Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Cousin is Getting Married!/We're Moving!

If you'll remember my last blog post about my cousin, I noted that she wanted to wait until Summer to get married to her girlfriend. Well, now it's Summer, so my cousin and her girlfriend are getting married soon. I can't wait to be a part of it. My cousin always knows how to make things fun and more relaxing, so I'm sure this wedding is going to be quite a time to remember. For instance, the biggest thing that's going to make the wedding more enjoyable is my cousin not following traditional practices when it comes to marriage, the couple's first dance at the reception being an exception. She wants to walk down the isle with her girlfriend, she doesn't want to wear anything fancy, she doesn't want to exchange rings (they're wearing rings and whatever they have planned to exchange), etc.

And since my girlfriend and I are having to go out to Iowa to the wedding, and since we were wanting to move there at some point, we decided to move there when we arrive to see my cousin's wedding. We're planning on staying at my cousin's until we can find our own place somewhere, and my cousin said we can stay as long as we like, because she's awesome like that.

We aren't going to say goodbye to very many people, though. Just our friends, maybe a couple of other people. This is because most of the relatives we know here are coming to my cousin's wedding, including my girlfriend's family. The time they all have to come back here is when we're going to say goodbye to them, and my girlfriend is already a bit upset over the fact that she won't get to see her parents as often any more. I gave her lots of hugs and kisses and told her that it was probably eventually and inevitably going to happen, and that I'd miss them, too, but at least we'd be together, and that we'd have at least someone else we know and love around. I'm sure she misses our company, too.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Worst Blow to the Unemployed

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Outofwork-job-applicants-told-cnnm-3498252371.html?x=0

This is such bull shit. Way to help solve the massive unemployment problem in this country, asswipes. Hell, this may be one of the reasons we have an unemployment problem in the first place. It's such a stupid judgment call on the employer's part. To automatically think that unemployed people are unemployed for performance reasons and not even consider a single one because of that is pretty fucking low. What they need to do is do backgrounds checks and not just assume shit. Maybe they quit because they were moving out of state. Maybe they were like me at Burger King and just had shitty management. Maybe they've never had a job and need the experience. After all, if managers expect experience, then how can they expect it if they don't give it?

But quite frankly, I'm not surprised. Employers make stupid bull shit judgment calls all of the time based on even the tiniest little things (yet another potential reason, whether big or small, for our unemployment problem). "Oh my God, he twitched his finger! That must mean he could easily crack at some point and kill a bunch of people!" Considering how bad our economy is and considering how not nice in general that is, that judgmental bull shit needs to stop. It's essentially discrimination and can be freedom-limiting, depending on the job applied for.

He's a good worker who's willing to do whatever it takes, but I'm not going to hire him because of his clothing style.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bone the Fish (Again)/Retro Junk (Again)/Rant About a Few Things

I didn't want to just do an edit to my blog this time, because what I've seen this time is unbelievably stupid, and felt this deserved it's own blog post because of that. As if the Conservative bias on the site by some of the users wasn't already bad enough, it has, if anything, increased since I last talked about the site (so it's not just DolFan316, and I may have been wrong about him being the biggest Conservative guy, but he's still the dumbest, particularly for trusting what a user named ChubbyRain said about IMDB just because he was the guy who said it, which means he'll trust anything he says). I've looked through several pages recently and saw even more incredible stupidity, worse stupidity than what I normally see or hear. Some of it is so stupid it literally hurts, such as the more extremely Conservative members bitching and moaning about being censored on the site by the "Liberals" running the site or whatever. Obviously, since their bull shit is still there from what I can tell, then they're not being censored, and if they are, I'm sure it's for a reason, mainly because these guys seem to be so bad at arguing that they don't seem to care about any viewpoint too far from their own and immediately dismiss it. But the worst page that I've seen is this one right here: http://www.bonethefish.com/viewtopics.php?789&page=1

I must reiterate again, I am not a big fan of Obama, but he is not at all comparable to Hitler. Neither was Bush, but even that made more sense since they were both Right-Wing Authoritarians (Obama is a Left-Winger), but those comparisons still don't work. Stalin would make more sense in comparison to Obama, but even that's pushing it pretty far. Anyway, I do agree with the reason given about how he's dealing with taxes. That's obviously a stupid idea that he had. I also don't think sending more troops overseas was the best idea, either. If anything, we have terrorists here, and we need to deal with them right now, if anything, not the ones overseas.

But a lot of the other stuff on this page, not just in the comments, but the reasons, is fucking ridiculous. Even the top reason is stupid, because that wasn't even Obama's decision (although he did accept it). But seriously, gays in the military? Fuck, that's the choice with the second highest number of votes, which proves even more how fucking biased the people on this site are. What is the problem with gays in the military? It limits people's rights. You can be openly straight in the military, but not gay (unless you're closeted)? There's obviously something wrong with that. But people are concerned in the first place because they believe a straight person is going to have his personal space interfered with if a gay person tries to come on to the straight person. You know, like they're sexual deviants who are always horny, and straight people aren't. If you're even somewhat smart, you can figure out why this is incredibly fucking moronic (like The Onion, who wrote a great satirical article here: http://www.theonion.com/articles/repeal-of-dont-ask-dont-tell-paves-way-for-gay-sex,17698/). And quite frankly, I'm offended that option is even a choice that can be made on the site, since people like me might want to go there in the first place, but it has one hundred and fifty three votes. That's fucking insane.

And then there's issue with Fox News. Do I think it's ultimately appropriate for the Obama administration to go after Fox News like that? Not really. However, I'm giving them leeway on this because they simply stated that Fox News isn't a news network and shouldn't be trusted. And they're right. I don't normally trust or agree with anything or everything the government says to the public, but they are absolutely right about this. Fox News, and this is evident if you watch their network, is ultimately a propaganda network (for the most part, at least) successfully getting their viewpoints out to the public at large, and this is evident by the fact that they tend to associate themselves with various things fitting their viewpoints, most notably the Tea Party movement, otherwise known as the Tea Bagger's movement (love that name). News networks do not and should not do that (unless it's a legitimate charity or something). If one of them does, it should be questioned for sure.

Speaking of which, I know MSNBC isn't the best news network to be watching, either, so I don't. Well, except for Rachel Maddow, she's awesome, because she's calm, rational and logical, and even admits when she makes mistakes. But even if you were to call that network biased, which it definitely can be, it's bias is nowhere near the level of Fox News, and it's quite apparent whenever you talk to someone who actually watches the network. If you watch the network and talk or argue with a couple of people who watch it, it'll be obvious to you just how bad the bias is and how it's influencing the people, especially since it's the most watched news network out of the three major news networks (source removed; dead link). It'll even be obvious when the person you're talking to watches Fox News. Best way to recognize it is if the people you're talking to are talking like these dickheads on Bone the Fish.

And I hope to something that they're not the ones that run the site. That's the only thing keeping me from going there. That and the high amount of people against gays being in the military, which isn't a good sign. So until more people come in to correct the balance of viewpoints, or once these fuckers finally stop going to the site, that's when I might join. Otherwise, I'm staying far away from the place at the moment, other than just looking at the votes and stuff.

And if you look at the TVTropes page, it seems they're still trying to get the word out about their site, despite the fact that their website is featured on the Jumping the Shark page on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_Shark). Seriously, they're still lacking in members (or at least people posting) even after being featured on a page on Wikipedia, which I'm sure is seen fairly often since "Jumping the Shark" is a popular term. So, considering you still are lacking in activity despite being featured on Wikipedia, here's some advice, guys: stop with your opinionated, brainwashed (I can easily tell you are), extremely Conservative bull shit, or at least tone it way down. Also, stop acting like what you're saying is gospel or true. It's quite obvious to me and everyone else I know who has seen the site (I've shown it to them, and it's a fairly large group of people even including soft Conservatives) that people like you, the ultra Conservatives, are the site's biggest cancer by a long shot, and that we and many others would join if that element wasn't present otherwise. If you take my advice to heart, I'm sure you'll get more members.

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And I figured I'd mention this since I've been talking about forums and stuff. For a short while, my girlfriend and I went to the site Retro Junk and posted a bit there. It's not a bad site, but we ultimately left because of the number of trolls there (that's why my girlfriend left, since she hates dealing with that shit at all) and the shape of the forum in general. Seriously, it's quite a mess, and keeping up with it all can be a bit aggravating and confusing, mostly because of the large number of boards there. So if any members there are reading this, that's why we left. Otherwise, most of you were cool people, and the site has great content otherwise, so my girlfriend and I still keep track of the articles and stuff. But it's just not really worth being an active member there. So basically, if you're new to Retro Junk, don't join unless you want to become active and write articles and all of that, but I'd still recommend the site just for the amount of content alone and the quality (at least for the most part) of the site. So, Retro Junk, reorganize the site and crack down harder on the trolls, and we may return, and you may also grab more members in the process.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Neglected Mario Characters

http://www.smbhq.com/nc/

I have been a reader of the comics on this site for at least eight years, if not, longer (but not by much). My cousin found it and showed it to me. She found it kind of funny, but I was laughing at just about everything. I thanked her a lot for finding it and asked if she could keep track of it for me, and she agreed. Ever since, I've been trying to keep up with everything that's been going on with the comic, but after a while, activity started to drop, eventually to the point where I stopped keeping track of the site in general. I even remember the very thing that made me want to stop keeping track, which was this update made on October 20th, 2007:

"Sorry, nothing really new. Just messing around with a few things. And I missed NC's 10th bithday (Sad emoticon). Anyway, take care."

There are a few reasons why that made me want to stop checking in on the site. First off, it was the first update that Jay Resop, the creator, made in about five months. In fact, he only posted four (yes, four) updates that whole year. Who does that? How can anyone be so busy that they can only just barely log on to type a couple of quick sentences only a few times a year? That just blows my mind. If he truly is that busy, he seriously should calm down a little on his workload and take a damn break. Either that or he's not being sarcastic about his laziness at all.

Busy

But that's not the only reason. He seemed to stop caring about his site and his comics in general. I mean, look at that. "And I missed NC's 10th birthday (Sad emoticon)." So, what, that's it? You aren't even going to make up for it? At all? Ever? I understand if you couldn't log on around that time or anything, but couldn't you have at least made a quick short or something? You know, something that doesn't take long to make? If you don't care that much about your own work like that, how do you expect anyone else to?

Honestly, I don't think it's ultimately that big of a deal, but for some odd reason, it just blows my mind, especially considering this: he is busy in college, so he has other people maintain, update, and even create comics on the site for him now, which is fine. However, considering he is apparently super busy, and judging by the looks of his posts on the forum, I have to wonder if here even keeps up with Mario games anymore. So considering he hasn't made any new comics for over two years and would likely have to keep up with Nintendo happenings, and also considering he may even have a different sense of humor now that he's a few years older and almost through college, the site may as well say goodbye to the old Neglected Characters, which it seems they kind of already have. I mean, I realize there's still a chance that Jay might create a new comic or even a new adventure some day in the future (at least a short one), but you've gotta admit, the chances are pretty slim.

And this does sadden me just a wee bit because I've kept track with this site for quite a while. I just checked back not too long ago after a couple of years and noticed a only a few changes, most of them being small ones, but the biggest one being the fact that Jay is not even technically running the site anymore (I'm sure he still has full control, though). I always thought the site was pretty funny and was an amusing escape. I don't remember much of the stories or jokes anymore, but they made some kind of impact...

At least for a while. Then I read a few again recently and honestly didn't laugh too much. There were a couple of cheap chuckles and a laugh after reading a couple of adventures and the deathmatch comics, but it's ultimately not satisfying reading the comics anymore anyway. I might try and read one of the Bill and Fred comics, since I remember one of those was one of my favorites in the site, but other than that, I'm not going to sit and read them again.

But I'll give credit where it's due. It's definitely one of the better sprite comics you'll find on the Internet, at least from what I've seen, and I'm sure part of the reason is because Jay was the first guy to do sprite comics like this, and afterward, since everyone else started doing it, seemed to have used the same style of humor and even the same damn jokes. So if you're going to check out just one sprite comic, choose this one.

Although now I'm sure some people will complain that, since Jay is no longer doing most of these comics, that they'll be worse in quality, that Jay's were better, and may dismiss the comic and not pay much attention to it anymore, which may lead to the actual death of Neglected Mario Characters. Considering Jay's position, I'm sorry to say, but that may be for the best, but here's to hoping the site at least reaches its fifteen year anniversary. And just know that, even though I don't find you all too funny anymore, you still made me smile. :)

P.S. My girlfriend's a fan, too, and she gave me the inspiration to check back in the first place.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why Discussing Gender Roles Matters to Me

This is an idea for a blog post that I've had for a while, but after noticing a comment in the following article I recently read, I felt like finally getting around to talking about this. Here's the article:

http://www.cracked.com/article_18529_6-absurd-gender-stereotypes-that-science-says-are-true.html

That article's generally bull shit, but I didn't feel like going into full detail about it. What I'm really going to argue against is this specific comment by chsirish73:

"Hey, everyone that's getting so angry, the article is based off of scientific research and states on average that these things are true. Also, the article is written by a woman, so everyone that's getting so upset and saying that it's biased against women isn't making any sense."

Most scientific studies done on the differences between men and women are highly questionable. Those studies tend to generalize a whole spectrum of people, and people can easily justify what they say because they claim that it's science that says so, like there's no way any sort of experiment could possibly be biased or conducted improperly. The big problem with the generalizations is that there is typically an exception to the rule, hence is what my girlfriend and I tend to be. In this case, if there is an exception to the rule, then the study is not reliable, and therefore, you shouldn't trust the findings within.

For instance, if you want to test the hypothesis that all heavy things sink, you'd try to put a bunch of heavy objects in water. Turns out, most heavy things do sink. However, once you try out a big log, it floats. Suddenly, your hypothesis isn't correct, and a new one must be made because of this astounding new discovery. This is how science experiments works. It's not correct to continue saying that all heavy things sink if not all of them do.

And the other problem is, like I said, people trusting this "scientific research" because it is just that (in their eyes, at least), including the woman who wrote the article I linked to. This causes a great number of problems that are involved with believing these stereotypes. This is the very thing that causes any sort of anger or hatred against a particular group of people. This, of course, causes inequalities among the human race. In this case, it does for women more so than men. Why?

One big reason why is because people consider women to be biologically inferior, including other women. This encourages them to justify any sort of disproportionate treatment of women, such as leaving them at home to be housewives because they "can't handle the work environment like men, and are naturally homebodies regardless." But one of the worst atrocities in this country is the lower payroll that women receive on average, and this is for almost any job you go to. It's not just because women tend to have jobs that are lower in position than men do, since this happens with women who are in the same position as men as well. But what's the justification for this? Typically, the answer is, "Women are biologically inferior to men," or something along those lines. This is said regardless of women's overall job performance, even if it's better than men's. Check this website out for more info: http://www.womensmedia.com/new/Lips-Hilary-gender-wage-gap.shtml

Also interesting to note is that lawyers have been using women's premenstrual syndrome as a defense for their actions, as if women become savage beasts every time they're on PMS. Sadly, this argument has been working out for them so far: http://www.nytimes.com/1982/07/12/style/premenstrual-syndrome-a-complex-issue.html?sec=health

And it's not just a problem having to deal with work or economics otherwise. It's also a big social problem, particularly in relationships. The first article showed the popular book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, written by John Gray in 1992, which ultimately has separated the sexes more than it has brought them together. In part because of this book, people still to this day tend to claim things like, "Women complain about problems because they want their problems to be acknowledged, while men complain about problems because they are asking for solutions." Like neither party would ever want or take either side's point of view. Of course, John Gray admitted that what he was writing was about stereotypes, and shouldn't be applied to the individual. The problem is, most people have been doing that. Any time a generalization is made, that generalization will spread, and the people who have that generalization applied to them may actually adapt to that generalization. There is a Sociological theory that I want to name related to this very thing, but I can't remember the name. I'll update this post as soon as I find out the name.

Also interesting is the fact that women who serve in the military don't receive as much respect as men who serve: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/12/14/3629959-back-from-combat-women-struggle-for-acceptance

Although most of the problems tend to fall upon the women, men also have their fair share of problems as well, though that's usually due to social stigma. From what I understand, just a few things that are part of the cultural norms for men are not being allowed to express their emotions (otherwise, they're gay, and that's a bad thing), they're told not to wear skirts or makeup (unless you live in the 1980s, of course), and they're told they're the ones that have to get a job and support the family, among various other things. This, of course, limits freedoms. For what reasons, I can't tell you, but one thing I can easily come up with is tradition (we've always done it, so let's keep on doing it), which is really more of an excuse than it is an argument.

This is obviously a serious problem, and that's why I find it so important to let people know about just how our traditional gender roles are breaking us apart. What gets to me most is that most people don't even recognize that they're accepting these stereotypes blindly. Please, don't fall down into the slippery slope on the way to hatred and bigotry. Accept people for who they are or who they want to be. This is necessary for America to be a free country.