Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Winter Break

November 18, 2010

I have not felt the desire to write anything in quite a while. Lately I’ve been feeling really sick of all the talking, talking, talking about things that does nothing and effects nothing. I’d rather put my energy into doing something to change things right now, not just talking about things. Also: I have finals and term papers to turn in. So, Pokemontaco is going on hiatus at least until the semester is over. I’ll still respond to comments but I’m not going to write anything new.

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Cis by Default: Misgendering the “cis gendered”

September 1, 2010

“cisgendered – Someone who associates and is comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth.”

We’ll go with that definition for now, because many of the other definitions are even more troublesomely worded.
The term cis is not known popularly known. But even among people that do know of the concept, it is sometimes rejected or considered baloney, by people that are apparently cis gendered.

The problem with assuming that the cis-rejecting are cis is that they may not be, well, cis gendered at all. Many have the belief that your genitals define your gender. A vagina makes you a woman. A penis makes you a man. And if you hold that belief, how can you then believe that you are something other than what your genitals are telling people you are?

You can’t. They’re completely contradictory beliefs. Where does the vehement anger and rejection of the label “cis” come from then? I think in many cases it comes from the “happy and comfortable with the gender assigned at birth” part of the cis definition. Because from seeing what some of the cis-rejecting say, they are not happy in their bodies and assigned gender, and they resent being told they are. One said, I think, that “I feel like a female only when other people force me to feel that way, when they remind me that I am a female”.

Another time I ran into an androgyne in a chat and we began discussing things like pronoun use and feminine physical appearances, which led to her casually saying she’d like to get rid of her breasts. A girl in the chat, who’d been kind of weirded out by the whole discussion (but who did not, for her credit, say there was anything wrong with what we were saying) said that while everyone feels that way, we should really not be talking about it in a public chat, etc.

I don’t know. Do most cis women feel that way about their breasts? I’ve never gotten the impression that most women view them as a painful inconvenience with no appreciable characteristics, or that they’d rather be rid of them.

Myself, when I first learned of the word “cis”, I instantly applied it to myself, when perhaps I should not have. I have never been suicidal because of my body, I never went through life suffering a feeling of extreme wrongness. I carried the assumption that most trans people suffered severe dysmorphia, and since I did not, there was no way I was trans. Something as simple as feeling like an intruder in many female only spaces, or getting a sudden stab of wrongness when one has to select “Miss, Mrs, or Mr” for address, feeling that a flat chest would fit so much better… are just things a lot of girls deal with, right?

Then there are also people that go on under the assumption that people must desire surgery or hormones if they are trans. And since they don’t want to do those things, they are cis or fine with their bodies.

Okay, I’m not sure entirely what I’m trying to say here. Just that the rates of trans gendered people are going up, if I remember correctly, and likely some of that is a result of increased awareness. Perhaps my point is just that there are many people that are not comfortable or happy with their assigned gender, but their dysmorphia and discomfort are not so severe as to make them seek the identity of trans and reject their assigned gender.

Is “cis” really the right word for those people?

Disclaimer: I’m fairly new to the concept of gender identity and things like, and am likely extremely ignorant and stating the obvious or oft-rejected. Have tried not to hurt anyone or speak for other people, just get some thoughts out of my head that have been floating around.

Bookclubs: Beware

August 23, 2010

You, humble reader, may not know that I am, in fact, a giant bookworm. A bibliophile of sorts. I attract books. Somehow I seem to get at least 4 or 5 new ones a month, whether because of school requirements or a deal too great to pass up. (Like that time I got 5 boxes of books for just $2 *O* best day of my life, I swear)

So it should come as no surprise that I am a member of 3 bookclubs at the moment. I have also been made aware, through this experience, that some bookclubs are, in fact, a bunch of dirty lying bastards.

Doubleday Bookclub is the worst of the lot. They are the ones I am now struggling to meet my commitment to. Struggling? Why? Don’t I just have to buy 4 books, after all? Well first of all, they must cost $9.98 after discounts. Okay. I load up 4 books in my little cart that cost $12, $10, $14, etc. Then I go to check out.

Oops! that book that was $10.99 is now… $9.45! Oh… Doubleday has a deal where you buy two books at normal membership price, and the rest are half off. Wow, half of?! I could get behind that. Except… Each book has a “publisher’s price” and a “member’s price”. The half off… is half off of the publisher’s price, which is around $18 for my $10.99 book… making it $9.45, and saving me around a dollar… But! disqualifying it for counting towards my commitment, which means I have to buy another $10 book… except I’ll actually have to buy a $20 book for half of it to be considered $10. Except that means it’s now the most expensive book, and my $14 book? Now $7, and not counting towards my commitment. Wow, Doubleday. Way to save me money.

And that’s not the trickiest tumble you’ll have with Doubleday. They also have something called “Book Search Plus” and the books that you buy that come up on Book Search Plus won’t count toward your membership commitment either. But, even worse, it’s very difficult to even discover that information: That Book Search Plus books don’t count, AND even that some books *are* Book Search Plus books. If you search for a particular title it usually won’t tell you. Several books I picked out I didn’t discover were BSP until I was checking out (as it lists it with a BSP price).

The last tasty morsel of shit from Doubleday? They don’t send you the book catalogs. They say they will when you sign up, and the other 2 book clubs I’m a member of have sent catalogs, but Doubleday never has, and I’ve been a member for almost a year now.

They do nothing to make finding books that qualify easy; and it’s quite difficult, especially since most books on their site seem to be BSP. Oh, and if you’re wondering how I’m getting around their wonderful little half off deal? I’m making 3 orders. Each time I will order 2 books… and of course, have to pay shipping on 3 different orders. 3 orders because of the 2 qualifying books I ordered for the 1st order, *they* canceled one of my books. Bunch of assholes.

Now, as to the two other bookclubs… The other one, that I find most satisfactory and have bought from the most, is the Science Fiction Book Club. They’ve sent catalogs every moth, and I easily find a large selection of fair-priced books. They have not made finding books difficult or tricky… I easily fulfilled my membership requirement with no effort, I just bought books when I wanted them. Hey Doubleday Bookclub, maybe you could learn a lesson here. You trick people into buying a bunch of books that won’t qualify, yes, that makes them buy a bunch of books, but they quit as soon as possible. I will be quitting you as soon as I fulfill my duties, and will have bought 5 books from you. I have already bought more than that from the Sci-fi club, AND I plan on sticking with them and ordering more books for the rest of my life! Plus I’ve never had to write a blog post about the Science Fiction Book Club to warn people about assholery. Love ya, sci-fi club ❤ One thing to watch for is what account type you sign up for… My sister accidentally chose to get their 2 top selections each month automatically… which we did not want. A quick call to some very decent customer service people and it was quickly and easily sorted out and switched to the other type of account. The 2 books we received were easily sent back and the money refunded.

That 3rd book club I’m a member of? The History Book Club. To fulfill their membership requirements, you must buy just one book at $13.98. Shouldn’t be too hard, though I haven’t done it yet. They also have the dreaded Book Search Plus bullshit, so be wary of that should you choose to join. So far, I have also received a catalog from them every month since I joined.

Doubleday Book Club: steer clear of, unless you’re willing to deal with a lot of bullshit and stress.
Science Fiction Book Club: Definitely a good deal if you like to buy new Sci-fi/fantasy titles when they come out.
History Book Club: Better than Doubleday. Have not yet tried to fulfill my membership commitments, so no definite judgment yet.

Civility: now that’d be a miracle

April 25, 2010

Lately, the ICP song “Miracles” has been getting a lot of attention. On most sites, it’s just produced a bit of giggling and some serious talk about anti-science.

If you want to know the exact lyrics of their new song you can easily google them or watch the video on Youtube. It expresses a certain wonderment over nature and the universe, and a distrust of traditionally accepted scientific facts. So I was highly amused when someone actually went and explained how these “wonders” of the universe worked. Skepchick did it here. Now, I found her script between the two members of ICP to be one of the funnier things I’d read that day, and as a juggalette, did not find it offensive in the least. I then did something extremely stupid: I read the comment section on the post.
I then learned that:

“Every juggalo is an amazingly stupid and pathetic human being”
“Most ICP fans are fucking morons”
And the truly hilaristurbing “I knew an ICP fan that sucked, so all ICP’s fans suck!” <— rough re-phrasing of a million comments

See, I thought in a blog on "skepticism" which usually has something to do with logic and reason, people might realize that one person does not a group make. Met an asshole Chinese person? All Chinese people must be assholes! That is exactly the kind of fail logic that I thought we had dismissed by at least high school.

And much more of the same. Then came the defense that the first statement up there was a joke.
Frankly, if something's not funny, the joke defense doesn't apply so well. Then some more idiotic comments to prove "ohhhhh we'z all about the lulz n just joking here". Well, it's just double-fail for them if it actually was intended to be amusing, because it failed rather spectacularly.

It's the same tired old crap: you listen to this music, so you must be stupid/shallow/white/black/a weaboo/suicidal/crazy/emo/queer/a redneck/whatever. It feels really, really fucking redundant to say this, because I thought most people that possessed at least 2 brain cells had gotten this through their head:

People enjoy different kinds of music. While possibly music may spread harmful messages, does that mean it's cool to make all kinds of generalizations and stereotypes about people because they like a certain type of music? Is it a good thing to make people feel bad because they like music and enjoy it?

Frankly, a lot of ICP songs make me laugh, which is why I love them. I, like many people apparently, enjoy laughing and being entertained. If that makes me a stupid, pathetic moron to some people, well, I'd rather not see their idea of smart :]

April 20, 2010

House OKs Access Missouri changes

The Access Missouri grant is awarded to Missouri college students with financial needs.

The changes that have occurred have lowered the maximum grant money received by students at private colleges and universities from a generous $4,600 to a trimmer $3000.

The state politicians have given themselves a pat on the back for spreading equality, despite the fact that private college students receive the most money because private college tends to be, y’know, a bit more expensive. State/public colleges get more money than community colleges for the exact same reason. Or they used to.

It should be noted that now students at state and community colleges will receive a higher maximum payment now, for which I am glad. Did it have to be bought at the expense of private university students? I would have liked to seen them all raised to the highest, not chopped up and then averaged out :/

But none of that bothers me. This state is undergoing a budget crisis, and so raising the grant money for everyone is not really feasible. Averaging is probably the fairest option.

No, the thing that has me pissed off is that our dear Governor Jay Nixon actually considered cutting all Access Missouri funding for students at private colleges. W.T.F?!?

I will confess to something shameful; I actually supported this man in the ’08 elections. Besides this fun bit about hanging private students out to dry, he’s also cut funding for expanding broadband internet into rural Missouri. That’s politics for ya though. It’s always ready and willing to teach a young person an extremely important lesson: never have too much faith in anyone. Nixon is a better governor than Blunt was, but c’mon, that’s not a hard category to get into.

April 19, 2010

Women to blame for earthquakes, as well as all that other bad stuff in the world apparently 😛
Just the usual bonehead religious fanatic statement, but, although all the blame is squarely on females, their only part in actually causing the earthquakes is apparently dressing sexy and tempting men, who are the only ones actually behind the earthquakes?

Whatevs. If it wasn’t so incredibly lulzy a claim I wouldn’t have even paid it any mind. I swear to god most of those clerics have to just sit around and think up this shit, laughing their asses off and seeing who can come up with the most ridiculous crap to tell the public.

On renaming

April 17, 2010

You know the most disgusting thing about some liberals? How much they rename things. Like calling pro-life people “anti-choice”. Why? What is the point of that? Even if you think that it is more accurate, guess what? It’s not your place. I mean think about it. Do you respect pro-lifers more when they insist on calling you “pro-murder” instead of “pro-choice”? This insistence on renaming like it means something is just childish and petty, and ultimately added to my complete disgust and break from most liberal ideology.

Another one is calling Tea Partiers “Tea-baggers” and giggling about the middle school slang implications of it. wow, that’s reaaaaaaaaal original /rolls eyes. I, however, find it an excellent renaming choice on the part of liberals. I’d teabag any Demorat that gave me 1/4 of a reason and half an opportunity. Oh look, I renamed the enemy! *pats self on back* look how smart I am! lmao ❤

And yes, renaming is done by conservatives as well. I’m sure everyone’s heard “demorat” and “libtard” and the rest. Is that any less cringe-inducing, childish, and irritating? No. However, the right, conservative side of the political spectrum contains the people that think the Earth is 4,000 years old, and that Harry Potter is seducing our children into witchcraft and Satan-worship. Forgive me for having lesser expectations of them.

In other words, grow the fuck up everyone.