Friday, May 8, 2015

Dear Bigots, Please Get Some New Material

Have you ever been on Twitter the day after something big-but-not-tragic happened? A red carpet event where someone tripped, a hyped movie absolutely bombing, that kind of thing. If you haven't, it's not hard to imagine. Basically your feed is everyone you know clamoring to make the same joke first. Which is weird, because Twitter has reverse reading chronology, so the freshest joke is from the person who made it last, but never mind.

I'm guilty of this too. I stopped trying to make witty observations on Twitter after I realized everyone else was saying the exact same thing. Witticisms aren't my thing, and some subjects just really lend themselves to one certain joke. #askthicke comes to mind. And the trouble with hearing the same joke again and again is that once you stop laughing, your brain takes a moment to amuse itself by actually thinking about the joke, which I'm pretty sure is the antithesis of laughter. Nobody likes hearing the same joke again and again. I have no idea what the process is, but after the third or fourth time, the joke just starts grating. Nobody tells jokes about chickens crossing roads anymore. It's played out. It's not funny. Barring some funny uncles, we seem to have accepted as a society that some jokes have just gone stale from repetition.

I wish the same was true for offensive jokes. In the wider activist community we focus a lot on why jokes are offensive, what makes them that, the concept of punching down, free speech, social responsibility, all that good stuff. But can we take a second to point out that all these jokes are also tired as shit?

Grumble Mexicans something something lazy.

Sexual assault hurk durk Brad Pitt.

Got drunk with lady har har tranny surprise d'oh.

I know for a fact you can fill in the blanks yourself, because chances are you've heard the same joke more than actual chicken-crossing-road jokes. Somehow, people know better with that one, but still think they're being clever when pointing out that Obama something something banana.

Sometimes I hear comedians vehemently defending their humor from the PC police and bemoaning the lack tolerance in comedy. The sad thing is that while they could have a point in theory, once you start looking at the actual joke they're defending, it kind of falls apart.

Hey, did you know that some Native peoples have a tradition of descriptive names? The comedic possibilities are endless! Isn't that right, Beaver Breath?

Of course the big problem with offensive jokes is that they're offensive. Many people have written very eloquently on the subject. But can we take a minute to acknowledge that it doesn't help when they're also completely and utterly played out? It absolutely does matter. I know from experience that sometimes, if a joke is actually fresh and witty while also being offensive, or the delivery is just brilliant, or the form is really clever, the gut impulse to laugh will absolutely bypass my critical functions.

I swear I once chuckled at an honest-to-goodness punching-down rape joke at my personal expense because it was so damn clever, right before I went "heh, good one, get out of my space forever." True story.

As someone who adores comedy (I'm a rare breed, like people who "like music" and whose hobbies include "having fun") I can honestly say that a lot of the times, it's not that the joke is too offensive for me to laugh at. It's that I've heard the joke a million times before, it's the same joke that always comes up when talking about this touchy subject, and while in theory I will go to bat for a comedian's right to tell whatever joke they want, the jokes they're asking me to defend and laugh at make me think they got their material from a fucking minstrel show.

Ever had a good friend riff on you? You gingers will know what I'm talking about. The first time might actually be funny. The next two dozen times you might chuckle along good-naturedly, because your buddy means no harm. A decade later, you are liable to take his fucking head off.

Gendered slurs something haha sandwich.

Female athletes wink nudge dick.

Gay men oh ah hum they're all slutty rapists aren't they?

It doesn't even work as shock humor anymore. It's 2015. Nobody is shocked to learn that some people have the inconceivable guts and glorious balls to make a joke about how [minority] does [goofy shit] and is [the worst.]

You know what those are? Memes. They're not jokes, they're memes. Memes wearing joke armor. Memes that somehow enjoy the same protected status as jokes. The emperor's new jokes. Memes are the runts of the comedy litter, and offensive memes are what happen what that runt gets eyeball worms. It just not even cute anymore. Put the hideous thing out of its misery. Then go make me a sandwich. Thigh-slapper. I'm such a card.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Modest Proposal

You've probably heard about the deliberate crashing of a Germanwings airbus by the co-pilot, for reasons we'll probably never fully understand. Since Lubitz was white and did not show any signs of being Muslim, the most likely conclusion seems to be dramatic, horrifying suicide. You can pick the man's life apart for reasons that would spur him to do something so cold. Depression, untreated medical disorders, debt, lack of blowjobs, they're all equally compelling reasons to explain the tragedy.

Yeah, that last one caught my eye too.

Now, obviously no one else was responsible for Lubritch's [sic] actions if it indeed was Omega rage at work. He alone bears the blame. But it is somewhat haunting to think about how many lives might be saved each year if the sluts of the world were just a little less picky and a little more equitable in their distribution of blowjobs.
As a 28 year-old airline pilot, Lubritch [sic]would likely have been married in a more traditionally structured society. It's not impossible that the Germanwings deaths represent more of the indirect costs of feminism.

This may seem like a pretty deluded attempt to link a horrific tragedy to the author's pet cause, but it merits consideration. After all, when an argument pops up this consistently after every tragedy that shakes the nation or threatens our future, and it does, the intellectually honest thing to do is ignore our emotional kneejerk reactions and examine the hypothesis as it stands.

The argument is pretty simple: when deprived of partnered sexual release (no homo) certain types of men become murderous and/or inclined to harmful activity. This seems to happen with enough regularity to be a clear trend.

The proposed solution is, of course, for the women of the world to take shifts providing free blowjobs to violent men with little impulse control. And that might surely work. There's more women than men in the world, and the percentage of men who are apt to fly into a murderous rage if the blowjob quota goes unmet seems fairly small indeed. It can't be much more than, say, 40-60% of the male population of any given nation. If we all take two one-hour shifts a week in the blowbox, by my estimation, we can end all male-perpetuated violence by Q2 2016. Of course this system is ripe for abuse, so we'll probably have to institute some sort of omega blowjob punch card issued by either government or (mental) health professionals. Is it the taxpayers responsibility to pay for these government-funded blowjobs if it dramatically reduces male-perpetuated violence? Will preemptive slutting become a viable career for you, your daughter, your sister? Should these brave women slut on a voluntary basis or can they be compelled by other means? Pertinent questions all.

But let me propose an alternative, slightly more radical but less labor-intensive solution: we should stop giving jobs to men.

Not all jobs, clearly. That would be discriminatory and we're all equalists these days, spurned solely by rational argument. I propose that for our collective safety, we stop giving men jobs with any sort of responsibility or lack of direct oversight by a dependable female superior. Many, many men suffer from a lack of blowjobs (no homo) and it's exceedingly difficult to tell which ones are of the "omega" type, the type statistically most prone to go on a murderous rampage. The tell-tale fedora is not allowed in most workplaces, making us completely unable to distinguish between the common and harmless feeble-minded man and the murderous one.

Would you go to a workplace with this invisible assassin? Would you let you children go?

Men are too emotional to hold jobs with any level of responsibility or give them access to humans in a social setting. While women have a dependable hormonal cycle they have been taught to manage and control since early puberty, men seem to fluctuate wildly between various undesirable and even aggressive moods that squash productivity at the drop of a trilby hat. Simple things like "hearing the word no" and "lack of sexual release" can agitate the soft male brain and instill the irresistible hormone-driven impulse to kill.

We all know that by their own admission men are emotional creatures, biologically unfit to take on domestic responsibility, conduct rational discourse or even display emotional maturity in the face of rejection. Should we let possible omega men interact with our female managers? Our female doctors? Our female police officers? Are their lives so disposable? How long before a hormone-addled male office worker takes out his irrational, emotional rage on a female CEO? It's a prospect to horrifying to consider.

Women have been on course to out-earn men for quite some time now, so clearly we are not entirely dependent on their paycheck. While the woman of a household will pursue careers suited for her higher level of education and dependable emotional cycle, the man can make himself useful with simpler tasks that will not agitate his hormones and have little to no chance of activating his biologically ingrained impulse to kill. I suggest jobs that are mildly challenging to the easily distracted male mind without arousing his violent tendencies, such as secretarial and janitorial work. The man's greater physical abilities will give him great prospects in entertainment and menial labor. The relatively low wages of these professions will be more than offset by the greater earning capacity of the woman of the house, now that jobs more suited to her have opened up. The male, in turn, will enjoy the benefit of a peaceful existence free of murderous impulse.

Because let us not forget the true victims of these assorted tragedies, crimes and outbursts. Too long we have forced men to go through life in a constant state of agitation, frustration and depression. It would be a mercy to allow them enough work to support their famously brittle ego and find some satisfaction outside the house while still keeping ourselves safe from their biological urge to kill. Would that we could simply contain their hysteria with reason and compassion, but history has shown again and again that it is simply not within their emotional and intellectual means to be trusted as free agents in civilized society.

For all of the reasons above, I implore you, mothers, wives, employers, caretakers, to please discourage the males in your care from venturing too far outside their limited comfort zone. Because their next emotional hormonal fit may cost lives.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ceci N'est Pas Une Fat Post

I was six when I went on my first diet.

It wasn't my idea. My mother was worried I was carrying my baby fat a little too long and took me to a nutritionist. Say what you will about her, but at least she consulted a professional instead of putting a toddler on paleo. I distinctly remember that nutritionist telling her my big jelly toddler-belly was really no big deal. Because obviously.

I got called "fat" a lot in early high school. The thing is, I wasn't. Not even a little bit. I've seen pictures of myself, I wasn't noticeably heavy. Years before the internet and I already learned that "fat" is just a generic insult against girl regardless of adipose tissue amount and distribution. The fact that I knew what adipose tissue was (and pontificated at every available opportunity) probably contributed more to the bullying than the perceived existence of it anyway, come to think of it.

This post isn't about that. As stated, I am not fat and I don't remember ever being fat, so it's not my place. This post is about the upshot of all the above: I didn't give a shit.

(Content note: beauty culture, fat shaming, personal and positive experiences with organized religion, teenage insecurity, bullying, drug references.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Repost: Top 10 Female Game Characters

Another repost from the old blog. This one was written in 2012, but I stand by every last one of these entries.

I may have to do another list though, because in the meantime I've fallen in love with so many new characters. The sisters from the heartbreaking indie Gone Home will always have a place in my heart. Magi and Hopi from Wasteland 2 are my new favorite couple in all of media forever. Rosangela Blackwell probably deserves a mention too. Basically I've been playing a lot of indies lately.

Maybe I'll do another list. In the meantime, enjoy!


The women! They are in our video games, being hot and/or badass! Sometimes they wear clothing! Super Multitask! This is a thing that is happening right now people!

If there's one thing the internet loves to do to female video game characters even more than disrobing them on Deviantart, it's listing them, using the tried and true classification method of pantsfeels. So basically Lara Croft near the top, Chun Li in the middle, some anime-looking bikini babes sprinkled throughout, plus Samus as the token badass. That's a rough deal, but it makes sense. Top Ten Hottest Female Characters is a much snappier title then Top Ten Female Characters From Video Games I Wouldn't Mind My Impressionable Preteen Daughter Playing If She Were So Inclined. And yet that's my only criteria for putting characters on this list, so I'm shit out of luck, title-wise.

This list contains spoilers for all of the games!

They're all really good games though. You should seriously consider putting them on your Christmas list and then playing them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

50 Shades of Nope

Someone asked me if I'm going to write about the 50 Shades of Gray movie. I am not. In fact I'm frantically avoiding it.

The reason is that I spent what could have been the best years of my life in an abusive relationship with a manipulative bag of manpain who had gaslighting down to an art. I have no strong desire to see these years mirrored to me on the silver screen, repackaged and sold to me as a hot sexy fantasy that women should (and do) aspire to. I wouldn't make it ten minutes into the trailers before I'm hyperventilating into my popcorn bag, let alone last long enough to watch it the two or three times required to write a deconstruction. It's the internet. There will be another 50 Shades of Bitching published by the time I finish typing this sentence. I recommend this one myself. It's a hoot and a half.

I will say though, for the record, that the thing in the trailer that hurts and offends me most is the downright shoddy knotwork:

That's a fucking disgrace is what it is. For fuck's sake Gray, she's going to slip out of that and make for the hills the second you start whining about how she's not a "real" sub if she's not into non-consensual beatings. Assuming she doesn't get her skin pinched between those shoddy loops first. If you're not a rope top, and you're clearly not, either use some goddamn cuffs already like normal people or get some practice. It's not actually hard, but you gotta do it properly.

So no, no deconstruction from me. If I'm getting this irritated by one frame I'm not going to last 90 minutes, or however long this misery lasts. I'm staying miles away from this one, safely tucked away in my nest, watching 50 Shades of Buscemi on infinite loop.

Although I'd be very grateful if someone could let me know if they left in the tampon scene. That would be good information for me to have.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

PattiBlows: Cold Hard Cash Edition

Happy encroaching Valentine's Day. However you feel about this day, it is valid and true. Feel your feels and feel them freely.

For tips on how to celebrate when single, please have some advice from a fucking human being.

For sexist drivel, please keep reading.

Okay, I've done enough of these to know where this is going to go: sit quietly in a cocktail dress while being pretty, beaming your womanly thoughts at him from the confines of your frilly chastity belt, then blame yourself for not being pretty enough when it turns out you're not dating Professor X.

In the absence of this, second place goes to: anything you can think of, including but not limited to renting a troupe of chimpanzees to smear "I'd like to go to watch a movie" in their own shit on the wall, except talk to him.

What say you, Patti?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Illustrated Guide to Female Power Fantasies: The Bella Rose

The Bella Rose, named after its two most well-known modern incarnations, is the woman who find herself in a position to choose between two male suitors. While she may struggle with issues unrelated to this choice, her main conflict as a character revolves around the fact that two men are interested in engaging in a monogamous romantic relationship with her (often marriage or something equally permanent) and circumstances internal as well as external complicate that choice.

In some cases the right choice will be clear to her personally but she will be externally pressured to go against her own wishes.

In most cases though, the right choice will be completely unclear to her and she struggles internally with the decision. To her, both suitors are attractive in equal measure but in different ways.

In historical fiction, this often manifests as the choice between a rich, safe man and a poor, adventurous man. When this devolves into caricature the rich man will be pompous, arrogant, sometimes abusive and disrespectful to her and those of perceived lower class. The poor man by contrast will be kind, adventurous, respectful and humble. The reverse, where the rich man is kind and caring and the poor man is arrogant and abusive, only very rarely occurs in female-centric Bella Rose fiction.

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