January 7th, 2007

Semiformalishmaybe

Dirty Laundry and Dirty Laundry

My apartment has joined all new levels of not-awesome - the washer has decided to die as well, swallowing three bucks of mine to confirm its deadness. I shall have to try to pick the lock later to retrieve said coinage -- in the meantime, I had another one of those "firsts" in life - washing clothes by hand (they were already covered with detergent, so there wasn't much of another option). Combined with the wallfan-based drying, I'm in the high-tech stone ages.

To continue with more dirty laundry in the air right now, I'm bothered by a recent relevation, a la LJ, that a CMU local, Alisa, apparently both hates me and thinks she's told me that she doesn't want me to talk to her several times over the time I've known her. This is both a surprise because I have a mild (friend-type) like for her and because I think her claim is unfair. It is probably based on her frequent saying of "I hate you", although she uses this as a stock phrase whenever anyone uses humour around her, and has mixed in the normal friendlier types of conversation in as well. I am tempted to ask her what's up, but one of the things I've learned over the years is when someone makes it clear they don't want to talk to one, it's better to simply back off. It's not always fair, and it can be frustrating to let them get the first and last word between us, but so it goes.

Of course, a certain someone who has a major dislike for me took the chance to chime in that he finds me ignorant (about what?), intolerant, yaddayadda. I disregard this as emotional flailing based on my refusal to take definitional/political stances he needs to feel comfortable. I don't actually dislike either of them, although I'm used to being more disliked than disliking. There are only a few CMUish people I've actually come to dislike..

Meh. Social interaction can still be kind of tiring sometimes.

Semiformalishmaybe

Pillow Chains

Two interesting news stories..

In the first, in Seattle there's a family that's unfortunate enough to have had a kid who, due to brain mishap, has failed to mentally develop past what's called an age of three months. They're not sure she can recognise them, and she can't move significantly. Causing controversy, the family has had a number of surgeries performed on her to keep her body in a state convenient for them, including something to block breast growth, prevent further growth (so they can carry her around better), remove her uterus, etc. This has led to quite a debate among the medical community (and general populance), with some describing the modifications as being frankensteinesque and some other saying she lacks the mental presence to feel demeaned by such things. I suppose I share the queasiness with the modifications, as the current mods don't seem different in principle from removing her limbs and installing a handle, although I also sympathise with the notion that she simply isn't enough mentally there for there to be a concern in her emotional/mental well-being. What we have here might be someone who's mentally less present than most of the pets some people surround themselves with, and the parents are treating her as such. Is that a problem? I would probably object if people did major surgeries beyond neutering their pet for the sake of convenience (I don't consider de-clawing major enough to count, although I can see reasonable difference on this matter) or cuteness (the breast reduction was partly justified by the parents as de-sexualising her). I don't think it's inconsistent to say that I find it grotesque but don't think it demeans any particular being that's actually a person (in potentia or actual). In any case, I expect a lot of people will have strong opinions on this matter, probably stronger than mine on either of the two most-obvious sides.

Next, in England, a fundie Muslim was sentenced to jail time for calling for the death of Americans and Danes in a protest. I have little sympathy for the guy - incitement to violence over cartoon disrespect is unacceptable, and is not something that western societies should permit. I can understand race riots over intolerable injustice (I can understand the anger radical abolitionists had during slavery in the United States, and may have condoned appropriately targeted actions they did at that time), but whenever any society or group in society cannot tolerate pure-word insults that are not from central societal institutions, they're a rot and need to either be rapidly repaired or removed from the pot.

A bit more miscellany:Collapse )

And that's the news and what I think of it.