Instagram

​I’ve developed a sick fascination for the narcissism that is Instagram. Everyone is either a bodybuilder, nutrition expert, model, nail stylist, world traveler, or self-proclaimed selfie-deity.

One has to only tap over to the search tab and scroll thru the recommendation list to see the side-show of profiles. It is like reality tv in pictures (and 20 second vids). You get porn stars praising god, women trying to emulate skank Kardash-whatever-her-stupid-name-is, guys who think they are ‘gangstas,’ and sadly, even the stupid memes you see all over FB. It is all of that and a healthy mix of random folks who just like to take pictures and share. Of course, you can follow friends as well.

I tend to be against storing all my stuff on ‘other’ peoples sites but since I filter it back to my photoblog, even if I delete it, I still have all my pics.

Be warned though, FB has clearly integrated it on the back end. The moment you start adding friends or likes on IG, your FB suggestions updates with many of the same folks who happen to be on FB as well.

Beyond the sick fascination, I find using IG fills the void that used to be FB. I mean something has to fill the void right? hehehe

On a tangent, does anyone know why the hashtag is #instagay instead of just #gay? Is it because of abuse?

Secret

We’ve heard tons of comments on white privilege in recent weeks, but what about religious privilege? We are quite accustomed to hearing from the fundies about how they are being persecuted. The reality is religion is given an exceptionally wide berth in this country.

In recent days, I’ve seen a plethora of news stories on church pastors talking about killing LGBT folks for just existing and having the audacity to want equal rights. And don’t get me started on those Duggar assholes. All of these folks are becoming desperate because they realize they are losing their so called culture war. Forgetting the normal rants on how we are single-handedly causing the destruction of everything because … "god" for a moment, they’ve upped their game now and completely gone off the deep end.

It is time for us as a citizenry to start reigning this nonsense in. You can believe whatever brand of crazy you want as long as you keep it to yourself. You can believe I am personally going to some imaginary place of eternal suffering after I die because I refuse to fall in line with your brand of crazy.1 But the moment you start calling for me to be less than other humans or calling for my death, you no longer get a say. The moment you start trying to legislate your beliefs on everyone you’ve crossed the line into bigotry. Your ignorant bile is not welcome in society anymore. ​

Even worse in my mind are the people who go around giving lip-service to their so-called faith but do nothing to stop the insanity. Where are all the other church pastors decrying this behavior? Where is the outcry from the millions of Americans who ‘claim’ to be christian? Why are they not condemning these fanatics? Could it be because their supposedly non-violent book of fairy tales is actually very violent. We are quick to talk about how Islam is a violent religion but we brush off our own brand of crazy. Well, your dirty little secret is out and we ain’t buying it anymore.

In my book you no longer get a pass. Your privilege ends with me. Stop sharing your smarmy photos and memes on social media about how wonderful your [insert deity of choice here] is and start calling out the crazies in your own ranks. If you are not calling them out then you are complicit in their actions. And if you are an LGBT person on top of it, you bear the shame of knowing your inaction directly contributes to the oppression of your brothers and sisters.




  1. I still can’t get over the ‘shell-fish is an abomination’ clause. I sends me into hysterics every time. Of course we realize how crazy that is but magically forget it when it comes to begin gay. []

UnFriend

I discovered recently someone I know personally has unfriended and even blocked me on FB. We weren’t close friends but I can’t ever remember having a falling out of any sort. Granted, I didn’t even notice said person had unfriended me for quite some time.  The only recollection I have is that he and I often had slightly different political views. We disagreed a few times but it was never mean or rude. He would get rather upset with anyone who didn’t agree with him. I’m left to assume he got mad because I disagreed on something and blocked me. Oh well. He was clearly missed. /sarcasm

This last week I noticed I’ve also been unfriended a few times by folks who didn’t agree with my views on current events. It seems to be a growing theme on social media. Basically, people don’t want debate, they only want supporting comments or views that reinforce their own. Then they get super upset or bent out of shape if someone disagrees with them. If you don’t want comments from people who might disagree, either don’t allow comments or don’t post it.

For myself, if you can’t handle debate then I’m sure we wouldn’t be friends in real life anyway. Successful discourse  requires two way communication not just pontification of your own thoughts. I usually try to keep my discussions to the topic at hand without any personal attacks. I also try to refrain from name-calling and inflammatory comments. I say ‘try’ because even I lose my shit sometimes.

Anyway, I’m off topic a bit. If you friend someone  you don’t really know on social media, you shouldn’t be overly surprised if they don’t always fall in line with your view of things. Barring said personal attacks mentioned above, you should try to converse and debate vs just writing them off and unfriending them. You, or they, might learn something. You also have the added benefit of developing a deeper understanding of your own belief. Teaching or explaining concepts to others forces you to better understand it for yourself.

Civic

Everyone is jockeying for the moral high ground after the Ferguson verdict. Social media is a shit-show of everyone pointing fingers at each other. I won’t even go into all the judge/juries that have appointed them selves verdict makers on Brown/Wilson’s implied guilt.

I feel like I have a unique perspective on the subject.1   There is my work side that deals with law-enforcement issues every day of my career. I can see valid points from the officer’s story. There were several things Brown could have done to avoid the confrontation. Then there is my gay side that grew up at the hands of very rough and not so friendly police on more than one occasion. I can see valid points from Brown’s family. The police could have handled the situation better and not necessarily let it escalate out of control. 

The reality is neither side is blameless. No one has the moral high ground here. And no one should walk away feeling like they lost/won. We all lost. People often can’t resolve the cognitive dissonance created by the ambiguity of fault or blame. And because of this, we can’t admit that neither side is blameless. Brown refused to comply, Wilson overreacted.2

No matter who’s side you are on it still means nothing unless we act. If we truly want to fix these problems, we must move beyond the never-ending and condescending tantrums via social media. And while petitions and marches in the streets are excellent displays of solidarity, they are not enough. These things depend on someone else to fix our problems.

We as a citizenry must be involved. We cannot abandon, thru indifference, our oversight of those we place in power and be surprised when it suddenly becomes corrupt. Civic duty is not just serving jury duty or voting, begrudgingly. It is our guaranteed right thru the freedoms granted us. But we must exercise those rights. It should not be something we only do when it is convenient. It should be a part of our daily lives.3  If more of us get involved, we won’t need to constantly focus on blame. We’ll be in forums to constantly give oversight, feedback, and accountability to both sides.

Basically, I’m saying be involved or shut up and accept your servitude. It is that simple. Like any living thing, democracy must be fed or it dies from neglect. Go to your local police community meetings. If they aren’t offered,  rally your neighbors and friends and demand they have them. Go to your governing body’s public meetings. Call, write, and/or email your local and state leaders. And don’t do it once and call it good. Involvement is ongoing. Embrace your civic duties. Then and only then can we see real change.




  1. No surprise there right? lol []
  2. Please spare me unnecessary rants on the variances of this over simplification []
  3. Do me a favor and read this paragraph again []

Majority

I’m a big believer in facts. Numbers matter but context matters just as much. It seems to be a common tactic these days for people to throw out a number and then try to twist it to fit an ideal. While sometimes the confusion could be forgiven, when it is obvious the fact is presented after the ideal as validation, one should be suspect. lol

Point and case, I got into a debate with a conservative person the other day over marriage rights. It was online and the topic diverged into a discussion about Fox News and said person’​s argument, ‘if Fox news is so bad, why does it routinely rank very high in viewers?‘ Said person was quite smug and very matter-of-fact about how the ‘majority’ of Americans got there news from Fox.

No, no, and just no. The failure in logical reasoning here is the assumption it is a one or the other choice. It isn’t. The rest of us aren’t limited to just one other option. We have a plethora of outlets to get our daily consumption for what passes for news these days. The idea that Fox is somehow the voice of Americans due to a large viewing base is categorically false. What it does show is that the extremists have limited choices and Fox is pretty much it. Not surprising, said person then resorted to typical diversionary tactics to avoid further debate.​

*

On a side note, Fox news went to court in 2003 on whether it was required to report factual news. Fox won as the judge ruled there was no legal requirement for them to do so!

I’ll just let that sink in for a bit.

Because there is no actual law that requires news agencies to report factual news, they don’t have to? Where is the moral and ethical obligation? Concurrently, Fox has since gone from a reputable news agency to a propaganda arm for extremist views. Welcome to “murrica”.

Bait

No, I’m not dredging up stories of child hood fishing trips or late night trolling for booty. I am referring to the out of control click-bait you see polluting most social media sites these days.

Headlines are written to provoke a click. It doesn’t matter if the headline isn’t true or so twisted to barely represent the story, as long as you ‘submit’.1 Most of the time said person sharing the click-bait hasn’t even read the link. It it is annoying to the point that I’ve started unfollowing people who do it a lot.

It is one thing if it is specifically related to you or your life. Beyond that, I don’t care what animal you are. I don’t care what cartoon character you are. I don’t care what your wanna be porn name is. I don’t care what character in any movie ever made is. I don’t care if you are a unicorn who burps glitter and shits rainbows. And here is a news flash, no one else does either!

And you people who share fake stories or scams “just to be safe” need to be punched in the dick!  Knock. It. Off!  No Bill Gates and Yahoo are not joining forces. No, the IRS is not sending the sheriffs to your house to arrest you unless you send them money. No, the quadrillionaire in [insert county here] did not die and leave all his money in limbo so his [insert relative or estated holder] can ask your help in getting the money. No, VI@gR@ will not help you ‘get the girl.’ No, “if you are a real ______, you will share this like I did.”  And for fuck’s sake, NO YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A LOT OF MONEY BY MAGIC IF YOU POST THIS TO 10 OTHER PEOPLE’S PROFILES.

Now get off my lawn!




  1. Reference to a very funny Simpsons episode btw []

PSA

I thought I’d provide a public service announcement today. Let me attempt to clarify (and edify) you on the differences between belief and bigotry.

Belief (or faith) in your [deity of choice] is soley your choice in life. Under the freedoms granted to you in our democracy, you are free to believe and celebrate (thru prayer, church, communion, etc) said belief thru its given dogma any way you choose. While I may or may not agree with your belief(s), you are entitled to them and I respect that. You are free to believe that being gay is an abomination.1 You are free to hate me for being gay. Hate is not illegal. You are free to think that I will be transported to a magical place of fire/brimestone upon my death. You are free to ignore the fact that I was born gay. You are free to disagree with the later statement verbally. You are free to say your beliefs and share them with others by proselytizing2. These are your rights.

What you are not free to do is enforce your belief onto me, thru laws or otherwise. You are not free to commit a crime against me based on your hate. When you attempt to enforce your belief(s) onto me you are engaged in bigotry. You are not free to discriminate against me based on your belief when you provide public accommodations. You are not free force me to live your way. You are not free to prevent me from having the same rights as any other human being simply because I’m different. We do not live in a theocracy. And no matter how you might wish we did, we still do not. Your belief does not shield you from persecution when you cross over into being a bigot. And calling you out for your bigotry does not make you a victim of persecution. And no amount of cognitive dissonace, conflation, or twisting the english language will ever make it so.

Now you know. Go forth and edify others; so it is my commandment to you this 17th day of October in the year 11 of Moby’s blog.




  1. So is eating shell-fish. Where is the outrage over shrimp? I mean just look at those nasty little buggers! They have ‘demon’ written all over them! []
  2. witnessing []

Duty

​I’ve gotten more than a few inquiries on my thoughts regarding the Missouri incident.  In a word, it’s a mess. You have a citizenry that is under-educated and have all but abandoned their civic duties. Granted, they can’t be blamed so much for that but looting your own community demonstrates a level of ignorance that is becoming more and mor prevelant in this country.

I come from very poor means. It is hard to care about community involvement when your sole existence is about survival. But, if we hope to stop problems like this we have to encourage said communities to be and do better. We need to shift our priorities away from the accumulation of wealth and to the betterment of people. Education is a huge component. An educated community is often more involved. Of course, the powers that be want you to be dumb because you are easier to control.

Then you have a police force in a small town that has all the authority and very little oversight. This is not unusual per se. Visit any small rural area and you’ll see similar stories. Does that mean all rural depts are bad? No, of course not. But as the facts unfold, it is glaringly obvious the agency is lacking in any sort of oversight or accountability from its citizens. The abundance of hard-core military grade gadgets is simply crazy.

At the end of the day a young man lost his life. His implied guilt or innocence is not a valid reason on its own for his death. And as the facts are told and clarified, there is a larger cloud over the agency vs the officer involved. The often inflammatory (and even sometimes inaccurate) reporting from many media outlets hasn’t helped the situation. And of course, the emergent mob-mentality of our social media commentary is just icing on the cake. If social media is your only source of news, you are part of the problem. If you don’t know the details of a story or incident, keep your mouth shut until you do. Don’t share links you haven’t read because of a link-baiting headline. And you f**kers who share every story with the idea “it can’t hurt“, need a serious ass-whooping. /rant

Are there bad officers? Of course there are. But for every bad cop, there are easily 100 more you never hear about. Why? Because cops doing their duty don’t generate sensational headlines or ad-clicks.1  A few bad cops do not make them all bad and isolated stories of abuse do not paint an accurate picture.  Yes, our law-enforcement should be held to a higher standard, but humans are fallible no matter their position in life. To avoid the corruption we as the citizenry must be involved.

And speaking of, our citizenry is becoming ill-educated every day it seems. Subjective validation is often more important than facts or reason. Religious fanatacism and personal greed have trumped our morals. We’ve gone from ‘what can I do for my society‘ to ‘what can society do for me?‘ The idea of civic duty or responsibility is a foreign idea to most folks these days. A citizenry that abandons it’s overseers is quickly overrun by their own indifference. Absolute power corrupts absolute as the old adage goes. You cannot give away your power thru inaction and then wonder why the abuses keep happening. Proclaming your outrage on social media and demanding change does nothing to help and only serves to feed the problem.

Perform your civic duties. Vote, serve on jury duty and most of all, be involved in your community. Go to community meetings. Know your local policy makers and pay attention to their actions. Only then will your actions carry weight and effect change. Otherwise, you end up just being another sheep being guided by those in power, often to your detriment.




  1. Poor comparison but I see the same mis-characterization in my volunteer work with animals regarding pitbulls. []

Observed

In the vein of my last post I thought I share some follow up observations. Pride as a celebration/protest/march/event has changed. It continues to change every year. This should not be a surprise as our community has seen the fastest change in acceptance of any civil rights struggle in the last century. What Pride means to me is different from someone experiencing Pride for the first time. And of course, Pride as an event as always been a bit subjective. For some it is a celebration, for others it is a protest, and for some still it is an act of defiance.

The Pup and I did our first Pride together this year and I still found myself getting a little choked up. To my surprise, he mentioned to me later that he had as well. I often spend as much time looking out across the see of attendees as I do the parade participants. Looking out across the sea of people still gets to me every time. It reminds me of where I came from and where we are headed. It doesn’t matter if they represent me or look/act like me. No matter our differences in life, I always feel connected to them in a common thread that is humanity. We are all but mainstream now. For some that is a blessing and others see it as a curse. Either way, our often treasured events are no longer just ours. They are shared by others, some who just come to party. I don’t begrudge them.1  For me, Pride will always be a celebration of that dawning realization I was not alone.

That being said, the Pride of the 70’s/80’s/90’s is gone. As with life, all things change and as fast as we change, so does our celebrations. I do lament that many of the younger generation will never take the time to know the struggle of those before. They won’t know the pain, the heartache, and even death of the many souls who fought for us to be seen as humans; deserving of the same respect and treatment as our straight brethren. But having freedom doesn’t mean others should comply with my way of thinking or acting. The alphabet of letters we’ve assigned ourselves and others are all welcome at the table. Just as freedom should not be contingent on compliance or conformance, neither should equality.

*
Many of my frustrations with Pride (and other gay events) has little to do with us as a community and more with society as a whole. We devolving in many ways. If we don’t pull away from the indifference, selfishness, and anti-intellectualism that is plaguing our society, we are in big trouble. I fear for ‘our’ celebrations because of this. But I digress. Our own alphabet community, while tied together in common struggle, is beginning to unravel and fight against itself. Having tasted the sweet fruit of equality, we are abandoning our tolerance and acceptance of our differences. We see the world thru the lens of black and white and anyone who would disagree, even in the slightest, is often labeled the enemy.

There is an emergent polarization erupting in our rainbow colored spectrum. We have those who embrace our newfound equality and those who rail against it. The former are labeled sellouts and conformists and the latter are labeled freaks and anarchists. While both labels may be true in some instances, such overly broad generalizations are not helpful. Some of the antics from both sides in the last year have made me ashamed to be called gay.

Each of us is responsible for our actions. We can choose to mire ourselves in the obscurity of the masses because it is easy and comfortable. Or we can choose to lead a path of truth, even when it isn’t always convenient. You have to ask yourself, which path are you on?




  1. Even if I begrudge some of their drunken antics []

Less

I find that I spend less time on social-media sites these days. One, I’ve been super busy so less time and two, it just seems to be more and more tedious and boring. There is so much crap and filler meant to generate ad-clicks, it just gets to a point where the purpose is lost. It is no secret I loathe FB but it does allow a connection of sorts to friends. I’ve threatened to dump FB in the past and still might but it is more likely I’ll just end up posting less and less until it becomes a place-holder.

Part of my frustration is witnessing the dumbing down of America. And it is getting worse. Our indifference to anything outside our immediate environment is contributing to the decay of our society. Integrity, honor, respect, honesty, truth, it’s all becoming buzz-words. Social media was meant to unite and bring us together and it seems to be doing just the opposite. I can’t say I wanna be a part of that. Don’t even get me started on the whole anti-intellectualism movement again. OMFG! 

Then you have the “stories” that often catch on like wild-fire that turn out to be hoaxes or flat out lies. Almost every day now I encounter stories that are fake or have just enough of the truth to seem plausible. And of course, no one can be bothered to check around or fact find, they just read a story and assume it is true and then continue to spread the ignorance. Even credible news outlets have been falling prey to this.1  As my maw-maw always used to say, “…believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.”

Unlike previous moods, I’m not saying I’m leaving vs just expressing a growing dislike for said sites. They have some use but I’m finding the cons are out-weighing the pros more and more.




  1. One has to look at the recent Turing Test story going around about a supercomputer finally crossing a threshold of believability as a human. Total fabricated story but it spread to even many of the tech sites []