May 16, 2013
I’ve had my fair share of gripes about Fox News. They went after the Muppets and Sesame Street. They’ve championed the Second Amendment despite overwhelming evidence of the dangers of firearms without sensible gun control. They’re an unabashed arm of the Republican Party, if not the controlling force behind it. In every way, shape, and form, Fox News represents dishonesty and an antithesis to journalism.
But now they went after Fred Rogers.
This… will not stand. I don’t care if the clip is a few years old. This is a crime.
If you have the stomach, check out the following clip.
In essence, the Fox hosts here are reporting on a study (actually a single professor just talking) on how Mister Roger’s message of “You’re special just the way you are” has created generations of lazy, self-interested little socialists and he’s also the reason American children don’t do well in school.
Fox going after Mister Rogers is another piece of evidence that shows the American Far Right has lost its collective mind in the last several years. Things like compassion and empathy have already been vilified on the Right, but to overtly say that a man like Fred Rogers is evil is a bit like saying the Dalai Lama eats puppies and can’t achieve climax without thinking of the Holocaust.
The Right has been hijacked by Randian “ethics” in that a person’s worth is tied to his or her bank account and how much he or she resembles the “superman” who cares not for morals but only self-interest. Modern American conservatism has been led down the path of the Tea Party, of might-makes-right, of thinking businesses are people and people can be shot simply for not being citizens. Mister Rogers’ message is a splash of cold water on those beliefs.
Mister Rogers is the closest thing this world has had to a physical saint in a long time. The man had a message of hope and peace that endures after his passing. He taught millions of children, myself included, that we are special. Every child, every person, is a unique individual.
Of course, there’s also a major difference between “You’re a special person,” and “You never have to try to achieve anything.” The second is a strawman by Fox. Mister Roger never implied anything like that. He never said you should get things just for asking. He said you should have a feeling of self-worth no matter what.
And on a personal note, I was raised on Mister Rogers, Sesame Street, and Doctor Spock, all things these brain cases complained about. Guess what? Dean’s List in college, am in a loving, long-term relationship, and I’ve got the drive to publish my work on Randomology.org, here, and in my upcoming book. And I teach college and middle school courses.
I know I’m special. Mister Rogers told me so. Fox News? I’m sure even Mister Rogers would hesitate before telling them they’re special.
Actually, I’m pretty sure they are “special.” They’re a very special channel with very special people.
Let’s all remember Fred Rogers for what he was: one of the most decent human beings to ever live among us.
April 1, 2013
After a long week of soul-searching, I’ve realized that I’ve made a terrible mistake. This entire website has been an exercise in futility and I’m going to pack it in.
I’ve realized that it truly is impossible to fight against the forces of conservatism and ignorance. They are just too strong. They have talk radio and major news outlets and they can scream really loudly. And that scares me. I don’t want people to think I’m a baby-killing pagan communist anymore.
To that end, I will do the only rational thing. I will shut up. For good.
This website will stand as a monument to my stupidity and hubris. How could I have thought for a second that I could make a difference?!
I should apologize to Glenn Beck for years of mocking him and thinking he was insane for thinking there was some vast conspiracy at work. There has to be. It makes perfect sense that he alone would have the vision to put together this web of lies that are ruling our lives.
I should also apologize to Fox News. I know I’ve said they’re the spawn of evil and deception in the world, but they’re not. I mean, they say everything so loudly and repeat it over and over again. It has to be true, right?
I’d like to apologize to the American Right Wing. I know you guys just want to make sure others can’t worship or lives their lives as they see fit, so I think you should just go ahead and do that. It’s exhausting hearing you.
But most of all, I want to apologize to my students and everyone who thought that writing, and critical thinking and expression could make a dent in the world. This is a cold, hard reality and it needs equally cold and hard people. Compassion, understanding, and curiosity have no place in it.
So, there you have it. Randomology is dead. And it failed. I’ll see you…
Well, I won’t. Just…
Bye. I’ll be leaving on a bus later today and heading to Alaska so that I may sit at the feet of Sarah Palin and learn a thing or two.
July 10, 2012
Someone recently told me that by pointing out all the things Fox, Limbaugh, Beck, and others like them do and say and by showing how the contradict themselves, I’m actually feeding into the problem of a biased media. The media, this person said, was extremely liberal and I was ignoring the skewed reports and lies of the left, thereby getting nowhere.
I’m calling bullshit.
Let’s get one thing straight first. The idea of the “liberal media” is just plain wrong. Ask yourself this. How much favorable press has Obama gotten in the last few years? I mean, really good press. How did the press cover the drone strikes? Has Obama really gotten to slide on policy blunders or has he been hammered? What about the Occupy protests? That one’s closer to fifty-fifty, but they didn’t get the kind of fanfare you’d expect from a truly liberal, BIASED media.
The truth is that everyone has a bias. The whole deal with Fox News, their “Fair and Balanced” slogan, is a joke and a lie. The idea of a perfectly balanced story hinges on the idea that both sides of the story are equal. Creationism and science are not on equal footing. Radical right-wing groups don’t have the same kind of point as groups like the Southern Poverty Center or the ACLU. Fox’s years of lying and misleading and giving a voice to the most radical conservative and regressive elements in this country in the name of money are NOT equal to whatever bias the left may have perpetrated.
Think of it this way. Fox has a long history of sexism and misogyny. Limbaugh routinely goes on the air and speaks of women like one would speak of a yapping dog. The Left comes out and says that Romney’s wife doesn’t understand the plight of the middle class because she’s raising children while married to a multimillionaire… and suddenly the left attacked for supposedly attacking a mother.
Things are NOT equal. Yes, the left has its demagogues. As much as I enjoyed listening to Olbermann, for example, he’s not exactly level-headed sometimes… But I dare you to find anything Olbermann has said that is as inflammatory or misleading as anything in the average one-hour block on Fox.
The idea of a liberal media is a myth. The Left is constantly pointing out all the lies of the Right. The Right, one the other hand, can only whine that they’re being called out for being wrong and take this to mean everyone is to blame.
“Fair and Balanced” is a myth. Liberal media is a myth. I go after these clowns because they’re doing real damage to this country. They promoted the Tea Party. They’re influencing policy. Large sections of the population listen and believe them.
Can you say an Olbermann rant or a Maddow segment has done the same thing?
And now, while you ponder these things, please enjoy the ONLY adaptation of his work Alan Moore has gone on record as saying he not only approves, but enjoys.
May 17, 2012
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I don’t get the big deal about wanting to ban gay marriage. If a gay couple wishes to get married and live together, how does that undermine my own coming marriage or the marriages of everyone else? I’ve bene doing some thinking and I have a few questions to everyone who opposes gay marriage or is otherwise against LGBT individuals having rights or being able to express themselves in the public forum. If you can answer these questions, you win. It’s that simple. And they’re not trick questions.
If you believe the Bible dictates we must shun homosexuality because it is a sin, should we also shun divorcees, people who eat shellfish, and people who do not worship in a Judeo-Christian way?
Much of the core argument against gay rights in any way, shape, or form, comes from Judeo-Christian readings of the Bible. It clearly states in Leviticus 20:13 that man lying with man is an abomination.
Of course, as I pointed out last year, there are other things in the Bible we seem to not pay attention to even though they are clearly commandments: paying taxes, not tattooing, wearing gold, etc. The problem with this justification is that it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. It’d be like police arresting everyone who jaywalked but ignoring murders and rapists and focusing on only a single law.
Either enforce ALL the laws in the Bible or admit you’re cherry-picking.
If pro-LGBT groups wanting marriage for these individuals have declared “war” on traditional marriage, does that mean that North Carolina redefining marriage rights for a very narrow segment of the population is a war on heterosexual couples as well?
Buzzfeed put together a great list of all the consequences of passing Amendment 1. It’s not just that it takes rights from gay couples. It also takes rights away from ANY couple that is not married. Medical and financial decisions, for example, may now only be made by married individuals for another person. Likewise, domestic abuse laws no longer apply unless the couple is married. Oh, and domestic partner insurance benefits? Those are gone, too.
This is like when Texas was in such a haste to ban gay marriage that it banned marriage IN GENERAL. That’s right. North Carolina has taken rights away from straight couples, too, kind of like a doctor trying to remove a tumor with a shotgun. Straight couples will suffer and be discriminated against because of Amendment 1.
Why isn’t THAT being called a war, either?
If the whole point of Amendment 1 in North Carolina was to protect traditional marriage but you can still marry your first cousin, does that mean we now consider marrying your first cousin is “traditional” and morally right?
There’s a Deliverance joke in there. Nothing more to say. Moving on…
If people who are pro-gay rights are “demonizing” so-called traditional marriage by disagreeing with it, does this mean that Christians are “demonizing” Jews by claiming the Messiah has already come?
This one is part of the conservative attack plan on gay rights. If someone wants gay marriage, then that person must therefore think people who believe in “traditional” marriage are monsters.
Well, yes and no.
Playing the victim is not an argument. Being upset or shocked that someone has the gall to disagree with you and acting all butt-hurt because you’ve been called out for bigoted views is not evidence that you are correct. For example…
Mother: “Steve, eat your vegetables while Mommy drinks her special water.”
Steve: “But Mom, isn’t that your third glass of vodka… this hour?”
Mother: “How dare you!? Are you saying I’m a drunkard? Just because you’re twelve and don’t rink you think I’m wrong?”
See the similarity. Being hurt someone disagrees with you is not an argument. End of story.
If Bristol Palin truly believes traditional marriage is the only way to raise children, why did she engage in behavior that led her to her teen pregnancy and why didn’t she stay with her baby’s father?
Bristol Palin was quite vocal in her disbelief that the President of the United States would endorse gay marriage. She endorses the view that only a mother-father family is good for raising kids.
I’m sorry, but isn’t she the most famous case of out-of-wedlock teenage motherhood in the last… however long we’ve been caring about this? Bristol Palin could not believe President Obama saw the need to speak to his children about gay marriage and would endorse it in order to expand their world view.
Maybe it’s me, but her saying traditional marriage is the only way to raise a kid stinks of hypocrisy. After all, if she truly believes that, she would have married her kid’s dad at the first opportunity.
If you are against gay marriage because you believe it will force citizens to be gay or invalidate straight marriage, do you actually understand the law?
Pat Buchanan is the perfect example of how the Right sees gay marriage. In their minds, making gay marriage legal will invalidate straight marriage because gay marriage will now be the norm? He also does a nice job of showing the fake outrage at being called out for being bigoted I mentioned earlier. You really have to see this to admire how Buchannan manages to stuff nearly everything I’ve talked about until this point
You got all that? He can’t believe someone would say we’ve been wrong up until this point. He can’t believe someone is challenging marriage. The only rational way gay marriage will invalidate straight marriage is if it supersedes it. Which is NOT the plan.
It’s like being afraid your favorite band is going to play a large venue or reach out to new fans. It’s like geeks being scared because more people are liking their hobbies.
Buchannan is a marriage hipster. There. I said it.
If you believe only gays support gay marriage, do you then believe half the country is gay or bisexual?
The statistics for gay marriage approval are hovering around the 50% mark, give or take 10% and depending on which poll you use, but it’s still pretty high. However, according to the Paul Cameron, head of the Family Research Institute, Obama has sided with gay marriage because he himself may be gay.
Following that logic, does that mean almost half of America is gay?
You don’t have to be part of a group to advocate for that group, but the Right can’t seem to grasp this. Obama reaches out to Europe? He must be a socialist. He wants good relations with Muslim countries? He must be a Muslim! He supports gay marriage? He must be gay!
That’s weird. I support feminism but am not a woman. I support gay rights but am straight. I support welfare and social safety nets for the less fortunate yet haven’t been in those situations myself. Am I a gay unwed mother?
No, I am a Hispanic straight male. And one that has empathy, something the Right seems to forget exists.
There you have it. If homophobes and everyone against LGBT rights can answer these questions in satisfying manner, if they can justify the cognitive dissonance inherent in making these arguments, then they win.
They can have all the straight marriage they want. And… go!
And now, let’s enjoy some levity by listening to Ahnold’s greatest hits. Remixed!
March 23, 2012
Trayvon Martin’s death and the subsequent stall of justice and prosecution of his killer has made national news in the past few days. Florida’s gun laws and the ability to Florida citizens to seemingly kill with less oversight and consequences than police officers is under scrutiny. But we have to remember something. As much as people are arguing over the gun laws and as much as people are wondering why we haven’t done more towards Zimmerman, there is something more vicious going on.
Some are actually blaming Trayvon for his own murder.
Just when you thought the Right Wing noise machine couldn’t get more despicable, Gerardo Rivera, a man famous for being ordered to leave Iraq after divulging troop positions, went ahead and said one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.
Among other things, Geraldo thinks there’s nothing wrong with crossing the street when you see a black or Latino youth because we’ve all seen punks rob convenience stores wearing hoodies. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie, so Zimmerman may have been partially justified in his reaction to shoot an unarmed teen in his own neighborhood.
This is the same kind of mentality as blaming rape victims.
“Oh, you went out with make-up and a skirt, and you had a drink at the bar? Well, you just looked like the type of woman men would assume wanted to get laid. You were probably asking for it.”
The rape justification is horrible. Blaming a teen for his own murder because he was wearing a hoodie, you know, an article of clothing for cool weather, is downright disgusting.
Then you have Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze. After Captain Blackboard got the boot from Fox and was dropped from several radio stations, this became his little haven. And boy, he may not have written it, but he’s not said anything about it, either.
Mytheos Holt, an associate editor at the Blaze, wrote an article claiming we didn’t have all the facts yet. For example, did you know that Trayvon was suspended from school? We don’t know why, but the list includes:
- Harassment (non-sexual or isolated)
- Petty theft (under $300.00)
- Assault/Threat against a non-staff member
- Breaking and Entering/Burglary
- Bullying (repeated harassment)*
- Sexual harassment**
- Grand theft (over $300.00)
- Sex offenses (other) (including possession and/or distribution of obscene or lewd materials)
- Armed robbery
Is The Blaze implying Trayvon was a promiscuous murderer who liked to set fires and steal? They just put the list out there as if to say, “You decide, America!”
Well, we have. It’s why Beck lost his show and why people like Holt and Rivera are horrible human beings. We have plenty of facts on the case. It’s become such a national story specifically because we know so much about the case and nothing’s been done about it. If it had been a murder and Zimmerman had been arrested on the spot, it would have still been a tragedy and would likely have garnered some national attention and started a conversation on Florida gun laws.
And even IF Trayvon had been a homicidal pyromaniac, when he was killed, he posed no threat to anyone, especially someone with a loaded gun. Unless, of course, The Blaze is advocating killing people on the basis that they MIGHT have done something wrong.
This just goes to show just how disconnected from reality some people can get. Here we have a case of an overzealous man who shot and murdered an unarmed teen and while most people are trying to figure out the legal implications of the state’s gun laws and how this Zimmerman has not yet been arrested, we have Geraldo and Beck’s cronies wondering how Trayvon himself caused his own murder by being black and wearing clothing.
If anyone asks me why I write these articles and why I keep making videos, I point to things like this. If we don’t actively go after these self-righteous bastards and their insane semblance of “logic,” others might follow suit. It’s why education is important. It’s why we need to learn proper critical thinking skills.
If you look at this case and wonder how Trayvon Martin went so long without getting shot, you should be sterilized for the good of humanity. And set on fire. Also for the good of humanity.
To help wash away the hate and usher in the weekend, here’s the full trailer for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.
December 13, 2011
Fox went after the Muppets. As you know from previous posts on the site, I have a soft spot in my heart for Jim Henson’s creations. The segments in question, though, told us more about the conservative mentality than they did about the Muppets themselves. Let’s rip Fox a new one and figure out the network’s thought process.