That’s Gay….

Someone once said to me, “OMG, ur so [expletive deleted] GAY!!!!!!”

What he really meant to say was, “Look, I object strenuously to being kicked out of your raid. I really don’t think my behavior was outside of the norms set by the game, and further, I would like to point out my awesome abilities, clearly indicating that I am much better than you or your guild at raiding.”

I was in a cheerful mood so I feigned obliviousness and responded, “What has my sexual orientation got to do with anything?”

I’m talking about an in-game (World of Warcraft) thing by the way, for those of you that are lost.  Here’s a read on raids if you’re interested

This resulted in a diatribe that ended with “FAG!!!!!!!!!!”  (he used more exclamation points I’m sure…I didn’t count though).

It often irritates me when I see homophobic slurs tossed around, and despite the fact that acceptance of LGBT folk is common place in most of Western society, it sometimes seems that every jerkwad with a keyboard and WoW account is not clever enough to come up with anything other than “fag” or “gay” to describe someone or something they dislike.

Even bland “That’s gay” in response to someone talking about something negative gets under my skin.

Why?   Because when something bad is “gay”, then anyone who is gay (and by extension bi-sexual, lesbian or transgendered) is bad.   And yes….you are absolutely correct when you say, “You know what I mean…”.

But think about it….lets say your name is Bob (and if your name actually is Bob, even better).   How would you feel if, while, trying to enjoy your favorite game, everywhere you went you’d see:

[General][Imapally]  OMG, did you read the patch notes?! They’re nerfing Pallies!
[General][Notbob]  Really?  Damnit, that’s so frickin Bob!
[General][Anonjerkwad]  Hey, Ima…didn’t you pug with us the other night?
[General][Imapally]  Oh yeah, you’re that frackin Bobby Raid Leader of that Robert guild full of Bobblehead ninjas!!!

I don’t have to keep typing to get my point across do I?

I had actually started writing this rant a couple of weeks ago, but other events popped up. But, something caught my attention that brings this to the foreground.  At Blizzcon…a huge annual convention put on Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft etc.

If the guys in the video were typical of gamers, even me, someone who cares very little what people outside of a select few thinks, would become a closet gamer.  The initial article I read had no linked clips, so I thought that perhaps a video montage of gamers aping for a camera wasn’t scrutinized closely enough.  But no… The Level 90 Tauren Chieftains…a Blizzard supported band backed this entire play.

Now of course I’m willing to bet heavily that they didn’t intend to sound homophobic, and that when they put together their little act that it likely didn’t occur to them that it would come off sounding homophobic.   Now…even with the slurs aside, the fact that it sounded remarkably similar to Ogrimaar trade chat, and the fact that they appear to be older than 12 alone, should’ve embarrassed them.

Hey look, I haven’t digressed yet, but I will do so now.  I’ve been a metal fan for decades…speed metal, heavy metal, death metal…yeah…(I would’ve said “f— yeah” but my mom has scolded me for swearing here…) ….so it is with that experience behind me that I say that as a band the Chieftains suck    Hair whipping……seriously????  Dude…if you’re going to whip your hair GET A FRACKING GUITAR AND DO IT TO THE BEAT (if you can find one in that caterwauling).   Oh yeah….and wear some mascara, and make yourself all pretty….google the band Poison and look at the images for pointers…or…wait…Adam Ant…yeah, him.  (I wrote an app for one of my co-workers named Adam.  I dubbed it “Adam Ant” and put a picture of that singer all decked out in purple leather on the gui…being a straight laced sort of fellow he asked me to take that off).

Let me get back on point…being gay isn’t bad….not matter what your parents, your clergy or your god says.  If you disagree…you’re allowed to and its perfectly acceptable for you to show your disapproval of gayness by simply not being gay.   But, if you go around using the fact that god (through his self-anointed messenger on earth) told you that being gay is bad, ask yourself if instead of “Bob” in the imaginary general chat conversation above if I had used the name of your religion?   Then, when you objected I came back with “You know what I mean…sheesh chill dude, I didn’t mean nuthin by it”…

We, the gaming community at large accept this behaviour….for a variety of reasons.  Most of us have the general and trade channels turned off.  Many of us do not read raid/guild chat closely, and interestingly enough…not a lot of people use “gay” or “fag” on Ventrilo (our voice chat program we use for raids).  Doing so excessively will get you kicked from most raids.

The result is that dunderheads like that one in the video suddenly think its acceptable language to use at an event like Blizzcon.

In closing, I want to briefly address one more semi-related topic.  I read a forum post where the poster related a tale where his wife was assaulted at Blizzcon.  She was minding her own business, wearing a Night Elf Alliance t-shirt with a lanyard or some such and some fools thought it acceptable and appropriate the yell For the Horde! and try to rip it off.  Now, this was a forum post, so whether it was true or not I can’t say…but I will say this….I could see it happening.

So, if you’re of the opinion that a WoW player who prefers playing the opposite faction of you deserves to be derided, or assaulted while minding their own business irl…then you are a fracking loser.  Its a game, and if you have so little going on in your non-game life that factions are important while not logged in then you’re sad…and destined for a future episode of hoarders or something.

And…if you’re the kind of person that thinks homosexuality is bad…I have two things to say to you…

i)  A person’s expressed homophobia is usually proportional to their repressed homosexual desires, and;

ii) Your descendants will be ashamed of you…just like no one talks about their racist relatives now a days.

Hmmm…I wonder if we could get Blizz to give us pink Anti-Bullying tabards…I’d wear one…

et tu Royal Canadian Legion?

Well, here’s another thing that got my blood boiling….this latest rage is brought to you by the good people at the Royal Canadian Legion.  Here’s a link to the story that got my attention

So, synopsis for you non-link clickers…there is a group of Canadian Vets who’ve formed a Riding Club whose vision, according to their website is

Our vision is to grow the membership Nationally and use our shared enthusiasm for motorcycle riding, to make Veterans and Veteran Supporters feel welcome, and to do charitable works related to Veterans’ Organizations and serving members of the Canadian Forces. Other charitable works (such as the Ride for Dad) will also be supported but the emphasis will be on supporting veterans and serving Canadian Forces members.

Pretty good stuff eh?   The problem that the Legion has with them is that they dared use the poppy in their crest, so small that its “a bit difficult to see”.

The president of CFVR, Michael Blow (a retired Captain with 35 years service) received a letter from lawyers representing the RCL giving them 2 weeks to “provide a satisfactory response” or risk further legal action.

According to Bill Maxwell, the Legion Secretary, the reason that the poppy is trademarked is to prevent personal or commercial gain, or “inappropriate use”.  According to the linked article, he goes on to add:  “That’s because it’s not being used as a symbol of remembrance, but as part of a logo.”

Unless Sun Media has taken to misquoting people, he actually said that…it’s being used as the crest of an organization of military veterans, and he doesn’t think its being used a symbol of remembrance.   So, if I understand his point the use of the poppy symbol by non-Legion veterans is inappropriate, even if they are in fact an organization supporting veterans.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I have nothing against the Legion as a whole.  They do some great work. I was really pleased to see their program aimed at helping homeless vets. With any large organization there are people who have this unbending devotion to the rules with what appears to me to be a complete lack of common sense.

Let me put it this way….when you think about remembering Canada’s Fallen what symbol comes to mind?  If I have to tell you the Poppy then come seek me out so I can kick you in the nads. (and I’ve been doing a lot of XBOX Kinect aerobics and zombie killing, so I can kick pretty hard)

That being said, if the poppy has a monopoly on Remembrance, why then does the Legion have a monopoly on the Poppy?  The Legion’s own website states:

The Poppy also stands internationally as a “symbol of collective reminiscence”, as other countries have also adopted its image to honour those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Poppy Fund does good work, so I will, as I have every year, drop a few toonies in the collection box and wear my poppy proudly….I will repeat this process several times as they seem to always fall out.   I will be at the Cenotaph Ceremony here in Stratford at 11am on November 11th as I always am.

But I have to call on the Legion to show some decency towards other veterans.  You were made wards of the Poppy symbol in 1948 to prevent its abuse.  In denying the rights of other veterans to use it for non-commercial purposes, you yourselves are abusing it.

 

 

Every patriotic Canadian should boycott Lowes….

Hey…look at me….being all upset and stuff over the actions of a large chain store…but after reading this article about how the Lowe’s hardware chain I can’t be silent.

For those disinclined to click the link, for several years Lowes has offered discounts to Canadian military personnel in several stores (conveniently located in cities with large bases).   Lowes announced that they are withdrawing the program as it was mistakenly offered to Canadian military personnel!  It was only intended for US Service personnel.

Wow…hey…what a way to say Frack You very much to what I imagine was a loyal customer base, and to an entire nation whose troops fought and died on the same battle field as those for whom these discounts were intended.

Don’t get me wrong…this isn’t about money.  As my buddy Gord just pointed out, “We’re talking about fewer people that would fit in a fucking hockey arena” He means a big NHL one, (a CANADIAN one),  not the one down the street from you…unless you live down the street from an NHL arena.   So, really…..in the end, how much money is that?

This is about respect.  What Lowe’s may not realize that they’ve said that  Canadians are second class citizens.  Now, a few of you who know me might’ve just blinked, because you know I’ve seen red when the Canadian media gets all flustered when some no name politico in the US says something bad about us.  This is different though.  This isn’t some moron trying to make his political stripes on us, or trying to deflect blame our way.  This is a company, doing business in Canada…that has just very publicly slapped us in the face.

The mere fact that they would extend an offer to their own service personnel and not offer it those in other nations whose troops are engaged in the same fights is a big enough slap in the face, but to do so, and then withdraw the program citing it as an error is an egregious insult that defies description.  This is compounded by the fact that it didn’t occur to anyone in Lowes management that this would be looked upon as an insult by many Canadians. Do they think so little of us…or do they think we hold ourselves in such low regard?

In the closing paragraph the Lowes spokesperson states that they will find a way to make it up to their Canadian customers.
No matter what they come up with…its too little, too late.

I’m really sorry for anyone who works at the Lowe’s stores, but I think, in light of this, every Canadian who is aware of this travesty who continues to shop at Lowes is doing those who protect us an injustice.

I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is to support a boycott.
The first 20 Canadian military people to email me a scan of a receipt for something they could’ve bought at Lowe’s from a Canadian hardware store in a city with a Lowes in it, I’ll send them $5 to make up for any extra gas they had to buy for the trip.

Slap my full name (as per the domain name) in front of an @gmail.com and let me know if you bank online or not (for an interac transfer) or give me your mailing address and I’ll send you a cheque.  Include your name, rank and unit (if you’re retired, your last one will do).

 

 

 

Holy Crap! And You Thought *I* was an Attention Whore??!!!

I was going to vote today when I heard on the news that the Westboro Baptist Church is planning on picketing Steve Jobs funeral.

Why?

Well, they say that its because Steve Jobs was a great man who did nothing to spread God’s words…but….you do see the obvious truth here don’t you?  *cough*Attention Whores*cough*.
I mean really…they’d be out doing a lot more picketing if that was their main concern.  They’re attempting to cash in on Job’s death because its getting a lot of attention…so they’re hooking their wagon to the tail of that twitter trending topic.  Its how we attention whores work.

I was going to link their website so you could have a laugh at their rhetoric, but the url makes me sad and I’m sure that they sit there watching their hit meter grow whilst typing one handed (and that, dear friends, is a euphemism).  I did find this though and there are some very funny things on here  #27 is my favorite….subtle humour :). Well, #3 is hot, and I really like #30 too.

I’m not a Christian.  I used to be, but the Holy Roman Church and I parted ways several years ago when Pope John Paul II came out and said that Roman Catholic politicians must vote with the church and not their constituents (ummm, hellooo we’re not a Theocracy!).  I was well on my way out at that time any way seeing as I have some doubts about the church’s history,  didn’t give a tinker’s damn about who you marry so long as they’re a consenting human adult and was (and still am) very pro birth control.  But that’s me.

You might have thought that was a digression, but its not.  I want you to know where I come from as I meander around this blog posting.

Religion is a fiery topic.  Wars are fought over it, friendships, and families can be torn apart by it.
But, at the same time, it can be light in the dark to guide you through hard times.  The solid belief in your heart that you are truly not alone that helps you put the pills down, or the gun, or to take the noose from around your neck and climb down off of the stool and go on to live another day. I’ve been there, and believe me there have been times in my life when living was hard. And if you’re there, or have been there…I understand. (but that’s a story for another time).

Religion can be a beautiful thing.  A thing of community, of people gathering, to share strength in song and prayer, and the companionship of the faithful.  Even when my faith was weak I can’t describe the feeling that went through me I was with a congregation that actually sang hymns instead of murmured them (my auto-correct changed that to murdered…lol, same thing I guess).

Its the little minds that corrupt religion.  Those whose faith is so weak that they see things that run counter to their beliefs as a threat, and they react as little minds often do.  They hiss and spit and arch their backs to make themselves look big.  They denigrate other religions, other sects, hell, even other congregations of the same faith in order to ensure that their ethos reigns supreme (in their own minds anyway).

I’m pretty sure the God of Abraham doesn’t want any of us mere mortals running around killing anyone in His name….yet it happens all the time.

Seriously…who gives a rat fuck what God, Goddess, Plant, Flying Spaghetti Monster your neighbour believes in?
Just respect each other as fellow occupants on this mud ball we call a home while it hurtles through space….until the comet ELENI obliterates it on Sept 26th, 2011  (oh wait, it October…ROFL)

But, that being said, I really have to wonder what God thinks of the Westboro crowd.  He might actually appreciate them as they seem to be doing a lot of judging…which, if I understand the Christian tenants really is his job.   So, I dunno, maybe he appreciates their efforts in lightening his load by running around and judging everyone on his behalf.

For those wondering…I’m a budding Buddhist.  Buddhism strikes a deep chord in me.  Here’s some reading.