oxymoron67: (Default)
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It depends on the situation. If it's only me versus a bunch of jackasses saying things, I walk away.

But sometimes...

Two quick anecdotes:

I was on the bus, and these two early-20's women were there criticizing everyone's clothes and weight and so on, but they were doing it in (bad high school) French. I gave them the side-eye a few times, but they refused to stop.

As I got up to exit the bus, I turned to them to say "Taisez-vous! On ne sait jamais qui parle Francais."

Which translates as "Watch your mouth! You never know who speaks French."

They turned five shades of red. My mission was accomplished.
___________________

I was walking around my neighborhood in the morning when a jogger went by and made a disparaging remark about my weight. He even did that "turning around and jogging in place" thing, to make sure I knew he was talking about me.

See, I'm fat, and therefore stupid and unobservant.

I was still walking when he was jogging back my way, and I was in no mood for more of his bullshit.

So, I stuck out my foot and tripped him. I tried to make it look accidental, like I was turning or something, but subtlety isn't my strong suit, so I'm pretty sure that jogging dude was aware that it was no accident.

As he was getting up, he said something like "Watch where you're going", only with lots of profanity.

I looked at him and said, "I am *SO* sorry. I just figured that I'm so fat and slow moving that you would be able to dodge me."

Then, I walked away with a song in my heart.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Jim Daly, leader of Focus on the Family, an arch-conservative group which believes that LGBT persons are icky at best, has posted a screed a=on CNN telling us all why we shouldn;t blame Christians for the bullying of LGBT people.

Here is the second paragraph:
It has been suggested by some that Christianity itself is to blame for these tragedies - and that is its own separate tragedy. The train of thought goes like this: Churches and organizations like the one I lead, which believe Scripture places homosexual activity outside of God’s design for human sexuality, are responsible for the bullying of gay students and, by extension, their deaths.


This train of thought? It's accurate. Why? You denounce LGBT people, casting them out, labeling them as unclean or unwanted or hopelessly broken or in need of accepting that you way is the only right way so neener-neener. Since you have already minimized/demonized/questioned the humanity of LGBT people, others who think like you figure that it's okay to attack them. They're not really part of the community, so they're the enemy.

That's what your bigotry does.

As provocative as that narrative may be, and it certainly has ginned up quite a lot of controversy of late, it is not accurate. Not only is Christianity not to blame for attacks against gays and lesbians, when properly interpreted and practiced, it is the cure for and solution to the mistreatment and abuse of anyone, for any reason.


I would say that Focus on the Family's constant work to obstruct or prevent even the discussion of the bullying of LGBT kids in school is not curing anything. Seriously, from what I've seen of their arguments, Focus on the Family's (and this gentleman leads that group) logic goes like this:

1) Bullying is bad
2) Being LGBT is bad
3) Bullying the LGBT community... that's pretty much okay.

If there is a single golden thread woven through the Bible and the faith it informs, it is this: when it comes to human rights and how we treat each other, no person is superior or inferior to the next.


Yet, every time you and yours get the chance, you promote the idea that being LGBT is sick or twisted or evil an, therefore, that those people are somehow less worthwhile that you are.

So, to violate the dignity of another person, in any form or fashion, is to contradict the very basis of Gospel-centered living. And to suggest that an orthodox understanding of Christianity encourages abuse against homosexuals is a sad misreading of the very tenets of the faith.


BUT WHAT YOU AND YOUR GROUP ARE DOING DOES ENCOURAGE THIS ABUSE!

This is basically a rewording of "love the sinner, hate the sin." As I, and many others, have said elsewhere, everyone remembers the hate part, no one remembers the love.

I'd also add something about how even the most devout Christians cherry-pick what they consider important from the Bible. Since these folks don't care for gay people, they choose to highlight the idea that homosexuality is wrong.

I would point out that Jesus said the wealthy will almost certainly not find the rewards of Heaven, yet I'll bet our author here is quite rich.

In case you think I'm wrong about Focus on the Family, here is they're 'you can pray away the gay' website. And here are their thoughts on anti-gay bullying.

Essentially, their thoughts? It's a gay plot.

Work

Oct. 21st, 2010 10:57 am
oxymoron67: (Default)
Sometimes I hate my workplace. This is especially true after departmental meeting day, which was yesterday. We'll get to that in a later post.

But first, let's talk about Spirit Day on my campus. Yesterday, you know, they day when we were supposed to wear purple to show our support for the LGBT community?

Well, here is an e-mail about this from my college:

The Health Services Center invites everyone to show their support in ending domestic violence by wearing Purple on Wednesday October 20th!


Where I am (in a community college in freaking NYC), we can't just devote a day to the GLBT youth. Nope. It had to be about something else. The GLBT folks just aren't worthy of having an entire day to themselves.

Am I saying that domestic violence isn't an important issue? Of course not. I just think it interesting that someone, somewhere decided to co-opt the day.

I admit to having mixed feelings about the whole "Purple is for GLBT!" thing, but to just shove that aside is remarkably insensitive.
oxymoron67: (Default)
I decided to read an editorial about the "Ground Zero Mosque" whose link was sent to me by a conservative friend.
I just ... I can't respect this argument. )
oxymoron67: (peanuts)
One of my Facebook friends said that she was going to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

Before we go any further, can I just say that if I NEVER, EVER hear Freebird again, it'll be totally too soon.

I swear that the classic rock stations in Pittsburgh played it at least every half hour or so and many of my classmates in high school thought it was so relevant.

Random classmate: "...and this bird... you cannot chain" That's totally me.
Me: Yes... you are a bird... and no one can chain you.
RC: It's like that thing we talked about in English class...
Me: You mean a metaphor?
RC: Yes... no... whatever. It's not like I care.
Me: Because you're a bird... and no one can chain you.

My time in high school bears some similarity to that of Daria.

Anyway.

This facebook friend announces that she;s going to this concert and someone asks if she;s going to wear a Confederate flag bikini. She says no, but she will wrap herself in a giant Confederate Flag towel.

I'd say something, but this person isn't exactly a brain trust (or she wasn't in high school, anyway.)

At any rate, this is one of those people who would complain that others mock Christianity and how that's wrong and offensive, but she can't see that a Confederate flag might offend people.

*sigh*
oxymoron67: (Default)
I don't think I ever posted this here. If I have, I apologize for the re-run.

Inspired by [livejournal.com profile] greyduck's tale of financial aid idiocy.

I've never taken the direct route to anything. When I was an undergrad, I was a chemistry major for three years, dropped out for three years, then went back as a French/Spanish double major.

My first semester back, I got my financial aid in order -- it was the first time I needed financial aid because Mom had saved money for college from the social security payments we got because of dad's death.

I filled out all the forms, received an award letter, and thought it was all going swimmingly when I received a second letter the week after school started stating that my financial aid award had been revoked because I wasn't a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.

I was livid and more than a little confused. I was 24, and had lived in Pennsylvania since the age of three. How could I not be a resident?

The next day, I went to the Financial Aid office (I would be there so often over the next few months that the secretaries would memorize my social security number). After waiting forever (my own fault for not making an appointment, I suppose), I was finally called in to my financial aid advisor's office. The following conversation took place:

Me: Why did my financial aid get revoked?
Him: We found irregularities in your residency.
Me: How? I've lived here since I was three. I graduated high school here. I went to college at this very institution for a few years here. I work here.
Him: Yes, but you were unemployed for seven months last year.
Me: So?
Him: (speaking slowly, as if I was stupid) You were unemployed for seven months last year.
Me: If all the unemployed people in Pennsylvania left the state, we wouldn't have an unemployment rate, would we?
Him: But you're special.
Me: How?
Him: You were unemployed and born in the state of Illinois.
Me: Again, I've lived here since I was three.
Him: So you say, But it's odd that you were unemployed and didn't think to return to Illinois.
Me: Not really, I have no one there My entire family lives in the Pittsburgh area.
Him: I have no proof of that.
Me: So basically, I'm being denied financial aid because you think that people who were born in Illinois return there when unemployed, like salmon swimming upstream to spawn?
Him: That's not how I would put it...
Me: You realize how stupid this is, right?
Him: I'm just telling you my reasons for denying you your financial aid award.
Me: Okay, fine. You caught me.
Him: A-ha!
Me: I live in Chicago now. I just commute to Pittsburgh to take advantage of the in-state tuition. I fly in and out daily. When I'm running late, I have the airplane buzz the Cathedral of Learning and I parachute out. I've had to do it three time this week. Perhaps you've seen me.
Him: Mr. Palmer, that's absurd!
Me: And that would be my point.

It took me over a month and several discussions with this ass-clown's supervisor to straighten this out. Yet, it never was fully fixed because I had to fight this fight several more times.
oxymoron67: (Default)
John Stossel from Fox News agrees.

In fact, he says we should repeal that part of the Civil Rights Act now. See, market forces will fix everything and prevent segregation from returning.

Except that said market forces didn't do that in the first place.

I admit that I do not subscribe to the "logic" of libertarians, mostly because I don't think there is any logic there, but I think my friends from the Hundred Acre Wood can sum it up better than I:


oxymoron67: (Default)
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No, not really.

I know too much about history and have experienced too much anger and hate (on both ends, I'm no saint). It is too damned easy to hate, and way too many people revel in it.

I HOPE that people will be influenced by their better angels, but I never plan on it.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Today's edition

1) Idiotic Facebook stuff
Most of them wash over me, some I've even joined (I became a fan of "Can this paradox get more fans than itself", for instance) but...

The "YOU came to OUR country, YOU learn OUR language" group...

Most immigrants do learn English. Most will still have a non-native accent, but, you know, a little patience (and a little less bigotry) on your side will help smooth things along here.

How do I know that most immigrants learn our language? One: I've read the studies. Two: I've taught them.

Also, at least ine of the people who has joined this group lives in a lily-white community, where diversity means Poles, Italians AND Irish all live on the same street.

2) Professors who can't follow directions
We couldn't come (for two straight weeks!) to videotape these two nursing classes (because TWO WEEKS!), so I lent the professors the equipment. The returned it... and it took me an hour, but I think I figured out what they did.

Also, everything was filmed at this really odd 30 degree angle.

3) Family
We want to go to Georgia for my nephew's high school graduation, but we don;t know the date yet. My brother and his wife won't tell us. It's possible that they don;t want us there (His wife has been hostile towards us in the past, even though the only reason they're not homeless is my mother, holding her alcohol and drug soaked family as somehow superior to us.)


Also, one of my sisters will be laid off as of Friday. The doctor whose office she manages has decided to work solely out of her home, and is laying off the office staff.

Frankly, I think this is a blessing. This sister has an MBA, yet hasn't done much with it. This may force her to look in different directions.
oxymoron67: (Default)
This happened in public restrooms at my workplace twice in three days.

Click here for the TMI. )
oxymoron67: (Default)
While the majority of Americans still think that gay marriage is somehow wrong*, the number who agree with it is increasing, but 49% of Americans think that we're paying too much attention to Gay Rights.

Meantime, on the floor of the House of Representatives:






So, even though we're "too focused" on gay rights, we still have congress people denying that Matthew Shepard's death was a hate crime: that his sexuality played NO ROLE in his death. It's the flip side to those who defend men who attack gays because of "gay panic".

The lesson: the gay is a taint: it marks one as something less than human, and therefore the cause of all the grief. if there were no gays near the right-thinking homophobes, the right thinking homophobes wouldn't have to beat them up. (I guess they could beat up their wives/girlfriends/children instead.) So, it is all the fault of the gays.

*Sigh* The more things change...

*I still don't understand what people who oppose gay marriage will lose if it's legalized. I've never seen a decent explanation of that.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Dear woman sitting two people down from me on this bus this morning,

Click for the icky details. )
oxymoron67: (Default)
Why would I, someone who has never visited... or even ever been near Oklahoma be interested in politics there?

Why, Brent Rinehart and his re-election comic.

To understand the joys of this thing, imagine, in some alternate universe, if Rick Santorum married Jack Chick and their offspring decided to into Poppa Jack's business but with Poppa Rick's politics, only with worse artwork.

See for yourself.

You may not want to. Why?

1) No discernible artistic talent.
2) Astonishing grammar/spelling errors that someone should have corrected.
3) Anti-gay bigotry.
4) Really, the idea that a vote for Mr. Rinehart is a vote against Satan. At least I think that's supposed to be Satan. (See point #1).

But do read it. It's comedy gold.

So, if the thing that hates Rinehart is Satan, I suppose that the thing that supports him is supposed to be an angel, but it reminds me less of an angel than of LOTR-era Orlando Bloom. So, I think of it as the Anti-Fairy Fairy.

One of the women looks as if her brain is actually housed outside of her skull. Also, we learn that besides being Republican, Conservative and an Active Christian, Mr. Rinehart is a transformer, as he can transform into an airplane.

I also love how his enemies meet in secret to plot against him. (The two spy like people-- the gay and the good ol' boy meeting by the lamppost) I sincerely doubt that is necessary. But who doesn't love a touch of paranoia in an elected official?

Also, the protesting gays: a parade of stereotypes? I think? the one whose head is blocked by his sign looks like he's wearing a Peter Pan outfit. And where are the lesbians? Are there no lesbians in Oklahoma? Or is flannel that hard to draw?

My favorite quote (well, besides the misspellings of pedophile and the line "your kidding") is this one:

"Brent fought to remove homosexual preferences from the county handbook but it was voted down by the good ol' boys."

So, in Oklahoma, the good ol' boys are gay? So, Oklahoma is like Texas, but gayer? Is that why there's a musical about the state?

It takes a special kind of talent and vision to produce something like this.
oxymoron67: (reading)
Some people... not here, but in real life... have been criticizing my choices in books.

These people fall into two groups:

1) Those who believe that the only books worth reading are in the canon. So, because I'm not reading the latest Joyce Carol Oates or Jane Austen that I'm wasting my time.

2) Those who recommend books and then seem to get upset that I'm not reading every last thing they recommend when they recommend it. Apparently, this means that I don't take their opinions seriously.

Both groups seem to think that, because I'm mostly reading about history and biography. I'm wasting my time.

I'm tired of defending my selections. So you don't know who the book Ella, Princess, Saint and Martyr was about? Who cares? I'm not asking anyone else to read it. *I* enjoyed it. I got a lot out of it.

My first love is history and politics. Linguistics just kind of ... happened. (I'm not complaining, by and large, I enjoy what I do.) Now that I'm in a position to read for pleasure, of course, I'm going to read about history.

Further, because of my French/Spanish double major and my reading habits, I'm better read in three languages than many of these people are in one. (I know that sounds arrogant. I guess it is. In this instance, I think I've earned it.)

But... because of years and years of reading the Great Books, I'm just not in a place where I want to read any of them right now. I may never be in that place again. That;s not true, actually. Thanks to the Gutenberg project, I've recently gotten into American poets, in particular Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and John Greenleaf Whittier.

I look at ... say... Wuthering Heights and instead of thinking "a potential great read", I think back to my classes where I'd have to write papers about the characterizations or ... because this is what I normally did... I'd find something from another book I'd read earlier to compare it to. (Note to college student: literature professors love it when you do comparison/contrast papers. As long as you do them well.) And I just can't bear to read it.

I can enjoy these books without that baggage. Plus, I'm insatiably curious about history. One friend who -- not being critical, just observing-- pointed out that lately I've been reading about the second tier people in history-- the also rans, the interesting people on the sidelines, the footnotes.

Even though I never thought about it that way, she has a point.

One friend has even claimed that I'm a snob because I refuse to read literature in English. Which isn't true, or at least, if if I am a snob, this isn't the reason.

In other words, I wish these people would respect my choices. (I find it interesting that the people who scream the loudest about how offended they are that I dismiss their opinions-- which I don't think I do-- are so totally dismissive of mine.)

If I may make a recommendation of my own: this week's This American Life podcast-- It's about the mortgage mess.
oxymoron67: (no bear)
1. Traffic today was horrid. I'm forty minutes late because traffic on Queens Blvd wasn't moving.

2. To the folks on the elevator: When I say "excuse me, this is my floor", please move out of my way. If you don't I will walk through you like a tank plowing through a wheat field. And, no, you don;t get to be upset about this. You had your chance to move and you didn't.

3. My brother was just fired. More on this later.

4. The thing with the non-Credit ESL people isn't going away.

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