[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2016-11-11

The age of fear

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 09:41

I was just asked by an acquaintance — a friendly acquaintance — not to respond to fear-mongering with facts, “because it send[s] a message that their fears aren’t warranted.”

When one side spends the better part of a year building up their opponent into a bogeyman of epic proportions, and then goes into hysterics when the bogeyman wins, I can’t help but see the resulting terror as anything but self-inflicted.

They’ve spent the last eight years mocking the fears of their opponents, only to be devoured by their own fear-mongering. And the irony of it is lost on them. And by “them”, of course I mean “us”. Because these are my friends and allies to whom I refer.

It is disappointing.

I hope the coleopterans will be better people than we were.

Wednesday, 2016-11-09

Who really elected President Trump?

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 10:15

(This is a follow-up to Who really elected President Trump?.)

Let us say, hypothetically, that you are an American, and today is the day you vote for President.

Perhaps you are one of the millions of Americans who are unable to get broadband Internet service at any price. Meanwhile, the smug talking heads on television assure us that in a handful of years, “everything will be online“. Book stores and newspapers are going — or have gone — the way of record stores and video stores. Every bill you get in the mail urges you to “go green” and get online statements. Meanwhile, you have to drive down the road just to get a cell phone signal.

Perhaps you or someone you know has had their life ruined not by illness, but by the crippling cost of becoming ill. And despite all the hoopla from all sides about Obamacare, the only effect that you have seen is that your health insurance has fewer options and costs a lot more. Is that the state legislature’s fault? Maybe. Does that matter when it comes time to see a doctor? Not one whit. Our system of providing health care is utterly broken (and in many cases, inexplicably tied to who you happen to work for at the moment).

Perhaps you or someone you know has lost a child, or a sibling, or a parent to a conflict in a Third World hellhole on the other side of the planet. 54% of the discretionary spending in the USA’s 2015 budget was for our military, and the United States maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries, for no sane reason.

Or perhaps you or someone you know has a loved one in prison, locked away for years or decades, for doing something which harmed no one. Meanwhile, they are slaves to the corporations who run the prisons.

Things are getting worse for you year by year, and no one in the ivory tower even acknowledges it, much less does anything about it. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump will do anything to change any of this. One is a career bureaucrat with a history of sending other people’s children to die for no reason; the other is a vulgar narcissist with a history of saying whatever appalling thing crosses his mind.

Yet you have been told, repeatedly and in the most scathing words possible, that voting for anyone else — much less anyone better — is a foolish waste of time. “These are your choices, you inbred moron,” you have been told. “Vote for a career politician who, at best, doesn’t even acknowledge that you exist, and at worst has nothing but contempt for you, or vote for an obnoxious blowhard who will literally destroy the world.” That’s no exaggeration: over and over, the arrogant pundits and pampered celebrities have claimed that electing Trump is not just a vote for someone extraordinarily unqualified to be President, but a vote for someone who will literally end American democracy, and possibly the world itself. And you — you simpleton, you yokel, you obese, illiterate Walmart denizen — you have no choice but to do as you’re told, because to do otherwise would be madness. Madness! So pull on your stretch pants and don your ball cap and drive your shitty pickup truck to the polling place, and vote for someone who hates you, you cretin, because you have no other choice.

Is it really so surprising that, faced with that “choice”, so many Americans chose to throw a rock at the ivory tower? I do not think so. My main question is if we will learn anything from it. I doubt it. We are too busy congratulating ourselves on how superior we are to all those fat, ignorant, racist, sexist “deplorables”.

Who really elected President Trump?

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 01:42

It’s a mistake to assume that all — or even most — of the people who have voted for Trump are racists and/or misogynists. It’s an easy accusation. It helps us feel superior. But it’s exactly that sort of smug contempt from people like us that drove some of those people to vote for him.

So if you routinely make cruel assumptions about rural people, or assume all southerners are inbred racists, or use words like “yokel” to describe people who don’t dress like you, talk like you, and live where you live… you are part of the reason that otherwise sane and compassionate people voted for Donald Trump.

And if you are, you are probably already formulating a response to defend yourself, doubling-down on your contempt for people you’ve never met, and not even seeing the irony in that.

Sunday, 2016-10-16

Love and respect are Southern virtues

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 14:59

There is a meme going around of a “rebel flag” figure kicking a “rainbow flag” figure in the groin. As a Southerner and a gentleman and someone who aspires to be a decent human being, I reject this utterly. Having respect for individuals is a core Southern value. Standing up for who you are, and being true to who you are, and having dignity in the face of oppression… that’s what the rebel flag and the rainbow flag are both all about. Anyone who thinks that the rebel flag stands for bigotry or putting other people down is WRONG. And despicable. And frankly, I am tired of a handful of bigoted assholes and Yankee carpetbaggers spreading lies about what the South is about.

This is 2016. Let us join hands, and make a better future.

Love and respect are Southern virtues. #thisis2016

Love and respect are Southern virtues

Friday, 2016-10-07

Buying a house with an HOA is like…

Filed under: Home,Humour,Society — bblackmoor @ 13:42

An HOA is like a venereal disease

Thursday, 2016-09-29

Arguments against drug testing of welfare recipients

Filed under: Philosophy,Privacy,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:58

I am putting this here so I can find it later (and not have to write it from scratch every time).

Moral argument: NO ONE should have their privacy invaded to earn an honest living, much less to receive assistance when they are struggling. The only time it’s even remotely defensible is when someone is operating heavy machinery or otherwise directly responsible for the safety of others, and at those times the test should be for the person’s ability to operate that machinery — and that should include the effects of ALL drugs and illnesses which impair motor function. Until that happens, “drug testing” is no more than an excuse to exert power over others just for the sake of doing it.

Practical argument: Several states have enacted laws requiring drug testing of those receiving public assistance. In those states, the evidence is overwhelming: more money is spent on drug testing than is saved by withholding support from people who test positive for the substances being tested. The only purpose for drug testing recipients of public assistance is to pay extra in order to treat them like shit.

Pragmatic argument: The surpassing historical ignorance of those who would deprive the poor of food never ceases to amaze me. Even if there were no other arguments for keeping the poorest among us fed — if chubby bourgeoisie like me were all heartless, rapacious narcissists — the simple fact is that when the poor are kept hungry, we chubby bourgeoisie tend to find our heads in baskets. I like my head where it is, thank you very much.

Tuesday, 2016-09-13

The enmity of previous generations

Filed under: History,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 15:27

There nothing as destructive to humanity as the preservation of the enmity of previous generations, long since dead.

(This might not be literally true. There may be more destructive things. But this one really irks me.)

fossil_skull

Wednesday, 2016-08-31

Happy birthday to me

Filed under: About Me,Entertainment,Fine Living — bblackmoor @ 11:35

The first one-quarter of my life is over: I am 50. Of al the things running through my mind, the uppermost is… I will never be as cool as Vincent Price.

This is scheduled to appear on my blog a couple of months from now. It’d be pretty creepy if I died before then.

Boo!

Monday, 2016-08-29

So shines a good deed in a weary world…

Filed under: Movies,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 16:04

This is my favourite scene from Willy Wonka. Because it’s not how others treat us that matters, but how we treat others… even if they are crooks, and even if we don’t win a lifetime supply of chocolate as a reward. The world is overflowing with vengeance and pettiness and bitterness: when has that made anything better? It’s better to be true and kind and forgiving, even if your only reward is that you are true and kind and forgiving.

R.I.P., Gene Wilder.

Sunday, 2016-08-21

Don’t buy a house with a HOA or POA

Filed under: Civil Rights,Home — bblackmoor @ 08:12

A word of advice to young people: never buy a house with an HOA (home owners’ association) or POA (property owners’ association), no matter how low the fees are and how mild the restrictions are. HOAs/POAs attract the worst that humanity has to offer: liars, bullies, and thieves, who will lie and bully their way into ever more power, ever more restrictions, ever higher fees. HOAs/POAs are a cancer: worse than cancer, because there is no cure, and they only get worse. Inevitably, inexorably worse.

Here are some memes I made. They’re supposed to be funny. Comedy is hard.

Liars and bullies love POAs.

Liars and bullies love POAs.

Liars and bullies love POAs.

Liars and bullies love POAs.

Liars and bullies love POAs.

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