A question for straight people

Dear straight people,

In the last few years, I’ve come across something that boggles my mind. It’s a concept that confuses my queer little brain, so I think I’m going to need some assistance with it.  It’s something I’ve seen in online spaces as well as in meatspace. It’s something that a certain strain of heterosexuals seem to embrace. I’ve heard of it in conservative media and from right-wing politicians and pundits and it often pops up in discussions of Gay/Straight Alliances on school campuses. The idea behind the concept is counterintuitive to my brain, but my confusion is probably the result of those homosexual-inducing chemtrails I’ve been huffing all my life. Because of my difficulty understanding this concept, I’m hoping one of you can aid me in coming to comprehend

Image courtesy of LGBTQ Nation.

STRAIGHT PRIDE.

Now…I understand the importance of Pride as it relates to the gay community. Originating in the wake of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, Pride is both a form of unabashed self-expression whereby we in the LGBT community show we are comfortable being who we are, as well as a public statement that there is nothing wrong with us and no need for us to hide. Historically, LGBT people have been sent the opposite message; that there is something wrong with us. That because our sexuality and gender identities deviate from the social norm we must be made to conform or be punished.  As a result, LGBT people past and present have grown up in societies that display varying levels of hostility and intolerance towards us. This hostility manifests as anti-LGBT discrimination and bigotry. If you’re not familiar with the oppressive experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, allow me to help:

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A question for straight people
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Time for a bit of a change

To all my friends and readers,

I’ve decided that I want to change the name of the blog. The term ‘shoop’ was borne out of an in-joke in a Lounge thread at Pharyngula many years ago. I still like the word, and will continue using it for myself, but I’ve decided that I want the name of the blog to be something that visitors can easily understand at a glance and not need to be up on a social thread on another blog from years ago. Given my experience as a bartender, and the multiple friends that have told me they would like to sit at my bar and talk, I’ve decided that the new name of the blog will be: The Progressive Pub.  The name change is easy to grasp, as most people know what a pub is (and we already have a Speakeasy), and well, I think by now the term ‘progressive’ is understood by a great many people. The new name change will occur in the next several days. But don’t worry, the essence of the blog-which is a focus on social justice issues, particularly racism, sexism, and anti-LGBT bigotry, along with news related to popular culture-will still continue.

Time for a bit of a change

Vapid, ignorant opinions must run in the Palin family

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Sigh. Bristol Palin said a thing:

In a blog post on Tuesday, Palin said she agreed with Fox News contributor Stacey Dash opinion that both Black History Month and the BET network should not exist as special privileges for the black community.

“Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards,” Dash told Fox News host Steve Doocy last week.

Well, I don’t much like the thing that she said. Soooooooooo…my turn to say a thing (two actually):

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Vapid, ignorant opinions must run in the Palin family

So you don’t understand the hubbub around #OscarsSoWhite?

Ok, so I read this comment on the Facebook page of a Root article on the lack of diversity in the Academy award nominations:

I’m just curious as to why people freak out and scream “Racism!” just because no black films were chosen. Maybe the committee just didn’t think they were good enough. Maybe I’m kinda playing devil’s advocate here but I’m genuinely curious.

This person clearly doesn’t understand why people (largely, though not exclusively, black folks) are crying “Racism!” over the Oscar nominations. People like this do not understand what the big deal is bc to them, these are just awards. They can’t seem to see beyond the awards and see the deeper problems. Or maybe they haven’t tried to view the world outside the lens of their privileged experiences. In any case, even though people like this are being blatantly racist (I mean, come the fuck on with this “black people just weren’t good enough” bullshit. Because white people, by default *are* good enough?!), I’m going to give a response that treats such inquiries in good faith (don’t ask me why). The following is my response to the queries of the above commenter about why African-Americans take issue with #OscarsSoWhite:

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So you don’t understand the hubbub around #OscarsSoWhite?

Oscars not so white after 2020?

“The award for Best Picture goes to Straight Outta Compton!”

“The Oscar for Best Actress goes to…Naomie Harris, Spectre!”

“The Best Actress award goes to Adepero Oduye, The Big Short!”

“And the award for Best Director goes to Ryan Coogler, for Creed!”

“And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to Michael B. Jordan, for Creed!”

“And the Best Actor award goes to Idris Elba, for Beasts of No Nation!”

“The best actress award goes to…Jada Pinkett Smitth, Magic Mike XXL!”

“The best actor award goes to John Boyega, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens!”

Were you hoping to hear any of the above at the 88th annual Academy Awards on February 28? I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but it’s not going to happen, bc no black actors or directors have been nominated for an Academy Award this year. Guess we have to dust off the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.

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Oscars not so white after 2020?

Pop Culture Link Round Up 1.22.16

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Pop Culture Link Round Up 1.22.16

“If I can’t have you, then…”

Dear readers-close your eyes for a moment. I want you to imagine yourself as someone different. Imagine for a second (ok, a little longer than a second), that you are a 24-year-old man. A 24-year-old heterosexual man.  A 24-year-old heterosexual man named Colin Kingston who works at GNC and aspires to be a businessman. You (well, you-as-Colin) have been dating a young woman (Kelsey Annese) for the last three years. Recently however, Kelsey broke up with you. Now, after three years, you-Colin Kingston-have obviously invested a lot in this relationship, so this breakup is devastating to you. You feel lost. You don’t know what to do. You need options. What options do you have?

  • learn to crochet
  • drown your sorrows in alcohol (since you won’t be drinking responsibly, get a buddy or call a cab)
  • go skydiving
  • take off work for a weekend, buy a gallon of ice cream and chocolate and binge eat while watching the favorite rom-coms you and your ex used to watch together
  • cry yourself to sleep for a week listening to Celine Dion’s ‘My heart will go on’
  • join a gym
  • delete her phone number, lose her address, and throw away all pictures of the two of you
  • buy an 8-ball and spend the weekend cleaning your house
  • tell your co-workers that they can take the week off and that you’ll work the next 66 hours by yourself, figuring that if you throw yourself into work, you can take your mind off her
  • take a vacation
  • go to Vegas
  • climb a mountain
  • run for public office (unless your idol is Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or, really, any of the Republican shitheads vying for the nomination)
  • decide to move on and hit the club with your buddies

Now, this is the point where you can open your eyes (although I guess you wouldn’t have been able to read all of the above with your eyes closed). Why? Because while YOU, dear reader, might have chosen any of the above (or something else completely), the real Colin Kingston did not make any of those choices. No, the real Colin Kingston decided to be a murderous shithead.

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“If I can’t have you, then…”

Which Punisher will resonate most with fans (and me)?

The Marvel Comics and Netflix deal has (to my surprise) turned out to be successful. Originally conceived as set of four 13-episode series starring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist (plus a fifth series-The Defenders-which sees all four characters form a superhero team), the popularity of Daredevil led to the announcement of a second season for the show (debuting March 18). Likewise, in the wake of the well-received Jessica Jones series, many fans speculated that the character would also receive a season 2 (the speculation is over, season 2 is coming).  Season 2 of Daredevil is set to feature additional Marvel Comics character, including Elektra (former lover of DD turned ninja/assassin/enemy) and the vigilante hero, the Punisher.

Speaking of the Punisher, plans are afoot to give the character his own series. For those unfamiliar with the character, Frank Castle (aka the Punisher) is a Marvel Comics vigilante (with a military background) whose wife and children were killed as a result of criminal activity.  An enraged Castle sought revenge and killed those responsible. Realizing that criminals often slip through the cracks of the criminal justice system, Castle took on the identity of the Punisher and launched a one-man war on crime. Utilizing his extensive military and hand-to-hand combat skills, as well as a huge arsenal of weapons, the Punisher targets all manner of criminals with his unique brand of “punishment”. From mob bosses and gang leaders to gunrunning militias and corrupt city officials to drug kingpins and human traffickers, his single-minded quest quickly made him the scourge of the criminal underworld (not unlike a certain bat-themed character at DC Comics, though their methods are vastly different). Starring in various comic books during the 80s and 90s, the Punisher enjoyed a huge amount of commercial success, though his popularity waned in the late 90s (it has seen something of a resurgence since then).  Now, I’m not a big fan of the Punisher (and I’ll go into why in an upcoming post), but I did see the last two movies headlined by the character so I’m mildy curious to see which of the four (including the upcoming Daredevil version, four actors will have played the role of the Punisher) cinematic versions of the character will resonate most with fans. Will it be:

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Which Punisher will resonate most with fans (and me)?

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 1.15.16

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For many people, discussions of gun violence in the United States bring to mind the recent terrorist attacks in Colorado Springs or San Bernardino.  Incidents of deadly gun violence perpetrated by radicalized zealots who, acting upon their extremist ideologies, seek to instill terror in communities. These are horrific tragedies indeed, but they are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the off-the-charts gun violence that continues to grip the United States. On a smaller scale, one that doesn’t typically capture the attention of the national media, there are innumerable examples of gun violence. These acts, which occur on a depressingly regular basis, are sometimes carried out by individuals in the midst of emotional turmoil who possess poor impulse control and/or godawful anger management skills. Some of these examples are carried out by innocents who have unfortunately gained access to firearms that were incorrectly stored by their owners. Some are accidental discharges resulting from the improper handling of a firearm while other tragedies are the result of the use of a firearm while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. These examples do not cover all instances of gun violence, but they do highlight a significant problem of our gun culture–people using guns under the wrong conditions for the wrong reasons. In other words…irresponsible gun owners. Here are five examples:

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Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 1.15.16

Police Behaving Badly 1.13.16

More than 800,000 people serve as local and state law enforcement officials in the United States. These police officers are charged with upholding and enforcing the law, maintaining order, and providing general services. To carry out these duties, police officers possess certain powers, granted by the state. If the situation calls for it, police officers can frisk, detain, and arrest civilians, as well as seize property. In addition, depending upon the situation, police officers are empowered to use force to defend themselves or civilians (the amount of force extends along a spectrum from police presence through deadly force). Given the powers that police officers have, it is incumbent upon them to maintain a level of professionalism in the course of their duties and to wield their powers responsibly and ethically. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of cops engaging in a range of irresponsible, unethical, immoral, and/or illegal activities from bribery and unjustified arrests to illegal search and seizure and the use of excessive force. Here are five examples of

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Police Behaving Badly 1.13.16