The greatest of all time calls it quits!

Obama Crosses the line twice!

Game Over!

We're finally out of Iraq.

99 Problems

He got 99 problems but Mitt ain't done.


20+ weird things you may or may not have wanted to know about Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

God hates flags

In the wake of the terrorist massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, there has been renewed focus on the racism that permeates this country, the history of said racism, the violence behind it and even the symbols associated with it. I for one am kind of glad that we're at least attempting to pretend like we really care about what black people think and how they've felt about certain things for many, many decades. One of those things that we're caring about now is the confederate flags that are flying all over this country.

Not too long ago, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, and the governor of many inappropriate thoughts, called for the confederate flag to be taken off of the state capitol. In a normal world, this would be a no brainer decision with broad support from the most bleeding heart of liberals to the most flag waving of conservatives. Just out of pure nationalism, everyone should be on board with removing the flag of a country that actively fought against America from the front of and on top of American government buildings. Of course the key word was normal and people get surprisingly not normal when it comes to almost religiously defending the confederate flag, the confederacy and their cause in the civil war. Some even go as far to romanticize it and then tie it in with southern heritage and culture. I guess I should probably get on why the flag symbolizes so many wrong things in America.

The first thing wrong with the confederate flag should be the most obvious; It's the flag of an enemy combatant. We've all been through the 4th grade. We all know of the civil war and why it was fought. We also know which side won and won decisively, and that side wasn't the south. The fact that people in this country feel the need to have pride in an institution that started a war against America and lost is mind boggling to me. Even more mind boggling is the people in states which weren't part of the confederacy who proudly fly the stars and bars. No one with the name of Arnold Wachowski from Hamtramck,MI should be proud of the confederacy. I'm also extremely troubled by the amount of people flying that flag who claim to be Christians while glossing over that the flag represents some of the biggest sins against God. Is disliking certain folk a big enough deal for you to actually turn your back on the God that you so loudly claim to believe in? If the answer is yes, you never really believed in him. Flying that flag isn't just dumb, it's unpatriotic and blasphemous. You might as well just paint "I hate niggers" on your truck and fly a swastika in the middle of a Jewish cemetary.

Speaking of that, the flag is also extremely racist. Sure your great, great granddaddy might have fought for the confederacy and you want to honor him, but you have to realize that he was fighting purely because of racism. The civil war was started because a bunch of rich southerners were offended that someone like Abraham Lincoln could possibly end racial enslavement one day, thus ruining their lucrative business of daily, multiple human rights violations, oh and fancy shirts. The amount of racism and greed it takes to secede from your own country and start the bloodiest battle in it's history because you can't imagine a world in which a black man can actually earn a living is amazing. This is the type of thinking which has led to the current stereotype of black people being lazy despite the fact that having a slave is literally the laziest thing you could ever do. Of course, we only got lazy once we started getting paid to do things. When you wave any of the flags of the confederacy, you're endorsing hatred, greed, racism, human rights abuses, a losing war strategy and an unsustainable and increasingly unprofitable business plan. On top of all of that, it really makes people wonder about the culture surrounding the south.

Speaking of southern culture, it's so much more than the official logo of the losing team and slavery. It's everything from NASCAR having its roots in people defiantly fighting weird and unjust laws surrounding alcohol to the modern civil rights movement and even feminism stemming from people having that same spirit to fight weird, unjust and unfair laws regarding women and people of color. It's the introduction of new foods and cookling techniques into the American lexicon. It's the introduction of an innovation when it comes to music. Without the south, America wouldn't have music. We'd be missing rock,country, blues, jazz, r&b and even hip hop which is often a mixture of every other style of music. As a descendant of the south, with relatives in the south, I realize that southern culture isn't tied up in that flag, but the idea of white superiority is. The south has many, many things to be proud of, but slavery, starting and then losing a war over it and then spending 150 years being complete dicks about it isn't one of those things, and that is what you look like when you try to say that the confederate flag is about having pride in the south. You're not representing southern culture you're spitting in the face of southern culture by going out of your way to align yourself against America.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Normal Heroics

In America we tend to love calling people heroes, courageous and brave. This gets used for everyone from soldiers, firefighters and the police to people who say things that we slightly agree with. Some would even say that by simply existing or due to their professions, some people really are heroes. Of course the giant hole in that logic is, what happens when these people fail to live up to even the basic duties of the profession they applied for? Are they still heroes? Is a rogue cop still a hero? If a soldier saves his comrades from an attack, but later abandons his guys and goes AWOL, is he still a hero? According to the law, the answer is no. Of course this is really the easy part to answer. The not so easy answer comes when we have to examine why we're calling people heroic and brave for existing.

I often see news stories about people facing some sort of awful or debilitating circumstance. A kid with cancer. A mom who got paralyzed in a car accident with a drunk driver. A story about a woman dying of breast cancer. All of these stories have the common thread of not only tugging at our hearts by pointing out our own fragile mortality, they also have the common thread of the people being called brave, courageous, inspirational and heroic for not dying. This bugs me because by doing this, it implies that when these people die, they become horrible people who were unworthy of our attention when in reality they're examples of how life can throw you a curveball and how some people choose to deal with a traumatic event that becomes a long term part of their daily lives. The other part of this that bugs me is that this type of overblown hyperbolic beatification isn't extended to victims of most types of violent crime. No one's calling the guy that got shot at a house party a hero for taking up a career as a DJ. In fact no one's calling the woman who probably got assaulted at that same party a hero for not killing herself due to severe depression. Instead we're more than likely to ask why either of them were there and then debate if they deserved it based on their lives up to that point. I guess what I'm saying is that when we call people heroes for living through or with debilitating circumstances, we're being condescending. This gets even worse when we go over the top praising people for doing normal things.......

I want to make one thing clear before the hate tweets roll in, I'm not some sort of transgender hating person. I'm legit happy that Caitlyn Jenner can be true to herself and that people are generally accepting. This is a huge step in the right direction considering how awful we've been as a country lately when it comes to treating all of us like we actually belong here and deserve common decency. With that said, Caitlyn Jenner isn't a saint or heroic for finally being comfortable enough to stop pretending to be a guy named Bruce. What she really is, is normal. She has the same strengths, weaknesses, flaws and fun that we all have. Sure she lives a more public life than I ever will but in reality she's out doing normal things(for a rich person with a TV show), trying to live a normal life and dealing with normal, everyday issues. We can't make people in to national heroes for doing mundane things while having the supreme confidence to keep it 100 and be themselves while doing it. It's condescending, it's fake praise and it really waters down the impact of the word. Just be normal.

For reading this, here's a video tutorial on how to make candy bars shaped like classic video game controllers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

More than 140

Every day I hear how I should work hard, do the right thing and follow the law. Of course, I'm often followed by the law. It's weird knowing that as soon as you go to certain areas you go from being random guy #721 to suspect #1. I begrudgingly deal with it, I move on and I try to enjoy my life. With that said, I can see how some people might not have such a laid back attitude to being racially profiled, stopped and harassed by the very people that they pay to protect them and arrested and imprisoned without charges. I can see how some of us might get a little upset at the fact that people that look like us get shot by the very people that we pay to keep us from getting shot, at a ridiculously high rate. I get why people are upset at what happened to Floyd Dent, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Mike Brown and Freddie Gray. I get why some of us feel the need to take to the streets and protest. I get why some of us are willing to get on TV and give the world a much needed talking to. Although I wouldn't personally do it, I get why some of us are angry enough to throw things, break things, fight with others and even light things on fire.

I get a lot of things, but I don't get the idea that we have to respond to over the top violence at the hands of our government by being "respectable", whatever that means. I don't get how people with no criminal record dying under suspicious circumstances at the hands of cops doesn't outrage people, but looting a CVS is worthy of the national guard and all day coverage by CNN. Unless it's over something stupid like the Kentucky Wildcats getting exposed as frauds on the basketball court or a soccer game, a riot is the unheard masses getting together and going completely crazy in an effort to be heard by the powers that be. This may not always send across the wanted message, the right one or even one that makes any type of logical sense, but it does get them heard. If it weren't for riots, we wouldn't have this country to riot in right now. In a society built on violence and rebellion, it's not only wrong to say that rioting accomplishes nothing, it's actively trying to deny history in an attempt to hide from an ugly truth about America. It isn't on the oppressed to change the world, it's on the powerful to change their behaviors and what they find acceptable, and that will change the world and hopefully make it better for the rest of us. I'm just putting thoughts out in the air while watching TV. Don't mind me.

Monday, April 13, 2015

King of the Hill

If you know me, you know that I'm not exactly a big fan of the GOP. With that said, I'm also not a fan of cakewalks and coronations, and the fact that no one in the democratic party is stepping up to challenge Hillary Clinton makes this look like a coronation. It looks almost as if people are saying that this is her time, just like in 2008 before Barack Obama took the country by storm by actually running a decent campaign while not looking like the world's most entitled former senator. Let's hope that she learns from her giant missteps in 2008, show up and talk with voters, and actually come across like a human and not a more fashionable Mitt Romney with better policies on reproductive health. At the very least she'll win back those crazies who became republicans because she didn't win in 2008. I hope she has a great campaign and does go on to make history, but I hope that everyone learns to chill out in the process.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Opinions and things

It's been a while since I've been on here but I have a lot of opinions and feelings to talk about when it comes to this country and the people in charge of it. With that said, here goes.....

I totally get that some people aren't exactly fans of President Obama. I fully expect the people that make up the opposing political party to have massive philosophical differences with him. What I don't expect is for several dozen members of congress to flat out violate the Logan Act and try to sabotage the ongoing negotiations with Iran. That is flat out treasonous and a felony, which is punishable by prison time and the loss of the right to vote in some states.

Ariana Grande yells on songs and her last name is hilarious irony.

Being so petty as a politician that you can't even show up to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday is fucking ridiculous.

If conservative talk radio has taught me anything, every racial group not called white people, and "straight" white men in particular, is somehow planning on eliminating white people and ruining America.

If conservative talk radio has taught me anything, white people are extremely insecure and maybe 75% of the opposition to President Obama is based on the fact that this country is around 70% white but has a black person in charge of it.

I don't understand how being a not even thinly veiled racist is good for voter turnout, but every election I get proven wrong.

Hillary still wont win.

Chris Christie also wont win.

Why is it hard to admit that we have a problem with race in this country? Is it because it means that not all of us come out looking great? Is it because today is just a higher tech version of the same thing going on from 50 years ago? Is it because our over the top racism and bigotry in this country shatters the image of our supposed heroes?

If Elizabeth Warren does somehow decide to run for president and wins the primary, the GOP is going to paint her as a socialist lesbian.

Speaking of gay people, why does the idea of two random gays getting married offend a supposed libertarian like Rand Paul? People like that always come across as weird and closeted to me. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he has a gay porn collection.

I'll repeat this, gamergate is about whiny pussies. If you're a guy mad because a couple of women have the gall to say "How come all of the female character have to suck?", you're a pussy. If the very idea of women speaking about something makes you want to hurl threats about rape and murder at their children, you're not just a pussy, you're a criminal. The whole thing smacks of white people problems and insane entitlement. Are nerds really that entitled that they can't take the idea of chicks who weren't going to fuck them anyway, saying that they wont fuck them and that the game kinda sucks because of the over the top sexism in it? I'm willing to bet that as soon as I tweet this out, some dweeb is gonna show up in my mentions talking about ethics in gaming journalism while totally missing the point that gaming has never had journalism and the biggest offender is Nintendo Power. Oh, and here's an Anita Sarkeesian video.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Another challenger appears

Another day and another challenge to Obamacare. It seems that even though it's been law of the land for going on close to half a decade, some people will not let their hatred of slightly less expensive health insurance and federal subsidies. This latest challenge could, if it works, make insurance completely unattainable for millions of people. Watch NBC's Pete Williams explain the whole thing below and be glad that it isn't about race at all.

The games we play

I'm a gamer. I come from a family of gamers. Just about every one of my friends growing up was pretty heavy in to video games. I'm 26, but I can remember a day when video game nerds were begging for video gaming to become mainstream, and during the last few years, this has happened and the world is better for it. Of course, with anything that becomes mainstream, it has to be able to work for a larger audience. This is why hip hop has evolved from being dominated by one part of NYC in the mid 80's to being a global phenomenon in the year 2014. It's why blockbuster movies are test screened in front of several different types of audiences. Nothing that plans on being mainstream, and accepted in America, and the world in general will stay exactly the same way it was when it first started in some guy's basement.

Of course, for some people, the very idea of having other people enjoy their hobby and wanting it to be more representative of how society actually looks, is about as offensive as kicking their grandfather in the face while he's enjoying dinner. This seems to be especially true for gamers during the last couple of years. As consumers, critics and even the industry itself have pushed for games to be more inclusive and actually represent it's broad customer base, there has been a backlash by a subset of gamers who just can't deal with games that don't feature the same tired, white, male anti-hero who basically has women and minorities as either racially insensitive sidekicks, stereotypical villains, weird sexual objects, background decorations or someone that the hero just has to save if he's ever gonna get laid by something that isn't a hooker. Even in games where you can build a character from scratch, the options for female and minority custom characters are scarce. These are just some of the broad things touched on by Anita Sarkeesian in her Tropes vs Women in Video Games series on youtube. For just mentioning this, she got death threats. In what world does a slightly boring video that brings up a few major points about sexism in media warrant constant death threats?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A few thoughts on rape culture

While on Facebook the other day, I was able to observe a pretty good debate about sexism, privilege and how bad is it when you can't talk to a woman without trying to drug her. After watching people argue over this article for a good 3 hours, I finally chimed in. Below is that chiming in. Agree? Disagree? Let me know either on here or twitter.

Seriously though, while it's good that people are talking about rape culture and the epidemic of sexual assault, the conversation is going in a circle. No one wants to admit that they are or were part of the problem. Everyone wants to rewrite history and appear as some sort of angel, and if that fails, deny the very existence of rampant, acceptable and violent sexism. This doesn't even touch on how this intersects with race, income levels, religion, regionalism and American culture at large.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Midnight Movie Magic!

I should honestly blog more, but I haven't had the chance to with the upcoming school year and also just being hired in to a new job. The new job is important to this post. Not because I'm finally getting a steady paycheck, but because the hotel where I work has a pretty clear view of where they're filming a pretty vital scene for the new Batman vs Superman movie. In fact, they're filming the movie down the street from where I work.

Before I could get a decent picture, I was able to find out that the area on Fort between Griswold and Washington is standing in for Metropolis and the entire area is going to be destroyed in a chase/fight. Below are a couple of pics that I took of the trailers being set up at 3 in the morning, and below that is a video that someone was able to take during the day of the scene being filmed. Click here to see more, and much better pictures from Deadline Detroit.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bragging about myself

I have a weirdly hard time selling myself and I don't think that highly of myself. It has always been one of my weird flaws. It's a weird mixture of a lack of confidence and tons of life experience telling me that I'm not that important. And when I really think about my life during the last few years, I should honestly be amazing at bragging about myself, all the time.

A few years ago I was guy bouncing between awful jobs that paid little, offered even fewer benefits and were run by total idiots who had never heard of streamlining and safety rules. I was a guy being bit by boredom and the occasional felony while working in a liquor store for almost 2 years under an owner who had 0 idea as to how he's supposed to run a store and even less of an idea of how to talk to women. I was a guy who was proving his dirt bag, deadbeat uncle right by not being in school, or even taking the time to finish high school and having no idea of what direction I wanted to take my life. I wasn't unhappy with my life, but it wasn't the life that I wanted to live and when work started drying up, I realized how much I did not like being the last one hired and first one fired.

Bouncing between awful jobs in the middle of a recession and getting stuck with weird, unworkable hours at minimum wage with no benefits kinda forced me to reassess my life. Did I really want to hit 30, 40 or 50 breaking my back for someone else while watching some jackass who had no idea how to do what I do orders me around? When I realized that the answer was no and that I would probably end up having to smack the dog shit out of the supervisor at one of my old jobs if he ever stepped to me the wrong way again, I decided to focus on finding out what I wanted to do in life, and what better place to do that than college? With that thought in my head I decided to enroll and at least take a shot at getting a life that allows me to save up for retirement one day.

My experience in college so far has been a weird one. I have never been more frustrated by not knowing things in my life, while at the same time I have never been happier at how much I already knew and how much I'm actually learning. I'm not just learning that I still hate math and can basically mop the floor with most people when it comes to knowing history, I'm also learning what actually gets my mind turned up. I've learned that, when I want to be, I'm not terrible at writing. I've learned that I'm not bad when it comes to the subject of politics. I've learned that I'm not only good at sociology, I'm great at it and can explain why Denmark, as it is today, may actually cease to exist one day. Of course the biggest thing I've learned is that I can kinda mash all of those things together and make my own direction in life, and if I'm passionate enough, this letter notifying me that I've made the dean's list will only be the beginning of great things for me.

Not bad at all for a guy who dropped out in the 10th grade all those years ago.