Get over your post-Bean-Town-blues... because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Happy Father's Day! To all the dads out there... but especially mine, hope your day was a happy one.
• America! And here's how you deal with dumbass racist bigots...
And then? You get right back up again.
This kid says more about the American spirit and the ideals of this country than any number of morons who proclaim to be patriots, but don't have the first clue about what the USA is all about.
• Ferb! Okay then. Today in mind-blowing news...
Thomas Brodie-Sangster is Sam from "Love Actually" who is also Jojen on "Game of Thrones" WHO IS ALSO THE VOICE OF FERB ON PHINNEAS AND FERB! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?
• DOMA! I don't care what your religious or philosophical beliefs are. Anybody who would want to keep a law in place which causes such needless sadness and suffering is a sadistic asshole. There is simply no justification for this. None.
And yet there are piece of shit politicians who can look at this and still disagree. Like Senator Marco Rubio who continues to double down on inequality and misery by being a homophobic bigot that refuses to support immigration reform which includes gay couples... but then has the balls to turn around and say "Our faith has always been about compassion and it compels you to do something. If you took compassion or the principle of compassion out of the Bible, it would be in tatters because it's all over the place." Hypocritical bullshit like this makes me want to vomit. What a complete and total douche.
And... I've been up since 1:30am, so I'm spent. No more bullets for you!
After a random look at my blog stats, I saw traffic coming from a website I'd never heard of before. So I clicked through to see what was going on and found this...
NOM lifts pro-gay blogger's personal travel photo
I'm already I'm filled with dread, and I haven't even read the story yet.
And, sure enough, it was my photo they were talking about. The "National Organization for Marriage," which I can only describe as the preeminent anti-marriage-equality hate-group, is using a photo I took as a part of their anti-gay propaganda campaign...
Having something you created being used to peddle bigotry and discrimination is not an easy thing to accept. Especially when it contributes to creating an environment so hostile that LGBT youth are killing themselves rather than having to endure it.
Groups like NOM go against absolutely everything I believe in. But having them drag me into their persecution of the LGBT community is only half the problem. The other is my belief in a free and open internet. Which is why my Creative Commons License (appearing on every page of this site) allows non-commercial usage of the stuff I share here. Granted, NOM violated this license by failing to attribute the photo to it's source in a way that shows I don't endorse their bullshit... but otherwise? Their non-profit status (which is another topic entirely) means that their use of my photo is most likely permissible.
And it's this dilemma that has me frustrated to to tears. How do I reconcile my belief in sharing information on a free internet with my desire to keep my works from being used to hurt people by hateful bigots like NOM??
I thought I might find help in the "moral rights" clause of the license...
"In addition to the right of licensors to request removal of their name from the work when used in a derivative or collective they don't like, copyright laws in most jurisdictions around the world (with the notable exception of the US except in very limited circumstances) grant creators "moral rights" which may provide some redress if a derivative work represents a "derogatory treatment" of the licensor's work."
Except they make it clear that the USA is a "notable exception," which means this is practically worthless.
So what to do? Two things I feel very strongly about seem to cancel each other out. Have an open license, and your works can be repurposed to hurt people. Have a restrictive license, and you're inhibiting the creativity of others to build and share on your work.
I don't know what the solution is. Maybe you can't have it both ways.
All I do know is that I don't support NOM's ruthless persecution of a group of people under the pretense of "protecting marriage." And, make no mistake, it is persecution. They don't like gay people, so they fight to keep them from having the same freedoms as everybody else. And if spreading misinformation and outright lies is what it takes, they'll do that. If allying themselves with individuals or organizations which advocate violence against homosexuals will forward their cause, they'll do that too. Whatever it takes to keep homophobia and fear alive so they can maintain this absurd illusion that marriage is somehow "endangered" by a mythical "gay agenda" that's out to destroy society.
This situation shouldn't be upsetting me as much as it is. It's the internet, after all.
But gay kids are being bullied. Gay kids are killing themselves. And it's groups like NOM that are creating a society which encourages these horrible things to happen.
And being party to that... even unwillingly... is more than I can take.
Stop staring at those Golden Globes... because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Good. If you have a passing interest in astronomy... or even if you just like staring at beautiful stuff... then you have got to check out Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog over at Slate. I've been a fan of his for years when he was at Discovery, but he's really been be posting some amazing images lately...
You'll probably want to look at the Big Picture over at Bad Astronomy.
No shit, go check out the hi-res on this one. Mindblowing.
And in-between, Mr. Plait is still dishing up fascinating facts about the universe... and cool stuff worth knowing about our home back here on earth. Be sure to check it out.
• Cookies. Look, if a site requires me to enable cookies in order to use their shopping cart, that's fine. If I want to shop there bad enough I'll enable the stupid cookies, even though I don't want to. However... I am NOT going to be forced into enabling cookies just for looking at your website. And if you go to Target.com, that's exactly what they do ON PAGE ONE...
All I wanted to do was to find a local Target store at a given address. Why in the hell does that require cookies? Stupid. Stupid. STUPID!
• Backlog. Being a man and talking about rape and violence against women can be a tricky situation... even if you are condemning these reprehensible acts of brutality and cruelty. I've learned the hard way how just one misinterpreted word can get you verbally eviscerated, regardless of your good intentions. Even trying to be sympathetic can sometimes get you smacked down. Ultimately, it all comes down to one thing... "You're a man. You'll never know what it's like."
And women are, of course, correct. Men can't know what it's like for a woman to deal with rape... or even the fear that comes from the threat of rape.
So this is a subject I shy away from, even though I have strong feelings about it. Namely, that rape is an unforgivable criminal act which should result in the rapist being evicted from humanity. Permanently.
But, back to reality...
Certainly preventing rape should be goal #1. But if rape occurs, then making sure the rapist pays for his crime and ensuring he can't rape again is imperative. Thanks to a post over at SueBob's blog, I've learned that there exists a massive backlog of
And if you're looking for a place to donate some money, Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation "helps survivors of sexual assault heal their minds, bodies and spirits and reclaim their lives," and is deserving of your support.
• Accused. Of course, being a man, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that being falsely accused of rape can have consequences every bit as horrendous. You. Can. Lose. Everything. Your family. Your wife. Your children. Your friends. Your neighbors. Your job. Your livelihood. Your life. And, even if the truth eventually comes out, your life will never be the same because the original accusation never goes away. People may learn that you're innocent, but you'll always be that guy who somebody accused of rape. And don't get me started on how damaging false accusations are to actual rape victims trying to build cases against the bastard who violated them. Every lie that comes to light makes it that much harder to prove a truth.
So, yeah. If you are a rapist, you deserve everything you get. And more. But if you're innocent? That's the stuff of every man's worst nightmare. Case in point? Nancy Grace's relentless, ruthless public persecution of the Duke Lacrosse Team for gang rape. Day after day she poured on the outrage, pronouncing them GUILTY despite the three accused players' repeated denials (not to mention inconsistencies from the accuser). And when the guys were found innocent? Not even an apology from that fucking publicity whore, Nancy Grace (may she burn in hell for all eternity).
All I'm saying is that the consequences of falsely accusing somebody of rape should be so severe that it's not a viable option when a woman wants to deal damage to a man. Or when she wants to escape the consequences of a consensual act. Or for any reason, really. But it's a scary area to tread because you don't want to make it so that women who have been raped are afraid to come forward. I don't pretend to know what the answer is here, but when working to make sure rapists are punished, I'd hope that the accused innocent will be considered in the conversation.
• Guilt. "A New Hampshire lawyer who works with a virulently anti-gay Christian-right organization has been found guilty of child pornography charges after videotaping her own daughter having sex with two men on multiple occasions." —Salon
I am done being shocked by fucked-up news like this. These assholes ruthlessly vilify consenting adults over their sexuality... and it always seems like those who yell the loudest are the most guilty of doing horrendous shit...
"My favorite book is The Bible!"
This piece of crap worked overtime to persecute and deny equality to innocent people... but then spent her off-hours forcing her FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER to repeatedly have sex with TWO MEN while she filmed it. Apparently she felt her professional life was somehow "compensating" for the fucking atrocious stuff she did behind closed doors. Which begs the question... what's going on with all these other anti-gay bigots who are screaming to the rafters with their less-than-righteous fury? I am sickened at the possibilities. But no longer surprised when it shows up in my newsfeed. How sad is that?
And... I really, really wish I had another day in this weekend.
Kind of a good day for Washington State.
Neither measure benefits me personally... but any time equality, freedom, and personal liberty gain a foothold, it's a victory for all of us.
Put down that beverage... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
Or maybe not. Maybe you should pick up that beverage again and order another. That's what I'm going to do. Right after I edit out all the nastiest bits of this nasty Bullet Sunday in an effort to make it be not-so-nasty. I've had enough nasty for the week.
• Rewarding Failure. Despite being a total Mac Whore, I don't hate Microsoft.
• Unfathomable Stupidity. I've never hid my disgust and loathing of Rush Limbaugh as everything that's wrong with this country. He incites hatred by telling lies to a huge audience who never questions the bullshit he's peddling. This week he hit an all-time low by calling a near-twienty-year-old Batman villain, Bane, a conspiracy by the filmmakers behind The Dark Night Rises to undermine Mitt Romney's presidential bid by reminding people he worked for Bain Capital.
• Darkest Night. The horrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado is a horrific reminder of the world we live in.
• Chik Chuck. When a successful company proudly announces that they support organizations which fight for inequality, bigotry, and hatred... you kind of have to wonder why they're a successful company.
• Political Animals. Sigourney Weaver is one of my favorite actresses because she's appeared in so many of my favorite movies... Ghostbusters, Galaxy Quest, Alien, Aliens, Dave, Paul, The Cabin in the Woods, and WALL-E to name a few. So when I heard she was going to be appearing on television(!) in a new show called Political Animals, nothing could keep me from tuning in. And I wasn't disappointed. Such a deliciously good show with a really good cast.
• Two Birds. My favorite email client is called "Sparrow." It is beautifully simple yet very powerful, which is everything you want when it comes to your software. Unfortunately, Sparrow was bought out by Google, who promptly stopped development on the Mac and iPhone apps. While I can't blame the developers for taking the Big Google Payday, I'm still a little bitter about it. Just like Gowalla before them, it seems as though surprisingly little consideration was given to all the customers who got them where they are.
• Michele Bachmann. Surprise surprise. This weeks' installment of bat-shit crazy comes courtesy of the Queen of Bat-Shit Crazy.
Annnnnd... I want a fresh start in a fresh week now.
"I don't hate gay people, I'm just supporting the sanctity of marriage."
And while I don't think I will ever understand how two people with the same genitals getting married affects anybody else's marriage, I admit to being a bit puzzled that President Obama picks now to come out of the equality closet. While I'd like to think that he's doing it because it's the Right Thing, I harbor no illusions that it's politically motivated in one way or another.
Still... it's a start. And it is the Right Thing.
This video that's been burning up the internet explains why...
And here's where the whole tired excuse of "I don't hate gay people, I'm just supporting the sanctity of marriage" completely falls apart.
Regardless of a person's beliefs (religious or otherwise), the only "attack" on "traditional marriage" that cannot be denied or argued is divorce. Using same-sex marriage as a scapegoat for any matrimonial failures is just an excuse to discriminate.
And a poor one at that.
Remember back in 1999 when religious leader Jerry Falwell declared that the purple member of The Teletubbies was a homosexual role model for children because he was carrying that red handbag everywhere? Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but he was totally serious about it.
Since that time, other religious leaders and groups have been in an uproar over things they consider to be bad role models for children... and, more often than not, it's because they are gay (e.g. Chris Coffer on Glee) or assumed to be gay (e.g. Tinky Winky and SpongeBob SquarePants)...
Whatever the case, these morons honestly believe that even the mere sight of something they perceive to be gay will causes kids to embrace homosexuality.
And what can parents do when their child has been infected by The Gayness? According to Pastor Sean Harris of the Barean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., you beat the gay out of them, of course!
"So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, 'Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,' you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed."
"Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch, okay? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting too butch you reign her in. And you say, 'Oh no, sweetheart. You can play sports... play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'"
Who is this sadistic moron?
And we wonder why gay youth are committing suicide in record numbers.
I'm straight, but heaven only knows I'm not the most masculine guy in the world. I most certainly wasn't the most masculine kid in school. And because of that, I should have been abused and beaten just to be sure any non-masculine behavior wasn't a sign that I might be "turning gay?"
When the furor over Pastor Sean's remarks hit earlier this week, I started writing a long rant about how we're quickly becoming a society that is hostile... sometimes fatal... to children who are even a little different than what is considered "normal." But as I was re-reading it, I decided that it would do more harm than good, and tossed it.
Then today I read where Pastor Sean is retracting his statements of persecution and violence, but not really. He still feels totally justified in telling people to beat their kids based on scripture that he obviously doesn't understand.
And now I'm wishing I hadn't tossed out my rant, because I concluded it by calling Pastor Sean "a fucking asshole that should be arrested for child endangerment who then gets the shit beaten out of him in prison so he can fully understand the violence he is advocating."
Some would say that such a wish for violence against Pastor Sean makes me no better than the asshole himself. They would be right.
But then I think back to the child I was. The child who wasn't good at sports, who didn't like hiking or fishing, who wasn't popular with girls, who loved art and music, who wasn't like most of the boys... and I say "fuck it." He would have advocated my getting beaten, so it's only right that he be on the receiving end of the same sentiment. Eye for an eye and all that.
And since I'm pretty sure I read that in The Bible somewhere, it's totally justified, right?
Are you American? Have a computer? Congratulations! Your elected officials are working overtime to make sure you have no privacy and no rights... all in the name of your security! The House of Representatives just passed CISPA, affording the government horrendously invasive powers over its citizens. And it gets better... the bill that was passed ended up being far worse than originally thought.
The Obama administration has threatened to veto CISPA (apparently the Special Interest groups they suck up to don't have a problem with it)... but forgive me for failing to be shocked if this ends up getting turned into law anyway. In an election year, President Obama can be only be counted on for doing only one thing... doing whatever he has to do to get re-elected. If that means CISPA gets passed, I'm sure CISPA is going to get passed.
Look, I fully support tracking down cyber criminals, cyber terrorists, cyber pedophiles, and cyber stalkers. Criminals should be brought to justice, end of story. But not by completely trashing the privacy, security, and freedom of American citizens! CISPA gives the government a grotesque amount of power over its people. Power that's just begging to be abused. Because if history has taught us anything, it's that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely... no matter what the original intent. The fact that 248 politicians in the House of Representatives were either too fucking stupid to learn from history or too fucking evil to care speaks volumes about where we're at as a country. Forget about whether its Obama or Romney that's going to destroy America... THIS is where we start to fall, and it's a bipartisan effort!
Though what passes for "freedom" these days has me wondering if I should bother being this upset.
It's been tough for me to keep up with my online life this week as I've been dealing with crushing headaches, but Anissa (one of my favorite people on earth) mentioned a YouTube video where a guy with family ties to a Catholic high school was asked to speak at graduation... but got subsequently un-invited when they found out he's gay. In his video response, the guy mentions that he was "found out" because people at the school saw photos on his Facebook page.
And so I tracked down Dominic Sheahan-Stahl's page where I was expecting to see images of him having gay sex in the middle of an elementary school playground during recess. But instead I found this...
Oh yes. We just gotta protect society from that.
We simply cannot have two happy people in a relationship. What kind of example would that be for the children?
I tell you what... most days I find myself thinking that dying at age 50 would be just about perfect. I've done more in my life than most people ever will, so that should be enough for me, shouldn't it?
But then I hear about stupid bullshit like this and find myself hoping I live to be 100 years old so I can look back at this period in history and just laugh my ass off at how stupid and backwards society was. I mean, seriously, who gives a shit whether this guy finds his happiness in life with sausage or taco? The only people who should care are people interested in his sausage.
While everybody else should just be concerning themselves with is what's in his heart...
What a shame. Sounds like this is exactly the kind of person you want speaking to a graduating class.
Anybody who has ever said "FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!" is absolutely right. We paid for our freedoms dearly, and continue to pay for them every day. Which is why it's always shocking to me how people can be so quick to just piss them away. Whether it's by supporting a society where people are not allowed to speak because of what genitals are on the person they love... or by supporting a government that would steal their freedoms away in plain sight.
I just don't get it.
Which is why I'm no going to exercise my freedom to post this blog entry... while I still can.
It's Bullet Sunday on rails, baby!
• Oslo. I can't really find the words to express my deep sorrow for the people of Norway and the beautiful city of Oslo during the recent tragedies there. I was lucky enough to have visited the city back in 2008, where I met up with one of my long-time blogging friends and spent some time seeing the sights. I dream of returning one day so I can visit the fjord-laden coast and have some more of the best guacamole I've ever had.
My hopes are with Norway as they recover from such senseless tragedy.
• Comic Con. While I love the idea of Comic Con, the reality is just not something I can enjoy. The drastically over-sell the event, so you spend most of your time in massive crowds waiting in lines. HOWEVER... the idea of Joss Whedon making The Avengers film fills me with such happiness that I think I would have totally endured the trauma in order to sit in on that panel. But seeing the beautiful interlocking poster set Marvel has released is really the next best thing...
So cannot wait until May, 2012. This is literally a fanboy's dream come true.
• LEGO Heroes. And SPEAKING of super-heroes... earlier this week I saw that LEGO now has licenses to make sets for both the Marvel and DC line of comics! Is it too much to hope that a LEGO Heroes video game is in the works?
More images can be found over at Comics Alliance!
• Thriceful! Just a quick thank you to everybody who has made time to take a look at the latest issue of Thrice Fiction and send such nice comments! It makes all the hard work worthwhile. See you again in November...
(and if you haven't grabbed your free copy yet, what's stopping you?)
• Lovely. And lastly, before I go, a big congratulations to New York for taking a huge step towards equality for all. Some people have been waiting their entire lives for the opportunity to be married, and I couldn't be happier for them to have their chance at last...
It's been a long, long time coming. And yet there's still so much further to go.
Good night, Sunday.
Today is Wear Purple for Spirit Day!
According to the website, it's a way of "showing your support for the teens who took their lives because of anti-LGBT bullying"... which undoubtedly means to say that you wear purple to show your support for those who are victims of anti-LGBT bullying, and to honor those who have tragically taken their lives because of it. Which I absolutely do. But not just for those being bullied because they are gay, but for anybody being bullied because they are perceived as "different"...
Because I'm straight, I have the luxury of not being persecuted for my "lifestyle choice." But I am all kinds of "different," so wearing purple to support an end to bullying is no-brainer. Which is ironic considering that the people who promote the hatred and intolerance which foster bullies are the ones who don't have brains.
And when it comes to offering support and showing LGBT teens that they are not alone... that there are people out there who love, support, and accept them just as they are... that there are people outside the LGBT community who will stand beside them... that even though they may be in a home or school or community where they are not accepted now, things will get better... I'm happy to add my voice to the many, many people taking a stand for what is right. Today and every day until we no longer have to endure a society that would ever convince somebody their life is not valued and welcomed enough to live in it.
Be kind to each other, my friends.
SUPER-EXCITING BLOGOGRAPHY BONUS!
Usually, I don't much care for award shows. The wrong things are always nominated and the wrong things always win. I rarely, if ever, agree with anything to do with mainstream award shows... including more off-beat "mainstream" awards like those found on MTV. But there is one award show that I kind of enjoy, and that's the Spike TV "Scream" Awards (even though all the actual non-stop audience screaming makes me want to kill people). They celebrate genre entertainment for such awesome things as sci-fi and horror and comic books and such, and it's always a lot of fun for geeks like me. I went ahead and wrote a wrap-up of the awards they handed out, and provided my own running comentary on who I thought deserved to win. Since something like this will only appeal to the smallest handful of people, I've gone ahead and put it in an extended entry...