Thursday, August 28, 2014

Central NC Pagan Pride Day - Be there!

Where the boogers did September come from?

Portable Weirdness will be at Central North Carolina Pagan Pride Day, and if you're anywhere near the area, you should be too! CNC PPD throws a great event; a whole weekend to come hang out for the PHA community and a chance to observe and ask questions for the non-Pagan public.

One of the main goals of the Pagan Pride Project is fostering understanding and community. As much as some of us may sometimes feel like we aren't part of or don't belong in our local civil communities, nobody lives in vacuum. In observance of fall harvest and showing gratitude if you're fed, and thinking about people who aren't, admission is an item(s) of non-perishable goods, with proceeds going to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC.


The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be there from 10:30 till 3:00, and typical of a buncha peeps who are are largely concerned or involved on some level with the natural world that we all live in, CNC PPD has several ways to put some bounty toward it.

Wake County Animal Rescue, the American Wildlife Refuge, Midgard Serpents Reptile Rescue, and Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue will be there with adoptable animals, educational presentations, and other opportunities to help.

Miles and I will be there both days, vending with O'Davis Trade in The Grove section just inside the fence. Miles will be tethered to a convenient tree for book signing, questions, and really hideous puns, and I gots new goodies for yer perusal. Namely a species of new House Gourdians (Mini Dudes!) and a "Build To Suit" pendulum rack with some seriously nommy stuff to choose from. See ya there ;0)

Robin Williams' Golden Kermit award

This is late, but it's going up because a Golden Kermit, or  "Millions Of People Happy" award needs to go out to this man.

There's an impressive lineup of screen coolness to his credit, Good Morning Vietnam, The Birdcage, Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, and What Dreams May Come just for ones I personally appreciate. But my all time favorite Robin Williams bit has always been An Evening At The Met from 1986. Was it his best material? Nah. It was his All Over The Place, his How The Hell Did You Segue To That, and his I'm Just Here Talking To My Friends About Life that makes it stand out for me.


Williams' improv was awe-inspiring. And he did plenty other inspiring, too.  He inspired people to take some things less seriously, like their dignity and pride, to take other things more seriously, like their compassion, and to forgive
Williams had great taste in friends
themselves for being human, or to not regard that as something that needs to be forgiven at all.

He certainly doesn't need to be forgiven for having parts of his head that didn't get along with the rest of the playground. His characters were frequently just people doing the best they could with what they had, and so was he. If his work as an actor and comedian was meant to make people see other people through a more forgiving lens, he accomplished that with some left over. We're poorer for the loss of that.

I owe Williams for being a lesson about seeing the absurdity in everything. Not necessarily a mocking, disdainful absurdity, but one that lends you the stones to be yourself because no one and nothing that tries to tear you down is as superior and perfect as it claims to be. I'm so heinously much richer for the gain of that.

Department Of Backstory: in The Muppet Movie, there's a bit that I consider to be distilled Jim Henson speaking through Kermit. Kermit is in the swamp, having just spoken to Dom Deluise as the talent agent about why he should go to Hollywood. Kermit thoughtfully repeats to himself Deluise' words, "Millions of people happy . . . .".  I think that was what Henson wanted for his life, and he made millions (if not more) people happy. How many people stand at the end of a life, and can say "I made millions of people happy"? 

We lost one of them August 11th. Williams made people belly laugh happy, and "I get you" happy, and Don't Worry Be Happy happy. I hope that in his Next Big Adventure, he's as gut-level happy as he made so many other people. (salutes)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gaza & Israel: I'm On Joe Public's Side

This is one of the pics and opinions that garnered some ire, and may have been the excuse for reporting me on Facecrack under the complaint that it amounts to anti-Semitism. At least that's what one comment said. So I figure it's obligatory to put it back up somewhere.

The photo is of two year old Salma Riyadh, who was killed in one of the bouts of shelling in the Gaza Strip. Right about the time Israel started firing on UN schools and refugee buildings after being informed repeatedly they were UN held safe zones. Right before Israel's Ayelet Shaked stated that the Palestinian people were the enemy, and that Palestinian mothers should be killed and the homes they live in should be destroyed lest they raise more "Little snakes". She's an MP, a government official, btw, and she has a whole political party with voting power behind her.

For years and years, saying that Israel or any part of it's government might be wrong has often been called unforgivable racism (or more properly, ethnicism) in the US. My family's churches (among plenty of others) teach that Israel must be defended at all costs, because they interpret particular passages of scripture to declare that Christ's Second Coming cannot happen unless Israel is a physical state. Then there's the embarrassment over The Holocaust, and the US's cowardly selfishness toward
Jewish Refugees on the USS St. Louis 1939
desperate Jewish refugees. I get it that people want a way to feel like they're making up for being too busy treating our Asian citizens like crap to be distracted by a bunch of other people and shipping them back to their deaths.

I get it, but I still have to call clusterfuck on it. For one thing, the idea of the US, whose Constitution speaks of no establishment of religion, basing foreign policy on a small extremist portion of a religious sect's dogma should make any sane person scream. For another, the ongoing history of conflict in the region is far from simple or one-sided, and screwing people who weren't even alive when something bad happened in the past is one of those Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right things. There's plenty of blame, counter-blame, and Double Dog Dare blame to go around. That said, all the persecution in the world might make calls for genocide understandable, but it does not make them acceptable. Yep, Hamas are insane bastards; Israel's government and some of it's extremists seem to be bent on outdoing them and the pathetic lingering progeny of the WWII Nazi movement. Even if Palestine was capable of throwing Hamas out, if I were them I couldn't honestly say I would trust Israel to make note of it if they did.

I'll repeat the opinion that went with the picture the first time: to any hell you like with extremism across the board. To hell with extremists in Israel, to hell with extremists in Palestine, to hell with anybody who looks at this picture and other civilians who are dead, maimed, or homeless, and cheers and applauds with satisfaction. While I'm at it, to hell with the sorry cheap bitches that think they're justified in taking their issues with Israel's behavior out on Jewish people outside of Israel. Some of whom are sick at the whole mess and just want a path to peace. This is not justice or even a decent gesture of solidarity; it's merely more of the same blind douchbaggery.

I'm not on your sides. I'm on the side of the average Joe who wishes the Crazy on any side would get off his doorstep and go away. I'm on the side of kids who are too little to understand that anyone hates them just for being alive, and who wind up not being because of it. I'm on the side of anyone who would rather have a live neighbor he disagrees with than a dead one that can't disagree with him.

I'm on the side of these two: 

 . . . .and these two:

 . . . and these guys:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Antisocial Media, or The Butthurt Is Strong With This One

Hey Peoples, the reason you can't find me on Facecrack is because some lameoid twinklenuts reported me for using the craft business name, in an effort to protect the world from the sort of base, dishonest villains who deceive the good citizens of Social Mediadom by using a name people actually know them by.

Merely posting a legal name alongside Snooze Hamilton, the nickname everyone uses, along with pics of me, where I live, and events where I can be found in person, presents an obvious case of evil intent to hide my identity. It's highly likely that I'm a secret terrorist, or even an Amway salesperson. FB's communication states that to be in compliance with their terms of use, all account names must appear exactly as they are on the user's driver's license or similar, and that my account is banned unless I provide them with a government issued ID and a verifiable phone number. Yeah, right, cuz I want Facecrack clocking me everywhere I go. Sure thang.

Disclaimer: not a picture of me

I'm sorta inclined to think it has much more to do with petty spite than any real idea that I'm a threat to anyone's safety. At least not anyone who's actually within arm's reach, anyway, and they're gonna know who I am because proximity 'n shit. This for two reasons:

1. The sheer amount of staggeringly petulant, kneejerk, self-absorbed butthurtability that has become terribly fashionable. 

2. The fact that a few of the aforementioned Divas of Speshulness have told me they were going to have me banned/blocked/deleted/whatever over something that got their knickers in a knot. Including the phrase "knickers in a knot". 

Also not me
Not going to happen. Aside from the fact that it took me years to get certain nutjobs out of my life that I have no intention of reconnecting with, I dislike the current trend of employers telling people they have to be able to police their social media content for anything they might not like. Living in an At-Will employment state where employers can and do fire you for seriously unprofessional reasons (and the aforementioned aforementioning in Reason #1) means you either have a way to keep at least some of your personal life personal, or you assume all the character of a pile of stale, overcooked, unseasoned grits in all things.

Some (alleged) people will tsk or tut over that and dismiss it with a blithe "well, you should just learn to get along better and not do or say anything that offends people". Roight. We totted up a list awhile back, and figured out that pretty much every aspect of my life offends someone.

In the same 24 hours I've been called an inherent bigot just for living in the southern US and a nigger lover for saying that race is a social construct based on evolutionary adaptations to local environments.

In the same week someone has attempted to reprimand me for both fat-shaming and encouraging obesity because I said I needed to drop a clothing size and said I didn't care for the Paleo diet.

Much more photogenic than me

In the same month I have been instructed that I am both a Feminazi and a slave to Patriarchy because I don't wear makeup and do shave my legs.

In the same forum thread I was assessed as being a threat to decent society for being a Pagan, a sell out coward  to Christianity for saying the "Your god was nailed to a tree, my god has a hammer, any questions?" meme was trashy, and a mentally ill delusionary who should be locked up for my own good for believing in anything non-material at all.

I've been told I caused offense by eating babaghannouj (Middle Eastern = terrorist), wearing cargo shorts (not feminine enough = bad self esteem), reading about archaeology (not cool = trying to impress people Fail), having the wrong car (banged up, old, not a hybrid/too fuel efficient = poor priorities), riding a bike ( = loser that can't afford a car), watching Doctor Who (foreign and nerdy = anti-American and/or immature), eating meat (= barbaric/unhealthy), eating vegetables ( = hippie treehugger), having a pit bull/snakes/a tarantula/rats/any pets at all (various biases), and being in a relationship with a Brit with long hair, tattoos, and a speech impediment whose job involves getting messy (more various and so on).

Does anyone REALLY want to be the type of person who can keep (alleged) people like this happy? News flash; even if you say yes, it doesn't work. It's like paying off a blackmailer. All that craptastic garbage is from them being unhappy with themselves, and no matter what you change to try to please them, there's always something else for them to target. 

We're all Groot, yanno
Actually me, Primitive Bling mode
I'd rather be WYSIWYG and work on getting people to figure out that not really giving a gram of frack if someone isn't exactly like them and Quit Bein' An Asshole ® is more functional for everybody than Conform Or Die tactics.

Not going to do up another FB account for a bit. I have a suspicion that the reportee will just report me again, and I needed to get my PW store site and this blog cranked back up from school dormancy anyway. Peeps can tag me here via the contact link in the right sidebar or through Miles Batty's FB account. Stay tuned for cool junk and even more reasons to be offended!