Monday, August 27, 2012

the Onion and how it's now basically reality

The Onion posted this article a few days ago: 

U.S. Military Sends A Few More Of Those Things Over To Afghanistan To Replace Dead Ones

WASHINGTON—In the wake of the news that 2,000 of its things have now died in Afghanistan, U.S. military officials announced Monday that it will be sending some additional things to replace the dead ones.
“A bunch of those things are dead or don’t work anymore, so we need to send over a bunch more,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, adding that while the military sent a bunch of new things in 2010, a good amount of them either died or were broken. “We’ve got tons of things just sitting around in Texas and Florida, so we’re going to send some of those.”
“We actually have a whole load of some used, pretty-beat-up-things that were sent back from Afghanistan a few months ago, so we’ll probably ship them over, too” Panetta continued. “They’re not in perfect condition or anything, but in a pinch they’ll do the trick.” 

Maybe it's bad blogger strategy but I encourage you to go read the whole article (it's not long) before continuing here.

Ok, now that you've see that...does anyone disagree with it? I mean, be honest with yourself, be honest about the world we live in. Be as objective as possible. Is that not the most accurate news-like description article of the American military establishment and America's We've Always Been At War With Eastasia mentality?

If you can find me better (and more succinctly, brilliantly done) satire on the point please post it in the comments--but I think this one would be hard to top.

Should you be unconvinced of or unimpressed with its skillful execution I shall provide you a comparison:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Pentagon announced on Friday that three more Army brigades, including one from Fort Campbell, will deploy to Afghanistan later this winter.

The current announcement of rotation of things includes the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Ky.; the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division from Fort Bliss, Texas; and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, N.Y.

The Army said about 1,900 things from the Fort Campbell unit will be included in the deployment, along with 4,000 things from the Fort Bliss unit and 2,870 from the Fort Drum unit, according to the Pentagon.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division has been designated the first security thing assistance brigade, according to the brigade commander, Col. JP McGee.

He explained that while the troops will be going back to the same area of eastern Afghanistan they were in during their last deployment from 2010 through 2011, they would be doing a different mission.

"With this new designation comes a focus on improving the proficiency of Afghan Security Things as US things decrease their numbers," McGee said in a letter to the unit's things and their families. "This new mission will not require us to deploy the entire brigade. A sizeable portion of the brigade will remain at Fort Campbell while the thing that deploys will include many things [that] are designed to advise and assist our Afghan partners."

This is the second unit from Fort Campbell that is being sent to Afghanistan to serve the Afghan National Army, Afghan police or border patrol in a mostly advisory role. About 400 things, mostly senior leaders and non-commissioned officers, from the 2nd Brigade Combat Things deployed earlier this year as security thing assistance things.

The unit will be broken down into groups of advisory things and battle space integrators, such as artillery support, intelligence and other technical assets that are part of the brigade. This will also be a shorter nine-month deployment because the Army has shortened the length of deployments for most Army units.

The brigade has been preparing for the deployment with training events at Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, Fort Carson and Fort Polk.

"The training that these things [have] conducted over the last year here at Fort Campbell, in the mountains of Colorado and at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, has thoroughly prepared them for their upcoming mission in Afghanistan," Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, said in a prepared statement.

The things from 1st Brigade Combat Team are expected to start deploying in November.
[I’ve replaced “force(s),” “warriors,” “soldier(s),” “team(s),” and “troop(s)” with “things” original article here] 

The immediately above article is 100% real article from three days ago, I just made some slight adjustments to interchangeably synonymous terms.

This is our country, friends, this is the Empire and the police state revealed with a simple word-swap. In the eyes of our rulers we all exist as mere instruments of their will, objects fit only for use as drone pilots, wage slaves, product consumers, chemicals guinea pigs, capital production units, traded commodities, sources of sadistic entertainment and convenient cannon fodder.

Agency is largely an illusion in this place--by those with the most power over your lives you are viewed as little better than a socket wrench or a box of ballpoint pens, and with that view combined with their power you get the results we are seeing now and have seen for many years if we decide to actively acknowledge them.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On Rape Culture: "SHUT THE FUCK UP, BITCH!"

[update & update III below]

[update II]
I compiled  a single PDF of all the tweets I got (so far) over this--it's 97 pages long and about 12,500 words total. Taking out the extraneous twitter buttons and whatnot I'm betting it's still probably around 10,000+ words from the tweets (and their owners' names) themselves. Some are missing since I was blocking many of these dudes before I decided to start saving them, but this is the overwhelming majority. You can find a MS word doc version here[/update II]

So I had dozens and dozens of people tweet rape/death/violence threats at me today, all over these two podcasts, and call me a cunt, a whore, a bitch, a whiner, to get my head out of my ass, the stick out of my ass, etc. so on and so forth. Jamie Kilstein of Citizen Radio was on Joe Rogan's podcast the other night and they ended up having a long argument about Rape Culture, and whether million upon millions of women have or do get raped in their life-times (like, cause it's a common thing to just lie about...).

Rogan played the role of your typical Rape Apologist jackass in this little episode by diverting the coversation like it's all about "Free Speech" or how Not All Guys Are Like That or Look, Everyone Hates Rape, BUT... Today it all started when I tweeted this to Joe Rogan:
 So much solidarity over all that bullshit. I can't believe I listened to or  for this long. 
That was at roughly 11:30 am this morning. Joe Rogan retweeted that without comment and that, my friends, is when the fun truly began.

Let make this clear if you're one of the hundreds of lucky folks to come to my blog because I said something mildly unfavorable about Joe Rogan on twitter [and it made you want to say angry things to me:]

I hope a feminist you know (and who may not be of the lady persuasion) saw what you tweeted today and badmouths you to everyone you know and you never get laid again. I hope they spray paint "Rape Apologist" on your front door and your car and your boss' car. I  hope the next time one of you proto-rapists creeps on a woman she sticks a knife between your godsdamned ribs and breaks the fucking handle off.

A fraction of the gems I got today:
@laurenalesia @jamiekilstein get over yourselves, it was a joke you silly bitch""@Bartlebee420:   of all alleged rapes, 50% are women crying wolf to make themselves feel better about being a slut "

@laurenalesia Rape culture is when a whore lies about being raped. Guy gets sent to jail. Whore admits she lied. Nothing happens to her""

"@Jretribe: @jamiekilstein Rape is only funny when done to people who call themselves RADICAL FEMINISTS"


Oh and if anyone wants to get involved by say, going to any of those persons' twitters and ruining their lives, or notifying their loved-ones/friends/employers that they're rape-loving, rape-threatening asshats, by all means, you have my fucking blessing. Gods' speed to you.

And here are some wonderful quotes from users of Joe Rogan's forums for the episode that had Jamie on:

I don't want to say anything bad about Joe's friend, but Jamie is a fucking cunt. Dude has serious ego issues. Wtf is rape culture? Like a bunch of rapists get together and live a rapist lifestyle where they rape people and pray to a rape god? Get fucking real you cunt. Jamie acts like guys never get raped. Imagine the stigma of coming out and admitting you got raped by a man when you're a young boy. I want to call out a lot of the shit he said, but the rape culture thing was the most absurd. He seems like he wants attention and he seems totally fucking bat shit insane because he refuses to listen to logic. This was the worst podcast I have listened to. It gave me a shameful feeling after listening to it."
Guy [Kilstein] says he's anti-censorship, yet says comedians shouldn't talk about certain subjects. My point: it doesn't matter how serious a subject it is. A joke can be in poor taste or ineffective in stirring up the right emotions in the audience, but no one should ever discourage that comedian from saying what they want to say. 

Btw, I'm not trying to be a douchebag right now...but let's face it, that guy is just itching for some cock in his mouth. Dude talks like my fucking sister"
"Also, this bullshit about how women are scared to report rape? There are plenty of measures put in place to ensure sexual predators are dealt with properly. The emergence of DNA testing has given victims increased leverage in court and afforded them a higher probability that their attacker will be caught."
DNA testing doesn't mean shit when the victim doesn't ever go to the police because she has "authority issues".

 So Joe Rogan obviously knew what was going to happen when he retweeted my mild criticism. He is well aware of who some of his followers are and how the operate when people criticize him. I'll update and post more later or tomorrow but this has been a strange experience and a strange day. I've never been on the receiving end of such a massive torrent of Internet Hate, especially around just being a woman and a feminist.

I'm tired and adrenalined out for today. I'll be more intellectual (not that I really should have to be, or need to be about any of this) tomorrow, I suppose.


The comments below are pretty fun, with lots of anon bro-dudes (presumably with lots of internalized shame, misogyny and heavily-denied Kinsey variance) telling me I should have said what I said here or on twitter, that I'm dumb (or my blog is dumb) or that I'm a silly bitch. Also present are the guys who think they're being Reasonable by telling me "Don't go to comedy clubs if you don't want to have the famous, powerful comic threaten you with rape."

First of all, this ain't about that, clods; no one is preventing Tosh from speaking, but you all are trying desperately to make sure that no one criticizes him for what he said. Exhibit 1-999999 are you tweets at me, Kilstein, your comments here and elsewhere and all the rape apologizing you're doing.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, to those who keep claiming that Rape Culture isn't realy: Thank you for proving my point by doing everything you can on the internet to tell me to go away and stop threatening your very fragile self-image. Take a moment for yourself to just look at what went down, and whether or not you'd feel the same way if I was your girlfriend, or your sister, or mother.

There's a reason this post has the title it has. Think about it.

[update III] 
My gratitude for participating in an important study of social-cultural dynamics and their interplay with herd mentality. Thanks for playing, chump(s).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

defriend the creepers: kick the fuckers (out)


This insightful post from Captain Awkward highlights an all-too-common problem in even the best progressive and radical spaces and social circles: Creepy Dude Syndrome.

We all know or have known someone who fits this general description:
  • Makes awkward and unwanted sexual comments around/towards female-identified friends and strangers in/around the group
  • Propositions (often frequently) female friends and acquaintances for sex acts, including but certainly not limited to comments about their state of dress, revealing body parts or his mental image therein.
  • Touches people without their consent.
  • Dutifully ignores body language indicating that their presence, conversation, or physical contact are unwanted.
  • Reacts negatively and/or defensively when called out by someone for this behavior.
  • Touches people without their consent.
I know I'm leaving out other common factors but I'm sure you get the point and you've probably already thought of one or two people that you know. Now I know that male-identified people are also subject to harrasment, and female-identified people are capable of being creepers too, just like any human is capable of any human thoughts/feelings/conduct. But let's not split any fucking hairs, we live place dominated by a soul-crushing Patriarchy enforced primarily though Rape Culture

If by some chance you are reading my blog then you probably agree with that sentence wholeheartedly, and if you do not then you're probably an extremely deluded motherfucker who lives in the Plane of Eternal and Unending Cognitive Dissonance colloquially known as Western Society.

These writers I've linked to (besides myself, naturally) do a great job explaining all of the themes touched upon and I just wanted to make a comment and do a little signal amplification for a common and important issue.

If you know of a creeper in your circle you can be nice about if you want, but I wouldn't be. We've spent many decades (as a culture) being accommodating and apologist for this behavior, and to that I say "Fuck it, burn that fucking bridge to its moorings." We have no obligation to help the creepers be non-creepers; it is perfectly acceptable for them to just be excluded by society at every turn. They're adults and if they want back in they can adjust their behavior accordingly.

We have to eliminate the Missing Stair problem from our culture, and the best place to start is right at home in your own friend group (and workplace if at all possible). Quite simply the idea is that we become accustomed to even very dangerous and awful things if we are constantly exposed to them and forced to endure their existence. Humans are amazingly adaptable creatures and we learn to live with even horrible circumstances. When it comes to patriarchy and rape culture that needs to change and godsdamned fast.

So, my friends (or stalwart foes), eliminate the creepy, proto-rapist jerks from your life either by calling them out and forcing them to change their behavior, or by ejecting them entirely so they can go on to be rejected by other friend-groups for their fuckery.

If you think you may be a creeper, or you know a creeper who might be a salvageable human being or you are at all inclined to out yourself as a rape culture apologist by objecting to calling people who do those sorts of things "Creeper" I'd like to direct you here, here, and here.

I will leave you with this comment from one Hershele Ostropoler, who I think lays out the situation beautifully:
If you step on my foot, you need to get off my foot.
If you step on my foot without meaning to, you need to get off my foot.
If you step on my foot without realizing it, you need to get off my foot.
If everyone in your culture steps on feet, your culture is horrible, and you need to get off my foot.
If you have foot-stepping disease, and it makes you unaware you’re stepping on feet, you need to get off my foot. If an event has rules designed to keep people from stepping on feet, you need to follow them. If you think that even with the rules, you won’t be able to avoid stepping on people’s feet, absent yourself from the event until you work something out.
If you’re a serial foot-stepper, and you feel you’re entitled to step on people’s feet because you’re just that awesome and they’re not really people anyway, you’re a bad person and you don’t get to use any of those excuses, limited as they are. And moreover, you need to get off my foot.
See, that’s why I don’t get the focus on classifying harassers and figuring out their motives. The victims are just as harassed either way.

p.s. full disclosure: I plan to steal the above anecdote to make this point in conversation without citing the original author. I feel honesty here will absolve some of that dishonesty later.


I neglected to include another important category: People who ask really personal questions/make remarks about private matters in public settings.

There is no set criteria for this (as always it is how the person affected by the actions/comments that matter, not the intent, pure or otherwise). However, good examples include asking gender-non-conforming persons about their gender status, their genitalia, their personal history relating to their gender identity, etc. You don't do this to perceived cisgender folks, so why do it with others?

Also, asking people about their history with abusive relationships, sexual assaults and other traumatic life experiences--if they want to tell you they will tell you.

This includes making someone's gender, potential survivor status, or sexual orientation a topic of discussion in a group setting. Just don't do any of that shit. It isn't your business unless the person in question decides to bring it up. Respect individuals and their agency, remember that they're all real people, just like you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

america: land of the 40,000 volt pigs

So police tasered a 12-year-old  girl a couple days ago. 

Police say the officer came into the Victoria's Secret looking for the girl's mom, who had warrants for her arrest.
'This one goes in my chest. It was stuck in there so she had to keep on pulling trying to pull it out,' said Dejamon Baker, as she pointed to a small wound on her chest. Baker has a matching wound on her stomach. 'I had fell on the floor and I couldn't control myself, I just kept on shaking and stuff,' said the girl.

The warrant for her mother's arrest was based on traffic tickets, which seems like a good use of public safety resources given there is absolutely no violent crime whatsoever that police could be putting in some effort to stop. It's not like there have been over 400 murders since 2009 St. Louis and less than half have been solved. Oh wait, that's exactly the fucking case.

So friends and underpaid contractors forced to read the millions of "subversive" internet musings, if it wasn't made clear by the thousands of other similar incidents that happen all the godsdamned time, cops are are fully willing to murder the hell out of you if you so much as look at them cross-eyed. And if you happen to be a black person, or homeless person, or pot smoker, or hispanic person, or gender-nonconforming individual, or political activist your odds of dying by police hands go up considerably.

So in the first referenced case a little girl, who couldn't possibly pose a threat even if she were wielding a fully-fueled chainsaw, is extremely unhappy that her mother is being violently assaulted by police officers--a natural reaction virtually everyone has when seeing a family member injured by another.

The girl then reacts like a child would, screaming and crying, and because all cops are pigs these pigs decided the best course of action was electrocute a 12-year-old child for the crime of having a mother with traffic tickets and being a 12-year-old child.

So there you have it, the military--er, I mean, the "police" now taser unarmed children they find to be pesky or bothersome. At least they aren't shooting them in the head, right? Aw shit, you've got to be fucking kidding me.