Combating Dystopia.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hatred Can Be a Useful Learning Tool Too.

"I think it’s time for us to occupy. Not going down and setting up tents out in front of city hall, but it’s time for us to be gainfully involved in boldly proclaiming truth and not backing down in the face of intimidation, whether it be from a school principal, kids if you’re listening obviously talk with your parents first, and parents, don’t be intimidated by school officials, don’t be intimidated by the ACLU. [snip]

"Should we be angry? No. But we should understand that it is the truth that sets people free and those in the homosexual community that are looking for fulfillment, that are looking for the approval that they are trying to get by forcing society to embrace homosexuality, they will never get it that way. They’ll only get it when they come to grips with the truth, that they are created in the image of God and God has a plan for their lives, and it’s not the destructive path that they’re on." - Hate group leader and KKK affiliate Tony Perkins, speaking on his radio show.

via Joemygod.

I find this line of thinking to be one of the largest detractors to a free and egalitarian society. The forthright assumption that any citizen's "acceptance" requires being vetted by their particular religion to be free and equal is a leap I'd love to see supported by say...the very documents and ideologies that make this republic unique in the first place.

On a more personal level, this line of arch-hubris is one of the reasons I stopped consorting with fine and compassionate Christians. I could never in my heart and head reconcile this willful cruelty, this "love my religion and adopt my worldview or else" way of doing religion.In a way, I should thank the likes of Perkins for his "truth". As a teenager, the more I saw this sort of santimonious bile that passsed for "Christian Compassion" the less it made me believe in this God or any other being real and provable.His smug, taciturn "truth" convinced me that the proverbial cake was a lie. His calloused stance on this, and his politicisized version of Christianity defies my upbringing in Herculean ways, and offends my sensibilities as a believer in equality...and yet, these men, the Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischers and Michelle Bachmann's of the nation are the face of modern Christianity. I should thank Perkins for reminding me why this (compassionate, loving, humane) God of his is a myth.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Addressing the numerous misconceptions about "Freedom of Speech"

Its been a while, I know. Pending anymore keyboard mishaps I fully apologize for being a.w.o.l from this bloggy experiment for longer than intended.

A good deal has been going on in my absence of course, I'll use this post to get us back in the swing of things with more topical issues of late.

Lets address the continued and bonheaded misconception that "Freedom of Speech" somehow equals silence of opposition.

Every day I see people butcher the real purpose of "Freedom of Speech". Its not a say stupid things & have no social consequences card. This would violate the freedoms of others. Its purpose is to ensure the government alone cant retaliate for something volitile a given citizen has said.

Other citizens can happily tell them how stupid/awful/wrong they are. Its a falacy I see repeated often and its jarring to see how often people wish it to mean "Sit down and let me say whatever I want without sanction!" No free society would be able to function this way, as some peoples speech would therefore be better and more important than others.

It never seems to stop stupid people from defending other stupid people erroneously, mind.

For a little much needed upbeat music fix? I'm all about M83 lately. Killer killer track. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Get Out, Stay Out- Ken Mehlman and "Forgiveness"

Much has been said this weekend about OUT magazine's "Out 100" list ...and here whereGawker's Brian Moylan makes a brilliant case for why OUT's decision is both jarringly ill placed and wrongheaded..and rightly effing so.

Having read the write up that accompanied the article on Melhman I nearly spit coffee. "As someone who came out later in life I can say It gets better" he says. Please, its better for him because he's wealthy, conservative and most importantly DOESNT live in a state that hurled anti-gay policy around like grenades to make sure he can't EVER get married in them. He lives comfortably in one of the few states where it is better...but refuses to own up to the fact that its significantly less so in other parts of the nation because of his role as RNC chair. It hasn't gotten better for gay couples in the 11 states where they adopted the RNC's gay (southern) strategy and enshrined their state constitutions in bigotry to make sure gay people couldn't share their lives in any meaningful way.

I find the drum and strang on Melhman irksome because there have been very few conversations about him post coming out that even attempt to directly speak to his culpability as head of the party that made and continues to make being rabidly anti-gay a tentpole. Instead he's being lionized by OUT and more than a few apologists because he's out of the closet well after the damage has been done on the national scale and it is no longer politically expedient for him personally. There is in fact nothing heroic about being overwhelmingly opportunistic...and yet, here we are attempting to make excuses for those that haven't admitted wrongdoing. There's something so snide and disappointing in this narrative it makes me genuinely question the collective memory (and sanity) of the group he's profited off of maligning.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Please Pretend You're Straight Until College- A Texan Mom Blogger's Solution to Gay Bullying.

Where to start? Gawker's ingenious in many ways because it often turns its readership onto the blatant stupid that gets published in other parts of the bloggosphere.  I offer this link in a catastrophically sad case in point. TexasSparkle is mad as H-E double toothpicks about gay teen suicides...and she's got the following advice: Stay in the closet, because kids can be mean and it'd be easier to just not talk about it. Because, obviously you can't know who you're attracted to because you're just a kid.

 The above blogger misses the point by a country mile at best, when she decides that the answer to bullying is not say....the bullying and the social punishment that comes with the stigmas associated with being gay... and instead about kids who don't know anything being deciding to label themselves "gay" prematurely. Which is just stupidity personified. (Especially if one knows anything about "fag shaming"- one doesn't have to be out to be shamed or bullied for "unmasculine" behavior)

Feral Children- The Power of Socialization

Feral Children are an odd and disturbing social phenomenon. Nothing anywhere near as glamorous as Mowgli from the Jungle Book hanging around with noble, anthropomorphic wolves, or as theatrical as Nell, here are children so devoid of socialization, so cut off from social interaction that they have been deprived of the ability to function in the conventional social world.

One of the more prominent cases, of "Genie" , I've found on Youtube and plan to show in class as an example of the power and importance of socialization. We're not born with the culture and context of "appropriate" social behavior in us, and not having the primary socialization skills can be so detrimental to our long term growth that... well you can see the results here. Despite the age of the documentary, it still has a lot of validity.

Part 1 of "Secret of the Wild Children" here:

Monday, October 31, 2011

NC Senator Forrester Dead at 74

Breaking news- Staunch conservative North Carolina senator Jim Forrester has passed away at the age of 74.

While it would be unkind to speak ill of the dead, it bears noting that Forrester's handiwork seems poised to do some very real damage to domestic partnerships of both heterosexual and same sex couples due to (vague wording  of the amendment) well after his passing. A legacy tarnished by the looming prospect of enshrining hate legislation into the North Carolina constitution. I don't think Forrester is a bigot of the same caliber as Jesse Helms...but there are grave discriminatory implications to the bill he rammed through the house that make it harder to look favorably upon his body of work as a whole.

The damage he's done to the state's image and its credibility as a progressive place to live will likely outlive him by quite a bit. Especially so as the vote for the state constitutional amendment goes forward in May. Stay tuned.

Speaking of loss, Six Feet Under's series finale still manages to trump any other as one of the most memorable and sweetly satisfying in television history. It makes death and dying seem somehow less crushing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Multi-Purpose Nerdiness- Wolverine and His Amazing Friends. (In Which We Eat Crow)

Okay okay. Honest nerd moment: Despite how little I care for Wolverine and his "I'm the best at what I do and what I do is show up in every single Marvel book there is" level of overexposure, I fully and totally love the "Mutant Hogwarts...on crack" tone new writer Jason Arron  has taken with a book I was frankly planning on skipping altogether. But the early reviews were so good it was hard not to reconsider, and am I glad I did.

Why Wolverine and the X-Men #1 worked:

  1.  The titular character actually comes off a bit out of his depth in his sudden role as Headmaster, which might be a first.
  2.   The staff (Yay for underused characters like Husk getting a glossy new coat of paint) and the students are getting fleshed out, as well as the nature of the school in a way that is both organic and...thanks to Chris Bachelo, rather adorable. Also (poor, sweet, disturbing) Idie is so layered and complex she manages to creep out and endear all at once ...and Rockslide in a school uniform with shortpants is just too cute to miss. 
  3.  The snappy, archly biting dialogue of the members of the school board and their thinly veiled contempt just comes off so amusingly snide I almost hope they stick around in some capacity. 
  4. The tone and feel of the book, with the creative team churning out some incredibly fresh and innovative work, comes off as new and full of the Hogwarts for Mutants weirdness a school housing young mutants should be. 
What doesn't: 
  1. Professor Xavier being out of play during the X-Men:Schism event and being blithely okay with it (making a few admittedly fun one liners and giving the thumbs up and dottering off again)  all of it seems an oversight. 
  2. Kade Kilgore was ...interesting in Schism, and yes, the idea that the methaphorical mustash twirling supervillian is a 11 year old meglomaniac is fascinating. He's the flipside to the coin, self interested and utterly unconcerned with Wolverine's newfound "save the children" mandate. Mutant hatred = his business model, so he's going to make sure it thrives. Bachelo's rendition of him made him seem much older than the artists in Schism and it took a bit to figure out who he was in the story (especially with so many other teenagers in suits and pithy comments around)

So what we have is a new number one in a series that could have easily been a pass for me if not for the incredible treatment. While I'm not always over the moon about Wolverine, and find his involvement in X-Force counter to his sudden humanitarianism as a headmaster and educator... this is a great introduction to what might actually be an even greater series. I'm...begrudgingly going to keep an eye on this one.

Honorable Mention goes out to Jason Asmus on his one-shot Astonishing X-Men issue. Danger and Emma Frost was a team up so random  I didn't even know I wanted it. Having read through the issue I have to say a.) Emma when written well is always a joy read snark from, but her developing bonds with other characters seems somehow rare inbetween crisises. Her place in the X-Men is often dominated by her relationship with Scott, so it seems pretty interesting to watch her actually connect to others. b.) I'm looking forward to Asmus' run on Generation Hope given this interview. 

Pretty great comic book day between the two issues. 

Here's some new comic book day nerdy music to accompany your reading.

Ladies and nerds, the effervescent Toro Y Moi "Still Sound" 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How Not to Be a Douchebag (Part II): Some Things To Avoid When Trick or Treating.

Its that time of year again kiddies; the few weekends of the year we're culturally encouraged to party like its 1999, dress inappropriately and make general nusinces of ourselves, parrot our favorite obscure pop culture references and turn them into costumes...or at the very least (if you're female) get your tits out and call it ironic.

And yes, I've made some ado about the stripperific problem with costumes for women once before...but it bares repeating. When "Sexy superheroine" costumes are quite simply struggling into high boots and a frilly skirt whist arching your back and popping through a boob says way more about what we expect when it comes to women and sex appeal than it does about anything heroic. Good luck fighting crime in this, Supergirl, least of all without some serious wardrobe malfunctions.

If I'm interpeting Halloween properly, its supposed to be fun, mirthful and campy. Does it speak to deeper problems when you're  costume channels "Sexy Squaw" (which according to some sources, is a slur against native women in the first place), constitutes dressing up in blackface or fetishizes Asian women to the point of chariciture? Not always, but if you don't want to come off as a blithely unaware, unenlightened clod at your next Halloween mixer while in the "Ghetto Baby Mama" costume, you might want to parse this very helpful checklist Gawker has comprised to help you not make an ass of yourself. Here to help, avoid  being "that guy".

Update: A friend pointed out a really impressive psa about cultural parodying in costumes, and it really resonates. On the response the blogger has gotten, its something I've seen a lot when it comes to racism, sexism (the Catwoman post for example) and homophobia and why we can't seem to have rational conversations in public about them. Primarily because those outside of the "dominant cultural" perspective aren't impacted or moved by it and feel that its somehow trivial or unimportant to have to be made to care. Its disgusting how common this reaction is...but whenever anyone tries to point out that an ethnic or cultural minority might have a valid perspective outside of "sexy squaw"...well, then you're a party pooper that nobody wants to hear from or wants to be shouted down to the point of silence. All indications that these cultural issues are inherently linked to power, and the ability for the group that benefits from the trivialization being able to not be called out, or held accountable for doing so are typical and breathtakingly sad. Willful obliviousness always is.

Now hear this from the Mates of State- "Unless I'm Led"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard- Alabama and Institutionalized Discrimination

"Hispanic Alabama Schoolchildren Face Bullying In The Wake Of Anti-Immigrant Law"

This should come as little surprise. When a society creates law and policy that reinforce underlying prejudices we often very quickly see this reflected in more open hostility towards people perceived as part of the group.

Of course its a shame that anti-imigrant sentiment has driven politicians of the state of Alabama to do, perhaps, what seems normal in their circles, and create laws that make treating other people like equals impossible or criminal. What generally follows, when one institutionalizes cruelty, is that people become cruel and discriminating towards anything aproximate to the blighted group in question. We're certainly seeing this here.Human decency and fairness take a backseat to policing the overt cultural biases.

UPDATE: Excellent op-ed in the NY Times on the subject here.

And now for some daytripping music. Killer track from Chromatics, "In the City".

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Just Words" - Catwoman and Arkham City's "Bitchin" Problem

Comicsalliance has quickly become one of my favorite places to go for alternative takes on comic book news. It not only has some gorgeous art by indie artists, and clever re-interpretations of some of the more mindbogglingly dense comic book continuities.

 Lately, a writer (Laura Hudson, whom Ive developed a lot of respect for) has been raising the occasional question about gender/sexism and  the comic book industry. Valid questions about whether the depiction of female characters in popular culture as written by, drawn by, and consumed (presumably) men can come off as objects instead of characters...and proceeds to shed light on a lot of evidence why this might be.

An earlier commentary on Catwoman, who is often described as a woman who is "sex positive" and a "femme fatale"(I reference it here), debuted in a new DC comic where she spent numerous pages walking around in a bra being oggled by the p.o.v of the reader before we even see her face. Compartmentalization  and framed by her "t&a" before we get to finding out who we're talking about. Thats just one of the more popularized points of evidence indicating recent sexism in comics that've come out of the dialog.

Fast forward to October 20th, where CA posted an article referencing popular game blog Kotaku's noting that playing the new Batman game as Catwoman involved a whole new "game mechanic". And while it might not be as overt as some as the other above references, it speaks to some glaring problems with the way we deal with "slut shaming" and casual reinforcement of the status quo.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Not to be a Douchebag- Ideal Types and Covert "Isms"

Now there's a relief. I was beginning to wonder if it was just me... One of the most persistent experiences I've had with online "meet up" sites, and hipster havens like OkCupid is overt and covert racism, biases and disdain generally being wrapped up with a tiny bow and conflated with "preference".

An article from Canadian magazine "Fab"  expresses this bizarre little phenomenon very well:

The negative language so prevalent on Craigslist and Grindr seems to signal that the culture of sexual liberation has been replaced by sexual segregation.

Gay sexual oppression is catalogued painfully on the Douchebags of Grindr blog, which sorts prejudiced profiles based on everything from racism and sexism to self-hating homophobia. But even though we see it everywhere, most people are as willing to admit to the exclusionary aspects of their desires as Lindsay Lohan is to submit to drug testing — statements are qualified by “Sorry, that’s just what I’m into” or “No hard feelings, it’s just my preference.”

Sycamore says that while people have the right to say what they’re attracted to, they have a responsibility to watch how they say it. “On the one hand, people are stating their preference, but on the other, these are not neutral terms. If we were living in a culture where everything was the same, it wouldn’t be a problem. But when sexual preference reinforces dominant systems of power in an unquestioning way, that’s when it becomes problematic.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

Its Officially a Trend- Still More Suicides.

The introductory chapter of the text I'm using this semester deals with the Megan Meier case and yes, I usually have to explain what Myspace is by know. It rather craftily explains the gravity of understanding social problems. Given the decidedly morbid topic, i've spent days tying this into the recent spike in teen suicides (and blogged about it a few times here) ...and have, as of this moment hit the wall. Still ANOTHER dead gay kid.

I believe we're officially way beyond individual issue and way into social problem territory.

 My heart aches for anyone who feels this alienated, this cut off from everyone and everything. I don't have the stomach to look into this more right now. My deepest sympathies to the boy's friends and family. My deepest disdain for a culture that ultimately failed him.

He was adorable and the world will be dimmer for his passing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Human Costs- Marital Equality and the Long Time Partner

A quick post before scurrying off to campus. This footage from the Campaign for Southern Equality is jarringly effective in its simplicity. Long term partners in NC very earnestly, very tactfully reminding us of the human costs to denying same sex marriage on the state level. (I recommend grabbing a box of tissues)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Herman Cain- Great White Hope.

I'm going to attempt to find the words for how much I resent Herman Cain's established role black conservative translator/striker for the Republican party. He uses race as an issue when it suits his campaign; "Obama has never been part of the black experience", at the same time insisting that racism is by and large a thing of the past.

Several aspects of this unique position Cain puts himself in are problematic. Cain in numerous cases has decried the African American voting public as "brainwashed" for both voting Obama in the last election to leaning Democratic in general. He's reasserted time and time again that the Tea Party isn't racist, but he's falling into the same trap they do when discussing or criticizing the President- instead of valid criticisms of his policy or his direct actions...scrutinize his ancestry. Obviously the Republican base has an axe to grind about liberal policy, but yet we scarcely hear these criticisms over the din of commentary about BHO's racial component. When a number of Republican campaign tactics are steeped in xenophobia (sharia law?! Oh noes!) , wedge issues and general purpose animus towards the out group, it seems particularly wrongheaded to assert that is not a component of the party that thrived upon the Southern Strategy.

Unsurprisingly, this has endeared him to the base, which has long held suspicions that black people were whining about racism, and generally lazy and feckless. Cain stands out as the great exception to this rule, and the fact that he can make this claim confirms these beliefs and lets the overwhelmingly white audience off the hook for holding them. For this, following the Obama/McCain election, the Republican party will embrace Cain, while still comfortably thumbing their noses at the minority group he claims only to differentiate himself from the rest. His role as the buffer against scrutiny regarding racism makes him invaluable. So much so, they'll  gladly hold up affluent conservative black people while reviling affluent liberal blacks all the while. The cognitive dissonance is so massive its staggering, and yet the complexities of race and American culture are such that its business as usual.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Santorum, the "Google Problem", and the analogues of Jim Crow and DADT politics.

Say  what you will about Rick Santorum (and his "google problem")...but the man has a real gift for sticking his foot in his mouth.

Egg on face moment #2,132 is so bad that the Fox News interview in the link almost equals "gotcha" journalism. The commentator gives him a quote from a general against a policy Santorum assumes is DADT for the same biases referenced tirelessly about "military cohesion" and fairly quickly indicates that animus towards people based on immutable characteristics is the driving theme here.

When compared, the mentality of the military on integration was equally opposed when polled as it seemed to be to DADT. A fascinating historical account of both can be found here. Some of the most telling similarities follow:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bitter Harvests

Ala.: Inmates can replace Hispanic farmhands - Mackenzie Weinger -

In other words "They'll have their barely paid, possibly coerced labor system one way or another, damnit!!!" Be it chattel slavery, illegal immigration or this proposal of forcing prison inmates to work the fields...the imagery and the similarities overall seems entirely the norm for the deep south.

The latent functions and social fallout from this legislation seems to be having more sweeping real world  implications than the mavericks in Georgia and Alabama intended (not that any of that is surprising in and of itself).

What does it say about the local economies of areas like this that they cannot function without exploiting or compelling its workforce to do so for either pennies on the dollar and the threat of deportation or as a contingency of their punishment? Either way, they seem insistent on making sure brown people (especially given the sky high incarceration rates for black men in these states) line their fields one way or the other...
'via Blog this'

Wellsprings of Venom- The AFA and "Family Values"

Joe. My. God.: Star Parker: Gay People Make Us Sick:

The only political event that I've ever heard that approaches this sort of language is this "Family Values Summit", which frankly seems to have more in common with an Oi band performance than it does with the more...cautious rhetoric of a nonpartisan function. This is the AFA when it thinks its preaching to the chior. This is what they think and believe. Full stop. Its been unadultrated hatred and undistilled bigotry...but its been very informative... ahhh the internet. It really does have uses outside of pornography. Seeing the coded "family values" misdirect for what it is? May actually be something to thank them for. At the very least, the pretense of civility has at least evaporated in a spate of hate speech and righteous indignation. The Summit has proven to be a wellspring of such.

Its a fascinating notion that the Southern Poverty Law Center has categorized the American Family Association a hate group (explanation from the link), solely on the fact that it uses consistent disproven rhetoric and hate speech to further its anti-gay agenda, is so in line with right wing ideology that numerous GOP candidates for the presidency of the United States have shown up currying favor.The soundbites from its figurehead Tony Perkins (Right Wing Watch has compiled quite a list of inflammatory statements from the guy) are far from partisan and...only rarely deviate from the idea that gay people are going to destroy the world. How he's not advocating gas chambers yet speaks to incredible self control. These orginizations are not as benign as they position themselves to be. The National Orginization for Marriage may have once claimed that its merely interested in preserving marriage, the AFA may suggest its just about "family values", but more and more when one pays attention to the tone, language and frequency of anti-gay hostility in the interests of what they perceive "family interests" to be...their pretense that they're not homophobic and purely interested in politically advancing  that marriage is between a man and a woman (tm) evaporates. 

And now for some theme music. The National- Afraid of Everyone. Apt, no?

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Twinkie Defenses- Blaming the Victim Never Goes Out of Style.

Joe. My. God.: Jurors Discuss Lawrence King Trial:

This is pretty difficult to watch. There are so many mixed messages in society but the one here is pretty clear. Nobody misses another kid who "experiments with sexuality". I think of the hatchet job Ramin Setoodeh Newsweek piece and the defense attorney's "gay panic" defense and am blown away by how often we tolerate it when kids who are or seem gay get stabbed or shot to death in our country because they made some straight person who can't control themselves uncomfortable.

The twinkie defense is alive and well. Its exasperating how ideologically speaking our culture can clamor for "personal responsibility" ...unless someone you encounter deviates from prescribed gender roles (or dresses too provocatively). Then its "Look what you made me do!" The number of slap on the wrist convictions and mistrials indicate that much of society seems comfortable looking the other way, because regardless of how a 14 year old who "experiments with sexuality" makes us feel, there ought to be a million more tolerable ways to deal with this than justifying his being shot twice execution style and then blaming him for being too provocative.

The Best Interview You'll Never See on Fox News.

New York Observer: Exclusive "Occupy Wall Street" Unaired Fox Footage - YouTube:

'via Blog this'

Its late, but I want to bring this clip to your attention. This. Is how you keep conservative media on point. The entire clip is pretty much worthy of being quoted verbatim, but a few points stand out; "We find that we can't get conversations about the ongoing investigation about Newscorporation in which you are an employee, but we can certianly ask questions about why we're 'engaging in class warfare'."

I want to have this gentleman's ideological puppies. No more blithely allowing the talking points to be dictated by those with vested interests in maintaining control. The clarity with which he eviscerates the interviewer is quite important here. There've been very few people who have held anyone to task for the misdirects and partisan fabrications on "birthers" and "death panels" and "special rights demanding gays" , when these claims have yet to be proven legitimately. They're distractions that have been allowed to keep the public from dealing with the realities of outsourcing, golden parachutes ,economic freefall and deregulation for too long. The time for polite conversations may be passing us by...but then its not as though the Koch brothers and the other 1% consider us "people" in the first place...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

That Which Stays With You- Bon Iver

Bon Iver Takes It to the Greek | Mother Jones: "

"You know when you're a kid, and you're shooting hoops in your driveway, and you imagine what it would be like to hear the sound of people cheering for you? Well, this is what that sounds like," he told the cheering crowd."--Justin Vernon

Bon Iver came to my awareness in a round about way, crammed in part of a indie music download stream. I remember hearing Lump Sum, and in a fit of compulsion that often reminds me of my father, found myself playing it over and over and over. Bon Iver's recent follow up has been an equally vulnerable, thought provoking and sentimental journey. So much so that its a difficult, if not Herculean task to pick out the proverbial best in show from the lot.

I'm pleased others have been giving Bon Iver's unique, layered and hearty sound the love it deserves. Can't say enough good about their work thus far. Its a nice feeling to see people and things you like celebrated for the right reasons.

Superhero Sausage Fests- Gender Bias and the Comic Book Media

Comics A.M. | Should feminists give up on superhero comics? | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment:

'via Blog this'

It appears that the burning question in all of mainstream comicdom has (thankfully) become "are comic books sexist?". Granted asking this question is incredibly valid, as all male dominated and male geared industries need to honestly evaluate such questions...but I wonder if this self-consciousness is a bit late in the day.

 One doesn't have to do much digging to find evidence of how women are depicted in comics, especially in the 90s  (otherwise known as the dark age of comic books). This was the age of the super heroine "bad girl", oversexed, little in the way of characterization, even less in the way of clothing. Believe me when I tell you the costumes get more and more stripperific.  Use cases in point like Witchblade, Lady Death, Psylocke and can see the point. Why would a woman or girl find exhibit A heroic in the slightest? Many a new reader looking at superhero comics assumes that all women have the most common superpower.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Here's Hoping the Majority Actually Votes.

Positive news for those of us who don't like our state constitutions to be enshrined in discriminatory policy. Recent polls put the notion of putting the ban of same-sex marriage in NC's constitution in a similar light according to WRAL and Elon University's recent data.

Fifty-six percent of North Carolina residents oppose a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriages, according to a poll released Friday.
The Elon University Poll, which surveyed 594 adults statewide between Sunday and Thursday, found support for recognizing gay marriages growing in North Carolina. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points
 Its important to note that this legislation is simply putting the ban in the constitution to further ensure that same sex marriage will be a long term impossibility for the state. Its an abstraction to think that same sex marriages are legal or possible in North Carolina otherwise. This measure is a misdirect and a waste of resources that will serve to divide the state further and marginalize a group that already has little chance of what the ballot initiative seeks to prevent. Salt in wounds, and wedge issue politics that would make Ken Melhman proud. 

Still, its refreshing that the public isn't as gullible as Forrester seems to think we are. If the majority in the sample is representitive of the rest of the state, and that majority goes to the polls, we'll be in good shape. (Or at least not taking steps backwards on civil rights based on bias and poorly articulated conjecture)

 "It must be in the air here..."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Speaking of Senator. Forrester...

Speaking on the originator of the impending anti-gay legislation in our fine state Sen.. Forrester , there's been an interesting development relating to his credentials*.

Senator Forrester claims to be a "a Fellow with the esteemed American College of Preventive Medicine". According to the ACPM itself (in a response to an inquiry by Scott Rose) has ...politely...claimed that he not now, nor never was a member of their association, and by far never a fellow (which they made sure to inform was their highest distinction). The link below explores the list of inquires that bares this truth out. It makes for an interesting read. More as it develops?

*By "interesting" I mean amusing with more egg on face.

Joe. My. God.: NORTH CAROLINA: Anti-Gay State Sen. James Forrester BUSTED On Credentials:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Proving It.- Talking Race and all the other Isms

A casual glance around the interweb over the past few days has evidinced a staggering ammount of oblivious privlidge regarding race, gender, sexual orientation and all the lovely ways people who happen to have the outsider status (or "less desirable" status) are told these statuses REALLY matter in that society is structured to treat you differently based on it. Except when it makes the dominant culture feel or look bad... then the onus of responsibilty for all them "differences"? They're all a fabrication of reality you'll have to provide evidence for.

Trip Ups- North Carolina Politics and the Thinly Veiled Biases That Drive Anti-Gay Legislation

The Gist: NC Senator: "You're trying to trip me up":

'via Blog this'

Two things come to mind when watching the above...utterly infuriating clip: 1.) Signorile doesn't have to TRY very hard to "trip up" Senator Forrester at all, 2.) The misconceptions and loaded rhetoric behind his reasons- "gay as unhealthy lifestyle", "the preservation of marriage" arguments just don't hold up over the slightest scrutiny.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Where's that Support of "the Troops" Again?

Joe. My. God.: PATRIOTS: Tea Party Audience Boos Only U.S. Soldier To Speak At GOP Debate:

'via Blog this'

Given the vile and groupthink addled tone of the past few GOP debates, I'm going to make a prediction: This election is going to be very, very ugly. Expect the far far right to do everything in their power to debase, defame, divide and make a mockery of everything our nation and culture has in common.

The disconnect about gay soldiers, and booing them, when any OTHER time they use the "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS" as a Bush Era bullwhip into making sure everyone seems sufficiently "American". Its okay to be Anti-American and NOT support our troops...provided they happen to be filthy queers.

On the one hand, these primary debates have been INCREDIBLY informative about the tenor and the toxicity in present in the Tea Party base. On the one hand, the truly sadistic- shouting to let the uninsured die, and cheering the death penalty (even when the prospect of innocence is dubious) are doing an amazing job of making these people look monsterous. I wonder where the PR and Republican spin doctors are on the subject...the proverbial inmates running the assylum and nary a word is uttered to speak to the massive, and unpalatable derail.