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Stupid, Ugly Man Writes Stupid, Racist Article About “Attractiveness.” Film at Eleven. May 18, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Culture, General Weirdness, Racism.
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Fig. 1: This guy has the nerve to write about attractiveness?

Ok, so apparently, this idiot, Satoshi Kanazawa, wrote an incendiary piece for Psychology Today called “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”

Before I even get to the “content” of his stupid article, I have to talk about the title. The title presumes off the bat that Black women are “less physically attractive” than other women. Wow. That right there is awesome. I mean, why even bother pretending to have anything in the neighborhood of scientific objectivity? If you’re gonna go racist, go RACIST. Don’t half-step it, Satoshi!

Anyway, Kanazawa claims to have “objective” data that would explain just why Black women are so damned ugly. Are you ready? Sitting down? Got plenty of alcohol in hand? Good.
* Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women.

Well, as we all know, nobody likes any junk in that trunk. Nobody.

Fig. 1: The butt is a lie.

* Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health).

So, basically, because there’s more diversity among Africans, Black women are less attractive than women in other races. Because inbreeding produces nothing but awesome-looking people.

Fig. 2: One of these young men is probably not the offspring of Prince Charles. You’ll never guess which one.

And, to borrow from Professor Farnsworth, Good News! Being good looking is a “measure of genetic and developmental health.” And here I thought that attractiveness was purely subjective. Isn’t science awesome?

But hark! Kanazawa has a problem. If both Black men and women have more genome mutations, then shouldn’t Black men be equally hideous to everyone? Shouldn’t Kim Kardashian fairly faint at the sight of Reggie Bush? Well, no. Because Kanazawa presents an argument so insane, that it just might work!

* The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently.

Well, now. Did I read that correctly, or did Kanazawa just call Black women a bunch of intersexed ugly people? I think he just called Black women a bunch of intersexed ugly people. Mind you, the “study” he’s drawing on to make his “conclusions”? Doesn’t explain or even consider the historical and social forces behind “attractiveness.” Let me give you an example of the subjectivity of “attractiveness.” Back in college, there was this guy I thought was the Hottest Man To Ever Walk The Earth. Fifteen years ago, I would have literally slapped my mother if I’d have had a shot at him. Now? Well, not so much. He’s still attractive—to me—but now I’m like, “Meh. I’ve seen better.” What changed? Well, I’ve seen more men. Also? Time has helped shape and reshape my thoroughly subjective judgments about what I think is attractive.

What’s hilarious—and sad—is that this guy is proffering all of these racist crackhead theories and doesn’t seem to acknowledge that he himself as a Japanese man will likely be subjected to a number of racist assumptions about the “attractiveness” and “sexual prowess” of Asian men.

Or maybe he has and has decided to embark on a Pinky and the Brain-like program of idiotic disinformation as he attempts TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD. I really hope it’s that.


Fig. 3: Remember ladies (or gents); this could all be yours!

The End is Nigh! Again! May 14, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Culture, General Weirdness, Religion.
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So says a bunch of people. From NPR:

Brian Haubert grabs some pamphlets and marches toward the flea market in Palmyra, N.J. Armed with a poster that trumpets Judgment Day on May 21, 2011, he braces for rejection. Announcing God’s wrath is not always a popular message.

“I’ve been called a heretic,” says Haubert, a 33-year-old actuary. “I’ve been told I read the wrong Bible. And then there’s the occasional person who seems to be genuinely interested,” he says.

His friend and fellow believer, Kevin Brown, uses a gentler approach, not confronting people or engaging in conversation, just politely handing out Judgment Day pamphlets.

Now see, I wouldn’t call Haubert a heretic.

I’d call him crazy.

Add him to the long list of people who have gotten their knickers in a twist because the world isn’t quite going the way they think it ought and hope for an imaginary sky-friend to come along and kill all the right people—ever noticed how the doomsayers are never the ones who are going to be on the receiving end of their preferred deity’s wrath? No, ma’am and no sir. These upstanding folks are all a bunch of Jor-Els, running around trying to warn us sinner folk of our sinning ways. Of course, religion isn’t the only culprit in these end of the world freak outs. Remember Y2K? Yeah, people lost their shit over a potential glitch in computers and acted like the End of Days was upon us. And then there’s the impending year 2012 in which woo-addled morons think that the world will end because some Mayans who were writing their dayplanners stopped at some point and said, “Hey, let’s grab some lunch and call it a day.”

Anyway, the world didn’t end in 2000—or in 1978 or in 1988 or when Barack Obama was elected President or when George W. Bush choked on a pretzel. But try telling that to the folks at WeCanKnow.com:

Fig. 1: Since I’m a godless sodomite and will be left behind, would you mind signing over all your financial assets to me?

These folks are convinced that there’s been some “special” revelation—which specifically contradicts Jesus’s assertion that no one would know the day nor hour in which the “end of the age” would occur. But hey, they claim that their only source for this special revelation is the Bible…I guess the very words of their religion’s founder simply don’t count for squat, but weird readings of Pauline letters do. Isn’t proof-texting fun?

Funny thing is, these folks never do reveal just how they came up with Saturday, May 21st, 2011 as the date in which their deity would decide to do something really dramatic. Why May 21st? Why not, say, 70 C.E.? Why not when the early church was deep in the shit and being persecuted left, right and center? Why not around the time of the Bubonic Plague or the Influenza Epidemic of the early 20th Century? Why not during the 1950s? And these are people who are clearly ill-informed about their own religion’s history when it comes to predicting “the end:”

Tough question first: What would you say in response to those who would argue that the Bible never talks about the rapture, nor does the word or concept appear in the Bible, but rather it is simply a 18th century theological construction?

Quite simply, they do not believe the Bible, nor do they understand the enormous relevance of the the resurrection, and subsequent glorification of the bodies of “most” true believers; there are a few exceptions – like Enoch, Elijah and others, who already possess their glorified spiritual bodies). While it is true that the word “Rapture” dos not appear in the Bible, the word “shall be caught up” does, as it appears in 1 Thes. 4:17 (as well as 12 other citation). Please note the very significant context of verses 13-18, plus it precedes one of the most important chapters on the Bible that we can absolutely KNOW the timing of the “catching up” and the Day of Judgment (which is a period of 153 days in actuality from May 21, 2011 – October 21, 2011) in 1 Thes. 5:1-5:

(source: The American Jesus.net)

These folks either don’t know or don’t care to know anything about John Nelson Darby, the British theologian responsible for this “rapture theology” to which they so blindly subscribe. Also, they’re so confident that this is happening, that they can’t even fathom responding to people on the 22nd. I daresay, next Sunday will be very interesting—especially since these folks can’t back off and say that “Oh, well, we got it wrong.”


Fig. 2: I wonder if these ladies will be smiling next week?


Fig. 3: That’s a pretty big matzo ball hanging out there.

Anti-Southernism: The Dating Edition! April 13, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Culture, Rants, Religion.
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Y’know, children, I’ve often said that the Internet is nothing more than an assemblage of potential idiots. Because the Internet is so vast and so full of nooks and crannies, there are many, many places where brainless morons can congregate and commiserate on their collective stupidity. Also, because the supposed anonymity of the Web can foster even more foolishness, allegedly “smart” people can occasionally write some damnable foolishness. Even worse, bastions of so-called “liberal” thinking can usually harbor the worst kinds of idiocy. Case in point: an “article” by a “Maggie Flynn” about dating as an agnostic while living in Nashville. But before I get to Flynn’s anti-southernist piece, I want to remind y’all about something I wrote previously:

See, the stock-in-trade of the anti southernist is that the South is full of moronic imbeciles who are racist, homophobic, dangerously in love with Jesus, etc. The haughty assumption of the anti-southernist is that their particular region is totally free of moronic imbeciles who are racist, homophobic, dangerously in love with Jesus, etc. The South—at least, the “South” as imagined by the anti-southernist is nothing more than a scapegoat, a featureless mannequin upon which the “superior” jackass from another region can festoon every negative, ugly American characteristic.

There’s a reason I wrote that, and sadly, Flynn’s piece seems to fit everything I wrote to a T. Flynn’s essay is about her dating woes when she lived in Nashville. See, Maggie Flynn is an enlightened agnostic who hails from Michigan (you know, that wonderful land of opportunity and great sense) and spent some time in Nashville, Tennessee. Now, when I was told that an agnostic had written about dating in Nashville, I thought it would be a thoughtful piece that highlights the problems inherent in finding a compatible mate when one’s religious beliefs are outside a particular mainstream. Instead, the piece is a holier-than-the-South bit of drivel better suited for someone’s self-indulgent blog–why bore others needlessly?

Anyway, Flynn begins by recounting some dating disasters. Well, hell, who hasn’t had a dating disaster? I bet people living in New York City (aka Liberal Utopia) have some dating hell stories—aw, who’m I kidding? Nobody in NYC has ever had to deal with any kind of prejudice whatsoever. Ok, anyway, Flynn bores everyone with her phenomenally disastrous dates, and then proceeds to blame those phenomenally disastrous dates on Nashville itself, as though the city was somehow responsible for her dating mishaps. She then begins enumerating the horrible, horrible things that the City of Nashville had done that kept her from getting laid on a regular basis:
* Nashville has too many churches!
* Some people who went to church were hypocrites!
* Her job at an Evangelical publishing house subjected her to undue conversation about—oh, my I can’t even type this—church!

It’s this last point that really wobbles the mind. Read this bit of foolishness:

God even invaded my professional life. To supplement my paycheck from AmeriCorps, I took a job in the children’s division for one of the biggest names in Christian publishing, proofreading evangelical teen series and creationist-themed picture books with names like “God Said It and Bang! It Happened.” No one there questioned me about my religious beliefs — my colleagues operated on the assumption that the whole office was Christian.

You mean to tell me that people working at an Evangelical publishing house would dare assume that their co-workers were Christian? Well, spank my ass and call me Charlie! Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me that you’d expect teammates on a football team to be fans of the game! My stars and garters, I don’t know how Flynn mustered the courage to get up in the morning, so oppressed was she!

True to form, Flynn informs the reader that she has since fled (her word, not mine) to Los Angeles. Aren’t you happy for her? Now she’s in Utopia, a place where no one assumes that she subscribes to any particular brand of woo. Oh, it’s perfectly perfect in its perfection. Why, it’s so perfect in Utopia, that she’s even open to the idea of a higher power! If only the horrible city of Nashville had allowed her the freedom to work at Christian publishing houses without assuming that she too was a Christian, maybe she wouldn’t have been such an agnostic! Our dear Flynn writes

In this permissive environment, I’ve actually become more open to the idea of a higher power. Sometimes, as I’m falling asleep, I’m even moved to say a prayer of thanks for my kind and supportive fiancé, our funny French bulldogs and our great community of friends. To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I still wonder where, exactly, my prayer will go. I largely assume my thriving the past few years can be attributed to good decisions and a measure of luck. But maybe the path I’m on has less to do with my personal choices than I think. It’s possible that I was preordained to move to Nashville, feel alienated and flee to a city where I fit. Here in L.A., I feel like I’ve been saved, even if I haven’t.

What a smug load of bollocks. This is precisely the kind of bullshit I was referring to in my previous post on anti-southernism. She claims that she felt alienated. Did she even bother seeking out any nontheist/atheist/agnostic groups? If she’d had an ounce of sense, she could have gotten on the Google and found some atheist groups in the city. I’m pretty fucking certain that there was a Unitarian Universalist church in the city—but no, this smug fool blathers on about going to a Nazarene church. She makes the city her dating scapegoat—even though she concedes that she a) made friends with people who weren’t dangerously in love with Jesus and b) dated a guy who wasn’t double-dating with the Lord. But no, she doesn’t realize that it was probably a matter of giving the city time. No, it wasn’t that, nor could it be that you always have to go through a bunch of frogs before you get to the prince. No, it clearly had to be Nashville’s fault for having more churches than she was comfortable with.

You know what, Maggie Flynn? You go on and enjoy living in LaLa land. I hope you and your fiance are enjoying all your sunny easy liberalism, ’cause we’re getting along just fine with one less smug fraktard fairweather liberal here in the South.

Pole Dancing…For Jesus? March 20, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Culture, General Weirdness, Observations, Religion.
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No, seriously. It’s a thing.

Fig. 1: Houston, we have a problem.

Children, just because you slap “Jesus” on something like it’s a frakkin’ brand name does NOT automagically make it “Christian”…or a good idea.

But seriously, is it just me, or is it that these people are using “Jesus” to validate a thing that they wanted to do? How does this “pole fitness” become something “for” Jesus? Sure, Crystal Deans says that the women who come to get on the pole are “continuing worship,” but what does getting on the pole have to do with Jesus? I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be pole fitness centers (that’s apparently a new thing in our continuing quest to become the most insipid civilization on the face of the earth), or that there shouldn’t be any number of pop cultural fads; just don’t claim that some deceased Jewish itinerant preacher from the first century C.E. has anything whatsoever to do with your particular fad. My cynical self looks at something like this and thinks, “This is just another instance of religion being used in order to market a fad to a segment of the population.” Look at it like this: if Crystal decided to do “Pole Fitness for Spock,” and offered some kind of Star Trek-themed pole dancing (say, the women all wearing green makeup and dancing like Orion Slave Girls), we’d all be clear; Crystal would be trying to cash in on a particular subgroup. When I see something like this pole dancing for Jesus, that’s the second thing I think. The first thing is, “Seriously? This is a thing?”

I guess it is.

On Precious Snowflakes: A Rant December 17, 2010

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As you all know, I have very little tolerance for people who are so delicate that their precious sensibilities must be coddled and assuaged by any and every unfortunate soul who has the misfortune of crossing their path. I cannot stand “political correctness,” for it and those who zealously advocate for it don’t really give a flying rat’s ass about the people affected by hateful speech/actions; rather, it is itself a kind of orthodoxy that truncates questions and the often uncomfortable answers that we have to deal with on a daily basis (e.g., the deployment of words like “bitch” or “niggah”). I cannot stand people who are so delicate that they cannot hear “foul” language for fear of somehow spontaneously combusting. I find sexual prudes so damned annoying that I wish a good slap upside the head could cure them, for I would most certainly want to be the one administering the slap.

So you can imagine how I felt when I read this stupid story about a college instructor in Hawaii who quit his job in the aftermath of his administration’s caving in to the stupid father of a stupid snowflake. Daniel Peterson taught philosophy at a Hawaii community college for 21 years.

Why share with students that “shit happens”? Petersen said that in the beginning of his introductory philosophy courses, he likes to challenge students, and get them out of easy ways of thinking.

“People think they are in control, but they walk outside and an airplane engine falls on their heads,” he said in an interview. That’s what he’s trying to get across — that you can’t determine your fate.

Another point he tries to make as the course begins is that extremists are determined to impose their will not only on individuals, but on entire belief systems. And he talks about that idea by saying that Osama bin Laden says, in effect: “If you don’t believe in me and my way, I will kill you and your goddamn god.”

A third point he makes at the beginning of the course is that he’s well aware that his style isn’t for everybody. So he says: “If you don’t like the way I teach, the way I smell, or the way I look, there is the door — you don’t have to take my class.”

Petersen said that he is intentionally provocative — and that this grabs students and gets them thinking, which is what he considers to be his job.

Well, at least he did until a precious snowflake (who later dropped the class, by the way) whined about hearing profanity in the class. This grown-ass woman who couldn’t handle hearing curse words (I guess she doesn’t watch a damn thing on TV except for fucking Nickelodeon) complained to her daddy.

Okay, that right there is some WTF shit. Seriously? You complain to your father? And you’re a grown-ass woman? Are you fucking kidding me? The nanosecond I left home, I quit bothering my mother for shit. I felt it an enormous defeat for me to have to have lived with her for one semester towards the end of my undergraduate degree. Why? Because I was fucking grown and thought that I needed to be able to handle shit on my own. And I would have been mortified had my mother ever attempted to intervene in anything I was dealing with when I was in college. I probably fucked up a lot of shit—but it was my shit to fuck up and clean up, not hers. Besides, I think she would have looked at me like I had lost what was left of my mind had I complained to her about any of my professors. Anyway, precious snowflake complains to her dumb daddy…who complains to the administration.

Okay, that’s some more WTF shit. Why the fuck didn’t he tell her to suck it up and grow the hell up? Oh, that’s right, because the university has become just another commodity that has to cater to “customers.” And if dear daddy doesn’t like some other person using arbitrarily defined “swear” words, well then, the school is going to have to cater to dear daddy because he can just take his dollars and send his dumb fuck of a daughter somewhere else! So when dear daddy Jahraus writes whines

Instructors, people in an authority position, with influence and power over their students, have no right to use profanity in the classroom…It demonstrates a paucity of verbal ability and total lack of respect for the students he instructs. This instructor’s action is an abuse of the authority position he holds and a betrayal of whatever confidence the students may have had in his ability to deal fairly with them.
Our institutions of higher learning need to take the high ground intellectually and in general deportment rather than devolving to the lowest vernacular.

You can rest assured that the inept administration of UH Hilo took notice and pressured Peterson to stop using profanity in the classroom. As you can see from reading the article on Inside Higher Ed, things obviously escalated, as they tend to do when university administrators get in the business of telling teachers how to teach. This is a man whose first lecture is designed to be shocking—to get people who don’t need to be there or don’t want their fragile (and most likely, bugfucking stupid) worldviews challenged out of the class.

Now, let me deal with precious snowflake Jahraus’s fucking stupid letter. He claims that the use of profanity is indicative of a “paucity of verbal ability.” To that I say, bullshit. As someone who routinely scored in the upper nineties on verbal tests, my vocabulary, as one student noted, “far exceeds that of the average college student,” as does the vocabulary of most everyone I know in academia. However, our common vernacular is not always constructed around polysyllabic words and complicated sentence structure. I’m certain that if Jahraus and Peterson were to have a battle of wits, Jahraus would come out looking quite the fool.

Also, there’s something to be said for context. What was the point of Peterson’s lecture? Apparently, daughter Jahraus missed that altogether, so offended were her precious sensibilities. And since she either a)was never enrolled in the class or b)dropped it after having her delicate hearing sullied by the use of profanity, she really doesn’t have much of a fucking leg on which to stand. Did Peterson curse at any student? No. Further, this was a standard lecture—again, one he’s used for 21 years, heretofore without complaint. Of course, dumb daddy Jahraus doesn’t care about context—all he cares about is whining about someone in the Mean Old World who dared not make his dear offspring feel like the special precious little snowflake she really is. She’s going to be well and truly fucked in this life if this is how she’s going to react to every and any perceived or actual slight or offense.

And “deportment”? He is using this word, but something tells me it does not mean what he thinks it means. At any rate, the university is not some finishing school for people of fine manners. I don’t know what Mr. Jahraus thinks the university is, but the professoriate doesn’t walk around wearing robes all day speaking the King’s English whilst discussing the latest scholarly article on Dostoyevsky. And guess what, Jahraus? The “lowest vernacular” is used by the people—some instructors have to turn to the world of lived experiences in order to relay larger concepts and ideas. And like it or not, part of that lived experience is the use of language, both proper and whatever is deemed as “improper.” So, yeah. Instructors have every right to use profanity in classrooms. They don’t have the right to use it in order to abuse a student or a colleague. They do have the right to use profanity as part of the instructional process—and if that offends you (or anyone else for that matter), then please, by all means go elsewhere. Oh, and in the meantime…

‘Tis the Season to Waste Money (A Black Friday Rant) November 26, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Culture, Rants.
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Ok, so now you’ve consumed your bodyweight in turkey and dressing and other starches and fats. You’ve basked in the glow of your utterly dysfunctional family. You’ve even watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in a desperate attempt to regain your faded childhood.

What’s next?

Well, according to every retail outlet in the damn nation, it’s your patriotic duty to spend money you don’t have on shit you don’t need!

Yes, children, it’s “Black Friday.”

Of course, this Black Friday is a bit different. See, we’ve finally realized that we’re in the grip of an economic depression recession, and many of us have either lost our jobs or know someone who has. The Roaring Nineties are officially, indisputably over and with it, our conspicuous consumption of almost everything. Belt-tightening measures (also known as “common fucking sense”) mean that retailers are going to have to pull out the stops to get you into the store—but for what?

Since I’ve been a grown-ass man, “Black Friday” has struck me as a ridiculous waste of time, energy and money. And yet, people fall for the okeydoke every damn year, lining up at stores at the ass-crack of dawn to get some bauble or soon-to-be-obsolete television at “discounted” prices. Now, with the advent of the Internet, people fire up their pathetic PCs or passably functional iMacs in order to “save” money. Since I brought up Apple, let’s take a look at their Black Friday specials, shall we?

Fig. 1: Bullshit.

I really don’t know how the executives at Apple can fix their mouths to call this a “shopping event,” unless by “shopping event,” they really mean “One-day Screw The Consumer Over Event.” If that’s what they mean, then, yeah, it’s an event, all right. But they are certainly not alone in this ridiculousness. Pretty much all electronics retailers are trying to lure people into buying with promises of “Great Deals!” and “Lowest Prices of the Season!” Really, y’all? You know how I save money each and every Black Friday?

I stay my ass at home.

Yep, that’s right, children. I stay my ass at home and don’t bother with the mall until the After Christmas sales—that’s when retailers are trying to unload all that shit they ordered in order to stay in the black. The incentive for me staying my ass at home is simple: I really find people annoying. And during the holiday season, people begin to warp past annoying on into full-on insufferable. Between cloying and insincere wishes of “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” and the umpteen billion “holiday specials” that purport to show us the “true meaning of Christmas” (here’s the meaning: Buy the shit that advertisers hawk during “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”) and the interminable holiday parties (their only saving grace: spiked egg nog), why in the hot hell would I want to compound my irritation by inserting myself into a sea of sale-grazing, overfed and undereducated moo cows?

Fig. 2: If Hell is other people, then this must be the epicenter of Hell.

Here’s what so fucking horrible about us as a nation: after this orgy of consumption ends, these people who whipped out credit cards and cash will have to deal with the financial hangover. They’ll have to go into credit counseling, bankruptcy, or aggressive negotiations with their creditors—and for what? For “gifts” that will likely be returned and “presents” that will lose their luster five days after they’ve been opened. But being the sheep we are, we’ll fall for this again, and again, and again. Each “holiday” will be pimped out earlier and earlier (I saw my first Christmas commercial the day after Halloween, for frak’s sake!) and, like the compliant drones we are, we’ll line up and ask “Please sir, may I have another?”

Bah, humbug!

A Tale of Two Gays November 12, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Culture, Gay and Lesbian Issues, Observations, Popular Culture.
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You’ve probably been lucky enough to never have seen “The A-List: New York,” Logo’s attempt at a gay version of the “Real Housewives of Wherever.” If you have, for whatever reason, watched this execrable show, you’ve probably been treated to the idiocy that is Reichen Lemkuhl. You may remember him from such shows as “The Amazing Race,” where he and his then-partner Chip won. Way back then, we thought that Chip and Reichen were a gay godsend from above, a role model couple for gays everywhere.

Then, they broke up. Oh, well, we thought. It happens. Couples break up all the time. But then, Lance Bass came out and then he and Reichen started dating.

Fig. 1: I ain’t saying he’s a golddigger…

We began to worry that Reichen was a little bit famewhorish. We tried to ignore stuff like him speaking or his book “Here’s What We’ll Say: Reichen Has a Ghostwriter” and merely enjoy that he was a pretty, pretty man.

But then he signed onto this A-List show. If you want an example of what I’m hinting at, just try watching one episode of this bullshit. And by the end of the first episode, whatever attractiveness Lemkuhl had had evaporated. It’s always sad when dumb people don’t realize they’re dumb. Dumb people usually say dumb shit and then think that the dumb shit they’ve stupidly said is deeply profound instead of dumb. So when Reichen sat down with AfterElton.com to do an interview, one could reasonably expect some dumb shit to fall out of his mouth. Here’s what he has to say about the show and the way it represents gay men:

AE: I’m sure you’re aware, but there’s been a lot of criticism from gay folks that the show is sending out this image that gay men are vapid or superficial. I’m curious if you were surprised by that, the reaction. Secondly, how do you respond?
RL: I’m not totally surprised by it, because I’m a member of the gay community and we take a lot of things personally. We’re a very insecure community about the way that we are portrayed or the way we’re thought about by straight people. We’ve sort of been beholden to the way straight people think about us, and we let that control our community a lot of the time.

I just did a video for my Facebook saying look, it’s a television show made for the purpose of entertainment and we’re not here to represent the whole gay community — we can only represent seven people in the gay community, and watch it for that. Watch it as a TV show. If you think we’re a bad representation of the gay community, it’s like, every gay person knows … we all know the way these seven guys, including myself, act on the show are an accurate representation of the way a lot of gay people act.

For you, as a gay person, to deny that this is a fair representation of the gay community, you’re fooling yourself. What you’re really trying to say is, you’re worried about how we look to straight people. In my video I say this is what we have to stop doing as a community — stop worrying about how we’re portrayed to straight people. No matter how we’re portrayed, it’s how we are.

If every gay guy in America wants to walk around in a dress all day long and sing show tunes and be as stereotypically gay as possible, we still deserve our rights. We still should demand our rights, and we shouldn’t be worried that we don’t have credibility to demand our rights because straight people look at us differently. We still deserve our rights.

When we start cutting each other down from the inside and say “He’s the wrong kind of gay and he’s the right kind of gay”… We should start saying “Okay. As a gay person, I accept all people and the way they act in the gay community, even the way they’re acting on the A-List because that is a fair representation of the way a lot of gay people act.”

Okay, let’s break this fuckery down, shall we?
1. Worrying about what heterosexuals think is only half the problem here.
Reichen seems to want to cover up the fact that this show is full of vapid morons by deflecting. If he thinks that all the detractors of this show are criticizing him and the rest of these self-absorbed morons is because we’re all worried what The Straights will think of us, then that lone marble he calls a brain really is defective.

2. Saying “it’s how we are” shows just how stupid, self-absorbed, and pathetic Reichen is.
He seems to want to have his stupid cake and eat it too. He basically says, “Don’t watch this show thinking it’s a representation of what being gay is, until it is.” Well, which is it, Reichen? And if this is what you think “we” are, Reichen, then that explains a lot about your boyfriending your way through half the Western Hemisphere.

3. This show already presents “the right kind of gay”—and it’s as stereotypically horrible as one might expect.
To follow up on the “it’s how we are” statement: to let this show tell it, gay men are shallow, narcissistic, stupid, self-absorbed, arrogant-without-portfolio, vapid, whorish, catty, status-seeking, vainglorious and morally deficient fucktarded bastards. The “right kind of gay” according to this show is a white male—Latino men are acceptable, so long as they conform to the ever-so exacting standards of whiteness.

Now, let’s be real; I’m certainly not expecting Reichen or anyone else on this Real Housewives-inspired bit of foolishness to be a Gay Yoda. One doesn’t watch this kind of show expecting Afterschool Special messages of gay greatness—but it’d be nice if Reichen possessed enough self-awareness and savvy to say, “Look, this is a show where we’re playing roles—and the audience isn’t going to be interested in watching guys sit around waxing philosophical about gender representation, so we give them what they want: hot guys and catty bitches.”

What really throws his comments about the “A-List” into sharp relief is this week’s episode of “Glee.” The main story focused on babygay Kurt and him being bullied at McKinley High. Fed up with being pushed around by one particular meathead, Kurt snuck off to a rival school, Dalton Academy and met Blaine, a student there and a member of that school’s glee club. That led to this:

Frankly, whatever I could say about this pales in comparison to how Tom and Lorenzo broke it down:

To the straight people reading us: remember high school? Remember your favorite songs and movies, TV shows and music videos from that period? Imagine if all of that media bombardment telling you what to like, what to wear, and how to be attractive, popular, and cool, imagine that all of that aimed for and addressed everyone else but you. Imagine what it’s like when every sappy love song (or angry breakup song), every rom com, every trendy TV show and blockbuster movie, even every video game, imagine if they all depicted a form of romantic love that simply isn’t available to you. Imagine going through high school without even so much as a hint of yourself reflected in any of the things you watch and listen to, any of the things that literally every other kid is talking about. Imagine the one thing you want more than anything in the world: to be kissed, please god, just to be kissed, imagine you have never seen that depicted anywhere or referred to in any way but as something to be mocked and shunned.

We grew unexpectedly teary-eyed watching this number. Not because sappy teenage pop songs get us worked up, but because the sight of a sappy teenage pop song being sung by one cute teenage boy to another cute teenage boy is still, sad to say, an extreme rarity. All we could think while watching this number was, “My god. What would it have been like to see this at 14?” To have the media offer up a romantic fantasy that actually reflected what we secretly yearned for.

What would it have been like, indeed? All I have to say is head on over to TLo and read the rest of what they have to say. Certainly, “Glee” has not been perfect when it comes to representing gay experiences on television, but this is a giant leap forward. Where have we ever seen a male singing a pop song to another male? Sure, this Dalton Academy is, like Blaine himself, a fantasy, but it’s a fantasy that gay kids need to see. Sure, it’s great that adults left, right, and center are taking to YouTube to tell gay kids that “It Gets Better,” but it’s a helluva lot better for gay kids to actually see representations of their experiences, fantasy or no. When I was a teenager, I remember going to the downtown library and looking for anything that had to do with being gay. Certainly, there was nothing in popular culture or in adolescent culture that would have spoken to being gay—outside of tragedy, that is. And the popular music of the day was completely heterosexual—George Michael hadn’t come out yet, and all the boy bands were singing to teenage girls (even if 90% of them were gayer than a rainbow-painted picnic basket full of lube and condoms in the middle of the Castro during Pride). I, like many other people, have wondered, “What would being a gay teenager have been like if this had been around?” What if gay teens are able to see representations of their experiences that aren’t always framed by tragedy or ostracism? What if they can actually go to the prom with their dates just like everyone else and not have to engage in court battles just to go to the damn prom?

Well, one thing is for certain: Blaine and “Teenage Dream” was a helluva lot better than Logo’s “The A-List.”

On Stupidity August 24, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Culture, Observations, Rants.
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Children, I have come to a conclusion. Those of you who know me have probably heard this before, but I want to write this one down. Anyway, as I’ve mused about the xenophobic hysteria surrounding the mosque community center that’s smack dab in the middle two or three blocks from “Ground Zero,” and as I’ve mused about the blight upon humanity that is Sarah Palin, and as I’ve fumed about the persistent “Obama’s a MUSLIM!!!1” meme, and as I have bristled as people continue to present gay marriage as the End of All Things, I have come to this conclusion:

Xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, heterosexism, religious fascism, extreme veganism, bleeding heart hippies, and general woomongering all proceed from one root cause:

STUPIDITY.

Take a good look at all the morons who have lost their ever-loving minds about the Park51 community center. Have they presented one single argument that isn’t rooted in abject stupidity? “Oh, it’s too close to hallowed ‘Ground Zero’!” they whine. Nevertheless, they don’t raise a flippin’ stink about the strip club near their allegedly hallowed ground. These might be the same people who, despite every bit of evidence to the contrary, scream about Obama being a Muslim and desiring to socialize their medicine and kill their grandmothers or some such foolishness.

Stupidity, I say. Sure, I could write about this all being xenophobia—but the root of all of this is stupidity. These are people who are stupid beyond sense and reason.

Look at the raging anti-gays who run around saying how Gay Marriage ™ will destroy heterosexual marriage. Mind you, these idiots can’t produce one scintilla of evidence to support their freakout. No, they blather on about (heterosexual) marriage being the foundation of the nation and so forth—mind you, they wouldn’t support a constitutional amendment banning divorce; probably because they’re on their second or even third marriage.


Fig. 1: Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian, Explains Bible-Based Marriage

The stupidity in which this nation is drowning is everywhere. The xenophobe and the homophobe and the Real Housewives of Wherever have more in common than one might think. From Dr. Phil to reality television, stupidity is everywhere. People think watching Bill O’Reilly or reading some stupid self-help book or getting their soul coached by some crystal-wearing schmuck is helpful. They overcoddle children to the point of impotence, gaggle at the bit of moronic movie stars, and follow the “advice” of dolts like “Dr. Laura” and “Dr. Phil” and whatever snake oil salesman/prosperity pimp happens to misquote the hell out of the Bible.

Stupidity is trying every get-rich-quick fix. Stupidity is listening to Oprah when she’s hardly qualified to do a damn thing. Stupidity is paying public school teachers slave wages and basketball players more money than God and then wondering what’s wrong with our educational system. Stupidity is wanting easy answers to a hard life, wanting to “take it easy” all the damn time instead of working, and refusing to think—because thinking means that positions might have to change.

Case in point: a few years back, during the 2004 elections, I ranted to some friends about how “all Republicans were blah, blah, blah utter foolishness.” I got quickly checked when they noted that someone else whom I considered a friend was a Republican. Now, I had choice: continue the easy, yet stupid path, or rethink my stupid position. I had to acknowledge that I had trod the path of stupidity—after all, it was quite easy to paint all Republicans with a brush of evil. The path of stupidity is very, very easy. It allows for people to paint other people with broad brushes, while demanding that everyone else treat them as speshul snowflakes. The path of stupidity allows people to be so utterly unreflective about anything in this world, that they hear the dogwhistle of venal, corrupt fascists and descend upon a major American city to protest something about which they have only the slimmest of clues, all the while revealing to the world just how blinkered and stupid they really are.

The good news is this: stupidity can be beaten back. It can be beaten back by courageous men and women who refuse to coddle stupidity and start calling stupidity out. Frankly, we’ve got to stop treating stupidity with kid gloves. Let’s be clear: what I’m railing against is a general culture of self-serving, navel-gazing ignorance, an ignorance that is willing and intentional. It is pernicious and it is dangerous. If you’re in a discussion with someone, and they make unfounded assertions, and after you question them, they give you blank stares or dismiss reason, you are dealing with a person besotted by stupidity. Don’t shy away—face the demons of stupidity head on. If people fight stupidity at every turn, if people who know this refuse to be silent, then perhaps—just perhaps—we can set humanity on a different path.

On Laura Schlesinger August 21, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Black folks, Culture, Racism, Rants.
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Fig. 1: Good riddance, you desiccated fossil.

Well, children, I guess I figured I’d weigh in (late, as usual) about radio talk show host Laura Schlesinger’s epic N-word laden rant. I’m not even gonna mention that twit Sarah Palin’s nonsense tweets supporting Schlesinger and invoking the First Amendment—I suppose that First Amendment is only useful in the case of crazy old white women who want to use the N-word and not for Muslims in NYC who want to build a community center/place of worship “near” allegedly “hallowed” Ground Zero. Anyway, I’ve not really paid Schlesinger and her foolishness much attention—after all, she’s said some batshit crazy stuff before.

Fig. 2: If you don’t sex your hubby up right, he’ll leave you! So sayeth Laura.

Isn’t she just a sunbeam for Jesus?

Well, as y’all probably know by now, when an African American woman called in to ask advice about dealing with her white husband’s racist friends, Schlesinger told her, in so many words, that she was being hypersensitive and that if she didn’t want to be offended, she shouldn’t have “married out of her race.”

Y’all! She’s totally a sunbeam for Jesus!

Basically, Schlesinger—I refuse to call her “Dr. Laura” as her Ph.D. in physiology does not in any way qualify her to comment on human behavior or relationships—made this woman’s call all about Laura and her irritation with the use of the N-word in African American culture. Why is she bringing this up as though this problem is something new? This woman didn’t call in to talk about Black culture—if Laura wanted to beef about that, she should have had Aaron McGruder or Bill Cosby or someone else on to discuss that, not hijack this woman’s real concern with her husband’s douchebag friends.

By the by, if you can stomach listening to the full audio of this call, click here to go to Media Matters.org.

Well, after this insane kerfluffle, Schlesinger is pulling the plug on her “show.” But wait! She’s throwing herself up on the cross, because she’s a victim…of…being an insensitive clod?

Fig. 3: The First Amendment applies only to me, not you, so quit whining!

Y’all, reading the transcript of the call is just…wow:

SCHLESSINGER: All right. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Can’t have this argument. You know what? If you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor, don’t marry out of your race. If you’re going to marry out of your race, people are going to say, “OK, what do blacks think? What do whites think? What do Jews think? What do Catholics think?” Of course there isn’t a one-think per se. But in general there’s “think.”

And what I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think — and it’s really distressting [sic] and disturbing. And to put it in its context, she said the N-word, and I said, on HBO, listening to black comics, you hear “nigger, nigger, nigger.” I didn’t call anybody a nigger. Nice try, Jade. Actually, sucky try.

Need a sense of humor, sense of humor — and answer the question. When somebody says, “What do blacks think?” say, “This is what I think. This is what I read that if you take a poll the majority of blacks think this.” Answer the question and discuss the issue. It’s like we can’t discuss anything without saying there’s -isms?

We have to be able to discuss these things. We’re people — goodness gracious me. Ah — hypersensitivity, OK, which is being bred by black activists. I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don’t get it. Yes, I do. It’s all about power. I do get it. It’s all about power and that’s sad because what should be in power is not power or righteousness to do good — that should be the greatest power.

Well, I think that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? This clodpoll is imposing upon the caller her views—stripping “Jade” of any agency whatsoever. If the superior (read: white) woman isn’t offended, then the inferior (read: black) woman should “just get over it.” Never mind the history of the word, never mind the internal debates among African Americans about that word, never mind that Schlesinger herself is so out of touch with African American culture that she references “Def Comedy Jam,” a show that doesn’t quite have the same relevance to black folks that it had a decade ago, and never mind that this woman shouldn’t be giving advice to preschoolers much less adults. What’s infuriating here is Schlesinger’s condescending “need a sense of humor.” It is the “height” of white privilege for someone like her to tell a black person—any black person—to “get a sense of humor” when it comes to a word as ugly as that.

I don’t suppose she gets all warm and fuzzy when someone hurls any number of anti-Jewish epithets, does she? Yeah, Laura Schlesinger. I’ll get a sense of humor about white people using the N-word when it doesn’t lead to this:

Or this:

Or this:

No One Ever Expects The Inquisition… August 19, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Culture, Observations, Religion.
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…but thanks to YouTube, you can see this one coming!


Fig. 1: My dictatorship will be totally benevolent…unlike all those other dictatorships.

Ok, children. I understand that YouTube is basically a Candyland of Crazy. I mean, anyone with two brain cells to rub together and a video camera can make anything, and upload it to the Innertubes for everyone to see.

But this? This is special. This whackaloon thinks that what America needs is a Catholic monarchy. That’ll fix everything, right? Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but…haven’t humans tried that before?

Fig. 1: Hey, Isabella, wanna start an Inquisition?

Ok, so this Voris fellow (he graduated from college, yo!) goes on about, essentially, being made fun of over on biologist PZ Myers’ blog and keeps referring to the comments on the blog and probably over on YouTube as “hate speech.” Thanks for cheapening the meaning of the term, college graduate Voris! Anyway, Voris keeps referring to our current government as a “secular humanist” government—I guess it just ain’t a good government unless someone not only recommends you worship their deity, but requires it, under pain of death!

For purposes of reference, here’s the original video in which he outlines the “problem” with democracy:

Fig. 2: Interestingly enough, Voris removed this video, but someone else saved it…hmmmm…

What’s interesting is how he characterizes voters—he straw mans anyone who doesn’t support his particular ideology and, without one whit of irony, calls this hypothetical voter “self-absorbed.” So, clearly, anyone who supports abortion rights and gay marriage is, by his definition, an uninformed, ignorant imbecile who “doesn’t give a hoot” about society and wants to see it destroyed.

And then, he says that “only virtuous people should be allowed to vote.”

Um. WHAT? How, exactly, does one classify someone as “virtuous”? Are we going to use those purity tests that 12-year-old girls did back in middle school? I mean, since he’s going to go this route, why not just make it so only white, land-owning males can vote, since women by their very nature are defiled and sinful and what-not? Also, he describes humankind as “fallen”—so, dude can’t have it both ways. If all of humanity is “fallen” then no one could be “virtuous.”

But wait—Michael Voris, college graduate, says that in order to save democracy, we must destroy it by limiting the vote to “faithful” Catholics.

I’ll wait for you to clean up your exploded brain matter.

Ok, back now? Good. Somehow, this guy was not paying any attention in his civics class. I don’t think he knows who wrote the Constitution, nor does he know this nation’s…interesting history when it comes to Catholicism. The freedom of expression (both religious and political) which allows him to spew his nonsense is the same freedom he’d gleefully deprive pretty much everyone who isn’t Catholic.

I guarantee you this: if YouTube censored or removed his whackaloon videos, he’d be screaming about his First Amendment rights as though he had one flipping clue as to what that First Amendment actually is.