Sep. 14th, 2012

starfire11: (Default)
Because that is the only the only exciting thing that happened today.

So First Lady Michelle Obama visited my campus today for a chat. It was actually pretty neat. I've never heard a political figure of any sort speak in person (and heard pretty darn few who haven't been dead or out of office for years otherwise, too).

We ended up standing and waiting in place for about two and a half hours. Some speakers came on. I actually got some homework done while we were just sitting doing nothing. So it wasn't completely pointless.

It was fun. A little eery for a couple reasons, too.

So we did the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning, which I haven't done in a while. But I remembered all the words. It felt very weird.

Then we sang the National Anthem. I was a bit confused about that, like others around me. We thought they'd just pick one or the other and be satisfied.

And in between, someone came on stage and said a Christian prayer of some sort.

I don't know exactly WHY they did that. This wasn't a "Christians for Obama" (sects aside). This wasn't a "Christians" or "religious ANYTHING". We are not a specifically Christian or religious school. This event was not only for Christians or members of a specific religious group of any kind. I haven't gone to any official events here where we began by praying.

I'm not certain that it's mandatory for such events to start with a prayer, but I'm pretty sure it's not. Especially not one specific type of religious prayer.

I'm also pretty certain that this county is not designated as a Christian county. They have synagogues rather close by our school, at the least. I don't even know if you can designate a county as Christian. I don't think you can.

So why did they do it, exactly?

It could have been that the minister (or whatever) they picked, is a local public figure connected with Obama who was offered a chance to speak. And, instead of a speech, he gave the prayer, without informing anyone of his intention. And no one could easily pull him off the podium. It was televised, after all, and getting him off might send any number of bad messages.

Okay. I understand that surprise. IF that's what it was.

But if it was intentionally done, I really dislike the decision. I found it insulting. I wasn't there to do anything Christian. I didn't feel respected as an individual with possibly different beliefs than others present. I didn't feel "represented" by the prayer.

All that aside, if they REALLY had to do the prayer, there are ways they could have made it... relatively denomination-ally neutral. Heck, it could have been lacking in direction towards monotheism if they'd tried. But they didn't bother. We knew what it was.

Was it supposed to state the county's stance on the separation of church and state? Which is very appalling if this is supposed to do that.

I know that members of the audience appreciated it. I know a lot of them didn't, judging by the expressions and actions of people I saw when I was looking around during it.

So that was annoying. Then there was the girl up front who kept taking pictures with her iPad.

... She basically stood for long periods of time with the bigass thing in the air spamming pictures on it and blocking the view of everyone behind her. Really didn't like her.

Then there was the point where the First Lady snuck in an interesting bit on illegal immigration at the end of a sentence (when people had already started clapping) that I don't think many people caught on to. There was a discontented murmur when she did that. I like her style.

We got more stories to workshop today. They were actually really, really bad. For once, I thought we might get all-around good ones for a class (mine aside). But no. These were really bad. One girl who I already have a poor opinion of for over-stereotyping with gender wrote a story attempting to imitate numerous mental disorders and failed miserably.

There's another story that was just really bad. It's racist and sexist and extremely illogical and terribly written otherwise. The decisions are like a really poorly written conspiracy theorist. Someone had an idea that sounded neat (and, given a little more meat, it might even be neat), and then failed miserably in the writing.

I don't really get the third, which is written by someone I like. I hate it when people you like do things poorly. You feel really bad about knowing they're doing it poorly. It's a bunch of vignettes on ending relationships. I get the concept and where she's coming from, but I have zero interest in any of the stories. One's an outright steal from a rather popular series I'm somewhat familiar with. I've got no problem when you're using the same basic narrative idea... but it just wasn't all that remarkable for it to be worthwhile. There's another one that's too short for me to have any meaning. Another one that only seems to be remarkable because it features a BDSM relationship between two gay men. I like seeing non-heterosexuals in fiction... but honestly? She's done that for two stories and it's like the stories are remarkable because they don't feature heterosexuals. That's not a reason I'd read a story. If a story is good and it HAPPENS to feature a woman or a lesbian, that's fine. It shows that a good story doesn't have to feature a heterosexual or male character, and it gives people who are in those represented categories someone to look up to and a way to feel represented in fiction. If a story is only attracting a readership BECAUSE it features a woman or a lesbian... that's a problem. The writing should be interesting. The story idea should be interesting. The messages should be interesting. But the message and story idea seem to be the same, and it's just not interesting whatsoever.

A lot people screw this up and write a homosexual character to write a homosexual character to show representation. If you want to write a character, they shouldn't really be defined by their sexuality or their gender (unless there's some important defining story plot point that involves such things, like a Gay Bar or a pregnancy/birth). Knowing that they like men is or not is a good thing to know about their back-story. Knowing what gender they identify with is a good thing to know about their back-story. It helps understand how they relate to other people and the world in general. Don't write a homosexual character to fill the ranks if you're going to make a Homosexual. If you have a troop of soldiers and 30% are heterosexual members of a gender, and 30% are lesbians, and 30% are homosexual males, and 5% are bisexual, and 5% are asexual, that's fine. But don't create a Band of Stereotypes: the Gay Guy, the Lesbian, the Male, the Damsel, the blahblahblah. It's just stupid. Writing to show a diverse cast is different than writing tropes.

I'm not entirely certain I said that properly but I know what I think, so...

Yeah. I'm good with that. Watching some really bad Doctor Who. But hey, another episode down! Only a couple more to go!
starfire11: (Default)
So I was in an achievement run in H ICC 25, and we had this guy... I don't know if it was a language barrier or he's just new or it was really a troll or what.

Anyway, there's a scenario on the 2nd to last boss in order to get the achievement for the mount that I've been working at for, well, months, and when you get a bigass blue mark over your head, you have to run to the bottom of the stairs, while everyone else stays at the top of the stairs. If you're standing near a blue mark, you both get iceblocked, and there aren't enough people to kill the ice blocks after the phase ends and there's more push on the healers to heal up more people.

So it's a REALLY bad idea to be in the wrong place during this fight. It's very simple.

So twice someone stayed at the top of the stairs and iceblocked half the raid. the first time we were shouting over vent and in chat for the person to go to the bottom of the stairs if they got the blue mark. We also had an extensive fight explanation over Vent. We repeatedly stated "bottom of the stairs" and "down".

The second time, he came over Vent and said that he thought that we meant "upstairs".

...

So we didn't get the achievement. Yeah. He'd basically been demonstrating how much of a newb he was the entire time. I understand that there are new players, but it wasn't like we expected people to know the fights. We explained everything. We were patient. We answered questions. The strategies were rather simple. With a full group and only like two-non-85s, a surprisingly large number of fights consisted purely of "hit the boss". Heck, you can just STAND IN FIRE for the first boss. The second boss is "stop firing until the raid lead says, THEN kill the boss". The green dragon fight is just a clear trash phase - the dps don't really have to do anything. And the tanks don't even really have to do anything anymore. And the healers HONESTLY only have to grab little floating red things. It's odd, I know.

All three bosses in plague wing involve mostly standing still and hitting the boss. The final boss in that wing involves a bit of moving to avoid puddles of bad, but it's still not that big of a priority.

In blood wing... the first boss is a dps spam. The second boss is a dps spam coupled with biting other people every now and then and some running around.

The Sindragosa fight involves running forward and back and hitting the boss at specific intervals. That's BASICALLY it. The LK fight, without achieves, is hitting what and when, and staying out of bad stuff.

The place is REALLY simple now.

We wiped three times on Sindy, trying to get the achievement. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want this mount. I might get it next week. I probably won't. These raids take HOURS.

And then this... idiot... UGH.

So we get to the Lich King fight, and people are derping a bit before the fight starts. Someone pulls out a pinata we all get candy from. People are cracking jokes and getting lost.

Two people pull out mole machines. These things lead to Blackrock - a set of dungeons in another zone. It's an old trick to get people to click on them and get sent away from where they are. Or to click it accidentally.

So they came over Vent and told people to click it so that it would take them to the last boss. People laughed - they knew what it was.

So we're starting the fight explanation... and He pops in and says his screen changed. He's very confused.

And we all go silent.

And then we realize that he took the mole machine.

People fail miserably to contain their laughter. And there's a round of refusals to summon the guy back.

Someone starts the fight so that we can't even do if it we want.

He spends the ENTIRE fight trying to get back, not really comprehending that it's too late. Everyone doesn't really try to communicate it to him.

So when you get the Lich King down to 10%, he kills everyone. Then there's some RP, and Tirion Fordring rezzes everyone and you just finish the Lich King off.

So we're all dead, and someone points out, "Hey, [the moron] survived!" He was the only one still alive on our screens.

A couple people were surprised. Some of them hadn't been in there before, or seen the Arthas fight.

So someone says, "Hey [newb], there's a way you can join the fight. You just have to kill yourself. It works best if you find a high place and jump off."

Now this was all in the game. He wasn't telling someone to go kill themselves. Literally. People on WoW kill their avatars for fun. I don't get why, and it's just silly in my opinion, but whatever.

So the other guy responds "Okay!" And, about ten seconds later, he dies. And he responds, "Okay, done!"

And we're all laughing too hard to really do anything. It was... I was crying.

I know it's really terrible. I know it is. But it just... wow...

So even while we were doling out loot, he tried to get in. He just didn't get it. I feel really bad for the guy.

So yeah. That was... the highlight of the day, I suppose. We got like... two achievements and a title I didn't have. That was nice.

I'm just watching some more Season 2 of Code Geass now. Trying to get it done. Shit's gettin REAL man!

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