misshepeshu: (hitler says wtf)
So it turns out that the reports in the press of the Catholic Church's addition of new deadly sins may have been slightly exaggerated. But seriously, included in the list of new "deadly" social sins are the following:

Accumulation of Excess Wealth
Morally Debatable Scientific Experiments (keeping in mind that a few hundred years ago, questioning the position and orbits of the celestial bodies was considered morally dubious)
Pedophilia
Perpetrating social injustice

What's that Biblical verse about digging the shit out of the motes in your neighbors eye while ignoring the beam in your own, again?

And how in the hell did the Bishop say any of this with a straight face?
misshepeshu: (Stop trying to fuck me)
So those of you who haven't yet witnessed the HOLY FUCKING SHIT trainwreck happening over at Smart Bitches, you should go check out the blog post wherein romance novel cover model Tony Catanzaro says he'd love nothing more than to toss Sarah and me (as well as sundry Smart Bitch readers) into the trunk of his caddy and dump us in the weeds off the Belt Parkway--except he's a MOTHERFUCKING GENTLEMAN, so he will pray for us instead.
misshepeshu: (Nerds are Hot)
[livejournal.com profile] quietselkie woke up with the five phases of mitosis running through her brain. I...I dreamt of (drumroll) post-modern beer commercials taking over television. The last image before I woke up was a freeze-frame of a photo of giant bottle of beer, the amber bottle beaded with condensation, floating against a super-saturated blue background. And the announcer said "Post-modern beer. Enjoy this deliberately manipulated representation of a representation of a consciousness-altering beverage. Your experience of reality as you perceive it cannot possibly compare."

What. The. Fuck.

Also, how post-modern is a dream about self-consciously post-modern beer commercials featuring photos of the product? This, my friends, is the seven-layer nacho of post-modern experience.

That dream was almost as nerdy as the one I had a couple weeks ago in which I got into an argument with a chemist about reduction, especially as it related to iron(II) vs. iron(III) ions.

In other, more important but less surreal news, I found out last night that Lewis and Clark Law School has seen fit to bestow me with a partial scholarship. WOO!
misshepeshu: (Dance!)
Oregon House OKs gay rights bills.

Oregon's gays and lesbians would win the benefits of marriage and protections against discrimination under landmark bills approved Tuesday by the Oregon House.

(...)

One would enable same-sex couples to enter into contractual relationships that grant them the same benefits offered to married couples under state law. The bill refers to the relationships as "domestic partnerships."

The other bill would ban discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people in employment, housing and access to public accommodations.


I'm a little sniffly right now, to tell you the truth. Progress is slow and difficult, but it's happening. Credit to [livejournal.com profile] linettasky for alerting me to this story.

(Heh. That Harvey Birdman icon I'm using is even more apropos than usual.)

OK, I'm done spamming you today.
misshepeshu: (Kitten claws)
I'm a regular Mary motherfucking Sunshine today. The Supreme Court has upheld the law banning intact dilation and evacuation (otherwise known as partial-birth abortion, a term I hate hate hate--almost as much as I hate the term "pro-life").

What can we do? Not too much, unfortunately. But the fight isn't over yet. Here are people to whom you can shuffle some cash, should you feel inclined:

Planned Parenthood

NARAL Pro-Choice

Feel free to write your Senators and House Representatives, too, and let them have a piece of your mind. There's a certain "closing the barn door after the horses have bolted" air to it, but it can't hurt.

And then there's voting. I can't vote--yet--so y'all will have to do it for me. Let's see a slightly less fucked administration come into power in 2008, eh? (Oh, hey, that's setting the bar high! "Less fucked than the Bush administration, please!" HahahahaCRY.)

Sarah and I were talking today about what would make us throw our hands and give up on America. Given recent events, our moods are, shall we say, pretty goddamn dire. We both agreed that a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage would do it it, for sure, but swear to God, if they repeal Roe v. Wade in my lifetime, I'm going to see if Canada wants a tiny, foul-mouthed Chinese Malaysian with a law degree.
misshepeshu: (Default)
I haven't been able to talk much about the Virginia Tech massacre. Some tragedies are too big for my mind to wrap around; all that registers at first is numbness, and my brain refuses to think about it. Then a few days later, the wave engulfs me, and it's all I can think about.

The wave finally hit me this morning. I was reading all the news stories I could find before I had to head to work, shaking a little from I-don't-know-what--grief? anger? shock?--and all the way during my drive, I couldn't stop thinking about what had happened. Specifically, what had made Cho Seung-Hui snap. I still can't stop thinking about it. There will likely never be a satisfactory answer to this, which doesn't mean my brain still won't make the attempt.

But the one thing that my mind can wrap around and react to meaningfully is the way the media has latched onto his writings, and the way they're attempting to present Cho's work as some sort of reliable barometer for his bugfuck insane homicidal rage. In fact, some of his work was apparently so disturbing, Lucinda Roy, one of his professors, brought them to the attention of the police.

Roy was so disturbed by them she went to the police and counselors "and everywhere else, and they would say, but there's nothing explicit here. He's not actually saying he's going to kill someone."

"The threats seemed to be underneath the surface," she said. "They were not explicit and that was the difficulty the police had."

"My argument was that he seemed so disturbed that we needed to do something about this," Roy said.


You know what? Even knowing what happened, I think the police did the right thing in letting Cho go. Hindsight: what a bitch.

Look, many people have morbid imaginations. You want to talk sick, wrong imaginations? When I was a child, I used to think up and write horror stories all the time. Some of them involved thinly-disguised people I didn't like biting it in particularly nasty ways. Some of these people were even family members and classmates. Nowadays, I still enjoy coming up with and writing really violent fiction, but I've completely outgrown my need to take out my resentment and aggression on real-life people disguised in a fictional setting. I did what I did back then as a proxy for agency, which is no longer quite the problem for me as a 29-year-old the way it was when I was 9. Once I had more power over my life and the directions I wanted it to go, I didn't need to resort to fiction.

Here's the key point: fiction provides a safe haven for lashing out. Teenagers are especially notorious for coming up with violent, tragic stories and poems, and there's a good reason for that.

All of this is a long-winded way to say: Cho's writing did not provide anything even close to reliable indicators of what awaited the students and professors at Virginia Tech on Monday. The vast majority of people who come up with terribly-written blood-drenched pieces of work don't go on to become mass murderers.

Which is why the connections CNN and other news outlets are trying to make between Cho's work and his killing rampage make me squirm like an earthworm a hot sidewalk. The implication seems to be "Let's look into somebody's fantasy lives and attempt to convict them BEFORE they do anything." In fact, it's distinctly Minority Report-ish, only instead of the Department of Pre-Crime, it's the Department for the Analysis of Poorly-Written Angst-Ridden Violent Fiction.

I have a bad, bad feeling that overzealous administrators will seize on this completely meaningless indicator and start scrutinizing students' work for so-called danger signs--more than they do already. Yes, Cho wrote a lot of disturbingly violent fiction. And yes, some dangerously deranged people indulge in similar sorts of writing. That's not indicative of murderous tendencies. Just because the pavement's wet isn't a sign that it rained, capisce? Other things, like the stalking complaints, were probably better (but not by ANY means conclusive) indicators that something was seriously wrong with Cho. About all you can conclude his body of work is that he was an immature, angry 23-year-old student, and wrote like one. Yes, the tragedy is awful; yes, we want to prevent another one, if we reasonably can. However, focusing on irrelevancies like some motherfucking play he wrote a while back about attempting to kill a sexually abusive stepfather does little to further our understanding. His works are made eerie, significant and prescient only by the nature of what we know now.
misshepeshu: (OMG EMO)
Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday.

So long, you crazy old bastard. You wrote some amazing fiction and sparked a lot of minds.

I'm not sure there's much more I can say. I feel really upset about this. Teary, even.
misshepeshu: (Nerds are Hot)
Anyone want to help me celebrate by conducting this experiment? If frozen hot dogs are a little bit too exciting for you, we can use other things.

I wish I had enough time to make pie tonight so I could eat it in celebration. Damn.
misshepeshu: (hitler says wtf)
"He was naked, on crack and in alligator's mouth"

I have to say: I felt sorry for the alligator they killed. They weren't even sure if they got the right one. Sigh.
misshepeshu: (Blackbeard)
Via [livejournal.com profile] tinaconnolly: Free Geek was broken into on Saturday and thousands of dollars of equipment stolen. Here's the Free Geek news release, and here's the write-up in Boing Boing.

If you have any spare money, Free Geek accepts cash donations. They're always a worthy organization to give your money to, but I imagine your help is appreciated more than ever right now.

Edited to add: KiloSeven has a webpage that shows you samples of what the GeekNumbers look like on the stolen Free Geek equipment. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] clackablog for pointing that out.
misshepeshu: (Default)
Democrat Jon Tester has just won the Senate race in Montana. We only need one more seat to regain the majority in both houses of Congress.

C'mon, Virginia! You can do eeeeet.

(I'm really amused by how very strongly I feel about this, given that I'm not a registered voter, much less a registered Democrat.)
misshepeshu: (Blackbeard)
Ah, Rummy, we hardly knew ye.

I know crap-all about his replacement, Robert Gates. Anyone care to edumacate me on him?

p.s. I'm really enjoying the different sad pictures of Rumsfeld CNN cycles through as I refresh the front page. There's Gaydenfreude and Hovindfreude--can there also be Rummyfreude?









YES

Nov. 7th, 2006 11:23 pm
misshepeshu: (cowbell)
Ted Kulongoski re-elected.

Measure 43 defeated.

Measure 44 passed.

Santorum wiped clean. (Yeah, yeah, I had to take that shot. You know I had to.)

Ben Cannon, who has volunteered extensively with the Bus Project, won his seat in the Oregon state Senate. (He's my age. That boggles my mind, that somebody so young could win a state Senate seat.)

+25 seats in the US House of Representatives.

+3 +4 seats in the US Senate. (C'mon, bitch-asses, we need only three two more. ONLY TWO MORE. FUCK.)

Spent the first part of the evening at the Bus Project, making last-minute Get Out the Vote phone calls. We bandied about catch-phrases like "Just vote already, motherfucker", though we were considerably more polite to the people once we got them on the phone.

Watching Scott, a recent Reed graduate and Bus Project staff member, guilt people into voting nearly brought a tear to my eye. He was especially masterful with other Reed students. "You're a Reedie, right? Look, it's votes like yours that we need. You are critical to this election. There are ballot measures that directly affect young people like us, like measure 43, which covers parental notification for abortion procedures. The ballot drop box is available until 8 p.m., which is less than an hour from now. Do you have a car? No? Well, go find a friend with a car. No, seriously, no excuses. Do it." It was bullying at its finest, and I saw him pull this off three or four times. Dude's got skills.

Back to obsessively checking on the races in Virginia, Missouri and Montana.

Awfulness

Nov. 2nd, 2006 05:32 pm
misshepeshu: (Blackbeard)
The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently made a decision regarding Maouloud Baby v. State of Maryland, wherein they said "Once you say yes to sex, he's in--no changing your minds, you filthy harlots." Which is fucked up in any number of ways, but once you read the details of what happened, the What the Fucking Fuck quotient rises pretty dramatically. To wit:

Gory details under the cut, in case you don't want to read 'em. )

Under current Maryland law, once consent is given for sexual intercourse and intercourse has begun, it cannot be withdrawn, so if somebody manages to coerce a "yes" from the victim, they're pretty-much scot-free in terms of rape charges (however, if I'm not mistaken, they may still be charged for sexual assault). It doesn't matter if, say, you find out during the act that the guy has an STD, or that it really, really hurts, or you've discovered he's not using a rubber, or any of that. No number of nos can reverse that initial yes.

I don't have any words right now to describe how disgusted I feel, though the word "stab" features quite prominently in my mind.
misshepeshu: (COLBERT RLY?)
Via Pandagon, check this out: Chuck Norris's response (Warning! Warning! WorldNetDaily alert! WorldNetDaily alert!) to Chuck Norris Facts.

I know, I know, hard to credit that this veritable powerhouse of virtuoso thespian ability who has starred in cinema classics like Delta Force and Lone Wolf McQuade (which features the Best Evil Movie Midget of ALL TIME and none of y'all are allowed to say different) shows about as much self-awareness as a room-temperature block of Havarti. I know you're shocked, and I'm sorry to be the one to burst your bubble. And at the risk of rubbing salt in your wounds, I'm going to pull some choice quotes here, because they're just that good:

There are more than 50,000 jokes making their way around the Internet that purport to be "facts" all playing off my movie roles as a "tough guy" and my history as a martial arts champion. But they aren't "jokes" to those who spread them – they're "facts."


Somebody stop the man from using any more quotation marks. Please. They're out of control, and each one is accompanied by the mental image of Chuck making the scare quotes sign with his fingers.

*weeps blood*

While I have as much fun as anyone else reading and quoting them, let's face it, most "Chuck Norris Facts" describe someone with supernatural, superhuman powers.


Forgive me for using this, but really, I can't...stop...myself:



Alleged Chuck Norris Fact: "There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live." It's funny. It's cute. But here's what I really think about the theory of evolution: It's not real. It is not the way we got here. In fact, the life you see on this planet is really just a list of creatures God has allowed to live. We are not creations of random chance. We are not accidents. There is a God, a Creator, who made you and me. We were made in His image, which separates us from all other creatures.


This man has sucked all the funny out of one of my favorite Chuck Norris facts.

No, wait, on thinking about it, he's made it even funnier.

Behold the power of Chuck Norris.

PZ Myers has suggested some amusing new Chuck Norris facts. I especially like this one: "When Chuck Norris furrows his brow, he's not thinking—he's knuckling his third fist."
misshepeshu: (hitler says wtf)
While having dinner at [livejournal.com profile] yermomshouse last night, [livejournal.com profile] ibnfirnas and [livejournal.com profile] knittinggoddess brought up something they'd read on the BBC--a bizarre article about the evolution of humans, and how 1000 years in the future, they were going to branch off into two separate lineages: one lineage tall, graceful, and comely, the men with square jaws and big penises and the women with smooth skin and pert breasts, and the other line consisting of short, stumpy, troll-like creatures.

There was much hysterical laughter around the table, but at the same time, I thought "Somebody actually predicted the evolution of women's breasts? No. Noah had to have been kidding. Comic exaggeration. Parody. Something."

But, um, no. She wasn't. You can read all about it here.

I'm not sure I've giggled this hard at a news story in a long, long time.
misshepeshu: (Default)
The Senate passed the torture bill.

I don't think there's anything I can say that can adequately express how awful I think this is.

Find out how your representatives voted.

Here's to hoping the Supreme Court is still capable of doing what's right.
misshepeshu: (Test Tube)
Thing 1: Scientists and Engineers For America: A political advocacy group geared towards scientists and engineers. They even have a Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers. (Hot damn, that has got to be one of the sexiest collection of words in the English language.) My two favorite items:

6. Appointments to federal scientific advisory committees shall be based on the candidate’s scientific qualifications, not political affiliation or ideology.

7. The federal government shall not support any science education program that includes instruction in concepts that are derived from ideology and not science.


HOT! So sign up and/or contribute to the cause, if you're so inclined.

Thing 2: Check out this Trick-or-Vote handbill. Know who helped lay that out? Yeah, that's right, bitches. *thumbs to chest* ME. I didn't create the art or decide on the color scheme, but I laid it out and chose the fonts, go Team Moi, woo hoo. I have a bunch of printed out postcard versions of this, and I'm all squealy and excited because LOOK MA I HELPED MAKE THAT and yeah, I'm ridiculous like that.

The line-up on that handbill isn't final, by the way. We're hoping, hoping, hoping to get a brilliant MC and headliner; we'll know by next week, and if we do get who we hope to get, y'all should be able to hear my squeeing from clear across the country.

Thing 3: Tonight, I learned about Candidates Gone Wild. I'm enough of a dork to find the whole thing very, very amusing. Gubernatorial candidates subjected to a talent show and questions from the audience, accompanied by music and funny films? I'm there. If any of you wish to accompany me, I highly, highly recommend that you come (attending the event would be good, too, of course); tickets are only $4. I only wish I could vote.

Thing 4: My friend Jimmy, who's in Israel right now, called me today and left me a loooong message that starts out "Hello, your royal hotness" and ends with him singing along to "Mozzarella Swastika" by Adam Green. He wasn't even drunk. It's just...yeah, I have totally awesome friends.([livejournal.com profile] heyokish, aren't you jelus? Admit it, you are!)
misshepeshu: (DIEINAFIRE!)
After two days of feeling sick to my stomach, I was rejoicing my return to solid foods last night. And then today, I started reading this and this at Balkinization (links courtesy of David Luban's article on Slate) about the so-called compromise bill on torture and unlawful enemy combatants, supported by John fucking McCain, of all people.

Who needs emetics when one has the news?

I feel especially frustrated because I feel like I'm not grasping the full legal implications of this bill, though thanks to certain parties, I at least now know what habeas corpus is.

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