The results are in: people are incomprehensible

Yeah, I’m back here, because I broke my Ghost blog. Whatever. Anyway, I’m going to say an unpopular thing that will probably piss people off. (Don’t worry, my cupboard is completely bare of cares.) It is this:

There was just an election of some sort in the UK. I’m going to admit I don’t understand their system, and please don’t explain it to me, but I do know voting is involved, because my twitter feed and blogs and news sites and so on have been screaming nonstop about the awful, awful millions of Brits who voted those nasty, nasty Tories in. BTW I do know this: the Tories are the bad party of whitemale Daddy Warbucks-type posh jerks kind of like Republicans though Republicans would not dare touch old people’s money (what we USians call Social Security) because they’d lose the otherwise reliable old people vote, Labor is sort of like Democrats are here (i.e., useless), and there are a variety of other parties like the Scottish Nationalist Party, the Greens (? do they have another name?), and UKIP, who are smelly fish people from the drowned city of R’lyeh who have been sent by dreaming Cthulhu to prepare first Britain and then the rest of the world for His brief yet horrible reign wherein all life on Earth will be devoured in a shrieking orgy of madness.

So anyway, I have a vague idea of who these people are. Not that it seemed to matter, though, as I was reassured by people on the Twitter and in blogs that all these people are horrible, and as they are horrible there was no sense in voting for any of them. I’m not going to name names, it doesn’t really matter. What I don’t get (well I do, but I’ll get to that) is that these SAME people, some of them anyway, are gnashing their teeth and tearing their hair and lamenting. But wait, didn’t you expect something of this sort to happen?

Look, I understand not voting out of disgust at the system and the jokers running it. It’s what I’ve been doing (well, not doing) lately. But here’s what I don’t do: freak out when one or another set of the jokers I expected to get voted in do in fact get voted in. I might raise my eyebrow, roll my eyes, mutter to myself and snark on the internet, but I don’t melt down in panic as if I had secretly hoped that my not-voting would somehow magically influence the system.

I don’t know, maybe this is a tone argument. But there are people out there protesting after an election because they didn’t like the results and… it just seems odd to me. You’ve been complaining for YEARS that your country is going down a fascist hole, and everything is shit, and you’re withdrawing for self-care, and they went merrily on doing whatever they wanted to do. At base, a non-voter is someone who isn’t in a politicians way any more. You must acknowledge that at least, or your decision not to vote is nothing but a meaningless fit of pique.

On Racism and Mockery

I just had a thought re the recent story of yet another bunch of frat boys videotaping themselves doing something racist. The usual defenses of “free speech” are being floated around, but what I haven’t seen much of in the discussion is the fact that encouraging (even if it’s by ignoring when it happens, or excusing it on “free speech” grounds) this kind of mockery of less powerful people by the elite of our society–white males–leads to a situation that perpetuates racism by engendering an attitude in the jokers that because they’re being defended, that means they are correct to treat other people like garbage.

People “joke” out of fear and to relieve tension, in this case the tension of living in a society that has not come to terms with the crimes of its past or its present unequal situation as regards race. There are two overarching viewpoints dominating this conversation: those who want to think of racism as “solved” and “in the past” and to sweep anything that contradicts this under the rug, and those who know that it isn’t and that we have a long way to go before we can even begin to say racism is no longer a factor in society. One proof that the second viewpoint is the more truthful one is the fact that we allow our up and coming young men, still considered the cream of the population, to “let off steam” with racist parties and jokes and so on. The fact is that this “letting off steam”, while it may be momentarily relaxing, fosters an attitude in the jokers towards its targets (in this story black people and Martin Luther King, in other stories Asians, or Mexicans, or whoever is the target of the racist joke or skit or costume) of contempt, because if they didn’t deserve to be mocked, why were they putting up with it?

The usual formula for this is you should “punch up, not down” with your comedy, as in if you’re already in a position of privilege (which you are if you’re white) you shouldn’t aim your jokes at people with less privilege, because they’re more vulnerable. But asking white college boys in America to make fun of the more privileged means making fun of who? And considering how most white males are raised in this country, making fun of other white males means demeaning them by none other than temporarily forcing them to assume the costume of the less privileged, so we’re back to blackface, or as they did at the pep rallies we were made to leave class to attend in my high school, having the burly male football players dress in cheerleader costumes. And so the idea that everyone else who isn’t a white male is but an object to be used in white male fun and games is perpetuated and the unequal status quo is maintained.

Ed. note: blogging here while my Ghost blog is being fixed.

Star Warp: A New Blog

OK that title is stupid. Meh, not changing it. Anyway, I’ve got a new blog for 2015! The Blotter is ready for my virtual ink and cyber-eraser dust! I’m going to write something every day there, even if all I can think of is “meh.” There will be no comments. Comment threads are over.

I’m not really shutting down this site, though. I’ll probably use it for photographs, which I also plan to be getting back into, if I can find a place that has a working film developing setup. (The machine at the local place I usually use has been broken for weeks apparently.)

Title TBNA*

Babbling on here because I don’t know what else to do at the moment.

As the new year looms (any minute now I expect to hear it will be new year 2014 because this 2014 is to be obliterated from the time-space continuum) I feel compelled (could you back off a little with that gun, it’s a bit unnerving) to make a list of things I need to do as soon as possible or eventually or at least by the end of the coming year whatever year that will be.

Here they are:

  1. Clean and arrange the room into some sort of final, organized shape. Might as well start with the least likely-to-be-finished task first.
  2. Write a thing. (That isn’t filler posts like this.)
  3. Do some photography stuff.
  4. Sort my current pile of photos, decide which ones I want blown up (maybe) and put on the wall.
  5. Put them on the wall.
  6. Move the cat so I can type, pissing her off. (A guaranteed success of this year I plan to carry over into the next one.)
  7. Drag those paints and pencils out and do some art thing.
  8. Um, something I forget.
  9. Read all those books I put on my Kindle and/or bought in paper and maybe write something about them because I promised myself I would.

Well this was fun, wasn’t it?

*Title To Be Never Announced, because I couldn’t think of one.

My Life So Far

Okay! Here’s a brief rundown of My Life So Far. It’s taken a sucky turn. First of all, they told me at work that this would be my last week there, because business hasn’t picked up like they hoped. It’s not entirely unexpected, but I had thought they’d keep me through the end of the year. And now I have to do my favorite things, updating my resume and applying for jobs and going to job interviews. (These are not actually my favorite things.) I’m not that sad, because the place had been getting to me for various reasons, and if worse comes to worse I can file for unemployment for a while, but I’d still rather not have to deal with this right now.

Then I came home last night to the dulcet sounds of water dripping from the kitchen ceiling and splashing onto some things of my roommate’s that he’d stored on the top of the built-in “pantry” this kitchen has. (It’s actually a built-out part which holds a small closet, one of those fold-out wall ironing boards, and a set of shelves where our microwave and other things are.) Since I’d lived upstairs before I thought maybe the new residents had let the tub overflow. They’re sort of… daffy. Anyway, it turns out that water was leaking from the bathroom radiator from a loose valve, and once the valve was tightened up, the water stopped, and eventually stopped leaking through the ceiling too. My bedroom and closet are on the other side of that wall (and my tiny closet abuts unto the built-in from the other side), but it looks like no water got in through there. Anyway, the landlord has been notified and hopefully there isn’t too much damage of my roommate’s stuff but it’s still another thing piled on top of things, and damp cardboard boxes are all over the kitchen now. It occurred to me today that water-related problems have been chasing me ever since I can remember, so now I’m thinking of moving to the desert. Then again, the Southwest has been having enough trouble with extra-wet weather this year.

I’m hoping that “bad things happen in threes” thing isn’t true (okay I know it isn’t true), because I have already had a bad enough week and it’s only Tuesday. “Meh” I say to the universe, “meh!”