When is it enough?

Spent early yesterday arguing with people who believe simply providing a service somehow indicates acceptance of a “lifestyle” you don’t approve of. Listen… until Vegans stop serving meat eaters and little old Jewish guys quit serving Goyim, you need to buck up and shut up.

But I’ve said what I had to say about the subject. If your religion says you should treat your fellow citizens differently based on something they do that has nothing to do with you, FUCK your religion. And fuck you.

I’m done yelling at you people. If I could put you all on a old and battered aircraft carrier and set you adrift, I would. Useless fucks.

Fact is, I have nothing else to say to you people. Except go away. If you’re going to be “raptured” I wish your dickhead god would just get it done. You people are quite demonic enough… I’m sure I can deal with the aftermath once you’re gone. Religious radicals are all the same. The only difference is in the expression of that radicalism, and that’s a sliding scale that actually slides.

Which leads us to gun nuts. Not everyone needs a gun. If you’d argue that your in-law to whom you wouldn’t even loan a vehicle should be able to walk into a shop and buy a gun no questions asked, you’re an asshole.

Yesterday I had the joy of battling THIS ignorance and then get hit in the back of the head with some MRA bullshit from an unexpected source. If that’s what I have to expect from even our allies, fuck it. I’m done. Most of our country is politically constipated, unable to give a shit about politics, even though it’s fucking up their life at this very moment.

I’ve said it before. The enemy is a hydra. I spend a lot of time attacking DIFFERENT heads, not just the ones that threaten me. I’m a bit tired of seeing people who don’t get that, who are too busy chasing their own particular head to notice their neighbor is getting chunks torn out of them.

This goes for the “liberal democrat” who thinks that gay rights is a distraction. Fuck you, jerkoff. That goes for the white “liberal” who thinks people of color need to “calm down.” Fuck you, buddy. That goes for men who think women are “too strident” when it comes to fighting for their rights. Piss off.

What it boils down to is that I’ve fucking had it. I’m done fighting about it all. Fuck everyone who’s so worried about THEIR hydra they don’t notice the head their allies are fighting.

If I was like that I’d be fighting for the rights of the disabled and fuck the rest of you. Women are getting hosed? Tough shit. I’m worried about disabled folks. Gay people are getting hammered? Ah, well. Maybe they should pretend to be straight.

I can’t PRETEND not to be disabled.

The President says that marijuana legalization shouldn’t be a priority. Well, tell that to the thousands of children currently being persecuted for it. Tell that to the parents who have to worry about their children being snatched away and given to child killers. Tell that to the workers who can lose their job over bullshit.

Must be nice to have skated by YOUR teenage drug use, Mr. President. Other folks–particularly of color–weren’t so fucking lucky.

I like arguing too much. I like knowing I’m right and the other person is wrong. But you know what? It’s not helping anything. I’m not convincing anyone, and I sure as FUCK have better things to do than yell at stupid people. Oh, they might not be as viscerally satisfying, but they still need to be done. I could spend all that writing energy working on my next book. My problem is that as much as I love my books, I figured that some of my energy should be spent fighting for other people. But I’m feeling downright unappreciated in this capacity. I’ve got hundreds of people who read and share my shit.

Appreciated, but I’d appreciate it more if they shared my shit and read my books. Or bought them and deleted them, for all I give a shit. I’m doing all this for free, and all I’ve ever really asked is a bit of support. But I’m not feeling it.

I grow weary of the fight, especially when I feel as though I’m fighting some battles alone because my allies are too busy focusing on THEIR priorities.

After thousands of years of oppression and being treated like children, women have a right to be a little piqued. And they have a right to fight for parity as they see it. Those who sabotage that, or give a platform for those who would, will get short shrift from me. Same with those who fight against equal rights for LGBT folk. I could yell at them. Quite effectively. I can smack them repeatedly with a truth stick. It doesn’t help.

We’ve got popular media figures saying that one group exercising their free speech is somehow silencing individuals, or other groups. Proving that Bill Maher and Larry Wilkerson don’t understand free speech in the FIRST fucking place.

This is what I mean about feeling as though allies are taking potshots at my back, and the backs of all of us who are fighting for a more equitable world. We successfully chastise someone for being a public dick and shitheads like Maher come along and try to say we’re wrong for exercising OUR free speech because it made them uncomfortable.

Fuck Maher. If you say something you KNOW is likely to offend a large group of people, don’t be surprised if they show up at your metaphoric door saying things that hurt your fucking feelings.

As long as you have the ability to respond, even if you’re outnumbered, you have not been denied your free speech. That dickface who was kicked out of that college class because after repeated warnings doesn’t get to whine that he was silenced. He still gets to speak. He can blog to his heart’s content. But the teacher and other students in that class didn’t have to be his captive audience. He wants to teach a class, he’s welcome to apply. Otherwise once it’s been revealed that no one is particularly interested in hearing your P.O.V. ad nauseum, find something CONSTRUCTIVE to do.

The study I read the other day really tweaked my nose. Here’s the real skinny. The majority of Americans aren’t tuned in enough to pay attention to what’s really going on. Only the politically engaged actually know ANYTHING about the politics and policies that matter… and then only those who are willing to accept information from multiple sources and are willing to tolerate occasionally ambiguity. The rest of us primarily make our political decisions based on OUR PREJUDICES. Our reaction to, say, undocumented immigration, might be our personal feelings about Jesus, the neighbor’s gardener and have NOTHING to do with the big picture elements that move the engaged progressive or liberal. On the right wing they just tend to accept their in-group’s prejudices, which is even worse than a personal prejudice that’s actually BASED on something, even if it’s something stupid.

What this means is that we’re never going to be able to recruit enough of the uninitiated to really make a difference. It’s going to take making the MOST of our alliances. Our single issues have to expand. Women have to decide that gay rights are as important as abortion rights (and, for the most part, they seem to be heading that direction). Gays have to decide that abortion rights are as important as their right to marry. Immigrants have to decide that women’s and gay rights are as important as their immigration concerns. And vice versa. Labor activists have to grasp that women’s rights are also important, and that gay marriage will help people see the real inequalities that exist BEYOND those of common prejudice.

Show me a feminist with a knife buried in a gay activist’s back, or a gay activist with a knife buried in a African American leader’s back, and I’ll show you an unknowing saboteur who’s doing more for the other side than they’re managing themselves.

This means that things like prison reform, reform of our drug laws, and various things should matter not only to those with a personal stake, but to ALL of us. Because, you know what? If you’re seen FIGHTING their personal hydra head, they might turn to take a few swings at yours.

Frankly I’m burned out and frustrated. And, in the end, pretty damned disgusted. I don’t think I want to do this anymore. I can’t be the one who’s watching everyone else’s backs for knives from within. I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be the one engaged with gun rights freaks AND religious freaks only to find that allies are heaving crap at feminists and other progressives.

Not dealing with this. Either stand together or fall separately. I’m not going to kill myself fighting these battles if the minute I’m not paying attention the various groups are going to start warring amongst themselves, or taking potshots.

I even get a whiff of someone who wants to pretend that women are “in control,” or ever have been, and I’m gone. I’m not inclined to host someone else’s delusions. In some cases some men get screwed in custody hearings. And the system will grind a poor man underfoot if given half a chance. But that’s true regardless of the circumstances. Once the system notices you, you’re just a target. If you can’t afford to pay it off, it will do its damnedest to destroy you. Don’t feel like you’re anything special because the state’s interest is simply because you’re a man in this particular case. It has its own way of targeting members of other demographic groups. You only feel singled out because you’re burning with self-righteous anger. Yes, those women and the system screwed you. Uh-huh. You had NOTHING to do with it.

Meh. Not impressed. If your argument is that your problems arise from “those damn feminists” or “those damn gays” or “those damn immigrants” I have a feeling you should be pointing at the person in the mirror.

And more than anything yesterday made me glad that I’m not a member of any in-group. I’m neither fish nor fowl. My loyalty belongs to the cause of equality and human decency, not any particular movement espousing one path to achieving it for one particular group of citizens.

And while there’s a great call for an African American women to succeed Holder as A.G. I’ve got a serious sticking point NO ONE seems to want to consider. Holder has made it clear he’s willing to look at mitigating the harm done by the war on cannabis. She’s made it clear she’s not on board with that.

So my question is whether she, with this attitude, will do ANYTHING to alleviate the suffering of the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of American men of color who have been unjustly persecuted by our “justice” system because of the ludicrous excuse offered by possession of a plant that’s arguably the safest therapeutic substance known to man.

This is what I mean about fighting other people’s hydras. I know people who’ve been fighting for legalization SINCE THE SIXTIES. Decent people who always vote liberal, who are finally seeing some progress here. Unless she brings something specific to the table to serve ANOTHER agenda, her nomination will be a kick in the face to all of those people for no good purpose.

To those who don’t think it’s important… well, the families of all those people unfairly incarcerated probably care an awful lot.

We’re talking “big picture” here. With normalization of marijuana laws, a lot of the interactions happening between people of color and the police simply won’t happen. The cops won’t be out there believing they can get an easy bust simply because they target someone who might have cannabis.

We’ve had a female AG. We’ve had an African-American AG. Unless her abilities exceed everyone else’s by a great degree, I don’t think the trade is worth it. Any gain for either women or African Americans is barely symbolic, and it’s going to cause a real loss for another arm of the progressive movement.

But, you know… whatever. I’m announcing my disinterest in arguing about any of this. I’m tired of trying to convince people of what seems obvious to me. EVERY angle must be considered. Not just the ones that one group or another want to bring to light.

Part of the reason we keep getting into big messes is because we are continually discounting one group’s concerns in the interest of promoting someone else’s perspective. While embracing social liberalism, the Democrats turned their backs on labor… and vice versa. We refuse to accept that only by achieving equality on a social/cultural level will people finally grasp that they’re being screwed over by corporate America and the racial/gender divides have been a convenient lever.

I’m checking out for a while. I have nothing more to add right now. I don’t want to argue about it. I just want to go lick my wounds and try to get a more positive perspective on things. I have maintained faith in the human race to solve our problems… but now that faith is as shaken as it’s ever been.

Rather than standing side by side against the hydra, we’re going to throw each other in front of the gnashing teeth in an attempt to get in a shot while it’s busy chewing on our comrades.

I want no part of that.

Can’t take it today

My BS detector is wide open and I’m picking up the odor from nearly all directions. From those who want to defend the laws protecting people who prejudge potential customers to others who want to deny that the climate is changing, to those who HAVE to make the stupidest arguments with regards to sexism, sexuality, and media.

Got my tail tweaked by a link to post suggesting that “what’s wrong with SF today” is that everything is some progressive analogy… which is a load of fucking hooey. This is why I’m increasingly glad I’m not part of any organized “community.” It seems to me that the function of such things is to produce bullshit in ever increasing amounts.

Sales of SF and fantasy book titles may be decreasing. At the same time such titles are exploding in the box office. Oh, they may not be as expansive as you might like. There are a thousand titles I can think of that would make great movies. But even so…

People are reading less. That’s just a fact. And when a minority reads for pleasure, all the authors out there are pretty much competing for the same readers. What are you bringing to the table that’s new and original?

I didn’t like this particular post because though he alluded to all these cases where “the sword-swinging warriors were actually the invaders of peaceful Dragon Land” and such, he never actually offered EXAMPLES of same. I can tell you, I’ve never read anything of the kind, and if it exists, it’s certainly not indicative of a goddamn TREND.

Maybe being a writer is as much about sniveling that you’re not being bought and read as anything these days. I could join the chorus. “Oh, it’s my politics. People don’t buy my stuff because they don’t like my politics.” Or “I don’t pander to a certain audience (pick your audience) therefore I’m being picked on.”

Did that sound convincing?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “Political correctness” stifling free speech. Maher’s whined about it. Larry Wilkerson has whined about it. Here’s my observation. You can say anything you like. But if you piss off too many people, they WILL come and yell at you. A lot. This is not curtailing YOUR right of free speech… as much as you’d like to whine that it is.

The most feminist thing I ever read was a series by Gael Baudino, who frankly, makes Margaret Atwood look like a Mens Rights Advocate. One of hers is the only series I can think of in which the dragons might beoppressed and the bad guys are the sword-swinging men.

More or less. The guy makes it sound like this is every other book/story being written these days. If he thinks so all I have to say is that he’s reading the wrong damn things. And maybe, occasionally, reading too much into things. Not everything is symbolic of anything else, regardless of what your literature teacher tried to tell you. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Gael Baudino, for those who don’t know, is a lesbian Dianic Wiccan Priestess out of Denver who writes fantasy on the side. Some dark ass fantasy too, filled with very real historical horrors transplanted into a fantasy realm. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of patience for those whining about how men are portrayed by some of these women. Sniveling doesn’t impress me much.

When I was younger I dreamed of great success. Now I’m happy if people read my books and enjoy them. I’m not trying to win any awards, or impress people with my expression of my political ideals in my books. (You’ll find that politics varies greatly between characters–what one character might advocate another would find horrific).

I thought back, tried to recall the more popular fantasy series of the past few years. Can’t say I’m really up on the SF, given that I’m thrilled when a new Bujold Vorkosigan Saga book drops, but pay little attention otherwise… and it’s not as though SF has been reluctant to tackle uncomfortable (for some) subjects all along.

In fantasy I find myself thinking of Dresden, and Game of Thrones, and maybe Patty Briggs’ Mercy Thompson novels. The urban fantasy and young adult stuff that’s come out with such a bang lately. Stuff vaguely similar to the stuff I write.

I’m still not sure what THE FUCK this dude was talking about. Yes, people have stopped reading SF and Fantasy because the spaceship or barbarian on the cover is falsely advertising adventure and giving people thoughtful social commentary instead.


I’m currently waiting for the next installment of Sanderson’s “Mistborn” series.

Maybe he’s talking YA here. You know, like Tamora Pierce’s books. Maybe he’s referring to the revolution of the slaves in her “Trickster’s Choice” and “Trickster’s Queen” duology.

Okay, I’ll admit I’m reaching. I have to, since he offered no examples. When this landed in front of me and I read it I was left genuinely annoyed by it. And you all know me. I don’t hide my annoyance very well.

Seriously.. this dude needs to read more. Or different things. Or SOMETHING.

Ah, quit your bitchin.’

I’m tired of people bitching about the Democrats.

Some 30 years ago the wingnuts decided the Republican Party wasn’t actually representing their interests and set about infiltrating the party and setting up their own political machine inside of it. This culminated eventually in the Tea Party. The ACTUAL people in charge of the Republican party want to USE the culture warriors–they don’t want them to be calling the shots. They weren’t exactly given a choice.

Instead of doing something similar, “progressives” fled the Democratic Party because it wasn’t good enough, and then bitched because the party wasn’t progressive enough. Every day nearly a hundred members of the progressive caucus go to work and fight for the little folks, but they don’t get interviewed very often. In fact the media only usually approaches a single one of their number… Bernie Sanders.

If you think the Democratic Party isn’t good enough, the person to blame stares out of your mirror every morning.

The progressive caucus could use a bit of help. As much as we can give it. Which is why we should be trying to elect more progressive Dems, not wasting our energy throwing poop at a party we’ve had a hand in making less capable.

If you’re bitching without proposing a solution or resolution, you’re just whining.

Culture War refugees take heed

Tied up in the culture war is a basic concept that is constantly ignored. Freedom. Do people have the RIGHT to be homosexual? To be what they’re clearly born to be? To they have the right to make a choice, if they should happen to be inclined that way? If you actually believe in freedom, if you actually believe people have the right to make their own choices regardless of what a small subsection of religious folks think about it, then there’s no sticking point here.

You can’t claim to be for “freedom” if you think it’s any of your business what consenting adults do behind closed doors. Or with their own bodies, when you get right down to it.

Religious freedom determines what YOU do. You can choose to go to the church that suits you. You can call God by the name that suits you. You can read the religious text that suits you. You can follow whatever holy days you wish to adopt, depending on the religion or sect you claim. You can teach your children this belief system.

What you DON’T get to do is force others to abide by it, or act as though you have more right to swing your religion around than anyone else does. Christians in the U.S. have no more right to say that gays can’t get married than Muslims do telling women they have to wear burqas, or Jews do telling people they can’t eat pork.

There are sects that don’t allow celebration of holidays. There are sects that require very specific acts of restitution if crimes are committed against fellows or the godhood itself. No one requires people not of that faith to abide by these tenets. And this is a good thing. This is true religious freedom.

And now they’ve decided that they somehow get to decide what “their” money is spent on. If they pay into insurance pools, THEY get to decide what kind of medical care other people get to pay for with it. As if that money still belongs to them once they’ve paid it out.

Seriously, people. Do you NOT consider that a sub-text of the whole “pursuit of happiness” angle didn’t mean the “pursuit of a good time?” Ben Franklin was a known lecher. Thomas was shtupping his slaves. Men of power have always had mistresses. Some of the religious have objected, but the fact is that throughout most of history, the powerful and wealthy have done whatever the hell they wanted regardless of what anyone else would have done. And particularly men of wealth and power, who were given the ability to simply TAKE what they wanted, be it land, or a woman’s virtue.

Women deserve the same sexual agency as men have always had. If that means that we have to change the definition of marriage, than so be it. It’s not the first time THAT has happened. Despite all arguments to the contrary. Look up Betty Bowers explains traditional marriage.

A religion may be a fine thing to have. It didn’t suit me in the end. I’m pretty much dedicated to thinking for myself and absorbing someone else’s view of the universe and subsequent deal doesn’t suit me. I figure I’ll know the score soon enough, or know nothing at all. Either way I’m satisfied. And, no, I don’t believe in the divine judgement. If other people can’t see the utter falsehood inherent in their claim of omniscience for this jealous, mercurial, and often just plain CRUEL deity, then there’s not much I can do to convince them. But the OT “God” was a dick. Jesus coming along and saying “Hey, he promises to stop being so much of a dick” was followed by several centuries–damn near two thousand years, of the Church being quite dickish enough all on its own, thank you very much.

Another person’s religion doesn’t harm me in the least. As long as they know where to stop swinging it. I don’t barge into their churches and denounce their holy books. They need to stay the hell out of my secular government. And keep their long noses out of my sex life… such as it is. Is that too much to ask?

Images and words

Here’s why I don’t get this tendency a lot of people have… someone does something that pisses them off and they don’t see them as an individual. As a representative of humanity as a whole. They tend to be pigeonholed as “goddamn <insert racial slur here> or “goddamn <men/women/gender insult here>” rather than just as a generic human asshole. If you call someone an asshole, other assholes don’t rise up to defend them. Okay, depending on what KIND of asshole they are. But people don’t self-identify as assholes and rise to defend other assholes.

If you’re looking at other people and thinking “They’re that way because they’re black, jewish, british, korean, etc…” you’re really missing the point. They’re that way because they’re HUMAN. Oh, sure, there’s some cultural oddities you occasionally encounter, but that’s usually with more recent immigrants. “No, sir, we are not allowed to haggle with customers. That’s not how things work here.”

There’s this backlash against this “PC Police” stuff on campus. Listen, if you call a girl a “slut,” you’re going to piss off a bunch of self-identified “sluts” or anti-slut shamers. Feminists who think you’re commenting on THEIR sexuality. If you call a transgendered person a “trannie” you’re going to piss off a good portion of THAT community and their friends. I talk about emotionally charged things all the time and I tend to do it without offending people in GENERAL. I don’t have a bunch of people of a particular mindset swarming all over me because of accidentally offended their sensibilities. Usually if someone’s pissed at me it’s because I’ve PERSONALLY offended them, and it’s usually because they’ve offended me.

Does it sometimes make communication a bit of a delicate dance? Well, yes. But communication is supposed to be precise. Our communications should be to be well-considered, especially in this era of permanence. Your “off-hand statement” isn’t really all that casual. It’s not going to simply disappear from everyone’s consciousness. It’s on the internet, which, as long as we don’t crash civilization, is as close to permanent as we can imagine right now.

Language is next to worthless if we treat it as some slack-jawed messenger that gets the job done even if he has to ride down a couple of kids in the street. Words have power. Immense psychological power. They can be used to build or destroy, and sometimes our assumptions of which is which can get confused. And when people decide to start defining terms to suit themselves, to act as though “language is fluid” is an excuse for changing definitions on the fly, it gets even worse.

For example. When was the last time you heard someone in RW media refer to a white person as a “thug?”

That’s not coincidence. These people understand language. I do believe that their think-tanks and media groups use the data mined from several propaganda heavy autocratic regimes, nearly a hundred years of advertising, and every other public relations and psychological bit of mind-feckery they can delve into, to craft messages that are calculated to bypass the rational minds of a great many American adults. And of course this reinforces itself because they’re told that these specific outlets are the only people they can trust for information.

These are the same people who scream their “free speech” is being abrogated because they can’t walk up to a gay person and say “You know you’re going to hell, right?”

And it’s not as though they’re swarmed and beaten, or thrown in jail, or waterboarded, or anything else. Instead, they’re publicly castigated. By other people using THEIR right of free speech.

“You don’t have a right not to be offended.” No. But you also don’t have a right to tell people you offend to shut up.

Stop saying “Freedom of Speech” if you don’t even know what IT MEANS.

You know, I really wanted to give the Nightly Show a chance. And I did. But last night’s show just pissed me off. For all his talk about “keeping it 100” he allowed the rightwingers last night to compare social backlash for unpopular speech to passing laws restricting freedom of speech, which are TWO very different things.

“Keeping it 100” my ass.

Unless someone amazing replaces Jon, I have the feeling that my Comedy Channel viewing will be reduced to @midnight, because I’m DONE with the Nightly Show.

Rick Scott issues an order banning the use of the term “climate change,” an order with the force of law, and they want to pretend that this is somehow similar to a social media backlash.

Having people yell at you because they don’t like what you’re saying doesn’t abrogate your free speech. It just proves that speech goes around and everyone gets to participate. If you say something completely insensitive, don’t be surprised if the Twitterverse reams you a new orifice. This IS NOT the same as using the power of government to shut you up. If you think it is, you DON’T UNDERSTAND THE CONSTITUTION.

Liz Winstead was the only one on the show last night who appeared to have a clue. The rest of them? Fucking morons. Including the host. Hell, ESPECIALLY the host.

An Alternative 2nd Amendment (AA2A)

Imagine if the 2nd Amendment read “Because the right of self defense is an innate right of all living creatures, the right of a citizen to learn as many martial arts as he or she desires, including up to an including the use of weapons, shall not be infringed.”

Of course, they didn’t use the term “martial arts” at that point in time, but still. Imagine something that codified our right to self defense but didn’t specify firearms.

At the time the firearm was considered the “great equalizer.” A weak shopkeeper with a gun might be more powerful, at least briefly, than a skilled swordsman. Assuming he had a loaded weapon on hand, of course. It was the era’s version of “hope you can get your gun out before the bad guy shoots you.”

There was a time when anyone with any money whatsoever couldn’t go anywhere without a guard, if he or she wasn’t stupid. Before guns. Before modern culture. See, back in the day if crops failed there were no bailouts. If crops failed, farmers could become bandits in a matter of days. Desperation leads to desperate acts.

I think this notion that “guns = self-defense” is contributing to some bad shit in our country. And most people realize it too. We’ve tried to suppress the non-lethal forms of violence while allowing the means of lethal violence to remain relatively easy to obtain. The guy who used to punch his boss and walk out now walks out, gets a gun, and returns to shoot the boss. And others unlucky enough to be in the area.

Penn and Teller did an episode of their bullshit show “Bullshit” (I dislike Penn intensely, btw) about how effective the martial arts are in self defense. (Penn’s a Libertarian. I’m pretty sure his argument was “guns work better.”) Wanker.

I’ve used the martial arts several times to save my ass, and others. And not only do those trained reflexes work in a fight, they also help me react quickly in other circumstances. I once snatched a flailing air hose out of the air before it could whack me in the face. It helps reduce reaction time, training synapses to fire faster.

Just the other day I fell down the stairs. If not for my training on falling I could have seriously injured myself. But some of my oldest training came to the fore and I landed without serious injury… though I hurt for days.

Here’s why I think kung fu is better than guns. I’ve never heard of a kid finding kung fu magazines and accidentally killing people with them. Strong-arm robberies using martial arts are quite rare. People are not having lethal martial arts battles in the streets. Guys aren’t killing their girlfriend’s kids practicing Tae-Kwon-Do.

No one can steal your Karate. And you don’t have to buy a trigger lock or a safe to store it in.