Combating Dystopia.

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: