Bread and Circuses: Maleficent

I’m just going to jump right in here. For the most part, I’m happy with Disney’s live-action remakes of its animated movies. Cinderella was a wonderful homage to the 1950 animated classic and as much as Emma Watson has irritated me over the past couple years, I’m eagerly awaiting Beauty and the Beast. Maleficent, however, is another story. I’m in the minority, I know, but I am decidedly unimpressed with the Sleeping Beauty rehash.

Why, do you ask? It’s supposed to give girls an empowering role model in a strong female lead and who better to repackage than one of the most bad ass Disney Villains ever? All we have to do is make her not-evil anymore and then girls have someone to look up to and admire. How better to make her sympathetic than to break her heart, make the king a conniving bastard and redeem her with maternal instincts?

Oh, I probably should’ve said spoiler alert. Ah well, it’s been out awhile, not my fault if you’ve been under a rock.

Apparently, women can’t have motivations other than being in love or fallen out of love. We can’t be ambitious or cunning or cruel or willingly embrace the dark side without a man hurting us. And once we recover from the hurt, we’re magically good again. We can’t desire power or want to be queens in our own right and willing to destroy the world to get achieve that. We’re inherently good, trustworthy, tender hearted, nurturing and altruistic, all from the intrinsic power of the XX chromosomal makeup. Clearly we’re not human.

Now, why am I complaining about women being “respected”? Shouldn’t I be celebrating the defeat of the Wicked Witch and Evil Stepmother stereotypes? Aren’t I glad that men are finally taking responsibility for all the negativity they’ve heaped on women through storytelling over the course of human history?

No. It’s not true respect. It’s the equivalent of being patted on the head and being called cute.

This movie is disingenuous to both sexes, portraying men as either subservient, bumbling or conniving and placing women on a false pedestal of grace. Princess Aurora sees the good in Maleficent and inspires her maternal side, thus redeeming her from bitterness, which is caused by Stefan seducing her then cutting off her wings (gruesome much?) as a trophy to claim the throne. Maleficent tries to recant her curse because she inexplicably loves Aurora and can’t, but her kiss of mother’s loves saves the princess anyway. Then, her bitterness shed and empowered by the love for her charge, she goes onto defeat her enemies, regain her wings and happily ever after happens.

One of Disney’s most powerful villains was reduced to a woman scorned. Seriously. She’s not evil, just heartbroken. Emotionally traumatized. Really, she’s good underneath it all, look her motherly affection saved the princess. What’s truer than a mother’s love? I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way. (Please tell me someone besides my parents will get that reference.)

My point is, it’s not true respect or equality if there’s no recognition that women can be bad too. Yes, we can accomplish great things, achieve great good, but we can also do great evil if inclined. And that inclination is not always the product of men. We have minds and wills of our own. We need role models and good examples, yes, but we also need cautionary tales and horrible warnings. Both exist in the world. Real life girls will encounter women who will guide them, help them, challenge them, love them, hate them and try to tear them down. They will meet just as many men who will do all of the above. It’s irrespective of sex. It comes down to human nature and the choices people make. How can anyone make an informed choice when they’ve been fed false information their entire lives? If you really want to empower girls, treat them as dynamic people.

Election Reflections

So we’re two days past the election and I gotta say, I’m glad it’s over. Between the campaigns starting almost immediately after the 2014 midterms (remember all SIXTEEN Republican candidates?) and the general air of malcontent since June when the nominees were decided to almost nobody’s satisfaction, I’m personally glad for the break. We have at least six months before they start campaigning for 2020, right?

One thing that has yet to go away, however, is the extreme amount of emotionalism and overwhelming histrionics of the voting population. Three words: GET. OVER. IT.

Seriously, guys and gals, time to grow up and quit having a temper tantrum because you lost. Maybe that’s easy for me to say, since I didn’t have a horse in this race, but even if I did, I wouldn’t be rioting and crying because I lost. It’s bad sportsmanship if nothing else. I had to deal with 2008, 2012 (perhaps the greater loss) and my preferred candidate losing in this round of primaries. Sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles. Dust off the crumbs and move on.

I should not be getting emotional, touchy-feely emails from my corporate wigs who think it’s appropriate to emote on the company server. You can’t complain out of one side of your mouth about the tenor of the national dialogue and then go on to bitch, piss and moan about the election results from the other, all while trying to supposedly encourage inclusivity in the workplace. You know what will lead to an inclusive and peaceful workplace? Professionalism. Stone cold professionalism. Any recruiter, veteran worker, or manager worth their salt will tell you that two things cause the most drama in a team: politics and romance. They’re distractions, not conducive to productivity, thus inappropriate. Professionalism almost demands the avoidance of the inappropriate in the workplace.

Know what else does? Good manners. I know that’s hard because it requires getting out your self-absorbed bubble and thinking about others, the situation at hand and the environment you’re in, but good manners can solve a myriad of problems. If we get enough buy-in to this radical concept, it might even *le GASP* improve the tenor of the national political dialogue. What a concept!

So, to sum up, from the original American President himself, George Washington’s 58th Rule of Civility, “let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy, for tis a Sign of a Tractable and Commendable Nature: And in all Causes of Passion admit Reason to Govern.”

In modern English: speak politely, feel less and THINK MORE.

Just Thinkin’: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot???

fb_img_1477456130352Ok, I’ve seen this a few times and call me crazy, but aren’t most of these CHORES? Those things you do because you have to learn to be a responsible human being and not wallow in your own filth? Like, stuff you do even when you AREN’T in trouble (and in fact, might get in trouble for NOT doing)? The one that isn’t a chore looks like things you do just to be a decent human being, something you should be doing anyway (and again, may get in trouble for not).

THIS is why there are so many special snowflakes in the world who think the world owes them something: Mommy and Daddy snowflake confused responsibility with punishment. At the risk of sounding older than I am, back in my day, I did a lot of that because my mother said to do it and my father backed her up. If I was grounded, it was because I screwed up somewhere somehow and I was STILL expected to complete my chores as well as serve whatever punishment was deemed fitting, including *gasp* loss of privileges or restrictions! Oh the humanity!!! And I was spanked. I now suffer from a psychological condition known as “respect for others.” Horrifying, isn’t it?

Out Liberal-ing Liberals: A Guide to Shutting Them Down and Getting a Laugh

Ok, so this comes with a caveat about in what company you do this. I did this at work, which was a risky move on my part that could have easily backfired, so use your judgment. If you’re with a crowd who will go to HR for discrimination, best refrain. Otherwise, the key is keeping a straight face and staying in character. Stand your ground, no matter how absurd the things coming out of your mouth.

One of my best moments thus far came when two of the leftiest people in my branch were doing an online training on the computer behind the teller line. It was a training video, so campy and low-quality are par for the course. One the “stars” of the video-activity-game-thing was a black associate dubbed “Will Smith” and as you progressed through whatever this thing was (I skipped to the test, so I personally was not subjected to this part), “Will Smith” gained pieces of a superhero costume, including an afro. Lefty 1 and Lefty 2, who were already uneasy with “Will Smith”, felt the afro was a bridge too far. They both felt it was unconscious racism, white privilege, etc, etc, ad nauseum. This is about where I got nosy and looked at the screen over a shoulder (it’s a bank, it gets real boring real quick, I gotta entertain myself somehow). I shrugged, not seeing what the BFD was, other than the video was about average for cheesiness. Lefty 1 thought to educate me to just how egregiously racist this video was and I simply said any situation can be egregiously racist depending on perspective. Truly, I was trying to be diplomatic since I typically avoid politics at work. Thus began out liberal-ing the liberals. My God it was fun.

Step 1: be contrary. Find that stubborn, irrational place in your mind where your adolescent self retreated and spitefully refused any and all comfort or solutions.

Lefty 1: If his name was Gerard Depardieu, there’d be no expectations of his race.

Me: Gerard Depardieu is a French name and a white French actor. France was a slave-trading nation which worked its slaves at backbreaking labor on sugar plantations in the Caribbean and colonized much of North and West Africa during the Age of Imperialism. Are you suggesting an African-American take the name of his oppressors?

Don’t be afraid to put them on the spot. Make them play by their own rules and keep directing the conversation back within those parameters.

Step 2: adopt their narrative. This part takes a little know-how, you have to be at least passingly familiar with SJW talking points, but since it’s mostly based on feelings, you can fudge it a little. A bit of historical or cultural background helps.

Lefty 1: ok, but an afro? Why not straight hair or a buzz cut, something not stereotypical?

Me: now you’re imposing white male beauty standards on an African-American. The afro is a piece of classic African-American culture from the 1970s and Hollywood’s Black Exploitation period. Giving him hair characteristic of a white male is denying that culture as well as implying an afro is somehow unattractive or unsightly.

It doesn’t have to make perfect logical sense, just be emotionally evocative and loaded with buzzwords. It’s very effective to gradually muster an air of righteous indignation and moral outrage. Go easy though, you don’t want to blow up too fast.

Step 3: go on the offensive. You can draw out Step 2 as long as you want, but I don’t recommend taking too long. Some of them are smart enough to catch on to your mockery. Once you’ve achieved the appropriate level of offended moral superiority, turn it around on them. Don’t name call, but delicately imply that they are in fact whatever -ism you’re discussing- with the seeming disappointed disbelief and betrayal that they could be so horrible.

Lefty 1: why not leave him bald then? Why did they have to make it so obviously stereotypical?

Me: are you saying African-American culture has no place being represented in training media? Does such obvious representation of the African-American community make you uncomfortable because of your whiteness?

At this point, the Lefties admitted defeat and backpedaled, extricating themselves from the mess of their own making. If you’re a particularly good actor, you can really make them sweat if they believe you’re actually offended and they’ll apologize. The hardest part is not blowing it by laughing at the absurdity.

The point in this is to beat them at their own game. The Left prides itself at using rampant emotionalism to stifle free speech and free thought. This exercise is good for conservatives so we learn how the Left thinks, as well as familiarizing ourselves with their tactics so we can adapt them. More on that to follow.

Potty Training

So, I have a bit of rant. It’s 2016 and I really can’t believe we have to talk about how and where to use the potty. Seriously. I also can’t really believe we’re debating about biological sex and just how far we want to Frankenstein humanity. I can only shake my head in horror at the depths society has fallen that we debate whether it is socially acceptable to mutilate your body, what sort of creature you are once you’ve done that and where it is appropriate for you to pee-pee in the process. Obviously, the biggest buzz about this is Target’s decision to make all their mutli-stall public restrooms and fitting rooms “gender neutral” (BS terminology, by the way…even if you buy into the ‘gender is a social construct’ argument, bathrooms/fitting rooms are SEXED, not GENDERED, key difference), thus allowing fully grown and developed biological males, who may or may not be in drag, into the women’s room. Target has caved a bit to the boycott (I’m willing to bet that has something to do with a 7% drop in sales) and decided to spend $20 million to add single occupancy restrooms to their stores that do not already have one. From my perspective, it’s too little, too late and done with the air of a weary parent reluctantly compromising with an intractable child. “If you must have chicken nuggets for dinner…” “If you absolutely insist on peeing in relative safety…”

Now, if Common Sense hadn’t been quite so viciously murdered by SJWs and the liberal mad scientists who created that monster, it would be obvious what the issue with allowing men with all their original plumbing in the women’s restroom with women and young children is. RIP Common Sense, since evidently folks are not getting it, even some on the right side of the aisle. I was perusing Facebook (I know, I know, I bring it on myself. At least I stayed away from YouTube comments) and came across a couple different things that made me bang my head on the keyboard. Once I deleted the resulting gobbledygook, I sorta went on a tear. Who’s seen this meme?

tranny

So, where Obama factors into this I don’t particularly care. Yes, he’s a lefty wacko who is okay with it while hypocritically using tax payer funds to protect his wife and daughters for the rest of their lives from ever having to actually be in that situation. We all know that. This issue, regardless of presidential endorsement, is a societal, community and state issue. I was more concerned with some of the comments, including from some of my fellow right-of-center college pals. One guy had a horribly blase attitude, commenting that he “didn’t care who was in the bathroom with him since he didn’t exactly check out other guys’ tackle.” Well, how nice to know there’s a man code for public restrooms. I feel so much safer dropping my pants at Target with that knowledge. It shows a disturbing lack of awareness or willful ignorance of the issue.

Basically this idiot from Facebook (honestly, I’m not sure why I accepted his friend request, we butted heads a lot in college), if men aren’t making a fuss about about the bathroom situation, then neither should women. By that logic, men shouldn’t make such a fuss about getting kicked in the crotch. From personal experience (long story), it’s not a pleasant experience for women, but it’s certainly not debilitating pain. We’re able to function through it, so men should quit being such babies about it. I think anyone with a basic knowledge of anatomy knows it doesn’t work like that, so why is there this expectation that it should? It’s selfish and lazy thinking to assume what isn’t a big deal for one sex shouldn’t be a big deal for another.

I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but men and women are not the same, physically or mentally. Physically, we on average are weaker than men, in just a muscle to muscle match up. Ask the Marines, they did a study about this. Newsflash, men don’t have to drop everything from the waist down just to pee. Even if a woman in drag uses the men’s room, the likelihood she’d be able to victimize a man while he’s facing the urinal is pretty slim, even if she thought ahead and brought the proper tools (I’ll leave y’all to extrapolate that). A man could conceivably overpower her, even if he couldn’t put his “tackle” away first. If anything, there’s a time honored tradition of men letting it all hang out in battle, so it might even be considered a historical homage. Aside from the fact women have to partially disrobe to use the facilities, if a man attacks us in the restroom, it is going to be much, much harder for us to defend ourselves from an attack, even if our pants aren’t around our ankles. At best, our privacy is violated in a place we’ve been told is a safe to take care of our business and with the proliferation of digital recording devices, easily put on the internet to further shame and endanger us. At worst, we’re put in a dangerous position that can result rape, molestation, assault or worse.

Before it became socially acceptable to let “transgenders” into opposite sex restrooms, if a man walked into the women’s room, Common Sense would dictate he didn’t belong there and security could remove him. Now, any freak has unfettered access to women and girls during private, vulnerable moments and transgenderism protects him. He doesn’t even have to officially claim it, since authorities aren’t even allowed to ask. If a man walks into the women’s room, it’s assumed he’s trans, thus permitted. So while it might not be a big deal to men to share the restroom with a woman dressed as a man, it can be a very big deal to women to share the restroom with men, who don’t even have to be in drag.

I expect that kind of lazy thinking out of the left. It’s their trademark. But, seriously, rightwing? Yes, we’re about freedom and rights, but we also recognize the principle that my rights end where yours begin. We do not live in Rousseau’s savage garden nor do we believe the collective can impose its will on the individual, even in the name of freedom. Our political tradition stems from Locke and his civil society, where certain natural rights, like the right to revenge and the savagery of the wild are sacrificed to form a stable community. Civil society is a balancing act between the individual expression of freedom and the public good. How is allowing men, who at best have a very serious mental illness and at worst are outright predators, into the restroom and changing rooms with partially unclothed females at all for the public good?

Just Thinkin’: Feminist Fail

Okay, so feminist fails aren’t exactly surprising. They’ve been making fools of themselves left, right and center lately, but it’s rare that the average citizen witnesses one first hand.

For a little background, I volunteer at the American History Museum a few times a month. It’s not glamorous, most of my job to telling kids to quit playing on the escalators and giving directions to the restroom, but it’s fun regardless. Anyway, I was wandering around and stopped by a wall display on comedy and how it’s been used to address social issues, particularly women in comedy. Alongside greats such as Carol Burnett and Phyllis Diller, Miss Piggy (yes, the Muppet) was also display with a blurb on her feminist icon status (I won’t go into the fact it’s a pig representing strong women),  when a little girl about 10 years old and her mom came up. Neither were dressed up, shorts, tshirts, mom with no makeup, etc. The little girl asked me if that was the real Miss Piggy and I told her yes. Now, keep in mind, clearly mom didn’t have an overt fixation on “conventional beauty standards” and certainly wasn’t inappropriately foisting vanity on her daughter. The little girl looked up adoringly at Miss Piggy and sighs, “I love her mascara…”

*insert volunteer coughing fit*

Her mom looked a bit uncomfortable and tried to redirect her daughter’s attention to the blurbs about Miss Piggy winning an award for feminism. The little girl nodded but said, “look at her dress, it’s so pretty! And her hair…”

*snicker snicker snort snort*

When presented a chance at feminist solidarity, she went straight for the sparkling evening gown. Even when prompted otherwise. I had to laugh. Just to be clear, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with little girls (or even big girls) liking pretty clothes. Obviously we teach them there’s more to life than vanity, but there’s a certain innocence to a girl admiring beautiful clothes or playing with mom’s makeup or having a Barbie collection. It has nothing to do with impressing men or competing with other women, it’s a simple appreciation of something lovely. That innocence is innate to children. Feminism’s sexual fixation and vitriol is not. If girls are indoctrinated into anything, it’s the dysfunction and hatred the Sexual Revolution and Third Wave Feminism have spawned. It was nice to see a little girl be a little girl and I only hope her mother protects it.

Just Thinkin’: We’re Painting the Roses Red

So, I’m trying to watch Pitch Perfect on Disney’s ABC Freeform (formerly ABC Family, but even they couldn’t keep a straight face for that one anymore) and it’s somewhat maddening when they dub over the more crass/sexually explicit language. They’ve also switched up some of the camera shots to avoid what is presumably considered partial nudity.

Am I the only one who sees the absolute hypocritical irony of a channel with shows about lesbian parenting (The Fosters(), underage/gay sex (Pretty Little Liars, at the very least) and fathers becoming transgender “women” (Becoming Us) dubbing over/bleeping out words like “fuck” and “boner”? Seriously? It’s like shooting up heroin but feeling morally superior for not smoking. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is wrong with these people? It’s an R rated movie and, catchy tunes aside, it’s pretty crass. It probably shouldn’t be on a channel supposedly for under-voting-age kids and family entertainment, all bleeping aside. But, since they’ve already made themselves a temple to depravity and deviancy, why are they wasting their time worrying about language? language

(Yes, I understand the concept of FCC regs, but that only emphasizes my point about hypocrisy.)

There are days I feel like the White Rabbit kidnapped me and I’m being held hostage in Wonderland. “We’re painting the roses red, we’re painting the roses red…”

painiting roses red