Thursday, March 28, 2013

Change Your Profile Pic or the Homo Gets It

Well, I’ve been sort of passively called out by an FB friend for posting this picture yesterday or the day before, and for being snarky about the whole “change your profile pic in support of gay marriage” thing.

For the record, I also left this pic up after a different friend posted it on my wall.

(I also posted this, but who's counting?)

First of all, let’s establish this: I’m not anti-gay marriage.

I’m anti-marriage, personally, but if anyone else wants to get married, I don’t give a shit. I will mock them mercilessly, and I may drunkenly cite divorce statistics at the reception afterward in a very loud voice, but I have no reason to stand in their way.

I am fully, 100 percent in support of legalized gay marriage. Like my friend, I too have many, many friends who are gay, and I too abhor homophobia. Here are a few things I have written on the topic, and there are many, many more relevant posts on FB. 

Second, the pictures are fucking funny. Aren’t they? I mean, come on. No matter where you stand on this, these are funny. When did liberals become so very humorless about things we support? I thought that was the job of hardcore religious conservatives.

(And Libertarians. Try making a Rand Paul joke on the interwebz sometime. It’s like trashing Elvis while you’re on a Graceland tour. Only instead of fat, southern, octegenarian housewives riding scooters chasing you off, it’s 20-something, half-bright bros clutching “Atlas Shrugged” and firearms. Many, many firearms.)

The point is not to disparage people who support gay marriage or who changed their profile pic, but to suggest that we all take a moment to think about climbing down off that high horse, before it gets so very high we require a helicopter extraction team.

Yes, it’s taking the piss a bit, at a lovely time when the tide towards tolerance seems to be shifting in this country. But I contend that taking the piss is a healthy part of the discussion, even on a day when the national bandwidth is covered in so much “support.”

Maybe especially on a day like that. As Harvey Keitel’s character The Wolf said in “Pulp Fiction,” “Let’s not all start sucking each others’ dicks just yet.”

(Ha ha...irony...insert your own joke here.)

(Ha ha...he said “insert...”)

Anyway, the last time I got into an FB discussion with the first friend, the one who was offended--I don't even remember what we were talking about--but we went back and forth a few times in comments before he announced he was finished with the discussion and taking himself out of the conversation--after posting his last say, of course, haha.

So that’s the reason I’m going to post this here and not bother with going back to his original post; if you don’t want to engage the topic and have a discussion all the way through to wherever it leads, then why begin it?

Which is also kind of my point about these trends on FB: we post these things (remember Stop Kony?) in a mostly closed feedback-loop of self-congratulation and mutual back-patting, assured of 98 percent of our friends' “Solidarity” and “Support” of whatever the topic du jour may be without actually DOING anything more than clicking “change profile pic.” It is my contention that this leads to an unpretty and self-deceptive smugness and sense of “a job well done” while not having actually done anything.

Also, if you’re “taking a stand,” then shouldn’t you be prepared for some dissent? The original friend actually wrote, “ is really not acceptable...” to post things like these pictures at a time like this. (He used the word “ridicule,” but as I explained above, I don’t think that is the message; I know it definitely isn’t the message I was trying to send, and if any of my friends felt ridiculed by me for changing their profile pic, then I humbly apologize.)

Anyway, my main point here is to make sure that anyone who cares knows without a doubt that I am not anti-gay marriage. Nor am I anti-changing-your-profile-pic-to-show-support-for-gay-marriage.

My second point is that it is okay to laugh at ourselves. I mean, I am a liberal. I am a flaming liberal. I'm practically a socialist, I’m so fucking liberal. But I can be that and still be aware that we’re hilariously self-contradictory, overly earnest, naively idealistic at times and many other things. So what if we’re funny? We’re still right, so I don’t give a shit if anyone laughs at me, and I’m okay with seeing the humor in us as well.

Thirdly, if you are going to “take a stand” on something, then you need to be able to handle a bit of very, very gentle and oblique teasing about it without getting all huffy. You take a stand by clicking a link in your FB profile, then get upset if someone posts something on their own wall that mildly, jokingly rebukes you a tiny bit?

I mean, it’s hardly firehoses and police dogs, now, is it? And to suggest that certain words and pictures and phrases are unacceptable or inappropriate is about as illiberal as you can get.

Stifling dissent? Shit, not even dissent--low-key mockery by someone who is clearly on the same team? Again, that sounds like something the hard right does, not us.

If you want to be part of a national discussion, great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should expect the online equivalent of a roomful of 500 of your “closest personal friends” all nodding in total agreement and saying, “Yep, you sure are right, Steve.”

How fucking boring would that be?

Plus it's not even like I disagree.

Take care everyone, and again, I pledge my undying support for my LGBT brethren and sistren. Let’s hope those douchebags on the Supreme Court actually do the Right Thing for once instead of the expedient, political thing.


*The picture of the two combative gay gentlemen is from an episode of Seinfeld, so, no, not all that terribly hip, I don’t think. Not for a couple of decades at least. :-)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cornel West is Right

But it is so goddamn hard sometimes.

Despair is a hungry demon nipping at your heels, demanding attention constantly. You think, maybe if I just give him a snack, he'll leave me be. But whatever you feed him only whets his appetite.

Best just to kick that little bastard in the throat and get on with your day, with something that gives you hope, with people that uplift you and help you to see what's possible, not what's impossible.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rand Paul is Still an Idiot


Hey, gays! Guess what? The junior nutbag from Kentucky has great news for you!

No, it's not an intellectually consistent stand on individual liberty versus liberty for commercial interests, but it's almost as good! When asked if he would strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as a federal interference in states' and individuals' rights to decide who can marry whom, Paul weaseled and waffled, "...that's a complicated issue..." but then came up with a left field idea that might be just as good.

See, you know how you guys are always on about the whole marriage thing? How about this instead: a flat tax just for you and your...what, husbands? Wives? I never could get that straight. No pun intended! Ha ha!

No, really though, here's the idea (via crooks and liars):
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Sunday suggested that implementing a flat tax could assuage gay and lesbian Americans who want equal marriage rights because straight marriages would not get a tax break.

During an interview on Fox News, host Chris Wallace pointed out that the Supreme Court would be hearing arguments this week on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages even in states where those unions are legal.
Well, come on, I mean everyone knows how teh gheys are about shopping and spending money. Surely they will appreciate this gesture. Think how many more brunches per year they can afford with the savings!

Republicans: Making This Shit Up Every Day, So We Don't Have To.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vertical Cooking


At first I was a little creeped out by this ad for the Rollie Eggmaster Cooking System, probably due to the, er, ever so slightly suggestive nature of the photo accompanying the story I saw on Laughing Squid here.


Not that there's anything vaguely sexual about the shot, but why do we feel we need more foods in this, um, "easy to eat shape?"

And then of course, you see the bit about "Just crack your egg, pour it in, and watch it pop up in minutes!!"

Of course it "pops up." I mean, what else, right?

But when you watch the promo video above, I could see the benefits of this. Heck, I want to host a party serving only cylindrical foods! I want to be able to grab an egg-stick on my way out the door! Or a mini-burrito! Sold!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pipe Trouble!

This is just all kinds of awesome. (via)

It's a  game for ipad and android tablets that lets you play as the CEO of an oil pipeline company that is trying to build a new pipeline (suspiciously like the Keystone XL perhaps?) and bring it in under deadline and cost. Despite trouble with dead livestock and poisoned water and dirty hippies protesting and maybe even blowing it up, you have to keep laying that pipe in order to rake in that cash!

Here's a demo clip:

EDIT: I removed the video clip because it is goddamn autoplay and i can't turn it off. Here's a link to it though. Go watch, very funny.

Apparently the game has angered some Canadian-type people as it appears to them to be celebrating the sabotaging of a pipeline, and because the game developer received taxpayer funding:

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she’ll be looking into an online game promoted by a taxpayer-funded broadcaster that shows the bombing of a gas pipeline.

A blog post supporting the game appeared on the website of the provincially funded broadcaster TV Ontario.

The TVO website also provides a link to the game, called “Pipe Trouble,” and offers a free trial.

But questions have been raised about the game’s introductory video, which appears to show activists protesting before a pipeline blows up.

O, Canada, you so cute! Why on Earth would you give creative, artistic, innovative people your tax dollars in the first place? Haha! Just wait until you're a big-boy country like the U.S.! You will look back on this and cringe!

Game available here. A portion of the proceeds go to the David Suzuki foundation.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Modern Friendship

Ted McCagg of something called Questionable Skills (looks like his blog; he's got some very funny stuff on there) created this piece called 'Modern Friendship.'

Yes, buddy, I love you so much I'd create a hashtag for you.



Life - Me

I think this is my favorite gif of all time.
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Very Unpromising Material"

And here's all you need to know about critics and reviews. (via)

From a 1955 review of Beckett's "Waiting For Godot:"
The play, if about anything is ostensibly about two tramps who spend the two acts, two evenings long, under a tree on a bit of waste ground “waiting for Godot.”
Click the link above to dangerous minds to read the review in its entirety, but pretty much all you need to know is that you've heard of Samuel Beckett, and you've never heard of Guardian reviewer Phillip Hope-Wallace.

Having been on both sides of this divide, reviewer and reviewed (at least, reviewed as an actor; I haven't had any of my plays staged yet, but looking to get one up for a staged reading this spring) I can tell you it is a fuck of a lot harder to create a show than it is to create a review. Not that what reviewers do is without value; not that they (we) don't put a lot of thought, sweat and time into creating a good, honest review. And certainly by putting our work out there, artists of all stripes are asking to be looked at, and thought about, and engaged with.

But I think there is a certain lack of humility in some reviewers, a lack of understanding where one's place in the food chain really is. I think a lot of reviewers could greatly benefit from being part of a show, from table read to closing night, just to get some perspective on what it really takes. If you're going to casually shit all over something, at least be aware of what it is you are beshitting, right? :-)

That said, here's some closing words from Mr. Hope-Wallace:
It is good to find that plays at once dubbed “incomprehensible and pretentious” can still get a staging.
Best of luck to him in his career, pointless, incomprehensible, and pretentious as it may be.