Category: politics

Raccoons in the Prohibition

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Raccoon Gangster by Paul Terex

Early in 2017, footage of a liquor store break-in and vandalism case from late 2016 was released.  This event occurred at Parkway Wine & Liquor in Bristol, TN.  The perpetrators of this heinous act? Raccoons, of course! Over the course of the night, the raccoons ran amok in the store; climbing on shelves, knocking over bottles (causing about $250 in damage,) and loitering. Employees had to chase them out the next morning. Video from the event is below.

This is a good 230 miles Northwest of Raccoon Mountain in Tennessee.   Raccoon Mountain has nothing do with this story, but if something happens in Tennessee involving a raccoon then it had to be brought up. It’s where all the raccoons in that state come from. Every seven years, the raccoons embark on a pilgrimage to that place. It’s a little known zoological phenomena.

For some reason, articles about the liquor store break in didn’t get written until late 2017. It’s unknown why the raccoons did this, but I suspect they’re a bunch of teetotalers who were seeking to enforce their anti-alcohol ways on the rest of the world.

Source: LEX18 News

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A Tale Eternally Retold

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I railed against the boycott of Chick-Fil-A and Ender’s Game so I guess going into a lot of detail about the recent kerfuffle will seem a little redundant.

I’ll do it anyway. People are rarely smart enough to learn a lesson the first time it’s taught, and just as the same ridiculous scenario plays itself out repeatedly I will have to contribute my part to the cycle to hopefully enlighten those engaged.

In summary: Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript & co-founder of Mozilla who was recently promoted to CEO, had to almost immediately resign from the company amidst protest from customers over a donation he made to Proposition 8 back in 2008, which was the extent of any anti-gay sentiments he’s ever exhibited (in all the material I’ve read on the subject, I haven’t even seen an anecdote about him being anti-gay.)

There are plenty of things wrong with this story:

  1. The inherent hypocrisy of sites based on JavaScript, which I remind you was created by Eich, while boycotting the Firefox browser because he was the CEO of Mozilla.  Why wasn’t JavaScript also horribly tainted by him?  Oh, because boycotting JavaScript would have been too difficult, and political action is all about convenience.
  2. At least similar boycotts (the previously mentioned Chick-Fil-A and Orson Scott Card ones) were based on the currently stated beliefs of those targeted. As I mentioned earlier, aside from the donation to Proposition 8, six years ago, Eich hadn’t done anything else to indicate he was anti-gay. So is this a zero-tolerance matter?  Also, is there a stature of limitations?  Should we question people if they ever used “faggot” in a derogatory sense to assess whether they’re fit to be a part of society (or earn a living)?  That might exclude a big part of the population, if my experience growing up in the 80’s and 90’s was any indication. Hell, should the movie Monster Squad be purged from all media?
  3. One unanswered question is whether he’s donated to other organizations.  Would that have mattered?  The fact that several other Mozilla employees donated significantly more to support gay marriage didn’t spare the company from the wrath of boycott.  Can one ever repent to the satisfaction of the gay rights community or is there no hope for you once you’ve transgressed them?
  4. I wonder if anybody who supported the boycott has heard of McCarthyism and the related practice of blacklisting.
  5. A particularly ignorant comment related to all this was: “My internet browser should not have a political agenda.” This person probably meant “My internet browser should not have a political agenda other than my own.”  Because Google has certainly made their agenda clear, which would exclude their Chrome browser and especially their search engineMicrosoft’s Internet Explorer is also excluded.  Besides which, at what point can one draw the distinction between the CEO of a company and the political agenda of it, let alone all of its products?  I suppose the taint can go all the way down, as Chick-Fil-A’s product was turned into the poultry of pure hate by its CEO’s views.

I think Big Gay Al said it best in the episode of South Park titled “Cripple Fight“:

It’s up to us to persuade, and help them see the light, not extort them to.

RACCOON (OWNERS) IN THE NEWS: Brown for Governor

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Political Graffiti in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico
Source: Poole

I recently told you all about a redneck known for dancing with his raccoon, which was taken away from him by a cold, unfeeling world. Well, Mark Brown, the human in the pair, has decided to fight back by aiming all the way for the top; he’s running for governor of Tennessee. It seems like kind of a single-issue candidate, seeing as the only political matter he has a voice on is making it a little less stringent to have a wild animal as a pet in that state.  Still, you can’t argue with his campaign slogan: “This is all about the raccoon.”

Sadly, while that would be compelling to me, it doesn’t seem like the makings of a winning campaign. Good luck in the primaries, though!

Source: The Tennessean

No One Ever Sees Themself as the Villain

The Ender’s Game movie releases to theaters in a few months and with it begins a new round of an old controversy.  Those who play video games might remember when Shadow Complex was boycotted because Orson Scott Card, noted anti-homosexual, wrote the storyline for it. Less publicized was people boycotting the comic book tie in for Dragon Age, which was also written by Card. A surprising number of people on my Facebook friends list–who I would have thought were more knowledgeable about science fiction and media–are just now discovering that Orson Scott Card holds some unpopular political beliefs.  Raging about this revelation, they jump on the boycott bandwagon (much as they did last year with Chick-Fil-A.)

The beauty of all this righteous indignation is the complete absence of self awareness.  That’s one of the benefits of mob mentality, by giving away your individuality to be a fashionable member of the cause you needn’t worry about thinking about your actions.  In this case, as they rally to quash all opposition before them (and sometimes succeed) none of them have to take the time to appreciate the cold, hard truth: that the bullied have successfully become the bullies.

I don’t mean literally; not everyone who supports gay rights has directly (or indirectly) suffered from homophobia. But as a group, and for what they represent, they were historically bullied.  But now they find they have the societal upper hand and, so empowered, they will coerce everyone into agreeing with them.  Because they feel that if you don’t agree with their cause then you don’t deserve to earn a living.

But the “you” part is where everything gets confused.  There’s a lot of people involved in making a movie.  Are all of them hateful homophobes who deserve to see their hard work crash and burn?  That’s unlikely.  As with last year’s Chick-Fil-A fiasco, the caring people don’t care about collateral damage when there’s a boogeyman bent on using all his money to spew nothing but hate speech.  You know, like Ender’s Game is.  Except it isn’t.  Not at all.  In fact, people generally find it … kind of gay.

Which brings this all back to an issue I’ve broached before: the (perceived) need to consume an artist’s personality in addition to their output. All of the “Orson Scott Card Hates Gays” stuff comes from essays, articles, forum exchanges, and things that are outside of his fictional work.  In fact, my facebook friends being so shocked to learn that he hates gays shows how little his personal views cross over to his work.  I wouldn’t be arguing with the boycott supporters if Ender’s Game was about an evil race of mincing extraterrestrials called the Homosexumonsters that sought to rape all of humanity to death.  At that point, sure, it would be something with a clear message to fight against and nobody could question their motivation for doing so.  As it is now, they just don’t like him for being him, and want to tear apart anything he touches because they can’t (or won’t) draw a line between an artist and his work.

So have at your boycott, you noble people who won’t tolerate intolerance.  But be sure never to distinguish between a person’s work and unrelated aspects of their personality! Don’t swing your hips to a song by Chris Brown, buy a vehicle from Ford, or use a Capital One credit card.  Also, go out of your way to snub the business efforts of any and all Mormons (the same religion as Card.)   They’re probably donating money to the Mormon Church, which still considers homosexual behavior a sin (and supported Proposition 8.)  Come on, now, do it for the cause! You may have been all-too-eager to be just as bad as your enemies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any integrity!