Tuesday, July 31, 2012

John Rocker Calls for the Nanny State to Protect his Feelings

WND blogger John Rocker has a rather totalitarian view of "Freedom of Speech."

"Technically, as our Founding Fathers intended, we are all given the undeniable right to voice our thoughts and opinions freely without fear of scorn and/or ridicule derived from non-agreement. I supposedly have the same right to express myself as you do. In a perfect world, my rights should be no different from yours. I’m quite certain that given the current stage of the world’s social climate, however, anyone ascribing to the ridiculous notion that our world is perfect is kidding himself. Our “perfect” world was replaced many moons ago by the defective reality in which we are all forced to reside – and one of the most blatant areas to view the erosion of perfection is seen in the lack of ability many in this great country have to speak freely without fear of chastisement."

Emphasis mine.

Think about this for a second. John Rocker believes that he should have the right to say whatever he wants and be protected from ridicule by the law of the land. He wants his critics to have no freedom of speech of their own, yet he wants the freedom to criticize others. Not only that, but he apparently thinks that this is the way things used to be.

If the first amendment guaranteed protection from ridicule, as Rocker claims, then it would be the OPPOSITE of freedom of speech. It would be censorship, the banning of opposing views altogether. Under Rocker's ignorant, uniformed, fantasy land version of the first amendment, Rush Limbaugh would be jailed for criticizing Obama. I would be jailed for criticizing Rocker. Pat Robertson would be jailed for attacking Planned Parenthood. The cast of Saturday Night Live would be jailed for shredding Sarah Palin.

Is that really the kind of world Rocker  wants to live in, a place where the people in power can legally silence anyone they think is ridiculing them? That's a Communist ideal bucko, and this happens to be America.

I recommend checking out the excellent Popehat take on John Rocker's profound ignorance.

Let's Snuggle!

Let's Snuggle!

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 Olympics run by thin-skinned children

Boing-boing reports that the London Olympic committee says you're only allowed to link to their site if you have nice things to say. Sure enough, it's true. The Linking Policy on their Terms of Use page puts a comical set of limitations on linking to them.
"a. Links to the Site. You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner.
The Boing-Boing article proceeds to link to www.london2012.com with a variety of derogatory terms. If you follow any of the links, you don't get the London 2012 web site, but a few horizontal bars and the word "

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baiting a Racist on the MBTA

This happened a week or three ago, but I never got around to writing it down.

I was riding the train to work in the morning. It was crowded, with people packed close. Among the fresh surge of new commuters cramming on at Wollaston was a man with a very expensive suit. His hair was slicked back with so much grease he could have wrung it out to lube a car. He also had what may have been the single worst spray-on tan in history. The man was so orange cast members of Jersey Shore would tell him to lay off the fake tans. Willy Wonka would mistake him for one of his employees, and then comment "Wait, no, that's a traffic cone." Orange Man also had a tablet, which was proudly displaying a white supremacist web site.

At first I thought nothing of it. People read strange things on the "T" and he might have been a lawyer doing research on a civil rights case for all I knew.

Then I noticed the death-glare he was giving an African-American woman a couple feet away, facing the other direction. The look on his face reminded me of a quote from Babylon 5, where one alien commented that another species hated his so much that their hate could form a white hot-ball and incinerate his home world. That's the look Orange Man was giving the African-American woman, a death glare that could set a planet ablaze.

I wasn't the only one who noticed it. A brunette woman somewhere in her early 30's looked him over. She whipped out her smartphone and positioned herself so he could see the screen. She was smirking as she looked at whatever it was she was reading. Soon Orange Man noticed too, and he glared at her phone, slowly turning an inhuman purple under the orange. It wasn't a shade I ever thought I'd see on a human face. He looked like some sort of monstrous alien that had died and succumbed decay. I wondered if his head was about to explode.

He stormed out at the next stop, pushing his way past several people. As he jostled past the woman with the smart phone I got a glimpse of what had been on her screen. It was a blond woman with pale skin, her mouth stretched wide around a dark, tube-shaped object. I wanted to laugh, to give her a high-five, but the African-American woman who had been the subject of the death-glare was oblivious to what had happened, and I decided it was best to let the matter drop.

I noticed Orange Man standing on the platform as we left. I wondered if he was lost, or just waiting for the next train.

I've repeated this account to a few friends, and one of them asked me if it was possible the woman with the smartphone had been looking at pictures of herself. I doubt it, in part because of the hair color change, but I can't be sure. Besides, it was only a glimpse, and a good portion of the blond's face was obscured by what was in her mouth.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thank you Jenny Lawson

I was having a really crappy morning. My son was cranky, I was running late, the MBTA CLOSED the parking garage I normally use and the next nearest one was inaccessible. I had to go home, drop off the car and restart my commute using the bus for the portion I often drive. By the time I found myself on the train I was looking at being a good two hours late to work. Then I read about a pet sloth and a child finding a kangaroo in her living room. And suddenly all was well with the world.