[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]
Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!
Flula, a young, thin, white man speaking in German-accented English directly to the camera while lying in bed: [heaving sigh] I was just at a party. They were playing this game, and it is the most terrible gross of games I have seen in my life: Beer Pong.OMG LOL FOREVER.
It is like ping pong, but with no ping—with no nets, with no paddles. Paddlies. No. It is with beer, and with these balls—and bacteria. [makes face and disgusted noise]
People have the ball, and they like, they throw—they throw to hit a cup. Cups with beers inside. Yeah, they cannot do this; they are—everyone is a drunker here. They have no aims, no aims! They throw the ball—where's ball go? Not to cup! Ball is bounce, bounce, bounce—and then under the couches! With the dusties—dust and the, the spider corpses. And like old, old cornflakes! Yeah. The ball touch all of this!
And then they go reach— [mimics grabbing ball] "Oh, ahh, oh, we try again ha ha ha!" [mimics a lackluster throw] Mmwuuuuh. Bounce, bounce, bounce into the kitchens! With the cranberry juices on the floors—sticksy sticksy. And then the dog come— "Oh, look, rrow rrow, doggy. Rrow ball." [mimes licking ball] Lick, lick, lick. Bring back. Now the same ball—same ball! Nobody cleans the ball! Nobody clean it. Nobody's washing balls.
And then man take ball— "Oh, I try one more." [mimics a lackluster throw] Mmwuuuuh. [mimics throws] Lady. A man. Mmwuuuuh. Mmwuuuuh. Have you seen the hands of the people that are throwers? [makes face] Bleh. They go to eat chip. [mimics eating chips] Lick finger. Salsa. Lick finger. Oh, perhaps some chili! Lick finger, lick finger! Shake hands with other dirty person. [mimics grabbing ball] TOUCH BALL.
Oh, and then [mimics picking nose] in the nose. In the pants—let us make discover of adjusting in the pants! Ehhh wehhh. Lick finger, lick finger! TOUCH BALL. [makes a disgusted face] Everybody do it.
And then final, like forty-five minute later, one person—ball go bwooow bloop bloop. "It's in the beeeeer! Oh, so great! Now you must drink the beer with ball inside! It's beer pong! It's a fun game! Ha ha ha ha ha!" [makes face; long pause] What?
No, I will not drink this. This is not beer; this is—this is a liquid that has now touched the most dirty balls of all the universum. It is not beer; it is like DEATH JUICE. You drink it! I do not want it! I shall sit on the couches now at the party, watch the Seinfeld television, as everyone here make contraction of hepatitis because of dirty balls. [makes face] No. I will not play your game.
It's not beer pong. It's plague pong!
[makes face; turns off camera]
A blue Humphead Maori Wrasse throws some side-eye at scuba diver Henric Carlstrom in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. "Uhhh, this guy's a real human out of air."
[Caters News photo via. Here is some information on how to do environmentally conscious scuba diving, if you're interested.]
[Content Note: Fat Hatred, Diet Talk, Doctor Indifference, Thoughts of Self-Harm]
[Much credit to Melissa McEwan for her excellent Seven Scenes, for a Reason and the format which inspired this post.]
Ana's Note: This spans a couple of years of events in my life, just to be clear.
Scene 1: Sitting my doctor's office, the doctor my parents had been bringing me to since childhood. I'm telling him that I don't feel well, that I'm frequently tired to the point where I can't do my job at work. I'm also nearly constantly cold, even in the warm Texas summer. I've been this way for months, and I think maybe there's something wrong with me. I've started having heart palpitations at night, and am wondering if I need an EKG.
He tells me that I need to lose weight and all this stuff will clear up. I tell him I'm already on a very restrictive diet. I show him my phone app, where I record all my food intake. Once I hit a set caloric intake per day, I don't eat any more for the day. But I don't fast, I assure him. I've gotten very good at stringing out my intake the way I'm supposed to. He doesn't notice that I started the diet a not-very-long time before my symptoms started. I don't notice it either. Diets don't make you sick, I think. Diets make you healthy. He doesn't notice that despite the fact that I'm doing everything right, everything I'm supposed to, I haven't lost more than two pounds in over six months. He doesn't tell me that those two pounds could (and probably are) normal weight fluctuations, even possibly dehydration in a particularly hot summer.
Q: Could this dog be any cuter? A: No.
As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.
This blogaround brought to you by winter flowers.
Imani: [Content Note: Racism; whitewashing] Paying Tribute to Nelson Mandela
David: Why Do They Hate Obamacare So Much? This Might Have Something to Do with It...
Sheila: [CN: Class warfare; food insecurity] Cutting Food Stamps Is Just Bad Policy
Jess: [CN: Clothes policing; misogyny; slut-shaming] How Accepting Leggings as Pants Made Me a Better Feminist
BYP: [CN: Racism; police harassment] Black Police Officer Racially Profiled, Falsely Arrested by White Cops While Off Duty
Andy: [CN: Homophobia] Judge Hears Challenge to Utah's Gay Marriage Ban; Will Rule Early Next Year
Sean: The Spark in the Park
Nick: Ballet Cat
Leave your links and recommendations in comments...
Vixen: "Edge of a Broken Heart"
This week's TMNS brought to you by Power Ladies of the '80s.
[Content Note: Spoilers and violence will be discussed in the comment thread.]
I'm not even going to attempt a recap of this episode, because I DON'T WANT TO RELIVE IT! OMG THIS EPISODE. So here is my executive summary: WHUT. No. Noooooooooo! HUCK WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! AHHHHHHHHH. FUCK ALL OF THIS. No. Nope. No. Absolutely not. Jake, please immediately remove everyone to a shimmering golden forest full of unicorns where everyone will be safe. CYRUS YOU ARE A DIRTBAG! Nooooooooooo. No. No. HELL NO. OMG. I can't even watch this. Holy shit. Fuck. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. FUCK! Fuckity-fuck. WHUT.
Here is some stuff in the news today!
It's been one year since same-sex marriage became legal in Washington state, and now 1 out of 6 new marriages are between same-sex couples. In other news, society has not crumbled!
[Content Note: Racism; appropriation] Rick Santorum is the worst, so naturally he appeared on The O'Reilly Factor last night to "memorialize the passing of South African leader and global visionary Nelson Mandela by equating Obamacare with apartheid." Because of course he did.
[CN: Rape culture] Jameis Winston, the leading candidate to win the Heisman Trophy, will not be charged with sexual assault after rape allegations one year ago. Tallahassee state prosecutor Willie Meggs stressed that the decision was not driven "by any Heisman demands or football schedule," in case you were wondering whether Winston being cleared days before Heisman ballots are due was kinda fishy. Nope—just a big coincidence!
[CN: Racism; class warfare] The Federal Housing Finance Agency has threatened to take legal action against and/or deny credit to communities that try to use eminent domain to modify mortgages for underwater homeowners whose communities aren't experiencing the housing recovery beginning in other places. And, "because communities of color were especially targeted for predatory loans during the subprime boom," the FHFA is siding with the very predatory lenders who exploited these communities in the first place.
President Obama says he thinks both Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be "outstanding" presidents. Such a shocker! Why the hell would the media even ask the least confrontational president in US history to publicly pick sides? LOL. Never gonna happen. What a waste of air.
[CN: Eating; class warfare] The cost of eating fresh, unprocessed foods is about $2,000 more annually for an average family in a wealthy nation. Remember that next time some sanctimonious shit is going on about how healthful eating isn't a privilege and anyone can do it blah blah fart.
Photographer Shannon Johnstone saves the lives of unwanted dogs with her camera. Blub.
[Content Note: Fat Hatred]
So I got this email from Amazon Local this week:
It's a "deal" notice for four different 1-week stays at "The Biggest Loser Resort" in Malibu, Niagara, Utah, and Chicago. All four stays are available for approximately $1,800 dollars, and the advertisement claims that this is a 40% savings from the usual price. And just to make things very clear to everyone, two of the locations are further named Fitness Ridge (Malibu) and Fitness Way (Utah).
There are times, like when I was writing this post earlier in the year, when I wonder why The Biggest Loser even exists. Are there really that many people who want to watch the terrible, truly terrible*, treatment of fat people on this show? And the existence of these "resorts" seems to indicate that there are not only people willing to watch this show, but that there are people willing to pay extremely good money to go to a place where they hope to be treated similarly -- or, more chillingly to me, where they hope the fat spouse / relative / friend they've brought with them to the resort will be treated similarly.
This is what breaks my heart about fat hatred in our society: that spending huge sums of money in the hopes of escaping the widespread prejudice against fat people is a thing that exists, and is a thing that is popular. And I understand why it is popular. If I could write the universe a check for $1,800 to avoid fat-shaming for the rest of my life and to receive better, non-fat-shaming healthcare, I would consider that a good deal. That makes me so sad, when I weigh the prejudice I experience as a fat person against a dollar amount I would spend for a Get Out Of Prejudice Free card.
And it makes me sad that vultures like The Biggest Loser (and really, I feel, the bulk of the for-profit diet industry) are happy to peddle that impossible dream to people desperate for some peace and quiet and decent health care.
* I noted this in my previous Biggest Loser post, but for people who have joined us since then, the show has a harmful history of deeply unhealthy behavior, such as encouraging contestants to become dangerously dehydrated in order to lose weight.
[Content Note: Fat hatred; harassment.]
"I shouldn't have to prove my worth. We are all valid creatures. All of us."—Kath Read, aka Fat Heffalump, whose work will be familiar to anyone who regularly reads the blogarounds, because I love her so much, quoted in a powerful article about the personal cost of being a visible fat female blogger with the radical opinion that she is a valuable human being.
Kath has some follow-up thoughts on the article here.
Talking about one's harassment as a result of being fat and female and visible is, I cannot emphasize this enough, profoundly brave. Not only do you get the expected blowback from the usual fat-hating bozos, but you get blowback from people purporting to be allies who tell you that talking about harassment makes you look weak, or accuse you of "complaining," or engage in victim-blaming with concern-trolly admonishments to be less visible or less abrasive or less you in some way.
I am not just grateful to Kath for publicly talking about this; I stand in fierce solidarity with her.
[Content Note: Christian Supremacy; anti-choicery; homophobia; class warfare; eliminationism.]
The time of year when culture warrior Bill O'Reilly goes on epic fuckrants about the "war on Christmas." Here he is using his shitsquirt of a show to respond to The Daily Show's Jon Stewart having correctly noted there is no "war on Christmas."
It is not egregious, word of the day, to say "happy holidays." It is egregious to SUE!!! school districts and towns if they display the manger or sing Christmas carols. Are you getting this, Stewart? Are you hearing me?! You know what I think it is? Stewart just likes playing the Grinch.That would be totally fucking hilarious were it not for the fact that millions of people in the US hear that kind of shit and think, "Yeah, that sounds about right."
What is interesting this year is that Hanukkah will be over on Thursday, so there are no more holidays between then and Christmas Day.
[video clip of Jon Stewart saying: "Damn you, O'Reilly. We've have been checkmated! Without Hanukkah, we have no excuse to say "happy holidays." Plural. Because apparently you can't include anything past Christmas, like Kwanzaa, epiphany, and New Years."]
The epiphany, Stewart? The epiphany? Well here's an epiphany for you and your 18 writers. You guys are now on double secret predation. One more time, buster, one more time, and you are officially voided from Christmas, with apologies to Dean Wormer.
Now the serious side of all this—it is quite clear to anyone with a brain that there is a war between traditional Americans and secular progressives in this country. I wrote an entire book on this called Culture Warrior. I sent it to Stewart.
In order to remake the United States into a progressive nation, the committed left must diminish Judeo-Christian tradition, which stands in opposition to them. So they must get the religious influence out—out of the public arena. All the so-called progressive countries are secular. Just look at the map. But here in America we have maintained most of our Judeo-Christian traditions—but they are under attack.
Here's what the secular progressives want: Number one—cradle to grave entitlements; number two—income equality. That means that Americans would be guaranteed a certain lifestyle courtesy of other Americans who would pay for it. That's what President Obama's trying to accomplish.
Now, there's no overt religious tenet against the nanny state, so those things come under "render to Caesar." In a democracy, the folks should decide what kind of political system they want.
But, number three, number three—unfettered abortion? That's another matter. The far left wants absolutely no restrictions on destroying a fetus—none. As you may know, we actually had a doctor in Philadelphia killing babies after they were born. Thank God—and I mean that literally—the man's in prison. Christians generally oppose abortion, unless there is a catastrophic situation with the mother. The far left despises that point of view.
Number 4—gay marriage. And here the secular progressives have won. They have turned public opinion around, and gay marriage is now legal in many places. Once again, the Judeo-Christian philosophy opposes marriage unless it is between one man and one woman. And it took years for the secularists to hammer that point of view into the wall, but they succeeded.
And finally number 5—legalized narcotics. The Judeo-Christian view is intoxication is morally wrong, because you're altering your state of mind artificially. Basically you are abusing your body and mind, which are from God. Again the SP's despise that point of view.
So any public display of Christianity is not good for the progressive cause; therefore, the far left has succeeded in getting prayer out of the public school systems. And if you want to say a prayer before a public meeting, get ready for trouble. That's the big picture.
The struggle between traditional Americans who believe that Judeo-Christian philosophy strengthens the nation, and the secular progressives who believe that America is an unfair place that must be drastically changed, is ongoing.
And the tactics are brutal. If you oppose unfettered abortion, you are declaring a war on women. If you oppose gay marriage, you are homophobic. If you oppose legalization of drugs you are out-of-touch—an old young foggy. And if you oppose cradle-to-grave entitlements, you hate poor people.
So I hope Jon Stewart will reconsider the situation because, in his heart, he knows I'm right. Christmas is a huge symbol of the cultural struggle in this country, and has been for years. And what a great Christmas gift it would be for Jon Stewart to finally admit it.
Obviously I love everything about this, but I think my very favorite part is this amazing dichotomy: "There is a war between traditional Americans and secular progressives in this country." Traditional Americans and secular progressives. It's neat how we aren't even "Americans" in this construction. (And naturally religious progressives don't even exist.) See how that works? We're not part of our own country. We're interlopers. We're aliens. We're others. We don't belong. We are enemies of the state.
Merry fucking Christmas, Bill.
[Related Reading: Quote of the Day; We Love Dreidels, We Swears It!]
What is your favorite esoteric word you always wish you had more occasion to use?
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who has been ill for some time, has died at age 95. His New York Times obituary is here.
"Our nation has lost its greatest son," South African President Jacob Zuma said in a televised address on Thursday night, adding that Mr. Mandela had died at 8:50 p.m. local time. "His humility, his compassion and his humanity earned him our love."What has always struck me most profoundly about Nelson Mandela was his determination to live a meaningful and expansive life, despite the pervasive attempts to deny him any kind of life at all.
Mr. Zuma called Mr. Mandela's death "the moment of our greatest sorrow," and said that South Africa's thoughts were now with the former president's family. "They have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free," he said.
My condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and admirers.
The manta ray is a graceful swimmer, cruising the world's temperate and tropical waters by flapping its large pectoral fins. When the mood strikes, however, those fins are used as wings to help launch the ray up to seven feet (two meters) in the air.Beautiful.
Mantas have few predators—only large sharks—so it's not known why they perform such aerial acrobatics. Because they sometimes leap in groups, scientists suspect the behavior may be a form of courtship—or simply a lot of fun.
[Photograph by Ralph Lee Hopkins, National Geographic]
It's not like we didn't already know that these fights were coming (because they've been coming for decades, and because they are ongoing), but it's kind of terrific-horrible to see the strategy laid out so starkly:
Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers' compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.Destroying the government while flaunting the law and raising massive amounts of cash from reprehensible assholes. Sounds about right.
The strategy for the state-level organisations, which describe themselves as "free-market thinktanks", includes proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
The documents contain 40 funding proposals from 34 states, providing a blueprint for the conservative agenda in 2014.
...Details of the co-ordinated approach come amid growing federal scrutiny of the political activities of tax-exempt charities. Last week the Obama administration announced a new clampdown on those groups that violate tax rules by engaging in direct political campaigning.
Most of the "thinktanks" involved in the proposals gathered by the State Policy Network are constituted as 501(c)(3) charities that are exempt from tax by the Internal Revenue Service. Though the groups are not involved in election campaigns, they are subject to strict restrictions on the amount of lobbying they are allowed to perform. Several of the grant bids contained in the Guardian documents propose the launch of "media campaigns" aimed at changing state laws and policies, or refer to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings", in ways that arguably cross the line into lobbying.
The documents also cast light on the nexus of funding arrangements behind radical rightwing campaigns. The State Policy Network (SPN) has members in each of the 50 states and an annual warchest of $83m drawn from major corporate donors that include the energy tycoons the Koch brothers, the tobacco company Philip Morris, food giant Kraft and the multinational drugs company GlaxoSmithKline.
SPN gathered the grant proposals from the 34 states on 29 July. Ranging in size from requests of $25,000 to $65,000, the plans were submitted for funding to the Searle Freedom Trust, a private foundation that in 2011 donated almost $15m to largely rightwing causes.
I note once more: The inherent problem with the conservative ideology of unfettered individualism is that it is intractably hostile toward and fatally incompatible with a functional society.
[Content Note: Christian Supremacy; choice policing; war on agency.]
Richard W. Garnett, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, the latest organization to file suit over the federal mandate to provide healthcare coverage that includes birth control, has penned an op-ed for the LA Times entitled "The righteousness in Hobby Lobby's cause," and subtitled "Business people shouldn't be required to check their faith at the door."
Like millions of religious believers and groups, these challengers reject the idea that religious faith and religious freedom are simply about what we believe and how we pray, and not also about how we live, act and work. At the heart of these two cases is the straightforward argument that federal law does not require us to "check our faith at the door" when we pursue vocations in business and commerce.I don't doubt the sincerity of their beliefs. I do, however, question the integrity of the assertion that they are being "required to check their faith at the door." What they are being asked to do is to respect that not every one of their employees might share that faith. And what they are really objecting to is the fact that they're no longer allowed to ask their employees to check their faith at the door, as the cost of their employment.
There should be no question about the sincerity of the religious beliefs at issue.
No one is telling employers they have to use birth control. No one is coercing employers to pay for birth control, either. They are being asked to pay for insurance policies that, among other healthcare provisions, will cover contraception for employees who want it. That's it.
by Shaker Mod aforalpha
[Content Note: Misogyny; slavery; violence; dehumanization.]
Dear Martin Bashir,
I don't watch your show, but it has come to my attention that recently you set out to explain to Sarah Palin the horrors of slavery. To conclude your history lesson you suggested that she would be deserving of the degrading and violent treatment that a particular slave owner preferred.
I take it as read that Sarah Palin either does not understand or, more likely, care, what the true nature of slavery was and is. But if you think for even a second, it's okay to wish that kind of abuse, exploitation, and humiliation on anyone, even to make a rhetorical point, then YOU haven't understood.
Your comments trivialize the history of slavery, the present reality of the same, and the enduring consequences of the belief that some people have the right to own other people. And in exploiting the degradation and dehumanization that Darby and Hector were subject to in their lives in order to commit an act of symbolic violence against a woman whose political beliefs you disagree with, you stood up to be counted among those who believe that people are NOT all equal in dignity and deserving of respect.
The lesson to take from the Thistlewood diary, which you seem to have missed, is that we are all people and it is of the utmost urgency that we never forget that.
Sarah Palin is a person, Mr. Bashir.
P.S. Joy Reid should always have had your show.