Worried About My Circuses

Bread and circuses. I can eat – housing costs have been the real enemy of well-being in the USA – so I got bread covered. And circuses are OK, but the economy has hurt my ability to get out to every one of them. I missed Wonder Woman this summer, only got to see Spiderman once, as much as I liked it. But Hollyweird is losing money, and that means it’s about to get crappy.

It’s gonna get crappy because detached billionaire corporate fuckos always take the wrong lesson from travail, change the wrong things. I don’t mind them working smarter with the budget, reducing the level of detail in the spectacle some. I’m betting they could be less shit with how they advertise too. We don’t need saturation advertising to remember to watch something like Guardians 2, come on.

No, they won’t get smarter. They’ll just panic and pander to China harder. Maybe make Chris Pratt a personal slave to Xi Jinping for a week, suck off some party officials, include giant subplots about how the sino-socialist wage slave system makes Stark tech awesome. Nobody committing suicide at the iron man suit factory, pay no mind to the giant nets.


Why Do Diseases Hurt Us?

It seems like the ideal way to be a parasite is to allow your host animals to proliferate and be well. The healthier the host, the more nourishment they can provide the parasite. So I have a few questions for those in the know:

Why do virii and bacteria harm us, when they’d be better off if we were healthy?

Are there any truly harmless parasites in the average human? The mites in eyelashes seem pretty chill.

As I think of it, some diseases can only spread if the host coughs, sneezes, or vomits, but is that the reason for all of it? A sexually transmitted disease that negatively affects one’s sexiness seems like it should be very unlikely.

To wax Agent Smith-ish for a moment, humans seem to be demolishing the planet on which we depend for life. It’s an instinctive race to grab the most resources that has produced economic and political systems that remove all guilt and forethought, do nothing but grease the slide into hell.

Are parasites doing the same? Does life clamor its way into these overly-successful dead ends every time? Is the cycle of mass extinctions a natural mirror of our boom-bust economics? I don’t know. But I do know this: Nature sucks. Nothing more to add, today.


The American Bastille

The current system of AmeriKKKan slavery is conducted through the prison industrial complex. That’s a system of Bastilles long overdue for a smashing. This Bastille day, nearly at an end here in the continental USA? Not the moment. But it will come.

Wish I had something more to say on this. I add sentences and subtract them. It’s all just words for their own sake. The point remains simple: Destroy AmeriKKKan prisons. Free the slaves now.


On Mother’s Day

Today as I was in a drive-through to get breakfast, I saw a crow get its breakfast. Right in front of me, just as I was saying something nice about crows (I’d recently seen one using a proper tool and it warmed my heart), a crow flipped a sub-adult pigeon off the roof and started pecking it to death slow like. Up on the roof, a mother watched its child murdered. Portentous?

The driver of the car was herself a mother, and more upset by the scene than I was. Dismal business, if natural on all accounts.


Uncomfortable Positions

Some people occupy uncomfortable positions in culture. Ladies that are into video games, when gaming culture is overrun with misogyny. Ex-muslims who want to denounce islam, without playing into the hands of racists and xenophobes. Atheists that care about their fellow humans at all, apparently. For all of us, there’s a lot of choosing your battles, choosing your allies, choosing your enemies, and – worst of all – having those options taken away from you by circumstance.

Some of my favorite bloggers in progressive atheism have gone silent in the face of this horrorshow world kicking it up all of the notches. Unrelated, maybe. I think some people are considering the path of least resistance – scaling back their approach to social justice issues, tolerating some skeevy fools more than they would have a year ago. Maybe for some of us, that’s really what we would have preferred all along – not getting into an ideological corner box where one must fight the world.

That isn’t me. I’m in the corner box, no interest in playing nice with people I fundamentally disagree with about hugely important issues. If you want more discourse with people who don’t see you as fully human, there will be blogs you can follow. If you’d rather not see that, this place is going to remain clean as a whistle. I don’t care if people see me as a jackbooted enemy of all freedomz amurrica holds dear, but I have no intention of loosening up moderation here in any way.

Certainly, I have no intention of cutting slack to half-assed allies and NPR liberals either. If you’re 95% in favor of the progressive agenda, but feel the need to condescend about bellicose radicals, don’t bother to comment. I can take criticism, I know I’m not always right, but I won’t take it from someone who has to be an asshole about it. Already banned one fool over that. Step up to the plate if you like, you’ll get the same.

Anyhow, I find running this kind of show makes my personal uncomfortable position a lot easier to navigate. There are a few battles I’m avoiding, you can guess at. But within the blog? It’s the SJW-dome. For me at least, fuck anything less.

All that said, as much as I have a powerful distaste for the nice guy approach, can’t hang with it, I really don’t want anyone to think I begrudge them for going that way. We’re all in uncomfortable positions, some worse than others, and it’s far from the worst thing one can do, morally. There’s even a place in the world for people too peaceful to punch nazis. It’s a different path. Good luck with it.


LGBT Lingo and Pronouns in Europe

I understand there are a lot of borrow words from the American movement. One thing I don’t know about is if folks of non-binary genders have terminology for themselves in various non-English languages, and if they would prefer some different pronouns, how they handle that. I know we have that international audience here. Let us know how you do.


Who Loves the Wachowski Speed Racer Movie?

Somebody has to. Maybe you saw it as a child and it totally worked for you? I wanna know. One thing about the Wachowski sisters, they like to try something new. I think the movie was an ambitious failure, but had a lot of gusto. Some of it worked. Just, as a whole? Too gotdam zany for 99% of the human species. I’d love to hear somebody talk about it fondly, or tell me about someone they know who likes it. I think the effort deserves at least a few fans. Who are they?

Here’s one positive review from Emily Asher-Perrin. I want more.


Muted Commercials

Corporations do franchise-wide updates of their interior and exterior design. One day you’re at the McDonalds and it’s primary colors clownland, the next day it’s classy hipster color swatches and the M is italicized. Usually they do not advertise the redesign overtly, they just slip it into the background of a commercial or whatever.

Domino’s Pizza isn’t so restrained. They have a series of commercials now talking about how cool their new look is. Anyhow, I ALWAYS mute commercials, so I miss some information and it can occasionally have amusing results. One time I saw a commercial for I think heart medicine? and without the sound it seemed like the family’s children transformed into happy healthy pet dogs. And just now I saw this one about the redesign at Domino’s.

First they show all this Made-in-Amurrica imagery like a truck commercial. There’s perfectly manicured farmland, white men in overalls, someone using a machine that shoots beautiful sparks. They transitioned from an image of a barn to somebody furiously digging a hole inside, which was a bit bizarre. “This is where real Americans stash the bodies,” you know?

So, time for the big reveal. This is what it looks like inside the fresh look new Domino’s pizza. Everyone’s happy, customers and employees alike. What does it look like? A cool barnhole? No, a payday check establishment with bulletproof windows. So, kinda like it already did, but with lovely commercial lighting. Congratulations.


Anyone Watching Agents of Shield?

Just got caught up today. I think Madame Hydra was pretty cool, the whole creepy What If? scenario is giving some opportunities for thoughtful writing about psychology, philosophy, and ethics. Not as simplistic as that sort of thing could be, which is good, because in the past fifty years we’ve had hella different shows using the same Mirror Mirror setup. I admit it’s a fun premise, but also fun to see it being handled with maturity instead of slapping goatees on fools.

Expect SPOILERS in the comments, if anyone does comment.


Islamophobia: Still Real

It’s a perennial debate in the atheistical community, and a snoozer.  Many of us are total patsies for the man, gleefully feeding the xenophobia that got The Fascist Orange elected.  I’m only making this post to add balance to a fleeting list of text that shall be subsumed beneath the tides of internet.  It’s not even worth discussing any more, honestly.  No one is changing their mind, are they?