Thursday, April 30, 2020

Gif of the Day


I'm so ready.

The Democrats Will Get What's Coming To Them

[TRIGGER WARNING: MENTIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT & CORONAVIRUS]

Obviously there's never a good time for a global pandemic, but I can't help but wonder what 2020 would have been like so far if it hadn't been for the novel coronavirus outbreak. Remember what it was like before this hijacked our brains? It's hard, isn't it?

Donald Trump's impeachment and the Senate trial seem like they happened years ago. Remember when we were all fucked up over the Democratic primaries? Those are still technically happening, although not in New York, which is fucked up. There are so many things we all should have been freaking out over but we don't have the head space, the energy, the anything necessary to respond in a way which is really warranted.

For me, the worst of all of it is the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. That could have and should have been huge, and it's still been in the news in between the millions of coronavirus-related headlines, but I and I'm sure many other people haven't been able to address it like we wanted to.

I'm only now just beginning to really feel my anger over the whole thing. I realized this morning that if not for the coronavirus, this would have been a huge thing for me. As a leftist and a feminist and an uncompromising supporter of survivors, as someone who was already sick to death of being jerked around by Democrats, I feel like I would have been part of a massive call for a third party or at the very least a monumental reckoning within the Democratic party.

It's completely exposed them as being a party of opportunistic, predatory hypocrites who use the language of social justice to court votes of progressives and vulnerable populations but who will abandon us at a moment's notice and attack us if we dare challenge them. Every time Tara Reade is in the news again, Democrats make it more and more obvious. Even Stacey Abrams has betrayed us.

It makes me so angry to think that they will ultimately get away with all this because those of us without all the money, power, and privilege handed to those who run the Democratic party just don't have the mental and emotional energy to fight them right now. We do what we can, and plenty of us have spoken up and written on it and yelled on social media, but I just wonder what we could have done without this fucking pandemic weighing us down.

But we can only do the best we can. Let's just try to remember this betrayal and this anger for later, when we have the energy to gain whatever justice we can for Tara Reade and whoever else has been assaulted by Joe Biden. Maybe he'll be president, maybe not. But I promise that I won't forget, and I will never again think of the Democratic leadership as anything more than my enemies.

I can hold a fucking grudge, and I don't forgive those who don't make amends. The reckoning will come, Joe.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Gif of the Day


Birds are weird.

May 1 Strikes

Global pandemic and economic crisis in late April? You bet there's going to be strikes. May Day is also known as International Workers' Day, dubbed so by socialists and communists in the late 1800s to mark the hangings of several anarchists after someone set off a bomb during a mass protest for an eight-hour workday. Thanks to all these leftists, we won an eight-hour workday and many other victories. However, we were always supposed to fight for more, and many expected that the number of working hours would continue to shrink, especially as technology advanced.

But, you know, capitalists.

Global crises like the current pandemic tend to set off labor movements, and this pandemic is no exception. It's the perfect opportunity for some of our most screwed-over workers such as Amazon warehouse workers, grocery stockers, and the delivery drivers for all those new food delivery apps. Though some things have obviously changed, the basic principles of supporting strikes and being a good community member stand.

Don't cross the picket line. Do not order anything using any of the companies that are being hit by strikes. The point is to hit them in the pocketbooks, so don't give them any of your money on May 1 at the very least.

The strikes I have been able to find are as follows:

  • Amazon
  • Whole Foods
  • Instacart
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Shipt
  • FedEx
Make sure you have all the food you need for May 1 before that date if you don't have other shopping options available.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Gif of the Day


Thanks for this one, Tildy.

Give Yourself Some Credit

It's another Monday and I'm still churning out articles for work during a global pandemic trying to ignore the reports of people my age suffering strokes because of the virus when I get migraine with aura, anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

In the spirit of "Give Yourself A Break," let's also do a "give yourself some credit" challenge. Many of us still have regular responsibilities, and doing normal everyday shit is a LOT harder under significant stress, which is what you are experiencing right now. I know, you might feel a little more normal because you are starting to get used to it but that doesn't mean your stress level is necessarily lowered.

The point is that everything you're doing right now is an accomplishment. If you're doing something extra to increase your mental health, that's incredible. If you're doing something extra to help people, that's simply amazing. If you're just surviving, that's fantastic.

I have trouble with this too, so I'll start. I've been trying to go on walks again for the sake of my mental and physical health, starting out real slow with just one a week, then two per week last and this week, and so far I've been keeping that commitment. I plan to keep increasing the frequency slowly until I get to walking almost every day, and then I'd like to start doing upper body exercises too.

Another reason for this is so that I can keep up in the coming riots, but let's not worry about that now.

I've even been doing extra cleaning projects on the weekend, not for sanitation but just for mental health. This weekend I cleaned out and organized the cabinet with all the sheet pans and other random kitchen crap, including putting almost everything in there through the dishwasher to get rid of years of caked-on dust. Now I can actually use my wok, or one of the three pie crust dishes I for some reason have. And I can open it to get the strainer without worrying about a stack of sheet pans falling on my foot.

The weekend before me and Addison deep cleaned the bathroom, and I vacuumed (normal but infrequent chore) and even dusted both the bedroom and general living area, including the blinds, which were SO DUSTY.

Next weekend I'm cleaning the couch as much as is possible without a wet vac or whatever.

I feel so good about doing these things! I've also been working and blogging and checking on my Discord support group which has come in handy even though it's supposed to be about the threat of climate change but I can't think about that shit right now lol.

Anyway, I'm pretty extraordinary for doing all that. Now it's your turn. Anything that you're doing to take care of yourself right now is wonderful, and you deserve credit. I think you're doing amazing! A+! You rule!

I want to see every single one of you doing this:

Friday, April 24, 2020

Gif of the Day


Who is she.

Rent Strike Resources

The end of the month is approaching rapidly, somehow, after the month of March lasted eons, and that means rent is going to be due again. As you know, millions of people have been laid off, only some have received their measly $1200 from the government, and many are being denied unemployment for no discernable reason, if they can even get onto the website or through the phone lines long enough to apply.

I am thankfully in a good position. Though my secondary freelance client had to delay giving out assignments, my primary client asked me to do more work following the start of the pandemic, and my partner will likely be able to go back to work or at least get unemployment payments soon. Plus I got my stimulus payment pretty quickly for some reason.

Regardless, we will be participating in a national rent strike starting on May 1 in solidarity with people who can't pay and also because rent is too high and fuck landlords. This is also made easier by the fact that we have family we can stay with if we do get evicted, though there are still risks of this making it much more difficult to rent in the future. There's an eviction moratorium in Washington State right now, plus charging fees for late payment is prohibited until early June, so that helps, but we could still be evicted in the future.

I lay out these risks in case others reading are also thinking about taking part in a rent strike. If you are, there are a lot of resources and support networks out there right now that can help you get through it, access legal information, and organize with your neighbors. If you can, organizing your entire apartment complex is the best way to do a rent strike, but that's just too much stress for me and my partner right now, so don't feel bad if you can't manage it either. Talking to strangers is hard.

Anyway, here are some of those resources I mentioned:

A list of local rent strike Facebook groups.

A form you can fill out if you want to organize a rent strike and need help.

Online rent strike organizing event for Seattle.

International rent strike webinar.

Tenant Protections Map showing where rent strikes are being organized, plus additional resources.

Rebel Steps podcast episode with step-by-step rent strike organizing guide.

There's plenty more to find out there if you look. If you do strike and your landlord threatens you with eviction or other forms of retaliation, let one of these organizations know. There is a very good chance that landlord retaliation right now is illegal, and at the very least, public shaming has proved to be very effective.

Good luck. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Gif of the Day


I know we've all seen this but it's just such a great metaphor for the U.S. right now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Gif of the Day


Grump little golden retriever puppy.

Prisons Are Ethical Nightmares And Now They're Petri Dishes For Coronavirus

There are a lot of things I'm grateful for lately, especially all of the sudden shifts toward leftist ideas among the larger public when they unthinkable just a couple months ago. On one level, it's irritating, but mostly I am shocked and highly pleased to see something close to universal basic income happening in the U.S., with people demanding more.

However, there's one thing we really need to shift public opinion on because it really is an ethical clusterfuck, even outside of a deadly pandemic, and it's the prison system. We've spent centuries shoving the most vulnerable, desperate people of our society into horrible conditions, and the state has to convince us that they deserve to be there in order to justify those conditions. Then they get exploited, conditions become even worse, and the only way to maintain the system (which the state wants to do because it's a ton of free labor, and I'm not even talking about private prisons yet) is to dehumanize the incarcerated.

The parallels to the old U.S. chattel slavery system are disturbingly numerous.

And seriously, I'm not just talking about private prisons. Those are a whole new level of fucked up, but we need to get rid of the entire prison system as it is and replace it with something actually dedicated to rehabilitation.

We need to change the public view on incarcerated people. They are not bad people, they are not vermin, they are not evil. They are people who have been failed by our society so badly that they ended up harming fellow human beings, or they're people that the state finds threatening. And the former even applies to so-called "white collar" criminals. You don't embezzle millions of dollars because you're a healthy person in a healthy society, even if I do have less sympathy for them.

I am encouraged by the fact that some people have been released from prisons due to the pandemic, but it's not nearly enough. Models by the ACLU predict that an additional 100,000 human beings could die from COVID-19 because of U.S. mass incarceration.

And if you still can't muster up enough empathy for prisoners, most of those people will be those outside of prisons who catch it from those who are released on schedule during the pandemic.

As many as 99,000 more people could die in the US as a result of the virus being contracted behind jail walls, the study predicts. Of those, 23,000 are projected to succumb behind bars and 76,000 in surrounding communities as a result of inmates spreading the virus upon release. 
The projection would almost double last month’s White House modeling of Covid-19’s grim legacy in terms of lives lost.

The stories coming out of affected prisons right now are horrifying. I can almost guarantee it's much worse than any prisons will ever willingly admit. Leaving tens of thousands of human beings or more to die because they had the misfortune of being born into poverty in a society that hates the poor is mass murder, plain and simple.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake

CONTENT WARNING: KEY SPOILERS FOR THE ORIGINAL AND REMAKE AHEAD

Sporadic posting lately? It's not coronavirus (not totally anyway), it's because last week Final Fantasy VII Remake arrived at my door. Now I've finished it, and I need to blog out all my feelings about it, so get the fuck ready.

First I need to express just how important the game of Final Fantasy VII is to me. I was first introduced to this game as a pretty young kid. It was my big brother's game, and I started out just watching him play it, fascinated by a new kind of video game like I'd never seen before. Final Fantasy VII was my introduction to the JRPG and the turn-based battle system. Everything about it was different, especially the story. It's hard to remember for sure, but I think FFVII was my introduction to the idea that video games could contain compelling story that could move me and characters that fascinated me.

I think it also contained the first fictional characters I ever had a crush on, which for me remains a rare thing. But that's less important.

I played FFVII over the course of years, periodically getting stuck on certain parts and then going back months later to try again, finally figuring it out and progressing until I was finally treated to an incredible final battle and satisfying ending. I'll never forget when I first witnessed Aeris/Aerith (I still often pronounce it with the "s" at the end because that's how I learned it) die, how I threw the controller in outrage and cried in grief. I could hardly believe that any video game company would have the nerve to kill off a playable character, and to this day, as far as I know, this bold as fuck move has very rarely been repeated.

I realize that the novelty of the game is likely a large part of the reason I loved it, whereas every other Final Fantasy game other than Tactics has been a baffling disappointment to me. No other Final Fantasy villain has been nearly so intriguing and terrifying to me as Sephiroth, as embarrassed as I am to admit that. And again, maybe it was just the novelty of seeing a man with ridiculously pretty eyes and long as fuck hair, but whatever the reason, that fascination has lingered over all these years.

He's sexy, what can I do?

Over the years, I've gone back to replay FFVII periodically. I couldn't tell you how many times. I know this game better than any other video game in existence.

Final Fantasy VII Remake has given me a new appreciation for the original while at the same time renewing my love for the story and the characters. In short, I liked it, and I'm glad it exists. It would not surprise me at all if some people hated it. Personally, I was one of the people who for many years was like "why haven't you remade this iconic game with updated graphics?" They could have done a shot-for-shot remake like that and it would have been guaranteed money.

But for some reason, they waited. And waited. And every now and then it would come up and they'd be like "nah if we're gonna do that then we're gonna DO THAT."

I never understood what they meant until now. Final Fantasy VII Remake is an attempt to give us so much more. It attempts to take a well-known story and beloved characters and go deeper, let us get to know them more, and I think to reconcile some plot holes.

One of the really interesting things about the original game is that it was actually a low-budget thing. It was the first 3D (as it was thought of at the time) Final Fantasy game. Square (as it was called at the time) didn't know if people outside of Japan would like it or if it would be worth the investment. As a result, the localization department was pretty under-funded, which is why there are those bits of text every now and then that are clearly not right or confusing. It's because it's literally not translated very well.

But oddly, I think that parts of the game being a little off like that really only served it, largely because the protagonist is an unreliable narrator. Somehow it manages to create more intrigue in what is a very slow-burning story for a video game.

That is one thing that Final Fantasy VII Remake lacks. Subtlety. This is not surprising considering what Square Enix now is. They don't do subtle. But I'll always be impressed by how the original has you spend 5-10 hours in a big city environment making you think that the game is about defeating Shinra, dropping the occasional little hint that there's something bigger at work, before kicking you out of the city and into a big world with an entirely new objective armed with limited and partially incorrect knowledge about the real antagonist and why he needs to be defeated.

And yet somehow this wild turn in story works. Maybe it's because of those subtle hints, or some accidental or genius pacing, but it doesn't leave you without an actual figure to be your antagonist like when they tried to do the same in VIII, or without hardly any understanding of what's going on like in IX and X. Also, the characters are cool and interesting instead of annoying and/or boring, so that helps.

I've always felt like my disappointment in the other Final Fantasy games is largely a result of comparing them to VII and expecting or at least longing for more of the same. So for the remake, especially after learning that it would be a multi-game experience and the first would be all in Midgar, I tried to go in with an open mind. And I think that helped.

I almost decided to cancel my pre-order when I found out the game would be all in Midgar and therefore have to be quite a bit different from the original to last as long as a full game. I'm glad I didn't. I feel like the remake was something of a love letter to the original, almost like if some really good fan fiction was added to it. It gave me a greater appreciation for the people of the slums and the cruelty of Shinra, and added a delicious layer of class consciousness that I was of course going to love.

As the game started, I wasn't sure about the characters. A lot of them seemed to lack much authentic personality. But maybe in some ways Square Enix still manages to be subtle, because they all grew on me. Biggs started out sounding like stubbled handsome guy #3 but by the falling of the Sector 7 plate, I had come to love him. I wasn't initially a fan of what seemed like an epic level of thirst from Jessie for Cloud but grew to like her as I realized she was messing with him.

I always loved Wedge, though. Wedge is amazing.

I wasn't even sure about Tifa's character at first, but it felt like more of her came out as time went on, like we were getting to know each other.

The remake also made me realize what it is I like about Cloud. People who like Final Fantasy games like VIII or X best will often describe him as "emo," but I never felt that was right. Squall is fucking emo, and in a completely unlikable way. But Cloud is not that at all. He's not sad. He's not depressed. He doesn't act as though his life is terrible.

Cloud is like an adorable puppy who really wants to be seen as a big tough guard dog and everyone sees right through it and the results are fantastic. And yet as his companions make fun of him for it all day long, he only becomes more attached to them because he is a good loyal puppy and I love him. He just wants to protect people, haunted by the moment he felt that he failed to do so as a kid.

But he doesn't want anyone to know how vulnerable he is and so he tried to act tough and aloof and like he only cares about money but he keeps helping people and it just becomes a running joke that he's in on himself and it's great. I just want him to be okay.

Anyway.

I didn't love everything about the game. I'm not sure about the "whispers" that manifest as dementor-looking fuckers. I feel as though what they really are is a plot device and attempt to explain some of the more unbelievable parts of the game. I don't know that it's necessary. I'm also a little confused by the injection of the "fate" narrative that wasn't in the original. Maybe they're going somewhere with it that I don't see yet.

Jim Sterling seemed to suggest in his video on the game that these new elements mean that it's not a real remake, but that there's something like a time loop going on and the whispers are trying to keep everything on track but the new Cloud and new friends are breaking out of that loop and shit's going to be different? But I didn't get that at all. Yeah, there's some time shit going on. Cloud seems to be having visions of the future. But that doesn't mean it's not going to be the same story going forward.

I'll need to play the remake again. I was definitely going to anyway. I apparently even missed some odd jobs in my first run.

The lack of subtlety is a little disappointing but I understand. I mean, who doesn't know that the game is really about fighting Sephiroth? It's a little pointless to try and sneak up on people with that now. And I have to say, I was glad to see so much of Sephiroth in the game, because how was I going to wait for the next one for fucking Sephiroth to show up?

Maybe my biggest complaint about the game is that Square Enix didn't have the courage to kill off the characters who were supposed to die. I mean, okay, keep Wedge alive because I love him, but Biggs survives? Come the fuck on.

Killing off characters raises the stakes. And don't tell me only Jessie is dead. Don't kill off one of the few female characters if you're only going to kill one, huh?

My significant other also put the fear in me that maybe this is going to be some kind of timeline-changing thing in which you're going to find some way to save Aerith from her fate, because she keeps so heavily hinting that she has to die and knows it. I know it's fridging but if Aeris doesn't die it's not Final Fantasy VII.

At the end of the day, Final Fantasy VII made me feel things I hadn't felt in a very long time. It made me feel strange feelings that I'm still feeling now and I like them. And it was a blessed distraction from how ffffffffffffffffUCKED UP everything in the real world is right now. There was some weird stuff in it, and I really, REALLY did not need to see Cloud get a very obvious metaphor for a hand job (good lord my inner child is dead now thanks Squenix), but I feel like people who love the game took some creative license with something they love and that's fine. Like, good for them. I'm not one to say that people who poured a shit ton of time and money into a creative venture should make it exactly how I say they should, as long as it's not harmful in some way to real people. They sold it back to us at $60 and that's not a small amount, but for 40 hours of entertainment and the results of years of incredible amounts of work, I really don't feel like I'm owed anything here.

That being said, I can't believe I'm going to have to wait probably years for the next one. Damn you, Square Enix. Damn you to hell.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Give You A Break

I struggle a lot with feeling like I don't do enough to justify how stressed and anxious and tired I feel a lot of the time. I hide it but the truth is that there is a constant nagging fear that I am just faking it and being overdramatic for attention or because I'm really just lazy. You know, all those things I've written about as being capitalistic value judgments that ignore reality. I have so much trouble with applying the things I preach about giving people a fucking break to myself.

And I'm sure a lot of people can relate really hard to that. There's never enough you can do, right? It's never enough for that voice inside your head to be satisfied. And no matter how exhausted you feel or what physical symptoms manifest from your stress, you never really, truly believe that those feelings are real or unexaggerated. But sometimes you feel so tired that you literally can't make yourself move. And you think, "what's wrong with me?"

Part of it is culture. Hopefully you've already seen stuff on the internet decrying those absurd calls for people to be extra productive right now, gaining new skills during a global crisis involving a deadly virus or starting a new business venture at the advent of a global depression. They're right, we are all going through a period of trauma together. And even when it feels like it's no different from before, maybe if it feels like nothing is really worse or harder, that trauma and stress are still there.

My life really is not all that different than it was pre-pandemic, but today as soon as I was finished with my regular work, I was hit with a feeling of absolute, all-encompassing exhaustion right in the middle of my gut, or what felt like the deepest depths of my soul. And all I could do was lay down. There was nothing particularly hard about today or over the weekend. No news that was particularly shocking.

But I felt like that.

I think we could all use a global campaign of giving ourselves a fucking break. For real. It's not just the pandemic. Do you remember the shit that was going on before this? What about the national trauma of an impeachment trial that was just pure gaslighting from Republicans, which followed numerous scandals and investigations because the president just would not stop doing completely fucked up shit. It's been three and a half years of fucked up, people! Starting with that other national trauma that was the 2016 election. When did we recover from that? Oh that's right, NEVER, because we didn't have time for that, did we?

It's just been one clusterfuck after another and thinking about it like that makes me wonder how the fuck we all held it together? What kind of animal are we? Like what the fuck?

And let's expand out even further. Do you know how fast technology has been advancing in the past few decades? Do you know how many massive cultural changes have happened, all on a global scale, just since the internet became widely available? It took us millions of years to figure out tools and invent the wheel, but in the past 30 years we've become a species that spends the majority of its waking hours looking at screens and getting a ton of information shoved into its brain all day every day.

We lived in fairly small tribes, isolated from one another, for millions of years and then all of the sudden we can all talk to each other from all the way around the world any time we want? We all get to find out the kind of shit our national leaders get into and how fucked the system is for the rest of us? We see terrible things happening to our fellow human beings and learn about horrific injustices every single fucking day, and we still get out of bed in the morning?

If the human species does survive past the next couple centuries, this time will be looked on as a big period of change, maybe the biggest ever to happen to the species. They'll study how our brains rapidly changed to cope with our new realities and how the advent of internet technology fueled renaissance and revolution. And they'll be like "wow, can you imagine?" They won't know how we got through it.

I hope that day comes. But in the meantime, please give yourself a break. If you give yourself a break then I'll give myself a break. Deal?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Gif of the Day


Such a beautiful film.

How Are Pro-Lifers Being Pro-Life Today?

I again have to say that while the coronavirus is a terrible thing and I wish thousands didn't have to die for this to happen, but the pandemic really is making Republicans show their true faces.


Trey Hollingsworth, real name Joseph Albert Hollingsworth III, and yes he is very rich, is absolutely opposed to abortion and identifies as "pro-life." But when it comes to people who are already born, they can die by the millions if it means getting the economy back to the way it was pre-pandemic. Meaning when workers toiled for him without health insurance, making him millions while millions of PEOPLE died every year from preventable health problems.

I don't think this could get much more egregious.

But again, the good thing is that the labor movements and demands for universal healthcare coming out of the pandemic are scaring the shit out of rich people who only care about hanging on to as much money and power as they can. And this is only the beginning. We're not going to lay down our lives for Trey's fucking profit margins.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Gif of the Day


What would we do without cats?

Look Funny Video

I actually did some cleaning up around the apartment after work today and also forgot about blogging but I'm tired now so I'm gonna pull a hungover teacher move (no judgment, that job would make anybody drink) and post a video for you to watch because it's brilliant.



Hahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha.

Life is super weird right now. Hope you're doing ok.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Gif of the Day


Baby and mama.

Democrats Used And Betrayed Survivors

I'm not actually surprised that this happened but that doesn't mean I'm not angry about it, as we should all be. Democrats are actively ignoring the sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade after hijacking and exploiting the #MeToo movement and other movements (often created by vulnerable women of color who then are never given the credit they deserve by the establishment) for their own gain.

This just gives more credence to the argument that Democrats are not actually better than Republicans, they just put on an act to try and get the votes of people they don't really give a single fuck about. I'm not saying that's true, and you know I recognize the astonishing level of harm that Republicans have done, but it gets harder and harder to argue against, doesn't it?

And I can't help but feel right now like at least Republicans never led me on like this. They never pretended to be my friend. Or if they did, they did a really bad job.

Regardless, what you can't deny any further is that Democrats are not different from Republicans when it comes to sexual assault and how they treat women who aren't useful to them and/or become a problem for them. I've seen Democrats, including prominent mainstream feminists, use the exact same arguments for ignoring and maligning Tara Reade that Republicans used to attack Dr. Ford to prop up Brett Kavanagh. "Isn't it convenient," they say, "that this is just coming out now that we're about to hand a ton of power to this rich white man."

Never mind that Tara Reade has been trying to get this recognized by the media and larger public for literally decades. But the Time's Up people were tied to Biden, so they refused. Even now, it's not convenient, because it's too late to stop Biden from becoming the nominee. The sparse and reluctant reporting done on Reade's story has been almost entirely ignored by Democratic politicians, no matter how lefty, because even the decent ones are terrified of speaking out, whether because they think it will hand Trump the 2020 election or because they know it will be the end of their careers. At least as Democrats.

I won't believe for a second that the Democratic leadership saw this coming, and they chose to steamroll Bernie Sanders and prop up Biden anyway. Again, that was their choice, and they are now putting all of their energy into trying to guilt and scare leftists, survivors, and women into voting for Biden and setting us up to be blamed if/when Biden loses.

I'm going to be honest. I think Trump will win this November. I just don't see how Democrats win using the same tactics from 2016 with a worse candidate who no one is excited about, facing worsened voter suppression tactics and the uphill battle against an incumbent. In spite of everything, Trump's approval rating has remained about the same as ever, and it's been boosted by the coronavirus crisis. So just prepare yourself emotionally.

But the fault will be the ones with the power and privilege to have all the data and expert opinions and know that they would have to betray survivors and women for Joe Biden who went ahead and did that anyway. They jumped on board the #MeToo train and attacked Republicans with #BelieveWomen and declared that every survivor should be believed and listened to and not attacked and swept under the rug when it was convenient for them. Now they're turning around and acting exactly like the Republicans they once derided, becoming hypocrites and traitors and exposing themselves as cynical opportunists.

And we're supposed to vote for them? And we're the bad ones if we refuse to vote for the candidate they consolidated their power to basically install as the nominee?

No. They will do everything they can, they will attack every single one of their voters, every single woman, every single survivor if it means holding on to their power. By ignoring the accusations against Joe Biden and smearing Tara Reade, they have shown their true faces.

Fuck them. Don't let them guilt you. Don't let them scare you. Don't let them blame you for what they did to themselves and to all of us.

That's on them. End of story.

And if you call me a Trump supporter for saying this there's going to be a part of me that hopes your anus turns inside out.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Gif of the Day


This is supposed to be that scary guy, right? Never really understood the hype but he's a good dancer.

Voters Owe Democrats Nothing

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE APOLOGIA, RAPE CULTURE]

Maybe you expected me to do a post about Bernie suspending his campaign, and this is pretty much it. Yes, I was pretty bummed out, but I didn't have a whole lot of headspace for it. I knew there was a good chance it would happen and was surprised how bummed out I got, but I think it didn't matter that I saw it coming. The point is that it's representative of a system that has failed me over and over and I would love it if it worked as people keep promising me it will because that would be easy, but we're not getting any easy way out of this, are we?

It would be one thing if Bernie had lost at a fair game. But watching the entire Democratic party put all their resources against him to ensure that Joe fucking Biden was the nominee, and then to see supposed liberals and feminists continue to support him right over the words of Tara Reade, ditch the "believe women" line they've apparently just been exploiting for personal gain, and echo the same lines Republicans used to attack Dr. Ford and defend Brett Kavanagh to defend Biden?

There's only so much shit I can take before I walk away, you know?

It's been a long time since I actually supported the Democratic party in any way other than giving some online boosting to some of their candidates and politicians and, of course, voting for them. And I'm sure I will do so again, because some of them working within the system are good people, even if they have more faith in the system than I think anybody should. But I'm not supporting Biden.

I'll admit, the 2016 election and the shock of Trump winning did send me backward into that "vote blue no matter who" mindset. But the truth is that it never felt right to me. I feel like I'm being held hostage while being asked to be grateful for it, somehow. It's felt for years like the whole "lesser of two evils" thing has been used to shift us deeper and deeper into evil. Both candidates keep getting worse but I'm expected to keep supporting the lesser evil, and if I don't that somehow means I'm supporting the morer evil.

Enough. I'm done with this rigged game. I've said this before and I'll probably say it a few more times in blog posts like this. I won't be bullied into supporting a sexual predator, and my refusal to do so doesn't mean I'm automatically supporting a different, worse sexual predator. I'm tired of the old line that if I don't vote for the Democrat, it's a vote for the Republican. Yes, I understand that Republicans are more guilty of voter suppression and tend to win when there's less voter turnout. It still doesn't mean that giving my vote to a socialist candidate rather than Joe Biden means I'm voting for Trump.

You know what it means? It means I'm voting for a socialist candidate. End of story.

It doesn't even make sense in our electoral college system. I can vote for a literal bowl of shit if I want to, but Washington State will still go blue.

I'm done with this rigged system. My energy will go toward community organizing and bringing down the entire, fucked up system that has created the hell we're all in right now. Like a real radical. I'll still do some voting for the sake of harm reduction, but Democrats can officially eat my entire ass. I don't owe them shit and neither do you. It was their job to appeal to us and if they failed, that's on them. Political parties are supposed to work for the people, not the other way around. No matter what your personal feelings are on this subject or anything I've said here, don't ever forget that.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Gif of the Day



There is something about watching metal get twisted like whoa.

Will Things Be Different Post-Coronavirus, And How?

As a daily news reporter for one of those many sites that mostly regurgitates news that has already been reported, I get a daily dose of information that those with other professions aren't paid to subject themselves to. As such, I have an impression as to how the coronavirus crisis will play out, but don't think of me as an expert and take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

That being said, it seems that the initial crisis is beginning to peak. Looking at the lastest graphs, you can see that a curve is finally starting to appear in the U.S. coronavirus cases rather than it just being a straight line shooting up into the stratosphere. This is something to be relieved about, but there's still a long road ahead of us.

My morbid fascination with viruses is also coming into play here but again, I'm no viral biologist. But I my understanding is that a virus like the novel coronavirus currently causing our pandemic is a lot like the flu virus. It will keep coming in waves, usually peaking during the winter season. What I have read is that the coronavirus is mutating, as viruses do, but slowly.

The flu virus mutates rapidly into various different strains which continue mutating over time. This is why you can get the flu again and again -- the mutations are significant enough that your immune system doesn't immediately recognize it. That's why you have to get a flu shot every year. Other viruses mutate slowly, or possibly not at all (I'm not personally sure here). That's why you can get immunized to the measles as a child and it lasts at least for a few decades.

In conclusion, this means that once we develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, we'll all probably only have to get it once, maybe twice in our lifetimes. That makes things simpler.

So when is a vaccine coming? My most recent reading on the subject says that if everything goes right, we're at least 18 months out. That's a while, obviously. I'm not sure what this means for the near future. If we do things right, the number of new cases should level off and then begin to fall, as it has in countries like China, South Korea, and Italy. It seems likely that if/when that happens, the U.S. will want to open up again and go on like normal. That's not going to be good, because as long as there are any coronavirus cases and any amount of travel is allowed, there will be new outbreaks and we could find ourselves right back where we started.

I think our best bet would be to stay closed down and distancing and put our energy toward adapting until we can deploy an effective vaccine. That is what we would do if we prioritized lives over "the economy." But it will mean many more months of eviction moratoriums and basic income, to start.

I'm not confident that's the way it will go.

This post is supposed to be about after all that. Oops.

The point is that best case scenario, things are locked down for long enough that our entire economic system will have to change or we will be in big trouble. This post was supposed to consider whether post-coronavirus America/planet Earth would be able to go back to pre-coronavirus "normal," but I think writing it out has brought me to a personal conclusion. I don't think things can go back to normal no matter which route is chosen for us.

The government can try to open back up again pre-vaccine but more outbreaks will happen if they do that. It's basically inevitable. It's as close to inevitable as I can accept, being an "anything can happen" kind of person. Hospitals will be overwhelmed again, people will die, businesses will get scared again, and any governor and mayor who isn't just an absolute puddle of garbage juice will shut shit down when it comes to their city/state. The economy will not be able to go back to what it was.

This might sound scary and well, let's be real, it is. But if you thought the old economic system is/was terrible, then there is a lot of cause for hope. It absolutely sucks butt that it took a deadly disease that is causing so much pain and death to make things change, but if we put in the effort, we can make it all worth something.

I think that yes, things will have to be different post-coronavirus. And I believe in our collective ability to make that change be good.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Gif of the Day


Serval :)

Create Something You Really Want To Create

Hey so there are so many terrible aspects of this pandemic that I could possibly talk about that it's overwhelming, so I'm reduced to focusing on the positives. Also, I'm working on accepting that I need to focus on survival and self-care during this time and that I'm not somehow more able to do things than before the universe started teasing me with my #1 least favorite apocalypse scenario. That sounds more self-absorbed than I meant it to.

Anyway what I think we should all try doing, if we're able, is to try and experience what life would be like in a society that works for the common people. Imagine you had UBI or lived in fully automated luxury communism or whatever works for you, and figure out that thing that you would do if you didn't have to always worry about survival.

Don't feel like you have to be "productive" or gain a new skill or ugh "side hustle" barf. It's absurd to expect that of yourself while hunkering down under a worldwide crisis and global trauma. Instead, try giving yourself a fucking break and do some things you wanted to do that aren't in any way profitable or making you lose weight somehow.

Mine's a bit cliche, but I really enjoyed painting with acrylics the one time I tried it and so early in March I managed to procure some canvas from a Buy Nothing group and I ordered some paint and brushes. I did all this for an anniversary surprise for my partner, and it turned out he even had some additional painting supplies including a pad of canvas paper.

In a truly free society, I'd paint a lot more. I really like how painting nature scenes means you can fuck around about as much as you want because nature's imperfect so as long as there are some shapes and colors, technically it's good.

But also, I made this:


There's a real good chance you're not really going to be able to convince yourself for a second that you're living under luxury communism, but if we ever want to get there, we need to get rid of the myth that human beings will stop doing anything useful without the threat of starvation. In reality, many of the great inventions and discoveries of history happened because some rich dudes didn't need to work.

I'm still working -- more than usual, in fact. But I'm glad I decided to spend some money and allow myself to enjoy doing something I just felt like doing whether or not there was some kind of profitability involved. And it ended in something AMAZING -- a painting of BMO doing a skateboard trick with an explosion behind him. No one else has a painting exactly like this and I made it and it's mine now.

I will continue to hammer home the point that human beings don't need death threats to create, invent, innovate, or help one another. Healthcare workers in the U.S. are getting their pay cut as a reward for working endless hours without proper gear and they're not quitting en masse, incredibly. People everywhere are making things and helping each other, all for free.

Help prove the point by making your own thing, whatever it might be, and fuck whether or not you can sell it somehow.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Gif of the Day


When I first saw this I did not expect the chainsaw to make an appearance.

How Are You?

Hello again, dear blog readers. It sure is another week again, huh?

Remember when Donald Trump won the 2016 election and we were all in shock and like "how are we just supposed to keep going to work like everything is normal?" This is kind of like that, only it's harder to get used to because every day there's an actual death count being updated and also a lot of people aren't going to work like everything is normal. I still am, but work is all about the coronavirus.

What's the same is that I still feel like I should be doing more to help people but am stressed to the max so I just stay home and play video games and feel different. What's different is that I'm not supposed to socialize, and I only go to the store once per week, and it's an eerie and tense experience. I keep forgetting myself and trying to make eye contact and smile at people and they keep awkwardly looking away instead of smiling back and it's just so weird.

Also, Boris Johnson might die.

I'm getting real tired of things not being normal. Which is also weird because honestly, the normal we were in was awful. Part of me is so relieved at all the headlines declaring that things will never go back to normal.

Life is a series of paradoxes and it gets old fast.

I'm feeling relatively okay. I'm working during the weekdays and getting through it. I'm having some trouble sleeping but it's not terrible. I'm just going week by week. Eventually there will be a vaccine and the virus will recede and we'll have to do the work to demand the changes to society that would have prevented so many deaths if we'd already made them, and hold accountable those who stood in the way of those changes.

Keep surviving. That's my plan.