FtB September Fundraising Event

It’s official! We’re doing a fundraising drive!

My role right now is to snork, and hopefully I have a couple readers who will be informed about this by me…

FtB’s September Fundraising Event!

Some of my blogging colleagues have a lot to offer, as well!

T.D. Walker is auctioning off a Creative Coaching session! If you’re experience writer’s block or… really… any kind of creative block, then you definitely want to jump on this opportunity.

William Brinkman wants to give you a PDF of Bolingbrook Babbler articles from before they moved to FtB and then will do a reading from their book The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story. I… wish I had some money right now. That PDF seems super cool, honestly…

Finally, HJ Hornbeck wants to livestream Super Mario World! And depending on how much is donated, they’ll play World Randomizer on the “Way Cool” difficulty! I actually wanna see that, so… maybe help us hit those goals? Thanks!

I’ll post more updates (in separate posts) as they drop, so stay tuned!

#Justice4Saraya – Set Her Free, and Hold the Police Accountable (Petition)

Trigger Warning: The following discusses the violent arrest of an 11-year old neurodivergent biracial girl by police after she suffered an episode of psychosis because a neglectful, possibly bigoted doctor abruptly took her off her antidepressants cold-turkey for some unknown (again, probably bigoted) reason. Please be aware.

I want to thank friend and fellow blogger Iris Vander Pluym for initially writing about this and alerting myself and the rest of FTB to it.

Iris wrote in depth about this, so I won’t. Please read her post. What I will say is this… please sign the petition. Saraya Rees. She should not be in prison. She should be on antidepressants, and she should be home. She is not a criminal. She is a little girl who doesn’t deserve this.

Here is the petition:

https://www.change.org/p/justice4saraya-a-call-for-help-is-not-a-crime

Sign it, share it, and, if you can afford to, donate. Please.

Crip Dyke Reporting from Portland

lot of “news media” is “reporting” on what’s going on in Portland, but it’s also a lot of pro-police propaganda bullshit (yes, even from MSNBC… because they aren’t “left wing”, people). The best way to get an understanding of what’s actually going on is to seek out teh reports from protesters on the ground, actually experiencing this shit in real time.

And so, I present to you, Crip Dyke. The following is a link to her blog where I search for “Portland”. Sadly, it’s not quite in posting order (most recent first), but you really should be reading everything…

Pervert Justice: Portland

And here’s the most recent post about what’s going on

To be honest, the violence the federal police are instigating in Portland leads neatly into what my next post will be. That will be up in the morning. In the meantime, go read Crip Dyke’s posts on what’s going.

Thank you.

It’s Time for the Atlanta Braves to Change

Hi! I’ve been sitting on this post for a bit. To be honest, I mostly finished writing it way back on October 14, 2019. This was not long after Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS division title game that the Braves lost to the Cardinals 13 to 1… and the Cardinals got 10 of those points at the top of the first fucking inning! 

Holy shit I’m still mad about that.

Huh.

Anyways… you may be wondering if I’m writing anything about the Pandemic. The answer is no, I’m not. I don’t know what to write about. I’m still not interested in writing about the Lying Cheeto Muffin, ranting about conspiracy theorists and ignorant assholes seems counter-productive and a waste of time, and all the rest of it is just me shouting UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE NOW! RIGHT NOW! THIS FUCKING SECOND! $1200 ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH FUCKING MONEY! IT SHOULD BE $2400 A FUCKING MONTH FOR… EVER. UNIVERSAL HOUSING! WATER SHOULD BE FREE! DOWN WITH CAPITALISM! SEIZE THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION! UNIONIZE! RESIST!

SOCIALISM FOREVER!

So yeah… that’s really all I have to say about COVID-19.

And yes, I know it’s April 1st. “April Fool’s Day” is a thing that needs to die. I refuse to participate and I’d appreciate it if y’all left me out of it.

I don’t have that much interest in sports. Gridiron (US-American “Football”… in which feet are not used except in one instance), Basketball, Hockey, Golf, etc just hold no interest for me. I get them… I can follow them… I’m just bored by them, and don’t like playing them, either. There is one exception, however, and that’s Baseball. But even there, that exception is quite limited.

I grew up in Atlanta, GA. My family has always been a Baseball family, and the Atlanta Braves (along with the New York Yankees, but to a slightly lesser extent) has always been the family team. I even have a Braves batting jersey (I won it). I have always been a fan. And of course, as a fan, this past decade has been immensely infuriating. We couldn’t give Bobby Cox, Chipper Jones, or even, most recently, Brian McCann, a goddamn Pennant… let alone a World Series win. Our most recent loss to the Cardinals (13 to 1… and the Cardinals got 10 of those runs in the top of the first fucking inning) was so absolutely devastating that I didn’t even watch the post-season. I stopped caring.

I did care just enough to rant about the game in a Facebook group I belong to, though, and someone made a comment basically saying that as long as the team and its fans continue to be racist against Native Americans, they (the person who wrote the comment) will continue to gloat over the Braves’ losses anywhere and everywhere it’s even barely appropriate.

As much as I love the Atlanta Braves… that person is entirely correct. It’s time to end the Atlanta Braves as we know them.

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Banning Plastic Straws is Ableist

Since I just wrote a series on ableism, I guess that makes me an expert now, even though I’m not disabled… right?

Obviously not. That’d be absurd. The experts are all the people who’s articles I linked to and quoted from. And I wish to do that again, because there’s a new movement going around that has some very ableist consequences that a lot of people just straight up aren’t considering or don’t seem to care about. That movement is the one to ban plastic straws.

First let’s start off with the fact that I’m an environmentalist. I’m not perfect… I’m still an omnivore, and I drive a 2008 Scion rather than a hybrid or fully electric car (because I can’t afford either of the latter ones, even though I want one)… but I try to reduce my carbon footprint where I can by driving less, following the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), and so on. So you’d think I’d be the first one to support a ban on plastic straws.

There is a serious issue, here, however. Plastic straws (and, indeed, a lot of plastic stuff) are extremely useful to the disabled community. Plastic straws are more flexible and more sanitary (from a use perspective) than any of the reusable options. They are also sturdier than paper straws, which are not all that waterproof and can dissolve and thus break in liquid. People with mobility issues, or muscle control issues, need those plastic straws.

Now let’s talk about why…

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Let’s Talk About Ableism and Intelligence – Part 3 – A Challenge

Content Note: This series discusses ableist slurs. Many of them will be used in full. You are also allowed to use them in the comments only if it’s for the purposes of illustration and discussion. That is, you may use the words to talk about them. You may not use them as slurs in the comments. This note will be repeated on every post in this series.

So I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of laying out my argument. I strongly believe that “stupid” and it’s associated terms, as well as “crazy”, “insane”, etc are quite ableist, and that we should consider dropping them from our vocabulary.

What I thought would be fun is to offer a challenge to all of you. It’s based off of Ania’s own challenge she proposed back on her blog in 2015…

I have a challenge for all of my blogger friends. I want you to try and go one month without using the list of words below. For one month, in your blog posts and public opinions, I want you to not use these words. I will explain why. I will give you a reason, and regardless of whether you agree with me or not, I want you to try. For me.

I want to bring that challenge forward again, and extend it to everyone reading this, as well. Read Ania’s post. Read my last two posts. And, at the very least, consider giving it a try. For one whole month, drop every ableist slur from your vocabulary. Find other ways to say what you mean without resorting to these easy, lazy slurs. Then get back to me.

Why does it matter?

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Let’s Talk About Ableism and Intelligence – Part 2

Content Note: This series discusses ableist slurs. Many of them will be used in full. You are also allowed to use them in the comments only if it’s for the purposes of illustration and discussion. That is, you may use the words to talk about them. You may not use them as slurs in the comments. This note will be repeated on every post in this series.

So, the last post in this series was basically about the history of intelligence and the IQ test, and began the argument for why “stupid” is, indeed, an ableist slur. I want to continue that argument here. There is a very strong (in my opinion, anyways) case to be made for dropping “stupid” entirely from our vocabularies.

But before I do that, I want to say this:

I cannot tell you what to do. I can’t police your language and I have no interest in doing so. I am simply putting forth an argument for why I have dropped words like “stupid”, “dumb”, “deaf”, “blind”, “crazy”, “idiot”, “moron”, etc from my vocabulary as slurs against people. I will even put forth an argument for why using “stupid” as a slur against actions or ideas is… well… iffy at best. It’s up to you to decide whether I’ve put forth a good argument, or at least my sources put forth good arguments.

What I’m not doing, here, is demanding changes to laws that would violate anyone’s free speech. I’m not saying that these words should be illegal. I’m asking that you really think about what I have to say. I do strongly believe that these words are ableist, and as such I strongly believe it’s a good idea to try not to use them. But I can only speak for myself.

And so…

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Let’s Talk About Ableism and Intelligence – Part 1

Content Note: This series discusses ableist slurs. Many of them will be used in full. You are also allowed to use them in the comments only if it’s for the purposes of illustration and discussion. That is, you may use the words to talk about them. You may not use them as slurs in the comments. This note will be repeated on every post in this series.

There’s a few slurs most people agree shouldn’t be said. For example… it’s largely agreed that white people don’t use the n-word, just as it’s largely agreed that straight people don’t use the f-word (not “fuck”). And the r-word is largely considered inappropriate for polite company as well, now, although its use is still ubiquitous in some places (like YouTube comments, for example). Some slurs are a bit more controversial, such as gendered slurs, although I’ve no doubt my readers will largely agree that female-gendered slurs are bad, at least when used by dudes. But there are certain slurs that are so ubiquitous, even the most social-justice-minded of us will defend their use, insisting that they aren’t slurs at all.

I was like this, as well, for the longest time. The slurs in question were slurs that I used all the time. It took me a long time to consider how the entire idea of intelligence, and associated slurs like “stupid”, “idiot”, “moron”, “dumb”, “dumbass”, etc were extremely ableist. In fact, when I first set up my blog at its old home, one of my statements was “I love making fun of stupid people”. This got a response in a comment on a post I put up called An Open Letter to the Secular Community and its “Leaders”

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The State of the Vaping Union

I don’t think I’ve mentioned much that I vape. I started vaping to give up cigarettes, and I’m extremely close to giving up nicotine entirely. I did do a post on my old blog a few years back talking about a study claiming to have found formaldehyde production in vapes, but I think that’s the last time I talked about it on either blog.

What I want to do in this post is give y’all a surface-level breakdown of the state of the vaping union as it is right now. I’m going to go over some of the science, a little bit of the misinformation, where the laws in the US stand, and also what’s going on with vaping communities (there will be discussion of things going on with Reddit right now).

The summary is that, for people who vape or are interested in vaping, the whole thing sits in a pretty hellish limbo right now. There is a lot of misinformation out there in large part because bad science is getting more publicity than good science, the tobacco industry is pushing regulations that could destroy the industry, and communities like Reddit, separate from regulations, are basically destroying vaping subreddits. This post may, in some instances, come across as rather libertarian and anti-FDA because I really hate the regulations currently in place. But if you know me, you know that I am very much a fan of regulation and I support the FDA usually. But the way this is all being handled is pretty horrible right now, so keep that context in mind.

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#WhoAgainstGuns – Doctor Who Fans Unite for Gun Control

I’m late to this. The deadline is March 12th.

I want to bring attention to this… it’s important.

We’ve all been moved by recent events. The survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are using their voices to speak for those who cannot, to say “never again,” and demand change.

We are asking the Doctor Who community to follow their example and to shine a light on this urgent issue.

This March, representatives of all your favourite Doctor Who podcasts and some special guests will be coming together to do a podcast commentary of the 1969 Patrick Troughton story The War Games.

But here’s the thing: we’re not putting out this podcast on any one show’s feed. We’re only releasing it to listeners who provide a donation to an organization committed to ending gun violence.

Click the link to find the organizations they want you to donate to, and follow the instructions to get the special commentary podcast from there.

Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of Doctor Who, it’s important to fight for gun control. Really, we should have done this years ago. But better late than never, right?

It’s time. It’s time to regulate an industry that has blood on its hands. It’s time to reject the NRA. It’s time to regulate guns.

Join Doctor Who. Join the survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Speak out FOR gun control.

ETA: Since they announced, they’ve raised well over $10000, so back on March 6th, they added raffle giveaway opportunities. So please… donate and send them your receipt. It really is worth it.