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. ๐Ÿ™„

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. ๐Ÿ™„

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.

December 3, 2015

Connections

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:54 pm

When flying, I’ve only ever had a layover twice, in 1997 and 1998, and both were in Denver, going on to Salt Lake City and Albuquerque respectively. Family vacations. Of flights I’ve booked myself, they’ve always been nonstop. I insist on it.

That 1998 trip, we missed the first flight and had to catch a later one, which in turn made us miss the second leg, which we had to get the next morning. Annoying.

And not worth it! Unless the flight is really goddamn long or it’s absolutely not an option for whatever reason, nonstop is the way to go.

But in those situations where a connecting flight is necessary, the connection should at least make sense. The connection point should at least not be completely out of the way. When I went to London in 2009, thankfully there were plenty of direct flights from Dulles to Heathrow, but the search pulled up some that would get to London by way of Munich. Munich! As in clear past London, only to turn around and come back. What the hell? There are flights to Seattle-Tacoma from here that would connect at Dallas-Fort Worth, swinging way to the south and very much not in the direction of Seattle from Washington DC. There are flights to Las Vegas that connect in New York-JFK or Boston-Logan or Long Beach.

These don’t make any damn sense! If any one leg of a trip with at least one stop is longer than the nonstop flight, something is terribly wrong.

Or it’s the airline industry being the airline industry. Something like that.

December 1, 2015

Nineties Kids Remember

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Teh Interwebs,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:00 pm

(Have I really not posted in three months? Ugh. Well, let’s see how far this December thing goes this year…)

You know those posts that float around social media saying “only 90s kids remember this” or someone else whose adolescence occurred entirely or in part prior to the turn of the century?

Cassette tapes. Getting film developed. Car windows that roll up and down by use of a hand crank.

Yeah, I, a 90s kid, am glad to be rid of all that shit, too. Thanks for reminding me.

Oh, but the next generation won’t appreciate not having annoying things like this anymore because we have digital media files and power windows? Well, good, it gives them more room to find what’s lacking in the current technology so they can in turn improve on that! Yay, progress!

And then there are the posts suggesting today’s kids will never know such bygone things like, say, a Pez dispenser or ending friendships by playing a well-timed Draw 4 card in Uno.

Except they can because Pez and Uno are totally still around, so I don’t know what the fuck these people are talking about. *shrug*

February 14, 2015

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 10

Filed under: What the hell? — Katrina @ 5:38 pm

“Crazy 4 U” Aww how nice.

“Sweet pea” Isn’t that the baby from Popeye? That’s not romantic.

“Soul mate” Having a candy heart for a soul mate? Eh, could do worse.

Yup, it’s that time again, where I eat these traditional Valentine’s Day conversation hearts and mull over their messages, while musing in my traditional Valentine’s Day way about romantic relationships. Somehow I’ve managed to churn out ten of these now. What shall this tenth be about?

Ah, I know.

Ever notice in a romantic couple that the girl seems to take on this really cutesy and meek persona? Almost bordering on whiny. Okay, it’s hard to explain.

Actually, no it isn’t. It’s well known. Basically, she pretends to be weak. Common examples are she has the guy kill a spider for her or open a pickle jar. More than that, though. She talks to him with this sad little voice that seems to scream “I’m a helpless weakling” no matter what words she’s actually saying. And it annoys the hell out of me.

I’m not making this up. I’ve actually seen it as relationship advice for girls! Not to mention any number of TV shows with plotlines in which a wife ends up the primary breadwinner or is otherwise independently strong in some way, and the result is the husband can’t get it up. And the relationship advice is based on that idea, that if you as a female are not at least giving the illusion of being a faint little flower petal of a being who needs some heroic masculine manly man to justify her existence, then he will lose interest in you.

Needless to say, this is pretty damn offensive to both genders! That an independent and capable female is incompatible with romantic relationships. That a male’s entire sense of self-worth is based on being superior to a female.

And yet maybe it’s effective? I’ve seen these guys eat it up. Offensive to both genders it may be, they grew up in a society where said offensive gender expectations are commonplace, so that’s what they’re comfortable with, unfortunate though it may be.

I don’t think I could pull it off, though. Not that I have much interest in trying. The idea makes me think of in Garfield comics when he sees Nermal acting all cute and getting attention and food, so Garfield wants the same food he’s getting so he pretends to be all cute too but he fails miserably at it and comes off as creepy and unsettling. Yeah, that’d be me trying to do this cutesy meek thing. ๐Ÿ˜†

But even so I hardly see the point. Relationships have real built-in aspects of interdependence without all these showy fake nonsense. Everyone is sometimes the weak one and sometimes the strong one. It’s called being human, and being with each other through those times is called being in relationship. Isn’t that enough?

Oh, well, it’s not like these things make sense. Back to hearts.

“Be true” Yeah, better than being false. See above.

“Don’t tell” Huh. That’s kind of rapey.

“I M sure” You’re a candy heart. Your sureness is limited.

“Get real” Uh oh. Made a wrong move? Come on too strong?

“See ya” Welp, even the candy hearts get sick of your shit eventually!

January 8, 2015

That Takes Religion

Filed under: The Occasional Godliness,What the hell? — Katrina @ 10:09 pm

You’ve probably heard the line that goes something like “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” And as I’ve mentioned before, it’s full of shit. In that those doing evil things aren’t somehow not evil just because they claim it’s because of religion.

But I think I’d like to amend it a bit. Let’s try it this way.

“With or without religion, you would have smart people saying smart things and stupid people saying stupid things. But for smart people to say stupid things, that takes religion.”

Sound about right?

It works both ways, too. One might think of people who, despite smartness, have some religious belief or affiliation, something that the Very Smart anti-theist types, ironically, just can’t wrap their heads around. Or just plain a smart religious person turning an inexplicable blind eye to or defending troublesome or even abusive religious practices. But it’s for the atheists, too. In that, yeah, they are very smart, until the topic turns to religion and in beating the religion-is-evil drum, some of them start saying some astoundingly stupid things.

We’re of course seeing a lot of examples of both with this Charlie Hebdo attack.

You’ve got the otherwise-intelligent religious participating in some good old fashioned victim blaming, with the “they shouldn’t have been killed, but they shouldn’t have attacked people’s sacred beliefs either”. Ugh. And we’ve got the anti-theist “religion is for idiots” crowd saying “see? see? proof positive that religion is evil, atheists never do anything wrong!” Ugh (if, in all fairness, less so than the former!).

The problem with the first one is hopefully obvious. With the second one, while this attack was without a doubt religiously motivated, it defies and violates basic statistics horrendously to imply such a thing is representative of all 1 billion plus who identify as Muslim, let alone all the billions who identify with some religion. Now, is religion statistically and historically the most likely reason for any given terrorist attack? Absolutely. But it rarely acts alone, in that cultural superiority and good old fashioned power hunger have helped it in those attacks just about every step of the way, and if you remove religion from the equation (and, you know, actually learn something about the people and situations involved and find out how complex it all is, like a smart person might do), very little will have changed.

But I’ll get into all that in more detail in another post. The point is, when religion comes up, whether for or against, people have a way of losing their damn minds, whether it’s the anti-theist pegging anyone who sets foot inside a church as a potential violent fanatic when otherwise completely against any such blanket pigeonholing, or it’s the observant Jew who fiercely defends infant circumcision as some kind of cherished holy tradition despite being opposed to such violations of bodily autonomy in literally every other scenario.

Although, come to think of it, my amended quote has the exact same problem as the original. In that, no, these supposedly smart people really aren’t all that smart if they’re spouting this crap. ๐Ÿ™„

Or maybe they are. Varies by individual. It is just one topic after all, as opposed committing acts of evil for whatever chosen reason. But we all have those friends who are typically very thoughtful and logical on a wide variety of topics, while there’s one or two that they just start on and they sound like their brains fell out and all you can do is sigh and say “ugh, here we go with this shit again…” It’s just that this topic is usually religion.

December 30, 2014

Leelah Alcorn

What happened to Leelah Alcorn is tragic and infuriating.

She was transgender but stuck with super fundamentalist religious parents who told her that she’s really a boy and that she’s going through a phase. When she wouldn’t relent in wanting to transition, her parents pulled her out of school and removed her from social media and friends, completely isolating her for months. Finally, after leaving her suicide note on Tumblr, she committed suicide.

Why didn’t her parents accept her? Because she brought shame to them. Because they wanted to maintain for themselves an image of Good Christians. In their minds, she stood in the way of that. In their minds, she had to be removed.

So they did. They removed her from school and from public pretty much. They tortured her with religious pseudo-therapy. Did they think they would “cure” her? Or keep her out of “sin” long enough for her to outgrow this supposed phase?

Any way you look at it, they wanted Leelah gone. They might have preferred that she simply stopped being LGBT or maybe not. They wanted everything that Leelah was to be gone, out of their life, out of sight, so that she would no longer sully their image, their honor.

So now that she’s dead… problem solved! It may be more extreme than her parents intended, or maybe not. They saw her as a problem that needed to be removed, so she removed herself for them. In fact, given the treatment of her leading up to it, clearly this is exactly what they were hoping would happen.

They couldn’t kill her themselves without going to prison or – gasp! – tarnishing their image as Good Christians, so they drove her to do it herself, not only to keep their hands clean but to ensure, in their minds, that she goes to hell where she belongs. They wanted an honor killing, and they got one.

And, as a youth rights supporter, I must ask the very important question here. Why in the hell were her parents even able to put her through all this shit in the first place? She should have been able to transition whether they wanted her to or not. She should have been able to stay in school and stay in contact with everyone regardless of how her stupid parents feel about her. She should still be fucking ALIVE and happy!

But they had power over all of this. Because just like they cared more for their image than her life, our society cares more about their “parental right” to control her (even to death) than for her life. And that right there speaks volumes.

December 27, 2014

Reproachable Rights

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Christmas Time!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:43 pm

(I wanted to call this “Right Doesn’t Make Right” but I already used that title for another post eight years ago. Oh, well!)

I’ve mentioned before that merely having the right to say something doesn’t mean you can’t be criticized for saying said thing. Yet so often when someone says something completely abhorrent or just stupid, and they get called on it, they come back with “Hey, free speech! I have a right to say it!”

No shit, you have a right to say it, dumbass! Nobody is saying otherwise. It’s not an attempt at censorship. It’s a reply. Replying is – gasp! – also free speech!

Seriously, a friend of mine shared a screen cap on Facebook recently of a conversation with an acquaintance, in which said acquaintance posted some racist article, and my friend asked why they’d post such an article, and the person literally came back with simply “Free speech.” My friend asked again, and the person gave no other answer.

As it often does, xkcd covered this one nicely.

This goes beyond speech, though. Sometimes those defending the right to something seem to act like any and all use of said right is okay or even heroic.

You see this with gun rights, where there’s a nasty shooting, and the problem is not that the shooter had a gun, but that everyone else didn’t. ๐Ÿ™„

You see it with abortion rights, too. Pretending every woman who has an abortion is a hero. Barely a word against those who abort because of the baby’s sex or (compatible with life) disability. Yes, you can support abortion rights and still say sex-selective or disability abortions are really shitty. Even in general, you can support abortion rights without necessarily even believing abortion is a good thing.

It’s an important distinction to make. Believing something to be wrong and believing something should be illegal are and should be very different things. It’s the difference between believing someone shouldn’t do something and believing said someone should be arrested/imprisoned/have their life ruined over it.

Imagine how much better the world would be if this distinction were more widely recognized!

December 26, 2014

Not a Christian Holiday

I hereby decree…

Christmas is not a Christian holiday.

Well, it’s not.

Yeah, “Christ” is right there in the name, and I find switching the name “Christmas” out with “Solstice” or “Yule” to be really fucking obnoxious. But Christmas is not a Christian holiday. And it shouldn’t be.

There are Christian aspects of it, and that’s how it got its name (in certain languages anyway). There’s the nativity story and the midnight masses. But that’s about it. And that’s far from all there is to the holiday.

I see people getting all up in arms, that they feel being wished a Merry Christmas somehow excludes them because they are not Christian. Which is fucking stupid. Christmas is not a religious holiday. It’s a holiday of lots of stories and symbols of varying degrees of association to the winter solstice. It’s everything this very awesome Cracked article talks about.

What do we do for Christmas? It varies. I go to the late night Christmas Eve church service, but that’s about the extent of any explicitly Christian activities for the holiday. Other than the Christmas carols whose subject is the nativity, but those are just telling stories, right alongside the other songs telling about glowing fog-light noses or sentient snowmen or a man playing the cello while Sarajevo gets bombed. Other than that, it’s a lot of twinkling lights, fuzzy garland, sparkly pine trees, candy and cookies, and of course gift exchange. Much of it is derived from other religions’ winter solstice traditions, but other than that, there’s nothing Christian or otherwise religious here (well, unless you want there to be, but it’s up to the individual on that one). Some aspects are specific to certain cultures or regions, but as a whole, it’s just a worldwide human thing.

So that’s why I don’t get why people think they’re being excluded. They’re human and part of the world, aren’t they?

December 20, 2014

Lack of Remorse

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Christmas Time!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 3:44 pm

You know what (among a lot of things) has been irritating me about the recent racially-based police violence, with Michael Brown and Eric Garner and others? How politicized it has gotten in ways that it has no business being politicized.

It should be a no-brainer that a police officer shooting an unarmed person is not okay. Even if you could say said officer, at that moment, had reasonable cause to shoot, you’d think there would at least be a little bit of remorse and regret about the incident. That there would be some genuine interest on the part of the police force and other related entities in preventing anything like it from happening again. Even if Michael Brown and Eric Garner were armed and ready to shoot the cops, there should still be at least some degree of regret about the deaths.

But there’s so much digging in of heels about it that everyone forgets to be compassionate humans. And worse it is for some reason divided along party lines. That the left wingers are calling for change in the racially-targeted police violence, while the right wingers fight tooth and nail to insist it’s either justified or not real. And the police forces, rather than apologizing for the incidents and pledging to prevent it in the future with any sincerity, stick by what happened unashamedly, blaming the victims for trying (without a shred of evidence) to take the officer’s gun or for being overweight.

Not to mention the “Support Darren Wilson” assholes. I really don’t know how they sleep at night.

December 19, 2014

Collateral Damage

There’s a lot of collateral damage in activism. When making points for change, you need to be careful. Who is getting thrown under the bus in your talking points?

In youth rights, we sometimes make the case, when someone goes on about how “undeveloped” teens’ brains are, that studies have shown that, despite this, teens’ brains function better than those of people over age 60. Which on its face is a good point, showing that we’re not so fussy about this same metric in another context. But I’m generally uncomfortable with it, because a “solution” to the double standard might be then to restrict the rights of the elderly. Though the intention is to expand the rights of young people, the flip side is the point throws the elderly under the bus.

A couple months ago, I saw at an event about climate change a print-out from some old article on Mother Jones. I don’t feel like looking for it, because fuck that article, but basically it was demonstrating how people in wealthier countries use up more resources than those in poorer countries (which is a major “no shit, Sherlock!”). And a lot of its points were basically about keeping the population low, so there’d be fewer people to use up resources and generate greenhouse gases. Points included: praising China’s one-child policy (you know, the one with the forced and sex-selective abortions and infanticide that resulted in a severely skewed gender ratio), implying that countries with the most unrest are in turmoil because such a huge portion of their population are young adults (you know, because young people just do nothing but start wars, right?), and even some completely ridiculous points about how apparently TV families are getting larger (their entire basis was the existence of the Duggars), and a few more that were just rotting my brain cells with each letter.

You know, no matter how much I might support a cause, I just can’t get behind the ridiculous hyperbole and fearmongering and outright lies that a lot of them resort to. Especially when, as said, some of this causes damage to other causes for human rights and whatnot.

And ultimately it’s self-defeating. It’s hard to defend your position on an issue when most of the points and info you’ve been given to use are full of shit. You have to spend so much time weeding out the bullshit to find the one tidbit that’s actually valid. And if most of what there is to defend the cause is so exaggerated, it discredits what’s real.

All of it is to make a serious problem look worse than it actually is. So the organizations and other entities working on it can get more support and funding. Like I mentioned before about how groups talking about child marriage in certain parts of the world are using a rather loose definition of “child marriage” in order to inflate the number of “victims” to make the problem look even worse than it already is.

The groups who do this know they’re doing this and are often proud of it. There’s usually the “yeah, that video is fake and the facts are pulled out of our ass, but it truly really is a serious problem and needs your attention!” They don’t seem to care that all they did was expose themselves as shameless liars.

For God’s sake, these causes and movements are only necessary to fix a problem. They are a huge waste of time in the long run. But these people turn it into a morbid self-promotional tool in and of itself. Where doing good for people comes second to making damn sure you look like you’re doing good for people. ๐Ÿ™„

December 13, 2014

Male Privilege

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Estrogen,Think About It!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 2:53 pm

Privilege is a tricky concept to explain. People have a way of never using examples or never adequately explaining what they’re talking about, so the privileged ones who feel attacked act accordingly and everything turns into a completely pointless mess.

But a while back, I found a pretty good example of male privilege, and it was on the radio. No, it wasn’t 97.1 WASH this time! It was DC101, the rock station. There’s this thing they do weekday afternoons where they play a song that used to be played all the time but now isn’t played at all. They usually do one song but sometimes two or three. On occasion, they do more than that on certain special days.

This was one of those days. They played two songs, both of which had male lead singers, and a third one had a female lead singer. The fourth also had a female lead. At this point, the DJ was apologizing for making the set of songs too “girly” for playing two consecutive songs by female singers, and that apparently a couple of people tweeted or texted him commenting on that. So the DJ decided to make up for it and the fifth song was by an all-male band who, the DJ said, were “proudly misogynist”. And the next two songs were also sung by men.

So that’s seven songs, two of which were sung by women, and the other five by men. And somehow this was “too girly”. Even though the male-sung songs were still the majority. The fact that two of the songs were not sung by men, and that they were done consecutively, and that after they were done, the songs were two by men and two by women, thus even, this was considered “too feminine” and thus offensive.

And that, there, is male privilege. That when things are equal between the genders by the numbers, it is not perceived as equal but of a sign that men are losing out on something and that women have too much power. Even when they are equal. Even when, with the whole seven song set, the men still have a strong majority. Somehow, even in this case women still have “too much power”.

December 10, 2014

Tumblr Temps

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

So often on Tumblr when a post so much as includes mention of a temperature, I know what’s coming.

Let’s say it says something like “This is 50 degrees in Michigan” and there’s a picture of people wearing t-shirts, shorts, and sandals. Then it says “This is 50 degrees in California” and in that picture everyone is wearing heavy winter coats and shivering.

But in the replies, before long at all, there will be some idiot who says “I live in England where we use Celsius so I was confused.”

No you fucking weren’t. You’re pretending to be confused. You’re in England, so while the Fahrenheit scale is not in use anymore, you all are at least aware of it. Hell, you all switch back and forth between it and Celsius in some contexts. And even so, you’d know full well the US is on Fahrenheit and that the locations mentioned in the image are in the US, so you could probably deduce as much.

Enough of this “tee hee, I don’t know the other scale” nonsense. Context, people! If someone is referring to 35 degrees as being hot, it’s Celsius. If cold, Fahrenheit. If referring to the day’s weather being 80 degrees, it’s obvious Fahrenheit, because 80 degrees Celsius isn’t exactly livable.

But that one wasn’t as bad as a similar one, where the temperatures -40, -30, -20, and -10 were shown in four respective pictures, showing Canadians considering them warm comfortable weather. And even in this context, there was some temperature scale confusion.

First of all, it’s negative temperatures. That’s still below freezing on both scales and still fucking cold. What’s to be confused about?

Also, and to mimic Futurama’s Morbo for the moment…

MINUS FORTY FAHRENHEIT AND MINUS FORTY CELSIUS ARE THE SAME FUCKING TEMPERATURE! GOODNIGHT!

December 4, 2014

Good Kids, Bad Kids, Rewarded Kids, Murdered Kids

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:44 pm

I’m so tired of the “naughty or nice” theme around Christmas giving. I’ve said before that Santa Claus doesn’t work that way and that those who say he does are assholes. Santa Claus is awesome and his story doesn’t need to continue being polluted with this manipulative nonsense.

There’s so much more to Christmas than this. There are legends and folklore from all over the place associated with the season. Let’s have a look!

First, here’s Befana:

In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany to fill their socks with candy and presents if they are good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. In many poorer parts of Italy and in particular rural Sicily, a stick in a stocking was placed instead of coal.

D’oh! That’s no better. Still the good-bad nonsense.

Oh, well. Let’s try the Belsnickel:

The Belsnickel shows up at houses 1โ€“2 weeks before Christmas and often created fright because he always knew exactly which of the children misbehaved. He is typically very ragged and mean looking. He wears torn, tattered, and dirty clothes, and he carries a switch in his hand with which to beat bad children.

What the holy fuck?!
(more…)

December 2, 2014

No Salvation for Male Teens

So apparently a homeless family of five sought shelter from the cold weather with the Salvation Army. Four of them were welcome, namely both parents, their 16-year-old daughter, and their 5-year-old son. The fifth, their 15-year-old son, was not welcome.

According to the guy’s father:

“They said he’s too old to stay on the women’s side, because of the women running around in their pajamas and they said he’s too young to stay on the men’s side in case some pervert wants to do whatever,” Lejeune said.

So he’s too dangerous to be with the women, while the men are too dangerous to him for him to be with them. Oh, God, it’s like wolf-sheep-watermelon riddle!

But seriously… what?! The Reason article calls it pedophile panic, but it’s quite a bit more than that. It’s yet another manifestation of the idea that teens equal trouble, both for themselves and for others. They are a danger to everyone, and everything is a danger to them. The curious ageist paradox that always seems to yield fewer rights for teens, who are never allowed a word in edgewise.

And it’s more ephebiphobic paranoia. “Help! It’s a teen! Is it a child? Is it an adult? Oh, Lord, I just don’t know. Let’s just shove it out of sight and not have to worry our heads with this freaky age-hybrid.”

The result? A young guy, whose only crime was existing and happening to be part of a family that fell on hard times, is forced to stay out in the cold, as is his family.
(more…)

December 1, 2014

O Canon, Where Art Thou?

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Musical Musing,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:52 pm

It’s Christmas time! It’s that magical time of year when the regular mundane world undergoes some little festive changes. Greensleeves becomes “What Child Is This?”. Forest Green becomes “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. Little Deuce Coupe becomes “Little Saint Nick”. And Pachelbel’s Canon in D becomes Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Canon“.

Christmas Canon!

When local radio station 97.1 WASH (dear God, I mention them a lot on here!) switched from their usual light pop to Christmas mode the Friday before Thanksgiving, I stayed by the radio, even while at work, all day, as I usually do when the Christmas songs start, to hear songs I hadn’t heard in 11 months. Songs I have mixed reactions to. But eventually they would play Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Canon”! The lovely piece of music that when I first heard it about eight years ago on this station on my alarm clock radio I thought the radio had somehow turned to a classical music station. Then I became a little obsessed with the song, because damn it, it is beautiful and YOU WILL BOW TO CHRISTMAS CANON!

So Friday before Thanksgiving I listened to the station at first on my alarm clock radio and later through their website when I got to work.

Canon?

No, just It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.

Next song. Canon?

No, just O Holy Night.

Next song. Canon?

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s… Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24 (the rockin’ Carol of the Bells rendition we all know and love). Welp, no more TSO for the rest of the hour then. I’ll get coffee.

Now what?

Oh, Caroling Caroling. I like that song. It’s cute.

Alright. How about Canon?

Nope. It’s the infamous Do They Know It’s Christmas?.

Come on! Many of these songs have been played several times already. Where the hell is Canon? It usually gets pretty frequent play.

Ugh, not Santa Claus Is Coming to Town!

Now yet another rendition of Silver Bells!

At least Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is getting a lot of play. That’s another one I don’t get tired of, whether John Lennon or one of the covers.

But where the hell is Christmas Canon? It’s been all day.

You know when I finally heard it? When I went home and played it on Winamp because of course I have the damn song. But I didn’t hear it on the radio station until the following Monday afternoon. Did they play it before then? I don’t know. Even I finally gave up after a while. But even though I’ve still had the station on during the day at work, I haven’t heard it on there since then.

In fact, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is touring right now, and will be in DC on the 17th. You know what the tour is promoting? Their album “The Christmas Attic”. The album which contains… Christmas Canon!

I mean, you’d think the station would want to play it more then! And even so, why not? They can play I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus as often as they do, which I really really doubt anyone actually likes, but the sweet aurally-pleasing Christmas Canon is getting totally snubbed this year.

So maybe I need to head over to the station with an ultimatum. And a cannon. Because apparently we’re all cartoon characters and thus have ready access to cannons. And I’ll say “Canon? Or cannon? Choose wisely.”

At worst, a miscommunication might leave me with a rather nice copier.

October 29, 2014

Scanty Costumes 2

Filed under: Estrogen,What the hell? — Katrina @ 10:30 pm

So there’s been a big uproar lately about the types of Halloween costumes available to those of us who happen to be female. Including those who are female and not yet in kindergarten. Not that there hasn’t been plenty of uproar on this topic already. But it’s slightly different now, in that it thankfully isn’t blaming little girls for choosing revealing costumes over a modest ghost or pumpkin in some conscious attempt to be more sexy and adult. In fact, it’s placing blame where it belongs: on the adults limiting the girls to the more revealing options.

One common example is how the police officer costume for boys looks like an actual police uniform, while the one for girls is a ridiculous short skirt with high boots. Same with the firefighter costume and countless others, that the one for boys actually looks like a miniature version of the real thing while the one for girls seems to make it over-the-top feminine to the point of ridiculous.

Thing is, I see an obvious solution to the above, and it’s a solution that interestingly enough is being forgotten due to adherence to gender binary. Just buy the “boys” costume for the girl. I mean, we’re talking prepubescent kids, so there aren’t nearly the body shape differences between the sexes as there will be later. The “boy” costume should fit her just fine. I mean, why is it a “boy” costume anyway (or the skirt one a “girl” costume for that matter)? Says who? The packaging says so and you can’t defy the packaging ever? The packaging will be out of the picture once the costume is being worn, so, tada!, you now just have an adorable little girl dressed like a cop all ready for trick-or-treating! Awww! ๐Ÿ˜€
(more…)

September 9, 2014

Metrication

Filed under: Science,Think About It!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:21 pm

Why the hell do we say “a thousand kilometers”? Why don’t we say “one megameter”? Because it sounds weird? It only sounds weird because it’s not in common use. The metric system comes with all these lovely prefixes for whichever power of ten off the basic unit you’re using, but for some reason we limit ourselves roughly to kilo and milli, if that. Centi only gets to shine when followed by meter. I see 10 milliliter containers and such quite a bit, but never once is it called “one centiliter”. Why not? That’s what it is, isn’t it? Even considering the circumstantial necessity of keeping decimal places constant, you’d think it might show up at least sometimes. And I never see any big vats of things labeled as “one kiloliter”.

Distance from Earth to the Sun? About 150 million kilometers? Pfft. What do you need all them extra decimal places for? Try 150 gigameters!

Why should bytes have all the fun?

Don’t even get me started on the sheer neglect suffered by all 10 centimeters of the decimeter. Or of all 100 meters of the hectometer, who only seems to show up when squared. You know, it’s a hectometer and it’s a square so it’s a… wait for it… hectare! I totally get it! ๐Ÿ˜€

Although metric ton does sound more badass than megagram. Metric ton is also the basis of the fun-to-say metric fuckton. Does megafuckgram have the same ring to it? These are the important questions.

Isn’t this fun? Hell, I haven’t even gotten to our lovely little friends micro and nano, who make some tiny scientific appearances, such as the ever-present 200ยตL (that’s right, mu not u!) pipette tips. But these prefixes get their attention where warranted. They just don’t come up often in common use because things tend to be bigger than that. They’re just hiding out at the cellular and molecular levels. Biding their time.

So, yeah, that’s the beauty of the metric system. For the super super super big and the super super super small, there’s a prefix to fit your measuring needs! Yay metrication!

Now if only we could go the whole nine ya- er, the whole 823 centimeters, and give some of these prefixes more attention.

Failing that, might as well be using imperial! Maybe I’ll start referring to a thousand inches as a kiloinch… :cute:

July 4, 2014

7 Incredibly Stupid Criticisms of the United States

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Assorted Politics,What the hell? — Katrina @ 2:13 pm

The USA has a lot of problems. Dear sweet God, are there a lot of problems! And that’s just what we know about. There’s also problems and major flaws we don’t even know about, and others we just don’t know the extent. So many many flaws this country of ours has!

These are not among them…

“When are you going to switch to the metric system like the rest of the world?”

We’ll switch to the metric system (which we learned in school alongside imperial measurements, by the way) when the UK, Ireland, Japan, India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand start driving on the correct side of the road “like the rest of the world”.

“The national anthem mentions war and bombs! It’s the only one in the world that does!”

First of all, do you think Canada is the only other country in the world with a national anthem? Because it’s not, and plenty of national anthems are pretty bloody and belligerent. Also, have you actually listened to the Star Spangled Banner? It’s about our flag not getting torn to shreds in a battle. It’s about surviving being attacked, not us doing the attacking.
(more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »

Powered by WordPress