Atrocities Committed in the Name of Money and Power

While I don’t believe in a supernatural Antichrist or a conspiracy to bring such a being to power on Earth, I certainly do believe that humanity is capable of great evil and has committed great evils for the love of money and power.

While I don’t believe that we have literally been branded by some sort of Satanic number, I do feel that more than ever, certain numbers have power over our lives. We have our social security numbers, and purchases made with our debit or credit cards are tracked. True privacy is something of a myth.

When people are motivated by greed and love of power, terrible things will continue to happen.

~Opal~

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Burgers With a Side Order of Misogyny and Microaggressions

dontunderstand

I was having dinner with my mother and my son at Applebee’s tonight. They always keep their televisions on sports channels, which I tend to half watch. Most of the time I see nothing worthy of pondering. Tonight, however, I was left with the bad taste of sexist microaggressions in my mouth.

Carl’s Junior ads have become increasingly sexist. The ad I viewed tonight was pretty well softcore pornography. It was shown on a station such as ESPN during prime time hours.

There are those who would ask me what the big deal is. The ad was suggestive, but the women weren’t actually naked.

The big deal has nothing to do with the degree of nudity involved. In the first place, it is offensive to have women put on display as sex objects in order to sell projects.

One might argue that while this may be true, there’s nothing we can do about it. Sex sells,and there are bigger problems in the world.

It is true that there are problems which are more directly violent and life-threatening. Also, the argument that “sex sells” in cases such as this really translates to misogyny sells. If they were truly promoting their product using “sex sells” as a guide for creating their advertisement, then both men and women wearing scanty clothing and behaving in a sexualized manner would appear in the ad.

Since men never appear in ads such as this one wearing skimpy clothes and behaving in a sexualized manner, the phrase “sex sells” is, in fact, bullshit. Misogyny sells, and its target audience is dudebros.

One might argue that it is mostly men who watch the sports channels, ergo, airing advertisements of this nature does no harm. It may be primarily men who view sports channels. However, advertising of this nature is not without harm.

In the setting I was in, a family restaurant, there will be young children. Little girls viewing advertisements such as this one are learning that this is how women are supposed to look and behave. They are learning that if they do not look like the sexy women in the advertisements they are not “real women.” They are learning that they need to behave in a submissive and sexy fashion in order for men to find them attractive.

Little boys are learning that women are supposed to behave in an overtly sexual manner to please men. They are learning that women are objects used to sell products. They are learning that women are things rather than people.

As well, the idea that sports are only “for the boys” is a harmful one. It creates a notion that women who enjoy sports, either as observers or as participants, don’t matter. Women, if they appear at all, are supposed to be eye candy. They are not to be taken seriously.

Some may say, well, that’s just the way it is. You can’t fight the tide.

Actually, you can. The advertisers want money. Don’t give them what they want. Don’t buy products from any company that uses misogyny to sell said products.

I’m of the opinion that if you can’t sell your product without using the “sex sells” excuse, your product must not be able to stand on its own merit. I don’t want it.

It actually is possible for women to be portrayed as sexy without demeaning them. Compare the problematic Carl’s Junior ad with one of my favorite music videos.

You can find the Carl’s Junior ad here. I am not embedding the ad as I do not want to increase their hits. I’ve used a Do Not Link URL.

Here is the music video.

 Can the women portrayed in the video be perceived as sexy or appealing? Absolutely, but they are also not there only as “eye candy” for the male gaze. They are part of a story. Their presence may be representative of an idea, but they are autonomous beings. One may find them pleasing, but they are not there solely to be pleasing. 

The men in the video can also be perceived as appealing and sexy.

This is the difference between media that has sexual appeal and media that appeals to sexist ideals in order to sell a product.

I don’t expect honesty from advertisers. However, if they were to be honest, they would have to admit that “sex” is not what they’re selling. They’re selling misogyny, using sexed-up, submissive women as objects to promote their products. It’s an outmoded idea that sends a terrible message. Consumers need to stop buying it.

~The Real Cie~

Should Boxing Be Banned?

My mother believes that boxing should be banned. She is right that the head injuries incurred by boxers are troubling and can cause physical and psychological problems down the line. She is right about mafia involvement in boxing. However, I think there are other steps that can be taken rather than banning the sport outright.

Boxing should be cleaned up. Steps should be taken to prevent fighters from incurring head injuries. A new set of criteria should be developed for choosing a winner in a match as opposed to the K.O. Whenever someone is knocked out, they have incurred a head injury. Head injuries are serious business, and the aftereffects can last a lifetime, particularly after multiple head injuries have been incurred.

The general public does not realize just how serious head injuries are. They see people getting knocked over the head on television, and that person gets up a bit later with a headache but is all right. In reality, a head injury is much more serious. There can be lasting aftereffects including dizziness, recurring headaches, seizures, mood swings. Head injuries can even kill.

I believe that boxing is a legitimate sport, but the aspect of head injuries very definitely needs to be addressed. The champion can’t very well enjoy the winnings if they are struggling with post-concussion syndrome for the remainder of their life, or worse, if their life is over because of an ill-fated blow.

~Tempest~

Online Education: An Explanation and a Rant

 

MOOC stands for Massive Online Open Courses.
MOOCs are currently free and taught by instructors at top universities. There is no grade associated with taking the class.
Online education is an extremely important area. I am currently taking the courses necessary to advance from an LPN license to an RN license via online courses through Excelsior College in Albany, New York. I would not be able to do this otherwise, because I’d have to go to school all day and work all night.
Which brings up a beef that I have with the way most nursing programs are run.
Nursing programs overall seem to stuck be in the dark ages. Most of the classes I attended to get my LPN license could have been taken online, but the school didn’t have the funds to pay online instructors. They were lecture classes. The teacher read right out of the textbook.
I was able to obtain my LPN license because there was a part-time school option. The school in my area does not offer a part-time option to obtain the RN license. One would have to go to school full time, which I simply couldn’t do. I don’t have the option to work part time. I do not have a spouse or parents to support me while I go to school. One should not be expected to have such.
As well, I can understand requiring that clinicals be done on a day or evening shift rather than a night shift, because nights tend to be an oddball shift. I should know, I’ve worked night shift for a great part of my working life, and I prefer it.
This one is the fault of the hospitals, not of the college. The hospitals do not offer a day or evening option for clinicals, which I very much think they need to do. Not everyone does well on day shift. Some people, like me, work night shift, and an evening shift clinical would be much less difficult to adapt to.
Medical school is another area that needs to advance out of the dark ages. My brother is an EMS captain in Tucson. He works closely with the staff at the area hospitals. He says that interns are still treated as the “resident’s bitches,” and the hours they work during their clinicals are horrible, i.e. 36 hours at a time without a break.
It seems to me that nursing school and med school remain shitty experiences because the people who came before had shitty experiences, so they want to insure that those following in their footsteps will suffer too. It’s a poor attitude, and it’s time to work to make these experiences positive ones for students. I think people graduating from a more flexible program where they were treated in a humane fashion would be better doctors/nurses.
I realize that people have to have their skills down pat before they can be certified. I’m not saying that nursing and med school programs should be lax about requiring excellence in the necessary areas. I’m only saying they should treat the students with common decency rather than continuing with harsh, outmoded practices.
~The Cheese~
 
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The Passionate Eye: Anthrax War

This documentary by The Passionate Eye recalls the anthrax attacks following 9/11 and calls to mind the chilling thought of the extreme lengths that people are willing to go to in order to achieve their objectives. Germ warfare is not mere science fiction, and if it were to be used on a mass scale, the effects could be devastating.

~Adam~

Same Shit Different Day

Initially, I was interested in what this guy had to say. Then he proved himself to be nothing but another boring, fatphobic asshole who believes that “comedy” means encouraging the sheep to laugh at your mean-spirited jokes about people you don’t even know. Gee, that’s never been done. Next!

~Spectra~