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.
Does this appear to be flirting to you?
To me it looks like two people talking.
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.
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.
This is the person who killed him.
Oh and it happened here,
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
— 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
— Dyllen Fleckenstein (@DyllenF) February 3, 2014
— 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
— 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
— 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
— 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.
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?
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.
Please see my previous post in case you’ve just jumped in and you are confused.
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:
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.
This needs some context.
Ravelry? It’s the largest and most amazing knitting website on earth.
Every year they have a large scale knit-a-long (which is a thing where knitters all knit…you know along with each other.) called The Ravhellenic Games.
At some point I fervently hope that they manage to pull this thing off without causing huge and unnecessary drama for the Ravelry site owners and operators.
This year is not that year.
As my readers may recall, the Sochi Olympics are causing a lot of controversy because Russia hates it’s LGBTQ citizens and the LGBTQ community of the world.
Everyone recalls this, yes?
Cool, now we’re all on the same page.
Last night the organizers of the Ravehllenic Games (which used to be called The Ravlympics until the owners of the site got a cease and desist letter from the Olympic Committee) posted this.
The Ravellenic Games is a world-wide group made up of thousands of diverse competitors who believe different things and hold different opinions.
Diversity is wonderful, and we all appreciate it.
However, it can also lead to disagreements, sometimes of the less-than-polite variety, and no one wants that. We’re here for fun.
In order to minimize disruptions, the decision was made at the beginning of the Games that politics, politicking, and political discussions would not be acceptable in this forum.
Rainbows with messages, protests, pro- and anti- stances: these have their place. However, this forum is not that place.
This rule is posted on the front page of the group and in the FAQs, and an overt announcement was made a couple weeks ago.
We’ve had to edit a few posts to remove political messages. We don’t want to do this, you don’t want us to do this… please help us out by not posting politics in the first place.
They clarified several hours later with this:
The “no politics” rule is intended to make the discussions here welcoming and warm for all comers.
It applies only to the content of posts on the Ravellenics forum. This includes finish lines; event threads; team threads that are hosted here; and all other chatter.
Team names, Ravatars, project names, project notes, and team threads hosted in other groups are not affected by this rule. Political messages are central to the identity of many teams, individual Ravthletes, and projects. Feel free to express those messages fully in those settings.
First I’d like to say that the owners and operators of Ravelry don’t have anything to do with this decision. I am absolutely 100% positive they were not involved in it.
NOT THEIR FAULT. Just in case anyone was unclear.
Second, NOT CENSORSHIP. Please don’t say that it is. That’s a thing that governments do, not websites.
Finally, I would like to respond to the request entailed in the above quotes.
No. Not just no but hell no! And since I’m already typing WHAT IN THE NAME OF REASON AND BASIC HUMAN DECENCY WERE YOU BLOODY WELL THINKING?
Why, when the group of moderators agreed on this policy, did someone not listen to the small voice that must have desperately screaming at you to stop?
When did you decide that in an effort to make people feel comfortable you were going to tell a not small number of potential participants that your definition of comfort did not include consideration for them and their allies?
At what point did you forget how words work? “Diversity is wonderful, and we all appreciate it. However…,” means you care not one whit about diversity.You care about the few hateful people whom, I would be willing to bet, complained that someone was too out in a post. That’s how sentence structure functions.
Do you think that repeating the phrase “We are here to have fun,” has some sort of talismanic magic associated with it that will make it fun to talk about things like our representatives to the Olympic Committee or some of our athletes or their families or the massive tidal wave of rainbow knitted/crocheted shit you are about to see without mentioning why it matters to us?
Let me clarify some things for you.
Being bi, in my case, or lesbian or gay or trans or queer or questioning or Intersex any number of designations? That’s not politics. That’s who we fucking are, just like being tall is who I am and being a woman of color is who I am. And in Russia, right now, this second, who we are is entirely likely to be a death sentence.
Right now, in Russia, which is the nation about to host this shindig that you want to “just be about having fun,” real human beings are being targeted, attacked, and killed and no one will help them because those attacks have government sanction.
And you want us to be quiet about it?
The only reason I sit here able to write this to you because people in this nation marched and fought and risked everything and yes, in some cases suffered their own death sentences.
And you want us to be quiet about it?
Now the Russian government will tell you that I am overreacting, that they do not hate the LGBTQ community. They simply want to protect their children from bad influences. People can still be gay, or any variation thereof. They just have to be quiet about it. They can’t use the games to show their gayness. So, no wearing the internationally accepted symbol of the gay. Other symbols are fine. I’m thinking specifically of religious ones. I’m sure the Sochi Games will have any number of mentions of The Divine. (I’m equally sure the Ravhellenic Games will have them as well.) And those will be fine. Just nothing that brings one of the most basic, fundamental aspects of what makes a person who they are, if that aspect happens to not be straight. They want to erase their LGBTQ community before the games begin, at least metaphorically. They want all of us to be invisible.
And so do you.
And that is so not acceptable I don’t even know how to articulate it.
Oh wait, yes I do.
Refusing to allow people to discuss an integral part of their personhood? That is the opposite of “warm and welcoming.”
So you failed there.
I’m betting…not let’s be honest, I’m really hoping that the past day or so has been the opposite of fun for you as a group.
So that’s another failure.
Your decision is cruel. It is small minded. It is ignorant and it has blown up in your face in a spectacular fashion, which is no less than you deserve.
But the thing is, I’ve dealt with bigots like you before. So no matter the level of my outrage or how wide the group that shares it (it’s a pretty wide group, in case you were wondering) the only reaction that you will have is to cry Straight People’s Tears (which is the straight, homophobic variation of White Woman’s Tears) and whine that you didn’t meeeeeaaaaan it!
You will probably remind us that THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, in the event that the first couple of times made that point murky.
Well Witch, what shall we do? I hear you asking. it’s possible that’s only in my head. It’s late and in what has regrettably become a New Year’s tradition, I am nursing a vicious cold. I’m going to assume that someone is asking that and just go with it.
There are three options; go up the chain, boycott or protest.
The first, going up the chain, is not my favorite because, you know, this bullshit decision is not the Ravelry owner’s responsibility and as such they shouldn’t be made to pay for it. That said, it may be the most civil and have the least negative consequences for those of us who have been harmed by this. If that is seen as the best answer and they can, within their own rules, intervene, demanding that the Rav site owners pressure the mods for either a public apology and reversal of the decision or the removal of the whole mod team seems a reasonable request to make.
The second, boycott, is also not my favorite, because they win.
So I would go with protest which can’t be a surprise to anyone who has met me or read anything I’ve ever written. Make those motherfuckers work. gay up those threads like a pride parade. Do exactly the opposite of what they want. Then do it again. Then do it again. And again. Make this issue as public as possible within the Ravelry community and enlist protesting allies. (Possibly by sharing this blog. IDK, just an idea except please do that.) Sound a relentless drumbeat of gay, gay, gay, GAY and choke them with it. Change your Ravatar to something obnoxiously gay themed. And then post nice sweet things on every fucking thread you can. While you’re at it, any symbol that might be even a tiny bit controversial should probably be flagged because this is supposed to be fucking fun.
Now, protest has consequences and you will totally get kicked out of the group. That is when you stop. Straight talk. Don’t push or even look at the line between protest and harassment. Do not do it. The Ravelry site owners have been known to ban members in extreme circumstances. If you’re organizing a protest and you don’t stay on point, you may be opening yourself up to that. It’s not likely but it is possible. Actions have consequences, even when they are the result of righting a wrong. If there were no possibility of negative consequences we would probably not call them protests so much as, I don’t know, life.
Good luck, y’all. I’ll be over here drinking tea and mainlining zinc based products.