We spend half our lives in a mirror universe. It's called the internet.
The iVerse (not owned by Apple) is a place where everyone is entitled to their own personal facts, sex is something you do with your eyes, and there are only two kinds of people - the devolved semihuman Morlocks, barely capable of syntax, incapable of logic...and the enlightened Nerds, also known as Facepalmers from their customary pose.
Here's a transcript of a typical exchange on youtube - one of the larger nodes of the iVerse - between two strangers, on the subject of wacky ex-gay 'therapy' cults.. You might be able to guess the identity of one of the strangers.
moniequa: If people are stupid enough to believe that gay is curable then they should be taken advantage of.
KapitanoStuff: So only smart people deserve compassion? Only the clever should get justice?
No one decides to hate themselves - it comes from being raised to hate something...then discovering you're it. It takes time to realise that everything you were told is wrong, and it's a painful process.
A process not helped by ignorant remarks like yours.
moniequa: anyone with any sense of intelligent would know that gay is not a choice, especially gay people, they should know that it is from within. They don't just wake up one day and decide that they are, most know it since they are very young. So for you to say that gay people didn't realize that their feelings were natural is a crock of shit.
KapitanoStuff: Try actually speaking to people with experience of 'ex-gay' groups, instead of assuming with no knowledge. Naturally gay people can believe it's somehow a choice if they're surrounded by people who say so all the time.
If people can believe in god or conspiracy theories, believing that is simple.
moniequa: These people, not the ones that were forced into the program, brought it upon themselves because they wanted to be straight.
KapitanoStuff: Yes, that's right. Because everyone who makes a mistake when they're confused, in pain, and haven't had the chance to find out the truth...deserves no sympathy.
You of course have never ever believed a lie from someone you trust.
KapitanoStuff: You're getting confused between "being gay is natural" and "knowing that being gay is natural".
moniequa: No I'm not confused between the two, if gay feel is natural as straight, which I believe it is, I know that these people know that they naturally gay and nothing they could do about it. To say they don't know and want to change is a crock of shit. They're pressured to change against their will, OK, but to say they don know that being gay is natural is simply nonsense and you know it.
KapitanoStuff: There are two possibilities.
1) You are correct, which means millions of gay people put themselves through the torture of trying to change, in the full knowledge that *there*is*no*point* in doing so, for absolutely no reason. Or
2) The action of millions is psychologically comprehensible.
See if you can work out which is more likely.
moniequa: So you're saying the pressure is so great that it forces people to attempt to change even though they know without a doubt that they couldn't. Its like proclaiming its natural yet trying to change. Now you have 2 situations: 1) People volunteerily want to change to because they believe they can or 2) With society pressure they attempt to change because they think there is a possibility. Pick one explain to me why its not their fault to want to change.
KapitanoStuff: Try to pay attention this time. Ready?
They Do Not Know That They Can't Change.
Understand yet? People believe things that aren't true. People believe things that you and I know are false. Yes? Things like the moon landings being faked, and Jesus rising from the dead, and the conspiracies of Glenn Beck, and marxism being a religion and...homosexuality being curable.
Why do people believe this shit? Because they were raised to. It's not hard to understand.
Kapitano's list of pop culture spoilers:
- Lost - They were dead all along
- The Prisoner - No it really doesn't make sense.
- Citizen Kane - Rosebud was the sled.
- Blake's 7 - It really was a hopeless struggle.
- 1984 - It really was a hopeless struggle.
- Cube - It was a government experiment.
- American Psycho - The impossible murders didn't happen.
- St Elsewhere - It was all a daydream.
- Point Blank - It was all a delusion.
- The Cabinet of Dr Caligari - It was all a delusion.
- Brazil - Only the happy bits were a delusion.
- Fight Club - Tyler is Edward.
- Atlas Shrugged - Blah blah blah...zzzzz.
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - The sidekick did it.
- The Three Apples (Arabian Nights) - The sidekick did it.
- The Robots of Dawn (Asimov) - The sidekick did it.
- Unbreakable - The mentor did it.
- The Mousetrap - The detective was the killer in disguise.
- Curtain - Poirot did it.
- Twelve Monkeys - It was nothing to do with the twelve monkeys.
- War of the Worlds - The aliens die of chicken pox.
- The Martian Chronicles - The aliens die of chicken pox.
- Five Characters in Search of a Exit - They're children's toys.
- Mulholland Drive - Everyone was someone else.
- Fallen - The good guys lost and the bad guy was the narrator.
- The Usual Suspects - The narrator was lying.
- Death in Venice - Sublimated pedophillia causes death.
- Lolita - Sublimated pedophillia causes death.
- Six Characters in Search of an Author - It doesn't matter if it was real.
- No Exit (Sartre) - They're in hell.
- A Nice Place to Visit (Twilight Zone) - He's in hell.
- The Sixth Sense - He was dead all along.
- Pincher Martin - He was dead all along.
- Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes - They were dead all along.
eHarmony dot com - the site that matches you with your ideal partner, not just for a date, but for a fulfilling, longterm relationship. So they claim.
There's the small detail that they assume compatible people are those who have things in common, as opposed to those who want and can offer complementary things to each other.
A man who likes to play lots of golf doesn't want a woman who plays golf - he wants a woman who doesn't mind when he does. A woman who hates to cook probably doesn't want to marry a fellow kitchen disaster, and neither does she was to live with a gourmet chef.
There's also the other small detail that they don't want any of those nasty queers and lesbos contaminating their site - perhaps they think it'd be used by closeted men in outwardly happy marriages to find men to have real relationships with. You know, like most of the other dating sites in the world.
For a while they tried redirecting men like me to CompatiblePartners dot com, but now they've closed it down. Probably that's a mercy, because I wasted half an hour of my life filling out their dumb survey - or 'personality test' - out of morbid curiosity.
Now, I have absolutely no desire for a long term relationship, or a marriage, gay marriage, civil partnership, domestic partner contract, or any other variation on shackling yourself to another human being because, for some bizarre reason you think enjoying each others company means using each others bank accounts, and breathing each others nocturnal gaseous emissions.
So far as I can see, loving each other is not a good reason to live together - especially as living together tends to kill the relationship. If you're in love, good - enjoy it before it fades. Don't rearrange your life around the hope that it won't fade.
I sleep better alone. I eat, surf, work, create and think better, alone. I've tried the pair bonding thing, and I could only be myself at work. That's where we all bitched about our partners.
So I filled out the questionnaire, revealing my feelings about a barrage of vaguely worded questions, and they found me a match.
Singular. I am compatible with exactly one person in their database. And he's a 50 year old Indian doctor who enjoys trips to the opera.
I wonder if there's a dating site for cynics?
I think I might have gone a bit mad. You decide and tell me.
I've had an old soundcard sitting in a drawer for several years. It's a good soundcard - an M-Audio Delta 1010LT 10-In/10-Out PCI, which still sells new for GBP120.
Unfortunately it's a PCI card, which means it only fits full size PCs - and those with an architecture that's been obsolete for three years. There's still plenty of people with old and technically obsolete computers - some of them running Windows 95(!) - so PCI cards are still in extensive use.
But not for me. I'm a laptop man now, and the only tower PCs I use are...ones mother and me build from cannibalised PCs which other people give away because there's something wrong with them. Wrong with the PCs, not the people.
So I thought to myself: Why don't I put my old soundcard on Ebay?
So I did. And it sold. For GBP91. Very nice.
Slightly less nice was the GBP3.33 service charge paypal deducted. And much less nice was the "hold" they put on the rest of the transaction.
Paypal have a charming policy whereby if you...
- Haven't sold anything on ebay for more than twelve months like me, or
- Have negative ebay feedback, or
- Just don't have much ebay feedback
...they hold the transaction for "up to 21 days" in case anyone wants to challenge it for some reason. "Up to 21 days" means "always 21 days", and for that time, your money is in limbo, inaccessible.
Sigh. Well if that's the way they want to play it, thinks me, I'll just put some more old stuff on ebay while I'm waiting.
Another thing I'd had sitting in a drawer for years was my old sampler - the Casio SK5. Back in 1987, when I was fifteen and samplers were still pretty new, I pestered my parents for it - GBP99, grungy 8-bit sound, 4-note polyphonic, completely MIDI incapable, and with absurd built-in samples including a laser gun and a lion roar.
I sometimes think, the more advanced and easier to use technology gets, the less productive I get with it. Well, the SK5 was primitive and a pig to use. A dozen albums.
Somewhat easier, around 1993, was a PC soundcard that, with ten minutes fiddling and hacking of forbidden files, could be fooled into thinking your own sample of a Kraftwerk bleep (from cassette) was its own grand piano sound. That, being played by sequencer software that could only be programmed by manually placing notes on a staff, was the next step. Half a dozen albums.
Then in 2000, the Propellerhead company gave us the program called Reason - named after a program in a Douglas Adams novel. I had a copy. Which is to say, I spent a solid ten hours downloading a pirate copy - net connections were a little slow in those days.
And until last week, I've owned and extensively used various pirate copies of Reason, upgrading my copy a few months after each official update. It's not like I could afford to buy the program at the time, and I seemed to use it a lot more - and better - than most legitimate owners. In spite of this...one and a half albums done.
So, I sold my SK5 for a very respectable GBP51...to a bender. A circuit bender that is - someone who takes old synthesiers, and soups them up, adding MIDI and effects to the original by physically augmenting the circuit board. Very clever, and little bit perverse, and rather out of my league. But it's good my old keyboard got a new lease of life with a new nerd.
So I got a bit of money...and I got a plan.
You see, Reason is a synthesiser program, but not a complete music creation system. At what it does it's probably the best, but it doesn't do the rest. It can't record audio, and can only import it as a kludge. It can be wired to work with certain programs that can handle audio, but the process is complex and results tend to sound like just what they are - two different systems working in parallel but not meshing.
But...the makers of Reason have now brought out a second program, integratable with Reason, which does audio. And really great guitar pedal effects, and a mixer that'll make your ears fall in love with you, and other good stuff. It's called Record. And it's completely and utterly unpiratable.
Which is to say, it probably is piratable, by a team of dedicated brilliant hackers doing nothing else for six months. But otherwise, it's the best security I've ever seen.
Which means if I want a studio system that's well integrated and powerful, I've either got to...
- Stop using Reason and switch to synth plugins running on other, much more easily hacked programs like Cubase and Ableton, which I know where to get pirate versions of. It'd take more processor power, be less consistent, have a difficult learning curve and be much more crash prone, but it's possible. Or
- Accept the limitations of wiring Reason with another program. Which is what I damn well should have done. Or
- Buy Record. Legitimately. Honestly. Decently. Properly. Openly. Correctly. Rightly. Legally. And on ebay 'cos there's no way I'm paying the inflated full price.
...Unfortunately I got the cheaper version of Record, sold to people who already have Reason, which means in order to register it, I need to register my copy of Reason. Which I can't do, because my not-completely-kosher copy is registered to someone else. So to register Record I need to get...a legitimate copy of Reason.
And it was massively stupid of me to not see that coming.
So now I got to looking for a legitimate copy of Reason. Second hand, from ebay.
I thought I'd help finance this by selling some DVDs, which I'd bought years before for GBP25. They did indeed sell - for GBP2. Ebay doesn't charge you if you don't set a minimum bid, so I...didn't. Sigh.
The first auction I used a free online automatic bidder, and got promptly outbid by someone else's automatic bidder. This is how ebay works nowadays.
The second auction I used a different automatic bidder and raised my maximum bid to GBP100 - and watched the program sell for GBP101. And at the third, GBP102. The forth looked promising - until the seller changed their mind and priced themselves out of the market.
But then, fifth time lucky! And less than GBP100 too.
Now...remind me what I wanted to do with this software? I seem to have forgotten somewhere along the line. And remind me why my idea to get a little extra money by selling means I'm GBP60 down by buying?
And, did I get swept along with an questionable idea, did I finally do the right thing by accident in buying what I use, or did I just go a bit mad?
I like quotations. I like to think I have a functioning brain. I have a blog. I used to be a graphic designer. I usually have a lot of data left over from projects that didn't didn't work out, or changed direction.
One convergence of all these five things is...Wise Wednesday. Maybe you like.
I could tell you just how much paypal is pissing me off this week. Or how much our brand new government has already pissed off everyone I know. Or the half dozen other things which provoked a reaction of pissedoffedness.
But instead...Rosie is now two and a half weeks old!
I've got a little program that makes screen captures, and to prove it....
Woman mislays stomach. Slowly.
Ripped...off. But excuse me while I drool, just a bit.
Mixing religion with business.
Mixing religion with history.
Mixing religion with sci...no, won't work.
Pot, meet kettle (Part 1).
Pot, meet kettle (Part 2).
"The whole world is fueled by bullshit."
- Justin's Dad, on ShitMyDadSays
So, yet another gay-hating American wingnut is caught being gay. What a surprise.
George Rekers - co-founder of the Family Research Council and "neuropsychiatrist" - found a 20 year old rent boy known as Lucian on Rentboy.com, and paid him to join him on holiday. And got photographed at the airport.
Rekers admits to all that, but claims
(1) Lucian was only there to carry his baggage, though Rekkers was carrying his own baggage.
(2) Lucian didn't become a rent boy till they were on holiday, though Rekers couldn't have found him if he weren't already, and
(3) on the holiday where Lucian became the rentboy he already was, Rekers was teaching him how not to have sex with men:
“If you talk with my travel assistant ... you will find I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail.”
Rekers joins a small and select group of horny homosexual hypocrites, with Lonnie Latham and Paul Barnes. Larry Craig, Mark Foley and Terry Dolan. Ed Schrock, Jim West and Glenn Murphy. Lonnie Frisbee, Billy James Hargis and J Edgar Hoover. John Paulk, Ted Haggard and Roy Cohn.
Okay, not such a small group.
A lot of people ask how a gay man can stir up such hatred towards other gay men - but it's not such a difficult question when you make the unspoken assumptions explicit: How can a principled gay man stir up such hatred for money?
Ambitious hypocrites are always for sale, and there's such a supply of them, they sell cheap.
No, I think the real question is: How can these people's followers swallow the self-justifying bullshit they spout when they get caught? Are these followers stupid? Grossly ignorant? Brainwashed and insane? Yes, but they really swallow it because...they want to.
We generally need to believe our opinions are correct, our morals justified, our actions productive...and our milieu somehow both the default state of humanity and somehow a little above the common clay. It doesn't take much to shore up these beliefs when challenged - sometimes just the knowledge that a rebuttal of some kind has been made.
When I was a theology student the question came up about why we trainee priests had to know all this difficult theological stuff, when we'd never have to use it for the job. The answer we got was: we needed to know it so the faithful flock could have confidence that any doubts they might have could be answered...and therefore they didn't need to have them.
It also came out in parentheses that almost no one who studies theology comes out believing in god - but I think we'd all discovered that for ourselves after six months of bible study.
As a socialist for the last decade I've heard an enormous amount of utter drivel from other socialists. Ranging from how obvious defeats are victories in disguise, to how working class men and women are equally oppressed by the state so sexism isn't an issue, to how the infinitely elastic terms of the Dialectic explain everything from quantum mechanics to voting patterns.
All of which is a little odd, because most of my comrades don't understand or care about these issues. They just want to know where to campaign and how to do it. Not that there's any reason why they should care about theory and theoretical debates, but with the number of monthly and quarterly publications, historical and theoretical pamphlets, republished polemics and notebooks from over a century ago...it's as if most of us don't want to know the answers, or indeed the questions, but we want to know there are questions which have been answered. And the proof is that someone in the branch has read those big thick books.
Don't get me wrong, I think Marx was right in the important ways, in his exposition of and criticism of capitalism and its ideology. Capitalism is neither inevitable nor eternal nor "human nature", any more than feudalism was. It's just that those who dismiss Marxism as a religion are not wrong in all ways.
I often think growing up is a lifelong process of finding out you've been wrong all along, and accepting it. That's why growing up is painful, why it tends to happen when your world falls apart, and why so few ever want do it, but somehow think they already have.
People irritate me.
I'm putting my obsolete music equipment on ebay - so I can get some less obsolete stuff from, er, ebay. One such piece is a drum machine I bought second hand in 1992, currently on extended loan to a band who use it for practice sessions when their drummer can't make it. Or rather they would, if they hadn't split up a year ago.
So, I want to ask for my drum machine back. To do this I need to ask the former bandmember to spend probably half a day finding where he stored it. For which favour I need to butter him up somewhat because, well, the higher he goes professionally, the more manicuring his ego needs.
Egos are like balloons - the more inflated they get, the more fragile they become, and the more noise when they burst and tumble.
Now, the way you butter up musicians is: You go to their gigs, see their new bands, and tell them they're great. Or conversely, you annoy them by not going to see them after they've spent a month dropping hints to everyone that they're playing.
For some reason it's more annoying to complement a band you didn't want to see but wound up enjoying...than a bad one you did - make of that what you will. So last night I went along.
The gig was at a completely stupid location, miles from where anyone lives, in a slightly seedy events hall. It was a fundraising gig, so of course it made perfect sense to have it in a place that's GBP200 to hire. I got to spend GBP10 on a taxi, 5 on entrance fee, 5 on drinks...and the remaining 2 into the fundraising bucket at the end of the night, because that's how all fundraisers everywhere work.
After five hours and four bands (two of who were actually good) I got the chance to speak to the man with my drum machine. Except as soon as his band went off stage he disappeared and no one could find him. So I didn't.
Oh, and I turned down an offer of sex to do all this.