Fish Wrench Asteroid
Capitol Hill
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Fish Wrench Asteroid is probably writing the last post on a thread no one will read.
May 1, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on Stupid May Day Threats.
Every single person I've met today had no idea what was going on. They didn't know what the protests were for. Every single person I have spoken to regarding the protests were worried about getting in and out of downtown, or whether the protesters were dangerous.

It's an imperfect sample, but I work with a mix of blue and white collar people, and a fair number of travelers. %100 have a mildly negative opinion of the protests, and no knowledge of what people are protesting.

My conversations with 'normals' today feeds the suspicion that this kind of protest has been totally isolated and contained.

What if the gear is now a spinning wheel? Protesters, in their isolation, affirm each other's efforts. Reports on a bit of police violence, and broken windows are allowed through the media to foster the protesters' illusion of relevance in the eyes of the powerful.

So a bunch of people have expended a bunch of energy, time, and money. I hope it was fun for them. Because from here, it looks like the only effect of the protest was the inconvenience of people slightly less disenfranchised than the protesters.

So if the point is to change the world; to change policy, is to change the minds of people that control policy. If a march and a protest is an attempt to change the opinions of the general public, then the goal of the protest is flawed. The Princeton 'Testing Theories of American Politics' study shows that billionaires own our government outright.

If that's the case then any protest or advocacy that does not either undermine the aristocracy's power or appeal to change their minds changes nothing. If this is the world we live in now, then don't call your Senator or Congressman, call the billionaire they work for. Don't protest in the streets, protest in front of the billionaire's homes. Apply energy where the gears have teeth.
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May 1, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on Atlas Shrugged Is Not as Influential as It Used to Be.
@5 Really, I thought the 2nd Bible really improved on a lot of the failings of the 1st. The protagonist of the 1st Bible has literally no redeemable qualities. He runs around killing just about everybody, and being a total dick. At least the 2nd Bible's main character has a conscience.

Both though are plagued by wildly uneven prose, poor editing, inconsistently (un)reliable narrators, and absolutely no fact checking.

The authors should have read Martin's Song of Fire and Ice or Tolkein's Middle Earth works before they started writing. Both build more consistent and believable fantasy worlds. Westeros and Middle Earth both present consistent and thoughtful philosophy through metaphor and symbolism. I have no idea what I'm supposed to take from either Bible. One minute the Bibles are pro-fascist and ethnic cleansing, the next they're pro-fascist and hippy-dippy peaceful. Then it's off slaughtering children with bears as if that's a good thing, or cursing trees for not bearing fruit out of season.

And the hardcore fanboys of the Bibles are the fucking worst! So elitist and exclusionary! And have you seen the way they dress?! Even casual fans seem to be pretty hard-core compared to other fandoms.

Anyway, both books are pretty lame. I bet most of the people that say they like them, haven't even read them, or just read them because of social pressure.
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Apr 9, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on A Cockroach in the Restaurant: WWSD?.
You saw a cockroach in a restaurant because that restaurant was on Planet Earth.

Go back. Go back now. Any psychological trauma you may be experiencing is founded on an unrealistic model of reality foisted upon your brain against your will by Them.

There are always cockroaches in any place that stays warm year-round. By the way, an easy way to get rid of cockroaches up north, is to turn off the heat, and leave a window open after close during a few cold nights.

Cockroaches are nothing to worry about. Excessive cockroach infestations are only an indicator of poor cleaning practices. A few cockroaches indicate are unavoidable.

Worrying about them is using up worry-space in your head better spent on things that aren't ubiquitous and harmless. You could worry about things that are ubiquitous and harmful like the heart disease you get from eating things like mozzarella sticks, or rare harmful things like being crushed from above by a circus bear that fell out of an airplane.
Apr 9, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on The Secret Struggle of a Star Chef Killed by Police.
@22 Bless your heart. It's not that they were self centered. It's that we would rather die than talk about feelings, admit we need help, or presume others are in need. But that's just the Middle-Class American Christian(ish) Whites that are like that. Most Americans are less reserved.

Apr 6, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on Captain America: The Winter Soldier: How 9/11 Made Marvel's Superheroes Less Fun.
Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning should have had a cameos in this film.

SPOILERS FOLLOW!

This is seriously, and 'Only Nixon can go to China' thing. It's a Captain America movie, so no one notices that it calls out American policy on drone strikes, war policy, and universal surveillance unambiguously fascist and evil.

Oh, and also the American military engagement over-seas causes more strife and chaos than it fixes, and it does so on purpose. Basically the whole theme of this movie is that a huge portion of our government is run by people that might as well be Nazis.

It's all right there. in the script, totally on the nose. They even reference real operations like 'Paperclip'. Drone strikes on steroids is the antagonist's goal. The NSA's surveillance program is, using metadata to find people to kill, is the method Hydra uses to meet that goal. The justifications the villains use could have been quoted from a George W Bush speech. All this is in there to make sure we know this is allegory, not metaphor.

Yeah, it's sold as a superhero/political thriller, but Winter Soldier is really pure allegorical science-fiction. Captain America as a super-soldier, and established property is how the film got made. Our government uses computers to pick the people it kills before they commit crimes already. We know it's morally wrong, but we do it anyway. We tell ourselves that security is worth some moral compromise, and just a little murder. Here's where Winter Soldier might as well be an episode of Star Trek. The film takes the technology into a possible future iteration, and puts it in the hands of people who embrace our current policies and goals, just with a different moral calculus.

And since it's Captain America, we get this heavy-handed, fantastically subversive theme without any deep scrutiny from the people it's criticizing. The media gets to keep it shallow and go on about fight choreography, explosions, and sexy actors. Meanwhile kids and adults around the globe absorb the idea contrary to the dominant media narrative; that the whistle-blower who exposes government misdeeds is a hero. It's kind of perfect.
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Apr 6, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on Talentless Asshole Paints Highly Unremarkable Paintings.
@31, @34, Politics is the means by which civilization governs the life of people. I say this because people use the term as if it were no more important than musical preference.

This man destroyed millions of lives through his politics. That's not an exaggeration. It really isn't. Seriously. Think about it. Try to remember. Please.

Politics affects the world. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead because of political decisions this man made. The US is trillions of dollars more poor because of things Bush did politically. That's not opinion or 'politics', it's cause and effect. He hurt and killed people on purpose, eyes open, when he could have chosen not to do harm. It's insanely simple. It's fact. We were all there to witness him do it with politics.

We focus on the paintings because our consensual delusional state is so far from what we all secretly know to be true. To acknowledge the evil we allowed this man to do, would obliterate our nation's identity, So we make light fun of his paintings with a blank awe at the audacity of their very existence. It's the little leak of awareness into the global media. We can't tell the truth about GWB even to ourselves. Instead, we just call him a shitty painter.

I have nothing against him painting. I just think he should be doing it in a prison cell.
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Feb 15, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on Vast Majority of Seattle Voters Support $15 Minimum Wage.
What's to keep the landlords in the city from raising rents the day after this law goes into effect. Rents are set to extract the maximum amount of money renters can pay. Without rent control, the employers of low wage workers should just skip the middle man, and write checks directly to the property owners the poor rent from.
Feb 10, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on Lindy West Has a Hot Tip For Anyone Apartment Hunting on Capitol Hill.
This is why I'm not enthusiastic about a raise in the minimum wage. As soon as we poors get a bit more money, we'll just have to hand it over to our landlords in increased rent. Until we have rent control, or even rents driven by market forces, the people that sit around owning things for a living will nullify every increase in pay by increasing cost of living.
Jan 18, 2014 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on The Selfish Giant: A Great Contemporary Fable with a Heart of Darkness.
I really hope ADD meds aren't mustachio-twisting villains in this film. They've transformed my adult life for the better, and would have allowed me to do homework in school.
Dec 19, 2013 Fish Wrench Asteroid commented on Social Engineering 101.
Legos and more Legos. Let them make their own trains.

Kids will play with whatever they see confident authoritative adults using to function in society. Play is practice. It's fun because that makes a kid more likely to practice.

So the instant a kid sees a cop with a gun or watches a cop show, and understand the concept of what the gun means in our culture, they will play with toy guns. They will make them out of sticks and rocks if they have to. Adults live in houses. Kids will play house. Adults drive cars. Kids will play with toy cars. They will play with these toys even if the objects they play with only symbolize them.

If a kid really wants a toy gun, it's an opportunity to explain what they do, and why they are dangerous, and why you are reluctant to buy them one. It's amazing how focused kids can be when getting what they want is contingent on them understanding you.