Born in the Right Time

My brother took one of those gene tests. Think he got a three-fer deal because they were checking out his adopted baby’s wayback past. The results were kind of darkly hilarious in their banality.

The family tales of a Native American great-whatever on mom’s side? Pure bullshit, of course. Relation to anyone famous they had in the database? Absolute ignominy. Earliest common relative with anyone famous was over five thousand years ago. I have as much relationship to, say, Darwin as I do to every white person in the United States.

The weirdest thing was just how white I am. The spiciest my ancestry gets is 25% Iberian European, so, like, one of my grandmas was secretly Spanish or Portuguese, maybe? No spice.

Why is that weird? Think about it. We all have exponentially increasing numbers of ancestors. Every generation it doubles. Go back a few hundred years and you can have over a thousand people who contributed in some small way to modern you.

Descendants of Attila the Hun have turned up in England. There were so many black folks in Elizabethan England that her Racist Majesty couldn’t feasibly kick them all out. The British Isles also had Jewish and Romani people living there for a long time. During the Victorian era there were enough Indonesians living in London to have a riot.

And I’m related to none of that? Not even a little? Out of tens of thousands of my ancestors, not one of them got with a not-completely-honky person? Not even a Sephardic Jew that converted to Catholicism during the Reconquista to avoid exile or death? Nothing at all?

I’m made out of thousands and thousands and thousands of racists. Oh, but I’m the end of the line. No babies, the buck stops here.

Socially speaking, we’re products of our times. Some people say they wish they were born in a classier looking era. Putting aside Renn Faire types and steampunks, even laundry machines looked sexier in the thirties than they do now. But who would you actually be back then, surrounded by lovely design and people in cool fashions? I can tell who I’d be. Don’t like it. I’m glad I’m alive right now.


Report on Transphobia in Health Services Silenced?

You’ve probably read the article by the two-fisted reportress Siobhan O’Leary about a crusty transphobe with some authority over transgender people’s health care up in Canadia. Important stuff, and I’m unqualified to add to it.

But given revelations that crypto-transphobe slimebag Jesse Singal was having private discussions with other journalists about how trans people shouldn’t be allowed to write articles about trans issues, and given that article prompted a twitstorm of creeps defending creeps in journalism…

One wonders if the cancellation of this article is punishment for Shiv’s involvement in that debate, and advocacy for trans journalists. That’s all we get to do. Wonder.


Reasons to Live Are Good

I rarely get music news from Japan. I love a few bands, but for some reason they don’t cross my mind every day, I can lose track. But I found out several years ago Kaori from Yellow Machinegun started another band called Suzisuzi, which means “vein” in Japanese. They are old school thrash punks, not young people, but exactly what you would hope to see in rock stalwarts. They crush it. And added bonus, one of these tracks is a retail worker anthem:


Watch Your Heart – Islamophobia and Antisemitism

I don’t have anything definitive to say on the issue of Israel and Palestine for a good reason: It’s a complicated situation and I haven’t done the homework. Even saying that, someone will come in the comments and try to tell me it’s really totally simple. Yes, aspects of it are simple. Massacres and apartheid and terrorism are bad, specific incidents and blatantly evil systems and institutions can be unequivocally condemned.

But taking a side in this conflict can lure you into affirming and amplifying your prejudices. Right now, creepy officials in the US are trying to force people to pledge loyalty oaths to Israel. That’s bad for us, bad for peace. France’s Emmanuel Macron has sad that rejecting Israel’s political will is inherently antisemitic. Again, compelling people to mindlessly support a state’s right to oppress an ethnic group. That’s bad stuff.

But all you have to do is raise the issue to see the antisemites and islamophobes crawl out of the woodwork – and to see people you’re normally inclined to like and respect start showing shades of those character flaws. Look at the phrasing of the comments on the Pharyngula post about this. Sometimes it’s subtle, but it’s telling.

The antisemitically inclined will list bad adjectives, then the word “jewish” among them. Maybe they aren’t antisemitic, but the way they phrased their comment unintentionally equates being jewish with being a fascist. Or maybe the outsized influence of the Israel lobby in the US provokes latent antisemitic feelings in them, about how jews secretly control the world.

The islamophobically inclined will say their feeling is that Israel will be more peacefully inclined and trustworthy than Palestine. They’ll remember the many instances of antisemitic rhetoric and actions being taken by Palestinians or people using them as a political cause, but forget all the islamophobic stew we’ve been swimming in since the damn 1960s.

If you are going to comment on the conflict in that region, do your homework first. That’s the reason I don’t comment on it – because I don’t have the time to take that step properly. And more than that, watch your heart. I’m inclined to trust the politically lefty to have the well-being of all people in their heart as they approach a situation, BUT I know damn well we are culturally cultivated to be antisemitic and many of us are just thoughtless enough to let that get out of control, get away from us.

All I want is for you to think before you speak, to search your feelings for prejudice. It may seem hypocritical of the guy with whose average post is tweet length, but bear with me. And good luck.


Open for Commissions Again

I’ve started paying back a new debt and it’s wiping me out beginning of every month. Once again, I’m putting out the sandwich boards. Will work for food. And money for xmas presents ;_; Anyhow, hit me up if you got some money and I can do something for you.


A Star Shines Again

In the progressive splinter of the atheoskeptisphere, there are some people that are really smart, some people that are really strong communicators, some people that just have the most consistent and best ethical practices. And then there are a vanishingly tiny set that have it all.

Heina Dadabhoy is writing again! They’re one of the very best. Give them a read, please. Their comment section is a ghost town right now, which seems so deeply wrong to me.

Come correct y’all. Read Heina’s blog, or I’ll box your ears!


Inktober 2018, the Rest of ‘Em

Content Warnings for Images: Blood, Gore, Artistic Nudity, Sexual Creeping

Here’s the rest of the month, 12 days late. I’m not going to put a proper visual caption on these. They’re OK for a bit of visual distraction if you can see, but they just aren’t worth the effort to describe. It’s so much digital ephemera. For this (my first) Inktober, I combined the Monsters & Mythology prompts plus the Official Prompts.

Going with the spirit of Inktober I didn’t allow myself much digital work. For example, I allowed myself no additional strokes or distortion / warping – though I broke the distortion rule for the image of the “Zmey.” I don’t have every color in the universe, pen-wise, so I did allow myself subtle use of adjusting contrast, hue, saturation, brightness. I felt some drawings looked too spare without a base color, so I added a fill or gradients to those.

You can still tell I did the under-drawing for all of these with a yellow sharpie, so I couldn’t erase it. I think that kinda stuff looks fun in a drawing but I know some people hate it, so sorry about that. In this batch, I put more effort into disguising that somewhat with color replacement on a number of the pictures.

As I got through the last half of the prompts, my content got a little more creepy. Let me know if anything was too much. Proceeding thus,
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Open for Commissions

I need money really badly at the moment. No emergency, but some urgency. My household is experiencing that “food insecurity” that gets mentioned on the news. I need money for groceries for a few weeks.

Here are some samples of my art, from my Inktober posts. Also, you can check out my portfolio at http://www.christophocles.com/ Hit me up in the comments below or to great.american.satan@gmail.com …


Inktober Drop Two

With the soul-numbing horror in Brasil, it’s hard to give a shit about anything except The Resistance right now. Nonetheless…

Another 6 days. I’m not going to put a proper visual caption on these. They’re OK for a bit of visual distraction if you can see, but they just aren’t worth the effort to describe. It’s so much digital ephemera. For this (my first) Inktober, I’m combining the Monsters & Mythology prompts plus the Official Prompts.

Going with the spirit of Inktober I didn’t allow myself much digital work. For example, I allowed myself no additional strokes or distortion / warping. I don’t have every color in the universe, pen-wise, so I did allow myself subtle use of adjusting contrast, hue, saturation, brightness.

You can still tell I did the under-drawing for all of these with a yellow sharpie, so I couldn’t erase it. I think that kinda stuff looks fun in a drawing but I know some people hate it, so sorry about that. In some instances I color-replaced it. Proceeding thus,
[Read more…]