What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Linkee-poo, well, if it rains, I don't care, don't make no difference to me

Why do authors cross-out their names when signing a book? I didn't even know this was a thing. Unfortunately the article is mostly people responding to the question (not an actual exploration of the subject). But wow, what fragile beasts we are.

"It's certainly interesting that few men employ the move in films, preferring hand-to-hand over crotch-to-face combat. So maybe there's more work to do in terms of political awareness." Finally saw "Capt. America - Civil War" and had the thought that Black Widow certainly does that whole scissor up over the shoulders of a guy with her thighs and spin him to the ground move a lot. Is this the modern incarnation of vagina dentata, a fear of cunnilingus, or a general fear of female sexual power?

Damien Walker would like you to believe that we live in a fallen world. Well, he would like you to believe that the myths of the Vikings (and our other pagan ancestors who worshiped sky/thunder-gods) made them fearless and strong, where as our current mythology makes us weak and compliant. It's something I've heard in many places. And it's complete bullshit. He's entranced by the History Channel's "Vikings" show and, yes, it does present the history in that fashion. It's easy to look at Christianity as practiced today (also, just for the record, Christianity, while holding a majority of believers in the US, is by far not the only religion/mythology available) and sees that it makes us "weak." Really? I've got about two thousand years of cruelty and barbarism done in the name of the Christ to show how Christians and Vikings weren't all that different (what was different was tactics, logistics, technology, and world scope). Today, somewhere in the world someone is on bended knee asking the Lamb for forgiveness and strength as they buckle on their battle-rattle and ride out in MRAPs to face their possible death. I would also make the argument that mythology and religion, while they look the same (and we often call non-Christian religions "mythology") they aren't the whole story. There is an entire mythology not based on sky-god worship enforce today (for example, "turn off and turn on the computer and see if that solves your tech support problem", "celebrity deaths come in threes", "the USA is the leader of the free world and everybody looks to us for inspiration"). The difference is the level of population density and the societal changes that mandates and a misunderstanding of history. Most Rus never went viking. They were farmers and laborers. Ragnar himself (loosely based on a historical character) was a farmer who supplemented what he could grow with raiding his neighbors crops (and what little gold they had). The soil in that part of the world was poor, and the population kept growing. He just had the idea that other peoples may have better crops and more gold and (with the help of learning from others) did something about it. Killing, torturing, and being cruel to people is neither brave nor heroic, no matter which gods you prefer. Mythology is internal, it explains the world in a way that makes sense for us. It is not external, imposing it's will on the oppressed. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

Continued… We are the brass (Greek Mythology if you're curious)… our fathers fought dragons and giants… in the time of legends… our Country's Forefathers believed… the Greatest Generation defeated fascism… it's all the same bullshit just in a different wrapper. The past was always wonderful, kids these days don't respect their parents/don't understand/aren't tough enough, etc, etc. Here is the thing. Let me laugh at the idea of "Christianity makes us compliant and week." Because Yahweh is a sky/thunder god. I present most of what Christians call "the Old Testament" as my proof (man there's a lot of killing, smiting, raping, pillaging and general fuck all in there to satisfy anyone). The difference is there's a hellalot more of us, and we have to get along or we will end up killing each other (because you can see that happening as well). Our current "religious" mythology is so very damn similar to all the other sky/thunder god worship it's laughable (seriously, Wotan worship made them fearless? You do know if you die in the service of God while staying true to your faith you will also obtain Heaven, just like Vikings would make Valhalla, this is why Christians try to emulate the martyrs and saints). Yes, the Christ gave us a new covenant based on loving our neighbor as ourself, but I'll just plop a History of Western Culture book down to show how well that worked out for everyone. One difference is modern people see our spiritual world as a continuous line, most ancients and pagans saw it as a cycle (even modern concepts of reincarnation are based around we as an individual being resurrected in some fashion). Those who made it to Valhalla did not obtain eternity either. Ragnarök (winter) was coming. Christianity believes in the eternal (as long as you're not consumed in the fire during Final Judgement). The world is as it is now, we can not live in the past (or like they did).

Ah, the past, when men were men… Either that or it's a call to "might makes right", which some people miss.

In an attempt to give workers in the "gig economy" (gods I hate that term, freelancers, they're freelancers) benefits legislatures may just screw over the workers (more than they are already). Seriously, it looks like some people don't understand exactly why the "gig economy" was created. And putting in 2.5%? Puh-lease. And guess who is going to actually pay that 2.5%? Think it'll come out of corporate profits? Yeah I expect to see a renegotiation of how much of the fee the freelancer gets. This won't help freelancers, but it may push many companies to enter into these agreements with employees who used to be full-time. (Grokked from Laura J. Mixon)

"Lawmakers in Georgia make $17,342 a year, plus a per diem for lodging and meals when the Legislature is in session and reimbursement for mileage. Serving in the Georgia Legislature is considered a part-time job, but it took much more of Jones' time than that and she had to hire extra help for her law firm." There are many reasons for this, but mostly is comes from the tradition of citizen government. Your leaders shouldn't be politicians, but they should altruistically give their time to serve. This worked well when you could plant your crops and have 4 months before a harvest, or 4 months after the hunt before you needed to plant again. While I agree with that position (it was, after all, the view of Ben Franklin), I don't think we live in a world where that works anymore. Right now it only draws those who would be oligarchs (the already wealthy) who have the free time to be politicians. Full disclosure, as a councilman I started at $200 a month (which 5 years before I was there, you were only paid if you showed up to the meetings). That really wasn't enough compensation for the time spent. Halfway through I helped pass a pay raise to $400 a month (which I only got after being re-elected after that went into effect, which meant it was only for the last 4 years of my 9 year run). Even that wasn't enough, but it was much better. Also, when we changed from a Mayor to Village Manager we cut 3 of our council jobs (and 3 other paid elected positions) to pay for the manager (and that's when I got out). If the pay was significant enough, while it might draw unscrupulous fucks, that's all low pay really does anyway, and keeps those of us who do it for "service to our fellow citizens" out of the running.

"A shocking new Republican-backed bill would force school teachers to inform the parents of transgender kids who are in the closet." Again, this is the conservative agenda. (Grokked from Laura J. Mixon)

"The source later added, 'I’m more and more coming around to the idea that we’re so very very fucked.'" The incompetencies of the Trump nascent-administration just keep coming. "Rosner noted that the Obama Administration has already essentially begun rebuilding the nuclear program, making Trump’s promised expansion 'a perfect example of Trump basically being clueless.'"

"Bomb threats targeted Jewish community centers in several states, but it wasn't immediately clear whether the threats were linked, authorities said Monday." So, part of me is wondering if this will actually get more attention than when they threatened mosques?

"Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) was asked by the Huffington Post if Trump’s Cabinet picks should be asked to disclose income from foreign sources, as he and 25 other senators asked of President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, back in 2013… Infohe said no." Doesn't this lack-a-brain have a snow fort to go build?

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