Vid's Space

Hello! You are visitor number 87456! I may be a bit narcissistic, but I don't quite want to talk about myself for pages and pages on my website anymore.  I could, but that might be a bit depressing.  Meh, at least I have a job.

Suffice it to say I'm a pansexual nudist roadgeek with issues including but not limited to depression, selective eating disorder, and possibly Asperger's syndrome.  But again, this page isn't about me.  Instead, it's my space for random thoughts which I hope you'll find interesting or amusing. 

By the way, if you don't like the fonts or colors on my website, now you can override them using the Style Chooser!  As for other improvements to this site, I really need to redo the guestbook, get the counter/greeter system to work how I originally intended, and oh yeah, get in the habit of adding content more often…

Random Quotes

I hope you'll find the following quote amusing and/or thought-provoking.

“I think that parents only get so offended by television because they rely on it as a babysitter and the sole educator of their kids.”

— Trey Parker & Matt Stone, South Park

A new quote is randomly selected three times each day. For your convenience, here's a permanent link to this quote.

Cool Story, Bro!

Here you'll find brief anecdotes which usually are worth the time spent reading them.

New items will be selected in 3.1 days.

L Fan Club

So this one time I was at a mall in southeastern Michigan, wearing a T-shirt featuring the Deathnote character known as L. A group of young women complimented me on the T-shirt and asked me where I got it. I told them I'd purchased it at Hot Topic, then I asked if they were cosplayers. Indeed they were. How did I know, you might ask? That's a good question; the young women asked too. I told them they had “anime hair”. Pitch black, unmoving, spiking at odd angles — definitely anime hair.

Hrs

A long long time ago, my little brother shared with me a funny thought. This thought was related to a Kroger store we often see out the car window. On the side of the building, it says “24 HRS A DAY”. Well, my little brother had thought “hrs” was a word, which rhymed with “doors”, and apparently had just learned it was actually an abbreviation for the word “hours”. We thought this error was funny enough, without having the slightest clue of the existence, let alone profane nature, of the word “whores”.

Like I said, we thought this was funny. I suggested to my brother that he should share this funny thought with our mother. With a smile, he did. And he got smacked for it.

Okay, no, I don't think he actually got smacked for it, but it's funny to think he did. Anyway, Mom wouldn't believe our ignorance of the profanity that had been uttered, mistaking my brother's smile of amusement for one of mischief. We both got a very mild punishment, which seemed like a big deal at the time (we were innocent, after all) but now I can't even remember what.

Police Chase

One time, I was driving home from somewhere in Columbus. On the freeway, I had just moved out of the left-most lane when two vehicles passed me at high speed on the left. When I got home, my older brother was there, and I told him I though I'd seen a high-speed police chase. He said it was probably just a couple of idiots racing.

“Well in that case, the guy in the police car was losing!”

More Cool Story, Bro!

Passing Thoughts

This is the opinion section of my site. If I have something to say to a general audience that won't fit in a tweet, it'll probably end up here.

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The Dems vs Christianity?

These days I hear lots of people saying that the Democrats are waging a war on Christmas, or Obama is crushing religious freedom, or various similar nasty-sounding things. These things aren't true. Something similar is true, but I'll get to that in a bit.

Liberals in the United States generally tend to believe in a concept called separation of church and state. There is no national religion, and no religion should be given special treatment by government. The only way these policies attack Christianity is to say “get back in line with all the other religions” when Christian organizations attempt to assume some kind of official or universal-default role.

This has been happening a lot lately, it seems. This is particularly true in local government. In many local governing bodies, the vast majority of participators are indeed Christian. This leads to assumptions of Christianity being the de facto source of guiding principles for that governing body.

The problem is when Christians in government begin to assert their opinion that Christianity should be the source of guiding principles for everyone. I understand that part of being a good Christian is to save others by converting them to Christianity, but this is where things get problematic.

Government in the United States is not to be used as a tool to convert people to any specific religion. It is not to enforce specific moral rules of one religion on everyone else. It is not to give members of one religion more freedom to practice that religion, than to members of any other religion.

It seems a significant fraction of Christian citizens of the United States believes that this country is and/or should be a Christian nation. They have ambitions to use government to save the whole country and/or punish sinners. These ambitions are incompatible with the separation of church and state — which is, in fact, a founding principle of the United States of America. It is these ambitions that are crushed by those politicians who uphold the separation of church and state.

To crush the ambitions of national (or global) domination by one religion is not the same as to crush that religion.

Disclaimers: This is an opinion site, not a debate site. You are entitled to your own opinion, as I am entitled to mine. We are not, however, entitled to our own facts. I have done some light research on this topic. If you disagree with the facts I have asserted, do your own research; I hope you'll discover those same facts. Beware of any “facts” presented as part of an argument for a political position (such as this essay).

Gender-Neutral Pronouns

Everyone likes pronouns. Those are the short little words that fill in for longer names or other ways of referring to people — like ‘he’, ‘them’, ‘her’. There's also non-person pronouns like ‘it’, but this post is about the personal ones. In English, there are male pronouns, female pronouns, and plural pronouns. But there aren't any singular, non-gendered pronouns. At least, not officially. Many people have invented some, and generally they fail to catch on. That's what I'm doing here. Except maybe mine have a better chance of catching on because they're systematic and therefore easy to remember, and also the Internet is great at spreading ideas people like.

So, why do we need singular gender-neutral personal pronouns? Sometimes we don't know, or for some reason don't want to reveal, the gender of the specific person to whom we're referring. Sometimes we need to refer to a non-specific person in a specific role, and that could be filled by either a male person or a female person. Sometimes we're referring to a specific person who would prefer not to be categorized as male or female. Or maybe we just want to make a point that gender is a non-issue in the current context — or almost every context, depending on whom you ask.

There have traditionally been three approaches to this problem. One is to assign arbitrary new words as the missing pronouns. One is to try to combine male and female singular pronouns to find a middle ground. Perhaps the most popular approach is to simply use the plural pronouns and pretend they can be singular as well. My approach is to apply a common simple modification to each plural pronoun:

Singular
Male
Singular
Female
Plural Singular
Neutral
He She They Phey
Him Her Them Phem
His Her Their Pheir
His Hers Theirs Pheirs
Himself Herself Theirselves Pheirself
see also phey on pronoun.is

Simple, right? Well of course I think so. Maybe now that I've put this online, it can gain some popularity.

Update

I've recently become aware of the sets e and ey, which are just about as logical and memorable as the set I've described above. As far as I can tell, they are (like ‘phey’) meant to be truly gender-neutral, rather than referring to a specific non-binary gender identity. Maybe the more confusing ones with exes and zees were created with a similar intention, but when one genderqueer person says “my pronouns are xe/xem” and another says “my pronouns are zie/zir”, it's hard not to get the impression that those have a more specific meaning.

More Passing Thoughts

Cool People

Cool Famous People

Here are, in no particular order, some of my favorite people from movies and TV:

Cool Obscure People

Here are, in no particular order, some of my favorite people of whom you may not have heard:

Best of my LJ

You know how radio shows often run "best of" shows during the weekends or when the stars are on vacation?  Well, I haven't posted to my LiveJournal much recently, but there are some good nuggets from the past I thought I might share here.