Archive for the ‘I Hate Politics’ Category

  • Too far, Netflix. Too far.

    2

    So I’m sure you know by now, right? For the second time in less than a year, Netflix is jacking up the price of membership.

    And you DO have a Netflix account, don’t you?

    Of course you do.

    While their stock climbs and business looks good, they’re now saying that it costs more for them to do business than it did SIX MONTHS AGO.

    Um, no.

    I’m sorry. But no. Last time, they tried to tell us it was because really, they were a company that streamed movies and televisions shows, but they also happened to rent out DVDs through the mail. Even though they started as a company who rented out DVDs through the mail. Even though almost nothing I actively WANT to watch is available for streaming.

    Now, it’s, “Oh, looks like people really want those DVDs! But we can’t mail them! Woe is the shipping!”

    The first time, I was pissed, but willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Sort of. My three-DVDs-at-a-time subscription (with unlimited streaming, which was added at some point while I wasn’t looking) was $16.99. It jumped to $19.99.

    For those of you who aren’t good at math, that’s a $3 increase. All because now they’re a streaming company who rents the occasional DVD…which you’d think would be cheaper, since there’s no shipping of streaming content.

    I promptly went online and dropped my membership to the one-DVD-at-a-time with unlimited streaming option. It was $9.99. So by raising the price, they lost seven of my dollars. Ten, if you count what I would have been paying for the same subscription.

    Personally, I was thinking, “Online streaming? Big effing whoop.” I mean, sure, I’ll watch things streamed on Netflix, but I treat that the way I treat cable. I just surf for shit to watch, looking endlessly, and finally settling on something I never would have watched otherwise, which usually turns out to be dumb or horrifying. AKA, the entire reason I canceled my cable.

    That was in November of 2010. The new rates went into effect in January of 2011, I think. I could look it up, but this is a blog, not the news, and I’m too lazy.

    Yesterday, there was a story on HuffPo, now AOL (ugh), about Netflix pricing again. This time they’ve determined that goshdarnit, people like those DVDs after all! But it’s still really expensive to mail them. So they’re separating the DVD service from the streaming service entirely, and now you have to pay for two separate memberships, if you want both.

    Hold up just an ever-loving second.

    They’re trying to tell me that it now costs TWICE AS MUCH to operate their business as it did SIX MONTHS AGO? No, sir. That’s ass crackers.

    And what are they offering me in return for nearly twice as much money? Not a fucking thing. Damn, I at least expect a reach around when getting it in the ass that hard. They’re not even pretending to offer anything more for nearly twice the price.

    You know what would be super? If they would make it so that you could have different profiles on your account. So that married couples could each have their own queues and such. Or families…with children. But no, Netflix wants you to get two memberships. Or four! Or else have your queue look like Courtney Love’s makeup after a weekend-long bender. And now, if you try to share your membership with someone, you could go to jail! Yay! (Note: people living under the same roof and sharing an account should probably have little to fear…probably. WTF?)

    That would be what we call “a service” for which I would happily pay a little extra. Probably not twice as much, but some. Instead, I’ll be canceling my membership*, before the price increase. I’m not going to pay the same amount for one-DVD-at-a-time and unlimited streaming that I was paying for three-DVDs-at-a-time and unlimited streaming last November.

    Until I see more content I actually WANT to watch, instead of settle for watching, and an appreciable increase in some kind of service you provide? I’m out, Netflix.

    *Technically, I was canceling my membership anyway, but now at least I can go out with a fist of rage!

  • Fat people are people, too.

    22

    **I’d make this a topic for the Seriously Shiny blog, but this time it’s too important. So bear with me. Note: This is the longest blog post in the world. But I think it’s worth it.**

    By most of society’s standards, I am fat. I am 5’7” tall, I weigh around 190 pounds (that would be the first time I’ve ever put THAT in print), and I wear a size 12-14. I don’t shop at “plus-sized stores,” I’m healthy, I eat reasonably well (as well as most skinny people I know), I exercise at least a few days per week (some weeks I’m better at this than others). I’m not in great cardiovascular shape, but I also wasn’t when I weighed less. I have arthritis in my hips and problems with my feet that make certain (more effective) ways to exercise a little more difficult for me.

    I’m not making excuses for my weight, by telling you these things. I’m telling you these things in the hopes that you might realize that I’m a human being and not just “fat” or a number.

    I have hopes and dreams. I have likes and dislikes. I have hobbies. I have friends. I have a boyfriend. I have parents and siblings. I have a job. I am passionate about a number of things, as I’m sure most of you know.

    Finally, at 30-years-old, I’m working on accepting my body. I’m also better at this some days and not so great at it others. I have good days and bad days. Most people who weigh less than me go through the same things. I think that I’m pretty. I like that I have curves. I don’t want to be skinny, but I wouldn’t mind being a little thinner. I worry sometimes that I will become obsessed by it, and develop an eating disorder that would be less healthy than a little extra weight. So far, I’ve managed to mostly escape that.

    I know that I do have some form of body dismorphic disorder. Strangely, in my head, I’m a much thinner looking person. In my head, I look a certain way, and when I see myself in mirrors or glass doors, I feel disappointed and a little disgusted. It’s like finding out I’m fat all over again.

    These things are all my own issues, though, and not the fault of skinny people in the world. Why am I telling you this?

    Because today, I read an article in Marie Claire’s online magazine. Maybe you did, too. Freelance writer Maura Kelly was (apparently) asked by her editor what she thought of an article published on CNN. I’m not sure I really understand why she was asked to write about it, other than to stir the pot. Her opinion has stimulated a huge response from women everywhere (and some men, but it’s primarily a women’s magazine). If you want to read it, and I hate to lend them any more traffic, click here.

    I can’t say that Ms. Kelly doesn’t have a right to have her own opinion. But I do think she has a responsibility not to publish such senseless hate (as does Marie Claire, and I think most of the blame for publishing this should lie with them, actually). This is further complicated by the fact that Ms. Kelly herself has struggled with anorexia and has her own body image issues. Why then, knowing how it feels to be ashamed of your body, would she feel justified in shaming others?

    Honestly, if she had written this article and said, “You know, watching fat people kiss on television isn’t really my thing,” I don’t think we’d be having this discussion. Sure, some people would have probably found that offensive, and maybe it is. But it’s her opinion. What that says about her as a person is something we’d all have to figure out for ourselves.

    The original CNN article, upon which she was asked her opinion, barely touches on the idea that people are uncomfortable watching overweight people being affectionate on television. I suspect because the CNN writer realized that it wasn’t really worth delving into, but I can’t say for certain. Ms. Kelly took it a step further.

    “So anyway, yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.”

    The emphasis there is mine.

    It would offend Ms. Kelly’s sensibilities to watch a very fat person walk across a room. Later in the article, she gives some well known (and incredibly patronizing in context) advice to these offensive fat people about their health. Eat less, move more. But, Ms. Kelly (and plenty of other people) are disgusted to see fat people even walk. How are they supposed to exercise? I guess they should do it at home, alone, preferably in the dark?

    Another favorite part, in justifying her stance:

    “And while I think our country’s obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy, I also think it’s at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity! Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny.”

    First, I don’t think anyone or anything is implicitly promoting obesity. That’s like saying all the crime dramas are implicitly promoting heinous murder. People would laugh at you, if you said that, and I think we should laugh at Ms. Kelly for saying that simply having a show about people who are fat is encouraging people to get fat.

    It’s interesting that it’s commonplace to think that people can be naturally skinny. But no one can be naturally fat. Even though there are plenty of genetic disorders and just plain genetics that suggest it IS, in fact, possible to be naturally heavy.

    No, I’m not suggesting that people are born obese. I am suggesting that there aren’t many people (maybe none) who are as naturally skinny as the average model. But skinny is acceptable and fat is not.

    I’m particularly tired of hearing that fat people are a drain on our health care system. You know what’s a drain on our health care system? Being ALIVE. Health care costs too much because we’ve let giant corporations that don’t give one tiny damn about actual people be in control of it for far too long. And any time we try to change it? We have a civil war in The Congress (one that’s far from civil, thanks Republicans). Fat people are just a convenient scapegoat because we’ve all decided that they’re disgusting and not real people anyway. They’re just a faceless group that deserves our rage for being something we’ve all deemed distasteful.

    Wait a minute, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Kind of like racism or sexism or homophobia. How interesting.

    I argue that if, in this article, Ms. Kelly had replaced the word “fat” or “obese” with the word “black” or “Hispanic,” she would have been fired. Racism will not be tolerated, but it’s cool to be mean to the fat kids. They deserve it.

    Food addiction is just that…addiction. If a person is fat because he or she has a food addiction, that’s only different from an addiction with drugs in one very important way.

    That person can’t just quit eating. Everyday is a constant struggle with the one thing they’re trying to fight. A person addicted to heroin doesn’t have to keep doing heroin in moderate amounts everyday for the rest of his or her life in order to live. That person can fully quit and live independently of heroin. (Not, you’ll note, “heroine,” as Ms. Kelly wrote and her editors missed). No one can live without food.

    Think about that for a second. Think about being faced with the thing that hurts you the most, everyday. Three times a day. And then read an article like Ms. Kelly’s. Imagine how it must feel to be a fat person who already knows he or she isn’t good enough. Who already knows that he or she doesn’t measure up to society’s standards of beauty.

    Think about reading that someone who doesn’t even know you finds it disgusting that you might deign to walk across a room. And then that person cheerfully tells you that you should just eat better and get some exercise.

    Maybe you’re not fat. I bet you’re self-conscious about something, though. What if someone picked out the one thing that could hurt you most and then told you it was disgusting. How would you feel?

    And to all the people who commented on that article to agree with Ms. Kelly, I wish I could find the thing you’re insecure about and exploit it. I wish you could understand how it feels to be trapped in a body you feel you can’t control. I wish you could feel what it feels know that everyone in the country thinks you’re disgusting. Even if you did it to yourself, even if you’re not doing anything to change it, do you really deserve to feel those things just so someone else can feel better?

    One thing I absolutely can say: I can probably lose this weight. The ugliness that Ms. Kelly showed is probably there forever.

    One reader, writergirl826, commented:

    While I can understand that the brutality in your observations of overweight people caught other people who have commented off guard, I personally think you have a point. I am overweight (though not obese) and think it’s a real problem when so many obese people think that they’re normal. It’s a HUGE problem plaguing our country (diabetes, cancers, heart disease, high cholesterol) and tip-toeing around the issue in hopes of not offending the plus-sized isn’t helping. It’s America. Someone is always going to be offended by what you say. But bottom line is: people are too fat and while I think it’s important to encourage others to get to know a person before judging them, a certain amount of accountability needs to be placed on those with a propensity for overeating and lack of exercise. I encourage everyone to look at this article which really puts it into perspective. People need to understand that being obese is NOT the norm (and being overly-skinny isn’t either). It’s all about being healthy. I know that I have a lot of work to do in order to be healthier, but the key is to be aware and make steps towards bettering yourself. Making people think it’s okay to be morbidly obese just because you’re afraid of hurting their feelings isn’t doing anybody any good. http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/fitness/2010-09-09-fat-perception_N.htm

    Again, she has a right to her opinion, but what I want to know is how she can justify to herself that it’s okay to make anyone else feel like shit for their own health choices. They’re not leeching fat into the air. She’s not going to “catch” obesity. It doesn’t affect her at all, in fact. And there aren’t many people out there who are running out to try to be obese. I can’t say there are none, because the man who owns the Heart Attack Grill is still alive and encouraging people to be obese. But even if some people DO want to be obese? How is it anyone else’s problem? To say that fat people need to be held accountable for their choices is just ridiculous. What exactly does she think their weight is? It’s an everyday accountability check.

    Ms. Kelly did issue some kind of apology in the comments section, after this comment:

    Thank you, Writer Girl, for making my point with more sensitivity than I had. I wrote this post very quickly, after my editor asked me to read and respond to the CNN article. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone feel ashamed–though obviously, judging from the comments, I did. And I really apologize for that. I know there are some people out there who really can’t overcome their weight problems–like Dispatcher. I do think it’s an addiction, which is why I mentioned it with problems like drinking and drug abuse–though again, I regret that I wasn’t more sensitive. But I’ve also seen many people at my gym, etc, and heard from plenty of people who thought they could never do it, till they tried; slowly but surely, they lost and lost. … Again, I am genuinely sorry if I upset anyone. I would prefer to just erase this post, but unfortunately, I can’t do that.

    PS: As for near-death, I think it’s fair to say I came fairly close to dying from my own eating disorder. (cf. here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/books/chapter-going-hungry.html) And while it took me a very LONG hard time to overcome what I had (anorexia that landed me, at 69 pounds, in the hospital for four months, and eventually turned into bulimia) I worked at overcoming it a long hard time. I think part of the reason I was so strident in my post is because I’ve had an eating problem with psychological and behavioral components that involved a lot of shame and body hatred (and a desire to de-sexualize myself). And–as someone who was a compulsive overeater for a time–I think there are a lot of similarities between overeaters and anorexics, which is perhaps why I was being (admittedly) rather self-righteous. I really do apologize, again, for my insensitivity.

    Personally, I can’t imagine anyone finding much comfort in this apology. Saying that she “wrote this post very quickly” just implies that she has little respect for her work, and certainly gives the impression that this is her unfiltered opinion. Mentioning that food can be an addiction is nice and all, but she fails to recognize the difference that I pointed out above. People with food addictions have to face their addiction multiple times a day, everyday. I’m not saying any addiction is easy, but this one is a little different. The fact that she suffered from an eating disorder herself, just speaks to how truly insensitive she was being, since she should know as well as anyone how it feels to read something like this.

    No one is saying that being obese is healthy. But having obese people on television is simply representative of the fact that there are obese people out there, living their lives, doing much the same things as skinny people. Because they are people, too. It’s reality, even if many people would like to deny it. My only problem with this show is that it seems to revolve completely around how much these people weigh. It’s pointing at them and saying, “See? They’re different. They’re fat. It’s cool to make fun of them, because they’ve been hearing this stuff their whole lives. They don’t have any feelings. They’re fat!”

    I would be shocked to later hear that there was a rise in obesity levels that could be tied back to showing obese people living on television.

    Hate is not the answer. It never is. It’s not going to get people to change or make better choices. Fat isn’t disgusting, senseless hate is. Fortunately, for the hateful, it doesn’t affect their physical appearance.

  • Some things that are important to everyone else that I really don’t understand or care about at all.

    19

    There are so many things I care about. Here’s a list of shit that just doesn’t even really cross my radar:

    • HDTV – I just don’t care. It doesn’t really look that much different to me. The same things still happen. I don’t need to see every sweat droplet.
    • Aspect ratio – Most of the time, the aspect ratio on my television is fucked the fuck up. All of the time? I don’t even notice.
    • It took me AGES to get on board with this whole DVD craze. Why? Because I just don’t care. I can admit that DVDs are WAY more convenient, so I hopped on board, but the picture? I don’t even notice. You’re crazy if you think you’re going to get me to care about this Blue Ray nonsense.
    • 3-D ANYTHING. UGH. Make it STOP, please. Yes, it makes me all shouty. I hate it. It makes me feel vomitous. WHY? And now they want to make me watch TV in 3-D? NO THANK YOU. GET OUT OF MY FACE.
    • The state of Brad and Angelina. Or Katie and Tom. Or really…anyone who’s not me and Sandra Bullock (poor Sandy).
    • Whether or not President Obama likes sea shells. Or birthday cake. Or what he does in his spare time (unless it’s majorly illegal).
    • That any politician cheats on his or her husband or wife. Seriously, it’s not against the law and I just don’t care. Do your job. Don’t be an asshole. Your marriage is really none of my business. (Caveat: If you’re a man who has railed against homosexuality and then you get caught balls deep in some guy’s ass (or vice versa)? I want to hear about it because you’re despicable.)
    • Being the first one to have whatever new thing. Please, work out all the bugs first, then we’ll talk. I’m looking at you, Apple and Microsoft.
      • So there you have it, folks. I know, it’s been fun, right?

  • There’s been a change of plan.

    8

    I was going to write about a ridiculous cooking “class” my mom and I took at Williams-Sonoma (don’t worry, guys, I’ll get back to you in a little while), but I can’t focus.

    And this is ALL MARIE’S FAULT.

    Just so you know.

    Yesterday she sent me this article about a new study that shows that girls are hitting puberty earlier than they were 30 years ago. You’ll probably read that and think, “What problem could anyone have with that?” And also, “OH MY GOD, MY DAUGHTER IS GOING TO START HAVING SEX AT EIGHT YEARS OLD!”

    Yeah, no. In my opinion, that whole thing is just a scare tactic. And it’s made even more awesome because it’s aimed at fat kids (oh noes! Being fat means you might also be a slut!), white girls (don’t let them be slutty like those black girls!), AND tells you your kids might get breast cancer if you let any of this happen. I’m going to write more on this later, because I want to make sure I have my research done. But seriously, people, don’t panic. I’m pretty sure this is a giant load of bullshit.

    THEN there’s this whole 12th and Delaware documentary. And while I’m super glad someone made it, I’m pretty bummed I can only watch it on HBO. This is the sort of thing that should be available to everyone, not just those who are willing to pay extra for premium cable channels. It’s cool, I’ll catch it on Netflix. It will be my first horror movie!

    If you don’t know anything about it, it’s basically a documentary exposing so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) for the manipulative, lying, ridiculous pieces of crap that they are. And I’m sure there are some legitimate clinics out there, okay? But I’ve never come across one. It appears that these clinics will say anything to get women to continue with their pregnancies. And so my question to you guys is this: As a “pro-life” person, are you really okay with being lied to and manipulated by people who don’t think you’re smart enough or capable of making your own decisions?

    And I’m not saying that to try to convince you that abortion is okay or right or acceptable. This isn’t just some feminist rhetoric. I’m legitimately curious. I’m want to know if you’re really okay with the people you support and claim to be fighting with doing anything it takes to “win” in this “battle”?

    You can’t fight every kind of pregnancy prevention, except abstinence, and then take away every option women have when they become pregnant. It’s never going to work. Let’s all try living in the real world where people have sex (because aside from whatever fantasy land you choose, we have years and years and centuries of data to prove that people do, in fact, have sex). And having sex is pretty much the number one cause of pregnancy.

    Because of that documentary, NARAL did similar studies on CPCs in California. I have to say, the results are no less disturbing on that side of the country.

    I know this stuff isn’t interesting or entertaining or funny, but it’s important. Really think about this stuff, and decide how you feel. None of it is simple, none of it is easy, and we’re approaching these subjects from fundamentally different places. There really isn’t a middle ground, because the two don’t ever seem to meet up. It’s not one extreme end of a spectrum and the other. It’s two completely different spectrums. I don’t hope to change anyone’s mind, just encourage everyone to think before just blindly following something because of scare tactics or rhetoric. Do the research. Decide for yourself. And then insist that the people you support are fighting this fight with integrity.

    Oh, and also…now we have to SAVE THE INTERNETS! Evil corporations. DOOM. Click. Read. Sign. (Also note that Google is a now a major player in this. Google who’s all about free-source code and blah blah the people having access, yada yada. It’s not good enough to just stop AT&T dudes. They aren’t the only bad guys here.)

    SaveTheInternet.com

  • At first I was afraid.

    15

    But now I see the error of my ways. You thought I was going to say “I was petrified,” didn’t you? Admit it!

    Yesterday, I stumbled upon possibly the greatest thing of all time. Basil Marceaux (dot com), candidate for Governor of Tennessee. If you haven’t seen his videos, you’re missing out.

    I’m giving you the video with subtitles for two reason. One, because maybe you’re at work and you can’t hear what he’s saying. Trust me, you need to know. And two, because YES, he really is saying what you think you’re not hearing correctly.

    I just realized that a news station in Tennessee has a second video of him for all of us to watch, as well. I don’t think this one has made it to YouTube. He believes in a requirement for every children to read the minutes of the Congress.

    And how can we argue?

    Not only are his videos genius, but his website? Man, I’ve laughed so hard I cried. I can’t even decide on a favorite part. And seriously, take your time as you peruse. There’s a lot of information there.

    I love this: VOTE FOR ME AND IF I WIN I WILL IMMUNE YOU FROM ALL STATE CRIMES FOR THE REST OF YOU LIFE!

    Honestly, I’m kind of down with this plan. I could use immunity from state crimes. Oh wait, is he saying I can commit state crimes and get away with it? Or that I won’t have any committed against me? I can’t tell. Either way, immunity is usually good on reality television, right?

    And this: My friends a beer stores say they must check 200 D/L a day that 400 minutes a day per clerk which is over 6 hours at $ 7.00 a hour that $ 42.00, with it mandatory then we must pay them.

    His friend is a beer store! Free drinks for everyone. They might be warm, though, depending on how his friend stores the beer. Also, I have no idea what any of the above statement means. That store clerks should get paid extra money for checking IDs? Or that we should all get paid for the time they spend checking our IDs? Because I’m on board with the second! What a waste of time! I feel like it might take longer for Basil to do the math than your average store clerk, though.

    But I think this is my favorite, under his “What Important” section: See why dental is not in most plans a tooth aches hurt more than a back aches and no teeths depresses people

    No teeths DOES depress people! And Basil would know, as he seems to be missing a few of them. It’s possible he’s speaking from personal experience here. I think “no teeths depresses people” is like, my new motto for life, yo.

    I can actually see one set of my grandparents voting for this guy. So it’s a good thing we moved them to Texas. Most of my family does still live in Tennessee, though. Here’s to hoping that this election doesn’t turn into that one season of American Idol where everyone was voting for the worst kid, just to see if they could make him the winner. Although, well…maybe it would teach Tennessee a lesson to let this man be in charge for a little while? Ha! I keed, I keed. I don’t see him getting elected, but I’m damn sure going to let him entertain me in the meantime. You can also follow (fake) Basil Marceaux (dot com) on Twitter.

    Oh oh, and if you really can’t get enough, his son is running for Tennessee State House of Representatives! Or something. I’m not clear. But check out HIS website AND his myspace blog. And don’t you worry, dear readers. Basil Marceaux the Third is already born. I’m sure he’ll be running for Congress soon.

    Ernest J. Pagels, Jr. has dropped out of his the race for Senate, because he didn’t make it on the ballot (shocking). A sad day for us all, to be sure.

    Here’s Pagels’s ad (his mouth scares the shit out of me):

    Dude. Even Hitler liked porn, right? I can’t imagine why this guy didn’t make it on the ballot! I’m kind of sad, though, because I really want to see him force all government to not spend more money than they bring in. Really, Ernest? Good luck with that. Even us normal people, who don’t have to run an entire country or state or city, can barely do that.

    These characters are some scary proof that ANYONE can run for political office, all it takes is that pesky citizenship. I know it’s a “free” country and all, but should we maybe consider at least a third grade math and reading test before we allow someone to run for office? Or not, I’m laughing my ass off over here. No teeths depresses people!

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