Friday, September 27, 2019

Gif of the Day

Oh, kittens.

Here's What I Think On The Impeachment Thing

It's been quite a week. Democrats finally launched an impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower exposed possible bribery/quid pro quo by Trump to Ukraine officials, promising a return of funding in exchange for digging up dirt on Joe Biden related to a conspiracy theory that was debunked a while ago.

In a practical sense, I think that maybe Democrats were waiting to begin impeachment proceedings closer to the 2020 election and will try to drag it out as close as they can to next November to maximize their chances of getting Trump the fuck out of there. This makes sense because while impeachment would quite likely happen if they held a vote today, the Republican-controlled Senate is the body that would have to vote whether to convict and remove Trump from office. That is unlikely.

I could be wrong, but it makes sense to me. I'm also not saying that is the right thing to do in a moral sense. I'm not saying I agree with Democrats on this path and I certainly still don't like or trust establishment Dems.

There are some things throwing wrenches into what makes sense to me. I am surprised that any Republicans have come out in favor of impeachment. I am very surprised that Mitch McConnell allowed a vote to release the whistleblower complaint and that all Senate Republicans voted yes. That has me very suspicious. Those fuckers are scheming. They're planning something.

As for the whistleblower thing, I'm seeing some leftists complain that Democrats didn't try to impeach when the administration brought back concentration camps or did any of the other horrific things they've done over the past two years and nine months, and claiming that they're only impeaching now because Trump went after Joe Biden.

The thing is that shit like throwing migrants into concentration camps is not and has never been considered an impeachable offense. And maybe that is the point of some leftists but I think it's worth spelling it out. This country is so fucked up that demands to impeach Trump on the basis of concentration camps was laughed off.

I also don't deny that Democrats are absolutely much more apt and eager to defend the rich white male members of their party than poor people of color. But I think claiming this is just about protecting Joe Biden is off because the conspiracy theory against Joe is complete bunk (there are plenty of real reasons not to elect him anyway) so he doesn't need protection from that, plus Trump has come after Trump and other establishment Dems over and over for his entire time in office. I think it's more likely that this is about timing and the whistleblower complaint was a good opportunity.

I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that this really is a serious infraction. It is a pretty clear case of quid pro quo, which is a classic reason for impeachment.

In a better world, Trump would have been literally disqualified from running for President on the basis of his clear, constant racism. But let's not obscure what is the likely truth. I dunno, it bugged me for some reason. I just don't think this is only about Trump coming after Joe and I think it's probably not much of a reason, if any.

Part of me also honestly hopes that, even though the conspiracy theory about Joe is very likely untrue, people believe it a little and it hurts his presidential run. That might be kind of fucked up but I want those concentration camps closed and I don't trust Biden to do it.

To be more honest, I'm actually a little excited to see how this plays out, and part of me dreams of the day Trump announces his resignation. And I know I KNOW Mike Pence is also terrible, maybe even more so in some ways, but god damn, that would be satisfying. I'm also convinced that Pence won't be able to win if Republicans force Trump to resign. It will enrage the Trump fans and Pence is still plenty awful enough to get centrists out to vote against him.

Whew. Really, anything could happen. I lost faith in my ability to predict shit after Election Day 2016. We'll just have to wait and see how this plays out. Hold on to your butts.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Gif of the Day

You might have to click on that to make it bigger but that is that gif of the guy stabbing the mannequin thing over and over really fast and this is hilarious to me for some reason.

I Love You All


Today has been something. I almost lost a friend to suicide but thankfully she's okay, and seems to be getting help. She's an online friend who lives across the country so I can't be with her physically, which sucks, but I'm just so glad she's alive and okay.

At the same time this morning I got a now-deleted comment on a random gif of the day, the one with the bird who wants to stay in the human's hand, which was like an entire article on why some old women can't get dates and how they can get past that for some man-love. He apparently assumed I was old, which, like, I'm 31 now so it depends on your perspective but I am not actually out of child-bearing range, at least, dude, lmao.

It didn't bother me, it was just so weird and funny. You'd think it would at least be on a blog post about one of those very old ladies who credit their long lives on avoiding men.

Anyway, it's been a very emotional day but I want to say that I'm doing well, I'm doing better in general, I'm pretty sure. Someone suggested to me last night after I expressed that I was feeling a lot of unusually intense anxiety and anger that it could be a sign of depression lifting, and I think they might be right. Either way it feels like that psychic wall I've talked about that keeps my emotions back without my permission has fallen or weakened, and that is a very good thing, even though it's uncomfortable for now.

I've also been telling my friends that I appreciate and love them, and if I missed you it's only because I've been doing it haphazardly kind of on impulse. But I just love all my friends and I really want to love everybody like some kind of Nick Jr. cartoon character, okay? Weird commenter guy who thinks I'm old and need a man, I'm glad you're alive.

At the same time, if you've ever attempted suicide, I sincerely hope you don't feel guilty or like a bad person for doing that. It's not your fault. None of us can endure an unlimited amount of emotional pain and despair, and we all have a different threshold for reasons largely outside of our control. I love you if you've attempted, I love you if you've thought about it, I love you if you've completely suicide and can't read this, or maybe you can, who knows?

I'm going to spend some time celebrating life today and I hope you all do, too. Thanks for existing.

Me @ you right now:

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Gif of the Day

"Fly free!"

"Nah, hand warm."

Bystander Saves Man From Forced Deportation

If you're anything like me and constantly wondering what you can do as a tiny insignificant individual against the massive fascist machine imprisoning and deporting migrants to their deaths, check out this incredible hero, Mohammad Ali Musawi.

Don't be like the white passengers literally covering their ears to try and pretend a massive injustice that could easily lead to a man's death and the devastation of his family is happening. You can simply stand up to prevent a place from taking off. Musawi might not have saved this man forever, but he did what he could.

I know we're all a little embarrassed by the hero fantasies we have (let's be honest, we all do it), but I encourage everyone to vividly imagine doing this in this situation over and over, particularly if you regularly fly. You can also apply this to bus situations in which CBP agents board demanding to see papers. In that case, imagine standing up and loudly informing your fellow passengers of their rights, then loudly refusing to hand over any identification to the fascist thugs.

The point is, stand up. If it helps, and let's be honest, it probably does, think about how many Twitter followers you could gain telling the story. Also, follow Musawi.

Stop all deportations.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Gif of the Day

Guess who's getting his ass impeached? I credit Greta Thunberg for the curse she put on him in this exact moment.

Fatties Against Fascism: Antifa Tank Division

This story is a month old but I just found it and holy shit I am in love!!!

Fatties Against Fascism Rise Up to Close The Camps

I am only like, mildly to moderately fat and I am able-bodied and do not require a scooter so I don't think I can officially be in the tank division but fuck yes I am joining fatties against fascism. This combines three of my favorite things: Body acceptance, fighting fascism, and taking bigotry from fascists and using it to empower an entire group of people to kick fascist ass.

Even with all my years of fat activism, the trolls had managed to hook my shame. But there is an immunity we build when we do this together. Going out together is self protection. Doing this work together is building our resilience and immunity. When I kept it to myself, I was in a state of shame. When I shared it with others, I remembered that together we are so powerful. Acting together is our medicine against shame.

Me right now:

I just. I love all of this. So much.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Gif of the Day

Omg baby.

Greta Thunberg is the Person I Want To Be

You've probably heard of Greta Thunberg by now, but if not, she's the 16-year-old climate activist who now travels the world (often by electric speedboat because she refuses to fly) yelling at adults for failing to act on climate change and possibly dooming us all to a sweaty death.

Like literally, she is not holding back anymore. Be warned, she is crying while she speaks and if you're anything like me the following video will make you cry, too.

The way she stares bitterly at the crowd while they applaud her calling them a bunch of fucking monsters for doing nothing while people suffer and die from climate change is just, fucking hell, Greta. You are everything I want to be and you're SIXTEEN.

Greta Thunberg breaks my heart over and over and over again. She is 16 and she has Asperger's syndrome and, as she says in the above heartbreaking, brutal, tearful and tear-inducing speech, she should be in school getting an education so she can live out her dreams. It makes me think that I or maybe even someone older, more privileged, with money and mental health should be up there doing what she's doing, but for some reason it's her. She does it because she's furious and heartbroken herself because we adults have failed her and possibly ended her dreams before they began.

She breaks my heart but she also inspires me. I'm going on a walk for her today. I'm meditating for her today. I'm fighting to get better for her so that I can have the strength to fight for her, alongside her, behind or in front of her, whatever she wants. She is a real life Disney princess and YA novel hero, and she would probably tell me to go fuck myself (in so many words) for saying that instead of taking action and I would say "YES MA'AM GRETA MA'AM."

Fuck us up, Greta.

Full transcript of her speech below, courtesy of NPR:

"My message is that we'll be watching you.

"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

"For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you're doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

"You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.

"The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

"Fifty percent may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.

"So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.

"To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on Jan. 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons.

"How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just 'business as usual' and some technical solutions? With today's emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.

"There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

"You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

"We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

"Thank you."

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.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Gif of the Day

I'm doing ok today, it's just too close to my vacation and I really didn't feel like blogging. See you on the 16th!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Gif of the Day

I've seen some porn gifs in my time but this is without a doubt the filthiest animated gif I have ever laid eyes on in my entire life.

Seriously, what the fuck.

You Wanted More Ramblings About My Feelings, Right?

So next week I'm taking the week off. From blogging and from work. Having a little vacation. Haven't had a real one of those for quite some time. I know I need it, and I know I should demand it, but I'm not really looking forward to it. This is not because I love work. If you've been reading this blog at all you probably know I do not love working. I just expect that it will blow by, leave me feeling unsatisfied and likely resentful that I have to return to work, and not really help me feel at all relaxed and refreshed. I also don't get to go anywhere because freelancers don't exactly get paid vacations. It's costing me enough just not not work for five days.

I don't really know why I started with that. What I mean to say in this post is that I've been feeling very strange lately. I feel like I both gradually and suddenly (somehow) lost my ability to enjoy doing multiple things at once. For a long time, the height of pleasure was playing video games with something on TV at the same time so I could enjoy both, ideally with something to snack on as well. Then for like a year I smoked a lot of weed, and I would do all those things at once and it was great. But slowly, over time, this became less and less enjoyable and more something I just did because I thought it would make me happy, because it did before.

Now it seems I have crossed a line from not enjoyable into actively distressing. Even just getting high while playing video games became impossible. I couldn't even decide on which to play. I would be high and have a sudden whim to play a certain game but before I could even get it set up, that whim would be gone and the thought of playing it was just stressful. It felt like to play a game I didn't really want to play would be a waste of my precious free time.

And when I forced myself to settle on a game and play it, I would get maybe five or ten minutes in and be like "I hate this" and have to turn it off immediately. This happened again and again as I tried different games while high.

I don't know how the fuck I managed to do this to myself. But now it feels difficult to enjoy anything. I haven't smoked since Sunday and I'm a little afraid to try getting high again. The only games I ever want to play are Overwatch or Candy Crush. Thankfully, I can still play Candy Crush while watching TV, I think because I can pay attention to what I'm watching almost fully while playing such a mindless game. But I played part way through the new God of War that everyone absolutely loved months ago and stopped. I'm not interested in it anymore. I used to love open world games with lots of quests and things to collect and I've played every other main God of War game because the fight mechanics were just so damn entertaining, plus I enjoyed the challenge.

Do people just stop liking most video games? It sounds like depression, and in these past weeks I have had numerous depressive episodes featuring pretty deep depression. But when I'm not in one of those, like right now, I still don't want to play anything. Not even Sims 4, and I did not get all that I could have out of the Pets expansion I bought not too long ago. For $20!

I find myself sitting down on the couch and putting on Netflix comedy specials and just watching that and not even looking at Tumblr at the same time. And this probably seems like a good thing. We should all stop stuffing our brains with as many distractions as possible. For quite a while I would watch shit like new episodes of the Great British Baking Show over and over because I would be playing video games at the same time and I would miss so many details. And for a while I was like, "great, this extends the life of the new season," because they're always over too fast.

But was I even enjoying it? Was I even able to become emotionally invested in the contestants? I don't think I was.

Yet now I'm in this weird state where I'm doing one thing at a time because I can't even bring myself to try playing video games at the same time, but I feel restless and on edge. I feel like I'm not maximizing the enjoyability of my free time.

What did I do??? I feel like I broke my brain. I just don't know how I got here. It's like I can't even remember what it was like before when I enjoyed doing all these things at once and looked forward to it at/during work every day. I kind of feel like I can't remember what it felt like to enjoy things at all, which is scary. Were video games fun before? Now, even with Overwatch, I get the urge to play it but while playing it, I don't really feel anything. What does having fun feel like? I can't remember.

So that's what's been going on with me.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. And that has felt good, in a way. I think. And I've been reading that book. But in some ways I feel like I've been changed. Did I sustain brain damage somehow? At the same time, I feel like for my whole life I've looked back upon myself and who I was and how I felt as little as just a few months ago and not recognized myself. How was I ever as happy as I was college? How was I ever going to an office building every day and working right next to other people, in a call center, in marketing, in localization?  How is it possible that I worked on a campaign to pass a referendum in the state of Washington? What was it like to be unemployed? Did I really write daily articles for a feminist website for months? How is it that I used to write only up to two articles per day but also on weekends around 4 pm?

What did it feel like to be happy? What did it feel like to look forward to things?

I can still feel joy, though. I am still prone to uncontrollable squealing at the sight of baby animals. I can't help but smile ear to ear when my black cat is sitting there seemingly oblivious to the fact that her little pink tongue is sticking out a little bit from her fuzzy cat mouth. But I feel strange. I feel different.

And this is all I can seem to bear to write about. At least this week, I can't do the same news reporting kind of blogging I used to. That shit is my job now, up to four articles per day, though weekends off, mercifully. But still. This blog might be different for a while. Not so much Not Sorry Feminism as Lindsey's Animated Gif and Incoherent Existential Rambling Emporium.

Maybe I am just different, and I need to get used to the change. Maybe I'll learn to find joy in being with others and being out in nature again. Maybe I'll come out of this transition and settle into a happiness beyond anything I've ever experienced. Maybe I have brain cancer. The future is a box of mysteries!

I hope I'm not worrying anyone too much. I feel strange, but I haven't been in a deep depression yet this week. I'm gonna do a lot of thinking over my week off, and after that probably go back to therapy. Either way, I'm not going anywhere. Because I can't afford to, ba dum psh!

But seriously, I am not dying before Trump. I will hear the news of that man's demise before I leave this world.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Gif of the Day

Beware of THE CLAW. And also kitty claws, because zero kitties will appreciate having their entire head grabbed.

I Am Alive


So, this is something I actually wrote up last Friday, which was the day that the first Tool album in 13 years was finally released. For reasons that will be explained, I could not enjoy this album and it brought up some grief, with the help of an internet asshole, and so I ended up writing a long piece pouring out my soul on a variety of subjects, including something very personal that I don't want to have to hide anymore.

Usually I repost good posts from here to Medium, but this time I'm doing it in reverse. Whatever! Medium says it's a 12-minute read, just FYI, but I wrote it so it's counting as a blog post.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Gif of the Day

Gee, why didn't I think of just shoving zombies back into the ground when they pop up? No need to worry about the zombie apocalypse I guess.

Morning Announcements

So if you're one of the nerds who actually keeps track of this (which might be nobody I dunno), you probably noticed that I've been MIA for the last three days. I have continued to struggle with depression, pretty much bouncing back and forth between having revelations and feeling better and then feeling kinda bad again which makes me spiral into further depression because I just want shit to be SOLVED, don't tell me this takes TIME and EFFORT and I can't just have a magic revelation that makes the rest of life glorious forever?

And then Sunday I was up most of the night with a massive headache and nausea (and the thing that happens after nausea but don't think about it) and it took me until like 6 pm yesterday laying in bed in pain to realize that I didn't drink more than a couple sips of my usual cup of coffee Sunday, and of course none yesterday, until after 6 when I was finally able to get the pain under control with some ibuprofen and sleep and risked drinking a cup of coffee. Guess what happened?

Just a quick question, what the fuck is caffeine and how did I get so physically addicted from drinking one cup a day?

Anywho. Don't stop drinking your coffee cold turkey, not even for a day.

In terms of the ol' depression, I've been reading this book called Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions. By Johann Hari. I have some criticisms, of course, particularly around the fact that he says he quit his antidepressants cold turkey in the introduction and didn't warn against the dangerous withdrawal effects until chapter fuckin' two, but many of his points about the social causes of depression resonate. Disconnection from people is one I'm particularly interested in because I've felt disconnected from my fellow humans for a very long time. Did you know that loneliness causes high levels of stress?

This does have to do with technology, but don't get me wrong, I'm not gonna call Thomas Edison a witch (on the contrary, he was an asshole). Social media and the internet and smartphones are incredible tools that have allowed people to do a lot of good. But I think the people arguing that social media and online chat can't replace face-to-face interactions. I've often thought that a lot of our problems are a result of our technology outpacing the evolution of our little monkey brains.

But in reality, Hari argues, the problem of disconnection from people began long before Facebook and iPhones. He seems to think it really got going in the 1930s and puts a lot of blame at the idea of the "nuclear family," which is a weird unnatural situation where we've decided one kind of family is the only good one and it's a good idea to seal ourselves off into our increasingly identical houses and not get to know our neighbors at all. And as time went on, even our family bonds started to dissolve, which is closely related to changes in our economic structure as capitalism becomes increasingly unstable.

That last bit was my thought. Hari bumps up against criticizing capitalism but doesn't quite get there.

Something that's occurred to me lately is the fact that there are a lot of memes and joking online about getting less social interaction as you get older, and seeing things like that was a relief to me at first, because it told me that my increasing disconnection from friends was normal. And it is normal in the way that it's clearly happening to a lot of people, but I think it's not normal in the way that it's not good for us. I'm often skeptical of evolutionary psychology, but there is something to be said about how we evolved to be social animals and how social isolation seems to always cause misery and sometimes serious anti-social behaviors.

If you read as much as I do about how young white men get drawn into white supremacist groups, you can see the pattern of social disconnection and the allure of a supportive community. This isn't the only thing responsible for radicalization, but it's a key factor.

As for the rest of us, we're going to have to put in the effort to reconnect to one another. Including and especially us introverts. And it's tough because socializing seems to be more stressful the less I do it, and Hari proposes that this is because of a snowball effect of the stress of loneliness. If loneliness stresses us out because being alone back in the day meant we were likely to die, we're going to be more apt to want to hide and reaching out to people is going to be harder. And that shitty voice that worries "am I annoying, do people hate me, are they just tolerating me because they pity me, etc." does not help. But I'm not gonna be depressed for the rest of my life so if you know me IRL get ready to see my mug pop up in your Facebook messages or whatever.

This might actually be a great opportunity for me to experiment with slowly ramping up my social interaction and passing on how that goes to others. Clearly, I am not the only one having this problem. But I'm trying to remain positive. I am definitely going through a period of change. Kids go through rapid development that I think are called "wonder periods" or something like that, but since they've discovered that the brain really never stops changing and developing, it makes sense that we would all go through these periods. They're hard and chaotic and uncomfortable but they are also opportunities for growth. Right? Is this too corny? Oh well, I'm not sorry. You know how it is.

By extension, maybe humanity as a whole is going through a wonder period. A big one. Hopefully we survive it, but if we're gonna, we need to reconnect to each other. Fuck the negative voice. I love all of you and I want to hang out with you and I enjoy your company because you're great. Okay? Don't make me repeat myself.

Oh and happy belated Labor Day. Have fun.