Eclipse 2024

April 8, 2024

1:00am: Let’s get on the road.

Can the Pennsylvania Turnpike make up its mind whether the speed limit is 55 or 70? It changes like every mile.

4:00am: Fine, get yourself a snack. Top off gas, too.

Hmmm, there’s the exit to the road I was going to take originally. But had to change plans yesterday. Looking too cloudy there. New destination has a better chance, if still not a great one.

Crossing into Ohio.

And it’s raining.

That’s okay. It was supposed to rain this early anyway. We’ve got a lot of hours to go.

Heading north now. Past Youngstown… and officially in the path!

7:00am: Light out, still raining on and off, nearing destination.

Hmmm, clear traffic the whole way. Pleasant surprise. There was every indication traffic would be a nightmare. Maybe we’re just way early.

8:30am: Here’s a nice park by Lake Erie. Some other people in town checking it out as well. Hard to see the water from the fog from the rain, which seems to be clearing up.

9:30am: Better get some food now while we can. This little restaurant is filling up quickly with others in town for this.

After food, driving around town. Lots of neat houses right along lakeshore. There’s another cool park by the lake, with people filing in to enjoy the view. And the one later.

11:30am: Here’s the park by the lake we were in earlier. There’s more people and the bathrooms are open now. Plus my passengers want to make a stop anyway. Found a spot in the boat ramp lot.

What a lovely view of the lake, the sound of the waves lapping against the rocks. A bit of area to walk around. Watching the people show up and set themselves up here. Lots of snacks and a bathroom nearby.

Yup, I think this is our spot.

But what will we see? There’s so many clouds up there still.

Except… what’s that to the west southwest? Is that… clear skies?!

The clouds are moving from that direction. The big ones are passing, leaving fewer of them and just some high up wispy ones…

Holy shitburgers, I think we’re actually going to see it!!!

The clouds cleared more, allowing some more sunshine and warming the air a bit.

2:02pm: At last, it starts.

Can see some high up wispy clouds moving across the sun through the glasses, but they don’t block anything.

And on the lower right corner, the moon has begun to bite off a chunk.

Steadily, all around us, the light dimmed.

The sky turned a deeper blue.

The sun was a crescent. Then a fingernail. Then a sliver.

About as far as it would have gone had we stayed home (if no clouds this time).

3:10pm: Minutes away. Sky is darkening faster. Nearby lampposts and outside lights on a building by the water have clicked on.

3:15pm: Seconds away. Counting down. The last rays of sunlight disappearing as if a crack in the sky is being zipped closed…

WHOA

That’s not my picture. That’s NASA’s view of it from Cleveland, just a little west of where we were. But that’s about what appeared up there in the sky the moment the last ray of sunshine vanished.

This one is my picture.

My phone camera couldn’t focus on it too well, so it shows a whitish glob where in person at that spot was NASA’s above image.

In my picture, you can see the lit lamppost, as well as, oddly enough, that the sky on the horizon kind of looks like a sunrise or sunset. But… that’s not right. The sun isn’t over there. It’s up there behind the moon! Most of the sky was a deep dark blue, the part under the shadow, which in person was much darker than it appears here. On the horizon was where there was still sunshine. So it was like a sunrise or sunset… only upside down!

When totality began, people around us cheered. Some honked their car horns. Some howled for some reason. Sounded like someone shot off some fireworks nearby.

Up there, the white sunlight radiated out from behind the black moon, the very edges of it shimmering, as if the sun was itching to come back out and blind us all. Solar activity that is usually hidden to us, perhaps.

It went on for many glorious soul-touching minutes, until the bottom right corner got brighter. Glasses back on now! And the sunshine was back.

An industrial ship docked nearby in the lake blew its horn.

People around us packed up to leave and departed. We hung around to let the crowd clear. I stayed by the lake and watched the reverse partial eclipse pass. The air had chilled back down.

4:30pm: And that’s that.

Time to head all the way back home!

Our spot by the lake didn’t get the best reception, so we drove away somewhere else so I could see the traffic situation better on Google Maps.

Hmm, yeah, every road we could take back was backed up, though we’d be driving a while before we got to a backup. My fellow travelers were itching to get back on the road, so to shut them up, we started on southward, even though I thought it might have been a good idea to get some food first.

Sure enough, we hit a traffic backup. I went a slightly different way back this time to avoid some of the toll road as well as to go a way that looked clearer. That was fine for a while until we hit another very slow road. The exits off that road to areas with restaurants were also backed up, and those restaurants surely packed.

Eventually, we were back on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which was moving a little quicker. Rest stops were completely packed with people. It got dark, and my lack of sleep was finally taking its toll, so I let the other person drive who had gotten some rest earlier.

Almost home and back into Maryland, without any food since every place was too full or already closing for the night, and more backups. This time construction and lane closures on I-70. Got past one slow area and into another one before long. Even once back on 270 we hit a few!

Home at last at 3am. Concluding a totally wild day trip to a midwestern state on a Great Lake, eight days shy of eight years since the last one. And perhaps longer than that until the next solar eclipse in this country, or whichever next one I’ll be able to see, whatever the world will be like then.

Easter: The Final Battle

March 31, 2024

How does the story go?

He was crucified, died, and a couple days later he rose again, showed off his badass crucifixion scars to his doubting disciples, and rose on up to heaven to, per Nicene Creed, be “seated at the right hand of the father”.

Thus we celebrate with bunnies and eggs.

Something is missing. Something feels incomplete. Is that all there is to it?

Definitely not. And I’ll tell you what it is…

After his slow horrific death, Jesus first went down to hell, where all dead souls since the beginning of time were trapped. An epic battle with Satan ensued, from which Jesus emerged victorious, believing he’d at last fulfilled his destiny and destroyed evil. So he invited all the souls to ascend with him to heaven. He stopped by earth again on the way to see his friends real quick and celebrate his victory, instructing them to go forth and spread the word of what has happened. And then he ascended to heaven for good.

This much we know. But what happens next?

Jesus arrives in heaven with all the souls he just freed. God sees this and says “Very good, my son. Now come be seated beside me.”

But suddenly Jesus pauses, and any feeling of triumph he had was washed away. And he asks himself what might have been a dangerous question. What exactly was all this for? Why did everything, his becoming human and suffering through crucifixion and everything else, have to happen in the first place?

The realizations came upon him all at once. Before him was so-called Almighty God, his heavenly father, creator of all, omnipotent. As he, Jesus, had just battled Satan, the embodiment of evil who was condemning all souls to eternal suffering until this point. Why was God allowing Satan to keep those souls trapped in hell at all? If he really wanted them freed before this, he could have done so. How did his excruciating crucifixion in itself absolve any sins, when God could have just decided to forgive anything he wanted at any time?

Jesus at long last sees the truth about the being before him. It was all entertainment for God. It was all manipulation for his own amusement. Perhaps his executioners were the ones who killed him on the cross. Perhaps it was Satan who was tormenting the dead souls. But it was God who orchestrated the whole thing. And he’d been his loyal pawn through it all.

So, against everything he’d been and believed up until this point, Jesus said no to God. And then the true final battle ensued.

Just as Cronus overthrew Uranus, and then Zeus overthrew Cronus, it was time for Jesus to overthrow God.

And he did. And he became God.

Although he lacked his father’s omnipotence, he became a sympathetic God who had already spent 33 years as a human and understood what it was like in a way his father never cared to. He was also uninterested in being worshiped and glorified. All he expected of people was to be good to one another and live their best lives. He wanted all people to be free from oppression, whether human or divine.

And it is this freedom we celebrate today with bunnies and eggs. Freedom from an oppressive manipulative deity, from religious restriction and sacrifice.

But it was before all this concluded that Jesus told his disciples to go forth and spread the word. He was unable to update them, and so incomplete information spread around about him and what he wanted. He had to watch with dismay as, rather than being good to one another and living their best lives, people hurt and oppressed and killed one another supposedly in his name. Churches sprang up exploiting his name and his crucifixion just to amass power for themselves. The cross on which he was brutally murdered had become a symbol to these people, believing this suffering was for them, when, as Jesus himself had to come to terms with, there was absolutely no point or value in the crucifixion, that in itself it was just another senseless execution in a world that commits far too many of them. And his so-called followers were looking and acting a lot more like his executioners than his disciples.

That’s why we never hear about the final battle. Not only did it happen after his ascent, but churches aren’t exactly going to be telling people that their very existence is against what Jesus wanted. It’s in their interest to say Jesus remains God’s dutiful subordinate for eternity, that only those who believe in him in some very specific way are saved while all others are doomed. That’s how they amass power and wealth.

That’s why, as we celebrate today with bunnies and eggs and botanical gardens, this holiest day of the Christian calendar might well be a simultaneous rejection of Christianity. Where we celebrate the absolution of sins not because of the unjust torture and murder of a demigod a couple millennia ago but because his later victory removed the very concept of sin. Or, hell, just because the whole idea of sin is ridiculous anyway.

That’s how I’ve celebrated Easter for the past fifteen years or so now. At first, I figured I was just being ironic. I have marzipan or similarly flavored treats for Easter because of a scene in the His Dark Materials trilogy, where Mary Malone tells a story of how she gave up religion after taking a bite of marzipan and prompting a flood of memories and the realization there was no point or benefit to anyone in her living under pious restrictions and denying herself a rich and full life. That and Rush’s “Freewill” has become a sort of Easter anthem for me. Some people have been puzzled that, despite pulling away from Christianity, I still celebrate Easter at all. And, yes, I do celebrate Easter, but its meaning for me has changed.

It more recently it occurred to me that, though I don’t have any desire to return to Christianity (whatever that would entail), even from a Christian perspective this reinvented Easter still works, if one wanted to stick to what Jesus would actually want, in acknowledging his triumph over a sadistic god, in setting us and even himself free. But, of course, he wouldn’t want that. Christian or not, the idea is the same.

Be good to each other. Live your best life. Eat some Cadbury eggs.

Happy Easter!

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 18

February 14, 2024

BE MINE

Don’t be so possessive.

CALL ME

Call? Like… on the phone?! Ain’t no one worth that!

Alright, it’s Valentine’s Day. I skipped last year, but here’s one of these once again.

I think I’ll pick on Stranger Things for the moment. Or not so much “pick on” but this exchange from Season 3 jumps out at me.

Mike: What did you think, really? That we were never gonna get girlfriends? That we were just going to sit in my basement all day and play games for the rest of our lives?
Will: Yeah, I guess I did. I really did.

I guess the intended reaction here is something like “aww, these kids are growing up, putting away childish things, etc.” and that Will Byers, while you feel bad for him, will understand soon enough.

Screw that. He has the right idea.

Spending all day with friends working on something fun and creative, like the RPGs they play? Hell yeah! That is absolutely something you want to maintain as long as you can.

But Mike was pulling away from that due to his relationship with Eleven. Which I guess is supposed to be a sign of maturity, that romantic relationships must be the priority.

As must familial relationships. In fact, the importance placed on (cis-het) romantic relationships is part of it, in that it would involve pairing up with someone the family approves of, of the same culture or religion or race, so that they will make babies who will continue that family line and that culture or religion or race.

As such, platonic friendships get deprioritized, those friends less important than family or romantic partners. You’re told those relationships will come and go, that family will always be there. Which is a load of bullshit, of course. And it’s usually members of your family who try to instill “nothing is more important than family” into you, so you can see the conflict of interest.

Friendships are chosen by the individual due to mutual interest and affection. There’s no familial bonds or hormones running the show. Because of this, they are considered less important because they’d likely break apart easily. But actually that’s what makes them superior. This relationship wasn’t chosen for you by birth. You don’t want to have sex with them (necessarily). You just both enjoy each other’s company and find each other comforting and fun, and that is goddamn wonderful.

Sure, as life throws changes at you, friends can drift apart as their common bond stretches and weakens. But that absolutely happens with familial and romantic relationships, too. That’s not an indication of a relationship’s importance. That’s just life.

In fact, because a platonic friendship is expected to be fleeting, while familial and serious romantic relationships are expected to go on for life (complete with undeserved shame and erasure when they don’t), it’s perhaps more impressive and special when they do last a long time.

I guess these damn hearts seem like they’ve lasted a long time, too. Don’t know how impressive that is.

TRUE LOVE

Yikes. Let’s get to know each other better first?

NO WAY

My thoughts exactly.

A Big Sphere

January 1, 2024

Sometime ago, I was staying late at work for a meeting scheduled to accommodate three different time zones. One of the time zones was East Asia, and the person there was sharing her screen. I was weirdly delighted to look at the bottom right corner of the screen, where the time and date were the next morning.

And just last night, after we here in Eastern time zone (aka Best Time Zone) rang in 2024, there was the montage of celebrations from around the world when their respective cities hit midnight, truly a multinational joining in of the tradition of counting the years since Jesus’s bris.

It’s fun living on a big sphere.

It’s also fun living in a time with the technology where such a meeting like I was in and such widespread showings of worldwide new year celebrations is possible.

Our species began in Africa so extremely long ago, and from there we all just sort of wandered off. Across Asia and Europe. Over Indonesia and into Australia. Across the Bering into the Americas. We developed new appearances, new ways of life, new mythologies. And so scattered around the globe, we were isolated into our own little cultures and societies, knowing little to nothing about anyone else.

But over the millennia, we got to wandering again. We built stronger societies and developed commerce and sought to trade and learn from (and conquer…) one another. And over the centuries, the innovative species we are, we developed better means of travel and communication.

And now today we can get most anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. No vitamin C-deficient months on the high seas. Just hop on a plane and have the flight attendant bring you some orange juice, and you’re there by dinner time.

We can talk to most anyone in the world at any time. Within my own lifetime, talking to someone across the country meant an expensive and staticky long distance call. Knowing what was going on in some far flung place came entirely filtered through the mainstream news and leaders. Now you can just post and chat online with people directly and get the real story and a new perspective.

Some of us can fly way up into outer space and gaze upon the whole big sphere at once from orbit. Not just way-too-wealthy assholes flaunting their penis-shaped rockets over multiple impoverished countries they could single-handedly feed, but also satellites sending our signals around the globe and a space station made possible by international scientific cooperation. A mere 120 years after the Wright brothers got their weird contraption off the ground in the Outer Banks.

All the once scattered and isolated cultures know about and interact and intermingle with each other now.

All that time ago, we wandered off. Now we are in the age where our species has come back together again.

Happy New Year.

Seriously 2023

December 31, 2023

We’ve come around again. So what happened? Well…

January: TCM

– Go away already, bat flu!
– So much coughing
– …
– …

February: Fletcher

– I guess I’ll say a few words
– Just what is a life well lived anyway?
– I’ll cook things for Lent
– I baked focaccia!
– Damn it’s warm outside

March: On Hold

– Los Angeles gets snow but we don’t?!
– Horizon Forbidden West
– Wish it would tell me which machine is hostile like predecessor
– Chia seeds are a great egg substitute

April: Drafts

– Orange Thing is getting arrested!
– Bingeing His Dark Materials series during Holy Week!
– Throw together something resembling an Easter feast
– That came in just in time.
– Legislatures pulling anti-trans dipshittery again.

May: Mage

– Guess I’ll replay Final Fantasy 7
– I’m forty now?!
– Korean BBQ
– Did the Nats finally actually win the Star Wars game? Yay!
– Hmm, no more new shows for a while with writer’s strike.
Target Pride is Satan?!

June: Picnic Leftovers

– Oh, shit, do I have Covid again?!
– Nope, just an ordinary cold.
– What the fuck is going on with… outside?
– The wildfire smoke is making everything all sepia toned.
– AwesomeCon!
– Let’s fix this place up a bit and reflect
– Buy out Bed Bath & Beyond before closing
– Oh, look, Supreme Court is setting us back decades again
– You keep saying “free speech”. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

July: Over Five Pounds

– S’mores brownies!
– Wait, what?
– Ah, fuck, not a pinched nerve again!
– I guess I’ll just lie still and watch The Orville
– Justice for Topa!

August: Time Zones

– What’s in storage?
– What do you mean USWNT lost in the first round?!
– You’re supposed to be the not-useless ones!
– Bingo
– Bazaar is back.

September: Shady Trees

– Final season of Disenchantment
– Except not really because we all know Matt Groening shows do not end nor should they.
– So many tight deadlines…
– What an awful picture.
– Hurry up and get here and thaw.
– Am I doing this or what?
– I should visit.
– #28 Meant to Live

October: Custard Power

– Did I just lose almost two years of progress?
– What do you mean reorganization?!
– Oh, goddamnit, Israel and Palestine.
– Noooo, my favorite mug!
– I’ll check out the small demonstration

November: 5064

– March for ceasefire
– I really need time off
– Where’d it go? Oh, that’s a shame.
– We made a good turkey!
– I guess I’ll finally play The Last of Us again

December: Aunt Tabitha

– Changes happening
– Mmmm sugar plums
– Winter Festival again!
– Cookie swap is back!
– And that’s the end of Archer
– Christmas Crisp
– The Boy and the Heron, to resume New Years Eve movie theater going post-pandemic
– And I’ve made some steak and shrimp.

This year had one huge event to start with, which maybe I’ll talk about in a separate post, and a whole lot of other stuff I’ve been racking my brain over the past few days to remember in order to cobble something together here. Kind of disheartening, in that my New Years Eve recaps in the past I’ve had no trouble remembering even the most bizarre details. Is it I can’t remember as well now? Maybe I’m not doing as much now worth remembering? Maybe I do remember but I’m less willing to add it here, however cryptic.

There’s 2024 waiting up there in Times Square. Bringing with it all the usual annual observances all over again, as well as a leap year, a Summer Olympics, and, of course, the presidential election. What will become of that? What will become of Gaza? What will become of Twitter?

As 2023 draws to a close, as this new one drops in shortly, I guess we’ll just have to see. Buckle up.

Musings on an Old Blog

June 19, 2023

Whoa! It’s different around here. I’ve caved and finally gone dark text on light background and, holy balls, is this a serif font?!

Anyway, I launched this thing way back in 2005. The anniversary was in December actually, and normally this might be an anniversary type post, but on that day I was battling a sore throat and nasty chills, glaring incredulously at my negative Covid test. I took another the next day which was positive, so that was a thing. The moral of the story is don’t spend Christmas with anyone. So, screw it, I’m thinking about this now, so here it is in June.

Other than the redesign process involving a lot of revisiting old material, I’ve seen a pattern among other blogs or even social media accounts I know. When I launched this thing, I was 22 years old. Back then, we were into George W Bush’s second term and couldn’t imagine a worse president. I firmly identified as Christian. I was living with family. I didn’t have a car or even a license. Hell, I even used to be pro-life! Flash forward to now, and I just turned 40 last month, I’m solidly secular humanist and decidedly irreverent toward faith, two of the three people I was living with are now deceased, my car is 16 years old and has been on its fair share of adventures, I think my current views on abortion rights are clear, and as I write this the Orange Thing is being indicted on 37 charges of mishandling classified documents among literally everything else about him. Back then I was also in my first term on NYRA’s Board of Directors, a role I would hold until 2015, as well as forum moderator, in its heyday at the time. I’m no longer with NYRA, and the forum has been gone for over a decade, but I’m still a youth rights supporter through and through.

So for sure both I and the world as a whole have changed. Why then do I keep writing to the blog I started so long ago? Even if posting has slowed. That brings me to the titular musings. Let’s begin with…

Coping with the past/younger self

I don’t like talking about a younger self as if that’s a separate unrelated person. There’s a direct line from past self to present self. I understand the urge to do that, because, holy crap, younger you was just so cringe, amirite?! So you distance yourself to maintain an image of integrity for the present self. Trouble is, because there in fact is that direct line, somewhere in there you made some change to “not cringe” (an assessment your future self may disagree with). And by distancing yourself, you erase that change or at least don’t indicate you even understand what changed. Maybe you didn’t actually change at all.

Continue reading “Musings on an Old Blog”

Much Ado About 2022

December 31, 2022

Another year. Let’s get to it.

January: Short Cycling

-Yikes, open the vents!
-Wordle
-LOL Penzeys having “Republicans Are Racists” weekend
-Time to replay Kingdom Hearts, starting with Birth by Sleep

February: Extracurricular Activity

-Beijing Olympics
-Yeah, letting a Uyghur hold the torch doesn’t make up for shit, Xi!
-Interrupting Olympics for Superbowl.
-And it’s not a repeat, it’s women’s hockey silver, in regulation! Oh, well.
-And now Russia is invading Ukraine. Ugh…

March: Inciting Violence

-Getting a little antsy there, Facebook?
-Fuck war and fuck transphobia.
-Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth!
-Kingdom Hearts Final Mix: it’s different

April: Tire Pressure

-Rickrolllll
-Leaky ceiling!
-Almond bars for Easter
-Brookside, as usual

May: Under the Sun

-Where the hell are you off to?!
-Wait, this could benefit me immensely…
-If things are about to get harder.
-Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix confuses and angers me.
-More shitheads committing racially motivated shootings.
-Hand pies!

June: Settled Law

-AwesomeCon!
-This Visit Baltimore ad.
-Eleven, we don’t send people to Azkaban for bashing their bullies in the face with a roller skate.
-Look what the Supreme Court just did. Fucking hell.
-Is this happening or what?

July: Offer

-Chili and galettes
-Breaking Bad
-Off to Star Wars game at Nats Park!
-What do you mean he turned it down?!
-My district is a toss-up now?!
-I’ll take it!

August: Chorizo

-Juan Soto! Nooooooooooooo!
-Joining Kathleen in presentation on LGBTQ youth!
-They are oatmeal cookies. That makes them breakfast.
-At the county fair!
-It’s my first day. And also very much not.
-What the hell is happening across the street?!

September: Parer

-Indian food buffet.
-Oh. Queen Elizabeth.
-Turning Red!
-Baking show.

October: Old Friends Old Rivals

-Time for Melody of Memory.
-Is there seriously a possibility that Herschel Walker, Mehmet Oz, and Kari Lake might get elected?!
-Halloween party

November: Late Earlies

-Stray!
-We got a new Maryland governor!
-And my district stays blue. Whew!
-As does the Senate!
-I’m hosting Thanksgiving!
-New Crash Bandicoot game is hard as shit

December: Celebrations Closet

-Cookies
-Global call
-World Cup
-First in-person Winter Festival in three years!
-Christmas Eve gingerbread cake
-Christmas deep freeze!
-And… Covid finally got me.
-Closing out this one in isolation.

So ends another one, the continuation of some major events before with a lot of uncertainty as to what happens now. Loss of civil rights but better than expected election. The pandemic goes on, as I’m feeling very much at the moment. I might have something more eloquent to say if I weren’t so feverish. Or at least I’ll blame it on that.

Here comes 2023. What’s in store now? I guess we’ll see…

When White Supremacy Feels Like Home

June 19, 2022

I hereby decree…

White supremacist families create white supremacists.

When a young person is racist, and especially when they act on that racism with a gun that no one should legally be able to have, you get all this reaching for what to blame for it, like “oh noes, social media is radicalizing them!” or it’s whatever show they watch or music they listen to, yadda yadda yadda.

It’s none of that. It’s their families.

You say “maybe he watched too many racist YouTube videos!” while ignoring that he grew up with a father who used the N-word fifty times a day and a mother who always grumbled when someone spoke Spanish at the grocery store.

Was it that white supremacist reddit that got him into “replacement theory”? Or was it listening to his grandma wax nostalgic about how nice the neighborhood was before *those* people moved in?

Did he get interested in white supremacy because of a Twitter thread? Or was it because he’d been listening to his grandpa rant about how the Civil War was a noble cause about states’ rights since before he could walk?

Did these families ever explicitly say “here, go commit some horrible racist atrocity”? Of course not. As such, they’d swear up and down they never taught him to be racist.

But they did. They planted the seed early and often.

They made white supremacy feel like home.

This doesn’t absolve him of anything. It’s still his responsibility to recognize and unlearn the racism. It’s a hard process. Many give up or don’t bother. And right wing media certainly doesn’t help.

But the process is needed in the first place because of the family.

In fact, right wing media thrives on families making white supremacy feel like home. It dissuades you from unlearning the racism and shields you from confronting white privilege by inviting you to lean into it.

Thanksgiving is easier when you agree with your racist uncle.

When white supremacy feels like home because family instilled it in you at a young age, then leaning into it means continued familial connection. Whereas unlearning it, and recognizing the toxicity and harm of all these messages you’ve been hearing your whole life, means familial disconnection and tension. Yet another reason many don’t bother to unlearn.

It’s another reason the right wing touts itself as being about family. They want to further dissuade you from unlearning the racism and thus causing this familial disconnect and tension. They profit when you don’t realize that Grandma was full of shit.

All that said, there’s no easy solution to this. But let’s at least recognize it. Don’t let these families act all shocked like “We never taught him this. Must be the video games!” and proceed to blame video games. It was them. It’s always them.

Yeah, these racist families never explicitly said “yeah, go commit some horrible racist atrocity!” but they low key taught him all his life their whiteness is under attack, that there was this problem they’d be pleased to see solved. And then act all shocked when he goes out and does so.

Originally tweeted here.

Alito the Egregiously Wrong

May 29, 2022

It got leaked that the Supreme Court is about to overrule Roe v Wade. Not that surprising given the Court’s current makeup: three liberals plus moderate Bush appointee, less moderate Bush appointee, Not Merrick Garland, sexual abuser who likes beer, sexual abuser who votes against youth at every possible opportunity, and woman who probably asks her husband’s permission before every ruling.

Anyway, the leaked opinion by Less Moderate Bush Appointee contains some choice passages worthy of an “is this dude serious?” glare, so let’s have a look…

We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision….

Okay, but does the constitution say anything about a dog playing basketball?

Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.

I know, right?! It allowed people with uteruses to *gasp!* make decisions about their own bodies and lives!

And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.

Translation: “We refuse to accept the issue is settled, so we’re enflaming and dividing. LOOK WHAT YOU MADE US DO!”

It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.

Or, you know, to the people considering having abortions. Not sure anyone else has a stake.

In the years prior to [Roe v. Wade], about a third of the States had liberalized their laws, but Roe abruptly ended that political process.

Ended that political process by… settling it? Like the Court is supposed to?

It imposed the same highly restrictive regime on the entire Nation, and it effectively struck down the abortion laws of every single State.

Imposed a highly restrictive regime by… lifting restrictions? Seriously, does this guy speak English?

It represented the ‘exercise of raw judicial power’… and it sparked a national controversy that has embittered our political culture for a half-century.

Did this guy just suggest repealing Roe would end controversy and bitter political culture? Dude… look out the window!

The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions.

Sure it is. It’s been settled law for half a century.

An unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.

Yeah, well, up until certain dates, no one other than land-owning white males could vote- Oh, wait, nevermind. You’re opposed to that change, too.

Voters may believe that the abortion right should be more even more [sic] extensive… Voters in other States may wish to impose tight restrictions based on their belief that abortion destroys an ‘unborn human being.’

Oh, were you saying something? I was just thinking about that time you ruled to gut the Voting Rights Act.

Our nation’s historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people’s elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated.

How about, and hear me out, those who are pregnant deciding whether or not to get an abortion!

On many other occasions, this Court has overruled important constitutional decisions. … Without these decisions, American constitutional law as we know it would be unrecognizable, and this would be a different country.

Want to get started on overruling Citizens United then?

Casey described itself as calling both sides of the national controversy to resolve their debate, but in doing so, Casey necessarily declared a winning side.

Do you think your rulings don’t declare “winning sides”?

The Court short-circuited the democratic process by closing it to the large number of Americans who dissented in any respect from Roe. … Roe and Casey cannot be allowed to stand.

Most Americans want them to stand. Or does that “large number of Americans” not count?

Roe certainly did not succeed in ending division on the issue of abortion.

It wasn’t meant to. It was to allow people to get abortions if they want.

Roe ‘inflamed’ a national issue that has remained bitterly divisive for the past half-century.

No, more like the Court made a decision, and ever since the GOP, Catholics, and midwest pastors alike have been stirring their bases into a frenzy about it to get more votes, more asses in pews, and more born children to molest.

This Court cannot bring about the permanent resolution of a rancorous national controversy simply by dictating a settlement and telling the people to move on.

Could be describing literally any Supreme Court decision here.

Whatever influence the Court may have on public attitudes must stem from the strength of our opinions, not an attempt to exercise ‘raw judicial power.’

LOL

Just… LOL

We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey.

Seriously?

And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision.

Despite all the ink you spilled bemoaning Roe and Casey “enflaming debate” and “deepening division”. Funny how that suddenly doesn’t matter anymore.

We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly.

Applying stare decisis would mean leaving Roe alone because it’s already correctly settled.

We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.

Translation: “Because I’ve already got Clarence, Amy, Brett, and Neil on board, so I can do what I want. Hell, I could have just recited The Cat In The Hat here for all that it matters.”

Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.

Yes, to the people. The people who are actually pregnant. Kind of need to leave Roe and Casey in place for that.

Originally tweeted here on May 4, 2022.

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 17

February 14, 2022

SOUL MATE

A chalky sugary candy heart soul mate is probably better than a human one in a number of ways.

BE MINE

But I’m already surrounded by eight of them.

Is this all I post anymore? Meh. Let’s get to it.

Ever think about what pop culture tells us is or isn’t inherently attractive? Some ad for a dating app had, as an example of a “bad” date, some guy saying “let me tell you about my cat!” The ad implies this guy is a loser for wanting to talk cat rather than, well, the ad doesn’t really specify what actually is the “correct” thing to talk about. Also, for the record, and I’m definitely not alone on this, whether you’re a date or friend or coworker or whoever, yes, please DO tell me about your cat! And your dog and bird and fish and iguana. I want to hear about your pets. It’s probably the most delightful and inoffensive topic, and it tells a lot about a person. In fact, if you’re put off by pet talk, well, fuck off.

The other thing is back when Friends was on. It’s interesting watching the series and seeing as the show stated so authoritatively what traits or even interests were inherent turn offs. Or, at least, by sitcom dating standards, where someone could have ten sexual partners in a year and still be considered sexually unlucky. Specifically, Ross was pegged as undesirable because he was a paleontologist (despite getting married three times, because, again, sitcom logic), that anyone into science or who is geeky at all is Forever Alone. In one episode, he and Chandler are going over things about themselves that put girls off, and he mentions that “girls don’t like it when I talk about science”. And, like, dude, then you’re dating the wrong girls (and erasing female scientists). Seriously, he should have married Julie and told Rachel to fuck off, and she him, since they were presented as each other’s “lobster” and yet they did not actually get one another in any sense. Though, shit, could write a book about all the toxic messaging in that show.

But it’s not just a sitcom that, wow, is pushing twenty years since it ended (on my 21st birthday…). Certainly the Forever Alone geek remains an annoying trope. But that comes from the same thing. A geek is really just interested in something strongly. It’s part of who they are. If that’s inherently unattractive, then it follows being one’s whole self is what’s unattractive.

It’s of course a load of shit. Truth is, when you’re truly into someone, on the contrary, someone going on about their pets or their interest in dinosaurs or what have you, seeing them get all excited and animated about it, is goddamn spectacular. You don’t even have to be that interested in whatever it is. Just seeing someone you care about get into their zone is what’s amazing. If that’s a turn off, then what the fuck is wrong with you?

Of course, I haven’t even touched on other prevalent forms of wider society dictating attractiveness, namely setting beauty standards that require being thin and white. Still all bullshit. You’re dating a person, not a color or shape.

I like to think this has improved over the years, that despite bad pop culture messages about attractiveness, real people are seeing the bullshit for what it is. Maybe one could say I’m just here in my late thirties looking back at the messages absorbed when I was younger and maturing beyond it or something. But among those seeing through the bullshit are today’s teens. And I’m living today as well, if a bit older. So the shift is perhaps a maturation of society rather than the person.

My teenage years, after all, were when Friends was running.

Know what else has been around a while?

U R 2 CUTE

So does that mean the cute is doubled? Is it quantifiable?

IM SURE

Okay, great. So I used to have a big fluffy collie named- Hey, where are you going, candy heart?