I'm getting to be one of those crabby old men that yells at kids having fun. Except I don't have any kids in my neighborhood that play anywhere close to my house. So instead of yelling at kids, I yell at the stupid things in the news. Then, since I have both this blog and a stunning lapse of judgement and perhaps even sanity, I've decided to do my yelling on the interwebs.
So, hey, maybe this will turn into a regular thing. Who knows? Depends on how much stupidity accumulates in my stupid tank during the week and needs to be publicly flushed from my system so the following week's stupidity doesn't cause a stupidity-based constipation within my stupid brain.
Stupidity Prime: Racially diverse emoticons.
Apparently there's a group out there tasked with emoticon usage - you know, the smileys we use in chat that takes the place of words and is used to express emotional concepts instead - and this group, known as the Unicode Consortium, has decided to upgrade the emoticons (sounds like a transformer) to be more in-tune, racially, with the people using them.
Yes, this is a real story. Seriously. Someone stupid is actually having meetings about this and dragging other people into conference rooms to present their stupidity. Apparently, if everyone in the meeting agrees that this idea is so tremendously stupid that it needs it's own press release. Otherwise, how else would we know that such an esteemed and august group as the Unicode Consortium actually exists?
In case you're still wondering what the hell an emoticon is, here's a sample page:
As you can see, emoticons are, but are not limited to, little smiley faces that exhibit various emotions which, as previously stated, serve as a textual replacement for an emotional sharing with your chat-mates.
When I first read this story, I tweeted this response:
Which, pretty much sums-up how I feel about the importance of racially diverse emoticons. Because, you see, nothing screams racism to me like a happy, yellow, smiley face. A cartoon or caricature of something imaginary, intangible used in a private conversation between two people to convey one person's emotion at that brief moment in time.
Think about it - someone is actually getting paid, and probably very well, to create this concept of racially-diverse emoticons - which, I have read, will be available in five different "skin" tones. But in a set of 33-more different emoticons that will be released later, the new "emoji's" will have tolerance for such diversity as hair-styles, glasses and facial hair.
If the pendulum of political-correctness is swinging back to where it was in 80's, please stop the planet now and let me get off. I can't handle another decade of rampant sensitivity which only serves to spotlight someone's differences.
Stupidity Runner-up: WAM
In a staggering display of self-promotion, some feckless group called WAM - which stands for "Woman, Action and the Media"... making it more of a WAatM but not nearly as bouncy on tongue - announced that they've turned to Twitter to reduce sexual harassment against women in the virtual world.
I've read, and re-read this new-release and the best conclusion I can come-up with is that it's little more than lint-filled butt-twaddle by a bunch of disgruntled alpha's looking to brow-beat some innocents into adopting their radical agenda on a problem that, if it exists, needs no re-classification or special handling.
First of all - harassment is harassment. Wrong is wrong. Crime is crime. Can we just all agree on that, simple, concept, please?
If I shoot someone in the face - let's say that the fucker owes me money - are you telling me that because their skin color is different, or we have different tastes sexually, or they worship a different god, or because they don't have penis, that my crime is more-heinous than just your average, run-of-the-mill, face-shooting?
I mean, shooting someone in the face is pretty goddamn bad in my book. And I think that, if caught, I should be tried and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Which, in the U.S., means that I can look forward to 20+ years of continued life under close supervision with state-provided health-care, lodging and meals. But, I digress...
Why does killing someone become, somehow, conceivably worse if they, my victim, is at all different from me? This is not logical. This is the antithesis of logic. This. Is. Stupidity. (Sparta-voice, yo!)
In the same light, harassment is harassment. If I have a penis, and I harass you, and you don't have a penis, is it always sexual harassment? Or is it only harassment if I don't say something sexual? If it's regular harassment, does WAM still get to report it to Twitter? Is the sexual harassment worse if I talk about your vagina instead of your breasts?
It's no secret I play World of Warcraft - and have been doing so since 2006. I have a total of 33 different toons, 22 are Horde and 11 are Alliance. And about half of those toons are female.
If someone tells one of my female toons in-game that she should dance on his green, nasty, slobbering orc-face, should I be offended? I mean as a role-playing male playing female toon, I should feel outrage, right?
Is it still gender-based harassment if the female toon on the mouse-side of the screen has a penis instead of a vagina? Or is this when the WAM emissary scoffs at me because my toon, that's not at all representational of me in real-life, isn't deeply offended by the comments a large, green orc made about my delicious goblinessness?
What if it was a female troll who solicited me for lesbian virtual toon-sex? Would this be considered as harassment? Or would it just be considered "hawt"?
I mean, in the virtual world, where WAM is focusing their efforts on reducing gender-based harassment, how do you know what the other person is really sitting on?
The only (and real) question is this: is gendered harassment worse than regular harassment? Apparently WAM thinks so.
And me? Me, I just think WAM is stupid. And I say that not in a harassment sort of way but in a factual, "hey, you're fucking stupid" kind of way.
And my goblin warlock is hella-hawt. Get over it.