short thoughts

1)The Coffee Party is looking less and less appealing, and more and more spinelessly accommodationist. Most recent update was a link to an article that starts like this:

Before we call someone a racist, we should ask ourselves: are we moved to call someone a racist because we feel compassion for the victim or because we feel hatred toward the perpetrator?

Calling people racist shuts down conversation. Not that there isn’t racism is the world, but I believe most individuals do not deserve to be called that. Or, rather, many of us would deserve to be called that because we all have blind spots and very few of us have fully examined lives. It would be better to ask individuals to reflect critically on their assumptions and prejudices (which are really pre-judgments). And because we are human beings and fallible, we all have prejudices to check.

refusing to name the problem won’t help. Not that the sentiment isn’t very nice and all, but this sort of squishy stuff ain’t going to successfully push back against the unadulterated force of irrational fear and hatred that is the tea party.

2)UPS doesn’t ship to PO Boxes. Will someone explain to me again why these for-profit are seen as so much better than the good, old-fashioned US Postal Service? And on that note, a coffee company who uses socialism as a selling gimmick should use USPS instead UPS; it ruins the effect otherwise :-p

3)There’s going to be a teabagger rally in Washington DC on the 28th, the anniversary of the “I have a Dream” speech. Last time they descended on DC en masse, they ended up confused and frustrated with the public transportation system, so this time, one of their sites helpfully gave advice on how to handle the DC Metro. And it sounds like the sort of directions/advice my mom used to give me when I was eight:

If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don’t know where you are, so you should not explore them.

here’s a map of the DC Metro, just to make this easier to visualize. Also note the fearmongering and willful ignorance displayed in the last sentence.

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Today, and image-post

still having brain-freeze, despite David’s accusations of lying, so I’m posting images. Those don’t require much thinking.

first, an old picture from when I was doing a lot of photo-manipulation(in case you’re wondering, yes, that’s a photo of me):

second, an extremely fitting snapshot found on the internet:

and last, something sciency on interconnectivity:

link-dump

1) “success oriented planning”, Big Oil edition: remote shut-off? we don’t need no stinkin’ remote shut-off!

2)The Arizonan immigration-law is sparking calls for boycotts on multiple fronts: baseball, businesses, other cities, foreign countries

3)random obligatory anti-corporate link: two simple statistics

America the really fucking weird.

Pandagon just had an article about overdraft fees, and this inspired me to list all the things I discovered when moving to the US which I found really weird, annoying and often primitive:

1)To pay your rent and utility bills, you actually have to go to their offices, or those special bill-pay stations in grocery stores. (automatic bill pay from your banking account is NOW the big new thing Wells Fargo is trying to get me to sign me up for)

2)Checks. Probably in existence because of 1), and because there’s no such thing as bank-to-bank transfer.

3)On cellphones, you pay for incoming calls, too.

4)All prices are given without the tax, so being able to calculate percentages in your head (and remembering what gets taxed and what doesn’t, and at what rate) is essential when shopping on a budget.

5)Credit. As in: you need to already be in debt in order to be able to get even deeper into debt; or even do something basic like getting a phone with a contract, rather than a pre-paid.

6)Salespeople on commission; they’re like a pest, especially when you’re a girl in an electronics store; and they STILL don’t actually know shit about the stuff they’re selling.

7)Restaurant service that verges on harassment at times

8)Sporks. Though, I now like sporks for camping; especially those ultimate sporks that also include a knife. They’re like little swiss army knifes, but for eating with.

9)three different kinds of artificial sweetener. everywhere.

10)Liquor stores; especially those with very limited opening hours.

11)Toploading washing machines with like three washing options (cold, warm, hot)

12)Upright Vacuums.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

There’s also a handful of things I liked more about being over here, but they didn’t cause the same level of culture shock :-p

1)At restaurants, being actually able to complain if there’s something wrong with the food; also, the ability to take leftovers home with me.

2)ATM’s everywhere. Whenever I get back to Europe, finding a way to get at my money is always a big pain in the ass. But maybe I’m just not looking in the right spots…

3)grocery stores that are open 24/7

4)Better format for university courses/degrees

Dispatches from the Boonies

So I went to the coffeshop, and out of boredom started reading the Minot Daily out of the recycle bin. In them (I’m fairly certain there was more than one day in there), I found the following:

1)Half a page just of church ads; 30 total, all different. Most were different flavors of Lutheran, but there was some Baptists, an Assembly of God, and some other versions I’m not familiar with. Noticeably, the two Catholic Churches in town weren’t part of that ad-collection

2)An opinion by the editor of the paper about how “net neutrality” is a bad thing.

3)An opinion piece by Michelle Malkin, whinging about how Obama is politicizing the Census, and how evil it is of the leftists(!) to have Karl Rove(!!) try to use a reference to the Founding Fathers(!!!) to get people to comply with it.

4)A point counterpoint about the RCC drama, with Stephen Prothero on the one side, saying that if only the Church could apologize and promise not to do it again, all would be well. The other side went straight for the bible, pulling out some quote about persecution and harassment of a prophet.

I need to stop reading that stoopid paper. It’s not good for my mental health.

link dump

just some links to stuff that’s relevant to what I’ve been writing about:

  • Example of non-voting democratic action, including the “the strident [insert minority here] are ruining it for everybody else!” canard.
  • An environmental website that deals excellently with the local vs. global dilemma :-)
  • A blogpost that demonstrates the crassly negative effects Toxic Masculinity can have on male-female interaction (AKA Toxic Masculinity ruins it for everyone)
  • An article about first steps towards finding an antidote to Toxic Masculinity, and about problems with defining a masculinity that isn’t toxic

and on a completely unrelated note, my blogpost on sex and toxic masculinity is on the 2nd page of google search for toxic masculinity. I’m so awesome :-p

short thoughts

1)There is only one reality. Really. It may be very complex, or hard to understand, or not yet fully understood so that there’s competing and incomplete ideas about it. But really, in the end, there is only one version of it. There’s no such thing as “this is truth for me”. reality just does not work that way. And me saying so does not make me a fascist or a fundamentalist or a bigot. If you’re wrong; learn something from it, don’t go running to mommy because you think I’m being mean to you :-/

2)I’ve finally figured out why, despite probably not having synesthesia, numbers have colors for me: d’oh!. Except that my 4s and 7’s are greenish, not pink/purple. hmm….

3)I watched “Invention of Lying” the other day. funny idea, but it bugged me to no end that for some reason the movie assumes that being always honest makes people shallow and coldhearted and calculating. If you can’t lie, even by omission, then you can’t lie to yourself either, so “social conventions” wouldn’t work, because people would honestly say what bull it all is. And therefore she would have never picked the snooty hot guy over the nice dorky one. She would have told him “you’re hot and I want your babies. But you’re boring and I don’t like you. So, let’s make some babies, and then get lost, please.” That completely ruined what could have been a good movie otherwise.

4)there was something else I was gonna write, but I forgot what. I distinctly remember there being four things I was gonna write about. Crap. Note to self: make more notes to self on paper.