The misogynistic, right wing reactionary bigots of #GamerGate are still at it. And this time, they've taken a page from our progressive playbook. The Washington Post reports that the lynch mob has organized a boycott campaign against all who "oppose" them. Write an article critical of #GamerGate and you may find yourself on the "Operation Disrespectful Nod" boycott list as well. If you are male, or a large corporation, that is. If you are a woman, LGBT, or person of color, you'll likely be threatened with rape and death, and have all your personal information released online.
I'd like to take a moment to look at the concept of oppression, and specifically white male oppression. In my view, all oppression is a disease or a parasite. It may appear to benefit its host, but in the end any benefits are not worth the illness.
White male oppression is inflicted on us, primarily by us. It works by first damaging our empathy, causing us to be less able to feel the pain of others, or take pleasure in their pleasures. We are taught that we need to be tough, and that we can not show any emotion other than anger. Expressions of empathy by young boys are met with ridicule from other young boys. We are taught that competition is a manly thing, and cooperation is for girls and other weaklings.
Saturday, I went to put the leftover roast chicken bones into the stock bone bag in the freezer and found it full. Time to make stock! Pulling out one of the bones, a bit of seven bone chuck, I thought back to that meal. That was my first try at using a new technique, home sous vide in a camping cooler, and it had turned out great!
I'd used the technique with great success several times after that, during the recent Bay Area heat wave it proved an invaluable method of moving heat out of the kitchen. But I'd been wondering a few things about the safety of the technique so I did a bit of research. I'll explain what the sous vide technique is, how it works, and what equipment a home cook would need to use it. I'll also address the food safety and environmental concerns I've had with sous vide.
I know we aren't supposed to count chickens before they are hatched but I have not felt this giddily optimistic about an election in a while, and from everything I'm sensing, I'm not alone. So I allow myself to dream, a little, about life after a Democratic landslide. We take all three branches, what then?
Celebrate, pat ourselves on the back, promise to do it again next election, and sit back, knowing our new Democratic majority will take us where we want to go?
Robert Zimmerman, George's father, released his response to the Orlando Sentinel: “George is a Spanish-speaking minority with many black family members and friends. He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever.”
Everybody is saying George Zimmerman is white. His father says he isn't. I'm confused. Does this change any of the analysis? People don't talk about minority on minority hate crimes much. I'm not trying to defend white people here, not at all. I just find it interesting that everyone seems to be analyzing this situation based on faulty assumptions.
I'm interested in hearing how others feel about this, especially minorities. It seems that judging "outsiders" is a near universal human trait. How common is prejudice against other minorities in your community? I know this is a touchy subject and I'm frankly a little nervous bringing it up, hopefully we can have a respectful discussion here. I believe we can all be allies in the fight to end racism and prejudice, in all its forms, wherever it lives.
At the end of the day, we all use cliches. We can try to think outside the box, but when you go off the beaten path, you could get thrown under a bus. So I say, double down on our use of tired cliches! Double down, and down again! We do not have to think outside the bus! We will not be thrown under a box!
Do you know what scares politicians, captains of industry and other authoritarians the most? It is not some rival usurping their power. No, the thing that scares them the most is people sitting down together and deciding how to run their lives for themselves. You see, the big lie that all these powerful people tell themselves is that we, the 99%, are weak and helpless without them. That is why they deserve so much: we need them.
But do we really?
Allow my friends from Avenue Q to break it down for you:
Or, The Art of the Graceful Exit.
Poking around this website and reading comments, I have seen any number of people make comments or even diaries that are offensive or derogatory to some group of oppressed people. Sometimes they even make offensive comments in diaries related to issues of oppression. This being a progressive site, well meaning people then jump in to censor or punish such behavior. This is not always the most effective way to handle such encounters, whether online or off.
Often such insensitive or even oppressive language or behavior is unintentional. Often it is subconscious. By directly confronting someone who is displaying oppressive, dominating or bullying tendencies in an aggressive fashion, you are leaving them only two emotional options: complete submission to you, or fighting you. Most people will respond angrily, and they will then attempt to justify their perhaps unintentional behavior to themselves.
Congratulations. You've just achieved the opposite of your desired outcome. You have helped turn a subconscious bigot into a conscious bigot, even if just a little bit. There are better ways of interrupting oppression and helping others attain a less hierarchical world view.
I'm damn far left. I feel that Obama has been letting us lefties down. But I'll be voting for him. Why is that? Is it because the alternatives are worse? While that's true, it isn't really the reason. Is it because he's a Democrat and Seth always sticks by his party? Ahahaha, don't make me laugh. I've voted third party before and I'll do it again. Is it because Obama's is a "Historic presidency" meaning he's our first African American president? While that is cool, and even more cool that he is our first "son of an immigrant" president, I care about results, not appearances.
No, the reason I'm going to vote for Obama is simple, selfish curiosity. I want to know the truth about him, one way or the other, and we just aren't going to get to find out unless we elect him again. Is he playing eleven dimensional chess? Is he playing it well? Has he really sold out to Wall Street? Who is Barack Obama, really? We won't know for sure unless we reelect him.
Many people equate socialism with big government, but it is actually something you can do locally, with other like minded individuals. Credit unions, cooperatives, communes and co-housing groups practice what I think of as small scale socialism. What these types of groups have in common, and what defines them as socialist, is that they let more stakeholders participate in governance than a traditional capitalist business. They exist in a larger socioeconomic context that may or may not practice much socialism. Most if not all compete with other businesses in a capitalist, fee-market economy, at least in some sense. But at their core they are socialist in nature.
I linked to the Wikipedia page on Saul Alinsky in a comment earlier, and it got me thinking. I first read Alinsky's Rules for Radicals in 1993 or '94, I think. I was a radical at the time, I know that. But now, I think I'm a middle aged white guy with a wife and a mortgage and a steady job. I never thought I'd be that. I've been describing myself as a democratic socialist of late. That may be far to the left of you, but it's nothing like my anarchist youth.
You know, the right likes to make a big deal of the fact that Obama studied Alinsky. So did Hilary, for that matter. He was a radical, and everyone who aspires to help oppressed communities organize to achieve political power should study him well. But this diary isn't about Saul, or community organizing. It's about me. And growing older, I guess.
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