Capitalism Rocks

At times I wonder if my lefty ways have been a mistake.
Pretty much everybody says that capitalism is the only
route that is concordant with human nature.  You might
imagine that’s just using an Appeal to Nature, so it’s
lightweight thinking.  But it has a deeper truth.

For how can we motivate anyone to do anything without
obstacles to overcome in the form of poverty, and with-
out the rewards of bourgeois creature comforts?  Life is
less meaningful without real travails, without a metric for
success.  That’s what capitalism gives us, and I’m grateful.


Capitalism, Heaven, and Hell

It is said without the threat / promise of heaven and hell, humans would have no reason to be moral. Worse people than I have pointed out the flaws in this. Standup comedians, skeptics, and more. One: laws and society enforce moral norms – not religion by itself. Two: if you need divine law to keep you from committing rapes and murders, you should probably seek counseling. Humans care for each other; it’s what social animals do.

It is often said that without capitalism, there would be no motive for labor, for innovation, for anything besides laziness. If you need greed and the suffering of others to motivate your every labor, you should probably seek counseling.

There are a million good motivations to labor that have nothing to do with the carrot of wealth or the stick of poverty. Again, caring for each other. It’s what social animals do, and what we could do a lot more effectively, if our lifeblood wasn’t being congealed into the foundations of castles.

Besides that, leisure. You work to minimize labor, conserve energy and resources so you can enjoy life. Building a house keeps out bears and keeps in heat. Less labor and resources spent building fires every night and guarding against bears. Let the fucking robots take our jobs, we shouldn’t need as many jobs in this world.

And there are plenty of jobs that need doing that are being left undone because they don’t generate gold bricks for the aristocracy. So much human need, infrastructure, education is being left to rot or straight burned to the ground right now in the name of greed.

Kudos for achievement, looking good, pride of accomplishment, basic executive function for self-maintenance. What are your reasons to labor? They don’t have to be dollars and cents or the fear of the economic abyss.

Belief in hell is one of the chief moral failings of the abrahamic religions. Belief in the necessity of poverty is the exact same fucking thing. Fuck capitalism.


Sucks ASS to be a Right Wing Martyr

Content Warning – Racism, Pedophilia, Terrorism, Death

Dying for the master race ain’t what it used to be. You get called a small dicked antifa manlet and race traitor and the whole nine. Allow me to explain.

So you’re a home-schooled right wing xtian fundamentalist kid, parents afraid you’ll learn to be OK with non-white and non-straight people if you breathe the same air. The indoctrination has you feeling pumped up, gotta go engage in the discourse online, blog about how you hate gay marriage and sex offender registries. OK, the second one is less about ideology than about identifying with a guy who bones children, whatever.

#BlackLivesMatter comes along and you are incapable of understanding that the statement is a response to a society that screams the opposite all but explicitly. Why, specifying that black lives matter can only mean that they think white lives do not. It’s race war! You gotta kill um all.

So you start bombing politically active black honor students and other undesirables. The feds eventually get off their asses to catch you and you end up dead. Well, at least you died trying to save the white man from those evil racist black people.

Then there you are – only known for your race terrorism and explodey death, in the national spotlight. The people who influenced you – Alex Jones, Fox News, Breitshart – they should see what you’ve done, see why, and while they can’t publicly condone it, should at least pour one out on your grave, right?

Wrong. They renounce you, reject you, and worst of all? They deny your very identity, deny your faith, your beliefs, the very things you died for. They claim you are everything you hate – weak, effeminate, left wing, a tool of an evil liberal conspiracy trying to make the right and white supremacy look bad.

You don’t even get to be a martyr for your shitty beliefs. That’s why it sucks to be a right wing terrorist. So do yourself a favor – stop before you start. The more you know.


Jessica Jones Problem

Content Warnings: Rape Mention, Abuse, Horror

Jessica Jones is a Netflix original series based on a problematic-ass comic. The premise: A woman with super strength falls under the control of a villain with mind control powers. He rapes her and uses her to abuse and kill others as well. Somehow she escapes his influence, and in an ensuing accident thinks him dead. But he returns, and she has to find a way to defeat him without risking falling under his control again.

It’s an intense psychological horror in that premise, that plays out very well in the hands of appropriately sensitive writers and directors during the first season. But as the premise is so based on the “sensational” nature of a hideous sex crime, it would be reasonable to suppose that the elimination of the super-rapist would kneecap any further storytelling with the main character.

I wanted that to not be true. A rape survivor’s story shouldn’t have to be defined by her rapist, in fiction or otherwise. I believe better things could be done with this character, and the second season was their chance to do that.

They failed. At the most basic level of writing, it was all about the hook. The first season had an extremely powerful hook. They were never going to be able to match it, in terms of its potential for horror and intrigue. The hook for the second season? Not as compelling.

But as writers and directors, there are ways to make up for the weakness of a hook. Play up the intensity of local situations and scenes, put in a character arc people will really love even if they don’t care that much for the premise. It’s doable. But they didn’t pull it off, not at all.

Frequently throughout the season, it seemed like they were intentionally trying to draw the drama and events smaller, make them less important, or make things less powerfully felt. Bad guys were soft-pedaled and good guys tarnished to where they were indistinguishable, presumably in the name of artistic complexity, but with the effect of draining all sympathy and interest from the audience.

At its worst, it felt like the budget constrained writing from Inhumans. And the dialogue between Jessica and the big bad in the last two episodes felt almost as repetitive and trite as Luke and Vader’s exchanges in Return of the Jedi. The worst part is that two good guy / sympathetic characters from the first season were turned into sleazy assholes with NO resolution to their arcs of descent.

And in the end? It looks like Jessica is angling toward an ultra-heteronormative domestic situation. My feminism shrank three sizes that day. The show was anticlimactic and just tired.

THE TAKE-AWAY
This season had to potential to show that you don’t need a sensational story of sex abuse to make a compelling narrative about a survivor. It failed to do so, and disappointed my shit out. Three thumbs down. I blame no one but the writers, directors, producers. Better luck in your future endeavors, actors.

Cat Owner Question

I’ve always had cats, but haven’t always been very observant of how they interact. About ten years ago I noticed a certain annoying behavior for the first time – neck biting. It’s obvious enough it’s some kind of dominance move, but it looks totally rude, and I usually feel compelled to break it up. Stop biting your sister, Hecubus!

But then, it has occurred to me this might be bad. Do they need to reinforce their social status on the regular? Is the dynamic different with more than two cats? What should one do? Any experts out there?


Exeunt Satans

Motherfucker, I think I ate like a square inch of aluminum with that Chipotle burrito just now. I can’t like, anything maaan.
the "guess I'll die" meme
Apparently I got bone spurs too.  Got one foot in a boot.  My department manager says “You gonna get those things removed?” and I’m like, “Why would I wanna do that?”  If frogs can erupt their bone spurs for intraspecific combat, so can I.

Just… fuck it, man.  Fuck it.

Feet are Weird

In other news, I am not high. Or maybe the reason I don’t have to smonk big weed is that I think stoner thoughts all the time. So. Feet are weird. I’m doing a 3d art project for someone and when you think about us as the apes we are, our hind paws are extremely weird. What wild-ass ape decided to walk like this, got all her gente on board, and resulted in that wedge-shaped stiffened clumsy nonsense of an extremity?

I normally don’t have a problem with feet – the way they look and whatnot – but I know a lot of people who dislike them. And we all know there are people with an erotic interest in them. Love or hate, they’re charged. What do you think about feet? Whatever you think, you gotta admit. Feet are weird.


Una Pregunta sobre Chicharrónes

Content Warning: Food, Meat, Diet Talk.

Aviso de tema: la comida, el carne, hablar de dietas.

My Spanish is still egregious, but I have a question about chicharróns. Not the pork rinds you get out of a bag at the grocery store. The kinda crazy carved off hard fried chunk of a pig you get at the carniceria. You know, looks like a foot long two inch thick strip of bacon?

I just had one for the first time today and it was everything I dreamed. It was like a pig fat sandwich where the bread was strips of tasty corkwood. Eldritch culinary ecstasy. Now my question, for those of you whose cultures consume those things: How often are they to be eaten? Is it like a fair food, where you only eat one or two strips a year? Or is it something one might eat once a week? Or every day?

Coming as an outsider / total gringo, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this freaky magic food. Diet culture would have me avoid it altogether, but fuck that shit. I’m curious what the people who invented the recipe have to say.

Mi español todavía es atroz (gracias por duolingo y translate.google), pero tengo una pregunta sobre los chicharrónes. No los chicharrónes de una bolsa en la tienda de comestibles. Un poco loco tallado en un pedazo de cerdo frito en la carnicería. ¿Sabes, parece una tira de tocino de un pie de largo y dos pulgadas de grosor?

Solo tuve uno por primera vez hoy y fue todo lo que soñé. Era como un emparedado de grasa de cerdo donde el pan era tiras de bosque de tapón sabroso. El éxtasis culinario y misterioso. Ahora mi pregunta, para aquellos de ustedes cuyas culturas consumen esas cosas: ¿con qué frecuencia se deben comer? ¿Es como una comida feria, donde solo comes pocos por año? ¿O es algo que comer una vez a la semana? O todos los días?

Viniendo como un extraño / gringo total, no sé lo que se supone que debo hacer con esta extraña comida mágica. La cultura de la dieta me haría evitarla por completo, pero a la mierda. Tengo curiosidad por saber qué dicen la gente que inventaron la receta.


Money Atheism is Regressive Atheism

People pursuing different causes for influencing our society will sometimes form organizations, like American Atheists or The Sierra Club, which pool money from members for lobbying and other ways of spreading the gospel. Then there are people who try to influence society without institutional backing, without money, with nothing but the street game. Groups like Antifa, which is not an actual organization, but rather something anyone can call their self if they go to bat for anti-fascism.

The side of atheism and skepticism with the money? Unfortunately, it seems that side has been overwhelmingly lost to political regressivism. Hj Hornbeck crunched the numbers, and it seems like the more right wing and reactionary you are in the movement, the more money you make. If you want the financial backing of atheists and skeptics, the only sure way to do so is by attacking feminism, hectoring those who advocate for social justice, generally being a conservative shitbird.

So if the side I favor has not a nickel to its name, has no financial leverage in changing the world, what does it have? Maybe nothing, as far as this fight. I think for most of us, other causes are more important than atheo-skepticism, and any leverage we have comes from our solidarity with those unrelated movements. When we do fight to make atheism a better place, all we have is our social media platforms, and our audience is just not large enough to swing this fight. Atheism as a money movement is lost to us, strictly the province of utter bastards and willfully ignorant centrists.

But money isn’t everything, as much as the Man wants us to believe that. Maybe just being on the good side will give us the staying power, the long game needed to change this movement. Maybe the rightward march of the money heads will force them to stagnate at a certain level, while we have potential to expand. That would be nice.

I don’t really believe it though. I think activism for atheism and skepticism are founded – more than anything – on ableism, and are therefore inherently regressive. One could advocate for them for progressive reasons. Most of this blog network is trying to. But that poison in the soil? It isn’t going away.