My Politics Right Now (and My Shallow Thoughts on Anarcho-Communism)

So… quick note. I consider my politics to be incredibly shallow right now. I am very ignorant about a lot of aspects of social, political, and economic issues, having only a surface-level understanding. I am working to change that… I’m studying. This post is the result of only one level of my studying. So I will admit up front that this post does not have a lot behind it… and most of what it does have behind it is ignorance. I’m hoping to have a discussion about this, because I think it’s interesting and I want to learn more. So please don’t expect an expert dissertation, here. Expect an ignorant lefty’s rambling thoughts about politics, instead.

The only thing I’ll say here is that there is roughly zero chance of me ever moving to the Right. The only path for me is to the Left.

I’m constantly researching my politics, trying to both strengthen and challenge my worldview. These days, I call myself a Democratic Socialist. And yet, the more I learn about Communism and even Anarchism, the more I think I could glide even further Left.

It’s so interesting reading political and economic theories from the Left. I’ve been watching a lot of Professor Richard Wolff these days, over at Democracy at Work. His series Economic Update is so fascinating. He, for those who don’t know, if a self-described “Socialist Economist”. I like what he has to say on economics, and specifically his talks on worker co-ops and Workplace Democracy, and how important they are to our future.

But I’ve also been learning more and more about the Anti-Work movement. It’s another fascinating political philosophy that says that no one should be forced into laboring in ways they don’t want to. It’s not saying that people shouldn’t work, but instead that people should have the freedom (both monetarily and in time) to pursue their interests. So yes, people should absolutely work together towards common goals and such, but no one should be conscripted into a job as defined under Capitalism and under the State. Basically, no more wage-labor, and no more Capitalism.

I’m also, of course, learning more and more about Anarchism…

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In Which Another Fictional Woman is Stuffed Into the Fridge and I Rant About It

Content note: this post talks about the abuse and murder of women. I have no intention of going into deep specifics about anything, but the links and quotes I use will. Just keep that in mind as you read this…

Also, I’ll be spoiling a couple specific story-lines of the first season of Mr. Robot… if you care about that.

You know… it takes a lot to make me not like a writer. I even enjoyed reading Dan Brown back when I did that (it’s been years), and a lot of people agree that he’s a crappy writer (even I do).

One thing I do enjoy is stumbling onto a show with excellent writing. It’s rare, honestly.

If you’re now officially questioning why I love Doctor Who, I should remind you that Doctor Who is not a series written by one person. Usually, the showrunner only writes three or four episodes of a season, while other writers write the other episodes. Sometimes there are amazing episodes, sometimes there are terrible episodes, and usually there are episodes that were written well enough to keep my attention and be enjoyable to me.

A while back, my brother and I started watching the first season of Mr. Robot. I found the writing to be quite good, so it kept my attention… sort of. We weren’t binging it, and I had zero desire to. I just didn’t care about seeing the next episode right away… I could wait until my brother wanted to see it. And yet, I was enjoying it.

But I was very worried about one particular character… specifically, Shayla Nico

The main character, Elliot Alderson, is a very good hacker and a morphine-addict. Shayla served as his drug dealer and eventually became his girlfriend. We got to meet the man, Fernando Vera, who supplied her with the morphine she sold to Elliot…

And my guess is that y’all already know where this is going, don’t you? You don’t even have to see the show to know exactly where this is going…

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Doctor Who and the Timeless Absurdities

(Content Note: I do talk a little bit about the torture and even killing of a child.

Also, you’ll notice that, in referring to the Doctor and Tecteun, I mix gender pro-nouns a lot. Due to the nature of them both, I use the pro-noun appropriate for the specific incarnation of them I’m talking about, and the generic pro-nouns when referring to the beings as a whole. It’s probably confusing… it got confusing for me. But it’s easiest this way.)

So I’ve been chewing on The Timeless Children for a while, now, and I’ve put together a sort of personal canon that I think fits with what we’ve been told. It’s a timeline of the Doctor’s life that also serves to theorize on several mysteries.

Because this will be spoilerific, I’m going to start with a short, generic review of The Timeless Children above the fold.

To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the episode itself in execution. It was basically an exposition dump broken up by rather anti-climactic fights with Cybermen. The acting was good (the only reason I won’t say that Jodie and Sacha both deserve awards for their performances here, even though I think they do, is because Peter Capaldi deserved every possible award in existence for his performance in Heaven Sent, but didn’t get a single one, so…) and I actually really like the concept of the episode and what it endeavored to do, but the execution fell pretty flat, especially for a finale as explosive as this was.

What I will say is that above is not a review of what was revealed about the Doctor in the episode. I’ll get to how I feel about it after the fold.

Finally, I’m going to make a request of commenters. Every single Doctor-Who-related forum has dissolved into cesspools of negativity and toxicity. At least one person has been driven away from Doctor Who fandom due to racism because they dared to actually enjoy this episode and what it revealed about the Doctor. As a result, I’m tired of it.

I’m not asking you to pretend you liked it. You are more than welcome to note that you didn’t like it and even say why. But I will not have negativity and toxicity in these comments. If someone comments who did and does enjoy it, then give them the space to do so. They are no more wrong than you are. That said, what I really want to discuss are the theories. Instead of attacking Chris Chibnall, the actors, fans, etc, and lamenting that “DOCTOR WHO IS DEAD!!!!”, I’d rather us work out and discuss the in-universe implications of what’s been revealed, and theorize about different aspects of it. And if you can’t do that without being an asshole about it and attacking the crew of the show and the fans, then please choose to not comment, instead.

So… let’s get to it…

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Please Discuss Fugitive of the Judoon with Me (Doctor Who)

Warning. I’m going to be spoiling the absolute piss out of the most recent episode of Doctor Who and then some. I will do my best not to spoil anything above the fold, however. I will also be doing a shallow dive into very deep and frankly confusing Doctor Who lore, so please keep that in mind. This is your warning. If you haven’t seen Fugitive of the Judoon, then please don’t read this post unless you’re like me and enjoy spoilers… in which case, read on fellow spoiler-junkie… but still see the episode.

I’ve talked about Doctor Who on this blog before. I’ve noted that it’s my all-time favorite show. And it’s weird, because it’s one of only two shows that I actually keeps my attention, the other being The Mandalorian (seriously… there was literally no TV show that kept me that engaged aside from Doctor Who before the Mandalorian dropped).

No… I don’t watch a lot of TV.

I’ve also discussed how I’ve considered Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to be my Doctor. I wasn’t super happy with every one of his episodes, and Moffat is not my favorite showrunner or head writer or whatever… that would actually be script editor Douglas Adams, who did script editing for the show for a time while Tom Baker was the Doctor (and before he [Adams] wrote the third Hitchhiker’s Guide book… which, BTW, started as a story for Doctor Who that was never shot). But I absolutely love Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I think he was phenomenal, and was a welcome relief from the young, far-too-human (in my opinion) Doctors before him.

As for Jodie Whittaker… I think she’s absolutely phenomenal and is definitely in my top 5. Sadly, I wasn’t all that enamored with her first season (season 11, from 2018) over-all, but I have loved her characterization, her Fam, and where she’s going.

This season, only half-way through, has been a revelation, however. There was one bad episode (Orphan 55… sorry it wasn’t good) in a sea of good (so far) episodes (if you ignore a couple super problematic aspects of Spyfall Part 2 [i.e. the Doctor’s racism and wiping minds without consent… again]).

Then there’s the episode in question… Fugitive of the Judoon. Now, I do think it’s an amazing episode, but it’s also left me confused, speechless, and in desperate need of having a conversation about it.

So, starting now, I’m going to spoil the shit out of it…

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A Rant About the UK Election (They DID Vote In Their Interests)

So I call this a rant and it kind of is. It’s about a consistent narrative that I’ve always been sick of, and why I think the UK election proves that I’m right to be sick of it. It’s a narrative pushed by liberals, neo-liberals, and class reductionists. It’s a narrative that assumes that only oppression in existence is class; that most people only care about class. It’s a narrative that assumes that bigotry is an abstract concept as opposed to a real thing that directly affects real people.

The narrative, of course, is the constant questioning of why people vote for the far right. Why did people vote for Trump and the Republicans? Why did people vote for Boris Johnson and the Tories? Why do people keep voting against their own interests?

Well… the answer to that question, as far as I’m concerned, is that they aren’t voting against their own interests; we just keep getting our hypotheses about their interests wrong, and their voting behavior proves it.

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On the Muddiness of My Thoughts On Guns

(Note: As of right now, this is a blog post. However, I’ve been working on writing scripts for vlogs lately, because I intend to re-open my YouTube channel at some point in the near future for political vlogs, pointless rants, recipes, and one or two other things I want to get into… maybe music videos if I can afford to start getting my music recorded? We’ll see… but anyways…

This was meant to be one of those vlog scripts, but I decided to post it here as a blog post. You can read this just as a blog post for now, but eventually it’ll be the “Sort of Transcript” for a near-future vlog [albeit updated if I move further on this topic in that time], as well.

And since I’m on it… note that once I start my YouTube channel back up again, I’ll be using this blog as a space to post those transcripts, as well. So anyways… let’s get to the post…)

So this is an issue I’ve been feeling very torn about lately, and I wanted to write this in order to attempt to work out my feelings on it. Of course, given the title of this, I mean guns, and the regulation/banning thereof.

Way back when I was extremely politically ignorant and “edgy”, I was a “fan” of guns. Although I could never afford it, I wanted to be a member of the NRA. When I first moved to Florida, I even got the paperwork needed to apply for a permit to own a gun… although I never got one.

The idea of gun ownership to me was the same as it is for any gun fetishist in the United States: the 2nd Amendment, masculinity, a mistaken belief in “protection”, a general coolness factor (which, I fully admit, I still feel even now, despite my general hatred of guns), etc. I was never keen on the idea of actually killing anyone or anything, but the general idea of going to a range and shooting a gun, having that around for “protection”, and so on was super attractive to me.

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Mediterranean “Nachos” (And Tehina Sauce Nutrition Facts)

Yeah it’s another recipe post. Since Superbowl Sunday’s on its way, and I told y’all how to make my favorite hummus last time, I thought I could give y’all one way to use said hummus and the tehina sauce you made with it…

I put “nachos” in quotes there because this is obviously neither Mexican nor Tex-Mex. I took the idea of nachos… that of chips loaded with ingredients… and went a completely different route with it.

The best part of this recipe is its customizability. The most important ingredients are the pita chips, the hummus, the tehina sauce, and the tzatziki sauce. Beyond those four things, you can add whatever you want… you can even skip everything else and just use those four ingredients. So feel free to play with this. And if you like it enough, maybe serve it at your Superbowl party… you know… if you’re having one…

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My Favorite Hummus Recipe… Everything’s From Scratch

Okay so this isn’t an original recipe, exactly. It’s a hybrid, relying on Michael Solomonov’s tehina sauce and hummus recipe from his Zahav cookbook, and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s hummus recipe at Serious Eats. The biggest change I made is that I make my own tahini. So I thought I’d share it here and see what y’all think.

Quick thing, first… I realize that those links are to “Israeli-style hummus”, two of which are from an Israeli cookbook (well okay… the hummus and the tehina sauce). I’m really not interested in the debate over whether or not that’s a hummus that exists. We Jews seem to really love our tahini, because we add a lot of it to our hummus. So maybe this is more a “Jewish-style hummus”? I don’t know. What I do know is that this is a recipe, not a political post. You’re making this entirely from scratch, so you can source the ingredients from wherever you want. You don’t have to support anything you don’t want to support to make this.

And as for the debate over the Middle East… yes I have thoughts, and honestly, they’re likely in line with most of you reading and most other bloggers on this network. It is also a debate I do not like having. I have my reasons for that. Please respect that.

Let’s just enjoy a perhaps overly-complicated recipe for hummus…

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Making Soda the Simple Way

Hello everyone! Obviously my blogging has been super slow. I have a new job! I… am a stock guy and sales associate at Godiva. Still fucking retail. But it’s a paycheck, at least! I’ve decided to start sharing food posts and recipes. It won’t be often, but it will give some life to this blog for now. I do have ideas for other major blog posts, like the trilogy I did on ableism. I still want to do one about the US police and patriarchal white supremacy. But those kinds of posts take a lot of time, which I don’t have much of. I do also want to reignite my Great Guitar Solos series, but I’ve been listening to podcasts rather than music for a long time, now. I need to get back into listening to music again, so I can find more awesome guitar solos to highlight…

I’ve also been thinking about writing out my own political platform. No, I don’t plan on running for any political office. It’d be an excuse for me to really study and learn about politics in a more in-depth way… both domestic and foreign. I have so many thoughts and positions, but I also know that my views are at least somewhat shallow, and I could always stand to learn more. Such a platform would be long… several posts worth. But I think it could be fun. The first thing I’d need to learn, however, is how to actually write an in-depth political platform. I don’t actually know how to do that…

So in the meantime, I’ll do stuff like this. Food posts, recipes, etc. No, there won’t be fancy recipe cards or professional pictures. This isn’t a food blog. It’s just a blog that I’ll sometimes share fooding posts on. And I’ve done this before. I know I’ve shared several recipes here; and yes, I know the vast majority had pictures (a couple even had videos!). So this isn’t new. It’s just going to be a tiny bit more frequent, now…

So let me start with a confession… I’m addicted to soda. I absolutely adore carbonation, and I love the sweetness (I don’t care what anybody says… high fructose corn syrup is my bae).

I really don’t like seltzer, however. Don’t get me wrong… I love water (I literally have a 64-ounce water bottle that I fill once, sometimes twice, a day), but I like my water… flat, I guess. Adding carbonation to it actually does change the flavor, and I don’t like it.

And don’t get me started on “flavored seltzer”. Like… what a cheap imitation of soda. Fucking unsweetened soda? Fuck you. Shit’s gross. Give me real soda or get out of here.

So anyways

Point is, I really like soda. But I also know that, despite my love for it, HFCS can be bad for you if you overdo it (which… to be fair… is true of everything, so). I also have a love for making things from scratch… foods and drinks, specifically. One of the things I learned how to do, and quite easily, is make my own soda.

And now I’m gonna teach y’all how, as well…

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