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Who The Fuck Is Jessi J?

April 9, 2014

Is the question I’ve been asking myself since my social media feed blew up about her yesterday.

Because I guess I’m old and not a fan of exploitative music…so yeah. I had no idea.

But I do now.

As an aside, my long dark night of the seasonally affect depression is possibly sort of over. Or not. fun with brain chemistry!

Anyway, in case you are like me and had never heard of her go read this. For those of you who don’t want to do that, here are the basics.

Jessi J is a singer who ha spent a good deal of her public life both talking about the fact that she strives to be a “positive role model for young people.” And that’s, you know, nice, I guess. Apparently one of her other favorite quotes is “I always say that I’m half-artist, half-therapist.” And she’s bi, which will become important in a minute.

Wen she was first starting out and was singing songs like “Do It Like a Dude,” (no seriously that’s what it’s called. Don’t look at me, I didn’t name it.) She used the fact that she was an out bisexual. Basically, she did things that a male singer would do, showing off other scantily clad females in her videos. And he talked about her sexuality all the time. Now, in part that happened because when you talk about something like that one time it becomes a part of your headline. I’m a writer who is an out bisexual so everything I do is as a bisexual writer. She’s a singer who talked about being bi so of course, in the press she was a bi singer. That’s not her fault but it’s something that she knew about going in. Everyone who lives in the world knows how this works. Vanilla Ice was a white rapper and this chick is a bi singer.

Except she isn’t anymore, apparently.

And that announcement just so happens to coincide with the release of some new music.

Gee, I wonder if those two things are in any way connected.

A lot of people are angry about this but I think they’re angry for the wrong reasons.

The issue isn’t that Jessi J said she was bi and has now decided that she isn’t. The issue is that Jessi J is clearly someone who is willing to trade on her sexuality for attention in a way that rips the role models away from her fans a not small portion of whom are Gender and secual Minorities.

Who are the primary consumers of pop music? Teens. And GSM teens who lack role models in their lives often look for them in entertainment. That’s true of all teens, no matter their sexuality. Ripping away a kid’s role models? Not good. Especially not good for the group of teens overwhelmingly likely to already be facing a lack of role models and positive messages about themselves and their sexuality.

You know, I think that people should be honest about who they are. I do. So if this is what is true for Jessi J right now, then fine. Do that and be happy. it’s just distasteful to me that she would use this aspect of her life as a publicity stunt.

If she wants to keep her sexuality private then I respect her right to do so. but talking about it in the media, no matter what her sexuality is, is the opposite of keeping it private. It’s trading on it to gain press and ultimately to make money.

That’s just tacky.

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This Is Another Kind Of Valentine

February 14, 2014

In which I am stupid and A- is extremely understanding.

I kind of hate Valentine’s Day but in what has somewhat become a blog tradition, I take the opportunity to tell the whole world why I love my girl.

Hey do you guys know what flirting is?

Because I do not.

flirting-1-1

Does this appear to be flirting to you?

To me it looks like two people talking.

woman-flirting-with-man

This also appears to be a picture of two people talking.

Seriously, I do not even recognize flirting when it happens to me. Apparently it does happen to me with some level of frequency, at least A- says so.

According to her, it happened last week and I didn’t notice.

We went to an event here in town. It was fun and cold and there were a lot of people there and also a great deal of booze. We had fun. We chatted. We shivered. We drank vodka infused hot cocoa to quell the shivering and then this guy came up and started talking to us. And talking. He was super friendly and extremely excited to meet us, like weirdly excited for a Minnesotan.

For those of you who have never been to this state, these people don’t get really excited over anything that doesn’t have the capacity to end in a Super Bowl ring. Given the Viking’s record, that means they don’t get excited over anything.

This guy was excited. it kind of went without saying that he isn’t from around here but he said it. He also made a point of saying that he was staying in a near-by hotel, and that he was generally very physically warm, and that he would be in the bar.

A- says that all of these things were signals. Apparently, we were supposed to pick up those signals as an invitation to come up to his room? I don’t know.

All of this was obvious to A-. I, on the other hand, thought were having a nice, albeit somewhat strange, conversation. Luckily, I didn’t flirt back.

Because I do that sometimes. Because I don’t know when I’m being flirted with. Because in this aspect of life, I am extremely stupid.

I just think I’m having an interesting conversation with a new person while the whole time I am giving the totally wrong message to the interesting person. Because in this aspect of life, I am extremely stupid.

As a result of this massive blind spot in my understanding of, you know, human people, we have had to make some rules.

When A- says someone is flirting, she is right. End of file. If I can’t recognize it happening, I don’t have any basis for an argument against the idea that it was happening.

When A- says my friendly conversation is being read as flirting back, she is right. End of file. The reason is the same.

At those times, as with last week, she patiently explains to me when the hell is going on and  all the things I missed. She doesn’t get jealous. She doesn’t assume that I’m doing on purpose.

She does laugh quite often because I’ll admit it’s hilarious. I am, frankly, a brilliant woman who not only fails at one of the most common aspects of social interaction, she doesn’t even know that it’s happening.

Like I said, she is extremely understanding. Love you A-. Happy Contrived Romance Day. I love you all the other days of the year just as much.

 

 

 

When The Crime Is Who You Are Part V: The Right To Say No

February 6, 2014

The State of Florida v. Michael Dunn started today.

What’s that you say? You didn’t know that or maybe you haven’t even heard of the case?

This boy is dead.

jordandavisselfie

This is the person who killed him.

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Oh and it happened here,

jacksonville_florida_map

which should not be a surprise to anyone who has read this blog or seen the news in the past couple of years. For real people, there is a reason I voluntarily moved to a state where a good deal of winter is spend in negative degrees.

Global Grind has a great breakdown of the timeline so I’ll just expect you to follow the link rather than going over it in detail again.

The basics, which are not in dispute, are that the car that Jordan Michael Davis was riding in and the car that Michael Dunn was driving met up at a gas station and by the end of that meeting a boy was dead and his killer was driving home after having unsuccessfully chased the people he just shot at.

He. Chased. Them.

The other thing that most people seem to accept is that Dunn “asked,” Jordan and his friends to turn down the music in their car because it was too loud.

I do not accept this.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Dunn said something that indicated his feeling that the music was too loud and he wanted it to be turned down.

Did Dunn ask them to turn it down?

No.

It wasn’t a “request.” Because, “could you please turn that down?” which would be a question, has very little likelihood of leading to shouting and cursing and shooting. Told? Demanded? Ordered? Much more likely to be the case.

Now it is possible that I am wrong. I mean, Dunn specifically stated that he politely asked that the music be turned down. I could be making this up out of whole cloth but I’m pretty smart, I used to live in Florida, and I’ve been not white all my life. So, I’m probably right.

Let me break this down for you.

White guy walks up to car full of black teens and orders them to turn down their music because he thinks it’s too loud? Extremely fucking common. It’s simple, people. It’s privilege. It’s the same privilege that led to a white guy stalking a black teen and thousands of people wondering why the teen didn’t just stop, identify himself and assure the white guy that he had the right to walk down the street while black.

It’s one of those things that many Caucasians don’t realize is an aspect of their privilege but People of Color must be aware of lest we risk our lives.

What do I mean by that? The problem that cause Dunn to shoot? It wasn’t the music.

Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, testified in front of the U.S. Senate, telling them that Dunn said this to the boys before he shot: “You’re not going to talk to me like that.”

It wasn’t the music. It was the denial of privilege. It was a man outraged at the denial of his right to regulate the behavior of PoC.

Why didn’t those kids just turn down the music and keep it low?

Because they didn’t have to. They had the right to tell the man who was probably not being overly polite to them, that they weren’t going to comply.

PoC have the right to tell Caucasians no. We even have the right to tell them to fuck off. I’m not saying it’s a good idea or polite or kind but do we have that right. Also, we do not have to pull up our pants or straighten our hair or ever let you touch it.

In case you were wondering, women do not have to smile, trans people do not have to reveal where they are on the journey of their transition and gays and lesbians do not have to hide their love for each other. We have the right to live our lives and in some cases doing so involves playing loud music.

Except clearly not in Florida. In Florida, denying someone’s privilege? It can get you killed. Because now, the prosecutors have to prove that Dunn was not in fear for his life and clearly, based on the results of the Trayvon Martin trial the fact that Dunn chased the car as these boys fled from him and then fled the scene himself, is not enough to prove that.

So I’ll ask again

HowManyMore.pub

HOW I AM KILLING THIS DOG

February 6, 2014

isobeldebrujah:

Poor, poor canine.

Originally posted on forty face:

This is Jake. He is a small dog of indeterminate parentage, intense anxiety and iron will.

I am killing this dog… by not making room for him in the red chair in my craft room. I am knitting. I want elbow room. Jake needs to be squeezed into the seat of the chair directly beneath my right elbow. Not the left elbow – the right elbow. Not the pillow on the floor – the chair. Not the special faux sherpa dog bed on the computer chair – the almost non-existent space in the red chair. Under my right arm. That place. Right there. HE WILL DIE if he doesn’t get to lie there.

HE IS STARING NOW. HE IS STARING AT HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE IN THE CHAIR.  HE HAS BEEN STARING FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES. YES, I TIMED IT.

*******

I am killing this dog… by leaving the solitary Lego man…

View original 370 more words

I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing In Perfect Harmony

February 4, 2014

The Coca~Cola Facebook page has been pure comedy gold since last night.

Why? Oh they aired a very sweet commercial that featured a number of families and individuals of various races. there was even an interracial gay couple with a kid. And it was all set to the tune of America the Beautiful in several languages. It’s really very cute.

Awwwww! The correct answer is awwww, you know, in case you were wondering.

But, of course, some people, a lot of people…what’s the term I’m looking for? Hmmmmm? Oh, right, lost their fucking minds.

Terri Terri Hated the commerical. As soon as it started I was dumbfounded and thinking WTF is this? The American language is ENGLISH…Period!! The song is about America not other countries. I will agree with an earlier post that if it had been all in.

Truth to a liberal is like daylight to a vampire Ellis, if you have a problem with us rejecting the country turning into a dumping ground for illegal aliens and foreign parasites and freeloaders, then get out and go elsewhere and take that homely wife and kid with you. I don’t care whether or not you’re in the military. My father was a Lt Col in the USMC but if we had dissenting opinions, we’d agree to disagree. Take a hint, genius. Most immigrants today do NOT work harder than whites, they collect welfare and take handouts whenever they can and continue to have kids who they cannot fiscally support. The stats of bottom feeding trash which live on the dole is comprised mostly of minorities just as the prison populace is compromised mostly of minorities, who commit high percentage of the crime yet they comprise a small percentage of the population. Do your research and your sue diligence before posting your drivel.

Imma pause quickly here to point out that the majority of the people on public assistance are Caucasians. This guy really, really tries to wave the intellectual flag but he doesn’t seem to have any relationship with logic or facts so…no.

There were a number of variations of

James Rathbone I will be drinking Pepsi from now on.
And there were a number of people who were mortally offended that Coke has “changed The National Anthem,” to different languages.
Douglas Lopes call it a matter of honor or a matter of prestige or a matter of tradition… I believe any countrys native patriotic songs especially their national anthem, should be song in that country’s native tongue… I don’t care what country.
Here is just a sampling from Twitter.

That coke commercial where they have national anthem song in different languages is disrespectful #speakenglish#fuckcoke I will have pepsi

— Andrew Ricciardi (@andrewricciardi) February 3, 2014

I’m sorry but you can’t sing about America in other languages. Thats just unamerican. #fuckcoke

— Jacob Youngblood (@dougyyoungblood) February 3, 2014

Fuck you coke for trying to diversify my country tis of thee fucking speak English and be normal #fuckcoke

— Nick (@nick_mac11) February 3, 2014

What up with Coke??? You live in America. English is your first and second language. Keep it on your house people! #fuckcoke

— The Old Legend (@tamato61) February 3, 2014

Why the fuck is the America the beautiful commercial in foreign languages? #fuckcoke#imdumpingmineoutrightnow#merica

— Dyllen Fleckenstein (@DyllenF) February 3, 2014

#AmericaIsBeautiful and so is the song when it’s sung normally. Looks like I’m now a Pepsi person. #fuckCoke

— Patrick Hall (@msgtd911) February 3, 2014

I think it’s such an injustice to play “America The Beautiful” in Spanish #FuckCoke

— Jordan Douglass (@Jordan_Doug93) February 3, 2014

Sing in English God damnnit. #FuckCoke

— Emily Gerding (@_EmmyG_) February 3, 2014

It’s God Bless America not Mexico so sing in English. #FuckCoke

— Allison Cruts (@allison_cruts31) February 3, 2014

Sing it in English you pricks #fuckcoke

— Misiti (@LoganMisiti) February 3, 2014

An american song in like 10 different languages #fuckcoke#teampepsi

— James Butler (@jbutler6499) February 3, 2014

Considering out constitution is in English I would appreciate out patriotic songs be the same. #fuckcoke

— Train (@col_train48) February 3, 2014

America the beautiful shouldn’t be sung in any language other than English. #fuckcoke#gtfo#pos

— Josh Scarborough (@Jscarborough96) February 3, 2014

We live in America, we speak English. #FuckCoke

— Brian Weals (@SkinnyBW) February 3, 2014

This an American commercial not a foreign one #fuckcoke

— MIKEY (@MikeyTheOne765) February 3, 2014

#fuckCOKE it’s America and the USA language is English…not all this foreign shit

— Andy Turner (@turndaddy79) February 3, 2014

Fuck that bullshit. This is America speak fucking English #ThanksObama#fuckcoke

— Kyle Newlon (@nothin_NEW) February 3, 2014

Sorry CocaCola, but I do not appreciate hearing “America The Beautiful” being sung in a variety of FOREIGN languages.

— Charm Of The South (@CharmOfTheSouth) February 3, 2014

you don’t fucking sing America the beautiful in different languages. that actually pissed me off. #fuckcoke

— Boss DiMarz (@JDimarz) February 3, 2014

bullshit, god bless America in other languages? #fuckcoke

— Tom Beyer (@tombeyer6) February 3, 2014

A~ points out that at least part of the reason for this is that extremism has become normalcy. The way she explains it, you’re not a fan of something unless you spend two or three days before its release camping out in the snow before its release. You don’t really love a band unless you are willing to sell your first born for a backstage pass. And, of course, when it comes to politics, you’re not really into politics unless you’re willing to go totally batshit over something that probably isn’t that important.

Then she smirked at me because she’s read this blog and I’m not even going to pretend that I haven’t possibly blown my stack over something that is small in the relative scheme of things.

And part of it is the anonymity of the internet; although I think that some of these people don’t realize that their names are next to what they are typing. By the way, yes I used their names. They posted that shit. They can stand by it.

And let’s not forget that part of it is the extreme hate that people feel is not only their right but their responsibility. So they howl and rend their garments and probably gnash their teeth. OK, probably just metaphorically, at least for the first two, but still. The irrational reaction is rooted, at least in part, in the extreme xenophobia that, along with racism, misogyny, homophobia, and general, dislike of anyone that disagrees with them, is simply a part of the right wing.

Don’t get me wrong, the left boycotts things too, that chicken joint comes to mind, but we tend to do it with knowledge of why rather than misidentifying the National Anthem and generally just pretending that no other languages exist. Or that Coke isn’t an international company or that they haven’t been singing the same song since before I was born.

To me, this is the really sad thing. Their advertising tactic is not even a little bit new. In 1971, which is when the above ad debuted, seeing all of those people of different races together singing a song? It was just as surprising and controversial as the new ad is today.

But the thing we can be proud of is that the shock and controversy is aberrant today. It’s 2014 and while there was a lot of hate and ignorance, most people just watched the ad, thought it was cute and, at worst, didn’t think about it anymore.

What that tells us is that despite the hateful and fact free nature of many of these objections, things are getting better. We are making progress.

Well done, people. Well done.

I Did Not Watch The Grammys

January 28, 2014

Because honestly, they are somewhat…ridiculous. The clothes can be fun but in terms of my listening preferences they don’t have much to do with what I’m interested in. Until someone like Kevin Aviance wins, I’ll question the whole “best” in any musical catagory moniker.

Further, I have this weird thing that I do wherein I get a few new readers. Or a few hundred, you know. (HI NEW READERS! Please stay. Tell your friends!) Anyway, I get a few new readers and then my ability to type words goes up in smoke.

My brain appears to hate me, I don’t’ know.

So there I was all set up to continue not writing anything when lo people showed their homophobic asses all over Twitter.

For anyone who, like me, didn’t watch the show, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert performed. With a bit of an assist from Madonna on backing vocals and with Queen Latifah as officiant, 33 couples, gay, straight, mixed race, and homoracial, got married.

The sum of these tweets was pretty much

OMG TEH GAYZ R TRYIN TO GET THEIR GAY ALL OVER EVERYTHING!

Which is, you know, kinda true.

Do we want Gender and Sexual Minorities representation on award shows like the Grammys? Sure.

Also we want representation at places like the grocery store and stuff.

I don’t actually know what representation at the grocery store would look like…maybe all the fruits and veggies would be arranged like a rainbow?

An edible rainbow of nummy fruits and vegetables

Because that’s the whole point of being equal.

We don’t long for the days when what happened during Macklemore’s performance is the norm. We long for the days when equality is the norm and mass marriage events that include same gender couples is unnecessary.

That’s what equality looks like.

Ravehellenic Games Some More: Consequences.

January 3, 2014

Please see my previous post in case you’ve just jumped in and you are confused.

gay-pride-rainbow-quotes-fb-timeline-cover1

Today one of the moderators of the Games posted this:

In light of rumblings going around and about re: our event, let’s recap:

  • This event is about challenging ourselves in a big ole global knit-along as we celebrate the athletic wonders of olympic athletes. and an excuse to totally ignore daily life for 2 weeks as much as possible
  • Everyone is welcome here. As long as you play nice, are polite and abide by Ravelry alls well. It’s when those lines are crossed it becomes a problem. Don’t believe anyone saying we’re banning people from participating – it’s not true
  • We’ve always been a politics free zone. It lends itself to an environment where a widely diverse group of people all feel safe to play along and have fun. Politics tends towards disagreements, that in turn create stress and angst. Ravelry has plenty of other groups where debate and politics flourish-this isn’t one of them. We’ve asked teams to have threads in their home groups in order to allow for their freedom of expression and would never try to censor what goes on outside of this group. It’s just here we ask everyone to be respectful of each other, regardless of any differences.
  • It is a requirement to:

be nice

have fun

get something finished during the duration of the games

ingest chocolate….lots of chocolate….. (or your favorite treat of choice)

 

Sigh, Recall when I said that they would simple cry some Straight People’s Tears in response to being called out. That’s what the beginning of them looks like.

This is the letter that I wrote in response to that post, which will be sent to each of the moderators as soon as I finish typing this because I’m me and I’m very much the type to take the fight to the problem.

Dear Ravhellenic Games Moderators,

I’d like to point some things out to you, because clearly you are confused as to why the decision of your moderation team has had consequences that you really should have seen coming.

Telling people they cannot talk about something that fundamentally defines them in public? That is not nice. Neither is it welcoming. It is, in fact, the opposite of both of those things.

It enforces the feelings of shame and otherness that members of the LGBTQ community have been forced to deal with for centuries. It puts us in a position wherein we must be constantly mindful of that otherness lest we violate a rule.

It is not OK on any level.

You are decidedly NOT a politics free zone if you are talking about the Olympics because, you know, that has politics. When a bunch of countries get together to do anything, politics is just naturally part of that.

Further, if a Muslim and a Jew were to do something epic and kind to each other, no one believes that you would prevent anyone from talking about why that matters in a the context of the social and political climate of the world on the main boards. Not one person believes that because it’s a laughable concept.

Religion, which is also extreme political is a fine topic. Social and political differences, which are the subject of at least half of every Olympic broadcast, are also totally acceptable topics.

You haven’t banned topics, plural. You banned one. Just one. Just homosexuality in any form.

And since we can all read the posts that were written previously, it does you no good to lie about it.

You could have easily just made the rule that there would be no debate allowed on the boards and left it at that. But that’s not what you did.

Instead you picked out a specific group that is actively being harmed by the host nation and told them and their allies that the only way they are allowed to participate is if they let you shove them back in the closet for the duration.

And you know what, I’m pretty sure I know why this happened. I speculate that someone or a few someones complained about something that was “too gay,” for their tiny little world view. Maybe they complained a couple of times or maybe they are friends with one or more of the mod team and, like most mods, you decided to grease the squeaky wheel rather than listen to it for weeks on end. I get that. Having been a mod myself I really do get it.

But your decision was wrong and it’s hurting people. Own that or change it but don’t complain about the consequences you caused.

 

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