The dark side of gaming, libertarianism, and guns

This is a timely find:

The Internet enabled me to become a parody of the college-aged white male. I worshiped Ron Paul, worried endlessly about alternative currencies and religiously watched Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson YouTube videos. Even worse, I adopted the pernicious cultural opinions of white dude-bros. Despite what women said, they had it easier than men. “I have a penis, blame me for everything. I have tits, give me free stuff,” as the meme goes. All I needed to become the ultimate cishet, white dude-bro was a fedora on my head and Cheeto dust on my fingertips.

My libertarian ethos merged with my niche gaming forum persona at this point. On my gaming forum troll account, I posted increasingly paranoid and erratic threads about guns, bitcoins, silver and the impending economic collapse. They banned me. Fortunately, I achieved enough notoriety for a “famous” poster to invite me to a different forum — a digital Valhalla where all the people banned from that gaming forum got to live and troll once more. This happened a few weeks before my banishment.

I logged into this forum. “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan art, everywhere, posted by the most hardcore bronies.

I insulted them for being “pony-fuckers.” That effort failed to rile them up. I posted an “I watch for the plot” image macro — a meme implying men watch the show solely to fantasize about fucking cartoon ponies. The forum moderator – a devout priest of the MLP fandom – insisted I watch the show. Like a guy in your MFA, he said I didn’t posses the intellect to understand the show’s emotional significance and societal critiques. “Why don’t you actually try watching the show before you criticize it?”

So I did. And it wasn’t that great…

“My Little Pony” is not “Adventure Time.” The latter is a show with intense mythology and heart-wrenching character development written for all ages and adored by all ages. “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” however, is a show written for young girls that older men appropriated and fetishized.

My descent to Equestria was a wake-up call. These were the kinds of places I was hanging out in. This was the kind of person I was becoming. I needed to get out.

Libertarianism and I parted ways around that time, too. The United States didn’t turn into Mad Max. Peter Schiff didn’t make all his clients rich. If libertarians could be wrong about that, what else could they be wrong about? It turns out, a lot.

When I graduated college, it felt like emerging from a hazy dream. How could I have believed all that? What was the point of the last decade or so of my Internet activity?

Maybe I was sad, emotionally vulnerable, and willing to believe society caused and propagated my problems – that everything else was fucked up and not me. I found meaning on the Internet along with the faintest embers of confidence.

“My troll threads have more replies than a thread by the lead developer,” I remember thinking. “Maybe I’m good at writing? Maybe I’m good at something?”

For the young male mind, some things are far more damaging than porn

Salon

 

Harvey Milk: If a gay can win, there’s hope

If I turned around every time somebody called me a faggot, I’d be walking backward – and I don’t want to walk backward. -Harvey Milk

I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. Almost everything was done in the eyes of the gay movement. -Harvey Milk

Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Harvey Milk was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40.

Milk moved from New York City to San Francisco in 1972 to settle in the
Castro District where he became part of the Gay Liberation Movement.

Milk used the growing political and economic power of the Castro to promote the rights of gays by running for political office.

Milk won a seat as a City supervisor in 1977.

He served almost 11 months and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city.

On November 27, 1978, Supervisor Dan White assassinated Harvey Milk and
Mayor George Moscone.

Milk’s final campaign manager, Anne Kronenberg, wrote of him: “What set Harvey apart from you or I was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us.”

Historically, Harvey Milk is the most important LGBT official ever elected to public office in the United States.

Photograph of Havey Milk and his Partner Scott Smith in a plaque on Harvey Milk Plaza
At Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco

President Obama awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

“It’s not my victory, it’s yours and yours and yours. If a gay can win, it means there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight. We’ve given them hope.”

– Harvey Milk, after winning a seat on the Board of Supervisors in 1977

The Last words of Harvey Milk–Found at the Internet Archives

 

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015 All Rights Reserved

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It’s time to support trauma-informed schools in Pennsylvania

ACEs Too High

APACapitolThe Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) of Pennsylvania has led the state to help lead the nation toward the tipping point of educational equity — if the legislature endorses and funds the commission’s recommendations.

There’s no doubt that the task of the commission was daunting. Education funding concerns are very weighty and very high profile in Pennsylvania. House Bill 1738 set up the BEFC and tasked it to “develop a basic education funding formula and identify factors that may be used to determine the distribution of basic education funding among the school districts …”

The BEFC recommended factors required for fair funding.  Eight are included in a proposed formula and eight are recommended for consideration by the full General Assembly.

The most pivotal factor is found on page 69 of the document entitled “BEFC Report and Recommendations” published on June 18:

“The [PA] Department of Education should consider devising protocols and…

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