Jerking Off To She Hulk – Why Modern Geek Culture Is So Hostile Towards Women

Lately, I’ve become aware of sexism and misogyny in the most unexpected of place – geek fandom culture.

I admit that I was largely unaware of this phenomenon simply because I’m not really some uber fan of much geeky stuff in the modern sense. I grew up reading super hero comic books, and even worked in a comic shop and at a comic distribution center at one point, but I don’t read super hero comics, and haven’t in almost thirty years.

I like technology and video games, but I hate online playing (of anything) and I don’t hang out on Internet forums discussing those things. I suppose that the geeky stuff I DO like is enjoyed in a solitary way these days. I don’t generally feel motivated to hang out with other fans, nor do I generally go to places where other fans congregate.

So you’ll have to excuse me for thinking that fandom stuff was still primarily the territory of awkward, but mostly benevolent, too-fat or too-skinny nerds that are persecuted for their interests. See, that’s the thing. I grew up as one of those people, and most of my friends were into the same role playing games, comic books, and horror movies that I was. Some of them were also early computer nerds, so fascinated by the possibilities of the extremely primitive home computers they had at the time, that they were willing to spend more time practicing old timey programming languages instead of hanging out with the cool kids at school.

And that wasn’t going to be happening in most cases, even if they’d wanted it to. The cool kids weren’t exactly embracing many of the terminally nerdy back then. People like that were generally outcasts among the majority of their peer group, and without the benefit of the Internet, being a nerd was often a lonely existence.

Finding friends, or anyone really, that would accept that you were into entertainment and activities that marked you as a weirdo to everyone else, felt special way back when I was a youngster. That’s why I find it troubling that misogyny and sexism seems to have exploded along with the mainstreaming of fandom.

I know I’m late to this party. This phenomenon has been getting a lot of press for awhile, with women being mistreated for being “fake geeks” and treated poorly if they are brave enough to stumble into the shitacular, still mostly male-dominated world of online video game play.

It makes me sad that hobbies which once marked a person as a weirdo, but were generally open and welcoming to almost anyone willing to pursue them, have attracted a hateful minority of men that think women are only valuable to be humiliated or as a sexual reward to losers like themselves. What the fuck, guys? That’s the kind of shitty behavior that many of us old school nerds witnessed from our jock tormentors. Why indulge in that shit?

Maybe part of the answer to that is the fact that geek culture has become a lot more “acceptable.” This mainstreaming of traditionally outsider activities has made those activities open to the types of males that might not have once been attracted to them. Being a computer nerd these days is seen as cool, it’s not the life sentence to “Never gets laid” island that it might have seemed to be in the early 80’s. Playing video games is popular with all sorts of people now, and I see more asshole “bros” talking about their passion for games as commonly or more so than “nerds” these days.

A lot of those dipshit bros are the types of guys that probably think taking a woman to the movies means they’re entitled to a blowjob at the end of the night, so it’s not surprising that online game play with jackasses like that might get nasty quick. And since adolescent boys are almost universally into video games these days, it’s also not surprising that an age group not often noted for its sensitivity might make online play or certain types of enthusiast online forums abusive places for a woman to venture into.

I recently encountered a manturd that was apparently an online gamer, who admitted to making “rape jokes” and being pretty shitty online. His defense was that there is no longer a line of any kind as far as humor goes, and that his online persona did not reflect who he was in “real life.”

What this brainless shitfuck failed to grok is that while there may not be an uncrossable line in regards to jokes anymore, consistently mean-spirited or abusive “humor” marks the person making those jokes as a complete asshole. He didn’t seem to get the fact that, yes, the way a person acts online IS a reflection of who they really are in “real life.”

In the end, I was left with the disquieting feeling that maybe the Internet has really poisoned the well of geekdom, and that some good old fashioned ass beatings might actually make some of these fuckheads a little more sensitive to the feelings of others.

But, online abuse and rape culture aside, is there some other force at work that makes a lot of these geek men so antagonistic towards women?

I don’t know. Even twenty years ago, when I helped run a comic book store, I noticed a lot of misogyny. There were guys that ate up the hypersexualized depictions of women in comics and other media, but who seemed distrustful or hateful towards real women. One regular customer of ours even suggested that the comic shop should be off limits to women, and open to men only, sort of a Taliban outpost of stinky man nerds that probably masturbated to She Hulk comics. He was sadly not alone in that sort of extreme opinion.

I personally feel that the typical classic comic mythologies are partially to blame. Most of the Silver Age comics that still seem to steer comic fandom’s boat started out as wish fulfillment fantasies for powerless teenaged boys. There’s a deeply rooted idea that a formerly weak and ostracized protagonist can earn the romantic attention of the girl he wants if he just is heroic enough, in essence “earning” her affection.

The problem is, real women and real romance doesn’t work like that. It’s why being a woman’s close friend doesn’t ensure that the friendship will ever blossom into romance. I think a lot of men have a serious problem understanding that, and accepting that scenario when they encounter it.

Instead, they complain about being permanently “friend zoned”, and I think that the comic book myth of being the helpful supportive male in a woman’s life being enough to “earn” her as a romantic partner is at least partially to blame.

Also, it’s been noted by others that male nerds were often told that all the abuse they were enduring as kids would eventually be worth it. Their tormentors would be reduced to horrible menial jobs while they would be rewarded great gigs as computer programmers, and the attractive females that weren’t interested in them in high school would be lining up for their favors later in life.

I suppose that, for some of them, that DID come to pass, but to expect some sort of almost karmic force to punish ones enemies and to reward a nerd with a hot romantic/sexual partner, seems pretty messed up to me. It fosters certain expectations with those guys, and a woman that doesn’t play into those expectations is likely to be treated like she’s a “bitch.” Maybe she’s just not interested in a guy only because he has a good job and seems nice.

There’s a sense of entitlement I see with a lot of these guys. Perhaps it’s an extension of Internet culture, where porn fantasies are readily available, but no one is entitled to a woman as if she is a “prize” or product. I see a weird attitude with males of a certain age, as if they can look like a bag of fail, but somehow deserve a hot sexual partner on demand.

The idea that a guy can “earn” a woman’s affection in some predictable fashion is ridiculous. Women are individuals, and it’s insulting to assume they’ll all like the same thing or respond to a male’s actions in the same way. Spider-Man be damned, maybe it works occasionally, but a guy can’t count on winning a woman over by pretending to be her best friend or being there whenever she needs something.

Comic books and other fandom pursuits rely to a certain degree on wish fulfillment. If a guy believes that shit enough, it’s not surprising that he might think that a woman who spurns him is a “cunt.” It’s also not surprising that he, and others like him, might make geek culture very unfriendly towards women that don’t fill the role they want them to, or who don’t think rape jokes are funny because “anything goes for a laugh” or whatever it is these creeps are telling themselves.

Any dude that tries to project comic book reality into real life interactions with females, then who gets angry and bitter when they don’t play along? That guy deserves to get his ass kicked a few times. He deserves to be called out and humiliated for being such a prick.

There’s no excuse for treating women as either bitches for not being interested, or as a sexual prize for a worthy male nerd. Fuck that, women and people in general are a lot more complicated than that.

So asshole male geeks, shape up. More people are onto you and your bullshit. That stuff isn’t going to be tolerated indefinitely.

If you want a compliant female that will fawn over you and submit to your sexual desires without question, build yourself that long promised “girl robot.” Make her look like She Hulk if you want. Whatever. Just quit treating the real women out there like they don’t belong in fandom if they expect to be taken as equals.

Don’t bring back systematic bullying of male nerds. It could happen. Let’s not pull that trigger.

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This REALLYIS what a sizable percentage of comic book fans look like. Naturally, they’re entitled to sex with super models.

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The comic book work camp I was sentenced to labor at years ago.

Bankers & Lawyers Playing Tough Guys – The Problems With American Motorcycle Culture Today.

I own a couple of American-made motorcycles. More on that a little later.

Riding a Harley or custom chopper automatically bestows certain expectations upon a person. The Harley Davidson brand has particularly cultivated its image over decades, and that image is hard to shake even if you want to. Most people that buy those bikes don’t seem to want to, but I find the weird patriotism and “off the rack rebel” imagery to be…pretty stupid.

For a country that seems to generally reward people that don’t step too far out of line, America really seems to love the image of rebellion. I suppose that the image of a rebel, living outside the rules of conventional society is an appealing one. Since the 1950’s and especially the 1960’s, the image of bikers fits that bill nicely. Just watch any of the old exploitation biker films from the late 1960’s, and it becomes obvious that many Americans were both frightened and fascinated by the idea of “Outlaw Bikers.” Media coverage of stories concerning the exploits of those biker gangs created a modern mythos, and somehow in the last 40 years or so, the homogeneous image of American bikers became popular with mainstream society.

Yeah, the actual dangerous biker gangs are still active today, essentially having become crime families. But most people you’ll see dressed in stereotypical biker garb, riding a Harley are more likely to be middle aged yuppies than scary gang members.

I still remember my old band being on tour, and pulling into a huge truck stop one early morning after a show. We were still wearing gear from the night before. Since that was pretty freaky looking, and since our band included attractive women, I was concerned to see a huge crowd of Harleys occupying a big chunk of the parking lot, surrounded by what looked like a scary outlaw biker gang,

My fears were dispelled as we got closer, and I saw that no one in the group looked younger than 55. Although dressed head-to-toe in leather, and riding choppers, the whole crew looked more likely to be doctors and lawyers than meth-slinging outlaws.

In fact, we were far scarier than anyone in that gang, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

But what the hell is up with comfortable fattened suburbanites dressing like the cast from “Hell’s Angels on Wheels”? I get it, it’s a safe way to try to look like a bad ass once firmly in the grips of middle age. But it looks kind of desperate and lame too.

Besides, when I see an older guy wearing a leather vest and chaps, I don’t usually think “Bad Ass Biker.” I think “that guy likes to have anal sex with other men.”

Nothing wrong with that if it’s your thing, but something  to consider if it’s not.

Also, for a bunch of “rebels” (or even yuppies playing rebel dress up on the weekend) the typical biker costume makes them look less like individuals that will fight the system and live outside of conventional norms, and more like a bunch of wannabe poseurs that all shop at the same costume shop. It’s the opposite of rebellion. You want to rebel on a Harley without actually becoming a criminal? Be a heterosexual male and wear pink or something. Wear a leather vest or some of that other junk, and you’ll just look like another old guy playing fancy dress up.

Then there’s the weird patriotism/snobbery that many Harley riders seem to cultivate. Harley Davidsons haven’t entirely been made in America since the early 70’s. Yep. This isn’t news to people that investigate such things, various parts are outsourced from many countries, and are assembled in the U.S.A. This isn’t something only H.D. is guilty of doing, of course. Our global economy has dramatically changed and reduced the number of goods that really are made entirely in America, but H.D. definitely promotes the hell out of being considered an American company. And they ARE, but their bikes are built from a lot of parts made elsewhere, and have been for years.

This is significant only because the company slathers almost everything they sell with the American flag, and so many people that own Harley’s develop a shitty attitude about any other motorcycle a person might choose to ride. In my opinion, someone driving a 50cc Chinese scooter every day is more of a biker than the leather clad dude that rides his Dyna Glide a few miles to show it off on weekends. That guy probably has a bunch of Chinese parts on his bike too. Anyone that’s tried to buy Harley accessories lately will see “Made in China” on those parts as often as not.

There’s even the occasional sneer directed towards people that own Sportsters, which are the smaller bikes that Harley builds. a lot of “bikers” consider them “girl’s bikes”, even though they can often perform better on streets than the bigger motorcycles in the Harley lineup.

So what do you do if you want a Harley or some kind of Harley style custom bike but don’t want to seem like a hypocritical asshole wearing a goofy costume to your “Tough Guy Club” parties?

Well, just don’t be that person. Don’t be a dick when you pull up to a guy riding something else, and consider dressing to ride rather than dressing to look like a dumb stereotype. That would be my advice anyway, but I’ll be the guy you see pull up on a custom chopper wearing a pink shirt.

Well maybe not. I don’t actually own a pink shirt, but I damn well don’t dress like a cookie cutter biker.

Oh, one last thing. For god’s sake don’t wear a bandana on your head unless you have some valid reason to. That looks so incredibly lame, and makes most of us just wonder if it’s disguising a receding hairline.

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“Biker” – The reality much of the time.

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“Bikers”, the legend.

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A “Girl’s Bike” apparently…

“Ghost Adventures” Goofy Frat Boys Hunt Spirits Without a Talking Dog.

I’ve watched many major cable channels make a turn away from real, documentary-style programming towards the supernatural and the weird over the last several years. The History Channel once was dominated by World War II and Vietnam documentaries, to the point that it was often referred to as “The Hitler Channel.” Now, it seems to be almost entirely broadcasting weird reality shows like “Pawn Stars,” “Ax Men,” “American Pickers,” and “Swamp People,” begging many questions – what do those shows have to do with history, and why do so many Americans seem enthralled by the shenanigans of often angry working class dudes with unconventional jobs? I work as a meat cutter, if I want to see some dumb ass screaming at another at work, that’s common enough. It’s not what I want to view in my off time.

Most of the other more serious channels are following that trend, too. They’re all turning their backs on the types of shows they once aired in favor of the more popular reality shows, which we all know are pretty much fake, so that’s really strange. If one of these cable channels does broadcast programs about real events like WWII, you can almost bet it’s going to be “The Secret Nazi UFO Connection” or a show about the supernatural. Why? Because that stuff is more interesting to the average boob tube viewer than history or reality. The real reality, not the scripted stuff.

And I understand the appeal. I’ve watched plenty of those shows over the years. I’m into weird stuff, I’ve studied the paranormal and the occult. I’m down with Bigfoot and the Mothman, those things are fun.

But there are a few shows that I really can’t stand, and the ones that irritate me the most are the currently popular ghost hunting series.

“Ghost Adventures” seems to be the most popular, but there are a couple more. They all seem to have essentially the same basic format. A group of ghost hunters go to a reportedly haunted locale and proceed to do “tests” that prove otherworldly beings are present. On “Ghost Adventures,” this is also accomplished by the ridiculously-dressed leader Zac Bagans, who runs around like a drunk frat boy yelling and trying to goad restless spirits into proving they’re present.

Who knew that the only things a person needed to do to stir the departed into action was an Affliction t-shirt, a bad hair cut, and some gauges to measure electrical activity?

Oh yes, about that scientific approach they use (before all of the yelling starts). Since the vast majority of hauntings these clowns investigate are inside occupied buildings of one kind of another, it would seem that finding areas with electrical activity would be pretty common almost everywhere. Same thing about temperature fluctuations. Besides, at what point did people prove that any of that stuff indicates the presence of ghosts? It’s like a bunch of folks collectively decided to believe that we can measure paranormal activity with devices that were never intended for that purpose.

They also use sound recordings to capture the voices of spirits, although in nearly every example I’ve heard, it all sounds like total crap amid a sea of static.

As for all of the running around and loud taunting of spirits that occurs in every episode of a Ghost Adventures – what the fuck, guys? I’d like to believe that ghosts really do exist, and maybe they DO. I don’t know.

I do know that if I was a ghost and had any power in the material world at all, I’d love to snatch Zac Bagans and feed him to Satan’s demonic hoards, just because screaming dorks wearing bad fashions and over-gelled hairdos irritate me. Sadly, I have my doubts that the afterlife works in such ways.

Occasionally, these groups of ghost-annoyers bring along a psychic or two, who almost always proceed to cold read people that have witnessed ghost activity at the site. Again, maybe there are real psychics out there, but these cable spirit-hunters definitely seem to have a flair for the dramatic that borders on acting. Another show (whose name escapes me) consists of a group of college-aged kids, and they generally have an “occult expert” among their dopey ranks. This expert seems to dish out pseudo-Wiccan expertise and uses such brilliant techniques as using the cross to scare off malevolent spirits. Mind blowing.

In any case, I get the appeal of these shows. The production costs involved with following around a few overly dramatic clowns while they psych each other out and run around screaming in the dark HAVE to be about as low as they get, and people love these dumb shows.

And that’s fine, I think lots of silly stuff can be fun to watch from time to time. I just wonder how many viewers actually believe the stuff they’re watching is real. It’s appealing to see “proof” that ghosts are real, because that would verify that death is not the end, and that’s a very appealing idea for most people.

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Remaining Childless Does Not Mean A Person is “Selfish”

With adults of a certain age range, a cold war is going on, and there are two definite camps:

Those that have kids and can’t imagine why others wouldn’t want them, and people that don’t want children and don’t understand why other people do.

Now, the vast majority of people are not at either of those extremes. Like a lot of lifestyle issues, they just don’t care what other people choose to do. Most parents I’ve known don’t care if their friends have kids or not, and the same thing applies the other way around.

The are lots of things that both of the extremes say and do that are pretty shitty. I’m not going to call someone a breeder for having or wanting a kid, but I really don’t understand parents that think the childless are somehow morally deficient or “selfish.” Sure, there ARE some people without kids that claim they are too selfish to have them, but that’s not something that can be applied across the board.

To those reading this that have kids, I ask that you understand that I’m not bashing people with children. I like kids myself, although I’ve never had any great desire to have one of my own.

I’m merely countering the oft-cited criticism which tells us that childless people must be more selfish than those with kids.

First of all, what would be the basis of this perception, besides the occasional individual that claims selfishness as their main reason for not wanting kids.?I don’t recall electing those folks as spokespeople for the rest of us.

It seems to be a sad condition of human nature that humans tend to bond closely with those most like themselves, and often lack the open mindedness and empathy needed to at least get along with people that don’t share the same lifestyle choices.

It’s relatively common to find parents, especially new parents, who suddenly expect that the world should change to be safer for their kids. This is understandable, as the world can be a scary and dangerous place, but it’s off-putting when people that you know, who were going clubbing and partying a few years earlier, suddenly look at their old friends as being irresponsible for doing the same stuff they once did.

So what happened? They had children, and that’s scary. They started to see their former lifestyle as potentially dangerous to the well being of their offspring, and the primal drive to protect their kids has made enemies out of former friends.

And of course, a lot of the time those former friends resent losing their party buddies to parenthood. After a point those friendships might even be abandoned, as all parties gravitate to other individuals living lives more similar to theirs.

In any case, not having children and not wanting to have them is not some inferior moral choice. Nor is it automatically selfish, anymore than the desire to have children is automatically selfless and beneficial to society.

I would argue that having children can be seen as a more selfish act for a variety of reasons, but primarily because the people that benefit the most from having kids seem to be the parents that have them. I guess most parents hope that their kids will grow up to be super geniuses that will in some way better the world, but that’s no more likely an outcome than their offspring damaging the world.

I’m using extremes to make a point, but every murderer in history started out as someone’s kid, and while most people’s children won’t grow up to be monsters, there’s always that possibility. It’s probably as likely as them growing up to be the next Albert Einstein.

So who is likely to REALLY benefit from someone’s choice to have children? It seems that in most cases it’s the parents themselves that eventually benefit the most. Having kids offers them the possibility of a survival network should that kid and his parents live long enough for the aging parents to need care.

I’ve even had parents argue to me that I need to have kids for that very reason. So who really benefits from another person’s choice to have children?

In any case, I’m not arguing that there is something wrong with wanting to have children. It’s a hard wired human need for most people, I just object to the idea that by choosing NOT to have kids, I have revealed myself to be selfish in some way.

Can people see the level of my generosity based on whether or not I produce offspring?

What about the huge numbers of bad parents out there? The ones that treat their kids negligently or abuse them? I’ve heard a lot of people try to claim moral superiority over the years by claiming that they’re good parents, but to paraphrase an old Chris Rock joke, “you’re supposed to.” People shouldn’t get credit for doing what they’re supposed to do. The only thing that proves is that they’re better than the bad parents out there.

You don’t get brownie points for doing the right thing when you’ve initiated the conditions that make doing that thing necessary. If I take in a stray cat, nurse it back to health, and then beat it viciously, does that make me a good person? It would’ve been better for me not to adopt that cat at all, would it not? When you decide to create a little human, you better be up for the job. Maybe once he or she grows up, then you can sit back and get some form of credit, but until then, the parent is expected to do the right thing.

The is undoubtedly a lot of pressure put on people with kids that childless people don’t deal with. That doesn’t make parents eligible for sainthood, nor does it mean that by rejecting the choice to have children that childless adults are somehow morally inferior, selfish, or homogeneous in their reasons for making the choice they did.

In the end, I’m happy for my friends with kids, and in most cases I like their children. When a friend is excited about impending parenthood, I’m really happy for them too. In almost every case I can think of, the people I know who have had kids have felt that their lives were greatly enriched by becoming parents, and I’m happy for them.

I just get sick of being told that people like myself must be more selfish, or that we don’t know what we’re missing, or any number of other lame things that a few parents have told me over the years. I’m a fairly intelligent human being. I think I can at least get an idea of what it must be like to have a kid, to be a parent. My life is far from empty, and I don’t regret my choice a single day. We’re not all wired the same way. That doesn’t necessarily make one choice superior to the other.

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Your House is The Town Asshole – The Trouble With Giant Houses in Old Neighborhoods

Before I begin this entry, I’m going
to come clean – I generally hate the giant modern homes that
so many people seem to love. “McMansions” generally make me
think the person buying or living in them are spoiled people
with more money than taste.

That’s not to say that I think a big house is automatically
indicative of some sort of creepy need to impress other
people, or because the people living there are greedy, although I
admit that those thoughts do cross my mind. I try not to
judge people I don’t know, so I generally try to avoid those
conclusions, but it’s hard sometimes.

Whatever my own feelings on the growing trend towards bigger
and bigger homes in this country, there’s no debate that new
houses are indeed getting much bigger over time.

I knew this intuitively, because I witnessed it happening as
I grew up. In the 70’s and 80’s a 2,000 square foot house
was considered large, and certainly large enough for a
family to comfortably live in. The only people I knew that
lived in bigger homes were a handful of folks that were
genuinely wealthy, and even in those cases, their homes were
usually smaller than the enormous new homes that many people
seem to prefer now.

These observations are not unique to my experience, it has
been studied in depth. A recent USA Today article makes note
of the fact that:

“At 2,306 square feet, the typical new home is about 50%
larger than its 1973 counterpart while the typical family is
10% smaller and the typical household 15% smaller.”

So, families are getting smaller, while house sizes are skyrocketing. A person born in the early 80’s to an upper
middle class family might not even realize that a house over
2,500 square feet was once considered very large, and
still IS a lot of space. As individuals we tend to believe
that what we grew up with is the norm, but that’s not always
the case. Many postwar homes built in the 1950’s and 1960’s
are less than 1,500 square feet, some a lot less. I myself
spent over fifteen years living in a two bedroom home in
Central Houston that was less than 700 square feet. With
roommates and significant others.

Somehow, I survived.

So it’s not that families CAN’T live happily in less
space, it’s that over time more people have become self-indulgent to the point that anything less than a 3,500
square foot McMansion with a media room and a “Great Room”
is somehow roughing it.

Now to me, I don’t have a problem with desiring more space.
It strikes me as a human need. We don’t do particularly
well crammed into really tight spaces, especially with
other people. But many of the newer home features that
people seem to want were once only in the homes of the
extremely wealthy. The cathedral ceilings and granite
countertops that new home buyers are attracted to these
days were rarities until relatively recently. Like most
trends, they will eventually fall out of favor too. But my
own taste aside, it’s not a desire for space or pretentious
sounding rooms (looking at you again, “Great Room”).

It’s the redevelopment of older neighborhoods.

OK, there’s a difference in slow gentrification of obviously
shitty neighborhoods. If you live in a area where it’s
easier to score a crack rock than it is to walk your dog,
then maybe gentrification is a good thing.

When it’s the case of a neighborhood where the main
cultural event is weekly cockfights, then there’s nothing
worse than seeing carpet bagger, scumbag developers start
to circle like buzzards. And if the neighborhood begins to
quickly become popular with upscale younger people, the old
residents are essentially fucked.

I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with quite a few developers in the process of redeveloping an area of older homes, and they have almost all been lying scum.

One recent specimen kept saying the mantra “I build good homes” sounding a lot like a man that beats his wife and kids but says he’s a good dad.

This particular developer was lying directly to my face and tried to build in a lot next to me without having permits approved yet. Real gem of. Human there.

This new breed of developer sees nothing but a quick buck, and they’ll do whatever they have to to get it. They have no concern for the neighborhoods they’re building in, they see their projects purely as a way to gather wealth for themselves.

Sadly, my hometown of Houston is a prime example of this at
its worst. Since the city doesn’t have zoning, and very few
neighborhood protection regulations, developers there
have been systematically reinventing the neighborhoods
closest to downtown for the last couple of decades.

Neighborhoods that were once working and middle class places
with small to medium sized homes with nice big yards, are
almost completely covered with hideous cookie cutter
“luxury” town homes and McMansions built ten feet from one
another, and covering the entire lot.

But hey! They have cathedral ceilings, great rooms, and a
“media center”! What more could some pathetic urban dweller
want or need? They certainly won’t need a yard, since most
of them never spend any appreciable time outside anyway.
It’s a waste of space to them, they could have a bigger
bathroom!

The problem is that this kind of redevelopment kills the
original personality of the neighborhood, and often that was
what attracted the first wave or two of yuppies to begin
with.

On another related note, I find the attitudes of some people
who seem to feel entitled to the giant house to be puzzling.
A lot of the ones I’ve known have been tireless champions of
the poor and oppressed. Do they not see the hypocrisy in
wanting to live in an enormous luxury home that may have
displaced long time residents of lesser financial means? How
do they reconcile their pursuit of lowering their carbon
footprint when they also play into a trend that’s decreasing
any green space a neighborhood might have once had in
exchange for almost total concrete coverage?

There’s a disconnect there. Or a lack of self awareness. I’m
not sure which.

If a person has the means to buy a 10,000 square foot house
that’s not destroying the character of an older
neighborhood, or negatively affecting the environment, then
go for it. Build that sucker on two or three acres somewhere
and enjoy. But if you buy a house that’s over 3,000 square
feet big in a neighborhood where most of the other homes are
older ones that are a little more than a third of that size?
Then your house is the equivalent of a pushy asshole that
will get what he wants by any means he can.

Do you want to live in the house equivalent of the town
bully? I wouldn’t.

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That certainly looks good. Doesn’t look out of place at all…

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Must be nice to look next door and see…. That Abomination… I mean… Large house next door.

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Let’s Talk About “Cunt” – In Defense Of A Troubled Word

It’s funny, but I think that there has been an acceptance of vulgar language in our society. People routinely drop words like “bitch” or “asshole” as if those words are no big deal. Even fuck” and “motherfucker” are common enough to have lost a lot of the impact they might once have had.

But there is one word that still seems to elicit shock when it is uttered.

CUNT.

For reasons I do not understand, the C-word is apparently one of the last profanities that still freaks people out. It’s the verbal equivalent of an atom bomb, and can silence a room when it is used to refer to a women.

I’m a man, so some will question my right to assess the hurtfulness of a word, but I’ve given this a lot of consideration simply because it seems that the outrage over being called a cunt often exceeds that of other similar profanities. It’s as if people just decided that it’s somehow worse than other vulgar words.

There is understandable anger over the use of vulgar words for female genitalia. Sexism is alive and well in our culture, and women have been and still are oppressed because of their gender. I can understand the anger that many women have when they hear a word like “pussy” used to indicate a state of weakness.

But there’s a difference with the word “cunt.” When a woman is called a cunt, it usually seems to be because she is powerful.

The following is from a very good article on this subject from the website Jezebel by Katie J.M. Baker:

“As Laurie Penny argues, “there are no other truly empowering words for the female genitalia” besides the c-word. “Cunt” isn’t scientific, it’s erotic. “Cunt” doesn’t refer to a baby cat or a treasure chest. It conveys purposeful sexual power, not submission. It’s mature. Women get called cunts when they reject sexual advances and assert themselves in the workplace; in other words, when they don’t play nice.

People who use ethnic or racial slurs propagate long-held systems of oppression. But “cunt” doesn’t have the same type of larger, disturbing historical context. Slate ran an etymology explainer post yesterday explaining how the word went from street name-suitable in the 13th century (“Gropecuntelane.” Nice.) to vulgar (Francis Grose’s 1785 A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue defines “cunt” as “a nasty name for a nasty thing”) to scoring the #1 slot in a 2000 BBC ranking of the most offensive words of all time.

Seriously? Why do we let “cunt” retain so much negative power? The only possible explanation is because so many people still think the worst crime a woman can commit is to be unapologetically sexual.

I can understand the argument that calling a woman a “cunt” is akin to telling her that is all she is: a brainless hole that needs to be filled, etc. But since so many politicians and comedians and cops and college kids seem to think that anyway, the solution isn’t to be afraid of the word and therefore scared to admit we have cunts — and are capable of acting like cunts, if the situation calls for it.”

At one point, use of the word seemed rare in America, and “bitch” was generally used more commonly. But now, “bitch” has been assimilated into popular culture and speech to the point of it losing most impact. Seeing some middle classed mom wearing a “Super Bitch” shirt at Walmart illustrates its fall from power as both a curse word, and as an indicator of a female that doesn’t submit to any old authority. It’s basically the equivalent of some elderly man in a “Grumpy Old Fart” shirt these days, and since men are often referred to as “bitches” now, it’s not exclusively aimed at women. The same can be said for “cunt” really.

But when used derogatorily towards a woman or group of women, “cunt” still feels like an indicator of power, not weakness, to me. I think that by embracing that attachment as a power word, women would rob the creeps that use it to insult them of a lot of their power. You know what scares sexist men? Women that don’t back down and don’t let things like unmentionable words upset them.

I also considered the other commonly used slang terms for female genitalia, many of which are used as insults. “Twat,” “pussy” and “snatch” all sound worse than “cunt” to me. One indicates a small cat, the others just sound gross. Cunt sounds warm and pleasant by comparison. Even “vagina” sounds horrible to my ears. It’s just an ugly sounding word. It’s also Roman slang for a sword sheath. Sort of the equivalent of “pussy” somehow becoming the preferred scientific term for lady parts after a couple of thousand years.

I’m sure I’m getting written off of some of my female friend’s Christmas card lists for writing this, because as a man how dare I take a position on the use of a bad word for female genitalia? But all I’m saying is that allowing the word to have such negative power really just arms the sexist assholes that are most likely to use it to try to “put a woman in her place.”

Besides, I kind of relish the idea of seeing middle aged women wearing “Bitchy Cunt” t-shirts at the local mall in a few years without the cops getting called on them.

The Jezebel article I quoted:

http://jezebel.com/5987317/cunt-should-not-be-a-bad-word

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Couldn’t think of a good photo to use for this article, so here’s a picture of mt beloved dog Bitsy… Who really wants to reclaim “Bitch” for her canine crowd

Parents Always Distrust The Things Their Kids Enjoy Doing…

I remember being an adolescent in the very early 80’s, and it seemed that a lot of the adults around me were just waiting for some insidious activity to trigger criminal and perhaps Satanic behavior from me and my friends. The fact was, we were neither resourceful enough or driven towards anti social behavior enough to get lured into anything particularly awful when we were that young – The criminal/dangerous stuff would have to wait a few years.

 

And yet, our parents and assorted other adult authority figures sure thought that everything we liked dong was going to cause us to become violent junkies worshiping dark gods.

Comic books, Role Playing Games, Horror Movies… The list of moral threats was a long one. And of course there were video games… Particularly arcade games.

Like everything from rock and roll to comic books, parents have always seemed to distrust whatever it is their children are excited about, and in the late 70’s and early 80’s, a lot of parents were scared of the then new arcade games that were fast sweeping the nation in popularity.

Here is a sweet look back, at the dumb stuff that scaredy cat parents were freaked out about way back then:

Just remember future parents:

If it’s fun, it must be evil and dangerous!