December 11, 2013

Some Opinionated Uncle

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Think About It! — Katrina @ 9:57 pm

With the holiday season comes family holiday gatherings. I see the lamentations of these from some friends and other places that with these family gatherings, they, someone who is progressive and/or LGBT, have to listen to some opinionated uncle rant at the dinner table about those awful queers or liberals. And they have to just grit their teeth and bear it, wishing for it to be over.

Whenever I hear this, I wonder… why is the uncle the only one who gets a say? Assuming it is safe to do so depending on the family environment as a whole, why isn’t the uncle being immediately met with the niece or nephew calling bullshit on all the stupid crap he is spewing? Yeah, the uncle isn’t just going to sit down and shut up if this happens, though he might. But as of now, he’s being given every indication he has a captive and passive audience, one that he has no reason to believe doesn’t agree with him totally. Why not shatter that illusion? Why must the niece or nephew have to grit and bear it rather than argue right back? Will it change the uncle’s mind? Very unlikely, but you feel a lot better getting your word in.

Then maybe he’ll learn to hold his tongue, and he’ll be the one suffering through a family holiday dinner while his enlighted niece or nephew is proudly liberal and gay! 😀

December 10, 2013

Screen Time

Now for a glowing connected edition of…


Enough! Enough with all the stupid little stats and complaints and lamentations about young people’s “screen time.” In other words, how much time they are watching TV, playing video games, or using computers or smart phones.

What if a young person spends seemingly every waking hour engaged in these screen activities?

Honestly… I don’t care. And neither should you.

“But it’s BAD for them!”

Even if it is, that’s their business. And there’s plenty of entertainment and, yes, contrary to common belief, even cognitive value to some of these things. Not to mention that, well, you don’t seem to care when adults use these things, by either totally ignoring their use and/or perhaps implying they don’t do it as often. Come on, aren’t adults often in front of a computer screen all day at work?

“But these things cause special harm to developing young minds!”

How convenient. A supposed age-based safety differential giving someone carte blanche to say “It’s fine if I do it but BAD BAD BAD if you do, so your use should be shamed and restricted!”

Actually, how healthy the activity is isn’t even the point. It’s an excuse, a grasping for straws when called out on a statement made for entirely other reasons. And those reasons are just repeating “common knowledge” for the purpose of trying to make a point or further some other agenda. Sadly, I even see things like this done in youth rights circles (though they tend to recant when pointed out).

Though in those cases, it’s that use of such devices is seen as being a slave to some kind of corporate machine, that this is the only refuge of young people because they lack proper social engagement. Well, there’s the obvious in that every one of these screen activities can and often does involve interacting with other people. It also ignores that, well, maybe it isn’t the result of being some kind of corporate slave but rather simply one’s chosen leisure activity or method of work or communication or entertainment. I wonder that such statements are made without much thought but just with the assumption that everyone agrees with you so elaboration is unnecessary.

That kids watching TV is just such a given taboo, that adults are supposed to hiss at the very idea, that every second must surely be damaging their brains. Why, it might damage their brains so much they grow up into adults who have nothing better to do than obsess over how they spend their leisure time when such time is spent much the same way as adults. But if kids do it, it must be up for scrutiny, of course! 🙄

December 9, 2013

Only Human

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Think About It! — Katrina @ 11:50 pm

You surely know by now that Nelson Mandela died last week. I was bummed to hear it. Of course, you can’t help but be incredibly impressed that he made it to 95, something uncommon even among regular people, let alone such a world-changing activist and politician. Compare that to Martin Luther King who only made it to 39 before his assassination.

There’s a lot of talk about him and his life, obviously. The amazing things he did. And behind all that, of course, are the people making a point to remember any not-so-great things he did (or often just making the good things out to be bad somehow). Just like with anyone else who does great things, their bad things get remembered, too, to remind that they were only human.

To which I say… No shit.

Nobody’s perfect. We all know that, yet we often act so surprised when reminded, and those reminding us act so smug like they’ve stumbled upon great wisdom the rest of us ought to envy.

Definitely not just Mandela. Barack Obama was put on a high pedestal in 2008, by people who must feel rather differently about him now. Martin Luther King was great but had his share of flaws, such as cheating on his wife all the time. Abraham Lincoln had his problems. Susan B Anthony had her problems. Robert Kennedy had his problems. The list goes on. Name a great person in history who was integral in changing society for the better, and they did some bad shit among the great.

This should be taken as encouraging, though. For one, it’s no reason not to continue to see them as great. Also, it’s a reminder that even acknowledging our own faults, we all can be great. We’re all only human.

December 8, 2013


Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 8:31 pm

I’m increasingly believing that advertising executives have no souls. Certainly they have no shame about the mass genocide of brain cells they commit, hoping enough brain cells will die in any given individuals that they’d want to buy whatever they are selling. The makers of Fiat commercials certainly come to mind, but that’s not the topic at the moment, and the stupidity of those speaks for itself anyway.

I have a special loathing for the commercials running these days in which someone or some people want a newer version of their gadget and make this happen by… intentionally destroying or losing their current one. There’s one ad with a bunch of people dropping their phones in blenders or leaving them in microwaves or bathrooms, after finding out about a newer one they’d rather have. In another, a guy wants his employer to give him a new laptop so he intentionally spills coffee on his so they’d have to.

The loathing reaches a new level when I realize that the main words that come to mind about these people is “spoiled brats”. Because there’s certainly the trope about kids and teens wanting some new toy or bike or clothes or something, perhaps losing or destroying the current ones. There was even a Simpsons episode where Bart intentionally destroyed his bike so Homer would buy him a nice new one. Or the stereotypically rich teenage girl who gets a new Ferrari for her birthday but screams and cries because it’s blue instead of red. When it’s young people, such behavior is (rightly) seen as distasteful. But when it’s adults, apparently something we’re supposed to identify with?

Seriously, fuck ageism, because I want to call these people spoiled brats but that term is very ageist, but I can’t think of another term that means the same basic thing without implying anything about age. Grrr. :doitnow:

December 7, 2013

You Don’t Serve Me

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Foodz,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 1:19 pm

Some nearby pizza place decided they didn’t want to serve me the other day. Only they didn’t know they said this. I hadn’t even walked in the door yet.

They had one of them “we don’t serve teens” stickers on the window, announcing that the drinking age is 21, this is law, and that they follow it. Which worries me, because since the drinking age is an actual law, one would presume already that they follow it. So since I didn’t see any other stickers, I’m guessing that’s the only law they care to enforce. Maybe I should have robbed the place, since they’re indicating they wouldn’t be too bothered, just so long as I’m not drinking their alcohol ten years in the past.

So, yeah, despite not having been a teen for quite a while, I took this to mean they didn’t want to serve me, because when I can help it I don’t visit ageist businesses. I expect businesses to enforce the drinking age as it is an actual law, but rubbing it in people’s faces, without having a sticker saying they don’t tolerate aggravated assault on their premises, implies this particular law is super important to them. Well, youth rights is super important to ME, so I turned right around and returned to my car.

And found another pizza place across the street. They’re rather plentiful. Mmmm… pizza.

December 6, 2013

The Prime Directive

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Decrees!,Idiot Box,What the hell? — Katrina @ 2:28 pm

I hereby decree…

Screw the Prime Directive.

Been watching a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation lately. I like it, but one thing that just keeps pissing me off is the Prime Directive, that Starfleet may not interfere with another planet’s way of life, must not reveal themselves before that planet is “ready”, even when a situation is life-threatening to one individual or to the whole damn society.

Yeah, seriously, even where the whole planet is in danger. In one episode, Worf’s human brother saved a society whose planet was about to be destroyed by stashing them in the holodeck until they could get them to another planet, all without them knowing what’s actually happening because they don’t know about space yet and can’t know because Prime Directive. And the Enterprise crew was all pissed at Worf’s brother because of this, that he didn’t just let them all die, because Prime Directive.

Then there’s when Deanna Troi’s usually-nonsensical mother Lwaxana is the only one making any damn sense when a man she meets is about to turn 60 and thus according to his planet’s culture, he was celebrate his life and then kill himself because they’re all like “eww, old people!” And Lwaxana is the only one who rightly calls this shit out for being despicable, while her daughter and everyone else is all like “it’s their culture, it’s not our place, I’m sure our traditions look just as weird, PRIME DIRECTIVE!”

I’m thinking of the popular image of Picard facepalming, except he’s on the receiving end of this one.

Cultural relativism is one thing. Yeah, people have their different celebrations and symbols and whatnot, and that’s where such open-mindedness makes sense. But then there’s moral relativism, as if this tolerance must carry over even to things that are actually heinous and wrong, and that is not okay. If the best its adherents can come up with is “you’re not one of us, this is our culture, don’t criticize our beliefs!” Go to hell. Your beliefs are stupid and are maiming and/or killing people.

And even beyond that, the Prime Directive forbids interacting too much with planets that haven’t ventured into space yet. There are episodes where the people on such a planet find out about the Enterprise and that there’s life beyond their planet, and their society is then somehow damaged over it, whether their top scientists want to leave and explore the galaxy or they just plain go ape shit over it in some way. So, basically, leaving some planet to live under the delusion there’s nothing beyond their society and thus missing out on greater knowledge is the right thing to do? These are questions brought up in such episodes, yet there’s still Picard and others so sure they “ruined” the society by arriving there.

Maybe what is ruined by mere knowledge deserve to be ruined.

December 5, 2013

Minimum Wage

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 8:26 pm

This graphic has been floating around online.

It’s pointing out that most minimum wage earners are not teenagers as per an apparently common assumption, that in fact 88% are 20 or older, plus another large percentage being over 40, how many are parents, etc.

In other words, the main argument for not thinking little of minimum wage earners and that they ought to earn more is… They aren’t teenagers!

Because teenagers don’t deserve decent wages as they are living at home and just using that money to go to the movies or buy video games or get high, an assertion whose chief basis is… they’re teenagers.



I mean, do people seriously think Every Teenager In The World is living a comfortable suburban white upper-middle-class life and has their every need met by underappreciated parents? I just don’t understand the need to cling to this ridiculous assumption. Or that any teens whose lives aren’t that great are in such a situation because they did something “wrong”, like run away or get pregnant or drop out of school.

Believe it or not, “spending money” is hardly the only reason a teenager might want or need a job. Sometimes their minimum-wage-earning parents (represented in that graphic) just aren’t earning enough to support the family, so the teenager looks to contribute to the family by getting her own job. Maybe their parents have refused to pay for college, or are just incapable of paying, and they need to work to fund it themselves. Maybe they’ve been kicked out of or emancipated from their homes and need to support themselves so they don’t starve.

In fact, it’s a travesty that their earnings would even need to be justified like this. Who cares why they need to earn money? That’s really nobody’s business but theirs. Just like with everyone else.

December 4, 2013


Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,Think About It! — Katrina @ 4:48 pm

When I’m driving and my odometer is about to reach a cool number, like a multiple of 1000 or where all the numbers are the same (it just recently passed 55,555 miles), I find myself watching it, waiting for it to change. Waited when it was at 49,999 and saw it switch to 50,000. Did same at 54,999. Did same at 55,554.

So awesome! 😀

And yet, when I’m paying so much attention to the odometer, it takes some attention away from the road. So this really isn’t a good idea. I don’t take my eyes off the road entirely, as that would just be stupid, but I glance back and forth repeatedly.

This makes me wonder… for car accidents caused by a driver simply not paying attention and the reason for the inattention isn’t clear, what were the odometer readings? Was the driver doing like I do and just watching for it to tick over to some round number?

Well, the message is clear… ODOMETERS KILL!!!!! 😮

December 3, 2013

It’s Always Going Around

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Decrees!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:35 pm

I hereby decree…

There’s always something going around.

I’ve noticed that literally every single time I have a cold and tell someone about it, I get this same canned response: “Yeah, you and everyone else. Something must be going around.”

When is a cold ever not going around? At any given time, any time of year, a bunch of people have a cold. Not to mention that when I’ve been told this, I couldn’t think of anyone I knew that also had one or had one recently. Maybe I just grabbed the wrong can at the grocery store or played with the wrong gadget at Best Buy or something. But other than that, didn’t seem to be “going around” any more than usual.

You know, I probably shouldn’t talk, as I’m painfully terrible at small talk and surely say thoughtless quips often. And maybe nobody is good at it and yet feels the need to say something, anything, lest they look rude or stupid. Maybe the latter can’t usually be helped.

December 2, 2013

Who’s the Bully?

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:10 pm

In March of last year, I wrote about bullying, and mentioned it again just over a month ago. It’s a thing that must be stopped, the victims defended, the perpetrators punished severely, the bystanders prodded to action.

However, there’s a little complication that becomes obvious to anyone who has dealt with people ever. And that is… what if it just isn’t clear which one is the bully and which is the victim?

In many cases, two people are engaging in abusive or harassing behavior toward each other and are both miserable over it. I’ve seen a number of these situations over the past couple of years, and I’ve wanted to defend one against the other, only to see the other is in the same situation. It simply isn’t so clear cut.

And that’s another reason it annoys me that adults take such a simplistic view of bullying among kids and teens. Yes, even among young people, these things can be and often are rather complicated. The bully you’re coming down hard on is probably being harassed by the supposed victim that you’re fawning over. Not to mention that, in encouraging other kids to step in, it’s then up to them to not only muster the courage to insert themselves in a clearly hostile situation that has nothing to do with them but to try to determine just which one is the villain here. They may just be seeing this one altercation and know nothing about a bigger picture. True, if anyone is being outright violent or threatening, yeah, try to diffuse the immediate situation if you can. But the bigger issue may be a lot more complicated, at any age.

Just look at basically any arguing couple to see a perfect example! 😆

December 1, 2013

Turkey and Latkes

Filed under: Christmas Time!,WTF Did I Just Write? — Katrina @ 4:12 pm

Oh, here we go again…

Thanksgiving: More turkey?

Chanukah: Yes, thank you. More latkes?

Thanksgiving: Please! They’re marvelous.

Christmas: Hey, there you are, Chanukah! What’s going on over here?

Chanukah: Having a turkey and latke dinner with Thanksgiving.

Christmas: Interesting. How come?

Chanukah: Check a calendar. The 25th of Kislev this year is also Thanksgiving. So the two of us are hanging out this year.

Christmas: But I like hanging out with you. It won’t be the same not having you around.

Chanukah: Oh, sure, sure. You’ll be all alone. Except well, for Winter Solstice, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Epiphany…

Christmas: I get it, I get it. Alright, I’ll leave you to it. See you next year, I guess.

Chanukah: Hmm. Well, I’d feel bad, but Thanksgiving seems so lonely each year. It’s a nice quiet change.

Thanksgiving: Oh, I’m not totally alone…

Chanukah: What do you mean?

Black Friday: LOL HAI U GUIZE!!!11!!1!

Thanksgiving and Chanukah: Oh shit!

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