My little brother loves video games. He loves them A LOT. He has a gamecube, both Wii’s, pretty much every gameboy you can think of and plays some games online. He is a voracious reader, online video watcher, and reader. He knows more about the inner workings and corporate politics of the Nintendo company then most industry journalists do. He grew up with four siblings and a mom who loved video games, played them often and as a family. He is very good at them. VERY. All in all he is a remarkable little guy. My brother always tells me what he learns about the history of gaming, especially from videos he watches on youtube. It seems like every time I visit him he has something new to tell me about a game I grew up with! Mind you, this kid is barely older than the Obama administration and he lectures me, brilliantly, on the history of game companies going back to Atari. He’s a video game savant! He is also a genuinely kind and friendly kid. He makes friends with the kids in his class who are made fun of or marginalized, not out of pity but because he genuinely connects and loves them. He is create and he tries to understand the “adult” world of ideas and history and politics. He told me once how he didn’t understand why so many of the boys in his class considered being gay or being feminine or a girl was a bad thing. He was utterly baffled by this and it was so refreshing to see such lack of prejudice and cruelty in his eyes. This is because he is a good guy, but also because he has three very accomplished older sisters and a mom, all of whom are strongly feminist and constantly teach him to respect all people and to understand the privilege his skin color and his gender give him. He understands this and he does not take it like so many “adults” do, as an indictment of all men or a condemnation of the male gender itself. He always asks me questions about the world and why people think the way they do and why so many treat people so badly. Sometimes I have answers with him. Other times I can only wonder with him why so many people, men especially, seem to think that the entire world revolves around their prejudices and needs. It is amazing how much more mature and intelligent my little brother is than the so called “men” who claim the gaming culture as their own and who try so hard to make women, LGBTQ people, and feminist men feel unwelcome. My little brother likes to play video games. He doesn’t care if he plays with a boy, a girl or anyone else. He just likes to play. He doesn’t care if games become more friendly to the concerns of women and minorities, and by that I mean it makes no difference to him because a game is just a game. Whatever makes people feel happy and safe and is fun is all that matters to him. He does notice when women are treated badly in games and you can tell that he is not a big fan of the super violent games. I think this is a part of his kind personality and also how he was raised. He tends to like puzzle games, building games, racing games, and turn based games and RPGs. The exception is Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo. He sure does like to beat my butt at that game. My brother does not whine about games other people want to create or play that might “not be fun” or are “too artistic” or “weird”. He is content to play the games he likes and to let people enjoy the games that engage them. He does not judge a person based on the games they play. He is probably the most tolerant and open-minded person I know and he is only getting more so as he gets older and wiser. He is going to make someone a very happy wife or husband or boyfriend someday and that makes me very happy. Most important of all he does not let games define who he is or how he feel about the world. He does not care if someone tells him his favorite game is “stupid” or “bad”. He just likes to play games. That is enough for him. You’d think that would be enough for the supposed men out there who rage against women, journalists, and feminists for “destroying their culture”. My brother knows that games are not his to own and control. They are just games. He likes to play games. That is enough for him. My little brother, and thousands and thousands of little guys and gals like him, are the reasons why the gaming world is only going to get better, and the gamer gate embarrassment will someday be forgotten. They just want to play games.
4500 people from West Africa die of Ebola (the number is probably much higher) no one in this nation gives a shit. 3 people get Ebola in the US…NOW IT IS THE TIME TO PANIC! Melanin content seems to be the line in the sand that divides a problem “over there” from a Crisis with a capital C “over here”. We read between the lines and see that what we are being told is not “you are about to die from Ebola” but “you are about to die because some sick dark people are coming over here with their exotic dark people disease”. Why else would we have some calling for the closing of the MEXICAN border (last I checked, not a part of West Africa)? Scary disease from abroad means close the borders and hide the (white) women and children! Never mind that more people die from boring old Influenza then will ever die from Ebola. Westerners are SUPPOSED to die from that disease, one we envision lives in a comfy little germ house with its stable germ nuclear family in its up and coming germ neighborhood. Ebola is “that” germ family moving into the gated community; “we’ll get sick and die from our OWN germs, thank you very much.” Something tells us that Ebola would not have voted for Ronald Reagan. Thanks, Obama.
Congress held one of its circle-jerks/televised hearings on the topic of Ebola today. They even brought a knowledgeable and suitably boring Doctor to testify and keep us from collectively wetting ourselves. Ebola is NOT as contagious as AIDS. It is NOT airborne. Ebola is NOT going to turn the US into a Mad Max Thunderdome dystopia where it is every (white) man and his AR-15 for himself (so sit down Louie Gohmert, and zip up your fly!). In fact, Dr. Boring lets us know, there are some very simple but non-sexy things we can do to combat this disease. First we must–
I KNOW, Congressmen scream, LETS BAN ALL FLIGHTS FROM AFRICA. The motion is carried. No more motherfucking African pathogens on our motherfucking planes. No lets send the National Guard to Africa and keep all the sickies from getting on board. No way THAT could be taken the wrong way by all the dying Africans and exhausted foreign aid workers. Keep that stuff on YOUR side of the tracks, thank you very much. Tons of money to keep Ebola away in the most telegenic way possible, but not a dime for more plastic tarps to cover the rotten bodies of the Liberian kindergarteners rotting in the streets of Monrovia. Put “Over There” on the turntable. Turn that phonograph up to 11! I like my xenophobia loud and clear.
Some of our more enlightened citizens suggest that maybe we should coordinate efforts through the UN and try and save West Africa for its own sake. You know, them being human beings and all. Nope. Joe The (well paid Fox News Contributor) Plumber says we should cover the whole region in Napalm and watch it burn. If the free-market couldn’t save those poor souls then nothing will. Strike the match. Red blooded American men ain’t gonna be dying of no Commie Foreigner disease. Let’s form a string quartet and practice while West Africa burns up from a fever of 104.3!
“Hoist the flag and let her fly/Yankee Doodle do or die.”
Apparently the President has appointed an Ebola Czar…I guess we just have to hope now that Ebola doesn’t discover the works of V.I. Lenin.
This article almost perfectly outlines my experience as a person with Asperger’s/ASD. A MUST read for anyone who is autistic or who loves someone who is
Originally posted on seventhvoice:
“A ground-breaking theory suggests people with autism-spectrum disorders such as Asperger’s do not lack empathy – rather, they feel others’ emotions too intensely to cope.”
“People with Asperger’s syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, are often stereotyped as distant loners or robotic geeks. But what if what looks like coldness to the outside world is a response to being overwhelmed by emotion – an excess of empathy, not a lack of it?
This idea resonates with many people suffering from autism-spectrum disorders and their families. It also jibes with the “intense world” theory, a new way of thinking about the nature of autism.
As posited by Henry and Kamila Markram of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the theory suggests that the fundamental problem in autism-spectrum disorders is not a social deficiency but, rather, a hypersensitivity to experience…
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bow before what I can’t see
an itch that galls eternally
a doubt that binds my mind and heart
and a nervous scold who won’t depart
rancid thoughts that roll and shred
a rot that spreads inside my head
Quell me now so I can sleep
A moments rest from eyes that weep
A respite from that primeval moan
when I’m in company, alone
I whisper to myself “I might”
but feel that I can’t set it right
At night my soul a desert land
filled with doubts as much as sand
I’ve made false idols of my fears
sacrificed to them my nonpareil years
Melancholia is none too kind
when in residence within my mind
Saudade the name of companions past
a long lost someone, an iconoclast
that hapless friend who lost their way
who once helped keep my tears at bay
that hapless friend who lost their way
who once helped keep these tears at bay
The Nobel Committee, for the first time in decades, has FINALLY gotten it right when it comes to the Peace Prize. Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India have been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for Peace. Yousafzai is the youngest ever winner of the award. Ms. Yousafzai has blogged, campaigned, written and spoken out for education, especially for women and young girls, in her native Pakistan and throughout the world. For her troubles she endured a failed assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban. She has helped her mother learn to read and write and is the face of women’s rights throughout the world. Mr. Satyarthi is a long time advocate for the rights of children enslaved in the garment and textile industries in India and has led protests and raids on factories employing children working in slave-labor conditions. His movement has inspired hundreds of similar ones across the world and has helped to liberate hundreds of thousands of children for horrifying and undignified slave labor. The Nobel Committee, in its announcement of the Prize, expressed hope that the awarding of the Prize to two people from two nations who have traditionally been enemies would help to broker peace and understanding between India and Pakistan.
We can and must take note of this decision by the committee and apply it to a greater movement for liberation and peace in the world. We must stop focusing on petty issues of the ebb and flow of middle class income stability and refocus, redouble, our efforts as a unified, truly international movement of the left for the empowerment of women, persecuted minorities, slaves, workers and children. These are the constituents we must serve. The cause is peace, the goal is a better world where war and endless toil is not the lot of every child born onto this Earth. The only hope for a future without cataclysmic violence and horrid exploitation is the education of the people and of children most of all. No child should have to work in squalid, Dickensian horror so that his family does not starve. No woman should ever have to go her entire life without being able to read and write just because she is told she is inherently of less worth than a man. No person should ever have to fear that the fickle whims of political and corporate power-brokers will lead their communities into unspeakable violence and decay. The people should never have to live in poverty while a tiny, greedy, lecherous minority lives it up in the palaces of wealth and privilege they have constructed upon the spoils of their own labor! There is no European left, there is no American left or Western left. There is only a united, world wide left, a movement of people all over the world who strive for a life of dignity and contentment. All we want is to be able to enjoy the fruits of our own labor, to live in peace and relative comfort, and to educate ourselves and our children. That is not too much to demand, and demand it must.
I’ve had many tastes
to be sure
for this a waste
suffered pointed disgrace
of any mount, an elephant
meanings dissembled in eight
play at art
full of snatch
you’ll get warm
And parse words in entertaining
poets are a bellicose fraternity
always crossing words
but we get a chance
to breach their Maltese
walls and flaming founts of rhetoric
learning English conversation by conversation
and picking it apart like
grit from a bowl of lard
[the following is an excerpt from an essay I am writing on Christian History in Europe]
…The modern age is one of instant access to almost limitless access to the raw facts of history, an effectively pixalized and alienated from its own active part in the unfolding of that history. We take for granted, those of us blessed with the time, inclination, ability, and access to the information, that what is past is past and today is a better day, another step forward down an a road to an inevitable perfection. The Roman Empire Begat Christianity which Begat the Christian Kingdoms and Nations which Begat the Christian Empires which, pauses for a moment to pay homage to Mongol superiority, then begets the Industrial and Industrial/Digital/Nuclear/Corporate Empires of the modern moment. Somewhere wedged betwixt those Begats was a period where two versions of Christianity, one a major minority and the other the Majority and the Establishment, went to war, these accidents and designs of religion grafting themselves onto the major sectarian, nationalistic, economic issues of the time. This was a sectarian, Pan-European cum North and South American Risorgimento, and an eventual (if not yet complete) degrading of Religious hegemony in culture and civil governance and caused the West, as its Christian, Capitalist and pale skinned pieces were was to become know…