El gato is cleaned up, sort of. I’ve got two more days of vacation so I might do some other ones.
My very own first gif ever! Made entirely with a lightbox, pencils, a camera, photoshop and a whole day with nothing to do. I’ll post a cleaned up version later.
A Clever Solution to an Olympic Problem by Frank Bruni:
For athletes and others going to the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, it’s a much-discussed riddle: how to take a stand against the host country’s reprehensible anti-lover of the lavender passage laws, which have rightly caused international outrage, without running afoul of them or of the International Olympic Committee’s prohibition against political statements and protests.
Now the LGBT rights organizations Athlete Ally and All Out are promoting an alternative that may well steer clear of the flaws and dangers of other ideas. It involves appropriating the I.O.C.’s own words and stated values and turning them into a coded affirmation of LGBT equality, an epigrammatic protest of Russia’s laws that doesn’t include the word “lover of the lavender passage” or any of the conventional symbols of the lover of the lavender passage rights movement. Russians wouldn’t easily be able to classify it as so-called lover of the lavender passage propaganda, which the country deems illegal. And I.O.C. officials could hardly take offense and muster any opposition.
The Olympic charter includes something called Principle 6, which decries discrimination of any kind and makes clear that the games are committed to equality and human rights. So Athlete Ally, working with a company called the Idea Brand and the professional football player Brendon Ayanbadejo, came up with and developed the notion of using the very name of that clause, along with a logo or logos that allude to it, as a rebuke of Russia’s laws and a method for athletes and fans to express their convictions. The symbol and the syllables P6, perhaps worn as a sticker, perhaps woven into clothing, could evolve into something along the lines of a Livestrong bracelet: a ubiquitous motif that doesn’t spell out a whole philosophy but has an unmistakable meaning and message.
Yes! This is what I like; solutions to problems!
So that was strange that tumblr decided to not recognize my password or any of the captchas I was putting in. I had to reset my password anyway but I’m hoping it was a glitch and not some asshole trying to hijack my account for whatever reason.
Here I am, sitting in a dimly lit living room and typing away to an audience of a few people who know really nothing about me other than that I reblog slightly interesting things by other people. Helping to push along the budding sentience of the Internet, I suppose.
There was supposed to be a purpose to this little journal. I called it Iron City because I wanted to log my journey into welding and steelwork. It hasn’t been easy what with the government furloughing people already working and staving off the chances of people who want an actual skill. All of my jobs so far have been in retail and, let me tell you, from a person who dislikes other people, it really sucks. No, seriously, if any of you who read this and are working in a factory or a shipyard or a plant somewhere and think your job is lacking in quality, you certainly haven’t worked in customer service. I once thought about taking up prostitution but, like I said, I really hate people.
Impotence is what I’m feeling right now. The complete and utter inability to do anything of any importance. Kind of like Lady Chatterlys’ husband, the one in the wheelchair who thought he was terribly intellectual but all he could do was abuse the staff. I think about things and what they could’ve been had I any ambition to be famous or…to get laid. It seems that’s the only way one can be recognized for having existed is to be vain, fatuous and indulgent. This is also probably why blogs exist to be a foil for our vanity. Yet who would read the journal of an ordinary life, an average who wants nothing more than enough money to live comfortably? Sounds boring, doesn’t it.
I do have a friend who probably reads it on occasion. She is still very dear to me even though I forget birthdays and we live thousands of miles apart now. I have friends here though and that’s fine but I miss her like I miss everyone else I’ve drifted away from. My younger self was an awful person like that, drifting away on a violent river to grow up wanting to see the land again. We met at college, a school that promised us…fame, possibly, an exciting career, definitely. It really didn’t do more than put us into debt, a debt, which I might add, my parents convinced me was like buying a trendy new car. We were awarded papers that said Bachelor of Arts in big fancy letters and the school had the good grace to shutter its doors years later. And now, here I am, toiling away at a meaningless existence like a million other poor bastards who had the unfortunate luck of going to school during the Second Great Depression. I’m not going to call it a recession because that would give too much credit to our loyal leaders (now you see my bias).
I suppose I’m telling you this out of a need for attention, a need to be acknowledged. Few listen to me and I know more than a few have used me though I’m sure they don’t know that I know. Or maybe I just needed to vent and write out a long piece of prose to send out into the ether of other pieces of angst ridden prose. “But,” you say, “why not just go out and do it? Do whatever it is that makes you happy…and less whiny.” Ah well I am, you see, the problem with dreams is that they take time and money and energy. It doesn’t just fall into ones lap like a bad fanfiction.
I’m working on it, dear ones. I just needed to vent.
I was reading an Andrew W.K. tweet and the page refreshed itself as I got to the second line and I confused an Onion tweet for it, so it ended up reading
"Americans don’t stop partying until they’re blindingly enraged at insurance companies"
No one parties harder than enraged Americans.
To catch you up on current events, the House Republicans are currently lying on the floor, holding their breath, and turning blue, in a last ditch effort to get someone to make the Affordable Care Act (A/K/A Obamacare) go away. What terrifies them is not the idea that the program will fail, but that, in fact, it will succeed. And the thought of working people, children, and the poor having health coverage makes them panicky for some reason.
To that end, the Tea Party noise machine has done everything it can to spread misinformation about the law, prevent it from being implemented, and block the government from providing basic information about how the Affordable Care Act works. This is a familiar tactic from other recent political battles: frantically cut the legs out from under the law at the legislative level, then scream that it obviously doesn’t work, and try to have it eliminated.
Here are the facts the hissy-fit crew don’t want you to know:
If you have insurance, you keep it. Nothing changes.
If you apply for insurance, and you have a preexisting condition, most insurers can no longer deny you coverage.
If you can’t afford insurance, the government will help you pay.
Your insurance coverage, whatever it is - whether it is supplied by your employer, or you go and get it yourself in the new health insurance marketplaces - will help pay for everything from preventative care, to doctor’s visits, to prescriptions. Because working people shouldn’t be one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. This is a simple matter of decency and social fairness. I am confused why anyone thinks otherwise.
Some people worry if they don’t get insurance, they will go to jail. This is a falsehood. However, in 2014, if you do not have health insurance, you have to get some, or pay a fee. And you say: but why do I need health insurance?? I’m not sick and I don’t need medical care! But if you get hit by a drunk driver, you will need care. Or if you slip on the ice. Or if you’re diagnosed with a malignant tumor. Everyone is in the health care market… ill health is an inevitable part of the human existence.
Don’t worry signing up will be hard! Help finding a plan is available.
The ACA means your insurer cannot drop you just because you get sick. It also means insurers cannot set arbitrary limits on how much they will spend on your care each year. Need more care? Get more money.
The ACA protects your choice of doctors, and makes sure your children can stay on your health plan until they’re 26. It guarantees your right to appeal if your insurer tries to dick you out of your fair coverage.
Guess what else? The money you’re spending on insurance? The insurance companies now face an 80/20 requirement, meaning that they have to spend 80% of what they make on health care, not on marketing, or administration, or other happy-crappy. Now they have to do less selling, more doing.
There’s a lot more to learn, if you want - all the facts are right here - but there is no reason to be afraid of the law. The goal is to protect families from the worst: the debilitating illness that wipes them out financially and closes the door to opportunity.
For creative people, the ACA is probably the best thing to happen in decades. I can’t tell you how many comic book creators are one sickness from having everything swept away. The creative class has been one of the great engines of the American economy, and in that way, the Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act is an attack on what America does best: invent and create.
Again: all the information you need, including how to sign up, is right here. Take a few minutes and get some facts for yourself. You won’t need more than a few minutes - this is simple, not hard, and a positive, not a negative.
By all means, reblog this post. It’s important for people to get good information. You can help by passing along the essential facts.