Saturday, October 08, 2011

Proud to Be an American

At least today I am, after looking at these lovely protest pics from around the country.

And way to go all the little cities. Fuck Yeah Boise! I thought the only thing people in Idaho got together for was white supremacist meetings.

And way to go Witchita. The only thing I know about you is that the forced pregnancy shitheads are the worst there, but you got yourself together a twee little protest.That ain't mockery. I'm pleased as punch.

And to Mayor McGinn- fucking issue permits so people can pitch tents at Westlake. Seattle is the old pro at modern protest (cough*WTO*cough) and if people can't pitch a tent, then they will pitch a fit. Mr. I'm-Progressive-Bicycle-Mayor-Dude, you do not want to be compared to assy Bloomberg. But you will be. Give up. Let the protestors have their way. They're gonna have it anyways and the pictures of SPD cops hauling off passively resiting middle-aged black men are not doing you any favors.

The weather in Seattle is beautiful, btw, and I plan on being down at the protest with the Kid tomorrow. If you're local and want to meet up, drop me an email.

Friday, October 07, 2011

6,326 people think this is hilarious

Am I the only person on Facebook who finds this appallingly sexist?

Why doesn't it say "Or ask your mother how it's done, you ignorant lazy-ass slacker"? Would the 'likes' dry up if it did?

What's so damned funny about treating anyone (least of all your own mother) like a servant, anyhow?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Getting the job done

New office supplies at Elizabitch Worldwide Industries global headquarters and European bureaux:

..and all I got was this lousy iPhone

My ex, whose intellect impresses me less all the time, posted today, "All I can say is thank you Steve. You made the world a better place and will be missed."

Better? Really?

Well, he gave boys great toys and what's not better about that?

Glad you asked. Where do I start?

Let's go back to 1976. I grew up surrounded by electronics. My father had an electronic music recording studio in the house. I was fascinated by it.

I entered high school at 13 and signed up for an electronics class at high school. Big mistake.

Whenever I entered the room, jumping, grabbing boys yelled 'HEY GIRL HEY GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL WITH THE PINK COMB GIRL GIRL GIRL.' The teacher did nothing. I got no help from anyone. After six weeks, I dropped the class.

And that is the point where my life story and that of every male geek I have ever met, loved or worked with irrevocably part ways.

I took programming and math classes at a university when I was 15 and 16. But I never quite believed in myself and no one around me ever did either. No one saw the potential. I was a girl, at the age where the pressures to develop into a suitably fuckable cunt become crushing. I did not escape its effects. I abandoned tech.

I did come back to geekery after ten years of typing letters for a living, at the behest of my mother, amazingly enough, who had put together a satisfying consultancy writing database applications. I often assisted her performing surgery on computers, fixing up corrupted datafiles in the hex editor, and writing DOS batch file programs. It was her who urged me into IT and I am glad she did.

But over the years since I, as an adult returning student, graduated in the mid-90s, the tech world has remained a white-boys-only club. In every shop I've ever worked in there was a core clique of white males who ran everything. They got the good jobs, the promotions, the good work and everyone else in the IT department, the Chick, the Black Guy, that Guy Whose Name We Can't Pronounce, The Lower Status Non-Warcraft Playing Males, got the crumbs. People with no more intelligence or talent than I rise in IT through the compelling power of the trouser snake.

So back to Steve Jobs. Jobs built a technological and business empire on the firmest of foundations, the narratives that structure our world. He was able to harness the archetypes of white-boys-with-toys, the male wizard bending the physical and social world to his will, the lone visionary. None of Job's unique catalyzing talents would have made the least difference if he hadn't had a dick and were he not, to white peoples' way of seeing, drained of ethnicity. (I saw a friend today who knew him personally. She told me, "Did you know he was Syrian? He was adopted." No, I did not. Jobs, like Ralph Nader, was socially bleached.)

They say Steve Jobs had a 'reality distortion field.' But he did not distort mine. There is a glass ceiling in my field, one that all of my male friends and colleagues floated through, supported by The Narrative and their lower-earning, non-techie, totally unthreatening wives. On the job I was the Perl 'queen,' the PHP 'queen,' the regular-expression 'queen,' the go-to person to solve thorny problems, but I was marginalized and made 10% to 20% less than the men (and those are just the cases I know about.) The past 25 years have been presided over by the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds and Mark Zuckerberg, men who are held up as the geniuses and the leaders. I feel the effect of that every single day.

Jobs, by all accounts, was an amazing human being and definitely will be missed by friends, family and colleagues. But let's not exaggerate. He did not make the world better or even much different. He (however inadvertently) reinforced the narratives and the archetypes that hold me and millions of others back. It's still a sexist, racist, homophobic, imperialist oppressive shithole of a world...and all we got was this lousy iPhone.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

More Clash

Prolly overused, but fuckit.

This is a public service announcement
With guitar
Know your rights all three of them

Number 1
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a CRIME!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights

And Number 2
You have the right to food money
Providing of course you
Don't mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers

Know your rights
These are your rights

Know these rights

Number 3
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you're not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights
These are your rights
All three of 'em
It has been suggested
In some quarters that this is not enough!

Get off the streets
Get off the streets
You don't have a home to go to

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent
You are warned that anything you say
Can and will be taken down
And used as evidence against you

Listen to this

Happy Sunday

This seems appropriate today. Go Occupy Somewhere.