Threats Are Not Protest

So, in the wake of the Indiana Religious Freedom law, a reporter went out and started to ask local businesses if they would still serve gay people.

One small Pizza joint totally bit, saying they would not serve gays.

The internet explodes with this confirmation of what some of us worried was the worst case scenario…businesses putting up “No Gays Allowed” signs.

There were the folks who bought the domain name of Memories Pizza, their Yelp reviews were overrun mock reviews.

Oh, and the threats.  Apparently, starting with a person online stating they wanted to know who was going to join them in torching the business to the ground.  This was followed by an avalanche of threats via phone and online media.  The shop closed up, stating they may not open back up.  The family said they might even leave town.

Now, of course, if we dig a little deeper, we find out that they never said they would not allow gays into their store.  In fact, they explicitly said they would serve gays.  They would not cater a gay wedding, but that is not the worst case scenario, that is the issue we already say at play.  I find it troubling if you serve weddings you would deny a customer because they are gay.  If I were asked, I would be the wedding videographer for a gay couple’s wedding.  But the family that owns the pizzeria did not say they did not want gay s to come in and order pizza or that they would deny gays access to the dining area.

The biggest problem here is the threats.  Threats are never okay.  I do not care how right you think you are.

Ask any online feminist who has had her personal information spread across the internet, who has received threats of death and rape, not just to themselves but even towards their family.  It is never an appropriate response to threaten a person, no matter how much you might dislike their beliefs or actions.  All these threats did was cause conservatives to hold it up declaring “See?  LGBT supporters are vicious!”*

By going all out to smash one family owned pizzeria, folks created the conservative martyr poster boy.  Heck, over $200,000 was raised for the family. All because some jackasses went and freaked the family out.

Due to the talks of not re-opening, Some are acting like this was a triumph of using the free market.  Those people do not understand the free market.  This is not a triumph.  They would be open had they not gotten threats.   No, closing because they saw a severe decline in business and could not afford to stay open?  That would be the market at work.  Making threatening calls, calling down destruction?  That is terrorism.

We cannot blow off the threats to Memories Pizza all while being angry at Gamer Gate, because it was gamer gate tactics that may have caused them to go out of business.  Gamer Gate is not a problem merely because of who they target for attack…it is how they attack as well.  If you were outraged by Gamer Gate, I don’t see how you can pretend this is different.

We can voice our dislike for the pizzeria’s policies on gay weddings.  We can recommend people not support them.  But you cannot blow off the threats.  You cannot say that the threats were not serious…because we do not know.  I am pretty confident that most (if any) of the folks that threatened to rape various women online are never going to make good on it.  But that does not mean we do not take the threats seriously.  It only takes one threat to get acted upon to do harm.

Threats are the wrong approach.

*Of course, totally ignoring all the threats various liberals have received…

Quieting the Infowarrior

I have to be honest…when it comes to online arguing, the minute I tire of a discussion, I tend to walk away.  Sure I may come back to it later…but if I tend to just say my final piece and move on.  Especially if you are a “Patriot” or Infowarrior type.

In other words, I do not care to waste my time arguing with paranoid conspiracy theorists.  Truthers, birthers…all the same arguments that go in circles chasing tails.  They never offer fruitful or interesting discussions, and no amount of engagement will cause the light to turn on in their heads.  They are to far down the rabbit hole.

The other people I just walk away from are those white people who, in a discussion about race, throw out some horrible story about a white person who was beaten, maybe even kills and then ask, “Where is the outrage?  All lives matter!”  That is a guarantee that the participant wants to derail the discussion.

Both of these types of folks now simply get muted on twitter or made invisible on Facebook.  Why be tempted to respond when I know all that will result is a headache.

White Actors Need Roles Too!

I am unsure what Nellie Andreeva is saying here.

Okay.  That is a lie.  The short version is: There are to many non-white faced on TV these days.

I am sure she would dispute this, claim I am misunderstanding her point.

But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction.

Nellie expresses concern about there being no room for colorblind casting.  I totally get that this is her concern.  I get she believes that this is about a concern that race trumps the best actor getting the job.

This is a pretty absurd concern to have though.  There have been plenty of examples over the years of casting stating they are looking for white actos, whether the role called for it or not.

“Basically 50% of the roles in a pilot have to be ethnic, and the mandate goes all the way down to guest parts,” one talent representative said.

So, half your cast can be white, as long as half your cast is not?  So, white actors have a shot at 50% roles in a pilot (including, more likely than not, the lead) while non-white actors must vie for the other 50%.  Asian, black, Hispanic, and so on, all compete for the other half.  This is not equality, and it is not equality in favor of minority actors.

Network and cable television are still overwhelmingly full of majority white casts.  There is one show right now about an Asian family.  The Asian community covers a lot of ethnic backgrounds.  Both Japanese and Vietnamese may be considered “Asian”, but they are culturally distinct.  Yet, if you say we are going to do a show about an Asian family, you probably will have actors of different descent playing a Chinese family.   Of course, we white people rarely notice a difference.

So, for the Asian community, you have one show.  Blacks have a couple of shows.  And if a Latino comedian hits it big enough, maybe you get a show or two about a Latino lead.  Are there any comedies or dramas centered on a character of Middle East descent?

Most shows still center on a white protagonist(s) with supporting cast members who are not white.

And that is the joke of the Deadline column.  Overwhelmingly, TV is still giving us white leads.  The talk of colorblind casting is a joke, because even when shows specified no race, casting looked at primarily white people for their leads.  There has never been colorblind casting, and just because pilots are actually starting to note to cast some actors who are not white is not an indication of a problem, it is a solution.

The Curious Case of Ted Cruz and Country Music

Ted Cruz may end up being a wealth of hilarity folks.  Just look at this:

“I actually intellectually find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded,” he said. “And country music, collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me.”

I find this intellectually curious as well, Mr. Cruz.

For one thing, it does not make much sense.  I mean, what did he not like about the rock and roll response?  Was he offended by the calls for America to be united as a nation?  Or was he more put off by the fundraisers to help the victims and their families?  Maybe it was the songs praising first responders or the passengers of United 93?  Just what part of the rock and roll response to 9/11 was so damned off-putting that he would turn to a life of country music?

Or is it just that Cruz saw it as an opportunity to pander to the Republican base with the dog whistle of 9/11?

If Cruz keeps talking like this?  He will flame out spectacularly.

Where Is the Protest

Ever since the #BlackLivesMatter movement got going shortly after the shooting of Mike Brown there has been an attempt by (overwhelmingly white) conservatives to challenge with a very consistent meme of “Where is our protest?”

The meme works this way…people find an incident where a person shoots and wounds or kills a cop.  They then demand to know where the protesters are.  It is an attempt at a big gotcha for hypocrisy.  Except…it is not even kind of an example of hypocrisy.  And therefore it is not a successful gotcha either.

Here is the thing…the protests related to unarmed black men being killed by cops are not based in “One guy killed another guy.”  So right there, examples where a cop is injured in the line of duty start to crumble.  The specific protest here is that it is a cop doing the killing.  And the reason people are marching in protest is that police represent the system.  They see a problem in the system that they want corrected.

When a criminal shoots a cop, it is always seen as tragic.  It is pretty much never justified outside of the most fringe elements and the cop is proclaimed a hero in local media.  It does not become a nationwide news story very often because…well, their jobs are dangerous and it is presumed there are risks.  If there is not an angle that makes it unique from other “line of duty threats”, such as the shooter citing a national incident, it pretty much remains a local story.

And, the shooter is usually a criminal, which is why there is only candle light vigils instead of protests.  The police will hunt this guy down and no grand jury is going to say, “Nope, no reason to indict!”  The system will demand punishment forth acts of the criminal, not argue the criminal had no choice.  Marching in the streets against a confirmed criminal act makes no sense…what change would people be calling for?

People protest to change the system and problems within the system.  Criminals who shoot cops are outside the system and breaking the law and do not get the cover of the law for what they did.

It should also be noted that very few of the people shot by cops get protests.  By and large, most people killed by cops are never national news, and largely accepted as justified.  It is when there are other elements that make careless police work (to be polite) stand out and people take notice.

So…no, of course there are no protests when cops are shot…everybody thinks the shooter was in the wrong and deserves punishment.  Cops do not get protests, they get candlelight vigils in their memory.



So, Republicans sent a letter to Iran.  And, shockingly, it is not working out the way they expected.  Some Republicans are taking the “It was just a joke” approach.  Lighten up, everybody!

The Daily Show noted that both sides are pretty hypocritical on this exact issue.

What it comes down to for me was content.  It was such a condescending letter, joke or not.  Sending such a letter to the leaders in Iran (most of home were educated in the west) talking as if they are greatly ignorant of our most basic government setup (really?  You need to explain how a President is only president for four to eight years?!) is just bad form.  It looks pathetic and it sure does not make our government look good.

It is almost like Republicans hate America so much, they will do anything to bring her down a notch.

I need to believe that, because the only other logical reason Republicans did this douche move is that they are such monumental idiots, they are unworthy of office…and that is just to scary a thought.

If Only Obama Were More Like Genghis Khan

There has been a trend among Conservatives and Republicans to compare Obama to “tough foreign leaders” unfavorably.

Most recently, it was regarding Netenyahu and his speech.  A speech that was pretty much the same one he gave about in 2003 about Iraq.  His 2003 speech missed on pretty much every point.  All his predictions more or less failed miserably, yet he is being praised for his wisdom.

But before Netenyahu, there was Putin.  The Conservatives and Republicans were constantly singing the praises of Putin arguing “If only Obama could be a real leader like him.  Let us imagine a world where Obama was more like Putin.

Fox News personalities would be locked up in gulags.  Some simply disappearing.  There would be a trail of dead Republican rivals for the White House… hmmm…maybe Obama’s critics are on to something…