[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Sunday, 2019-05-12

Bodily autonomy

Filed under: Philosophy,Science — bblackmoor @ 18:35

I’ve seen a lot of good arguments against oppressing women — and a lot of hypocritical and/or morally bankrupt arguments for it.

I’d not seen this take on it before. The place I found it had it as an image, so I have transcribed it here.

If my younger sister was in a car accident and desperately needed a blood transfusion to live, and I was the only person on Earth who could donate blood to save her, and even though donating blood is a relatively easy, safe, and quick procedure no one can force me to give blood. Yes, even to save the life of a fully-grown person, it would be illegal to force me to donate blood if I didn’t want to.

See, we have this concept called “bodily autonomy.” It’s this… cultural notion that a person’s control over their own body is above all important and must not be infringed upon.

Like, we can’t even take life saving organs from corpses unless the person whose corpse it is gave consent before their death. Even corpses get bodily autonomy.

To tell people that they must sacrifice their bodily autonomy for 9 months against their will in an incredibly expensive, invasive, difficult process to save what you view as another human life (a debatable claim in the early stages of pregnancy when the vast majority of abortions are performed) is desperately unethical. You can’t even ask people to sacrifice bodily autonomy to give up organs they aren’t using anymore after they have died.

You’re asking people who can become pregnant to accept less bodily autonomy than we grant to dead bodies.

(copied from a user called fandomsandfeminism)

Naturally, when I was looking for the original source for this (which I didn’t find), I found some hypocritical and/or morally bankrupt responses to it.

But here’s the thing: if your first reaction, on reading this, is to try and find some ethical loophole that will allow you to continue to oppress and enslave women while the tattered scraps of your conscience maintain plausible deniability, you are a terrible person. Take a long look in the mirror, and ask yourself how you became this shallow mockery of a human being.

Saturday, 2019-05-04

“Avengers Endgame” (2019)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 20:09

I made some notes during “Avengers Endgame” (2019). Sadly, the condensation from my icewater rendered my nearly incomprehensible handwriting completely incomprehensible.

But I’ll try to decipher it. There are, as you might reasonably expect, “spoilers” below. (If you care about that. Personally, I think the movie is entirely predictable and that “spoilers” don’t apply. But you do you.)

  • 20 minutes – Get on with it
  • 40 minutes – Finally, some action… briefly
  • 75 minutes – Thor is … The Dude
  • 80 minutes – Is the movie going to start, finally?
  • 105 minutes – Nebula is hard core
  • 115 minutes – I know what this reminds me of: the extended edition of “Lord Of The Rings”, where they included all of the extra scenes which were interesting in a “DVD extras” kind of way, but which weren’t included in the theatrical release because they would have slowed it down and had people checking the time. All of these “Ant Man irons his pants” type scenes would be great in an extended director’s cut, to watch after one has seen the two-hour theatrical release. On the other hand, one of these scenes made me tear up a little bit. (I do not remember which one.)
  • 150 minutes – Blah blah blah. Thanos loves to hear himself talk. Why does every wanna-be mass-murdering fanatic want to bore people to death listening to his manifesto?
  • 170 – Can’t make it to the funeral on the day your dear friend is being interred? No problem! It’s a green screen funeral!

Final thoughts…

I thought it was an okay movie. It was entirely what I expected, which is what it is. It was a little more predictable than most of the movies that led up to it, but that’s a given, really. I mean, did anyone not say to themselves, “This is where Captain Marvel shows up,” about thirty seconds before everyone looks up and notices the big space ship isn’t shooting at them anymore? But you can’t really blame the movie for that. They set up the story arc and the characters in the previous few movies, and at this point it’s just dominos falling. But aside from all that, I enjoyed it, once it got going (which was a little over an hour after it started).

However, I do have some problems with the plot. As I have mentioned before, Thanos’ plan to cut the universe’s population would put us back to 1971 population levels. Not even 50 years. Whoop-de-doo (in the big scheme of things). On the other hand, what do you suppose would happen if the Earth’s population were to double suddenly? Like say, five years after everyone has adapted to those people being gone? All of the jobs have been filled or eliminated. Food supplies have been reduced to what’s needed. People who lost loved ones have mourned and moved on, and in many cases have remarried.

Imagine the chaos, the misery, the starvation and death that would follow when the population doubles in an instant. This is not a happy ending.

Monday, 2019-04-29

Folly, thou conquerest

Filed under: Science,Society — bblackmoor @ 08:16

Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who art thou then if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurbed steed,
Must, vainly shrieking with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
Accursed, who striveth after noble ends,
And with deliberate wisdom forms his plans!
To the fool-king belongs the world.

— Friedrich Schiller, predicting the existence of anti-vaxxers and climate deniers

Sunday, 2019-04-14

Titans

Filed under: Comics,Television — bblackmoor @ 12:36

Just watched the first episode of Titans. It’s an interesting take on the characters. Sort of a dark, low-budget alternate universe interpretation. It’s better than any of the trailers and promo material made it look. Even their version of Starfire is actually pretty interesting, despite the liberties they took with the character.

On one level., I wander why they bothered calling this “Titans” when the characters are so different from their comicbook and carton counterparts. It’s the same thing I wonder about Star Trek Discovery. It’s not a bad show, but it’s so clearly not Star Trek — why bother trying to piggyback on the Star Trek name?

But i guess that answers my question. Even though they are pretty good, these shows wouldn’t have a fraction of the viewers if they didn’t have a recognized name plastered on them.

Update: Up to episode 7, the one where the bad guys are precognitive and the good guys are morons: two of my least favourite superhero tropes. The show is paused and I am debating whether to just stop here and add this to the growing list of genre TV shows I stopped watching midway through the first season.

Update: I gritted my teeth and got past the dumb part, and it got a bit better. This was the worst episode so far. Most of the show has actually been pretty good, so I’ll keep watching it.

In general, I think this is an interesting “alternate universe” take on the Teen Titans.

Incidentally, you know what this episode felt like? It felt like the suits didn’t like the way the show was going, and forced the writers to make a detour. The same shit happened to the 2007 “Bionic Woman” remake.

Suits, man. 🙁

Update: They’ve done a much better job with Hawk & Dove than they did with Cloak & Dagger. I bailed on Cloak & Dagger after six episodes, and I would not have gotten that far if I didn’t love the comic and kept hoping the show would get better.

Update: Episode 10. I’m just of kind of rolling my eyes at it now. It hasn’t gotten any better since things took a suckward turn at episode 7. I’ll let it play out while I am working, but I won’t be looking for a second season of this, if there is one.

Final update: And I’m done. That’s 11 hours I’d like to get back. Re-watching the Teen Titans cartoon would have been a better use of my time.

Saturday, 2019-04-06

“Toxic masculinity” isn’t new

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 16:33

I had a conversation earlier today in SWTOR general chat. Some alt-right dipshit was complaining about “cucks” and how “toxic masculinity” was demonizing and/or feminizing all men, and other such hateful nonsense. I pointed out that “toxic masculinity” was just a new name for something very old: the loudmouths and bullies who were the villains in every Western made in the 1940s and 1950s. And that calls for men to be better than that were nothing more than a call to return to the values epitomized by John Wayne and Alan Ladd.

I then pointed out that the problem today is that too many people hear the song “Coward Of The County” and think that the Gatlin boys are the heroes of the story.

Personally, I think “The Quiet Man” (1952) and “Shane” (1953) should be required viewing for any boy who thinks being a bully is part of being a man.

P.S. My SWTOR referral link is
http://www.swtor.com/r/zCgQQY

Tuesday, 2019-03-12

Sebastian needs a home

Filed under: General — bblackmoor @ 08:49

This is Sebastian. He is an energetic, affectionate male kitten. He is a 6 month old grey tabby. He loves to play.

He is an INDOOR CAT, but he has his claws. They need to be trimmed once a week or so, but he is very careful not to scratch. We will include his scratching post (a Mondo Deluxe tower which cost $210).

He has had all of his vaccinations and he has been neutered (Crossroads Animal Hospital) .

Did I mention how much be likes to play? He is full of energy! We will include his toys.

Unfortunately, Sebastian does not get along with other animals. He is too aggressive, and bullies our other cat without mercy. Our veterinarian (Dr. Zeni at Crossroads Animal Hospital) calls this “play aggression” — he is not mean, or trying to hurt the other cat, but the other cat is miserable. Sebastian needs to be an only cat.

Here is what Sebastian needs:

  • He needs an INDOOR home where a human can keep him company during the day and play with him.
  • He needs his nails trimmed once a week or so.
  • He needs to be an only cat.
  • Most of all, he needs to be loved. He is an adorable, affectionate cat who deserves a loving home.

If you have a home for Sebastian, and would like to meet him, please contact us (text Brandon at 804-286-0842). We will ask a $50 re-homing fee in order to screen out people who would abuse a free animal, but this is a bargain considering you are getting the Mondo tower. We will also want to visit your home to make sure you have room for him.

Thank you.

Monday, 2019-03-11

Captain Marvel

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 08:31

We saw “Captain Marvel” last night. It was okay. It reminded me of “Doctor Strange” — lots of backstory and special effects, and then the main character can suddenly do anything and automatically wins.

I think I would have liked it better if they had cast a better actor as Captain Marvel. Brie Larson does “impassive” and “serious” well, but most of the time when her character laughed or smiled, it came across as forced and fake (John Agar had the same problem). I think her most believable scenes are opposite Akira Akbar as a very young Monica Rambeau — in those, she comes across as genuine. But personally, I think Samara Weaving would have been better in the part. Ah, well.

I really liked Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, and Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva. I thought they were more interesting than Carl Danvers and Nick Fury (although Sam Jackson is always interesting).

Saturday, 2019-03-02

The Umbrella Academy

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 17:55

“The Umbrella Academy”: well, that was a waste of time. It’s 50 minutes of interesting ideas spread over ten freaking hours. On the other hand, they did a good job of spreading those ideas out so that it just barely kept me watching all the way to the end. That’s more than I can say for “The Gifted”, or “Runaways”, or “Tomorrow People”, or “Agents Of Shield”, or “Legion”, or “Cloak And Dagger”, or …

“Cloak And Dagger” was the biggest disappointment. I loved that comic (for the first year or two, anyway… it went downhill later).

The only superhero TV show I am currently watching that I actually like is “Supergirl”, but that’s on some thin ice, too. The whole previous season was “blarg” with “our new best friend who appeared out of nowhere and who is not at all the same person as the new villain who appeared out of nowhere”. Basically, again, one episode worth of story spread over an entire season.

But I’m not sure I will make it all the way through this season of “Supergirl”. We just finished episode 3, and I have had more than enough angry, bigoted shitheads for a whole season. It’s bad enough half the country is infested with these malicious buffoons, we have to see them every week on “Supergirl” now, too?

Wednesday, 2019-02-06

Ethnographics of a fantasy world

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 23:21

So here’s something weird that I have never thought of before. I am planning to run a fantasy game in the next month or two, and have been contemplating various setting options. One that seemed to pique the players’ interest was what I described as an “Asian slurry” fantasy world (ASFW from here out) — a not-Earth mixture of various Asian myths and legends, with an overlay of the anime version of China and/or Japan and/or Korea.

The premise of the game is that the PCs are transported there from our world (something like the Thomas Covenant books or the Doomfarers Of Coramonde).

So I am thinking of this, and it occurs to me: there is a virtually zero chance that all of the PCs will have what we generally think of as Asian features. I don’t think I have ever run a modern day game with more than one PC with Asian ancestry. So these visitors from another world will look strange and different to the people of ASFW.

I’m not sure if this is a problem or not. At first I thought it would be, but now I am thinking I might be able to tie that into the background of the game. Maybe they aren’t the first round-eyed strangers from another world to have visited ASFW…

Now for the weird thing. This — the difference in appearance between the population of a fantasy world and the PCs-from-another-world who arrive there — has literally never crossed my mind before. None of the other fantasy settings I was thinking about sparked this thought. Mentally, I just populated them with the same melange of Europeans of varying swarthiness with a sprinkling of Arabs and Africans, such that any PCs from our world would blend in with the population with little effort (at least until they start talking).

I don’t have a conclusion to draw from this. I just thought it was weird.

Wednesday, 2019-01-30

R.I.P., Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe

Filed under: History — bblackmoor @ 08:00

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe
Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (née Clemm; August 15, 1822 – January 30, 1847) was the wife of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The couple were first cousins and publicly married when Virginia Clemm was 13 and Poe was 26. Biographers disagree as to the nature of the couple’s relationship. Though their marriage was loving, some biographers suggest they viewed one another more like a brother and sister. In January 1842 she contracted tuberculosis, growing worse for five years until she died of the disease at the age of 24 in the family’s cottage, at that time outside New York City.

Along with other family members, Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe lived together off and on for several years before their marriage. The couple often moved to accommodate Poe’s employment, living intermittently in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. A few years after their wedding, Poe was involved in a substantial scandal involving Frances Sargent Osgood and Elizabeth F. Ellet. Rumors about amorous improprieties on her husband’s part affected Virginia Poe so much that on her deathbed she claimed that Ellet had murdered her. After her death, her body was eventually placed under the same memorial marker as her husband’s in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland. Only one image of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe has been authenticated: a watercolor portrait painted several hours after her death.

The disease and eventual death of his wife had a substantial effect on Edgar Allan Poe, who became despondent and turned to alcohol to cope. Her struggles with illness and death are believed to have affected his poetry and prose, where dying young women appear as a frequent motif, as in “Annabel Lee”, “The Raven”, and “Ligeia”.

(from Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, Wikipedia)

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