[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Sunday, 2015-06-28

June 2015 in review

Filed under: Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 13:12

I have not enjoyed June. There have been one or two bright spots, but for the most part I have been inundated with other people’s hatreds and prejudices. Anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-gun, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex, anti-South, etc. Murders of innocent people by a psychopath, murders of unarmed people by police officers, or simply people beaten up and imprisoned for no damned reason. Just an endless stream of hatred, bigotry, and injustice.

The bulk of this has come to me through Facebook. And while I think Facebook has its benefits, to me it has become, more than anything else, a source of pain and sadness.

I am… exhausted.

So it’s time for me to take a break from “social media”. If you know how to get in touch with me, and you feel the need, feel free.

Tears In The Rain

Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate

Filed under: Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 10:34

Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate

Saturday, 2015-06-27

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 06:55

So we won’t use the rebel flag as an emblem of Southern identity anymore. Can we finally let go of grudges from generations past, of cruelties committed by and against people long since dead? Can we treat each other with respect, rather than with contempt based on what our ancestors may have done? Can we let go of our bitterness, hatred, and prejudice?

Because if we can’t do that, the problem isn’t a flag, and never was. The problem is us.

Southern pride rainbow flag

Thursday, 2015-06-25

Musings on grudges

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 14:28

Other people’s grudges are exhausting. The pettiness, the anger, the relentless hate. Often over things that are long past, over people who aren’t around anymore. Sometimes over things that happened before any of us was born. There’s no point to it. It serves no useful purpose. It is a poison.

Sometimes, we can make a gesture to help them put that anger behind them, and move on. If we can, I think we should, even if the gesture doesn’t actually make any sense to us. It’s not about us.

Sometimes, there is nothing we can do: the grudge is too much of what people imagine themselves to be, and they will burn down the world rather than let go of it. I think it’s important to have compassion for these people and the hell they choose to live in, but it’s also important not to get dragged down with them into it.

Poisoned_Apple_(Jim_Delillo)

Tuesday, 2015-06-23

There is only rage

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 20:41

Trying to find a reasonable conversation in 2015 is like trying to stand between raindrops to stay dry. There is no context. There is no humour. There is no spectrum between virtuous and despicable. There is only self-righteous rage, and the imperative to vent it… somewhere.

What do we want? Respectful discourse. When do we want it? Now would be agreeable to me, but I am interested in your opinion.

Saturday, 2015-06-13

Ten things I learned from Mad Max: Fury Road

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 21:03

Mad Max Fury Road poster

Ten things I learned from Mad Max: Fury Road…

  1. Bad people are ugly; good people are pretty.
  2. Pretty redheads have the power to turn a bad person into a good person (if the bad person was not actually that ugly to begin with).
  3. Gasoline and bullets are mandatory; food and water are optional.
  4. Breast milk can be used as a medium of exchange. (Eeeuuw.)
  5. Spitting gasoline into a carburetor makes a car go faster.
  6. Pouring thousands of gallons of water on the ground in the middle of the desert is not ridiculously wasteful: it is performance art (see #3).
  7. Never leave your citadel undefended.
  8. When starting a post-apocalyptic cult, marketing is essential. A simple but distinctive logo is vital; a thematically similar mask is also helpful in establishing the “brand”.
  9. When running a post-apocalyptic cult, it is important not to get personally involved in “away” missions.
  10. Being a pretty young woman in a post-apocalyptic cult is horrible. Being anyone else in a post-apocalyptic cult is worse. If you can’t be the one who started it, it’s best to just stay away.

Friday, 2015-06-12

Ethnicity and religion

Filed under: About Me,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:09

My opinion on ethnicity and religion: they are, at most, as important as being a fan of a sports team or a film franchise.

sports_religion

If it causes you to share good times with people in the same group, great. If it entertains you and a competing group to be opposed in a safe and friendly contest, that’s great, too. If it’s an excuse to be mean to other people, or take something away from some other group, or reserve some benefit solely for your group, you are doing it wrong.

kiss_me_Im_Irish_by_serene

Thursday, 2015-06-11

Musings on the relationship between conservatism and blind, irrational hatred

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:03

Both liberals and conservatives have their good eggs and bad. I feel comfortable stating that as a fact. And yet, something that has been growing more and more apparent to me is how often those who are most fiercely conservative are also blinded by their own hatred, to the point where they will refuse to see plain facts as facts, and will imagine all sorts of nonsensical ideas with the flimsiest basis in fact — if they have any factual basis at all.

If you’re a fan of science fiction, you might be familiar with the kerfluffle over the Hugo awards. That’s one example that seems to have been going on for a painfully long time, but it seems there is a new example almost every week, usually delivered to me as a link shared on Facebook.

So I wonder… does a fiercely conservative point of view lead to blind, irrational hatred — or vice versa? Does one cause the other, or do they just come together as a set, like salt and pepper shakers? Or is none of that real at all, and it’s just that Facebook is distorting my perceptions?

On the other hand, those we generally call “liberal” have their own prejudices and hatreds, and they seem just as blind to them as conservatives do.

Wednesday, 2015-06-10

Drug testing of welfare (TANF) recipients

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 09:16

I have seen a meme going around lately to the effect of, “I had to get drug tested to get a job, so you should be drug tested if you are on welfare”. There are so many things wrong with this.

"I was mistreated; therefore, others should also be mistreated."

First, I don’t think anyone should have their medical privacy invaded in order to earn an honest living. Also, I think “I have been mistreated, therefore others should also be mistreated” is a terrible foundation for public policy.

Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

Second, in municipalities that have instituted this plan, they have found that the rate of drug use among those on public assistance is generally about one-ninth of the national average. It actually costs taxpayers more to institute this mandatory invasion of privacy than it would to just accept that some tiny percentage (generally less than 1%) of those receiving assistance have used recreational drugs. So it’s not only insulting, unkind, and uncharitable, it’s also a waste of taxpayer’s money.

$336,297 on testing, 48 positives

Finally, the people who receive TANF benefits are the caregivers for minor children. The benefits that would be taken away would directly — not indirectly, not eventually, but directly — result in children not having food to eat. So even if you are willing to spend extra in order to be deliberately unkind to people who are already having a rough time of it, do you really want to make children go hungry as part of that? Really?

Monday, 2015-05-11

Rum tasting results

Filed under: Conventions,Food — bblackmoor @ 14:30

Exactly one year ago, I held a rum-tasting at the Midnight Frights​ party at RavenCon​. The best one we tried was the 12-year rum from Trinidad, followed closely by the 5-year rum from Barbados. The 8-year rum from Haiti was a distant third. The New Orleans rum and the Cruzan 5-to-12-year rum were not very good, but perfectly serviceable when mixed with orange/pineapple/banana juice and ginger ale.

Rum tasting winners: 12-year Trinidad, 5-year Barbados, 8-year Haiti

(I am posting this here so that I can easily find it when I am at the liquor store. If you find it useful, that’s a bonus.)

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