Check Your Privilege Part III: You Can’t Have It Both Ways

Every so often, I find myself in conversations with people who, while they usually mean well, are completely forgetting the bubble they live in. I have posted before about the privilege of dumping on GMOs, and of how neurotypical people who can simply take a stroll through nature when they’re feeling blue have no right to poo-poo the modern medicine that others need to function.

This time, I want to talk about another conversation I recently had, in which the person thought they were simply being pragmatic in their views of overpopulation.

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PinkNews Needs To Pull The Stick Out Of Their Butt

Today is Let’s Disagree With Titles Day. This morning, it was about a woman taking “extreme measures” in protecting her son from police brutality. Now, it’s PinkNews that is in my crosshairs, with the eyeroll-worthy title Pokèmon Go adult film parody is the epitome of poor taste.

The people over at PinkNews need to get over themselves. First of all, the simple fact that the trailer in qestion was posted on YouTube should give you an idea as to how far from XXX rated it actually is. Just in case you were wondering though, I’m going to repost it here anyway.

 

That was the mildest sex-related parody I have ever seen in my life. They said fuck once, or maybe twice, and that was about it. Your average beer or car commerical is more explicit than that was. The epitome of bad taste? Really? Try saving that epithet for things which might actually deserve it. Say, for instance, Charlie Hebdo making fun of the earthquake victims in Italy mere days after it happened or, if you insist on the “epitome of bad taste” being sex related, how about one of the countless Holocaust-related porn movies out there?

Now I know that, in both cases, the use of hyperbolic language in post titles is done in an effort to be clickbaity. While I am aware of this, I still think that it speaks to a mentality that irks me.

I do not think that the people at PinkNews really think that this video is the epitome of bad taste. However, I also think that they only get away with such a title because the video in question makes the most causal, passing reference to gay sex. If PinkNews had featured any standard beer or car commerical, which was far sexier than anything you saw in the video above, and called it “the epitome of bad taste”, the degree of backlash and cries of “prudes!” and “feminazis!” would have been staggering. While hyperbole for the sake of clickbait is allowed somewhat online, there is a limit to how far most sites will go. Apparently, we’re still in a place where making a mild throwaway reference to gay sex can still be characterized as bad taste without anyone kicking up too much of a fuss.

Well, as far as I’m concerned, PinkNews needs to let go of the pearls, get off the fainting couch and lay off the smelling salts because yes, there are gay people and yes, they get to make fun of Pokèmon, Harry Potter, and any other ’90s childhood throwback that they like. Get over it.

 

That’s Not Real… Right?

By now, we’ve all heard about the Brock Turner rape case, or at least most of us have. We’ve heard of his very lenient sentence after he was literally caught in the middle of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. We’ve heard that his father flippantly referred to the rape as “20 minutes of action” which caused his son to lose his love for steak and chips.

Please disregard that noise you’re hearing right now. It’s just the world’s tiniest violin playing.

However, despite all of that, I don’t want to believe that this facebook page is real. It’s called Brock Turner Family Support, and this is the lovely caption it comes with.

Such complete disregard for human dignity as displayed by many of the commenters on this page is appalling. Do you have any idea how devastating an impact words can have on a person? Can you muster even an ounce of compassion for the anguish Brock and his family are going through? I seriously doubt most of you even have the capacity for empathy. How would you feel if it were your son having such horrible things said about him? You should be ashamed of yourselves!

Your words may sting, but no amount of vitriol can bring us down to your level. WE ARE ‪#‎BROCKSTRONG‬

Yes, we are aware how devastating words can be. Like, how someone could dismiss rape as “20 minutes of action”, for instance. That’s pretty devastating. So great, we agree! Oh, wait, that’s not what you were referring to, was it?

A quick look at the page, and I’ve never seen anything so victim-blamey in my life. So much so I’m putting it below the fold.

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Thoughts On: Mourning Celebrities

Note: this is an old post, as will be clear by the references. However, it is a topic that has come back up with the recent passing of people like David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Prince, so I decided to post it again.

 

OK so Whitney Houston has died, I’m sure the entire world has heard by now. I still have the same opinion as before on how obsessive people seem to get when a celebrity dies, but this time I wanted to address the opposite extreme. I don’t know if it’s just the people that I know and hang out with or if it’s my entire generation that tends to be this cynical, but the overwhelming number of comments and statuses that I’ve seen on this go something like this:

Ya I heard, so sad,
like I know all those children that died from malnutrition or war or poverty or whatever,
but I mean,
like,
Whitney.
I know she was addicted to all manner of things and recently, 

But still,
Whitney.

Now I don’t think that this argument makes any fucking sense, but I hear it all the time. Yes, Whitney Houston was just one person. As was Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Heath Ledger. Yes, it is true that there are millions suffering and dying around the world that we tend to care far less about, if at all.

But this argument doesn’t make sense because human emotion is not governed by numbers. You could also say that your mother, your sister, your cousin, your friend or your lover are just one person, one in the millions that die around the globe, so why the hell don’t you care about their death 1/1,000,000th of what you feel for the million children that died in the world? Of course you’re going to care more about someone you knew and cared about, regardless of why they died, because you have an emotional attachment to that person. It’s a bond, it’s the monkeysphere, it just matters to you more. So how does this translate to celebrities?

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Yea… Well… You’re Mom Is A Poopyhead!

Note: old post, but still relevant
It seems as though it is only when I am at my busiest that people start pestering me with the silliest things, this time it was a friend of a friend on facebook that was trying to make the losing argument that FOX News is an excellent news source with well researched stories.
It all started with my friend quoting an article from The Blaze, when I told him how terribly he had hurt my feelings that he had stooped so low. He told me that he still loved me despite us being political worlds apart, to which I responded
We don’t have to agree politically, I just wished you respected facts and journalistic integrity, neither of which can be found on the blaze or Fox News. 
At this point one of his friends decided to bogart the conversation, among other things accusing me of having a warped definition of journalistic integrity, which was funny, since I had never given one. I didn’t think he could possibly be serious, so I simply stated that Fox is not defensible, not if you’re literate. This sent him on a tirade of “NBC and MSNBC suck you know! You’re telling me they’re better?!”
“No,” I said, “I’m not commenting on other news sources, I’m commenting on FOX, which is terrible, systemically biased, and a great source for ridiculous outbursts like “Amsterdam is a cesspool of corruption!”; “Tide goes in, tide goes out, you can’t explain that!”; “Now we all know that Jon Stewart is going to Hell” and so many more.” He fired back with the same argument: “Other news sources are bad you know! You’re not aware that one time Chris Matthews told Hilary Clinton he’d help her?!”
 It didn’t matter how many times I tried to explain to him that the “well, other people suck too!” is not a valid argument he went back to it four times, after which I abandoned the conversation. While there was no point in letting the facebook flame wars we were having devolve any further as he was getting less and less coherent as time went on (at one point he accused me of having made a race-based argument, though making clear that he was not calling me a racist o.O), I felt the need to address this.
If someone criticizes something that you like or respect, is your automatic reaction to
A. Use that criticism to make assumptions about what that person likes or respects, and
B. Use “well, what you like SUCKS!” as an argument?
If you do, please stop, it’s a very silly argument.
Leaving out the weird rambling racist analogy that my facebook rival was trying to formulate to address this issue, let me give you an analogy myself.
I walk in to your apartment building, and immediately I notice that something is off. There’s a musty smell in the lobby, I can clearly see water damage on one side of the building, the security camera monitoring the front door is broken and the elevator door jams a lot. I tell you “damn, you’re apartment building really sucks!”
You respond “yea, well, other apartment buildings on this block suck too you know! I saw paint peeling in the bathroom of number 8! And the doorman at number 5 is really rude! You can’t prove that my apartment building is the worst!”
You’re right, I can’t, because to do so would require me investigating every inch of every apartment building on the block, which would honestly take far more time and effort than I am willing to put into this. I can say that I suspect your apartment building is the worst, given what I have seen so far, but for all I know the building next door has a devil’s gate to Hell hidden in the basement that I don’t know about. Also, you have to define what you mean by “worst”, worst in structure? Damage? Security? Aesthetically? Anyway it doesn’t matter if you’re the worst, the second worst or the best. I never accused your building of being the worst, I simply told you there are some major problems with it.
Unperturbed, you pursue the argument “Oh yea?! Well, number 6 over there had a fire in one of the apartments once! And number 10 only has seven floors instead of nine!”
I start to get frustrated, because I’m not talking about the other buildings, I’m talking about yours. If there are other apartment buildings that also have problems that sucks, but it has no bearing on the horrible conditions of yours. The conditions of your building are no better if it is surrounded by worse buildings and no worse if it is surrounded by better buildings. The problems in your place stand on their own and I am criticizing them objectively, not comparatively. If there are problems along the entire block that might be indicative of another problem, perhaps the people that built them are corrupt and need investigating, but that is not the issue here. The issue is there are problems that you and everyone else who lives in this crap apartment building need to address, regardless of what others do in other buildings.
Still unperturbed, you continue “You can’t be objective because you love all the other buildings and want to hate mine no matter what! Did you know that number 3 had a rat in the basement? I saw it! And number 9 has squeaky doors!”
And this is where I abandon the conversation, because there is no argument to be made with a brick wall of stubborn.
If someone takes issue with something that you like or respect, you need to address the specific criticisms that that person has. If they are right, take a good look at them and see if they have a point. Screaming at everyone else around you in order to deflect negative attention from yourself not only is a losing argument, it makes you look like a child having a tantrum.
Extra brownie points to anyone who feels like turning the above exchange into a webcomic, we’ll call it “talking to Fox viewers” 🙂