Somebody’s Talking About It

September 2, 2018

Now for an insufficiently newsworthy edition of…


A form of clickbait that especially irritates me are the articles that feel the need to append something like “and nobody’s talking about it” to the title. Seriously, I will not click it if it says that no matter what the preceding text might have been about. It’s obnoxious. Cut it out.

For one, you’ve made clear from the get go that whatever isn’t being talked about isn’t what you intend to talk about either. Your point is to grandstand about this lack of coverage of the thing rather than the thing itself. If you want to talk about the thing, talk about the thing. And if you’re talking about the thing, hey, look, someone is talking about the thing!

Of course, this is assuming this assertion that said thing isn’t being talked about is even accurate. Oftentimes, when it’s claimed that the mainstream media is ignoring something, particularly if this is being stated in an image macro with no citations, one of three things is happening.

1. The thing happened ten years ago.

2. The thing isn’t actually real.

3. The thing actually is being extensively covered on the major news outlets which a five second glance at Google News would confirm, but the person claiming this either doesn’t check any news source besides their local half hour evening news or is more interested in manufacturing outrage than having an ounce of honesty, perspective, or social responsibility.

Insufficient news coverage of certain events is certainly an issue. I mean, the top priority of the news lately is “look what the Orange Thing tweeted now!” News coverage priorities leave a lot to be desired. Even so, sometimes important things fall out of the spotlight not because they’ve been resolved in any way (Puerto Rico, Flint water, separated immigrant kids, etc.) but because other stuff keeps happening. A lot of this is simply the reality of news media.

But, okay. Let’s say something that isn’t being covered well is finally getting more attention. All good, right?

Well, then I found this Facebook post of mine from a few years ago…

Saw an ad for the evening news earlier saying “How will the attacks in Syria be affecting your wallet?” … I just… don’t… words…

Sometimes saying nothing might be better.

Immigrants Aren’t the Problem

June 30, 2018

Now for a migratory, border wall busting edition of…


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.

Coming and Going

December 29, 2015

Now for an unfriendly edition of…


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 2, 2015

Now for a traumatic, censoring edition of…


I want everyone to just stop talking about trigger warnings. Particularly the idea that they’re ruining colleges or something. For one, I think basically nobody talking about them, whether for or against, even knows what the hell they are for.

If you’re going to be discussing in detail something like rape or other sexual assault, child abuse, medical abuse, or other such topics that you can reasonably figure would be disturbing, yeah, it makes sense to give a little heads up ahead of time. Doesn’t it? Of course it does.

Oh, hey, guess what. That’s exactly what a trigger warning is!

It’s called that because these topics in depth could “trigger” one’s post traumatic stress disorder. Can’t have much of an educational environment if someone is shaking and reliving a horrific attack.

I especially don’t get how a trigger warning constitutes censorship as some are claiming. Nobody is being censored. It’s providing some content info up front so that someone who can’t cope with the material can opt out. It’s allowing people to make an informed choice. What in the mother of hell is so offensive about this?

Now, to be clear, plenty of those demanding such warnings and “safe spaces” are being unreasonable as well. I’ve seen “trigger warnings” for some incredibly stupid things. Some of my favorites on that front include “swearing” and “mention of Christianity”. I also don’t think they should be required of college professors or others, though they should at least be courteous of their own volition about topics that actually could fuck someone up psychologically rather than taking a decidedly cold “just suck it up” approach.

But then again, none of this matters. Who cares about nuance and facts and compassion when there are fruitless political battles to be fought, when there are millennials to belittle, when there are the unthinking masses to drum up into a frenzy? Let’s not forget what’s really behind all this. :irked:

It Is the Season

December 9, 2014

Now for a holiday promotional edition of…


Unless you are currently singing “Deck the Halls”, please stop saying “‘Tis the season!” You sound like a loser. And you probably are one. It doesn’t make your sentence more Christmassy. It just makes your sentence completely stupid and murders innocent brain cells in the process. Why would you do that? Why?

It always sounds so cutesy and/or forced. When I hear it in an ad or something, it’s like I can tell the speaker is gritting her teeth, glaring at whoever wrote the dialogue, and with her eyes promising to disembowel him later with a cork screw.

We contract “it is” to “it’s”. So we’d say “it’s the season”. Do you typically contract “it is” to “’tis”? If you do, okay then. If you do not in any other context, then quit being a dumbass.

These are probably the same people who complete a list of things this time of year with “and a partridge in a pear tree”.

Conflict of Interest

December 19, 2013

Now for an opinionated debatable edition of…


Upton Sinclair said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

It’s not an invalid point, but it gets annoying quickly when I see people quoting it a lot with the idea that if you work in an industry that does something even slightly controversial, you are then not allowed to have an opinion on that issue because it’s a “conflict of interest” for you.

For example, someone who works at a clinic where abortions are performed may try to defend the pro-choice viewpoint in conversation, only for some asshat to silence her with “Your salary depends on abortion being legal. Of course you can’t see why it’s wrong.”

What the fuck is that? Instead of bothering to debate her, said asshat just completely writes her off as somehow incapable of rational thought because of where she works. She only disagrees because she’s somehow muddled because of her source of income, not because, you know, she has some actual reasons and said asshat just might be wrong.

Some youth rights supporters believe parents have nothing of value to say about or contribute to the youth rights movement because they supposedly have some interest in keeping their children under their thumb. This is bullshit, of course, because there are some parents who support youth rights (including two of NYRA’s current board members) and even have a valuable insight into parenthood the rest of us don’t which can help to pave the way to a more youth-friendly world, which can’t be achieved very well through hypotheticals alone.

And that is another thing. Sometimes the people who are being written-off as inherently biased because they somehow benefit from “not understanding” actually have a better understanding than those writing them off. Often this is in the form of calling bullshit on a lot of exaggerations the opposition comes up with. One thing that got me thinking about this was a recent response by an immunologist to some stupid crap some anti-vaxxer was spouting. The immunologist gave a good response there to what seems to be willful ignorance on the part of whoever created that image at the top, clarifying the facts about vaccines and debunking the made-up nonsense. And yet… I couldn’t help the thought that some asshat might see that and assume that, being an immunologist, he may somehow benefit monetarily by widespread vaccinations and so of course he is defending them! 🙄

That’s right, you fail-riddled Upton Sinclair-wannabes. That’s how stupid you sound.

Screen Time

December 10, 2013

Now for a glowing connected edition of…


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

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

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

“But it’s BAD for them!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PC-Word

November 29, 2013

Now for an inoffensively offensive edition of…


I am so sick of people complaining about political correctness. No, I don’t mean the people trying to make things more PC. They’re often annoying, sure. I’m talking about the people who are complaining about them, who whine that the slightest suggestion of better word choice is “help, the PC police are attacking!”

I saw this article in Reason a few weeks ago about the recent push for the Washington Redskins to change their name, and it’s not exactly their best work. Throughout the article it’s PC-this, PC-that, PC brigade, blah blah blah. Compared to most libertarian sources I see or read, Reason is usually the most, well, reasonable, in that they tend to do well arguing the libertarian standpoint on things without outright mocking or denying some of the real social issues going on behind their opponents’ arguments. This article is not an example of this.

The article mentions not only the push for the Redskins name change, but also a nickname for a British team (as in, not actually the team’s name) that is also an anti-Jewish slur. In the case of that one, there are cases of legal restrictions on using the term and people being ejected from games for it. In other words, that one is a pretty clear free speech violation. And yet it is talked about in the same “oh noes teh PC police” way as the push for the Redskins name change. The thing is, almost no one is suggesting anyone be arrested or punished in any way for the Redskins team name. It’s simply a matter of strong suggestion. They are requesting they CHOOSE to change the name. At the end of the day, the people in charge of the team and name still have the final say on that, and the people can do the libertarian thing of voting with their wallets on it. Why is this being framed in the same way as another team having their fans and athletes facing real penalties (assuming the above article wasn’t exaggerating this, which wouldn’t surprise me) for continued use of the name?
Continue reading “The PC-Word”

Something that Matters

September 29, 2013

Now for a snarky, judgmental edition of…


Every once in a while, I see this image floating around online. It’s a photo of some people at a stadium cheering for their team. And the caption? “Imagine if they were this excited over something that actually matters.”


Perhaps one reason it’s so mind-numbing is that you hear this said to or about kids so often. There was a radio ad several years back that began with several children talking excitedly about aliens. After a little bit of this, a woman’s voice then asks “Wouldn’t it be nice if they were this excited about math?”

It takes me a second to even come up with any words of response to either of these hypotheticals other than “Go to hell”. It’s just another version of “why are people interested in things that don’t interest me?”

Actually, it’s more than that. After all, these aren’t being said to the people but about them to others who presumably are to just agree right along that said thing-that-doesn’t-matter merits no attention and such attention should be redirected to other matters. Things the speaker personally decides are important. In other words, “don’t be interested in the things you are interested in; be interested in the things I want you to be interested in!”

The thing about the stadium cheering and the discussion about aliens was that those engaging in it were having fun. I don’t really see how the mere act of having fun with these things means completely eschewing anything more serious. How do you know none of the people in that stadium biting their nails as the kicker makes a game winning field goal attempt is also planning to attend a pro-choice rally next week? Or write their Congressperson about climate change legislation tomorrow? Or are volunteering to assist LGBT youth? Believe it or not, people can be passionate about multiple things!

Not that I particularly care even if the game is the only thing some of them care that much about.

And I hope I don’t need to point out the idiocy of whining about kids having interests outside of schoolwork!

Your Head Is a Stone Tablet

December 1, 2012

Now for an ancient predictive edition of…


Will you idiots shut up about the Mayans already? Seriously, this is actually worse than the Y2K bullshit. Or that crap from last year with the May 21 apocalypse because some fundamentalist radio show asshole said so. Or 11/11/11 of course.

I mean, I’m not sure what there is to even say. Yet people keep bringing it up. Not usually with much seriousness, but still. Why is this ridiculous stone tablet nonsense even getting an ounce of attention? Why are any doomsday predictions getting an ounce of attention? The jokes and memes that this December 21 thing must be true because of some random other occurrence (Snooki having a baby, Twinkies being gone, etc.) aren’t even remotely funny. Just mind-numbing.

Or maybe the mentions are for the purpose of making fun of it. Well, no reason to make fun of the Mayans really. And it wasn’t even really a prediction. It was more like the stone tablet ran out of space. And people interpreting the tablets freaked out. Or they didn’t, but plenty of others picked up on it and decided to freak. Something like that. And now we have to hear all these annoying allusions to it. To something that isn’t even anything!

If you people want the world to end so much, well, there are plenty of cliffs and bridges around. Try diving off them.