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A first time for everything

It's a bit complicated, but I'm currently in an oncologist's office. I know it's a routine screening prompted by abnormal results that are normal for someone with Mom's other medical issues, but it's still a bit overwhelming to walk into an oncologist's office for the first time in my life.

Larry Flint rather selflessly would prefer that the state of Missouri not execute the man who shot and paralyzed him

Except that while he's A victim of the man set to die. He isn't one of the two victims who this man was sentenced to die for killing. Nor is he one of the 23 other people this man killed.

So I would politely invite Mr Flynt to shut the fuck up.

While I can certainly understand the ACLU's concern that the death penalty is poorly administered in our country, and taking any opportunity they can to weaken it, if they could not find any of the victims actually impacted by the crimes for which this many has been sentenced to die, they should have just done without a victim in their attack on the death penalty. This comes across as a self serving attention grab from a man noted among pornographers for his lack of social graces. And it is particularly galling to any of the relatives of those 25 dead people who might really want to see the perpetrator dead.

I realize that we as a society cannot simply bow to the desires of victims to mete out the harshest of punishments for any crime, but that's a blade that cuts both ways. We can no more grant ill considered mercy because a victim has forgiven than we can be more harsh than prudent because a victim has not.

Veterans' Day musings

The defense of the Dolphins organization and Richie Incognito (how is that not the pseudonym of an underground DJ?) has consistently been, "Well, that's life in the NFL."

This contains two streams of thought.

First, that the NFL, and its locker rooms in particular, are a special preserve that people on the outside just can't understand.

In a brief word, bullshit.

Yes, every workplace is a world unto itself with a set of morals and boundaries. Jocularity and fun are different depending on who and where you are. However, every workplace is still a part of our society and there are a set of loose restrictions beyond which no subset of our society strays without violation. By all accounts, what happened in the Dolphins organization went well beyond those boundaries.

But more worryingly is the attitude that professional football is a violent game and that the people who play it have to be reprehensible people in order to compete so what can you do?

There is a group of people in our society we charge with the most antisocial behavior possible, killing people. They're called our military. If anyone in the military had engaged in this kind of behavior their career would have ended, possibly with a court martial.

I propose a new rule for those who claim that the aims of their organization is more important than either the individual dignity of the participants or the honoring of social norms within their organization, if the US military can't do it, neither can you. This goes for sports teams, fraternities (and sororities, for that matter), police departments, law firms, churches, and all the other organizations in our society getting away with wildly antisocial behavior.

What do y'all think?

There are still a few people around here who I am not connected to on Facebook, so reposting the question.

George Mallory is famous for answering the question "Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?" by saying "Because it's there." What did he mean by that?

This is not a quiz. I want what you understand when you read the quote.

Why I'm not going to see Ender's Game

I'm not going to see Ender's Game because I read Speaker for the Dead.

Reading that, I realized Orson Scott Card isn't actually a very good author and I was pretty turned off from everything associated with him. This happened in about 1988, so his later political lunacy has nothing to do with it.

His one good novel was spoiled by his next one and I have no interest in getting back into his world or work.

That by not going I am tacitly making a statement about my despite of the author and what he stands for is entirely unintentional good fortune.


To follow up on my previous post

The speech Jacques Rogge should be giving in Sochi at the opening ceremonies adapted from the speech he gave in Vancouver four years ago:

Dear Russian Friends,
We gather as an Olympic family for the first time on the shores of the Black Sea, ushering in a new age of Olympic globalism.

My thanks go to the public authorities of Russia, our hosts Sochi, and all regions of Russia for their strong commitment and support.

Thank you to our friends at the Organizing Committee, who have worked tirelessly for seven years to ensure that we can be here tonight in this magnificent Stadium, to open 16 days of competition for which the athletes have trained so hard.

And a special thanks to the thousands of Games volunteers for your enthusiasm. Without you, none of this would be possible.

For today, the Olympic Games mean more than just performance. The Olympic movement began in the 19th Century as a means to bring together peoples of all the nations on Earth, regardless of divisions that sadly exist to this day. However, as we have progressed as an athletic movement, the Olympic ideal has bridged many more gulfs than mere nationality bringing together in peaceful competition athletes across racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation and political divides.

Our world today is in need of peace, tolerance and brotherhood. May the Sochi 2014 Games be held in peace and civility, in the true spirit of the Olympic Truce.

Dear athletes,

These Games belong to you. They are your Games.

So give them the magic that we all desire, through your performances and your conduct.

Remember that you are role models for the youth of the world.

There is no glory without responsibility.

Please compete in the spirit of Olympic values.

And reject doping and cheating.

I now have the honor to ask the [whatever Russian official who is going to open the games], to open the XXII Olympic Winter Games.

What to do about Sochi 2014

I've been reading a lot about calls for action regarding the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia because of Russia's recently passed anti-gay laws and very well publicized abuses of gay people and their supporters both officially and by private citizens.

The first word on everyone's lips is "boycott".

This is an easy one.


Not because "the athletes have trained hard" or because of any of the other reasons apologists (and some not so apologetic people) have floated.

Don't boycott because they don't work. The boycotts of 1980 and 1984 were absolute disasters on every level. Russia continued their offensive in Afghanistan for five years following the 1980 boycott. In fact, Afghanistan was so Soviet controlled that it participated in the 1984 Olympic boycott. Nothing was gained, and the West just looked bad. As for the 1984 boycott, well what was that supposed to do again? Not only that, but that left a twelve year hole in the Olympic record. None of the contests in either of those Olympic games are even remotely relevant in historical sport since the contenders who should have been competing were not able to face each other in any sport.

All boycotts do is make the Olympics irrelevant, and an irrelevant Olympics certainly isn't going to advance the interests of anyone.

Now there are growing calls to move the Olympics.

Yeah, not going to happen. There are 184 days until the games begin. I met a woman in Vegas on one of my trips there. She was in town for an academic conference. It was supposed to have been held in Chicago on August 8 of that year. January 1 of that year, the organizers decided to pull out because of an unsatisfactory response to a labor dispute, giving them 220 days to find a new venue and get it set up. The only place that could handle that many people (~10,000) in that short a time was Vegas. There is no place in the world, not even Vancouver that just hosted the Winter Olympics four years ago, that can be ready to host a Winter Olympics in 184 days. No where. The choices are Sochi or no Olympics at all. It's that simple.

And finally it has been suggested that Russia be banned from Olympic competition as have been South Africa, Rhodesia, Afghanistan and India (though India's was very short and was the result of contested NOC elections and not national civil rights violations).

Of the options, I like this one the most, but don't see it as feasible for this Olympics, not because you can't ban the host country, but because you can't put a ban in place this shortly before an Olympic Games. However, I would say if things don't change, and certainly if any athlete, coach, official, journalist, spectator, and, most importantly, Russian citizen is in the merest way inconvenienced in the name of enforcing this anti-gay law during the Olympic fortnight, then the hammer of a ban should come down hard and heavy and keep Russia out of Rio in 2016.

Ultimately, my preference for this Olympic games is that everyone go. Everyone compete. And everyone be just as gay as it is possible to be without violating evenly enforced public indecency laws. Open the Pride House. Wear and wave whatever rainbow gear you've got. Make it a gay old time on the Black Sea.

I don't shop there

Checking balances on Mint, found I'd spent $1,500 on clothing at International Male. No, no I didn't. I did just pay the International Association of Facilitators $1,500 for certification fees. Mint needs to work on getting longer names before they go into the guessing algorithm.

Talking to hear myself speak

I posted this as a comment on an FB link to an article about Rush Limbaugh losing his largest network. I was just so enamored of it I wanted it here for posterity.

The problem is there's plenty of windbags to take his place. He's become so compromised a voice of the right and at the same time the base and its squawking dogs have moved to the right of him that it isn't that the liberal left that finally did him in, rather he was consumed by the cannibals on his own side and will be replaced with someone, from our point of view, worse. This in no way lessens my delight in his demise.

Boycott vs Buycott

The religious right has has had a lot more success lately with buycotts than they have with boycotts. Just look at JC Penny and Chic-fil-a for example. So now there are two more issues on the horizon that look like buycott opportunities: Enders Game and Russia.

I'm much more excited about the prospect of the former. Can you imagine the mind expanding effects on a whole generation of home schooled Steppford wives and husbands of being exposed to decent sci-fi? (And, yes, I'm assuming it'll be decent; we can only hope).

The latter has the possibility of being even funnier. Russian vodka is verboten in gay bars these days. I'm hoping to see the next Southern Baptist Convention stocked to the rafters with Stoli.

Mom's in the hospital

Mom's been experiencing arm and hand pain for a few weeks. Today it got bad enough she decided to go to the ER. She's now having an MRI and has been admitted. I'm heading out to Colorado for her brother's memorial service tomorrow. If anyone would like to visit her while I'm out of town (should be back Monday night at the latest) contact me for the room number.

Conversations out of context

Dad: I've seen Morsi's name spelled three different ways.

Me: Welcome to transliteration. How do you spell "chutzpah"?

Dad: Phonetically

Me: C-H-E-N-E-Y

In other news...

I've mentioned it before, but once again we've been informed that my mother's brother has "days to live." He's been dying for the past twenty years, so I can't be sure they mean it this time, but regardless my mother is affected by this and slipping into a bit of a depression.

We're also in a bit of a dry spell business wise (so if anyone needs a meeting facilitated, let me know).

And she doesn't like the prosecutor in the George Zimmerman trial.

Yes, that's upsetting her.

I suggested that she stop watching the coverage, as that's the one thing she has any control over.

Yeah, that fell on deaf ears... well, ear at least.

This Is the End

Went to see This Is the End tonight.

It has everything you'd want from a movie of that sort, including Checkov's dildo. In fact, it has quite an obsession with phallic imagery.

It's crude, absurd and great fun.

And it has the most unnecessary credit roll in the history of cinema.

How can you not enjoy watching a handsy coke fiend version of Michael Cerra getting impaled by a street light?

The core actors, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride aren't playing themselves. They're playing the character they always play. While supporting actors like Cerra, Emma Watson and Channing Tatum are playing pretty much against type.

Then there's the brief cameos of the likes of Mindy Kaling, Jason Segel and David Krumholtz who do appear to be pretty much themselves (other than Kaling's desire to bang Cerra, but who knows).

While this is most certainly a movie in the Apatow school of movie making, but I think it owes almost as much to the Pegg/Wright movies as well.


A sudden need to be ALONE just hit me like a ton of bricks. This is a "I hate everyone with a purple passion" kind of moment. Not sure what brought it on, but I'm feeling cornered and exceedingly anti social.

If you need me, I'll be in my bunk... and not in a fun way.

Jun. 25th, 2013

Revisiting a comment I made in a previous post, I think there is a very narrow window available to a hockey player who wants to come out at this point. The draft is June 30 and free agency starts July 5. Today is the Blackhawks' day. If a player decided it was time, I'd expect the announcement to come Thursday or Friday, giving the weekend to separate the announcement from the draft (which isn't quite as high profile as the NFL or NBA drafts because the players in it are much farther from playing on the team that drafts them). I don't think anyone would do it between the draft and free agency, though a player who already has a long term contract, or even a contract through the next season, might not really care. Training camps don't start until September 12 at the earliest, so maybe there's a window between the beginning for the free agency period and training camp which wouldn't be too disruptive.

But on the whole, I'm sticking with we'll see someone come out during the early rounds of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, just like Jason Collins came out during the first round of the NBA playoffs this year.



So there's an adorable response to the backlash over the interracial Cherrios ad

In case you missed the original

Conversations out of context

Dad: [telling a story about a landowner dealing with trespassers taking pictures where they shouldn't, parking in an emergency access area and damaging the property]

Me: There's several solutions to that. One they can set up parking and charge entry.

Dad: They didn't think of that. They're not Jews.

Another day older and deeper in debt

My objection to this article is in the title "12 Characters From Our Childhood That Were Totally A Little Queer".

Who's childhood?

I'm used to cultural touchstones matching up with my life. It's a little jarring to realize I'm now the "older generation."

But, yeah, they're all completely gay.

It's a good news, bad news kind of thing

Having had my phone tapped by EDS, I'm pretty ok with the NSA doing it.

On the other hand, EDS didn't have access to my porn browsing history.

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