Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On the NYC Police

I wrote this as a response to this recent opinion piece from the New York Times. It's an argument where a lot of the sides are at least partially wrong.

The police are rejecting calls for greater checks on their power. These checks are necessary, especially in light of the increased corruption coming to light. They are right to be horrified at the senseless murder of their own, but shouldn't use it as an excuse not to self-reflect which is what this is turning into.

Blasio wants reform but he's doing it wrong. None of his proposals deal with the increased militarization of the police. He also supports the system of pointless victimless crimes responsible for Eric Garner's death, so his defenders are wrong when they say he's part in the solution. Blasio continues to maintain and grow the regulations that caused Garner's death.

The protesters are aware that police power is out of control, but they blame it on the wrong cause. It's an institutional issue, yes, but one driven by a view of authoritarianism that treats people as wild animals who must be corralled. Racism is only one aspect - it's actually a hatred of free will itself that's to blame. The only solution is less control, less central authority. Instead, many call for more bureaucracy in the name of "protection" - which only magnifies the problem.

I find the behavior of police here to be a fascinating social experiment on a grand scale. With victimless crimes no longer enforced, there is no descent into madness, only an improvement in quality of life for citizens of all backgrounds. Proof that what we need for equality and the pursuit of happiness are not more laws, but more liberty.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Card Games on Orthodoxy

The Abrahamic Religions in terms of collectible card games, such as Magic: The Gathering or Yugioh:

The Old Testament is the Core Set. It's where a lot of the basic rules and terms are defined. You need it to play since it sets the world and has several key cards every deck needs.

The New Testament and Quoran are expansion packs that some people didn't like but others strongly endorse as making the Core Set more playable. There are hard core players who strongly push one or the other and they never get along. Most are much more casual on the matter. Over time, some of the cards in the Core Set have been supplanted by these expansions, leading to a "mix-and-match" deck building approach, but there are a number of common deck archetypes that most people find agreeable.

The Book of Mormon is a fan expansion someone assembled on MS Paint and somehow got popular.

Atheists think children's card games are beneath them. Some even react irrationally when they see others playing games in front of them and go on loudly about how bad card games are for society.

Meanwhile, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Cards Against Humanity.

Monday, December 29, 2014

LARP Concept

LARP idea: you are randomly assigned an archetype with its own powers and abilities. Archetypes include things like vampires, 80's hair metal bands, Smurfs, etc. A whole bunch of weird things that very much don't go together.

The setting: you're all the crew aboard a space ship. (Maybe airship, if you want to be steampunk about it.) The command crew are NPC's and wacky events unfold over the course of the weekend. Players can either work together or against each other to fulfill their roles. Try to get to your destination in one piece and not die (too much).

Friday, December 26, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Chinese Food for Christmas

My mom cooks all the holiday dinners every year. So I've always had Chinese food for Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2014


When men overcompensate, they get symbols attached to societal norms of masculinity: giant trucks, sports cars, or gadgets they don't need. When women overcompensate, they similarly indulge in societal femininity norms: shoes, make-up, and dresses. Both are symptoms of fundamental worries of not "measuring up."

To what degree is hewing to gender norms born of fear and insecurity? To what degree are those insecurities manufactured by marketeers looking to sell their products?

Friday, December 19, 2014


Whatever two consenting cedar trees want to do in the privacy of their own bedroom is fine with me. But when they launch their reproductive materials into the air and all over my face, I object.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Hobbit

Chris Nolan's take on Tolkien: Bilbo Begins.

"He's the Hobbit Middle Earth deserves, but not the one it needs right now."

Friday, December 12, 2014


The Washington Redskins today admitted that their name has offensive overtones to the common sensibilities of the nation and have changed it accordingly. They are now just "The Redskins."

Friday, December 5, 2014


What do you call a fan of laissez-faire?

A laissez-bian.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Elf on the Shelf

Santa Claus has some admittedly disturbing aspects when it comes to his monitoring. "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake." Santa clearly monitors everyone's behavior, but in his case it's designed more in a karmic sense. His generosity and good will allow you to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, it's his presents - he gets to select the criteria he wants to use to hand them out.

"Elf on the Shelf" takes the fundamental creepiness of 24-hour monitoring and goes full bore with it. The express purpose of the "tradition" is to modify a child's behavior by providing a physical reminder that they are being watched and that all of their secrets are being shared with grown-ups/authority figures. This is not some far away person deciding if you're worthy of his gifts. This is a physical spy noting everything you do and making sure those in power know about it - and you're expected to obey and comply otherwise you won't receive any alms.

Jack Skellington step aside. We just found an actual Nightmare Before Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Love, Humorized

As a writer, I am always open to mining my rather hapless love life for material. Each scene involves a different person. I have exaggerated for the sake of humor.

Scene 1:

Me: Wow! We get along great. We need to spend more time together.

Her: Yes! Definitely!

Much cuddling ensues. Then a departure. Time passes...

Me: Hey, when do you want to meet again?

Her: *silence*

Time passes...

Me: Hey there. How are you?

Her: *silence*

Time passes...

Me: Are you okay?

Her: *silence*

Time passes...

Her: Hey everyone, sorry I was out. I'm back now!

Me: Hey! Glad you're better. Want to hang out?

Her: *silence*

Me: Okay, then.

Scene 2:

Me: Hey, want to go on a date to this place?

Her: Sure, that place sounds awesome!

The date approaches...

Me: Hey, we still on?

Her: *silence*

Me: Oh.

Time passes...

Me: Hey, I know something came up before, but want to go on a date to this other place?

Her: Sure! You're awesome. Thanks!

The date approaches...

Me: Hey, we still on?

Her: *silence*

Me: Oh.

Time passes. This process repeats 3-4 more times. Finally...

Me: Guess she didn't like me after all.

Time passes...

Me: So how have things been?

Her: Great! I'm in a relationship with this guy I've known a while. We've been going out on dates a lot!

Me: Oh. Well, good for you. When did it start?

Her: *gives a date some time after the earlier date requests*

Me: ...Wonderful.

Scene 3:

Me: So did you want to try absinthe?

Her: Oh, I am. I already bought some for the party next week.

Me: Ah, so we can try it there?

Her: You're not invited.

Me: Huh?

Her: I'm going with this other guy. Going to kiss him instead.

Me: I see. So he's a better match for you, then?

Her: No, he's using me as a rebound. I give it a month before he dumps me.

Me: ...Okay. Have fun.

Time passes...

Me: So are you still with that guy you dumped me for?

Her: Nope, it lasted 2 weeks.

Me: So you're single now?

Her: Nope, back with my old Korean boyfriend. I threatened to kill myself and he got back with me.

Me: What a lovely ending to that story...

Scene 4:

Me: So you're a pansexual polyamarous female currently in a relationship with about 5 other people of various genders?

Her: Yes.

Me: But you're listed as single and straight on Facebook.

Her: So? I also hate cuddling.

Me: Okay, we're done here.

Scene 5:

Me: Science?

Her: Science!



Me: We should date.

Her: Sorry, I'm more interested in a career.

Me: Phooey.

Scene 6:

Her: You're doing that wrong.

Me: Okay.

Her: You're doing THAT wrong.

Me: ...Okay.

Her: You're doing those things wrong!

Me: Sigh.

Her: You're doing that in a weird way.

Me: Could you please stop saying I'm doing things wrong?

Her: Stop judging me!