I linked to a few stories yesterday about the American Family Association and the Republican Party trying to distance themselves from only a small subset of the horrifically anti-gay, anti-jewish, anti-muslim, and misogynist things that Bryan Fischer says every week on his radio show produced and paid for by the AFA by removing him from one of his posts in the organization, specifically Official Spokesperson. But while Fox News is now disavowing Fischer, Equality Matters reminds us of all the times When Fox News Defended Bryan Fischer’s Anti-Gay Extremism.
I also mentioned yesterday several bills filed with the Oklahoma legislature to enshrine more anti-gay discrimination into law. It’s being widely reported that Sally Kern Withdraws Anti-Gay ‘License To Discriminate’ Bill. Unfortunately, she is withdrawing only one of the three anti-gay bills that she’d introduced. Plus, there are seven others from other law makers. So there’s still plenty of anti-gay bigotry on the agenda of the Oklahoma state legislature.
It’s been a while since I reported any of the demented ravings of the “Harlem Hate Pastor” James Manning (his is the church whose sign often has hateful messages) Patheos reports that: James David Manning thinks the next goal after LGBT equality is cannibalism. They include the full video from Manning’s own YouTube channel, if you can stomach listening to him. Oh, and his church is also Harlem Hate Church To Hold Manhattan March Against “Sodomite Cannibals”; that’s right, they’re going to organize a protest march against the gay cannibals!
But wait! It get’s better! This morning Manning posted a new talk on his website and Youtube channel in which he insists that pop idol Justin Bieber is a transgender man who “threw his life away and at 20 years old can’t grow his breasts back.” The rest of his new blast against transgender people is a lot of the usual crazy, so…The sports press keeps throwing tantrums that Marshawn Lynch doesn’t like doing press conferences. And the league fines Marshawn and tells him he has to talk to them. So he gives one word answers or just keeps repeating the line, “I’m only here so I don’t get fined.” This is all stupid, because the sorts of questions the reporters ask are never illuminating, the answers the athletes give are almost never illuminating (and it isn’t because the athletes are stupid–there are only so many ways you can say “We performed better today than they did” or “They performed better today than we did”, right?). Anyway, Marshawn gave more than one word answers yesterday: Marshawn Lynch finally speaks, rips media in Super Bowl press conference. This only thing just makes me crazy. His job is to play football, and he does that pretty damn well. *sigh*
Finally, how about some great news? Evangelical Megachurch in Tennessee, Gracepointe, comes out in favor of Marriage Equality. They started a “listening process” with the LGBT community three years ago, and the result was a decision of love and acceptance. Hit the link to read some more and listen to the sermon the pastor gave announcing the change.
The other night while I was walking home from work (which takes a bit over an hour) I had this brilliant idea. For a while last year I participated in Throwback Thursday (#tbt or #Throwback) by writing a blog post inspired by one of the large collection of scans of the contents of Grandma’s old photo albums. It was fun. It was an easy way to make me write about something other than politics or the news.
But it isn’t something I really wanted to do constantly. Particularly since I was trying to avoid posting pictures of living relatives without their permission—or at least to minimize it. So that limited which pictures could be used. There’s also only so many childhood memories that I can make at least potentially interesting to other people.
So I took a break, figuring I would do it occasionally, or maybe pick a month next time, or something. Anyway, there I was, walking home in the drizzle, listening to music on my headphones, cars zooming by in the dark, and I had an idea of something else that I could do on Thursdays; make it the usual Thursday thing. It was a topic that could include Throwback Thursday. So I would have the benefits I get from having a weekly scheduled task, that could sometimes be a Throwback Thursday post, but most of the time would be something else. And that something else would, I hoped, be of slightly more interest than just another walk down memory lane with Gene.
It was brilliant! I even thought of a cute name that had the same initials as the short hashtag (tbt). I resolved to start my first post as soon as as I got home.
When I walked in the door, my glasses fogged up. I heard my husband call to me from upstairs, but I couldn’t understand what he said because I still had my headphones on. I had to turn off my headphones, take off (get myself untangled from) my backpack, peel off my wet hat and coat, hang up the coat and the hat, get out of my shoes, get the rest of my damp work clothes peeled off and tossed into the hamper, then pull them back out to check the pockets which I always forget, figure out where I set my glasses down when I came in the door, put on some sweatpants and fuzzy socks—all the while as Michale and I babble at each other about dinner and/or our days or something else that one of us thinks is important—check the mail, collect my phone and iPad and watch and headphones to put on their chargers…
And finally I sat down and woke up my laptop. I jumped to WordPress right away to start the first post in the new Thursday idea…
…and I couldn’t remember what the nifty notion was. I don’t just mean that I didn’t remember what I meant to start writing for today’s post, I mean that I couldn’t remember the umbrella topic/personal meme that was going to be my new regular Thursday thing. The thing that had the initials T B T and could include Throwback Thursdays as a subset.
I remember having the thought. I remembered the entire internal conversation about how I’d do it. But the idea itself? Gone.
And it’s still gone, days later. I haven’t got the slightest idea what it was. None.
I hate when that happens!
When we experience a story we enjoy—whether it’s a novel, movie, episode in a television series, comic book, whatever—it’s natural to want to feel that enjoyment again. This need can often be satisfied by re-reading or re-watching, but sometimes that isn’t enough. Maybe there was a supporting character that we become particularly enamored with and we just wish more of the story had focused on them. Or perhaps it was a subplot that really intrigued us and we’d like to see more of that particular dynamic. Or it could be a single line of dialog that alluded to a past event that sounds very interesting and we’d like to know more about what happened. Or it could just be that we want to know what happened next. None of those desires can be satisfied merely by repeating the original story.
In any case, we wind up clamoring, “More! More! Give me more!”
When you’re the storyteller, this is a very flattering thing to hear. The audience liked your story! They love your characters! They want more…. Read More…
The original source of the tweet (which my friend had re-tweeted) was an account named @_FloridaMan. A quick check of the account revealed it was a long string of headlines and links to text or video news stories happening in Florida. And not just any news stories, but specifically stories of men doing things such as trying to shoot an iguana and nearly hitting people in a nearby house instead, or calling the police to complain that he thinks his drug dealer is cheating him, or trying to steal ridiculous amounts of food by stuffing them down his pants and thinking no one will notice, and so forth. Most of the tales involved the police eventually.They are funny and often extremely sad at the same time. And the stories cover such a wide spectrum of activities, you never know what’s going to pop up next. I got a kick out of reading several of the stories, and considered following @_FloridaMan right away. The problem is that I could see how that constant stream of ridiculous and thoughtless and often fatally stupid things that people do could encourage my inner cynic to the point of making me an unpleasant person. A couple of different friends occasionally retweeted cute pictures of cats with humorous descriptions of said pictures. Yes, they’re cute cat pictures. Yes, I am aware of the widely-held belief that only shallow people share cute cat pictures on the internet. But they made me smile. Sometimes they made me roll my eyes, but most often they made me smile. One day, by chance, shortly after I had been reading a heart wrenching story about a man murdering his own teenage daughter because she was lesbian, I flipped over to twitter to try to get my mind off the story, and one of my friends had re-tweeted something unbelievably adorable from EmergencyKittens again, and I no longer felt like my head was going to burst from the combination of rage at the father and sorrow for the girl and everyone who cared for her.
I checked the entire Emergency Kitten feed again, and yes, it repeats itself a bit more often than I’d like, and yes many of the humorous comments are rather obvious. If it was the only thing coming into my feed, it would become annoying after a while. Of course, it wouldn’t be the only thing happening in my feed, as I follow a bunch of people, but still…
And that’s when I had the idea. I followed both @_FloridaMan and @EmergencyKittens on the same day. Both of them give me laughs, but they aren’t the some kind of humor. Both make me roll my eyes or groan. But while one often reinforces my inner cynic, the other just as often reinforces my inner optimist.
Both of them, in different ways, act as antidotes to the outrage that can so easily by instilled reading more serious news stories and otherwise paying attention to what’s happening in the world. So, having both feeds randomly put funny, silly, bewildering moments into my day go a long way toward keeping me sane.
Maybe it wasn’t as funny as I thought?
But then I reminded myself that it’s just a silly story on Tumblr, and scores of people have shared it before me, and maybe I was just over thinking it. Right?
Right… Read More…
I wasn’t going to comment on the story about the kid who is admitting now that he lied several years ago when he woke up from a coma and told an extremely elaborate and detailed story of going to heaven and playing with angels. I was a little disturbed to learn that there is an entire genre of such books about people who claim to have gone to heaven while unconscious (and related materials) being sold in “Christian” bookstores (the Washington Post calls the genre “heaven tourism”). Now that I think about it, I know exactly how that kind of snake oil would be gobbled up by a lot of people, and I shouldn’t be surprised that some people are willing to sell anything, as long as they make a profit.
Then an acquaintance posted one of the articles on Facebook, and another person commented that they were appalled that the publishers and the kid’s father have been exploiting this transparently false story for years, which prompted another person to become very outraged. “Are you going to tell some poor sick six-year-old who’s just awakened from a coma, ‘Proof, or shut the frak up?'” Read More…
A few weeks back my husband came into the room while I was in the middle of an episode, and after watching less than a minute, he asked if it was a Warehouse 13 knock-off. I had to point out that the series was a continuation of a set of movies which pre-dated Warehouse 13 by several years. The first movie, The Librarian: Quest for the Spear was broadcast in 2004, five years before Warehouse 13 (the entire trilogy of Librarian movies were made and released before the first episode of Warehouse 13). Both the Librarian and Warehouse stories owed a big debt to Raiders of the Lost Ark and the other Indiana Jones properties, of course… Read More…