Kids Today

One day I mentioned to S. that I thought it was odd that every single school in our little corner of Florida was surrounded by high chain-link fence. “That’s not odd, it’s to keep predators out.”, she replied.

I was fascinated! “Seriously? I wasn’t aware that there was a problem with alligators and bobcats and sh*t coming onto school property and dragging off children!” I was being completely sincere.

“Not that kind of predator…’to catch a’ predators!” She looked at me like I was an idiot.

“Oh, well that makes sense,” I said, feeling like a pure dumb-ass.

This morning on The Today Show, they had a segment designed to highlight…something. They had a young kid, somewhere around 9-11 years old, well-dressed with a backpack, and they had this kid wander around in public places. He didn’t look particularly lost or distressed, he just looked like a student. They were shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that no one approached this kid to see if he required assistance. He wasn’t crying, or calling out “MOM! MOM!” or anything like that. They were literally like, “Here he is sitting on bench, let’s see if anyone approaches. Now we’ve put him on a busy boardwalk… he offered to take a photo for a couple, but still no one asked if he needed assistance.”

I get the point they were trying to make, but I don’t think they went about it very well. They claim that most children don’t become hysterical or panic when they’re lost. I think maybe people would have been more likely to offer assistance if the kid had looked even the slightest bit bothered. Where I live, I regularly see small children walking other, smaller children home from school, to the park, etc…

PINGBACK

Last One, I Promise (though I’ve been known to lie)

I get awards! Dorian, from the adorable Dorian’s Handrecently awarded me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and Matthew over at Horrorville gave me The Sunshine Award. Dorian is probably the most intelligent baby I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, and Matt’s was the first horror blog I discovered on WordPress, so I gratefully accept, thank you. The V.I.B. requires absolutely no work on my part, while The Sunshine Award comes with some questions, which I’ll answer shortly; but, before that, another rant…

Everyone knows my feelings on celebrities by now, right? Let me assure you that this applies across the board. If you’re an actor, I care about your acting; a singer, your singing; painter, poet, comedian; whatever it is that you (the celebrity) do, that’s pretty much the only aspect of you that I care about. It works a little differently if I discover them some other way. This is especially true in writing.

There’s a fairly well-known author whose WordPress blog I follow. He had (maybe has) a pretty public feud with another well-known author (no names) that took the same shape as a lot of “high-profile” online disagreements nowadays; basically it was one guy saying “You’re a bully and a dick with a horrible attitude and that’s why my stuff sells better!” and the other guy saying, “Yeah well, fuck you.” (SORRY DORIAN)

I felt the need to say something, so I left a comment, something to the effect of:

“I wasn’t aware of your politics when I found your book. I loved it, and have since read the rest. Now that I know what your political beliefs are, I can assure you they have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the fact that I find enjoyment in your writing, and I will continue to be a fan.

I won’t lie, if I had been aware of this author’s political stance (“conservative right-wing gun nut” that’s in quotes because people are WAY more than their politics), I probably wouldn’t have bothered to read his books, and I’d have missed out on some very enjoyable fiction. The other guy, who claimed the “moral high ground” based on his political views? Seeing the way he handled what was a simple disagreement firmly cemented in my head, “Yeah, fuck this guy.” He could be the best writer on the planet, and I’ll continue to miss out on it simply because he behaved like a self-righteous prick and insisted on trying to push his idea of what’s “right”, and behaved poorly while doing it. That’s my prerogative, and one fan more or less doesn’t really amount to much. What I won’t be doing is running around trying to convince people why they should or shouldn’t read one or the other.

Which brings me, kind of, sort of, back to this…It’s been five days. Five days between articles about H.P. Lovecraft’s racism. This time it’s The Guardian, yet again explaining how some fans and writers feel like the World Fantasy Award should be changed to something other than a bust of, arguably, the most well-known author of weird fiction of all time.

[QUICK NOTE: Dorian, please just stop reading here, I'm going to get ugly]

Whether they like it or not, it’s as simple as S.T. Joshi says:

“If Nnedi Okorafor and China Miéville are so offended at owning the WFA, they should simply return it and be done with the matter.”

That’s right folks, it really is THAT FUCKING EASY. You could even, in fact, start your own little club and hand out your own awards. You’re WRITERS; write up a fucking charter, charge some dues, and hit the streets to promote your new fancy club and your new, fancy, all-inclusive award. But the WFA has been around since 1975, and it’s recognized as being pretty prestigious. Why start your own shit when you can just attempt to co-opt something that already has a long, well-respected history; all because the statue that goes along with the HUGE FUCKING HONOR of being recognized as an incredible writer makes you feel “oogy”. Grow the fuck up. This is pretty much the same shit people are pulling right now in the online atheist/skeptic “community”, the same shit people are attempting to do with video games. “This is problematic because ‘muh feelings’, and it needs to be changed…” How about you piss up a rope? Here’s a lesson I learned as a very small child; not many people are going to give a fuck about your “feelings”. Start your own online community, make your own goddamn video games, create your own fucking award and spend the years building up it’s reputation; no one is here to cater to you or your precious fucking feelings. Write, be read, and stop fucking crying.

Sorry about that, it just gets my goat.

So, on to Matthew’s questions (if anyone is still reading):

1. What’s your favorite movie genre?

It’s horror, of course. :)

2. What’s your favorite horror movie?

I’d have to go with The Descent, because that spelunking scares the shit out of me. I’m not usually claustrophobic, but all that sliding into small spaces surrounding by tons of rock…ewww, no.

3. Do you love horror (if so why)?

Yup. I love to be scared, even though it doesn’t happen often.

4. What are your hobbies?

I recently discovered a love for complaining on the internet. I also do a lot of exercising and cooking. (more: reading, riding my bike, writing)

5. If you could be in a movie which movie would it be?

I think Grave Encounters would be fun, or Natural Born Killers.

6. If you could meet someone who would it be?

Jim Butcher. If we’re including fictional characters, Spider Jerusalem.

7. What is your favorite sports team?

I don’t “do” sports.

8. Why did you start blogging?

I ask myself this everyday, and still don’t really have an answer.

9. What have you learned from your time on WordPress?

I can’t say I’ve actually learned anything, but it has reinforced several things I already suspected. Lots of people love to generalize other sorts of people, most people seem to actually be fairly rational, and every culture or subculture has its own fair share of dickheads.

10. What is your biggest fear?

That I’ll never finish writing one book, let alone several.

If anyone IS still reading this, I’m always open to opinions. I will not be giving out nominations, I fear someone will claim photophobia, or that the word “inspiring” is one of their triggers.

 

 

 

 

 

One Of Many Reasons We Can’t Have Nice Things

Once, when I was in my early twenties, I took my brother along to a co-workers house to watch Wrestlemania. I was driving a white, older model, Ford Econoline van; it was my work vehicle, and the back was full of tools. While I was driving him home, I went through a yellow light about two blocks away from my parent’s house. Seemingly out of nowhere, I saw flashing lights and heard the squawk of a siren, immediately followed by a voice on a loudspeaker, “PULL OVER.”

I pulled the van over to the curb, ironically enough directly in front of a bar owned by my employer. An older, black police officer came to my window and asked for my license and registration, which I provided. Before glancing at either one he asked, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“I’m guessing it’s because that light changed as I was going under it, officer. I’ve got a bunch of shelved tools in the back, and I didn’t want them to get scattered.”

“That light was red, I saw you speed through it,” more police cars began to arrive and he started to get more and more insistent, “This is a residential neighborhood, when you guys come down here to cop your drugs and then try to make a quick getaway, you’re putting lives at risk. Imagine if you lived here, and one of your kids got run over by some junkie.”

I just smiled and said, “I understand, officer.” See, I knew something he didn’t; because of the tempestuous relationship I was in, when I had my drivers license renewed I used my parent’s address. Both my parents, and my boss, were standing on the corner watching the entire scene play itself out.

The officer finally stops talking long enough to look at my drivers license, then looks back to me with a puzzled look. I point towards the right and say, “That’s right motherfucker, I can see my house from here. Maybe you’d like to talk to my parents, or the man that this vehicle is registered to, they’re all standing right there.”

He scurried over to the cavalcade of police vehicles (seriously, there were like five cop cars AND a wagon), had a conversation with the assembled officers, and walked back to the van.

“Here’s your information, have a good night and drive carefully sir.”

It was that easy. I didn’t have to yell, or stamp my feet, or call my daddy. Even though it was pretty obvious I was stopped, in that neighborhood, for “driving while white”, I didn’t say a peep.

Which brings me to this. Just another spoiled celebrity behaving badly. There are a lot of articles about this “news”. Most of them, in the beginning, were rather sympathetic. The actress claimed the police “harassed” her and her boyfriend because they’re an interracial couple, up to and including handcuffing and detaining her. Then, to my delight (we all know how I feel about celebrities), the LAPD released an audio recording of the encounter.

“Is it because I’m black and he’s white? Do you know who I am? My dad (!!) would like to talk to you!” Then, she just WALKS. THE. FUCK. AWAY.

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people? From one of the articles:

Lucas said that as Watts walked away one of the officers “said something like, ‘I wouldn’t leave if I was her.’” However, Lucas also said that no one told Watts not to walk away.

I would LOVE some of what this guy’s smoking, because “normal” people know you don’t just decide you’re done and walk away from the police.

The Room

I come to face-down, the floor is soft and cold. Opening my eyes, I realize I’m lying on a thin foam mat, like the ones we used in gym class. The air is thick with the smell of antiseptic, but from my vantage point I can see a build-up of old dirt in the corner. When I attempt to sit up, I notice my arms are restrained. No matter how hard I struggle, I’m unable to free myself. I manage to maneuver myself to a sitting position and try to get my bearings. High on one wall there’s a window, thick wired glass set into a white-painted block wall; the visible light indicates late afternoon. The opposite wall holds a heavy, gray steel door with another, smaller window. The walls, to a certain height, are discolored; no doubt from people like me listlessly sliding along, working their way around the small, dimly lit room. I struggle to stand and cover the short distance to the door, pressing my face against the small window. As my eyes adjust to the brightness, I see a tall, powerfully built man gesturing for me to stand back. I hear a crackle, then a tinny, staticky voice, “If you back up and sit down, we can talk. If you’re reasonable, we won’t have to give you another injection.”

I turn, manage to take a half-step, then stumble to the mat; my voice comes out in a harsh croak, “Okay, I’m ready.”

 

Brain Scramblies

I don’t have the will or the wit to put together a long post, so here’s some snippets!

  • Apparently, the government didn’t “threaten” James Foley’s family if they attempted to pay the ransom for their son, they just made it really, really clear that it was against the law…
  • Kanye West is STILL a fucking idiot. Why don’t people understand that you can be an idiot savant when it comes to music production, and just an average, run-of-the-mill idiot in everything else?
  • Maybe if we held student athletes (starting as early as possible, *cough* STEUBENVILLE *cough*) to the same standards as regular people, we wouldn’t have such a fucked up mess in professional sports. Just because you can catch a ball, or throw a ball, or run really fast, doesn’t mean you should be considered “above the law”.
    • While we’re on this, how about everyone stop pretending they know exactly what Ray and Janay Rice’s situation is just because you saw a 90 second video clip? Specifically, stop acting like she’s some brain-washed victim, she’s a grown-ass woman, and she doesn’t seem to be some shrinking violet. If you want to use this as a teaching moment, do so, but don’t pigeon-hole someone else into your narrative. (and seriously, fuck you if you read this as me defending anything)
  • Last but not least, MOST people are dumb.

Feel free to discuss.

P.S. Credit to Tempest Rose (the clothed one unpaid, freelance burlesque dancer, not to be confused with the other one…) for inspiration! Check it out here!

Apathy

I haven’t been posting so much. On the flip-side, I’ve been writing a LOT; some of it is even decent. Eventually I’ll get around to posting some of it. The reason is an epiphany I had about a week ago. All these things I complain about, they all have the exact same kryptonite; INDIFFERENCE.

It doesn’t matter if some group or the other wants to censor comic books, or video games, or music, or whatever. These people aren’t so much concerned with what’s “fun” as they are with what they deem “right”. If their so-called “allies” are dumb enough to back marketers exploiting a social trend to line their pockets, I say give it to them. I’ve already got enough video games and comic books to hold me over for years; long enough for the “activists” to realize they’ve been taken advantage of to push an agenda.

Think about it, what happens when they “win”? The games they claim to want get made. The comics they say they want to read get written and published. Good for them. If they’re good, or even just decent, I might read them, or play them. I don’t lose anything either way. Something tells me this isn’t what they want though; if all the “demands are met”, how do you fuel the internet outrage machine and generate income? Do you just move on to the next battle, completely reinventing yourself for a new target audience? How do you pull that off?

The key to the whole thing is money. We (as in the royal form) have it, and they want it. They need it to make their products; other people need it to wage their “wars”. What happens when the war’s over, and your original target audience, the ones who spent BILLIONS, is gone; or you realize these people you kowtowed to don’t actually care about your products? What happens if everyone just stops buying into the bullshit, and makes up their own minds instead of following the herd?

Forgive me for saying it, but lots of people are stupid. I don’t trust people I’ve known for years, why would I trust that some random jackass on the internet, or some large, faceless corporation, have my best interests at heart? There’s so much more, but before I start ranting about big business and “da gub’mint”, I’ll just stop myself and say; you don’t have to yell, or complain, or prop up imaginary boogeymen, all you have to do is withhold your support. If you don’t like something, or you don’t believe someone or something is serving your interests, stop giving them your money. It works for anything.

Shocked, I Tell You

Source: Wikimedia

Another week, another article about H.P. Lovecraft’s racism…

Seriously, isn’t this dead horse paste by now? I got it, he was racist…like, 80 years ago. Edgar Allan Poe married his first cousin when she was 13, I don’t see people going ape-shit demanding The Edgars be changed. Orson Scott Card hates “the gays”. No one wants to talk about Marion Zimmer Bradley. Why Lovecraft? Not just about his racism either, people throw shade about his writing. Here’s a tip (again), taste is fucking subjective.