Archive | February 2013

A war of color

I read something a friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day, and it really got me thinking. It was all about how white people can’t be proud of being white without being considered racist, but other colors, especially black people, don’t have the same problem. It went on to state that  having a month called “white history month” or a TV channel called “WET: White Entertainment Television” would make white people racist, same with having all white colleges or college funds. While this does seem to be a good point on the very surface, there’s something seriously wrong with it that people seem to be missing, and I think I should clarify it.

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Seriously, WTF?!

I’ll just come right out and say it. If you’re proud of the color of your skin, you’re a fucking moron. It means NOTHING! Skin color pride is, to me, like eye color pride, or hair color pride. The jacket on the book has nothing to do with how good the other books with similar jackets are. It doesn’t even track to cultures, since being black doesn’t mean you only came from one part of the world. Your ancestors could have come from a number of places, all with very different cultures. Being proud of something like that is not really well thought out.

Another ridiculous part of this argument is the one about black history month. Personally, I don’t think we should have something like that. People fought so hard for equality in this country, and setting aside a month for just one group of people, especially sorted by skin color alone, shows that there IS inequality on both sides. If someone is Haitian or an aborigine from Australia, should they celebrate “their” history month in America, if they are American citizens? It’s selective celebration, which is complete horse shit.

Honestly, who cares if people have BET, or telemundo, or whatever?! Believe it or not, black people in America haven’t had equality with whites for 100 years yet. Before they did, they stuck together, formed their own little slice of culture in America, and a fair amount of it was based in entertainment. Can any other group make such claims? Of course! Irish, Italian, German, they all stuck together when America had it’s renaissance, and all have their own culture in America. Would someone have an issue with Italian Entertainment Television? I doubt it. However, calling a channel white entertainment television would be ridiculous. Which white? English? Russian? Polish? Swiss? Such a broad generalization makes this such a problem. I’d be just as pissed if they made a white tv channel, since all it really does is to encourage racism, stereotype, and inequality based on skin color, which like I said before is absolutely ridiculous. Still, it really just come down to the name. Just like black history month, naming BET as ‘black’ isn’t a correct enough descriptive term, since it doesn’t encompass all. I think it’d be better to properly define the culture, skin color aside, to solve the issue.

My next point will be aimed at the stupid ass political correctness trend. Whether you’re of a certain skin color, or appear to be from a specific part of the world, I’m not going to refer to you as _-American unless you have citizenship in both countries, and considering how few people have that, it will not be assumed. If your skin is white, what should I call you? German American? Italian American? If you’re skin is black, what should I call you? African American? Haitian American? Jamaican American? If you’re skin color is yellow, what should I call you? Chinese American? Japanese American? It’s bullshit. You’re a fucking American, deal with it. You’re not special, you’re equal, which is what many minorities wanted anyways. If I’m describing someone’s look or skin color, I’m not going to make assumptions as to their ancestry. If someone looks to be from China, Korea, Japan, or Vietnam, I’m probably going to say they look to be from the orient, or just say slanted eyes with yellowish skin. I’m NOT going to call you an Asian, since India and Russia are also in Asia, and they certainly don’t all look the same. If someone has black skin, I’m going to describe them that way. I’m not going to say someone looks African American, because that’s just racist and retarded.

My last statement is one that everyone needs to seriously understand. ALL cultures are racist to some extent. No matter where you are in the world, there will be some type of racism ingrained in the society, and it’s perfectly normal. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m saying it’s normal. Over the years, cultures have been invaded, enslaved, oppressed, at war, etc. It’s natural for them to have certain issues with other cultures. There is also cultural pride, where one culture will believe that theirs is the best, and that others are inferior in some way or another. This is nothing new, and nothing out of the ordinary. Pride in one’s own ancestry and culture is totally normal and fine, but keep in mind that hating on another culture may be normal, but it’s definitely not cool. Don’t hate on all people of a race or culture because of the few bad apples. Look at the entire picture. Maybe you’ll find that they did those horrible things because of something your culture did to them. For an example, just take a look at Northern Ireland when the IRA was fucking shit up left and right.

So, to sum up, be proud of your Culture, and not your skin color. Keep the racism from hurting people, and don’t be a dick. We’re in this shit together, and we need to remain undivided. This American Experiment CAN work, but we all need to leave our bullshit and baggage at the door.

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Pimpin’ ain’t easy

To all those interested, I finally got around to putting all of my youtube videos of me singing in one place. Check it out and subscribe. More shit to come!

Here’s my latest offering, details in the description of the video. Enjoy!

 

Craigslist’s nebulous rules

A few months ago, I started cleaning out my basement. Quite a daunting task, considering how much shit is down there. There were some larger items such as some kitchen cabinets, a stove, a washer and dryer, small Ikea armoirs, etc. I started posting these items on Craigslist, and most of it sold relatively quickly. The only holdouts are the washer, dryer, and a mattress.

The problem is, originally I had the washer and the dryer on separate posts, with links to one another in case someone wanted both. These ended up getting flagged and deleted. I went through the ToS on their site, and it looked like they were flagged because they linked to each other. I decided to consolidate the listings to prevent this, and all was well for about a week or two. Then, last night, flagged and removed again. Now I got pissed, so I hit the CL forums to bitch about it.

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Preach on, pussy!

Here’s where things took a turn. According to those on the forums, my post got flagged because I had not tested the units recently, which is due to me not having the right setup at my house (dryer needs a 220v outlet, washer needs hot/cold water). I was selling the pair as-is, they had worked when last used which was about 8 years ago, and during those years they were stored in a dry clean basement. Apparently, 150 bucks is considered way too much for them given the situation, so the user base flagged the post. When I went to the forums, I wasted well over an hour debating this with people until I was told that my posting violated “community norms”, which are basically the unspoken/undocumented rules of the site. I didn’t see any documents or pages citing any examples of what would conflict with this incredibly nebulous rule, which infuriates me further.

While I understand what they were getting at when they told me that it looked like a high price for an item that could very well be broken, I don’t exactly agree with them removing a listing because they think it’s a shitty deal. I’ve emailed people who posted items for sale on CL and told them that it’s overpriced or unclear, and most times they respond back favorably and update their listing. They didn’t have to go through the bullshit I did just to get an answer as to why their post violate the rules that nobody outside of rabid CL hounds knows about. If you’re gonna have rules like that, at least post some examples so people know beforehand.

One last note, the people who monitor the forums there are actually pretty good. I got a response relatively quickly, and the whole thing was fleshed out in about an hour or so. This was at midnight last night. If you’ve ever posted to gaming forums and the like, then you should be well aware of how good a response time that is. I think the first response was about 3 minutes after my initial post. The downside to it, was that the people there kind of viewed me like a slumlord, as if I was just trying to rip someone off in some kind of shady deal. At this point, I’m probably just gonna break them down and scrap the parts. I thought it would be a good deal for someone, especially since there aren’t many combos like that for that cheap, even on CL. If they didn’t work, I’d gladly take them back for a refund and scrap them anyways, but that apparently wasn’t enough for the CL community and their nebulous rules and righteousness.

Just like old times

I’d like to think that I’ve grown over the years, that I’ve dealt with and made peace with my past. I’d like to think that I’ve arrived at the point in my life where I stop making stupid mistakes, saying stupid things, and acting like a schmuck. Yeah, I’d like that; it’d be nice, and it hasn’t happened.

asshole lord noel

so true….

For the most part, I’m still in my late teens/early twenties. A fair amount of my reactions to certain people or situations are the same, and while it’s true that I make more of an effort to not react stupidly to these situations these days, I still have plenty of cringe moments. Whenever I’m in certain situations, or around certain people, I revert back to my old mentality, quite often saying things that make me look like a total ass or loser. To me, it’s a reminder that, though the cover and forward of this story may change due to occasional re-issues of the book of my life, the content inside remains pretty much the same. I’m apparently still the same person inside that I was when I was younger, with many of the same flaws mostly intact. Nowadays, it’s looking like I’ll end up being this person for the rest of my life. The only real differences will be these: I will have more experience, and I will have less valid excuses for when I do or say stupid shit, since my aforementioned experience should have taught me something.

1114200984341AM_StupidRemarkI’m not sure if other people are like this. It’s tough to have a truly open conversation with another person about who they really are, and I’m pretty sure I know why. The real true person we are inside tends to be a hand we all play close to the chest, and for pretty good reasons. Let’s face it, we all have thoughts, feelings, and desires that we may not be proud of or want anyone to know. I’d wager that most of them are just random thoughts like “I wonder what it would feel like to do that…“, or “I just wanna do this“. The other parts are the really shitty or embarrassing things about ourselves that we don’t wanna admit. For me, I tend to always believe that the person other people told me I was many years ago, is the person I really am. Pretty typical deep-seated bullshit issue, but something I don’t think I could ever really shake. Yes, I’ve been to therapy before, and while that helped for some things, some are rooted so deep for so long, that they’ll never get resolved without some loss of identity or other severe repercussion.

stupid-things-people-say-abojut-mental-illness1Anyways, I really do wish I knew WHY I keep reacting like a stupid kid sometimes. I get in certain situations, and just react, as if it’s the most natural and right thing to do. Once my brain kicks in, and I realize the situation I’m in and how I just reacted to it, all I want to do is get out and hide in shame. Maybe one day I’ll learn to stop trying so hard, or to keep my mouth shut. For now, though, it looks like making an ass out of myself will still be something I have to deal with on a day to day basis….

 

All fired up

Every so often, when I have some downtime, I give a TV series I’ve never seen a shot. Usually it’s a show that I didn’t really have any interest in, but heard good reviews about from other people. A week or so ago, I started checking out Burn Notice, a sort of spy comedy/drama, and what I found actually surprised me.

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I fucking NEED that car!!!

I’m usually a sucker for spy stuff, even though I was never really into James Bond. I’m more inclined towards more campy, even silly, stuff. Burn Notice fits the bill on that. It’s about a US spy who gets burned, which means he gets disavowed and blacklisted. He gets dumped in Miami with nothing, and is told he can’t leave the city or he’ll be “taken out”. He doesn’t know why he got burned, or by whom, so he sets out to figure it all out. During this process, he hooks up with his ex-girlfriend, played by Gabrielle Anwar, and an ex-military friend with connections, played by none other than Bruce Campbell. Every episode is about him taking a job to help somebody out, while getting a little more info about his burn notice.

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deeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious….

I’m about a season and a half in, and I’m completely hooked. The main character Michael, played by Jeffrey Donovan, is a great character. He explains via narration about the dos and don’ts of spy work, which is pretty interesting, even if it turns out to be false. Mr. Donovan does an awesome job at playing different characters that Michael pretends to be, and it’s best when he plays the sniveling dweeb types, which is fucking hilarious. Then we get to Gabrielle, who plays an ex-IRA woman who loves violence and is always looking for a reason to fuck someone up. I wouldn’t call her conventionally gorgeous, per se, as she’s a bit thin for my liking, but she’s hands down one of the sexiest female characters I’ve ever seen on screen. She also has great chemistry with Donovan, and even with the awesome Mr. Campbell.

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Humor, women, & Hawaiian shirts…he’s my fucking idol!!!!

I know I’m biased towards Bruce, considering I’ve loved everything he’s done, and even read both of his books and met him a few times. He is awesome in this role, and I’m happy to see that he had such a big part in a popular show. Whether it’s him picking up random women around Miami like a total hound, or him kicking the shit out of some jacked up dude in his 20’s or 30’s, he delivers like a boss. He plays a solid character with a great mix of humor and toughness.

For honorable mention, Sharon Gless plays Michael’s mother, and she’s excellent as well. Very funny, but with a good amount of depth. Her character is a little annoying at first, but she really grows on you.

The show itself follows a pretty steady formula, and that’s all well and good. The running main story keeps things going pretty well, and the new jobs every episode are entertaining and interesting. I’ve still got 3.5 seasons to go before I’m all caught up, but so long as it stays like this, I’m fine with it. Besides, they keep doing montages of hot girls in bikinis, and this season has fucking Tricia Helfer in it, looking as beautiful as ever. For a guy, what’s not to like?!

Bullying for the mark of your trade

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Sorry friend, you’re in the way of our profits.

Through the years, many people have asked me why I dislike Apple products so much. While I do stand by most of my major reasons for disliking them, like software and hardware limitations, the yearly hardware upgrade cycle, overpriced shit, etc, the tipping point from dislike to INTENSE dislike had to do with a lawsuit.

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and we follow with iSue and iRape!

Many years ago, Apple always tried to push themselves as the underdog from Microsoft, and played the “company for the people” card. They claimed to be there for their customers, and valued the “little guy”. This all changed when the iPod came out. Their marketing juggernaut made it one of the most popular electronic devices in history, even though equivalent and even better devices existed at the time. To preserve their branding, they started suing everyone who had the letters “p”, “o”, and “d” together in their name or trademark. Among those lawsuits was a device known as the “profit pod”. What was this device used for, you ask? It was used in the arcade industry to keep track of how many quarters arcade machines took in on a daily basis, and uploaded that info to a laptop or tablet.

Once this lawsuit became public, and I read about it, the scales in my head were tipped and I began my intense disliking of them.

Today, I hit another tipping point with a company, and for exactly the same reason. Games Workshop, the makers of Warhammer, Space Hulk, and various other miniatures tabletop games, is going after anyone who uses the words “space” and “marine” together in just about any science fiction setting. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a board game, video game, movie, etc, if you use the term “space marines”, they’re gonna go after you.

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That’s what it’s all about!

The term space marines has been around for a very long time, and is a common term in science fiction. That hasn’t stopped them from sending a legal threat to Amazon.com about author MCA Hogarth’s book “Spots the space marine”. They claim that the title of her book infringes on their mark, and Amazon should delist it, which they did. The really fucked up part here, is that Amazon was not under legal obligation to do so, since a takedown notice is a copyright claim, and this is a trademark claim, so it doesn’t fall under the DMCA. Be that as it may, this author is stuck suffering the consequences of this, all because she doesn’t have the spare capital to spend on a pricey legal battle over the trademark.

This is how these big companies work. They try to make certain words only relate to their products in common society, so they sue anyone who uses it, or a variation of it. This is done to reduce the terms’ market saturation as it pertains to other products, and preserves market saturation of its own product.

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Spread the word!

So now, going forward, I won’t be supporting anything Games Workshop has to offer. Plenty of other games out there, so you assholes can go fuck yourselves. I hate bullies who pick on other people’s legitimate work just because they can, knowing full well that the little guy can’t retaliate against such a huge opposition. If you know any other gamers with morals, pass this on to them. I certainly will.