Personal Reflections on Politics and Priorities


The Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol building.

Let us speak of love and life and the beauty of this Universe.

What? Oh. Right. Sorry.

Look, to the one it seems really simple; to the other, we all have people in our lives who will, when they don’t like the obvious implication of an obvious fact, chuff and puff and stutter: “Wh-wha-what? What are you talking about? What does that even mean?” The thing about this behavior is that except for the fact of contention, these people in our lives know damn well what we’re talking about, and if there is any confusion about what it means, they’re certainly tipping their hand by going from zero to attack in zero-point-two-one-seven-three seconds. You know that common tease, “Struck a nerve, there”?

Sometimes it seems tragic: Perceived competitive pressures can seem so permeating in and of the perspectives subscribing to or advocating its processes and outcomes as to inhibit normal, healthy social function. More accessibly: Capitalism escalates mental health risk factors. Or, more generally: People who believe in or advocate the dog eat dog rat race can fall into it so deeply that their social faculties degrade into dysfunction.

And sometimes we think, “Huh? But you knew what this meant yesterday. And you even believed it last week!”

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Louisiana: Helping Build Family Values … and Families


¡Freak Flag Fly!

Begging your pardon, there are certain things we need to make clear. Let us start with two paragraphs from Judge Edward D. Rubin that bear actual life-altering influence:

The court grants the Petitioners’ Motion for Summary Judgment and denies the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. It hereby declares that La. Const. Article XII, Section 15 (the Defense of Marriage Act/DOMA) and La. Civil Code Articles 86, 89, and 3520(B) are unconstitutional because they violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article IV, Section 1, the Full faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution. Louisiana’s Reveunue Bulletin No. 13-024 (9/13/13) is likewise declared unconstitutional as it violates the petitioners’ rights guaranteed by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Hence, Tim Barfield in his official capacity as the Secretary of the State of Louisiana Department of Revenue, is hereby ordered to act in accordance with this court’s ruling and allow the peititioners to file their state tax returns as a couple whose marriage is valid and recognized in Louisiana. The court hereby enjoins the state from enforcing the above referenced laws to the extent that these lws prohibit a person from marrying another person of the same sex. Additionally, having ruled that the petitioners’ marriage shall be recognized by the state of Louisiana, it follows that Angela Marie Costanza has satisfied the requirement of stepparent under the provisions of La. Ch. C. article 1243, which allows for intrafamily adoption. The court reaffirms its previous decision in Adoption of (__) which declared Angela Costanza’s adoption of (__) to be in the child’s best interest. The minor child, (__), is declared, for all purposes to be the child of petitioner, Angela Marie Costanza to the same extent as if (__) had been born to Angela Costanza in marriage. As such, the court further orders Devin George in his official capcity of the State’s Registrar of Vital Records, to issue a new birth certificate naming Angela Costanza as (__)’s mother.

The State of Louisiana is hereby ordered to recognize the Petitioners’ marriage validly contracted in California as lawful in this state, pursuant to the Full Faith and Credit guaranteed by Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

This is what it looks like when justice comes.

There is, of course, a backstory.

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Ecchiriffic


Sekirei, from season one opening credits

To the one, it seems easy enough: If the series has an ecchi tag associated with it, one is best advised to simply avoid it. In truth, it is not so much a prudish rejection of sexual stimuli in animated motion media, but, rather, a critique disdaining the waste of prudery. The tropes are myriad and obvious, with the result that it really does seem childish to a creepy degree. Say what we will about the (ahem!) “premature nosebleed”, but it does kind of work as a catch-all symbol within the frame.Because premature ejaculation is always worth a laugh .... (Sekirei, ep. 1)

More problematic, of course, is the blatancy of the stimuli. It is almost hilarious when baseball and anime overlap off-screen, because those who will discuss in earnest the physics of a left-handed pitcher’s throwing motion in relation to the placement of the heart within the human body apparently find no reason to wonder how this or that best fighter in the Universe managed to pull off that maneuver without slicing off one of her myth-cupped breasts.

The nature of ecchi, though, is to not be so explicit as, say, hentai or open pornography. But the artists do seem to revel in what they do present. And it is, of course, one thing to chuckle at the outsized breasts popping into open air, and the goofy sound effect that goes with it, but somebody had to draw that.

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Rule Thirty-Four: Not a Challenge


Sometimes the most benign phrases tell us more about ourselves than we ever wanted to know. “Remember,” I told my Minecraft-obsessed daughter, “there’s a wiki for everything.” Which, of course, is not quite true; there is not, say, a wiki for my personal, individual left nut.

To the other, it’s my daughter, so I didn’t clarify that it’s not quite like Rule Thirty-Four.

And then, of course, it hits me. Certes, if I look hard enough, I can find a pornwiki. But (gulp!) do I really want to know if I can find wikiporn?

In truth, I do not intend to resolve this question for myself; something about “priorities” goes here, and maybe something about Tommy Shaw, which would in turn constitute another Rule Thirty-Four question I really, really don’t want to know the answer to.

____________________

We’re caught up in an unfortunate shares dispute regarding merchandising, and thus have delayed the launch of the wiki for my right testicle. Never mind.

Something About Today I Can’t Explain


Composite image: uncredited photograph of Kurt Gödel ca. 1950, via Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, left; detail of stained glass window from St. Anselm Catholic Parish, Toronto, Ontario, right.

The infinite condition is itself a paradox, as it must necessarily include its own finite limitations, lest it create finite limitation through exclusion.

Just an (ahem!) internal memorandum, sort of. It’s an abstract notion sometimes manifesting in applied logical argumentation, but only in finite and situational considerations. The formulation that struck was that, The infinite must necessarily include its own limitations. Which is, of course, a problematic notion.

Nor can I claim any sense of originality; the statistical likelihood that I am the first person to tread into this realm is precisely measurable: exactly zero. And while it is unclear what role exactly we might ascribe, it is also true that Radiolab visited Gödel during last night’s broadcast.

At any rate, this clumsy paradox exists somewhere in the record, and in much more refined expression. In turn, refined expression is crucial because application of such a crude tool invites catastrophic potentials. The point is remembering to chase it down, lest the idea strike again sometime in the future, and meet similar apathy.

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A Note to WordPress: Quit Lying


To: WordPress

re: “Switch to the improved posting experience”

There's now an easier way to create on WordPress.com! Switch to the improved posting experience.

In truth, I think it would be better if you stopped lying. It is not an easier way to create. It is not an improved posting experience. It is extraneous, bloated, and slow. Indeed, the charming robot-sounds caption isn’t so charming, all things told.

Then again, I can also anticipate your response, to unsecure my browser entirely, in order to accommodate you.

Given all the sketchy data that would ask users to engage just in order to optimize their easier, improved posting experience, that response would be beyond insufficient. That is, of course, unless you expect people to not use the web to access anything else while they’re posting via WordPress.

I really don’t care about the so-called “improved posting experience”. Indeed, your firm has commercial concerns, so those of us on the courtesy platform owe it to you to suck this diseased nutsack. Yeah, we get it. Still, though, I just think it’s really low of you to lie like that, especially when there is absolutely no good reason under the sun for fattening up the process with all that Flash-y lard.

Well, okay, that’s not fair. I’m pretty sure the commerce side can come up with a good reason, in which case it would seem our posting experience is improved in the context of your own hosting experience.

But this is (beep-beep-booping) stupid.

Ghosts in the Making


Summertime in Ferguson

When it was Trayvon Martin, I pitched a fit.

Michael Brown? Not so much.

It’s fair to ask why, and the answer is to simply look at what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri. The twenty-one thousand plus residents have seen their city torn to pieces, body and soul, as protesters and police battle over the murder of an unarmed black man by a city police officer whose record includes being fired as part of another small police department in Jennings, Missouri, that was disbanded by its city council for being so corrupt and generally awful. The town is in chaos; residents are intervening to slow the most vocal protesters, and are also reportedly attempting to prevent media from covering the events. Ferguson has become the latest incarnation of our nation’s sick heritage of deadly racism, emerged as a symbol of our dark slide toward militarized police, and found itself the butt of one of the worst jokes on the planet after a protester tweeted a comparison of the situation there to what is going on in Palestine, and instead of being indignant the Palestinians tweeted back with good-faith advice.

I first addressed the death of Trayvon Martin with friends on March 13, 2012, some weeks after the George Zimmerman stalked and pursued him for no good reason, shooting the seventeen year-old to death and then claiming self-defense. And when I first mentioned it, I did not expect what was coming. Certes, my gorge rose to learn the story, but like so many Americans the idea that an apparently murdered black man will die under the presumption that he needed to be shot just did not seem all that unusual. That is to say, like many I expected Trayvon Martin would become another forgotten lamb.

And, yes, I was wrong.

This time, the nation did not wait weeks. Before the name Michael Brown finished echoing after the first wave of press coverage the town was beseiged by chaos. Screaming and shouting from my evergreen corner of the country really doesn’t do me or anyone else any good.

And, yet, Justice still seems nearly destined for disappointing failure.

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