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?

Is Atheism or Religiosity Innate?

Is atheism or religiosity innate? I don’t know.

I’ve thought about this from time to time. This time it was inspired by a comment someone made here about asexuality that I realized was similar to an atheist experience, and as asexuality is an innate characteristic, could atheism be as well? Another time I thought about it briefly and dismissed it without further consideration, it was popular science nonsense about a region of the brain supposedly there to make faith happen – a “god lobe” or whatever they called it.

What would it mean for one’s status with regards to god belief, for it to be innate? To me, it would mean that the belief or lack thereof, once set by development (natural inclination + environment), would be something we cannot truly change about ourselves. That belief isn’t something we can have a choice about, and that debating the matter is just about completely pointless.

I act as if that’s true already. You don’t see me arguing directly with theists here, not that they ever come around. Now, is that a good way to be? The argument is often made that the debate isn’t to convert your opponent, but to give undecided bystanders something to chew on. And where would someone with flexible god belief fit into this concept? Call ’em demitheistic?

This path of inquiry could get wildly offensive, I suspect. It’s my Friday tomorrow (today?), and the work week turns my brains into mush. Not thinking of all the ramifications, I’m sure.

As I see it from mush PoV, feels for and against:

For: Anecdotally, it really feels like I have no control over what I believe, strongly feels like any attempt to “choose faith” would be a toxic act of self-abuse, a time for buzzing cognitive dissonance that couldn’t last long. When you look at someone like Stephen Colbert “choosing” Catholicism – well aware of all the towering unbeatable arguments against it, it’s easy to imagine he’s just innately religious – that it was the path of least resistance for him.

Against: God belief seems hella unnatural, at face value. I mean, it’s natural insofar as you can see the mechanisms that underpin it: pattern recognition gone haywire, fear of death making a denial of that reality tempting, and so on. But the concept of god just seems like an artifice that had to be contrived and communicated socially, not something that would arise out of a brain naturally. Then again, something something, bicameral mind theory, bleh bleh.

I have to be at work in seven hours. You get this post as is. Good day!

Have a go at it, if you like. What do you think?

I’ve Seen the Light Yet Again…

April brings an important holiday or two. You know to
Pay extra attention at the beginning, work on your
Rational thought and skepticism. Also, it brings us
International Down with Cis Day. But you know what?
Listen. I’ve advocated for DwC Day before, wrongly.

For all this time I’ve believed that it was impossible,
Oppressing a privileged group from minority status.
Older now, I realize this is a mistake. Reverse racism
Lives, and heterophobia and cisphobia are real things.
Surely if I can see the light, you can to. #ALM, amen.

Hothead Types Should Maybe Calm Down

Google tells me that “Threatening the President of the United States is a class E felony under United States Code Title 18, Section 871. It consists of knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making ‘any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States’.”  Now, my new wallpaper here may suggest harm should befall someone who technically is the POTUS, but I’d like to make clear that this is not in fact meant to represent the dude. After all, you see that the hair is not moored to the scalp, and Donny’s hair is. Also, small hands. Definitely not meant to resemble the POTUS. Just some kind of metaphorical face of American fascism, that should only metaphorically be smashed.

It’s easy to get carried away given the enormity of the terrifying changes being made to our country, and to think about drastic measures. But that’s just, I don’t know, scary. Maybe more scary than Bannon’s apocalyptic racist global war agenda. OK, not that scary. But surely it’s bad news. Everything’s bad news. Gotta try and ride the wave like a teenaged mutant ninja turtle. Cool my hot head. Yeah. Easy.

Need of a Word

Fear and hatred of nonconforming people in the most general sense – anyone who is not like the most powerful categories of people in a given society. Maybe it could be considered the motivational force behind kyriarchy? I was having a conversation with someone who wanted to express an idea where this would have been useful, and we were collectively stumped.

This leads me to realize it might be handy to have different forms of the main terms in social justice parlance that haven’t been broadly disseminated yet. Let’s see if this clarifies what I’m thinking about or makes it worse:

Emotional Motive – Form of Oppression
Misogyny – Patriarchy
Racism – (Dominant Race*) Supremacy
Homophobia – Heteronormativity
My Mystery Word – Kyriarchy

*Example: Japanese in Japan, White in the USA.

I feel like there could be another column in that chart I’m just not thinking of right now, and that I’m probably screwing up the chart as is by missing some obvious terms. I’m a little sick today.

The person said I should add some context. The discussion was about how – especially in high school – people hate “weirdos,” which could be just about anybody. This attitude continues into adulthood on some level: “Don’t do that or people will think you’re weeird,” “What do you think you’re special because you’re different? A special snowflake?”

Some parents would like a given child less because they didn’t want the things they’d expected: a business major, procreating, naturally colored hair, etc. Generally, shunning or abusing someone for simply being different – which can of course intersect with ableism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, misogyny, and so on.

If You Use the Term “Political Correctness”…

If you use the term “political correctness” at all, there’s a pretty strong chance you are a giant fucking asshole. Just seems to be the case, ever since it was popularized by Newt Gingrich’s rethuglicans, circa 199x. Not really meaning to start shit as much as the most recent person to use the term here surely was. If the answer to shitty speech being exercised is not limitation, but more freely exercised speech, then this is that and nothing more.

EDIT TO ADD: Don’t bother commenting, for or against. I’m not having this discussion here. Personally, I’m not having it anywhere, but people are welcome to do what they will on their own platforms and amenable arenas.

Asexuals, Vegans, Atheists

I’ve hypothesized before that there is something in atheism that is inherently appealing to a certain class of shitty humans, and that therefore atheists will always be plagued by assholes – at least until such time as atheism becomes mainstream enough to turn off iconoclasts. But I wonder if the source of our asshole infestation might be something that plagues a few other communities.

When I’ve spoken with nice asexuals on here before, it seemed like they’d be surprised that any asexual has ever been an asshole about the subject. I’ve been personally offended by at least two asexual people I know (we were able to get past that) and seen a lot of examples presented by other people. My guess is that speaking about asexual feelings naturally tends to draw on the misogynist / puritan vocabulary established by our unfortunately very christian culture, and leads to them saying shit that comes off very rude.

And then there are vegans. It is incredibly easy to find examples of vegans being horrifying assholes, usually by curdling into emotionally violent misanthropes who believe all animals are sainted and all humans are sinners. But veganism is a very good idea. If enough people spurned beef, deforestation and global warming would slow measurably – not to mention a reduction in prion disorder and E. coli deaths, and if one has compassion for other species, a reduction in their pain and suffering.

Meat is one of the easiest to digest and most nourishing foods, so there are good reasons to not be an absolutist about it, but if one can, why not? And I’ve known vegans that aren’t jerks about it. But the assholes? More so than jerk asexuals, they’ve poisoned the brand. Vegans are maybe slightly better received in America than atheists, but only slightly if at all. Might be interesting to see the stats on that.

All three of these things involve negating a well-established and culturally accepted concept: sexuality, meat eating, and god belief. Could the fact these are negative propositions make it so that they all attract some amount of jerks? Or is it because they each represent communities at odds with the majority of the society they live in?

Some counterpoints, just in case they aren’t addressed in comments:

It could be offensive to lump asexual people in with communities established by choice, that asexuality is a fundamental character rather than a decision. I personally feel atheism is also something people can’t control except by bullshitting themselves – theistically inclined people trying to deny their fears, atheists “deciding to believe” or staying closeted for whatever social benefits that entails. Veganism feels more like a political stance than the others, but maybe some vegans feel differently. Either way, asexuals have a surer claim to it being part of their nature, and therefore unfair to talk about that as if it’s something that inherently attracts jerks.

I haven’t presented sufficient evidence of the jerks in each of these communities, the least with asexuals. Hard to dredge up the posts I’ve seen, but on a personal level, I’ve felt insulted by at least 25% of the ones I’ve known. Nonetheless, even if I hit you with one of those posts compiling asexuals behaving horribly, would that prove it’s really a problem? It would be very easy to paint transwomen as horrible people if I just went to one toxic hangout of theirs (I know of one) and compiled all the abuse coming out of gatekeeping and internalized misogynist types, encouraging eating disorders and suicide. Does that reflect a statistically noteworthy portion of their population? I really doubt it.

In conclusion, I could be talking out my ass, but then, I usually am, and any correctness I have is intuition plus broken clock timekeeping. Make of it what you will.