Eldritch Whispers From the Nexus of Firebrand Liberalism and Ultimate Cosmic Horror

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Rick Perry is an unequivocal scumbag…

… but that in no way should excuse the Democratic Governor’s Association’s attempt to smear him with anti-vaccination propaganda.

Vaccines save millions of lives every year (and if you don’t think so, I hope your children enjoy their polio). Playing to fears by the irrational that they’ll somehow turn your daughters into whores is absolutely unforgivable. The DGA should be as disgusted with itself as I am with them.

Perry sucks enough that there’s no need to attack him with anti-scientific fear-mongering… we already get enough of that from the GOP.

A Brief Glimpse of Why I Can Never Truly Hate Florida

This was the big news of the day:

BRADENTON, Fla. – When sheriff’s deputies allegedly discovered a bags of marijuana and cocaine between a man’s buttocks, they say he gave a quick explanation.

Manatee County deputies say Raymond Stanley Roberts told them “The white stuff is not mine, but the weed is.”

Deputies stopped the 25-year-old Wednesday in Bradenton for speeding. Officers say they smelled marijuana and searched him. That’s when they allegedly found a bag of marijuana between Roberts’ buttocks.

Officers then discovered another bag in there; the report says it contained 27 pieces of rock cocaine.

The Bradenton Herald reports Roberts was arrested for drug possession and has bonded out of jail. The person who answered Friday at a phone number listed for Roberts said it wasn’t his.

You stay classy, Bradentucky!

One small way unions can be wildly important

A lot of talk, over the past, oh, twenty years or so, has been done at the expense of unions. You know, how they force poor, desperate companies to outsource jobs because those mean ol’ workers got together and decided to bargain collectively. It’s been a meme on the right for decades now, and in the past ten years, it’s also largely become some sort of perverse mainstream wisdom.

Sometimes, though, a union is the only thing standing between you and a mouthful of fetid.

From Infoshop News:

Sandwich Workers and Customers Unite in Support of Working Class Hero

Press Conference and Delegation: 1pm Sunday September 26, Calhoun Square Jimmy Johns, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S.

MINNEAPOLIS– When Shift Supervisor Margaret Brickely began her morning prep work at Jimmy John’s last Monday, she noticed that all of the meat and produce she pulled out of the cooler was warm and beginning to rot. The coolers had broken, leaving the meat at room temperature overnight. Margaret refused to serve the meat. Now, Jimmy John’s is threatening her job in retaliation.

“The vegetables were shriveled, the meat hot, and the bread dough semi-cooked. This is not something I was willing to serve” says Margaret. “I called my District Manager Jason Effertz to inform him that the meat was rotten, and he ordered me to slice it and serve it. When I refused, Effertz came in and sliced the meat himself, preparing to sell it to customers.”

With the support of the newly-organized Jimmy Johns Workers Union, Margaret and her coworkers called the City of Minneapolis Health Department. A City Health Inspector came to the store, condemned the meat as unfit for human consumption, and forced management to throw it all away.

Had Margaret not taken a stand for proper sanitation, hundreds of customers would have been served rotten meat.

Jimmy Johns workers and customers from across the city are organizing a public delegation to the store on Sunday at 1pm to thank Margaret for her courage and demand an end to Jimmy John’s rotten business practices of retaliating against employees who put sanitation and safety first.

“Margaret is a working class hero. She did the right thing by refusing to sell spoiled meat and we’re backing her up. No one should have to worry about getting fired for preventing customers from being served rotten food. We formed a union to protect ourselves in exactly these kinds of situations,” says Jaim’ee Bolte an employee at the Ninth Street Jimmy John’s Location.

Jimmy John’s Workers at the Minneapolis franchise recently filed for a National Labor Relations board union election, the first at the growing sandwich chain and a rare move in an industry with a union density of 1.8%. The demands of the union include paid sick days, minimum shift lengths and fair scheduling, job security, tip jars, fair raises and wages, an end to sexual harassment and a voice on the job.

The Jimmy Johns Workers Union, open to employees at the company nationwide, is affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World labor union. Gaining prominence in recent years for organizing Starbucks workers, the IWW is a global union founded over a century ago for all working people.

Related Links

Restaurant, Hotel, and Building Service Workers Industrial Union 640
http://www.iww.org/unions/dept600/iu640/

Twin Cities GMB
http://www.iww.org/branches/US/MN/twincities

Jimmy Johns Workers
http://jimmyjohnsworkers.org/

http://www.iww.org/en/node/5205

Do Not Go Gently: A Tribute to Harlan Ellison

I read this on another blog, and felt compelled to repost it. I encourage others to do the same, as more people should be aware of the loss the literary world is set to face.

Do Not Go Gently: A Tribute to Harlan Ellison

By K. Patrick Glover

The salient fact, the piece of information that is crucial to all that follows, no matter how much I wish otherwise: Harlan Ellison has announced that he is dying.

Let that stand alone, for a moment.

How do you begin to write a piece about something that horrifies you? Something that just makes you want to shake your head in denial and hide somewhere, perhaps in a corner, amidst a collection of favorite old books. Books like The Glass Teat, Shatterday, The Beast That Shouted Love At The Heart of The World, Stalking The Nightmare and Strange Wine. What do you do when all those favorite books just remind you of the horrifying news that sent you scurrying for the corner in the first place?

Perhaps you go back, to the origins of it all. The point of discovery, the spark of inspiration, or, as we often say in mystery fiction, the precipitating incident. As such:

I was eighteen years old and spending a great deal of time hanging out in a local comic book store. Partially because I was a huge comic fan, but also because the people that hung there and worked there were very much my sort of people. It was one of the first places I had ever felt a true sense of belonging. The year was 1986.

This comic store, back in those days before the slick, chain like stores took over the business, was really a small house and it carried not just comics but gaming supplies and tons and tons of old books. I loved getting lost in the stacks of books. Science fiction novels, fantasy novels, men’s adventure books with ridiculous titles like The Executioner and The Penetrator. They all fascinated me.

On one particular day, I discovered a book called An Edge In My Voice by a writer named Harlan Ellison. It was an oversized paperback, thick and heavy, put out by a company called Starblaze Graphics. Starblaze I recognized, I had several graphic novels that they had published in my collection along with some books by Robert Asprin.

Harlan, however, was new to me. Still, the book looked intriguing and different so I picked it up and started to read segments at random. It was non-fiction, which surprised me, I think I was expecting science fiction (probably because of the section in which the store had it shelved). It was also incredibly engrossing. Harlan’s voice hit me like a freight train and I think my brain started going through evolutionary changes on the spot.

I had been toying with the idea of writing stories for several years. Even written a few, very, very bad ones. But it was holding that book in my hand, reading Harlan talk about what it takes to be a writer, about being truthful (which doesn’t always mean factual), about being fearless and about the craft itself that really sealed the deal for me. For the first time in my life, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I have no idea how long I really stood there reading that book, but I do recall the shop owner coming in to tell me he was closing up. I asked him to find me anything else he had by Harlan and he pulled out several paperbacks, a couple hardcovers and a small stack of science fiction magazines that all had Harlan’s name on the cover.

I took it all and went home and spent the next several days devouring all of it, some pieces over and over. His fiction was every bit as amazing as his non-fiction and even more important, it felt daring and new.

I read Repent Harlequin, Said The Ticktockman! In a paperback called All The Sounds of Fear. Actually, I read it through about four times in a single sitting. The first time laughing my ass off at the sparkling wit, the second time really appreciating the non linear structure, the third time studying the way he built a world so subtly and so completely and finally, the fourth time, when I took all the elements in together and really absorbed what has become my all time favorite piece of short form fiction.

Another piece that had a similar impact on me was found in one of the magazines, an issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction that featured Harlan on the cover for a story called All The Lies That Are My Life. At this point, having read through a couple of the books already, I was expecting speculative fiction (Harlan’s preferred term for what he does). Again, Harlan surprised. All The Lies is as much a piece of literary fiction as anything written by Hemmingway or Salinger. It may (or may not) contain some autobiographical detail. If it doesn’t, you feel like it does anyway because the characters are so painstakingly real and believable.

I could spend days reminiscing about various stories, unfortunately, that’s not why we’re here, you and I.

We’re here to talk of the man.

Harlan has his fair share of detractors. You’ll find no shortage of people online who will call him all manner of unpleasant things, most of which I imagine bring a smile to the man’s face. Likewise, there’s no shortage of us that consider the man a genuine hero, a role model and just an all around incredible human being. Harlan’s probably less comfortable with that adulation then he is with the bile from the other side, but the hell with it, let him be uncomfortable.

He has been known to be a difficult man to work with, especially in Hollywood circles. (Harlan spent plenty of time in the trenches, writing both film and television and winning several awards for his work.) He has been known as a litigious man, instigating more lawsuits than one can easily imagine.

And yet, both that difficult nature and that tendency towards litigation come from an overwhelming desire for fairness and justice. He has fought, over and over, to preserve creators’ rights, tilting furiously against the giant windmills of the huge, entertainment machine. To this day, whenever I hear of a particularly obnoxious money man trying to force creative decisions on a writer, I picture Harlan sneaking up behind him, garlic and wooden stake in hand, ready to do battle for the writer and the story.

In fact, that’s how I’ll always picture Harlan, ready to do battle against the unjust and the unfair, with a smile on his lips and a story in his heart. It’s an example we should all learn from and emulate. We should all spend some time tilting at windmills.

Perhaps my strongest regret is never meeting Harlan. There were opportunities in the past. I could have made it to a convention appearance or a lecture. I let my ego get in the way of that. I wanted to wait until I was established as a writer. I wanted to speak to him, not as an equal, no, my hubris doesn’t stretch that far, but at least as a fellow professional. The new kid on the block, so to speak. It’s a chance I’ll never have, now, and it is something I will regret for a very long time indeed.

Before I go, I want to leave you with a suggestion. Harlan may be dying, but he’s not gone yet. There may be some wonderful things yet to come from the man. Or he may spend his final days enjoying a well earned rest. In either case, I would urge you, don’t send him presents. He’s a happy man, he has said so on many an occasion and he has all that he needs or desires.

Instead, if you feel compelled to do something for Harlan, perhaps a contribution to the CBLDF (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund). It’s an organization that fights against censorship and for the rights of comic creators. Harlan has strongly supported the CBLDF over the years (as have I) and he would, I am sure, be delighted to see an upswing in support in his name.

This piece is written for open distribution, as long as it remains unchanged. As it features a call for support of the CBLDF, anyone who wishes to repost this, anywhere, has the author’s consent, as long as the text and attribution remain untouched.

Renee Ellmers is a bigoted, fear-mongering disgrace.

She’s also running for congress with advertising like this:

I give it six months before these vile, hate-festering, scumfucks start talking about how, maybe, we should just round up all the Muslims and put them into camps. I mean, it worked with the Japanese during WWII, right?

Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown

Out last year, apparently. Why was I for so long unaware?

Watch the entire film here for free.

Everyone point and laugh at Delaware, children.

Obviously, she was a far better choice than the man almost guaranteed to win the general election.

Oh, tea party… what would we do without your delusional whimsy and bat-shit-fucknuttery?