Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Multi-Factored Analysis

In response to this cartoon from The Nib and Matt Lubchanksy:

People seem to want to point the finger at one thing and one thing only, but guess what... something this big and complex isn't going to have 1 simple cause...Factors that ALL contributed to Trump being elected include (in no particular order)...

1. DNC Meddling
2. Bernie not conceding soon enough despite the DNC meddling.
3. A largely bs email investigation.
4. A separate email hack by Russians.
5. Fake news and other propaganda spread by Russians.
6. Fake news and other propaganda spread by for-profit right wing sites.
7. Hillary's "Trust Issues" (whether or not you think those were justified or not).
8. Our shitty electoral college system that gives smaller/less populous states more weighting in the system. Remember...the major of americans, by 2.8 million, voted for H.
9. James Comey's dumbassery.
10. *****TRUMP VOTERS***** (sub-causes: a racist, xenophobic voter base exercising backlash and racial resentment over 8 years of a black left-of-center president).

I'm sure I could think of 10 more if I tried. The point is, if any ONE of these things didn't happen, the outcome may have been different, but that doesn't mean whatever ONE thing you choose to cherry-pick was some sort of "ultimate cause".

In short, this election was a cluster-fuck.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Drawing I did of a friend's character. Winston the Gnomelf.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Glenn Beck Profile in the New Yorker (By way of the Washington Post)

Glenn Beck — yes, that Glenn Beck — tells New Yorker, ‘Obama made me a better man' (Washington Post)

Picking my jaw up off the floor again, first it was "Vote for Hillary" from Glenn Beck, now it's this...
About his views on Obama: “So much of what I used to believe was either always a sham or has been made into a sham. There’s nothing deep.”
"Beck went on, in the interview, to state that he now supports the Black Lives Matter movement."
"Beck’s primary inspiration for these changes in viewpoint, as the brief profile suggested, was first lady Michelle Obama."
"In the profile, Beck addressed the alt-right, telling the magazine that “these people scare the hell out of me.”
Speaking of Donald Trump: “This guy is dangerously unhinged,” he said. “And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.”
--None of this is to say I "like" the guy, or forgive him for all the damage he has done. However, it does give one a little bit of hope that the crazies can be least a little.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Was reading an article recently about how movie cops are rarely ever in the wrong when shooting and killing a suspect... think John McLane, Dirty Hairy, Popeye Doyle. They're always seen as the heroes that cut through the red tape of the bureaucratic justice system. Partly, this is because bureaucracy doesn't make for good cop/action movies. There are certainly movies that deal in bad cops, (Serpico, for instance), but rarely do the heroes of those stories become pop-culture icons...cuz ya know, goody goody cops are boring or something. My point is that for example, the French Connection is legitimately a great movie. It's a heavily fictionalized/based on a true story type of thing, but how sad it is that some people have looked at that film and thought that Popeye Doyle was somehow meant to be seen as a good person or a hero. Hell I'm pretty sure he uses "N" in a completely in context unambiguously racist way within the first 10 minutes to clearly establish him as a raging racist cop. How sad it is that good character writing (of a largely "bad" person) has almost become the rule instead of the exception when forming anti-heroes that we're supposed to cheer. I'm guilty of it myself, I loved LOVED 24, but ya know, I understood it was a tv show and the real world doesn't really have ticking time bombs who's location needs to be beaten out of a terror suspect. I enjoyed it purely as suspensful entertainment. Horrified am I to slowly come to realize that some people think the world DOES work this way and seem to want to encourage the pressence of Popeye Doyles and Jack Bauers in real-life law enforcement. They say kids have trouble separating fiction and reality, but I'm much more worried about the adults who vote and should know better. Not sure why I felt the need to write about this at 3am.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Even if you're a Hillary hating conspiracy theorist, her leaked Wall street remarks were....unremarkable. I've seen headlines from crappy second-hand "we only post links to stuff, and don't do any actual journalism" sites with headlines like "No Wonder She Didn't Want to Release the Transcripts!". I'm over here like...did you read it? The big "damning" thing I heard people up in arms for was her saying that "Blaming wall street for the financial crisis is an over-simplification"... Which, it is. A perfect storm of different factors went into creating that mess, yes, INCLUDING sketchy Wall Street behavior.

 I'd be a terrible politician. "My fellow Americans, what if I told you that everything you think you know about the problems we face is only a sliver of what's really happening, and there isn't really one easy answer for a solution. Good thing for you I brought slides, get comfortable."

Washington Post - Wikileaks Reveals Hillary Clinton to be Reasonable

Saturday, October 08, 2016

This isn't meant to trivialize this latest (SHOCKING) revelation, but I just saw a headline that said "Has Trump Finally Gone too Far?".... listen...Over the past year that question, or variations of that question or simply the statement "He's gone too far!" have been used so much that it's lost all meaning. Sane, rational people have known the man had "gone too far" long before running for the presidency. Has he gone too far?....STFU and stop feigning shock over this stuff. The people that support him know damn well what a steaming sack he is.
The question SHOULD be, to those writing these headlines or those that really ARE shocked by this: Since this happened 11 years ago, what kind of person am I that I'm only NOW realizing what a worthless sleazeball this guy is?

Sunday, September 04, 2016

So, this is my life. And bear in mind similar situations seem to happen frequently. Also, it may come across as humblebraggy, but I promise that's not what I'm going for.
I'm downtown today...just making an effort to get out of the house on a nice day, plus there was a small music fest thing going on on main street. Stopped at a few places, among them a record store, and I bought a few records. After that I go into the Pretzel Bell (restaurant/bar) on main st for lunch and go downstairs to the bar. I set the bag of records on the bar and I order a salad and water, later I decide on a beer. An attractive blonde, late 20's sits down a few chairs over. She asks me what's in the bag, I say "records" as if that wasn't already clear from the store logo on the bag. She asks like what? I say "Ooh, just various stuff". The conversation pretty much ends there. I then realize that oh, right, she was giving me an opening to talk to her...I should have at least taken the records out of the bag and talked about what I bought. Ok, well, I miss queues like that...moving on. My salad comes, I eat it. At some point later her male friend comes and sits down on the other side of her, not a boyfriend...he's talking about someone else he's trying to get with. During the conversation he shouts to me "hey bro!" and asks me my opinion on something, (which I won't detail was a "dude" question). I look over and answer him and chat with him about it for a few minutes. The girl then exclaims "WOW, I've been trying to talk to you for 40 minutes... I asked you about your records, your salad, your hat and you wouldn't talk to me, but you answered right away when he talked to you."
A couple things. She wasn't *really* being snotty about it, just sort of saying it in a joking manner. Secondly she wasn't my "type". Not that I look for a certain type, but this was an extremely outgoing, talkative person... Nothing about her, aside from her outward attractiveness really interested me (basing this on her conversation with her friend, personality). Anyway, what I'm saying is I'm not really kicking myself in that regard. The point is, while I heard the question about the records, I was in my head daydreaming SO much that I didn't even hear her or acknowledge her when she asked about my food or my hat. A person sitting right next to me. I think I only paid attention to the guy because he sort of shouted to get my attention. They left shortly after that.
I wasn't going to take her home with me, date her, ask for her number...any of that. Hell, she had a few drinks and was probably just feeling social (did I mention she seemed to love talking). However I left the place feeling like a huge asshole because I couldn't even muster up the social prowess to just be nice to someone at a bar. This is why developing and maintaining relationships is so difficult for me (and aspies in general, while we're on the topic). I JUST DON'T GET IT. And it's as simple as that. I only "get it" later on when I think about the situation.
Shortly after that I walked out of the place, down Liberty st and saw those 2 again in an alleyway goofing off, laughing, taking pictures or something. I thought "yep, that's not my life".
The guy's name was Trevor as well.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Pokemon Go and More Important things

I don't care about this new Pokemon game, but to those I've seen post things to the effect of "How can you concern yourself with Pokemon at a time of national tragedy and the world falling apart!": You answered your own question. I also don't buy that there's some conscious conspiracy by entertainment media companies to "distract" us from real issues. A large chunk of my facebook friend base either works in the entertainment industry in some respect, or creates entertainment themselves. I don't think any of them that work for Marvel or DC... or those that strive to are doing it so we'll stop paying attention to police shootings. This shit is terrible, let people enjoy things when they can without being all judgy about it. The world will always be falling apart. If Pokemon in some small way is helping keep it glued together by offering up some small amount of joy, keep your feed-hole shut about it.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ghostbusters, Frozen, and the strange entitlement of fan culture

Article link: GhostbustersFrozen, and the strange entitlement of fan culture (Via AV CLUB)

This, and btw I still think you're full of shit if you suggest the fact they chose an all female cast wasn't the catalyst for this inferno of nerd-rage. Throwing internet fits over what you saw in a trailer can ONLY mean you're basing your rage on superficial bullshit, rather than the actual content (not the 5 second-at-a-time snippets you've seen). That, and when I read comments on trailers or articles it's a bunch of people whining about the casting...but when it's "official" suddenly it's this high-horse argument about betraying the original blah blah blah.... you're full of shit. any other movie that has yet to be released will either be good or bad and there's little sense in trashing it before anyone has seen the damn thing.
I'm ok with "eh, that trailer wasn't funny/entertaining... I'm probably not going to see this movie."

Here's another chunk of my social media rant on the topic:

His fanbase wants him to tear it apart (without having seen it) and he refuses to even see it (based on a couple of trailers and a misguided sense of loyalty to a movie) and both crowds feel the need to go out of their way to let anyone that'll listen know they're fully willing to negatively judge this movie, site unseen...because reasons.

This new movie will not ruin anyone's childhood. This new movie will not ruin the original. This new movie may be good. It may be bad. It may be better than the original. The new characters may or may not reflect the same sort spirit the original cast portrayed their characters with. Who knows. I'm just tired of seeing all these social media posts and videos treat this reboot as some sort of crime against the fandom of the original. No matter how much importance anyone tries to heap upon the 84 original, I think it's unfair to the people who spent 2 years or more of their lives making this thing to shit on it before anyone's seen it. See it, don't see it. Doesn't matter, the world will go on.

I have no intention of seeing the new TMNT movie, Now You See Me 2, The Conjuring 2... some animated movie called "Quackerz" the Warcraft Movie... and a whole host of other things on the Rottentomatoes 'coming soon' page. Some of these based on trailers, some based on the concept, some based on the movie poster. I also have no intention of spamming the internet with outrage and list my many reasons for not wanting to see these things based on what my perceived flaws of them are. Because I'm not a child. Like most of the internet is.

"Hmm... I don't really like who they've got in the main roles. I don't think I'm gonna see this movie." <--That should have been the end of it for everyone.


Monday, May 09, 2016


This is interesting, especially in light of my comment yesterday about not wanting to be lumped in with a certain kind of atheist stereotype and also what it says about autistics. I think one of my biggest fears about having a set of philosophies and worldviews that don't conform to a particular mold or political party is that if I say one thing, people assume it means that I also believe a bunch of other stuff too. People love to think in stereotypes, it's easier that way. By the way I'm not overweight, I do not live in my mother's basement, I have a job, and I have been known to date on occasion (I was even married at one point). I'm also an atheist with a form of autism who is very much a loner. I am not defending misogynists here, rather agreeing that they don't fit into some mold or stereotype. Hateful assholes come from all walks of life.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

BvS and Nerdrage

Ok. BvS, here it is: Everyone chill the F out, jeez. It's not that serious. Have some tea.
Had no problem with the script (mostly), had no problem with the way the treated Batman and Superman's characters. I don't think that they in anyway desecrated the Superman character or lore. While I I loved the love-letter to the character and the Donner films that Superman Returns was, BvS took the character into places that were not at all strange or unfamiliar to the comics. I feel like the people complaining about what they've done to the character haven't read a single Superman story in their lives and have a very limited view of what the character is. I'm fine with Batman stabbing a few dudes. It's not really a reach for that character to become like that. I liked Benny as Bruce, I liked Gal Gadot as Dianna. Henry is fine as Clark. I thought Doomsday looked good even if he was a little bit of a CGI monstrosity.
What I did have issues with:
-The directing, of course. There was no reason for the entire damn movie to wallow in the mud. Scenes being "dark" become meaningless when EVERYTHING is dark and moody.
-The score was one long violin swell.
-Batman went from "I'm gonna stab you in the face with my krypto-spear to "ok I guess I'll save your mom since her name's Martha, sorry I tried to kill you just now" in 30 seconds.
-So Gotham is a 5 minute helicopter ride away from Metropolis? Alright then, I'll go with it.
-Middle act was a little choppy, but not too bad. I know some people were thrown by that evil-superman/hinting at Darkseid dream sequence/flash forward thing... at least to me though, it wasn't confusing... to the casual viewer though, I'm sure it made no damn sense.
-Lex: Hollywood still seems to think they're obligated to portray him as a goofball on the big screen and I don't know why. Just look to Smallville or Superman TAS, or (gasp) the comics for a good way to handle him.
Overall my complaints are actually minor and I didn't think it was bad. You can do MUCH worse with superhero movies (Punisher, Spawn, Ghost Rider). Am I going to make a point to see it again? Probably not. I think all you internet folk need to chill out with this thing, it IS just a movie after all, and no it didn't somehow dumb down the viewing populace or forever ruin its characters simply because you didn't like this particular version of them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Trump on Attacks In Brussels

"It's going to get worse and worse. In my opinion, this is just the beginning. It will get worse and worse because we are lax and we are foolish," said Donald J. Trump in the wake of the Brussels attacks.
He apparently does not realize that THIS, what HE'S doing, is the EXACT point of terrorism. To terrify and to provoke fear and irrational responses. Terrorists know they can't destroy the whole world, but they hope they can make it fearful enough to destroy itself and morons like Drumpf play right into their hands.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why Didn't I Hear About This?

People don't read the news, then share memes about some news story they like but have never heard of and act like there was some sort of media conspiracy to ignore it or keep the information from you. A quick google search then reveals that all kinds of stories existed on the topic at the time it happened. The media by and large isn't keeping things from you (at least on the aggregate, as I always preach: read multiple sources), it's that you don't like to read anything that isn't in small, easily digestible meme form (and probably inaccurate or over-simplified). "Why didn't I hear about this?" probably because you had your head up your ass. Yes, the media puts a focus on some dumb, unimportant things many times... but if you stop clicking that dumb shit, and click the on the important topics, the ad-revenue dollars are going to speak for themselves.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Bernie and Hillary

Taken from a Facebook thread that I figured would be better suited for a blog post.

In response to this political cartoon:

In spite of Hillary's issues (many of which are overblown), I'm going to go with the best candidate and not throw a baby-fit if my ideal one isn't nominated. Yes, she's got way too many ties with the very people who have anything but the American people's best interests at heart, and she's a johnny-come-lately on alot of social issues, and she (and this is the one that REALLY gets me) voted in favor of the Iraq war....

HOWEVER, she IS on the right side of most issues, even if she doesn't take them as far as I think they need to go (we need to work toward single-payer, there's just no avoiding that). And she does know how to get stuff done. Plus, she's aware that a thing called "science" exists, unlike the entire republican party.

That being said, a lot of the articles I've read defending Hillary against Bernie supporters tend to completely miss the point and defend a ton of straw-man positions. (the speaking fee thing... for the last time, it's not HOW MUCH she took that's important, it's who's signing those checks that is). They, much like the criticism of Hillary herself, are out of touch on why people are in favor in Bernie to begin with. It's not because he's got a ton of crazy grandiose ideas and wants to give people unrealistic hopes of "free shit", it's because when he says "I believe we should do X, Y, Z", based on his history and who his backers are (or more to the point, who they aren't), we can calmly say that his ideas aren't all that radical or grandiose after all. It should also be noted that exactly 0 of the issues I may have with Hillary have anything to do with the BS scandals that republicans have invented over the years.

 Anyway. Rant over. Go Bernie...and if his ideas prove to be too far out there for masses right now, go Hillary. I'll even wear a Hillary T-shirt. A bit begrudgingly maybe. You can stamp your feet and throw your juice on the floor all you want. You can shout "Stop telling me I have to vote for Hillary!" all you want. Vote for the best candidate. There's 300 million people in this country, not everyone's gonna get exactly the person they want. Vote for the best one and move things a little bit closer to being good. That's why it's called "progress" and not "give me everything I want right now or I'm gonna shit my pants".

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dawkins Uninvited from NECSS

Welp, that'll happen when you start making an ass of yourself on social media. Dawkins' science writing literally changed the way that I (and a couple of generations of scientists and science enthusiasts) looked at the world. The problem is in the last 10 years he's veered his public presence away from science and more into social issues and his often misguided views have come more under fire.
There's a line between being critical of Islam as a philosophy (which I am also) and just being hateful and judgemental towards muslims. It's a line that he's crossed in recent years. To be fair, not in an all-out Donald trump sort of way. I've always said that I'm critical of Islam (and all the world's major organized religions), but I'll always stand up for the right of people to believe what they wish (to the extent that it doesn't involve stepping on others' rights). I get it, violent Islamist extremism is a big problem in the world today. The answer, or the correct tactic is NOT suggesting the immediate annihilation of a belief system. The answer is what it has ALWAYS been: preaching tolerance. I know progress seems slow that way, but thems the breaks.
And more to the point of his most recent asinine tweet: There's a line between being critical of certain feminist ideas or tactics, and unnecessarily alienating the entire feminist community. The fucked up thing is that if you read his books, he has spoken often about casual sexism in society that goes oft overlooked. He even says in the tweet that he identifies as a feminist. So why then is it so difficult for him to understand how his words will be read?
Rant over I guess. I'd still recommend to ANYONE that they read Dawkins' science writing. Really, the man is brilliant in that sense. Just stay away from his twitter feed. What do you do when one of your personal heroes disappoints you? Take the good, leave the bad, and understand that humans will do that sometimes I guess.