“You just can’t take a joke”

Are you a comedian who complains about people being too “PC” these days? Do you complain about people being “too uptight” or unable to take a joke?
Are you a non-comedian who dislikes seeing others criticize comedians for their use of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist humor? Do you feel that it’s all in “good humor”?
If you belong to either of those groups, please listen up, because I have something to say.
That “good humor” you’re talking about? The “rape jokes are funny” humor? That “it’s just a dumb blonde joke”? That joke that relies upon stereotypes about black people? Or the one that makes a punchline about the death of a trans woman?
 
That’s not “good humor”. In fact, so-called “humor” like that is pretty awful, because it involves Punching Down (capitalized for emphasis, not for grammatical reasons).

Continue reading ““You just can’t take a joke””

“You just can’t take a joke”
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A different look at Africa

To hear people in the West tell it, Africa is the home of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. In the United States, media coverage of the world’s second-largest continent has fueled the perception that Africa is a land of AIDS, famine, and terrorism.  While this negative coverage does showcase aspects of Africa, it is far from the full story. Unfortunately, there is not enough coverage of the complex cultures found throughout Africa. This can be problematic for parents who wish to educate their children on African culture. In 2012, Adamu Naziri, a Nigerian animator, fed up with the limited (and negative) coverage of Africa, decided to create an educational cartoon to teach children about African culture. Enter: Bino and Pino.

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A different look at Africa

A culture of outrage is a good thing

So often, the phrase outrage culture (or the outrage machine) is lobbed by conservatives or  liberals toward advocates of social justice (SJWs) who speak out online about subjects that get them, well, outraged. I’ve yet to see the phrase defined in a consistent manner, but it is often deployed by those who think that SJWs are sitting around on their computers just waiting for the latest story to get outraged about. And when that story hits, critics say, these irate activists will take to social media to express their anger, disapproval, and/or frustration. They’ll feverishly type away at their computer to produce condemnatory screeds directed at their latest target-usually a public figure who has made statements they find questionable or offensive. In a way, that’s what happens. But the critics of outrage culture use the phrase derisively. They’re mocking people who-in their eyes-are looking for reasons to get offended. They’re complaining that the “delicate flowers who are permanently aroused” are limiting free speech. And they’re characterizing those who express their anger and frustration online as  “[…] an increasingly reactionary mob of self-centered narcissists who all have their own personal lines drawn in the sand”. That last one was from an article at Time, in which the author attempts to minimize and dismiss the anger felt by online critics while also declaring them unable to focus on multiple topics. This post is an attempt on my part to both understand where the critics of outrage culture are coming from, as well as formulate my thoughts on why it is a good and necessary thing.

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A culture of outrage is a good thing

Wine is most consumed at…

the Vatican!

Geez, the US isn’t even exceptional in the wine drinking category. What areas are we exceptional at? Wait, don’t answer that.

Wine is most consumed at…

Quote of the Day: Gabriel Orozco

Gabriel Orozco (born April 27, 1962) is a Mexican artist, born in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, and educated at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas between 1981 and 1984 and at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid between 1986 and 1987. Orozco gained his reputation in the early 1990s with his exploration of drawing, photography, sculpture and installation. In 1998 Francesco Bonami called him “one of the most influential artists of this decade, and probably the next one too. (text via Wiki; image via Frostys Web Gallery)

“The process of living and the process of thinking and perceiving the world happen in everyday life. I’ve found that sometimes the studio is an isolated place, an artificial place like a bubble – a bubble in which the artist is by himself, thinking about himself. It becomes too grand a space. What happens when you don’t have a studio is that you have to be confronted with reality all the time. “

(source)

This quote resonates with me even though I’m not an artist (in a traditional sense, I suppose).  To me, the bubble he speaks of can be a metaphorical  or literal place where we humans can escape to for release of some sort. Maybe to escape the problems in the world, or perhaps simply a place that we go to that brings us joy or serenity.  For me, such a place (at one time) was the dance floor. I used to go to gay bars multiple times a week, and I loved taking trips out of town and finding new clubs.  Anytime I heard a song that moved me, I could be on the dance floor in no time.  I take some measure of pride in the fact that I can dance. My dance style was influenced by the choreographers of various US pop artists over the last few decades. I’ve bought multiple music videos and sat for hours mimicking dance moves and incorporating them into my own style.  On a dance floor I tend to freestyle dance, so I prefer a little bit of space (the length of both arms outstretched). When I have the room, and the music is good, I can escape from the world, and just let the music flow through me and the rhythm move me (I’ll never forget my mother teaching me as a child how to find the rhythm in music-I’m grateful for that).  I remember times when I’d dance for 2 hours at a time (my favorite music to dance to is House), taking a break only to get water.  Many a time, I’ve been one of the only people on the dance floor and developed an audience.  Even though I don’t dance for others, it is a compliment to have people approach me to tell me they enjoyed watching me move. It has been some time since I’ve danced, as these last few years have been rough. I hope to re-enter my bubble again in the future and dance my cares away and push my worries off for another day.

Quote of the Day: Gabriel Orozco

The problem of police militarization and brutality

More Americans Killed By Police Than By Terrorists: With Crime Down, Why Is Police Aggression Up?

It may seem like crime is on the rise, but that’s an issue of perception. I tend to think it’s largely because we have unprecedented access to news today.  Whether it’s online blogs, news sites, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, we can get our news almost as soon as it breaks. One of the results of that is we hear about a lot of newsworthy material more often, which makes it seem like-in the case of crime for instance-things are getting worse. Such thinking is faulty though.

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The problem of police militarization and brutality

Human plus Hamster plus Wheel

No, I’m not talking about the Richard Gere hamster story (which is actually a gerbil story, but I digress). I’m talking about a human hamster wheel.  Sort of.

Continue reading “Human plus Hamster plus Wheel”

Human plus Hamster plus Wheel

Goth Denny's

Denny’s is a restaurant chain based in the United States.  It is similar to Huddle House, Waffle House, and IHOP, in that it is a breakfast house/fast casual/coffee shop style restaurant.  It’s open 24 hours a day, all year long (unless closing is required by law and I’ve no idea what law would cause a restaurant to close, but I guess there’s one somewhere).  It’s the place you go when it’s 3 am and you’re drunk and leaving the bar/club and are in dire need of food, yet realize you’re too drunk (or hopefully you realize this) to go home and cook.

Those that are familiar with Denny’s might be confuzzled (portmanteau of confused and puzzled) by this image:

I know I am.  It’s probably a marketing thing…hold on, BRB (be right back)…*

…yup, it’s a marketing thing.  Apparently it’s working for them:

When you think of Denny’s, what comes to mind? The famed Grand Slam breakfast? Or maybe a family road trip? Or are you one of the thousands of followers who know, and love, Denny’s irreverent Twitter posts?

If it’s the latter, there’s a good reason. Last July, the brand tapped Erwin Penland to run its social channels, and since then, engagement has increased over 200 percent. By commenting on current events, usually with its now-signature snarky tone, or posting relatable complaints, the brand has endeared itself to its followers.

Social Media Profile (as of 9/22/14)
Facebook Likes: 851,360
Twitter Followers: 110,208
Instagram Followers: 1,187

yes, I realize this isn’t a meatspace (term for ‘not online’; works better than IRL-in real life-because online is *part of real life…it’s not some bizarre alternate reality unconnected to the rest of our lives), but I was told by a good friend that when she reads my comments, they feel like conversational pieces, as if I were sitting next to her having a conversation, which made me realize that I don’t need to adhere to strict writing rules.  Thanks Iris!

Goth Denny's

Goth Denny’s

Denny’s is a restaurant chain based in the United States.  It is similar to Huddle House, Waffle House, and IHOP, in that it is a breakfast house/fast casual/coffee shop style restaurant.  It’s open 24 hours a day, all year long (unless closing is required by law and I’ve no idea what law would cause a restaurant to close, but I guess there’s one somewhere).  It’s the place you go when it’s 3 am and you’re drunk and leaving the bar/club and are in dire need of food, yet realize you’re too drunk (or hopefully you realize this) to go home and cook.

Those that are familiar with Denny’s might be confuzzled (portmanteau of confused and puzzled) by this image:

I know I am.  It’s probably a marketing thing…hold on, BRB (be right back)…*

…yup, it’s a marketing thing.  Apparently it’s working for them:

When you think of Denny’s, what comes to mind? The famed Grand Slam breakfast? Or maybe a family road trip? Or are you one of the thousands of followers who know, and love, Denny’s irreverent Twitter posts?

If it’s the latter, there’s a good reason. Last July, the brand tapped Erwin Penland to run its social channels, and since then, engagement has increased over 200 percent. By commenting on current events, usually with its now-signature snarky tone, or posting relatable complaints, the brand has endeared itself to its followers.

Social Media Profile (as of 9/22/14)
Facebook Likes: 851,360
Twitter Followers: 110,208
Instagram Followers: 1,187

yes, I realize this isn’t a meatspace (term for ‘not online’; works better than IRL-in real life-because online is *part of real life…it’s not some bizarre alternate reality unconnected to the rest of our lives), but I was told by a good friend that when she reads my comments, they feel like conversational pieces, as if I were sitting next to her having a conversation, which made me realize that I don’t need to adhere to strict writing rules.  Thanks Iris!

Goth Denny’s

Fuck. Shit is hitting the fan in Ferguson, MO.

5 arrested, two officers shot in Brown memorial unrest

Five protesters were arrested and some businesses were damaged Tuesday night after a memorial to Michael Brown was destroyed in a fire. The confrontation reignited tensions in the St. Louis suburb that was rocked by violence this summer after Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot by a Ferguson police officer.

During a news conference Wednesday, Capt. Ron Johnson with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said two St. Louis County police officers were injured during the unrest.

Johnson said one of the officers was hit just underneath his eye with a rock. He is expected to recover.

The unrest started Tuesday when a beauty supply store was looted and vandalized by several people attempting to haul out a cash register. Johnson said the manager said this was the third time the store had been broken into in the last six weeks.

Police responded to the break-in and then several gunshots were heard and approximately 200 people gathered at the site where demonstrations were held after the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown, 18, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

After the break-in, a fire was reported at a restaurant on Carson Road. Johnson said the investigation shows gasoline appears to have been poured around the restaurant. He said the fire was put out by Ferguson firefighters.

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Ferguson police officer shot, but not killed

Scant details at the moment, but we’ll know more soon, I’m sure.

Update:

Police say the shooting occurred while the officer was at the Ferguson Community Center checking the building.

Tim Zoll of the Ferguson Police Department said the officer was shot in the arm. The officer’s identity and condition is unknown at this time. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the officer is female.

The suspect is still at large. No further information was immediately available.

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 Ferguson unrest

Cast as an olive branch by some, the Ferguson police chief’s attempt to march with protesters demanding charges in the killing of an unarmed, black 18-year-old by a white officer still erupted into a clash that activists Friday blamed on police missteps.

The trouble Thursday night came hours after Police Chief Tom Jackson released a videotaped apology to Michael Brown’s family that drew skepticism from residents and protesters who still crave answers about Brown’s death. A county grand jury is weighing whether to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting, and the Justice Department is investigating whether Brown’s civil rights were violated.

This “olive branch” ought to have been extended the same day Michael Brown was murdered.  I think it’s a bit late in the eyes of many people.  For my part, it rings hollow bc it flies in the face of the chief’s actions since August 9th.  He’s got an uphill battle ahead of him if he wants people to think he’s on the correct side of justice.

 

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Browns unmoved by chief’s apology

The parents of Michael Brown told The Associated Press on Saturday they were unmoved by the apology given by the Ferguson, Missouri, police chief weeks after their unarmed 18-year-old son was killed by a police officer.

Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, said, “yes,” when asked if Chief Tom Jackson should be fired, and his father, Michael Brown Sr., said rather than an apology, they would rather see the officer who shot their son arrested for his Aug. 9 death.

Fuck. Shit is hitting the fan in Ferguson, MO.