July 8, 2018

Pruitt the Faithful

A few days ago, Scott Pruitt resigned as head of the EPA, the latest departure in this revolving-door-like administration. In doing so, he penned a letter to the Orange Thing. Let’s have a look…

Mr. President, it has been an honor to serve you in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA.

And you use the term “honor” very loosely.

Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally

I wasn’t aware Orange Thing was capable of blessing people. Or of having confidence in them for that matter.

and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration.

Be it through catastrophic environmental damage or nuclear war, his agenda of turning our planet into a smoking husk will be realized much sooner than anyone would have thought, yes.

Your courage, steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes as well as historical regulatory reform, is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.

In other words, we’re way ahead of schedule on that 2°C rise.

That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6.

Now that wasn’t that hard, was it? Take note, Sessions! And Sanders. And Nielsen. And the rest.

It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity,

Someone has a cruuuuush…

but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.

Look at those ice caps melt!

However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.

Yeah, really, all the horrific accusations about you having a private e-mail server and running a child trafficking operation at a pizza restaurant- Oh, wait, that wasn’t you…

I believe these are yours.

My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people.

You talk to and about the Orange Thing as if his occupation of the White House is ordained by God or something-

I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence.

I believe that same providence brought me into your service.

Actually, Orange Thing appointed you- Oh, that’s what you mean. Weird.

I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people.

No entity real or imagined anywhere ever has enough power to make the Orange Thing an effective leader. All you’re doing is feeding his already dangerously high narcissism by speaking to and about him like some god-king, for reasons I’m not really sure I want to know.

Thank you again Mr. President for the honor of serving you

You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to.

Because when you’re famous they let you do it.

Your Faithful Friend, Scott Pruitt

This has been Day 46 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 18.

June 30, 2018

Immigrants Aren’t the Problem

Now for a migratory, border wall busting edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

This one is for just about anyone blaming immigrants for, well, anything.

We’ve all heard it. “They’re taking our jobs! They’re committing crimes! They’re costing tax money! They won’t even learn English or assimilate!” And so on.

Just stop. It’s been the same complaints over and over, ever since those horrible immigrants were Irish and even in other places. And it’s not clear why some of these complaints are specific to immigrants, as native born citizens are guilty of whatever the complaints are as well.

Oh, “they took our jerbs?” So are you saying that if you lost your job to a non-immigrant citizen it’d be fine? Wouldn’t you be just as without a job?

“They’re bringing drugs and gangs!” Right, because there aren’t any homegrown gangs? Trust me, even if all traffic in and out the country stopped, these things would continue.

“But it’s illegal immigrants that are the problem! They’re illegal!” So let’s make the path to legal citizenship easier then- Oh, you’re grumbling at that now? Okay, so somehow I don’t think the legality is what you’re so worried about. But I already knew that given all the jaywalking and neglecting to use turn signals that you do.

“But they don’t understand or care about American values!” Do you?

There’s no real backing to any of these usual anti-immigrant complaints, yet people are screaming bloody murder about them coming here as if this is life or death. No, you imbecile, it’s life or death for those who are coming here. They’re not leaving their home countries for shits and giggles. They are leaving because the situation at home has gotten extremely dangerous, such that their lives are on the line if they stick around.

So they come here to the US. And we should be PROUD of this! That when other countries unfortunately have problems and their people need someplace to go for safety, they see us and think “hey, that place looks great!” And they come here and become part of us and flourish. Isn’t that what we’re all about?

At least they would, except right now we’ve got dickheads in charge who recently decided it’d be a good idea to break up the families of those trying to seek asylum here. As in snatching small children from their parents and locking them away in their own camp, without any real means of being able to reunite them, all because these people had the gall to -gasp!- try to come into this country and HOLY SHIT this is a real thing that is happening in my country and how the fuck is anybody okay with this?!

Except for Jeff Sessions, who gleefully declares it a means of deterring these desperate people from trying to come here, because, well, it’s already obvious he has no soul, but I think his presence also saps the life force of anyone in his general vicinity. This is just plain raw evil right before our eyes, as this country’s Attorney General, and he does this believing there is a base to appeal to with this behavior. That the people who share in this evil, who are all for it and genuinely believe it’s good for the country, are the only people in this big diverse country worth appealing to.

And, you know, even if all the above paranoia about immigrants were true, and even exclusively so for immigrants, how is this sadistic backlash justified? How is ripping a terrified toddler from his mother’s arms and locking him up hundreds of miles away without any means in place of returning him no matter what happens with the rest of the family even remotely an appropriate response? Or, since that practice was finally ordered to halt a few days ago, locking them all up indefinitely? Why is there such a deep-seated fear of immigrants, be they Latin Americans or Syrians or whoever else, that anyone could believe them so deserving of the most horrific treatment for simply trying to come here? That this attempt to migrate here is deserving of swift and terrible retribution? What the fuck kind of country are we to behave this way, and what the fuck kind of people do we have here who look unflinchingly at this and think “this is fine”?

I don’t have an answer for that. Other than that it may be apathy or simply not knowing what to do or what can be done. Or in the case that they do truly believe all this is fine and good, and there is a fair share of them, they’ve been lied to for a long time. Because it’s not like such people feel this way due to specific incidents with immigrants. Even if they lost their jobs or were victims of some crimes due to illegal immigrants, somehow they had to be convinced it was the illegal immigration aspect to blame rather than anything else. Somehow they’ve been convinced not to look at the hiring practices and motivations behind those who might take an illegal immigrant employee over a citizen, that they might perhaps see an excuse to pay this person less and threaten them with deportation if they complain about treatment. It’s like, why blame those in power who create the problem when you can blame the powerless desperate migrant who has so much more to lose?

And that’s the core of it all here. Those screaming against immigrants are doing it because someone wants them to and is happily stoking the paranoia. Someone pointed to the immigrants, said they were the reason for the economic hardships of much of our population, and that population swallowed this right up and watches the indefinite migrant detentions with glee. Without a care for the long-term effects, be they personal for those migrants or for all of us for being citizens of the country responsible for it.

Immigrants aren’t the problem. Whoever is trying so hard to make you believe they are is the actual problem.

This has been Day 38 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 18.

February 22, 2018

So-So Silver

Filed under: Estrogen,Here's To You!,Sports!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 10:11 pm

And now for an icy, once-every-four-years edition of…

Here’s to You!!!!

So I raise my glass and say, “Here’s to you, Team USA Women’s Hockey!”

Winter Olympics. The gold medal match for women’s hockey. USA vs Canada, of course. Two countries who are in absolutely every other context the best of friends, which dissipates the moment a hockey puck is dropped between them.

Team USA up 2-0 into the third period. Then within the last couple minutes, Canada scores two goals and sends it into overtime. And then scores again. Sudden death. Suddenly they’re all on the podium, the gold medal winners grinning as O Canada blares around the arena, the silver medalists in frustrated tears, and the bronze medalists being all “Hi, we’re Finland!”

USA was up until almost the end, pretty much had the gold for sure. And then lost it. A cringeworthy result that, honestly, I as a DC sports fan know all to well. *stares blankly at brief memory of NLDS Game 5 in 2012*

That was four years ago in Sochi.

Last night in Pyeongchang (well, it was mid-afternoon there) came the long awaited rematch, after USA and Canada again prevailed through the earlier rounds to face each other again in the gold medal match. After having already faced each other in the preliminaries anyway, with Canada winning 2-0, in which the last several seconds of the game pretty much turned into an all out brawl.

The match began, and soon enough Team USA scored a goal. Then a little while later, Canada scored two goals, giving them the 2-1 lead. And then about halfway through the third period, USA scored again, tying it at 2-2. Once again, this was the score going into overtime.

It was the score at the end of overtime as well. Time for shoot out! Blocked, score, score, blocked, blocked, blocked, score, score, blocked, blocked. Okay, still 2-2.

Team USA shoots…

Score!

Canada shoots…

Blocked!

And with that, unbelievably, staying up way later than I should have last night when I had work in just a few hours, right before my eyes, right there on my TV… Team USA cheered and hugged and waved big US flags around.

Then they’re all on the podium. The gold medalists are grinning as The Star Spangled Banner blares around the arena, the silver medalists in frustrated tears, the bronze medalists being all “Hi, we’re Finland!”

Amazing. Such a great team. Certainly better than our men’s team who 24 hours earlier lost their quarterfinal to the Czech Republic, FFS.

But, all of that said, there’s something in all this that is very much not amazing.

I’ve been watching every day of these Olympics, as I have for every Olympics going back to Vancouver, with Beijing and Torino having just been on and off, further back mostly just watching the Opening Ceremony. I’m old enough to remember a time when the US athletes marched in the Parade of Nations in cowboys hats. *shudder*

But I digress. Anyway, what is very much not amazing happened in both of these gold medal finals and surely others. Same deal with some events in Rio and maybe others I’m forgetting.

I realize I don’t know the first thing about planning the events and schedules and ceremonies in the Olympic Games. It looks unimaginably daunting. Getting things to happen at certain times and organizing everything makes my head hurt to think about it.

But…

If the silver medalists are crying, maybe give them some time to compose themselves before you have the damn medal ceremony!

I say this whether Team USA are those gold medalists or those silver medalists or neither. Even though they were the teary silver medalists four years ago, and now it had turned about and it was Canada in that position, there’s nothing satisfying about this. When the match is won, the joy is in winning the gold medal, not in the other participants being sad, unless you’re a complete and utter sadistic asshole anyway.

The silver medalists’ feelings are entirely understandable and justified. Once the match was over, for me anyway, any competitiveness vanished and I was looking at the forlorn Canadian players and wanting someone to give them a goddamn hug. Consider any time you’ve worked so hard for something and at the final moment it wasn’t good enough and you still failed. Then multiply that by a whole lot because it’s the Olympics and it’s a fierce emotional fight. Then consider that these are athletes on the international stage who would be used to the highs and lows of it all, and still they can only be so composed upon the end of the match.

As for the medal ceremony, it’s bad enough for them they lost the match at all. But to force them to stand there and receive their medals when they’re still in the throes of processing the loss and project them in that state, that’s just an extra and very unnecessary shot at their dignity. It doesn’t help that the commentators then remark upon this obviously involuntary display of sadness, like “what business do they have being sad? they still got silver!”

And it so very doesn’t help that, well, this is the women’s portion of the sport. On Sunday when the Canadian men beat the Czech Republic (I’m calling that now), when O Canada is blaring around the arena then, let’s see if the silver medalists are crying. I’m sure they do and will be. And I’m sure it won’t be all that obvious to those of us watching at home, because they won’t be so keen to show it. Because that would undermine the men’s dignity.

Update, 2-23-18: Okay, Canada and Czech Republic both lost their semifinals and will instead face each other in the bronze medal match. So we’ll see this weekend what happens with the medal ceremony after the gold medal match between Germany and “Russia”.

February 14, 2018

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 13

Filed under: Think About It!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:41 pm

“U R CUTE” Aww, thanks, candy heart.

“EMAIL ME” I have such a backlog already though.

“TRUE LOVE” Yeah, that’s a great way to get swindled by a Prince of the Southern Isles.

Happy Ash Valentines! Enjoying the candy hearts and still going meatless today despite having walked away from Christianity nearly a decade ago. In 47 days, we’ll be looking for colored eggs that might turn out to be an overshaken Duff beer can.

Anyway, here’s the thirteenth installment of this, the annual glance at love and relationships and how people seem to deal with them.

Let’s see…

Ever notice how basically everybody seems to think they are unlucky with relationships? I mean, that’s the trouble with love, in that we’re all built to some degree to crave the hell out of it, so of course it will more often than not feel lacking. And for very many people, well, this is absolutely true, that pairing up with someone for a while seems to happen almost as often as a transit of Venus.

But for others, they’re all like “no one wants me” and the proper response is “dude, you dated like three people this year and it’s only April”. Perhaps none of those dates progressed into anything else, and that’s certainly frustrating. But other times, you just wonder what they’re comparing themselves to.

It’s one of those times you must say… you know TV isn’t real, right?

I mean, if you’re comparing yourself to basically any sitcom character, where even the “losers” seem to not have any trouble getting dates and sex, yeah, of course you’re going to feel like a romantic failure. That TV show or movie is a fantasy, playing on a very universal insecurity where the only winners would be aromantic asexuals if this weren’t yet another occurrence of their existence being denied. Because of writers seeking widespread appeal and ability to identify with the characters in a given situation, they make characters whose lives revolve around their dating lives, with everything else secondary, whereas one’s entire worth has everything to do with how well they conform to an unrealistic standard of romantic or sexual frequency.

Maybe it’s kind of like how the fashion and other industries set unrealistic beauty standards, undermining the inherent worth of those whose appearance doesn’t conform. Where, like how they need to acknowledge more diverse body types to allow those with different bodies to feel beautiful, maybe we need characters with more diverse types of relationships, so that someone who spends six consecutive months single isn’t made to feel they shouldn’t exist. Or, hell, just more media without any romantic plotlines. Not that there’s anything wrong with romance, of course. Just that there’s more to life.

Then again, everyone knows TV shows aren’t real and neither are the relationships depicted. Perhaps the feelings of romantic inadequacy stem from real life or at least a perception thereof. And it’s understandable, because, for all its faults and all the bullshit, when there’s a connection there with someone, it’s no exaggeration that everything is amazing and beautiful and all is right with the world. For a little while anyway. Reality always forces its way back into the picture, whatever it may be. But when it’s good it’s so very good. So of course when media and culture and friends and family say this so very good thing will definitely come to you if you’re worthwhile, and when reality doesn’t sync up, you wonder that maybe you’re not worthwhile after all. Perhaps with the unfortunate side effect of casting ridiculous aspersions on desired objects of affection.

It’s all such a mess. But we still have these candy hearts and their messages.

“SOUL MATE” Wait, do candy hearts have souls? I have made a terrible terrible mistake…

May 26, 2017

WTF Montana?

So you may have noticed there seems to be more bad behavior than usual in US politics. I mean, this was painfully realized last November, confirmed in January, and has been a not-sure-whether-to-laugh-or-cry spectacle ever since. The Orange Thing that’s been occupying the White House the past few months has bragged about sexual assault, mocked a disabled person, advocated war crimes, and, dear God, I’d be here for the rest of the decade if I were to even attempt a comprehensive list. But his party and supporters still stick by him. They still excuse this behavior.

But I didn’t mean to talk so much about him. Montana just elected a congressman who literally physically attacked a reporter who was merely asking him questions.

That’s right, elected. This incident happened on Wednesday night, the night before Special Election Day. In any decent or just universe, this would have been the end of him. But sure enough, despite there being some question as the race has been kind of close, Montana voted him right in.

While some have chalked it up to early voting, that many or most Montana voters had already cast their ballots before this happened, surveys taken at polling places yesterday are less than encouraging. People who knew full well that this man, Greg Gianforte, physically assaulted an innocent journalist, Ben Jacobs, still happily voted for him.

Because they believed the liberal journalist deserved it.

You know, yeah, we all know politicians have always been kind of terrible, to varying degrees anyway. You sort of have to be kind of terrible to succeed in it, sadly. But for the most part, they tend to at least pretend they are not terrible. They at least acknowledge there are certain behaviors that are unacceptable, even if so many get caught in their share of scandals. Even when caught, they and those around them might not try to act like it was all cool. They might still support them otherwise, but they acknowledge some wrong was done. That’s how it’s supposed to work anyway.

But whether the Orange Thing or Gianforte or whoever else (including those who aren’t Republicans, not pretending Democrats or others are at all innocent), it’s like some sort of party unity comes before everything else.

It’s like…
“Did you know Candidate hasn’t paid taxes in two decades, is cheating on his wife, and likes to kick puppies?”
“Yeah, but Other Candidate is Other Party and therefore evil. Also, her e-mails.”

Again, this is nothing new. It just seems to be getting a lot more blatant. A lot more shameless.

That there is the problem. Where is the line? The Orange Thing seems to be going out of his way to cross it, and why the hell hasn’t he yet for so many? And Gianforte and who knows how many others seeking elected office are getting the clear message that they can behave badly all they want, that being violent and out of control is the path to success.

We need to hold our leaders and ourselves a LOT more accountable than this. We need to fully understand that, no, the journalist did not deserve to be straight up body slammed just because of his political affiliation and because he was asking a tough question which, you know, any elected official had damn well better have thick enough skin to handle if they expect to get anywhere. We can’t have so many people in this country not understanding that.

The survival of our country depends on us all getting this. Violence like this out of someone wanting to be a congressman, and violence against a member of the press no less, which undermines the First Amendment, is the kind of thing that, if it becomes more commonplace, we can say goodbye to considering ourselves anything close to a free society. As it is, we have a police brutality problem, and there are too many people defending that for sure. How much worse can we let this get? How much more is going to be excused because of authoritarian beliefs or partisan rage?

Because this shit is not even close to okay!

This has been Day 3 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 17.

February 14, 2016

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 11

Filed under: Think About It!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 7:47 pm

“MY LOVE” What a sweet little candy heart you are!

“URS 4 EVER” Damn, candy heart, slow down!

“LET’S KISS” Well, you’re going into my mouth anyway. Close enough.

“NO WAY” Oh, well, can’t win them all. 🙁

Oh, hello. Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s time once again for the tradition that began ten years ago today, when I sit here and eat these candy hearts and gripe about romantic relationship stupidity.

I’ve said in the past that it’s people’s behavior and expectations around relationships and their partners that I take issue with, and that love itself isn’t what I’m against. That love itself really is pure and good.

I’ve changed my mind. Love is fucking stupid.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say it isn’t a good thing at all, that it is terrible, and really we should be recognizing it as the affliction that it is.

Love is a destructive illusion that causes terrible behavior and misery. When you’re in love, sure, everything feels all warm and sweet. At first. Then something goes wrong, and now all those warm and sweet memories turn to poison, no longer making you happy but only sad and angry. Someone who was once a source of comfort and joy is now just a reminder of shame and loss. You believed you felt some strong spiritual connection, but the bubble burst, and you feel more isolated than ever before.

People have a way of reacting badly to this, from making total asses of themselves in front of their object of affection and others to outright harmful or abusive behavior. Yeah, I’m not seeing the beauty here.

Maybe we should just remove “love” from our vocabulary altogether. Maybe just cut straight to what you actually mean when you say you love someone. Maybe instead of “I love you” it could be “I want to spend time with you” or “I’m deliriously happy when I’m with you” or “I want to kiss you” or “I want to have sex with you” or “I don’t wish you any specific harm” or “I want to buy a house with a nice yard and fight with you over money and dinner plates for the rest of my life” (also known as “will you marry me?”). In any case, maybe the only real response to a declaration of love is “yeah, and?”

I mean, it’s a loaded and muddy word. It distracts from what specifically is going on. It inflates importance of what’s being felt, adding some artificial divine quality, which really serves only to make it hurt so much more when it goes wrong, that the very essence of life itself has failed you. It’s just not worth it. There are much better uses of time and energy.

If only it were that simple. I get so afflicted just as anyone else.

Oh, well. There’s always the candy hearts!

“I-M SURE” Well, heart, most people aren’t sure of much of anything. You’re lucky.

“YOU ROCK” Awww, thanks!

“XOXO” I fucking hate that Elle King song.

December 30, 2015

Oversold

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,What the hell? — Katrina @ 10:43 pm

So I flew on an airplane yesterday, coming back from my aforementioned Christmas travel (never again!), but I almost didn’t fly on an airplane yesterday.

I checked my suitcase and got a security pass or something rather than an actual boarding pass. No earthly idea why, just the way that airline rolls I guess. I get to my gate to get my boarding pass and then I’m told “Flight is oversold and everyone else is checked in. You stay behind.” And I’m like “I already checked my suitcase! Can I have it back?” And they’re like “No, that’s going to Dulles. You stay behind.” They go on about denied boarding compensation, admittedly a nice sum that would be quite a bit more than the amount I would lose by missing work the next day, but my concern was that I wanted to go home, and it was cold and my coat was in my suitcase. They said that if someone volunteers as tribute for said compensation, I would then be able to board. And, fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. Thanks, unknown volunteer!

Why the fuck did that even happen? Who lets you check your suitcase and then be like “you wanted to board a plane you paid a bunch of money to fly on? LOL nope!”?

Also, when I booked this round trip a month ago, I got an error message when I went to confirm the purchase because between getting to the final page to enter info and clicking “confirm”, the fare for the return flight went up $95. -_-

Meh. Let’s close out this year already…

December 29, 2015

Coming and Going

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Shut the Hell Up!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 5:52 pm

Now for an unfriendly edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

I despise the phrase “friends come and go”. I mean, it’s true in general that relationships of any sort are certainly not guaranteed to last forever, and it helps to accept that when/if things change.

But so often I’ve heard this phrase used to mean friendship is unimportant, that friends should not be trusted or valued. Particularly that family are the only ones worth anything and are the only ones who are ever really there for you.

Fuck that. This may be the experience of some people, sure, but it is not at all the way it should be and certainly not universal. Family very often abandon you and friends very often move heaven and earth for you.

And it’s more than a little sad if your only relationships with others are those that happened by birth rather than those you actively cultivated yourself.

December 27, 2015

Smoking

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

Why do people smoke? I’ve never understood it. It’s nasty.

Okay, I just made it two days of picking on vices like I’m up on some kind of elevated equine. I’m a snobbish asshole, I guess.

But still. Setting aside how detestable anti-smoking campaigns are, why the hell does anyone smoke? It’s expensive. It’s deadly. It’s gross to oneself and others.

Yeah, they’re addicted and it calms them down. Fine. But why does anyone start? What’s the appeal? I see smokers having to go out and smoke in all kinds of unpleasant weather. Getting pulled away from some other activity because nicotine cravings.

We all know this. Everything I’m saying is obnoxious and just judgmental shit smokers are sick of. I don’t have much of a point. Just find the self-destruction puzzling.

December 26, 2015

Slot-Shaming

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:15 pm

Slot machines and other gambling gadgets are everywhere in Nevada. It’s kind of gross. Not just in actual casinos. Malls. Gas stations. Even the airports. If you want to compulsively piss your money and time away, this state makes damn sure to provide. They even supply the free alcohol to quiet your ability to think or self-reflect so that you’ll keep feeding the machine.

This of course also comes the 21+ age restrictions on all this, so that even though they are unscrupulously profiting off people destroying their financial health by gambling and destroying their physical health by drinking, at least they can pretend they’re Protecting Children. 🙄

December 25, 2015

Hyvää joulua!

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 12:49 pm

Here it is. Another Christmas Day. The preceding weeks consisted of Winter Festival rehearsals, cookie baking, and shoving chocolate down people’s throats because it’s Christmas, damn it!

I’ve never had to travel for Christmas before. Always sort of pitied those who do. I guess I’m lucky. Or just stationary. Why leave your home for Christmas? Stay and relax. Eat yummy treats. Bake more yummy treats. Watch specials. Play music. That’s a nice Christmas. Why hoist yourself off to some airport and fight crowds just to spend some awkward time with relatives for whatever reason like some kind of chump?

Well, for some reason, I’m a chump this year. I’m off to the airport. Sigh.

Merry Christmas!!!!

December 21, 2015

Sitters Are Now the Sittees

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:34 pm

You know what’s depressing? Twelve-year-olds in day care. Twelve!

As in, they’re in middle school, and parents need to arrange for some kind of after school care for them until they get off work.

Did I mention… twelve!

I mean, in many places, the parents don’t have much choice, as twelve or thirteen is about the minimum age a kid can be left alone at home.

Ugh. Rules like this are not only a huge insult to these kids, but they’re a boon for the care providers. I mean, if parents are required by law to use their services, they’re raking in the cash. I wonder if they’re behind the age of being left alone at home being so high, since they sure do profit from it.

And this just makes things harder on lower income families. Child care is expensive, and it doesn’t help to make parents and kids have to wait longer before the kids can just go straight home after school and take care of themselves for a few hours. They either have to shell out the money or quit their jobs. Or break the law.

And, obviously, of course kids twelve and under can go straight home and take care of themselves for a few hours before their parents get home. It’s what my sister and I did. I was home alone as young as eight. Last time I was in day care, I was the oldest kid there… at age seven.

In fact, when I was thirteen, I was the one looking after a four-year-old neighbor every week or so while his parents were out. I was the one doing the sitting at an age that kids now are the ones being sat.

Nothing biological has changed. Just fears of lawsuits and -gasp!- unattended children! Children who aren’t busy with some activity, who, if without an activity, will get into -gasp!- trouble!

December 20, 2015

21 to Drink… Anything

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:04 pm

So I was at Target earlier and there were some sets of novelty drinking glasses on one shelf. One set’s theme was of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, with glasses showing the squirrel and Clark entangled in lights and other stuff. Oh, and this set identified these as “pint glasses” and had “Age 21+” printed on the corner of the box.

Yeah… Okay. A lot of things about this.

1. These are drinking glasses and contain no alcohol. Drinking glasses are not age restricted. They can be used for any drink.
2. There were identical drinking glass sets on the shelf of Wonder Woman, Minions, Peanuts, and Avengers and such, none of which said “Age 21+” nor identified them as “pint glasses”.
3. Pint is a unit of volume, equal to two cups or half a quart or 16 fluid ounces. This measurement refers to this volume of any substance, not just beer.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is not an “adult” movie. In fact, it’s been on constantly all month on ABC Family.

December 16, 2015

Your Choice, Huh?

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

Some time ago, I saw a picture of a protest in California about some new vaccination requirements. Yeah, the protesters were anti-vax idiots (redundant, I know) who were none too pleased about this. One woman’s sign even clearly said “My Child, My Choice”.

There’s yet another sign of the mind-blogging extent of parental entitlement. When forbidding you from letting your child catch serious illness and die is suddenly some egregious violation of parental rights.

What’s next?

“How dare you force me to actually FEED my child? Food contains sugar and pesticides and scary sounding ingredients I can’t pronounce and know nothing about but am sure they cause cancer. I have a right not to give that to my child!”

“How dare you force me to actually give my child WATER? It’s also called dihydrogen monoxide and it’s the main component of urine! It’s also full of fluoride which will make my child stupid! Also chem trails.”

Sigh.

December 15, 2015

Environmental Progress

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Christmas Time!,Science,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:42 pm

Where does anyone get this ridiculous idea that being more environmentally friendly means impeding human progress? As if it’s one or the other. As if wanting to reduce pollution is against technology or something.

I’ve seen some of my friends make this sort of claim, particularly libertarians. And it’s pure political posturing, and as with most or all political posturing, it makes no sense.

Here’s a thought. Maybe a new technology that is more environmentally friendly than its predecessor is in itself a form of human progress. What an idea!

Instead of this whole “you want to reverse climate change? how dare you disparage the invention of the telephone!”, or, more to the point of what people who say this are really thinking, “how dare you impede a business’s right to destroy the planet!”, how about “hey, climate change is a problem, we need renewable energy, let’s embark on finding ways to solve these problems via, you guessed it, new science and technology!”?

This is obvious if you think about it for five seconds. Though if you’re just trying to make some political point, thought has nothing to do with anything.

December 13, 2015

Games and Other Games

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Estrogen,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:05 pm

I’m completely sick to death of the idea that watching sports and playing video games are male-only activities.

Me, I do watch sports, being a fan of the various Washington teams, and while I don’t play as much as I wish I did, I do enjoy video games as well. Oh, and I’m female!

I even see this idea coming from progressive sources that should know better. Too busy criticizing traditional cis-het masculinity and all that’s stereotypically associated with it that they end up reinforcing it by erasing those who aren’t cis-het males who enjoy such activities.

Society has been very slowly coming around about this, truth be told. Realizing that, yes, there are plenty of female gamers, and, yes, there are plenty of women watching NFL games who aren’t just putting up with it with a male (real) fan. Too slowly, though.

Not to mention that “nerdy” activities, like comic books and role-playing games and sci-fi and the like, are assumed to be just for guys. I don’t even get that stereotype. What, are girls supposed to be too pretty and not supposed to be thinking at all to be interested in that sort of thing, and that any girls who aren’t pretty are just, as always, assumed to not exist?

December 9, 2015

So Many Lies

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Teh Interwebs,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:57 pm

Every now and then I go through a few days or weeks that I read Snopes regularly. After some time of it, I just have enough. There’s just so much bullshit floating out there that people are for some reason believing and spreading around more, all of which could be avoided if they gave it five seconds of thought. The idea that Snopes even has to debunk some of this stuff is just exhausting to think about.

A fair share of new posts to Snopes are debunking bullshit floating around about Muslims. The assertion is like “help, a Muslim forced some event to stop serving pork products!” and they’re like “no, some satire site made that up”. Or “help, Christian imagery was removed or banned because Muslims complained!” and they’re like “no, some right wingers made that up”. Or, as one recent one, “help, look at this image of a pro-ISIL rally in the US!” and they’re like “no, that’s actually an anti-ISIL rally”.

This shit spreads around, for one, because bigoted assholes. But also because people seem to really want to be offended or outraged or indulge some sort of persecution complex. I guess screw facts if it gets in the way of running around like a panicky idiot. And not in a delightful Wade Duck sort of way.

December 8, 2015

Trans, Homeless, Preteen

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Estrogen,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:38 pm

According to a trans* activist friend of mine, apparently, in New York City, the average age at which homeless trans youth become homeless is 13.5 years.

Average!

I mean, I’ve written before about how parental love isn’t exactly as unconditional as conventional belief would have you think. But even knowing that, it’s so pathetic that parents would kick out kids who are in middle school or younger for any reason really, but still so much more mindblowing that it’s about something so ridiculous as the kids not acting the part of the gender their genitals tell them to be. How fucking petty and heartless can you goddamn get?!

I’ll bet these parents think they love these kids, too. I’ll bet lots of people think that. I guess the mere idea that they might not despite some clear evidence to the contrary here is just too much. 🙄

December 6, 2015

Coloring Age

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:35 pm

So there’s a hot new trend these days of coloring books “for adults”. These things are everywhere!

Except coloring books for adults have already existed. They’re just called “coloring books”.

That’s adult society’s insecurities for you. There’s nothing explicitly “for children” about the coloring books that have already existed. Unless what you’re coloring being animated characters of some sort has some hard and fast upper age limit. Which it doesn’t. It’s just adults balking at the idea of doing anything associated with children. So label some coloring books as being “for adults” and they’ll clamor for them and you’ll make a mint!

Not only that. It’s not like adults are supposed to be having fun with these “adult” coloring books. No, they’re therapeutic somehow. Stress relief! You know, the only thing adults’ leisure time is supposed to be about. Fun and imagination is just for children, after all. 🙄

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with these more various types of coloring books being out there, not at all. But by branding it as “adult coloring books”, therefore something typically associated with children being presented with the children somehow removed from the equation, it’s adults invading children’s space for their own benefit and shoving the real children out. Makes me start to understand what the hell people mean when they talk about “cultural appropriation”. *shrug*

December 5, 2015

Immunity Intact

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Science,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:53 pm

I hate it when anti-vaxxers and intactivists are talked about together as if they’re basically the same thing. Unfortunately, there is plenty of overlap, from those who see both issues as part of some “natural parenting” movement (more on that another day).

Anti-vaxxers are against vaccinations. Intactivists are against infant circumcision.

Those against both see it as some issue of infant body integrity, a thing I can get behind. But there’s one gigantic difference.

Vaccinations are actually extremely necessary, to save the baby and anyone around said baby from preventable diseases. This much is fact. When anti-vaxxers deny these life-saving vaccinations to their children, they are not protecting their children’s rights to their body. They are condemning their children to serious illness, a very severe violation of their rights and an abandonment of parental responsibility. And why? Because vaccines contain ingredients they can’t pronounce and that’s scary to them?

Circumcision, on the other hand, is not at all medically necessary. There is no prevention of life-threatening illness involved in it, unless you count the ridiculous grasping of straws like “uh, we think circumcision might possibly maybe prevent HIV (even though condoms would still be necessary so it doesn’t matter)”. And even so, most of the time it’s done for cosmetic or religious reasons, and people are really goddamn attached to these cosmetic or religious reasons, so this unnecessary barbaric practice continues. This is a painful violation of a child’s body that serves no real purpose and must be stopped.

Vaccinations save lives. Circumcisions are just “durr, foreskins are gross”.

Really no comparison.

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