21 October, 2007

The Old Man By The PC

There are scores of you young whippersnappers talking about how "back in the day" of 1999 you got your first computer with, sighing as you reminisce on how you had to learn the hard way how to use Blogger and now everyone has a blog. Well, boo hoo! Punk kids. No idea what it's like.

If you're thinking of disregarding this as another curmudgeonly rant about how we had to surf the net uphill both ways in the snow, let me disabuse you of that notion right now. Because you see, back in my day, we didn't even have the internet. And we liked it.

If you can remember what it means to COPY [/Y|-Y] [/A][/B] [a:][path]filename [/A][/B] [b:][path][filename] [/V], or file transfers over a 28.8, or playing Oregon Trail (Without graphical interfaces!) then give this a read. And most of you would probably laugh your assets off while doing so.

As David would say:

Read The Rest.

14 October, 2007

Personal Log

I set a new record tonight.

After almost everyone else from RMBB 7.2 went home (Aside from Bill with four Ls, who was there for one of my attempts.), I talked to three different women. All of them had smiles so bright that you could see them from orbit. That is my official Most Attractive Quality in a female.

Admittedly, I struck out with all three. Admittedly, it was worse of a showing than the Red Sox had tonight in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Yet I made the attempt. And that, dear readers, is something that I rarely can bring myself to do after the vast multiples of disastrous relationships I have in my personal history. With all the pain and disappointment and full-out depression that has followed most of my past relationships, to simply be at a bar and have a conversation with an attractive woman is a definitive advancement for me.

Who knows... Maybe one of these days, something might actually happen after a Blogger Bash. Or any other time. Something where I don't go home by myself. Or don't go home period, for that matter.

But I wouldn't hold my breath for it. I may have made attempts, but that does not blind me to the reality that is my life.

So tonight, it is just me and the cats. As usual. With Lisa Loeb playing on the Winamp. As usual.

So here is to one of these days... Yeah. I'll drink to that.

13 October, 2007

To Advocate Equality

[In response to this, yet I will not comment on what Jeff Fecke says or the logical flaws of his diatribe.]

It is not proper for any American to remove any rights from any person without due process. Period. Ad infinitum. Ad astra. Ad nauseum. Forever and ever. Amen. It was a fundamental error by our ancestors to pretend that the color of one's skin or the location of one's gonads determined whether or not the fundamental rights of, much less membership within, Homo sapiens applied to them. As such, it is just as fundamental of an error for anyone else to do so, regardless of what motivation is behind the movement.

I cannot disagree that there has been injustice performed by some of those who are, as I am, white and male. That is a simple fact that only the blind cannot see and only the ignorant can ignore. Still to this day, women are treated as if they are less than a human being simply due to their lack of a Y-chromosome: the glass ceiling, income inequality, the removal of personal autonomy, objectification, mutilation, humiliation... The list of offenses that short-sighted individuals have performed unto women is a long and miserable one. It has been codified into our laws. It has been decreed among our religions. It has been solidified in our societies. It is pervasive. It is subconscious. It is everywhere. And this is but a single example that does not touch racial discrimination, religious discrimination, ethnic discrimination, sexuality discrimination, or any of the myriad of other forms of discrimination that exist in human society.

There is no reason to excuse rape. There is no reason to excuse spousal battery. There is no reason to excuse child abuse. There is no reason to excuse oppression. There is no reason to excuse any crime, of any type, perpetrated on someone because of their gender or the color of their skin or their political views or their religion or even what they had for breakfast the day before yesterday.

Likewise, there should be no reason to automatically expect those things to occur against you because of those factors. That is against the principle of equality. One does not combat injustice by ensuring more injustice. As Mohandas Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Subjecting another to the same violations that you were forced to endure is to fall under the same trap, the same impossible fallacy, as you purport to fight against.

To strive for all humans to be treated equally is frustrating. Being what we are, we attach our certain circumstances to our declarations, whether it be for our gender or for our ancestors or for our religion or for our nationality. It ranges from men's rights, women's rights, sexual preference rights, hyphenated-American's rights, yet it boils down to the same thing. We want the right to be free to choose. To be free to decide. To be what we so desire to be, without anyone to gainsay against us or stop us from making the attempt.

And that is the true basis for equality: freedom. So long as you do not actively cause harm against another person with your choices, a truly free society should never stand in your way.

Yet with any of the various groups advocating such freedom for their members, it must come at the expense of those that allegedly already possess such freedoms. It is not enough that the privileged must give up their privilege, but that they must become the underprivileged in recompense.

And that is not the definition of an equal society. To punish someone for the accident of their ancestry is the same fallacious argument that the various advocacy groups are fighting against. And when another group rises in order to counter the presumed subversion of their own rights, they are decried as being short-sighted and bigoted and wrong.

Here is a basic test.

[___________] promotes the rights of their members at the expense of [___________] group's rights.

Fill in the blanks with any of the advocacy groups and their opposite number, and it will match perfectly. Gender. Race. Religion. Ethnicity. Sexual orientation. Even right- or left-handedness, should it come to that. They will, naturally, disagree with such a statement when it comes to themselves while at the same time voicing full-throated agreement with the statement relating to their opposite number.

The only way to avoid such contradiction is to promote equality for all, regardless of identifiers.

I regret to say that, with humans being humans, I will not hold my breath for such a happy occurrence.