You Must Always Be Nice: why I’m not being nice to DJ Grothe

Women supporting harassment are told they're just recounting "locker room tales" and "sexual exploits"... BUT SOME GUY CALLED ME A DOUCHEBAG SO BOTH SIDES ARE EQUALLY BAD.

If I’ve learned anything over the last week, it’s that there are two opposing factions that slaver at the bit to attack us feminists for different kinds of slip-ups — or perceived slip-ups, rather. There’s the “free speech” crowd who think that freethought means you should be free to use whatever racial, sexual or other slurs you want while making your arguments, who will scream and yell and build controversy over your banning them as disingenuous asses. There is, at the same time, another faction who will taunt and misconstrue and manufacture controversy over any perceived instance of being “mean”.

People like me — people who both condemn folks for using sexist slurs repeatedly and with impunity, but at the same time are willing to call people names when I get emotional — are stuck in the middle of both groups. I look like a tasty target to both sets of people because I appear to be a hypocrite. And surely I am! I mean, how could I possibly advocate not using certain insulting words when I’m willing to use other insulting words?

It’s rather easy to sort this out, of course. Though it does take a bit of intellectual honesty. And probably more patience and empathy than a certain class of reader has to hir credit.
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Fan-made Thundercats movie trailer kicks all sorts of ass

You have to admit, whether you’ve seen the original Thundercats or not, this fan-made CG movie trailer has everything it would take to be a box-office success. It would certainly get me to watch. I mean, never mind the fact that I watched Thundercats regularly as a kid, and this probably breaks a dozen bits of canon — the CG is surprisingly excellent, fan-made or no, and the concept is pretty much exactly what Thundercats would need to become to make it in this particular all-action superhero movie environment.

(All of my above text can be boiled down to: “No Snarf! Perfect!”)

Jim Henson on how to build puppets, 1969

I loves me some Muppets. I never had the skill to work the hands of any puppet I’ve ever tried to use, though. The best I could do was the sweeping-arm movements. I probably would have loved to see this as a kid.

Funny how some really great puppets can be achieved by skilled puppeteers and little more than a wooden spoon, a cloth and a few rubber bands.

Hat tip to Laughing Squid.


It’s the American Thanksgiving, which is different from the Canadian Thanksgiving in that it happens in November instead of October. It also differs in the amount and variety of things that we shall consume, and the kinds of thanks that shall be given.

And around these blogospheric parts, it seems we’re directing those thanks appropriately, to the people who enrich our lives and give us reason to give thanks. We do not thank the seemingly-random set of circumstances that brought us together, or some nonexistant monotheistic deity who supposedly directs these circumstances, but we thank instead the people themselves for how they bring us comfort and joy. Telling them so is a bonus, but reciprocating the comfort and joy is paramount.
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Guitar cover of Castlevania: Vampire Killer

Castlevania took up a very large chunk of my childhood. The Castlevania games and Megaman were among the hardest video games available at the time, and they were and still are among the best in the side-scrolling video game genre. JT’s recent post reminiscing about video game music has reminded me to re-explore my video game memories, especially as regards the soundtracks that, in a lot of cases, could make or break a game.
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Leaving on a jet plane, again

This post is scheduled ahead of time to coincide with when the airplane takes off. Hopefully it’s on-time. Jodi and I are heading to Minnesota again, and very soon, will be touching down in Chicago after the first leg of our flight.

I’m planning on doing some writing on both legs of the plane trip, assuming my laptop battery holds out. If I have anything exciting written by the time we land, I’ll post it via the airport wifi in Chicago, otherwise you’ll just have to enjoy some video game music in a post scheduled very shortly.

In the meantime, don’t mess up the place too badly, please. Stephanie’ll stomp you if you try. With words, of course… because she’s capable of that sort of thing.

Remembrance Day – My Grandfather

Reposted from here.

My grandfather was a war veteran. I didn’t get to say goodbye before he passed away, from long-standing health concerns that finally caught up to him. I was in Toronto at the time, and was actually in the process of saving up to make a visit back to Nova Scotia when I got the news. I arrived two weeks after his burial.



I miss him. My familial neglect at the sunset of his life is going to haunt me for a long time.

The Case Against Outing Franc Hoggle

There’s a battle raging presently over at Ophelia’s and Stephanie’s over a guy by the ‘nym of Franc Hoggle. I say ‘nym, because a real-life friend of his learned of his online identity, evidently by him outing himself to this friend — leading to his friend discovering his blog, Grey Lining (no link, sorry). Said friend decided to tell Ophelia Franc’s real name so she could use it to defend herself and the rest of us by extension from his ongoing misogynist, anti-feminist, anti-FtB, anti-Ophelia and downright obsessive anti-PZ campaign.

To be clear, Franc Hoggle, despite making a great many oblique and yet threatening comments like “if I were a woman, I’d kick [Ophelia] in the cunt”, has never directly threatened anyone. In his nascent proto-Mabus state, he has compared PZ Myers, popular atheist blogger and small town professor of biology, of being like Idi Amin and Kim Jong-Il, the only admitted difference being that PZ was lacking only the opportunity to commit mass-murder.

The constant drumbeat of anti-feminist sentiment from his site and his commentariat (whom we would probably leave largely alone if they would only stop staging raiding parties!) is evidently intended to inculcate a hostile environment for our bloggers, shaming and othering and invoking fear to speak our minds lest we incur the wrath of some people who happen to think that including feminism in the skeptic and atheist blogosphere is the Wrong Direction For The Movement™. But he has made no direct threats to anyone, and short of the fact that he has visited the Melbourne-based Global Atheist Convention in 2010 under his real name, and PZ was planning on being at the 2012 GAC, he poses no physical threat to anyone in real life.

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Why don’t atheists just shut up and stay home? (a repost)

A repost. I’m completely swamped at work (this does happen occasionally), and am unlikely to participate terribly much in blogospheric shenanigans for the next few days. So, enjoy one of my earlier posts, whose points still stand. The comments on the original are also worth reading, though for completely different reasons.

This question was asked by an audience member at about 116:20 in the Hitchens v Turek debate posted yesterday: “If there is no god, why do you spend your whole life trying to convince people that there isn’t? Why won’t you just stay home?”

The audience member who posed this question was clearly on the side of Turek through the debate — applauding him heartily, crossing his arms and giving not a whit of applause when Hitchens spoke. It could be that he said “why WOULDN’T you just stay home”, he was not miked and the question was slightly unclear. However, I strongly suspect it was posed as an imperative as above, and if it wasn’t, I also suspect the questioner would not take offense at this characterization.

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Important events on this day in history

378 years ago today, Galileo was convicted of heresy for the crime of contradicting Catholic teachings about geocentrism with his heliocentric model.

56 years ago today, Jonas Salk’s Polio vaccine was declared to be safe and effective, ensuring the safety of infinity billion children.

50 years ago today, Yuri Gagarin made the first manned space flight in human history, dipping humanity’s toe into the ocean of space. He is quoted as saying while in orbit, “I looked and looked and I didn’t see God” (commonly mistranslated as “I see no God up here”).

Some unspecified number of years thereafter, I was born.


No, but seriously, happy birthday, me.