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.

Omphaloskeptic Googling: The Argument from Anesthesia

I once experienced a period of missing time, when under anesthesia as a young man. One moment I’m getting questions in an operating room, the next I’m waking up with family near me and it’s after dark. So, I think, that’s what not existing is like. It is nothing. I’ve had the experience of nothingness, and it reaffirms my feeling that there is no soul.

Sometime later I’d come to call that “The Argument from Anesthesia.” I even used it on the written post that attended a comic touching on the subject. On a random lark today I googled the phrase in quotes, to see if anyone had used it before. I was one of the results, and the only others had to do with an old debate on the nature of consciousness between philosophers Daniel Dennett and John Searle.

That shit was pointy-headed as all get-out, reminding me of something about myself. Thanks, navel-gazing technology! Anyhow, this is me in the nutshell proverbial: I might have feelings that point to big things, things of philosophical importance even, but I don’t have the time, patience, vocabulary, or mental energy to actually follow those through to a complete discussion, analysis, thesis, or debate.

Dennett played down the idea that there is a core to our thoughts and feelings, that various aspects of theories of consciousness were incoherent. (Likely misrepresenting that in important ways, it was complicated.) It’s very similar to (or the same as?) the less clever idea I’ve had that I’m functionally hollow in the middle. There’s no individual entity at the core of my thoughts and feelings, just that as a physical entity I have constructed the idea of myself as a self to allow normal living function.

Searle’s use of “The Argument from Anesthesia” was in a book that disagreed with Dennett, and I don’t think I fully understood either side of the debate. Maybe I could if I wasted more of my day on it, but I’ve got hella shit to do. I am left wondering how many of my fellow non-philosophers are sitting on big feelings that they never express, because to do so would be a giant fucking homework project.

Intelligence doesn’t enter into it. I can use some shiny words, if less braintacular than the philosophers, but for me that idea is seated in my feelings, in my awareness of the contents of my mind. Anyone could have that. Which could make one wonder if philosophers are just heaping jargon on the thoughts that anybody could experience, making it an inaccessible discourse. Jargon is important for clarity in “high level” discourse, so there’s a reason for it, but it still keeps me out of the conversation.

Mexico Would Win

Content Warnings: Cheeto Hitler, War, Violence, Racism

Naranja Puto recently rattled a saber at the president of Mexico, which had me thinking about how that horrifying disaster of a war would play out, and then a ray of hope dawned on me in this: Mexico would totally kick our fucking asses. It won’t come to that. If the gold-showered one declared war, I could imagine our armed forces refusing to carry out the order because it’s foolish as all fuck. Way more ridiculous than occupying Afghanistan.

Militarily, there’s overwhelming power. We have that. We can shred cities, irradiate the universe, make a place into a hellscape so desolate you could only imagine ghosts living there. But then, that isn’t everything. Unless you literally kill every man woman and child in a place, someone can resist you and may. And they use the flipside of overwhelming power – guerilla tactics and terrorism. Mexico has vast armies of people with training experience and will to do the kind of things that would make the Viet Cong blush. It has the cartels.

So they’d win the same way Vietnam kicked our ass. Meanwhile, the chaos at home would again make Vietnam look like a church picnic. Latinx people are something like one in five Americans. Think they’d try to do internment on that scale? I know they’re already trying to prepare for it, but you think they’ll pull it off? What of the non-Latinx friends neighbors and loved ones? Do they get interned too? How many of them would resist? If the military – itself disproportionately Latinx – didn’t directly defy the war order, how much do you think they’d be collapsing from within?

Much of this country was Mexico before it was ever the Estados Unidos. The wall doesn’t keep all of Mexico out. There’s a lot of Mexico we’re arbitrarily calling USA at the moment. How peaceful will that occupied territory be? There would be no need for intervention by foreign powers on Mexico’s behalf. They’d win. I’m glad they won’t have to be through the horror show that would test my little theory, but for alternate timeline victors, I’m proud of y’all. Good job.

¡Viva México!

The Magic $20K

Seems like everyone I know was either attacked by a dog or hit by a car as a child, receiving a settlement of $20,000 on reaching adulthood. They wasted it on computers which were immediately obsolete and that kind of thing. More recently, I know someone who received $20,000 in life insurance payout from a parent’s death, and that person was a jumped-up maniac that wasted his money on endeavors that nearly killed him. Why is it always $20,000 and why can’t I get that? I’d spend half on top surgery for a trans dude I know and save the rest for taxes and bills and such. What would you do with the magic $20K?

Giving You Pause About the ACLU

I remember Kurt Vonnegut cussing about the ACLU on TV once. He didn’t like that they protected the free speech of nazis. They have, in the past, invested their resources in defending the “peaceful assembly” of homicidal racists. I used to be a bit on the fence about that, but then, I’m white and I used to have the luxury of being more politically moderate, to see that bullshit as abstract rather than a personal attack. Now everything I hold dear is being targeted for destruction by the nazis in power, who were given more air time than ever should have been possible.

So good job ACLU for working against the travel ban. I find myself waiting for the other foot to drop, to find you’ve spent donated money helping someone like Yiannazilos. And I remain tired.

It’s Telling What Speech They’ll Allow

Content Warnings: Nazis, Rape, Child Abuse

I e-mailed the University of Washington about Milo YianNazilos to discourage them from allowing his appearance there. He went, someone got shot, and shit was generally fucked. You can imagine the copy paste response I got – “Some may find it offensive but…”

Free speech, sure, yeah. Anyhow, what if nambla was doing a visit? What if advocates of “lovingly” fucking your small children were giving a speech? Why are advocates of white supremacy not equally reprehensible to you? Because they choose to eschew the labels of white supremacist and nazi, while using the exact same rhetoric? Is labels all that matter?

I don’t know, maybe they’d be cool with nambla too. After all, they don’t call themselves the National Association for Lovingly Penetrating Your Babies. “Some may find it offensive, but…” When are people going to learn that some speech – while it should exist in some publicly available quarantine for the purposes of education and forewarning – should not be given a platform, should not be allowed to advocate for itself?

Unfollow’d Geeks

Looking for content to distract me in 2016, I happened upon the youtube channels of some comic book geeks. I think you can see where this is going. I watched them for some months and they mostly succeeded in being non-political and non-shitty about diverse new characters and such. Just an odd hint here and there of banal shitty geek attitudes, I could deal.

But then one that I do not follow posted some video about how “Diversity is Killing Marvel Comics,” some sites apparently had articles about comic book boys being racist, and foolios felt the need to respond / engage. The realities of the situation I don’t care to get into, not in the comments below or anywhere. Suffice it to say Marvel has been doing some brave things with diversity at the same time as they’ve had sales go into a slump. Whatever.

So at first I managed to avoid watching the one guy’s response video. I imagine he might have even had a half decent thing to say on the subject, but I didn’t wanna risk losing something passable to watch over finding the guy is a crudlord. But then I ended up catching some of it, and he’s whining about the journalists saying comic nerds are racist, calling it irresponsible journalism.

Hey, right now, of any time in recent history, calling out racism has become FUCKING VITAL. Call me racist. I don’t care as long as I learn to be a better person at the end of the conversation. Getting defensive? I don’t wanna hear it. Blow me. Unfollow’d.

Then the other banal moderate probably not a nazi comic nerd I follow was commenting about some bit of media news that mentioned triggers and he said, “Make all the trigger jokes you like.” Nuh. Don’t. Fucking unfollow’d.

Lately at work I’m trying to convince people to stop talking about political issues and these geeks I work with are all like, “Well, sure, I don’t even care about politics.” Which I find almost as offensive as saying you voted for Trump. Fuck you, geeks. I wish I had the ability to unfollow IRL, but I’m pathologically incapable of ignoring words spoken around me. Maybe I’m autism spectrum or compulsive or something. I can’t not listen to you fuckos being fuckos, so please, leave everything even vaguely political at home. I’m trying to get through the day without being fired for going off on a fool.

In the Wake of Recent Events

I’m going to stop blogging about political topics. Cheeto Hitler and his merry band of moustache twirling masters of evil are trying to fire everyone decent in government, pack the emptied seats with literal nazi sympathizers and people who won’t be happy until the poor are eating rusted nails and dying at the age of thirty, and putting the most wasteful gas-belching nation’s environment – and therefore the well-being of the entire planet – in the hands of fucking fire demons.

Anyway, the horrifying dracula-esque theft of my household’s healthcare was the last straw. I can pay attention to politics, or I can have a few moments of happiness before I die in a gutter. I doubt I’ll be able to hold to this resolution for long, but for now expect more posts about movies and nonsense.

Incidentally, I’m in this probationary period at my job where if I miss two days they’ll fire me, in defiance of state law no doubt, but that doesn’t matter to them or me at the end of the day. So I’m gonna miss the J20 protests. In honor of the struggle, on that day I’ll be making a rare round of small one time donations to some of my fellow impoverished bloggers, such as Ania & Alyssa, Alex Gabriel, and so on. I’ll spend at least the entire day’s wages on it.


fight the power

animated image from The Raid 2

With that, I’m out.

Mysteries With No Payoff

I was eatin’ a sammich in the living room and the series premiere of Taboo was on. Tom Hardy is in there and he’s usually got an interesting presence. I’m kinda inclined to like him, though I haven’t been given a whole lot of cinematic reason to. So I thought, this show has until the end of this sammich to appeal to me. No dice. I’m done.

I spent a lot of years not watching TV shows, just started doing it again within the last five. I’m starting to see the same tropes and writing techniques play out on the scale of seasons, and to appreciate the things I’ve read other people saying on the internet.

That is to say, fuck Lost. TV shows love setting up a mystery but there are too many examples of them leaving you without an answer, or with an answer that strongly suggests they were making shit up as they went along. I find that so annoying that I have serious misgivings about any TV show that relies heavily on mystery.

So Taboo is building up Hardy’s character with rumors and whispers and mysterious behavior and blah blah. There’s the East India Company as villains – legit historical monsters but he’s very much one of them. Hardy’s boy was in the EIC and bounced around the world getting into backstory hijinx whenever he wasn’t mighty whitey-ing his way into indigenous cultures.

It’s like we’re being expected to root for a trust fund cockhole who spent his young adulthood being an asswipe in faraway places, then came home to act like he’s morally superior to the community that spawned him. Then there’s weird shit like the implication from wasted-as-a-whore Franka Potente that he kills women, to which he’s like “You know it, baby!” Who is supposed to like this? Not me.

Reason and Observation are Unnatural

HEY, dudes and dudettes.  I know you think basing your metaphysical beliefs on reason and observation is “healthy” and “cool,” but you gotta know, our ancestors didn’t do that!  On the African Savannah, or maybe caves I guess, we spent what, a million years, getting our facts from pattern association, superstition, arguments from authority and antiquity.  Well listen up, babies.

PALEO THOUGHT.  None of that unnatural processed scientific garbage polluting your brains, just what your body is designed for: metaphysical beliefs that would make your caveman ancestors proud.  It’s a common sense approach to mental fitness.  Get with the program and we’ll send you two coupons for the granola bar at Whole Foods, offer not valid in all locations, some conditions apply.