You Are Dumb ([syndicated profile] youaredumd_feed) wrote2017-10-17 04:00 am

The Moron Protocol

Posted by Bryan Lambert

« October 2017  

Memo to the media: IT MEANS HE’S A MORON.

What’s interesting in what is now two or three weeks of fallout from reports that Rex Tillerson called Donald Trump a fucking moron is that all the discussion has been around, shall we say, the process. Has Tillerson denied saying it? Will he deny saying it? What does this mean for the relationship between the president and his secretary of state?

The discussion of process is how the media avoids wrangling with the real issue. And the real issue is how do we, as a country, deal with the fact that we’ve elected a moron. A moron that everyone except the moron knows is a moron.

Even after it was revealed that Tillerson’s comment was prompted by a meeting where Trump was shown a chart showing how many nukes we’ve had over time, and Trump saw the line going down, and he thought lines going down were bad, and so he asked why we don’t have more nukes, it came with this weird “he’s a moron like a fox” aspect. The line is that Trump constantly asking people what the fuck is going on isn’t because he doesn’t know what the fuck is going on, it’s because he wants to keep people on their toes and get them to “think outside the box”.

I’d argue that in 2017, trying to get people to “think outside the box” is just further proof that Trump is a moron who hasn’t had a management book read to him since 1988. But more importantly, nobody actually believes that’s what Trump’s doing. They’re just saying that because the alternative is admitting, publicly, that the President of the United States is a fucking moron.

And it has to be deliberate, because it’s so fucking obvious. Yesterday’s impromptu press event was yet another off-script shit-show, and the worst I heard about it was that it had “strange moments”. Here’s one strange moment. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

”I don't know if he did. No, no, no. I was -- I was told that he didn't often, and a lot of presidents don't. They write letters. TRUMP: I do -- excuse me, Peter. I do a combination of both. Sometimes it's -- it's a very difficult thing to do, but I do a combination of both. President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn't. I don't know. That's what I was told. All I can do -- all I can do is ask my generals. Other -- other presidents did not call, they'd write letters. And some presidents didn't do anything.”

That was how Trump responded to a reporter calling him on his blatant lie that Obama didn’t talk to the families of dead soldiers. He dropped that lie after being criticized for not contacting the families of the four soldiers killed recently in Niger. He also said that he’d written letters and they were totally done they just hadn’t been sent yet, which I’m sure everyone believed.

I had to go digging for a full transcript for that quote, by the way, because the versions I found in stories omitted the dumb, stumbling parts that make Donald Trump sound like the fucking moron that he is. You know, the liberal media.

We’re all going to have to come to grips with electing a moron eventually. Since we seem incapable of doing it in the face of constant evidence and rank incompetence, I guess we’ll have to wait until the destruction in his wake affects someone we can collectively agree “matters”.

Stonekettle Station ([syndicated profile] stonekettle_feed) wrote2017-10-16 07:26 pm

The Myth of Judeo-Christian Values

Posted by Jim Wright

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.
-- Aristotle

“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values”

That was President Donald Trump addressing the Value Voters Summit in Washington D.C. last Friday.

We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.

That’s what he said.



On Judeo-Christian values.

What does that mean?

No, stop. Think about it. What does that mean? How do you attack a value?

Seriously. How do you attack a value?

Look here: Values are defined as those principles we hold important in life.

How do you attack that?

Values are personal. We each determine for ourselves what is important. Values are your personal ethics, morals, your standards of behavior. Values are often, but not always, the ideals imposed on us by our environment, ways of thinking learned from various examples: our parent when we are young, leaders, public figures, community, law, teachers, friends, societal groups, and so on. Because everyone’s experience is different, our values are often different in varying degrees.

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
Muhammad Ali

Our values tend to change over time as our relationships and community and experience change and indeed if your worldview is the same at fifty as it was at twenty, well, like the man said, you might have wasted much of your life. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we get wiser. There’s nothing more enlightening than listening to a fifty-year-old conservative moral absolutist describe how he was once a liberal but his values changed when he [found Jesus, joined the NRA, became a Republican, etc] and that’s why moral relativism is evil.

But ask that same moral absolutist to provide a list of universal values, see what you get.

No, better yet, ask a room full of moral absolutists to provide a single list of human values, ordered by importance.

Then time how long it takes for the angry shouting to start.

Is there an agreed upon list of human values? Not Judeo-Christian values (we’ll get to that in a minute), just plain old ordinary every day human values?

Is there?

Quick, what are they? List them in order. What’s the most important value to you? Truth? Compassion? Strength? Altruism? Selflessness? Courage? Wait. Are those even recognized values?

Are they?

Are you sure?

Funny, isn’t it? Certain words we use. Words describe concepts. And we all think we know the definition of those concepts. Moreover, we assume that everybody else’s understanding of that concept is the same as ours.

But ask a hundred people to list the most important human values, and you’ll get a hundred different answers.

Because values are relative. Values are subjective.

I’m not the first person to notice this. Obviously. There are entire fields of study going all the way back to the great philosophers of Ancient Greece.

A lot of very smart people have devoted lifetimes of research into this very subject. One of those people, a social-psychologist named Shalom H. Schwartz, came up something called the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values. You can find a current and reasonably readable overview of Schwartz’s theory here, published by the The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Schwartz’s Theory of Basic Values has been around for a while and it’s commonly used by psychologists and sociologists and those who study ethics and human interaction as a starting point.  Schwartz said that values are “beliefs linked inextricably to affect.” And what he meant was that values are tied to emotion and goals, for example, “People for whom independence is an important value become aroused if their independence is threatened, despair when they are helpless to protect it, and are happy when they can enjoy it.” This applies to nearly any value you can name – again in varying degrees depending individual circumstance. But it’s not something you can measure quantitatively.

Basically the theory says:

  • Values are beliefs.
  • Values refer to desirable goals that motivate action.
  • Values transcend specific actions and situations.
  • Values serve as standards or criteria.
  • Values are ordered by importance.
  • The relative values of multiple values guides action.

And I think that works as a general description of what a value is. But what are actual human values?

What would you list as human values?

Schwartz defines ten basic human values based on the criteria above:

  • Self-Direction: independent thought and action--choosing, creating, exploring.
  • Stimulation: excitement, novelty, and challenge in life.
  • Hedonism: pleasure or sensuous gratification for oneself.
  • Achievement: personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards.
  • Power: social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources.
  • Security: safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self.
  • Conformity: restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms.
  • Tradition: respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that one's culture or religion provides.
  • Benevolence: preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the ‘in-group’).
  • Universalism: understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature.

Hedonism. Stimulation. Power. Conformity. When you were trying to think up a list of human values, unless you are a sociologist, you probably weren’t thinking in those terms, were you? But nearly any value you can name falls into one of those categories as described by Schwartz’s theory. 

It matters.

Precision of language matters.

Because that language, the words we use, defines how we see the world around us. How we relate to each other. Words can build a society, or tear a civilization apart. Language is information. And information used as a weapon can bring a dictator to power, topple governments, start wars (or end them), or shape the worldview of a nation.

And I want you to remember that.

“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values”

That’s what the most powerful man in the world said last Friday.

He was speaking to an audience made up largely of hardline conservative Evangelical Christians.

What does that audience think Trump meant by that statement? To them, to those particular people, what are Judeo-Christian Values?

Remember: Values are beliefs linked to emotion, values are ordered by importance, values motivate action towards particular goals.

Remember: Values tend to be personal, and thus relative.

Remember: Language defines concept. Terms matter.

Thus: for values to be shared, they have to be defined and we all must agree to the definition and its emotional importance. And ultimately, we must agree with the goals inherent to each value.

Also please note that when Trump said, “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values,” he didn’t bother to define … anything.

He didn’t define “attack.”

He didn’t define who was doing the attacking.

And most importantly he didn’t define “Judeo-Christian values.”

And Donald Trump is not the only one.

Breitbart led off their article on the subject with,

President Donald Trump vowed to end leftist attacks on Christian values that threatened the United States.

President Trump vowed to end Leftist attacks on Christian values that threatened the United States?

Christian Values. That threatened the United States.

Wait a minute here.

Words matter. Let’s read that again.

… on Christian values that threatened the United States…

Yep, still says, Christian values have threatened the United States.

(On a side note, odd that Breitbart mysteriously dropped the Judeo part. It’s almost like their old Anti-Semite CEO is back. But again, I digress)

If Christian values threatened the United States, why would the President vow to end attacks on them? Shouldn’t all Americans attack these Christian values that threaten America? I mean…



Right. Okay. Sure. But again, precision of language matters. Particularly when we’re talking about somebody attacking the United States.  As such, somebody needs to let Steven Bannon know his editors don’t understand basic sentence structure at even the sixth grade level. I’m just saying. For clarity’s sake. Given that it’s the lede and all. Right up front and ....


Fine. Fine. Moving on.

So, if I’m reading confused Breitbart grammar correctly, the basic idea here is that certain undefined “leftists” are somehow in some manner “attacking” “Christian values.” And, given the context, an attack on Christian values is an attack on America.

But see, the problem here is that the article again doesn’t define (other than in vague terms) who is doing the attacking, why they are attacking, how they are attacking, and most importantly of all: exactly what Judeo-Christian values are. Nor does the article explain how Donald Trump might end these attacks.

We are all just supposed to know what those things are.

Values change.

Morality changes.

This is the nature of civilization.

Once upon a time in America, it was moral to own other people. The measure of a decent man was once determined by how he treated his property, his slaves.

Is that a value we respect nowadays?

Is that an American value we want to bring back?

Is that a Judeo-Christian value? After all, slavery and how you treat it is integral to both the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible.


No, I suppose not.

But how do you know? How do you know if the terms are never defined? Given recent violent demonstrations in places like Charlottesville by hardcore Christian conservative Trump supporters marching under the Swastika and the flag of the Confederacy, how can I know that slavery isn’t a Judeo-Christian value?

How do I know?

I mean, I assume that’s not what these conservatives mean, but how do I know?

If the terms are not defined?

Let me show you. Fox News, in a Special Report last Friday entitled: Eagle Scout: RIP Boy Scouts of America. You were great for 100 years, laments the destruction of the once venerable organization.

We all knew this was coming. The Boy Scouts of America stood for over a century on its strong foundation of Judeo-Christian values, growing boys into young men, and young men into leaders.  However, in recent years the BSA has allowed cracks to form in that foundation.

There is it, Judeo-Christian values.




Nowhere in that article does the author list those supposed values. Don’t take my word for it, click on the link and go look for yourself.  The article doesn’t describe in any way whatsoever the specific Judeo-Christian values that Baden Powell supposedly based the Boy Scouts on, nor does the author tell you which values they’ve supposedly discarded.

The author just assumes we all know what he means.

Because, of course, we are all Judeo-Christian in America, are we not?

And all Jews and Christians are the same, with the same worldview and outlook and values. Same as the author. Right?


With much handwringing and teeth-gnashing, the article goes on to bemoan the “incredibly disappointing news” that girls – girls – will not only be allowed to enter into Cub Scouts, but the BSA organization will soon create a scouting program for older girls – girls – to advance and earn Scouting’s highest rank of Eagle Scout. The author is outraged at the idea of stinky girls – girls – being allowed anywhere near Scouting. He rages against “inclusion” and the end of “manhood” and points out how “[i]t is important for boys and young men to grow together free from the distraction of girls.”

It is important for boys and men to grow together free from the distraction of girls.

It’s important.

For boys and men.

To grow together.

Free from the distraction of girls.

The article doesn’t bother to explain why it’s important for boys and men to grow together. In the woods. Alone. Though he does point out the danger of putting girls – girls – into the same situation:

I have to wonder why any parent would want their young teenage girls camping in the woods with young teenage boys?

(this is where I politely don’t provide links to literally thousands of Christian and Jewish church youth programs across America where boys and girls do exactly that)

The article ends with this:

This is what the Left does best:  target and destroy everything good in America.  They cannot compete with us on ideas, so they have to eliminate everything that makes us who we are.  If they were truly motivated to provide girls, homosexuals, and “transgenders,” with the same experiences Boy Scouts provides, then they would form their own youth organization.  But it isn’t really about that, is it? [sic]

So, is that it?

Are those Judeo-Christian values? Exclusion? Bigotry? Segregation of the sexes? So that boys and men might grow together, free from the “distraction” of stinky girls? Alone. In the woods.

Well, is it?

But why then call it Judeo-Christian? Why not call it Islamic-Judeo-Christian values, given that devout Muslim fundamentalists forbid mixing of the sexes.

Separation of the sexes isn’t a Judeo-Christian value you say?

Well then what is?

A guy named Michael Imhof wrote a letter to the editor of Madison Country Herald Bulletin, in Anderson City, Illinois.

It’s time to eliminate the Democratic Party. This is no longer the Democratic Party of the John F. Kennedy era. The Democratic Party has transitioned into the Marxist and Socialist Party of America.

Because apparently in this American’s mind, freedom is when the government dictates what political parties you can have. Because that’s totally not Marxist at all.

But here I am, digressing. Again.

Mr. Imhof spends a couple of paragraphs describing how everybody who isn’t just like him must certainly be an un-American commie socialist and then he gets to this:

The Democratic Party doesn’t care about the Judeo-Christian values of America, nor the Constitution. They’re the party of globalism, and they’re anti-American, anti-sovereignty. They use people and causes to promote the godless agenda of the global elitists.

There it is again. Judeo-Christian values of America.

Judeo-Christian values.



The author just assumes we all know what he means.

Because, of course, we are all Judeo-Christians in America, are we not?

Imhof spends another paragraph describing how all liberals obviously must love Lenin, and then fetches up here:

Vote the Democrats and Republican In Name Only (RINO) Republicans out of office. Vote for candidates with tea party and Judeo-Christian values.

Tea Party and Judeo-Christian values.

Which would seem to indicate that in Imhof’s mind, those values are the same.


The Tea Party. Taxed enough already. I’ll keep my freedom, my money, and my guns, and you can keep the change. That Tea Party?

Is that it? Are those Judeo-Christian values? Isolationism? America first? Sovereignty? Teabagging for Jesus? Money and guns?


Are you sure?

A few weeks ago, former White House hobo Steve Bannon went to Alabama to speak at a rally for Roy Moore – Alabama’s openly racist, homophobic, Christian-nationalist former Chief Justice. Moore was running for the Senate against Donald Trump favorite Luther Strange.

Moore has somewhat interesting interpretation of the First Amendment.

You have to understand it was the duty of the government under the First Amendment…to foster religion and foster Christianity

That’s what Moore told Vox report Jeff Stein in August of last year.

The First Amendment makes it the duty of the government to foster religion and specifically Christianity.

Got that?

I know. I know. You thought the First Amendment meant pretty much exactly the opposite. That’s why you’re not a judge in Alabama.

There’s more.

There’s so much more.

Roy Moore: There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country. Up in Illinois. Christian communities; I don’t know if they may be Muslim communities. But Sharia law is a little different from American law. It is founded on religious concepts.

Jeff Stein: Which American communities are under Sharia law? When did they fall under Sharia law?

Moore: Well, there’s Sharia law, as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana — up there. I don't know.

Stein: That seems like an amazing claim for a Senate candidate to make.

Moore: Well, let me just put it this way — if they are, they are; if they’re not, they’re not. That doesn’t matter. Oklahoma tried passing a law restricting Sharia law, and it failed. Do you know about that?

No. No. Don’t roll your eyes, that’s not even close to the best part of Moore’s interview. Not even close. But I don’t want to spoil it for you. You can read the whole thing here – and remember, this guy was Alabama’s chief justice and he’s probably going to be one of the state’s senators when Alabamians go to the polls this December.

Moore was the leading voice of birthism, he is rabidly homophobic and anti-Muslim, and he spends a lot of his time hanging out with neo-Confederates – you know, people who actually and openly hate America and parade about under the flag of America’s enemies.  Moore’s fanatical religious ideology has prompted his critics to nickname him the “Ayatollah of Alabama.” And despite the fact that Moore’s repeated claim of communities living under Islamic Law in the United States has been repeatedly and soundly debunked (and Moore himself can produce no evidence whatsoever and essentially admits he doesn’t really know or care), he continues to push this falsehood.

So, I suppose it was unsurprising when Steve Bannon showed up in Alabama to stump for Roy Moore. 

Judge Moore knows the Ten Commandments is the basis for the Judeo-Christian West. Judge Moore is a good man, he’s a courageous man, and more importantly he’s a righteous man.

And there it is again.

The Judeo-Christian West.

Judeo-Christian. Undefined. Unexplained. Except for some vague reference to the Christian’s Ten Commandments (which are apparently the solution to pretty much everything).  

Steve Bannon just assumes everybody in the crowd knew what he meant.

And from the cheering, everybody in the crowd assumed that they did know what he meant and their definition and list of Judeo-Christian values was exactly the same as Roy Moore’s, Steve Bannon’s, and everybody else in the crowd. But, well, look at who was up on that stage. Are those Judeo-Christian values? Knowingly pushing falsehoods and conspiracy theories? Bigotry? Intolerance? Xenophobia? I mean, don’t take my word for it, look up Roy Moore for yourself (and Steve Bannon while you’re at it) and tell me which part of his career embodies Judeo-Christian values. Tell me what those are. Hell, it’s Alabama, maybe everybody in the crowd was on the same sheet of music. Maybe those are the values of Judeo-Christianity.


But are you sure?

How do you know and can you prove it?


Well, what then?

What are Judeo-Christian values?

Donald Trump seems to know:

We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values. They don't use the word Christmas because it is not politically correct. We're saying Merry Christmas again.

Is that it? Is that one of them? A Judeo-Christian value is saying Merry Christmas?

Jews for Christmas?

Really? I admit to being a little fuzzy on the finer points of Judaism, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.

But, there it is. Judeo-Christian values again. That’s what the president said.



And the crowd once again cheered.

I mean, we’re just supposed to know. Right?

That is the inherent assumption whenever this term appears. Otherwise, they’d explain what they meant. Trump was speaking to the Value Voters Summit, a convention of hardcore religious nuts hosted by the Family Research Council. They define all kinds of things from traditional marriage to what constitutes “life” to what makes a real American. But they don’t bother to define Judeo-Christian values before people like Trump take the stage. And they don’t ask people like Trump to define it either.

And that – that right there – tells you something important.

We’re all supposed to know.

How about this?

Dr. Richard Lee, who according to his bio, is the Founding Pastor of the Atlanta, Georgia, First Redeemer Church. He is also the Editor of The American Patriot’s Bible:

THE ONE BIBLE THAT SHOWS HOW ‘A LIGHT FROM ABOVE’ SHAPED OUR NATION. Never has a version of the Bible targeted the spiritual needs of those who love our country more than The American Patriot’s Bible. This extremely unique Bible shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world. The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible and includes a beautiful full-color family record section, memorable images from our nation’s history and hundreds of enlightening articles which complement the historic King James Version Bible text. 

Lee also authored God’s Promise to the American Patriot and The Coming Revolution, among other works.

So you figure, if anybody can describe Judeo-Christian values in detail, it’s got to be the guy who edited the Bible and slapped an American flag on it.



Lee says there are in fact seven Judeo-Christian values, or principles. To wit:

Principle #1: The Dignity Of Human Life

Lee cites Exodus 20:13 "You shall not murder” and Matthew 22:39 "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Oddly, he doesn’t reference Jewish text anywhere – and looking back I likewise see only a reference to the King James Bible in his book blurb. That seems an odd omission right out of the gate, Judeo-Christian values wise, I mean. But hey, I’m sure he’ll get to it. Eventually.

So, dignity of human life. No murder. Love your neighbor. Sounds reasonable. I mean it does, doesn’t it? Respect human life. Not really exclusive to just Jews and Christians though, is it? And I bet you can guess where he goes with it, can’t you?

Can’t you?

See, that bit about “murder,” that’s the kicker. That’s the weasel word. Thou shalt not murder, not kill, murder. Words matter. Language matters.

Abortion, of course, that’s what we’re talking about here. Murder, you know, that’s what guys like Lee call abortion. Murder. We’re good with other kinds of killing, war, the death penalty, letting people starve to death, so long as there’s no abortion.

And respect for the dignity of human life? The dignity of human life forsooth, well, that only goes so far.

As you will see.

Principle #2 - The Traditional Family

Again, a Christian reference: Genesis 2:21-24 "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.  Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.  And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

Lee says “The biblical view of marriage and family is the basis of our society and serves as the backbone of a healthy social order.”

So, the biblical view of marriage as defined by Genesis 2:21. Got it.

  • God creates Adam artificially from non-living ingredients, i.e. mud. Essentially life in a lab.
  • Then God makes Eve by taking a biological sample from Adam and genetically engineering it to produce a cross-sex clone (see the reference: bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, taken out of a male, transformed into female. God could have created a completely new person from scratch, but he didn’t. Pretty clear what we’re talking about here).
  • Adam then marries what is for all practical purposes his fraternal twin.
  • Adam and Eve then proceed to break the law, become felons, and are exiled from civilization for their crimes.
  • While on the run, they produce two sons – presumably without the assistance of artificial laboratory aids.
  • At which point one of the sons murders the other – which may or may not have something to do with the fact that their parents were, genetically speaking, brother and sister.
  • A few generations later, the world is populated with Adam and Eve’s descendants, which God wipes out because they are all insane murderers, rapists, drunkards, and deviants. And you’d think God would have seen this coming given the limited gene pool.

I gotta be honest with you, maybe this isn’t the best example.

Lee goes on to say, “Since the joining together of Adam and Eve, marriage has been defined as a holy union between one man and one woman.” Except, the very reference Lee uses, i.e. the Christian Bible, provides numerous examples of marriages that are not just one man and one woman.


Principle #3 - A National Work Ethic

Another reference to the Christian bible: 2 Thessalonians 3:10 "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat."

We didn’t even make it two values past “Dignity for Human Life” before we got to the part about why poor people should starve.

Also, how is a national ethic a personal Judeo-Christian value?

I’m going to speed this up and give you the last four without commentary.

Principle #4 - The Right To A God-Centered Education

Principle # 5- The Abrahamic Covenant

Principle #6 - Common Decency

Principle #7- Our Personal Accountability To God

You can read the whole thing for yourself here at Sermon Central. Again, note that Jewish text isn’t referenced – though I suppose Lee would weasel out by suggesting his Old Testament references apply. Still, seems that if you’re going to use the term Judeo-Christian, Jews should maybe get equal time. Just saying.


What do you think. Are those Judeo-Christian values?

Are those the Judeo-Christian values?

I suspect many people in Trump’s audience last Friday would agree that they are – even if they couldn’t name them off the cuff.

But … they can’t be.

Words matter. Language matters. Context matters.

“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values”

Which of those values are under attack?

For those to be the values Trump was talking about, they’d have to be under attack. By definition. That’s what the man said. That’s what they all said.

So, show me a single Jew or Christian in America who was prevented from respecting the dignity of human life.

Go on. Do it. I’ll wait.

Show me any Jew or any Christian who was denied a traditional marriage license.

Show me any Jew, any Christian, who was prevented from working hard or was prevented from attending the religious school of their choice.

Show me a single Jew, a single Christian, who was prevented in any way from adhering to some supposed contract with their deity – a covenant, I note, that was specifically between the Jews and their God and nobody else, an agreement that Christians are apparently attempting to horn in on.

Show me a single Jew, a single Christian, who was attacked for Common Decency, right after you explain why one group of Christians gets to define what “common decency” means for all of us.

As to that last one, your personal accountability to your god, I would love to see Donald Trump explain how exactly anybody would go about waging an attack on that.

None of these values apply to the other examples either – though I admit to a chuckle at the thought of Lee attempting to explain how Adam married his Sister to my Boy Scout troop (I learned to drink and swear in the Boy Scouts, skills that served me well in the Navy. We would have gotten a good laugh at Adam’s expense. Alone. In the words. Far from the distraction of girls). 

I’m afraid I don’t buy it, even if Dr Lee did write his own bible.

No. After weeks of research, I don’t have any idea what those values are.

And I bet you don’t either.

So, I asked.

A quarter of a million people follow me every day across various social media platforms. Jews. Christians in various and assorted flavors. Muslims. Non-believers. Sort of believers. Atheists. Some that don’t fit well into any category. So, I asked. What are Judeo-Christian Values? What are they? Give me a list. It doesn’t even have to be exhaustive, just give me the top three.

Now, you’d think that a quarter of a million people could come up with something.

Three Judeo-Christian values. That’s all I’m asking.

Far and away the most common answer was: Do unto others has you would have them do unto you. I got hundreds, thousands, of responses that said that. That’s THE Judeo-Christian value.

That one, right there.

The Golden Rule.

Apologies, but I can’t accept that.

Treating people decently is hardly a uniquely Judeo-Christian value and …

You again? What is it this time?

Oh, I see, you’re upset by the qualifier “unique.”

You feel that’s unfair. You think I should have specified that up front.

I did.

And I mentioned it up above, you should have seen it coming.

Language matters. Precision of language matters. Context matters. Judeo-Christian values. It’s right there in the label. And that specific label matters.

See, if we were just talking about values, human values, universal values, those values defined and enumerated by Schwartz up above, well, then you would have no need for the qualifier. Would you?

But there it is: Judeo-Christian values.

That’s what those examples up above were talking about.

President Donald Trump vowed to end leftist attacks on Christian values that threatened the United States

The Boy Scouts of America stood for over a century on its strong foundation of Judeo-Christian values […] This is what the Left does best:  target and destroy everything good in America […] they have to eliminate everything that makes us who we are.

The Democratic Party doesn’t care about the Judeo-Christian values of America, nor the Constitution. They’re the party of globalism, and they’re anti-American, anti-sovereignty. They use people and causes to promote the godless agenda of the global elitists.

…The Ten Commandments [are] the basis for the Judeo-Christian West.

We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values. They don't use the word Christmas because it is not politically correct. We're saying Merry Christmas again.

Seven Principles of the Judeo-Christian Ethic

They were quite specific about it. Go back and look, follow the links, read those words in context. Look for your own examples. The people who use that term, Judeo-Christian, use it to highlight that those values are special, unique, and specifically foundational to the United States itself. This is clear from the context.

Just as those same people and media outlets define “American values” as uniquely American and by definition not something you’d find in any other country.

That’s what “exceptional” means.

And we are exceptional, America, are we not?

If these were universal values, human values, we wouldn’t have to caveat it.

This term, Judeo-Christian values is used purposely by conservatives to identify values specific to their religious and their political ideology.

But more importantly the term Judeo-Christian directly and deliberately excludes all other political and religious beliefs – and this is the point where I remind you that the people who use this term are also the people who daily denounce multiculturalism and diversity, racial mixing, cultural dilution, and often going so far as to insist that everybody speak the same language. So, by definition, by context, by omission, when these people say Judeo-Christian values, they mean values that are exclusive to their ideology and that specifically exclude all others – which is why you don’t see these values labelled Judeo-Christian-Islamic values, or even just referred as American values, or human values.

The exclusion is on purpose.

So, when I asked the question, I set specific limits on the answers. Because when you say that your values are unique – and moreover, that uniqueness specifically makes you better, exceptional, correct, righteous – but when asked to describe that uniqueness, you proceed instead to describe the same values that can be found universally and that are not in any way exclusive to your political party or religion or nation, well, then you’re full of shit.

So if you insist on using the term “Judeo-Christian” to identify your values as superior to others, then I will require you to show your work.

And so I set limits on the question.

  • The value must be uniquely Judeo-Christian, it cannot be common to any other value system, secular or non-secular
  • The value, whatever it is, must be common to both Jewish and Christian belief systems, i.e. it must be Judeo-Christian.
  • Be specific. Show your work. Don't make vague hand-waving pronouncements.

And out of a thousand answers, from Christians, from Jews, Muslims, atheists, agonistics, from Rabbis, from Preachers and Shit Shakers and Holy Rollers, I got … nothing.

No definitive answer, not even a vague answer.

I got bible quotes and guesses and a lot of sarcasm and a bunch of hand waving. I got links to Wikipedia articles – an article, I’m at pains to point out, which does not in any way provide any kind of definitive list of Judeo-Christian values.

I would like to note that I got a polite and reasoned discussion among thousands of people on my various Facebook pages, which is either a testament to the personal values of those particular people or a testament to my screening criteria. Maybe both.

But for a list of values that we’re all just supposed to know, that we all assume everybody else knows, that our leaders insist are the very basis of our country, well, there’s absolutely no consensus at all.



Many responders threw their hands up in the air and said given the limits I placed on the question, an answer was impossible. Some of them got angry about it. One person left the Stonekettle Station Facebook Group in outrage, thinking that I was mocking her religious beliefs because she could not answer the question as asked.


Words matter.

Definitions matter.

Concepts matter.

Precision matters.

Because that language, the words we use, defines how we see the world around us. How we relate to each other. Words can build a society, or tear a civilization apart. Language is information. And information used as a weapon can bring a dictator to power, topple governments, start wars (or end them), or shape the worldview of a nation.

When the president of the United States tells Americans that their values – their Judeo-Christian values – are under attack, it matters.

The limits matter. Because these are the conditions set by those who would use their values as a weapon.

These are the conditions set by those who would claim that their values are exceptional and thus should be the values of the nation and us all. By force, if necessary -- even if they themselves are unable to detail exactly what those values actually are. 

These are the limits set by those who would use some imagined martyrdom to justify theocracy and fascism and to put their boot on our throats.

And so I asked.

But the answer, given the limitations placed on the definition by those who use the term, is impossible.

And that – that right there – was the point.

One thing I didn't understand in life was that I had $100,000,000 in the bank and I couldn't buy happiness. I had everything: mansions, yachts, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, but I was depressed. I didn't know where I fitted in. But then I found family and friends and I learned the value of life.
-- Vanilla Ice

Captain Awkward ([syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed) wrote2017-10-16 03:22 pm

#1034: “My coworker messaged me on a dating site.”

Posted by JenniferP

Hi Captain,

My question is not exactly high-stakes, but I’m having some anxiety about this situation all the same, and not sure what to do.

I (she/her) started using OkCupid recently, and a couple days ago, my coworker (he/him) who I don’t know well but see around often (we work at a very small company) sent me a message. I know it can be fun to send a couple silly messages back and forth when you see your friends on these sites without making it weird, but I don’t think this is that.

Anyway, if I see coworkers on dating sites, I think the polite thing to do is just ignore it and move along, so I was not super into the fact that this guy messaged me but I figured he was just being kind of socially obtuse. His message implied that he was going to ask me out “until he realized who I was,” which made me immediately uncomfortable. Dude, if you realized that, why did you message me anyway and tell me that?

I felt like ignoring him might make things weird at work, so I just messaged back noncommittally (like, “Ha, look who it is”), hoping I could move the conversation to peter out without making it awkward. However, things got awkward anyway, because coworker continued sending messages despite my polite attempts to disengage (“[Cool, unsolicited weekend plan you shared] sounds fun. Anyway, see you Monday!” …and then he’d send another message trying to continue the conversation.) I read and did not respond to the last message.

I’m sure I should communicate that I feel uncomfortable chatting with a coworker on a dating site, so do you have any scripts for that? Or would it be better to just block him and pretend it never happened? In hindsight, I feel like there are other things I could have said or done to end the conversation sooner, but that’s only now that I know I wasn’t able to end it without confrontation. It might be useful in general to know how to stop an inappropriate interaction like this in the future, so what would you have done?



Hello OkAwkward!

It’s not inherently weird to be on the same dating site as other people you know in other contexts. It feels weird because the illusion of privacy has been punctured for a moment, but it’s not actually that strange. The awkwardness is in what people do about it.

I believe I have shared the story of the Shadowy Dating Juggernaut where Commander Logic and I and both of her roommates and a few other friends in the Bespectacled Bookish Brunettes of Chicago Knitting Circle And Culinary Society were on OkCupid at the same time, right? It was inevitable that streams would cross and one of us would bring a dude we were dating to a party and watch him slowly figure out where he knew the rest of us from…because if you liked one of us enough to write to you probably liked all of us…and that we all knew each other….and that we had definitely had been trading notes about him behind the scenes in the name of safety, solidarity, and hilarity.

When seeking romance (etc.) on the great wide Internet it is inevitable that we will run across people we know in other contexts. Like you, my strategy has been either to totally ignore it or to be like “Oh, ha, look who it is. See you at work, Work Person!” and then drop the conversation completely. Whether I ignored or said something depended a lot on context and the vulnerability of what was on display in their ad. “My mom and my friends say I’m funny and I like long walks on the beach and living life to the fullest” guy got a “hey, hilarious that we’re both here, good luck bro!” Someone revealing kinks or more explicit sexual content or desires just got ignored and in some cases insta-blocked more so that I wouldn’t make THEM uncomfortable or feel like they were being monitored. Mostly my attitude was “No shame, no foul, and no gossip unless you do something actually creepy.” And if it ever came up at work, I’d be like “Whoa, awkward, right? I won’t talk about it if you won’t, and heyyyyyyy good luck out there buddy!” #don’tcrossthestreams

Another true story: Years ago colleague who was new in town messaged me once on OK Cupid and we went for a friendly coffee before we knew we’d be working together. Then we got assigned to co-teach a class. Upon being “introduced” at work, we never mentioned or even hinted that we had met each other before in any other context. Yay professionalism!

If your coworker has got overall good intentions and is also feeling awkward about what to do next like, “aaaaahhhhh, I started this, do I have to keep emailing her now back and forth forever, ugh, so awkward?” he will gratefully take your lead. And if he’s not taking your lead, like now? Then don’t reply to anything else via the dating site, or, reply once to say “Hey, let’s wind this conversation down, I’m not interested in connecting here, see you at work” or “Hey, let’s block each other here so it’s not super-weird to have a coworker hanging out whenever we log in, ok? Good luck out there!” and then block him. Blocks are not mean. Blocks are often necessary to make a social site usable.

Then, keep work conversations only about work and wait for the awkward levels to normalize.

And, if your colleague won’t drop the subject and starts bringing it up at work, making you feel like he’s monitoring your dating and sex life, and making your life weird at work? DOCUMENT THE EVERLOVING SHIT OUT OF IT. America needs about 100,000,000 uncomfortable training sessions led by HR right now.









Whatever ([syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed) wrote2017-10-15 08:25 pm

Sacramento Photos

Posted by John Scalzi

I’m in Sacramento, California. Here are some pictures from where I am.

Hope your day is fabulous, wherever you are.

OLDNERD ([syndicated profile] oldnerd_feed) wrote2017-10-15 10:38 am

Arrow: “Fallout”

Posted by Bryan Lambert

Ah, Arrow. Where would you be without angst? The season premiere basically established everyone’s post-LIan-Yu angst situation. Predictably, the only person who died on the island was William’s mother, paying the ultimate price for having slept with Oliver while not having any useful crimefighting skills.

So instead of the episode’ splot, which barely exists, let’s look at the ANgst Arcs the premiere established for each character.

OLIVER: Bad dad.
FELICITY: Still uncomfortable getting back together with Oliver.
DIGGLE: Some kind of Lian-Yu-based PTSD and injury. Can’t shoot, can’t aim, shot Wild Dog.
WILD DOG: Shot. Also, more of the same daughter stuff.
MR. TERRIFIC: Actually in pretty good shape, angst-wise.
BLACK CANARY: Constantly forced to deal with Evil Alternate Universe Black Siren
THEA: LIan-Yu-induced coma.
QUENTIN: Constantly forced to deal with Evil Alternate Universe Daughter
SLADE: Son’s in Canada, so expect him back mid-season.
WILLIAM: Sulky teenager with dead mom and vigilante mayor dad.

Next week, Oliver has to deal with a Secret Identity Reveal, and is apparently still unwilling to just Iron Man that shit.
Whatever ([syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed) wrote2017-10-14 12:16 am

Naming a Thing

Posted by John Scalzi

A couple weeks on, a brief follow-up to this piece, in which I noted how much 2017 was messing with my word count.

It turns out it was really useful for me to write that piece. Not necessarily because I’ve increased my writing speed since then — I’m still slogging away at a slower pace than I’ve done in previous years — but because, basically, in naming my problem I’ve lifted a fair amount of the psychic weight of it from my shoulders. I’m not kicking myself for writing slower right now, and as a result, the writing is easier. Which ironically means the writing is more regular, and because of that, there’s at least slightly more of it. Who knew.

I’d also like to acknowledge the folks who wrote me or linked in to the piece, saying, more or less “Yes I have been feeling the same thing I’m glad somebody finally said it.” One, you’re welcome and I’m glad the piece accomplished at least part of its intended effect of letting folks know they weren’t alone in their creative miasma at the moment. Two, your chiming in also helped me, because as much as I strongly suspected I wasn’t the only one in the spot I was in, getting actual confirmation of it was heartening. I was right! Alas! But the knowledge meant a bit of fellowship, and that made the burden a little easier to bear. Which made the little readjustments I’m making now easier to do. Thanks, folks.

(Mind you, I had some of my usual suspects out there pointing at me at going ha ha Scalzi has writer’s block, because they’re sad little dudes like that. While I could push my glasses up on my nose and say well, actually I was never blocked I was just writing slower, which you would know if you could read, in point of fact they read perfectly well, they just have a pathological need to see me as a failure. And to be honest, that cheers me up a little too. I like enraging these sad little dudes so much just by existing that they have to create voodoo doll versions of me to stab stab stab stab. They want to be enraged, and it literally requires no effort from me to oblige them. Keep at it, sad little dudes! It’s good for you to stay busy.)

And now, back to it.

Whatever ([syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed) wrote2017-10-13 07:29 pm

“Don’t Live For Your Obituary” Review in Publishers Weekly + Subterranean Press eBook Direct Orderin

Posted by John Scalzi

The first review of Don’t Live For Your Obituary is out and it’s a good one! The full review is here, but the pull quote is thus:

“[Scalzi] writes accessibly and so commonsensically that this book should appeal to writers in all disciplines.”

Yes! Yes it should!

Remember that Obituary will be out in December (i.e., in time for holiday gift-giving) and that you can pre-order the signed, limited hardcover edition directly from the lovely folks at Subterranean Press. It will also be available in eBook format.

Speaking of eBooks, Subterranean is now directly selling ebooks, so you can get them directly from the publisher. The first batch of eBooks available through SubPress’ story includes The Dispatcher. Here’s the full list of the first set of eBooks. So while you’re pre-ordering the hardcover of Obituary, you can pick up the eBook of The Dispatcher to keep you company. Convenient!

Whatever ([syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed) wrote2017-10-13 03:54 pm

My Annual Unsolicited Endorsement of WordPress, 2017 Edition

Posted by John Scalzi

So, nine years ago this week, I switched the Whatever blog over to the WordPress VIP service, after months of access difficulties with both previous blogging software and previous providers. And in the nine years since switching over to WP VIP, the amount of time the site’s been down can be counted in minutes, and on my hands. That’s some pretty great uptime. Since the time I switched over, WordPress has also expanded the types of hosting services it offers bloggers and sites, so even if you don’t need the full VIP service, there’s probably a level of service that could work for you, and your site’s needs.

In almost a decade, WordPress has never asked me to make an endorsement of their software or services, but every year near the anniversary of my switch I make an endorsement anyway. I do it for the simple reason that WordPress just plain works, and it works for me, and I’ve never regretted using their service or software. There’s not much in the world I can say that about. If you’re looking to create and host your own site, I hope you’ll give WordPress a look. I’m one happy customer.

Whatever ([syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed) wrote2017-10-13 01:41 pm

The Big Idea: David Siegel Bernstein

Posted by John Scalzi

The phrase “science fiction” has two relevant parts to it. In Blockbuster Science, author David Siegel Bernstein delves into the science of the fiction, and separates out the fantasy of the genre from the fact. Here he is to tell you process of his exploration.


Science fiction is driven by fear or hope, while science is driven by necessity or curiosity. The overlap between their motivations is huge. Science fiction has always had the power to inspire scientific and technological breakthroughs that change our world. Companies used words like “robot” and “android” after they were popularized in fiction, and today’s STEM experts often say they were first inspired by stories they read when they were young.

To me, what could be a more fun way to explore the world of science than through its use—accurately or fantastically—in science fiction entertainment: movies, books, and TV shows? This question is the big idea behind Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction. So as you may imagine, this book was born from my geeking love for both science and science fiction. This made it incredibly fun to write. How could it not be? I got to explain the science behind popular narrative concepts like time travel, AI, genetic mutation, asteroids, cyborgs, alien invasion, the zombie apocalypse, and more. I also created lists of songs (consider it science and science fiction mood music), movies, and books that highlight chapter topics.

The entire experience of writing this book was different from my fiction writing, where I’m mostly locked inside my head. Blockbuster Science was much more an external journey. I scoured research journals, textbooks, newspapers, and magazines to learn what is old news, where cutting edge research is heading, and new outcomes possible from widely accepted theories. I made my best attempt to explain key scientific principles in jargon-free, easy-to-understand narratives. For the creators of hard-science fiction, I hope this book draws the boundaries that cannot be broken and teases those that are begging to be broken with the right what-if.

I like questions—even ones for which we have no answers, yet. I made sure to season in a lot of question marks throughout each chapter. A lot of recent discoveries have led to questions that scientists never thought to ask before. Curiosity about our world drives fiction authors and filmmakers to explore the realm of possibility. Besides, isn’t science itself all about asking questions? Questions such as, what caused the big bang? Consider how cause comes before effect. In the standard big bang theory, as described in the book, there was no before (i.e., time) before the big bang. Think of searching for the cause of the big bang as being like searching for north while standing at the North Pole. Don’t worry, I address on a few of the newer theories that may provide you with a more satisfying theoretical answer to that question.

Every chapter of Blockbuster Science covers a different topic. Time and space, which are so interwoven that they are cleverly coupled under the moniker spacetime, and quantum mechanics start the learning process. The weirdness of string theory, the origin story called the big bang, parallel worlds, black holes, evolution and biology provide truckloads of building blocks for fictional worlds. Interconnectivity, AI, extraterrestrial life, interstellar communication, energy sources and rocketry buttress those building blocks. Substance, materials, invisibility, the holographic universe and technology spin up more possibilities until everything ends in the chapter that covers the end of everything (the sun, the universe…everything). Is it really the end? I offer up a few “workarounds” based on the science described throughout the book, but I warn you, it will sound like science fiction.

Blockbuster Science isn’t only for science fiction fans who want to know more about the science behind the plot. This book is for the curious—anyone who wants to know more about the natural world and the universe of which they are a part. It’s for the science geek in everyone, especially those who smirk at jokes such as: Schrödinger’s cat walks into a bar, and doesn’t. My kind of people!


Blockbuster Science: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Visit the author’s site. Follow him on Twitter.

You Are Dumb ([syndicated profile] youaredumd_feed) wrote2017-10-14 04:00 am

Handling Credit Worse Than Equifax

Posted by Bryan Lambert

« October 2017  


A long one and a short one today, because for a change, the tweet I can’t stop thinking about isn’t from the president. The horrible action I can’t get out of my head is from the president, of course, because what else is there? SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

I’ve been obsessed with this Keith Olbermann tweet for days. ACTUAL TWEET TIME! (NOTE: Because, unlike Olbermann, I respect my audience, I left off the emojis and hashtags.)

”After 27 years of doubts about rap I am now an @Eminem fan. Best political writing of the year, period.”

This is why people of color are right not to trust white liberals as allies. Olbermann suddenly discovers one white rapper being mean to Trump and all his “doubts” about his weird monolithic view of “rap” are expunged? Fuck you. The history of politics and hip-hop is so obvious that two different white people on Twitter told me about Public Enemy when they somehow missed my sarcasm on the Eminem thing. In other words, you have no fucking excuse.

Also, “27 years”? That’s weirdly specific. That’s eleven years fewer than the commonly accepted age of hip hop. Which means one of two things. Either Keith Olbermann doesn’t know how old hip hop is, or, and this is disturbingly more likely, Keith Olbermann remembers exactly how long he hasn’t liked rap. Which is fucking weird.

And “best political writing of the year”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it happened, and there are a few cultural signifiers that made it important. I’m not trying to shit on Eminem here. But the actual content? It was pretty good. The fawning praise from Olbermann, though, falls in that weird liberal category of “that man said a mean thing about someone I don’t like, he’s the BEST EVER”. This is especially odd since the same thing happened TO KEITH OLBERMANN when he talked shit about Dubya. You’d think he’d recognize it from the other end.

Speaking of saying mean shit about Trump. You know how everything he does is clearly the result of a toddler negotiation? How our government is currently operating on the basis of “if you eat your peas you get half an hour of screen time”, only instead of peas it’s “read a script off the teleprompter” and instead of “half an hour of screen time” it’s “half an hour of screen time”?

Well, it turns out that the execrable hurling of paper towels at Puerto Ricans was also a compromise position. According to reports, Trump wanted to throw CANS OF CHICKEN at them but, in classic Art of the Deal style, was negotiated down to something that was demeaning but wouldn’t also cause bodily harm. Which, if you think about it, is pretty much the entire story of this “adult day care” of a presidency, as a shithead said and then got a bunch of credit for saying because it was mean to Trump.

OLDNERD ([syndicated profile] oldnerd_feed) wrote2017-10-12 06:37 pm

Open MIke Eagle And His New Album

Posted by Bryan Lambert

I spent the first thirteen years of the millennium looking for Mike Eagle without realizing it.

The year 2000 is when “Deltron 3030” came out and got me into hip hop in a big way. My way in was Del Tha Funkee Homosapien’s lyrics filled with nerdy reference and a sci-fi concept album about a post-apocalyptic far future.

Seventeen years later, I’m completely captivated by another concept album, “Brick Body Kids Still Daydream”, about the now-demolished Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, where members of his family lived.

I can’t tell you much about the album beyond the fact that I love it, because I’m only about four listens in, plus I’m digesting both Brick Body Kids AND 4NML HSPTL, which I’d somehow missed in my Get And Listen To Everything By This Guy rush after hearing him perform “The Processional” on John MOe’s “Wits’ podcast four years ago.

It takes me a dozen listens to get most Mike Eagle songs, because I am old and my ears are slow and our cultural touchstones only overlap a little, and most of Brick Body Kids is firmly in his part of the Venn diagram. But that’s OK. That’s why I love his music. I’ll just keep listening to it, and each time, I’ll pick out another piece of the puzzle, and understand a little more.

Anyway, back to my original premise. Between 2000 and 2013, I worked my way through more Del, MC Chris, Ugly Duckling, Lupe Fiasco, MC Frontalot, Das Racist, and other lyrically dense and reference-heavy artists. Some I’ve stuck with, some I moved on from, some moved on from me. But all were pointing and leading me towards Open Mike Eagle, who somehow manages to put all my favorite things into songs.  Which shouldn’t surprise me - he cites They Might Be Giants as a big influence, a band I’ve loved my entire adult life plus about two years.

If you’re interested, you may want to work your way up to Brick Body Kids like I did. “The Processional” lead me to the “Rappers Will Die Of Natural Causes” album and the preceding “Unapologetic Art Rap”, then (having missed 4NML HSPTL) I worked forward through Dark Comedy, Hella Personal Film Festival, and then Brick Body Kids Still Daydream as each album came out and I learned about them through the usual middle aged white men who appreciate nerdy hip hop means - podcast appearances and NPR articles.
OLDNERD ([syndicated profile] oldnerd_feed) wrote2017-10-12 02:37 pm

Weekly Wrasslin’ Wroundup (10/9-10-11)

Posted by Bryan Lambert

Hey, a week with Events of Actual Significance in WWE. Who’da thunk it.

The Shield Reunites

Hey, did you hear The Shield is back together? No? Blame Raw, who only mentioned it and showed the replay of it and their second ruinion partway through the show like four bajillion times. Anyway, The Shield will be facing The Miz, The Bar, and Braun Strowman at TLC, so we now know the extent to which Axel and Dallas gained status from being the Miztourage. I will say, this is certainly the best reset they could have come up with for Roman Reigns. It’s amazing how the same taunt used to set up the triple powerbomb is over, and th used to set up the shitty spear is not over.

Kalisto Wins The Cruisterweight Championship

Cruisers get the main evernt on Raw, which is good. Enzo dropped the belt, which is good. He dropped it to Kalisto, which is... OK? There’ll probably be a rematch at TLC anyway. The lumberjack match’s logic made no sense. In a world where EVERYONE HATES ENZO, why would the lumberjacks default to their traditional heel/face roles? THank you, Corey Graves, for constantly pointing out how dumb that was. Match was OK.

Neville Quit Maybe?

This didn’t happen on screen, but apparently Neville walked out of Raw unhappy with everything that’s been happening. If true, it’s sad, because I really enjoyed his heel run, even if he should have dropped the belt to Aries.

Sami Explains

As expected, it’s “I tried doing it the right way and Shane didn’t care so...” - Owens weirdly messianic joy beforehand was the best part of this, but Zayn’s promo wasn’t bad.

Emma Is The Sacrificial Lamb

The weirdest match on Raw was the fatal five way and oh yeah I guess it’s an elimination match to see who Asuka destroys at TLC. Emma was the only logical choice to win, as Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke are too small and Sasha and Bayley are too big, and so she stole the win from Sasha.

Peyton Royce Joins The Fatal Four-Way For THe NXT Women’s Title

Bet I know who’s getting pinned before the other two are even named.

Sister Abigail Lives And Is An Off The Shelf Vocal Effect

Bray Wyatt is occasionally possessed now by Sister Abigail and poor Finn Balor has to pretend to be scared by it. Nobody’s winning here.


Not a good eek for changes to Wyatt Family characters we’re supposed to take seriously, but can’t, because come on, that’s fucking ridiculous. Rowan and Harper are now the Bludgeon Brothers, a sort of modern day barbarians with hammers thing or something. It’s hilariously bad.

The Shield Reunites

Just wanted to make sure you knew that and didn’t forget.
OLDNERD ([syndicated profile] oldnerd_feed) wrote2017-10-12 02:31 pm

The Flash: “The Flash Reborn”

Posted by Bryan Lambert

That’s how you fix a brain!
I’m not sure how to feel about the season 4 premiere of The Flash. I mean, it was deeply fucking stupid, as per newly established Flash norms, but at the same time, there were lots of flashes of hope for an entertaining season.

There were three main goals for the season premiere. Bring Barry back, which they did confusingly, either intentionally or otherwise, complete with a half hour’s worth of “Let Grant Gustin Act Some More” mental dysfunction that is magically cured by Iris being in danger, which is dumb.

It also put Iris through the Standard WB Emotional Arc After A Loss, which was tedious and predictable.

And it brought Caitlyn back, as a Hulk-style dual personality where she changes back and forth between Caitlyn and Frost when she gets really pissed off or something.

It also established the season’s main villain, The Thinker, who is suitably ridiculous and over the top, which is a good sign. A lot of the levity was back in the show, another positive sign. Barry’s back, he’s fast, and he’s angst-free thanks to his time in Speed Force Prison, which is dumb but welcome.

There are, of course, dangers. A lot of the stuff about Barry’s imprisonment, mental breakdown, release, and recovery feel like Deep Mystery setups that, frankly, I don’t think we need or want to revisit. Cisco’s attempt to translate Barry’s symbols leads to “This house is bitchin’”, which is a good joke, but I dread they’re going to reveal the REAL MESSAGE down the road and it’s going to have GREAT IMPORT. Similarly, Barry’s new freedom from angst is the kind of thing I can’t trust to just be, and instead fear is a setup for the future.

But next week, wacky suit malfunctions, so tentative yay?!
Captain Awkward ([syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed) wrote2017-10-12 04:41 pm

#1033: “My husband doesn’t like his life very much so he is pressuring me to quit my fun hobby and s

Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain Awkward,

Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a great week so far. I wanted to ask your opinion on how to best handle my husband when he gets angry and upset and how I can better help us move towards having a happier marriage.

Some background: My husband and I are pretty nostalgic, and we both enjoy reminiscing on past things (I feel like I tend to be more in the present, but just because I think that doesn’t mean that is true). We met in college and hit it off. We had a great group of friends who we keep up with and we both got jobs about an hour away from our hometown/college town. The trouble is, he seems like he’s been upset ever since graduating. I totally get that, as school was a lot of fun and it was great being able to learn so many things (we are both engineers) and meet different types of people.

Fast-forward to now. We got married in 2012. Our marriage isn’t the greatest, and we usually do things on our own around the house and do not spend much time together. He constantly pines for the college days and constantly complains about how much things have changed and how people disappoint him and how much he hates his job. Both he and I are pretty selfish people who suffer from anxiety and depression, and I constantly feel like I’m forced to do things for him and on his schedule to try to keep him happy.

My husband likes to unwind after work, and his unwinding time got so long that I would find other things to do. I got involved in a dance class where we live now which has allowed me to make friends and to keep in shape. My husband has been watching a lot of youtube and complains about how he feels he is getting fat. Neither of us are super great at keeping up with the house, however I feel like I am the one who usually ends up cleaning and taking care of those type of things. He also likes to complain that when I go to dance (I am currently a competitive dancer, so I dance 2 days a week) I am out of the house for much longer than I really am, and that all I do revolves around dance. I do not feel like this is true, as I constantly skip events and I have drawn back on how involved I was in comparison to when I first started. I have made lots of friends with this activity and it’s a great social outlet for me. I do not want to quit, but he keeps dropping ultimatums. Of course, he doesn’t have his own hobby, aside from watching TV and reading the news, and neither of us have a hobby that we share.

Since my husband is so set on his college days, he is very attached to that group of friends. Unfortunately, since they do not live close by, we do not see them nearly as much as we did (why would we? We don’t live a mile away anymore!). When we do make plans to see them, whether it’s last minute or no, my husband expects me to drop everything to make it happen. He will not visit with them on his own, as he says that it’s important that I’m there to share the experience with him. I have trouble believing this because I feel like he usually tries to police my behavior in front of them and gets upset when I do not act the way he wants me to. We have tentatively gotten involved with some work friends in our area, but he is always on edge about doing things with them, and if any event conflicts with a change to see college friends, he always chooses the college friends.

He is very in touch with his emotions, however he is not very good at reflecting on himself. He has a bad habit of talking about heavy issues through emails at work, while he doesn’t like to discuss things at home. Sometimes he can lay it on thick and really tear into my personality and how awful of a person I am and how much I am hurting him (I get called names pretty consistently). This sometimes has a really bad effect on my attitude and makes it really hard to mask at work. Other times I’m able to ignore it and get on with my day, only to have him write to me the next day that I didn’t have time for him and he feels neglected.

I am a very active person, and I feel like I have no support in this marriage. I cannot talk to my parents or his parents about this, to save face. I feel like I am constantly changing my plans to suit his needs and wants only to get yelled at about it all later on, or to be told bluntly everything that is wrong with my personality and my thought process. It’s an extremely negative environment and I am having a lot of trouble handling it. Unfortunately, for the last 5 or 6 years, it’s been a weekly occurrence. I started seeing a counselor, which has helped a little, but it’s a process that will take a long while.

I have also read a LOT of relationship articles and books to try to understand how he feels and things that I can do to change it. (I’m not trying to make myself out as a “holier-than-thou” type of person, even though I am sure that’s exactly what I’m doing, but I would like to illustrate that I am trying). None of it seems to be making a difference, and it’s really difficult to make myself continuously try when nothing seems to work at all. I get discouraged and I don’t want to keep trying.
Both of us are too lazy to divorce and I’m (relatively) Catholic, so I don’t think that’s something I’d want to do in the end anyway.

Just would like someone else’s perspective. If this email is ignored, I totally get it, as you’ve addressed issues like this a lot. Also, my apologies for being such a poor writer.


Worn out

Worn Out, I’m really sorry this is happening to you. It is not your fault. Nothing that is happening right now is your fault.

I going to talk to your husband for a sec, ok? He will probably never read this and in fact I don’t recommend that you show him this post but I have some stuff to say:

Dude. Here is a list of things you can do besides pressuring your wife to quit the fun thing that she loves doing, yelling at her,  and sending her mean emails when she’s at work:

  1. Treat your anxiety and depression like the serious conditions they are. Whether that means finding a therapist or counselor, getting a full health screen where you tell your doctor about having a low mood and being irritable and discuss medications, or using tools to self-manage if counseling is not possible right now, there are steps that you (and you alone) can take to try to feel better.
  2. Get a hobby.
  3. Join a MeetUp group and meet more people.
  4. Take an evening class in something that interests you.
  5. Check out the UFYH website and start cleaning the house once in a while.
  6. Go see your college friends by yourself sometimes. You are not 4. You don’t need mommy to come on your playdates.
  7. Those long emails about serious, negative topics that you’re writing and sending while your wife is at work or at dance class? Write that shit in a journal. Get the feelings out of your head and onto the page. Then, don’t send them to your wife.
  8. Repeat after me: “I am responsible for working to make a happy life for myself. My wife is not responsible for my social relationships with others or my happiness.
  9. If you really do need constant companionship at home and feel lonely when your wife is out, consider a pet.
  10. Wash your hair. Work out. Do a crossword puzzle. Use compressed air to clean out your computer keyboard and marvel at the grossness. Stare at the ceiling. Bingewatch every show that starts with P on Netflix. Do literally anything else besides yell at your wife.

Depression and anxiety don’t happen by choice, but being mean to your wife is a choice. You have a lot of choices about how to try to make a happy life for yourself and how to self-soothe when you feel sad. You are choosing to yell at your wife, derail her plans, try to drag her away from dance (thereby isolating her from friends and something she loves), and send her horribly critical emails. Here’s a list of common emotional abuse signifiers. This letter is checking off more than half of them, so, congratulations, you are emotionally abusing your wife. If hearing that hurts your feelings and scares you, good! Your behavior is mean and scary! You should be ready to move mountains to figure out how to stop it and do better.

Okay, Letter Writer, let’s talk. You can’t change your husband’s feelings or his behaviors or his choices. You can’t singlehandedly help him recapture the magic of college. You can’t make your life small enough that he won’t be threatened and resentful and mean to you. You can’t make your entire world revolve around this sad, lazy man. You are doing a ton of work (reading relationship books, etc.) and he is doing zero work to make the relationship better. It’s time to apply the Sheelzebub Principle, namely, if things stayed exactly like they are and nothing got better, how long would you stay? It’s already been bad for five years, so, would you stay another year? Another 5 years? Another 10? The rest of your life? Inertia is powerful and the Catholic church does frown on divorce but the Catholic church also doesn’t have to hang out with this dude day in and day out and you do. If you want to serve God in your life there are lots of ways to do that and staying in a marriage for form’s sake or martyring yourself to this man’s struggle to feel as cool as he did in college is not the only way.

I’m glad you have a counselor, please stick with that. I’m glad you have a hobby that you love, please stick with that and do not ever give it up for another person. In my opinion it’s time to at least talk to a divorce lawyer even if it’s just to get a picture of what the process will look like, so that you can make an informed decision. There’s a site called The Lilac Tree that some people I know have found helpful, use it if it’s useful to you.

Here are some scripts and strategies for you:

  1. It’s okay to filter his emails and not look at them when you’re at work. Don’t delete them – they are documentation of how bad things have gotten that you can show a counselor (or a lawyer) – but maybe set up a filter so they bypass your inbox. He is not allowed to electronically yell at you while you are at work! I hate so much that he does this, like, any minute you are away from him he has to somehow crawl in and poison it. You can tell him you’re not reading them – “I don’t have time to read emotional discussions at work, let’s talk about it later”  – or, you can just quietly take care of yourself around this.
  2. It’s okay to say “I can’t go to [college friends] event, I have a conflict. You should go and have fun.” And not cancel your plans. And if he won’t go without you, that’s his decision. And if he yells at you or sulks remember: He was going to do that anyway, no matter what you did. He was going to criticize everything you said and did in front of your friends. Him: “I won’t go without you.” You: “Ok, that’s your choice.” 
  3. You’ve read a lot of books about relationships, so, howabout one more? There’s a book called Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft that is oft-recommended here. Here’s a quote:

“The abusive man’s high entitlement leads him to have unfair and unreasonable expectations, so that the relationship revolves around his demands. His attitude is: “You owe me.” For each ounce he gives, he wants a pound in return. He wants his partner to devote herself fully to catering to him, even if it means that her own needs—or her children’s—get neglected. You can pour all your energy into keeping your partner content, but if he has this mind-set, he’ll never be satisfied for long. And he will keep feeling that you are controlling him, because he doesn’t believe that you should set any limits on his conduct or insist that he meet his responsibilities.”
― Lundy BancroftWhy Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Bolding mine. Um, sound like anyone we know?

4. If you are capable of becoming pregnant and you don’t have children already, use a contraception method that doesn’t depend on him to succeed and one that he can’t easily sabotage. Lock it down for now.

I’m really sorry you’ve ended up here, but again, it’s not your fault. Nothing you have ever done could make you deserve this behavior from your husband. And the sad truth is that there is nothing you can do, no book you can read, no work you can do, no emotional labor you can perform, no magic words you can say that can turn an unhappy mean person into a happy kind one without his effort and participation. It’s time to protect yourself and invest in yourself. I wish you safety, and peace, and a lot of dancing.



Whatever ([syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed) wrote2017-10-12 03:20 pm

The Big Idea: Felicity Banks

Posted by John Scalzi

Writing alternate history is fun and interesting, but here’s another interesting thing: Every day, we’re making a history too. What happens when the latter crashes into the former? Author Felicity Banks has some thoughts on that and how it affects her new novel The Antipodean Queen.


Every time there’s a crocodile attack in Australia’s Northern Territory, tourist rates go up.

That should probably make me fear for humanity, but it just makes me smile. We Australians often laugh at over-the-top depictions of our deadly animals and even deadlier landscapes. I’m a city girl myself, so I know how silly it all is.

Okay, so there was that one time my grandma killed a snake. And the kangaroos hopping around the major roads at night are a bit of a hazard. Sure, there’s that one playground I always check for brown snakes these days. The annual bushfires aren’t great, either. Yes, my backyard has a little bit of a red-back spider breeding program. And it’s a teensy bit creepy that huntsman spiders are so common that the ones living inside have a shared nickname (Fred).

In Australia, nature is constantly reminding us that humans aren’t as impressive as we like to think―and we love it.

I’m quite patriotic, for an Australian. Ever since Europeans invaded, Australian culture has been a curious mixture of British, American, and other cultures. Our manners are more straightforward, and our suspicion of authority runs deep. Most Australians are uneasy with national pride, and not just because it’s a favourite tool of racists. Sometimes we do awful things to try to keep ourselves safe from a perceived threat―and we know it.

A love for one’s country is a curious and complicated thing, and the more history I learn the more complicated it gets. How can I respect the unique prehistory of Australia when my university sprawls cheerfully over a sacred site? How can I be proud of my country when the white middle-class life I know was built on attempted genocide? How can I enjoy Australia’s excellent lamb when I know that flocks of imported sheep permanently devastated vast areas of once-productive land?

These are the questions that flutter around the edges of my writing, dipping into a half-sentence here or there as I write a story that looks like it’s all fun and fantasy.

Here’s the thing: I write with hope, and magic, and optimism. Sometimes it’s not easy, and sometimes it feels closer to outright lies than fiction. But if I can write something better than real life, I believe the power of my imagination can haul that version of Australia closer to reality. If I didn’t believe that, I couldn’t go on.

I had my Big Idea of writing Australian alternate history back in 2011, not knowing then that important parts of my history are only now coming to light. As I began to read more deeply about Australia’s colonial era―smiling sometimes, and crying often―I found a few things to be proud of. Part of Australia granted the right for women to vote in state elections in 1861. Back in 2011 I had a vague notion that the second book of the trilogy would be something to do with women’s suffrage. The question was how to make it relevant to modern readers. Surely any character who wanted to silence the political voice of half the population could only come across as cartoonishly evil.


Speaking of cartoonishly evil. . .

Right now, in Australia, our government is risking the safety of thousands of vulnerable LGBTIQ people by making the entire population take an expensive and non-binding postal plebiscite on gay marriage, even though it’s already well established that the majority of Australians support equal rights. I’m bisexual but married to a man, and cushioned by the appearance of heterosexuality. In recent weeks even I have felt the sting of half-heard conversations, advertisements that would usually be classified as hate speech, and an email telling me that as a Christian I should vote ‘No’.

So here I am writing a fantastical version of history while being haunted by the uncomfortable knowledge that real-world history is still being written. I’m heartbroken over the real mistakes of both the past and the present, but I choose to believe that my country can grow to better deserve the love I give it.

Oh, and there’s a crocodile in the book too.


The Antipodean Queen: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s blog. Follow her on Twitter.

You Are Dumb ([syndicated profile] youaredumd_feed) wrote2017-10-13 04:00 am

McNuggets Of Wisdom

Posted by Bryan Lambert

« October 2017  

Memo to.your Rick And Morty Szechuan Sauce Thinkpiece: IT IS DUMB.

Disclaimer first. Explanation second. The disclaimer is that I love Rick and Morty. The third season may be one of the best shows TV has supplied in years. Also, I’m not a misogynist who doxxes women on the writing staff like some Rick and Morty “fans”. Also, I did not stand in line at McDonalds for the limited edition Szechuan sauce re-release.

Now, the explanation, because I do not blame you if you don’t know and/or don’t want to know what I’m talking about. A gag in the first episode of Rick and Morty Season 3 featured a long rant about Rick’s desire to once again have the Szechuan dipping sauce McDonalds put out to dip McNuggets into when Mulan came out. McDonalds played along for a while, and everyone was happy.

And then McDonalds said they’d have the sauce in the stores for one day only (last Sunday). And people lined up by the hundreds. And McDonalds somehow managed to have between 20-70 packets of sauce per location. It was not enough. People were angry. In some locations, police were called.

Now, obviously, I don’t think the lack of sauce is enough provocation to require the presence of police, but on the other hand, is there any more obvious warping of the phrase “protect and serve” for modern day policing than protecting McDonalds’ right to serve chicken tenders?

And yes, the whole thing is stupid. But make no mistake here. All the blame lies with McDonalds. People are perfectly happy to be exploited a little bit in exchange for a bit of shared amusement and fun. But McDonalds violated the tacit contract by being dicks about it.

Under current socioeconomic and political conditions, I’m simply less inclined to shit all over other people’s harmless forms of escapism and self-care, even if, as a middle aged old-school nerd, I’m barely willing to stand in a short line for something important, much less a long line for something pointless. Fans who stood in line for the sauce weren’t violating the spirit of the joke in a deep misunderstanding of the deeper meaning of the show and it’s characters, they were playing along with a pop culture game.

McDonalds could have played along too. Brought the sauce back for a month or even a week to drive nerds to its restaurants for a little dumb thing for the fun of it. It’s a sauce at McDonalds, for fuck’s sake. It’ll keep forever, so if nerds didn’t turn out, they could just have it as an option for months or years. But no. They had to fuck around. They had to try to turn it into an exciting viral social media flash mob 2.0. And from their impure intentions, chaos reigned. Or something.

Captain Awkward ([syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed) wrote2017-10-11 11:41 pm

#1032: “Fiancé thinks I’m still in love with the ex!”

Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain Awkward:

I have been engaged for 1 1/2 years now. We are both in our 40’s and have been married before. I have no contact with my ex. When my fiancé and I first got together I made the mistake of discussing things from my previous marriage. There was nothing good about my past but my fiancé doesn’t believe that. He thinks I am still in love with the ex. I am not! He admits to being jealous and possessive and needs to feel like he is #1. If he is not #1 then he can not move forward with me. He has always been the first for the woman he has married or dated. He has never been with a woman that has much of a past in regards to relationships. He wants to be able to get over this hurdle about my ex and I want to do everything to help us get over this hurdle. What can we do?

Lovely Letter Writer, you’re not going to like this, because my #1 piece of advice is: Maybe…don’t…marry him? Maybe don’t “move forward” with someone who suddenly becomes obsessed with your romantic past and who accuses you of things that aren’t true? Maybe this road block is a gift to you, telling you to get out of this relationship with a jealous and possessive man who is using your past as a wedge between you.

Look, I really distrust people, especially straight cis men, who self-describe as “jealous & possessive.” I have a lifetime of experience/an inbox full of examples/an endless sea of violent headlines that point to why the guy who “playfully” grabs your phone on a first date and casually scrolls through it looking for male names and quizzing you about each of them (true story) or why the guy who is threatened by someone you haven’t talked to in EIGHT YEARS sets off alarm bells for me. The Venn diagram of “men who monitor the women in their lives and who get hung up on being ‘#1′” and “men who do scary stuff to exert control over the women in their lives…and bystanders” has a lot of overlap. I specifically mistrust this guy because if I’m reading correctly he has been married at least once before (and dated other people before) and that’s not a problem but somehow you doing the same exact stuff is a problem? Get the entire fuck out of here, Sexist Double Standard Dude. All the way out.

Furthermore “jealous & possessive” are not awesome qualities one should lean into. Those are not things to brag about. They also aren’t excuses for behaving like a jerk. And while attachment styles are a thing and jealous feelings are a thing, people who feel a lot of jealousy and anxiety about romantic partners and fidelity still have choices about how they express those feelings. He could feel weird about your ex and never ever make it your problem. This guy is choosing to make his feelings into your problem. He’s also telling you that his feelings about your past relationships are more valid and more true than your actual words and actions. You saying “I love only you and want to marry you” is less valid to him than his newly-acquired insecurity re: your ex. I don’t like it.

I can think of two likely reasons that this is coming up now and neither of them are great:

Reason 1: He’s getting cold feet about marrying you and is looking for an excuse to break it off or slow things down but instead of saying “I don’t think this is working, let’s break up” he’s fixated on something to blame you for, some “flaw” in you that makes the breakup all your fault.

Reason 2: He is cool with getting married as long as he can put you in an impossible position of having to convince him and pet him and audition for him and reassure him and apologize to him about something that is not actually a problem and not actually happening, i.e., you are not still in love with or even in touch with your ex. He has taken things you told him in confidence long ago and is now using them as a weapon against you to make you beg and apologize and strive for his affection and look for ways to fix a thing that is all in his head. This is an attempt to establish control and reset the power balance between you. Not good.

I mean, if your fiancé truly wants to get over this hurdle, he could talk to a therapist about why he’s having these thoughts and feelings. He could take responsibility for the feelings, like, “Hey, I know I am out of line and your romantic past is actually none of my business, so I’m going to figure out a way to deal with this so that it doesn’t intrude on our life together anymore, please bear with me for a bit, I love you and of course I trust you.” He could talk to a therapist and say “Hey I’m feeling really insecure and need a lot of reassurance from my fiancée about this stuff lately, and it’s upsetting her and stressing her out, how can I redirect some of these thoughts?” He has some negative emotions and you’re supposed to…what…build a time machine? No ma’am.

I think the most gentle script I can think of is something like: “Whoa, I’m sorry you feel that way, that must be a really awful feeling. Since I’m not in love with my ex and none of this is actually true, I’m at a loss for what I can do to help. I agree, though, we should absolutely take a step back and slow down wedding plans. You’re right, we absolutely can’t move forward while this is such an issue for you. Why don’t you talk to a therapist or somebody and try to work it out?

Yes, he gets the “I’m sorry you feel that way” non-apology. Yes, he gets his bluff called.

If you told him that script, what do you think he’d do? Would he yell? Would he blame you? Would he accuse you? Would he bring up old painful things you told him in confidence? Would he monitor you, follow you, quiz you about your plans and who you’re with? Would saying something like that generate too much friction and conflict to be worth it? Would you end up having to soothe his ego and pet him for hours afterward? Are you already dreading the fruitless and stressful conversation you’ll end up having about this? Do you feel safe being able to say “Whoa, hold up, that is not actually a problem or my issue to handle, it’s yours” to him?

Other scripts:

  • “That’s incorrect.”
  • “But you’re wrong about me still having feelings for that guy.”
  • “But you’re upset with me about something that isn’t true.”
  • “Could you explain to me why this is a problem? Can you help me understand why it’s just suddenly coming up?”
  • “It’s not possible for you to be my first-ever husband, but you’re the one I’m choosing in the end. That has to be enough for you.”
  • “I’m sorry you feel that way. What would you like me to do about it now?”
  • “Wow, none of that is true. I don’t know how to reassure you about this. What do you want me to say?”
  • “I can tell you feel really anxious about this and I honestly don’t know what to say that will make it better. What do you think we should do next?”
  • “What is this really about?”

Whatever you decide to do about the relationship, hold this close: You didn’t do anything wrong. This is literally all in his head. Do not give into the idea that you did something wrong by meeting somebody when you were younger and loving someone else before you met this man. If you start saying to yourself “Well, he does have a point about this, to be fair, some of this is my fault,” it’s time to RUN. That is an abuse script talking, one that shows that the abuse has moved inside and colonized the victim. Seriously, run.

This is a problem created by him, and one that only he can solve (by getting over himself already). It’s not fixable by you because nothing that is happening is created or caused by you. What would happen to the relationship if you didn’t try to fix it, like, “Ok, welp, that’s your weird obsession to deal with, good luck working on that, let me know when you want to go back to enjoying our relationship instead of manufacturing problems.

Proceed with extreme caution. Pull in your Team You and make sure you have safe, supportive people to talk to. Do not get married with this cloud hanging over you.

I know this is really hard and not what you wanted to hear, but I don’t have a magic spell against misogyny in general or dudes who suddenly decide to hold your life story against you because “Love!”

Update: The fiancé showed up in the thread to tell us that the Letter Writer is way more jealouser than he is, among other things. Warning bells have become klaxons. I’m closing comments because, among other reasons, it’s very possible that this guy feeds on the attention and will use what we say to hurt and punish the Letter Writer.

I hate this.






OLDNERD ([syndicated profile] oldnerd_feed) wrote2017-10-11 02:15 pm

Inhumans: “Behold... The Inhumans” / “Those Who Would Destroy Us”

Posted by Bryan Lambert

No, really. They showed THIS to people in IMAX. 
This is a surprise to nobody at this point, but Inhumans is hot garbage.

No, wait. That’s not accurate. Think about garbage. Then think of whatever garbage temperature you personally find the most appealing. Inhumans is the opposite temperature of that.

It’s amazing. Showrunner Scott Buck, fresh off his success at making a Marvel show with a protagonist without any appealing qualities (Iron Fist), has now made an entire Marvel show without any redeeming qualities.

It’s Shakespearean, in the same way that gas station sushi is “sushiesque”. Two brothers, one who can’t talk and one who shouldn’t, vie for control of a gutted Ikea store on the moon. Maximus, the brother who shouldn’t talk, is an Inhuman without any superpowers. He’s a sexually predatory populist without the natural charm of a Donald Trump. His brother, Black Bolt, has a voice so powerful he can never use it, and, as a result, is the best actor on the entire show.

Here’s how bad Inhumans is. They don’t use Black Bolt’s full comics name, Blackagar Boltagon, and if they had, it would have been better.

Black Bolt’s wife, Medusa, has magic hair for like the first half hour, and then it gets too expensive despite looking like complete shit the entire time, so it gets cut off in a scene I’m sure was intended to have emotional resonance.

The show also includes shitty covers of “Break On Through” and “Paint It Black”, two of its crimes against humanity I haven’t seen mentioned much elsewhere.

Nobody can deliver any of their lines well or consistently. You can assign blame for that wherever you want, I guess. I blame everybody.

But Inhumans’ worst crime? It manages to be as bad as it possibly can be while never quite crossing the line into “hilariously entertainingly bad to watch”. Which takes a certain unfortunate talent.

I do plan to hate-watch the rest of it, mostly because it’s only eight episodes and cancelling it off the DVR at this point is more trouble than it’s worth.