This part of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence struck me as powerful at this point in time. While many younger people may know Disturbed’s version better (which is the one I’m listening to on repeat on iTunes), I know both, hence referring to as S&G’s song.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
You may already be onto what I’m referring to.
The NFL and others in silent protest.
It started with Kaep a year ago. I’m a die-hard Niner’s Girl, but I’m still pissed off at the owner for releasing one damn good player because of some controversy. Controversy over Kaep doing something GOOD. (He needs his damn job back.)
Here’s the thing that I know a bunch of (fellow white) people aren’t grasping about the whole protest: It isn’t about the flag or the anthem. It isn’t insulting to servicemen and women. They fought for our right to protest.
So, what was Kaep protesting? And what many others in the NFL and other sports are now doing?
The extreme violence and senseless deaths of PoC, namely black men and children.. sometimes women. And all, or nearly all, by police officers. You know, the people who swear to -serve and protect the community- … and yet they kill PoC. What far too many of them are using as their defense is that they feared for their lives or they thought the 8 year old had a real gun. Or any other number of really lame excuses.
My opinion of officers being afraid -so afraid that they shoot a child who clearly has a toy, or an adult PoC running away from them- that they shoot to kill, not maim is that if they’re so damn afraid of getting hurt by a child with a toy gun or someone running from them, then they do NOT belong on any police force.
I want to look at the training practices between US police departments and other countries. This will take some time. But I have a distinct feeling I already know the answer: police in the US do not get enough well-rounded training.
So, back to Kaep and all the other players who took a knee this past weekend. While there have been a few here and there, it wasn’t until 45 (and if you don’t know who 45 is, get out from under your rock) publicly insulted Kaep, his mother, and every person who has supported Kaep’s mission. Don’t you dare insult these men. Men and women vastly better than you (45) fought and some even died for the rights stated in the Constitution. And men much better than you (45 again) are taking a knee in silent protest against the senseless and needless deaths of PoC in this country at the hands of police.
There are some who are angry at Kaep and the others for their silent protests. But these are the same people who get pissed off when protesters stand in the streets… when they hold legal, permitted rallies and hold signs… You want them to not be so loud, but when they do a silent protest, you still get angry. Why?
Could it be that you are racist and refuse to admit it? Quite likely. You want them to not speak up at all. To be subservient and quiet and do as they’re told… right? Admit it.
I know people like you. I was raised by a person like you. I chose to do the opposite. I chose to fight for equality. For true civil rights for everyone. No special treatment, just equal treatment.
If their protests make you uncomfortable, then they’re making their point. And your uncomfortability over being stuck in traffic, or watching football players kneel instead of stand for the anthem, is a tiny price to pay compared to the blood of black children and adults being spilled in the streets for nothing more than racist fear. If you are uncomfortable with these protests, then you need to check yourself in the mirror. A racist will be looking back at you in your reflection.
My father served this country. His brothers, his father and uncles as well. My mother’s brothers-in-law served as well. I have cousins and friends who have served. If my dad were alive today, I think he would be proud of Kaep.
All voices need to be heard. Even the silent ones.
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
Kaep and others are talking… will you listen?
My grandfather and all three of his brothers chose to fight in WWI.
My father and at least one of his brothers (I think both of them did) chose to fight in WWII.
I have cousins and others who chose to enlist. Uncles on my mother’s side (who married in, as there were 4 girls and 1 boy and my uncle was too young to serve) chose to fight in WWII and even in Korea.
Due to my various injuries, I would never have passed the physical, but I seriously tried to get into the AF as an officer. That was my choice. They just didn’t want me.
We can choose to fight fascism and tyranny, or -as some choose- to join said fascism and be those we fight against. I am not a veteran, but I have enough of them in my family and amongst my friends to know what they fought, and even died, for. To corral hate, injustice, bigotry, fascism, genocide, and so much more.
And we choose to fight it. We must learn from the history of this world, of our ancestors, so we can stop repeating the same bullshit.
There are things we also cannot choose to do or choose to happen. I did everything I could to find work and keep my apartment, but one really shitty month when things didn’t go as I thought they should ended up with me losing my apartment of over seven years. I didn’t choose to be homeless. I fought with everything I had, everything I could muster, but it wasn’t enough. So now I’m still homeless, struggling to make ends meet, struggling to keep my belongings safe from auction. Struggling to make the choices of what I need right in this moment to keep me and my cat safe and healthy. She needs cat food and litter. You don’t want to know how long I’ve managed to stretch the box of litter I bought while still in the apartment. Well, considering I finally was out at the beginning of March, you can do the math. She needs fresh litter. And food.
I refuse to give up my cat. That is my choice. I also will fight to keep my belongings safe in storage until I can get a place again. I’ve had people tell me that “if (I) can’t afford to keep a cat, (I) shouldn’t have one” … well, that asshole got blocked really fast. Portia is one of the few parts of my life that makes life worth holding onto. She keeps me grounded and in reality. She comes first. I just wish my food stamps covered cat food (I can’t go to Pongo Fund, as the food they hand out is too rich and makes her sick. She has a very specific type of food. The protein and fat percentages have to be in a certain mid-range or she mats and gets sick).
I did not choose this ‘in between’ life. In between homes. In between jobs. I don’t like it. I’m working on changing it. Vocational Rehab for work help, fighting to finish school, doing odd jobs via Taskrabbit to make a little money, but it never lasts long and it’s feast or famine in terms of income.
I do what I can, but it isn’t enough. So my choice is to ask for help. So I ask.
Flames threaten from
One side of the barricade.
The other keeping the flames of
God sheds a tear
Still so much hate
Messengers of peace
No one is
Superior or Inferior.
But not treated
Another tear shed.
The rain is proof of that.
A few years back, I was doing some demographics research for a project my boss was working on. While I don’t have the work I did (everything I did is still protected by an NDA I signed), I remember what I found.
There’s been a long-standing misconception that the SF/F fandom is predominately male. HA! Nope. Women are equal, if not a higher percentage, of SF/F fandom than men. And yes, that statement comes from research I did a few years back. Based on research done over the years…. *ahem* …. decades. Even back in the 50’s and 60’s, female readership of SF/F books and periodicals (such as Asimov, etc) was roughly 49-50%. Today? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s higher. Fandom is just as much for US women as it is for men.
So, what sparked this post? The following image:
And then the ensuing “discussion” on a friend’s posting of this on FB. Filled with Trek fanboys who think they know better than us “females” …. guess what, Ferengi wannabes, you are not better than us, you are not smarter than us, and you most definitely do NOT grasp the concept that women can have a better fucking grasp of Trek than your Neanderthal-esque selves. Crawl back in your caves, boys. Us ladies got this.
Here’s the thing:
How do they know religion isn’t practiced in the Trek future? Because it isn’t as fucking obvious? Trek showed how humans, as a global society/race, have moved beyond differences and work WITH each other. Even if those differences may still exist. We know from later shows and films that the French still make wine (Picard facing his brother), the cuisine and such of Cajun/Southern life survives (Sisko)… and what else? I mean there are all kinds of things that survive a few centuries… if Cajun culture survives, I’m pretty damn sure Islam (not the terrorist shit, but the peaceful religion practiced by nearly all Muslims, save for that percentage of a percentage that have skewed it for their own purposes) will survive.
The individual episodes don’t have enough airtime to show every aspect of life in Starfleet. So we don’t really know if religion is still around on Earth in Trek. I know one thing: Sisko and other humans in Starfleet are respectful of Bajoran faith. For all we know, there may be a ship chaplain or multiple ones for different faiths represented. Or, in TNG and later, programs on the holodecks for various religious ceremonies and services.
We simply do not know.
But having someone of a specific faith represented doesn’t mean indoctrination (man, I can hear that bigoted outcry now) or pushing any one faith or anything. It’s merely giving a chance to represent the beliefs of Roddenberry and his vision of unity. Just as Chekov was a representative of Russia (who was a major enemy of the US until the end of the Cold War in the 80’s) and showing that we can one day overcome our differences. Just as a Muslim woman would be representative of what many white supremacists and others hate and fear in the here and now. To show that the differences we have TODAY can be overcome in the future.
Showing that humanity on this planet can overcome our hate, judgment, fear, and violence and thus come together to form one world coalition so we can explore the stars without infighting and competition amongst ourselves. We will still have differences and cultural diversity, things that are shown in the later shows. Humans are not “homogenized” in Trek. The military aspect may show some of that to some degree…
Remember, Starfleet is not all encompassing of humans. It is essentially the Navy in Space. One part of Earth’s culture as envisioned by Roddenberry and his people.
~Dragon the Geek
I got back from GearCon to find that the house internet has been borked by Century Link doing work nearby. I’m using the limited hotspot on the other phone until fixed, so I won’t be here much.
I discovered new pain Sunday at con, so I’m taking things easy. Sciatica sucks donkey ass.
Happy 4th to my fellow Americans.
Please don’t set things (or people) on fire with possibly illegal fireworks. I will be on “cat calming” duty. Have a phone and fire extinguisher nearby.
Be nice to each other.
Respect local Veterans who likely have PTSD and fireworks are a massive trigger for them.
Don’t shoot guns into the air… those bullets are subject to gravity, just like you.
No fighting. No road rage. No hate.
Don’t drive under the influence of anything other than happiness.
Since the election in November here in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK, our society seems to have fallen into a free-for-all of hate and violence. I’ve posted on the vicious cycle in the past. Quite recently, in fact. Since that post, I’ve seen news of more vehicles being used to plow into crowds of Muslims during Ramadan. And then there’s 45 (I don’t use his name) breaking a long-standing tradition of the White House celebrating Eid. He also didn’t say a word on Pride Month, so at least his hate is consistent.
One thing I’ve noticed, at least here in the US, is that a large number of people killed or harmed in hate crimes are not “white Christian people” (for the record, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m a white somewhat-Christian female), but people of color as well as non-Christian religions and LGBTQIA. Vehicles plowing into crowds of Muslims outside their own mosques, LGBT being attacked and arrested for wanting to show their pride, black men and women being gunned down by citizens and police alike, etc… the list just keeps going.
This cycle is perpetuated by fear of the unknown. That fear becomes hate. Are there attacks by non-whites? Yes. But the ratio of white attackers to non-white attackers, at least in the US, leans toward more whites than non-whites. Here in Portland, hate crimes and discrimination are on the rise. And we’re a pretty damn liberal city. Our surrounding cities and counties are not so liberal, though, and we have a lovely mass transit system here. One I use all the time. If my queerness were more obvious, I might get some random jackass giving me shit. My mohawk isn’t quite enough. Remember, this is a very liberal city. And I’m not quite queer-looking enough to get harassed.
We fear what we don’t know or understand. This is fairly common human nature. The nature of our society. The thing is that we have access to more information at our fingertips than our not-so-distant relatives. If you don’t know something, look it up. Ask questions, talk to people. If you fear Muslims, go to the site for TED Talks (also, if you have Netflix, they have a fair number of them there as well) and look up the religious ones. If you want to understand POC or LGBTQIA, …. ASK! No harm in putting a question out there.
The only stupid question is the one that never gets asked.*
Ask. Listen. Learn. Seriously, learning isn’t just in a classroom. Each day, we have a chance to learn from our surroundings. Take advantage of that.
The more we know, the less we fear. Okay, except for spiders… that’s my weakness… I know plenty about them, but still don’t like them. But when it comes to humans, just learn. When we communicate and learn from each other, the barriers we build in our minds and our society will break down and we can work together.
That’s all for now… sorry I’ve been quiet.
(* – Although if you ask me, as an Asexual person, about amoebas or how we mate, that is one question you should keep to yourself. It gets old.)
Hate begets hate.
The cycle just keeps going. Every morning, I wake up to news of anger and hate. People using guns, knives, vehicles, etc to maim and kill. People on the fringes of society who loathe and hate those who are different. People who want revenge for something the people they harm didn’t do.
I’m am Empath. I cannot block out what is going on. The emotions that whirl around in our society today. Anger, hate, anxiety, fear… it keeps going. It keeps hitting another level. Genocide, bigotry, prejudice. It keeps ramping up. Another attack. Another shooting. Another vehicle plowing into a crowd.
No matter the race or religion of the person with the anger, it is terrorism. Terrorism is not something “they” do. It’s something “anyone” can do. Terrorism is striking terror and fear into other people. Usually a group or subculture. I look at the various attacks of the last several months and I see hate and anger being forced onto a group of people… making them afraid.
Some terrorists want you to retaliate. Daesh and other fringe groups. They do NOT represent all Muslims. Not by a long shot. As someone said (whom I can’t remember the name of), “If all Muslims were terrorists, the rest of us would be dead by now.” When you have millions of followers of Islam, just as with -any- other religion, you will have the angry, deluded fringe. It isn’t even just religion. It’s political groups, it’s subcultures of our society.
One example of a non-religious incident: A couple of years ago, a Furry convention up in Seattle was under fire because a few people, possibly not even con-goers, decided to trash hotel property. In a considerable way. I’m not talking dinging the corner of a desk. I’m talking willful destruction of property. The hotel contract was cancelled and they couldn’t find another hotel in Washington State to host them. That convention is now on hold until everything settles down. All because of a few jackasses who fucked things up.
See the similarities? A small percentage of a group gives the rest of said group a bad reputation. A fraction -a very small fraction- of Muslims are connected to Daesh/ISIL.
And yet, others lash out at anyone they think is Muslim. The attack last night in England. This time a white person running a vehicle into a crowd of peaceful Muslims as they left their mosque.
If you can’t understand why some Muslims stray and start becoming violent, look at the person who injured several peaceful Muslims last night.
Then if a Muslim who has turned to violence attacks a crowd of non-Muslims, the cycle of hate and fear and anger and violence continues.
To end this, we must focus on those who do good in the community. I see mosques opening their doors in times of natural disasters and other situations to those who are not of their faith, but who are in need. I see them going out and feeding people who need food. Shelter when it is needed. I see more Muslims behave more Christ-like than a lot of people who consider themselves Christians.
My core faith is Christianity. I lean toward Omnism overall. I do my best to understand all faiths. I have a lot to learn. But I think we all do.
Focus on those who have strong positive ties and help others. Ask them as a child would ask a parent. What is your faith about? What do you believe? Try to listen to what they say. Talk to people, listen to people, learn from people.
The organist at a church I used to attend was being honored one morning for 40 years of service. He took the mic and told a little tale. When he and his wife converted to Christianity, they knew a few other Christians and many, many friends of theirs were not. He said he noticed that over the years, the scale has tipped so that they know very few who are not Christians and many who are. This stuck with me.
This is partly why I maintain friendships with believers of all paths, as well as many atheists. I try to show what Jesus taught: love, acceptance, compassion. I don’t preach to people… despite being ordained. I sit back and observe and show compassion when I am capable. I’ll readily admit that I’ve been under a lot more stress the last few years, so my supply of compassion is a bit low. But I still try.
One thing I think a lot of people don’t fully understand about Islam is that it’s the third of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Allah is Arabic for God. The same God Christians worship.
If we listen and learn from each other, I believe the fear will dissipate.
What we don’t know, we fear.
So, let’s start learning. Start asking. Go to the sources. Talk to an Imam. Talk to… anyone!
We need to work on building community with those who are not just like us. We can win over hate.
My last three posts have been about sexuality/asexuality, dating, disadvantages of being Queer Asexual in this society. I will certainly continue on this general topic this month, being Pride Month and all.
This post will likely be a bit of that plus updates on other things….
Asexual Erasure: When I got home today, I saw that a friend on FB had posted an article on the erasing of asexuality within the LGBTQIA community. This is something I’d mentioned in one of the recent posts. We don’t get taken seriously. I highly recommend reading the article linked above. She did an incredible job detailing the shit we have to go through. Yes, ‘A’ can be for Allies as well, but being an Ally isn’t a sexuality… Asexuality IS. We aren’t aliens (although I do tend to feel like one that got left behind on Earth sometimes). We’re human beings just like everyone else (I hope we all are), and our lack of sexual attraction should have nothing to do with whether we, who are -at times- even more marginalized than others within the LGBTQIA community.
I am open about my sexuality because of this crap. I’m tired of people dismissed us, telling us we’re mentally ill for it… and the list goes on. So I’m “out and proud” and you can’t tell me or anyone else that we don’t matter just because we don’t get sexually attracted to others.
The way I see it is that with being Ace, I have less issues in my life. I have other things to do with my time than go to bars and clubs and be treated like a piece of meat. I have many hobbies. I like my hobbies. I don’t need a bunch of horny assholes trying to get in my underwear to tell me that I’m a real woman.
Storage: Two days in one week… that’s pushing it for me. I had an appt to trim up my mohawk downtown today, so after that, I headed up to storage. I didn’t get very far, but did do some shifting around of things. I even found a jar thingy of hair stuff to spike/play with my hair.
Note to self: learn the lengths for hair clippers… do not do a 1. Unless you like having hair that almost passes for military.
Portia is sleeping… for now. With a full moon in a couple of days, her antics have ramped up. It’s funny and adorable, but when I’m trying to sleep at 3am and I heard these thuds because she’s playing on the hot tub cover…. it isn’t so cute.
I’m still exhausted and dealing with pain… I just about have all the “tools” needed to start organizing some of the stuff I have here. Gradually…
Being asexual tends to either get rude/lewd comments or dismissive remarks.
I’ve heard the “amoeba” crack so many times, it’s permanently etched in the back of my brain. Yet every person who says it thinks they’re being all cute and funny.
You’re not. Please… just stop.
I get the “maybe you need to try dating women. You might be a lesbian after all.”
I am more aesthetically attracted to men than women… by a LONG shot. Can I appreciate the female form? Yeah, but I’m not attracted to them.
“You just haven’t found the right guy yet”
“Maybe it’s a libido/hormone thing.”
I could go on…
For the record, asexuality is NOT a physical/hormonal/libido thing. It’s how our brains are wired, not the hormones. Some of us have active libidos. Some don’t. Some are occasionally active. Doesn’t mean we act on those urges with others. (There are great food analogies elsewhere)
What IS a physical thing is what’s called “sex aversion.” And anyone, of any sexuality, can go through phases of being sex-averse. I am also sex-averse due to the repeated sexual assault from years ago. Some are virgins (they tend to think of the act of sex to be icky, for lack of a better word), some are survivors like me, as well as other reasons.
I’m on this topic as June is Pride Month. Some in the LGBTQIA community don’t see Aces as being part of the community. I’ve heard the “well, this is about sex and they don’t have any, so they don’t count.”
WRONG!! All sexualities are about the different types of sexual ATTRACTION. Not the act of sex. And yes, we count. A lack of sexual attraction is still a misunderstood sexuality. But major researchers of sexuality have recognized asexuality for decades. Yes, we’re different. We get some discrimination as well. Not as much obvious treatment, but it is there. Some others I know have been subjected to “corrective rape” which is such a back-asswards thing to do… we don’t need to be fixed.
No repairs are necessary.
We aren’t broken.