May 16

No community

I’ve been a feminist supporter as long as I can remember, even before I knew the word “feminism.”

I’ve confronted street harassers in real life, and will do so again. I’ve gotten in physical fights about this and will probably do so again.

I’ve donated money to causes that help women and equality and will donate more in my life.

I’ve fired creepy dudes at work for harassing female employees, and will probably do so again.

Yet I am not really a member of the feminist community because I am just not good at ideology, though I’ve read more on feminism than even many feminists (This is true on about any subject as I read a lot. A ridiculous lot. If you think you read more than me, you are almost certainly wrong*). This not being good at ideology is why I am not really a member of any community. I can’t seem to drink anyone’s Kool-Aid.

Don’t like the taste. Can’t stand the mental dying.

I like to examine everything, turn it around in my head, figure it out and see its strengths as well as its weak spots.

Seeing the “weak spots” is what gets me into trouble, of course. Can’t mention that. Can’t even point that direction.

Note that I am not picking on the feminist community here. It’s not unique in this respect, not better or worse than any other, just one that I happen to feel a lot of kinship with so it’s easier to see its flaws than a community I hardly know nor care about.

As a sociological experiment once I posted nearly exactly the same comment on several different feminist sites – the comment was strongly feminist, and completely on topic.

If I posted under a very-obviously female name, my comment always, without fail, was greeted positively and with warmth and many responses. If I posted under a male name, a comment with the same content (I actually softened the tone a little) was generally attacked, ignored or outright deleted.

Note that I was expecting this, and it was cruel, so I never identified any of these sites on my blog. And never will. It doesn’t prove anything. It proves that feminists are human is all.

And it proves how distant I am from most humanity, a true Alien.

I’m a member of no community and probably never will be. I’m not proud of it or upset by it; it just is.

Fortunately I don’t need anyone’s approval to do the right thing, nor will anyone’s threats or disapproval make me do the wrong one. Kicking me out of a community doesn’t change my opinions of it in the least. Hell, I’d probably kick myself out. I’m a prickly, difficult fucker who likes to ask too many questions that no one can or wants to answer.

I will always support feminism and its aims because it is the right thing to do, even if its community members are as human and as flawed as anyone else.

I guess my position in any community will be at the periphery, the Crazy Uncle (or Aunt, as you like) who yells things towards the fire that occasionally someone listens to and realizes is right. And then they become like me, and everyone distances themselves from her as well.

*And if you do read more than me, please tell me your secret.

May 16

Dream job

I think my dream job would be to tase in the face men who harass women on the street.

Can hardly think of anything more rewarding than that would be.

May 15

No

Looks like Google just went right ahead and ruined Google Maps.

I don’t want it to be customized and depend on social bullshit to function correctly. I don’t want all the interface elements to be hidden. I don’t want it to be flat.

I am not using a goddamn phone. I have a 30” monitor and a 23” monitor beside that.

I really can foresee a time – not that far off – when the Internet becomes basically useless to me, as it all becomes about social bullshit and everything is prescribed and proscribed, herding people into certain directions.

Being herded is not something that I do very well.

In 10 or 20 years, I’m guessing I will hardly use the internet at all as it will have been completely co-opted by corporations, “social” whatever and this sort of crap.

May 15

8 up

No, fuckstick, the reason there has been so much complaining about and disapprobation of Windows 8 is because you wanted hundreds of millions of desktop users who need to get real work done to use a fucking phone interface on their work machines.

Also don’t believe this for a moment – it’s a lie due to the way Microsoft counts licensing.

So let’s pause for a moment and consider the center. In the center, selling 100 million copies of a product is a good thing.

For instance, we use Windows 7 at work and only Windows 7. Yet all of our Windows installs count as Windows 8 sales. Why? Because when a new OS is released, you can only buy a Windows 8 license and then have “downgrade rights” to Windows 7.

Microsoft would’ve recorded 100 million sales if they had released any OS at all, even if said OS were just a single line of code that said, “Print ‘Windows 8 is the shit!’”

And the same is true of OEMs – Dell, HP, etc.

Those 100 million sales of Windows 8 are probably less than a quarter of that actually used in the real world, and maybe far less than that.

Pretty sad when you have to lie about sales numbers.

May 15

Dressing down

I’m not convinced this is necessarily sexism (though I am not saying it is not), mainly because I hear this all the time and I am male.

I don’t do casual Friday and I wear what I call “business goth” most of the time. I wear dark, dressy pants and a dark, formal collared shirt nearly every day.

I also work in IT where often wearing shoes is considered “dressed up.”

Most weeks I get the “Why are you so dressed up?” Or the, “You know, you don’t have to wear that. You can wear jeans” statements about 2-3 times a week, and sometimes more often than that.

I’m pretty sure that most of my co-workers know I am male, so I don’t think sexism explains that.

I don’t wear jeans. I don’t even own jeans. I wear what I want to wear.

I think humans are just naturally good at singling out anyone different/deviant for attention and covert criticism, although of course this can be combined with sexism.

May 15

Touched

I will probably never buy an iphone or similar as I can’t use touchscreen keyboards. I can type – even with practice — 4-5wpm, and often slower.

On a physical phone keyboard, I can do easily 20-30wpm. On a real keyboard, I can usually exceed 100wpm.

So you can see how crippling a touchscreen keyboard is to me. Part of it is that there is no tactile feedback. Another part is that touchscreens often do not respond to my touches due to low conductivity of my fingers (perhaps due to not enough sweat?).

May 14

The Army doesn’t pay much

I just realized today that I make more in an hour now than I made in a day in the US Army.

They did pay for lodging and food so that helps. But still, that’s wild.

And in the army I felt like I had a lot of money because I’d never really had much before.

May 12

Yielding

I yield for pedestrians in crosswalks as long as there are no cars behind me.

But particularly in Florida if there is a car following closely behind my own, I often do not yield because the likelihood of my car being rear-ended at high speed (and thus pushing me into the pedestrians) is extremely, extremely high.

I don’t do anything to endanger pedestrians as some in Florida do, but it is very dangerous to stop a car in the middle of the road here even if you and the pedestrians are obeying all laws.

And when I mention that I don’t do anything to endanger pedestrians, I mean that I don’t swerve or slalom around pedestrians as I’ve frequently observed other Floridians do. If they are already walking across the road and there are cars behind me, I will stop even if I think I might be hit from behind.

I’ve gotten well-practiced at stopping well ahead of where I need to so when the car behind me invariably locks up its brakes, I have room to move up and give the idiot some space.

I’ve driven in Cairo, Egypt, and in many ways driving in Florida is more dangerous.

May 11

Josstastic

Here’s why I and many other people fucking love Joss Whedon works.

Notice anything unusual about this photo of the cast of the new S.H.I.E.L.D tv show? Because it jumped out at the me the first time I saw it.

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/underwire/2013/05/SHIELD.jpg

There’s no “token” woman! There’s three women and three men. You know how often that never happens? All the time! Except when Joss is doing the showrunning.

The show may be terrible. I have no idea. But I do know I have a lot easier time watching a show that doesn’t feature women as some strange, indecipherable peripheral creatures to be the random love interest at need, and then to disappear again when they are inconvenient.

Also, from this distance and angle, the guy on the right looks like Bruce Campbell.?Marvel's The Avengers?..Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders)..Ph: Film Frame ..© 2011 MVLFFLLC.  TM & © 2011 Marvel.  All Rights Reserved.

Even in The Avengers, Whedon included women that he didn’t have to – he could’ve easily cut Maria Hill (which Colbie Smulders did a damn fine job portraying) in The Avengers movie and no one would’ve noticed.

I wish it weren’t so rare to make it worth commenting on, but in fiction women being the heroes, the ones making things happen, the ones bleeding and fighting alas is uncommon enough that it is extremely noticeable in the best of ways when it occurs.

I would’ve likely watched the S.H.I.E.L.D show at some point anyway, but now I will make a special effort to catch it.

And some people complain, “But, but, but most ‘heroic’ roles in the real world aren’t done by women! This isn’t like real life!” (Which isn’t even true, of course.)

Motherfucker, this it the Marvel universe, which features some 9 foot tall green dude running around throwing 62-ton M1A1 Abrams tanks like Tonka toys and jumping 200 feet straight up into the air. And you’re demanding so-called realism when it comes to female characters? Give me a damn break.

Let’s just hope the show itself is not S.H.I.T.