All posts by alphabete

Tiger! Tiger! Burning Bright.

(Which ho will you fuck tonight?) – courtesy of my sister

Welcome to another trip on the Public Shame Glory Train. Today’s stop: Woods, which connects to at least 4 other stations and possibly quite a few more.

There’s not a whole lot to be said about Tiger Woods that hasn’t already been said so far.  He’s been examined through and through on Twitter: “Wondering if my Tiger skills will transfer over to basketball? They seem to get all the quiet hoes” by @EVILTIGERWOODS, lalate seems to have dozens of articles on him and while I was typing this just updated with another, and of course piles of news and sports sites, webmagazines, and blogs. I can’t even imagine what the tabloid rack at the grocery store must look like. I bet it’s incredible.

I’m not here to take a good man down. Whether Tiger Woods is a good man, nobody can say except maybe the supposedly twenty-nine women he’s banged. We know he’s cheap and doesn’t tip, he apparently has naked photos and possibly a love child, and had women in his house when his wife was out of town. I’d link some links but frankly I’m tired of going through the huge pile of articles. I did, however, find a couple of very clever videos from Taiwan that explain a bit how he managed to lay more pipe than Mario and Luigi and their clones, combined.

I’m disappointed. I’m just a few months older than Tiger and when he first came onto the scene I had a huge crush on him. I like golf okay (not to watch but playing it can be fun as long as I don’t pass out under a shade tree on the 18th hole) and he was young and enthusiastic and interesting. As we got older I enjoyed hearing about his big wins and how he was sweeping the golf world by storm and even though I had some fangirl jealousy, I was happy to hear that he had married, and a not-famous one at that! She was probably happy too. I doubt she is happy now.

Tiger himself is not so much the issue here, because there are a lot of people out there doing the same thing or who would like to. I’ve read about a million comments from people stating sentiments from “He’s only human” to “Let the man and his family have their privacy” to “Everyone does it and what’s the big deal?” What is the big deal indeed? Is there a big deal?

I tend to think so. Here is the problem. Marriage is a legally binding contract and most vows include the phrase “forsaking all others” included with loving and cherishing and better and worse. Why did Tiger Woods get married? What was he hoping to get from it? Why does anyone get married if they know they have appetites their spouse cannot meet? This is something which confuses me to no end. Okay let me rephrase that. Why did Tiger Woods get married to a woman who wasn’t okay with him seeing other women? It seems prudent to find this sort of thing out before marrying.

It’s not just Tiger, either. Jamie Junger says she doesn’t need to apologize to his wife. These women sure know who Tiger Woods is and never once looked online to find information about him? Never looked up to see if he is married? I’m talking to you Jaimee Grubbs.

The Public Shame Glory Train is boarding. Run, Freedom Faucet.

This. Here you are, turning on the Freedom Faucet and letting it run.  Please enjoy my thinly-veiled contempt for your kind.

Preamble: You people, you people make me sick.  Make me ashamed, make me sad and embarrassed to be an American.  Make me afraid to be a Black American.  I am so sorry we share a common national heritage and the same Constitution and that the Declaration of Independence is the same for the both of us.  You are a noxious cancer, a pox on all that is good about this country.
How dare you twist the facts to your own purposes?  How could you stand and with a straight face claim citizenship of this nation that was built on the backs of everyone but yourselves and expect to have what you want when you are coasting, as are we all, on the downward slide of our country into unreason and irrationality?  I don’t even have enough spit for all of your faces.

So, we have this video.  This black man walking through a crowd.  Somehow he becomes the target of chants and accusations and, don’t try to deny it, hatred by the protesters.  How did this happen?

I remember learning in school that this nation was founded (and yes, stolen) by people who wanted to worship as they pleased.  I used to think that this meant in America, your choices were respected.  I feel a little like a fool.  Who have I sat next to on a bus or spoken to politely in line at the store that has taken one look at my hair wrapped up and my unadorned face and thought to themselves “That brown girl’s prolly a Muslim”?  Have I walked through a door that was held by a Tea Bagger?  Did I ever smile at a baby whose parents were teaching it behind closed doors to hate in public?

What are our freedoms even worth if we’re too ignorant to exercise them properly?  I mean didn’t we all learn how to read a map in school?

What's that?  The King is an agent of T.E.R.R.O.R.?

Here’s a map from TopherChris, you stupid motherfuckers.  Read this Village Voice post too, so you can see what’s already near Ground Zero that’s somehow not more threatening than a community center aimed at fostering multicultural understanding and defusing the kind of horribly (un?)American antics depicted in this video.  I realize that this terror mosque will be right in the middle of Ground Zero, so I suppose I understand how it must feel to be standing at the site of the World Trade Center and not even be able to see the people you hate so much.  For those of you who are just looking at this for the pictures because you can barely read, “A” as in “All I want is for you to learn something today” is the proposed site of the place you’re terrified of and “B” as in “But I bet you’re still an idiot” is the site where you’re trivializing the deaths of thousands of people with the crosses you’re burning on the inside.
View Larger Map

Amagad look, over there there’s a woman dancing with no clothes on while men get hardons staring at her!  GASP!  And over there is a betting parlor!  And oh crap a bunch of kitschy junk!

In the interest of being fair, I thought I would try to balance myself out a bit here lest I be seen as some sort of liberal-thinking intellectualist who cares only about allowing terrorism and terrorists to grow and bloom in this, the “greatest nation on Earth”.  Remember this guy?

The noble Aryan profile of a harmless white guy.

Wh-what’s that say?  The face of…terror?  Really?  Perhaps you were not aware of this but Timothy McVeigh, while not a mainstream Christian, was a member of the Christian Identity movement.  I won’t go into a long definition here but let’s see what we can find out about them.  From one of their own pages:

Kingdom Identity Ministries is a Politically Incorrect Christian Identity outreach ministry to God’s chosen race (true Israel, the White, European peoples). We proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom (government according to God’s Law) through books, tracts, tapes, videos, the American Institute of Theology Bible Correspondence Course, our international Herald of Truth Radio Broadcasts, a Prison Ministry, Biblical Counseling, Seminars, and other means. The Elect Remnant, Christian Patriots, Nationalists, Reconstructionists, Racialists, and all seeking a higher level of understanding will learn Biblical solutions to personal and national problems, and be given keys to unlock hidden truth.

I won’t link to their page but you can Google it if you want don’t already have it saved in your favorites.  Perhaps you might be saying “Well gawrsh, alphabete, those guys are extremists!” O rly?  Might they be?  Just like, I don’t know, the extremists who killed a grip of people on the eleventh of September in the Year of your Lord, Two Thousand-One?  I’m not done yet though, for ye who kneel and prostrate yourselves at the altar of hatred and stupidity.

You may recall Mr. McVeigh caused some property damage.  He blew up a building, specifically the Alfred P. Murrah on 19 April, 1995.  It remains the worst act of domestic terrorism that the United States of America has ever seen.  This is a man, a white man, in this country, a citizen who conspired with another white American citizen to cause damage to property and lives.  A guy who believed in God and, ostensibly, Caucasian Jesus.  But wait, there’s more.

Holy Crap look at all those Jesus sprinkles!

Look at all these Christian churches near the Murrah Building! Where are your protests?  Where’s the claim that by putting churches near the Murrah building is a slap in the face to the victims of McVeigh’s terror?  Where?  Oh, right, just look at these fucking comments.

Let’s see what those shifty Muslims are up to with this so-called “Community Center at Park51”.  According to their Mission Statement the founders of this project hope to

“Uphold respect for the diversity of expression and ideas between all people”

“Cultivate and embrace neighborly relations between all New Yorkers, fostering a spirit of civic participation and an awareness of common needs and opportunities”

“Establish a state-of-the-art green facility that will serve as a model and inspiration for sustainable space, helping to advance sustainable living in urban contexts”

…and a few other things.  A couple of them have to do with Muslims but if you want to tell me with a straight face that you’re not being willfully ignorant you can read them yourself and look for the “halla halla halla”.  So let’s see.  They want to uphold respect for diversity?  Those bastards!  Cultivate and embrace neighborly relations?  Foster the spirit of civic participation and an awareness of our commonalities?  What the fuck?  And don’t even get me started on that whole green facility/sustainable space/sustainable living thing.  For crying out loud it sounds like they’re trying to turn New York and indeed, all of America into some kind of place where the people you shit on prove that they’re not as bad as you think and that, in fact, they may be better than you.

I checked out some other pages.  Know what “their kind” will have in their fancy-pants new center of extremist terror-breeding?  Recreational facilities.  A swimming pool.  A reading library (oh Holy Father preserve us!), art studios (grab your Bibles lest ye be tempted to appreciate something), a restaurant and culinary school where no doubt all the food will be seasoned with a nice heaping tablespoon of jihad, and let us not forget the mother-fucking swimming pool.  Does that explain it?  Are you people afraid of getting in shape or are you scared that in your swimsuits we will see you exposed for the yellow-bellies you really are?  So hard to tell.

There will be a mosque, sure, oh, and also a memorial room for contemplation.  I see now, though, that contemplation in a 9/11 memorial room, or a basketball court, or an exhibition hall are so, so much worse than a gentlemen’s club which you would go into if it weren’t for your shame-laden penises shrinking at the thought that wimmins aren’t property and naked dancing doesn’t make them gutter trash.  And the fact that you’re not gentlemen.  I’d address the lady Tea Baggers here but I will assume their mouths are too full of their husbands’ balls to get back to me.

You are the festering, gangrenous wound in the side of this country.  You are the ones who are ignorant and irresponsible and hypocritical.  When will the physical attacks begin?  When will you mobilize to bring down De Gubmint in which it is encoded that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”?  When will you stand up like men and women and say “You see these freedoms?  They’re ours, not yours!”?  Come on now, when will you break down your barriers of respectability and appearance as normal American citizens and do as your hero McVeigh did, and use force to get what you want while you whine that people are trampling on your precious, pure-blooded Aryan America?  Or are you afraid to just put on your balaclavas and come out of the closet as the terrorists that you are?

You deserve your tickets on the Public Shame Glory Train and you make Mr. Conductor want to drive this shit off a cliff.

Live (forever immortal): Pixelante’s “ImmorTall”

I am not a hardcore gamer. I don’t play FPS games for fear of throwing up my soul, I’m no good at RTS games (I do <3 me some StarCraft though), and I have approximately 5 games for my PS2. I much prefer to watch someone else play long-form games unless it’s some sort of point-and-click puzzle/adventure or Killer7. It’s that Kon Smith. He’s so cool.

On the other hand, I spend a portion of nearly every day playing casual games. I love these things. They are great diversions, and occasionally I run across one that turns out to be much more than I had expected. The other day I was poking around Kongregate when I discovered a new game called ImmorTall. I’ve played Hunted Forever and Alter, other games by Pixelante and I was already in it just to see some more of this developer’s artistic style. I clicked, the music started, I was ready to find out what that extra “l” in the title is for.

True to Pixelante’s style, the art is gorgeous. It’s got a retro feel, not too detailed but looking instead like something from a retro-futuristic war poster. The coloring is mostly primary with black and white. I loved the sounds: guitar punctuates every game happening as well as providing a moody musical backdrop to the action.

You begin the game as a little inchwormy alien who has emerged from a crashed ship. Over the course of the next few minutes you meet people, get snacks, grow tall, and then become a human alien shield. There isn’t a lot to figure out and when you need to do something instructions appear on the screen to guide you. This could be said to be a linear game, in that there is a single ending which really cannot be prevented, only staved off. I won’t pull any punches here: I played this game several times to see how much I could influence the ending and I cried my eyes out every single time.

My impression of ImmorTall is that it’s a very well done tiny story about any number of things including our fear of the unknown, the ways humans are willing to harm one another “for their own good”, and -depending on the circumstances at the ending- sacrifice.

It’s brilliant in that there’s just enough there to nudge you toward some understanding of what the game means, though it might be very different from the interpretations of other players. It made me think, and according to Pixelante’s Twitter feed there are a lot of varying opinions as to its meaning. That is, I think, as it should be. Art is interpreted by the one who experiences it.

I recommend this game for anyone who’s got about 5 minutes and a little thought power to spare. From beginning to end it’s a tiny masterpiece and the newest of my favorites. It’s games like this that show me the strength of play as a vehicle for storytelling and inspire me to want to make my own.

cincos aranas de madres
Rated 5 momspiders – A perfect score

Woodland Creatures Out for Revenge

You thought you were safe, didn’t you?  With your lidded trash can and your double-pane windows and that big front door of yours.  Indoors stays in, outdoors stays out.  Or does it?

There’s been a spate of animals taking the next step.  They’re tired of being on the outside looking in.  We’re just upright, hairless apes.  We can’t even hold our own against an angry dog half the time if we’re bare-handed.  Each year plenty of humans are killed or maimed by pets.  Okay it may have been unfair to use Trevor the face-eating chimpanzee as an example.  But you can find plenty of reports of people who have discovered that a dog was not their best friend.

These gentle woodland animals, long venerated in such movies as <insert Disney film here>, are catching on.  “Why, if they can be defeated by an animal they willingly keep in their homes, surely I too can get some of this civilization action.”  They’re not kidding.  Lots of them are throwing off the shackles of living outside and eating from the ground and checking into the Hotel Fancypants.

Nowadays animals are tired of having to walk everywhere when humans can ride.  We might try to tell them that having four legs is plenty enough appendages to go where they need to go without a lot of fuss but I don’t think they believe us.  Witness these adorable (and probably delicious) little goats, trying to get on the bus without paying any fare.  Aren’t they adorable?  Lazy-asses.

Know what’s less cute than a goat on the bus but infinitely scarier?  A bear.  Eating your ice cream.  Let’s have a look at some of the shenanigans bears have been up to in people’s homes:

“They went into my sister’s room and pooped on her bed. But they didn’t touch her Hannah Montana poster.”
—Danielle Hyde, 7 (Did you have a good laugh, Danielle?)

“I was in Indonesia when I got a call: A bear had gotten inside my house and set off the alarm. He battered down two doors; after that he was a perfect gentlemen. All he took was a tub of java chip Starbucks ice cream and a five-gallon tin of popcorn.”
—Tower Snow Jr., 59, homeowner (If you’d had Ben & Jerry’s he’d have come back)

What do the experts say?  “People need to understand they’re not coming to kill us, they’re coming to eat our Hershey’s chocolate.”  They’re tired of our shit.  They have to live outside and hunt for food while the most hunting we do is trying to find what cabinet we hid the cookies in.  They’re onto us and I don’t think they’re about to give up convenience foods now.

Bears and goats aren’t the only ones involved in the animal invasion cabal.  Deer like snacks too, but even better than that they’re acutely aware of where to receive medical help.  In case you’re looking for a deer date, you’ll find some deer like to look pretty and others are into tackle football.  Some of the more sensitive deer may attempt to redecorate your bathroom.

Look at that last link.  I mean look at the sheer amount of “related content” which has “deer” or deer-related terms in it.  Remember when deer were shy and they ran away, flashing their white tails at you when you startled them?  No more, man.  No more.  Now they’re all up in your grill, shopping at your stores and taking themselves to the vet.

If I were you I’d beware.  I’d be real careful and cast a jaundiced eye at that 12-point barista if I were you, because honestly at this rate you’re just going to think you’re hallucinating when he starts talking to you.  And while you’re standing there wondering about it he’s gonna drink your coffee.

There’s a Shameful Train a-Boardin’

The Public Shame Glory Train is now departing.  First stop: Griekspoor & Border.

When you’re nine years old, $80 is a lot.  When it’s $80 for your birthday, that’s awesome!  One young Miss Marissa Holland received two gift cards for her birthday and went out shopping, probably thrilled to have her very own money.  Being a kid and possibly not thinking clearly in all the excitement (or at all, but she’s 9 and this stuff happens) she sat them on a store shelf.

Enter the swoopers: Tina Griekspoor and Evelyn Border, 35 and 56, respectively.  They saw these gift cards on the store shelf, with the child’s name on them, and did what they felt was right- paid for their shit.  How awesome is that?  Not very.  Worse, they went back and tried to purchase MORE things with the child’s gift.  Really?

It may not have been the smartest thing for the girl to do, putting the cards on the shelf and not in her pocket but we have no idea what prompted her to do that.  And remember, she’s nine.  I think, however, we can safely say what prompted these two ladies to snatch her gift cards, however, and in that we can see they had no shame.

Well, didn’t.  Thanks to some creative adjudication, Griekspoor and Border got to be the stars of the show and receive the shame they so desperately lacked.  The two of them, a mother and daughter sad-sack show, got to stand in front of their local courthouse in what is apparently the center of town holding signs which read “I stole from a 9-year-old girl on her birthday!  Don’t steal or this could happen to you!”  For 4.5 hours they held up these enormous signs with their six-inch-high letters, and Marissa’s mother drove her past so she could see not only the women who stole from her, but the price one pays when public shaming is at work.

Whatever happened to public shaming?  When did we become a society which is afraid to make people feel that they should be ashamed of themselves and what they’ve done?  Whenever public shaming happens it’s somehow seen as a big deal.  We can look at the Korean Train Dog Poop Girl or the more recent Rotten MySpace Mom cases and see where public shaming is as effective as or more effective than anything which can be done by law.  Do you think Griekspoor and Border would have changed their ways if they didn’t have to spend half a workday in the middle of town telling everyone they are heartless gift-snatchers?  I doubt it.

Some people are against public shaming.  In the case of Dog Poop Girl, people decried the release of her information into the public sphere.  No, it most certainly was not right to harass her family and tell everyone her business.  At the same time, however, the right of the public to bring shame to someone who doesn’t have it for themselves has long been upheld.  Dog Poop Girl gave less than a fuck about decorum or anyone’s health or even the right of her fellow riders not to slip in a pile of dog crap, and for her clear demonstration that she has no shame, the internet brought her some.  Lori Drew, who with not a drop of self-control precipitated and participated in a charade which sent a young girl to take her own life, was similarly exposed and shamed by the internet.  You may argue whether the young girl in question was already messed up or whatever.  That is hardly the point.  The point is that Lori Drew, a grown-ass woman, knew better.

Public shaming has had a long and storied history throughout the world as a way to punish without removing someone from society.  The idea is that if you can’t access your inner shame before you do something stupid, society will help.  It’s one thing to do your crime in secret and even to go to jail for it.  That’s a function of law and order, but unless you’re all over the papers nobody has to know what you’ve done.  In public shaming, however, your name and face become synonymous with whatever careless, antisocial act you have perpetrated and now everyone knows what you’ve done.  Worse, they all know you don’t know how to act.  They can avoid you.  They can talk about you.  They can mock you, point and laugh, they can choose to pity you or to avoid you altogether because now they know what kind of person you are.

There’s hardly any way of getting out of that.