something that they determine to be against the collective. It's a tricky situation to be in, especially if you post your work on tumblr- which you do. To be honest, that's probably why they found you in the first place. Tumblr is a fascinating website and it can be a lot of fun, but there's some definite problems there. The site's format makes it very easy for one person to take offense to something, and then broadcast it to a lot of like-minded people. I will bet my paycheck for the next six months that's what happened. My advice to you? Get off tumblr, or at least don't put your fic there. Move it to AO3 or FF.net. I would advise avoiding LJ/Dreamwidth fandom communities, though, because the same sorts of people that like to lurk around on tumblr lurk around there, as well.

However, and I do kind of hate to say this, it might be simpler for you if you do a bit more research next time. Yes, I know the guy in question was married to a woman for a while, but people get extremely touchy about this sort of thing. And with good reason, in a lot of cases. No, I'm not saying that this time was good reason, but now that you've seen what they'll do, I hope you'll take that into consideration in the future. I'm not trying to discourage you from writing, but these people can be absolutely fucking vicious. I've seen people lose their real life jobs because they pissed off the wrong person. I cannot stress enough how important that is. You are young, but you won't be in high school forever, and people do carry grudges. I feel really bad telling you this, because the last thing I want to do is discourage you, but maybe in the future avoid writing romances with actual historical people in them. I know, the guy's been dead for over a hundred years, but he was still an actual guy, you know?Just watch your step in the future. Again, I'm not saying this to scare or discourage you, but I also don't want to see you get drowned in an endless sea of rage.

I really feel sorry for younger fic writers just starting out. Back in my day, we wrote whatever the hell we wanted and no one gave one good goddamn about what we wrote, unless it was a Mary Sue. Today, it must be a minefield for someone just starting out.

(Note: I am turning comments off on this, and no, I will not be providing a link to anything. The writer has gotten enough shit already, the last thing I want is to direct more haters at them, or for them to somehow stumble across this and see even more hate)

Jul. 3rd, 2013

PSA for Professors

Don't tweet stupid shit.

Last semester, for my sociology class, I wrote a paper discussing trends of social media use in the United States and Japan. One thing that was common to both countries was that people who make ill-advised postings on social media websites sometimes end up bringing down the wrath of god on their asses. Earlier this year, there was the Donglegate incident. Last year, according to Asahi Shinbun, a woman who was part of a BL doujinshi circle accidentally posted some of her drawings to the Facebook account she had under her real name, and she lost her job because of it.


I'm not going to go into whether or not the professor in that story should be fired for being sarcastic about fat people- I have a feeling that no matter what I say it's going to upset someone, but anyone who has read my blog for any length of time probably knows my thoughts on the matter. I like free speech and a free Internet- three guesses and the first two don't count. It is incredibly dumb to so blatantly put your controversial views out there connected to your actual name. There's a reason I am careful to not connect my fandom or blogging activities to my actual name- it would be bad for my jobs.

I'm not going to try to stop you from thinking things that are less than politically correct. Longcat knows that the second you tell someone not to think about something, they're going to think about it. I get intrusive thoughts sometimes- it's a side effect of the paranoid personality disorder. As such I tend to be a bit susceptible to unwanted thoughts popping into my head, especially if someone brings it up. It can be terrible in the cases of when I have to deal with obnoxious customers as well- “don't think about that person don't think nasty thoughts about that person... GODDAMN SHE'S BIGGER THAN MY FUCKING CAR!” But I have the presence of mind to not broadcast them to everyone who happens to pass by (with the exception of this instance). You can't always control your thoughts, but you can control who you tell them to.

I also want to bring up something that came up in the comments of that article. Apparently when the mayor of New York City tried to ban soda, Sarah Palin and some other people got up in arms about it. That's not trying to win the votes of fat people, that's trying to win the votes of people whose first thought about that was “fuck you I won't do what you tell me!” And honestly, if someone told me I couldn't have soda anymore, I would definitely tell them to take a long walk off a short pier, and any politician who tried to ban it would not be getting my vote. GOTTA HAVE CAFFEINE!

Apr. 16th, 2013

Fuck the Westboro Baptist Church

I don't think I can get any more blunt than that. To call them scum is an insult to scum everywhere, and I completely, totally, 100% support Anonymous' warning to them.

It has barely even been 24 hours and these subhuman filth-lickers are already planning on how they can disrespect the dead even more than they already have. Between this and their attempt to picket the funerals of the kids who died at Sandy Hook, there is no possible way that my hate for them can grow any more.

I know it makes me a terrible person, but one of these days these people are going to cross the wrong group of people or end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's also telling that they never go anywhere where they might be in any danger- they don't go to DC, they don't go to Chicago, they don't go to Detroit. Why? Because they're fucking cowards. One of these days they're going to piss off someone who you really don't want to piss off, and when that happens I won't be surprised if they end up on the business end of a different IED.

Apr. 15th, 2013

Regarding Today's Attack

By now everyone is probably aware of the bombing that happened in Boston earlier today. It is critically important that if you are in Boston that you stay inside and do not congregate anywhere in large groups. The government is reporting that this is a terrorist attack, and large groups of people make good targets for the terrorists. It is also important that if you live in or near any major cities, and not just American ones, that you be extra careful over the next few days. I know London is already stepping up police presence in case something happens there.

But even more than that, I have two more things I want to say. If you live in Boston, their communications networks are experiencing periodic outages due to the high volume of people trying to use the cell phone bandwidth. I normally would not suggest this, but because it is an emergency and there are many people who are still waiting to hear from their friends and family that they are alright, consider unlocking your Wi-Fi so that people may be able to use it. If you are not comfortable doing that, and I can understand your feelings, at least tell the password to anyone who asks. You can change it or set it back up later, but right now I highly doubt that anyone in Boston is going to be going around war driving at the moment, you're probably okay to drop the WEP key. And in this case it could help people get in touch with their friends and family.

Secondly, while the government that is reporting that this is a terrorist attack, it is incredibly important that no one jumps to conclusions, and/or starts to panic. To use a very cliché phrase, if you panic, the terrorists win. That's what they want- they want to scare the shit out of people. By carrying out these attacks, the people they kill are not actually their primary target- they want to incite panic, although they don't give a fuck about anyone they kill in the process. Several news outlets have prematurely reported that there is a Saudi Arabian man in custody with connection to the attacks- this is false. There was a Saudi Arabian man who the Boston police and the FBI were questioning... because he said he'd seen something. He was not a suspect. Please do not jump to conclusions regarding the ethnicity, race, and motives of the attackers. I have already seen a lot of people pinning the blame on groups like Al-Qaeda. From what I heard on the radio, it is unlikely that Al-Qaeda is behind this, because they usually immediately release statements after any attacks they carry out. It is also important to note that this day has some significance for Americans. Today is Tax Day, when all Americans are required to file their income tax returns with the government, and is historically a day when extremists attack. It is also an important day in Boston, for reasons other than the marathon- it is a municipal holiday called Patriot Day, commemorating the American Revolution. Today also happens to be the birthday of the late Kim Il-Sung, former dictator of North Korea. Tomorrow, April 16, is the sixth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting. In four days, it will be the 20th anniversary of the Waco, Texas siege, and the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. Of course, today could also have just been an arbitrary date chosen by the terrorists with no significance whatsoever. We don't even know if this was done by domestic terrorists, or foreign ones.

There are a lot of crazy people out there in the world. Whatever happens, whoever or whatever group is revealed to be behind the attack today, it is important that no one give into fear, because the terrorists win.

Jan. 12th, 2013

IMPORTANT: Fraud Alert

Yesterday, I heard about something that disturbed me a great deal, and because of the sensitive nature of this... issue, I cannot actually name-drop the “organization” responsible- they are running a targeted harassment campaign against anyone who dares to speak against them and are threatening legal action if you so much as annoy them. Considering I don't want to spend a bunch of time fighting off hordes of angry nutjobs and don't have enough money for a lawyer, I am going to keep this as informative as possible whilst still being vauge enough to maintain plausible deniability. If you think that you may have been targeted by this “organization,” please seek help. If you have been suckered in, get out while you still can, and possibly contact a lawyer. I cannot stress the seriousness of this enough- you have been scammed out of your money, you are being taken advantage of, and you may be involved in some illegal business dealings that could lead to you being prosecuted under various US laws, and possibly various UK laws. You could be damaging your reputation and your future career prospects.

There is an... uh, “company,” and I use the term in the loosest sense possible, that has been going around blogging websites like tumblr, Livejournal, and Blogspot attempting to recruit IT professionals to help them create a video game. They are funding this thing entirely through donated money, scamming many well-meaning people who want to help create this game. Never mind that they are shooting for a 3D RPG, on the level of Skyrim or something similar, and that their donation goal is laughably low for a game of that level. None of the people in charge of this project know anything about what they are doing, and I think on some level, they realize that- that's why they are contacting people who actually do have know-how and asking them for help.

They do this by appealing to their target's sense of fairness and social justice- this game is supposedly going to include groups traditionally left out of game design. A lot of people hear about this, go “oh, that's cool! I hope it goes through, and I hope it works! Maybe I'll donate!” There's nothing wrong with that, but that's also where things get hairy.

The group is apparently run by a virulently racist asshole who has done similar things in the past, claiming to be involved with work directed towards helping some marginalized group or another. They capitalize on the goodwill of people who want to help out their fellow human beings, collect large sums of money, then buggers off with said money. It is a scam, and a right nasty one at that. They take advantage of people's altruism only to screw them over, making things even more complicated for the group they screwed over in the future. No one wants to donate to a cause that has burned them before, so why would they want to do it again?

Not only is this group running a scam, but they fully intend to capitalize on the donated time of the professionals and students they are asking for help- they are, after all, allegedly making a video game. The individual that approached me with this information indicated that this organization intends to make its “volunteers” sign a contract for their work. By signing this contract, you are essentially indenturing yourself to these people for “as long as it takes to make the game.” While my informant was not sure whether or not this contract would be legally binding or not, it is best to err on the side of caution. If the contract does turn out to be a valid, legally binding contract, you may have just screwed yourself over- you agreed to work for free, and to not find other work, for any different company, until the game is completed. If there is no game, well... it doesn't take a genius to figure out the problems that could cause.

Once again, while I do not know the exact veracity of these claims, what I saw was enough to give me serious pause. If you think you may have signed something like this, please seek help from a contract lawyer or contact the Department of Labor (or whatever you have in your country- like I said, I do not know whether or not this would violate laws outside of the United States but I wouldn't be surprised if it would).

This link is to the Employment Development Department of California. While it is only valid for California residents, it is a good starting place for figuring out what to do next. Your state probably has something similar.

This link is to Crimestoppers in the UK, where you can report a fraud if you are in the United Kingdom. Again, I am not sure if this would have applied to anyone outside of the United States, but it does not hurt to check on it.

All in all, I just want everyone to stay safe.

Jan. 3rd, 2013

2013 Morals. 1813 Content.

On Christmas, my family went to go see Les Miserables in the movie theater. I'd never seen the play myself and I'd never read the book, although I had heard some of the music before. I will say this- that movie is really goddamn depressing, but it's still one of the best films I've ever seen. It makes you think about how society used to be, gives you a history lesson, all with catchy music. It's also a very complicated storyline- to paraphrase someone on the Internet, the movie starts with Wolverine finally going on parole for stealing some bread twenty years prior. He meets Catwoman, who is a prostitute dying of an STD, and he needs to go save her daughter from Borat and Bellatrix Lestrange. There's more singing, everybody gets shot, and the people who don't get shot die in the end. I dunno, it's a silly summary for a very serious movie, but it still made me laugh, because that's basically what my brother said while we were watching it- “hey, is that Catwoman? Why is she a prostitute now?”

Anyway, my brother's commentary is not what I want to talk about today. I kind of hate to start the new year off with such a serious, politicized post. I know it seems like I pick on feminists a lot here, but honestly, I don't have a problem with the movement as a whole. It's just the extremists I don't like, and that goes for anything. I don't like extremists, period.

This article appeared in the Washington Post. In it, the author complains that Les Miserables, the movie, Broadway show, and the book, are antifeminist and offensive. There's a couple of problems with this, for several reasons. The most obvious probably being that this is the year 2013. The book, the source material for the movie and play, was written over a hundred and fifty years ago. Things have drastically changed in the last 150 years. For one thing, they didn't have cars or computers back then, to state an obvious fact. Secondly, here in America, uh, we were kinda in the middle of the Civil War. A war which, among other things, had to do with whether or not it was okay to own other people as slaves. Which, obviously, rational people today agree was abhorrent. A major plot point of the whole story was that the poor people of France were starving to death while the wealthy couldn't give less of a shit. Today, France has a relatively liberal, some might even consider socialist, government. Clearly France today is different from France of 1863.

You cannot apply 2013 morals to something written in a different era. Things were different then, and even things that would have been ground-breakingly progressive back then are considered outdated, closed-minded, and offensive now. Even things from earlier in the 20th century can seem like that- take, for example, the crows in the Disney film Dumbo. Today, they would never have made it past the editing room because they are an offensive portrayal of African-Americans. I remember the first time I saw that movie, at age 16, my reaction was along the lines of “WHAT THE FLYING FUCK IS THIS?!” But my grandmother, who was watching it with me and my young cousin, explained that for the time it was created, those racist crows were actually pretty progressive. Yes, they act like ridiculous, offensive stereotypes. But in the 1940s, when the movie was made, the fact that those crows were the good guys was a step forward. It doesn't make them not racist- no one is denying that those crows are an offensive racial stereotype. But on the time period that that movie was made, they were progressive. Racist, but considering that the civil rights movement didn't happen until the mid-1950s/1960s, they were actually fairly... well, not inoffensive, but at least they were shown to be the “good guys.” Again, that is not to say that they are not racist, but they need to be considered within the context of their time.

The same thing applies to Les Miz. While in our modern context it could be considered sexist. Things sucked for the women in the story. But, at the time the story took place, things kind of sucked for everyone, unless they were rich. Yeah, Fantine was a prostitute. She was a prostitute because she was trying to provide for her daughter, who would have died without her, I fail to see how someone sacrificing themselves for someone that they love can be considered sexist- it's a common theme in lots of storylines. So is the love triangle thing- and it's not always two women loving the same man. Sometimes it's two dudes in love with the same girl, or two guys in love with the same guy/two girls in love with the same girl. Or, like in Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, you have a whole bunch of people in unrequited love with each other and end up with a chain of stalkers. Unrequited love is not necessarily sexist.

The article's writer also talks about how in the book the female characters were more developed. Uh, I'm pretty sure everyone was more developed in the book. I haven't read more than a few chapters yet, but that is a long-ass book. I don't have a hardcopy edition, but the e-book version is nearly half a gigabyte in size. That is a fuckton of text. The movie itself is almost 2.5 hours long. There is simply no way to have the movie include every single little detail of character development that is in the books. You'd have a week-long movie if you did that! A television drama might be better for that, but even then some things would have to be cut out for the sake of timing and expediency. No one really wants to watch hours and hours of nothing really happening.

My point is this: do not try to impose today's moral standards on stories that were written long ago- of course they're going to come up short. We've come a long way in 150 years. And we still have a ways to go, but that's not a reason to start judging art from the past based on our standards that we have today.

Dec. 18th, 2012

Senseless

Like just about everyone else in the world, I'm still in shock at what happened on Friday in Connecticut. I mean, on an intellectual level I grasp what happened, but I'm having trouble parsing what it means. On a subconscious level, I suppose I do get it- I've been unable to sleep well since Friday, and I'm not even connected to anyone who died.

There have been several mass shootings this year, but none of them really hit me as hard as this one did. I guess it's because most of the victims were little kids, around the same age as my niece and nephew. It's bad enough when adults are the ones killed in these random acts of violence, but it seems... not exactly worse, but more shocking, I guess, when the victims are children.

I don't really want to get into too much detail here, because it seems disrespectful, but there has been a lot of discussion, at least in my city, about where we go from here. Some people are calling for repealing of the 2nd Amendment. Others aren't going that far, and are calling for a ban on non-military use of assault weapons. I understand the logic behind this, but the more morbid part of my mind keeps piping up saying that it doesn't matter what they do. Sick fucks will find a way to cause damage no matter what. Earlier on Friday, that same Friday, a man in China went on a stabbing rampage in an elementary school. Scotland has a ban on guns, and Glasgow has a very high rate of stabbings. Evil people will always find a way to bring down destruction. If it's not guns, it daunts me to think of what the next level is- all I know is that it cannot be anything good. And what are we going to do to increase security in schools? Put bullet-proof glass in the windows? Make everyone wear Kevlar vests and flak jackets? Make trying to get into school like going through airport security?

It's clear that something has to be done.

I just don't know what that thing to be done is. I just don't know what will actually work.

And it truly terrifies me.

Dec. 16th, 2012

I cannot believe this shit

If you’re trying to use the tragedy that happened on Friday as fuel for your personal moral/activist/political crusade (and no, I’m not talking about gun control), you need to knock that shit off right the fuck now.

Have some goddamn respect.

And you know who you are.
Tags:

Oct. 16th, 2012

My Business, Your Business, Everyone Else's Business

I hesitate to write this, because it seems like lately the Lawn is becoming less and less of a fun, interesting blog and more and more of a ranty political blog. I don't really like that. I will be so glad when this election season is over, maybe then things will calm down and I'll stop being inclined to write these sorts of articles and more inclined to focus on less depressing and serious topics. But I honestly do think that these things are a serious problem, and that this kind of thinking erodes at basic freedoms of thought and speech. People are attempting to become the thought police, and you get shouted down if you dare express an opinion that is different from the Hivemind.

I am talking, of course, about one's political views and personal beliefs, and I find it kind of sickening that this is the second post with the same basic premise I've written in a month.

You can have your own beliefs. Just let everyone else have theirs.

Now, obviously, I'm not trying to say that you cannot critique anyone else's beliefs. There are some things that I find absolutely morally bankrupt (see the Parenting for Sadists series as an example), and I will not hesitate to write about those things. But, while I do address Michael Pearl directly in those posts, I don't actually expect him to ever read them. It is a rhetorical device. If I was to actually speak to Pearl face-to-face, I would be a lot more respectful than I am in the Parenting for Sadists series. It doesn't mean my thoughts on his work have changed at all, but that there is a certain expectation of rhetorical etiquette when you are engaging directly with the person whose beliefs you are criticizing. The best way to get someone you are engaging with directly to completely disregard you is to bombard them with invective.

I have previously compared the way that some people engage with individuals that they disagree with to Gordon Ramsay on meth. That, I have come to realize, is unfair. Gordon Ramsay, while he is confrontational and fond of the F-bomb, actually isn't quite so rabid as the majority of political bloggers. The difference is that while Ramsay likes to scream swear words, he won't do it unless you fuck up, and even then he doesn't mean to cast aspersions on you as a person. He just thinks your cooking sucks. But these bloggers, if you disagree with them, suddenly you are literally Hitler and not worthy of respect. They also attack in swarms. There's only one Gordon Ramsay. If you get on the bad side of a political blogger, you piss off ALL the political bloggers. And they do not hesitate to let you know about it.

There have even been incidents where these people have set out to cause repercussions for the people they disagree with in real life, going so far as to contact their opponent's employers and try to get them fired. I am just going to say that that sort of behavior is absolutely disgusting. Attempting to destroy someone's livelihood because of an Internet disagreement is disproportionate reaction. There, I said it.

I can already hear your objections. “But Kaboom!” you'd say. “Isn't that what you're trying to do to Michael Pearl and No Greater Joy?” Well, not exactly. Yes, I wouldn't be too sorry if No Greater Joy Ministries was to shut down tomorrow, and I honestly do think that Pearl ought to be held at least partially accountable for the deaths of the children whose parents utilized his materials. But Michael Pearl is his own boss. NGM is his business. He owns it. He makes a great deal of money from pushing dangerous ideas to parents of young children. He advocates beating babies with tree branches, for fuck's sake! That is a HUGE difference from a guy who just posts on his own blog that he supports the opposite presidential candidate that you do. If you can't see the difference, then I say this with all due respect, but get your head out of your ass.

Since the beginning of the United States, there have been opposite political parties. Even during George Washington's time they had the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. Yet, despite the fact that since the beginning of the nation there have been people on opposite sides of the political spectrum, we've only had one civil war. I ask you- do you really want to go there again? That is what I fear may happen if this current trend keeps up. No, I don't think part of the country is going to try to secede again. But if stupid arguments over who to vote for are getting this ugly, where people try to get their opponent fired from their job, I worry that it's only a matter of time before someone confronts someone else in real life, and the conflict escalates to the point of violence. THAT is how civil wars start, my friends. The government doesn't necessarily have to crack down on their own people, like what's happening currently in Syria. Sometimes, the conflict starts between citizens.

I don't know about you, but I kind of like living in a free country.

Again, this is not to say that you can never disagree with anyone. That is not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that you need to keep a sense of proportion. Simple disagreements about politics are not worth destroying real-life relationships over. I mean, fuck, I don't even like Mitt Romney and yet here I am writing over a thousand words defending people who want to support him and who did nothing more offensive than post on their own webspace that they support him.

I know this may be kind of hypocritical, and quite possibly unnecessary since I never get comments anyway, but I'm going to disable comments on this post. It is not because I do not respect your opinion, but because I actually want people to think about this for a bit, without just reacting blindly. I am also going to tag this with the Parenting for Sadists tag since it makes extensive reference to that series.

I'm not going to be naïve and say that everyone should just get along, but I am going to say that three are proportionate reactions, and disproportionate reactions. Attempting to destroy someone's business over a political disagreement is disproportionate. Disagreeing, maybe even impolitely, on your own blog? THAT is proportionate.

Oct. 5th, 2012

This Is Probably Going To Piss Someone Off...

I honestly don't care what your political beliefs are. I really don't. I don't care if you agree with me, disagree with me, are a Republican or Democrat, whatever. Your personal beliefs are none of my concern, and I would be betraying one of the principles I hold most dear if I did suddenly decide to make a big stink about it. But this election season is turning so fucking ugly, I really dread logging onto certain websites (tumblr, LJ, I'm looking at you), because I know it's just going to be a bunch of infighting.

You can think Mitt Romney is a terrible person.

You can think Obama is a terrible person.

You can even think that people with different views from yourself are terrible people- this isn't 1984 and we don't have thought police. Longcat knows there are plenty of people out there who I think are useless wastes of carbon.

But I also make an effort to get along with people who think differently from me. Because that's what you have to do in the real world, if you want to have a job, if you want to have a social life. If you are at work and you go off on a rant about how all Republicans are evil, or all Democrats hate freedom, unless you're working for a political campaign or a blog, odds are you will be fired. Your coworkers won't want to hear it, your boss won't want to hear it, and anyone else who you might come in contact with during a typical workday (consultants, customers, the IT guy) won't want to hear it.

Also, if you want to have any sort of a social life, you'll need to learn how to fake it. My dad always told me that there are three things you never want to discuss with anyone outside of your immediate social circle: religion, politics, and money. It's really true. Occasionally, you will find yourself in social situations with friends of friends, or acquaintances you don't know all that well, and the best way to make an ass of yourself is to suddenly go off screeching about some controversial topic or another. You don't have to like your friend's friends. You don't have to have the same political views as anyone else. But for crying out loud, at least act like a civilized person. It's one thing if, on the Internet, you act like a chimp flinging poo at anyone who disagrees with you, but if you do it in real life, someone is going to call the cops, or the psychiatric ward, or both, on you.

Now, that's for IRL situations. Let's move onto the Internet.

Do you really think you're going to change anyone's mind to your point of view if you're screaming insults at them and swearing like Gordon Ramsay on meth? I know that if certain people find this article they'll start spamming links about something called the Tone Argument. The Tone Argument is, in a nutshell, that you should not discount someone's argument because they are angry. That's all well and good, and there are certainly things to be angry about. But you will never change anyone's mind by calling them, and I paraphrase here, “rancid cunt coated in cock vomit.” Do you honestly think that's a good way to get anyone to care about your cause? Maybe I'm weird, but if someone screams invective like that at me, that's a really good way for me to lose all interest in what you have to say, and to hope that you get a cactus violently shoved up some orifice. And I'll also think you suck at debating. Like, seriously, you couldn't think of a better way to counter the argument than start acting like a spoilt brat whose toy got taken away?


I'm starting to really resent political activists because of all this stuff. It's like every time I log onto a website or check it from my phone it's like WWIII up in there, and it's draining. I mean, shit son, I'm angry all the time, but this is too much angry even for me.

Kaboom out.

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