Coming up on AtG, May edition

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Hello interwebs. I hope you’re having a lovely weekend! I had my first 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep in 6 weeks. No nightmares, no imaginary arguments, no staring at the ceiling and waiting for sleep to claim me. Acute episodes of PTSD suck. And at least part of that healing process has been trying to expand on some of the issues affecting me into broader discussions about how the issues permeate into society. Here’s what to expect for the May program on AtG:

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Proper Canadian Values

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Trudeau tries to keep his gains in support from minorities and women by maintaining, and in some cases expanding, social programs such as childcare benefits. But the federal government is trying to do this without going overboard on the deficit–so what’s one of their strategies to make up the difference? Are they cutting their military spending? Raising taxes? Nah.

They’re selling combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

I understand and support deficit spending on make-work projects in order to dig one’s country out of a recession. But surely there’s improvements to be made at home, where we aren’t handing weapons over to an authoritarian monarchy with a shitstain for a human rights record? Seriously, at least part of the reason the Middle East is a mess is because the Americans sold them military hardware years ago. Haven’t we seen how that turns out?

I don’t really want a bolstered childcare benefit paid for on the backs of Saudis protesting for democracy and human rights…

-Shiv

 

True Canadian Values

True Canadian Values

Quality education shouldn’t stop because the subject matter is ‘gross’

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Today we are discussing an instagram user that is both: 1) a science educator; and 2) a human pathologist. This comes with a rather obvious Content Notice: We are discussing a person who is granting a platform of education regarding death, bodies, and forensics. Their photographs feature human bodies in various states of decay and injury. Follow the links at your own risk.

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The REAL reason the world ended in the Fallout universe!

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Was the apocalypse in the Fallout universe caused by single-resource dependencies for energy grids? Was it caused by desperate governments hellbent on nuclear proliferation? Was it caused by an extended practice of imperialism which never truly ended?!

No. I have discovered the truth.

It’s because The Cambridge Diner has a gender neutral washroom:

 

The horror!

The horror!

Take care of yourselves, lovelies. I know you’re just ruined by this information.

-Shiv

Things to Say to Survivors

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You’re not a mental health professional (unless you happen to be a counselor of some variety). As a friend, acquaintance, or partner to a survivor, you can’t–and probably shouldn’t–try to manage someone’s mental scars. Healing is a long, complex process, and even professionals with years of study always know to personalize their approach to their patient/client rather than trying to ram them through a one-size-fits-all technique.

But the pernicious thing about mental scars is that they are difficult wounds to see, and despite our best intentions, we (both the survivor and those peripheral to survivors) may accidentally reopen them. The probability of this occurring is probably directly proportional to the amount of entanglement with a survivor: I would hazard a guess that an acquaintance is far less likely to encounter an issue than a partner.

The last thing survivors need when this happens is for the other party to exacerbate the issue with a poorly informed choice of words. So I’ve gathered some suggestions for what to do and not to do to avoid making the situation worse.

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Can you not?

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An article in the Examiner headlined “Butch Lesbian Mistaken for Male Ejected from McDonalds” is positively ripe for deadly facepalms. Emphasis mine:

The LGBT community’s crusade to make bathrooms gender-neutral has claimed its first casualty, and it is one of their own.

Excuse me, I have to go puke in a (woman’s) toilet.

It’s bad enough that we have turds panicking over something that shouldn’t be an issue, but let’s toss incompetent media coverage into the mix too. After all, it’s only a casualty if it’s a cis person who’s harassed in the washroom, right?

The study focused on people who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming/genderqueer in the Washington, DC area and found that an overwhelming majority — 70 percent — had experienced some sort of negative reaction when using a bathroom.

Again, old stats, but I doubt the trend has changed. If anything the Genital Police are even more zealous nowadays. But it’s still not a problem, at least for the Examiner, until a cis person has been targeted.

Oi vey.

-Shiv

 

 

Bathroom Bill selfie protests still make their point at the expense of trans folk

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So-called “bathroom bills” are all the rage these days, legislation that attempts to regulate what washrooms trans people are “supposed” to use. They often feature rhetoric about predators claiming to be trans women to access women’s facilities, or how women would be uncomfortable around “people with biologically male [sic] characteristics.” This prompted bathroom selfie protests wherein trans folk took pictures of themselves in facilities where they clearly don’t fit in, a move praised by Joe Sands on our own network.

However, this is not the strategy I can endorse to protest these absurd attempts to police washroom access by trans folk.

The bathroom selfie campaign only works because the people participating in it “pass” as cisgender. I don’t mean to say that gender conformity is bad per se, but those of us trans folk who get by on our day-to-day without getting clocked are not and were never the targets of transphobic bathroom bills–not until someone somewhere is Orwellian enough to literally require genital inspections prior to entry to a washroom. We can shock on-the-fencers into seeing, correctly so, that men would be required to use the women’s washroom and vice versa, because those same ignorant on-the-fencers overlooked the rather obvious fact that some trans folk are binarist conformers who are trying to blend in, not stick out.

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Sexy Story Time: The Look

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Hello interwebs,

Brief preamble: This is a short piece of erotica featuring one of my favourite kinks written by yours truly!

Probably NSFW. Ads disabled even though there’s no sexy images (can’t be too careful with puritans).

Stay hot & bothered lovelies,

-Shiv

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Breaking news: Canadian politicians disagree; this is apparently newsworthy?

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Hello interwebs!

Over in the Glorious Commune of Canuckistan, there’s a bit of a shuffle going on around one of our political parties–actually, two of our political parties. They share the same name and colour, but they’re different, I promise you.

That would be the New Democratic Party (of Canada) and the New Democratic Party (of Alberta). For anyone not in the know, Alberta is a province and its government would be vaguely comparable to a State-level government, but other than sharing a name and flag and colour, the Albertan NDP are not by any means accountable to the Canadian NDP. They are separate elections covering different levels of government, and they have platforms that highlight their disagreements. Despite the differences between the two parties, they are both stereotyped to being the “Socialist” party of Canada. As a Socialist, I disagree, but right now that’s not important.

In the past provincial election, the Albertan NDP won a crushing majority in the Legislature and busted a 44 year winning streak from the “Progressive” Conservatives (bearing in mind that the Albertan PCs were still further to the political left than American Democrats). In the last federal election, the Canadian NDP were reduced to third party status down from official opposition, and now the Canadian NDP are fighting over the carcass of their unsuccessful campaign. There’s a leadership election calling for its current leader, Mulcair, to step down–but there’s also a bit of a thrash occurring over something called the “Leap Manifesto.”

Why yes, intelligent commentators, I agree: Be immediately suspicious of anything called a “manifesto.” In short, it’s an announcement of to-be-debated policy points, some of which are left-wing economic issues and some of which are environmentalist (i.e. anti-heavy industry [oilsand]) issues. An intelligent person might assess the manifesto point by point rather than reflexively convulsing at the thought of objection to building more pipelines through First Nation land but whatever, you do you, Notley. You are representing the Texas of Canada, after all.

Anyway, I don’t know why the fuck the media is having a heyday over this. Two levels of government disagree on policy? Oh my goodness! Say it ain’t so! A shattered third-party political group thinks it needs to rebrand following its devastating losses? Fucking radical!

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the Canadian NDP decide what their platform is going to be for the next election, as long as they figure it out before it starts. I see no reason why the Albertan NDP can’t look at federal policy and disagree. I mean, Alberta has a long history of bitching about its treatment by Eastern Canada (sometimes fairly, other times not so much), regardless of which federal party held power, why would that change simply because we voted in a new government? The new federal government still budgeted under the assumption that Alberta would be the rest of Canada’s sugardaddy too.

I for one appreciate that the two parties are arguing openly. It speaks to me of a much healthier democracy that the fiefdom Our Glorious Infallible Overlord former Prime Minister Stephen Harper ran. At least this way we can actually assess what our delegates are doing for us.

Stay sexy & informed lovelies,

-Shiv

 

Good ideas couched in woo and bullshit

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Hello lovelies, Shiv here again, this time for some catharsis.

This is another more personal post–not much in the way of references or data. It is also information that is peripheral to my nasty break-up and I’ve hit the point where I need to… I don’t know. Vent, I guess.

So, I’m a skeptic atheist. I can generally be described by terms like “empiricist,” or “rationalist” at times. I tend to prefer that something go through an experiment where variables have been adequately controlled before I call the result actual bonafide knowledge, and not just an educated guess. Sometimes they’re just regular guesses, not so educated. Either way, the line that clearly demarcates the two states–knowledge and various degrees of guessing–is whether or not we have good data to back it up. Someone could be guessing and still be correct, but we have no way of verifying the accuracy of that guess without data.

Against my better judgement, I dated a hippie. My ex checks off enough points on a long list of hippie stereotypes that at some point I probably should have decided she had a poor way of structuring her own knowledge.

She wasn’t my first front row seat to woo. Admittedly I hadn’t dated someone who actively perpetuated woo, as an instructor of woo things, but I knew all the scripts almost as well as she did. The reason I didn’t mind (other than the part where she was attractive) was that my experience of woo often had a good idea at the root, but just embellished it in layers of bullshit. I could still learn the material and just dismiss the spiritual stuff as a metaphor for what was really going on, much in the same way an atheist can dismiss the Bible’s premise whilst still admitting there is merit to a handful of the fairytales present in that book.

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