You know, I grew up watching and listening to comedy, and one of the greats left us today. RIP Sid Caesar, you truly were the king!

Stand Up And Fight With Me

First, read this: Bow Down Macklemore

Ok, let’s take this apart, because this ignorant rant misses the point and instead shoots our movement in the foot. Way to go with that one, Ms. Fox.

Paragraph 1: I agree. It’s tragic that a white rapper has gotten awards that so many black rappers haven’t gotten, and I especially think this because so many black rappers have much better music (which is ostensively what the Grammy’s are about, right?). I’m not a huge fan of Macklemore, but I think he’s doing the right thing – using his voice, which is very big, to help a minority (disclosure, I’m part of that minority). That’s a good thing. But I can’t disagree that his winning when others, better than him, haven’t, is problematic, but that’s for the Grammy’s to fix.

Perpetuates the racist myth of black homophobia” Are you fucking kidding me? It points out that the genre tends to be homophobic, but that isn’t a myth, and doesn’t really say anything about race, other than you’re looking at a white guy saying it. If a white points out homophobia in a black the white guy is racist? No, he’s just observing and speaking about a fact. Get it together.

I don’t want feel-good, watered-down raps promoting the passive acceptance of gay people.” I do. I want acceptance on every level so we can stop having to fight for the right to merely exist. Are you crazy? Why give this up? You need to understand that we need every bit of help we can get, and this is fucking helping!

I want songs about owning my power.” Great. So you went to a cisgendered straight black woman to get it. Dandy. I believe “She Keeps Me Warm” was written by a lesbian, but maybe that song isn’t enough for you? Or maybe it’s because Mary Lambert isn’t a big enough voice for you to feel like you matter?

Paragraph 2:Macklemore raps about homophobic oppression, an oppression he has never experienced. He caricatures hip hop as homophobic, when there are queer hip hop artists making better music that speaks to their own oppression.

Well, yes he raps about something he’s seen in action, and while it doesn’t directly affect him, using his voice to bring it up and call it out isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a damned good thing. And yes, he’s straight. We call them “allies” in case you were wondering what to call him.

As for him caricaturing anything, where the hell have you been? Have you listened to rap music? Do a search on “rap lyrics faggot” and you’ll get 1.8 MILLION records for it. That’s not a caricature, that’s a fact. And one of the other cisgendered, straight, white, male, rappers you might’ve heard of is Eminem, who has used the word in his songs. So yeah, nothing really new here other than your blinders to reality.

There are queer hip hop artists doing great work. They don’t have Macklemore’s reach at all, nor do they have the straight audience that needs to actually hear the words that he’s saying. We LGBTQII(every-other-letter-of-the-alphabet) people get it. We’re fighting for our rights and, dammit, we need big voices to help. Macklemore is one of those, so stop shitting on him because he didn’t get everything exactly the way you want. You don’t get to speak for all of us either.

Macklemore’s lyrics imply that ‘gay is the new black!’ by conflating civil rights and gay rights throughout the song.

Gay Rights are Civil Rights!!

I don’t need straight boys to validate my existence. I woke up like this…FLAWLESS.

He’s not validating your existence for you, he’s stating, to the people who think you are less, that they are wrong and you are as equal as they are. Don’t confuse yourself that his message was for you. It’s not, it’s for the straights who don’t yet get it. Duh.

“If I was gay, I would think hip hop hates me.” Macklemore denounces hip hop as categorically homophobic.” Again, refer to Eminem. And while it’s a gross generalization, it’s not a woman telling others “bow down bitches, bow bow down bitches.” Which, you know, it’s totally uplifting to be called a bitch at the top of a song, and told to bow before another. Very “equality”, that.

I love this next bit. “Not to mention the benevolent homophobia inherent in the assertion that queer people only deserve rights because we’re ‘just like’ straight people, rather than by virtue of our humanity.” That’s not ‘benevolent homophobia’ that’s the fucking message we’ve been saying for the entirety of this fight – we deserve to be treated fairly because we are humans, too, just like you. How angry are you that you can’t see the basics of who and what we are and what we’re doing?

““It’s the same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins.” Macklemore conflates the civil rights and mainstream LGBT rights movement, which ignores queer people of color at the intersections of both identities, harms both movements by insinuating that black and gay are separate categories for comparison rather than people whose liberations are interdependent, and overlooks the unique historical struggles of people of color. He goes on to rap, “It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference.” There are differences between racial and sexual oppression, conflating the two is ignorant and historically specious at best, white supremacist at worst.

Yep. Macklemore is apartheid in a slick haircut. That’s it.

The civil rights movement and the LGBT movement are parts of the same movement – it’s called “equality“. And while, yes, there are different battlefields and different goals achieved each year, and different set-backs and different ideas on how to get there, the end result is that we should all be equal. Same fight. Different reasons. You should get that, and why you don’t is something for you to consider. Deeply.

How you hear his lyrics says so much more about you than it does about him. I guess you don’t want the help, but please, shut up about it until we win. Then you can bitch all you want about how they didn’t do enough, or everything they did was wrong. Right now, you’re part of the problem, and you need to look deep in yourself and find out why, when someone is helping you by calling out his own flock, you feel the need to feel attacked and demeaned. He isn’t, and never was, talking to you. Get a grip.

“How is gay marriage going to help with the most pressing issues facing our community?” It’s one thing. And it’s an achievable goal that gives us standing to point out that we’re equal in the eyes of the law – which then gives us standing to attack and win on all those other issues that you mention. You may not like that the fight has gotten us to this goal faster than others, and I can’t say if you’re wrong or right, but as we’re so close to winning this, why not knock it out of the park and use that very real power to tackle the next inequality that we face? Oh, you didn’t think of that, did you. It appears you didn’t think of much.

On Macklemore being an ally, you wrote “It’s incredibly frustrating to suddenly see people care about homophobia, something queer people have been talking about FOREVER just because a straight man rapped about it.” Yes, it’s very hard to realize that we are still so powerless that we must reach the mainstream through others. That’s reality, tho, and your slap at him, your biting critique and inflamed attack on him isn’t helping the people you think he’s silenced. In fact, other than mentioning Mary Lambert, you haven’t brought up any counterpoints to him, and that says even more about your thinking than your writing does. You don’t have the queer artists to extoll and promote either. Hell, you didn’t even mention Frank Ocean, probably the highest profile out rapper, or his album “Channel Orange”, and I’m wondering why? Oh wait. Maybe he didn’t really rap about equality or change or making the world a better place for LBGTQII people. I don’t know, because I haven’t heard his album. It wasn’t big enough, mainstream enough, to reach me as I’m not a general fan of hip hop. So effectively, his voice is silence (kudos to you for pointing that out, tho.) and you prefer silence because everyone else is fucking wrong.

‘But I have a queer/queer person of color friend who loves ‘Same Love!’ Knowing a queer/QPOC person who loves ‘Same Love’ does not render these critiques invalid, in the same way that having a black friend doesn’t mean that you’re not racist. People have conflicting views because marginalized groups are not homogenous, monolithic entities. That doesn’t mean you can ignore or talk over the queer people, people of color, and queer people of color who are critiquing Macklemore; it means you shut up and listen to become a stronger ally.”

You think the stronger allies are the silent ones? Are you trolling? Seriously, ARE YOU TROLLING?!? Because you know what? “Silence = Death” wasn’t just a bumper sticker to make you feel better about opening your mouth, it’s the simple truth. If you don’t stand up AND SAY SOMETHING when you see oppression, you are siding with the oppressor. How ignorant, dangerous, and hateful are you that you want our allies, who yes, are imperfect, don’t always do the best thing, and something get it wrong because they are human, to be silent.

You know who isn’t going to be silent? The fuckwits who think we are going to hell. The assholes who want to enshrine bigotry towards us in the US Constitution. They sure as fuck aren’t going to shut up. I hope and pray that our allies won’t shut up either.

You don’t need anyone to fucking bow down, either. You need to stand tall, with the rest of us, and fight for the future. And yes, that means calling out allies when they fuck up. It also means thanking them when they do good.

You need to learn the difference.

And in case you didn’t get it, here it is again, in a video for you:

A Helena Win

You know, I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world. I barely know what’s going on when it comes to football even though I’ve produced well north of a hundred games. And several hundred more sports events when you count volleyball, basketball, soccer and even wrestling. I make sports on the web happen. Go figure.

Today was the Rocky Mountain Battlin’ Bears versus the Carroll College Fighting Saints, and the Saints won it by 2 points, and the entire game came down to the last two possessions and ultimately, the final play of the game. Carroll won with a field goal, and it was magnificent to watch.

I like all the teams in the Frontier, but Carroll is my first team, simply because I wouldn’t do what I do now if it weren’t for them. But I truly feel for the Bears, they played a massively impressive game, and at the end of the day, yes, they lost, but not before showing that they have what it takes to win. They never let up. They never backed down. They have a long bus ride home (although certainly not the longest) and I sincerely hope they aren’t too hard on themselves. They will be, tho. It’s a heartbreaker for them.

But that’s not the interesting thing that dragged me back to the blog for a quick post. Oh no, my friends, the interesting thing is that the coaches poll is Monday and that’s going to be a really cool thing to do. And I, who have a shit understanding of what is going on with football on the field, have gotten a good feel for how the coaches will vote. And people think I’m crazy, but I’ve been right more often then not, so I’m putting this out there for all to see.

Here’s the standings as they were coming into play today:

  1. Morningside (Iowa)
  2. Cumberlands (Ky.)
  3. Grand View (Iowa)
  4. Benedictine (Kan.)
  5. Carroll (Mont.)
  6. Baker (Kan.)
  7. Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
  8. Saint Francis (Ind.)
  9. Ottawa (Kan.)
  10. Missouri Valley
  11. St. Ambrose (Iowa)
  12. Faulkner (Ala.)
  13. Peru State (Neb.)
  14. Tabor (Kan.) & Georgetown (Ky.) (tie)
  15. Tabor (Kan.) & Georgetown (Ky.) (tie)
  16. Friends (Kan.)
  17. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
  18. Sterling (Kan.)
  19. Northwestern (Iowa)
  20. St. Francis (Ill.)
  21. Reinhardt (Ga.)
  22. Bacone (Okla.)
  23. Saint Xavier (Ill.)
  24. Robert Morris (Ill.)
  25. Southern Oregon

And the top five have been the top 5 for a couple of weeks. Not a lot of movement here. But #1 Morningside LOST to #19 Northwestern (Iowa). #4 Benedictine got absolutely shellacked  by #10 Missouri Valley. This should mean that Carroll rises to #3, without question. But what happens to Rocky, who were ranked at #7?

Well, this is where it gets interesting. Back in Week 4 of the season, which was the second poll of the year, the Saints also beat Rocky, and you’d think, naturally, that the team that loses will go down. But as I told Coach Van Diest and Bruce Parker during the filming of the Saints Wrap Up that week, I thought that Rocky might actually improve anyway. And they did, rising two ranks that week.

I think we might see a repeat of that. At least, I hope so. Today, someone had to come away with a loss, that’s the way the game works. But neither of these teams are week. And the coaches that vote know the schedule, and they basically said, with the rankings they’d put out before, that this week’s game was going to be a powerhouse showdown and the only game that actually had that was Rocky at Carroll. All the other claimants to “Game of the Week” failed to be anything but “Well, we like to play sometimes” games. Regardless, I challenge anyone from the other NAIA leagues to face the Frontier teams, even Dickinson and come away with anything but a spanking.

I’m going to go on record with the following: Carroll will rise to #3. Morningside will fall to #12. Benedictine will fall to #15. And just because I honestly believe there is an unwritten rule that Six Breakfast Beers must be enjoyed before voting, Rocky will rise to #6. We’ll find out on Monday.

Bravest Warriors

If you don’t know Catbug yet, this is where you start. Enjoy the show. This is the entire season in one clip, which is awesome. The new season starts in just a few days.

Realignment

This tweet solidified a concept in my head that we are all going to have to face because we didn’t let the banks fail.

Yes, that appears to be the most random synaptic misfire, but I assure you, it is not. You see, we have allowed a change to the value of a dollar so dramatically because we were unwilling to let banks fail on bad investments on mortgages. They created a mess, and we the people cleaned it up and in doing so have shot the greenback down.

Attention USA Today readers — the price of the paper is going up. Starting September 30, USA Today will cost $2 at newsstands. That’s up from $1, which it had been since 2008. That year the paper raised its price from 75 cents to $1. – Media Bistro

Phoenix, AZ was a prime example of this madness. A friend was building his house, and during the time it took to build it, it’s value doubled, so he sold it for a huge pile of money. That house is now valued at about what it was going to be valued when it was originally proposed, actually, it’s a bit less, but the mortgage on it hasn’t moved. It’s underwater. The bank is fine, the property is actually fine, but the owner is in debt because of the madness that gave a bunch of money to my friend.

The realistic value of that home? Don’t know, but since many markets haven’t reset to values prior to the bust, we are left with homes that are going for huge dollar amounts higher than we had before, and that means that a dollar must cover less value than before because, regardless of what HGTV says, not everyone has done an upgrade to their home.

But that’s just in real estate, right? The value of a dollar hasn’t declined elsewhere, has it? Of course it has. If the value of a dollar is smaller when it comes to buying a home, you can bet it’s smaller when it comes to buying everything else. Which means it’s going to take more dollars to get the same amount of stuff and that means we’ve got a problem.

It means that because we didn’t let the banks fall into the spiked pits they’d created, to bleed out and be rebuilt we’ve screwed ourselves. Yes, it would have been painful yet quickly over, and many on Wall Street would have had to find new jobs, and perhaps be on assistance for a while, or at the very least have to sell a yacht or two, but that’s ok. They gambled with money, and lost, but never had to pay the bet. That’s the problem.

Instead, we pay, and the way we pay is by making the dollar worth less and less until all the various markets balance out. Real estate is pushing us down, and nothing can really change that now. We should have let them fall, but instead chose to reduce the value in the dollar. And it’s pretty easy to calculate. A house that was worth $X before the bubble, and was worth $2X during the bubble, means that our dollar is now worth half what it was before, because that house didn’t change. (Yes, this is simplified, but the concept is more important than the details right now.) Notice the timeline in the pricing at USA Today? It’s not coincidental, at least not completely.

Prices are rising. Not because something suddenly has more value, but because the dollar has less value in it. And it’s tied to the housing bubble and the mess we made when we tried to clean it up. The Law of Unintended Consequences has us caught like a snake in a forked stick, and we aren’t getting away from it.

This means that we’ve got a lot of work to do to fix this mess, starting with the minimum wage. Because, yes, the US Today now costs twice what it did before, but only because your dollar is really worth half what it was before.

The New Face of Hatred

Alexei Zhuravlev, MP Bigot, and author of the anti-gay laws in Russia. Photo by ITAR-TASS.
Alexei Zhuravlev, MP Bigot, and author of the anti-gay laws in Russia. Photo by ITAR-TASS.

Is this man, Alexei Zhuravlev, who is a move that is eerily reminiscent of a jilted lover, appears to go after homosexuals with all the fervor of someone with something to hide. I mean, really, just look at this bitter, pent-up, tightwad. He thinks that Europe is now Sodom & Gomorrah, and in order to win the latest biblical polls, he’s willing to turn Russia into Hell on Earth. Here’s what he had to say about a single mom who happens to be gay:

‘Homosexuals must not raise children. They corrupt them. They do them much more harm than if the child were in an orphanage. I am deeply convinced of this.’

With around 700,000 Russian children in shit holes orphanages, and another 2.5 million street children, there are 3.2 million kids being fucked by this asshole already, and he wants to take the kids of gays away from their parents. Because he has to beat the Catholics in something, so why not in fucking kids? And, added bonus, “teh gays”, too!

Rather than a Sochi boycott

johnny_weir_olbermann-thumb-250xauto-31783First off, if Johnny had shown up wearing a Nazi uniform in an interview in 1936 saying we shouldn’t boycott the Olympics, let’s imagine how history would judge him. The term ‘quisling’ springs to mind. He’s out of line with this, and why Olbermann is letting him off by not bringing it up is astounding.

Yes, it’s a costume meant to provoke. Fine. He provokes me. His classless misunderstanding of the dangers faced by LGBT Russians, and their allies, is so fatiguing I may slip into a coma and never recover. How can anyone so miserably misinformed be given a stage to spout ignorance… oh never mind. I forgot we were living in insanity.

Aside from being a self-centered, self-indulgent child, Johnny also doesn’t understand how politics works, why boycotts work, and how they are really quite useful tools for minorities or those out of power to affect change. One would guess it’s because he’s spent more of his time practicing his skating than learning history, and that’s fine for the most part, but should be included in a simple handout given to Keith Olbermann, entitled “Reasons Johnny Weir Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Pontificate On History”. This wouldn’t be a thick pamphlet, but would probably be at least two full pages, including at least one pic of Johnny being exceedingly gay  –  doing a Triple Lutz, or a Salchow, or his husband, Victor Voronov. Putin likes to call this “propoganda”.

And why hasn’t his Russian/Jewish husband spoken out? I really would love to hear what he has to say, mostly because his heritage is combined with both the current and the past, and he’s a graduate of Georgetown Law. One would hope he has a better grasp on policy than dear, sweet, Johnny. But I digress.

Ok, we shouldn’t boycott the olympics. We should move them. As the political will doesn’t exist to make that happen, we should be more creative and much more slap-Putin-in-the-punim.

Here’s what we do: everyone who is LGBT and those who support us, and who are Olympians, should be given diplomatic status, a.k.a. Diplomatic Immunity, for their time in Russia during the Olympics. Then they can be as flamboyant and out-there as they want, and Russia can’t do a damn thing about it.

The requirement is that EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of them is required to wear rainbows, hold hands, kiss their lovers in public, and, above all, WIN. WIN ALL THE BRONZES, SILVERS AND GOLDS. WIN ALL THE THINGS!

And they should also make an toast from the podium, with Skyy!

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Me in a tutu

1146563_10153148081195344_1225960317_nI’m assured that there are several people who would laugh till they pee if confronted with the sight of me dancing in a pink tutu, and so I’ve got this proposition for you: MAKE ME.

Here’s how:

I’ve been asked to be in the fundraiser for the Queen City Ballet, and I was talking it over with Campbell (the director here), and here’s the dealio:

I’m going to collect pledges from all of you wonderful people. If enough of you pledge money, there will be something spectacularly amazing happen at the show!

What is it? Well, first the money. I want to raise $1,500 for QCB.

If, collectively, we can reach $1,500, I’ll be dancing my number in bright pink tutu and leotard and tights.

I don’t know why anyone would like to see this, but I’m told they would. And I’m always up for this sort of random stuff. This post is public, please put your pledge amount in the comments (here or on Facebook) and let’s see what we can do.

You can find out more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/210903189033889/

How Sorry Can He Be?

I don’t get it. He didn’t apologize for his ruling, District Court Judge G. Todd Baugh apologized for verbalizing his misogyny. He’s ABSOLUTELY a misogynist, which is horrible and tragic and mystifying, especially as he’s a judge, and his sentencing reflects his bigotry.

How can someone with an unassailable bigotry like this be allowed on the bench? How the hell did he get there in the first place? You can’t tell me that this is the first time that his raging misogyny, his victim blaming, his slut shaming, his incredible apathy towards justice, has reared its ugly head. It’s completely unbelievable.

The US DoJ has an absolute need to review his cases and rulings. Attorney General Tim Fox should investigate him as well. Because everything District Court Judge G. Todd Baugh has ruled on is suspect. Everything.

You will not censor me

SOPA is back, people. I wish I had more time today to write about how dumb this law is, and how bad it is that we have a government that is scared of it’s citizens, that we have this divide between “We, The People…” and “Government” that is widening with every passed bill by our do-nothing-good, take-a-month-long-break-after-doing-nothing-good congress. There is nothing good about censorship. Not. One. Thing. And if bills like these are allowed to even be presented, we have a problem.

That they are considered is dangerous. Very dangerous. That they might pass and become law is terrifying. It must be stopped. Please stand with me, stand for what’s right, and let’s stop this madness.