Vietnam 2018

Here’s a very small series of photos from our trip to Vietnam over the summer of 2018.

Another Halloween at VP Manor 2017

We went with a Rick and Morty theme this year.  Our costumes were really fucking awesome!  Vy’s was the best.  Mine was second best.  Probably.

False Flags & Restroom Laws

What is a False Flag?

 

A false flag is a phony statement of group alignment made to lull one’s victims into letting their guard down so as to catch them unawares. Pirates used to pretend to be their victim’s ally by flying the appropriate flag when approaching a ship they intended to take, only when they were too close to escape could their victims see through their ruse. Much the same thing is happening in politics today. In the modern analogy, the flag is a faked concern for the safety of women and children and the Rights of the People, the pirates are social conservatives and the ship they’re trying to take is our nation’s genitals.

Which would probably look something like this

As the Wicked Witch of The West turned to a puddle, she screamed at the sky trying to drag it into melted-person hell with her. “What a world!” she croaked as she croaked. What a world, indeed, green lady. You just wanted some flash shoes. And now, you’re dead all because one of your soldiers didn’t have restroom access and was forced to piss in a bucket which was carelessly left next to a burning straw man.

If only I’d been more progressive/humane!

Straw Men and Stinking Thinking

 

Speaking of straw men, this is what passes for logic in the Indiana legislature:

Statement: A human has the right to pee and poop in a public restroom without exposing themselves to legal action or the hateful violence of bigotry.

Refutation: Men in dresses raping and murdering women and children in restrooms is bad.

See what they did there? They raised an unrelated point that no one would disagree with and acted as if it somehow addresses the concern about pooping and peeing in public restrooms. Inconceivable!

Social conservatives are claiming that allowing anyone into whichever restroom they prefer will cause a complete implosion of the social order. You know: human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria; a complete Shangri-La-Di-Da for sexual offenders. Scary, right? Except for the fact that this claim comes without any sort of evidentiary support from this place we live called “reality”. (1)

Even if you pretend that the people expressing these false flag concerns are genuine, your immediate question when they shriek their opinion at you would be, “Holy shit! Really? Like, this is really happening? Crap. That’s terrible. Cool, so show me the evidence and let’s get on with stopping this terrible miscarriage of justice.” This, of course, is where the problem arises. When asking police representatives about people abusing equal restroom laws in states where it’s legal to poop and pee in whichever restroom matches your gender-identification, officials consistently answer, “not even remotely a problem” and call concerns about predatory actions from people gone mad with bathroom freedom “beyond specious”. Ha! Wait. What? So of the many, many states that allow folks to use whichever bathroom they’re comfortable with, there have been no instances where anyone’s safety has been threatened?

Yes. That’s right. Zero times has someone abused the law to terrorize women and children (or men; conservatives seem to think men are not vulnerable to the same crimes as women and children for some reason).

 

So No One’s In Danger?

 

Hold up, chief, because there’s some really sad fucking bullshit to swallow, yet: guess who’s really under threat when America starts legislating against human rights? If you said “Trans people who are murdered and beaten to death by ignorant pieces of shit” you get a cookie. (2) Granted, a cookie is a poor reward for this type of soul-crushing insight, but you never know, maybe the cookie is magic and can make you forget the horrors of the world as it is?

Turns out, Trans people just want to use the bathroom without drawing undue attention to themselves. Just like everyone else. Well, no, not just like everyone else. Because everyone else isn’t followed home and beaten to death by some sub-normal IQ’d, machismo-huffing scum-bag; everyone else isn’t accosted and molested in the street because they had the audacity to be noticed in public; everyone else isn’t terrified that someone will “spot” them and “out” them, exposing them to the hidden world just below the surface of our civilization where human-shaped animals tear each other apart for the stupidest of reasons.

Pretending The Majority Is Under Attack is Good Business

 

Conservativism in America has become synonymous with this brand of ape-ish, regressive thinking. These people are far more concerned with forcing people to not make them uncomfortable than they are with safety, equality or free speech. Hence, they are waving a false flag. Ted Cruz last year cried to a group of Iowa Home School clods: “…Jihad… is being waged right now, in Indiana, and in Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman!” Here he is expressing concern for the religious oppression that Christians suffer in America (?). In truth, he and his ilk are more concerned with wielding the power that comes with pandering to a homophobic/transphobic/caveman base.

Some people in America are uncomfortable with transgendered folks. That’s cool. You have the freedom to be uncomfortable in America. The discomfort which springs from tolerance is a big part of living in a pluralistic society. We all have to tolerate people in our daily lives, even people whom we deem to be complete bell-ends.

 

I’d like to see The Human Centipede remade with just these two dudes.

 

Conservatives, contrary to their purported love of our constitution and freedom of speech and whatever jingoistic lip-service is part of their spiel this year, feel like they are more special than everyone else and shouldn’t have to suffer the indignities of their own discomfort with other people’s business, and that’s if you take them at their word.  If you look with any sort of scrutiny, it’s clear that they’re playing a shell game.  Selling you bigotry and inequality while talking about the opposite. Indiana has passed Indiana SB 101 which is that religious restoration bullshit thing. Indiana and every other state trying to push shit like this (North Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Texas, Too Depressed to Keep Listing American States, etc. (3)) isn’t working to protect anyone. They are giving lip service to how wonderful, just and noble they are while, simultaneously, channeling their inner school yard bullies. They are fucking with kids that are different and, by glob, they’re not going to let little Sarah start calling himself Billy because… I don’t know.  There is no real “because” here.  It’s just because.

 

Would A Little Honesty Kill Us?

 

These false flags are illogical and intellectually dishonest.  Wouldn’t it be great if we just called shit what it was?  Wouldn’t it be great if people just said, “I’m racist and that’s why I want this law,” or “I hate Jews so I collect Nazi Memorabilia” or “I need the votes of poor, panicked, uneducated nose-pickers who feel like the East and West Coasts are closing in on them like spiky walls in an Indiana Jones film.”  If one good thing has come out of the election this last couple of months, it’s been that people are more comfortable spelling out their real reasons for shit rather than hiding behind double-speak and spin.  Perhaps now people will see how shit things are and get angry enough to burn it all down and start over.  Probably not, but you never know.

 

(Fun Fact: Indiana is also interfering a woman’s right to get an abortion (4)! Yay! They’re getting so much backwards shit done!)

 

1: http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/03/20/15-experts-debunk-right-wing-transgender-bathro/198533

2:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_violence_against_LGBT_people_in_the_United_States#2010.E2.80.93present scroll to the end for the most recent listings and keep in mind this is nowhere near complete. Also, maybe get some Oreos or something so you can fill the sad, sad void inside you after you read it.

3. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/transgender-bathroom-discrimination-bills

4. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/03/24/indiana-abortion-bill/82222008/

New Year’s Eve 2016 at VP Manor

We did some stuff and went some places on New Year’s this year.  We ended up at VP Manor to ring in the new with James and Chris.  Chris and I BOTH called James and told him SPECIFICALLY to dress nicely.  I want everyone to understand that James is dressed up in these photos.  Normally, when he comes over, he wears custard-stained underwear, some party socks and a merkin (underneath the stained underwear, of course) and nothing else, so I suppose this is kind of dressed up.  Also, it was James’ birthday.  They ate steaks and I had some fake chicken nuggets.  Fickin’ Nuggets.  Whatever.

 

Festivus 2016

In the below gallery, you’ll find all the photos from Christmas this year.  If you want higher resolution photos without a watermark, please email me and I’ll sort you out.  Click on individual photos to get their name (the first four numbers are the pertinent ones I need to find the photo you want).

We had a good time over the holidays.  I got some sweet headphones and a 5tb drive.  I’m an adult who is happy to receive presents for the winter equinox.

 

Rob and I picked on Tri on Xmas Eve (we drug him outside and pushed snow down his shirt).  He was super mad.  The Xmas Eve photo has been digitally altered to make him smile.  He was frowning SUPER hard.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

Massive Mountain, Mt. Massive, Is Reportedly Out of The Hospital and Recovering at Home with Friends and Family

Rob Vy and I went to Colorado and climbed a really tall mountain at our own peril.  You can watch us suffer through the magic of photographs!

Our climb was a qualified success.  I think the lesson we all learned was, we are old, in shitty shape and will surely die when the zombies come.  So, please take this adventure with us and gaze upon our failure.

 

 

 

Summer 2016, Embassy’s On The Case

Here are photos that symbolically represent my entire summer this year.  Pretty exciting stuff, huh?  Thor, Vy and I had a great time out in California working for Embassy running their summer school.

 

Mrs. Minh’s English Classes

These are the photos I took on the last two days of teaching at Mrs. Minh’s school in Go Vap.  I had a lot of fun teaching these little guys.  Many of the little kids were crazy.  Many of the older kids were a lot of fun and very bright.  Van Anh and Minh Anh were both excellent students.  Tuong Anh was a super cool little guy who knows a lot of stuff.  Uncle Fester is a nice little dude.  Nhi is a super smart kid with really excellent grammar and pronunciation.  Spiderman was goofy.  Mighty Tiny was a a neat little dude.  There were so many kids!  It’s been a long time since I have taught large classes and I had a lot of fun teaching all these guys.
A special thanks to Mrs. Minh for giving me the opportunity to teach at her school and thank you to all the kids for paying attention and working hard!  Most of you, anyway.  Buns, Minh, Restaurant and China: work harder.  Uncle Fester: don’t be afraid to speak!  You know tons of English!  Use it!