Archive for the ‘People’ Category

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iApprove: “Judgment Day”.

June 13, 2009

Now lest you think I’m going to start yammering about some upcoming Armageddon or a fearmongering apocalyptic Christian film, let me clarify.

During the 1950’s, racism was still going strong.  Black people were considered, for reasons we now know to be completely bunk, to be inferior to white people; this was taken as an acceptable cultural and biological assumption.  Suggestions to the contrary were few, far between, and desperately needed.

Enter the comic industry, producing – among other comics with similar messages – Judgment Day.

The premise of the comic is as follows: On an alien planet ruled by robots, a human has just arrived.  His job is to tour the planet, check out its technology and social norms, and determine whether the robots’ society has advanced enough to join the United Federation of Planets Galactic Republic.

Initially, he is impressed – they have made great technological strides, and have very spiffy systems in place to allow new robots to be constructed and taught in a hurry.  They do appear to be ready.

But then the astronaut discovers something off: the robots are practicing segregation.  While the orange robots live in privilege in a clean and pleasant city, the blue robots are shuffled off, made to scrape out a meager living in a dingy, unpleasant area.

The astronaut is disenheartened by this discovery, and informs his orange-robot tour guide that until they abolish this practice, they will not be allowed to join the Galactic Republic.  He offers some advice to his guide on how he could begin to change things, then blasts away in his spaceship.

Safely in his ship, blasting back to Earth, the man finally removes his helmet.  It is revealed that he is black.

Almost as soon as it was written, the story began to make a stir.  The Comics Code Authority kicked things off, telling the writer that the hero could not be black – effectively proving that it needed to be published.  And published it was, in its original form, where it received a tremendously positive response from its readers.

“Congratulations to… the artist, and… the author, for the best story ever written by E.C.  We have never read a story in a comic with so much meaning and moral…”

“…The horribly accurate picture of the human race is drawn with bold, unmistakable strokes.”

“…Never have I seen the “race problem” handled so perfectly.”

You can read the comic – and the rave reviews, printed on a final page – at http://asylums.insanejournal.com/scans_daily/54803.html

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iApprove: Wear the Lilac.

May 24, 2009

It’s May 24, which means that tomorrow is Wear the Lilac Day. Formerly a fictional holiday to remember the fallen soldiers of the Revolution in the book series Discworld, the diagnosis of the series’ author with Alzheimer’s disease has lent a new meaning to the holiday.  May 25 is now Wear the Lilac: Alzheimer’s Awareness.

What’s it about?  For the most part, the purpose of Wear the Lilac is to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s.  Many people know that the disease exists, but too few people understand it and recognize it as a problem that needs to be fought.

With that in mind, the folks at Gaia Online have set up a useful info thread to (1) raise general awareness of Alzheimer’s, (2) explain what Alzheimer’s is and why it is so problematic, and (3) provide support for friends, family, and sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease.  On May 25, members will dress their avatars in purple clothes and go about the forum with links to the thread in their signatures.  Those who can manage will also wear purple clothing in real life, and encourage their friends and family to do the same.

Alzheimer’s disease may not be the most horrifying condition out there – it is, after all, a malady of the elderly, who were probably on their way off the mortal coil already.  But its effects reach far beyond the elderly.  Spouses, siblings, and children can only look on as their loved ones degrade into a self-centered, childlike state.  The sufferers grow increasingly frustrated as they lose both fine abilities and their memories of the people around them.

It’s no cancer, but Alzheimer’s disease can be equally as devastating to a family.

Learn about Wear the Lilac Day – and help to spread its influence outside Gaia – at http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/gaia-community-projects/t.48314191/

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iLOL’d: nuttymadam3575.

May 19, 2009

It is imperative in the life of any anti-Twilighter that he or she do two things:

  1. Read the book, and
  2. Watch nuttymadam3575 on YouTube.

I’m working on doing the first (using highlighter markers to point out the terrible parts), and I’ve been doing the second for a while now.  Let me say, this woman’s (girl’s?) videos are hilarious.  From her earliest cries of “Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod” to her later “Sick of all the Twilight hate” videos, she succeeds in being a lolcow of epic proportions.  She is to Stephenie Meyer what Chris Crocker is to Britney Spears, and so much more.  Not only has her own behavior become legendary, but she has been mocked or more gently teased in several parody videos (including mine, the Uuuuhmaaaayzing Buuuutt with the guinea pig).  You simply cannot appreciate (or unappreciate) Twilight without seeing her stuff.

Check her out at http://www.youtube.com/user/nuttymadam3575

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iApprove: “Brownie Mary” Rathbun.

May 3, 2009

While browsing Oddee (a site of which I heartily approve, if only because I’ve been viewing it nonstop for hours), I discovered something rather surprising – an easter egg, if you will.  Something that may lay to rest many of the unfounded and rather disturbing claims made about certain American individuals.

I’m talking about Mary Jane Rathbun.

Mary Jane Rathbun, aka “Brownie Mary”, was what one might refer to as a medical activist.  She spent much of her life fighting to legalize cannabis – a plant better known as marijuana – in medicinal use for sufferers of “Aids, cancer, glaucoma, and other diseases” (Wikipedia).  One of her better-known stunts, for which she received her nickname, was the baking and distribution of several “Alice B. Toklas brownies” – that is, brownies made with cannabis.  She once said on the subject “my kids [people with AIDS and cancer] need this and I’m ready to go to jail for my principles.”  Before her death, she was named a living saint, and christened “Saint Brownie Fucking Mary” by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Wait… what?

Well, no real nuns would have touched Brownie Mary with a ten-foot pole.  She broke laws, after all (or bent them, anyway).  And she was promoting drugs (or something equally untrue). So Mary, a lifelong atheist, was honored by a (rather eccentric) humanist organization.

We could all learn a lot from Mary.  Atheists and humanists could learn to follow her example and fight for what they believe in.  And religious folks could learn that not all atheists take their cues from Joseph Stalin.

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iApprove: Grok.

May 1, 2009

Naturally, I wasn’t going to start out on any diet OR exercise regime half-cocked.  With that in mind, I spent a significant amount of my time yesterday researching (1) Paleo diet and (2) Paleo exercise.  And that was how I met Grok.

To put it simply, Grok is the hunter-gatherer human that everyone is descended from (though not all of us are descended from the same Grok).  Though we have evolved since Grok’s time, his genes, established over two and a half million years, still occupy our bodies today.

According to The Definitive Guide to Grok:

First off, he is simultaneously his own person/personality (incidentally male) and an inclusive, non-gendered representative of all our beloved primal ancestors (male or female who spanned the primeval globe). It’s Grok as both construed individual and collective archetype, you might say. In either capacity, Grok serves as our primal exemplar, a figurative model for evolutionarily tried and true lifestyle behaviors: diet, exercise, sleep, stress, etc…

…Grok, as we have come to know and love him, is a rather typical hunter-gatherer. He hearkens from, say, the San Joaquin Valley of (now) California. Born before the dawn of agriculture, he lives the life of a forager – hunting game and gathering all manner of roots, shoots, seeds and fruits for both himself and his family/small band. He’s perhaps 30 years old, on the upper end of life expectancy in his day, but he has the remarkable health to live far beyond that if he can avoid the traps of his time: accidents, predators, illness – far different threats than ours today.

Grok is the guy we need to look to when figuring out what our bodies need.  Never mind what the high-income doctors have to say about it – nothing against the doctors, but they’re operating on equal parts outdated information and ag-industry propoganda.  Grok was not interested in propoganda or the economy or even science (a point against Grok, sadly); he was interested in surviving.  And, by doing the same things that his ancestors had been doing for 2.5 million years, he not only survived, but thrived.

Not that we have to give up science or technology or the economy or baths, but there are a lot of things that we can learn from Grok.

You can read his full story at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-to-grok/

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iApprove: Susan Boyle.

April 19, 2009

I realize that this isn’t really a groundbreaking statement – judging by the reaction on the Internet, a lot of people approve of Susan Boyle – but, in all seriousness, she’s pretty darned awesome.  Plus I tend to get a lot more hits if I post about relevant topics.

So we all know the story.  Susan Boyle, 47-year-old virgin, shows up to audition for Britain’s Got Talent. Frizzy hair, no makeup, frumpy as can be.  Looks exactly like the kind of person who will get buzzed off the stage in a few seconds.

Then she opens her mouth to sing.

Now, I’ve heard some things said about Susan Boyle.  For example, the claim that her “never been kissed” story was made up to gain her sympathy.  A lot of cynicism and the like.

All I have to say is this: With that singing voice, she doesn’t need a sympathetic backstory.

What she does is incredible.  She shows up as a dowdy, middle-aged woman, then picks up a microphone and produces the voice of a pop star.  Her singing invokes reactions anywhere from goosebumps to tears.  She shocked the audience, she shocked the judges, and the look on Simon Cowell’s face was one we won’t forget anytime soon.  Her performance was nothing short of incredible.

Maybe she won’t win the competition (yeah, right).  Maybe she won’t even be my favorite to win by the time the auditions are over.  But one thing is certain: she is good. She could have come on the stage a happily married woman and it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference.  Her virginity is, as she would say, just one side of her.  The other side is fantastic.

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iApprove: The National Day of Silence.

April 17, 2009

(Oy… what a week.  Had to deal with my schizophrenic aunt getting into a wreck, landing in the hospital, getting out of the hospital, and itermittently kvetching about all of her imaginary problems.  I am pooped.  Anyway…)

It’s April 17, and once again it is the National Day of Silence (also the release date of 17 Again, but I have yet to find someone who cares).  This is a day when students around the country have risen to the occasion and shut their mouths in support of human rights the homosexual agenda.  All day today they have had a wonderful time of pushing homosexuality on everyone, teaching sodomy in schools, and repressing the truth about  homosexuality, all without opening their mouths.

I jest, of course.  But according to TrueTolerance, that’s exactly what they’re doing.  Because, of course, True Tolerance means Tolerating Christians and Everyone Else can Shut Up and Go Away.

I won’t go into their entire argument – you’re more than welcome to go to your site and read it for yourself – but I’d just like to say a couple of things on behalf of the Day of Silence, the brave students who organized it, and the teachers and other individuals who support it.

The Day of Silence was never intended to promote homosexuality (henceforth referred to as “gayness”).  While some individuals have taken the opportunity to educate public on GLBT lifestyles, the original – and core purpose – is just this: to combat discrimination against GLBT students (coloquially, “queers”) in schools.  That’s the whole Day of Silence motive, right there: to prevent these individuals from being bullied.

It is not, despite some claims, to suppress the truth.  (Which truth, anyway?  WTH?)  It is not designed to coerce vulnerable teenagers, still going through their questioning years, into crossing over and joining the forces of gayness.  (Which the TT-ers would know was impossible, if they actually read the gay-rights brochures.)  It is simply intended to give queers (which, as an Indiscriminate Sex Maniac who Cannot Make Up My Mind, I mean in the lovingest way) the right to exist in schools without being tormented by their fellow students.

The only truth getting suppressed is that a large quotient of anti-gay activists are gay themselves… but I’m sure they’ll tell us when they’re ready.