The Thought Dump Returns: More Random as Hell Thoughts

… Screw you too, writer’s block.

Well, I’m overdue for some spring cleaning anyway. So let just fire off with a bunch of thoughts that have randomly cropped up lately until I can reach a point where my individual thoughts can fill up a blog post on their own.

I’m losing my passion for politics

Folks, please. Can we just fix the obvious problems TOGETHER before things get worse?
Source: Wall Street Journal

You know how sometimes you get into a routine of seeing and hearing the same thing so often that you start to get bored with it because there seems to be nothing new to add or to experience and so you start to lose interest and are seriously considering bowing out of it all together?

Yeah, that’s me with politics right now.

It seems like every political story that comes my way these days focuses on the same damn things; Putin is shifty, Trump is a clod-hopper, and some knuckle-dragger with an automatic weapon is wiping out a crowd of people. I’ve already talked about all this or can’t say anything that hundreds of better-suited people have already said. And despite that, those in a position to do so REFUSE TO CHANGE IT. It’s exhausting.

But, the thing is that I know this is what a lot of less moral people are counting on; they want people to get worn out so that they’ll stop questioning them and just roll over. So, while I may not have the passion to TALK politics here, I’ll definitely say my peace and defend my stance elsewhere.

Gendered bathrooms are bulls***

Finally, someone who cares about the real issues.
Source: Nola

So a while back, while I was cleaning the bathrooms at the welcome center I work at, I had a harsh epiphany.

See, the way we have the bathrooms set up here, there are technically two women’s rooms. Should the men’s room ever need to be closed for cleaning, one of the cleaning staff can shut one of the women’s rooms from there side and unlock a door granting access from the men’s side – effectively turning it into a temporary men’s room.

But we get a bunch of men – at least one every night – that’s so rigid in the idea of what the men’s room should be that they panic when they don’t see a urinal and refuse to believe the sign pointing them where they ought to go. One group even slammed me with transphobic comments about being “in between” genders in response.

Firstly, urinals are pointless. I know this because no man has ever had a house with a urinal in his bathroom and he can get by with just a regular toilet.

Secondly, a chat with a co-worker about this incident and we came to the same conclusion; why do we even need gendered bathrooms when the stalls make any attempts at peeking inside obvious (yes, I know about the cracks in the doors, but that appears to be a uniquely American problem that can be easily fixed)? We could easily get away with a giant room of stalls that would make cleaning worlds easier and remove a lot of anxiety for trans-folks that worry about which one to use.

In short, if your the sort of person that freaks out about not having a dedicated device that allows you to stand while peeing, it’s probably not big enough to warrant the need to stand in the first place.

Gendered clothing is ALSO bulls***

“Closer than you know/love each other so/androgynous.” <3
Source: Irish Times

One of the things my mother and I do is look for clothing online together since she enjoys the finds and I’m always looking to expand my wardrobe. Of course, we often run into the sticking problem of men’s versus women’s sizes (#GenderQueerProblems).

The way men’s and women’s clothing are designed has little to do with gender in my experience and more to do with the way they hang on you. Men’s pants for example (because pants were what we were looking at last) tend to fit more loosely and shapelessly where women’s seem more like leggings than pants – clinging tight and shaping the legs and butt (which I love because my legs are one of the few things on my body that I ACTUALLY like).

So why can’t we have a universal sizing system without gendering that just focuses on the cut of the clothing instead? Maybe then we wouldn’t need conversion charts and cheat sheets from the internet to help us find a decent pair of shoes (seriously, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a pair of cute pumps in a size 16?).

The Agent’s Thought Dump: Part 2 – More Brain Droppings

So many thoughts. And yet so few words. Source: SwanWaters

So many thoughts. And yet so few words. Source: SwanWaters

Once again, I’ve hit a point where all the thoughts in my brain space have been taking up space while not being substantial enough for a full article. Combined with an upcoming and sudden moving day that threw off a few plans, I’ve been more creatively strained than usual.

So, it’s time once again to have a mental cleaning day in hopes relieving my stress. Let’s begin with the obvious thought that’s (I hope) on everyone’s minds…

How is America not imploding right now?

Seriously, have you seen the news lately? People are freaking out about gangs of creepy clowns, cities are without safe drinking water, oil companies are defiling people’s homes, and our primary choices for our future leader are a corporate-sponsored Dolores Umbridge and a mentally unstable, geriatric Oompa-Loompa. In the words of Dexter Holland, “s*** is f***ed up.”

It almost feels like everyone in my country is suffering some kind of short-term memory loss that makes them forget all of the madness going on around them as soon as they fall asleep so they don’t make forward progress on the problem. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve long since entered a state of ‘optimistic pessimism’ where I just hope for a civil war/dictatorship/apocalypse to happen so I can stop losing my mind over it.

On a lighter note, since this is about decompressing my stress…

I need to add One Punch Man to my watchlist

Have you seen this s***? It’s literally an anime comedy deconstruction of the western comic book-style superhero where a guy has phenomenal strength and speed but is tortured by the fact that having overwhelming power makes things too simple for him and all he wants is to be able to feel the emotions swirl inside him as he battles for the earth.

Basically, what if a normal guy had Superman’s power?

Add to that the fact that it seems hilariously over-the-top, and I can see why it’s taking off.

Speaking of anime that’s peaked my interest…

There is an anime where Buddha and Jesus are roomies

I wish I was talented enough to make that sentence up.

I’m not even joking; there exists a slice-of-life comedy called Saint Young Men where Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ live on earth and share an apartment in modern day Tokyo while fumbling with mortal human culture to hilarious ends.

Screw political correctness; I need this to be dubbed into English. I must live in a world where Jesus identifies with us bloggers.

Why We Happy Few Is The First Horror Game To Actually Horrify Me

Just a quickie to make up for technical issues yesterday. :D

Sad to say that I’ve been financially strapped lately. So, with fewer resources to dedicate to my sanity-maintaining hobbies and this year being more stressful than most (thanks for THAT, Brexit and 2016 election year), I’ve been focusing more on the trailers for the movies and games I can’t see/play just yet in anticipation.

That’s when I stumbled upon this little gem that flew under my radar.

We Happy Few is a survival horror game set in a dystopian 1960’s Britain where the Big Brother-Esque figure known as Uncle Jack uses aggressive marketing and even more aggressive law enforcement to force the citizens into staying high a flying squirrel on a euphoria-inducing psychoactive drug called ‘Joy’ in order to force others to forget their painful pasts and remain willfully ignorant of the real terrors around them.

Of course, anyone caught skipping their Joy is labeled as a ‘Downer’ and will be hunted down by police and citizens alike. Basically, think the classic Doctor Who episode The Happiness Patrol (complete with criticism of Thatcher-Era politics) with significantly fewer candy-coated cyborgs.

Now, I have a history with survival horror as a genre as they seem to do neither very well these days. You aren’t exactly struggling for survival when you’re armed like a space marine and the jump scares lose their edge after the 50th time. In We Happy Few, however, you’re essentially forced to walk among the very monsters that want you dead; creating a truly unnerving experience.

What’s more, it’s an experience that many of us can relate to. I have many close friends who suffer from social anxiety. I can only imagine that a game like this captures the feeling of being trapped among ‘normal’ people; feeling like the outsider that nobody wants and that everyone hates.

This game also touches a nerve for those who suffer from depression. Some days, you almost wish you could pop a pill that made you forget all of your pain. But then you have to realize that the comfortable lie may be even more dangerous than the harsh truth and that disillusioning yourself may just leave you more vulnerable.

I love good horror in all of its many forms because it forces me to face the ugliest sides of the world and arms people with the cold, hard truth. But, in terms of games, this may be the first and only horror game to truly fill me with dread.

Of course, I’m saying all of this before I’ve had the chance to play it. But given what I’ve heard so far, I’m clearly not alone in thinking this.

And let us never forget the moral of this game’s story; the tired meme of, “keep calm and carry on” is a crock. DON’T keep calm; your world is being run by liars, megalomaniacs, and sociopaths.

How A Government Shutdown Will Affect Us All (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bureaucracy)

With the clock ticking down to the much fretted after government shutdown, it falls to responsible journalists to help the people understand the situation, prepare for it, and alleviate their fears. Unfortunately, it seems that most news channels are doing more to add to the panic then anything else. As such, let’s take sometime out to discuss what a government shutdown is and how it will change life for us.

What Is A Government Shutdown?

A federal government shutdown is a situation where a government halts many services that aren’t deemed “essential.” During this time, certain federal employees must take a temporary unpaid leave called a furlough.

There are several reasons why a government may shutdown – most of them coming as a result of a disagreement regarding how our federal budget should be handled. In this case, the Republican members of Congress are opposing President Barrack Obama’s healthcare budget resulting in a deadlock.

It should be noted at this point that this is nothing new. We have had a long list of federal and local government shutdowns going back to 1976.

What Services Will Be Stopped?

The first services to be affected will likely be national parks and museums. During the last government shutdown, which lasted the longest in national history at 28 days, all 59 national parks were closed.

Military families may encounter struggle as well. During a shutdown, there is a chance (repeat, a chance, not a guarantee) that active-duty troops will still have to report for assignments without pay. However, as soon as the government goes back to work, they would be paid back for every dollar missed.

Other programs that would be halted include several smaller food assistance programs, WIC, and an estimated 20 of the 1,600 different Head Start programs.

What Services Will Continue?

Most other federal services would proceed as planned with little-to-no hindrance. For example, despite the tourism troubles connected to closing our parks and museums, travel will still be possible. It may be hindered slightly as airport controllers are forced to make cuts, but you can still get to where your going as long as you’re expecting a few more delays then normal.

Social Security and Medicare would also be slowed but still function as normal. The same goes for those receiving Unemployment benefits.

Federal courts will still hear cases, the mail will still come in, the FDA will still inspect meat and handle recalls, prisons will still be holding and processing criminals, homeland security will still serve and protect us, and we (sadly) will still have to pay our taxes.

Should I Be Worried?

As stated, this is not the first time we’ve experienced a government shutdown. A shutdown typically only lasts 1-3 days before it is resolved and we’ve seen them with some frequency – sometimes multiple times in a single year. It’s actually quite unusual that we haven’t seen one in so long.

In the meantime, just relax. If you’re a federal employee that would be affected by a shutdown, you should have already been told to start looking for alternative temporary work by now just to be safe. We’ve done this song-and-dance 17 times now (possibly 18 or 19 if you were affected on a local government level) and we’ll come out of this just fine. The boys and girls in The White House aren’t getting any benefit to making life harder like this and legitimately want to fix the problem. Just keep telling yourself, “This to shall pass.”