Mark Oshiro's Facebook post on erasure, harassment, and people acting stupidity while he was a guest of honor at a convention. Mary Robinette Kowal has some thoughts on how to avoid such situations (from a concom standpoint). Unfortunately I think part of the issue isn't ignorance or lack of self-awareness, it's the thought process that says, "There's nothing wrong with what we are doing because we have always done it this way." That's the mind space where the comment about being mid-westerners comes from. It's wrong. It's terribly fucking wrong.
Let me give you an example (note here the example I am giving has nothing to do with what happened to Mark Oshiro, but is provided as an example of how supposedly "enlightened" people in the midwest react when they're presented with something outside what they consider the "normal"). For the x-ray job I've seen things (no, I won't do my Roy Batty impression here). I've seen people at their worst. Yes, we do talk about the patients when we're back in the workroom, mostly as a way to process what we've been through. And lately one of things that gets the other techs worked up is men wearing women's underwear while being obviously (or at least outwardly) hetero (please don't make me explain bi to these people, although I don't think these these guys were). There's been a few cases recently, and some of the techs find it difficult to understand. Not that one of them was a cutter (I noticed, the others didn't see the scars), and that the other had a severe, untreated infection. Nope, it's the Vicky Secrets being worn by men that throws them. To me, I couldn't care. Because if it makes them happy, who the fuck am I to criticize? They don't need my permission to be who they are. But it challenges the other techs world view. Being in fandom, I've seen (what the other techs would think of as) far "worse" infractions of the socially mandated binary chasm. To me it's like telling a patient who told me that she didn't want to cuss that it was okay, I know a lot of Senior Chiefs and she couldn't shock me. Then you have a grandmother in her 70s try her best to blister the paintwork with her invectives (no storyline or plot, only used 3 words, repeated them often, however she had the conviction of what she was saying, I give that a C). Other techs were somewhat shocked, but it helped her deal with her pain and she was relaxed afterward. Being "midwestern" isn't an excuse for being a prudish prick or not accepting people as they are. Or if you want to accept the "midwestern" as an excuse, sorry, midwesterners are polite. Mark Oshiro was their invited guest. They were very far away from being polite.
Ayn Rand and Modern Economics walk into a bar. Look, I know a lot of people (and some of my friends) don't want to hear this, but I have two theories about Ayn Rand. The first is she's just a common-place sociopath who dressed up her emotions in scientifically sounding rhetoric to make them more palatable. She was more than happy to take the benefit of social collectivism when it worked in her favor, but when she felt she didn't get any benefit then it was fuck all. My second theory is she was a deep mole sent to the US to destroy capitalism. The USSR didn't believe their version of the world would win because it was inherently superior (as we did in the West), just that capitalism at its heart was corrupt and would destroy us. They felt by our own success and our own theories we would tear ourselves apart. Maybe Ayn was sent here to hasten that along. In the last decade there's been at list six attempts to create a libertarian community. Have any of them succeeded? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)
So, you may wonder at my use of the term whackaloon. It's a combination of lunatic and the whack-a-mole game. That's basically what's happening here. And you think I may be harsh in that judgement. "Why does United States President Barack Obama have a soft spot for homosexuals? Because he was a gay hooker in the '80s, reports Mary Lou Bruner, a Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education." Oh, she was a mayor for a while. Yes, this is an elected official. Still think I'm being harsh. Also it's a presidential election year, whackaloon futures are up. Actually I'm forming a theory that State of Texas is a piece of elaborate performance art.
"These dog-whistles are the RULE, and they are the rule for a reason; they have, for decades, allowed a white population to vent their xenophobia, their nationalism, and yes, their racism in small bursts at the ballot box each election cycle while still feeling good about themselves and how progressive they are compared to their slave-owning ancestors. These euphemisms have been essential to the steady grind toward the extreme right that the GOP has been taking since the days of Reagan." And Jeb! is out.
Why is the GOP being so obstructionist about appointing a new Supreme Court Justice? "Anti-government attorney Kory Langhofer argued over the weekend that the Supreme Court could continue to decide cases 5-4 in favor of conservatives after the death of Antonin Scalia because the deceased justice could effectively cast votes from the grave." Because they know they're going to start losing is Pres. Obama chooses either a left-leaning or moderate judge. I know, we should develop that "head-in-a-jar" technology they had on Futurama. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)
"President Barack Obama said it best this week… When it comes to who gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, the Constitution is pretty freaking clear."
Give me that old-time religion. "A New Hampshire state representative who once said Donald Trump is the only politician she believes in came to the Republican candidate’s defense during his tiff with Pope Francis on Thursday, calling the Pope 'the anti-Christ.'" Because the 14th Century was so much fun to live through the first time.