Is this real life?

January 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm (Uncategorized)

broadway

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How to deal with cops.

January 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve mentioned this on a few different podcasts, so I don’t mean to repeat myself, but good lord do I wish we spent time teaching kids how to deal with police. So many times clients/friends/coworkers of mine have gotten in way more trouble than they deserved from yelling at or fleeing from police. Here, in a handy infographic from BusinessInsider, is a good primer on dealing with police.

The main thing that I remind people is that, in dealing with cops, you will not win. You will not outwit them, you will not out-brutal force them, you will not shout them down. They are cops, and much of the time they do great stuff, but sometimes they are abusive of their power and shitty to people, especially if they aren’t white. Acquiescing to a cop’s demands isn’t selling out or being a bitch, it’s keeping yourself out of jail. Period. Here’s how to acquiesce without losing your rights or your dignity.

know-your-rights

 

UPDATE:

A quick note from Vincent Kirk, a friend of mine who is also a cop.

So, me being me, I have thoughts on this. For the most part, this is great. The biggest thing that I think is good for people to know is the different between a consensual encounter, a detention, and an arrest. When I was training at the Academy, so much time was spent on the intricacies and differences of each of these, so it’s good for the public to be very aware of these. One should always be comfortable with clarifying which situation they’re in while dealing with a Peace Officer.

“Never answer questions” is a little problematic. Answering questions helps get you on your way. It’s not at all as simplistic as “If you don’t have anything to hide, you shouldn’t have a problem talking”. There are definitely issues and questions that are better left unaddressed if you’re nervous talking to a Peace Officer; however, “never answer questions” makes an encounter instantly confrontational and that’s bad for everyone. Law Enforcement is just like any other business – civility is met with civility, and rudeness is met with rudeness. It’s true of how you interact with wait staff, customer service, and so forth, and it’s certainly true of cops.

Also, and I think this is very important to understand: in California, you cannot refuse a sobriety test without consequences. When you receive your driver’s license, you agree to something called “implied consent”. That means that if you are asked to submit to a sobriety test by a Peace Officer, you’ve already consented to do so. You can refuse a breathalyzer in favor of a urine or blood test, but that’s as far as that goes. While refusing a sobriety test is not a crime, the DMV penalties for refusing to take a blood, breath, or urine test begin with a one-year suspension of your license.

Like I said, a ton of this is great, and I’m really happy Emily posted this. Definitely pass it around. But there are enough things that are problematic that I thought I’d say something.

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Every year on this day until I’m dead.

October 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm (Uncategorized)

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Gynomite’s Reading Room!

October 30, 2013 at 10:09 am (gynomite's reading room, Uncategorized)

The real Lone Ranger was an African American man, and his story is badass.

A guide to the horror movies on Netflix, just in time for Halloween.

This is my Tumblr, and it’s got fun stuff on it!

The Daily Show proves my point about the South wonderfully: sure, some of our policies are ridiculous, but the people themselves are gonna love a gay couple in love. WATCH!

This piece is about people who shake their heads in pity at poor people who spend their money on status symbols. Read it. Here’s a quote from it:

What we forget, if we ever know, is that what we know now about status and wealth creation and sacrifice are predicated on who we are, i.e. not poor. If you change the conditions of your not-poor status, you change everything you know as a result of being a not-poor. You have no idea what you would do if you were poor until you are poor. And not intermittently poor or formerly not-poor, but born poor, expected to be poor and treated by bureaucracies, gatekeepers and well-meaning respectability authorities as inherently poor. Then, and only then, will you understand the relative value of a ridiculous status symbol to someone who intuits that they cannot afford to not have it.

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Gynomite’s Reading Room!

October 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm (gynomite's reading room, Uncategorized)

This made me laugh so hard: Videogum wants to know what your pop culture Halloween costume is going to be.

A lovely interview with Kumail and myself from the floor of NYCC!

RuPaul as a next generation Oprah? Amen.

Another fine collection of photoshopped celebrities.

This is an at times well-written, at times insulting essay at Slate about how we’re sending the wrong message by teaching women that it’s their right as feminists to get hammered at parties. My biggest issue with it is that it’s addressed to just women, and not young men who get hammered and decide that no means yes. However, I also have trouble with the naive idea that a woman should feel safe in public even if she’s completely hammered and alone. That’s not a feminist issue, it’s just a safety issue. No one should feel safe hammered and alone in public. It’s not safe. I’ve always designated a buddy at parties- we always check in with each other throughout the night, and make sure the other person is coherent enough to make decisions before going home with someone random. (One method was making the other person sing “Eternal Flame” before they could skedaddle.)  We didn’t do that because we were women, we did that because we were humans and didn’t want to assume we were ever safe while plastered. And you might say “Well, dudes don’t have to think about stuff like that” and really, they should, because way more men than women die from drunken antics, but for anyone, rendering yourself completely unaware of your surroundings is something we should do in safe situations. Period. Should we be able to trust that we won’t get raped in most situations? Sure.

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Asylum.

September 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm (pop culture, psychology, Uncategorized)

It’s nearing Halloweentime, which is one of my favorite times of year. I love horror movies, I love haunted houses, I love thinking about the parts of humanity that are creepy and mysterious and tinged with evil and darkness. I am all in. 

Well, I’m all in except when it comes to a theme I see over and over again in local haunted houses, in shows like American Horror Story, in movies like Halloween or Silence of the Lambs- the use of mental asylums as a perfect setting for terror, and the portrayal of mentally ill folk as dispassionate psychos, incapable of being reasoned with. 

Read the rest of this entry »

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Gynomite’s Reading Room!

September 22, 2013 at 10:40 am (gynomite's reading room, Uncategorized)

I was on a podcast called “Brief Interviews with the Opposite Sex”, helping a guy relate to his newly-teenage daughters. Boom.

This is a great collection of 21 completely bizarre moments in Disney history that I saw on Buzzfeed!

Jonathan Ferrell was a 24 year old black man who had recently moved to Charlotte NC when he got into a terrible car accident. After kicking out his back window to free himself, he walked to the nearest house for help, and the woman in the house called the police on him. The police shot him 10 time and killed him. Read this piece about “whistling Vivaldi”, or the things that “potentially dangerous minorities” do to show people they are non-threatening. (FYI, the officer has been charged with manslaughter A quote from this piece in Slate:

Just as wearing long johns is not a preventative measure against rape for women, affecting middle-class white behaviors is not a protective measure for people of color; it’s a talisman. In exerting any measure of control in signaling that we are not dangerous or violent or criminal, we are mostly assuaging the cognitive stress caused by constant management of social situations.

Last year I wrote for a Disney show called Explored, and the first two episodes are finally out! Watch them here! The kids on this show were damned talented and charming and smart.

Science tattoos. Hot.

The Indoor Kids podcast is coming to the LA Podcast Festival on Sunday, October 6th! Come on down!

Playboy was going to publish, as part of their “dudes college handbook” a guide to consent. It turns out that was a hoax. We all wish that it wasn’t. Come on Playboy, I’ll help you write it!

 

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The Most Common Porn Search Term For Each State, via PornHub

September 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm (Uncategorized)

Guess what state loves hentai?

Image

via WWTDD

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Gynomite’s Reading Room!

August 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm (gynomite's reading room, Uncategorized)

I was fascinated by this blog post from porn actress Kayden Kross, sent to me by Eli Olsberg, about some of the realities of the industry. She includes financial advice, tax advice, gut check advice, and a million other things. My favorite point:

Do not ever lose your sense of discomfort. If you don’t want to work with a certain performer or do a certain type of scene, do not do it. ‘No’ is the first and last thing that you have in this industry. If you give that up you will hate it.

The creator of Keurig single-cup coffee brewing, on his legacy:  “I feel kind of guilty. The world’s changed in fifteen years.” He told me he’s proud he created something that’s so well loved, but “hindsight’s 20/20,” he said. “I wouldn’t do it now.” Read more about the waste of single cup coffee here.

Kumail and I are the cover models for Re:COM magazine! Check into it!

Dogfooding: when software designers force themselves to use what they’ve created, day in and day out, to diagnose problems with it. Wired thinks that Senators should do this too. I agree.

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Gynomite’s Reading Room!

August 23, 2013 at 8:58 am (gynomite's reading room, Uncategorized)

The American Kennel Club comes out in favor of gay rights, and sure, the letter made me cry. Sure it did. I’m a person.

A well-written essay on Lady Gaga’s persona and her need for us to believe she’s making art.

Now that we know she’s mentally ill and now just a famewhore, it’s time to leave Amanda Bynes alone. Mental illness causes people to provoke others, make asses of themselves, and generally destroy themselves from the inside out. We don’t have to help.

Eight years ago this week, one of my favorite shows ended, and concurrently, I moved out of North Carolina. My mother and sister had been watching the show religiously- I had taken some time off because the move had kept me so busy- so when they said goodbye to me as I moved to Chicago, this show, and the finale’s parallels to my own life, was on their minds. It was another year before I finally finished the show myself. This show made me understand the sadness of accepting one’s own losses, and the finale never fails to make me cry. Here’s a lovely retrospective on Six Feet Under.

And moving on, here’s a guncat, sent to me by Jake Weisman.

guncat

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