Sep 032015
 

QTQE_rrBe_g

It’s 6 AM on the day before Dragon Con here in Atlanta. I had a crappy night of sleep due to some poor dining choices I made yesterday, and I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee yet, so there’s a very real possibility that this post is going to get a little cranky.

But the subject makes me cranky, so it might have gone that way regardless.

After doing a major pruning of my friends list I started using Facebook again about a month ago. For the most part? It’s been a pretty pleasant experience. I no longer have to skim through pages of updates and posts that I really didn’t give a crap about to see updates from people who I actually want to stay connected to. That’s cool. Thing is, I still see some things that get my blood boiling. One of those things can be summed up in the use of the #AllLivesMatter hashtag (or the general attitude that is represented by that hashtag, even if it isn’t being used).

I want to say I get it, and that I understand the frustration, but I simply don’t. I can’t see how, with the massive amount of information we as a a people we have available to us in the information age, it’s not possible to see how there are major issues in our country regarding race that simply can’t be wiped away by insisting that people “stop playing the race card.”

What really bugs me about this is that more often than not this quiet racism is cloaked in comments about (primarily) African-American and Latino culture here in the country. “Those people” would do so much better in their lives if they would just “pull their pants up”, “learn how to speak properly”, and “stop acting like thugs.”

So, in other words, they should act more like a proper white person.

Ironically, these same people never seem to make those kind of comments about other whites unless said caucasian acts “ghetto”. I mean, while there are certainly exceptions to the rule you don’t often see your typical trailer park redneck contribute much to the betterment of society. See a picture of a white guy holding an assault rifle and standing in front of his pick up truck? Many likes! Yay, America! See a picture of a black guy holding the same rifle in front of his BMW? OMG THUGS!!

It’s gross.

I guess I’m speaking up about this now, and in a very public way, because I’ve had a bit of a personal epiphany. Not too long ago I had a relative refer to an African-American woman who was in an old velvet painting as a “jungle bunny.” He did this in my house, within earshot of children, and I said nothing. I’ve been disgusted with myself ever since. I’ve put up with this kind of thing from people I know for far too long, and I simply can’t ignore it any more. Which means I’m likely to continue having some very awkward conversations with people who I genuinely care for if I continue using Facebook.

Or I’m just going to unfriend them…or leave the service altogether.

I frankly don’t know.

What I do know is that I can no longer sit by while the pigs take over the farm.

Jun 042014
 

I recently asked a male relative of mine if he would send his nephews to a rape defense class. This was part of a larger discussion on rape culture, misogyny, and the general state of affairs in our society that have been brought into sharp focus due to the recent events in California. My relative replied to my question by stating that he would hope his nephews “would respect women.”

Now ignoring the fact that he dodged my very direct question almost completely, what he said was still somewhat interesting to me. In the next few days,  I saw similar comments from other men I knew along the same lines. More often than not, I see them offered up as part of a thinly veiled “Not All Men” defense. “I was raised to respect women,” the argument goes, “so clearly I am not part of this ‘rape culture’ you speak of.”

This defense is not only irrelevant and distracting, it’s also inherently flawed…and it proves exactly what it is trying to deny.

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Jan 312013
 

Damn it, Bones, you’re a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!

– Captain James Tiberius Kirk

I’ve been documenting the mundane details of my life online for a quite a while now. I originally started a hand-coded blog on my personal web site back in May of 2000. A few years later I moved over to LiveJournal, and for a while there I blogged just about every damn day. Honestly, though? Most of those blog posts had little more content than a standard Twitter post these days. Which is why, when Twitter came out, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I’d make the jump to that particular service. For a while there I had a service that aggregated my twitter posts over to my LiveJournal blog every day, but back then people were getting all bitchy about that so I turned that feature off. In time, I signed up for Facebook and Google Plus, and as things started to get weird in LiveJournal land I decided to move my blog to WordPress and transfer all of the content over.

In the midst of all of this I also did some blogging for ShrinkGeek and WowInsider. I’m sure there’s other places out there that I’ve added content to as well, but damned if I know what all of them are.

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Oct 062011
 

Image courtesy of Nina Matthews Photography via flickr

Time is money.

We’ve all heard that phrase before, but how many of us have really stopped to think about what it means. The common translation seems to be that if people are using your time they should be willing to pay you for it, and while that’s a fine stance to take I’m not quite sure it really it captures the true meaning of the saying.

Time is a resource, just like any other, and it it finite. There are things you can do to, possibly extend the amount of time you have on this planet, but you cannot ever get time back. Once you spend it, time can never be replenished. You get no dividends or interest on time. You can’t save it and let it grow. All you can do is watch your balance constantly diminish.

That concept is still a bit esoteric, though, so let’s break it down to something much more simple.

What if you could track the amount of time you had in life much like you could the amount of money you have in the bank. What if time had a dollar amount associated to it, and every second of your life that dollar amount shrank?

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Sep 282011
 
Michael C. McGreevy pictured at the New World Brewery

Photo by David M. Jenkins

I decided to peruse through my Drafts folder this morning and I stumbled across a post I began writing over a year ago and never finished. I don’t know if I’d say it was my best work, but I don’t think it sucks so I’ve cleaned it up a bit, tacked on an ending, and am setting it free to roam the wild internets as an independent post free from the safe confines of the Draft folder. I hope you enjoy.

One of my Uncles sent me an email with a link to this article (note – I’ve updated the link to point to a blog post that has the full text of the article. The original piece, along with the blog associated with it, appears to have been pulled down by the owner) earlier today. It was written by a sixty-three year old retired Marine and former state senator from Massachusetts.

When I get these kind of things I tend to ignore them. I know I’m not going to convince the more Conservative members of my family to see my point of view, so I generally don’t even bother trying. That said, it’s hard for me not to read something like this and not have the desire to respond, so I figured the best place for me to do so was here.

With all of that out of the way, this is likely to be a rather political post. If you’re not in the mood to read that kind of thing I suggest you ignore the cut tag below.

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May 172011
 
Love the trees!

Image courtesy of mendhak via flickr

Back in the Summer of 1992 I was working my one, and only, renaissance festival. What is amusing about this is that the show was not, in fact, the one I had grown up around. Despite being closely tied to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival for many years, the only gig I’ve ever actually been an official cast member at was Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie, Texas.

Like many folks who traveled and worked with the renaissance festival circuit, I set up a tent in the woods back behind the festival grounds to live in during the time I was employed at the show. The small section I “lived” in during that time was populated by myself, my friends Holly and Donnie, and a Rainbow Hippie.

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Dec 092010
 

I wrote the following during a back-and-forth about sports on Facebook. I decided I kinda liked it so I’m posting it out here (slightly edited for clarity).

What, exactly, is “local” about a sports team these days?

Are they owned by local businesspeople?

Are they staffed by local players who really care about the community?

The only thing that makes a sports team “local” these days is location. Money goes back into the community, sure. I know that Raymond James Stadium allows local charities to run the concession booths and take part of the profits. That’s cool. Local businesses see a spike in sales on game days. Also awesome. But do you really think that ANY of the owners of the major league teams in the Tampa Bay area give a DAMN about this area beyond what they can do for the bottom line? Same goes for the players. Do they care about playing for US or do they care about making money and playing for a winning team. The Bucs have had a few examples (Mike Alstott being the most prominent), but they also had one guy who loved this area so much he offered to take a pay cut just so he could retire here and they STILL got rid of him (John Lynch). Shaun King was born and raised in this area, graduated from Gibbs High School, but he wasn’t good enough of a Quarterback so we got rid of him. Winning matters, because winning makes you more profitable. If an owner could make more money by having a crappy team you can damn well bet he will (and has…case in point? Hugh Culverhouse).

Sports is a business these days. You know what they see us as? Dollars. They don’t give a damn about the fans unless the fans are increasing the bottom line (Tampa Bay Rays – Seriously profitable even with crappy attendance numbers but they want to move anyway).

So – If all I am to a sports team is a dollar symbol, I’m going to make sure I get a decent Return on Investment. If the team does not entertain, does not do well, or does not do anything that inspires my loyalty? Hell with them. I’ll invest my capital elsewhere.

“King” LeBron James had an entire city literally begging him to stay because they loved him so much. He went to Miami anyway. Why? He wanted a ring. This is the new reality. If the players on the teams (you know, the people who we’re actually supposed to be out there rooting for) aren’t going to have any loyalty why the HELL should we?

You want my loyalty? Don’t suck.

Oct 202010
 

I am writing this post on October 20th, 2010. The date is important because today has been declared Spirit Day by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. For those of you who have not heard of this, Spirit Day (in the words of the promoters) “honors the teenagers who had taken their own lives in recent weeks. But just as importantly, it’s also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth who face the same pressures and bullying, that there is a vast community of people who support them.”

I want to state right off the bat that I am just as horrified and outraged about the suicides that sparked this event as any other sane human being would be. It is also not my intent to offend anyone who may have been bullied or teased because they were a member of the LGBT community.

The above statement is what is known as a disclaimer.

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Aug 232010
 

Image by geishaboy500 via flickr

It’s a Saturday night, and I am in the process of firming up the fact that I am the best Dad ever.

You see, as opposed to sitting at home futzing around on my computer or even, perhaps, going out on the town I am sitting in the lounge of an indoor Parkour track that is located in Odessa, Florida. Have you not heard of Odessa, Florida? Yeah, neither have I, really. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, about an hour from our house. There are no decent places to hang out anywhere near here, unless you consider McDonalds a “decent” place to hang out (and even that is about 10 minutes or so away). Why am I sitting in this lounge, you may ask? Because my son has recently been intensely interested in Parkour, and he really wanted to come up here and take the two hour class that they are offering.

So. Here I am.

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May 022010
 

Image via just_clicked on flickr

In the 1987 Oliver Stone film Wall Street Michael Douglas, in the role of Gordon Gekko, uttered the famous words that defined the “me” era of the late 1980’s –

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.

Michael Douglas won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the reviled Mr. Gekko, and while I won’t spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t, I do suggest you make an effort to do so) it is safe to say that by the end of the movie the philosophy that he espoused came back to bite him in the ass.

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