Sunday, 1 August 2010


The more I read, and the more I see, the more I realize that there's a lot of anti-male sentiment around. Men are routinely discriminated against by the family courts, men are routinely asked to leave their partners alone in maternity wards after a difficult birth. Men who turn out not to be the father of a child are still often required to give everything they have to raise that child.

The more I read, the more real people I talk to, the more the idea of 'male privilege' seems like a joke. Women stick together, support each other emotionally. Men are often left to deal with their issues internally in deafening silence.

So my jaw dropped when I read the following on Reddit:

John Gordon in his book "The Myth of the Monstrous Male" discusses this tactic and presents the following illustration.

Create four lists of adjectives to describe: (1) positive male traits, (2) negative male traits, (3) positive female traits, and (4) negative female traits. Gordon provides the following:

  • Positive male traits: (M+)
    • strong
    • reliable
    • independent
    • adventuresome
    • analytical
  • Negative male traits: (M-)
    • brutal
    • inflexible
    • selfish
    • reckless
    • legalistic
  • Positive female traits: (F+)
    • gentle
    • responsive
    • supportive
    • prudent
    • deep
  • Negative female traits: (F-)
    • weak
    • flighty
    • dependent
    • timid
    • superstitious

Feminism claims that M+ and F- are learned, whereas M- and F+ are innate. This is the source of bullshit like "if women ran the world, there would be no wars." Or "If women ran wall-street, we could have avoided our current economic meltdown".

If a man does something good, it's because some woman nurtured him well. If a man does something bad, it's because men are innately evil.

A lot of people believe this shit.

And they do. I may be wrong, but I think any honest feminists would probably shake their head at that kind of snowjob. It's the most disgusting kind of lie. It's no better than racial stereotyping for political reasons. If you're a feminist and you do this, you're no better than someone in 1930's Germany who had a sign on their shop which read "No Jews or Dogs". You're exactly like this. Men are starting to get angry though - we're about done apologising for being male.

You can join the discussion at reddit's men's rights section. As the moderator puts it: "we *recognize* the rights of females; we *fight for* the rights of males."

Thanks to kanuk876, menareangrynow and kloo2yoo.

Friday, 30 July 2010

The war on tits

So America,

I'm going to apologize in advance if I upset you - you're one of my favourites, what with you guys landing on the moon and inventing pizza. So if I come across as a bit harsh, or seem to criticize you, or swear a bit much. I'm sorry - this is important though, and I wouldn't moan if I didn't care. Oh well. Here we go.

You've got one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the so-called civilized world.

In 2005, A smidgin more than ten percent of you breast fed for the first six-months of your child's life, as opposed to the recommended 100%.

Instead, you fed your baby formula, which has been proven time and time again to be falling short of the job. Kids die because they got formula instead of breast milk. It isn't even legal to advertise this crap here in the UK.

Concerned mothers have been arguing this point for years, but few are really listening, so I think it's time us fathers started to speak up.

America, what the fuck do you have against tits? Are you still hanging onto that puritan act?
Give it up, already. Is it the religion? Do you think God hates tits? He fucking invented them! You allow these large corporations to lie their way into your baby's stomach, risking their lives day after day and you let them! Do you think you'd allow Philip Morris to market cigarettes for babies? Think again, there's not much difference. The free market should not extend as far as risking your children's lives - you should deal with not only the evil morons advertising this trash, but the corrupt politicians they bribed to allow it. I'm personally of the opinion that this is a crime against the future generations of America, and if your children aren't America then I don't know what is. This is Treason! Wake the fuck up!

Think I'm being fatuous? No way: Your kid could die, fail to thrive, become obese or grow up without a properly working immune system because you don't want to ruin your tits, or because you think it's icky or because you bought the bullshit of some slick advertising exec who told you that formula was as good as breast milk. Newsflash - it isn't.

Well diddums. It's time to suck it up and grow a brain - if you really care about your child, and you can breastfeed, you'll breastfeed.

There are reasons that a woman can't breastfeed - I get that, but the ones that won't are either misinformed or selfish.

For those of you who disagree with me, you can email me a response which I'll print and use for toilet paper, for those of you that would object to a woman breastfeeding in public: get a life you inbred wankers.

Lastly, to those of you who breastfeed, I salute you: Stand tall, you proud matriots, you pillars of America, you angels of common-sense, you protectors of the future - let none deride you.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Which Baby Monitor

Now, If you're like me, and you need a baby monitor, you'll probably be planning to use a wireless webcam with a bit of homebrew hardware and some custom software. But to get an idea of what features would be required, I decided to take a look at reviews of existing video-baby-monitors. I found the following video from Gatewrights quite helpful:

And there it is: Avoid feedback, allow manual activation of camera, allow full zoom and pan, include nightlight and night-vision. Obviously, quality is important too. Thanks to Gatewrights for the video.

And this is why I love the oatmeal

The Zombie Bite Calculator

Created by Oatmeal

Sunday, 18 July 2010

When you're weary

I've honestly no way of describing what's going on in my head right now. It's probably the same kind of histrionics that I roll my eyes at when I see it in other people. I've got that low-grade panic that comes from having too many unfinished tasks, from too much happening too soon with too little control.

I have a potential client who's expecting the impossible. I've told him that technology can't really do what he wants it to do for the price he's willing to pay. He's currently using pirated software on dodgy, dusty machines that he expects the world from and expects me to turn it into a pristine, legal, working network for peanuts.

I have a server to diagnose that's failing intermittently, whose parts all pass testing, whose software works flawlessly on a different set of hardware, which probably has an obvious flaw that I would spot in a microsecond if I could just stop and think.

I have a meta-friend who's IM-ing me and asking if I know where she can 'score some weed' - at 9:30 on a Sunday night, when I actually don't know where she can get 'weed' at any time on any night, though it sounds almost like an attractive proposition right now.

I have a family issue unfolding that really has nothing to do with me and I could do without even hearing about it right now because I'm having one of those days where I could just SNAP.

Deep breaths.

This day will be over soon.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Digital Kitchen

Having the social skills of the average geek, I'm well aware that interaction isn't easy for me. Being well aware that I'll need to interact much more once the baby arrives, I decided to make an effort to get on with people. This would involve dressing nicely, forcing myself to go out in public and, shock horror, talking to people (probably with a fixed Gordon Brown rictus).

Now, I don't like to be seen to generalize, though I like to generalize; us geeks don't tend to do well in the wild, aside from talking shop. At house parties, I tend to bogart the alcohol and coax the games-console out: a wonderful mix. Should that fail, I fall back on the old favourite and attempt to skulk in the kitchen making cocktails.

I personally think that hiding in the kitchen at house-parties is more than an old cliche, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: people who are socially-timid subconsciously realize that other people who are socially-timid congregate there, and will provide more agreeable company for them. Geeks make the best cocktails anyway, so it works for everyone.

But when we're out at a bar or at a gig, things are a little different. There's nowhere to hide, and in a loud place full of strangers the only place to retreat for a few moments solace can be your mobile device - the Digital Kitchen.

Never, outside of an uncomfortable social situation, can Twitter be updated so much, can facebook be checked so frequently, can Reddit or Digg be scoured so diligently for lolcats or rants; viral videos can also be used so readily in lieu of conversation.

I'm going to have to start leaving the tech at home: the digital kitchen's no place for a family man.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Dutch, Swiss, Gypsy or Yorkshire

I remember, as a child, walking the long paths up to the mountain to throw arrows with my Dad: 'Dutch Arrows' he called them; long, straight branches cut from trees, finger-thick, skinned, sharpened, playing-cards stuffed in the end for flights, with a notch cut at the end.

We'd take our bootlaces and tie a knot in them, fastening it around the arrow's notch - pulling the line taught up the length of the arrow, then throw them into the air, watching them whistle along and fall into the Roman quarry. I may recall inaccurately because I was a child, but it seemed like these arrows could go a couple of hundred yards. We fished lakes and rivers until we saw the sun rise over more than a few; we climbed rocks together.

For someone who was away a lot, he did his best to be there. He always had something for us to do when he was around. I wanted for nothing, and my friends seemed a little envious of that. People remarked how close my father and I seemed. It wasn't true. We did everything together, but the old man never let me in. All I ever got was the stoic veneer.

However good it must have looked to the neighbours and family, it wasn't real. I might as well have been fishing with a mannequin. I never once remember my dad kissing my head or hugging me. I learned a thousand little things from him. I can hunt game, I can fish, I can light fires without matches.

I remember watching Ray Winston in 'Nil by mouth' launch into the tirade about his father and it really hit a nerve. I don't want to be that kind of dad. Just 'being there' isn't enough. I want to do more than just 'tick the boxes'.  The one thing my father didn't teach me is how to show love to your children. I guess that's one I'll have to figure out on my own.