Friday, September 20, 2019

Gif of the Day

Do the communism dance! Yeah!!

So Here's How I'm Doing

I've been feeling pretty strange this week. Not necessarily depressed, but things are just so different. Things changed so suddenly. I'm still having a lot of random anxiety at the idea of doing things I used to enjoy. I'm trying to just let myself have my feelings and let them pass on. I'm not trying to force myself to play video games while watching TV. I then also have anxiety, mostly in the form of a low-level sense of urgency/uneasiness because I still feel like I'm not "maximizing" my downtime. Then my brain starts thinking that I should at least watch something educational or something, and that idea makes me anxious, so long story short I've been watching a lot of Bob's Burgers.

I'm trying to get my brain to realize that my downtime is just that - downtime. I need rest. And if that means just sitting on the couch watching a show I've watched 5,000 times then so be it. I'm also trying to assure myself that I've playing the long game. Everything I'm doing, including resting, is part of the long-term plan to gradually improve my mental health until I can be of more use to the movement.

In some ways, I have a lot of patience. In other ways, I have very little. I'm trying.

I still don't understand how so many otherwise normal people can be so cruel to those who are already suffering and have nothing. The growing hatred against the homeless is further convincing me that nothing much has changed in recent human history. I guess humanity in general is one of those things I don't have much patience for. But it's real hard to be patient with white suburban middle class ladies actively campaigning to fuck over the homeless. And now Trump is playing for their votes by saying he'll lock them all up. So I guess we really haven't improved since the 1800's. At least not us white people.

On the other hand, I've regained a little hope that things could get better. Maybe even a little peace at the idea of human extinction. And I'm glad it's almost fall.

I hope every one of you fuckers has an awesome weekend unless you're a NIMBY piece of shit. Kisses.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Gif of the Day

Smooth as fuck.

Meet the Man Whose Life Was "Ruined" By a Sexual Assault Allegation

You might have seen the sob story going around about serial sexual predator Harvey Weinstein claiming his life has been "ruined" by the #MeToo movement. As a beautiful and talented friend pointed out to me on Facebook, although the predator's net worth is only a fraction of what it used to be, he still has $50 million to his name. So he'll be just fine. Maybe he can't make movies like he used to but he could live out the rest of his days in luxury, while many of his victims can not.

But that's not the man that the headline is talking about. I'm talking about the man interviewed by sociology PhD candidate Nicole Bedera, who illustrated exactly how much this sexual predator's life had NOT been ruined by the multiple sexual assault accusations against him. In fact, the allegations arguably improved his life.

The thread is pretty long, but here's perhaps the worst part:

This guy actually got fucking laid by using the accusations to gain sympathy. In-fucking-credible.


There will hopefully come a time when sexual predators face actual consequences for their actions and we may need to talk about the possibility of restorative justice if we can ever figure out how to rehabilitate sexual predators. But in 2019, sexual predators, especially rich white men, continue to have massive advantages over their victims and can live their lives as normal, if not better, when caught.

So please stuff your sob stories directly up your asses and fuck off forever.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Gif of the Day

Stab all homophobes.

Feminist Conspiracy #385692035879: Suede Bags and the Murder of the Locking Briefcase

Are you confused by that headline? Now you know how I felt after reading this Instagram post from Jacob Wohl, professional conservative social media bungler.

I don't want to link to this shithead's Instagram, but here is the text in case you can't read the above:

I use a locking briefcase. Whenever I walk through an airport or an office building with it, people stop and compliment it. They say “Wow! you never see those anymore” — The removal of the locking briefcase from civil society was a feminist conspiracy. Back in old days, if a man had an extra cell phone, it would go in the briefcase when he got home. Love note from his secretary? Locking briefcase. Hockey tickets along the ice for him and his friends? Locking briefcase. Thanks to the feminists, men are now expected to carry around a soft, suede bag (preferably in a feminine color). It’s time for men to take their privacy back. Get a locking briefcase today! P.S. NEW BLOG POST (link in bio)

I cannot imagine the kind of acid trip that blog post must be.

You heard it here, folks. I've never seen one of these suede bags in a feminine or masculine color myself, but apparently the disappearance of locking briefcases is due to a highly successful feminist conspiracy to ensure that men can't have fun with their friends and/or cheat on their wives. Hold on, let me get out the obligatory evil feminist conspiracy laugh.


Happiness, Suffering, Loops, and Questions

As I've mentioned, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. So much thinking. I feel like I'm desperately seeking for answers to questions I don't fully understand.

I realized that one of the things that pulled me down into depression is this feeling that it's wrong to feel happy while there is so much suffering and injustice in the world. So I started thinking about the nature of suffering. It seems true that there will always be some suffering. People die, bad things happen, and there will be pain and grief. It's absurd to think that one can't be happy until every last person on the planet is already happy. What if we all felt that way? Nobody would ever be happy.

Then there's injustice. That, it feels, is the real problem. A small number of people continuously steal from the rest of us, causing more and more of us to suffer and starve and get sicker and die before we should. Systems of power and corruption now grip the entire world as we increasingly become a global community. Bigotry in so many forms not only exists but is carefully cultivated and exploited by the powerful in order to gain ever more power. Endless, bottomless human greed results in mass destruction and death.

Have we, as humans, always been like this? The more I contemplate, the more it seems like existence is an endless parade of contradictions. Humans have always hurt each other, yes. But humans have never dropped death from the sky via unmanned drones before, we have never put ourselves at risk of total annihilation via climate change before. I keep coming back to that old cliche of "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

My parents lived under the threat of the global nuclear apocalypse during the Cold War. While our kids do active shooter drills in school, they did "hide under your desk from the giant fiery explosion of death" drills. When I was younger, I was unable to imagine the horror and absurdity of living day to day life knowing that at any time, it could all end very quickly.

Today, a nuclear apocalypse seems pretty unlikely, though maybe it shouldn't. The threat of climate change is different, yet the same. Before the Cold War, WWII felt to many like the end of the world.

It feels as though existence is a series of loops, big and small. History seems to be a sad tale of humans making the same mistakes over and over and over. Or is that just the history we white people have written?

It is possible for us to live peacefully, yet some of us seem to always need to be warring against each other. Why? Can we humans ever step outside of this loop? Can we ever stop hating each other for arbitrary differences? Can we ever figure out how to stop bad people from seizing power and spreading misery in order to hold onto that power? What will it take?

How many thousands of years have humans asked these questions?

In the meantime, what does it mean to experience joy while holding the knowledge of human evil and mass suffering? And don't tell me to take a break from news and social media because both of these things are necessary for my job.

I wonder how I can be happy while there are concentration camps on U.S. soil, the true horrors of which I'm sure won't be revealed until many years later. Then I wonder if our prisons are so different from what we call concentration camps. They still employ slavery, so.

So much of the injustice of today has been around for my entire life, whether I was happy or not. The only difference now is that I'm aware of it. But awareness has not enabled me to stop it.

What I do know for sure is that I can't turn away from human suffering and injustice. I can't shrug it off, I can't pretend I don't know about it. I have to keep fighting, even if I feel like what I'm doing is ineffectual. I also am pretty sure that I can't be more effective until I get my mental health in order. But that thought also terrifies me, because people will suffer and die in the time that takes. Then again, how arrogant am I to think that I could stop a significant amount of human suffering and injustice now, even with fantastic mental health?

I am exhausted from all the questions. How are philosophers not just constantly annoyed with themselves? Maybe they are. Oh fuck that's more questions. Send help.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Gif of the Day

FUN FACT: Humans are far from the only primates with the ability to be assholes for no good reason.

Recommended Doings

Hey guess what I'm back from my vacation! It was okay. I did a lot more thinking and basically decided that after said vacation, I would start on the path to good mental health. I'm gonna take it slow, but getting out in nature more, being social more, and bombarding myself with media distractions less will all be happening to some extent. I'm trying to spend more time doing just one thing. I can play video games without watching TV at the same time, and I can watch TV without playing video games at the same time, and they're both more enjoyable for the full focus I can give the stories I consume.

Speaking of video games with good stories, I'm already putting effort into playing more of those, because stories are what I really love. And I have two recommendations.

Oxenfree is an amazing and mildly spooky supernatural mystery thing where you play a teen going to spend the night on a beach on an island with other teens when some weird shit happens. It's super intriguing and also involves themes about death, grief, relationships, and coping. Also, time travel.

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is an incredible and weird supernatural adventure game in which you walk across the U.S. as a skeleton gathering and growing stories in a nation that seems to shift in time depending on the region but deals with many of the various cultural issues of the 20th century such as racism, union busting, unemployment, the dust bowl depression, and the general tragedy of cultural practices and traditions dying out due to culture change and technology. But mostly, it's about stories, so I'm currently lapping that up like it's the Elixir of Life.

Also, I read this piece from an incredibly bizarre website yesterday and I really liked it. It's by a guy who works at an Amazon fulfillment center and how the company has designed these facilities to make worker organizing nearly impossible and how the job has made him want to kill everyone from his supervisors to the programmers who created the computer program that serves as overlord to the whole system.

Trigger warnings for the article: Suicidal ideation, description of self-harm/suicide attempt, ableist language.

We are, all of us, Machines

I’d like to imagine a world in which everyone has on their minds: morepay, less work. No, more than that: refuse to work. Kill your supervisor to reclaim your humanity. Refuse the system, the stratification, and the machinification. Destroy this whole cybernetic organism that weighs us down like a fucking tumor hanging off our sides, and deal with all the fucking programmers who coded that shit. It’s no use trying to swat it out of their hands and take it for ourselves. This is a war of annihilation.

If the above resonates with you, I recommend the whole thing.

Guest Post - Don't Be Fooled: Trump Still Has a Terrible Track Record with the Disabled Population


Kate Harveston is a political writer from Pennsylvania. Her favorite topics are feminist-focused, but she writes on a wide variety of social and cultural issues. If you enjoy her work, you can follow her on Twitter or visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

The Trump Administration continues to prove that there is no amount of dignity they’re unwilling to strip from somebody if it means lessening someone else’s tax burden. But why we’d ever expect different from a man who’s unafraid to mock the disabled in broad daylight is a mystery.
There is a glimmer of compassion in one recent move from the Trump Administration. In August 2019, the president instructed the U.S. Department of Education to make it easier for disabled veterans to have their federal loans forgiven. The move puts Trump at odds with his own Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. And that’s bound to please the portion of his base that doesn’t look any deeper than his strongman persona.
But it’s a paltry drop in an ocean compared to the ways this administration has made life more difficult for the disabled community, as well as the advocacy work they’re choosing to leave undone, despite being handed a most extraordinary amount of power and influence.
What’s Trump Doing for Disabled Veterans?
President Trump has signaled that he will be “taking executive action to ensure that our wounded warriors are not saddled with mountains of student debt” and to “eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled.”
The target of this sudden burst of charity from Trump’s government is the “hundreds of millions” in unresolved student loan debt carried by some 25,000 veterans who returned from the field disabled or who since became disabled. According to the White House, the average loan forgiveness amount is around $30,000. Eligible veterans will be identified “automatically.”
This is welcome news for several reasons. First, it’s effectively a “commutation of sentence” for severely disabled veterans, who before this had to fill out rafts of paperwork: a chore even for the healthiest among us. Second, no matter your stance on America’s ongoing wars, it’s clear that service members deserve every attempt to create a new and better life for themselves. Everybody knows that’s not possible with mountains of unresolved debt holding you back.
One of the most common ripostes to the “free college for all” movement is that you should have to serve your country in some capacity before you’re given a gift of such value. This move by Trump’s Education Department is perhaps a sneak-peak at what that kind of military-first meritocracy would look like. It says a lot about national priorities under Trump. And it assumes America will always have enemies.
We can and should applaud Trump for making a move here that stands a chance at shifting the Overton Window on student debt forgiveness. He may help those ideas reach some of the communities which most need to hear the message. Importantly, Trump also emphasized that veterans whose loans are discharged won’t face a tax bill.
In manifold other ways, however, Trump and the rest of his government has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to advocating for the disabled and less privileged.
Trump Will Leave Mountains of Advocacy Work Undone
Trump began using the bully pulpit to advocate for the mistreatment of several “types” of persons from his very first moments atop that beautiful golden escalator. And a gross impersonation of a disabled journalist at a campaign stop would have been enough to end the political career of almost anybody else. The man is white privilege incarnate.
Not surprisingly, the Trump Administration managed to weave together xenophobia and a phobia of the disabled in one swift, deft stroke. The Administration’s so-called “public charge” rule weaponizes health care and immigration alike by forcing immigrants in the U.S. to choose between staying in the country and receiving health care services.
The public charge rule literally empowers immigration officers to identify individuals who are “more likely than not” to require additional public assistance should they achieve permanent resident status. If you look like you’re gonna need counseling and medication for PTSD after your ship capsizes, you’re not welcome on the lifeboat.
When somebody asserts that the Republican approach to economic planning and immigration is veering dangerously close to eugenics territory, this is part of what they’re talking about. It’s an unnecessarily cruel and pointless move, and it comes at a time when borders themselves are already weapons.
The budget proposals generated by the Trump Administration have been riddled with cruel intentions as well.
For the 2020 budget, the Administration is proposing cutting funding to the Office of Disability Employment Policy by $11 million, cutting $19 million from rehab research, cutting $5 million from the American Printing House for the Blind, and cutting $2 million from research into special education.
Further cuts would impact traumatic brain injury research, voting access programs for disabled persons, family caregiver support programs and assistive technology programs.
When a Nation Turns Its Back
Over the next decade, the U.S. government, under the 2020 budget proposal, would collapse Medicaid funding by $1.5 trillion. This is what it looks like when a nation — a proudly pious nation, no less — collectively turns its back on the poor and less privileged. This is less a budget proposal and more a blueprint for the biggest treasury heist in living memory.
It’s not as though the funding being stolen away and hoarded wasn’t doing good, either. Research tells us that when we invest in programs that help the blind and those suffering from other disabilities achieve bachelor’s degrees and other professional milestones, we vastly improve that person’s likelihood of being employed, contributing to society, and participating in the economy.
There are countless other research and rehabilitation programs with strong track records that the government could help fund as well which would get disabled persons of all backgrounds — not just veterans — back into the workforce.

When we do that, those people become employees and consumers. And isn’t that the dream for every one of us?

Monday, September 16, 2019

Gif of the Day

Remember when the internet used to be kinda cutesy like this all the time? I miss that. What do you mean you don't remember? I'm 31.

2020 Challenger Lineup: Tom Steyer

Okay, this should for real the last one of these I'll need to do because entering the race this late would be weird. Even if someone does enter unless they're like already a celebrity or are interesting for some reason I'm probably not going to bother profiling them because at that point it's definitely just a political stunt.

Tom Steyer joined the race in July, hence why you haven't seen him in the debates (not that you were looking) but apparently has already reached the thresholds necessary to be in the October debates as another white guy whose name you will not remember.

As for what he does, he's a billionaire hedge fund manager who has been described as a liberal activist and environmentalist.

You know what would make Tom stand apart in this race? Donate so much money to environmental and other causes that he loses his billionaire status. Just donate a shit ton of money all at once and be like "see I'm perfectly fine, fellow rich white dudes, stop pretending that being taxed will literally murder you." That's a free tip, Tom.

Steyer is considered to be a philanthropist and has already given quite a bit of money away. According to Forbes, he's given $193 million away over some period of time to three of his own foundations, which I guess counts? Though like how does that work with taxes. Does he get to write all of those donations off even though he's kind of giving the money to himself? What are the chances that he's getting kickbacks from those foundations? I am highly suspicious of all rich people, if you hadn't noticed.

Still, that number is 98% of all the charitable donations given by all the Democratic candidates combined as of August 14, which really makes me side-eye everyone else. I mean I get that he's a billionaire and $193 million is just 12% of Steyer's net worth but the rest of you are not exactly poor.

I dunno. I'm not a mathmagician. However, it is nice to see that Steyer took that Bill Gates pledge to give away half of his wealth in his lifetime instead of just passing it along to his kids.

Anyway, Steyer's political experience is definitely lacking. He was considered a couple times for appointments by the Obama administration but was never chosen for some reason. Maybe they didn't want to look like the kind of administration who gives appointments to their most prolific fundraisers, which I get.

He also was the one who created and funded NextGen America, an environmentalist PAC whose name I recognized. Plus he spent millions on ads calling for Donald Trump to be impeached. I don't know if that's actually a point in his favor because it kind of seems like a waste of money but also fuck Donald Trump, so. Steyer was also staunchly opposed to the Keystone pipeline and "gave $41 million to create the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University."

In terms of the issues, Steyer is not particularly interesting, in part because he's super vague about them. He says he supports universal healthcare but disagrees with some unnamed specifics of the Medicare for All bill and so doesn't support it. His website says he supports free public education all the way through college. He says he supports a "living wage" but doesn't say what he thinks that is. He does mention environmental racism but has fuck all to say about women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, police brutality, and many other key issues. How am I supposed to give him a poorly-though-out letter grade if I don't know hardly anything about him?

I'm gonna have to give him a D after points taken off for late entry, not enough info on the issues, and a lot taken off for being a billionaire. But I'll be happy to change that if his billionaire status changes. You hear me, Tom???

Haha just kidding I'll probably have forgotten he exists by tomorrow.