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Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Short Thought and a Shout Out

I'm mulling over some news from a doctor, and also have no real, tangible thoughts on anything this week (and there's Rifftrax Live tonight!), but I do have a small, important thing I'd like to say on a topical issue. And after we've got the serious thing out of the way, I'll end it on a fun note.

Bathrooms
They're a big, nasty topic these days. There's a lot of misinformation and a lot of anger. Personally, I'm unconcerned with who uses what bathroom. I'm not sure why there's a differentiation, anyway. Bathrooms are bathrooms to me, and the only real difference is the number of stalls and presence of urinals. That said...
  • To the extreme far left: moderate conservatives are not calling trans women men in dresses.They're expressing a concern, perhaps poorly worded, that actual scary cis-het males are going to dress in drag to assault women and children in restrooms. Given your usual statements regarding cis-het men, I'm surprised you aren't more aligned with them.
  • To the extreme far right: please calm down. Who is allowed in the toilet probably isn't going stop a predator from entering a restroom just like a gun-free zone isn't going to keep a badguy with a gun out. In fact, the this fear of cis-het men entering restrooms dressed like women is starting to sound a lot like the androphobia expressed regularly by radical feminists.
  • To the moderates on both sides: Talk to each other, for crying out loud.

Something a little more upbeat
Remember when I said I wasn't really a Star Wars fan? I've sort of softened a bit, mostly in part to The Force Awakens. So, even though I was posting the Fourth Doctor like a jackass yesterday, here is a concession. May the Fourth be with you, even if I'm a day late.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sick

Hey all, I'm still alive.

I just came back from the Tennessee Blogshoot with some kind of throat and chest bug, and it's got me completely wiped out. Between the illness and trying to get caught up from missing so many days, I'm too wiped out to do my daily blogging... which also puts me behind.

I don't think I'll be able to catch up with this week. Might be time to write it off as a loss and try to tackle thing fresh next week.

Wish me well.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #89 - Obama’s Purple Disaster Conversation

Adam and Sean bring you Episode 89 of The GunBlog VarietyCast!
  • Erin Palette asks, "What's your disaster personality?"
  • President Obama goes to Britain and tells them how to run their country. Nicki Kenyon tells us how that works out for him.
  • In the Pacifiers & Peacemakers segment, Beth Reoch Alcazar gives us a report on the Well Armed Woman Mid-South Purple Pow Wow.
  • The same way he showed us that a battery wasn't just a battery, Silicon Graybeard shows us that a shop light isn't just a shop light.
  • And proving the principle that it takes an order of magnitude more effort to debunk BS than it does to generate it, Weer'd finally finishes with Loaded Conversations, Episode 1.
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and now on Google Play Music!
Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here
Thanks also to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support. Go to StopNewsome.net to help FPC crush Governor Newsome's ammo ban.

And a special thanks to our sponsor, Law of Self Defense. Use discount code "Variety" at checkout for 10% off.

Upcoming Law of Self Defense seminars:
  • August 7 - North Carolina specific - Raleigh, NC
  • August 13 - Oregon and Washington specific - Sherwood, OR
  • August 20 - Tenessee and Kentucky specific - Nashville, TN
  • October 1 - Pennsylvania and New Jersey specific - Bensalem, PA
  • October 15 - Arizona specific - Glendale, AZ
  • October 16 - New Mexico and Texas specific - Las Cruces, NM

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The TMS Chronicles: Majoring in Economics?

It's that time once again, where I pick up on the exploits (words chosen carefully) of one of my favourite digital rags and their quest for clicks. TheMarySue has really hit it out of the park this time, with a stunningly titled article called Don’t Blame Readers for Low Sales of Diverse Comics

In the simplest terms here I'm going to say this: No. No, I am definitely going to blame readers for low sales of diverse comics. 

But let's look at some of their reasons first. Their article is allegedly a rebuttal to another one, titled Comics: You’ve Got Your Diversity, So Why Don’t You Buy Them?, but it's written in such a way that the original article serves as its own rebuttal to TMS's, so again I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but it's a dead horse that refuses to roll over and die completely.
When it comes to accessibility, everyone doesn’t obtain their comics the same way. Some may visit their local comic shop, bookstore, or even Walmart.
The original article takes this into account, and even if it didn't, I guarantee you Marvel knows how many copies of Ms Marvel Wal-Mart sold, returned, or had to mark as loss prevention.
Others may buy digital comics from places like Comixology or Humble Bundle. 
These are two completely different beasts. Comixology reports that information back to Marvel and DC, so they know how many copies of what book are selling, and can take that into account in deciding which titles continue to be renewed. Humble Bundle, on the other hand, probably doesn't report that, but in the end it doesn't matter because the way profits are set up on those a customer could pay all of their money towards a charity, towards the publisher, or towards Humble itself, or split it any of those ways. That's not a guaranteed return, no matter how much the comics are enjoyed by the end user.
Moreover, some people borrow comics from other people who bought comics, such as a friend or a library.
Look, I'm sympathetic to this one. When I was a kid and didn't have much money, I had to borrow comics from friends, too. The first issues of X-Men and Excalibur (which would later become one of my favourite books) were borrowed from a friend. But as much as I enjoyed those, and later went on to buy marvel books of my own (including a lot of those issues I'd borrowed), they only counted as one sale: the original purchaser. If one person buys a comic and 20 people read it, that's not 21 readers in the business sense, that's just one.
Another important factor to consider is whether comic shops are friendly enough to their customers that they want to buy comics. In 2014, Comic creator and cartoonist Noelle Stevenson made a Tumblr comic about how men treated her at a comic store. While tools such as Girl Wonder help with finding comic shops that treat their female customers well, there are still less respectable comic shops that can discourage female comic book readers.
There's precisely one way to go about fixing this: Go to the comics shops in droves. Fill them with women to the point that any icky cis-het while dudebro comic shop owners see a change in their bottom line. What you're having to overcome is being part of a demographic that another demographic associates with ridicule of their hobby while growing up.

It will take time. There will be misunderstandings. But change is slow and painful and worth it. If you want to be part of your local comic shop scene, then make yourself a part of it.
Sometimes, accessibility is also tied into whether or not people can afford to buy comics. As a comic fan on a budget, I rarely buy comics more than a few times a year (birthdays, a couple personal treats, and Christmas).
Again, I get you. I feel terrible today because I just bid $40 on an imported figure of Lightning from Final Fantasy and another $30 on an out-of-production unmasked Batgirl figure. I got bills to pay, too, but having a hobby can be expensive and it's a sacrifice you'll have to make. You either buy the product and show your support of the manufacturer in a way that impacts their bottom line, or you blog about it and give moral support. You may decide which is more important, but you won't necessarily come to the same conclusion as the person selling it. Also, did you just say that you write about comics but hardly ever buy them?
Of course, you can’t buy or read any comics if you don’t even know about them.
Invalid. Agreeing ideologies practically own Bleedingcool, ComicsAlliance, and any number of geek culture websites, and if you don't feel you can trust people who agree with you on practically everything, go to your local comic shop and ask "What's new? What's good?" I'm sure icky cis-het white dudebro will happily make a suggestion if you can give him a clue to what you're looking for. On top of that, I Googled "diverse comics" and not only was given a ton of suggestions including your own article, a Tumblr blog and Facebook group dedicated to diverse comics, but also a Google image search including Miles Morales, female Thor, Sam Wilson's Captain America, Ms Marvel, and some book I'd never even heard of by Gail Simone. It's 2016, people. If you want to know about something, it's never been easier to look it up.
Even television shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Jessica Jones aren’t as diverse as they could be, with characters of color either relegated to the background or killed off.
You... you do know that Jessica Jones review I wrote was a parody, right?
Comic book readers and potential comic book readers are just as diverse as the characters and stories they want to see. They are more than just numbers and statistics, but readers with circumstances and personal preferences that affect how they read comics. Instead of blaming existing readers for not buying diverse comics, we must devise better ways to make them accessible and draw in more readers —something all publishers should be interested in.
Yes. Yes, they are. And they've always been. They're just more vocal about it now. And that's great, but they can't *just* be vocal. They have to go out and support their favourite books, otherwise they can't cry foul when a metric shit-ton of collectors go out and buy All-New All-Female Thor #1 and then the sales figures drop by 75% by issue 4.

Dedicated fans know that the fundamentals will always be there, and they'll buy Captain America when Steve Rogers has the shield, and they'll keep buying it and enjoy Sam Wilson flying around on his mechanical wings with the shield because they know eventually Steve will be back. Be dedicated fans, or don't be surprised when A-Force or Totally Awesome Hulk are cancelled because less than 10,000 copies are being moved every month.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Oh My GOD Stop "Helping"

I know what I said last night about being exhausted by the trans bathroom debate, but this is a case of Please stop "helping". You are actively encouraging behavior that will get your ass arrested or shot.
In this picture, an overzealous father has decided that someone approaching the women's restroom isn't sufficiently female and has pulled a gun to prevent entry. Not "Don't molest my daughter"; not even "You are making my daughter feel uncomfortable." Nope, this is full-on "I don't like the way you look and because you might do something wrong I'm going to hold you at gunpoint."

Folks, here in Florida this is known as aggravated assault. It is a felony. Do you really want to spend five years in jail and lose your right to own firearms just because you've decided that someone coming up to the restroom isn't sufficiently ladylike?

Of course, getting arrested for pointing a loaded gun at someone who isn't an immediate, obvious threat to yourself or another isn't actually the worst-case scenario. Want to know the worst case?
Yep. Pulling a gun on someone who just wants to use the toilet is a great way to get your ass shot. And you know what? It would be a justified shooting, because aggravated assault is a forcible felony.

Please, gun owners, stop posting shit like this. It isn't helping anyone, it's making our side look like kneejerk idiots, and it's encouraging people to take a course of action that may very well get someone arrested, hurt, or killed. It's very much our version of the "Joe Biden Defense", which is also terrible advice and has resulted in someone's conviction and imprisonment.

Just... stop doing this. You aren't helping. Please, please, PLEASE stop. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blargh.

Hi, yes. I'm alive.

I don't know what's going on with me lately, but I'm tired. Like, Madeline Kahn in Blazing Saddles levels of tired. I think it's both physical and psychological.

Physically, my body's sleep and eat cycle is dramatically out of sync with the world. I can't seem to fall asleep until 4 am, which means I have trouble waking up before 10. But then in the afternoon I'm dead tired, literally falling asleep in front of the computer, and so I take a nap that lasts from 2 or 3 until 5 or 6 or even 7 pm. And that sleeping makes me not hungry at decent hours, so I find myself wanting dinner at 8 or 9 or later, which of course means I have energy late at night and end up staying late and that repeats the cycle. I don't know how it started, but I need to stop it.

I'm also beat psychologically. I'm sick of the constant BS of politics -- frankly, I'm ready to adopt the Lewis Black method of determining the president -- and if every single one of the candidates (yes, including the one I support) were to suddenly die from explosive syphilis I would consider that a net win for not just America, but the Earth in general. And this whole business about transgender bathrooms that's really just an excuse for people to virtue signal... ugh. I can't even work up the spite to blog about it; instead I am reduced to going "Really? Really? THIS is what we're fighting about now?"  It's all just a poor satire of the gun rights debate, only with the positions reversed.

I don't know what's going on. My body is screwed up, so it might be kinda sick -- but I don't feel sick. I don't have the desire or energy to go out and do stuff (like shooting, which is why I haven't done any Monday Gunday posts recently, and I feel VERY guilty about that), and while I don't feel like I'm depressed, I recognize that not taking pleasure in things which used to be fun is one of the signs of depression.

I think part of my trouble is that I have become acutely aware of the passage of time. For example, when I sit down to watch a television show, or read a book, or play a computer game, my brain says "You are sacrificing an hour of your life to this thing. It's an hour you'll never get back. Is this really worth an hour of your life? Are you happy with this exchange?"  And of course I'm not, because I have this impression that my lifespan is so valuable that I ought to spend it doing ONLY AWESOME THINGS, like parachuting off of mountains or scuba diving in the Bahamas or snorting lines of coke off the epic tits of porn stars... but that isn't a reasonable belief, because even incredibly awesome people do mundane things like sleep and use the toilet and, yes, watch trashy television.

I don't know if I'm coming to grips with my own mortality now that I'm middle-aged or what. I just know that on one hand I am intensely dissatisfied with how things are going -- both for my life in specific, and for the world in general -- and yet I don't know how to fix any of them. Or indeed, even if they need fixing.

So yeah. It's pretty obvious I need a break, which is why I'm looking forward to going on vacation this weekend -- I and a bunch of other gun bloggers will be going up to Tennessee and we're going to have a blogshoot.

I'll let you know how it goes, and hopefully it will revitalize my ability to deal with things.

Thanks for checking in on me. Ideally I'll be back to writing about guns and Traveller and ponies and other awesome things next week.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #88 – The Group Podcast with Special Guest Luke Apps of Triangle Tactical Podcast

It was a long week moving Casa Sorrentino and URS Studios, so instead of a regular show, Adam and Sean bring you a special group show!
  • Sean tells you about another Sean Sorrentino. One who is a very naughty Sean Sorrentino. This Sean Sorrentino will not be podcasting where he is going.
  • Adam relates the horrifying story of the legal system run amok.. or is it? A teen is arrested on Felony Robbery charges for stealing a cup of soda from McDonalds!
  • Erin Palette holds an Ask Me Anything. About preps, you dirty minded people. 
  • In our main topic, we endure the nails-on-a-chalkboard sound of Hillary and her daughter Chelsea confirming that a President Hillary Clinton will, in fact, be coming for your guns.
  • Special Guest Luke Apps of The Triangle Tactical Podcast, thinks you should start a blog or a podcast. He's a great person to tell you about it because he's the person who encouraged me to start this podcast.
  • And finally, Weer'd plays a few clips from the latest episode of no one's favorite anti-gun podcast, Loaded Conversations. To say that this woman has "issues" is to grossly understate it. You've got to hear it to believe it. 
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and now on Google Play Music!
Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here
Thanks also to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support. Go to StopNewsome.net to help FPC crush Governor Newsome's ammo ban.

And a special thanks to our sponsor, Law of Self Defense. Use discount code "Variety" at checkout for 10% off.

Upcoming Law of Self Defense seminars:
  • August 7 - North Carolina specific - Raleigh, NC
  • August 13 - Oregon and Washington specific - Sherwood, OR
  • August 20 - Tenessee and Kentucky specific - Nashville, TN
  • October 1 - Pennsylvania and New Jersey specific - Bensalem, PA
  • October 15 - Arizona specific - Glendale, AZ
  • October 16 - New Mexico and Texas specific - Las Cruces, NM

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