Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Me Wampum Good Teepee Mister Mask Man

I'ma gonna let you finish, but first I'd like to point out something that almost no one is talking about. Football. And even more broadly, sports in general. I promise you, it's relevant.

I went to high school called "South High". We were "The Rebels". Our mascot was a confederate solder in grey. Our flag was the confederate flag. All because we lived on the south side of town. Real imagination there, generation prior to mine. I went looking yesterday for photos on-line from the 1980s to back this all up and discovered that my old high school had changed its flag many years back. It's now a shield and swords - the confederate symbolism is (mostly) gone. They're still the Rebels and that soldier is still there, but the confederate flag is long gone. I'm not sure that the soldier matters much given how little about the civil war students are taught any more. It wasn't a great school.

In the past few days thanks to some truly awful events and a truly bone-headed series of responses the confederate flag has become toxic - as it should be. State houses have been removing it, on-line and retail outlets have been removing it from their shelves - even the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard is getting a makeover. Politicians are even starting to acknowledge the racism attached to this symbol of the losing side of the civil war.

So while we're talking about racism can we talk about another prevalent, uniquely American, form of racism; that against the people who were here before those of us of vaguely European descent arrived?

There are lots of sports teams, many of them at the high school and college level, that name themselves after Native Americans. The Seminoles. The Apache Warriors. Some of these names are meant to evoke the fighting spirit of these peoples. But then there is also teams like The Indians. The Braves. The Redskins.

In the case of teams with names like these I hear over and over again how the names are meant to represent the fighting spirit of these peoples. That it's an homage. Funny how it's always white people saying that. The people who gave these people the condescending nicknames in the first place.

So let me set the record straight with my miniscule amount of Pawnee blood.

To me, the guy who is 1/16th (or 1/32nd - the family lore gets fuzzy) Native American, "Braves" sounds like me wampum good teepee Mister Mask Man. Mr. Cartwright has the wisdom of the elders. Imagine how it must sound to someone with a real stake in the heritage of these peoples.

To me, "Redskins" sounds like a trophy collected by the whites in place of scalps.

To me, terms like this seem horrifically racist. Imagine what it must sound like to a person who lives every moment of their lives as a part of the culture and heritage of the people who were in this country before we stole it from them.

Do you remember when the Washington Wizards were known as the Washington Bullets (and prior to that the Baltimore Bullets)? Do you remember why the name was changed? Because of violence in the neighborhoods around where the games were played made the owner uncomfortable with the name. Progress.

As we all know, the outrage over the confederate flag is due to optics over the shooting of blacks in a state where the flag is flown at all times by law. Progress.

Is someone going to need to shoot some Injuns in order to facilitate changing the names of sports teams from names with overtly racist baggage to names that have more to do with the federation and competition that sports is supposed to be about? I'd like to think that our track record would suggest that we're better people than that.

But we're not and you know it. Still, it is long past time for these things to go.

Cheap Shots (whiskey today):

You know what? Fuck all y'alls.

And he promises that the NBC Page Program will say nothing bad about Iowa.

I think that the answer to her question is "Hell no."

So no, you can't sign a petition calling for the legalized murder of gays. A judge says so.

That said, this is still possible.

If I interpret this correctly, this man wants to be flaming should marriage equality survive the Supremes. Or maybe he's just getting a jump start on eternity.

Hmph. Starting to look like the Democratic Party of old.

There is a band called Blackberry Smoke that you should be checking out:

There are police chiefs who do not like "open carry".

I'd like to point out that Bill Kristol is never right about anything, but here he makes a basic mistake. They're not bowing to Political Correctness. They're bowing to just plain Correctness.

Stevie Wonder can "open carry" in Iowa. Although being a black man maybe he shouldn't...

Yeesh. This makes it sound like he drank too much fucking Red Bull.

Not really the funniest thing since Betty White, but still amusing nonetheless.

Um. A) She was born in South Carolina, in a town smaller than a flea - that means she's an American, plain and simple. B) Sure, it was the greatest - right behind all those armies that WON instead of LOST (and behind a number of others that also lost too, come to think of it). C) You're just a bitch.

No, the Blue Marlin is NOT sinking. If you don't understand Japanese just look at the pictures. It will make sense.

Don't Stop... Believin'  Even if you need Omar Hakim to fill in.

Trumpwatch: 112 days until he drops out of the race.

If this were actually true we'd be forcing you to call Grits "Polenta", Biscuits and Gravy would be "Creamed Chip Beef on Toast", and Fried Chicken would be called "Oh dear Lord no no no!"

I keep telling people that we have until October to get this right.

I admit that I'm surprised. This is a fairly decent apology. No clue if he actually meant it, but it doesn't excuse anything. I'm not a supporter of the death penalty but there simply wasn't any other way this was going to go.

And here's an apology from The Big Easy.

Boy, talk about missing the point entirely.

Everyone been making noise about the guy who caught bare-handed a foul fly ball while holding his infant child (and forcing a call of fan interference as well). This story is MUCH Better.

Um, wow. Just... wow.

And now, for a lengthy moment of Zen, a song that always manages to calm me down:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cheap Shots

I really don't have anything new to contribute today so let's head straight to the...

Cheap Shots (sake today my friends):

Is it bad that I don't give a rat's ass about any more Spiderman? There's so much more to the Marvel Universe that I'm not really interested in the 8th Spiderman in my lifetime.

Damn. I've studied this man's work. He was impressive.

There is a half-man/half-monkey trying to make sense of it all, in comic form. You should be reading his work.

Revenge porn, politics style.

He put it in his where?

The Senate shouldn't make him angry. They wouldn't like him when he's angry. (spoiler alert: they did anyway)

"If we destroy creation, Creation will destroy us."

Continuing yesterday's theme: "However, Americans are somewhat less likely to see the benefits of protests among black Americans"

Because this song is just plain awesome, I present to you Thumpers:

If you are one of the fuckers who votes for this legislation turn in your decency card. There is only one reason to vote for this: you hate poor people. Same to any store than enforces it.

This. Is. Awesome!

This could be a pretty big fucking deal.

What, he's not in first place already? Fire somebody!

And now your moment of zen (did you smoke da whole joint?):

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ask a black man.

There's been an awful lot of talk about racism lately spurred by an awful lot of awful. It's a conversation that needs to be had but a lot of the people getting the most press about it don't seem to actually understand what the conversation is supposed to be - or even understands what the ground rules are supposed to be.

Or even know what racism actually is. Almost every single person making the mistakes is white. Even one of the greatest Uncle Tom's in our present day gets it - so we're not talking about left vs. right here although it does seem to fall along these line all too often.

So here is a quick Primer on what qualifies as racism.

"Nigger." That's racist. Okay, that was an easy one. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

Making a joke about hanging the current President of the United States is racism. You might not remember much about lynching but I do and so does every black man in this country. Hanging = Lynching. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

A confederate flag. That's racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

Running a new report on gun violence and framing the conversation as being about gun violence and yet only talking to convicted black men is racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

Putting in a contract that Spider Man must be a white heterosexual is racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

Calling Floyd Lee Corkins II a terrorist and Dylann Storm Roof just a criminal is racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

Receiving money from well-established racists for your political campaign and not recognizing that it taints everything you stand for is racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

Changing your stance to recognize a political trend just to appeal to the black community for their votes is racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

If you are a member of the C of CC then you're a racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man. (Replacing you K's with C's only works in a Monty Python Sketch)

That fact that you can't even recognize that these things are racist is racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

Your confederate bumper sticker is racist. There are no qualifiers. Ask a black man.

Ask a black man.

Or ask a black woman. Oh, and that A&E joke you just told yourself in your head is also racist.

Cheap Shots (on my wife's recommendation, today's spirit is aquavit):

Nigga Please. (ooh, I'm going to get flack for that one - and I should)

Um, I think the takeaway is that while yes, it does happen in other countries when it does everyone drops what they're doing and changes things. Australia enacted nationwide gun control after it's FRIST mass shooting. There hasn't been a second. The key point that you're missing is that he said "it doesn't happen with this kind of frequency." And he's right.

Ooh, that's gonna leave a mark.


It's not Vrbana Bridge, but still impressive.

And now some gratuitous violence with a GREAT song, Dumb Luck by We Are Scientists

Not 2/3 but 1/2.

Enjoy your retirement, Captain.

Damn. I got to see this man work. He was gifted.

Good lord John Oliver is just amazing.

Love him or hate him, he's not wrong.

Francis kick ass. Again.

If the world were a just place the first species to go would be the Over-protected Right-Wing Bloviator. Alas, the world is not a just place.

Big Blue tells Baton Rouge to go fuck itself, and rightly so.

Bill, Bill, Bill. What the ever-lovin' hell happened to you? Face it, this don't look good.

And now, your moment of Zen...
 photo happyfathersday_zps3vgmp2kt.png

Friday, June 19, 2015


A few days ago I saw for the first time the tests given to children home schooled under a specific program that calls itself “Christian” (specifically “Accelerated Christian Education”). The program claims to be part of the accepted curriculum in over 6,000 schools and in districts all over the country. What I saw actually disturbs me. For example: Q: Wisdom – The pastor spoke with great wisdom – Wisdom means (a) a test, (b) Godly thinking, or (c) tasty milk. Here’s another example: (Sports coaches, Piano tutors, Librarians) can touch the lives of their students – pick the correct answer. The answer is Piano tutors, which the student is supposed to know because it is in a passage learned in a previous school year. One more example: Answer True or False: Leif Ericsson played short stop in the Icelandic League.

Seriously. These are questions for high school level students. No wonder many of these people can't think.
6,000 schools in the U.S. use this horseshit. It places that use vouchers it gets used as a required basis for education. It is, in short, teaching our children a different set of facts than the actual facts of the world. A different set of truths, and it has been doing so since 1970. 45 years. In case you wonder how some people can seem to be so stupid it’s because they were taught to be by people who want the world to be what they want to see, and not what it is, and because it has become as prevalent as it is we have a serious problem coming up.
It’s not yet fully diagnosed, but we as a country are showing signs of schizophrenia.
A shooting takes place in South Carolina: a young man who by his own admission is driven by racism shoots and kills 9 black people and parts of the country spin it as an attack on Christianity, not on Blacks. The Pope – the religious leader of one of the largest religions in the world issues an encyclical telling us to be kind to planet earth and is told by certain people to keep his nose out of science – despite the fact that it is the Pope and not these certain people who has a Master’s Degree in Chemistry. Certain people blame one of the victims of the murders in South Carolina because he told people that they shouldn’t come armed to church (listen, if I punch you in themouth and you bleed it’s your fault because you aren’t carrying boxing gloves). There are people running for president who believe in torturing people. There are people who say in a single breath that Obamacare is destroying America while celebrating that they can now afford health care. There are people who say the economy is in terrible shape while it has improved by leaps and bounds. There are people who look at pictures of military bases closed under the administrations of Bush and even Reagan and call them “Obama FEMA Reeducation Camps”. There are people who post pictures on Facebook calling for the arrest, trial, and hanging (whether convicted or not) of one of the world’s leading Constitutional Scholars - who also happens to be the current President of the US - without a) seeing the irony of this or b) realizing that they calling for the public lynching of a black man. We have an entire country arguing over a trade agreement that actually has nothing to do with trade but what laws are enforceable in which jurisdiction. We have people arguing that global warming is a hoax despite an alarming increase in hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and parts of Miami already underwater. There are people saying that Obama wants to take your guns when in reality despite all of the rhetoric gun laws have been relaxed under his leadership.
We tell anyone who doesn’t support any war we get involved in that they are against the troops but when these same troops ask for help for problems related to the wars we asked them to fight we tell them to fuck off. We call ourselves Number One in the world in everything from business to sports to science to education when it reality we most often don’t even break the top 20 in anything other than prisons or weapons of mass destruction. Maybe that’s why no one calls us on it – but the fact that we are also bullies is a separate issue.
Schizophrenia. I’m not a clinician but I don’t know what else to call it. I also don't know what to do about it - except maybe, just maybe, get us al on the same damn page as to what reality actually is.

That isn't going to happen. But there is something I know - things tend to not end well for untreated Schizophrenics.

Cheap Shots (everyone remember the rules?):

Required Reading.

By the way, Accelerated Christian Education comes from Texas - just like this woman.

Slutshaming is more common than you might think in more enlightened places than you'd think.

"Almost" doesn't cut it, dickhead.

I thought these guys had beef with one another but apparently they've buried the hatchet, and in a truly awesome way.

Wow. Did this fucker just call a shooting where 9 were killed an ACCIDENT? (It's Rick Perry, so the answer is - spoiler alert - yes he did).

Since I last ranted both Twitter and Tumblr became things, and I branched out from just music to comics as well. On Twitter I am @Animeraider. I am the same on Tumblr and a couple of other places. I do not have an instagram account. I will be posting to pages I think you should check out and I'm starting with Jin Wicked. She draws two comics, blogs about her life, wears an awesome top hat, and love rats.

Franz Ferdinand and Sparks aka FFS. Just about a perfect match (and if you're not watching Later with Jools Holland then why the hell not?):

Mmmmmm Bacon!

And a final note: It's been a while, hasn't it? Well, maybe, just maybe, I'm back. Remember, one drink for every time I swear. I'm drinking Gin today.

And now your moment of Zen: