Yeah, I’m Fucking Offended

And you should be too.

As a matter of fact, the fact that you aren’t offended offends me even more.

Alright, come on, context.

Hokay. So, today I unfriended yet another high school acquaintance over posting more stupid millennial bashing. In this case, it was an article about millennials finding the show “Friends” problematic.

Yes, it was a different time. Yes, what was considered appropriate humour and representation was different during that time. Guess what? You’re still laughing at it today.

That isn’t an indicator that the humour is timeless, just that you still find it funny. Shows like that can not, in fact, be timeless, because of the fact that the humour is bound to the current social norms at the time of its writing. The fact that you still post jokes from such things and laugh at the “non-PC” humour only indicates that you still find it funny.


I’ve talked before about the danger of letting old favorites get a bye because of a pre-existing emotional attachment. It’s still bad. No one’s favorites are unproblematic. Realizing this is part of maturing. Treasure the memories of the laughs you had, and then acknowledge the faults in what you love.

Continuing to push the old, problematic things without disclaimer is just perpetuating the idea that this kind of stuff is both funny and acceptable. That’s how memetics works.

Memetic knowledge is an idea that spreads person to person, creating meaning attached to the idea by the society that spreads it. Memes are so much more than templates for dumb jokes. They are the evolution of cultural context written small and self-contained.

As such, any idea that is perpetuated gains meaning. That is why it is so important to acknowledge the fact that society needs to move on from things that were once considered funny.

Every time you share a joke that can be summed up as “man in a dress,” a transgender woman becomes the target of ridicule and violence somewhere down the line.

When you turn sexual assault into the subject of comedy, a rape victim becomes afraid to step forward.

If you make racist jokes on the defense that “people laughed, therefore it was acceptable,” you are empowering racists everywhere.

And before you think of shooting back with “but what about X satire,” if you don’t understand what the satire is saying, then you are quite literally the butt of the joke. Doesn’t feel great, does it?

Yes, a lot of old things are problematic. That’s why we are trying to build a better world by shaving off the pieces that are hurtful. Instead of insisting that your humour is funny and ridiculing anyone who is offended by it, examine why you think it is funny. You won’t like what you discover.

I leave with one more thought. Many of us have heard the saying “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.” I say, fuck that. If you’ve got negative thoughts on a subject, there’s probably something wrong about the situation. So think about it, and change. If you are the reason, change your thinking. If someone else is, speak up about it, insist that they change. Letting toxic ideas flourish unchallenged is how we’ve ended up in the situation we are in.

Antifascists Are Not The Problem

Wow, has it really been almost a year since last I posted? Ugh, life has been hectic. I’ll finish up the hanging fiction at a later date, and there will be no defined update schedule for now.

The immediate issue that needs to be discussed is current events, politics stuff. If you are feeling burnt out, or not ready to be annoyed/enraged, come back later. This is going to get ranty.


Time once again for me to offer me two cents. The topic: Antifascists and the bad publicity they are currently receiving.

First off: What are the Antifascists, exactly?

At their core, the name says it all: People in opposition of Fascism. Short, sweet, to the point. So why is there such an issue with them recently?

Point 1: What Antifa are not.

The Antifascist movement is comprised of a wild smattering of people of different backgrounds, but many dress in all black and wear face/head coverings to protests, in the fashion of Black Bloc groups. Some Antifa are Anarchists, yes, and some do adopt Black Bloc personas, but that just comes with the diverse backgrounds. Applying a general label to the group is falsehood.

(For those of you not in the know, Black Bloc refers to a protest tactic of anonymously causing mayhem and property damage while wearing concealing black clothing, partially to protect against riot control weapons, partially to maintain a front of anonymity. Black Bloc is not a group in and of itself, although many groups claim the name or the tactics and have done so for literally decades worldwide. Their motives range from targeted protests, to pro-anarchy statements, to causing general mayhem, and everything in between.)

However, Antifascists do not generally adopt Black Bloc tactics. Their function is more often to counter-protest pro-Fascist rallies, defend the nonviolent protesters and bystanders, and yes, fight literal Nazis. Because we have those in America. It is 20-Fucking-17, and the United States has a Nazi problem.

In their counter protesting, the Antifa’s purpose is not to cause property damage, but to defend vulnerable members of their community, as well as making a statement that Fascism is absolutely unacceptable.

Antifascists are also in no way Fascists themselves, despite what people posting anonymously on the internet love to spout. Antifa are not Nazis, nor are they Hitler, nor are they whatever demonizing term that gets attached to them sans context.

Point 1a: But what about free speech?

Fun lesson! Free speech is not absolute. The parable that everyone likes to use is that you are not allowed to scream “fire” in a crowded theater. Speech that is deliberately designed to cause violent action or panic is called “Incitement,” which is not a protected form of speech. Relevant cases: Brandenburg vs. Ohio, Whitney vs. California

Intimidation is also a crime, bearing various definitions in various states, but is generally not something people are brought to court for, due to numerous court decisions that make it extremely difficult to charge. Which, in many cases, is fucked up beyond all belief. See Virginia vs. Black

Point 1b: Ok, so their actions were illegal. Why weren’t they charged? Also, free speech!

Another fun lesson to be had! Free Speech protects people from government intervention. The idea is that undesirable speech is policed within the community by individual citizens letting each other know what is unacceptable. People tend to misconstrue this, as they so often do with the “Free Country” excuse, as carte blanche, complete freedom to do and say what they want without fear of consequence.

The Antifascist movement is literally communities responding to unacceptable ideas. This is how it is intended to work.

As for why the Nazis were not charged, there we have the core of the problem, which will be discussed in:

Point 2: The system is on the side of the Nazis.

There. I said it.

Why do I use the term “system?” Because it is a multi-level problem. I’ll focus on three of those levels, those being 45, the legal system, and the police.

Point 2a: Donald Trump is offering legitimacy to Nazis.

This one feels self explanatory for anyone that has access to a reliable news source. It brings no small amount of bile to discuss this, but let’s walk it out.

Down the rabbit hole we go. To start out, Trump is and always has been a racist bigot. Worse, he has the money to make public statements. Consider the Central Park Jogger case of 1989, where he reportedly spent $85,000 dollars to take out ads in support of the Death Penalty. This is the same case where it was proven that the defendants were not only innocent, but had been coerced into providing false testimony. (Relevant reading: Prisoner’s Dilemma) He has repeatedly denounced the settlement (Important wording, we will return to this) that came about on the case, even when DNA evidence exonerated the defendants.

There’s the wall he keeps trying to push for between Mexico and the US. There’s his repeated asinine attempts to ban people from Muslim countries (except the ones he does business with. Conflict of interest much?). So we can move on from the racism bit for now.

He is notorious for speech that jumps the edge of incitement, but no one can/will bring it up against him. (See Point 2b) He played off an encouragement towards literal assassination as a comment on voting. He said that he would pay the legal fees of people who committed violence in his name, and then lied about it.

And Charlottesville? Well, he speaks for himself.

The lies, false accusations, and subliminal support that no one can contest him on are part and parcel of his playbook that we’ve seen so far. As for how he gets away with it, we move on to:

Point 2b: The Legal System is weighted towards those with money.

And no, I’m not talking about corruption, bribes, or bought witnesses. Beyond the actual crimes one can commit in the legal system with money, there is a far more insidious method by which the wealthy manipulate the legal system.

We return to the Central Park Jogger case, in which I emphasized the word settlement. The original defendants in the case, after serving their wrongfully assigned jail sentences, sued the city of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress. This case went on for a literal decade before the city quietly settled for $41 million spread among the defendants.

What exactly does settlement mean? The accused agrees to pay the defendants in exchange for them dropping the charges. Notice, that nowhere in this does the accused admit to any wrongdoing, or really, pay any penalty. They offer the money themselves through attorney, and socially any crimes that they may have committed disappear.

In this way, the wealthy can pay people off to have their problems disappear. All perfectly clean and legal. For defendants that use this method, the amount of money given might be dazzling to their opponent, but a drop in a very deep bucket for them. Which goes hand in hand with the second method in which the legal system supports the wealthy. To properly envision it, we must jump back in time and examine medieval siege warfare.

Taking a castle sucks. An army has to throw themselves against stone walls while the people above drop rocks, burning fluids, and all sorts of nasty on their heads. Siege weapons are expensive, hard to transport, and often super dangerous to your own troops if something is miscalibrated. So instead, you circle the castle, sit on a hoard of supplies that would make the most dedicated apocalypse prepper’s eyes bug out, and let the inhabitants of the castle starve until they surrender rather than eat their dead.

Lawsuits are expensive, and they can drag on for ages. They are disruptive to every aspect of normal life. Any sensation or support behind the initial declaration vanishes fairly quickly if the resolution isn’t reached in a matter of months. All of which is not a problem if you have the money to support it.

If a person of standard means brings a suit that is anything but airtight against a person or entity of wealth, then the wealthy party does not need to win. They can pay to send a legal representative instead of personally attending hearings that cut into the workday, further blocking income flow to the besieged party. They have a legal retainer on staff rather than having to go shopping for a lawyer wiling to take the case.

Years down the line, the media has forgotten about the case. Other than a few individuals personally invested, the donations have stopped coming as interest has waned. Legal fees pile up, and the missed shifts start looking worse and worse to disaffected bosses who ran out of understanding within the first 6 months, if they still have a job in the first place. The wealthy entity offers to settle for paying the legal fees, and a few thousand for the trouble. Resigned, the person of standard means is forced to accept or starve. It is not justice, but it is better than nothing, so the castle surrenders.

And if it is a criminal case, as in the Central Park Joggers case? They lost most of their formative years in prison (they were 13-14 going in), then spent an additional 10 years to get the settlement they did. They came out having their lives stolen from them, and were given no assistance in reintegrating into a society where the man in the White House still thinks them guilty and publicly decried them getting anything.

Moreover, convictions are hard to come by in less-than-airtight cases. In the majority of cases, two things are required to convict: Intent and Action. Many statements that could be construed as incitement go unremarked simply because no action was taken. Other times, entire murders get downplayed as accidents due to it being impossible to prove intent.

The policies of the Right go to support these wealthy figures that enjoy such legal immunity, often to the detriment of the impoverished Republican who ends up being recruited as a Nazi. The wealthy GOP makes sure to point their radicalized lower members at scapegoats, then manipulates the legal system so that they themselves suffer no ill effects.

Point 2c: The Police are an arm of the State.

Like it or not, the police are Law Enforcement. When those in charge lend bias to the law, the police automatically are complicit. Furthermore, the way the police are trained encourages insular culture that can often include biases that end up supporting Fascist practices. There’s way too much to be said here, so I’m going to start by dropping some reading.

On the difficulties of quantifying racial bias in policing (2012)

Implicit Bias (multiple readings)

On the FBI investigation of White Supremacy in Law Enforcement

Chemical Weapons Legal for Use in Riot Control, but Not Warfare (The Geneva Protocol)

All of this is long and tiresome to read, but it boils down to this: The police are Law Enforcement. Functionally, they are the facet of the law that most will interact with face to face. If the law or the agents thereof are hostile to traditional targets of White Supremacists and Nazis, as well as being bound by oath to protect and defend those same Nazis, then they are collaborators.

To unwrap it, the police enjoy tremendous protection from the law, the media, and the public. Except that those protections are racially motivated. As far as the media and the public are concerned, the police are a weapon to be used in political statement, but the extent to which they care is the effectiveness of that weapon.

As far as the police themselves, several of the articles above speak to how several factors (The potential danger, the perception of having to work around a system that protects criminals, a culture of toxic masculinity) drive the police to some level of tribalism, suspicious and judgmental of outsiders and “Others.” Taken with the implicit bias that has worked its way through all levels of modern society as well as the culture of white supremacy that encourages members to pursue careers in Law Enforcement, the police end up being allies to the Nazis they defend on their marches. There was, not too long ago, a picture circulating of an “Oath Keeper,” (Second-amendment advocates with a dangerous habit of open-carrying automatic weapons due to self-proclaimed “concerns about the violent left.” Again, intimidation is nigh impossible to try for, and so long as they are not caught brandishing the weapon, they are legal.) aiding the police in arresting a protester. Implicit bias can be far more insidious that open bigotry.

Point 3: Ok, let’s bring it back to the Antifascists. Isn’t violence wrong?

As a tool of change, violence is most often reprehensible. However, as a tool of self defense, it can be necessary. The Nazis are literally murdering people, and far from being discouraged about being arrested for it, their supporters are planning more and more rallies. (Don’t expect links here. Faith in humanity dropped just looking at some of their sites. I’m not connecting my blog to them.)

Point 3a: But they want us to respond with violence! We’re playing into their hands!

Yes, actually. However, that’s just one part of a larger playbook. The next step they want is for us to disavow and break ties with the Antifa, leaving them without support and us without protection.

And trust me, protection is needed. I give you the thoughts of people who were on the ground at Charlottesville, seeing the Anarchists and Antifa at work. Dr. Cornel West was quoted as saying “The Anti-Fascists saved my life.” And what methods they chose to accomplish that? Self Defense, in legal terminology, allows for the use of force if the defender has reason to believe they are in danger. Standing side by side with counter protesters and various clergy staring down a literal torch wielding mob certainly counts in my book.

Point 3b: But that one town in Germany, Wunsiedel, that turns Nazi marches into a fundraiser for Anti-Nazi causes! Nonviolent is better!

Sure, but Germany has an advantage we don’t. The government in Germany is vocally Antifascist. Ours is soft-spokenly Pro-Fascist.

Nonviolent means of resistance are great! Really! If you are in San Francisco and have a dog, go poop on a Nazi’s parade!

But ultimately, there are areas of the country where the Nazis will be violent and the government/agents thereof will not be defending the people at risk. From reading the accounts in Charlottesville, they will be needed.

What is absolutely unhelpful is trying to alienate those willing to put up a physical front of resistance against the encroaching Fascists. Even less so is inaction. Inaction is defaulting to giving permission for what is happening to happen.

Point 3c: But I don’t know what I can do!

Something. Anyone and everyone can do something. Doing nothing is not only supporting the Nazis, but a sign of privilege. A lot of people’s very existences are politicized and endangered by the current political/societal climate, so they don’t have a choice whether or not they are involved. You should be too.

You don’t have to mask up and march with the Antifa. You can give money, if you are able. Southern Poverty Law Center does good work, for example. You can hold a sign at a demonstration. You can tell your story to people and talk about why it is important that the Nazis not get more of a foothold than they already have. If nothing else, you can share a fucking meme and unfriend that racist prick you’ve been tolerating on Facebook because you are related.

Me, I worked during all the demonstrations near me and am far from rich, so I make small donations where I can and I write. I get my thoughts out there. I talk to my friends, family, and coworkers about the things that matter. And the Antifa do matter. They really do.

Conclusion: The Antifa are a needed force for community protection.

Where the police can’t/won’t help, where peaceful lives are met with violent force, wherever there are Nazis to oppose, the Antifa are on our side. Treat them as your own rather than alienating them. Embrace those with the guts to stand up and fight against the domestic terrorists that have taken to our streets.

Together we stand. We will not allow ourselves to be divided in order to fall.

Bargaining, Day 3

The situation was bad. Not just the standard localized-apocalypse-bad. No, more along the lines of impending humiliation of the career-ending sort bad.

To help you understand exactly why the situation was so bad, I first need to tell you about dragons.

Dragons are the world’s largest cockroaches. The biggest pain that anyone could have as a housemate. Hoarders like you wouldn’t believe, naturally. Old, powerful, and ornery. Incorrigible cheats at cards. And those are just the big ones.

The little ones are rarer. Unlike their larger cousins, the smaller species of dragon got the short end of the evolutionary stick. Used to be that they were farmed for their skin, unscrupulous companies going out of their way to provide real dragon-leather products. Until their farming practices got out of hand and made national news when one of their factories burned down, releasing a plague of the little buggers all over the midwest.

Long story short, people got outraged, strong words were thrown around, and some famous people threw a metric shit-ton of money at lobbyists. Now, any dragon naturally under fifty pounds is a protected species, which means that if it should decide that, I dunno, your living room is its new lair, you may as well resign yourself to having an unruly houseguest who steals all the silverware.

The little ones aren’t sentient like the larger variants. Like I said, short evolutionary stick. They are about as smart as a clever bird, and can learn to mimic words about as well. So, you’ve got a three-foot-long unnaturally lightweight reptilian parrot, sometimes with the capacity to project a dazzling variety of dangerous substances from their mouths, sometimes merely in possession of inch-long fangs, always possessed of greed that would put an international bank to shame. Make it more territorial than a polar bear and about half as cuddly, and you begin to understand why Animal Control “loses” so many reports of them.

How their biology works is the subject of much speculation, but considering that people have been doing autopsies on them for decades without learning anything new, most assume that they act as portals for malicious forces to throw out whatever caustic garbage they feel like making the dragon spew forth. In other words, the general consensus is *jazz hands* MAGIC.

As a result, most people just accept that the dragon is now a part of their daily routine unless they can distract it with something sufficiently shiny long enough to relocate it beyond its territorial instinct. If that doesn’t work, they’re there to stay until they get bored.

Now, if you haven’t worked out how all of this is relevant yet, let me give you another hint: The ring wasn’t at either of the convenience stores


“Nice dragon… I just need to get some cereal… Not going to hurt you,” I muttered as I edged towards a display of some fruit-flavored nonsense.

The subject of my baby-talk apparently did not approve, as it hissed in a voice halfway between an alley-cat and an iguana. On the plus side, I neither burst into flames nor got covered in acidic bile, so it seemed likely that the array of spines that currently stood at attention in a crest along its back were the biggest threat about Vegas’s own Cereal Aisle Dragon. I wouldn’t know, I hadn’t thought much about it when it had moved in about two years ago. I had payed even less mind when the store made it a tourist attraction. When people actually started to come and see it, I just stopped shopping here altogether.

These same tourists were now gathered at both ends of the aisle, peering in with amusement and taking photos on their cell phone of the scene before them. A pug-sized nightmare of terror and legal repercussions atop a mound of sugar-covered pieces and plastic-wrapped knick-knacks, squaring off against the stupid soon-to-be bipedal hamburger who decided to cross the safety line against the protests of the uniform-clad wage slave. Hamburger played by moi. Shows at nine and eleven.

“Come on, you little,” I muttered louder, making a swipe at an abandoned bag. I managed to jerk my hand out of the way before the jaws of the hellbeast snapped shut inches from where my appendage had just been.

“Nnno! Mmmmine!” It growled, its voice filled with the strange trilling and tongue-clicking of a bird imitating speech. I was honestly surprised that it could talk, let alone use words properly.

“Nice dragon… I don’t want your hoard… Just the useless shinies…” I reached once more for the opposite side of the mound, only to again be driven back in a flurry of violence.

“Mmmine! Tttthhhief!”

“To hell with this,” I muttered, straightening and crossing the safety line again. Sure enough, once I was over the yellow stripe, the beast’s crest immediately relaxed as it curled around its pile once more.

“Hey. You,” I said, pointing at the bedraggled employee. “Can’t you sedate it or something?”

“Sorry sir, that would be against store policy,” The kid drawled in the half-annoyed half-tired dialect of the criminally underpaid.

“Okay,” I said, careful not to grit my teeth. After all, it wasn’t the kid’s fault, and on top of the dragon, he had to deal with crazy tourists all day anyway. I was just on the receiving end of his misguided angst. No sense taking out my own frustrations on him. “So, tell me. How do you clean up the aisle and restock normally? Or even fetch items for customers?”

The employee gestured disinterestedly at a plaque that bore a long-handled stick, with both broom and manipulator attachments.

“Doesn’t it attack that?”

“Better it than us.”

“Fine. Can I use it?”

“Sorry sir, employees only.”

“Alright, fine. How do you suggest I get something from the dragon?”

“Ask nicely?” He said, words dripping with sarcasm. Almost as a counterpoint to his words, the dragon raised its head and growled at a small child walking close to the line.


“Look sir, if you need something, just tell me what it is, and I’ll get it for you.”

“Ok, sure. I need that box.”

He got down the telescoping stick, and retrieved it. One might even go so far as to say promptly. Unfortunately, when I ripped open the box, no ring.

“You’re going to have to pay for that,” He informed me casually.

“Fine, fine. Get the next box.”

“What?” He blinked in confusion.

“Next box please.”


As it turns out, the next box didn’t have the ring either. Nor did any of the three following. This wasn’t working fast enough, and the dragon was getting ornery enough to snap at the stick any time it neared the yellow line.

So, I looked for another angle. My watch was pretty shiny. Maybe not shiny enough to hold the dragons attention for long, but hey. Some of us have better things to do with our time than polish watch-bands. So it might buy me five seconds.

I couldn’t search through much cereal in five seconds, assuming even that the ring was somewhere in its “hoard”. If it was in one of the boxes, I was worse than screwed. So, after the distraction, I needed a trap. Something to hold the dragon without hurting it while I searched. Something like…

“Thank god for velcro,” I muttered as I reached over and yanked the apron bodily off the employee.

“Ow, what the hell?”

I ignored him as I crossed the line once more, to the hissing protest of my quarry. I couldn’t afford to lose focus now. I let the apron fall in a cascade from one hand as I unstrapped my watch from my wrist using my teeth. It dropped into my free hand, where I rotated it slowly to catch the crappy fluorescent light. I almost squealed with glee as I saw the dragon’s head snap to regard the shiny object, following it with his eyes like a cat with a lazer pointer. The hungry look in those malevolent orbs was promising.

“Easy, easy…” I chanted, walking closer. The overgrown lizard flexed its impossible wings, but did not leave its pile or tear its gaze from the watch.

“There’s a good dragon,” I said under my breath as I reached out to snare the spines with the apron.

It was going to work!