Friday, June 27, 2014
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Mubarak Bala is a Nigerian atheist currently being held against his will at a mental hospital in Kano. Last week, he was severely beaten and confined to a psych ward in a part of Nigeria known for being oppressed under sharia law by Islamic militants (no confirmation so far that Boko Haram is responsible for this). When the hospital staff FINALLY permitted his family to visit him, his mother managed to smuggle his phone into his room for him: That was the last time she was seen alive.
People are probably sick to death of being asked to sign petitions from Facebook and Twitter, but THIS IS A REAL PERSON who is facing being savagely murdered FOR THE IMAGINARY CRIME OF DISAGREEING WITH PEOPLE!
Godless Mom's blog has further instructions on how you can help #FreeMubarak (not the Egyptian, the Nigerian)
PLEASE SHARE, UP-VOTE, TWEET, REBLOG & REPOST THE SHIT OUT OF THIS! A human being's life is in danger and we need to get the word out!
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22-JUNE-2014 UPDATE: A Human Rights attorney has been contacted on behalf of Mubarak Bala and is working on building his case
While his friends and family welcome any and every effort made to spare his life, I urge you to KEEP SHARING THIS and GET AS MANY SIGNATURES AS YOU CAN!
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23-JUNE-2014 UPDATE: The Canadian branch of The Huffington Post published an article featuring Mubarak's situation. The Change.org petition is at about 1,400 signatures so far, please don't give up!
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23-JUNE-2014 BREAKING: According to MSNBC, there was an attack on a hospital in Kano, Nigeria. Oh I do hope that it's not the same one...
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24-JUNE-2014 UPDATE: I'm happy to report that the explosion mentioned in the previous update WAS NOT at the hospital where Mubarak is being held. Also, a Human Rights lawyer was able to speak with Mubarak in person recently at great length, the lawyer (who wishes to remain anonymous) said he is otherwise physically well despite the dire situation. I will keep updating as often as I reasonably can.
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25-JUNE-2014 UPDATE: Here's a clip of "Deezer234" talking about Mubarak's situation on a radio broadcast (The video feature for this blog seems to be down for some reason.)
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29-JUNE-2014 UPDATE: This is the latest report from NBC News regarding Mubarak's state of being. He's being given a lot of drugs and having difficulty sleeping.
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3-JULY-2014 BREAKING: According to Godless Mom, Mubarak has FINALLY been released from his involuntary commitment and is getting ready to make a statement to the public soon!
Monday, June 16, 2014
The first time I'd ever even HEARD of an app called Vine, I was drunk and bored while looking for stupid videos on YouTube to cheer me up. I happened across a compilation of people behaving strangely in a series of short videos called Vines, I did a little background research into how the app worked & decided to give it a go. While many of my friends have told me of this "stage presence" they seem to think I possess, I guess I just don't have a knack for poorly edited 6-second video clips of myself.
I'd seen his face at least a few hundred times, but for some fucked up reason THIS is how I found out who he really was:
I admit, part of me didn't want to believe it at first. Being the natural skeptic that I am, I decided to do a little background research & fact-checking, I came across a celebrity gossip site with a small amount of back-story to what took place. I'm a bit dumb-founded that this happened in OCTOBER and I only found out about this A FEW HOURS AGO, but I just have to ask a question here: Even if Smiles "suffered a concussion," and even if Lepore did what he did to her in that state, how exactly is that a mark against HER? Shitty as it is to say this, we live in a day and age where there are people out there who honestly think that assaulting an unconscious person is completely okay, AND IT'S FUCKING NOT!
Just because you have 4.9 million people following you doesn't by default mean that you're somehow better than everyone else, you're just fucking pig with a mobile phone: That's all you'll ever be.
I only ever made 5 or 6 Vines and only one of them ever so much as received a single comment on them. This is not about popularity validating Lepore's behavior, not to get all "Tea-Party" about this but even Hitler was a popular guy, he was still a shit-head. This is about privilege, and not even specifically white male privilege, which I've already done a post about recently, but celebrity privilege, too. If Lepore were living in my apartment complex & attending the same University I do, odds are he'd probably have been on the receiving end of the ass-kicking of his pathetic little life from the Fayetteville Police, but I can't honestly foresee if he'd actually get a sentence handed to him or not. The University of Arkansas seems to handle Title 9 incidents fairly well, as far as I can tell, but I still know of about 100 female students who's attackers have yet to even have cuffs put on them. It's sad, but this is the age we live in.
And the fact that Lepore still has female fans chasing him is absolutely sickening, this is all the proof I need that HUMAN BEINGS DON'T HAVE SOULS.
I don't want to support or perpetuate ANY ELEMENT of rape culture...
I'm never using Vine again, this makes me sick & I don't want any part of it.
I'd be foolish to think I could convince the cybersphere to delete their Vine accounts as well, I did this to settle my own conscience and to make my own small stand. Screw you, Lepore. You think upon your shitty behavior next time you knock your head on something and have a concussion, I hope the EMTs that pick you up off the ground are more honest than you apparently are. I may not be famous, maybe I'll never be, but at least I can look at myself in the mirror and not see a monster.
YouTube & Google+ might be glitchy about a couple of things, but at least I can edit my videos as I see fit and get AS MUCH TIME AS I WANT!
Friday, June 13, 2014
Militant Islamists are retaking cities in Iraq seemingly overnight, it doesn't look like there are any signs of this slowing down any time soon and that's freaking a lot of people out. There are also a lot of military organizations demonstrating their frustration about the 4,000 + Soldiers, Marines, Sailors & Airmen who died while on their soil being lost in vain, and I don't blame them. Then, and maybe this is selfish of me, I can't help but reflect on my own experiences while I was deployed there toward the end of the conflict, I'm left to wonder what it was all for in the end? Was my suffering an near death really worth a chuck of dried up dirt and a few barrels of oil?
And now some public officials are insisting that we go back there to stop their civil war.
I have only THIS to say in response, and I honestly don't care who I piss off in the process:
Don't go all "FAUX NEWS - Bowe Bergdhal" on ME, my C.O.C were the ones who deliberately fucked up and left me to suffer: If your first thought is to call me a traitor, you can think that if you want to (it's not like I can stop you) but THEN you have to ALSO ask why rapists and their protecters are allowed to continue to wear a uniform with our flag on their right shoulders.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
If you think I'm going to go off on some tangent about feminism and ball-bashing, you're wrong. Instead, I'm going to talk about what seems to be a massive failure of basic human decency. The ideals of what feminism started as, what they've transformed into over the decades, and what many people perceive them to currently be are miles apart from each other. On the whole, I think this is a good thing because any "ism" that can't stand up to scrutiny & adapt to an ever-changing world doesn't deserve the allegiances of otherwise intelligent people.
I just wrapped up my first ever Gender Studies course in college, this is a big deal for me: If you're not familiar with my story or my previous writings, you're probably thinking that I might be some blissfully ignorant college freshman or sophomore figuring things out for the first time in her life. If so, take a moment to scroll up to the top of this page, read my blog-banner (especially the bit about me being an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran) and then come right back to this paragraph... yeah, I'm also 33 years old.
I'm actually amazed at myself for having taken this fucking long to get a basic understanding of what the word "feminism" actually means.
On that note, I want to talk about people like Elliot Rodger and the air of sexism choking up the internet lately. I'm not just talking about more mass-shooting hysteria, I have addressed gun violence in previous posts (and I might consider making another one soon, depending...) I'm talking about this wave of so called "Men's Rights Activists" or M.R.As all over Tumblr and YouTube. These are nothing new, backlash from people in positions of entitlement and privilege (in this particular case, mostly white heterosexual males) who don't seem to have a solid grasp on what the word "privilege" but know just enough that it's a threat to their world-view and way of life. I've watched many of my fellow atheists, mostly women, get bombarded with brazenly misogynistic and hateful tweets, messages and manifesto-style videos in which they are called derogatory names and sometimes threatened with "revenge porn" or even physical violence.
One well known atheist blogger has been under fire recently with her alleged PTSD "diagnosis" from the wave of vile tweets and comments from M.R.As: While I have no reason to doubt the disturbing element of the backlash she received for voicing criticism, I should point out that I am only skeptical of the diagnosis because while PTSD has been known to come about by a variety of situations (rape survivors, combat veterans or even being bitten by an angry dog, etc...) this is the first time in my entire life I've ever heard of this particular type of manifestation of the disorder. The jaded Iraq Veteran in me wants to rip this diagnosis to shreds, but I also realize that I am not in this woman's shoes and I know almost nothing about her life or how this affects her. So while I'm in no position to be judgmental, I CAN and WILL maintain my skepticism until I see satisfactory evidence one way or the other.
I have the same beef with M.R.As that I do with groups like PeTA or FEMEN: When will it sink into your dense fucking heads that it does your cause NO FAVORS WHATSOEVER to resort to harassing and threatening, or even actually assaulting, people who disagree with you?
I'm a vegan and I don't care if my date wants to eat a burger when we're having dinner: she/he is an adult, they can decide for themselves and I have no right to impede. As long and no one is trying to hold that bacon-triple-cheeseburger up to my mouth against my will, I'm not going to oblige in kind with a block of raw tofu. I think the same concept applies in other aspects of human existence, feminism and "mens' rights" included. Elliot Rodger had no right to force his will upon others, by way of violence or otherwise, and he just couldn't grasp the concept that other people are self-aware and autonomous beings that didn't have to oblige or even acknowledge his desires at all if they didn't fucking want to.
I can desire sex from someone all I want, until I'm blue in the face: They still have every right to turn me down, if they so choose. And I have been, I've been full out shot down out of the sky, from men and women BOTH. It's humiliating and uncomfortable, but it's life. The best you can hope for is that the person says "yes" after having ONLY BEEN ASKED ONE TIME AND ONE TIME ONLY (if you have to ask more than once, you already have your answer. Take that and walk away, that shit will not fly with ME) and regardless of how politely or not they say "no" they still said NO. You know what? Okay, walk away and move on to someone else.
Nobody OWES you a goddamn thing just for existing, you are not a "nice guy" if you feel like you have to harass, coerce or threaten people into giving you what you want; at that point, you're just pathetic. Consider this possibility, if you don't believe me: You're trying to convince someone to buy your car for a particular price, they resist. If your first thought is "Why don't you want my car? It's a great car, I worked very hard on keeping it up properly and making it look nice so that someone would buy it. This is a great car at a reasonable price, what the fuck is your problem?" Then YOU ARE the problem. You've just scared off a prospective buyer with your own poor behavior, regardless of the actual quality of the vehicle because you're a terrible salesman.
If you want to break it down at it's most basic level, making a pass at someone hoping they'll hook up with you is kinda like a sales' pitch: Even if your "product" is awesome, no one likes a pushy salesman or telemarketer. Refine your pitch, respect your "customers" or go home & stay there.
This is especially true in the cyber-sphere, where people who voice concerns about how they see women being treated in this way are often lambasted by semi-adolescent males who think their "rights" are being infringed upon because someone had the audacity to tell them NO. Too fucking bad, because plenty of people have told me NO when I've made advances, and while it was often uncomfortable for me, I still moved on with my life and found other things to do. The measure of your "manhood" is not your ability to put your cock in something, and if THAT'S your only qualification then you must have some pretty shitty standards for yourself and for life in general. Is harassing and threatening people who've spurned you, or even resorting to violence because of your own hurt feelings, an image of "manhood" that any sane and decent human being honestly wants to emulate?
Since when is NOT being a jerk to people a sign of weakness? Who actually thinks that respecting the wishes of your fellow human beings, male or female, is equivocal in any way to being oppressed or emotionally castrated? So what if you've been "friend-zoned" by some girl you wanted to fuck, OBVIOUSLY she didn't want to fuck YOU and told you in no uncertain terms. Maybe if you'd start acting like a grown-up and voicing your feelings and desires as such in a clear and concise manner, instead of holding them back and expecting others' to pretty much read your fucking mind, you might find a willing fuck-buddy at the absolute least. Absolute worst case scenario, you don't get to put your dick in something for another day. I promise you, it won't fall off or disintegrate because someone else doesn't want it inside them: They don't HAVE TO.
To the best of my knowledge, even the character of James Bond knows what the word "NO" means. James Bond doesn't NEED to threaten or coerce women who turn him down or disagree with him, he's the very embodiment of the phrase "Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."
And even James Bond has his problems, smooth mother-fucker that he may be, he has serious issues: The very government he devoted himself to betrayed him on numerous occasions, he's watched a great many of his friends and fellow agents die in horrible ways, on any given day he could wake up not knowing what part of the planet he's in and usually winds up being forced to kill every last mother-fucker in the building wether he actually wants to or not, because it's what his mission dictates. But do you know what James Bond ISN'T? A rapist.
And for the sake of this argument, I'm referencing every James Bond film, comic and book that I personally have ever seen and read. If other official Ian Fleming materials exist stating something on the contrary, at present I am unaware of it.
"Blue-Balls" is not the worst possible thing that can possibly happen to a person, rape and murder are pretty much a well-even tie for THAT slot. Life is too short to burn up so much energy on not getting things your way, there are far more important things to concern one's self with than being "friend-zoned" or turned down for whatever reason. If your only reason for acknowledging a fellow human being with a certain measure of interest is what desires or demands they can satisfy for you, as a prospective date or even subordinate employee, then I have every right to question and call out your abhorrent behavior in a public setting. At that point, you're not advocating for "men's rights," you're just being an arrogant shit.
Go ahead, call me names and threaten me: All you're doing is proving me right.
I DO prosecute threats, slander and libel.
I've done it before.