Day: 2014.10.23

Your Tweet of the Day

Meanwhile, in other news about the #GamerGate terror movement, we might look to The Stranger, an alternative tabloid newspaper in Seattle, where an anonymous contributor to the weekly column, “I, Anonymous”, asks the obvious question:

Who the fuck calls in a bomb threat at GeekGirlCon?

The rest of the rant is worth a read.

And in case you might be wondering what GeekGirlCon means, you can always check out their website. Or perhaps peruse Nicole Dieker’s review of this year’s event. Meanwhile, the countdown is on. 351 days until GGC’15.

The soul of #GamerGate.To the other, if you’re wondering what #GamerGate means, Clickhole recently attempted to explain the issue to readers, and, frankly, we’ve a couple of bits in our own archive. But setting aside our own egos, the Clickhole version is the least stomach-churning explanation for what’s going on.

The bottom line, though, is that Jack-o’Dantern, being a masculine-sounding name, is in pretty good shape when it comes to cracking wise about #GamerGate. So are we at This Is. That is to say, we’re men. And #GamerGate, as much as they like threatening to rape women to death, is afraid to fight with other men. Presently, the best guess is that their delusions include some manner of belief that other men support them. And why not? So far, the software industry has been pretty quiet; it would be bad for business to piss off gamers.

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Jack-o’Dantern. “I’m not associated with Gamer Gate”. Twitter. 23 October 2014.

Anonymous. “You Can’t Keep a GeekGirl Down”. The Stranger. 22 October 2014.

Dieker, Nicole. “GeekGirlCon is an oasis of acceptance”. BoingBoing. 21 October, 2014.

“A Summary Of The Gamergate Movement That We Will Immediately Change If Any Of Its Members Find Any Details Objectionable”. Clickhole. 22 October 2014.

Stuart, Keith. “Brianna Wu and the human cost of Gamergate: ‘every woman I know in the industry is scared'”. The Guardian 17 October 2014.

The Man From Massacusetts … or … New Hampshire? Maybe Narnia?

Scptt Brown can't remember what state he's in.

One might wonder if Americans prefer to live in some sort of fantasy world in which Good and Evil are constantly dueling it out to no foreseeable end. A hard-fought, close competition is what we seem to prefer, and when it’s, say, sports, that’s probably just fine.

But here’s the analogy: What if the game is only close because one team gets more points each time they score?

Welcome to New Hampshire, where Scott Brown (R) trails incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) by about one and a half points, well within the margin of error. Nobody is quite sure why.

Maybe Shaheen doesn’t shower, or has halitosis, or something. It would be one thing to wonder about the idea that Mr. Brown has no jobs agenda, but he has also boasted that he shouldn’t.

It’s also really quite easy to pick on a former U.S. Senator who complains about his opponent’s outlook on “securing” the U.S.-Mexican border but quite literally never felt like showing up to his committee meetings on the subject. As a senator from Massachusetts, Mr. Brown attended exactly zero border security hearings for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Or maybe we might chuckle when he cannot remember legislation he sponsored.α

But let us pause for a moment to reconsider his tenure as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. The idea of carpetbagging in the twenty-first century is hardly rare, but one would expect that Mr. Brown could at least remember what state he is in. And forgetting that he’s not in Massachusetts, anymore, Toto, wouldn’t be so big a deal, except that he keeps doing it.

Really.

James Pindell of WMUR explains the latest slip:

New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown tried to politically navigate how he could run for office in the Granite State thirteen weeks after officially moving here from Massachusetts.

An FEC filing by U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown of New Hampshire, once again forgetting which state he is in.For the most part Brown has not let the move dominate the campaign, which has been about other issues. But then there are moments when mistakes are made.

The report was filed with the Senate last week, as required, but the Federal Election Commission has not put it online yet.

What a show.

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α Then again, he has every reason to want to forget. It’s a bit hard to pitch to a major voting bloc like, oh, say, women, when you have a record of sponsoring legislation trying to strip their rights of self-determination.

Oakes, Bob and Shannon Dooling. “Analysts Say Scott Brown Must Galvanize GOP Base In N.H. Senate Race”. WBUR. 15 August 2014.

Pindell, James. “Analysts Say Scott Brown Must Galvanize GOP Base In N.H. Senate Race”. WMUR. 23 October 2014.

Arkansas? (Really?)

Arkansas

What the hell is wrong with Tom Cotton?

It would seem the Congressman from Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District is so desperate for a U.S. Senate seat that he will aid and abet terrorism in order to do so.

Does that sound a little strange? Well enough; it ought to. Andrew Kaczynski brings the underlying lede:

An ad from Republican Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton about his military experience and national security issues uses footage from an ISIS propaganda video as B-roll.

And Steve Benen brings the blistering critique:

In recent months, most of the Republicans incorporating ISIS propaganda into their commercials have relied on the ISIS video in which James Foley was murdered. Foley’s family has pleaded not to even watch the footage, but in a few cases, politicians on the right have ignored those wishes ....

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR4), candidate for United States Senate, is willing to help Daa'ish in order to win..... I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Far-right politicians, eager to seem “tough” on terror, are deliberately putting terrorists’ propaganda on the air, on purpose, to advance their personal ambitions.

Keep in mind, there’s no shortage of available footage that the Republican campaign could have included in the commercial. There’s plenty of background video of combat in the Middle East, for example, which Cotton could have used to make the same point.

But, no. Cotton instead used ISIS propaganda, putting the same footage on the air that the terrorists want to see on the air.

And while Benen might wonder about who on the campaign thought this was a good idea, there is perhaps a more important question.

Really, Arkansas? This is okay with you?

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A Little Light … er … ah … Something

D'oh!  An earlier version misidentified the Skipper costume as The Professor.

Normally, we find the saccharine-sweet clickbait going around social media downright idiotic, and possibly even offensive. And that isn’t necessarily because the overdose of toxic cuteness is itself stupid; rather, it has to do with the fact that it is so easy to “share” content that people seem to have stopped thinking about what they’re passing along.

Detail of photograph by Gina Lee, ca. 2013.To the other, it’s not like we’re going to knock Gina Lee or her daughter Willow. But in the first place, the destruction of language—such as Mike Spohr’s BuzzFeed headline, “A Little Girl Named Willow’s Costume Game Has Already Won Halloween”—really should stop. Professional writers should not go out of their way to behave as if they are functionally illiterate. Then again, botching the language is a commodity these days, so … you know … whatever. And Mr. Spohr can always blame his editors. We hope.

And, additionally, there are still other treasures to be found. The photographic exhibit also contains one of the best editorial corrections I’ve ever witnessed:

An earlier version misidentified the Skipper costume as The Professor.

Is this the part where we say, “Oh, my”?

Or would, “Ouch!” suffice?

To the other, BuzzFeed is aiming for proper journalism, saccharine clickbait notwithstanding. Many, perhaps most, of us would likely have just made the correction and not attached any sort of note. So thank you, Mr. Spohr, for taking that one on the chin for the sake of journalistic integrity.

And, no, that’s not nearly as much of a joke as it sounds.

But, yeah. We’ll give a little razzing. How could we not?

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Spohr, Mike. “A Little Girl Named Willow’s Costume Game Has Already Won Halloween”. BuzzFeed. 21 October 2014.

Dereliction of Duty

Detail of 'Lucifer', by Franz von Stuck, 1890.

Six years is a long, long time. Well, no, not really, but we’re talking about Americans, so yeah, it’s a long, long time. To wit, two phrases from 2008: “flyover country” and “Middle America”.

The phrases were intended to invoke a cultural split whereby the wholesome, Christian states in between the coasts are under constant assault by anti-Christian elites in coastal metropolitan centers.

Which, in turn, makes it really easy to poke fun at “Middle American” and “traditional family” values. And that aspect begs a specific question: What part of these “values” demands abject cruelty?

The writing is on the wall for gay marriage bans in Kansas, Montana and South Carolina after federal appeals courts that oversee those states have made clear that keeping gay and lesbian couples from marrying is unconstitutional.

But officials in the three states are refusing to allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses without a court order directing them to do so. It could be another month or more before the matter is settled.

In a political campaign debate Monday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback vowed to defend his state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. A federal court hearing is scheduled for Friday.

There seems little doubt that U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree ultimately will set aside the state’s gay marriage ban. That’s because the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, encompassing Kansas and five other states, has said a state may not deny a marriage license to two people of the same sex.

(Sherman)

According to John Eastman of the National Organization, while it is true that heterosupremacism has reached the end of its rope, refusing to respect a federal court “remains a viable option”.

Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) swore an oath of office before assuming office:

I do solemnly swear [or affirm, as the case may be] that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Kansas, and faithfully discharge the duties of ______. So help me God.

And what does that mean to Mr. Brownback? Apparently, it means he will not perform his duties except under court order.

But why? How does one justify such dereliction of duty?

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