a blog by josef johann

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A pathetic blog post

From the wikipedia article on Synecdoche, New York:

In his review of the movie in the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert said, "I watched it the first time and knew it was a great film."[24] In 2009 Ebert wrote that the movie was the best of the decade.[25] Manohla Dargis of the New York Times said, "To say that [it] is one of the best films of the year or even one closest to my heart is such a pathetic response to its soaring ambition that I might as well pack it in right now ...

It's disturbing to me that the critic can so easily give away the issue, as if it should be taken as obvious that calling a film "closest to her heart" is offering something pathetic. And its said as if to be obvious and widely understood. And perhaps it is. But then somehow there are others, such as those capable of creating the movie.

Somehow I doubt that Dargis thinks her own reaction involves something pathetic, even if only in contrast to the film. I think self-deprecating concessions like these are made only to be passed over as a set-up for praising other things. So it may be merely a way of talking. But it is insidiously self-withering.

Civil Rights for Sex Offenders

From a thread on reddit, comes the story of a sex offender. It's possible that this description of the mans own events omits important information, in which case there may be less of an injustice here.

Before I get into it, I'll start off by saying I am NOT:

1. A rapist
2. A child molester
3. Pedophile
4. child porn viewer
5. general scumbag

I am however a dipshit who drank waaaaaay too much in his early 20's. I'm probably the only one who ever has by my guess. Anywho, I met a a 19yo girl through an ex-girlfriend, and after the ex and I broke up the other girl admitted she had a thing for me, and I was like fuck yeah. So we hung out, and we made out, and we did some frisky hands on each other.

Turned out she lied to me about being 19. She was 15. So I was like GTFO. After that she began telling my ex that we had made out. My ex convinced her to go to the police and tell them I had raped her. I was arrested, jailed, etc.

Luckily, I had instant messenger logs from this era proving it was complete bullshit. So my lawyer convinced the judge to force the girl to hand over her PC, where they found the logs of my ex telling her what to say. Which got all that stuff dropped in a sneeze length.

Problem was there were messages where this girl had told my ex about us making out, and how i lifted her skirt to squeeze her butt. The district attorney used this to create a new charge and hung me out to dry.

In the end, that butt squeeze cost me everything. I lost my home, my job, my car, everything I owned, all my family photos from 4 generations, my pets, and 2 years of my life in prison. Because it was an "under the clothing touch on a private area."

So now, just like Uncle Tickle & his magic ice cream van down the street I am forced to register as a sex offender FOR LIFE. (My state doesnt have a level system, nor any time limits to gain relief from registration for smaller sex crimes) I live in a crappy apartment. I can only find shitty jobs because of my criminal record, (Most times I get fired for making "other employees uncomfortable") I appear on the pervert website. Neighbors call their kids inside when I walk to the store. One neighbor called the police on me, claiming I was staring out the window at his wife. I cant live within 2000ft of a school or a park. And I kid you not there's a park in my town that's literally nothing more then the center divide of a road with a bench and a tree. I've been attacked. Harassed. Threatened.

All of this and more. And my only conviction is for squeezing the butt of a girl who lied about her age. If this was a rage comic "forever alone" would be perfect

I think what we fight for and call by the name "civil rights" applies to a greater variety of people than we even now imagine, including categories we have not yet imagined for people who really do suffer unjust types of ostracization. To be non-cryptic about it, people's lives are destroyed by such simple things as having speech impediments, being disabled in some way, or even just having certain illnesses. And yes, it's quite possible that sex offenders are among those who suffer from the forces of unjust social ostracism. There is much in the way of cultural tolerance that needs to be done that we haven't even begun to think about.

I still think we suffer far too many blind spots when it comes to, say, women's rights, so I do not advocate any change in priorities, whatever they currently are. But these things don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

eff why eye

I substantially reworked my Notes on The Moral Landscape post.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Keynesian Tax Cuts

Here's a neat chart from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

Even if a Republican doesn't want to argue that tax cuts pay for themselves, they still have the option of arguing that tax cuts nevertheless stimulate economic activity. That's true, and it is, I think, something Republican politicians believe and explicitly argued in the debate over extending the Bush-era middle class tax cuts.

But if you are willing to incur deficits to stimulate the economy via tax cuts, that means you are willing to incur deficits to stimulate the economy. And you might as well incur deficits to stimulate the economy in the most effective way possible, right?

If not, we are talking tax cuts for the sake of tax cuts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

remember that I felt normal and bored even then, and it was outside of me, to me that it was addressed. this is how to remember it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

some cryptic words

I'm reading a popular book that writes in a style I don't like. But I don't think what it says is untrue even if frivolously presented. So I want to respond to pieces of it in a way that, I hope, disentangles it from its new age bent. What I write may seem trivial but often things seem that way when you are simplifying or clarifying. Even if a point sounds trivial, it is not insignificant, or without need of emphasis.

On coincidence. To "notice" coincidence can mean to have cues back into an internal dialog. to inflect items with emotional significance and keep checking in. and more than that, to have particular items that fit into a story you tell yourself to make sense of things.