white radical nerd lady in my 30s
transplanted to the East Coast US
happily living in sin with my co-conspirator Mr. X
my Dragon Age sideblog
Other tags of interest - Places I Wish I Was Right Now, GPOY, owls, you are cordially invited to my pants, this has been a post, OH MY GOD, Favorite of all the things, Maru is the best cat in the whole world
… I finally managed to take possession of the most sought-after desk in...
the problem with euthanasia is that we end up working so much harder to end the lives of the sick and disabled than we do to prolong them.
society makes it so difficult and expensive to relieve pain and go out in public and do the activities of daily life that death is preferable, and our solution is to make it easier to die? that’s fucked up!
if an able-bodied person tries to kill themselves, rightly or wrongly people step in. they might even end up hospitalized to try to stop them from completing their suicide attempt. but if a sick or disabled person wants to commit suicide, that’s different. this is considered a sane response to becoming disabled. of course they want to kill themselves. it’s understandable. we’ll even help them do it.
it sends the message that some people are better off dead, that they are a drain on their families and on society and it’s not worth the effort to try to make their lives better. There are things we could be doing to reintegrate these people into public life, to give them what they need to live their daily lives comfortably for as long as possible, and without dragging entire families into unimaginable debt. Instead we talk about their right to die. Which isn’t even a choice if you’re not giving people any other options. It’s more of a suggestion.
It’s wrong, imho.
I’ve been reading about Mindy McCready’s death today. Sad story.
I think a lot of the people who are driven enough to become famous have got a hole inside them that nothing can fill. Maybe they hope fortune and fame will do it. From the outside celebrity seems like a shortcut to a lot of love and support. It’s an illusion, of course, but a tempting one.
It’s not really so different from what a lot of us go through privately, just with this extra layer of press and mythology piled on top.
I understand it’s harder to feel bad for someone who’s got the cash to go through fancy spa rehab and who have a whole fanclub of people caring about them when so many of us are going through the same shit alone. But sometimes I look at people like that and think how they actually got their ultimate dream, the thing they thought would solve all of their problems and make everything better, and it didn’t help. It didn’t make them love themselves that little bit more. It didn’t fill the hole. That seems like its own kind of hell to me.
I think I’ve complained here before about “awareness” as a concept and how it is applied to cancer-related organizations and events. People like to talk about “raising awareness”. When really, “awareness” is fairly useless. We don’t need awareness, we need money. We need a government that takes funding medical research as seriously as it takes funding wars. We need a total overhaul of the health care system so that we can focus on making people better without all this debt and waste.
We need action, in other words. ”Awareness” just makes people feel like they did something, when really nothing has happened, nothing has changed.
I was thinking about that this weekend as I hit reblog on yet another terrible story of something awful and unjust happening in this world, and I suddenly thought, why am I doing this?
A: Because people need to know that this happened. Because I need to acknowledge this and not ignore it.
Q: Why? What good does it do?
A: It spreads knowledge. It shines a light on the things people want to keep in the shadows.
Q: Isn’t that just “Awareness” again? What does all this accomplish? Publishing a litany of awful things for a few people to look at doesn’t change anything about them. It’s fake activism. It’s acting as though acknowledging wrongs is the endgame, when it’s not even a beginning. You’re just adding to the self-satisfied circlejerk of “informed” people who never actually do anything to make the world better.
Q: So what if you learned everything about every terrible thing that happens in the world. So what. What does that do to help the people struggling in the world? What does it matter?
A: I feel like it matters. I don’t know why, but it does.
So yeah, I dunno.
thin people experience oppression too!
No. They don’t.
Maybe someone once said you were too skinny, or that they like someone to have more meat on their bones. Maybe somebody dismissively told you to eat a sandwich. That sucks. That is not okay.
But that’s not oppression. And it’s not comparable to fatphobia and the pathological hatred of fat people.
You as a thin person are not constantly surrounded by positive images of fat people, in a world built for fat people that treats you as abnormal for being thin.
Instead, your body type is presented as something to aspire to. There are entire industries and boatloads of products focused on making people look like you. People go on special diets to try to look like you. Television shows makeover people to look more like you. People have surgeries to look more like you.
Having your body type is not considered a moral failure.
If you underweight due to illness, people will joke about wanting to have your illness, so they can be thin like you. Nobody will make that joke about a fat person. Nobody.
You are not subjected to hate and discrimination for being thin. Places of business do not develop policies against hiring people of your size. You are not habitually paid less money for doing the same work because of your weight. You are not less likely to be promoted to a better position because of your weight.
If you are “underweight”, your doctor will not suggest that every symptom that you experience is somehow related to your weight, and will immediately consider other possibilities. If you are “overweight”, it will take substantially longer to find out what’s really wrong.
Doctors will not turn you away from their practice for being thin. Medical equipment such as wheelchairs and scanners are made for people your size, not for fat people. You don’t have to pay an extra premium for health insurance, and you won’t be refused health insurance coverage because of your weight.
You are not charged extra fees when you travel because of your weight. When you go to a clothing store, they carry your size, because you are considered normal. All the seats fit you. You have no trouble riding in cars, buses, trains and planes.
Your body type is considered sexually attractive. It is not considered unimaginable that anyone would want to sleep with you. You are not assumed to be a virgin. You are not assumed to be unhappy. You are not called lazy, undisciplined, weak, unproductive, or unintelligent because of your weight. You are not considered slovenly, smelly or unclean for reasons having nothing to do with your clothes or hygiene.
This is what hate is. Not being called a skinny bitch that one time. It’s being consistently treated as subhuman, ugly, unloveable, and worthless because of your weight, everywhere you go, every day, and having that driven into your head through your whole life until you believe it too.
There are disadvantages to being thin, sure. But it’s not even close.
I feel like, and I have probably rambled about this before, just about all music turns into pop music almost immediately. That any repackaging for a wider audience than that original scene that spawned it makes it no longer that thing, but “popular music”.
Music comes from a time and a place. Then people from the outside discover it. And maybe some of them appreciate it for what it is. They will press records of the original artists and appreciate their talent. But others will try to replicate it for mass consumption, using artists more acceptable to the mainstream population, and that’s when it mutates into Pop Music.
Blues was born along the Mississippi River in the early-to-mid 20th century. Okay, let’s say states bordering the Mississippi River so we can account for Chicago Blues. Anybody who didn’t at least start out in that time and place is not playing the Blues. They’re playing Pop music that is imitating the Blues.
Punk rock music was born in a few selected cities in the mid-to-late 1970’s: Detroit, New York, and London primarily. Everybody after 1980 is playing pop music, except for where it bifurcated into subgenres like hardcore and psychobilly.
If you are disgusted by this idea, it may be because you have the idea that pop music is inherently bad. It’s not. Sometimes it’s very good! Music changes when it’s repackaged for the entire nation or the world, and sometimes those changes can be creative. Some incredibly talented people have done great things with this. But when we’re talking about originators, and who can and can’t play a certain genre of music and be considered legit, I think these rules come into play. It doesn’t say which artists are good and bad, only who are the innovators and who are the imitators.
Hip-hop music, I’m going to put forth tentatively, was born in American inner-cities in the 1980s, maybe also the 90s. Anybody coming at it from outside that time and place is playing hip-hop influenced pop music.
How do you define the boundaries of a genre? I think it can only be done after the fact, after the mainstream has descended on it and pillaged the parts they wanted. The good stuff will linger. Ideally people in the subculture that created the music (or the subculture that accumulated around it, as can happen) will define the real stuff for everyone else. Which, incidentally, I’m doing here only by hearsay and these are only my suggestions for debate.
Because America has been, and continues to be, extremely segregated, some genres of music are fairly racially exclusive. It’s not that white people are genetically unable to play the blues, but how many of them were playing the blues in the rural areas of the Mississippi Delta? Probably none. Can a white person rap? Well, did they grow up in a rough urban neighborhood in the 80s/90s? That allows Eminem, and excludes just about every other white rapper. (note that I don’t even like Eminem, it’s just how this theory works.)
Rock music is a big old mess. Brilliant guys like Little Richard and Chuck Berry invented rock-n-roll by rolling up various other genres together, and then everyone in the world ripped them off, and about a million subgenres and recombinations ensued and that’s why Rock isn’t even a real genre, it’s just a big vague collection of electric guitar music with a looooong history of copying from black artists right and left.
Anyway, in conclusion, just about everyone we hear on the radio is pop music by definition, most American genres of music were created by black artists (I mean, what wasn’t? country music? LOL NOPE.), and most debates about legitimacy are based on postures that were bastardized from the originals for popular consumption to begin with.
I can no longer contain this rant, because I’m sick of seeing these fucking ads.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America is a for-profit chain of clinics infamous for squeezing money out of patients on unproven, experimental treatments that don’t save their patients. They spend way more on things like marketing and making their facilities look snazzy than on actual patient care.
I first heard about them while eating with a table full of cancer nurses who had all been courted by CTCA with extravagant events and dinners. All of the nurses (who worked for a non-profit hospital) found them incredibly shady.
Their ads talk about compassion and dedication to patients, but if you try to go to them on Medicare or Medicaid, or with Insurance that doesn’t pay out well enough, they’ll shut the door in your face. You don’t have the money, and the money is what they care about.
Did you know that Cancer Treatment Centers of America have gotten into trouble in the past for extremely misleading claims in their ads? Now they’re more carefully worded so that they’re not actually lying, just implying untruthful things.
For example, they imply that they are among the best treatment centers in the country - but what they actually say is “compare us to national averages.” Not “compare us to the top Hospitals in the country”, because they are nowhere on that list! They say compare them to average centers. And yet, they will charge you much more money for their treatment than even the top centers in the country do.
They imply that they can cure your incurable cancer. Whatever their commercial says, CTCA does not secretly have the cure for Pancreatic Cancer. If they did, don’t you think Steve Jobs would have bought it? What they actually do is continue to treat patients long after treatment would do any good, so that patients who could have been enjoying the time they have left end up suffering through “the latest” unnecessary and unproven experimental protocols in the last weeks of their life.
They continue to use aggressive treatments that other centers have dropped because they have not been proven to work. Quick comment on one example of this from Orac at Respectful Insolence.
Before I go on, I can’t help but comment on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which are well known for being very woo-friendly. Apparently they aren’t too keen on a firm scientific basis for how they use science-based therapies, either. Bone marrow transplantation for advanced breast cancer fell by the wayside a decade ago because clinical trials showed that it doesn’t work; it doesn’t prolong survival in breast cancer patients. Performing a bone marrow transplant for breast cancer is simply not indicated outside the context of a clinical trial.
They also treat ONLY cancer. If you have side-effects on your kidney function or your lungs, you’ll have to go back to a hospital for that. A top cancer center has a whole team of doctors who will integrate all your treatment.
A hospital will also offer what is called Palliative Care. This is not the same thing as the “go home and die” advice that the CTCA ads call it. Palliative Care will deal with pain, nausea, mobility, energy, all the quality-of-life goals to help someone live as normal a life as possible as long as possible. When chemotherapy or radiation is no longer useful, Palliative Care is the best possible thing. From what I can tell, CTCA does not have a Palliative Care department. I also can’t find anything about hospice on their website, which is pretty essential for terminal patients.
Next time you see one of these ads, pay attention to what they actually promise, and know that they can’t deliver.
I’m not talking about when people are coming at you for bullshit reasons, or trolls, or a difference of opinion where you know in your gut that you’re right on this one.
This is when you fucked up. And you know when you’ve fucked up, deep down, don’t you? You did something careless or poorly thought out or you were just plain ignorant, and now somebody is schooling you.
This is what you need to do.
1. Be wrong. (this is the hardest part)
2. Feel bad.
3. Move on.
4. Do better.
5. And that’s it
made the mistake of turning on NPR this morning to hear the reportage about the massacre in Gaza and what do I hear?
And, y’know, not one word about the conditions people are living under on the strip, how many people have been killed, how many people are being killed right now. How many families and children are being killed right now.
Just something about Netanyahu and how elections are coming up and he wants to demonstrate that he can “aggressively defend Israel” for the elections, and blah blah blah. Which sounds dangerously close to “must kill a minimum number of Palestinians for political purposes”.
Here’s the Reuters headline that just came up - “Jerusalem and Tel Aviv under rocket fire, Netanyahu warns Gaza”
So, Palestinians with probably homemade rockets that the article admits “have so far caused no casualties or damage” get the headline as unprovoked attackers, while Netanyahu’s bombings which are killing civilians right now get called a “warning”.
I suppose I should. He went to Vietnam.
But he never identified himself as a veteran to anybody, and only reluctantly and recently accepted some VA benefits (due to Agent Orange exposure).
Our family since then has never had any relationship to the military, nor did we celebrate Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day.
It honestly only occurred to me today that Veteran’s Day is for him, too.
So let’s remember all those people who were drafted, and who went to war because they had to. Let’s remember the people who never wanted to be military or to see and do the things they were forced to see and do. Let’s remember the people who still have nightmares about fire and jungles, and have no military culture or combat buddies to talk about it with.
Let’s remember when soldiers came home from the Vietnam war, and faced protesters yelling and throwing things at them and calling them killers. Let’s remember that we didn’t win, and possibly had no business being there at all, and that maybe all this sacrifice “on behalf of their country” was for no good reason. Let’s remember the people who came home from Vietnam and took off their uniforms and never put them on again, and tried not to think about it or deal with the war at all.
Let’s be honest.
If when writing on a reblog you find yourself struggling to figure out how to word something without accidentally offending someone, close the browser and move on. This conversation probably does not need you in it.
am beginning to think my allergy to sentiment is less of a virtue than I had previously imagined, and more of a character flaw.
About ten minutes ago I was on the bus and this couple starts arguing right across from me.
They’re about two feet away and right in my face, so it was a little hard to ignore. The subject of the argument was completely nebulous to me but I thought it was clear that this was a couple about to break up. They were past the point of yelling or any kind of passionate interaction and were around the “quiet contempt” phase.
The woman was trying to tell him something, and although she was angry she was addressing him in a totally quiet and reasonable voice. Within the five minutes I could hear him I heard the man do all of the following:
It was so incredibly insulting I think my jaw actually dropped. I watched him walk away and when I looked back at the woman she was looking at me and our eyes met.
I said, “That guy’s a real asshole.”
She looked back at me levelly and said, “he’s my husband, though.”
And there you have it: the number 1 reason I’m never getting married.
Cue a dozen people telling me their husband’s not like that etc etc etc.
But let’s face it: marriage encourages men to act this way. It treats two people as a legal entity of one in which the husband is the head. Even if those two people don’t agree to it personally, it’s what happens. You get called Mrs. Hislastname even if you DIDN’T take his last name. Mail comes addressed to Mr&Mrs Hisname. Important phone callers ask for the man (and the school always asks for the woman). All your finances & taxes are wrapped up into one package that is expected to be handled by the man.
It’s a slow conditioning that tells the husband to view the wife as a legal appendage that should really be taking better care of his house. Is it any wonder that so many of them eventually dismiss and belittle their wives in this way, as though any thoughts and concerns they might have are so much less than relevant they might as well be a fly buzzing in his ear?
I live with a man. I love him. We enjoy each other. But get married? Nooooooo. No. Nonono. Anybody who wants to get married should be able to, of any gender combination, but as an institution marriage is pretty fucked up.
MUSLIM RAGE, huh, newsweek?
how come it’s not: Film insulting Islam inspires outrage in Muslims?
Americans try to make Muslims angry, succeed?
Christian Dominionists troll Muslims? While posing as Israeli Jews? Because they’re fucking crazy and think it will bring on the apocalypse?
not punchy enough?
This is so tired. Remember the whole thing about the european cartoons of the prophet, which had no purpose OTHER than to make Muslims angry - why else do that? and so publicly? - and then they had the gall to act SURPRISED that they succeeded. Suddenly they had the big innocent eyes and why are they so angry at us all we did was draw pictures and blaming Muslims for the fight they instigated.
Whoever made that fake trailer / film / scam / whatever it is, I hope we find out who you are and you are forced to face the consequences of flipping off half the world. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences of that speech. You’re yelling fire in a crowded theater and people have been killed. Assholes.
Primarily because my mother taught me to. Never gave it much more thought than that until I realized that a lot people don’t do this.
Why not? Because it’s their job? Because they’re getting paid? Guys, a lot of the people who do good things for you are being paid to do it. If you were rescued by a fireman, you would thank him, right? Even though it’s actually his job to rescue people? If a doctor helped you with a physical problem, you’d probably thank him, right? Even though you’re personally paying him to do exactly that?
But most service industry jobs, we are particularly ungrateful for, even though these are things that help us get through our day more smoothly. Say you ride the bus. You didn’t have to walk to work today because a bus driver took you there. The bus didn’t go there by itself. A human being drove it. The driver put up with early-morning traffic so you didn’t have to. Isn’t that worthy of a “thanks” once in awhile?
I’ve had service jobs of various kinds in the past. I remember quite vividly how many people felt entitled to treat you like dirt. Not just failing to acknowledge a job well done, I mean actually abusing you for doing it. Especially in any sort of food service job, people get treated like the gum somebody scraped off their shoe. People who spend their own work day being unappreciated and abused will turn around and dish out the same treatment to the people who put together their value meal so they don’t have to cook that night. Don’t be that guy. People in the service industry are people and deserve to be treated with respect.
Most of all I’m sure anybodywho busts their hump all day doing a particular job would like to feel, at the end of the day, that it was appreciated. So tell the lady who bagged your groceries thanks, okay? She did that for you.