Category Archives: politics

“Political Correctness”

It’s 3am, Jon Stewart is failing to lull me to sleep, and it’s not like there are better things for me to be doing!

Time for a post I’ve thought about and put off for a few forevers now.

Political correctness!

You know, the bane of those brave souls who dare to say the bigoted shit that we all think, who believe that you can laugh at anything, who challenge the status quo of… people attempting to challenge a fucked up status quo.

Such heroes. In fact, lets just have a moment of silence to honor their bravery.

Right, so. Political correctness. That moment of silence? So long as you didn’t think anything whatsoever, you were being politically correct. At least that’s what those champions of reason have been saying. You just can’t say anything that doesn’t offend someone, am I right?

SPOILER ALERT: No.

But that’s how those, ah, champions of reason see it. They can hardly speak, with everything they say being deemed as offensive by those oversensitive liberals spouting nonsense about “political correctness.”

Oh, woops, got that mixed up. It’s actually entitled assholes spouting nonsense about “political correctness.”

to lose the whole “bigoted assholes function on logic” pretense, surely I’m not the only one who’s noticed that I’ve only ever heard that phrase used seriously in the context of someone explaining how they’re oppressed by people calling them assholes.

That’s not even hyperbolic. I literally cannot recall a time when someone has said, without an ounce of mockery or sarcasm in their voice, “Oh, you can’t say that, it’s not politically correct.”

And I would dare to gamble that nobody who actually believes in equality has ever used political correctness as a legitimate reason not to be hateful against people.

This is for the same reason that, when a sane person is asked why they don’t rape and murder people, they tend not to just shrug and mumble something about politics.

Because it’s not politics. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia… the list goes on. Those aren’t political issues. Engaging in those behaviors doesn’t make you politically incorrect.

It makes you morally incorrect. Please, please say I don’t need to explain the difference.

There is no politics about it. Hell, politics is rife with bigotry. If anything, being a bigoted asshat actually does make you politically correct.

When I tell you that it’s wrong to say something, I’m not playing politics. I don’t make up things like “it’s offensive to call trans people trannies” or “you shouldn’t refer to women as bitches” or “Seriously, stop trying to insist that you shouldn’t get flac for using racial slurs just because the victims of those slurs reclaimed them” just for the amusement of watching you play some sort of politically-acceptable-speech-twister or something. On top of the fact that I don’t make such things up in the first place, it’s simply not for some arbitrarily determined restrictions I want to place on you.

It’s because there are actual good reasons to observe such restrictions. It’s because actual people are hurt in actual ways when you don’t. If you don’t observe them, that doesn’t make you politically incorrect- it just makes you a bad person.

But you know, that’s fine (not really). But at least admit it. Don’t try to take some superficial high ground, claiming to just be politically incorrect as if you’re some sort of weird, hateful martyr. Own up to being terrible and not caring. Don’t try to fool yourself and others into thinking you’re not- if you did actually care, anyways, you wouldn’t be defending being an asshole in the first place.

Really. When you want to claim that everyone thinks bigoted things (they don’t), when you want to say that you can joke about everything (without explaining why, with such an extensive sense of humor, you still resort to the cheapest forms of humor), when you get mad over the fact that your position of power is being challenged so that you might have to assume a position of slightly less but still dominant power, at the very least top that off with “and I’m not afraid to say that, because I have come to terms with being an awful person.” You don’t have to martyr yourself.

Right, so, I think that was everything I meant to accomplish with this post. It’s 4:30 now.

I’m not feeling as successful as I should. Sorta seems like this whole post is just a big jumble of random hatred and sarcasm and some third thing messily forged together. It kinda feels like I saw it off in the distance, glimmering with potential wit and insight, and committed myself to bringing it to you. And then somewhere in between deciding I wanted it and actually retrieving it I guess I got a bit clumsy and I just ended up dropping this mangled, bloody, mostly dead thing at your doorstep and now it’s there for you to deal with.

It’s a gift. Love it.

I probably should have just proofread instead of typing that.

But oh, month old episodes of The Daily Show and sleepy time beckon.

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Time to Stop Ignoring Birth Control!

For the past few weeks I’ve been cutting down on reading blogs and paying any sort of attention to news,  because all of the rage-worthy material coming from politics and media seemed to have exploded and I couldn’t quite handle the cavalcade of stupid.

One of the biggest things causing me to avoid any media besides that containing colorful ponies was Rush Limbaugh’s recent inability to understand anything at all about birth control, health care, and basic human sympathy. As soon as I heard the gist of what happened, I pretty much decided that that was enough politics for now and cut myself off. Because of that, I never heard the exact details of the situation.

Until now! Luckily they were surrounding by commentary by Stephen Colbert or my brain would have exploded.

Of course Jon Stewart turned out to have a considerably better video, so I’ll be linking him instead.

I’m convinced he has therapeutic qualities. Not that Colbert doesn’t, he’s just not quite as wonderful. I’m still going to make a point to take my birth control with some Americone Dream someday though.

Anyways, there’s unfortunately more to Rush Limbaugh’s failing-to-act-like-a-human-being than which comedy news show host handled it better. That being, Rush Limbaugh’s failing-to-act-like-a-human-being.

As I mentioned before, I never quite got the entire picture of what exactly he did before now. There were details I missed. Namely, that he thinks that women receiving insured birth control need to post sex tapes on the internet. Of course there’s a lot more wrong with all of the awful things he said besides that, but the misunderstandings on how birth control and private insurance works along with how terrible a human being he is have been covered extensively already. This in particular actually wins the award for “Most Revolting Thing Said in 2012 So far” in my book. It’s a special kind of creepy to me.

Now of course any person with any human decency will probably be disturbed by this. Women, moreso. Women on birth control, even more than that!

But there’s a little nuance that I picked up on that I haven’t seen anyone mention yet, that makes it that much more cringe-worthy.

Does Rush realize that there are women under 18 taking birth control? I started on it when I was about, say, 13. Granted it was medical, but Rush doesn’t make that distinction, so  there’s not much a point of me making it either. Not to mention that where I needed ( and still need) it to make periods livable, there are girls who do take contraception for contraceptive purposes who are that age, and younger.

Does Rush realize that in feeling he has a right to watch every woman on insured contraception have sex, he included a good handful of preteens in there? Young teenagers? People under 18 in general?

Would he care if he realized that? Not entirely sure. Actually, I completely doubt it. He’d probably care less about the fact that he gave off the impression that he’d be up for child porn than he would about the idea that women under 18 actually use birth control. In fact, I can kind of hear his little tirade now. Something about feminazis and liberal agendas and… probably the gay agenda, and sexualizing children before he wanted to sexualize them. I also have a feeling he wouldn’t hesitate to call an eleven-year-old a slut. Hell, he’d probably jump at the chance. Prostitute, too.

Finally, on top of all of the different terrible things about Rush Limbaugh, there’s one thing that makes him that much more disgusting to me. That being that my dad actually listens to his talk show.

Limbaugh is frightening enough from a distance. Having someone who lives in the same house as you who follows his nonsense is a whole new level of disturbing and incredibly creepy, especially considering the subjects of this recent issue. Granted he’s claimed that he doesn’t necessarily agree with what Rush says, he just enjoys listening to him. But, you know, being able to listen to Rush without going into a rage, much less enjoying the experience, might as well be the Terrible and Frightening Person litmus test.

Why can’t we send all of the GOP to Siberia?

I Never Want to Have an Abortion

Ever. Unless the world changes drastically.

I’m not pro-lifeanti-choice. I’m not the kind of person who ever wants to be a mother, nor the kind to become attached to a fetus. Statements about when fetuses grow fingernails and such don’t phase me. I don’t think it’s murder, or even any meaningful kind of killing, to have an abortion. I don’t have any problems with the process of abortion.

Yet I never want to have one. I don’t just mean that in the sense that I never want to get pregnant unexpectedly, which I think can be said of anyone unless they’re really keen on surprises. I mean it in the sense that if I did become pregnant, I would freak the hell out. I really, really want to say that were I to decide to have an abortion, the only thought involved in such a decision would be “What, I’m pregnant? Time to play Angry Landlord with an Eviction Notice with my uterus!”

But I don’t think it could ever be that easy, solely because of the climate that surrounds abortion.

If I had an abortion, I’d first have to find a doctor who would support me through it. I’d have to find a clinic for it.

I’d have to wade through a sea of angry anti-choicers, made only more angry by the fact that I’d probably be aborting a totally healthy non-rape baby.

And then, I’d have to go through this, a description of a sonogram. To be honest, I don’t think it would make me feel bad. What it would do is make me incredibly fucking angry.

Angry for all of the women who had to go through that who would be affected by it, like the one in that article. The ones who did find out that their child would have a horrible deformity, a child they had wanted. The ones who had been raped, who would have it described to them the exact consequences of that. The ones who maybe didn’t have either of that, but still aren’t as cool with the idea of abortion itself.

Why do anti-choicers have to go around pulling this kind of shit? Do they hear about people like me who are completely convinced they could have an abortion and feel nothing, and take it as a challenge? Do they really think it’s noble to force a woman who is already losing a child she wanted to know exactly what she’s losing, and then to blatantly lie to them? To force doctors, who have taken an oath to do the best they can for their patients, to do the exact opposite?

This is why I would never want to have an abortion. These people have made it their duty to make every abortion as tearful and horrible as it can possibly be. Abortion shouldn’t necessarily be a sad thing. The only time it should ever be is in the example linked, and only because the woman lost a child she had wanted. But there’s no reason for such awful negative stigma. When rape victims have abortions, it should be empowering. It should be their grand ‘Fuck You’ to their rapists, their way to say that they are ultimately the ones in control of their bodies. For people who need abortions because their birth control failed, or even those who never had any birth control at all for whatever reason, it should be a symbol of how far medicine and womens’ reproductive rights have come.

But instead it’s a procedure that women must undergo tearfully and reluctantly at any costs, and sometimes, only if they’ve been deemed worthy of it by people that hate them.

Hmm.

I can’t decide if frothy mixtures of lube and fecal matter made Rick Santorum more disgusting, or if Rick Santorum made frothy mixtures of lube and fecal matter more disgusting

 

EDIT: WordPress, why did you suggest “Fecal Matter” as a tag after I published this? Is this a commonly used tag?

I’ve been thinking.

You know those kids who are really gifted when they first start school, really prodigious and stuff? Full of great ideas, envied by their peers, teachers use them as a role model, pretty much just all around great?

And then once they hit high school they just stop giving a shit because they’re so used to being the best, so they let their minds rot, get involved in weird shit and only manage to coast through success because it’s second nature to them?

And then they ultimately end up an embarrassment because of all the potential they waste?

That’s sort of how I think of the US.

Vaccines, Stupidity, Disproportionate Responses, et. al.

I went and got vaccinated against meningitis the other day, as per a requirement for enrolling in community college.

I tend to complain a lot when I get vaccinated against things. I elect to have it done in my left arm, because I use it considerably less and so I can pretend that it’s been lopped off  and I can’t use it for a few days while I wait for the soreness to go away. I treat my vaccinated arm like it’s a volatile explosive or something– If I exert any pressure on it, if I lift anything more than a few ounces, well gee, that fucker may very well blow right off. I sleep on the other side of my body so that I don’t crush and destroy my poor, weakened arm.

I keep the bandage on for about a day, even though after an hour there’s a voice in my head saying “Okay seriously, if you’re still bleeding now you probably have leukemia.

I’m basically a complete nut about it.

And yet I go and get all of the vaccinations required of me. Hell, I even get the non-required ones like Gardasil, because you know what doesn’t seem fun? Cancer. Kinda like how meningitis sounds like a real downer, and tetanus would just really ruin my day.

It helps that my “reaction” to vaccines are pretty much me being a hypochondriac, but the thing is? Even if I went and got vaccinated and then spent the rest of the day feeling like I’d eaten rotten poison and dead kittens, vaccines would still be worth it.

But apparently, there’s a growing number of people who go along with the thought process “Little Suzy might get the sniffles? Fuck that,   Measles sounds considerably better.”

But of course, they don’t think like that; they believe that since they don’t see people with measles, they can’t possibly get measles. Which in a sense is entirely true! It’s why vaccinating parents/caregivers/etc. against whooping cough is an effective way of preventing it in babies, who can’t be vaccinated but certainly can get whooping cough. It also provides a bit of a safety net for people who can’t get vaccines for legitimate reasons (read: too sick, not too stupid).

Those two things work, though, because we’ve got a nice thing called herd immunity, which works similarly to a plastic bubble of immunity. To expand this metaphor, we have a big plastic dome-o-notmeasles that we all live in. Some of us have our own little notmeasles bubbles, which is great for us. However, some of us don’t have our own bubbles. Ideally, that “some of us” would be entirely composed of those who are too sick to be vaccinated, but due to this anti-vaccine crusade, that “some of us” is growing. Those people still live under the big plastic dome, and so they’re pretty much safe as long as measles does not penetrate our bubble.

The thing about diseases, though, is that they like penetrating bubbles. It’s kind of what they do, how they survive. It happens when someone who isn’t personally immunized comes in contact with a disease, catches it, and then goes back into the bubble where everyone else is. Suddenly, this isn’t a notmeasles bubble, it’s a measles bubble. Full of measles.

This metaphor is becoming a bit stretched. Let’s change it from a bubble to, say…

A school?

Right. So we have our school with 100 students. A few years ago perhaps, only 1 of these 100 were not vaccinated- maybe she has a weakened immune system?  But the other 99 were vaccinated, so they kept her safe.

Fast forward a few years, one kid has autism. The parents, who don’t understand how correlation doesn’t equal causation, assumed that this was caused by a vaccine (protip- that doesn’t happen, if there was any doubt). The parents then go and start a crusade against vaccines! Fun.

Now 50 out of the 100 students are unvaccinated. This poses a problem.

I don’t know the actual statistics, so I’m going to pull one out of my ass. let’s say that, while unvaccinated, you have, oh… a 2% chance of catching the disease. 1 out of 50.

When we only have one unvaccinated child, it’s sort of like  rolling a 50 sided die once. There’s a very low chance she’ll end up with measles, and if she does, only she is affected. That’s a maximum of 1 child out of 100 getting a horrible disease.

But if we roll that dice 50 times, it’s statistically probable that we will land on measles atleast once. Let’s pretend we did roll the measles dice, and now one of our kids has measles.

So, 50 unvaccinated kids (one with measles!),  50 vaccinated kids (one with autism!)

Fast forward a very short amount of time, those 49 other unvaccinated kids were exposed to measles from the single child, and now 90% of the children who weren’t vaccinated have measles. In real life, schools would close pretty damn quick, but keep in mind that there’s a sizable amount of time between that one child becoming infected and then showing enough symptoms to be diagnosed in which he could infect any number of other students.

so now we’ve got 45 kids with measles. 45 kids who wouldn’t have had measles if they had been vaccinated. 45 kids who wouldn’t have spread it to other kids and infected other kids if they had been infected.

One goddamned kid who infected the whole unvaccinated population of the school just because his parents thought vaccines were evil.

One kid who couldn’t be vaccinated for legitimate medical reasons, who relied on the herd immunity to protect her, and who was infected by people who don’t understand how that works.

And one kid with Autism that wasn’t caused by a vaccine, whose parents jumpstarted this whole thing.

 

Anti-vaccination crusades are bad, okay?

I, for one, will embrace this flood of Santorum.

Normally, news that a man who thinks that gay sex is equivalent to dog sex might actually end up the Republican nominee would have me frothing at the mouth. And yet, when I heard that Santorum oozed through the cracks in the Iowa caucuses, I didn’t feel rage. Instead, a bit of glee. First because of the torrent of Santorum jokes that flooded the internet as a result, and the sneaking suspicion that all of the Iowans got together and said “Hey guys, Santorum? Let’s make him number two, okay?” Moments later, though, I came to a realization.

I want Santorum to be the Republic nominee.

Everyone else is too normal*. I mean, I could actually see Gingrich getting elected. Same with Paul. I loathe to say it, but same with all of the other Republican candidates, really. As far as I can tell from my minimal political knowledge, people don’t seem to want to re-elect Obama unless they absolutely have to.

I would have to imagine that “Obama” or “Mr. Frothy Mixture” is one of the “absolutely have to” situations.

Seriously, we might go along with Santorum in a “well he hasn’t said anything too nuts today” way, but if he gets up again Obama…

I don’t even think the people* who agree with his views will be able to make someone with the name Santorum president. You certainly wouldn’t be able to listen to him speak while eating, at the very least.

Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe there are people who can actually go to the polls and say “yep, Santorum sounds great. That’s a name I can really get behind” without it being an innuendo. Maybe if he ended up the nominee he would actually be elected.

In which case we could all have a big laugh and just hope to dear sweet FSM that he doesn’t fuck things up to bad.

Which is the proper reaction to a Republican president anyways. Might as well slather some Santorum-y humor on that shitbiscuit while we’re at it.

*- loose definitions used