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James J. Lee, the Interwebs, and the Erosion Personal Responsibility

A good friend of mine works at the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring. As soon as I heard news that gun wielding James J. Lee entered the Discovery building with bombs strapped to his body, I freaked the fuck out and called her. Fortunately, she was safely evacuated along with the majority of the employees. Only three were actually taken hostage and they made it out safe and sound after Lee was shot dead.

As more details emerged about James J. Lee, the internet exploded with liberals and conservatives blaming each other’s “extreme” philosophies as the motivating force behind his act of violence. Gun laws this. Tree-hugging radical that. Maybe he’s a Muslim. Maybe he follow some radical Asian religion. All this hateful, pedantic, straw man back and forth trying to blame the other side completely ignored the simple fact that James J. Lee was bat shit mother fucking crazy. It’s appalling to think that we’re so afraid of personal responsibility these days that we’re more than willing to blame a religion or political affiliation for the acts of a crazy man rather than the crazy man himself.

James J. Lee might have been a liberal tree-hugger. He may have believed in the living earth, Gaia. He may have listened to the Spice Girls (the Spice album, not that sellout Spiceworld crap). He was also crazy. It’s the crazy that made him do it, not the tree-hugging, not the Jesus, and certainly not the Spice Girls (I have no actual idea if he listened to the Spice Girls. But who knows). He was crazy. His crazy self had a choice to stay home and sit on his ass or strap on a bomb and a gun and go to the Discovery building. He made his choice. He is responsible for his actions. Liberalism isn’t responsible. Mother Gaia isn’t responsible. The Spice Girls aren’t responsible. James J. Lee is responsible.

What happened to personal responsibility? Are we so afraid to take ownership of our own mistakes that we’re readily willing to blame politics for this crazy fucker? If we must restore anything in this country, it’s personal responsibility. You are ultimately responsible for your own actions. You can choose to be influenced by politics or religion or music. But ultimately, it’s your choice, your fault, your responsibility.

James J. Lee should be blamed for his actions. Not politics. Not religion. Not music. Just him.

Proposition 8 Overturned!

A federal judge declared California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Proposition 8 denies same sex couples the right to legal marriage. In his opinion, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker wrote:

Proposition 8 singles out gays and lesbians and legitimates their unequal treatment. Proposition 8 perpetuates the stereotype that gays and lesbians are incapable of forming long-term loving relationships and that gays and lesbians are not good parents.

Hells yeah!

It disgusts me to think that a few decades ago it would have been illegal for me to marry my wife. And it disgusts me now to think that gays and lesbians are getting the same treatment because of who they spend their sexy time with. What the hell people, if they’re not fucking you, why do you care?!

Of course, that’s not the end of it. Supporters of Prop 8 will appeal. And if they don’t get their shitty little proposition reinstated, I’m sure this case will end up in the Supreme Court. I actually think that a Supreme Court decision could be a good thing. Well, a good thing if they uphold the judge’s decision. Other than blatant discrimination based on sexual preference, I have never heard a legitimate legal argument against same sex marriage. I don’t think the Supreme Court will be able to find one either. If the Supreme Court upholds the judge’s decision, gays and lesbians will no longer be treated like ethnic minorities used to be treated in pre-Civil Rights Movement America.

I hope this marks the beginning of a new chapter for American civil liberties. I want to live in a country that encourages love and stands against discrimination.

Source: Huffington Post

Designers Giving Back

Wanted to share this email I got from AZM Ally Charm City Shinobi:

Jamie,

I saw your posts on your blog and Yellow Peril about the auction to help out with the oil spill. My friends and I started a group called Designers Giving Back and we’ve been down in Mississippi for a few weeks now helping out with various things, from providing resources to volunteers to building homes for the numerous Katrina victims still displaced. We’re currently working with the National Audubon Society to create a documentary showing the real effects of the oil spill, the shots they’re trying to censor from the news. Our website is http://designersgivingback.com, and if you like what we’re doing, could you give us a shout out on your blogs so we can help spread the awareness?

Thanks, much appreciated!
Dann a.k.a. Charm City Shinobi

Pretty freaking awesome, Dann. Designers Giving Back is accepting donations for room and board and travel or if you want to give directly, you can send money through their Razoo campaign.

I know, not very Gundam Wednesday of me to post this today. But can you imagine if we did have working mobile suits? That hole would have been plugged up months ago. Good luck Dann. You guys make us art folk proud!

Source: Designers Giving Back

How Does BP Deal With Spilled Coffee?

I’m sure there are a lot more out there, but I thought this parody of the BP oil “Fuck You Gulf” was spot on.

Anthony Le is a Bigger Iron Man Fan Than You Are

Anthony Le has got to be the biggest Iron Man fan ever. In his spare time, he builds Iron Man suits that have motorized face shields and arc reactors that light up. This is Anthony Le at Starfest 2010 in his War Machine armor which is equipped with the motorized face shield, red glowing arc reactor, and a shoulder-mounted motorized Gatling gun. Fuck. Yes. Oh, and in case you’re wondering how he breathes, the helmet has a ventilation system.

Thanks to Angry Zen Minion Elliot Fox for sending this along.

Source: Master Le

Besides the Name, Why Else the iMaxi Sucks

padlock

If you recall my initial comments regarding the unfortunately dubbed iPad, despite a few personal gripes I thought that it was a solid idea. I take it all back. In my musing, I forgot that this was Apple we’re talking about. It should be called iPadLocked.

If you remember the iPhone launch, initially Steve wanted that puppy locked down. No outside apps. No dev kits. No nothing. He finally relented with the apps and released an SDK which really made the device the useful piece of technology that was promised. But to get an app on the iPhone still required Apple approval. Now while this strategy may work fine for a small portable device like an iPod or iPhone, when it comes to something that’s meant to replace netbooks and laptops, the closed system just doesn’t cut it.

The only way to get new programs for your iPad is to go through the app store which is vetted by Apple. Essentially, Apple controls the way you interact with media on their device. Now the quote “There’s no wrong way to hold it” and their entire introductory product video implies that the iPad will let you experience digital media in a manner that best fits you. This is a total lie. Sure, you can hold the fucker any which way, but you will be experiencing media in a manner that Apple dictates. Can’t change the video card. Can’t upgrade the memory to run insane things like Photoshop. Can’t put in a new battery. Nope. You get it the way Apple intended it.

Now for most, that’s perfectly fine. Most people aren’t terribly particular about how they interact with media. Show on, goood. Show off, find new show. Apple’s target market won’t give two shits that they can’t really customize their pad to fit their needs. They’ll just be happy to have the new hotness. But are the rest of us willing to let Apple dictate the way we interact and consume media?

Of course, this won’t matter a tick if the thing flops. The Cube, the Lisa, the Newton, the Air, all nifty ideas that failed to revolutionize much of anything. I think the pad is positioned to be a hit and it certainly looks pretty nifty. We’ll just have to see if there are iPhone-like lines when the thing is released, wings and all.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this PSA. Never thought I’d see the two of them working together for anything. It’s nice to see that even in this poisonously politically divisive era that our leaders can set aside their differences when human tragedy calls out for help. I wonder what good could be done if we, as a people, came together more often to help each other in times less dire. For more information, visit the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. And if you have not already given, you can also text QUAKE to 20222 to give $10.

On a more intellectual note, I’m sort of fascinated with how social media is being used in this Haiti relief fund raising effort. Organizers have really embraced Twitter, Facebook, and text messaging to spread the call to action. People aren’t just changing their user icons for Haiti, they’re sending money, supplies, volunteers. It’s amazing to see how effective social media can be when used for good. I wonder, though, how sustainable this action is. Haiti will need aid long after the mainstream media moves on to other stories. Will social media still be able to keep Haiti in our collective memories? The other thing I wonder is that if social media was around in the past, could genocidal horrors like the Rwanadan massacres have been prevented? Just how powerful is social media? We’ve seen that it’s an excellent fund raising tool, but can it motivate social change?

Anyway, that’s what’s in my brain meats today.

Source: Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

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