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Tim Lieder

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The Mindy Project, bit two [Feb. 16th, 2017|03:48 am]
Tim Lieder
The convoluted Xmas episode just dropped the line "as a feminist it offended me to the core" because one character sang Santa Baby instead of the heroine who was supposed to sing it and her boyfriend decided to be all douchey about it.

Because feminism is stupid. That's the joke.
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The Mindy Project and the shittiness of sitcoms. [Feb. 16th, 2017|03:47 am]
Tim Lieder
Shortly after Adult Swim was coming under fire for greenlighting the alt-right "comedy" and putting in on for a season, a lot of questions began to surface. Why were all the shows male-dominated? Why did they think that throwing money at this thing was a good idea and more importantly, did this alt-right comedy really go against the Adult Swim brand? If a network is playing to the 4chan crowd, what is the difference between "ironic" racism, sexism and misogyny and the real thing?

This ruined Children's Hospital for me. When I first watched it, I thought it was funny and edgy. Hell, I quite love most of the people in the show. There are still funny bits and razor sharp parodies of hospital show tropes including the sudden death, the voiceover, the doctor walking around on crutches, but too often the jokes relied on everyone being shitty to everyone. There was even one episode that ended with a cameo from the Party Down actors talking about Jews. There was no joke. It just added the two Party Down actors who weren't in the show to the ones who were in the show talking about Jews while the Party Down music played.

I did not realize that this discussion would ruin most sitcoms for me. Too often they seem like Pewdie Pie paying an actor to dress up like Jesus and do that "Hitler did nothing wrong" gag from 2011 and then drag it out to the Jesus actor saying that Hitler was cool and in Heaven, because Hitler is edgy and edgy=funny, right? RIGHT? Come on, someone say that Pewdie Pie is funny. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Somewhere along the way, I stopped wanting to read Piers Anthony or Tom Robbins and I am a better man for it.

That's a long windup to get to the point that The Mindy Project is fucking lazy and stupid. I am so fucking sick of "funny misogynists" and broad ethnic stereotypes. The black nurse walked out of ghetto stereoytpe central casting and her white (but acts like a black stereotype) boyfriend is pathetic. They did the episode where the protagonist starts dating a snob (played by the guy from Mad Men who looks a lot like Scott Baio without the 60s hair style) who makes her feel stupid. So she makes a fool out of herself trying to prove that she has culture. This stupid fucking plot was pathetic when it was done on Full House with Jesse left bereft trying to call Picasso overrated ("did you see his blue period?" "Yeah, why didn't he use another color" - I did not realize I still remembered that exchange. What kind of shit am I forgetting to store that dialogue) and it really curdled in HIMYM where Ted kept trying to talk about interesting things and everyone kept making fake fart noises at him. It also makes less sense on The Mindy Project where the main character is supposed to be a doctor. Yes, the main character is Mindy Khaling pretending to be a doctor, but still - doctor.

Also there are people who are getting in "funny" situations that work like idiot plots in movies where the plot hinges on the characters being cluelessly awful to each other. The boyfriend character gets written off the show by being a loser who quits his minister job to become a DJ and then becomes an event planner and we are supposed to get that Mindy is VERY sad. The breakup scenes are realistic but they are unearned since the character was never going to be interesting.

I don't think there's an episode where I'm not wondering why I'm watching it. Right now I am watching the Xmas episode where our heroine gives us THE RULES for seduction. I suppose it should be funny because she will fail, but it's still tired. And then there are moments of genuine crap like the one that begins with the clinic getting a good review on a KKK webisite. The premise seems funny but then it goes to shit real fast with a guest character (the holistic healer guy upstairs?) holding protests outside the clinic to denounce the clinic's racism. Which makes no damn sense but every character will start being all whacky and "accidentally" saying racist things.

I don't know if I should watch it. Mostly I don't know why I am putting myself through this shit because there are so so many GOOD sitcoms out there that this lazy shit has no excuse. We liked Family Ties and The Cosby Show because 80s sitcoms were crap and they were comparatively decent.
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Books read in 2017 # 12-14 - Religious Stuff [Feb. 10th, 2017|03:33 pm]
Tim Lieder
12. Near Christianity by Anthony Le Donne - When I first started reading this book I was sad that I couldn't review it for Amazon Vine. In many ways, it felt like a journey through my own (forgive the phrase) spiritual journey. The author had many of the objections that I had to Christian/Jewish dialogue. Had I read this kind of book when I was thinking about converting to Judaism, I might have saved myself some time since I had a lot of emotional baggage to deal with in leaving Christianity. As the author talks about how Jews do not necessarily have to be religious to be Jewish and how the Holocaust looms large in Jewish thinking, I felt an emotional tug at the way that I had shifted in my perspective from Christianity when I could talk about Christian forgiveness and how Christians should forgive Hitler and how that seemed horrifying from a Jewish perspective. Also, as a friend pointed out, praying for the death of your enemy is actually pretty cool when you're Jewish. After all Christians and Muslims can always just kill their enemies. They got the numbers.

However, the book fizzles out in the last chapters. Or maybe not fizzles out so much as reminds me that I might be close to the target audience but I am NOT the target audience. The target audience is full of Christians who want to understand Judaism better. It's not for ex-Christians who converted to Judaism. Even had the author talked about Orthodox Judaism and Talmudic discussions, it would have still been disappointing. The takeaway that comes from the last chapters is that Christians shouldn't get so hung up on whether they BELIEVE or just believe. I agree with this in theory but I do find it suspicious that he got it exclusively from the fact that his non-observant Jewish friends are ok with not being observant but also being Jewish. Also there are plenty of Jews that get into histrionics and singing and BELIEF and while I find them annoying, they are part of Judaism (even if most of them were inspired by Xianity).

13. Swamp Thing: Trial by Fire by Mark Millar et al - I have always approached matters of faith through fiction. Even the most atheist fiction is still full of thought for God and religion and the like. This is a key reason why I don't want to read the books that I used to love in college. They all seems so superficial and stupid. Originally I thought they were deep and profound. I am not sure where I put this one on the scale of formerly deep books. It is still entertaining but I remember thinking that this was the greatest when I first read it. Now I see that Mark Millar is trying to hard to make things seem otherworldly when most of the plotting is abotu a power struggle between God and the Earth Spirits. Yes, Alan Moore started this bullshit and it's kind of nice that Millar is pulling away from it but there's still a lot of material about Swamp Thing becoming less human and more expansive when it comes to the world.

But I must say that I am happy that Millar hates Chester the Hippie. I did not know that I hated Chester the Hippie until I re-read the Alan Moore books and realized that he ruined the book. Millar gives us a douchebag story where Chester becomes a Republican law-and-order cop who is all racist and aggressive. It's a giant fuckyou to the character but it falls flat. When the real Chester shows up he is just boring and there is really no reason for him to be in the book at all.

Anyhow this is the end of the Millar run and it leaves the Swamp Thing in a similar place as the Moore run - really powerful and grown and not much to go on.

14.Here Comes Daredevil by Mark Waid - I wanted to write a separate post about this one becuase it's not religious. It's just stupid. There is nothing to say about faith except for the fact that superheroes are revenge fantasies and most of the book is about Murdock running into his childhood bully who needs protecting. But yeah, that's about it.
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Books read in 2017 # 12 & 13 - More Cute Animals but IN SPACE!!!!! [Feb. 5th, 2017|12:36 am]
Tim Lieder
12. Star Wars Chewbacca by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto - These Star Wars tie-ins seem to be less stupid than the ones that people loved when I was a kid. I guess most of the Star Wars books that were so popular at one point just seemed to be working on too many assumptions about where the movies were going to go. And of course, the worst offender is Lucas with those fucking prequels. So now we can honestly say that the Star Wars tie-in stuff is canon without feeling a little dirty about the whole thing (as opposed to those books where Luke turns to the Dark Side and we get a fucking Palpatine clone). Of course, the benefit of being part of the canon is that there are fewer surprises. We were pretty much expecting Rogue One to be a good bit of fan service that managed to pull a Wild Bunch ending because those were the people that get killed bringing the plans.

So this is fluffy side adventure to Chewbacca helping out a bunch of miners in a place where the Empire is sort of involved but not really. Mostly the Empire has an interest in the mine, but the dickhead capitalists are the ones that are turning the people into slaves through capitalism. There's also something that Chewbacca has to take home which I am sure ties into some Star Wars thingy but the only true canonical Wookie story I buy into is the Holiday Special.

13. Alien Next Door: In Space No One Can Hear you Clean by Joey Spiotto - I think I might have hated a book like this when I was a kid. When I was a kid, Alien was fucking scary and there was nothing that could take away from the thrill of watching the original Alien movie when I was 8 years old in a dark theater (some may say that I have bad parents, but I loved it). There is an interesting paradox but somewhere in between toddler and early adolescent you try to prove how old you are by hating all the cute shit that everyone wants you to love. And then the place where adult life begins is when you are totally chill with all the cute stuff. Oh sure, until I am a parent, I am not going to watch Elmo by choice but I can appreciate it.

Then again, the main joke of Spiotto books is that you take the horrifying and turn it cute. You know that the original is horrifying so the cuteness of the alien feeding the cat or walking the face hugger makes it funny. I am trying to figure out if he is the same one who did the Star Wars books but I'm not sure. Anyhow these are adorable. I guess there's not much else to say about this one.
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I suppose I do give a damn about my bad reputation. [Feb. 1st, 2017|11:45 am]
Tim Lieder
Since Amazon removed all of my reviews, my google search for my own name comes up with even more "Tim Lieder is an asshole" posts. Some of them I regret but others I just think that I should not have been reading terrible people at 3 in the morning. So why did I find Requires Hate's new incarnation as Bee Something and go to her "I'm a poor victim of the internet" articles and tweets and then dispute the fact that she was a victim at all? Of course, she is going to take all my morning tweets and make a Storify about them (including my angry tweets at an anti-Zionist writer because she is clever enough to know that she is not going to be able to sell herself as a poor victim after the Hugos gave an award to the journalist who busted her stalkerish stupid blog). I don't think I should have done that. I don't think that Bee is a good person or that she didn't deserve to be told to fuck off, but I didn't have to do it. Nor did I have to do it at three in the morning.

But then there are other blogs about me being an asshole - Furry Jews long rant is one of them. There's also a post on Cheaters & Liars where I am not even a cheater so much as the guy doesn't like me. And then there's Yvonne Mason who was mad at me for saying that Black Bedsheets was a stupid company. At very least she's stopped calling herself Award Winning Author and is now just Indie Author for her badly written, Photoshop cover true crime books. She's like the second person. And she's calling me insecure and the same stuff (well duh - read anything I write and that is clear). She also doesn't get my line about dismissing her award-winning self-identification where I stated that a mug that says "World's Best Grandmother" is not an award that a writer can brag about (unless we are comparing the writer to Marion Zimmer Bradley).

So yeah I guess this bothers me. I don't know if it bothers me because I want to go to cons and it's not good when I am trying to introduce myself and I know they are googling me. Maybe it bothers me because there is some truth to it. I try to be a good person but often the angry shitty aspects are put out there into the world. And maybe it's a good thing that it bothers me. I don't want to be the angry sardonic asshole. I have done that. I don't want to write Holden Caulfield fan fiction with myself as the protagonist.

I have been angry. I have been pissy. I also don't necessarily take the people seriously - Yvonne Mason is an idiot. Bee Segwhatever/Winterfox/Requires Hate is a stupid asshole whose fiction is fucking boring and criticism kept going to the "I'm going to hit you with a hammer for putting an Asian character in your fiction" well. Furry Jew is psychotic (and not blogging lately). I have no clue who decided that I was shitty for Cheaters & Liars.

The only bit that I feel intrinsically bad about is defending Richard Brittain. I doubted the story of the woman that he attacked because it seemed so out there and until he pleaded guilty there really was a media blackout. So I argued that she was lying and picking on a man who was mentally ill. I have so little patience for the people that are still defending Bill Cosby or Alan Dershowitz but then I turn around and be the "nuh-uh, that's bullshit" guy? I guess the reason I didn't believe it was because I didn't want to believe it. I also didn't want to believe that Bill Cosby was guilty unil there were at least 10 women coming forth. Who wants to believe that kind of shit happens - or that that kind of shit is perpetrated by people we are normally prone to feeling affection for. So I felt sorry for Brittain because he is mentally ill. And that blinded me to the notion that the woman who was attacked was telling the truth- or possibly telling the truth - at least telling the truth enough to not require people to step in and be lawyers in the court of public.

I guess I just need to sell more stuff and get those bad ones pushed off the front page of google. Seriously, it's annoying when I am looking for writing samples when I pitch and I just see Tim Lieder is an asshole.
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Books read in 2017 # 10 & 11 - Cute Animals making me think about the Holocaust [Jan. 30th, 2017|12:48 pm]
Tim Lieder
10. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary - I probably shouldn't have read this book during the week when Trump got inaugurated. Mice hiding from people so they aren't all killed off by the hotel owners is way too much of the narrative and every time that came up, I just thought about how much this is reminding me of Maus. The book is pretty cool and sweet. A mouse finds a little motorcycle that works and rides it around the hotel. He makes friends with the family and old members of the staff. His family comes along and they worry because a maid sees mouse holes because he has to eat his way out of the library and HOLY FUCK THEY ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!! Beverly Cleary is truly a good author but wow, this was written for children who aren't thinking about the holocaust.

11. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now by Ryan North & Erica Henderson - This one actually still makes me laugh. I quite love Squirrel Girl and this one gave us the cosplaying Doombots. Cosplaying Doombots are the best. I love how Squirrel Girl takes comic book tropes just seriously enough to have fun with them. Kraven the Hunter driving around in a Kra-Van is beautiful - especially when we get arguments about how he did kill Spiderman, he really did and then he was dead for a time. The main story is the time travel one with Dr. Doom taking advantage of some of it but it is really just another computer science student sending his rivals back in time. There are computer science jokes that I don't get, but I love that they are there.
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Books Read in 2017 # 8 & 9 - Gender Studies [Jan. 24th, 2017|10:09 pm]
Tim Lieder
8. Alex + Ada vol 1. by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn - This is a hard one to write about since it's a collection of five issues in a story line that has more to it. The first five volumes feel more like a statement of purpose than an actual complete story. The SNL line that the final episode of Westworld could have been the pilot feels real here. Still, there is some interesting dynamic when it comes to the lonely guy/perfect woman story. This has been done to death with the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl trope and Passengers being only two examples of how much the market revolves around lonely men wanting fantasies about finding love without having to do much work for it. I might be getting a tad too personal there. Anyhow, the story of the lonely man is usually one where the man is just whisked off his feet by an MPDG or just finds someone and obsesses over her and eventually wins her over because plot. Granted, most romantic comedies are Lonely Woman finds perfect man who can't stand her and if they work there's actual chemistry. If they don't work, you are at the end thinking "why did I just do this." And yes, Romance movies can work. Dirty Dancing works because Patrick Swayze and Erin Grey have chemistry but also because they are written to actually need each other - at least for the summer. I quite loved the scene in The Matchmaker when the new guy that Janeane Garofalo is supposed to fall in love with states that he finds her senator boss very unimpressive because he doesn't stand for anything, if only because this guy actually knows about politics, follows politics as a reporter and is therefore an ACTUAL MATCH for a woman who is working as a political fixer. How many fucking times do romantic movies actually give the characters something in common.

Thus far, this story is the robot variation of the MPDG trope. Alex is lonely and he's very lonely. He walks around doing not much of anything after a breakup. He's a cipher at this point, almost as much of a cipher as Ada who shows up as the gift of a robot companion bought by his grandmother who is using her own robot companion as a sex doll. There is an undercurrent of robot rights including an AI massacre and laws that prevent robots from achieving sentience. Of course, those come together in the fact that Alex is ok with Ada and doesn't want to return her but also feels disappointed because she is never going to offer a thought that isn't programmed. So he goes looking for a way to get her sentience. This happens in a hotel room and she is overwhelmed with emotions. The final moment is Ada outside on the balcony looking at the sun and saying that it's beautiful and this is the first opinion that she has had for herself.

I want to see where this story is going since at this point it's the story of a lonely man who decides that his sex robot should get a personality and emotions because he knows too well that she's a sex robot. I checked out the second and third books in the series and I hope that there's more explanation of the relationship and less hijinks concerning the hiding of the robot's sentience from the uncaring world.

9. Kill the Body, The Head Will Fall by Rene Denfeld - When I read Rene Denfeld's The New Victorians, it was the kind of critique of feminism that I had been seeking at the time. It was a defense of feminism which wasn't afraid to criticize some of the more out-there aspects of 90s feminism. Only I've changed since then. I have become more feminist. I have stopped mocking Andrea Dworkin. I realized that just because there are some feminists who are completely nuts, that feminism is a big tent and the ultimate goals of feminism are important. So I wondered what it would be like reading a 90s era Rene Denfeld book.

Turns out that she is still a major influence. I pretty much expected that I would still respect and admire Denfeld since I see her on Facebook and she is working diligently for death row inmates in Seattle and she is all around good person. Furthermore, her writing is still compelling. I was worried that she would be like Christina Hoff Sommers or Camille Paglia - one of those feminist writers that I liked when I criticized feminism but now rather odious. Turns out that she was one of the few feminists who got through my ingrained sexism by criticizing the same things that I found silly (Catherine McKinnon, Starhawk's hippie babble, etc.) and then separating these dynamics from the core of feminism.

In this book she talks about being a boxer but she also explores and disputes many of the assumptions that we have about gender and aggression. To her credit, she does not state that anything is particularly natural to any gender but that we consider these things part of gender politics. She cites multiple studies concerning aggression, domestic violence and crime. Many of these chapters are fairly basic but they are basic in the same way that the Bechdel Test is basic. You don't notice how many of your assumptions about women and fighting as well as abuse are societal until they are pointed out. So this is still a pretty great book. It was also a fast read.

(weirdly enough I thought I would have more to say about the Denfeld book than the comic book).
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Books Read in 2017 # 5-7 - Creepy Family Stuff [Jan. 18th, 2017|12:15 am]
Tim Lieder
5. Tiger Lung by Simon Roy & Jason Wordie - This one is beautifully illustrated and since the authors are working with the distant past there are a lot of stories based on speculation. Unfortunately, it's also one that I barely remember a week after reading it. One of the problems of including graphic novels in these tallies is that the graphic novels don't always leave an impression and this one has a lot of material about spirit animals and different tribes being crazy and shape shifting but the most prominent thing I can remember is the author saying that he didn't want to be noble savage and reductive but fortunately everyone wore bears. It's a rather nothing book.

6. Heart of Ice by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill - Fucking Alan Moore has to get over the fucking Cthulu. Also the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen warranted one sequel. Everything else feels like overkill, from the third installment that required 3-D glasses and made references to 20th century pulp that only Moore has ever heard about (the Jeeves & Wooster meet Cthulu story is fun in that one but he also did a nauseating beat parody that just fell flat) to the 1910 books to the one where Harry Potter is the big villain at the end and he's saying something about story telling. As much as I loved the original LXG and the H.G. Wells sequel, I am happy that Moore has officially retired from comic books just so I don't have to see another fucking League sequel or spinoff.

This is a spinoff. Captain Nemo's daughter goes to the South Pole and encounters Cthulu. There's some time bending stuff in the middle that is supposed to go together and those aren't penguins. The obvious cameo is William Randolph Hearst bragging about how he can start a war and the rest is just a uninteresting mess with characters that only exist to make a point.

7.Personal Darkness by Tanith Lee - Have I fallen out of love with Tanith Lee? It's getting to where I don't want to read my favorites for fear that they will be shite. I felt relief when I read the first 50 pages of this book and they didn't suck. Then again, I read the first book in this series again - The Dark Dance - and I found that a book that I remembered as a favorite had turned out to be rather shallow and creepy. Vampire incest certainly has some value but it fell flat with Lee's cast of weird sociopaths. At least this one has Ruth, the daughter from the previous book, killing off families in search of the woman who raised her when her mother was being a Tanith Lee character. Those are some genuinely scary moments. It's only when Ruth comes back to the family that I feel like Lee is padding the book with a story about a man whose daughter ran off with the Scarabae and wants to get her back. He's an innocent in a grim world and his story is predictable.

So I guess it's a better incest vampire book than the first Blood Opera one but it's still incest vampire.
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I suppose it's time to focus on Orson Scott Card's work instead of his terrible beliefs. [Jan. 12th, 2017|12:59 pm]
Tim Lieder
Of course, I had to wonder about what Orson Scott Card thought about recent events. After all, Obama never got all the street gangs to come together and make him emperor for life. Also Mormons are the religious group less inclined to give Trump a pass for his shitty behavior. I did not find any recent thoughts on Trump but I did see that Brigham Young University has hired OSC to script a 10 episode show based on aliens trying to preserve humanity after they wiped most of them out.

It sounds like an interesting show.

Only the main point of the article was that Homophobic BYU is hiring Homophobic OSC for BYUTV (LOL - sorry). Most of the article talked about OSC's past transgressions. Oddly enough I don't fall on the same side of the debate that I did when Card was leveraging his fame into attacks on GLBT rights and that really racist "thought experiment". I boycotted Ender's Game and I was marginally happy that he lost his job with Superman. I really didn't like Card at that point.

Now I think it's a little unfair to focus on Card's personal beliefs when he's being hired to write a science fiction show. The author vs. work problem is always going to be with us. A few years ago when he was writing his bullshit, I was much more focused on the author. Like how much shit can you spew at us, Card? Now that Card has either mellowed, changed his mind or shut up, I want to focus on the work.

I am interested in seeing a 10 episode science fiction show by Orson Scott Card because Card is a damn good writer (hell if he wasn't a good writer that Obama becomes Emperor "thought experiment" wouldn't have pissed me off) and rarely does his political philosophy enter into his work - or it doesn't enter into it on a 1=1 way. It's there but it's mutated and strange. He's got a moralist streak that I actually respect, particularly in Fat Farm where the man who thinks that he can lose weight by just exchanging bodies discovers that it's not that simple (and yeah weight loss is not so simple) and then the gay thing is deliciously full of homoerotic subtext.

I guess I would not have made this argument when he was getting fired from Superman, but right now, Card is going to be writing a science fiction television show and he's a known asset. He's not being hired to talk about his views on homosexuality. If the show becomes homophobic then I will have a problem with it. But he seems like a good fit for the netweork.
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Call and write to your senators & representative [Jan. 12th, 2017|10:40 am]
Tim Lieder
I have seen many posts about Trump on Facebook and even posts that talk about the importance of opposing his nominations and his entire program. These are great posts but they are useless posts unless the people posting are inspired to CALL THEIR SENATORS! Or write to them. Either way, this is the way things need to go.

Too many people are doing cutesy shit like sending one post card a week to a senator that says IMPEACH or organizing a "Turn Off Your Television January 20" or replying to Trump's twitter feed. These will not work. Yes, Trump can only be mocked and ridiculed. He is a fucking narcissist and he is only out for himself. He will never give a shit about anyone else unless they say things about him that he doesn't like and then he will be a petulant child. But none of that works, really.

I also am still annoyed by writers who made a big show about NOT VOTING and then after the election started talking about the election and politics like they have any fucking right. Brian Keene, whom I really like and consider a friend (and half-way hope he never sees this) wrote an essay that said that horror writers now have an opportunity to latch onto the fears of society just like Stephen King did in the Nixon years. That would be a great and comforting thing to say in the wake of the worst election possible if he didn't also write about how he was not voting. Like thanks dude, I might lose my health insurance and die of diabetes because you didn't vote but I can WRITE SCARY STORIES about it while my foot is getting amputated! Awesome! And while I still sometimes read nihilistic_kid his bi-annual declaration of not voting because no one meets his high leftist standards is one big ego stroke that he should really just stop. Mamats might not vote. I don't care, but he doesn't have to be proud about it, especially when people like him just helped Trump get in office.

The two main objections I see to writing to your senators to make sure that they oppose Trump and all his ways (amen) is that they either agree with you or they don't agree with you. Since I am a New Yorker with a lot of Minnesota friends I see that first dynamic. My senators are both Democrats and Chuck Schumer is making headlines by opposing Trump. In MN, they got Amy Kloubachar and Al Franken. Al Franken has been grilling Sessions.

In the second case, yeah, what good does it do to tell Lindsey Graham or Mitch McConnell that you want to keep all the benefits you got under Obamacare? If you live in Alabama Jeff Sessions is your senator. Are you going to write to him to oppose his own nomination? Or the other senator who is probably bff with Sessions?

And in both cases - people are wrong. And politicians only care about the people who show up and actually write to them. If you aren't writing, they assume that you are cool with them and they can count on your vote the next time their job is up for grabs. But more accurately, Democrats and Republicans don't vote in blocks if their constituents are telling them to go against their party. Why the fuck do you think that gun control laws never get passed or that the Dickey Amendment is still with us (that's the one that says that we can't even research gun fatalities with government funds)? Because the fucking NRA gets mobilized every single time there's a vote.

Your Democratic senator might agree with your stance but they might also be getting a shitload of letters and calls telling them to go against it and just get along. Hell, Paul Wellstone was the most liberal senator in the 90s and he still voted for DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) because those were the calls he was getting.

And if you have a Republican senator, you REALLY need to write letters. It doesn't matter if that Republican is the reddest of the red, you still need to tell him that you do not approve. ANd it's probably more important because with the Republicans in the majority we are all fucked if they vote together. Marc Rubio was grilling Rex Tillerson about his Russian ties yesterday. Will he still vote to put Tillerson into the Secretary of State position? Maybe, but not if he gets a thousand calls saying that he cannot get Tillerson into it. And do you think Rubio grew a spine? Fuck no. Rubio is already feeling the pressure from a Florida voting block that is freaking out over Putin.

So there ends a livejournal post that is just a longer version of what I wanted to do on FB.
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I don't think I need to say this but Chuck Tingle is a goddamn national treasure [Jan. 12th, 2017|12:13 am]
Tim Lieder
Millionaire real estate tycoon Domald Tromp was born into wealth and, because of this, he’s grown thirsty for something more from life; something a little darker, a little weirder, a little more taboo. To satiate these cravings of the forbidden, Domald has embarked on one of his usual trips to Russian. Little does he know that this particular vacation will change his life forever.
Followed around by a camera crew from the Buttz Carlton Hotel, Domald turns Moscow upside down; sampling some illegal unicorn horn cuisine and hiring a handsome gay T-Rex prostitute. But when Domald suggests the handsome dinosaur pee on his butt, a political scandal begins to unfold unlike anything in the history of hardcore anal pounding!
This erotic tale is 4,300 words of sizzling human on gay Russian dinosaur prostitute action, including anal, blowjobs, cream pies, rough sex, facials, watersports and corrupt political figure love.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/01/11/chuck-tingle-has-already-written-a-novel-about-trumps-golden-shower-6375887/#ixzz4VWNbPEPe

I really wanted to start writing Trump erotica but I just don't have the dedication of Chuck Tingle. Besides I don't ever want to compete with Chuck.
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Golden Showers Golden Showers [Jan. 11th, 2017|11:18 am]
Tim Lieder
I don't know about this Facebook ban. On one hand I really want to be on Facebook making pee jokes but on the other hand, I think I can save a lot more time without Facebook. Not that I particularly am saving time. I keep going on Dominion and playing that one. But yeah, Trump just had a moment to bitch about fake news. Finally something leaked on him.

Also Rex Tillerson is up for a hearing today. It probably already happened. Hell, Trump's press conference is going on right now and i don't want to watch because I am 80% certain that the reporters will ask soft questions as if it's a press junket and say nothing about Russia, the terrible nominees, the piss scandal, etc. The reporters are going to ask bullshit questions about what his plans for the wall are and then act like they are being brave when he gets slightly pissed at their softball questions.

Make sure to contact your senators to stop these fucking nominations.

Also I am going to stay off my computer for a couple hours. Else this news is going to fuck me up.

I did unfriend some guy for bitching about how his $4 coffee tasted just like McDonald's. It's not that I don't sympathize with paying too much for coffee, but Jeff Sessions is up for a nomination to fuck over our civil rights so dude, ranting abotu your fucking coffee is not acceptable.
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Piers Morgan, Meryl Streep and Roman Polanski - clumsy misdirection [Jan. 10th, 2017|03:45 pm]
Tim Lieder
Before I write this, I must say that if you are reading this in the week of Jan 10 and Jan 11 when the Republicans are trying to push Trump's shitty nominations through (including David Duke's favorite attorney general Jeff Sessions, Putin's lesser bitch Rex Tillerson and that crazy woman who wants to fuck over the school system) CALL YOUR SENATORS!!!! If you live in the United States you have two. Do NOT make this stupid twitter war into the beginning and end of fighting Trump. STOP THESE STUPID FUCKING NOMINEES FROM GETTING CONFIRMED. Also if you think that "Turn off your television on Jan 20" is an effective protest and you don't call your senators then FUCK YOU!

Ok. That's out of my system, I saw my friend who got me banned from Facebook for the week (because she has shitty racist friends) post an article by Piers Morgan about how Meryl Streep was really stupid for making that speech. My friend said that Meryl Streep had no right to criticize Trump when she gave a child rapist a standing ovation (that would be Roman Polanski - and seriously Hollywood, what the fuck? The 70s are over. Drooling over a 15-year old Brooke Shields selling designer jeans by implying that she doesn't wear underwear is NOT COOL). My friend who is a little naive and easily brainwashed didn't seem to respect the rest of that gaslighting motherfucker's article (no Trump never mocked a disabled man. Who are you going to believe? Trump or your lying eyes?)

But let's examine that one thing that landed - Piers Morgan name checks Woody Allen and then accuses Meryl Streep of applauding Roman Polanski when he won for best director for The Pianist. The rest of the article was a word salad of broken logic and ad hominem attacks. I always wondered why Brits hated Piers Morgan so much because when he came to America his duty was to make Larry King seem exciting by comparison. Piers Morgan's only interview of note was with Alex Jones where he seemed like the rational one. Of course, Piers Morgan also GAVE A NATIONAL PLATFORM TO ALEX FUCKING JONES so even if he sounded like he was rational he was still normalizing that bullshit. So now back in England, Piers Morgan is a series of ticks and racism and defensiveness on behalf of a shitty little millionaire who doesn't even care that Morgan wants to have his back.

So the part that landed was the fact that Meryl Streep applauded Roman Polanski for a Holocaust movie. So in public discourse we have the "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" - especially if the sinner is someone that we like, because if you have any sin then we are going to ignore all the criticisms and attack you. Every sin by people we like is justified and exaggerated. Every sin by people criticizing people we like is a smoking gun and a reason why they are not allowed to talk.

It's the same old misdirection. But the part that I find fascinating is something that I found trying to research John Dillinger's alleged horse penis (it's convoluted) is that the Nazis basically used the same misdirection after John Dillinger was shot on the street by the FBI. After being criticized by the United States for - you know - being Nazis and putting their dissidents into concentration camps, Germany was looking for an excuse to go "you are JUST AS BAD" and John Dillinger was the perfect example. How can you say Germany is so bad if you go and shoot your suspected criminals on the street and don't even give them the benefit of the trial.

More recently, RT and Sputnik have been a gold mine of this discourse. Oh sure, Russia murdered thousands of civilians but it's really AMERICA that's wrong. In fact, that's why I finally just de-friended my cousin Brian on FB. I was too tempted to look at his timeline even after I knocked it off of my feed. He posted a meme that said "The U.S. does these things and you think I'm the bad guy?" with a picture of Assad. I really can't abide someone using the "he's not so bad and you're worse" argument when it comes to a mass murderer like Assad or Putin.

So Piers Morgan is using the "he's not so bad and you're worse" against Meryl Streep. It's an easy argument to make and it has to be as ridiculous as the Nazis claiming that they are better than America for John Dillinger or Piers Morgan using it in this context. The main thing is that the person being defended under this argument has to be truly shitty in order to render it ridiculous but the person that is in the "you're worse" part of the argument has to have sins that are at least tangentially related to the crime at hand. Meryl Streep was criticizing Trump for mocking a reporter with special needs. Piers Morgan pulled that "you clapped for Roman Polanski" line out of his ass because none of his arguments were making any fucking sense. Apparently Meryl Streep is never allowed to judge anyone ever again because she once made a poor judgment when it came to Roman Polanski. That's Piers Morgan's argument.

I marvel at the fact that Daily Mail even printed this word salad and orgy of half-baked arguments and bad logic. I would think that at least the editor could have edited the fucking thing. This particular blog post has more logical coherence than that Piers Morgan article.

Yet I am poor and Piers Morgan is rich because there is no justice in the world. At least not fast justice (but I will change my mind if God kills Roman Polanski's lawyer Alan Dershowitz - a particularly shitty rape lawyer that Morgan decided not to mention).
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On FB I would have just written a sentence about my hatred for Ray Donovan [Jan. 9th, 2017|06:01 pm]
Tim Lieder
I turned off Ray Donovan. I just stopped. Fifteen minutes into episode 9 and I realized that I didn't want to watch anymore of this tough guy posturing where all the women are either shrews or really shitty actresses (looking at you daughter character with an actress who seems to have failed at the Kristen Stewart School of Acting). Also since it's a Showtime show there are never going to be any fucking consequences for any of the characters. The show is going to pretend that someone is going to die or something will get lost or Ray Donovan is going to jail but it's not like the fucking Sopranos where these were actual consequences. No matter how many times Jon Voight's pimping criminal character gets caught or in trouble with the mob he will get off. Ray Donovan is doing I don't know what the fuck but he will mumble his way through his tough guy dialogue.

Not even Ian McShane can save this thing. There was a reunion between McShane and the woman who plays Donovan's wife because Deadwood was cool, but it doesn't get any further than Deadwood was cool (of course David Milch never quite got over that one). Everything is shot in the dark and everyone is acting tough but mumbling at the same time and everyone is a fucking loser, and not even in a fun way. They are just sweating losers and the show lets them be losers. I also strongly suspect that the writers are just getting off on tough guy posturing bullshit which means that poor Liev Schreiber has to get stuck in one role the whole fucking time. Hell the first season was the source of steady paychecks for Jon Voight AND James Woods.

I could say that the homosexual subplot ended the show for me (the Ian McShane character had an affair with his daughter's husband) because yep, gay men are just there to get killed with iron pokers when they get too pissy with their father-in-law/former lovers. Also Katie Holmes is still a shitty actress but I guess she has learned how to smile with her mouth in the middle of her face so that's something.

I feel a little hypocritical since I managed to watch all seasons of Californication and even enjoy it as a fantasy of a writer who wrote one stupid book and now gets to drive around Los Angeles having as much sex as possible. So there are some Showtime shows that I can stomach (I even liked the first couple seasons of Weeds - right until we got to the scene of "It's a flash mob! It's fun!" - No idiot, it used to be fun and now it's tedious - hey that's a great metaphor for this fucking show).

This show reminds me of Luck in that it's about sweaty losers talking like tough guys and never getting anywhere. Unlike Luck, this show actually makes some narrative sense so it's much less interesting (seriously guys what the fuck was Luck about? Besides horse racing. I honestly have no clue). Plot wise, it's like Dexter where it has four episodes worth of story dragged out over 12 repetitive and boring episodes.

Someone should hold an intervention of Liev Schreiber. He's way better than this dreck.
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Jeff Sessions - up for a vote tomorrow - fucking write your senator to stop this shit [Jan. 9th, 2017|05:31 pm]
Tim Lieder
Could someone please post this on my Facebook group. I really shouldn't have told a couple of racists to go fuck themselves. They got the vapors. The problem with being off FB is that I still want to talk about it but the platform is smaller here.

I saw a post on LJ that goes "National Turn off your TV Day" on Jan 20. This was promoted as a great protest against Donald Trump who cares about his image and will be very sad if he gets shitty ratings. Just like he was blaming the shitty ratings for Celebrity Apprentice on Arnold Schwarzenegger. The person posting the "protest" said that the beauty of it was that it did not involve calling or writing to anyone and that it was something that everyone could to let Trump know that the American people don't like him.

I strongly suspect that this bullshit was created by the Trump campaign. It could not be playing into Trump's hands anymore than a Trump tweet getting all the attention while he fucks over people. This is worse than Trump being allowed to claim credit when the Republicans changed their mind about destroying the independent ethics committee because he tweeted something.

If you turn off your television on January 20, NO ONE FUCKING CARES!!!!!!!!

The only thing you've achieved is to make yourself feel better. That's it. And if you don't write or call your senator (that's assuming that you are American and live in a state - obviously if you are Canadian you can do whatever you want) then you are useless. You are just fucking useless. You are worse than useless because you think that your pathetic protest is going to do a fucking thing when all it does is prove that Trump's distracting tweets are your lord and savior forever and ever amen.

Jeff Sessions is up for the Attorney General position. This man is a racist. He believes in segregation. He believes in civil forfeiture (meaning that the cops can take all your money if they suspect that you are a criminal and the burden of proof is on you) and he is one of the worst nominees.

You have senators. My senators are Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (or Kristen - whatever it's some white girl name) and I have been writing them letters, contacting them via their websites and calling the numbers so that they know that I want them fighting these nominations with every effort. Forget about just voting against them. I know that they are going to vote against Sessions (they better fucking vote against Sessions. They are representing New York after all) but I want to make sure that they do all they can to defeat Sessions - filibustering, making deals, bullying Rand Paul to actually live up to those mostly stupid libertarian principles that he espouses, etc.

So now it's your fucking job to call these people as well. If you think that you want to oppose Trump, yeah go ahead don't watch his fucking inauguration. It promises to be a boring depressing shit show, but don't for a fucking second think that it will make a fucking bit of difference when it comes to giving this rapist motherfucker even a second of consternation.

Call or write your senators. If you don't know your senators - FUCKING GOOGLE THEM - also punch yourself in the face for being so fucking ignorant, especially if you think that you are opposing Trump by watching a DVD or youtube on Jan 20. And then write or contact them.

If they are Democrats, then make sure they know that they BETTER work for the good of their party and block these fucking stupid nominations. If they are Republicans, then it's even MORE important that you contact them. Simple majority is all a nomination needs to be confirmed and the Republicans have a simple majority. Without someone like Rand Paul or Marc Rubio switching sides and voting against a nomination, we are fucked. There's a very good chance that the Republicans will vote as a block, but it's YOUR job - yes YOU - to contact them and make sure that they do not do this.

Thank you.

And also remember that if you are posting an anti-Trump article and NOT calling your senator or representative to oppose his policies (and his nominations) then you are even WORSE than your dumb fuck cousin who voted for Trump because Russian Times told him that it would be a good idea.
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Books Read in 2017 # 2-4 - Marvel Comics got really good when I wasn't looking [Jan. 9th, 2017|12:37 pm]
Tim Lieder
2. All New Wolverine: Civil War II - I recently re-read 52 which I cited as the comic book series that got me excited about superhero comics all over again and while I still enjoyed some aspects of the story (Lex Luther was truly evil) I found the series as a whole rather painful to read. I would have been much more eager to let the creators pat themselves on the back for giving the world a lesbian Batwoman if they didn't draw the splash page with her entering the fight with her butt to the audience but still twisting enough so that you can see her boobs. And that was compounded by the fact that the writer was sad that he didn't get to have his "did she fake her orgasms" joke. The John Henry/Niece story was predicated on the idiot plot and the cliche of the strong black man who is poor but proud (kind of like those tv movies where the family always refuses to take a turkey because they don't take charity even though they are all starving - I don't remember where that scene was but I fucking hate it - I think I hate it more now because it is total Reaganomics bullshit where the only valuable poor people are the ones who are starving and proud. The ones who actually take the fucking turkey are the parasites of society with their food stamps and welfare).

Getting off the subject. Anyhow I realized that as much as I liked 52, superhero comics can still be just as stupid and cliche as they were in the 90s when I stopped reading them. And DC has been breaking my heart all last year as I read collection after collection that were just banking on people being really shitty to each other as a way of being deep and profound. The only stories I kind of liked were the ones where Brainiac kidnapped a bunch of cities and had them fight each other - mostly because almost no one wanted to fight and most of the time they just found ways of getting out of the bullshit battle royale scenario. But for the most part, I was reading post-apocalyptic after apocalyptic stories where DC couldn't stop killing off their worlds. Earth-2 gets invaded by Apokalips and everyone dies - but not before most of them turn evil. Superman takes over the world after Joker tricks him into killing Lois. The Batman-3000 future is assured (or whatever the fuck that's called) no matter how much everyone tries.

So it's refreshing to read the new Wolverine as a story about a young woman who also has to take care of her clone. That's not to say that Marvel doesn't engage in its post-apocalyptic meshuggas. Hell, Days of Future Past made The X-Men. And most of this series has Old Man Logan which is one of the silliest post-apocalyptic stories in comic book canon (the evil Hulks, the Clint Eastwood take on the Hulk blatantly ripped off from Unforgiven, the fact that Red Skull is president after killing Captain America because that's how democracy works - even in a post-Trump world that makes no fucking sense) and still it's actually fun.

Ok. First off, Squirrel Girl is amazing. I would like to say that Squirrel Girl needs to be a movie. Squirrel Girl needs television shows and cartoons. The opening story where Squirrel Girl is forcing Wolverine to clean up her mess from the time in the last story when she put a tracker on a squirrel is just enough silly to be awesome. And the ending where Squirrel Girl misinterprets the squirrel giving a speech about forgiveness and responsibility when all the squirrel wants is a fucking nut.

The Old Man Logan material falls into a nice groove where Old Man Logan is there to provide a contrast with the father relationship that Laura has with the original Wolverine (who is still dead) but since Old Man Logan comes from a place where everyone is dead and Gabby killed Laura, it gets to be a "you are him but you aren't him" story and that kind of flounders in the chase sequence and the Old Man Logan gets crazy bits. Also Gabby has wolverine powers which isn't much of a twist. Basically by the time the story is over, Old Man Logan is given the boot (because he tried to kill Gabby) and Laura & Gabby go their way. In a television show this would make sense because you can't keep Hugh Jackman on the payroll indefinitely but in a comic it need only make sense from a story perspective and since this is a comic about a young woman who is growing into her responsibility and power, a grandfather Wolverine character is just going to drag on the story.

Also the Civil War II tie-in seems idiotic. I think it's all based on pre-cognition crimes since I read Ms. Marvel dealing with the same thing a couple months ago. I guess it makes sense for the superheroes to fight about ideologies in which the reader can see both sides of the issue and it's better than the old reasons why they used to fight (they just met). It is still little more than an excuse to make superheroes fight.

3. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel You Know it's True - I can forgive the squirrel/girl puns in these titles. Ms. Marvel is still my favorite Marvel title at the moment, but damn Squirrel Girl has fun with its premise. And it's strange to use the term "fun" in relation to comic books. Aren't comic books supposed to be fun? Seriously, the main thing about comic books for better or worse is escapism. Of course, they don't have to be escapism and Will Eisner proved that graphic novels can be about whatever you want them to be about. Besides Alan Moore and Frank Miller took superheroes seriously with Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, but this led to many writers getting the wrong message. Instead of "hey let's work with the real world a little more and see what comes out" they went with "let's make everything really fucking depressing all the time because that's what the audience wants. Call this number if you want Robin to die after the Joker beats him into paste with a crowbar).

So Squirrel Girl is fun and I will not say that the next 3-4 books that I review, but damn it's great to have a fun comic book where the heroine isn't taking everything seriously. Goddamnit, she's Squirrel Girl. She talks to squirrels. She also has a big tail. That's it. So of course they have her taking on Galactus and winning (or at least convincing Galactus to stop getting a craving for snacking on Earth). And self-aware comics can be great (they can also be tedious) so when the opening story has people telling Squirrel Girl stories while waiting for rescue, of course Captain America is going to keep switching to Hydra (and even monarchy at one point) because why not poke at the biggest controversy in Marvel titles. The main story is about an evil squirrel from Asgard who turns everyone against each other and the roommate getting to go to Asgard and convincing Loki to become Cat-Thor - which is yes, Thor if he was a white cat. There are so many points where comics hit the reset button and come back to the state where they were at the beginning and while some have to be done (Wolverine is not going to stay dead), I REALLY LIKE this Loki who is just in it for the shits and giggles. Sure, super powered pranksters are going to be dangerous no matter how much they think it's all in good fun so Loki could be deadly eventually, but Loki just fucking around for his own amusement - that's quite beautiful.

4. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: BFF - Thus far this is the book that I admire more than I like. Moon Girl is a young black girl who is also a total nerd and is only slightly more fantastic than the average nerd kid (I could go on about how YA writers depict teenage and child nerds as super geniuses who are always making scientific and technological advances that are beyond most adults.) This is the set-up title. The dinosaur comes from another dimension or the past (I am not certain) along with neanderthals who form a street gang and take over the gang activity of gentrified Manhattan neighborhoods (weird) and then there's a great deal of material about what to do with the dinosaur. The Hulk is smart again. I suppose that works. Anyhow I look forward to future titles.
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Mocking Myspace on Facebook is not open to me for a time so here you are... [Jan. 8th, 2017|10:53 pm]
Tim Lieder

This is a link that I would post on Facebook for the Tom Hardy pictures alone. I think that once these myspace pages have been found they will swiftly be removed but for now, let us enjoy the picture of Taylor Swift going all goth and Tom Hardy duck facing. One should note that Tom Hardy duckfaced AFTER that Star Trek movie which was not his breakthrough movie (that would be Inception) but damn he looks goofy. This makes me respect him as an actor more even when he does a Sean Connery impression for the entirety of The Dark Knight Rises.

Also Tom Hiddleston cited Meet the fockers as one of his favorite movies. Not even the first movie. Nope. The terrible sequel. Of course, it is nice to know that someone in the Marvel movie actor ranch once took that ever popular "what superhero are you" quiz (he got The Flash - so his agent was really dropping the ball when he got him the audition for Loki).

So this is why Facebook took over. I now remember bitching about the link posts and the one line posts on Livejournal. For a couple years twitter was my enemy because I really don't want to read fucking tweets on this format. Now with FB you can do long posts, short posts, videos, links, etc. Even quiz results and memes are FB bound.

With Livejournal, you can just write medium to long essays about your life. As it should be.
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And again I am in Facebook Time Out [Jan. 8th, 2017|05:26 pm]
Tim Lieder
This time it's for a week. I suppose this time I really was asking for it. I told some racist bitch that if she didn't like Michelle Obama she should go back to Russia. I think I called her a shithead. Mostly it was the law of the aggrieved asshole running to report to FB when she gets her feelings hurt. So I can block the two assholes and that's about it. I really should not have kept them unblocked. I have a friend who is dangerously naive and I actually met her when she was engaged at age 20 and giving these amazingly smug sermons about how everyone should be married now. The frum brainwashing was strong with her. And while this friend is still nice, she comes from a Russian background where they got out of Russia for being Jewish and then some of them went psycho frum because generations of religious persecution is going to create the equal and opposite reaction of extreme religiosity in the name of liberty. Somewhere we should meet in the middle.

So anyhow this friend is pretty rightwing and very prone to saying the most regressive things like telling a male friend that his job is to work and he shouldn't worry about the housework and children because that's his wife's job. Her child raising techniques are also textbook systemic sexism as her son is a fucking monster who gets away with murder while her daughter is constantly being trained to be a "little lady".

Anyhow this friend is a little conservative, Russian and too eager to accept the religious bullshit that I wrestle with. I should give her a break because she is a moderate in the political sphere while her old friends from the neighborhood are fucking monsters. They couldn't even say that Michelle Obama's speech (my friend posted Michelle Obama's speech and loved it) was good without spouting the most racist paranoid ranting. And unfortunately I was awake in the morning and instead of doing what I should have done which was to block them and never talk to them - or more realistically tell them that they are racist and disgusting without getting all personal and attack dog - and THEN blocking them - I instead went full "fuck you" on them.

And the one named Julia (I don't remember the last name - which is a good thing else I would post it here and Livejournal sometimes wants to come down on people) reported me and I got blocked.

So I suppose I can work or something for the next week.
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Forward Magazine and the exploitation of Writers (again) [Jan. 8th, 2017|12:32 am]
Tim Lieder
Have you ever heard of New Voices? Of course you haven't. New Voices works on the "how fucking stupid are the writers" platform where they hire a college graduate to work for them for 2 years and ONLY 2 years. And then all the writers are college students. So they are doing their college student thing and writing articles for exposure and learning how to write and whatever. Of course, real college newspapers actually pay the reporters - not much, but they still pay them - but that's not New Voices.

New Voices is a shit magazine that has a "tradition" of screwing over young writers because they are fresh and excited and dangerously naive and too stupid to know that writing for free is nothing. And getting too hung up on this one particularly condescending exploitation rag is a waste of time. Just because I know people that got to that Menudo Editor position doesn't mean that it affects me. I gave away writing for free at one point. Other people will give writing away for free. The people who are exploiting the writers are putting out shit (because yeah a writer that is worth printing is worth paying and eventually every writer figures that out) so they will always have a limited audience.

I did get too hung up on the shit literary magazine Mimaamakim which was a Jewish literary magazine with 115 pages of shit poetry every issue and what was the point? I suppose I would have been less angry at them if they didn't keep sending me invitations to their fucking fundraisers. What the fuck are the fundraisers going to pay for? Not the fucking writers. There are only so many times I can post that Harlan Ellison video. One of the slam poets got mad enough to tell me that I was being rude, but he was never going to be convinced that his labor of love was shit and would always remain shit.

Anyhow there was an article in New Voices and it was so popular that Forward reprinted it. And since I knew someone connected with the article, I asked if the reprint was paid for and the answer was No, because the Jewish newspapers are really free and open to sharing.

So they describe fucking over the writers and exploiting writers as "free and open and sharing". Oh sure, you worked hard on that article and we are just going to reprint it and FUCK YOU with our business practices, but we are SO NICE. Yes, that's Forward Magazine, the liberal Jewish magazine, the one that likes to shame Orthodox Jews and take on a nice Liberal Jewish position on everything. Forward Magazine supports slavery when it comes to writers.

Of course, Forward Magazine shouldn't be doing it. Forward Magazine should not be reprinting articles without paying the writers, but Forward Magazine is one of those shitty little places that thinks that it's totally cool to fuck over writers and if writers are too naive to actually get paid for their work or demand it, then is it Forward's fault that they just stole the work off of writers.

After all, a liberal Jewish magazine like Forward is only really happy to support worker rights when those workers are not writing for Forward - or writing for a Jewish magazine that is associated with Forward.
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Books read in 2017 # 1 - Hip Hop, Judaism and Institutional Racism [Jan. 6th, 2017|02:17 pm]
Tim Lieder
1. Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker by Julian Voloj & Claudia Ahlering - After a decade where the city was abandoned in favor of the suburbs and the war on drugs yielded the crack epidemic, many gangs got together in order to deal with the violence. In Minneapolis, the group was called United for Peace and the police immediately assumed that they were just gang bangers trying to commit more crimes with the newspapers going along for the ride by comparing these initiatives with a famous mafia sitdown that was raided by the feds. Forget the fact that the mafia guys were career criminals and the gang bangers were teenagers who were joining the groups that would allow them the most protection in the places where they were living. Hell, even ignore the way that the drug laws turned every drug user and dealer into Public Enemy # 1 without context. And while we're at it, why don't we keep talking about black-on-black crime while vilifying the people who are in the community trying to stop these crimes (of course, if the people who are talking about black-on-black crime are doing it for any reason other than to draw attention from cops killing black people it would be a minor miracle).

This graphic novel is about the early 70s when the gangs also got together to make peace in the Bronx, centering around Benjy Melendez who was the main organizer in the peace talks as well as the main guy in the Ghetto Boys. The main problem with a graphic novel (and this one has a lot of charcoal illustrations) is the fact that I want to learn more. What did he do in the gangs beyond hang out and beat people up? Did he really get taken by surprise to find out that drugs were in the neighborhood? How did he get to the top of the gangs to the point that when he left Ghetto Brothers they were angry with his wife?

The main story of a community coming together and creating peace is beautiful. The fact that this led to the house parties that would create Hip Hop is almost an afterthought. This is the story about Benjy Melendez and as it is his story it feels a little too clean. Even when his wife leaves him, we don't really get why beyond the fact that he couldn't tell her about the fact that he was going to a synagogue and letting her think that he was either cheating on her or running with a gang. She gets a very small part and that's it.

The book even skips about 20 years to a point where he is eager to meet his daughter that he never knew.

So within this 118 page book there are about 3-4 separate stories
1. His relationship with his Asian wife and how that fell apart.
2. The Ghetto Boys
3. The Peace Talks
4. Hip Hop
5. Judaism

The stories for #2 & #3 are given a great deal of attention and still I wanted more but the one part that feels like an epilogue that should be an entire book unto itself is the Judaism part. Benjy actually was a marrano which means that he had no idea why his family lit candles on Friday night or why his father prayed under a prayer shawl. So when he started going to a synagogue, it was a baal tshuva instead of a conversion story. But when he told his mother what was her reaction? Did she know that they were doing those things because they were Jewish? I suppose I should just read marrano memoirs (and btw marrano is an anti-Semitic slur that is literally pig - something I should have known since I live in a Spanish speaking neighborhood but I have enough problems talking to my English speaking neighbors - ok that's a lame excuse for not even taking an introductory Spanish class), still this felt like an important part of the man's life now that brings up more questions than it answers - especially when the photographs in the book show him wearing a tallit.
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