Race, my Liberalness, and that Goddamn Flag

okay folks, i’m a racist. let’s get that the fuck out of the way first thing.
i fight those impulses when i recognize them, i actively work not to be, but i am.
i was raised in Central Texas in the ’60’s and ’70’s. although i never saw it in use as other than a storeroom, i often walked by the ‘colored’ restroom at a local filling station.
in Smithville, in 1966, i was part of the second integrated class coming up through the school system. my, my, weren’t we advanced and civilized? hell no.
one of our local doctors (we had two!) named J.W. Thomas (who delivered me and was our family doctor), went before the Smithville School Board in, i believe, 1964 and said (i’m paraphrasing) “desegregation is coming. there’s no stopping it. we can do it slowly, class by class, at our own pace, and minimize tensions, or we can wait for the Federal government to make us do it all at once. those are the two choices we have. there isn’t a choice where we do not desegregate our schools”, and in an exceedingly rare show of wisdom, the School Board listened to him. the 1st grade class of 1965 was the first class to be integregated, mine in ’66, therefore, the second.
i went to school with black kids all my life. some of them were as smart or smarter than me, some weren’t. some were good kids, some were shitheads, some enjoyed using their relative different-ness to make other students uncomfortable or afraid, others were just trying to get along.
same as any other kids i know.
so when my grandfather, the man who served as my ‘daddy’ told me the only black people who ever amounted to anything did so because of white blood in their ancestry, i knew better. it was the first crack in the pedestal i had placed him upon.
in Smithville, the “black part of town” was across the tracks, in an area called “Bunte-town”, because a lot of it was owned by the Bunte family. (that’s pronounced “Bunny”, by the way, leading to “Bunnytown”, most definitely used in a racial context).
while the large groups of black kids walking from their side of town to school used to threaten smaller groups of white kids, and walk down the middle of the street, refusing to move out of the way for cars, white kids used to drive into Bunnytown at all hours of the night on the narrow, dirt streets, shouting racial epithets; running over (mostly) chickens in yards and along the roadsides; catching dog’s heads in the door of the car as they chased them and dragging them; throwing rocks, bottles, and shit.
I did all of those things.
i’m not proud of it now, i wasn’t proud of it then. it was, for the most part, action born of peer pressure, but that doesn’t change the fact i willingly chose to do all that, for whatever reason, none of which is an excuse.
i went to school with black children, but none of them were really my friend. however, the single best teacher i ever had, and a man who was my friend, was Mr. Sampson, a black man. i loved him dearly.
sometimes, at the end of the day, you tally up your behavior and performance and realize you’re just as human as everybody else, for good and ill.

i have stepped on my dick, as a liberal, so many times i shouldn’t be able to feel it when i do so anymore, and a lot of that dick-stepping involved empathizing with other groups of people, such as blacks, Hispanics, gays… come to think of it, anyone who wasn’t a white CIS hetero male. and i’ve suffered my bouts of liberal guilt and white shame in angst-ridden explorations of who and what i am and why and other such navel-gazing. it’s all bullshit, you see, because at the end of the day, it’s simply easier, and safer, to operate by the Golden Rule, and when you find yourself doing otherwise, stop, and return your focus to the knowledge we’re all people and we all deserve to be treated with decency, compassion, and, initially, a basic level of respect. if, after that initial period, we prove ourselves unworthy of the respect, that’s another thing, but it still leaves decency and compassion, due to all, across the board, no matter what. for me, those should be immutable.
it’s made being a liberal much easier for me, as i grow older. and on the other issue, i never stop trying to empathize, and i remain sure i haven’t gotten it right yet. but hopefully i’ve cut my dick-stompin’ percentage down.

i grew up LOVING to go to Six Flags Over Texas, and yeah, one of those was the Confederate flag, but far more important to me as a young Texan Yellow-Dawg Democrat was the flag of the Republic of Texas. we were our own nation once, and that’s always been more important to me than our membership in a band of traitors and rebels. so no, the Stars and Bars hold no special place in my heart, but while i looked at that particular flag as just a part of history, like the Spanish, French, Mexican, and American flags, it wasn’t until i was in my thirties, if i’m remembering correctly, that i began to understand its significance to blacks. it wasn’t a flag just like all those others for them. it had a special and horrible place in their history. (yeah, i knew “A”, and i knew “B”, but i’d never put them together to get “C”).
and as long as i could look at it as a purely historical relic, i was fine with it. i grew up, even at my  most racist, with far more sympathy for the Northern than the Southern cause, and so, in an amazing lack of comprehension, never ‘felt’ it as a sign of a rebellion yet to be put down. it was a sign of redneck, and therefore i considered pride in the Confederate flag to be a general sign of ignorance, and probably inbreeding… and white trailer trash.
but i’ve known better for quite a while now, now i study the American Civil War as the first part of an ongoing struggle to decide the soul of our nation. and in spite of a black man in the White House, it’s a struggle i can’t help but feel we’re losing.

so yeah, let’s burn the goddamned thing, make its only proper place a museum. let’s treat it as what it is – a sign of oppression, rebellion, insurrection, a symbol for traitors, enemies of our country. i still won’t – quite – say it should be as vile a symbol as the Nazi swastika, but it doesn’t miss by much.

(of course, to be fair, given what’s been done under its banner, i often feel the American flag deserves burning and being put in a museum.)
(as a side note, according to family legend, our only memorable part in the Civil War was an ancestor who rode with, among others, the James brothers, stealing horses  and selling them to whomever, North or South, had the money to pay. there you have it, My Family In The Civil War – equal opportunity horse thieves and war profiteers.)

okay y’all, my thoughts as of today.

 

listening to: the Furry Four freak out at moth farts
mood: confessional

‘Cause It’s Been Fuck Near Three Months…

okay, first off, it occurred to me recently i’ve gone from occasionally filling in for Clay, our Speed Writing Meetup group’s moderator to hosting, with the help of Sister Lori Thomas and Empress Deb DeFreitas, online speed writing 2nd, 4th, and 5th (should one occur) Wednesday nights, and hosting first Saturday of the month Speed Writing  for Round Rock Writers Guild, as well as paying to make sure the room is reserved for us.
“Hi, my name is Jim, and I’m a speed-writing-aholic.”
i gleefully blame Deb, as she’s the one who took me to my first speed writing meeting. thank you, Deb, thank you ever so much.

tonight as i prep to head for bed, i’m thinking about all the people in my life that i care about, and who care about me… and all the people i don’t care about, and who don’t care about me… and all the people for whom i would gleefully accept the karma load of roasting on a spit… and all the people i’ll never know, and who’ll never know me.
The Creative wants me to love all these people.
some of them, that’s a very easy thing to do. some i have to work on at varying degrees of difficulty, the last set i have to love in abstract, by showing empathy with and sympathy for every human on the planet (in theory).
but that third group… that fuckin’ third group…
i’ve always found a lot of hypocrisy in the whole “hate the sin, love the sinner”, since it’s so extremely difficult to achieve, but too damn easy to mouth. and i don’t generally think in terms of “sin”… i think in terms of “evil”. and from where i sit on the political/social/economic lines, there’s mega-metric-fucktons of Evil in humanity. and as most of you know where i sit on those lines, you can probably guess at a lot of people i view as, in a perfect world (you know, the one where i’m in charge), “kill on sight”.
so yeah, the people i’d prefer to see dead, the smaller subset i’d want to help kill, the even smaller subset i want to kill all on my own, in a very private place, so i can keep pretending no one knows about the monster inside me (yes, i KNOW we all have our monsters, but i like to pretend y’all don’t know about mine, so fuckin’ deal with it).
how do i even attempt to love those people? the thought of their very existence seems to me to be a curse upon humanity, all we’ve built, all we’ve learned, all we aspire to. i feel they’re a disease, a disease that’s spreading faster and faster.
can i find a way to love that third group of people, without ridding myself of my desire to see them in pain, and dead?
ain’t no answers here, just stuff i’ve been pondering on, especially today.

 

mood: contemplative
listening to: “Killing Strangers” – Marilyn Manson

3/7/15 Speed Writing At Star Co

more people than we expected, less chairs, less tables (big going on downtown Round Rock that day) but aside from a near gibbering fit of nervousness on my part, things seemed to go well.

haiku using ‘mustache’…

one careful mustache
let it get out of control
it will eat your face

past goatee and beard
down the neck and up the cheeks
mad mustache gone wild

facial hair frenzy
eighteen foot long handlebar
mustache mania

write something with the title “The Mouse Squeaks Twice”

Old house, easy to hide in, lots of places, hasn’t been cleaned in years.
Clyde knew his prey would go to ground in a dump like this. Eduardo the ‘Stache wasn’t one for shiny condos or public galleries full of people who wouldn’t spare him a second glance.
Eduardo would head for where the trash was thick and the lights low, and Clyde knew those kinds of places well. He and Eduardo had grown up in the same part of town, different hoods. Both from the wrong side of the tracks from bright lights and regular beats for single cops walking along and tipping their hats.
There were two squeaks to Clyde’s left.
He answered with one shot.

the last exercise was an experiment. three parts. three minutes to create a space for something to happen, a setting. then three minutes to create the characters to inhabit that space, interact with each other with it. five minutes to write what happens in the setting, with the characters.

Danny loved the high steel, an interlocking grid of second by second danger. Sure there were safety lines, but odds were good if you fell, you were hitting something metal, and you were hitting it hard.
But oh God, the view. The view was everything, absolute enchantment no matter the time of day or night.
That was why he’d chosen the high steel, 10:30 PM, to propose to Carla. He knew she was scared of heights, terrified, but he was positive once she saw… felt the wind…
It had taken two bottles of champagne with supper to get her in the elevator, safety lines and more safety lines for her to step out.
Then a mouse, a shriek, a shove, and Danny would be eating through a straw for the rest of his life.

 

listening to: Flirting With Disaster – Molly Hatchet
mood; restless

An Odd Way To Ruin A Great Video Game For Me

this post has been a long time in coming, a low background mullygrubbling in the back of my mind, roaring to the fore whenever the game in question comes to mind.

“Far Cry 4″

so, to make the story short, you’re the son of a former revolutionary who helped overthrow the government of Kyrat. one of his compatriots, a foreigner, Pagan Min, betrayed everyone and set himself up as the king of his own little burgeoning narco-monarchy.
you fuck all that shit up, generally running missions for one of two sides. the traditionalists, who want to return to the highly religious past, and the realists, who view the country’s only hope for economic survival being a narco-republic.
so you do your job, and the faction you support takes over, but it’s a mixed bag. the traditionalists resort to political and religious cleansing. the realists take children from the villages to slave in the poppy fields.

both of these options suck rancid monkey balls, neither leader is worth a bucket of warm piss in the long run.
but you, having accomplished your mission, retreat back into the countryside (that, courtesy of your campaign, you know a whole lot better that almost anyone in the country), with your stash of weapons and ammo (that the revolutionaries were more than happy to supply you), and all the guerrilla training your campaign gave you.

country going to shit in one of two odious ways, you as the hero just go on up into the hills to diddle yourself.
uh huh.

number one, in reality neither faction leader should be stupid enough to leave you running around loose. to many of your countrymen, you are the face of the revolution, and should you want it, you could in all probability take leadership of the country.
but running a country is a bore at the best of times, and doesn’t really fit in with this video game’s vibe.

see, what i’d really like is some downloadable content, a mini campaign where you choose a less bugfuck crazy candidate to run the country and fight to put them in charge. lots of chances for vindictive dialogue as you square off against your former comrades, forcing them to see they’re no better than the man they deposed.

having been a table-top role playing gamer before the Atari 2600, let alone games of such narrative complexity, i have a major issue with a game just assuming a character it’s turned into a by-God hero is just gonna sit there while all his work is perverted.
that shit just wouldn’t fly. it’s not what heroes do.
and we play games, more often than not, to be the hero.

 

listening to: The Late John Garfield Blues – John Prine”
mood: why the fuck am i awake?

Hey Dr. Hutto!

tonight’s title prompted by finding out my GP reads my blog…

i’m a speed writing report behind, and i missed last night’s due to all three of my potential rides crapping out (for very good reasons). this saturday i’m hosting speed writing at Star Co in Round Rock, so there should be another entry along these lines pretty soon.

noun – whiskey, verb – fired, adjective – dirty, adverb – noisily

“Evil incarnate walked into the saloon, staggered to the bar, and vomited noisily upon the cool marble surface.
“That’s disgusting, you dirty sumbitch,” the bartender exclaimed.
Evil incarnate, also known as ‘One Ball Eduardo’, pulled his pistol and fired it into the air.
“Whiskey, goddamnit!”
The bartender served him a shot of Chupacabra Bile, and watched him chug it down.
“Three minutes,” the bartender thought, “and I’ll have another dead asshole to bury out back.”
But much to his surprise…
(tentatively considering continuing this one)

no idea what the prompt was…

A thousand days, floating in the upper reaches of Jupiter’s atmosphere. It had sounded like a dream job to me, total isolation while gathering data on the largest weather system mankind knows of.
Storms were a problem though, and I’d endured more than my share. I’d lock myself into the chair, which would make the hookups for breathing, sanitary and dietary functions, the cabin would fill with foam, and the hell-ride would begin. Absolutely terrifying.
Otherwise it was nice.
Until people starting talking to me from outside my ship.

no idea about this prompt either…

I was always impatient with my Uncle Frank, even when I was only crawling. He was slow… so slow. Something to do with an injury he got in the war that had damaged his spine. His stride was measured in mere inches, and not many of them. His shuffling, almost indiscernible progress around the house was torturous to watch, especially to me. I was always full of energy, darting back and forth, inside and out, except when Uncle Frank was in my way.
It frustrated my parents as well, although they didn’t say anything because he’d suffered his injury in the war.
I know he knew how much it bothered all of us… he told me so the night  he drove a railroad spike into my spine.
“Eddie,” he said, “now you’re going to understand. I got this wound, this handicap, for you and all the other kids, to preserve your goddamn freedom, but you little shits don’t deserve it!”
They took Uncle Frank away, leaving my lower body useless, and my parents dead in the kitchen.

again, no clue as to the prompt…

The music box was all I had left to remember my mother.
“Edelweiss.”
After Sweet Baby Jesus took her to Live With Him in Heaven, Daddy couldn’t stand to see any reminder of her, so he got rid of everything.
I barely managed to hide the little blue jewelry box with the dancing bear under my pillow.
I never let him see it.
I never wound up the music box and played it when he was home.
He died when I was sixteen, and I got rid of all his things. He’d tried to wipe her out of our existence. I did wipe him out of mine.
No, I didn’t kill him or anything, but I sure as shit didn’t mourn him when he was gone.
I sat and listened to the music box for hours the night of his funeral, trying to remember her scent, her face, the feel of her hands, her hugs.
I couldn’t. I could only remember that damn song.

 

listening to: the Furry Five snoring
mood: relaxed

 

Speed Writing 2/4/15

i was gonna post this on Wastebook, but then i remembered i wanted to post more here, less there. so here we go.

picture of a color wheel as prompt:

he stared at his big crayons, disgust evident on  his
they smelled.
they smelled of shit, some of them… the others smelled of something else, an odor he couldn’t identify.
his big fat crayons, ruined.
“Mom, quit playing with my colors!”

picture of a spur as a prompt:

lines of fire ran down his legs, dots and dashes in a Morse code of delicious pain.
she dipped them in habanero juice before she used the rowels to torture him.
tears ran down his face, blood ran down his thighs, and pre-cum oozed from the tip of his painfully erect penis.
he could only mumble his undying devotion to her as she dipped the spurs again, eyeing his erection.

picture of a clothespin as a prompt:

the clothesline hung low from the weight of all the wet laundry.
Sally Ann looked at her afternoon’s labors with satisfaction.
killing Harlan had been messy as hell, but oh-so-worth it, even when the cleaning up was added in.
never another set of dirty drawers on the floor, no more stinky socks tossed everywhere, no more drunken drool on the recliner’s head rest.
just the peace, quiet, and cleanliness she’d always craved.

(if by this point you’re gathering i was in somewhat of a mood last night… well, i didn’t recognize it at the time, but it sure does seem like in upon reflection.)

noun, verb, adjective, and adverb… spurs, defenestrate (my addition to the exercise), dirty, hurriedly:

the nun looked out the plain windows of the convent, admiring the stained-glass majesty of the church across the way.
the convent windows were dirty, always too dirty for the Mother Superior, and thence her favorite chore to give out.
Sister Maria wiped at the windows hurriedly, trying her best to look as if she was working harder than she really was.
the local vaqueros were headed to the church for Friday evening Mass, their bright silver spurs glinting in the late afternoon sun.
Maria thought the sight a glimpse of Heaven’s treasures. she opened a window to see better. the sparkling spectacle entranced her, and she lost all sense of place and time, hypnotized by the flickering gleaming.
she fell out the window, dashing her brains out on the stone walkway below.
the Mother Superior rushed to the open window once the alarm had been raised, gazing down at the corpse of the troublesome Sister Maria.
“self defenestration… dumb bitch,” she murmured, closing the window.

 

so yeah, somewhat of a mood, it appears.
elsewhere in the news, it’s my birthday, and i’ve been washing some dishes, along with my standard morning routine. lots of chores have gotten put off, Procrastination King that i am, but it’s being such a good day that i really can’t mind making up for my laziness.

 

listening to: “Killing Strangers”, Marilyn Manson
mood: happy and content

 

Speed Writing

okay, this is the first of what i hope to be a long stream of “i could post this crap on facebook, why not make it a blog post” things…

“Speed Writing”, at least in this circumstance, refers to being given (or coming up with your own) writing prompts, and writing on them for “x” amount of time. it’s not about finishing, or polishing, or even liking what you write – it’s about creativity let loose to do as it will, with no worries about judgment. there really is no right or wrong, no good or bad, just the flow, and seeing what comes of it.

so last meeting, a rainy night, somewhat cool, we met at Star of India (my first real exposure to Indian food, so far as i can remember). there were 3 of us. maybe folks cancelled because of the weather, maybe folks didn’t show because of the November Obsession, NaNoWriMo… who knows? David moderated, Barbara and I being the other attendees. good food was had.
and then it was time to write.

now, our opening exercise, sometimes known  as “the exquisite corpse” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exquisite_corpse ), where we each write an opening sentence, and our papers are passed around, each person in the rotation adding something, until they return to us, and are then read out loud.
all of ours dealt in some way or another with a meme that had sprung up among us before we even began – the stabbing glove. wish i could find my page but it’s lost on the mess i call my desk.

next exercise – write something using the phrase “call it in”.
“the goddamn heathen squids were swarming the base. they had raised the waves, and the Terran troops defending the only surviving colony on the planet weren’t prepared for water – chest high – slamming them back and forth while the squid troopers scythed swaths of red through them.
“Corporal Carlson, call it in.”
“Sir!”
“Do it, while we still have time.”
“High Crusade, this is Fox Twelve, orbital strike, on our coordinates.”
“Time for some fried calamari,” Captain Boudreaux said as fire fell from the sky.”

next, a three sentence horror story.
“the zombies surrounded the moving truck, Carl and Olaf trapped atop it.
“i’m calling our pilot,” Carl said, “just hold on a little longer.”
the pilot’s phone just kept ringing.”

then, a “machine of death” story – imagine a character knew exactly how, and on what day he would die.
“death by glove – it was the most ridiculous thing Carl had ever heard of.
still, it was what the Machine had said, and today was supposed to be the day.
“Boudreaux,” his boss, Olaf, said, “got an assignment for you. 5000 words on this horror convention downtown.”
three hours later, Carl slumped in a corner, watching his life ooze out onto the floor.
a figure in an a ragged sweater and truly hideous makeup, wielding a glove with razor fingers stood over him.
“don’t ever insult the nightmare on elm street series again, bitch.”

then, a ‘noun’, ‘verb’, ‘adjective’, and ‘adverb’ exercise, where people are randomly chosen to give the words to be used. we only had the three of us, so we said ‘fuck the adverb’. our words were ‘elephant’, ‘stab’, and ‘supple’.
“i watched the clouds part, and winced as the sun stabbed my eyes. my hands shot to my face to shield me from the burning daystar, the supple leather of my gloves stretching as my fingers  came together. i hid my hangover from the bright hell until a bank of clouds, looking like a herd of elephants on the move, covered the sun once again.
i lowered my hands and motioned the waiter. time for some hair of the dog.
as soon as i was more steady on my feet, it would be time for some slicing. i fingered the knife in my pocket and smiled.”

next, an exercise writing convincingly about something you know nothing about.
“there are some subjects where all the theoretical knowledge in the world is useless – doesn’t mean a thing – unless you’ve done the lab work, or better yet, field work, to make all that theory into reality.
killer alien squid troopers and the killing thereof, that’s what i’m talking about today.
first off – forget terrestrial squid. almost nothing carries over.
no beak in the center of the underside – squid troopers have them on the tips of the tentacles, as well as sporadically placed along the length of the tentacles.
the whole number of tentacles – no set rules for your squid troopers.
highest recorded? 23.
lowest – 1. a really big one.”
(and time ran out)

haiku time – no one word, but a haiku about each of the following ‘characters’ of the evening’s writing – “squid trooper’, ‘Carl’, ‘Olaf’, and ‘Boudreaux’.
alien scourge from the seas
anonymous squid trooper
lives and dies unknown

“got any candy?”
Carl at Indian restaurant,
Halloween cowboy

stylish young Olaf
selling nice stationary
never writes letters

Boudreaux, cannibal,
backwards-ass bayou scumbag,
proves cousins taste good.

and our final exercise of the night, writing about aliens who show up, believing a work of fiction to be the truth.
“there was far too much land… Olfa, the squid commander, looked out the portal at the Earth far below. not nearly enough water.
“Commander Olfa,” Clar said, “scout craft have reported back. the natives have aircraft!”
“of course they do – we know that. balloons and dirigibles…”
“no, Commander. they have powered heavier-than-air craft, armed for war. Scout Three is running for its life, Two is down in a big hot sandy patch, and Scout One is hiding in the ocean off the coast of one of the continental landmasses.”
“no sign of Captain Nemo yet?”
“no sir.”
they would avenge their giant brother, no matter what.
“prepare to bombard the seas. we’ll drive his submarine to the surface!”

 

we finished a bit earlier than usual, due to our low number of attendees. but yeah, another night of speed-writing weirdness.

 

listening to: dawgs crunchin’ on bones
mood: pretty good

A Fruit Tale

Language not only reflects our attitudes and opinions, language helps form them. How we use language reveals how we think, and helps shape our future thoughts.

so, for a long time, oranges pretty much had the upper hand in a lot of social arenas, and the apples were rightly pissed off about it. so they pushed for their rights, and attained them, and although the apples still weren’t at parity with the oranges, they were closer than at probably any other point in history.
of course, there was a lot of ill-feeling toward the oranges on the apples’ part, for legitimate reasons. There were, in fact, angry and hurt fruits on both sides, because such conflicts always hurt, and always draw their share of hateful, bitter fruits.
some of the apples had created  ‘appleism’, and some of the oranges created the ‘orange rights movement’ – both were attempts to deal with concerns and fears each fruit type had, and those hateful, bitter fruits on both sides of the issues went on being hateful and bitter. the more moderate fruits on both sides shook their heads or pretended they didn’t see what some of their fellow fruits were doing, and just tried to get through life as best they could.
both sides said they were working toward equality, and fairness for all fruits – even though neither side seemed to have a good grasp of plums and bananas and strawberries – and both sides had their good points and their bad points.
what both sides seemed to miss completely was the problems each thought their own were really the problems of all fruits, and by saying ‘bruising is a problem for apples’ and ‘sourness is an orange problem’, they were dividing themselves, ignoring the fact that bruising and sourness were problems all fruit faced.
the fruits who supported ‘appleism’ wanted their vision of how fruits should be dealt with to be adopted by everyone, and the supporters of the ‘orange rights movement’ wanted their vision to be adopted by everyone and both sides seemed to forget gentle handling, and proper care, were not just good for apples or oranges but were good for all fruits. it was silly to say ‘appleism’ was the solution to all fruits’ problems, or the ‘ORM’ had the answers… by their very names, they declared their primary focus. there were no ‘apple problems’ or ‘orange problems’ exclusively – there were just fruit problems, but both sides kept wanting fruits to identify with their brand.
it was all so silly. instead of working together to help all fruits, they often fought about which fruits’ problems were more important, and how to talk about fruit problems, and how to solve them for all fruits, even the fruits they didn’t understand too well.

and this, boys and girls, is why i’m not a feminist, i’m not an MRA, i’m an egalitarian. it’s a gender-neutral term. (which should make me very popular with the left, given our love of gender-neutral terminology). i will not be a part of something that by its very name excludes part of our species. i’m happy once again men have been invited into the ranks of feminism, and the issues of hate and misogny/misandry acknowledged. but thank you, no.

no man should enjoy any privilege, right, or duty, that women do not also enjoy.
no woman should enjoy any privilege, right, or duty, that men do not also enjoy.
that’s called equality. it’s what everyone says they want. but let’s get more gender neutral.
no person should enjoy any privilege, right, or duty, that all others do not also enjoy.
there, that’s better.

domestic violence is not a woman’s problem, or a man’s problem, it’s a human problem.
sexual assault is not gender specific, anyone can be sexually assaulted and anyone can sexually assault another.
it’s as silly as saying the common cold is a male disease, or cancer a female disease, or syphilis a Christian disease, or tuberculosis a French disease.
our problems as a species are not gendered, nor race/creed/color/orientation/nationality-specific, they are endemic. they may show up more frequently in some segments of the population than others, but the underlying causes need to be dealt with on a species-wide level, or we’re wasting our fucking time.
and i’m really fucking tired of us wasting our time.

music: Hey I Don’t Know – Kongos
mood: quite irritated

First Fannish Obsessions

okay… yeah, if you count a storybook of Disney’s “20000 Leagues Under the Sea”, i was reading science fiction when i was six.
if you count ‘real’ science fiction, it was encountering Heinlein’s “The Green Hills of Earth” in my fourth grade reader.
so yeah, literary fans, represent! i’m an, i guess, third generation SF&F gangsta. the originals taught my predecessors, who inculcated in me a love of fandom as fandom, with its own history and traditions.

but media fandom… well, there i’m second gen gangsta.
Star Trek TOS, chil’ren.
watched it, much to my grandfather’s dismay, when it was originally broadcast.
first convention i ever attended was a “Star Trek” con in San Antonio in the early ’70’s. i organized the whole trip, transportation courtesy of a friend’s mother, talked with the hotel staff several times making sure how to get there… including the head of hotel security.
which was a good thing… ’cause i got the keys locked in the car, and while i was trying to get it open with a coat hanger, well, i attracted some attention.
security attention. (hardly the last time i’d manage that feat… remind me to tell you about the Admiral’s Birthday one year…)(which is itself another “Star Trek” connection)
and the head of hotel security knew my name, and i got to meet one of the staff who’d been so helpful.
and he helped me get the fuckin’ keys out of the car.
way back when, i had fuckin’ memorized David Gerrold’s books “The World of Star Trek” and “The Trouble With Tribbles”. i had the original “Star Fleet Technical Manual” and pored over it like some Holy Book. courtesy of reruns, i could tell you an episode’s title within seconds of the teaser beginning. i watched the animated series. i waited and prayed for a feature motion picture, and tried to convince myself “Star Trek: The Motionless Picture” was better than it was. i jizzed blood over “Khan”, enjoyed “Search for Spock”, treasured “The Voyage Home”…
and then “The Final Frontier” almost killed my love…
but “The Undiscovered Country” brought it back big time.
loved “The Next Generation”… although it took a while to grow on me.
thought the Next Gen movies were more miss than hit.
was bored by “Deep Space Nine”, and couldn’t hold on long enough for it to get interesting.
never really gave “Voyager” a chance, even though i loved its theme music more than any other.
tried “Enterprise”, but quickly lost interest…
LOVE Abrams’ reboot, both films.
hell, my daughter was born while i was in the father’s waiting room playing “Star Fleet Battles” with friends…

so yeah, that first media fandom for me has stuck around.

i was reminded of this while reading about “These Are The Voyages: TOS Season 1″ and “2”… books researching the making of the show, the personality conflicts, the twists and turns and neat facts and dirty little secrets.
i want these books. it feels odd to be going back to that ancient well for more entertainment, but i’m gonna.
’cause i’m a fan.

listening to: four fans going at once
mood: happier… and cooler