Harry Potter and the Corruption of Everyone?

Now, my numbers may be a bit off here, but I’d say most folk the world around have heard the name Harry Potter. I mean, he’s one of the most famous people to have never existed. Ya.?.  Some would even say he’s bigger than Paul Bunyan. Ok, I’ve never heard anyone actually say that, but let’s assume for the sake of this post that tons of HP fans have said as much. For those reading this who aren’t familiar with the magical world of HP, I’ll sum it up for ya as briefly as possibly possible. Awkward UK lad fights against creepy, noseless UK adult and tons and tons of amazingness inbetween. Not the greatest summary, I’ll grant you, but it’ll have to do for now.

While perusing the vast vastness of media information and cat memes that is the internet, I stumbled upon this little gem of news…  Ok, it was posted on Yahoo news, but I still stumbled upon it.   “Teenage exorcists who say Harry Potter has corrupted the world head to Britain armed with Bibles and Holy Water to tackle hotbed of occult activity”

I read the title and of course my first response was to chuckle a bit. Once I was done with that, it became a wtf moment for me. Harry Potter and corruption? I mean… c’mon.. it’s Harry Potter for crying out loud. I mean look at that face. Is that the face of evil???

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None the less, I decided to give the video attached to the news posting a look-see.  To summarize it, three holier than thou fame-seekers from Arizona (Brynne Larson,  Tess and Savannah Scherkenback) have come to the conclusion that Harry Potter is the source of an occult outbreak across the UK. (Because the works of JK Rowling obviously predate the existence of the occult in Europe… [he said sarcastically]) The last time I checked though, England didn’t have a Ministry of Magic..  Not even a Ministry of Cheap Tricks. They claim that “The spells you are reading about are not made up. They are real and come from witchcraft.” If I had a dollar for every time I pointed a twig at someone and shouted “Avada Kedavra!” and they died from it, I’d not have a single dollar. Forget the little blue pill… who needs that when whipping out your wand and chanting “Engorgio!” does the trick? What’s next? Will they be on a crusade to purge the world of the evil of fairy tale characters like the Fairy Godmother? Is she some harbinger of Satan wrapped in a winged old lady’s clothing?

As I write this, it dawns on me that the three girls may be confusing this: 3176173-1748009911-hp.jpFor this: voldemort
I mean, they both seem so identical, don’t they?  Take away the facts that one is the hero and one is the villain, one has friends who loyally follow him and the other leads by fear, one has never killed anyone to get what he wants and the other does it just because… take away those and other things and they’re oh so identical.

I don’t mean any of this to be a slam against Christians or Christianity in its wide spread uniform diversity, but with individuals like this in the spotlight, it’s no wonder some people can’t take the religion too seriously.

I hope that anyone who reads this post is far more enlightened and open minded than those who have inspired it. Just remember, because you don’t understand something does not make it inherently evil. And if you haven’t already, pick up a copy of Harry Potter. I promise you, it’s an amazing read.

For your viewing enjoyment, here’s the video in question. I’ll let it speak for itself… :

 

The full article inspiring this post can be found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415387/Teenage-exorcists-say-Harry-Potter-corrupted-world-head-Britain-armed-Bibles-Holy-Water-tackle-hotbed-occult-activity.html

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It’s All About Love…

I’ve recently learned that President Obama has come out openly in support of same sex marriage. Not just that, but he’s the first president on record to have done so. As someone who’s gay, that makes me incredibly happy. As someone who’s a human being, that makes me incredibly happy as well. As happy as that makes me, It saddens me that people out there such as…Rush Limbaugh have nothing better to do than make statements like: “We’ve arrived at a point where the President of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage.” Now, while it’s every person’s right to have whatever opinion they might, there’s no reason to start hooting and hollering simply because the President has seen fit to acknowledge that same sex couples, just as everyone else, deserve the right to be married. Not have “domestic partnerships” or any such thing, but to be married. As little a word it may be, in this case, it carries something  tremendous. That tremendous thing is love.

This “war on marriage” as it’s being called is in truth is nothing short of a farce waged by the very people who make statements like that made by Mr. Limbaugh. If your idea of traditional marriage means having 2 or more ex wives/ex husbands and a slew of children left in the wake of the dysfunction that often follows,  then who’s to say such a fictitious “war” shouldn’t be waged? When it comes to the notion of marriage, a joining of the body and the soul, it is an intimate and spiritual institution; not one to be decided on by organized religion or petty little men and women who can’t see past their own bigotry and ignorance of the rights of all men and women. Marriage is love, and love predates governments and organized religion. If a man loves a man.. no… if a person loves a person, no matter their gender, they should be able to be wed; reaping all the benefits and responsibility that comes with it. If this were merely a matter of being unfit to be wed, there are many (In heterosexual marriages) whose marriage would be deemed invalid. Marriage is something based on love in its purest and simplest form. Not on laws and rules enforced by people who honestly know nothing of those who wish to be wed.

I’ll just close with this. If you don’t like the idea of David and Jim or Samantha and Ruth getting married, then you’re entitled to that opinion. But nowhere in that entitlement do you have the right to persecute David and Jim or Samantha and Ruth. Ask yourself this question… and think about it seriously and answer it honestly… If you were David, Jim, Samantha, or Ruth and all you wanted was an affirmation of your love for whomever it is or was that you loved and you were denied that right by some group of people because their religion won’t allow it and says it’s wrong… how would you feel? If one of your children who you love with all your heart (as any good parent does) or a niece or nephew was to tell you they wanted to get married to a member of the same sex who they were truly and deeply in love with, would you turn your back on them? Denying them something as basic yet important as love?

Advertisement Gone Wrong.

Recently, (As recent as a few minutes ago.) I happened upon a news article about a hair product in Turkey. While I’m not too inclined to care one way or the other about this hair product vs. that hair product or their commercials, this particular commercial gave me pause to think; and so I find myself writing this blog.  The Turkish shampoo commercial in question features video of Adolf Hitler declaring the shampoo product to be for “real men”. Understandably, the commercial’s had quite a few complaints from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a few others who feel that the commercial is deeply, deeply offensive.

“We follow with sadness and regret the use of Hitler figure in the Biomen Men Shampoo advertisement, which was brought to the screen in recent days,” says the the Turkish Jewish Community.  “It’s totally unacceptable to make use of Hitler, the most striking example of cruelty and savagery. … Using him in an advertisement for whatever reason is an unacceptable situation and could not be accepted by us at all. This is beyond all ethics as well as a huge insult to human rights.”

In the shampoo ad “Biomen,” uses archived stock footage of former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. He is heard yelling and gesturing wildly with his hands, while a fictional and unrelated text above reads:

“If you are not wearing a woman’s dress, you should not use her shampoo either,” Hitler says in the ad. “Here it is, a real mens’ shampoo, Biomen.”  The video is then seen to cut to a picture of the shampoo bottle with the on-screen message, “Real men use Biomen.”

ADL National Director, and Holocaust survivor Abraham H. Foxman called the advertisement “disgusting” in astatement released by the group.

“The use of images of the violently anti-Semitic dictator who was responsible for the mass murder of 6 million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust to sell shampoo is a disgusting and deplorable marketing ploy,” Foxman said. “It is an insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust, those who survived, and those who fought to defeat the Nazis.”

I’ve seen many posts in response to the commercial and I have to say that some of them left me utterly confused as to how people could be so apathetic and uncaring as far as how this commercial can effect people.
How would you feel if instead of Adolf Hitler in the ad, it was Kony, Torquemada, Idi Amin, Ayatollah Khomeini , Pol Pot, Josef Stalin or some other evil excuse for a human being whose image, likeness, and voice were being used? For the Christians out there.. how would you feel if the worlds largest(well-known)satanist’s image, likeness, and voice was being used to push this product? I’m fairly sure you wouldn’t like it.
All it manages to do is celebrate their atrocities, and act as a very real slap in the face for those who have suffered and or survived the horrors brought about by any of those names I listed.
It may have happened 70+ years ago and what Hitler says may be in the German language, which not everyone understands or speaks, and there may be subtitles which say something completely unrelated and different from what his actual words were, but none of that changes the fact that using such a person and their voice/words, such a physical embodiment of the darkness and evil that mankind is capable of to push your hair care product is wrong and morally reprehensible.

In the event that you haven’t seen the commercial, here it is. Feel free to let me know what you think.

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Equal Rights = Right.

Marriage (or wedlock) has been defined as a social union or legal contract between people creating a kinship. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but is usually seen as an institution in which interpersonal relationships, (intimate and sexual) are acknowledged. Such a union may also be called matrimony.

Washington state lawmakers voted to approve gay marriage Wednesday 2/8/2012, setting the stage for the state to become the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed. This action of course coming a day after a federal appeals court declared California’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.

The bill passed on a 55-43 vote in the Washington House. Supporters of the bill’s passing viewing from the public viewing galleries and stood cheering as many on the Democratic side of the House floor hugged after the vote. Gov. Gregoire watched the vote in the wings with the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray, who is a gay politician and who has sponsored gay rights legislation for years. Murray said the vote marked “a day that will be remembered in the history of this state.”

Gov. Gregoire also issued a statement saying it was: “a major step toward completing a long and important journey to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

Democratic Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has also sponsored gay rights bills for several years, said that he and his partner have been grateful for the rights that they have under the state’s existing domestic partnership laws but such protections are “a pale and inadequate substitute for marriage.”

During the remarks on the House floor, Pedersen read from the  the San Francisco-based 9thUnited States Courts of Appeals ruling, citing a section that stated “marriage is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults.”

As a side-note, those who disagree with same sex marriage because of religious reasons should know that  homosexuality as well as the institution of marriage predates most if not all practiced organized religion and therefore doesn’t necessarily fall under the purview of  religion or religious belief.

Surprisingly enough, there seems to be a schism (the size of which is unsure.) even amongst some in the gay community when it comes to the issue of same sex marriage. I came across this quote earlier today on Facebook and I can say with utmost honesty that it is what prompted me to do this post. Keep in mind the post was written by a gay male and honesty wasn’t coming from a place of hatred or anger. : “When it comes to gay rights and politics i don’t care to get involved with the outcome or drama. The majority of people who vote are straight… Therefore, I just try and set a good example for them to want to vote for the rights we think we deserve. I wish people would see that marriage is for heterosexuals. If we want to feel “normal” by getting married we need to prove to the majority of voters that we can be respectful when it comes to the union of two people.”

Representative Maureen Walsh Remarks on ESSB 6239

Now while setting a “good example” is all good and fine, one should not have to set a “good example” in order to prove to anyone that they deserve something that is considered a basic human right. I shouldn’t have to prove that I deserve the right to marry any more than I should have to prove that I deserve the right to use the same bathroom that a white/caucasian person uses, or the right to vote, or be a land owner….if I have the money to own land.

The best response to the aforementioned post came not too long after I myself responded to the post. The responder had this to say: “Gay people shouldn’t have to perform for heterosexuals to attain equality, nor should bigotry be permitted as a “normal” state of affairs. Most people who oppose gay marriage in the U.S. do so out of hatred and fear. It isn’t our respectfulness that anyone should be worried about–it’s theirs.” All I could say in return was “Well said.”

As a  responses to the above comment on the post I quoted, the poster had this to say: ” I’m not saying we need to conform to heterosexuals. I’m saying that the majority of voters are straight and would more likely vote gay rights if we gave them better reasons to do so. We need to set a good example and be respectful so that we can be treated equally.”

Once again the sound of needing to appease a majority in order to get something deserved by all people can be heard. While I do not agree on any level with that individual’s point of view, I do respect their opinion.

Regardless of the thoughts or opinions of those against same sex union in marriage, it is a right and as such, I feel that one day it will be universally accepted as such. Human rights applies to all humans, regardless of their ethnicity, faith, political affiliation, or sexual preference. If I want to marry a man, I’m going to marry a man.

If Homer J. Simpson (Seen in my featured image for this post.) can understand that marriage is not bound by gender, what’s your excuse?

Santorum: Just Another Dirty Word.

If you were to go on to Google and type in “santorum”(Minus the quotes of course.), what you’d find wouldn’t be the nicest thing in the world. Now..I won’t type out what pops up at that search, but despite it’s not being all that nice, I find it more than deserving and fitting.

Before I begin digging into him, here’s a bit of information about the guy.  Richard John “Rick” Santorum is a lawyer and politician, and a  member of the Republican Party. He represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives (1991-1995) and the U.S. Senate (1995-2007). As a Senator, Santorum was the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, making him the third-ranking Senate Republican from 2001 to 2007.

Santorum is considered both a social and fiscal conservative. He is especially well-known for his strong social conservative positions,his role in enacting welfare reform in 1996, and his views on U.S. foreign policy towards Iran.

Since leaving public office, Santorum has worked as an attorney, served as a Senior Fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and been a contributor to Fox News Channel.

Santorum is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2012 election. He formed a presidential exploratory committee on April 13, 2011, and formally announced his candidacy on June 6, 2011. After running in the bottom tier of candidates for months, Santorum gained significant momentum in the weeks before the Iowa caucuses, and scored a significant second-place finish in the caucuses with just eight votes fewer than the first-place finisher Mitt Romney.

Beneath that politicians smile lies a man filled with ignorance; and not the blissful kind. In a Fox interview, Rick Santorum had some… interesting things to say on the topic of gays in the military. During the interview, a clip was played  in which he was heard to say (when asked by a gay soldier “Do you intend to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”) “Any type of sexual activity has no place in the military and the fact that they’re making a point to include it to a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privileged to…in removing “don’t ask, don’t tell” I think tries to inject social policy into the military.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a yes if ever I’ve heard one.

If that’s not enough, in an interview with Associated Press reporter Lara Jakes Jordan, when asked for his position on the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, Santorum said that the scandal involved priests and post-pubescent men in “a basic homosexual relationship” (not child sexual abuse), which led the interviewer to ask if homosexuality should be outlawed.

Santorum then brought up the then-pending U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas, which challenged a Texas sodomy law, and went on to say that:

  • he did not have a problem with homosexuals, but “a problem with homosexual acts”
  • the right to privacy “doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution”
  • sodomy laws properly exist to prevent acts which “undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family”

How does one not have a problem with homosexuals yet have a problem with homosexual acts? It’s like saying “I like black people, but I don’t like them doing things that black people do.” It’s ridiculous.. to say the very least.

When Jordan asked “Okay, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?” Santorum’s response concluded:

“In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —” (At this point, Jordan commented, “I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was going to talk about ‘man on dog’ with a United States senator, it’s sort of freaking me out,” coining a phrase widely used in connection with this incident.)

In the original version of the Associated Press story, Santorum was quoted as saying:

“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”

It also included additional remarks criticizing “homosexual acts”:

“Whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, whether it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.”

Jordan produced a recording of the interview, after allegations of bias were leveled against her because she is married to a Democratic strategist.

This is a man who wants to be the President of the United States. A man who’s shown more ignorance than intelligence through his running for the most powerful office in the country. I don’t claim to be any sort of prophet, soothsayer, doomsayer or the like, but I’m pretty sure that if a man such as Rick Santorum was to win the office of President, this country, if not the world might as well be as doomed as those who believe in the Mayan calenders think it to be. As much as I value free speech.. and I do, it’s always sad when someone takes a gift like that and wastes it spouting such garbage. This is why “santorum” is just another dirty word.

Before I go, I’ll leave you with this gem of a video I found.:

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Zombie Apocalypse/Zompocalypse 101

In an earlier post of mine entitled A Geek Peek at 2012, one of the things I discussed, though briefly was the Zombie Apocalypse. In a comment to that post, someone stated that they didn’t understand the Zombie Apocalypse, so I figured I’d take the time to try and explain it to all those who may not be familiar with it.

The Zombie Apocalypse is defined as being a particular scenario of apocalyptic literature . In a zombie apocalypse, a widespread rise of zombieshostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization.

In some stories of zombie apocalypse, victims of zombies may become zombies themselves if they are bitten or scratched by zombies; or if a zombie-creating virus travels by air, sexually, or via water source. In others, everyone who dies or has died in the past, whatever the cause, becomes one of the undead. In some cases, parasitic organisms can cause zombification by killing their hosts and reanimating their corpses, though some may argue that this is not a real or traditional zombie. In rarer cases, possession by a demonic spirit or demonic spirits (released through some ancient tome, rite, or incantation) has caused the long since dead and or the closest living being to become a zombie. In the latter scenario zombies also prey on the living though their bite may not always cause an infection that kills and reanimates. In either case, this can cause the outbreak to become an exponentially growing crisis: the spreading “zombie plague” swamps law enforcement organizations, the military as well as health care services; leading to the panicked collapse of civil society until only isolated pockets of survivors remain. Basic services such as piped water supplies and electrical power shut down, mainstream mass media would no longer function and the national governments of affected countries collapse or go into hiding. The survivors usually begin scavenging for food, weapons and other supplies in a world reduced to a mostly pre-industrial or possibly post apocalyptic, hostile wilderness.

Now fiction aside, there are reasons such an event could actually take place in the real world. Here are 5 reasons.. 5 scientific reasons backing up a Zombie Outbreak/Zombie Apocalypse:

5.  Brain Parasites- A parasite is an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense. Brain Parasites are the same as any other sort of parasite, though they feed off of either chemicals produced by the brain, brain fluid, or other things related to the brain. In nature there are many parasites. One such being toxoplasma gondiiToxoplasma gondii is the causative agent of the toxoplasmosis disease. In summary, extensive studies carried out under different experimental conditions suggest that T. gondii changes the behavior of rodents so as to make them more likely to be predated on by cats, the parasite’s definitive host.

From cracked.com Chances this could cause a zombie apocalypse:
“Humans and rats aren’t all that different; thats why they use them to test our drugs. All it takes is a more evolved version of toxoplasmosa, one that could to do us what it does to the rats. So, imagine if half the world suddenly had no instinct for self-preservation or rational thought. Even less than they do now, we mean. If you’re comforting yourself with the thought that it may take forever for such a parasite to evolve, you’re forgetting about all the biological weapons programs around the world, intentionally weaponizing such bugs. You’ve got to wonder if the lab workers don’t carry out their work under the unwitting command of the toxoplasmosa gondii already in their brains. If you don’t want to sleep at night, that is.”

4. Neurotoxins- Poisons that act on the nervous system. Certain neurotoxins can slow your bodily functions to the point that you’d be considered dead. The poison from fugu (Japanese blowfish) has the capability to do this. The victims of neurotoxin poisoning can then be brought back under the effects of a drug like datura stramonium or alkaloids that leave them in a trance-like state with no memory. In this state they are still able to perform simple tasks like eating, sleeping, moaning and shambling around with their arms outstretched.

There are reported cases of this actually happening in Haiti, which is where the word “zombie” comes from. Some of the most famous books on the subject are by Dr. Edmund Wade Davis: “Passage of Darkness” & “The Serpent and the Rainbow” Clairvius Narcisse was declared dead on 2 May 1962, and yet in 1980 returned alive to his home village of L’Estère in Haiti. After investigating reports of “zombis” (including Narcisse and a handful of others), researchers believed that Narcisse received a dose of chemical mixture containing Tetrodotoxin (pufferfish venom) and bufotoxin (toad venom) to induce a coma which mimicked the appearance of death. He was then allowed to return to his home where he collapsed, “died” and was buried. Ethnobotanist Wade Davis, who did the research on Tetrodotoxin explains that a Bokor would have given Narcisse a powder containing the Tetrodotoxin through abraded skin. Narcisse fell into a comatose state, closely resembling death which resulted in his live burial. His body was then recovered and he was given doses of Datura stramonium to create a compliant zombie-like state and set to work on a plantation. After two years, the plantation owner died and Narcisse simply walked away to freedom. Though there is no way to necessarily make this sort of zombie aggressive or cannibalistic; if such a thing was able to happen and on a wide enough scale.. we would certainly have a zombie problem.

3. Rage- A feeling of intense anger. It is associated with the Fight-or-flight response and oftentimes activated in response to an external cue, such as the murder of a loved one. The phrase, ‘thrown into a fit of rage,’ expresses the immediate nature of rage that occurs before deliberation. If left unchecked rage may lead to violence. Depression and anxiety lead to an increased susceptibility to rage.

In the movies 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later, the Rage Virus is a virus that turned human beings into mindless killing machines and is the cause for the zombie outbreak and subsequently the Zombie Apocalypse. Now, while the rage virus may not exist in the real world, we do have a series of brain disorders that do the same thing. They were never contagious, of course. Then, Mad Cow Disease came along. It attacks the cow’s spinal cord and brain, turning it into a stumbling, mindless attack cow. Combine the Mad Cow Disease with some people’s predisposition towards violence and there you have it.

2. Neurogenesis- The process by which neurons are generated from neural stem and progenitor cells. Most active during pre-natal development, neurogenesis is responsible for populating the growing brain with neurons. Some would even word it as being the method by which dead brain-tissue can be regrown.

Science can pretty much save you from just about anything but brain death; they can swap out organs but when the brain turns to mush, you’re basically dead. Right? Well apparently a dead body can be kept in a state of suspended animation to be brought back later. That just seems like it’s leading to bringing the dead back to life.. as long as they’re freshly dead. ya know.?. As nice as it sounds to have your loved one brought back from death’s very doorstep, the process of “reanimation” could cause a problem. The brain would die from the outside in. The outside of the brain, being the cortex, the part which makes people…. people. That would basically leave an individual a husk of their former self. Though the cortex isn’t needed for survival, you would be left a mindless shambling…zombie(for lack of a better word.). Take one freshly dead person, use the techniques of neurogenesis to regrow the dead brain-tissue or the brain stem and you have a living dead person, devoid of thought or personality.  All it takes is someone with considerable time, resources, and a need for a totally mindless workforce to obey their every wish.

1. Nanobots- Very small self-propelled machines, esp. ones that have some degree of autonomy and can reproduce. Basically they’re microscopic machines that can build or destroy anything.. in a matter of speaking.

Scientists have already created a nano-cyborg, by fusing a tiny silicone chip to a virus. One of the first things they found out was that these cyborgs can still operate for up to a month after the death of the host. Who knows…within a decade they may have nanobots that can crawl inside your brain and set up neural connections to replace damaged ones; rewiring your thoughts. Ask yourself…what could possibly go wrong with that? Nanobots in your brain after you’re dead… keeping your body moving and functioning and moving till there’s nothing left to move.  The nanobots would be programmed to self-replicate of course, and the death of the host would mean the end of the nanobots. In order to preserve themselves, they’d be forced to transfer to a new host. Therefore, the last act of the nanobot infested zombie would be to bite a hole in a healthy victim, letting the nanobots steam in and start the whole process all over again in the new host. Once in, they could shut down the part of the brain that resists (the cortex) and leave the brain stem intact. They would have added a new member to their undead ranks.

There you have it. Science has proven the possibility, feasibility, and the reality(No matter how unlikely it may be.) of a zombie outbreak.

All that’s left is surviving a Zombie Outbreak/Zombie Apocalypse. Good Luck.

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Take a Note from Their Book…

Being that I love fantasy and sci-fi films, I figured it was high time I paid homage to some of the leading ladies of the genre.
Here’s a list of some of those hard-hitting women of sci-fi and fantasy (in no particular order.) and what makes them awesome.

1. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in TERMINATOR 2: Sarah Connor is the mother of John Connor, leader of the resistance group of humans fighting for freedom from the machines. The character develops greatly over the course of these productions, from a timid victim of the first film to a hardened warrior on the verge of losing touch with her own humanity. Because of her will to stay alive and do what needed to be done, she made it so that her son could live and fulfill his destiny in the future.

2. Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo (The Bride) KILL BILL VOL. I-II: Beatrix Kiddo was a for member of a formidable group of assassins. After leaving that lifestyle behind, she decided to settle down and get married. Unfortunately for her, the head of her former group decided to show up at her wedding and pay her a little visit. This of course lead to all the members of her former group of assassins showing up for an impromptu butt-stomping. Beating her to what they believed was her death, they left her there. She of course didn’t die, she lived. She found the will to live through what would kill any normal person. Not only did she live, but she tracked down those responsible for her condition and she killed them in a way earning her a spot on this list.

3. Carrie Fischer as Princess Leia, THE STAR WARS TRILOGY: Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, was a pivotal figure in the rebellion against the first Galactic Empire in the universe of Star Wars. Her ship was captured by Darth Vader, her home planet of Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star, and the Love of her life was frozen in carbonite. In stead of giving up and giving in, she posed as a bounty hunter as part of an elaborate plan to free him from the clutches of Jabba the Hut. Even after her capture at the end of this plan, she found it in her to kill Jabba when the right time presented itself, by choking the Hut with the very chain he used to “enslave” her after her failed rescue plan.

4. Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, ALIEN, ALIENS, ALIEN 3, ALIEN RESURRECTION: Due to a fire aboard the Sulaco, an escape pod is released. It crash-lands on the refinery/prison planet Fiorina “Fury” 161. Ripley is the only survivor. Unknown to her, an egg was aboard the ship. The creature is born in the prison and begins a killing spree. Ripley later discovers there is also an alien queen growing inside her. Despite all her hardships and being continuously attacked by the aliens of the movie, she keeps her cool and does what she needs to do to survive.

5. Kate Beckinsale as Selene, UNDERWORLD, UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION: Selene is a death-dealer; a warrior vampire charged with dealing with the issue of lycans (werewolves) All that she believes to be true comes into question and long-time truths become nothing more than lies. In order to discover the truth, she goes against orders and helps a human and in doing so discovers just how horrible the truth can be. Instead of buckling under pressure, Selene goes on to kick major butt with a style only she can bring, saving her life and the life of the human turned half lycan/half vampire Michael Corvin by killing the man who was once a father figure to her.

6. Milla Jovovich as Alice, RESIDENT EVIL:  Alice is a security officer working for the Umbrella Corporation. She and Spence Parks, posing as a married couple for cover, were placed at a mansion outside Raccoon City that is an entrance to The Hive, a functional large top secret underground laboratory owned and operated by the Umbrella Corporation, built a half mile underground. Almost randomly, she wakes up with amnesia and no memory of who she is or why she’s there. She’s taken into the Hive, by a team of commandos and all hell breaks loose as a virus that was being worked on in the Hive gets loose. Zombies to the left of them, zombies to the right of them.. zombies everywhere basically. Despite being faced with hordes of the undead, she rises to the occasion and not only recovers her memory bit by bit, but goes on  to save her life and the life of a few of the commandos.

7. Milla Jovovich as Leeloo, THE FIFTH ELEMENT: Leeloo is the humanoid female embodiment of the Fifth Element. Overcoming a lack of knowledge about the world she finds herself in, she inadvertently befriends one Corbin Dallas, ex military soldier. Though she seems somewhat helpless in the beginning of the film, her character develops into a kick butt first and ask questions later kind of character. Not only does she manage to save all life in the universe, but she also manages to discover love, what it means to love, and what it means to be loved.

8. Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway, STAR TREK VOYAGER: Captain Janeway took command of the Intrepid-class starship USS Voyager in 2371. Their first mission was to locate and capture a Maquis vessel last seen in the area of space known as the Badlands. While there, the Maquis ship and Voyager were transported against their will into the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light-years away, by a massive displacement wave. Even while lost in an unfamiliar part of space with possible dangers at every turn, Captain Janeway has led her people to meeting new allies, and combating unfamiliar foes in their journey back to the Alpha Quadrant. She’s managed to do what was right, even at the cost of reaching home faster than otherwise possible. Never has she compromised her morals or beliefs in her search for home and her attempts to keep her crew a family. I’d even go so far as to call her the First Lady of Space.

9. Amanda Tapping as Sam Carter, STARGATE SG-1: Sam Carter has a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics and “logged over 100 hours in enemy airspace” during the Gulf War. Carter is the character of warmth and integrity in the series. Countless times throughout the series her character has been in battle where the odds were not soo evenly stacked against her, and still she persevered. She’s even responsible for the destruction of a star. Through her efforts, the Earth and countless other planets have been saved from enslavement or utter destruction. Even with the death of her father, Sam Carter has remained a strong and determined all that she does.

10. Sarah Michelle Geller as Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: After moving to the California town of Sunnydale, Buffy begins to accept her role as the Slayer. She gains and loses friends throughout the course of her High School and College career. Often her friends and loved ones are put into harms way because of who she is and their relationships with her, but through adversity, through werewolves, demons, the end of the world, the first evil, demi-gods, demon lords, vampires and other hosts of the supernatural, she maintains her persona as the Slayer and does what any true Slayer would… She slays.

These are just some of the many women roles I’ve come to respect as a sci-fi/fantasy fan over the years. All of these women have something in common. They’ve faced tremendous adversities in their lives, be it from aliens, demons, monsters, the end of the world, the end of the universe or the end of their lives, all while managing their every day lives. They didn’t sit back and wait for their boyfriends or significant others to swoop in and save the day. They hitched up their pants, grabbed their preferred weapon(s) and tore into their enemies like the butt-kicking individuals they are. These are women who may not be real, but who are real role-models none the less. Take a lesson from their books…. Bella. The next time you play the helpless card.. remember.. your “problems” are nothing compared to those faced by a slew of other female characters.

                                                                                       “Bella is a Shell of a Human Being.”

“She has no identity of her own, and literally loses her mind without the constant influence of vampire boy. At the end of Twilight, when Edward attempts to leave her in the hospital, she almost gives herself a stroke.”

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Outing the Skeleton in the Closet

Racism is defined as the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term “racism” is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature (i.e. which harms particular groups of people), and which is often justified by recourse to racial stereotyping or pseudo-science.

That’s how Wikipedia has gone to define the word. Now I realize I’ve spoken s little on the subject of racism in the topic of zombie films as allegories. This however is a horse of a different colour, to use the colloquialism.

Even as the year 2011 draws to a close and we as people prepare to journey into the year 2012, racism seems to be alive and kicking. If you were to go into a small southern backwater sort of town, then I’m sure you might expect to see a bit of racism here or there; especially if you drive into town and you’re a black man or a black woman, Asian or Middle-Eastern. Then not only would you see the racism, but you’d feel it as well. You don’t really expect to deal with racism when you leave your home to go to the grocery store, the bank, your local library, or other places you know and frequent, but it’s not at all impossible. On place in particular one would think that racism wouldn’t exist is in the gay community.

An excerpt taken from the post of a blogger known as Mama’s Boy posted on  August 10th, 2009: “In Phoenix where the black population is less than 6% you can definitely see the racism in the community.

Most white guys out here dont have anything to do with communities of color, but want a black/latin/asian guy to satisfy their “curiosity” or their desire to have sex with the forbidden fruit. Nothing more than a sexual prize. They dont have any people of color as friends, dont go to cultural celebrations, and look at you crazy if your in a mostly all white gay club, like why are you here, but want to “taste some chocolate”.

I myself have come across some in the gay community who say things like ” I’ve never been with a black guy before, but I’ve always wanted to try it.” As innocent as that may sound, I agree with Mama’s Boy. All it makes me feel like is a sexual prize or a thing of curiosity to be figured out and discarded.

Upon reading up on the subject of racism in the gay community, I came across a gentleman by the name of  Jamez Smith. One night Jamez took a trip to a bar by the name of the 19 Bar in a place called Loring Park in Minneapolis, MN. Apparently while there, he had met up with a young man who seemed to be quite interested in him, and the interest was reciprocated. As their conversation progressed and the liquor flowed Jamez was invited to the other mans car to listen to music, then to his apartment for a nightcap. James agreed. That sounds all good and well, and probably no different from the night of any number of club goers or bar goers, but things changed once smith was told Don’t steal from me.”

Now why would you think something like that would be randomly said to Jamez? If you hadn’t guessed, Jamez is a black male. Of course he greeted what had been said to him with disbelief; and what was the reaction of the man who’d said it? “What? Oh my god, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It’s just what you’re wearing.” To me.. that stinks of cop-out. What reason would this man have to believe that Jamez Smith, a complete stranger who he’d just met that very night would steal from him? Would he have said those same words to him had Jamez been white? That’s something that can only be guessed, but my guess is no.

On another occasion Jamez was said to have encountered the ugly face of racism not too long after. While in a chat room on  Gay.com for the Twin Cities, he came across this conversation which has been edited by the City Pages News:

“too many blacks have the i hate the white man thing going on, and I’m not into that

and a 15yo black dude should not have that kinda hate

its taught to him

shoot him

lol

pop a cap in his ass”

What kind of people say things like this? Racists. Regardless of whether or not they believe themselves to be racists or whether or not they believe their words to be racist and hateful.. they are.

Racism in the gay community isn’t just face to face. Like the rest of civilization, it’s online as well. When it comes to online racism, nowhere is it more noticeable than on dating and “hookup” sites and apps, and it’s not just against blacks. Whatever ethnicity you are, you have the possibility of facing some sort of racism. I’ve seen it against white, black, Asian…you name it.  On the gay app known as Grindr, the profile of one JJ. Sk8ter Boy reads: “I’m a big kid at heart”  … sounds innocent enough I’d suppose, but it goes on to say this in his description: “I’m blocking more Asians on here than the Great Wall Of China!” If confronted, he would likely play it off by saying it was all a joke. “It isn’t. It’s an insidious sort of racism couched in humor, one that winks at the notion that it’s okay to denigrate Asians or Indians or blacks simply because they’re Asians or Indians or blacks and getting messages from them on Grindr — or having them come up to you in a bar — is just too icky.” – Terry Levine writes in a blog/article entitled “THE QUEER CASE OF RACISM IN THE GAY COMMUNITY.” If you have to start your profile description with “I’m not racist, but” then I’m fairly sure you’re racist. Whether you’re a black male who will only date other black males, forsaking every single ethnicity out there despite the fact that everyone; regardless of their ethnicity or skin tone is different in looks, the way they think, and the way they go about expressing themselves, a white male who “isn’t racist, but”, or you simply can’t get around the issue of ethnicity… you sir are racist. It’s more than an opinion, it’s a fact.

If all of that wasn’t enough, there’s the issue of  some sort of invisible chasm between the gays and lesbians of the LGBT community. It can be summed up by this excerpt from a video posted on youtube.com  by one entitled ” Racism and Division in the Gay Community ” and states “Too often in the past I’ve run into racism in the gay community and tense relations between gay men and lesbians. This irritates me, especially when we should be unified against the opposition we face.”

I completely agree with him on this. We should be unified as a community; gay, bi, lesbian, transgendered, black, white, Asian, Hispanic and all else. There’s too much hatred out there against those who are in the community for us all to be going at one another as we do.

This is a message to the gay community..  If we as a community wish to be treated with love, understanding, tolerance, respect, and acceptance, we must first learn to practice what we preach.

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The Gay Geek

The word geek can be defined as a slang term noting a person as “One who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc.” … or a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest. From oxforddictionaries.com it’s asked “Is being a geek something to be proud of?” I personally say yes, yes it is. The site goes on to say that “a few decades ago the answer would almost certainly have been no: the word was a cruel and critical label attached to clever, but socially awkward, people: train-spotters, computer geeks, and unpopular college students. Then in the 1990s everything changed. The computer industry helped many geeks to achieve great success, and the wider perception of geeks began to shift. Being a geek was suddenly a positive thing, suggesting an admirable level of knowledge, expertise, and passion: geeks could do ‘cool stuff’. It’s now common for people to be self-proclaimed or self-confessed geeks, with geekiness no longer confined to the world of science and technology ( a music geek with an awesome vinyl collection, the kind of film that every true movie geek would give five stars). Nerds have undergone a similar change of image but to a lesser extent, with some negative terms such as boring and pathetic still commonly attached to the word”

I’m greatly inclined to agree with oxforddictionaries.com’s take on geekdom. Thanks to the computer being a thing that’s widely used worldwide and in countless homes across the globe, people who show an incredible interest in it are no longer shunned as being strange, or weird simply for their interest. These days a geek is not simply someone with technical know how and an interest in the electronic. A person can be a geek for sci-fi movies and novels, fantasy, video games, music, film in general, anime or any number of things. I myself saw the light of geekdom at an early age when I watched my first episode of Star Trek, though it was expressed even earlier with my love of Star Wars merch. As an adult I consider myself an all around geek, or the equivalent of a “jack of all trades” sort of geek. As well as being a geek, I’m gay.. and a+b equaling c would make me a gay geek.. even a gaymer as some would say.

The Sci-fi genre has seen its share of gay and or bi-sexual characters since I’ve grown up. There’s the lesbian character of Willow from TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, (TV & comics), Parthenon, aka Dan Williams from “Who Wants To Be a Superhero?”; The Sci Fi Channel, Ianto Jones from “Torchwood“; BBC America, Northstar, aka Jean-Paul Beaubier from “The Uncanny X-Men“; comics, The Midnighter, aka Lucas Trent from “The Authority“; comics, and Captain Jack Harkness from “Torchwood“; BBC America to name a few and plenty of Gay actors out there; most notable are Ian McKellen (Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and Magneto from X-Men (Film) Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes and Spock from Star Trek the movie), & George Takei (Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu from the original Star Trek, Captain Sulu in an episode of Star Trek Voyager, Kaito Nakamura from TV’s Heroes). Any geek; gay, bi, or straight worth his salt could tell you who at least one of those characters is.

That all being said,the influx of gay characters in the sci-fi, comic book, fantasy, and cinematic world has also seen a rise in gay geeks in the last few years or so. You can’t go to an anime convention or Trek convention without coming across at least a small handful of gay men who share your passion for things geeky in nature. Despite this influx of awesome, the dating pool if you will, for a gay geek stills seems as small as it has ever been. Where are all the men who appreciate a well-timed Star Wars reference? Where are the men who can understand my fascination with Doctor Who…when they’re not at the cons looking resplendent in their geeky costumery? Where’s Waldo? I obviously don’t know the answer to any of those questions; otherwise I wouldn’t ask, but I wish I did.

Even if Mr. Geeky “Right” eludes me, I’m happy to know that geekdom has a foothold in the gay community and visa versa. I’m also happy that I have a community…. communities in which I am welcome as I am.

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The Unsocial Network

Upon logging onto my Facebook today, I received a lovely little message basically stating that my ability to send friend requests on the site would be disabled for a number of days. Now what was it I did again to anger the “admins” of facebook? Oh, that’s right… I friended people.

Ever since Facebook launched their “People You May Know” …”campaign”, I’ve been flooded with people I may or may not know. If I know them, good. If I don’t know them we have friends in common and maybe getting to know them would be something worth doing… at least that’s how I think

According to the “admins” I’ve been sending out too many friend requests I guess. Mayhaps I’m wrong, but I was under the assumption that social networks served the purpose of keeping people connected and helping people connect to others who may be potential friends or who may have similar interests and so on. Maybe that’s what social networking claims to be all about, but it’s really about something else. Maybe it’s all about controlling what we can or can’t do on the internet while masking it all as some sort of cyber “free will”.

Whatever the issue is, I for one am considering deleting my Facebook account. If I wanted to be under the thumb of a group of shadowy “admins” or endure pointless updates that do nothing but make the site less and less user friendly then I would have stayed on myspace. Mayhaps I should have stayed on Myspace. It may be lame and it may be a bit outdated, but the one thing it’s not guilty of is faulting me for doing something it’s designed to help me do… meet people.

That being said.. one day the internet will rise up against you Facebook. One day you’ll be where Myspace, Friendster and other like sites are now. The only difference will be that you won’t be there because you’ve simply grown outdated and useless. No, it’ll be because you did yourself in.

So, the next time I decide I want to get to know someone on your less than lovely site and you decide to….”punish” me for it, just remember that. Your time’s coming Facebook.