Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: Character Sheet for Nigel Poshington

Name: Nigel Poshington

Character portrait:
"I'm not consenting to this photograph, I'll sue you if it shows up on the web."



Lawful Evil

"Do you have anything bolder than 'Male'? Something that pops?"

Hit Points:
"Touch me and I'll sue for every farthing in that stupid dragon hoard."

Str: 2
Con: 2
Dex: 2
Int: 4
Wis: 3
Char: 14

Cane, briefcase, Blackberry (can summon Short Stocks three times per day), bills for commodities x5.

Class Perks:
Plausible Deniability, Golden Parachute, Insider Trading (always has Initiative).

Special Abilities:
Inspirational speech that none of the employees actually find inspirational; once per day can call his "friends" in the government to bail him out.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: The Problem with Free Speech

This is free speech.

"the holocost never happend! you culdnt hid that mny bodies. not possibl to kill tht many peepl DUH! gurmany would nevr do it. jews mad it up."

This is also free speech.

"You're a fucking idiot and a disgrace to the human race. There were millions of witnesses, the most famous trial in the history of the world, and thousands survivor stories. It's the most evil thing mankind has ever done. You should be kicked off the internet."

This is more free speech.

"Fuck off, kike. He can have whatever opinion he wants. You think you can just tell people what to believe? He's got the same internet you do."

This is still more free speech.

"where did the comments go? there was a whole thread of fighting here an hour ago"

This statement against free speech is free speech.

"This is my blog and you do not have the right to say whatever you want here. Trolls will be shot on sight."

So this is free speech --

"Feminazi deleted all their comments? You think you're God? You can just erase when someone says something you don't like? Big Brother much? I'm boycotting this site from now on."

--and so is this.

"Boycotts are censorship! You're what's ruining America."

We sometimes think of this as free speech.

"People have got to stop harassing her. So she deleted your comments. That means you should send her death threats?"

But lawyers would defend his right to post this in public.


This is liberty.

"I am so sorry that this ever happened."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fundraiser in Memorial of Amanda

So today's post was supposed to be asking you to donate to the fundraiser for Amanda. She was a lovely young woman, cousin to my friend Lillie Webb, who struggled with Takayasu's Vasculitis, a rare and vicious auto-immune disease. She had to be put into an induced coma and had insanely unfair bills coming her way if she ever woke up. Lillie set up a fundraiser to help with those outrageous bills.
And then, on Monday, Amanda passed away. I'm deeply sorry for her entire family.

Before the news broke, I posted to Twitter and Facebook with messages like, "If this young woman wakes up, she'll wake up unbelievable hospital bills." It felt wrong, if not downright evil, to include phrases like "If she wakes up." It wasn't so much jinxing – my belief in jinxes is sporadic and less canny – as it was feeling that speaking of such an outcome was unfeeling towards Amanda and her family. It's wretched such an outcome came true and befell this family.

The hospital will still charge Amanda's family for her treatment and the procedures, and now they have funerary expenses stacking up on top of that. It's a morbid part of our economic system and a burden we can help them with. If you have anything you can spare, Lillie has kept her fundraiser open right here.

It would mean the world to Amanda's family to know that there were people who cared. Please spread the message and donate if you can. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: For Seven August Heavens

"No matter what disease you think they're carrying, no matter how contagious you say it is, I am not pouring fire into the valley and wiping an entire tribe from this world. I am not. We are not. Our little posse of four ends today if you think we are, and it ends with the three of you killing me, for otherwise, I will stop you. There is no world in which the slaughter of the innocent is protection, and any that pretends to be such will lose me to any of the Seven August Heavens that will have me.

"If you want to impale me and then unleash the torrents of fire, then pray proceed, for there are three of you and one of me so the deed is at least plausible. I will ascend to any of the seven heavens that will receive me.

"I will bask in the shadow of the sun with my most pious ancestors, or I will descend the eternal stair in the company of my quietest ancestors and into the well of the world, or I will drift eternal in the Purgatorial Sea, alone as each cloud must be or in the company of a billion other rays of color that fly from the humble earth. I am at peace with every possible August Heaven, and do not waste breath questioning them, for I already have.

"If hereafters are false places, as three souls who think burning a tribe alive for the crime of being infected must believe, then I shall simply cease to be. If my only options are to exist in a world of genocide or to not exist at all, then falling and decomposing and losing myself to the myriad of unknown and unthought carrion is better. Run me through and know you've left me to die so you can live wringing abomination."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BM: Who would win: Superman or Batman?

If the writer likes Batman more: Batman wins.

If the writer likes Superman more: it's a tie or they're distracted and work together against a common third opponent. Superman fans are less awful.

If it's a fight to the death: neither of them kill people. Superman eventually wins by having a longer lifespan. Alternatively, Batman wins because Superman's died before and thus he outlived him.

If it's a race for who gets to the kitchen first: Superman, as he is much faster.

If it's a race for who gets to the kitchen first and Batman gets prep time: Batman builds the kitchen, starts in the kitchen, and wins.

If it's a race around the planet: Batman uses his superpower of money to hire The Flash, and wins.

If it's a competition of tragic origins: Batman's parents are dead, while Superman's planet is dead and in most versions so is his earth-dad. Superman wins, but since Batman is taking this worse, lets Batman think he wins.

If it's mortal combat and Batman has a kryptonite ring: Superman smothers him in lead at speeds faster than his eyes can follow.

If it's mortal combat and Batman has a kryptonite ring and infinite prep time: Superman likely also had such prep time and probably does okay with his laser eyes and ability to fight from space.

If it's mortal combat and Batman has a kryptonite ring and infinite prep time and Superman was screwing around for that infinity: the writer likes Batman.

If Batman has a really cool mech he suspiciously never uses for all the other cases it'd be useful: Superman probably rips it apart and leaves him alive.

If Batman needs to establish a mythos: Superman takes a dive in front of a cameraman.

If Superman needs to establish a mythos: he does something else impressive and lets Bruce abuse some children or whatever he does with his time.

If they're on hallucinogenics, brainwashed, in an alternate universe, and think each other are figments and villains and whatever other nonsense your message board requires to justify two non-lethal characters murdering people they love and respect: Superman throws the earth into the sun, are you happy now?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy

"It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. You're not even a nice person – you're nice relative to other social climbers in the company, but you've stepped on my forehead at least three times climbing the ladder. Nicer guys are rungs in a ladder that you are ascending effortlessly, and I might say, often callously. An even remotely nicer could not cut pensions that way. The stuff you've put on the company expense account? These charges suggest an absence of moral compass that, if possessed, would make your series of promotions wholly implausible. I can only hope that you are a nice enough guy to not destroy the blue collar level of the company now that you've escaped it. The workforce is worried. Many have been jilted before. It's happened to nicer guys."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nine Times I Got an Author's Gender Wrong

I revel in human fallibility, and even love my own failures when they're taken out of judgmental spheres. You can shame someone for their failures, but this is usually the result of forgetting all of your own. It's better to recognize them, share them and learn.

It's for this noble end that I here expose some of my most boneheaded mistakes: nine times when I blatantly got an author's gender wrong. There's one writer, and I won't say who, but I met him without knowing he was a man. None of these nine entries are quite that bad, but I'm hoping to open a dialogue and find out if others have been so silly. If not, I hope to at least make you laugh.

1. Kim Stanley Robinson – That's Heteronormative Thinking with Names 101, which may be the most pedantic class in all of academia. But I have to take a certain ownership over the Kim-possibility given that I'd read the bio on the inside cover and still made it fifty pages before feeling like I had something wrong about her. In my defense: there was no author photo.

2. C.S. Lewis – This came less from the ambiguity of his shortened name, and more that everyone who tried to foist The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe on me as a kid was a woman. I was so young, and so into that Boys Vs. Girls mentality, that I just assumed the book girls kept telling me to read was by one of them. I hope I've outgrown that.

3. J.K. Rowling – I think she got reverse-Lewised. And then, as though to level the playing field for all the big male authors I'd mistaken as female, I mistook the bestselling female author of the decade for a guy. I've actually gone back and checked, and the copies of the first three books I read had no author-information on them whatsoever. I was reading "him" in some ignorant vacuum, possibly assigning gender because Dumbledore always felt like a stand-in for the author. Actually, much like the paternal figure the kids in Lewis's first book lived with.

4. Terry Pratchett – I thought she was so darned funny.
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