Oct/24
2014

There's funny and then there's this.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A suburban Dallas man whose Halloween decorations follow an Ebola theme said the disease is "the scariest thing on the market right now."
James Faulk of University Park said his job buying and selling items at auctions meant he already had props including biohazard bins and bags to create an Ebola outbreak-themed yard display for Halloween.

Faulk said the point of Halloween decorations is to give people a scare.[..] However, some residents have said the display is in bad taste.

Gee, ya think?

Ok so Ebola, like Aids, like the fucking Bubonic Plague aren't actually funny. It's fucking scary. And sad. Not funny. Dipshits in Dallas clearly don't have any idea what's not. Like this.

Oct/23
2014

I've heard the following words today to describe the action: riffing, separating, parting-ways, moving on, unable to support, transitioned.

I've heard the following words today to describe the people: capable workers, those affected.

I've heard the following words today to describe the situation: pivotal, crunch, opportunity, optimistic, redistributed.

No names were mentioned. Not in the company email, not in the team meeting. Only aside in whispered conversations did the managers speak the names of those who were (and let's just say it) laid off today.

I wasn't one, as the the people who do the heavy lifting are usually the last to get it in this industry. But being in the "design" department (for lack of a better term) means the situation is just as tenuous. Any more fat trimming and the knife is bound to fall my way.

The amount of spin is what makes me angry. It's the "stick our heads in the sand, thank the stars it wasn't me" vibe from the rest of the company. The "we can overcome this pitfall which has happened to the company".

No... it didn't happen to the company, it happened to five individuals who came to do some work here. Five individuals out of a group of fifty is a huge chunk of the business. It's not like we're not going to forget or the impact will be minimal. It's a blow to the confidence and the morale for a company that is suffering from attrition anyway.

There's fault here and it didn't have to happen to anyone. Call it what it is. Say it in plain English: We overspent, didn't pay attention to the money, hedged our bets on revenue that wasn't there and now we have to send someone to the unemployment office. Oops.

Oct/22
2014

Written by Roulette...

I've avoided a lot of comment and outrage on this. Partly because I try not to care, and partly because the only people willing to actually listen are people that already agree with me.

For a lack of better terms there are a number of groups involved in this: average gamers, game "journalists", misogynists, and feminists. Depending on which spin you're listening to, the facts of the case change dramatically. For example, the extreme section of the feminists claim that average gamers and misogynists are the same group. And the gamers claim widespread extortion and corruption throughout the game press has prevented them from addressing the core of the issue (from the gamers perspective). The break downs go on and on.

Here's my perspective. I don't know the women who kicked this off. Zoe Quinn is not a name known to me, nor is her work in any way important to me. Nor are the names of the other women being bounced around. Due to that irrelevance concerning thier work, I don't care about the truth of the allegations that she slept with people to get better game reviews. Given my complete lack of knowledge of the game in question, if true it didn't work very well. And if not true, then I still don't care about her game. The allegations have no impact beyond the question of impropriety in game reviews. All that matters about Zoe Quinn is that she and the other women concerned in this thing have been harassed far more than is even remotely reasonable. Even if the absolute worst of their critics claims are true, the personal attacks on them are far beyond acceptable.

Moving on the game "journalists". Quite frankly, the obvious collusion in the coordinated response they provided claiming that gamers are dead and don't matter anymore is disgusting, incorrect, and more importantly completely lacking in vision. Again, outside of this particular issue, game "journalists" have mishandled their jobs. They should behave as impartial critics of games and community. Instead, they often act as shills for triple A titles and wildly inflate reviews based on the kickback received. This has come up before, and will come up again. They get away with it by claiming that their articles are actually opinion pieces, and as such not subject to impartiality. That is true, but it's also reprehensible. In any effect, the rise of twitch and youtube reviews and 'let's play' videos has provided the informed with much better sources of review. In ten years, the game "journalist" will be dead.

Now, onto the feminists. Valid points raised. Many games have issues with misogynistic view points. But, the more temperate members run into the same issue as the gamers. The extreme sections of the discussion ruin it for the rest of you. Cherry picking data, ignoring critism, and claiming that "every single person who self identifies as a gamer is a rapist is disguise". That just hurts the idea, and makes people defensive who might otherwise support you. And, same as the misogynists, the act of attacking people and their livelihood simply for them not agreeing with you is reprehensible. The only good thing I can say is that so far, I haven't heard of feminists that have gone quite as far as the 4chan assholes have. I'm not sure I'd take that as a compliment if I were an "normal" member of the movement.

Finally... the gamers. Quite frankly, we're not blameless here. A large portion of gamers went along for the pitchfork ride in the beginning. Even those that backed off are still occasionally being pulled into the conversation. You have concerns with journalists? Ignore them and don't support those sites anymore. Trust me, the profession is dying and they know it. Issues with the feminists? accept that there is some level of truth to their claims, but ignore the vitriol. And the asshole misogynists? Don't help them by allowing them to co opt your views. Instead, as gamers, we should remember that we only have a single mind on one topic: we love to play games.

We don't agree on which games, or why, or even how much we do it. We just enjoy games. And this issue, with all of it's noise and hype is nothing. It's not important, and the people involved with fade away. Some because they're not relevant anymore. Some because they'll get bored with yelling into the wind. And at the end of the day, we'll all go back to pounding our controllers and keyboards, doing what we love to do. In fact, the sooner more of us do that instead of screaming at each other, the better off we'll all be.

Oct/21
2014

Gamergate is a thing and this cracks me up. Really. As a card-carrying member of the gamer community I find this navel-gazing about as funny as when your kid discovers its genitals. Because every kid has one and the reaction is more or less the same: Wtf? Wow! Shit I can't do that here. Yeah but it still feels good.

The idea that gamers hate (h8) on things and each other is hardly news. In this era of "let's solve things with lots of posts and outcry" the notion that some guy would hate on his ex in a gamer forum isn't novel. Unless you're not a gamer. Because vitriol is the lifeblood of organized gaming. The minute two players are joined by a connection the smack talk goes down. And it doesn't matter about what or to whom. It just becomes more "novel" when it's a minority. Like a woman. Which brings me back to a place and time, say the early 2000's and a semi-popular gamer forum dedicated to Unreal Tournament players back when organized team play was still alive and kicking (read: well before Sony, Microsoft and Steam owned all the networks.) The forum was called Pro Unreal or ProU for short, and it was no place, NO PLACE, for a woman. At least one that acknowledged herself as one.

I suppose back in 1999 when UT came out there were SO many players that it didn't matter, but as the community contracted it became more and more select, and the environment more rarefied that only "true" players were tolerated. The rest were run out on a rail. But special treatment was reserved for women, a good decade before "Gamergate" women were hounded with A/S/L, mockup pic of their privates, harangues about their parenting skills (or lack thereof since they were gamers), pranks, hacks, and a triple-helping of misogynistic behavior. That's JUST HOW IT WAS. And if you were a girl you had three options: a. never give out the fact you're a girl, b. take the abuse, or c. quietly hide behind a clan full of guys and never, ever speak up.

Suddenly today that's not ok. Not that it was back then, but then again it wasn't ok for a woman to try and enlist in the marines either.

So where am I going? Here it is: Misogynistic behavior in gamers is nothing new, in fact it's old as fuck. But our society is misogynistic so really WHO do you want to blame? Finally, the press LOVES to vilify gamers for anything, making us scapegoats for every shooting carried out by someone under the age of 40 and now this tidbit makes for additional juicy tripe that buys mainstream attention while ridiculing a subset of nerdy society that HAS no good social skills to begin with. I suggest that gamergate could have been about hamster fucking as much as misogyny and STILL be a current-news thing. (Side note: it would have been more acceptable in 2003 to be a self-avowed hamster-fucker with pics to prove it on ProU than a woman but that's neither here nor there.)

So my position is: gamergate: so the fuck what? A woman in the gaming industry, a woman in the military, a woman president, it's all the same thing. It's NOT news. It's just how things are right now. Sad but fact.

Oct/20
2014

Two gates, two planes boarding, and two attendants with precisely the same intonation and pitch calling different zones. How the FUCK is ANYone supposed to know when to board what and when?

Ffs.

Oct/19
2014

You might be skeptical, but just read below ok?

The Van Buren County sheriff's department says a 39-year-old woman mistook the Van Buren County jail for the bar where she was trying to pick up her boyfriend.

The department says Deputy Robert Miersma spotted the Hartford-area woman backing into the jail parking lot in Paw Paw about 2 a.m. Sunday and noticed she smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated.

It says a breath test showed her with more than twice the 0.08 percent blood alcohol considered drunk in Michigan. She's expected to face drunken driving charges.(AP)

Drunk woman drives to jail and books herself in. I call that a double win. Maybe that's a hint for more police stations, a little neon, maybe something about "poles" and "cuffs", or even donuts... It could be a thing right?

Oct/18
2014

I went out last night. Yes out. With friends, thanks, all of the same gender, mine basically. We toured around an area that gets very popular this time of year. About half the herd was divorced, some remarried, some still married, some none of the above. One of the pack, recently unchained, is trying to recover their mental and financial footing thus it was unpleasant to watch them spend what they didn't have and rock out when they probably wanted to be home rocking in a blanket and slippers.

Does that make me sound sensitive? I hope not. I don't feel that I am.

Anyway, as the night wore they pulled me aside and recounted much of what I'd heard from friends about their recent plight. In no way did they take responsibility for their actions, it was all on the SO who, by most assessments, is a drug-dragged-fuck-whore but a well heeled one. Also of note: said whore never pretended to be anything other than what they were, so truth in advertising? No? Ok, let's move on.

During their recount I nodded where nodding was expected, and sympathized where that too was supposed to be. It was hard. I don't fake sympathy well. Good thing it was dark out.

Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe I don't party well. Maybe I'm the one who should have been sitting at home in the rocking chair. Or maybe I just have a low tolerance for self pity. Life sucks you know? Buck up and deal. Oh and maybe lay off the credit cards for a while too.

Oct/17
2014

Where you can't bring yourself to read the news?

Oct/16
2014

No amount of smart in the Federal government will solve the fact that stupid people can vote.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sounded an alarm Friday about widening economic inequality in the United States, suggesting that America's longstanding identity as a land of opportunity was at stake.

The growing gap between the rich and everyone else narrowed slightly during the Great Recession but has since accelerated, Yellen said in a speech at a conference in Boston on economic opportunity. And robust stock market returns during the recovery helped the wealthy outpace middle-class America in wages, employment and home prices.

"The extent and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concerns me," Yellen said. "By some estimates, income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years."

Yellen is bright, as are her colleagues but they can't help America. The GOP is poised to gain even more ground in the midterm elections, happily handed to them by the hoards of disenfranchised including middle and poor classes. So why do people vote to elect a party that openly hates and despises them? Well because there's religion. And "values". And Mom and Apple Pie. Because the GOP is as successful as cigarettes when it comes to branding and packaging, even if everyone fucking KNOWS it will give you cancer and take all your money at the same time.

There's no saving America. The heartland and south are lost, especially since GOP gerrymandering has given them an unconditional edge. I feel for Yellen. She's doing the job she was given, but outside of the administration there's no one who cares. And GOP voters are too worried about their guns (which no one has infringed on) and their marriages (ditto) and Ebola (because ph33r is a great motivator even if it's improbable.) So it goes: America the poor, the stupid and the self-disenfranchised. It's the 1%'s nation. We just get to live here and pay them for it.

Oct/15
2014

It's getting to where I might as well toss out all the other post categories in favor of this one. It's basically the only one I use.

COLUMBIA, S.C., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley said the presence of a Confederate flag on the statehouse is okay because not "a single CEO" has complained about it.

Haley was debating with her opponents Tuesday when Democratic challenger Vincent Sheheen called for the removal of the flag. Haley recognized the subject as a "sensitive issue," but rejected the idea of removing it.

"What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state," she said. "I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag."

Because apparently when it comes right down to it the only people that matter in South Carolina are the CEOs. Everyone else isn't actually worthy of being represented by the state.

Damn the GOP can field some stupid twats.

Oct/14
2014

I was at the meeting, not because I had the time or because it was my meeting but because I'm a really, really nice person. And I care. Ok, maybe I don't actually care, but I am a nice person. Fuck you if you think I'm not, I already said I don't actually care.

ANYway... so I'm at this meeting waiting to give a brief presentation and the guy next to me is going on and on to the person next to him. "I was Sooooooo sick this weekend. Yeah, no, I'm better now, but man I felt awful. It was terrible. I'm pretty much ok now, just feeling slightly bad," and so on.

Then he notices me and sticks out his hand, "Hi! Nice to meet you!" Uh no? Not really? I shook it, but touched no other part of my body or clothes until I could scrub it down repeatedly in the bathroom. I mean fuck, that's great you were sick, and no I don't need your damn germs k'thanks. Worse, he wanted to see the hardware I'd brought with me for show-and-tell. I sprayed THAT down with Lysol too, not fucking caring what it might do to the sensitive electronics.

Goddamn, if you're sick STAY THE FUCK HOME MMMMM'KAY? Yuck.

Oct/13
2014

In the club of insular religions Catholicism is about to turn in its membership card and take a step out into the world of today.

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Gay rights groups hailed a "seismic shift" by the Catholic Church toward gays on Monday after bishops said homosexuals had gifts to offer the church and that their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided homosexuals with "precious" support.

In a preliminary report half-way through a Vatican meeting on family life, the bishops also said the church must recognize the "positive" aspects of civil unions and even Catholics who cohabitate, with the aim of bringing them to a lifelong commitment in a church wedding.

Of course this news, while heralded by a majority of people as "good news" has helped to established where the boundary lies between true Christians and those "in name only". Those who feel that theirs is a special, privileged club which others shouldn't be allowed to belong to. It's that sense of exclusivity that's being dealt a mortal blow.

Conservative groups denounced the report as heresy and a "betrayal" that will only serve to confuse Catholics.

What will Catholic parents now have to tell their children about contraception, cohabiting with partners or living homosexual lifestyles?" asked Maria Madise, coordinator of the Voice of the Family, which says it is representing several pro-life and conservative groups. `'Will those parents now have to tell their children that the Vatican teaches that there are positive and constructive aspects to these mortal sins? This approach destroys grace in souls."

Well Maria the parents will tell their kids that contraception, cohabiting and living with a person you love isn't wrong. Which, for the majority of people out there, isn't a problem. The fact that YOU have a problem doesn't mean that everyone else needs to. See, Maria, that's the point Jesus was trying to teach "inclusivity is good exclusivity is BAD." And all those learned men who are far better educated and far better thinkers than you have finally reached that conclusion. I doubt very much that you're smarter than they are.

It seems that the divisions in human society and thought are moving radically apart. On the one hand you have people like Maria and IS who want our social structure to stay firmly embedded in the dark ages. Hanging, burning, enslaving, demeaning and killing anyone who doesn't act, believe, think or revere the way their "conservative" leaders want them to.

And then there's the rest of us who only want to get along. It's an ugly war, with the bad guys doing ever more evil, killing more of themselves than of us. But as long at intelligence wins and continues to win maybe there's hope after all. If the Catholic church can change, maybe someday Islam can too.

Oct/13
2014

There's not a soul in the world that doesn't know that islamic fundies treat women despicably. And yet somehow, some way, there are women in the first world who romanticize this treatment and will even run away for it. In my mind it's a good thing, because they're removing their stupid from the first world.

Sahra Ali Mehenni and Nora El-Bahty are among some 100 girls and young women from France who have left to join jihad in Syria, up from just a handful 18 months ago, when the trip was not even on Europe's security radar, officials say. They come from all walks of life - first- and second-generation immigrants from Muslim countries, white French backgrounds, even a Jewish girl, according to a security official who spoke anonymously because rules forbid him to discuss open investigations.[..]

Girls are also coming from elsewhere in Europe, including between 20 and 50 from Britain. However, the recruitment networks are particularly developed in France, which has long had a troubled relationship with its Muslim community, the largest in Europe. Distraught families plead that their girls are kidnap victims, but a proposed French law would treat them as terrorists liable to arrest upon return. (AP)

The stories are mostly the same: girls who can't think for themselves don't. Voila, they wind up going to extraordinary steps to place themselves in horrific slavery and then... feel bad that they made such a decision.

I'm sorry?

No, actually I'm not. Because if you're capable of going to the lengths necessary to deceive your family and travel to a difficult-to-reach part of the world in search of your satori well, you deserve what you choose aren't you? It's not like the internet didn't provide an equal amount of clues that running away to a WARZONE where the men there RAPE, MURDER and ENSLAVE WOMEN wasn't a clue. Oh no, not at all. That was fine print. Pfft.

"They are being held against their will," says Severine, a French woman of European descent. "They are over there. They're forced to say things."

Sure maybe they are now, but their choice to come their was entirely their own. I'm sorry I have no pity.

The "horror" stories of the girls that do manage to return are supposed to be shocking. 'Oh it was evil. People are bad. I've seen murder, rape, torture. Maybe I even had to participate myself.' Oh sure it's all fun and games until suddenly the barrel is pointed at you. Or the dick. Initially it's all dress-up and empowerment until enlightenment suddenly does settle in and then it's all "the horror, the horror". Sorry honey, but you wanted to come here, remember? You were going to be a jihadi bride, and guess WHAT jihadi's don't give a fuck if you're "into" it or not any more.

The women talk about the failings of Western societies, speak negatively about restrictions on how they can practise Islam (for example, the ban on wearing the burqa in France), and criticise the political system.

Yet paradoxically, while quotes from the Koran are woven into their accounts, there is very little sign of deep knowledge about the conflict itself, or indeed about Sharia law or Islam. (BBC)

All in all the stupidity will breed quickly. The jihadis are bagging them selves well-heeled but clearly inept females which frankly doesn't bode well for them or us. It means a lot more morons with guns, basically. As for us over here in the (mostly) bomb and beheading-free first world, we need to keep in mind that stupidity is NOT a right or something that needs to be respected. A great example is Saba Ali who feels she is being discriminated against for just dressing as she pleases.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ? A Colorado city is standing by its decision to turn away a Muslim woman from its recreation center pool for wearing an Islamic dress over a shirt and pants. Saba Ali told KMGH-TV that she offered to just wear the shirt and pants to swim on Sunday but was denied. Commerce City spokeswoman Michelle Halsted says street clothes aren't allowed in the pool because they can increase the likelihood of contamination and waterborne illness. (NYDailyNews)

It's pretty simple actually and the city has a valid point: your religious hangups are not allowed to endanger yourself or others. No one in their right mind swims in loose flappy clothing. You want to swim fully clothed? Buy a wet suit and go to the beach. But Saba's stupidity shouldn't be defended as "a religious right". Especially when it means additional cost and risk to others. Mind you, I fully support a person's right to be as idiotic as they like, just so long as it affects them and ONLY them. Wearing colanders on your head in a thunderstorm helps you connect with your flying spaghetti monster? Be my guest. Just don't expect anyone to come get you when lightning hits.

Oct/12
2014

... stay the FUCK away.

So I'm driving home and there's a white minivan in front of me. The entire, ENTIRE back window of the minivan is covered with biblical verse, thick and dense. The words completely obscure the visibility through the window. Thus we can assume that the owner of said vehicle felt it was MUCH more important to show everyone an excessively long (TLDR) verse than have any sort of visibility out their back window.

This is a reason to equip cars with vehicle-to-vehicle missiles. Because assholes who think it's more important to advertise their religion than see if they're going to lane-change over their fellow drivers are prime assholes beyond the pale.

Dickmongers like these need to be eliminated. Only only hopes they eliminate themselves without taking out any innocent bystanders.

Oct/11
2014

Yes, I kid.

On the evening of 6 September, police were called to the Anchorage home of a man named Korey Klingenmeyer after a report of a brawl involving as many as 20 people.[..]

Bristol Palin entered the property spoiling for a fight. Mr Klingenmeyer said he told her he would not have any fighting at his home, at which point Bristol Palin confronted him with profanity.

Then, Mr Klingenmeyer said he invited Bristol Palin to punch him in the face "if it makes her feel better".

She did so, five or six times and "she was hitting pretty hard". Mr Klingenmeyer and other witnesses said Mr Klingenmeyer never returned the blows.

Bristol Palin, meanwhile, told police she had intended to confront someone who she said had pushed her sister Willow, when Mr Klingenmeyer pushed her to the ground.

A witness, Matthew McKenna, told police that when the fight started at an intersection near the house, he told Todd Palin to gather his family and entourage and leave.

"He said the problem was that Bristol and Willow were drunk, as were their boyfriends," the police wrote. "McKenna apologised for wasting our time." (BBC)

Yeah, such a good, wholesome family. Gosh what fun it could have been if they'd managed to get in the Whitehouse. Probably better than Jimmy Carter's brother.

Oct/10
2014

Tariq Khattack is a man. In Pakistan that makes him worthy. Malala, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner is a woman. To him that makes her unworthy.

Indeed, Tariq Khattack, editor of the Pakistan Observer newspaper, actually condemned it, telling the BBC: "It's a political decision and a conspiracy."

"She is a normal, useless type of a girl. Nothing in her is special at all. She's selling what the West will buy." (BBC)

Well Tariq, if she is so "normal" and "useless" I suggest that YOU do what SHE did. Here's the steps: 1. get shot in the head. 2. keep campaigning for what you believe in.

You do those two things and I'll agree with you. Until then? Keep YOUR useless mouth shut dickwad.

Oct/10
2014

And if he's not from Mars then he's just an inept asshole.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says women don't need to ask for a raise. They should just trust the system - one that at technology companies is overwhelmingly male.

Nadella spoke Thursday at an event for women in computing held in Phoenix. He was asked to give his advice to women who are uncomfortable requesting a raise.

His post-faux pas excuse? That he's just "inept" at explaining what he really meant. Yeah, given that less than 30% of the workforce at Microsoft is female you can see why Saty had a hard time relating. Which makes one wonder why he was invited to speak at a convention for women.

Saty, you're an idiot and a fool. You make it clear that you come from a third world country that burns women when the dowry runs out or throws acid in women's faces when they repulse unwanted advances.

You can dress a pig and make him CEO. But a pig is still a pig. Even when he wears a rolex.