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Thursday, 29 December 2011

It seems my annoying neighbour hasn't disappeared

Or, so I'm guessing by the copy of Inspire that landed on my doormat (and now recides in the recycling bin). Hand delivered, not even in an envelope

Beloved's cameras don't seem to be working. but then, so many people cut past our door I'm not sure it'd show anything. Still, it would be nice to know

Of course, it could be unrelated to the nasty notes fiasco and I could have another random neighbour who thinks it's appropriate to drop religious mags through people's doors - but my next-door neighbours didn't get one. Maybe I'm just lucky *eye roll*

Needless to say, I'm not amused

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

I am "entitled" to criticise a product I've bought

So John Scalzi, a man I normally find myself agreeing with most of the time, has posted something I feel obliged to comment on. Not that he shouldn’t delete comments however the whime takes him, but his reasoning is something I object to. 

I take issue with the idea that criticising price of a product I’m buying is “entitlement.” Quite the opposite in fact, I think it’s quite reasonable. When reviewing any product out there, price is usually considered a factor. Whether I’m buying new plates, new cushions, new furniture, food, a painting, clothes, a holiday – you name it, price is normally considered an acceptable element to criticise. I don’t see why books are such a hallowed product that we should not stoop to commenting on the crassness of price.

And yes, I do think there is often a problem with ebook pricing. I do find it dubious that some ebooks are priced at the same level as paperback – or even hardback books. I’m quite sure there are people rushing forward to tell me why this is so and it isn’t just inflated profit margins – and by all means do – but to say the very criticism of price is a sense of entitlement is grossly dismissive. Yes, as a producer, the publishers can set any price they want on their product – most certainly. And as a consumer, I can complain about said pricing and even comment on whether something is worth the money it costs. Because that is what consumers – and most certainly reviewers – do. 

Nor do I support the idea that we shouldn’t criticise a book for things the author doesn’t have complete control over.  Yes we should mention that it’s not the author’s fault – but the complete product in my hands is what I am critiquing – and if that includes things like a grossly offensive or ridiculous cover, or the fact it is ridiculously over-priced then that is worthy of comment. After all, as we found in the recent YA drama, many publishers are actively pushing  to have GBLT protagonists replaced with straight folks. So do we stop criticising erasure as well? For that matter, I’m sure publishers, editors and “market forces” force a lot of fuckery on an author – but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to criticise them when they end up in the book And no, I don’t think it makes you a dick because you criticise the product you have bought rather than some ephemeral dream product the author imagined but wasn’t actually the finished book.

And can I say how tired I am of the idea that any criticism of a book could hurt the poor author’s fee-fees… look I know there’s an ongoing belief that any artistic creator is an over-emotional ball of nerves inclined to have hissy fits or the screaming meemies, but I refuse to disrespect them like that. Partly because I’ve met many authors who are quite capable of headbutting any critic into submission while simultaneously stomping an angry alligator to death, but also because I refuse to believe that authors are more delicate, fragile flowers than any other professional provider of an artistic product. If I go out for a meal and am served quenelles of over-salted crap between smears of pureed kitchen scraps, then I will complain (and have) not worry about the chef’s delicate little fee-fees. If I order furniture that wobbles and collapses then I will complain to the carpenter (well, in the unlikely event of my furniture actually seeing a carpenter at any point in its existence).

That’s not to say that a mean, spiteful “review” that constitutes an attack on the author isn’t a bad thing – it is. But I’m tired of the idea that authors are so fragile that even reasoned criticism is just going to be too much and just too awful for their preciousness. 

I don’t think ebook readers are special snowflakes. But nor are authors.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

‘Tis the Season for Grey Hairs

There now begins my annual attempt to maintain sanity as the holiday season officially begins. After all this is the time of year for food! (YAY!) drink! (YAY!) and family (oh dear gods preserve me).

On the food front, I started baking to day (not including the Christmas Cakes which were, obviously, been made in September and have been fed brandy on a four times weekly basis to make them rich and unctuous and only now have been covered in marzipan and royal icing). Finger food, pies, cakes, buns, snacky and, because of a poorly worded and possibly drunken argument, several pork pies (I complained that most pork pies you buy skimp on the jelly – pork pies without good jelly are nasty. I complained enough that I was challenged to make my own, so yes yes I have. With lots of jelly. So there). My freezers, fridge and cupboards are bursting and I’m not even half done. And everything will have brandy in it

On the drink front, we have assembled a terrifying array of colourful, braincell killing drinks. And we have numerous recipes for cocktails that sound oh-so-witty. If Beloved holds control of the bar for the season they will be yummy. If someone wrests control we will have drinks that taste of sugar and paraffin. We also have more wine than France (and yes, it is all European *Euro-snob mode*)

On the family front. Ugh. Well, this is what comes of deciding that people who share the same great great grandfather as you are totally family. And those ancestors loved their breeding. Damn they were bored.

Of course a lot have died off and we’ve also had more peace this year because of the huge amounts of my family tree I’ve decided I refuse to deal with any more. Which means less visits (this time of year the clan visits each others houses so they can criticise, snark and argue in different settings). Which is good – because the people I won’t be seeing are people who always made me cringe, annoyed me, insulted me and generally left me in the position of having a blazing row, during the holidays, with my host/guest OR biting my tongue and taking another insult. So, yes. Good. And it si good, even if I do have to keep telling myself that.
Of course there’s still a lot of family left and they’re all very annoying in their own ways and certainly not fail free so I’m sure I’ll get that wonderful grey hair feeling soon anyway. At least this year I have my pills.

So, chaos reigns. Sparky will be… up to his eyeballs in it for a little while and no promises to peak my head over the parapet until some of the dust has settled.
Also my ISP keeps dropping the net. Do not make my nightmare a reality, ISP, do not!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

It’s a perfectly valid fear!

So, it’s about, oh, 4:00am, everyone’s asleep when…

Beloved: Sparky! Wake up!
Sparky: Ugh, ow
Beloved: You were having a nightmare *concern face* are you ok?
Sparky: *fighting out of bad dreams* Ick… yeah
Beloved: Do you want to talk about it?***
Sparky: It was horrible. We were cut off from the internet. Completely shut down, a lifetime ban. And I appealed and thought it and took it through the courts but I couldn’t change it.
Beloved: And then?
Sparky: You woke me up.
Beloved: Your nightmare was to be cut off from the internet?
Socks: *growls, stalks off in disgust at the noisy humans*
Sparky: Yes,
Beloved: Addict. *rolls over*
Sparky: hey, traumatised by nightmare here
Beloved: Go to sleep, maybe they’ll cut off your coffee next.




***Beloved is a veteran of many many night terrors on my part. He’s learned to deal with my midnight flailing with skill and care. Though it occurs to me that it’s been a while since I’ve had full blown night terrors, certainly the sort that went on for a while.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Louis C.K, your, privileged arse is showing

So, Louis C. K. has joined the legions of those downplaying Tracy Morgan’s bigotry and chiding gay people for our reaction to blatant homophobia

So let’s address some things here, Louis.

You found it hilarious. Really? A joke about stabbing a gay child you found hilarious? You know why we can’t laugh at this shit? Because it happens, Louis. Because we have a truly horrendous homelessness rate – how about that a quarter of gay teenagers could be homeless? This is why we can’t laugh at this “joke”. We can’t laugh through the memories of parental hate and family rejection, of the legacy of our kids driven from their homes, driven to drugs and driven to suicide by their families hating them. And you think it’s funny when a man jokes about stabbing his child because that child is gay.

He is on a comedy stage – do you think that makes it better? Do you think that the fact we can’t even go to a comedy club without being abused isn’t significant? No, he wasn’t on a pulpit – but it doesn’t mean he isn’t telling a room full of people that murdering gay kids is funny. That abusing kids for being gay isn’t good. Do you know what it does mean? It means we can’t go anywhere – anywhere – without having to face this shit. Oh we already knew, there are no safe places – but this is just another straight assertion of that. If we go out, into your world (and, of course, 99.9% of this world is your world) we will be abused.

He was fucking around? He was engaging in hate speech. He was talking about killing a child for being gay. He was talking about rejecting a child, his own son, for being gay. This happens, Louis. This happens every damn day – that’s not fucking around, that’s legitimising and downplaying ongoing persecution

You know nothing. You understand nothing and you’re choking on your privilege.
Don’t tell us what would be more effective, straight man. Don’t tell us how we should react. Don’t tell us what would be more effective in our own path to equality and justice. Don’t presume to know our struggle better than we do.
In fact, why are you even talking? Seriously – do you think we need your advice? Who the hell are you to tell us what our reaction to homophobia should be? Why should we treat your opinion as even slightly relevant? Why do you think you have even the slightest hint of enough insight to presume to chide us?

And we should have approached him and asked him about his dad? His family? That we lost an opportunity to play therapist with him? What the hell man? You want us to treat HIM as the victim here? Do we not centre straightness enough for your little fee-fees? It could have been a starting point in a conversation? While he’s talking about stabbing us, did we not sit down and give him a hug?

Screw that. I am NOT having a conversation about why stabbing gay kids is wrong. I should not have to have that conversation – I refuse to have that conversation. I refuse to even remotely consider that conversation as legitimate. I will not EXPLAIN to bigots why our children deserve to live. I am human, my life has value – end of. There is no opposite position to that, there is just bigotry – and we don’t have a duty to engage bigots to prove our humanity to them.

Do you know the response I like? And it’s easy to guess because it’s the response we got (from GBLT people any way, a herd of straight folks showed up to justify his arseholery). I wanted universal condemnation. Outrage. Fury. I wanted the unequivocal message that what he said was so far out of line it can’t even see the line with a telescope. I wanted rage that he would say something so evil. I wanted what he said ACKNOLWEDGED as evil and wrong and completely lacking in any form of justification – which is exactly what enraged condemnation does. It says, right off, with no doubt that this shit is indefensible, inexcusable and unexplainable.
Because if we’re going to “made a difference in how people feel about homophobia” then THAT is the difference we need to make. We need to make it unacceptable. We need to underline how wrong it is. We don’t need to engage it like it’s a legitimate position. We don’t need to debate it like it’s some kind of reasonable question. We don’t need to centre the poor homophobe and his delicate little fee-fees. We don’t need to pretend there’s an excuse or legitimate reason or defence for homophobia. THIS ALL NEEDS TO CHANGE! We need to start treating homophobia as the bigotry it is – WHICH IS NOT HAPPENING NOW. We need less appeasement, less coddling of the hateful – not more.

And while we’re at it, you clueless fool, you can quit with the bloody hate speech. That’s not funny either and, straight man, the word f@ggot should never pass your lips. And y’know what? I actually have more time for hateful homophobes spouting bullshits than faux-allies like this fool chiding us on how we take our abuse.
All in all Louis, check your privilege, engage your brain, start listening, stop talking.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

And on Fangs for the Fantasy


Our Giveaway for The Walking Dead, Rise of the Governor ends tomorrow. Enter before it’s too late. Keep an eye out for a new giveaway this Friday.
Our weekly podcast: Fangs for the Fantasy podcast, episode 45 As ever you can find our other podcasts in our Podcast Archive. Speaking of archives – all reviews can be found in our: Book Archive and Film/TV archive


Our Friday Discussions and Other Genre Musings


Books


TV

Van Helsing (3.5 Fangs)
The Craft (2.5 Fangs)


Ok, I am now freaked, more than a little.

We have a friend, we spend a lot of geekery on the net and occasionally, about once a fortnight or so he comes round and we engaged in such depravity as: discussing how Skyrim could have been a better game, debating whether a game can be too non-linear, considering which Vampire the Masquerade clan is the best, debating on whether Mages are better than Werewolves, taste testing value booze from supermarkets so we can decide which one deserves mocking the most and other such geekery. We were at uni together and though we’ve drifted in and out of friendship since, we’re now very much on the friend ladder – and we were geeky then too. Occasionally he’ll stay the night but that’s rare since it makes it hard for him to get to work- but if there’s been a lot of booze testing then he can’t drive away, obviously. (By the way, Tescos value cider gets the award for being the weirdest value booze for having absolutely no flavour at all – but still having an unpleasant after taste). Usually he drops in for a couple of hours or so.

So this is a semi-regular meeting of much geekery but when he left last night we
found a note under his windscreen wiper – you know, like he’d got a parking ticket.

The note urged him to stop what he was doing. That he’d get AIDS. That he needs to think of his wife. That he’s going to ruin his life and hers (he doesn’t have a wife, but that’s somewhat beside the point) and doesn’t she deserve better?

To which it seems that some random observer thinks that he comes to our house to have hot, dirty threesomes. I do say hate it when people have better fantasies of my life than I do. I can see where they’ve extrapolated the AIDS from (homophobic assumptions) but why assume he has a wife? Creepy anonymous note maker, you make no sense!

The content is just ludicrous enough for me to not actually be all that offended by it. If it were a random troll on the net sending me it in an email I’d roll my eyes and delete like I do the random-slur troll (seriously, you go to all this effort to get round the IP block to post a slur that I then delete with a single click of a button. I can’t imagine your life is so empty that you have nothing better to do).

But, snark and humour attempts aside, this was a note on a car, outside my house put there presumably by someone who has watched us – at least enough to see Friend is a semi-regular visitor. And, yeah, I’m several several kinds of severely freaked by this. I’m going to have a little world with some powers that be over this (though single incident that’s not overtly threatening and given the givens I don’t expect it to achieve a lot and nor do I want to drag Friend further into the middle of anything – but it’s nice to have a record, just in case. If things do escalate I can point to a beginning and a trend earlier than later).

Yes, I’m definitely having a bad case of the creeps here. Shit like this can stay the hell away from my house.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Bad New Round Up

It's been a little while. My new computer meant I lost a lot of my linkies and took a while to retrieve them. Then the list was, of course, rather longer and this was compounded by my having a complete "no, I can't do this. I can't" moment which was unpleasant. They're not happy fun lists, after all.

But, I do think they're imporant, so after much wrangling I finally got it together

Hate Speech
Now that the excellent California law that requires GBLT people to be included in history lessons has passed, hate group Save California wants parents to remove their kids from schools so they are not “mentally molested”

While we have seen the much publicised racist rant of that vile woman on a tram there has also been a case of a homophobe abusing gay passengers on the London overground as well as 2 cases of street preachers engaging in similar abuse.
Kelly Osborune has spewed some vile transphobia and followed it up with a series of non-pologies.

Director Brett Ratner decided that homophobic slurs are such witty one liners I love the “everyone who knows me knows I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body.” Uh-huh your used a slur – I think the prejudice is pretty damn clear.

Professional footballer Hope Akban’s homophobic tweet is, naturally, going to face no consequences

Similarly, in Australia professional footballer Anthony Golec decided to go on twitter and use some homophobic slurs against a referee charming. He apologises and says it was meant to be a private exchange which shows a) he thinks hate speech is fine so long as you’re careful of your audience and b) he doesn’t understand twitter

And in Wales we have Kristian Phillips, a rugby player, also adding to the hate speech on twitter

Rapper Slaine joins the celebs who think spouting f@ggot on twitter is cool

In North Carolina a frat lounge in Wake Forest university has been vandalised with lots of anti-gay hate speech, some including racist language

In Houstan we have a very tired campaign tactic airing it’s ugly head Vote for me! My opponent might be gay! I don’t know what saddens me more, that it’s used or that it’s effective.

In Ohio, we have another home defaced with an anti-gay slur just waking up to seeing that on your home… that is violence. That is a threat

And in the comic relief we have Victoria Jackson who believes she’s getting no roles because of leftist controlled Hollywood. Watch the video to see the real reason really, she’s too easy a target.

In Poland a right wing partry has adopted a graphic anti-gay sign as one of their official symbols

A United Airlines manager threw in some hate speech with his customer service

They’re joined by a petrol station clerk in Indiana these are such fun examples of every day bullshit you have to deal with.

The Tennessee Tea Party responds to Barney Frank’s retirement with usual class

Media
In Spain the film “Without Men” had all the lesbian scenes removed

In Australia KFC is on hand to help you stay all manly and not all nasty and sissy Apparently there’s a similar advert in South Africa

Following some of the fallout from the disgusting Sandusky scandal, in which many people have decided to jump on the homophobia band wagon, NPR decided to do a show that covered the rape of children and… GBLT parents. Uh-huh because that’s not problematic at all, right?

The “Sing Off” decided to completely undermine the vital work of the Trevor Project by encouraging the shame and hate the project fights against

And in Utah the BYU newspaper prints a letter comparing gay parents to serial killers oh I’d love to go there as a gay student – so reassuring.

Religion
The Pope , the old hater is blaming HIV on poor ethics – yes if you’re ill it’s because of your ethics

In New York Archbishop Dolan again shows us Catholic love – he hates that they may be sued if they don’t “hire THESE PEOPLE” I’d say he’s making his hatred clear – but it’s the Catholic church, since when is it not?

In one of the sickest defences for the child abuse scandal to date, in Belfast a man abused as a child has been accused of making it up as a “gay fantasy” because of his “infatuation” with the abusing priest

And the head of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales is also a bigot. I know, it’s such a surprise, right?

In New York Rev Jason McGuire is terribly offended that Governor Cuomo has called out bigots like him for their bigoted attitudes

In Malaysia, the Islamic party wants to ban an Elton John concert can you guess why?

Pat Robertson, the crusty old homophobe, expects god to punish the US for not hating gays enough. AKA Pat Robertson continues to be Pat Robertson.

The Church of Scotland continues to see ministers leave at the suggestion of gay people being about and continues to push against equal rights for gay people

And now has had their homophobic reverends on the radio comparing us to paedophiles and thieves

A Church in Liverpool is now doing ex-gay home exorcisms! And, of course, continuing to spread poisonous homophobia.

Did you know that gays commit half the murders in large cities? And that we openly admit to being paedophiles? No, of course not, it was entirely made up by a preacher in Oklahoma. Honest these moral types, aren’t they?

State
Watching the American Republican candidates is sort of like watching clowns at a circus, albeit even more depressing and frightening. I could collate the many many links, but, really, it’s driving me to despair and rather redundant. Suffice it to say that Bachmann, Gringrich, Huntsman, Romney, Cain, Perry and good ol’ Frothy are all vile homophobes. Also click the obligatory Santorum link. Aaaaand again Santorum

In Russia we have more regions passing more laws to criminalise the promotion of homosexuality – which means no activism or reaching out to persecuted youth including St. Petersburg. And now it could be spreading to Moscow. And, before he did a quick back track the Russian deputy PM, Dmitry Kozak said he wanted this ban to be federal

In Switzerland Christophe Darbellay, politician and party leader, compares allowing gay couples to adopt to legalising cocaine. Silly bigot, the script calls for a paedophile comparison – have you not read the homophobe handbook?

Men arrested at a New York cruising area have had their names leaked to the media effectively outing them. Even though some of the cases were sealed – and even though some of them were just in the park and not involved in cruising.

In the US, it seems the much celebrated first out gay appellate judge may not actually be happening as he has withdrawn his name after waiting 18 months for the senate hearing.

In Iraq Gay men are being arrested and this happens against a background of mass death and honour killings that have claimed an estimated 700 GBLT lives.

In Italy a bi-national married gay couple is fighting to stay together. I can’t imagine worrying that Beloved would be deported, I can’t imagine it

In Malaysia gay arts festival has been banned – because it’s a threat to the public. The art is threatening! I was menaced by paint! PAINT! Naturally because of religious bigotry – who is surprised?

Also in Malaysia, 2 states are considering new penalties to further persecute GBLT people who already face the fines and caning they’re also pushing ex-gay therapy. The GBLT genocide continues

In the Phillipines the health secretary wants to want the parents of gay children about HIV so they can rein in their homosexual children because straight people totally don’t catch HIV, guys!

In Eucdor there are hundreds of “ex-gay” camps abusing and torturing lesbians. This is the damage of the ex-gay movement, this is its evil.

In British Columbia government officials have told tour operators not to mention the scary GBLT people when marketing to China despite it being a selling point to GBLT people, it’s better to brush us under the rug.

In Pakistan phone companies are to block texts including the words “gay” and “homosexual”

In Cameroon 3 gay men have been imprisoned for 5 years – for being gay the genocide continues.

In Puerto Rico, the government is looking at removing GBLT s from the hate crime law

Kids
In Tennessee another poor kid has been driven to suicide by anti-gay bullying

In the UK, the head of the Jamaican Teacher’s Association says that Afro-Caribbean children door poorly at school because academic success is seen as “gay”

In a classic example of how not to combat bullying gay students were forced to change for PE separately from their straight counterparts. Nothing like separation and different treatment from the teachers to combat bullying now, is there? The report also found teachers were themselves using openly homophobic language – including threatening to kill their gay children with a shotgun.

In Canada a driving instructor thought it was appropriate to berate his 16 year old student with anti-gay slurs for how he was sat

In Tennessee a gay teenager has been suspended for wearing make up

A trans strudent in California has been expelled from a Baptist university for… yes, being trans

In San Diego a school makes a lesbian couple homecoming monarchs (yes I’m going with monarchs not king and queen. The whole reason it sounds silly – and borderline homophobic – when we call lesbian homecoming kings and gay men homecoming queens is the grossly heterosexist idea that the couple winning these competitions simply have to be heterosexual. The language needs updating to fit the gays, lesbians and bisexual people winning these crowns) which is of the good. But the school and couple gets severe criticism and even threats because of it. And on top of that, the hate group AFA then blames the SCHOOL for this and ignores the threats

In Wyoming, a football coach and, ye gods, guidance councillor handed out a “joke” full of fun homophobia and sexism. way to destroy them kiddies!

In Huarmey, Peru the mayor is worried that the mineral levels in the tap water could turn you gay. What annoys me about stories like this is not that some ludicrous thing is alleged to cause the dreaded gay – but that the dreaded gay is presented as an affliction to fear.

Discrimination
I’ve covered it before but it’s still happening Amtrak’s wifi is still blockinjg GBLT sites as porn, even when they’re not. See, this is why I’ve written before about why I am wary of internet filters.

In Georgia printing a ‘gay yellow Pages’ is apparently immoral – at least according to Media Graphix

In Illinois 2 bed and breakfasts are being sued for blatant homophobic discrimination. Naturally the religious haters are outraged that there may be consequences for being bigots.

In Washington, 3 trans youth were kicked off a bus after the driver took exception to their GBLT themed conversation

In Iowa a baker joins the long list of businesses wanting to keep their establishment straights only

Despite the successful repeal of DADT the lack of decent anti-GBLT discrimination provisions and penalties still leads to many gay soldiers going through hell

In Croydon, a nightclub joins the ever-growing list of businesses kicking out gay couples for kissing

Violence
Despite facing repeated, horrific and police back violence in Mexico, a gay male couple were denied asylum in Canada

In Kenya, there has been a bombing of a gay friendly bar

In Long Beach, California 2 gay men have been brutally attacked yet more in a series of homophobic attacks on gay men in the area

In Seattle a gay man was beaten into a coma – and subsequently died from his injuries

In New York, disgusting anti-gay graffiti has been left at the home of a murdered female basketball player

In Ohio, a gay couple woke to find death threats painted on their home

In Chicago a gay man was beaten by men using slurs It was caught on video –but despite this his attackers were found innocent as the judge called him a liar for not being able to remember what he did after the attack which is like, totally relevant.

In Bristol a man who launched a homophobic attack that broke a gay man’s jaw has been severely punished with… a suspended sentence. Well, I feel valued.

In Hampshire a man was attacked and a woman verbally abused in a racist and homophobic assault

In the West Midlands, a gay man was beaten by 5 men using an anti-gay slur

In Worcester a gay man has been brutally attacked in a hate crime

In Hartlepool a group of teenagers attacked a gay man – and filmed the attack on their mobile phones

In Edinburgh, a homophobic attack has left a gay man with a broken jaw

In Canada a man who stabbed a 79 year old gay man 130 times has invoked the gay panic defence

In Brunswick, Australia a lesbian has been attacked by a gang of homophobes

Monday, 12 December 2011

Time to throw out "controverisal"

Ok, since the various powers that be seem to think that me and mine somehow control the entire world with our insidious gay agenda  and we all live under a brutal gayocracy enforced by our mystical gay power to cause natural disasters I’ve decided it’s time we use our mighty magical abilities to drop David Cameron into a volcano.

But since not everyone seems to be as gung-ho as I about the whole volcano dropping thing, I’ll settle for having some words either a) struck from the English language or b) cause you to be brutally attacked by an extremely angry armadillo. So, prime your armadillos

First up for armadilloing is “controversial”. Oh how I hate this word. See, there’s a lot of people and things described as controversial out there.

Stephen Green, the head of Christian Voice is often called “controversial”.

Rev. Fred Phelps of the Wetboros is often called “controversial”.

The various “family” organisations are often called “controversial” (but usually they’re accepted without even that dubious question) and Peter Spriggs, Scot Liverly and Pete LaBarbera have all been called “controversial”.

Yes, I dislike that a lot. None of this is “controversial” or most certainly shouldn’t be.  The problem is the word is so very very neutral – it suggests a long debate with merits on both sides that will be long argued. The definition for “controversial” does not generally include “bigoted arsehat who should be dropped in a volcano or savaged by an angry armadillo”.

It glosses over prejudice. It ignores some real arseholery – and it gives legitimacy to people and positions that are not legitimate. It implies people have a point when they only have bigotry. It’s part of the ongoing campaign that continually presents homophobia as reasonable. It is not. The homophobe does not hold a “controversial” opinion, they hold an outright bigoted one.
And let it not be said that I, agent of the gayocracy, your new fabulous overlords, am not magnanimous! Because for this word that is going to have its usage much reduced, I propose to increase the use of another word in balance! And that word is “bigot.”

Now, some folk have suggested we overuse this word but I protest most mightily. If someone considers us any less than straight folks then, ding ding, they’re a bigot. Do we overuse the word? Nope. Is there a lot of bigots out there that cause us to use the word pretty damn often? Sadly so. You can’t stop calling sheep sheep simply because there’s so many of the damn woolly things all over the place and you can’t refuse to recognise and label bigotry just because there’s so much of it about.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Monsieur! With these Rocher you are... making an incredible mess.

Our house is full of Ferrero Rocher. They’re everywhere. Drifts of the damn gold foil wrapped chocolates are migrating across the floor.

I actually thought that would be a good thing, but I’m increasingly realising that I’m not all that fond of them. Not that I don’t like them, I mean I think the ambassador chose them because few people could actually dislike a Ferrero Rocher (except people with nut allergies, I guess. I bet that would ruin his fancy party – a case of anaphylactic shock among the guests) they’re so inoffensively nul. The cucumber sandwich of the chocolate world, up there with malteasers (though you can let malteasers melt in your mouth which makes them infinitely preferable).

But that’s the the problem now, I mean if I’m going to eat a calorie loaded ball of chocolatey yummy I kind of expect better. After all, that is stomach space that could be used for bacon, right? I’d hate to be in a position to say “no, I’m sorry, I can’t have that bacon sandwich with its crisp, smoked bacon, the fat every so-slightly crunchy and the heat melting the real, creamy butter to drip oozing through the soft white bread of the still warm, freshly baked onion bread, cut with the sharp tang of a small amount of melted mature cheddar” because I’ve filled up on chocolate coated overly-nutty puffs of air.

Damn. I want a bacon sandwich now.

I’m not quite sure how our Ferrero Rocher infestation began. I recall both Beloved and I remembering that we needed to get a box for the holidays, then us both getting a big box, then us both forgetting we’d got the box among the chaos of the shopping and we got extra. And then Aunt D INSISTED she needed a box for the holidays even though we know she doesn’t like them, she insisted she did. We got the them and she said “I don’t know why you got these, you know I don’t like them” (ah relatives).

THEN at some point Beloved realised that we have so many boxes of Ferrero Rocher already that it wouldn’t take many more to be able to create the classic Ambassador’s Ferrero Rocher pyramid and then we could invite our friends to come round all dressed up, put on cheesey foreign accents, get drunk, play Nation Munchausens and repeat the Unfortunate Fondue Episode – such fun!

So Beloved proceeded to pyramid build. To which he concluded that, whether the Ambassador is spoiling people or not, he most certainly has a very very steady hand.
I concluded that he used glue – but I’m not saying that because that’s a new carpet and I’m not unleashing Beloved, superglue and round objects that roll on my new carpet.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Winter!

So, after much hemming and hawing, we finally have winter here! (Damn you climate change, it's now middle of December and the weather's only now becomming consistently cold).

I'm probably one of the few people who love winter, especially since I hate snow. I have always been winter's child. I love waking up with the sun still down, I love the dark evenings. I love the cold, clean, clear stillness of it. I love the gfrowling wind, I love being snug and cozy. I love being able to wrap up on a night rather than sweat and groan (for the heat you dirty dirty people. And yes, you were)

What I don't like are my bones that have had their first "ah shit, it's cold again" aching for the season. Ok, more medically informed people than I - is it purely psychosomatic that makes bones-that-have-been-broken ache in the cold, wet weather or is there an actual reason for it?

And will you all tell me that booze will cure it so I have An Excuse. And then I can get back to loving my favourite season



Also, let this stand for the annual "I don't do holiday cards (or any cards)" post. Sorry, I think historically they were important for families that were a long way apart and didn't have means of quick and easy communication - but those days are largely gone. And they're grossly overpriced, seriously, not to be a cheapskate because it's not a matter of "can't afford" so much as "I refuse to be ripped off by this." I shudder to think how much good the literally millions spent on pointless pieces of paper could do elsewhere - similarly I shudder to think of the paper wasted. Also, I don't see them as being sentimental - "here's a message from Hallmark or Clintons. I probably didn't even read it while getting writer's cramp scrawling my name on the 50 cards I'm obligated to send. Oh and here's a picture of a robin" isn't very touching. And then you get the fraught moments - the "oh Mildred has sent me a card, have I sent them one? Quick lie and say the card's at home now sneakily go write one! Oh Doris didn't send me one! I am going to be offended/angry/smug because I sent her one! My addresses, my addresses my kingdom for addresses! WHO IS DENNIS DATING NOW?! SHE MUST BE INCLUDED ON THE CARD?!"

So yes... I'll check out.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mother Janet Keefe again looks at churches being forced not to be bigots

So I was sat down this morning discussing something with Mother Janet Keefe, my local Catholic priest.

See, pretty soon we’re supposed to have a law change that allows gay civil partners to civil partner (oh dearie me it would be so much easier if I could say “marry” but, of course, that would cause no small amount of conniption fits) in religious buildings should the religions wish to do so

Now, on the whole, we discussed it’s not going to make a lot of difference. The Reform Jews, Unitarians and Quakers are the only religious groups in the UK that seem to be pushing for this, the vast majority of religious organisations being grossly and inexcusably homophobic. But still, it would be nice to have the option – and nice for these religions to have their religious freedom acknowledged. Yes, we both laughed at the Orwellian double-think required to portray restricting a religion’s beliefs and practices to conform with another religion’s prejudices as “religious freedom”

We also considered that churches are not forced to hold religious civil partnerships expressly in the law. I don’t agree with that clause, but it’s there. And I lamented that all of these tired tired bigoted arguments are going to keep being thrown around when we push for real, actual marriage (assuming that ever happens)


Except, yet again, I did not have this conversation. Why? Because Mother Janet Keefe still doesn’t exist. Though if I keep using her as an example I may develop an imaginary friend – an imaginary friend whose a Catholic priest? Ye gods save me from that.

Because, despite discrimination over someone’s sex being illegal in law for a couple of decades the Catholic church is still free to be misogynist neckbeards. I can’t say I agree with that – either the church being misogynist neckbeards or the law allowing discrimination loopholes for religious bigots (not that I would ever want to be a Catholic, but by including the exception in the law we say that such bigotry is valid, legitimate and acceptable).

Now, I do not believe that these Tory MPs and Tory peers are so ignorant that they don’t know this. I am usually pretty ready to believe in all kinds of ignorance from the Tories – but it’s ridiculous to think that the Tories don’t realise there are no female Catholic priests. No, there are times when ignorance quite simply is unbelievable.

So, the only other reason they could be saying this is because they’re lying. Outright lying to push this homophobia into law. Lying because they must hold us back from every aspect of life and cannot give an inch, no matter how ridiculous it is to fight to deny us that inch. Lying because they hate us so utterly and so totally that they cannot stomach any religion treating us as real people rather than the scum under their boots.

And this is the wonderful face of the bigots who would police our “morality”. Lies and hatred.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Section 28 was last decade. Now we have Clause 28 - the homophobia's the same though

So, after deciding to waste a considerable amount of tax payer money giving out free Bibles to all schools (which, of course, already have Bibles), Gove has done something much less mockable.

The government’s new flagship Free schools and academies are going to have rules. Some of these rules strictly govern what can and cannot be taught when it comes to sex and relationships.

Let me quote from the article: Headteachers will be told that children must be "protected from inappropriate teaching materials and learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and for bringing up children".

*Deep breath*. Protecting children from “inappropriate material” by stressing a heterosexual-only institution. My oh fucking my, isn’t this language bloody familiar?

Current guidelines stress committed relationships – NOT heterosexual-only marriage. They will be changed to reflect the new heterosexist rules that erase our existence to protect the precious kiddies from knowing about the dreaded gay
And the clause number of this guideline? The section of the rule that erases GBLT people and puts straight relationships on a great big shining pedestal as the one true way for all children.

28
It's clause 28.

Clause 28. No, really. Clause 28. The Tories are bringing in CLAUSE 28 that emphasises to kids in school how right and good being straight is while omitting to mention GBLT people exist

The Tories are “protecting children” from us by erasing our existence in schools under Clause 28

There is no way this can possibly be a coincidence. There is NO BLOODY WAY the Tories could have brought in this rule to keep the dreaded gay out of schools and called it Clause 28 without MEANING to invoke section 28.** This simply cannot be an accident. Gove must have intended this.

Words cannot describe my rage right now. I’ve invented entirely new profanity since reading this.

Someone call Boy George. This song is freaking relevant again





**For those who don’t know section 28 (and because we need a pause while all British GBLT people start swearing and cursing and sticking pins in little Tory poppets) that would be this little law here. Section 28 of the local government act that basically prevented any government body, including schools, from saying anything positive about GBLT people or acknowledging we existed. It did not help the education system – nor the lives of us GBLT kids at school at the time going through 9 kinds of hell. It was a law that was so vile that, after the inevitable happened and it had to be repealed, Cameron was forced to apologise for it (after supporting it for years) just to try and claw the PR back.

Religious freedom?

So it seems that the religious "civil partnership" may be going to hit a reef of bigoted Tory MPs and bigoted Tory peers. But, to be safe, the Church of England has already rushed forward to make it clear that equality and love cannot happen in their churches! No surprises there; the homophobic church is pre-emptively ensuring homophobia is upheld but still hasn’t cracked its teeth on this hot mess in the Church of England newsletter.

Of course, we know that the Tory promises on marriage are pretty hollow, and the pathetic Lib Dems are going to continue to run interference on that one (no doubt lead by enabler in chief, Lyn Featherstone) so we’re probably not going to see marriage any time soon. But if we do see it, then it will also include a religious ban.

You’ve got to love the whole ridiculous “religious freedom” argument here. In the name of religious freedom, it’s necessary to prevent churches from having religious civil partnerships and it’s necessary to prevent gay people from having religious elements in their civil partnership.

We got that? In the name of religious freedom my religious choices are restricted, the religious choices of non-bigoted churches have to be restricted in the interest of religious freedom.

And this really shows you how hollow the argument of “religious freedom” really is. Here are religions that want to have marriage equality – the Quakers WANT to hold religious ceremonies marrying us but are prevented from doing so by a law that restricts their religious freedom.

In fact, I’m well and truly sick of the whole “religious freedom” argument. I’m sick of bigotry being characterised as “freedom.” I’m sick of my right to exist as a full citizen being considered less important than a bigot’s right to hate me. And I’m sick, sick, beyond sick, of us tip-toeing around some of the most hateful, bigoted monsters because they wave a Bible around.

If your church does not want to marry 2 people of the same-sex, if your church does not accept gay clergy on equal terms with straight clergy, if your church says we should change or be celibate or should die, if your church spends resources fighting our rights, if your church supports, produces or promotes hate speech, if your church treats us differently from straight people in any way, if your church considers it reasonable to debate our equality and worth – THEN YOUR CHURCH IS BIGOTED. It is taking part in the persecution of a marginalised group, it is homophobic and generally not nice people.

I am sick of churches being termed “liberal” or “traditional” rather than “bigoted” and “not bigoted” (I won’t even call them allied or good because not being bigots isn’t praiseworthy – it’s basic humanity. And it says a lot about the state of organised religion that we have to pull out the pom-poms and the trumpets whenever we find a church that doesn’t hate us). I am sick of churches being called “liberal” who STILL won’t treat us as fully equal (but they totally support civil partnerships! And they don’t want you dead! ZOMG SO LIBERAL AND ALLY-LIKE!). Enough. Call a spade a spade – and call a bigot a bigot already.

It’s not a traditional church, it’s not a conservative church, it’s not a moral church – it’s a bigoted church. Enough of treating these bigots with kids gloves. And people fighting to against our rights don’t have differing values – they’re bigots. People fighting in the courts so they can hang up “straights-only” signs in their window aren’t moral – they’re bigots. Churches fighting to have loopholes in equality laws for them to squeeze through aren’t upholding their faith – they’re bigots.

Bigots with a holy book are still bigots. Bigots who use holy verse for their hate speech are still bigots. There is NO principled objection to GBLT people or our rights – there is only bigotry

Religion is not an excuse for hatred and I’m tired of everyone giving it a pass and pretending homophobic bigotry is ok so long as it has a holy symbol draped on it.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Rise of ther Governor - new Giveaway at Fangs for the Fantasy

Give me the Serenity not to run Through the Street Hitting People with Fish

Or give me a new set of haddocks.

So what do we have to annoy me to day everybody? Oh look, more advice! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! WHAT FUN!

Oh wait, *opens window* *let’s the sarcasm out*

Damiano Tommasi, head of the Italian Football association would advise gay footballers against coming out.

*le sigh* Look, just like we don’t need people advising us to come out, we don’t need people telling us not to come out either. Is there homophobia in professional sports? Gods yes – and no-one knows that better than GBLT people! And most certainly no-one knows that better than GBLT football players – and if they want to be damned brave and come out anyway, kudos to them. If they want safety and security and not to risk everything then they can stay closeted – also their choice and perfectly reasonable. But I cannot imagine any GBLT football player – or any GBLT person period – thinking “oh, I was going to come out but this straight guy says HOMOPHOBIA EXISTS which I like, totally didn’t know, so now I’m changing my mind!”

But wait! It gets worse! See, Mr. Tommasi here isn’t worried about gay footballers being victims of homophobia – no no, he thinks we should be closeted to preserve a “civil space” because footballers are so close together, and change in the same changing rooms that there could be embrassment!

ZOMG the gays be staring at your straight junk guys! HORROR! AAAARGH. Can’t you feel our gayze upon your bodies Didn’t we have this conversation already, Jason Akermanis? Really, I don’t think I need to repeat myself since it still applies and I’m not typing it all out again:

I need to break something to you – the chances are a gay person has seen you nekked

If you ever changed for PE at school, if you’ve ever been to the swimming baths, if you’ve ever been to a sports centre, health spa, joined a sports team, if you‘ve been in a communal barracks or tent etc. In short, if you have ever been in any situation where you are naked around members of your own gender, chances are that you have been seen nekked by a gay person.

We r hiding and looking at your nekked bodies! ZOMG AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! RUN straight people, RUN!!!!

And you know what? There are several things we need to address here.

1) Nudity =/= sex. And y’know what? Chances are GBLT people know this better than most people. Why? Because we’ve been here before! Every time we go to the gym or a join a sports team and most certainly at school – gay men have been around naked straight guys, lesbians have been around naked straight women. We‘ve been there, we know and we know it‘s not sexual. We know the difference between sexual nudity and non-sexual nudity

2) Get over yourselves already. Seriously, to all the straight folks out there – gay people do not spend our lives lusting after your hetness. No, really. Enough with this silly idea that because we’re attracted to our own gender, we’re attracted to ALL of our own gender.

3) Y’know what? Maybe you are hot. Maybe you’re drool-worthy hot. Maybe you are so damn sexy that your mere presence in the changing room will make all of our days. Maybe you are sex on legs. Congratulations, have a cookie. Guess what? Your being a pure avatar of solid sex does not mean that we’re going to leap on you and have our wicked way with you. It doesn’t even mean we’re going to stare at you and make you uncomfortable (and, hey, if someone DOES the skeevy leering thing then say something because that’s rude regardless), our libidos aren’t going to overrule our good sense of the appropriate. Which brings me to…

4) The gay panic defence. Y’know, it has been raised in court over here yet again not that long ago. There are a substantial number of straight people who feel it’s ok to attack gay people because they are seen to be making a come on. A touch, a glance, even how we are dressed can be seen as a reason for a violent attack. You think we’re going to stare at your naked straight arse? You think getting an eyeful is worth that kind of risk?

But, of course, the actual argument presented is NOT that gay people are going to rush at the irresistible straight folks and have our wicked wicked way. No, it’s that our open presence will make the straight folks… uncomfortable.

Ok, seriously? So GBLT people are supposed to closet themselves for their entire lives – because this is what that means – for the sake of straight people’s comfort in the dressing room? So straight people can keep the delusion that there are no gays around? Keep their partners undercover, never mention their families, make sure their families are never noticed? Maybe make up a few lies, a fake girlfriend, a fake history? Edit their entire lives for the sake of straight people’s DISCOMFORT? I would gape at the entitlement in this if it weren’t so damn common.
GBLT people don’t have a duty to censor themselves so straight people can pretend we don’t exist.
Yes, I think that about covers it. Oh and to add if we want to look at naked guys? Hi, let me introduce you to the internet. Should mine and Beloved’s lovely bits not provide me with sufficient amusement there is xtube, redtube, porntube, gaytube and many others – and that’s before we even reach for the credit card. You think any gay guy with a computer and an internet connection needs to get his jollies risking being beaten, watching un-aroused straight guys get changed (if he does, there’s a site for that)?


And on the subject of people “helping” who need to shut up and go away, we have Patty Stanger, yes the matchmaker who can’t “control you gays” and thinks we’re all promiscuous and incapable of monogamy (but she loooves us). Well, sadly, not learning from the fact that nothing good happens when she opens her mouth, she has done so again and her foot has been rapidly inserted. oh let me count the problems and yes there’s a few

Ok, firstly, she couldn’t sleep … Patty, why is you making offensive statements that hurt people all about your feelings?

Her mission in life is to help the gay community – damn, it must be hard to fail so badly at your life’s work!

She’s the only one on television matching up gay couples. Ye gods, GOOD?! You think that being patronised by a straight woman telling us how to make our relationships work is helping? And she thinks gay marriage is important – but she openly poured scorn on the idea of committed, long term relationships among gay men!

She’s a very stereotypical person (she means she likes to stereotype people). Do you know what stereotyping of marginalised people is generally considered, Patty? Prejudice.

And she then goes on again to make the SAME SWEEPING STATEMENTS! But she’s seen it (it apparently being every gay man on the planet, how else could it be ok to make such sweeping statements) so of course it’s ok to make sweeping statements about minorities. God told her it was ok and everything

Ms. Stanger, in the name of all that is holy, please shut up. Some people can’t stop digging when they’re in a hole; Patty hires a JCB (I don’t claim credit for this line, but I can’t remember where I saw it. It’s all kinds of awesome though).