Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Reaction to X-Files Season 10 in Gifs (hard g)

The much anticipated 10th season of the X-Files ended yesterday. I had many feelings and what better way to convey those feelings through Dana Scully gifs?

When I heard about season 10 being greenlit and that both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny were involved:

Episode 1: My Struggle

Episode 2: Founder's Mutation

Episode 3: Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster

Episode 4: Home Again

Episode 5: Babylon

Episode 6: My Struggle II

Yes, the last episode warranted two gifs.

If you want to know my thoughts in word form, Devin Faraci does a pretty perfect job.

And yes, I will be watching the next season (because it's going to get a next season).

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hope and Bern: In Which I Attempt to Make People Remember 2008

Does this seem familiar to anyone? 

Is it just me or is there something about this election that I've seen before? 

Really, does anyone remember the 2008 primaries? 

Okay, let me back up.

Full disclosure: I voted for Obama in the 2008 primaries. However, I did not buy into the whole Messiah thing that was going on in 2008. I mean seriously, people were RIDICULOUSLY excited about him. And it's good that I wasn't because everyone I know that was ridiculously excited about him were let down hard, because (surprise!) he had to move towards the center once he became president and had to actually do the job. 

And now I see it happening all over again. The same demographic (young, often first-time voters) are getting crazy psyched for one man who is going to change everything and make everything better. In some cases, it's the exact same people who were touting Obama's ineffable perfection in 2008. Did they not learn? 

IF Sanders gets the nomination (which I'm really doubtful of, even if he does win the popular vote) and IF he wins the general election (which I'm also doubtful of because if we got all that "socialist" scare with Obama, just think of how bad it'll be with an actual socialist) he'll either have to move towards the center to get things done or he'll stay firmly planted in his far left of center ways and the government will get less done than it does now. Either way, he'll end up disappointing the liberals who got him elected in the first place, just like Obama. Worse than Obama, actually, since his promises are WAY more out of reach than Obama's were. 

By all means, support Bernie Sanders. Just don't make the mistake of thinking he's the Progressive Savior who will change everything. Or anything, for that matter. Nothing big will change under Sanders. Our Constitution was written specifically to avoid huge changes in the system at once. You won't get your student loans forgiven. You won't get free college. The minimum wage won't jump up to $15/hour. Universal health care is not going to happen. Change may come, but it'll take time. More time than Bernie Sanders will have should he become our next president. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thoughts on My Ongoing SDCC Dilemma

I first attended San Diego Comic Con in 2013, and it was a magical experience. I attended again the next year, and although it was still ridiculous fun, it was nowhere near the amazing experience from the year before. However, I did sleep in the Hall H line, and that's something every nerd should do. Then 2015 came around and although I purchased a badge, I was not feeling 100% in because A) it wasn't so great the second year and maybe it would continue to go downhill and B) I was (and still am) trying to pay off my student loans and if I was going to spend $600 (give or take) on a vacation, I thought it might be better to do something I hadn't done before. So with just a few months to go, I returned that badge and got my refund.

That turned out to be a terrible decision, of course, because that was the year that Star Wars came back and my friend got into the panel there, which means I would have gotten into the panel, and it was apparently an amazing experience that she will never forget. I have regretted that decision every day since then.

And here we are: three days before badges go on sale and I am wavering in my decision to not go this year.

Arguments in favor of going:
-As far as regrets go, not going last year is probably number two or three on my list.
-There are some great TV shows coming up (American Gods, anyone?) that I would love to see the panels for.
-It's not a super expensive vacation.
-I'm around my people for several days.
-There are always some awesome exclusives.
-It's likely that I won't be able to go in 2017 or 2018 because I will (hopefully) be getting my MBA and it's doubtful that SDCC will happen during a term break

Arguments against going:
-I regret not going last year because of Star Wars, not because of the other awesome panels and Star Wars won't be the big to-do that it was.
-I'm trying to pay off my student loans. I'm on track to pay off my one non-subsidized loan in July, and spending $600 would delay that a month.
-I'm planning on starting an MBA program this fall and paying for it out of pocket. Spending $600 would set me back a bit.
-There have been talks about going on a cruise, to New Orleans, or to Washington, D.C. with people and I probably shouldn't do both.
-I still need to visit my sister in Nashville.
-My friend and I are toying with going to Europe next year during one of my term breaks and that's crazy expensive.
-I have made no plans with people to get down there and share a hotel room, potentially making the trip more expensive.

Money-wise, I shouldn't go. Fun-wise, I'd be stupid not to.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why I've Decided to Remain Undecided or: I Titled this Piece Before I Finished It

I've voiced these issues with friends, family, and even Facebook, yet I still haven't come to any conclusion.

Clinton vs. Sanders.
Establishment vs. Populist.
Pragmatist vs. Progressive.

I can't freaking decide.

I'm a progressive and a liberal so I should vote for Sanders.

I'm a realist and a feminist so I should vote for Clinton.

I distrust populism in any form so I shouldn't vote for Sanders.

I distrust being unethical so I shouldn't vote for Clinton.

That was zero help.

Let's break this down:

Bernie Sanders - I've been a fan of his for a very long time. I walked past him once in the senate office buildings and was elated. I was riveted by his filibuster in 2010 and I bought The Speech. I think he speaks for the poor and middle class and truly has their best interests at heart. I admire that he was pro-LGBT rights (or at least LG rights) long before anyone else was. I admire that he has fought for the rights of women and minorities. Ideally, I'd like to see most of his domestic policies enacted.

We don't live in an ideal world. If Sanders tried to enact his more extreme policies, he'd only cause more gridlock since Executive Orders only go so far. I don't think he would do a great job at negotiating. Other than the fact that he voted against the Iraq war, I have heard very little about his foreign policy. That could be my fault, but it just doesn't seem like there's much out there. However, what little I have heard (like his rhetoric about preserving manufacturing jobs in America) seems misguided. Although I think I like that he is anti the Pan Pacific Partnership.

Hillary Clinton - I've been a fan of hers for a very long time, too. Growing up, she was the only prominent woman in politics I remember hearing about. She did more policy work as First Lady than probably anyone that came before her. She has a background in advocating and working for people in poverty. She proved to be a great politician and statesman in her own right as Senator. Sure, she always had presidential aspirations, but most presidents do. And yes, she voted for the Iraq war, but think back to 2002. According to Pew, over 70% of the country was in favor of the invasion. She's a self-described progressive but understands the need for pragmatism and negotiating. While a bit hawkish, I've generally been a fan of her foreign policy and her domestic policy is left of center, thereby making it easier to enact.

On the flip side, you can't ignore the emails. At best, she was lazy and didn't want to carry around two phones. At worst, she felt entitled enough to break the rules. Either way, she was unethical (I think it's still TBD if it was criminal) and made a very stupid decision. If anyone lower on the totem poll had done the same thing, they would have been fired, their security clearance revoked, and wouldn't be able to find another job in the federal government. There have also been whisperings about her political donations from Wall Street, foreign governments who contributed to the Clinton foundation, etc. etc. etc. Some of these are without foundation, some of them have very strong foundation. She has a history of bending ethics and that worries me. Although, I have to say, it doesn't worry me all that much because every president in the history of presidents has had similar shady deals, so why hold her to a different standard?

Here's my real beef with Bernie. Listen, I get the whole wanting a political revolution thing. My senior capstone course was essentially about how to fix the Constitution. (Because it sucks. It was great back in 1787, but it sucks now. So much.) But even if Sanders is elected and people starting saying, "you know what? I want a different way of doing government," is the House gonna change? The Senate might, but from where I'm sitting, the House has next to no chance of changing hands until 2022. The reason our House is SO conservative and so unwilling to compromise right now is because in 2010, when the census was taken and districts redrawn, legislatures all over the country were more right than usual because we were in the throws of a massive Obama backlash. Republicans gained control over legislatures, legislatures redrew their districts to unfairly favor Republicans, and Republicans gained massive majorities. It would take huge record breaking number of people voting to change that before districts are redrawn in 2020. Assuming that, Bernie wouldn't have a Democratic majority in both houses until half way through his second term, at which point he will either be 82 or dead unless he is voted out of office.

Yes, Clinton will face the exact same issue (except she'll be how old Bernie is now - 74 - in 2022), but she's not asking for as much as Bernie is. She'll be able to work better with a more moderate Senate. And because she's more moderate, there's a smaller chance that the pendulum will move back to the far right. With a democratic socialist in the Oval Office, do you not think that the backlash of the Tea Party (that has lead us to the utter train wreck that is the current state of presidential politics in the GOP) will rise again? At least with Clinton, there's a chance that people won't notice so much and we can elect someone like Elizabeth Warren next, who will probably be working with a much easier Congress.

I think I've answered my question.