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Jan. 3rd, 2014

I Don't Think You Get The Point of Sci-Fi

Today I stumbled across a publisher of sci-fi and speculative fiction that bills itself as being socially conscious and progressive, called Expanded Horizons. And it is seriously one of the craziest things I've ever read.

Don't get me wrong: it starts out reasonable enough- as far as I can tell, you are not required to adhere to literally every single thing on this list, because I can't see how that would be possible, especially as multiple things are contradictory. But it's nothing particularly out of the ordinary. They want to increase the number of non-white people, women, LGBT people, and disabled people shown in sci-fi, which is an admirable goal. I have no problem with that, and I actually think it is a good idea, since I've read enough sci-fi that is basically “White Dude Saves Aliens And Fucks Alien Lady” that it's getting old. More diversity could lead to more interesting stories.

Where it goes batshit insane is where they say they want to increase representation of psychics, otherkin, otakukin, real-life vampires, and people with magical powers. And they are 100% serious about this- they really mean what they're saying.

For those of you who don't know, otherkin are people who believe they are animals trapped in a person's body. To me they largely come off as either kids goofing around, or people with some severe issues. A small subset of them treat it as a sort of religion, which I guess I can understand, since there are plenty of religions out there that come off as equally odd to me. Where it starts to become a problem is when adherents to this demand that people recognize their “true inner wolf” and demand that people stop sitting on their imaginary tail. Overall, though, they tend to be mostly harmless, but they're hardly a group that needs special representation. People who think they are wolves aren't... exactly what I would expect an organization focused on social justice to pay attention to.

Where it gets even weirder is the otakukin or fictionkin. Otakukin are people who quite literally believe that they are anime characters. If I was to identify as Higurashi Kagome from Inuyasha, I would be an otakukin. Fictionkin are the umbrella-type of otakukin, meaning people who think they are fictional characters of any type. A guy thinking he is Harry Potter would be a fictionkin.

The whole submission guidelines are a mix of understandable, if somewhat shortsighted (seeing as they are a science fiction publishing company) rules, and utter WTF-ery. No stories about aliens or giant bugs taking over the world? That's like half of sci-fi right there! No stories where mutants are oppressed? Guess the X-Men are out now. No sexbots, no blonde people, no clones, no zombies, no apocalypses in general, no aliens, especially no fat aliens or aliens that are very different from humans, but you also can't base your aliens on people... what the hell are you supposed to write about for your sci-fi? That's like 90% of sci-fi right there. And with the otherkin/fictionkin, psychics, and vampires included, I can't help but wonder- who exactly are they trying to market this to? People who hate sci-fi? Psychiatrists? Actual aliens? I don't know, and canno imagine anyone actually being able to write anything that fits to their exacting standards, especially any science fiction.

Aug. 13th, 2013

Please Silence Your Cell Phones Now

NOTE: the original version of this post had a hyperlink in it to the article. I had to go take care of some personal business for a few hours before I finished editing this post. By the time I got back, the article had been taken down and I can’t find a cached version of it. I guess he realized how insane the whole premise was, although I do sort of wish it hadn’t been deleted, because that was some funny shit.

So, some crazy guy thinks that people complaining about other people yakking away on their cell phones and texting throughout a movie are being rude as fuck. Mind you, he doesn't think that's the case with regards to the people yakking away on their phones, he thinks that people who want the cell-phone users to shut the fuck up are the offensive ones. Apparently it's a cultural concept that's unique to Americans. He uses examples from other countries, of people who interact with the movie, laughing, cheering, singing along.

But that's possibly the worst example he could have used to back up his argument.

I've been to plenty of movies in my day. I've been alive for a while, and my family and friends like to go to the movies. There is a huge difference between laughing at a funny line in a movie, cheering when the bad guy gets pwned, or even, in some cases, singing along (when I went to go see Les Miserables, there were plenty of people who sang along with the songs). That is called reacting to a movie. Do you know what is not reacting to a movie? Complaining to your friend Stacey about how totally unfair Mr. Williams is for giving you detention because you were texting under your desk. Also not reacting to the movie is having a loud conversation with your cousin Bubba about that new truck he wants. Neither is texting your girlfriend. That is NOT reacting to the movie.

I am fully prepared to accept that different cultures have different movie viewing expectations. But I highly doubt anyone appreciates you being an obnoxious ass in the movie theater, no matter where on the globe you are. Also, this lunatic compared being told to shut the fuck up in the movie theater to slavery. Seriously, who does that? What kind of crack do you have to be on to think that’s even remotely comparable? That’s not just apples to oranges, that’s apples to the Death Star.

Jul. 1st, 2013

THIS is the news I get?

When this kind of stupid shit is reaching me when I'm on the opposite side of the planet, something is very, very wrong. I can't even get fucking CNN here, but when people are getting outraged about a magazine cover featuring Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street watching the news, supposedly in reference to DOMA (which I didn't realize had been struck down until, oh, twenty minutes ago), AND IT MAKES IT ALL THE WAY TO JAPAN, you are doing something really wrong.

What am I talking about? A little while ago, one of my friends here asked me to explain why Americans were mad about the Muppets. My response? “Wat.” So then, she showed me some links that a friend of hers had shared on the Japanese social networking site Mixi, on a sub-group for learning English. The sub-group often posts videos from kid's educational television programs (like Sesame Street), because they're more fun to watch than some random old guy standing up there ranting about English grammar. Sometimes, the group's owner will link to interesting things in the news, or blogs, as well, especially if they're connected to one of the videos that they put up. It's supposed to help the readers learn English, and to find out more about non-Japanese cultures. It's actually pretty interesting. Anyway, the group's ownerhad posted some articles with a request for anyone who understood English better than they did to explain what was going on, since all they had managed to get out of it was that people were upset about a picture of the Muppets Bert and Ernie on a magazine cover.

Here are some examples of what the group's creator was talking about. Apparently sometime last week the United States Supreme Court made a ruling on marriage equality (I guess? I can't get very good news here thanks to the university's Internet filtering software, it blocks most websites that have video streaming, which is... most English-language news sites), and the New Yorker magazine put a picture of Bert and Ernie watching television together on the cover. And apparently people are outraged- OUTRAGED, I tell you! by this. One of the complaints is- “it's trivializing and infantilizing! Why can't the New Yorker put an actual picture on the cover?” Because, doofus, the New Yorker has never put an actual photograph on the cover since its first issue- all the way back in 1925. How do I know this? My grandfather has every single issue of the magazine dating back to 1947 and I've seen the covers. They're also available on the Internet.

This whole thing is ridiculous. Seriously people, if your nitpicking is out there enough to end up on a Japanese-language website, you need to step back and reassess your priorities, because they are seriously out of whack. Lord love a duck, you guys are fighting about a picture that has Bert and Ernie watching television. Yes, in the context of what is happening in the world it implies that they are gay. But... if you can't handle that, then what are you doing on the Internet in the first place? Longcat help you if you ever come across Rule 34.

Apr. 5th, 2013

More Donglegate: Wait, where did the atheists come from?

Not too long ago I discussed the recent blow-up over at the Python programming language conference, where a woman named Adria Richards set off a shitstorm that dragged a whole lot of ugly- on both sides of the debate- to the forefront. At the time that I wrote that article, I hadn't entirely made up my mind on the controversy. Since then, I've read a lot of coverage of the incident and I think I've finally come to a position I can support. Adria Richards did not deserve the threats she received after the incident gained attention. That much is, I hope, obvious. However, the fact that she received threats and attacks on her personal character do not retroactively erase that she sort of did ignite the explosives, so to speak. I think it can be argued that her intentions were not entirely pure when she sent that tweet in an attempt to publicly shame the jokers. If she was truly upset by the joke, she could have done a number of things, including turning around and actually engaging the guys like an adult (you know, “using your words,” that thing you learned in kindergarten). If she truly felt that there was a threat to her well-being in a conference hall with 500 people around, she could have privately contacted the organizers of the convention and had them deal with it. There was no need to incite the mob with torches and pitchforks. That doesn't mean that she deserved what followed, but I also do not believe that she was entirely blameless in the whole debacle. Her share of the blame was miniscule compared to the trolls- I want to stress that, because some of the commentary on this will say that if you think she wasn't an entirely blameless, spotless little angel you are excusing the backlash. I am not excusing the backlash. She should not have gotten the backlash. But she was still wrong. Less wrong, quite a bit less wrong, than the trolls. But still not "right," if you will.

Anyway, this article today isn't really about my own personal thoughts. It's more about the fact that now the atheist blogosphere is getting involved in the controversy. Despite the fact that there was absolutely nothing in this incident that could be in any way connected to religion/lack of religion.

Wait, what?

Why are atheists getting involved in a tech sector controversy? How does this have anything to do with atheism as a movement?

But that's exactly what I've discovered has happened.

I first discovered this last night when I was actually searching for something entirely different. I was looking for information on yet another potential Grinch Watch post (seriously, people, it is not even summer yet! Calm down!), when I stumbled across this article, on an atheist blogging website. At first, I was extremely confused, but not too terribly concerned. Of course there's no law saying that if you're an atheist you can only ever blog about atheism. But in the content of that article, as well as within the comments, I realized something- there are certain factions of the atheist movement that... really don't have a whole hell of a lot to do with atheism anymore. I discussed it earlier this year when I stumbled across a not-so-atheist atheist forum called Atheism+.

My question is: why? I'm a secular person myself. Why does the atheist/skeptic/secular community, that ostensibly has no ties to the tech sector, need to get involved with these internal issues? I mean, I understand why- it's interesting and can lead to discussions. But why are people who are supposedly rational suddenly drawing lines in the sand over these sorts of things? I can understand the interest, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why it suddenly is a matter of life and death for the atheist community to take sides in this controversy. I was especially disheartened to read the commentary at Pharyngula, a blog I used to read, if you'll pardon the pun, religiously back during my angry questioning skeptic high school days. By the way, due to the fact that my nemesis lurks around there, I will not be linking to the Pharyngula post. It is, however, linked to from the SkepticInk post if you are curious. PZ Myers gets one thing right- there was no cause for the threats, racist attacks, DDoS-ing... but how in Longcat's glorious name does this have anything to do with atheism, and why is a prominent atheist blogger getting involved anyway?

Overall, the whole situation has left me extremely angry as a woman in the technology industry, in several ways, and utterly baffled by the peanut gallery of commentary this topic has brought out.

Oh, by the way, comments are disabled here again. I still don't want to host any more sub-fights of this particular battle. Nothing personal, just a plea for my own sanity. It's gotten to the point where the word "dongle" no longer has any meaning for me. It's like when you say the word "word" over and over again. Word word word word word word word wur-duh werd... it doesn't look like anything anymore and it no longer has any meaning.

This is all I'm going to write on the topic, as well. The whole thing depresses me.

Mar. 23rd, 2013

You're Not Helping

I wasn't going to blog about this.

I seriously wasn't. The topic of PyCon and Adria Richards doxxing two guys for laughing about the word “dongle” in public has been covered to death and saying anything about it is like poking a dragon in the eye- it won't end well. I know that by writing this I may have left myself somewhat vulnerable to loonies on either side of the debate. I wasn't going to cover this.

And then, it made Yahoo News, the lowest common denominator of the Internet.

A few of my readers like to come here to hear me talk about political stuff (although why, I've no idea, I'm not all that smart, to be honest). Some others like to hear me talk about computery stuff. Because this is the collision of computery and political stuff, well... it seems like it would be perfect for this blog.

For those of you who don't know what happened, last Sunday, an incident went down at PyCon, the official convention for the Python programming language. Two guys in the audience made a joke about big dongles (dongles are things you plug into the USB port on the computer- and yes, they are rather unfortunately named), and a comment about forking code. Forking code, although it sounds like an innuendo (“I'd fork HIS code!”) is actually a legitimate programming term- it refers to taking existing code and modifying it to fit a different project.

The woman sitting in front of them, Adria Richards, turned around, took a picture of the guys, sent it over Twitter with the comment that they were making obnoxious sexist comments. Then the Internet exploded.

Because I'm still trying to parse exactly what happened and the potential consequences this situation set off, I'm not going to make a final judgment one way or another yet. I am somewhat uncomfortable with the way that Ms. Richards handled this, because it has the potential to cause problems for women in IT fields. What kind of company wants to hire someone that they're afraid will end up costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits and lost revenue? But at the same time, no one should be obligated to put up with actual harassment... I just don't think two guys going “huehuehue... dongles!” is harassment. Dongle is funny word. I think everyone in the IT field has made a dongle joke at least once in their careers. Even people who aren't in IT who come across dongles generally think they're funny. The first time my mother ever got a Bluetooth enabled phone, my dad was trying to explain to her how it worked, and told her that if she wanted to transfer the data from the computer to the phone or vice-versa, she'd have to use the connectivity dongle because the computer didn't have a built-in Bluetooth connectivity. She responded the “CONNECTIVITY WHAT?!”

In the grand scheme of things, dongle jokes are harmless, and Richards overreacted.

But at the same time, no one should be getting threats.

I just really don't know here. I'm inclined to oppose what she did, but the way the Internet blew up isn't exactly a good thing, either.

I think the important thing to learn from this is that you shouldn't stick your nose into other people's business. Especially when it has nothing to do with you. Also, if you get a dad with three little kids laid off, the Internet is going to come after you with cacti and pitchforks.

I might write more on this eventually. I'm still just trying to process.

For context, here's some artcles from both sides of the issue, both from Forbes Magazine.

Quora aggreeing that she overreacted and opened herself up to legal issues

DeAnna Zandt disagreeing, saying thatshe did the right thing.

Also, comments are closed for this. It's nothing personal, I just don't feel like hosting yet another branch of this battle.

Mar. 21st, 2013

Grinch Watch 2013: FFS, IT IS MARCH!

While most of the time, this blog focuses on just random things I feel like writing about, I do have some recurring features- some which are written more regularly than others. The fic rec, for example, barring any extenuating circumstances, is posted once a month, while other features, such as the series I write dissecting Michael and Debi Pearl's teachings, is posted whenever I feel up to actually trying to wade through their crap.

But I never thought I would be writing up a Grinch Watch post IN MARCH. Jesus H. Gundam Christ, you can't even let three months pass from the past year's Christmas before you lot start ranting on about how Christmas is under attack from secular forces? I mean, the first Grinch Watch post of 2012 was in NOVEMBER! At least that's somewhat more reasonable of a time frame. I mean, seriously, wait at least until stores start putting their Christmas crap up for decoration. Which... should probably be sometime in July if recent trends have been anything to go by, but that's neither here nor there.

The strange time-frame of this announcement notwithstanding, it gets even crazier. Oh no, my friends, this is no ordinary grumpy Grinch. This is everyone's favorite former vice presidential candidate from Alaska- yes, that's right, Sarah Palin is getting in on the Grinchiness.

While, in fairness to her, the book is scheduled to be published sometime in November of this year, the press release was given several days ago. Ironically, she claims, and this is directly verbatim from the article:

"Amidst the fragility of this politically correct era, it is imperative that we stand up for our beliefs before the element of faith in a glorious and traditional holiday like Christmas is marginalized and ignored," Palin said in a statement released through her publisher. "This will be a fun, festive, thought provoking book, which will encourage all to see what is possible when we unite in defense of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas."

Bit ironic, really- the only Scrooge I see here is Palin, dredging up the old War on Christmas zombie.

Feb. 16th, 2013

Parenting for Sadists: Too Old For Me To Open A Can of Whoop-Ass?

Part Eleven of a series. Because this series has gotten so long, I am no longer including links to the other posts at the top of these articles. Instead, please scroll down and select the “Parenting for Sadists” tag for the rest of the articles.

As usual, the article contained below contains graphic descriptions of child abuse, so please read at your own discretion.


Feb. 1st, 2013

Real classy, Ms. Pastor

Real classy.

Some pastor refused to tip her Applebees waitress, left a nasty note, and the waitress put it on Reddit. She was then fired.

Apparently, to complicate things even more, this pastor was the one who revealed her identity and complained about it- the waitress never put any identifying information in her post. It was along the lines of “hey look at this bitch who won't even pay the mandatory gratuity for her bill of nine people.” But it was the pastor who revealed herself.

Thankfully, most people are going “WTF” at the pastor's actions, as well as that of Applebees, but in the comments there are always the few fundie Christians who are complaining about anti-Christian bias. Personally? I don't care if you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, or if you worship the flying monkeys in your head, if you stiff your server you're a twat. Hiding behind your tithe to your church is no excuse whatsoever, you're just a cheap-ass bitch. The pastor is now complaining that the incident has brought dishonor and embarassment to herself and her ministry. To that, I say: GOOD. She deserves it, and she was the one who humiliated the server in the first place. I don't really care if her ministry has been discredited. She did it to herself.

As one commentor on the article says, It's really simple. If you don't want to ruin your reputation, DON'T ACT LIKE A MONUMENTAL #$%$. That includes adding injury to insult like you've just done. The waitress didn't ruin your reputation. YOU DID.

As someone else on the article said, Seeing that photo shows that Mrs Bell had only one goal by writing that.... insulting the waitress. She could have just as easily not tipped without the scribbling. Karma is a b tch. Now she is upset because she was exposed. Hilarious.

As it stands I will not be giving Applebees any more of my business since they sided with this customer.

Jan. 21st, 2013

Take The Money And Run

I know you guys are probably getting very sick of hearing about this sort of thing, but once again, the person who let me know about the video game creation scam has come forward with yet another instance of someone abusing the goodwill of the Internet to get money and bugger off with it. I'm basically at the point where I don't even want to donate to legitimate charities anymore because of all this fraud going down.

Now, I've personally never heard of firework-comic, the individual involved in this situation before, at least, not until Neil Gaiman posted her request of her begging for money. The evidence of this is here. So, Neil Gaiman's a good guy, and he probably thought that he was helping out a struggling college student. That's what I thought when I saw this, and because I'm a nice person I thought I would go check out this person's work. If I liked it enough I thought I might donate a few dollars. I've done similar things in the past for people whose work I enjoyed, when the needed the money (Kimberly Geswein, the font maker, makes beautiful fonts and requests that if you use her fonts for anything that's not personal that you donate a bit of money. I've used her fonts for school projects, so I've donated then).

What I found was a half-assed webcomic that has been in production since 2006 with approximately fifty pages to its name. Penny Arcade, another webcomic which has been in production since 1999, has exponentially more content than that, and the creators are actually competent at what they do. Not only did this woman have very little output to show for her years of work, but she also ran a blog called This Is Wealthy Privilege, which was basically nothing but complaining about how rich people can afford things she can't. She'd post these stories saying how she couldn't afford to pay her rent, how her parents kept mooching off of her, how the electricity kept getting shut off, and how at times, she didn't even have clean water to drink.

That was what first tripped alarm bells. She had also posted that she lived in the United States. Uh. I live in the United States. Barring something like a natural disaster, the water that comes out of the taps here is safe to drink. It might taste kind of weird depending on where you are (some places put different chemicals and vitamins in the water), but again, unless you're in a situation like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina you can drink the water from the tap without getting sick. While it is possible that if you do not pay the utility bill the company would shut off your water, that doesn't mean you don't have access to it at all. It's a bad situation- don't get me wrong. But you can go to the park and use one of the public drinking fountains- that water is clean.

But let's say that this individual couldn't pay her water bill and lived in an area affected by natural disaters, or used a well that pumped groundwater that became contaminated. If that was it, I'd understand that. But apparently she took donated money and used it to buy a Nintendo DS. You can't eat a Nintendo DS. You don't need a Nintendo DS to survive. But she bought one, despite supposedly being very, very poor. My informant sent me a link to this, which chronicles the whole saga.

Unfortunately, it's people like this who give charity a bad name.
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Dec. 11th, 2012

Grinch Watch 2012: Oh FFS, Stop Giving Them Ammo!

So, today's Grinch story comes from Fox News. For my non-American readers, Fox News is a notoriously right-leaning news channel that tends to cater to fundamentalist Christians. Since most people, even other conservatives, tend to consider anything from Fox News a bit suspect I normally wouldn't include sources from them, especially for a more serious post like this one.

So why am I including it in the Grinch Watch? The Grinch Watch has, in various forms, been going on here on this blog since 2010, although this is the first year I've actually given a name to it. I've spent a lot of time debunking the alleged “war on Christmas” that evangelicals think non-Christians are waging. But I'm including it because if this is true, then I have to say that they might- just might- have a fraction of a bit of a point, because if this is true, this secular person thinks the secular person in this story has gone completely overboard.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of those television shows that everyone in the English-speaking world has probably seen at least once. It's a story of the Peanuts cast putting on Christmas pageant and getting a scraggly looking little Christmas tree, while Charlie Brown talks about how commercialized the season has gotten. It's one of those things that is so ingrained in our holiday culture, it's like the Coca-Cola ads with Santa Claus and polar bears. Everyone goes “WTF!?” if it's taken out of the holiday season.

I'd also like to add that there is literally nothing offensive about that cartoon.

Yes, Linus does recite the story of the Nativity, from the book of Luke in the Bible.

But honestly, if you don't believe in it, then why get so butthurt when it's literally a three-minute segment in a television program about the holidays? Do you get upset when you hear someone telling stories from the Greek myths? What about the tales of the Norse gods? Or even the fairy tales most people grew up with? Are you enraged by Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast? What about Egla the Serpent Queen? How in the world did you get through World History in school? When I took it, we learned about Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and yes, even Christianity. How did you manage to graduate if you shit a brick at the merest mention of religion?

This atheistic-leaning agnostic wants to tell you to chill the fuck out and take a few deep breaths. The world is not going to end if schoolchildren see the Charlie Brown Christmas television special.

I'd also like to bring to attention the fact that this article states that attendance was not mandatory- it was a field trip. There were field trips I wasn't allowed to go on growing up- my eighth-grade class trip to New York City? My mother didn't let me go, saying that she was afraid I wouldn't take my medication if I went. There is no law saying that your child has to attend every field trip that the school proposes. Yes, your child might be pretty damn angry with you if you don't let them go on the trip, but if you are that strongly opposed to Christmas specials, then just don't sign the damn form!

I am kind of loath to say this, because I don't like agreeing with the religious lunatics on anything, but damn dude, you're giving the rest of us secularists a bad name. Yes, I am aware that the event was held at a church. So what. Like I said, if you are that opposed to it, just don't sign off on the form and let the other kids go watch their television program in peace. All this guy has managed to do with this is alienate a large number of people and make himself look like the second coming of Ebenezer Scrooge.

EDIT: Several hours after I wrote the draft of this post, I was able to find another source- this time from the local NBC of the area. Here is the secondary source- I couldn't find a way to insert it into the main body of the text without having to rewrite the whole thing, and well, I'm lazy. Sorry about that.

Nov. 24th, 2012

*bangs head repeatedly on desk*

(due to potentially offensive nature of this post, it will be going under a cut. Please don't click if you are sensitive to discussion of assault. Or idiocy in general. Because this is some damn stupid shit- seriously, this actually managed to offend me. And I don't get offended all that easily.)

Oct. 24th, 2012


Today's post is yet another semi-political rant, but it's quite a bit less serious than the last few. If anyone actually thinks this is a pressing issue, then I honestly don't know what to say to them other than that their priorities are kind of messed up. Fuck the economy, we've got PEOPLE WHO SHIP THINGS I DON'T LIKE to deal with!

Apparently, your shipping preferences are political now. If you prefer slash to het or femslash, you're a tool of the patriarchy and a misogynist and probably also homophobic.

I recently read an article written by a woman who claims that anyone who writes and reads slash fanfiction is misogynist, furthering the patriarchy, and also probably homophobic. Her rationale for this? Well, the misogynist thing she gave a few weak-ass examples of fan writers erasing women from the equation. Which, okay, fine, might happen sometimes. But that is an awfully broad brush you're painting with there. In fact, I don't think it's a brush at all anymore, it's more of a paint roller. Okay, so a couple of nearly decade-old Harry Potter fanfics demonized Ginny to make room for Harry/Draco. Have you read all the fanfiction ever? If not, how are you able to make the judgment that every single slash fic is like this? I'm sure there are some that are. I've even seen some myself. But to go from “some slash fics are offensive” to “every single slash fic in the history of the universe is offensive” is a hell of a logical leap.

As for the whole “slash fic is homophobic” thing, there was no evidence for this other than “cuz I said so!” I do not doubt that it is the case with some stories, but again, how can you state that every single story is like that?

Oh man, I really wish I could give a link for this, the article and its comments section were like a buffet of WTF. Unfortunately Firefox crashed and purged my browsing history and I've been unable to find the article again. If I do I will update this post accordingly.

Oct. 20th, 2012


Near where I work, there is a very expensive, high-end spa and salon. Because it is so expensive, I have never gone there (I do kind of need to eat), but I was planning on doing so around the holidays when I get my bonus, because then I'll actually be able to afford it. They have a massage package that sounds absolutely lovely, and my back has been hurting a lot lately. But anyway, my health issues aren't the topic of this post.

Apparently, this weekend that place is doing a special promotion for people who work in the same shopping district. Unfortunately even with the special discount it's still out of my price range (I've been working a bit less lately, both because I've been feeling poorly and because I need to do my classwork at some point). But I appreciate the idea, and was grateful to the lady that came into my workplace to let us know about it.

At least, I was until she turned to me and said that a facial would help my acne problems.

NO, REALLY? I had NO IDEA I had acne! I have totally never noticed the zillion blackheads that are all over my face, and I had no idea that I do get big honkin' zits thanks to my stupid medication! I have just been waiting for some random woman to come up to me and point it out!

Although, honestly, even though this post sounds angry? I'm not all that angry. I was just caught off-guard by it. Seriously, people, if you're trying to drum up business, don't tell your potential customers “LOL U HAVE ZITS!”

Oct. 7th, 2012

Not Yer Little Brother's Halloween

Ah, October. Halloween season. The time when retailers advertise the most WHAT THE FUCK Halloween costumes ever. Some people I follow on Tumblr were posting images of Halloween costumes from a site called Yandy, which sells “sexy” Halloween costumes. Whether or not they are actually sexy is another matter. If anything, these costumes are some of the most disturbing things I've ever seen in my life. I mean, sure, I am not attracted to women, but I'm completely baffled as to how anyone could see some of these as anything but disturbing.

For example, let's take a look at this one. It's supposed to be a sexy Care Bear, but all I can think of is that the woman wearing the outfit is a serial killer who murdered a Care Bear and wears the poor thing's skin as some sort of fucked-up trophy.

Or what about this one? Sexy Mario? How about NO.

OH MY GOD SHE KILLED PIKACHU. If I saw someone wearing this out on Halloween I would probably turn around and run like hell in the other direction.

Now, as to this little number, I'm confused. She's supposed to be a sexy honey badger, but honey badgers are not sexy. They're like Tasmanian devils- they eat the fuck out of everything they come across. I'm a bit worried for that woman with the honey badger on her head... what if it gets hungry?

There's a whole bunch of My Little Pony themed costumes, too. Considering the existence of the fanfiction Cupcakes, I find the Rainbow Dash one to be the most disturbing, but the Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, and Fluttershy costumes are equally alarming. I don't know whether to be relieved or annoyed that they left out Applejack, though. All I can say is- thank fuck they didn't include the Cutie Mark Crusaders. That would be more than my poor heart could take.

Oh look, I found Nemo.

Well, this sexy baby costume is just a big old pile of NOPE. Anyone who buys this should probably be added to some sort of FBI watchlist, because there's no way that they have good intentions.

Someone better let the Onceler know that some crazy bitch killed The Lorax and is wearing him as a costume...

Here's another one that probably needs to put the buyer on an FBI list. Seriously, who thought “sexy girl scout” was a good idea?

Oh god it's sexy Thor. There is a Captain America costume as well that I saw, but it honestly wasn't that bad, it was pretty similar to what Black Widow wore in the movie, except red, white, and blue, obviously. I wonder if there is sexy Loki as well?

This one is called Sexy Trash Monster. One guess as to which beloved Sesame Street character these costume makers have bastardized, and the first two don't count.

Sexy Pepe Le Pew costume. OK, that's it. I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
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Sep. 20th, 2012

I honestly have no words...

OK, you know what? If you're going to send a writer hate mail because one of their stories is “offensive,” don't use your university email account. Some dumbass (who I will not name, because I'm better than that) apparently thought it was a good idea to bitch at me about my My Little Pony story The Donors about how offensive it was. Never mind that I actually did put warnings on it that it deals with some themes of domestic violence, as well containing some more philosophical discussions on the morality of genetic engineering/IVF as well as some graphic depictions of violence. No, obviously my story is misogynist because a character gets pregnant (by her own free will, I will note, considering she sought fertility treatments) and another character was the survivor of domestic violence. Never mind that it is pretty fucking obvious from my story that domestic violence is a bad thing. Never mind that the character that gets pregnant was actively trying to get pregnant. What the fuck, seriously. Also, telling me that my writing was “typical male tripe?” Uh... well... it's not like I usually run around announcing it, but I also don't exactly make an effort to cover up the fact that I'm a woman. So unless I am actually one of those fish that can spontaneously change gender at will, you calling me a man is really pointless and just shows how stupid you actually are.

Also, can I just reiterate how fucking stupid it was for you to send me that email from your university email account? Way to reveal your identity while being a complete twat. I'm not going to actually do anything with it, but seriously? Way to be a moron. You've also been added to my list of known spammers, so any more messages you send to me will be automatically deleted.

Honestly, I'm still kind of in shock that this happened. Haters gonna hate and whatnot, but what the fuck. If you're gonna complain, at least make your complaint make sense.

Aug. 21st, 2012

CapAlert Alert #2: The Avengers

It's been over a year since I did one of these, mostly because there weren't any movies that came out that had funny CAPReports. But on a whim, I decided to check out their review of The Avengers. I'm glad I did, the result is comedy gold. Now, I can't quote the whole article like I do for the Parenting for Sadists series, so I strongly suggest you visit the link and read it for yourself, since I've only taken a small percentage of the article here for quoting. As usual, colored text is quotes directly from the site.

The article starts out with the writer going on about how surprised he was that the movie actually did score a PG-13 rating on the CAPAlert model, because of how violent the movie was. There's some talk about how the scoring system is unbiased, and some more confusion as to who actually was in the Avengers (Hawkeye and Black Widow apparently weren't Avengers in the comic books. I can't answer that to whether or not that's true, since I've not read the comic books, but that's beside the point anyway).

There's some plot summary, and warnings for spoilers, and then we get into the real “meat” of this review. The following paragraph is the second paragraph in their “wanton violence/crime” section.

The violence content of The Avengers is clearly more than enough to warrant reminding mom/dad about God's Word regarding the influence of violence. God warns us of the influence of violence dozens of times from the Old Testament to the New Testament but Proverb 16:29 puts the issue rather succinct. In Proverb 16:29 God warns that violence is "catching": that it can lead one into the way that is not good. In addition to God "publishing His findings" about the influence of violence, four professional public health agencies has published findings which warn that viewing violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the viewer, especially the young, into real life violence and can lead the viewer to believe violence is an effective means of settling conflict. Whom else needs to warn us about the influence of violence in and as entertainment before we start to believe it?

Um... the Chitauri were aliens that were trying to take over the world. OF COURSE they're going to be firing at the humans. And I've said it before, I'll say it again: watching The Avengers or another movie no more makes you into a violent person than standing in your garage makes you a car. It is an Action movie, after all.

From the “impudence/hate” section:

Thirteen times someone spews one or more of the three/four letter word vocabulary. One time what is claimed to be a British slang term of vulgarity which I will not explain was used. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 5:4] While none of them were the most foul of the foul words, 13 uses of profanity says more through an attitude of impunity, self-appointed absolution from accountability, than the words themselves. Additional matters of impudence and/or hatred include planning the extinction of the human race, forcing it into submission, lies and a brother stabbing his brother.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm assuming the “British slang term of vulgarity” was the “mewling quim” line. Honestly, though, the vast majority of people weren't aware of that word until the movie came out. I had to Google it, even though I had an idea, and I had to explain it to my brother. Also, again with the aliens. They're trying to take over the world. OF COURSE they're going to talk about how to subjugate the human race/cause the extinction of the humans. But I'm also pretty sure the Chitauri don't actually exist, and are not actually planning to take over the world and destroy all humans. IT'S AN ACTION MOVIE, NOT A DOCUMENTARY. If it was, we'd be in trouble. But it's not.

Moving on to the sexual immorality section of the review, there's some complaints about the Black Widow's costume, and the scene in the beginning where Captain America is in the gym, hitting a punching bag and the camera focuses on his ass. That scene has been made into gifs and have been posted all over the Internet. And hey, I can't really blame them. Chris Evans has a very nice physique, is it a sin to appreciate the assets God gave him, if you believe that? *snerk*

Then, they get to the Hulk's scenes, where he changes back into Bruce Banner:

Note that the following discussion is rather graphic but if your kids watch the film they will see it. Ruffalo, who played The Hulk is seen completely nude in two scenes. His genitals are conveniently hidden by his legs but he is nude and a crotch view is displayed. The "excuse" of the filmmakers to display such vulgarity in and as entertainment is likely that the Hulk, when he shrinks back to normal, would not have clothing that fit. Well, if such is "excusable" how and why did the Hulk find clothing large enough to fit his enlarged form that was previously covered by smaller clothing? It is adamantly obvious the filmmakers used this configuration of "excuses" to show nudity in a PG-13.

So what makes the display of nudity a sin? One might try to excuse nudity in and as entertainment with the argument that there is nudity portrayed in many Bibles and on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Let me remind those who would try such an argument that God did not put the nudity in the Bible nor on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Man did. God speaks darkly of "nakedness" 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation. He even warned the priests to not climb the steps to an alter lest the wind expose their nakedness to the people below

WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I can't even form a coherent response to that. Just... just... I hope this guy never has to take an art history class. Lots of nekkid ladies in high art. In fact, most of the art you study in an art history class is either religious, or naked women. Lots and lots of naked women. And everyone knows the Hulk's pants are very stretchy, so they can enlarge with him. But if you stretch something out, it doesn't always go back to its original size. That's why Bruce Banner always had problems after transforming. The Hulk's pants were way too big for him! Duh! And if nudity is such a sin, then why didn't God give Adam and Eve little leafy pants to wear when they were in the Garden of Eden? Why aren't babies born in little suits? Please excuse me for being crude, but you don't come out of your momma dressed.

The Drugs and Violence category and the Murder/Suicide categories don't really have anything that wasn't covered in earlier sections or that I haven't already dissected, but the “Offense to God” category is where the real fun is.

While there is sci-fi action that would mimic levitation and creation of energy, there is no presence of Satanism, occultism, witchcraft or the like in this film. But God's name is abused once. And once is once too many. [Deut. 5:11]. The film (and the comic) depends heavily on polytheism through embracing Norse gods.

Um... yeah? Loki and Thor are Norse gods. There is historical basis for them being deities, since they were deities in the Viking religion. But, if you look at the Avengers universe, Loki and Thor aren't exactly gods at all, they're technically aliens. Aliens with god-like powers, sure. But they're aliens all the same. There's not really any mention of religion at all, except for the scene where Captain America intends to confront Loki and Thor, and the Black Widow warns him that he should probably sit this one out, since they're basically gods. Captain America replies, “Ma'am, there's only one god, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't dress like that.” You'd think the CAPAlert people would love this movie, since Captain America basically gives lip service to their religion. But I guess not.

All in all, the CAPAlert managed to pull out another hilarious gem of a review for a great movie. Cheers, CAPAlert!

Aug. 12th, 2012

Parenting for Sadists: Not-So-Grand Grandparents

Part Ten of a series. Since it's gotten so long I am no longer putting links to the other articles at the top of these, so if you want to find them click the Parenting for Sadists tag, they're all there. As usual for the series here, most of the post goes under the cut to protect readers who aren't willing to read discussion of child abuse. Although I will say that this particular article is a lot less... horrible than some of the others. I wouldn't say it's NSFW, but I would caution against reading it in a place of business.

Apr. 19th, 2012

Secret Service Sex Scandal

I know this is old news by now, but bear with me here, I have some stuff to say about it.

First off- WHAT THE FUCK WERE THEY THINKING? They're supposed to be the elite! It's their job to protect the President, you'd think they'd be smart enough to know that bringing a bunch of hookers back to their hotel room wasn't the brightest idea. Haven't they ever seen a spy movie? The male spies always end up in peril because they sleep with the wrong woman, who turns out to be working for the KGB or North Korea or something. Obviously real life isn't the same as a movie, but there's been plenty of similar stories throughout history that actually happened. This is an interesting article from Foreign Policy about the history of the “honey trap,” as it's called, with stories of different spies and the foreign agents that seduced them. Now, I'm not saying that the prostitutes in this scandal were working for a hostile foreign power or the drug cartels or anything, but that the narrative is common enough and apparently happens enough in real life that you'd think security details would know about it. Not only that, they also had hard-copy of the President's schedule. Yes, let's bring a bunch of unknown quantities (they don't even have to be prostitutes, necessarily, just random people!) into a room with the President of the United State's security detail! I don't see ANYTHING possibly going wrong with that!

Dear Longcat, I could be a better agent than these morons~!
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Mar. 17th, 2012


It has recently come to my attention that there are some bloggers out there who do not work an actual, legitimate job and expect to get paid for their blogging. I am not talking about official corporate/news bloggers (Washington Post bloggers, for example, blog for their job, but they do it because that's what they've been hired to do, and they're generally held to more rigorous standards than people who blog for fun are). I'm talking about people who just sit in their momma's basement all day and throw up angry ranty posts. Apparently, there's a subset of bloggers who feel that they're providing a valuable service, dammit, and that you'd better appreciate their work and pay them for it! So you have five bucks left to live on until next payday? Whatever, hand it over you lazy moocher! I'm not doing this for my own benefit, if you wanna keep the content coming you're gonna keep forking over the cash!

Seriously, are you running a blog or the mafia?

And this is just a friendly reminder: The Lawn is free. The Lawn will never NOT be free. Of course, if you want to give me free money I'm not going to say no ;), but honestly, that's just bad form, demanding cash from your readers if they want you to keep posting lolcats or whatever.
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Feb. 19th, 2012

I ended up in the crazy part of Youtube again...

Video Description: Shakira's song 'Hips Don't Lie' plays for 30 seconds while Voldemort, Snape, and Bellatrix Lestrange dance to it.
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