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For those of you not up on the latest hip party game for people in their 20s and 30s, let me introduce you to Cards Against Humanity. Essentially a group form of multiple choice Mad Libs, this game features a bunch of black cards, which contain sentences with key nouns left out, and a bunch of white cards, which contain nouns or noun phrases. Each player draws a hand of 10 white cards, and then everyone gets a chance to read a black card aloud. After a card is read, players choose from their hand the white card that they think best completes the sentence. These cards are distributed to the reader anonymously. The reader reads the selections aloud and selects the one they like best. The player whose white card is chosen wins the black card. All players draw another white card to keep their hand up to 10, and the role of reading black cards passes to the next player.

In concept, Cards Against Humanity is the sort of game I love. There's no competition and no real winning or losing. The game emphasizes creativity and amusement instead of points and strategy. It's the type of game that grows exponentially more hilarious with more and more players, and it sparks very interesting side conversations when people ask or joke about each other's choices.

In practice, however, I find Cards Against Humanity very problematic in terms of content and framing. The black cards, with their framing sentences, feature mostly topical references familiar to people in their 20s and 30s. Examples include: "What does Prince insist on being included in his dressing room?" and "What does Obama do to unwind?" Fine, no big deal.

It's the white noun cards, though, that drive me up the wall. If they contained only generically amusing phrases such as "murder most foul," "inappropriate yodeling" and "licking things to claim them as your own," I wouldn't object. But no, those cards are a distinct minority. The white cards focus heavily on topics apparently considered taboo or difficult to discuss by the white, straight, cis, male, bourgeois creator, including people of color ["brown people," "the hard-working Mexican"], people with disabilities ["amputees," "Stephen Hawking talking dirty," "a robust Mongoloid," "a spastic nerd," "the profoundly handicapped"], queer people ["the gays," "praying the gay away"], fat people ["feeding Rosie O'Donnell," "the morbidly obese," "home video of Oprah sobbing into a Lean Cuisine"], gender-nonconforming people ["passable transvestites"], genocide ["inappropriately timed Holocaust jokes," "helplessly giggling at the mention of Hutus and Tutsis"], Muslims ["Allah [praise be unto him!]," "72 virgins"], poor people ["poor people," "homeless people"], old people ["Grandma," "hospice care"], child abuse ["child abuse"], rape ["surprise sex"], paraphilias ["German dungeon porn"] and crap ["fiery poops"]. I could go on, but then I'd be quoting the entire suite of white cards.

Cards Against Humanity glancingly acknowledges the problematic structure of its game by billing its audience as "horrible people." "It's as despicable and awkward as you and your friends," crows the main page of the game's Web site. Of course, below this description are various cool publications and people praising the game, so clearly the game's creators see being "despicable and awkward" as a coveted, desirable status. They quote condemnations from the Chicago Tribune ["absurd"], The Economist ["unforgivable"] and NPR ["bad"] in contrast with praise from INC ["hilarious"] and Boing Boing ["funny"]. Thus they associate criticism with old-fashioned, conservative, humorless media outlets full of old people and appreciation with the young, hip, cool crowd. To be "despicable and awkward," then, is ultimately to be cool. 

What does Cards Against Humanity's concept of coolness -- that is, their idea of rebranded despicability qua awesomeness -- entail? Basically it means laughing at anyone who's not a straight, white, cis, bourgeois, hipster dude [like the creator]. Don't try to tell me that, because the game has white cards like "white privilege," it actually critiques those who are discomfited by the concept. No, it doesn't, not when the majority of cards make marginalized people who lack privilege into punchline after punchline after punchline.

If you're still not convinced, let me break it down to you with a single example: the white card that has the phrase "passable transvestites." There is so much wrong with this card that it's hard to know where to start. Well, to begin with, clearly someone thought this phrase worthy of inclusion into the deck of white cards, meaning that someone perceived it as shocking, racy, funny and potentially ridiculous. So what's shocking, racy and entertaining about "passable transvestites?" Yeah, a gender nonconforming person who goes out in public en femme so that they avoid being clocked always makes me laugh. The stats on trans and other gender nonconforming people being harassed, assaulted and killed provide comic relief every time I read them. The outdated language on this white card -- the vexed concept of "passable," coupled with the no-longer-used, clinical-sounding "transvestite" -- signals that the game's creators are hung up on old-fashioned binaries of gender presentation, the transgression of which they find hilarious and pathetic, instead of a matter of life and death.

I can make the same points about Cards Against Humanity's treatment of people with disabilities, the prejudice against whom can be summed up in a single white card: "Stephen Hawking talking dirty." Yup, yup, of course, people who are neuroatypical, emotionally atypical and physically atypical to the extent that society doesn't really know how to accommodate them -- they're comedy gold! I mean, really -- can you imagine a man with paralysis talking dirty? First of all, he'd be doing it with the help of his computer, which is inherently hilarious, you know, because he can't really talk. Second of all, it would imply that he, despite being unable to move parts of his body, has active sexual desires and interests, which is a shock, because no paralyzed person has ever had sexual interests and agency before -- ever! They're just...like... wheelchair-bound automatons. Yeah, "the profoundly handicapped" are a gas all right. Yet again, Cards Against Humanity's decision to employee the passe and offensive term "handicapped" shows that they're not interested in mocking prejudice, but in perpetuating it.

EDIT: As rosettanettle points out in a comment on my LJ crosspost, the creator of Cards Against Humanity expressed regret for the "passable transvestites" white card, which is now no longer included in decks. This does not, however, negate any of my points. If anything, it reinforces them, since the creator's expression of "regret," which came only because he was called on his transphobia, comes across as less a regret of treasuring bigoted tenets and more a regret at getting caught. I also suspect his theatrical Tumblr photoset of him lighting the card on fire of being a self-aggrandizing performance so that he may be showered with praise about what an enlightened ally he is. Why do straight, cis, white, middle-class dudes think they deserve extra special plaudits for meeting minimum standards of decency? "Despicable," indeed.
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This truncated set of 6 eps provided no particular closure, no interesting character development and nothing particularly interesting. The overall flaccidity of the 6 eps just highlighted the show's problematic aspects even more excruciatingly.

In no particular order, the problems were:
  • Steve. The show never did this character justice. He had great potential, especially as someone with the power of discerning whether people were telling the truth, but the show never really knew what to do with him. Without a tortured past full of secrets like the other agents [or at least not enough of the past for a multi-ep exploration], Steve had no grounding, no motivation, no hook. He also never really had anything to do except for to be Claudia's best friend, to die, to be resurrected and to keep the home fires burning while everyone else ran away on adventures. He was a thoroughly dull and objectified damsel in distress type. I feel like the writers identified him by a cluster of traits -- former ATF agent, Buddhist, gay, human lie detector -- and just had him mention those identities occasionally in lieu of developing an actual personality.
  • While we're on the subject again, let's bring up homophobia, one of the show's perennial failings. In 6.4, Savage Seduction, Claudia and Steve investigate a frat where the brothers are using an artifact to split themselves into two parts: studiers and partiers. Claudia and Steve's quest started promisingly with Claudia grumbling about "kids these days" [even though she was the age of the students] and Steve's revelation that he had been part of a nerd fraternity with "book group and holiday a cappella." Then Steve got a hold of the artifact and turned into two Steves, one of which was usual Steve and the other of which was a painfully swishy stereotype. Where did that come from? Steve had never shown any indication of harboring painfully swishy stereotypes. It could have been interesting if those were his long-buried fears about what he might have to be when he found out he was gay, but nah -- the show just played swishy Steve for laughs. Claudia also made a passing remark that she liked swishy Steve "a little bit more" than usual Steve, which was indicative of the show's whole treatment of Steve's sexuality: it was only ever developed jokingly, with reference to stereotypes, even if Steve was bringing them up to say that he differed from them. The show could not take him as a gay guy seriously and invested way too much prurient energy into his sexuality.
  • Speaking of sexuality, the show also capitulated to cultural pressures of heteronormativity. After five seasons of him being annoyed at her exactitude and her being annoyed at his immaturity, Pete and Myka realized that they loved each other. Well, that was pretty obvious. But why did they have to end up as a romantic couple? They may have loved each other and worked well together, but they were not characterologically compatible, so why did the show hook them up? Boring, boring, boring.
  • Furthermore, racism featured prominently in Warehouse 13's final season. It was like they crammed all the racism that they hadn't gotten to into a single truncated set of 6 eps. There were the gratuitous "g***y" references with the fortune tellers in the Ren Faire ep. There was the trash heap of "fiery Latino" stereotypes in the telenovela ep. Then, in the last ep, Leena, who was bumped off for no reason at the end of season 4, was given a flashback scene in which she foresaw her own death in the Warehouse and then, when Mrs. Frederic said that she would try to prevent it, said to her, "But it's okay." No, you stinkin' show -- do not try to retroactively sell me on the useless death of one of the show's two main characters of color. I won't buy it.





 
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In Runaway, a recent episode of Warehouse 13, Steve [fifth wheel Warehouse agent] has to work with his ex. They hash out their differences by the end of the episode, and Steve saves the dude's life, after which they reconcile and have offscreen sex.

However, in the last scene they're together, Steve and the ex stand around with their hands in their pockets, about 6 feet apart. I understand masculine socialization to repress emotion and avoid touching, and I also understand that they were only tentatively trusting each other at this point, but c'mon!!! No shoulder touch, no hand squeeze, no hug, not even an affectionate glance, goofy smile or reference to the times they did enjoy together? Given the level of interest [not] on display, they could have been engaged in a transaction for a used car. The actors had no chemistry, and the script and blocking didn't even try to convince me otherwise. Fuck you and your fucking homophobia, Sy Fy.

P.S. Also queer women don't exist.
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I just finished Libba Bray's latest doorstop trilogy opener The Diviners. Set in New York City in 1926, it follows a group of teenagers with magical powers as they pursue and attempt to thwart a murderous fanatic who wishes to cheat death by bringing about Hell on Earth [or something -- this point wasn't entirely clear]. Characters include protagonist Evie, an obnoxious flapper wannabe and burgeoning lush, who can learn about owners by holding their possessions; her best friend Mabel, whose major conflict in this book is about whether she should bob her hair; Evie's new friend Theta, a Zeigfield girl and apparent pyrokinetic; Memphis, Theta's boyfriend, who has healing hands and a possessed little brother; Will, an absentminded professor stereotype, who heads a museum of the occult and ostensibly watches over Evie; Sam, a pickpocket and male version of Evie [only with less alcohol], who can become invisible; Jericho, a tragic cyborg with the power of hulking menacingly; and Naughty John, the aforementioned murderous fanatic. Shenanigans ensue.

I'm going to finish this series because Bray knows how to write mindlessly engaging entertainment. I am not, however, finishing this series for its literary merit. In fact, the book presents many beautiful examples of how not to write. I have gathered them in a list below for your convenience in no particular order.This book REALLY pissed me off. )
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Well, it looks like I can't use Unsworth Law after all. Though I had a very good experience with the legal assistant, the primary lawyer says in his bio that he is on the advisory board of the Salvation Army, a disgustingly militant and profoundly anti-queer organization.

Guess they don't really care about us after all.
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Both organizations piss and moan obsessively about the evils of queer sexuality and trans identities while refusing to recognize the reality: namely, that queer and/or trans people exist within their ranks and that "ACK COOTIES GET IT AWAY!!!" is not a compassionate, acceptable, morally defensible to address these people.

I'm going to talk about the Boy Scouts because I have more experience with them than with Catholics. Sometimes I think that what happens in BSA hierarchy and what happens in local BSA troops are completely different. For example, all my family members involved in BSA describe an enjoyable experience of making friends, playing with their peers, going on adventures and learning fascinating things. I will not claim that everyone's BSA experience is like this, but I will note that, in my admittedly unscientific sample, nobody mentions "pissing and moaning obsessively about the evils of queer sexuality and trans identities" as a primary pursuit.

What is wrong with the BSA leadership? Why are they so pathologically focused on what a very small number of people do with their bodies? Don't they have better things to do, like run the damn organization?
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My financial advisor has been bugging me to make a will, power of attorney, health care agent, all that sort of thing, so I finally got around to scheduling an initial consultation. At my sister's recommendation, I chose Clarke Demas and Baker, a Vermont-based law firm, and scheduled an appointment.

I received a PDF intake form for a single person, but wanted a Word document so I could make notes on it. When I received the Word intake form, I noticed that it was for married people, but I decided to use it anyway.

Then I looked closely at the married intake form. It was divided into 2 columns, one labeled "Husband" and the other labeled "Wife."

Outrage overcame me. [It does that a lot these days.] We've had marriage equality here in the state since 2009, but Clarke Demas and Baker apparently refuses to accept reality by simply changing their forms to read "Spouse 1" and "Spouse 2." They may have experience doing estate planning for same-sex couples, but their forms betray what they really think of us: we don't exist.

I refuse to patronize a law firm that thinks I don't exist. My business is going elsewhere, and I'm telling them why.

EDIT: I just explained to the legal assistant my cancellation and my reasons. I said that they should update their forms. She said, "I apologize; we do have a form for that."

Now I'm really glad I'm not using their services. My God, if the legal assistant can't even say the phrase "same-sex marriage" and if, for some reason, there's a separate form [separate but no doubt "equal!"] for same-sex spouses, the firm clearly devalues me and my ilk.
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Please read Patricia Weber's ["La Jolla resident since 1953!"] letter to the editor [?] of the La Jolla Light. Then read the skewering by Shakesville commentators.

I'm not even going to get into it here. I'm just going to say that, apparently, in 2065, there is absolutely no communication whatsoever between the Earth and the Moon.

????????????????????????????????????????
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The New York Times says that, among other reasons, Republicans do not want to support this anti-domestic violence legislation because "...it also dilutes the focus on domestic violence by expanding protections to new groups, like same-sex couples, they say."

What is the implication here...that there are no same-sex couples with women in them? That queer couples don't experience domestic violence? Both of these are patently false assumptions. I don't understand why more domestic violence prevention would be a BAD thing.

Clearly the Republicans just don't like people who aren't straight, cis, white, able-bodied, rich men. More than that, they actively want to kill them. It's a frightening world we live in.
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Dan Savage, a gay male advice columnist who writes for the Seattle Stranger, has some cachet among liberals/Democrats/progressives as being queer-friendly, pro-kink and open-minded, but he still has lots of privilege as a thin, white, rich, cis, married, U.S. man. I've collected several criticisms of his advice which should make you think long and hard before calling this columnist helpful, progressive and open-minded. In no particular order...here they are...
Read more... )
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Yesterday, I watched another Lifetime Xmas movie, The Road to Xmas, in which a woman is happily engaged to an Italian man. He's preparing a surprise wedding for her in Aspen and, when one of her photography shoots is canceled, she decides to fly out early to surprise him. When her flight is canceled, she hitches a ride with a widower and his teenaged daughter. The woman [naturally :p ] falls in love with the widower, conveniently discovers her fiance's infidelity and dumps the fiance for the widower.

For a Lifetime Xmas movie, The Road to Xmas was surprisingly tolerable. This is probably because the movie itself was a road-trip romance that happened to occur arround Xmas, rather than a film in which Xmas plays a starring role as the holiday of cliched and enforced happiness for all.

Because I could watch Road to Xmas without gagging on holiday cheer, its problematic elements stood out all the more strongly: 1) homophobia and 2) domestic violence.

You see...the photographer's fiance wasn't just having an affair with some random woman...he was sexing it up with the male wedding planner. After unbelievable excuses, the fiance protests that he really wanted the wedding between him and the photographer to work out, which makes him seem like not only a cheater, but a cheater deluded enough to think that a straight marriage would somehow keep both parties happy when one party is secretly gay. After an entirely heteronormative movie, two gay characters appear only to provide a devastating [yet convenient] end to the photographer and fiance's relationship, thus reinforcing the idea that gay people are selfish homewreckers.

I also objected to the domestic violence at the end of the film. When she discovered that her fiance was gay, the photographer swung her fists at him, slapping him and pounding him in the chest. He said something like, "Please don't hit me!" or "Why are you hitting me?" Her response was something like, "It's the only thing I can think to do, and it feels good." The photographer's blows against her fiance were shown to be ineffectual and comic, but just make the assailant a man and the victim a woman to see how chilling this exchange truly is. Can you imagine a male character justifying violence against a female character by saying, "It feels good"? Most people would recognize such a situation as the abusive behavior it is. When the assailant is female, however, and the victim male, the situation is minimized, diminished and played for comic relief so that the violence seems more palatable, even acceptable and dismissable! Vomitorious.
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Shakesville brings to my attention a sexist post on Pharyngula where candidate Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-ebarbative) is compared to a snake that can dislocate its jaw to accommodate a [phallic] corn dog.

I don't understand why people feel the need to make dehumanizing, objectifying comments about Bachmann -- in this case, comparing her to a snake -- when there are real, substantive criticisms to be made of her bigoted views and policies. For example, see a post on Talking Points Memo where Bachmann tries some stonewalling bullshittery in the face of the interviewer asking her about previous homophobic statements. Sexist remarks such as those on Pharyngula distract from the issues at hand and hurt all women.

To anyone who thinks that Pharyngula is just having a little fun, that it's okay to go after Bachmann because you don't agree with her, let me point out this: Saying "It's okay to make fun of this woman because of her sex, but not that one!" does not provide an adequate excuse. Sexism against one woman, any woman, harms all women. You personally may only make fun of Bachmann, but what's to prevent someone else from saying, "Oh, I'm only going to make fun of ModernWizard [or any other woman, for that matter], but not others"? Your exceptions may be someone else's target. Your willingness to participate in sexist rhetoric just perpetuates an atmosphere of acceptance in which further sexism flourishes. Sexism is never okay, no matter who the target!

Didn't we just go through this four years ago with Sarah Palin [post on SocIm started by yours truly] and Hillary Clinton as targets of sexist smears?

P.S. Mockery of Bachmann's husband for supposedly being a closeted gay man trades on the idea that being gay is somehow shameful and worthy of ridicule. If you think that way, you are homophobic.
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Brian McGreevy on Vulture [for New York magazine] vomits forth a puerile lump of garbage with his opinion on popular portrayals of vampires in True Blood and the Twilight saga:

"Much has been made of the damage inflicted by the 'male gaze' in film, but what of the female gaze? It's taken the Romantic vampire and cut off his balls, leaving a pallid emo pansy with the gaseous pretentiousness of a perfume commercial. We are now left with the Castrati vampire: This is pornography for tweens, as well as a worrying reflection of our time."
 
Reading this screed, one can't help but think that McGreevy is just pissed that a vampire series written by a woman has become so popular. He seems to think that the Twilight saga is wretched just because it represents a young female character's point of view. I mean, God forbid that someone address a pillowy fantasy novel to the vast hordes of ravenous teenaged girls and young women who form the Twilight saga's primary audience! No no, books should be written by manly men only about manly male subjects, such as Romantic vampires with really big schlongs.

I never thought I'd be defending the virtues of the Twilight saga, a series that I find insidiously sexist and intensely problematic, but there it is. No, Mr. McGreevy, the sex of an author is not a legitimate subject for one of your irrelevant tangents about how biliously poxed with prejudice your brain happens to be. How the sex of an author informs his or her writing is indeed pertinent, but criticizing an author for being a certain sex just proves the source of the criticism [that's you, sir] to be a bloviating bigot.
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I didn't say it. Stephen Marche says it in Esquire. He thinks that the recent spate of popular vampires represents not, oh, say, dangerous sensuality or suave seductiveness or something, but the desire of straight women to get into bed with gay men. He provides no actual evidence for his claim, other than noting that True Blood's anti-vamp crowd ["God hates fangs!"] sounds a lot like the anti-gay crowd. In fact, not till the end of his blithering ramble does Marche reveal what may be his thesis:

And so vampires have appeared to help America process its newfound acceptance of what so many once thought strange or abnormal. Adam and Steve who live on your corner with their adorable little son and run a bakery? The transgendered man who gave birth to a healthy baby? The teenage girl who wishes that all boys could be vampires? All part of the luscious and terrifying magic of today's sexual revolution.

So a gay couple with a son and a business, as well as a transgendered pregnant man, are both grouped in the same "luscious and terrifying" category as vampires. The gay guys and the trans guy are, according to Marche, categorically similar to cold, dead killers. I think that says more about the author's misogyny, homophobia and transphobia than it does about the attraction that many young straight white teenaged girls feel toward recent vampiric characters. Ugh, what a bigot.
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Support 2 great causes: AIDS advocacy/research AND foiling homophobic bigots!

Westboro Baptist Cult protesters are scheduled to protest for 50 minutes on March 20, from 11 AM - around noon, in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. Pledge a set amount for every minute that the WBC dingdongs hang around, and, after they leave, your pledge will be multiplied for the total number of minutes that they stayed, and the total will be donated to Cambridge Cares About AIDS, a local organization for AIDS education and advocacy for PWAs. Go to the CCA Web site to pledge. Then go here and enter your donation information so that the amount that you pledge will be added to the total tally of money that the dingdongs are raising.
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Use this information collected here at Shakesville to let the organizers of the inaugural ball know that you too disapprove of misogynist homophobe Rev. Rick Warren's selection to do the invocation at Obama's inauguration. Pass along to your friends!

Here's what I sent to Emmett Beliveau, emmett@pic2009.org, the CEO of the inaugural committee:
--
Dear Mr. Beliveau:

I am writing to express my strong displeasure with the choice of Rev. Rick Warren as the one to perform the invocation at President-Elect Obama's inauguration.

As a woman, I find Warren's anti-choice views misogynist. Warren's inclusion in a prominent position at the inauguration represents hypocrisy on the part of the Obama-Biden team, who ran on a platform advocating women's reproductive freedom.

As a queer person, I also find Warren's homophobic behavior despicable as well. His anti-marriage "slippery slope" argument equates gay marriage with incest and rape. How can Obama, who has said on record that he supports gay civil unions, condone Warren's bigotry by letting him give the inaugural invocation?

Warren's narrow-minded intolerance should have no place at an event supposedly heralding positive change. Choose another speaker for the invocation, one who truly represents the liberalism, hope and open-mindedness to which the Obama/Biden team has so frequently appealed.

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The American Family Association is selling a DVD about queer people becoming a visible part of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It's an alarmist piece of tripe of blithering homophobia that harps about the nefariousness of gay invasions. Commenters from people on Shakesville amuse me greatly, especially the alternative gay agendas. Beware the ROY G. BIV skyscrapers! Boogedy boogedy!



Mneh.

Nov. 5th, 2008 08:59 am
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Obama won the presidency, which is good, assuming that a) he actually delivers on some of the liberal tendencies he's been talking about and b) no one tries to assassinate him. Also, Massachusetts keeps its income tax, decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana and bans dog racing. That's also good.

More depressingly, California passes Prop 8 to outlaw gay marriage; gay marriage bans are also passing in Arizona and Florida, while, in Arkansas, unmarried couples are now banned from being foster or adoptive parents. Ah, the good ol' USA, home to lip service of equality and practice of segregation. Why do these country's institutions hate people so much if they're not straight, white, rich, non-disabled men? No...seriously...why do this country's institutions so venomously and murderously despise most of its citizenry? I'm exhausted.

Assignment: Convert hatred to understanding and acceptance. Prognosis: Doubtful.
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Thanks to sailorzeo, who sent me the first 12 books of Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blaker Vampire Hunter series [previously discussed here], I can now summarize books 1-6 for you.

1. Mary Sue Anita uses her Super-Awesome Bestest Zombie Powers in the whole wide world!!!!!! to solve a police procedural in which yet another Evil Sick Twisted Bastard Beyond Imagining is seriously fucking shit up. The audience turns its brains off and goes for the ride.

2. Mary Sue Anita fights with her main snooze squeeze, Richard the Hairy Wolf Dude, about how he should kill other werewolves in order to insure his status as alpha male. The audience wonders what these two see in each other, since they have no common interests and about as much chemistry of a heap of wet pine needles.

3. Mary Sue Anita fights with other main squeeze, the vampiric and ridiculously dressed Jean-Claude. The audience chokes on its laughter, since Jean-Claude appears to take fashion cues from Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth, only with less sense of humor. The audience then reads the scenes between Mary Sue and Clotheshorse much more avidly, since these two seem well-matched, but Clotheshorse soon flits away, leaving the audience in a semi-dormant torpor once more.

4. Gratuitous descriptions of PARTLY DISMEMBERED BODIES!!! The audience rolls its eyes.

5. Gratuitous fight between Mary Sue and some rival for either Hair Club's or Clotheshorse's affections. The audience secretly roots for the rival to kick Mary Sue's ass, but Mary Sue's ass is impenetrable, even by her "preternatural" [which means "unusual," LKH, not "supernatural" -- DAMN YOU!] butt monkeys.

6. Repetition ad nauseam of the following: Anita's age [24], Anita's "tough-as-nails" demeanor, Jean-Claude's entirely-masculine-and-so-totally-not-at- all-androgynous-and-not-the-least-bit-sexually-ambiguous-why-would-you-even-say-that-I'm-STRAIGHT-straight-I-tell-you-iiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee! physique, Jean-Claude's "beautiful mask" of a face, fur "flowing" [?!] over a transforming lycanthrope, vampires who "flash fangs" [they never "flash THEIR fangs," which irritates me to no end], and the conspicuous absence of any gay tension between Furface and Fangface, despite the fact that they are in a menage a trois with Mary Sue, and Jean-Claude seems like the omnisexual type to use sex as a form of power.

7. Profit!

In other words, these books provided an entire weekend of mindless entertainment. But my vampires are better.
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I am so pissed at the latest ep of my favorite currently running show, Supernatural. It takes a set-up with meta-humorous possibilities and flushes it down the toilet with a send-off of homophobic cliches. The conceit is that a team of amateur doofuses, the Ghostfacers, wish to film a reality show of their investigation of a haunted house. Their investigation becomes serious when an actual murderous ghost shows up. Fortunately, Sam and Dean arrive to save the doofuses and dispatch the ghost. You can find details at Television Without Pity's blow-by-blow summary. I'd like to concentrate on the goddamned stupid fucking homophobia.
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As a follow-up to my analysis of Svedka Vodka's stvpid ads targeted toward straight viewers, here's an equally pathetic attempt by the same company to target gay viewers. 

According to the copy, Svedka Vodka is right up there with clipping your toenails, taking out the trash, watching paint dry, doing laundry and all those other value-neutral activities that gay men would rather be doing than having sex with women. That's hardly a ringing endorsement. Heck, I don't even think this endorsement can reach the bell. If it does, it just bounces off like a foam ball, having made no sound on impact.

Svedka Vodka: Making useless, gratuitous, confrontational and meaningless comments about your sexuality since 2006.
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So saith Perversion for Profit (1965), an anti-smut rant. "Newsprint filth" apparently weakens children's moral fiber, leaving them less capable to resist the Communist threat. With a few changes in stats and terminology [I doubt the Communist menace would fly really well today], I think this content would transpose very well into anti-porn propaganda put out by, say, Focus on the Family.

I'm not going to even argue with the mindset portrayed in the film, but I do seriously question its tactics. Announcer George Putnam wants you to believe that exposure to porn corrupts innocent minds and damns people irrevocably. So why does most of the film contain examples of porm?! Following the logic of Putnam's argument, wouldn't these examples [even if eyes, butts and tits are barred out] corrupt at least a few innocent minds? It would be far more effective for this film to attempt to tie porn to violent crime by studying the porn habits of child molesters, serial killers, rapists, domester abusers, etc., to establish a [supposed] causal connection between newsprint filth and criminal perversion. In other words, don't show us the perversion; show us the result!

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So I just watched Boys Beware (1961), a mental hygiene film warning teenaged boys against "homosexuals." My brain broke because
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About two weeks ago, I caught Spiderman 3 at the cheap seats.

On the other hand, I saw Blades of Glory last night.

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Now making the rounds on the Net is the BBC2's docu on the Westboro Baptist Church Cult.

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