Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Brief And Cranky Reminder

Teleology is bullshit.

Disabled people are not about you. Disabled people don't exist to "teach you" things. We're not your instructional objects, so shut the fuck up until you grow out of your absurd religious fetish.

Simply because having the experience of being around a disabled person has caused you to expand your mind doesn't mean that that person exists to expand your mind. To quote from the excellent essayist A.C. Grayling, "In case you need reminding, the point can be illustrated as follows: I would not be writing this on a laptop if computers had not been invented, but this does not prove that computers were invented so that I could write this." Framing the issue the other way is grossly offensive to every disabled person on the planet and mighty arrogant of you.


Just to show that I'm not a completely nasty person all the time, here's a lovely Hadiqa Kiyani video for you to enjoy: Dholan Aawein Ha, Jhook Wasaven Ha.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Evil Biofuel Powered Reptile-Shaped Kitten-Eating Machines from Another Planet!

(Joke reference, because I'm too disgusted for anything but snark.)

Now the Associated Press is lying about biofuels, along with (possibly, unless this is grossly misreported) the US Congressional Budget Office, claiming simultaneously that "Food stamps and child nutrition programs are expected to cost up to $900 million more this year because of increased ethanol use," whereas further down in the same story, they say, "The CBO said other factors, such as skyrocketing energy costs, have had an even greater effect than ethanol on food prices."

So, uh, if these otherwise-unnamed "other factors, such as skyrocketing energy costs, have had an even greater effect than ethanol on food prices," why are those things not news? Why are we not hearing how energy costs and purple mitten futures or whatever and all those other factors with such a significant impact (although you can't be bothered to name them) are driving up the price of food? Why are we only hearing that the sky is falling because of corn-derived ethanol?

Look, folks, I'll make this perfectly clear: Writing a news story so that the most significant contributing causes of a phenomenon are buried and mostly not described two grafs below the lede so that a minor, relatively insignificant contributing cause can be highlighted in the headline, the slugline, and the lede, is dishonest. It's a lie. It's also bad journalism, and it needs to stop. I'm looking at you, Mary Clare Jalonick of the Associated Press, and all the other reporters who are doing this.

As I've said before, I'll be the first person to tell you that corn ethanol-derived biofuels suck diseased donkey ass, okay? They're really a bad execution of an otherwise good concept, especially since if we're doing biofuels, we should be doing them from waste materials, used french-fry grease, switchgrass and other low-till, no-maintenance, no-irrigation, low-energy-expenditure crops, and not something as disgustingly high-maintenance as corn.

Besides which, as I've mentioned before, no, corn ethanol is not starving the planet, or taking high-fructose corn syrup out of the mouths of impoverished babies to power hippie yuppiemobiles, so sit down and take a chill pill or several already.