Speakeasy #15

Welcome to the social thread at the Progressive Pub. Here at the Speakeasy, you can metaphorically put your feet up, grab a virtual beverage from your resident bartender (me), and socialize with the regulars. Gab, share recipes, share news, rage about your problems or the problems of the world, discuss impending vacations, share book recommendations, talk about your jobs and your families, your hopes and dreams, and pretty much anything else you want. Everyone is welcome, just be kind to one another.

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Speakeasy #15
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Speakeasy #14

Welcome to the social thread at the Progressive Pub. Here at the Speakeasy, you can metaphorically put your feet up, grab a virtual beverage from your resident bartender (me), and socialize with the regulars. Gab, share recipes, share news, rage about your problems or the problems of the world, discuss impending vacations, share book recommendations, talk about your jobs and your families, your hopes and dreams, and pretty much anything else you want. Everyone is welcome, just be kind to one another.

Continue reading “Speakeasy #14”

Speakeasy #14

It doesn’t really matter what her patients think of her hair

A few years ago, I worked at a resort in Pensacola. Really nice place on Pensacola Beach (if you’ve never been to Pensacola Beach, you should go. It’s really quite beautiful if you like beaches). The resort had five ginormous towers with hundreds of rooms. They had an activity center with two restaurants, two bars, two tennis courts, three swimming pools (two outdoor and one indoor), a spa, a gym, boat rentals, and all manner of planned activities for families and children. The place was also not what I’d call cheap. It wasn’t pricey like you’d see in larger cities, but for Pensacola, it was pricey. To go along with the image the owner wanted to maintain at the resort, no employee could have visible tattoos, exotic or unnatural hair colors, or visible piercings (aside from women being allowed to have one earring in one ear). This always bugged me bc I had a feeling I knew what the owner was saying without him saying it. He was saying there was something wrong with tattoos, piercings, and alternate hair colors. I think he felt that these expressions of individuality clashed with the environment and experience he wanted his guests to partake of. IOW, I believe on some level, that he was of the mindset that having tats, piercings, or alternate hair colors wasn’t “classy”. There’s an association in the minds of many that people with tattoos, piercings, and “unnatural” hair colors are lower class, unsavory individuals. And tattoos are often viewed as a sign of immorality or criminality by many people. To me, the owner wanted to keep such elements out of the resort so that his guests wouldn’t run screaming and never return bc they saw a tattoo of a heart on a scantily clad lifeguard or an eye-piercing on the tennis instructor (thinking about this makes me realize that he was probably trying to maintain a ‘safe space’ for his guests; ironic, as I’m pretty sure he was a conservative). I remember being at the resort shortly after I got hired and hearing the above guidelines on appearance, and thinking how all of that was so damned judgemental and superficial. As if having a tattoo has any bearing on your character. The ability to do one’s job is not hindered in any way by having  a piercing in your tongue or ear. And hair color? Lawdy. It is so damn hard to pour drinks with red hair (though what would I know, since I shave my head). Now, obviously, he’s the owner of the place and can do whatever he pleases. He is free to run the resort in the manner he likes, to please the guests in the way that he feels is best. I’m not criticizing that. No, I’m criticizing what I think is the mindset behind “no visible tattoos”, “no piercings”, and “no alternate hair colors”. It’s the same type of mindset that is apparent in this story of a nurse being shamed by a cashier all because she dyed her hair in an array of colors:

Continue reading “It doesn’t really matter what her patients think of her hair”
It doesn’t really matter what her patients think of her hair

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

I got stiffed!

You know how they say “you never forget how to ride a bike”? I found out recently how true that aphorism is (for me at least). I’m house sitting for a relative and the home I am taking care of is well, not quite in the country, but it’s on the outskirts. It’s in a relatively small town (one in which I’ve yet to see a McDonald’s, which is weird-although I’m sure there is one here somewhere). I don’t have a car at the moment, so when I agreed to watch this house, I knew I’d have to walk wherever I needed to go. Thankfully there’s a post office maybe half a mile away (so I can continue selling stuff on ebay) and a neighborhood grocery store a few blocks from that. My parents were funny when I told them I could walk to the grocery store. In their heads, they must have pictured the store being five miles uphill or something, but when I walked it, the distance wasn’t bad at all. After the first time I walked for a few drinks at the store, a family friend was kind enough to let me use his bicycle. When I first got on it, I was a bit unsteady and uncertain. After all, I hadn’t been on a bicycle in over 20 years (stationary bikes at the gym don’t count)–but within a few minutes, it was like I was 13 years old again. Everything came back to me. So maybe there’s something to that saying about riding a bike.  In any event, I’ve made the trip to the store a few times over the last few weeks. I was excited to bike up there again today, bc I was craving wine, some snacks, and an erection.

Continue reading “I got stiffed!”

I got stiffed!

Watts’ best friend

That’s an image of travel writer Lauren Fern Watt and her 160-lb English Mastiff, Gizelle. When Gizelle was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, Watt decided to spend her last days with Gizelle in a unique way:

Determined to stay strong for the sake of her dog, who didn’t like to see her cry, Watt decided to make the most of the rest of their time together by embarking on an extraordinary bucket list adventure of everything they wanted to do before Gizelle died.

“It was my mission for us to indulge and explore life’s joys,” Watt says. Together, the pair went on a journey that took them around New York City, across New England, and even to coastal Maine. They experienced new things side by side, like riding in a canoe and going on a road trip, but also made sure to save time for familiar cuddles and quiet reflection. With so little time left, Watt found a touching way to cope with her grief while creating wonderful memories and beautiful last moments for her best friend.

“Doing a bucket list for Gizelle not only helped me cope with losing her, it was also one wild ride,” Watt wrote in her essay on Yahoo! Travel. “It helped me live in the present and see life for what it truly is: a sweet, simple, precious adventure.”

Watts’ novel idea saw the two of them visit Times Square, go on a road trip, eat ice cream on a dock, and find the best donut in the world:

Head over to My Modern Metropolis for more images.

Watts’ best friend

Watts' best friend

That’s an image of travel writer Lauren Fern Watt and her 160-lb English Mastiff, Gizelle. When Gizelle was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, Watt decided to spend her last days with Gizelle in a unique way:

Determined to stay strong for the sake of her dog, who didn’t like to see her cry, Watt decided to make the most of the rest of their time together by embarking on an extraordinary bucket list adventure of everything they wanted to do before Gizelle died.

“It was my mission for us to indulge and explore life’s joys,” Watt says. Together, the pair went on a journey that took them around New York City, across New England, and even to coastal Maine. They experienced new things side by side, like riding in a canoe and going on a road trip, but also made sure to save time for familiar cuddles and quiet reflection. With so little time left, Watt found a touching way to cope with her grief while creating wonderful memories and beautiful last moments for her best friend.

“Doing a bucket list for Gizelle not only helped me cope with losing her, it was also one wild ride,” Watt wrote in her essay on Yahoo! Travel. “It helped me live in the present and see life for what it truly is: a sweet, simple, precious adventure.”

Watts’ novel idea saw the two of them visit Times Square, go on a road trip, eat ice cream on a dock, and find the best donut in the world:

Head over to My Modern Metropolis for more images.

Watts' best friend

If you thought the United States was the country that Googles the most gay porn

 you would be

WRONG.

It’s this place↓

Kenya is the country that Googles the most gay porn.

According to Google’s search rankings Kenya tops the list, with searches for ‘gay sex pics’ and ‘gay porn pics’ outranking the same search conducted by people in Western countries.

Coming in second, third, and fourth are South Africa, Pakistan and Nigeria. The United States is #8.  It’s really odd that some of the most hardcore homophobic countries have the highest Google searches for gay porn.

(via GayStarNews)

If you thought the United States was the country that Googles the most gay porn

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up 11.8.14

Mark Wahlberg is the $6 million Billion Dollar Man!

images (3)

Director Peter Berg and “Marky” will join forces to create a 2016 remake of the $6 Million Dollar Man. Obviously things have changed a bit since Lee Majors starred in the popular 70s show. It costs a few billion dollars to make a bionic man these days. I think $6 million would only cover minor changes like bionic lips, ears, or fingers. I think you might be able to get bionic breasts or a penis for that amount too, but that’s probably pushing it.

 * * * *

Quit trying to wreck my suspension of disbelief!

Suspension of disbelief is essential when enjoying superhero comics. There are certain ideas in comics you have to accept for the sake of enjoying the stories. Take for instance the Flash. We know that no one in the real world could run that fast. We know that the human body could not withstand the impact of hitting the ground thousands of times a second or withstanding the friction while moving at Mach 3. Still, it can be fun to bring some real world knowledge into comic books just to see how far we’re suspending our disbelief.  The Physics Special Topics Journal of the University of Leicester recently published a paper by several students that examined a scene from a recent episode of the CW’s Flash television show. Check out the video below for their findings.

* * * *

 Superheroes make the worst roommates!

What if Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor, Spider-Man, the Hulk, or Captain America were YOUR roommate? Thanks to Dorkly, now we know!

* * * *

 Video games as a varsity sport?

Students are getting paid to game at an Illinois university, and the school says the first season of its eSports team is such a success that the program will definitely continue next year.

There are 35 students on the eSports team at Robert Morris University in Aurora, the first school to categorize playing video games as a varsity sport, even offering scholarship funds for the “athletes.” The team meets every weekday for practice between 4 and 9 p.m., with an hour break for dinner, and competitions are every Saturday, the school’s associate athletic director Kurt Melcher told ABC News.

“It’s going great so far,” Melcher said, adding that the team’s practices are just “like any other sport.”

“The coaches set up different scrimmages, different presentations on tactics,” he said. “And the same dedication is required.”

The eSports athletes are expected to go to class just like any other student, he said.

“The difference is that when they finish class, they walk fourteen steps over the arena for practice instead of going to the gym,” Melcher said.

The high-end gaming arena was built specifically for the eSports team, which was announced this summer. Melcher said the school got more than 100 applications for the 35 spots, and players get up to a 50-percent scholarship covering tuition and room and board.

The eSports athletes play “League of Legends” and battle club teams from other universities every Saturday.

* * * *

Michael Backes, author of the new book Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana
 on how to use medical marijuana

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up 11.8.14

The Lousy Canuck’s ‘Entitlement Culture’

In a righteous and lengthy rant over at Lousy Canuck, Jason Thibeault discusses the culture of entitlement common in the conservative mindset and shows how that mentality is found in everything from right wingers to anti-feminists to GamerGaters to slym*pitters and more. It’s captivating and well worth the read.

There’s a turn of phrase that’s been around for a while now: “entitlement culture”. The right wing has this meme that they’ve been foisting on the public that people who are on welfare, people who are on disability, people who are on social security, believe themselves to have certain “entitlements” and that their laziness — read, their expectation that they should get these things — suggests by itself that they shouldn’t actually get what they think they deserve. Interestingly enough, the targets of these particular memes are uniformly the underprivileged — those who are the hardest done by this society, those who have fallen on hard times and aren’t even allowed bootstraps by which to pull themselves back up.

It’s especially noteworthy that the language around this phenomenon is already so polluted by people horrified at the idea that people with nothing might actually need resources to help pull them out of the depths of their despair, and that this is one of those times when the truth of who has a sense of undeserved entitlement is the inverse — it’s always the people who already have it all and think they won it fair and square. The people who’ve spread the meme so successfully have turned the whole argument on its head. And what’s worse is, this same argument about entitlement is happening over and over again, in every single community, under a number of different names, about topics as diverse as birth control and police brutality and video games. In every case, the language is twisted to the advantage of the right-wing reactionary mindset, and somehow we who are anywhere left of Glenn Beck are caught flat-footed by it all, time and again.

There are dozens of disparate threads within my fields of interest with which I’m going to attempt to pick them all up and weave into a single unified tapestry. I may jump around quite a bit, apologies in advance. I’m going to have to start by defining some terms, before I start giving you some examples of what I’m talking about.

Read the rest of this glorious takedown of the true culture of entitlement at Lousy Canuck.

The Lousy Canuck’s ‘Entitlement Culture’