Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm putting this on here so that these emails don't disappear into my inbox/deleted files forever more. Feel free to ignore.

Recently, an anti-gay group (Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, no joke) passed out some nasty flyers around here. Group can be found here if you can stand it/want to give them the traffic. Be warned, there will be some very bad information about the AIDS epidemic, among other atrocities ("Sexual Abuse: A Major Cause of Homosexuality?"). My friend José invited me to join a protest Facebook group. I declined but did write the organization a letter, and they've been corresponding with me. I just wanted to preserve it, because I never really expected to end up in this situation.


Your flyer, detailing the supposedly harmful and morally questionable
nature of homosexuality, is offensive not only to self-identified
homosexual people, but also to their friends and loved ones. Have you
met my godfather? My best friend? Several of my colleagues? How can
you presume to know anything about their moral standing or physical
health based on a single characteristic?

The greatest moral principle is simply to allow others who cause you
no harm to live in peace and find their own harmony. The need to
investigate whole groups and classes of people and turn them into
copies of oneself is not good moral work; it is small-minded,
disruptive, and painful to your "targets" and those close to them. A
moral philosophy of pain is not one I, or most others, want anything
to do with.

Please ask yourselves what any of these people have done to harm you
or bring pain to your life. What has my good friend José done? My
great-aunt? Ask yourselves what they have done to make your existence
more difficult, and then ask yourself what it is you fear so much that
you must go out and tell someone they should not exist.


Miranda Meyer

If you and your homosexual and pro-homosexual friends are open to listening to us and asking us questions in person we would be willing to appear before the school's gay/straight group. We would ask for security to be present, however, since some intolerant students have sent us threatening emails. We can answer your questions. We've done our homework and heard all the questions before.

I'm sorry, but the fact that you refer to the students who have sent
you angry emails as "intolerant" would be ironic and hilarious if it
weren't so depressing. You are the ones practicing intolerance.

I kept my email in a respectful and open tone because I hoped that
might help you truly hear what I was saying (though my hopes were
never high), and because that is how I prefer to communicate. However,
let me be clear that the email was a communication of my profound
disagreement with your views and your actions. Neither I nor the gay/
genderqueer people in my life need to hear the same hateful arguments
again, and I doubt any of the groups here would be interested in
inviting you.

I sincerely hope you can someday come to a more tolerant and open-
minded point of view, at least in terms of "live and let live" if not
your opinions on sexual orientation.

We hope this is not your way of giving a pass to or justifying threats by pro-homosexual people. Tolerance runs both ways. There are fascist, intolerant people on both sides of the issue.

Obviously I'm not a fan of threats. But there's a really key difference between their intolerance and your intolerance. They (the people who sent you the angry emails) were perfectly happy to leave you alone to live your lives and have whatever views you liked. They did not consider your existence, lifestyles, or beliefs to be offensive to them, despite the fact that some of these beliefs are in direct opposition to their own.

You, on the other hand, took it upon yourself to inform them that their existence is an offense. That even without ever having met them, the very fact that they and people like them were ever born makes it hard for you to sleep at night. So they then got angry and wrote you some emails that were intolerant--but what they were not tolerating was not your existence, but your invasion of theirs.

There's a fundamental difference between the two, and yours is worse.

[It occurs to me, rereading their last response, that it might have been productive to investigate what or who they thought was intolerant on their side of the issue, but I guess it's too late now. We'll see.]

I'm not sure why I keep writing back to them, it's not like I'm ever going to change their minds. Also, I had to physically restrain myself from typing out a whole paragraph about why calling people who challenge you fascists just makes you look stupid and fourteen years old.

In other news, is it bad that I lie to people about where I'm going and hole up in the second floor study rooms because I can't take being around my roommates this much?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I am livid.

The Sean Bell verdict was bad enough. But it was predictable. Sad as this is, it was to be expected. Of course New York was not going to indict a few cops for shooting up a car full of black men.

It was obvious that the trial was formulated in a way that was meant to be beneficial to the cops--since they couldn't get it moved up to Albany, where they would have been tried by a jury of retired cops, largely white, they got themselves tried by a single judge rather than a jury of their peers. The cops didn't have to testify. The witnesses, who did testify, were dismissed by the judge in question because they "contradicted themselves" and failed to satisfy him with their "demeanor." Right.

But like I say: none of this was a surprise. There's a reason Al Sharpton was on TV before the trial even took place saying that there would be riots: everybody in New York knew what would happen. I read a post by someone who was sitting in a bar afterward and happened to be next to one of the defense lawyers. Apparently one of the arguments was that the sound of the cops' bullets ricocheting off the other car is easily mistaken for return fire, which is why the policemen kept shooting.

The lawyer, of course, was toasting, laughing, and boasting. 50 FUCKING BULLETS.

But then the icing on the cake. The motherfucking NEW YORK TIMES runs an op-ed by a former cop praising the verdict and saying how no one but cops knows what it feels like to have your life be in danger? Really? How about all the people of color who suffer police brutality in the city daily? Do they know? Nah.

A "tragic mistake," he calls it. Sure. That's about as high as the level of regret/contrition gets in this shitpile of an opinion.

This honestly makes me never want to read the NYT again.

The fucking judge stated in his opinion that "carelessness is not a crime." I guess we should change the definition of manslaughter, then. WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU GO TO LAW SCHOOL? And you know what, let's go with it. Let's say it isn't a crime.

Then that means policemen, whose sworn duty is to protect, killed a man on his wedding day, leaving his baby fatherless, and injured his two companions, out of carelessness. Not fear, not mistaken judgement--carelessness. And the judge is fine with that.

(If anybody tried to make the stinking argument that Sean Bell was no saint, so who cares, I will personally come after you and shove your nonsense back where it came from. That's not the point. We aren't supposed to earn our safety. It's a fundamental human right. If you want to get all Hobbesian about it, it's the one right of the citizen. I don't care if he was coming out of a strip club. I don't care that he may have hit his fiancée before--not in this context. The point is justice, plain and simple, and it's not something that is deserved. The argument that SB was a shitty individual and so it's no big deal is racist and I don't want to hear it.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dear David Brooks:

If, as Grand High Media Arbiter of Political Substance, you are so concerned with what "The People" (tm) want and think is important, perhaps you should look at the nearly 20,000 bitchy comments at ABC and change course just a tad. Will it make you less of a man? In your world, probably, but my world will be that little bit more peaceful and rainbow-filled.

(The short version:
shut up, you idiot.)


A Member of The People (tm)

P.S. I could really care less about John Edwards' haircut, okay? Move on.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I know I say this now and again, but ON THE SERIOUS, everybody should read this article:


It discusses the systematic recruitment and indoctrination of former military officers by the Bush administration to act as experts/consultants in the news media in order to propagate positive perspectives (i.e. propaganda) about the war in Iraq, Iraq's connection to Al Qaeda, the conditions of the prison facilities in Guantánamo Bay, etc.

It's a bit long but it's very important information. The administration is on its way out, but the structure, spin capability, and corruption of the media, as well as the bizarrely incestuous relationship between the White House, the Pentagon, and the military-industrial complex (firms that make weapons) will remain.

Every time I turn around, this place looks more and more like all the nations we say are below the standards of liberal democracy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This was written in a comment on my favorite blog in response to some asshat being all, "I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist, because I don't believe in gender inequality."

You know why people told you to get the fuck over yourself? Because you need to get the fuck over yourself. "Humanist." Bah. If men and women were both equally oppressed, then maybe that would make some sense.

We aren't. Don't get me wrong, The Patriarchy Hurts Everyone®, but it hurts women more than it hurts men, and anyone who thinks otherwise is either willfully blind or a misogynist.

If you believe the genders should be equal, then you're a feminist or a feminist ally. Full stop. You're a feminist because you believe that the cause that women have been struggling with for generations is a worthwhile one, and that cause is worth furthering. That cause is called feminism. If men had, of our own accord, started working to ensure gender equality all by ourselves, then we could call the thing humanism. We didn't. Women had to pry every right they have from men. Women built feminism, and they named feminism, and neither you nor I nor anyone has the right to quibble with that name. It was earned with women's sweat and blood and tears. It is feminism because its very creation was feminine. If you don't like that, blame your forefathers. They're the ones who failed your dreams of humanism, not women.

And if you can't deal with the fact that women get top billing in feminism? Grow the fuck up. So not everything in the world is geared toward men. Now you know how women feel 100% of the time.


EDIT: It was written by a man, which shouldn't matter but probably will to someone anyway.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A man stood up in court and admitted to drugging, raping, and killing a woman. There is substantial evidence that he has drugged and raped multiple women before on his quest to have sex with 100 women.

He got five years in jail, five years on probation afterward, and he has to pay his victim's mother 5,000 dollars for her daughter's funeral.

I am so fucking sick of living in a sexist world. This death was not an accident. This was not sex gone wrong. Rape is never sex gone wrong, because the point is never sex. He should have been charged with premeditated rape and manslaughter at the very least.

This man stood in a courtroom and admitted to being a serial rapist, a danger to society, and he may not even serve five full years in jail.

I can't decide if this is as bad or worse than when an Italian court ruled that it was impossible to rape a woman wearing jeans, because it's impossible to get them off without her consent. Right.