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Category Archives: culture

Dear HAG – Eat a Bag of Dicks

The Halt Action Group (HAG) – no, they really do call themselves that – has decided that the best way to voice their concerns about President-elect Donald Trump is by harassing his daughter Ivanka.

To that end, the Halt Action Group (HAG), founded by Gingeras, Powers, artist Jonathan Horowitz, and several others, initiated a campaign called “Dear Ivanka.” The group has an Instagram feed in which they repost glossy stock images of Trump along with earnest appeals about what they foresee as the dire consequences of her father’s politics—topics addressed include global warming, universal health care, and contraception policy. Hoping to “thwart the normalization of what was unfolding in front of our eyes,” Gingeras said, the group, comprised of artists, dealers, psychoanalysts, and even a few collectors, reached out to the artists featured in Trump’s Instagram feed. They asked the artists to join them and ask Ivanka “to answer for some of the hypocrisy she embodies,” Gingeras said.

Earnest appeals? Right.

More like hysterical whining and teeth-gnashing not rooted in any reality.

Let’s start with the fact that Ivanka is a successful businesswoman, who has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase art and promote artists, who may or may not have had as much success with their work without her.  Let’s also point out that Ivanka Trump is not her father, and his “policies” have yet to be implemented, because…

HE’S NOT FUCKING PRESIDENT YET, YOU GUM-FLAPPING, WHINING SNOT GOBBLERS!

“Racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and homophobia are not acceptable anywhere—least of all in the White House,” the HAGs write.

Well, that’s fortunate since Ivanka is an orthodox Jew, and her father bucked the general GOP trend of trying to legislate bathroom morality – even before he won the nomination – by publicly declaring that transgender people should use whatever bathroom they felt was appropriate.

All these facts, of course, haven’t stopped snobby, self-important, elitist assclowns from harassing Ivanka Trump and, in one case, even demanding that she remove art she has purchased – her own property – from her home!

trumpIvanka Trump has posed for pictures in front of her art collection, including a painting by Philadelphia artist Alex Da Corte, who recently Tweeted at her “Dear @Ivankatrump please get my work off of your walls. I am embarrassed to be seen with you.”

Really, asshole?

First of all, it’s her fucking property, for which she paid quite a bit. If she wants to wipe your painting with her kid’s shitty diaper, she’s within her right to do so. If she wants to hang a tacky, red “Make America Great Again” hat from a nail hammered right into the middle of your work that my cat could have painted by dipping his tail into some watercolors, she could. Because it’s HERS, you sniveling fuck goblin! You want to cough up the auction value of this trash you painted and buy it back from her? I’m sure she’d be thrilled, as she’s paid quite a bit of money for the art collection she displays in her home, and the artists she graciously promotes by doing so have benefited both financially and in terms of publicity.

In one post, Trump shimmies in front of a Dan Colen “chewing gum” painting; a comparable work sold for $578,500 at Phillips New York in 2012. In another post, Trump’s child plays the piano in front of a “bullet hole” silkscreen by Nate Lowman; a bullet-hole painting in the same palette sold for $665,000 in 2013 at Sotheby’s in New York. In yet another post, taken from a Harper’s Bazaar shoot, Trump poses at her dining table in front of a work by Alex Israel. A similar painting by Israel sold for $581,000 in 2014 at Phillips New York.

The hypocrisy is incredible! They were more than happy to take her money when she was just a businesswoman and the daughter of a real estate mogul who helped promote their work on the world stage. But now, because it’s en vogue in their snotty, quasi-intellectual circle jerks to hate Trump, they’re condemning her for nothing more than being the daughter of a President-elect whom they did not support!

cardIt’s not just the supercilious hypocrisy that bothers me here, but also the promotion of frothing histrionics by HAG, who staged a protest outside Ivanka’s home on in late November.

For the record, Ivanka Trump has nothing to do with their irrational fear of Mike Pence and his alleged “homophobia,” which has amply been addressed, had anyone bothered doing a shred of research. For the record, no he didn’t try to divert public money for “conversion therapy.”

For the record, Ivanka Trump has done plenty to help people who “don’t look like” her, you blithering ignorami! Some of the charities she supports are Habitat for Humanity, AIDS Life, the Children’s Aid Society, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Walkabout Foundation. And in 2010, Ivanka designed and sold a bracelet specifically to benefit the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, which “aims to raise money and awareness to educate and propel adolescent girls in need to the next generation of leadership.”

In addition to the protest, the group collected cards from people explaining why they are concerned about the president-elect.

‘I am a Muslim-American immigrant and I don’t feel safe,’ one card read.

‘You’re scaring the hell out of women,’ another said.

So she’s scaring the hell out of women by helping promote and educate them?

She’s scaring the hell out of women by showing that a woman can rise up and become a business powerhouse in her own right, outside of daddy’s sphere of influence?

She’s scaring the hell out of women by showing them what they are capable of with some creativity and ingenuity?

I guess it makes sense given the kind of pseudo-feminist toads who are engaging in this campaign of intimidation against her.

Success would require hard work, talent, creativity, and strength. These alleged “feminists” don’t exhibit any of those traits, and they’re too lazy to develop them. Instead, they wallow in their inadequacies and demand the world worship their flaws, rather than their ability to overcome them – as if their warts should be a claim check to others’ means merely by “virtue” of their ugliness, and as if their sores somehow make them more righteous. It’s certainly easier than working to evolve and mature as human beings or nurture nascent talents!

Maybe these pompous, overbearing ass bags should look in the mirror and really examine who is “scaring the hell out of women.” Is it the successful businesswoman, who uses her wealth and creativity to help others, including up-and-coming artists, the poor, and women worldwide…

…or the pompous, overbearing ass bags themselves, who are fomenting hysteria, spreading misinformation, and targeting the family of a President-elect they don’t like – something they vehemently opposed and screeched about when Democrat presidents were in office – merely because they’re related?

But that would require some self awareness and objectivity. I doubt they’re capable of either.

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Life Here

I moved to Virginia in 1998 after I left the Army (the first time). I enjoyed Winchester, and I loved working for the radio station in town. My commute – if you could call it that – was literally five minutes from door to door. It was peaceful and nice.

But over time, life happened, change in career happened, and I got tired of doing a one-way, 90-mile commute to work each day into Washington, so I moved to Arlington, where the traffic is shit, but the perks outweigh the transportation woes.

Let me be clear: there are definitely things about living in the Northern Virginia area that are awful, and metro is probably the worst. I’ve lived in a number of different jurisdictions throughout my life, and I have never seen a worse, more mismanaged system! Ever! It’s crowded and expensive too, which, if you know anything about my “love” of people, you understand how irritated I am from day to day having to deal with them! All of this is well documented on social media, as I have a tendency to post lengthy, obscenity-laden rants about the latest Metro fuckuppery – mostly for laughs, and sometimes for catharsis. It will make a great coffee table book some day.

But then there’s going to ball games in an awesome stadium near the water with my kids. Or taking in a hockey game and feeling the passion and excitement in the middle of Chinatown.

nats

And being able to visit the Eisenhower Executive Office building with friends and seeing and appreciating the history of the structure that used to house the War and State Departments, and which is now the seat of our national security structure.

old-exec

And being able to come to work in one of the nation’s most historic, beautiful buildings.

treasury

And seeing the people’s White House every day on my way to the office, and marveling at its simplicity and beauty, and recognizing that the leader of the free world lives there.

white-house

And driving in to see the dawn over the Washington Monument.

dawn

And there’s being two hours away from the mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, and being even closer to Great Falls Park, where I can hike to my heart’s content and look at waterfalls and the splendor of nature.

And there are the restaurants, which offer a diverse plethora of deliciousness from all walks of life – beyond the Outback and Chili’s you get in most places.

There are the National Archives, there’s the Kennedy Center, opera season, the Washington Ballet, the Shakespeare Theater Company, the National Geographic Museum, and the Smithsonian. There’s the Spy Museum and the Newseum, which is dedicated to the media and the news. There’s the Holocaust museum. There’s the ability to chill at a sidewalk cafe or walk around in Georgetown.

On any given day, I can hang out and relax on my balcony and watch life go by below, or I can roll out, and be on a train into the city two minutes later to touch history, inhale culture, art, and music, and experience a new place to eat.

So for all the transportation woes, this is actually an incredible place to live and work!

It kind of shocks me when I post either a photo of the beauty I see around me, or a rant about the metro, that there are always several people who can’t help but want to take a crap on it.

I post a beautiful photo of the Treasury building, and I get at least one comment about how obviously I don’t know true beauty, because MOUNTAINS, HORSES, WATERFALLS! Or comments about how much they hate the current resident of the White House, which in no way negates the beauty and significance of that structure, but they feel like they have to shit on it anyway!

I post a rant about how the Metro is running slow yet again, and I inevitably get the “HA HA HA! You chose to live there! My commute to work was so perfect through dirt roads and manure today! I didn’t see a single person!”

I share a picture of mountains, or stunning leaves turning colors each fall, and there’s always some douche pickle who claims what THEY have in THEIR mountains is so much better and DC should really just perish in a fire.

Well, let me tell you something. It’s rude. It’s basically taking a large, steaming, cheap beer dump on something that makes another person happy for no other reason than to brag how much better you have it!

You want to make yourself feel better about your life? Maybe you should focus on making a difference in your chosen profession, without denigrating others’ accomplishments and passions. Do you live for the weekend, and dread Monday when you have to head to work? Then shut the fuck up, because I don’t. I look forward to the week ahead and what I can accomplish. Until you can say that, you can just shove your mountains and trees up your ass.

Here’s the deal. I love my job, and I love what I do. This is the best, most interesting, and intellectually challenging job I have ever had, and it’s a pleasure to come to work each day, do the work I do, and manage my employees, who are some of the most brilliant, dedicated, passionate people I have ever met! And all that is despite the assfuckery that is metro on any given day!

How many people can say that? Not a whole lot, I’d bet. And fact is I couldn’t do this job anywhere else. So, yeah. Nice fucking mountains. Nice waterfalls and trees. I’ll take my job satisfaction and love and passion for the work I do over the fucking tumbleweeds and manure you encounter on your trips from the middle of fucking nowhere to less than the middle of fucking nowhere any day of the week.

This is my second career, and I’m amazed each day at the difference I make. I love what I do with a passion I haven’t had for any other job. Ever.

The Beltway – as a concept – is a very small part of what this place is, and frankly I get sick and tired of people turning anything I say – positive, or negative – into opportunities to brag about how their life decisions to live in the middle of nowhere are so much better than mine, and show once again their lack of depth by disparaging the history and splendor of our capital city by tossing their politics around!

When people can honestly say they love their career and have true passion for their job, and that they feel like they’re making a difference, living wherever it is in the middle of fucking nowhere they live, then fine! I guess they have room to brag. Otherwise, I would appreciate people shutting the fuck up about my supposedly shitty life decisions.

 

Shut up and drink your coffee!

So apparently, as the holiday season approaches, so does the new Starbucks cup, as well as the accompanying outrage from overly-sensitive dipshits.

Lemme explain.

Last year, Starbucks introduced its holiday cup in a solid red. That’s it. Nothing there. Just red.

That caused some Special Snowflakes to get butthurt, because somehow Starbucks took away Christmas or some shit.

Now, we all know Twitter is stupid. It is a magnet for the world’s biggest fuckwits, who band together to produce megatons of shitgittery. The idiots who consider their 140-character thoughts oh-so-deep somehow think their profound brain droppings will prompt social change.

We all know how effective hashtag foreign policy is, don’t we?

I will also readily admit that probably a good portion of Twitter idiots who experienced chafed labia about the plain red cup last year were probably trolls – 4chan or otherwise. (This is for the commenter who will immediately screech that I’m ignoring the possibility that some groups out there are out to make right wingers look bad!)

But it looks like the morons are at it again this year.

Whether they’re protesting in earnest, or merely trying to get some attention with their stupid, it seems like tis the season for abject dumbassery.

Starbucks just introduced a green cup – IN TIME FOR THE ELECTION – that tries to promote some unity at a time when we are incredibly divided as a country. The green cup has friends, baristas, and customers drawn in one continuous line, symbolizing unity.

Some people apparently did not like this. At. All.

Some people were confused by the concept of unity.

Yet others thought it was a Muslim plot to destroy the free world through brainwashing or some shit.

 

I don’t know what Barstool Sports is, but I think they’re confused.

This twatmold is apparently confused about what, exactly, our shared values are.

This one was upset. Not for any political reason, apparently, but because they don’t like green or something?

Phil here can’t help himself. Apparently, everything is a liberal plot.

These two are upset that there’s liberal propaganda in the non-holiday cup, instead of coffee.

Tell ya what, Arch. Stop pushing your “conservative” bullshit, and drink coffee.

As with the Like Cage outrage, it’s possible that trolls have decided once again to paint an enormous “STUPID” sign on the backs of American society, but it is also entirely possible that there people out there who really are this ridiculous.

After all, have you seen the perpetually chapped asses on the part of the social justice howler monkeys over the years? Everything from Mexican food to Halloween costumes chafes their delicate labia! Is it really so difficult to believe that we have screeching hemorrhoids on the right as well?

starbucksAnd by the way, the green cups are not the holiday cups, apparently. Starbucks, trying to be a good neighbor, has decided to put out a special edition election cup as a reminder that we are one country and connected to one another. The actual holiday cups, I hear, are coming out after November 10, and they’re kind of pretty. They’ve got holly and leaves, and are pretty festive.

But don’t let that stop the perpetually offended from taking their money elsewhere! If there wasn’t something out there to get angry about, what the hell would they do with their time?

Do me a favor, morons. Just drink your coffee and shut the fuck up!

Sad Puppies – Still Sad, More Determined

Recently “Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin penned an essay on his site, expressing his hope for a reconciliation of sorts between the Sad Puppies and those who insist on keeping us on the outside. Maybe I’ve become jaded thanks to the Puppy Hugo fiasco of 2015, but the tone struck me as too benevolent by half, self-congratulatory, and as if GRRM had nothing at all to do with the rancor and bitterness of the past year. Sorry, I don’t buy it.

And maybe… just maybe… we’ll get our wish. Call me naive. Call me an innocent. Call me too trusting by half, too nice a guy to see how things really are… but, really, I am starting to have some hope. All over the internet, people are already talking about the Hugo Awards, making recommendations, discussing the work… the WORK, the things we love, the stuff that unites us instead of the stuff that divides us. I’ve been trying to do my part, here on my Not A Blog, and will continue to do so. Over at FILE 770, similar discussions are taking place. And on many other websites, blogs, and bulletin boards as well… including Sad Puppies 4.

Naive? Innocent? I’m not even going there. Needless to say, citing VILE 770 as somehow supportive of reconciliation is laughable, given the regular Puppy kicking that goes on there.

When GRRM first published his essay, my reaction was “Oh, he wants to show himself to be the benevolent, magnanimous Patron of Fandom.”

My friend Brad Torgersen, the force behind Sad Puppies 3 this past year, wrote an essay on his blog that echoes my sentiments on GRRM’s benevolence. Brad is a bit more generous than I am. He says he truly believes GRRM’s motives were pure. Maybe. I’m not going to try to read GRRM’s mind. I can only react to the tone of his essay. Go there and read it and decide for yourselves. And definitely stop by Brad’s place and read his post. And then go read the comments, because they demonstrate the profound lack of self awareness that we have all come to expect from the Puppy Kickers.

My perception — and I am not alone in this — of George’s desire for an end to the rancor, is that George still seems to think that a) the rancor was flowing almost entirely one-way, from the Puppies’ side to the Trufan side, and also b) none of the Puppies are themselves fans. Not Fans (caps f) and certainly not Trufans. No. Puppies are still an outsider bunch, who carry an outsider’s stigma.

There is also a bit too much parentalism in George’s tone: dear kids, I hope you’ve learned your lesson, now wipe those dirty looks off your faces and come give your mother a hug!

This. SO much this! That’s the feeling I get when I read GRRM’s essay. It wasn’t reconciliation. It was “You silly pups! See how wrong you were? We, magnanimous ones of TruFandom forgive you! Now, come. Play nice!”

Yeah… You know what? Fuck you. How about that?

The accusations, names, and rancor flew from the Puppy Kicker side like rabid pterodactyl shit. Accusations of Nazism, racism, misogyny, and other such lies. Personal rancor and attacks. The CHORFholes, and “No Awards.” The conflation of Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, whose missions were completely disparate, with Rabids publicly admitting they wanted to burn the Hugos down (I feel dirty just linking to that).  Vox and the Rabid Puppies glommed onto the Sad Puppies label and rode those coat tails to infamy. By attaching themselves to Sad Puppies, the Rabids became associated with the Sads, and the CHORFs were only too happy to conflate the two. Those who try to claim that the Puppies were the guilty parties in this fiasco need to look in the mirror and do a little self examination. But they don’t and they won’t, judging by the comments on Brad’s blog (check out the arrogant and willfully blind comments from one camestrosfelapton), and even GRRM’s own comment about who he thought “misbehaved” last year (see what Brad means about “give your mother a hug?”).

Sadly, I agree with Brad. No reconciliation will happen unless those involved in last year’s fiasco take several steps to remedy the kind of ignorance they helped perpetuate.

1) A very public admission by the establishment that the NO AWARD bombing of the 2015 Hugos was a gross error.

2) A very public admission by the establishment that the CHORFholes were also a gross error.

3) A very public apology from the establishment, for the deliberate conflation of the Sads, with the Rabids.

4) A cessation of the endless game of shibboleths and street cred checks, on the part of Trufans, as conducted against everybody else (looks hard at Steve Davidson.)

But they won’t. They’re too happy gloating how they allegedly stuck it to the Sad Puppies by using the “no award” at the Hugos and how Trufans won, and Sad Puppies lost. They’re too ignorant to understand what they really did.

The ladies who are heading up the Sad Puppies 4 effort are already getting excoriated and attacked, and the screeching scum at VILE 770 aren’t the only ones participating in the offensive. In other words, it will be same shit different day in the Puppy Kicker world. They don’t want diversity in SF/F. They want their pet causes to run the show, and they’re intent on vilifying the Sad Puppies to do so, regardless of how many fans they alienate, because to them, we’re not “real” fans anyway.

But you know what? They don’t matter. The howler monkeys of the SF/F world are impotent, foul little trolls, who will continue doing what they do in order to destroy those with whom they disagree and those whom they just don’t like. So the Sad Puppies will do what they do – nominate the authors, artists, publications, editors, and others they feel are the best, most entertaining, most interesting, and overall most worthy works of the year. We don’t need their permission, and we don’t need their approval.

Interesting observation

I blogged about two things yesterday: the Davis toad and guns.

Now, granted the gun article was what I considered to be interesting media treatment of a hoplophobe in an apocalyptic environment, but I thought it was relevant, considering what a huge following “The Walking Dead” and its companion series, “Fear the Walking Dead” have. I find the media’s and the entertainment industries portrayal of a complete societal breakdown and its effects on numerous types of people (including those who refuse to acknowledge what’s happening, those who hate guns, those who are willing to victimize others, etc.) fascinating.

Politics is downstream from culture, and I think it’s vital that we understand how popular culture eventually impacts policy, as well as the political views of the public writ large.

And yet, the most heated discussion is taking place on a much more micro level. It’s Kim Davis that is getting all the press. It’s Kim Davis that’s getting all the hits on this blog. It’s the Kim Davis issue that’s getting the debate and the conversation.

Maybe the Davis issue is also a cultural one and deserves the debate. But she’s one person. One intransigent zealot, whose only claim to fame is the refusal to do her job, and brief imprisonment for contempt of court. And yet, she is the one that is causing contention in people who are otherwise allies on the majority of issues.

I don’t know about you guys, but I find this interesting. While this case will eventually have implications nationwide, I find social issues to be generally less critical to the survival of the republic. And frankly, had this case not been littering every news report, my Facebook timeline, my Twitter feed, and every other website I visit, I doubt I would have given it the time of day.

Maybe it’s just me, but Kim Davis just never interested me all that much. And yet, even though I published both posts around the same time of day, the Davis post is the one with scores of comments, while the post I, personally, find more interesting is barely getting a glance.

What I really hate about the Davis issue is that it has become so contentious, it’s causing a rift between people who generally otherwise are allies. There are some good, intelligent comments in response to that entry, but at the same time, I’m frustrated that someone whose only claim to fame is using the cover of religion to discriminate against people at least some of whom ostensibly put her in power and pay her salary, is causing said split when there are bigger, more important issues we face as a country.

The economy.

Resurgent Russia.

ISIL and terrorism writ large.

Soaring debt levels.

Possible government shutdown without a continuing resolution to keep the doors open, so to speak.

And never forget, we still have troops in Afghanistan. We still have service members dying in the war against terror. We still have security issues with which we must deal. But here we are… discussing Kim Davis. At least a good chunk of my distaste for this woman comes from this fact. It’s a micro issue in a world where macro problems are, by definition, much more significant.

Anyway, if anyone has a good analysis of the reason why this Davis woman is so much more interesting to discuss than issues such as gun control, foreign policy, national security, etc., please let me know. I’d love to get some insight.

Because, frankly, I’m a bit flummoxed.

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