Monday, October 29, 2018

Support Trans People

A protester proudly holds the trans flag. Image source.

[content note: transmisia, president orange]

Some really scary news for the trans community this week:
‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration
Trump Administration Urges Supreme Court to Legalize Anti-Trans Discrimination

Trans people face a lot of discrimination and hate, and the rest of us need to help and support them. So, what can we do?

Here's a good article from Teen Vogue: How to Help Transgender People Fight the Trump Administration's New Policy Memo. Please, go read it and do what you can to help. I decided I will donate to Transgender Law Center, one of the organizations mentioned in the article.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Two dogs laying together. Image source.
1. So about Joshua Harris's announcement that he realizes "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" was harmful and he's not publishing it anymore. I think it's a good step. I know a lot of ex-purity-culture friends are EXTREMELY UNIMPRESSED about this because he only seems to be taking back the "be terrified of dating" parts while still believing the "premarital sex is a sin, LGBTQIA is a sin" parts, and also he is making a documentary that's going to take stories of people who were hurt by his teaching and spin them a certain way and he'll make money off it... and all those things are valid criticisms... but I just can't really find it in me to be upset about this. Like, I don't really expect him to come around to "unmarried sex is not intrinsically sinful"- it's just UNTHINKABLE that a "good Christian" would believe something like that.

So yeah I think Harris is doing a good thing by making this statement. Of course I don't recommend anyone go and listen to his current views on dating/sex/marriage/etc. Maybe the whole thing just makes me glad I'm no longer part of a Christian culture that takes Joshua Harris seriously.

2. ‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration (posted October 21) Whoaaaa no no no no this is bad.

3. It’s okay to let your transgender kid transition — even if they might change their mind in the future (posted October 22)

4. Pence: 'It’s inconceivable there are not people of Middle Eastern descent' in migrant caravan (posted October 23) Wowwww I always saw Mike Pence as one of those nice church people who would be a little more subtle about his racism, but here we are. Disgusting. How will I explain Mike Pence to my children?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Perfect Number Watches VeggieTales "An Easter Carol" (2004)

^ rolled my eyes SO HARD at this bit of Christian supremacy

Ebenezer even says that he didn't understand his Grandma's last words- "Easter means no death"- but then he concluded it meant "as long as I make Easter eggs it's like she's still alive." Seriously? Seriously? I submit that it's impossible to make an attempt to figure out what "Easter means no death" might mean and NOT come into contact with the concept of Jesus' resurrection. This is just so unrealistic.

Actually, the issue isn't that it's "unrealistic." Fictional stories are full of things that don't exist in the real world, and that's fine, I have no complaint about that. The problem is that, because of the context of the Christian culture that VeggieTales exists in, the story is not saying "imagine some fictional world where somebody was extremely clueless about why people go to church on Easter." It's saying that a lot of people in our real-world society (in mainstream US culture) don't know "what Easter is really about." And they just need a nice Christian to come explain it to them clearly (oh and make sure it's the CORRECT VERSION of the gospel, not some hippie lovey liberal thing) and they will convert right then and there.

Bob & Larry's misadventures in breaking into the factory was presented as nothing more than comic relief. Just as a joke, not as role models, not as "let's seriously consider whether this action would be moral in this situation."

Grandma Nezzar telling Ebenezer, "Easter means no death" as her last words- that's so good and beautiful. I really love that, and I believe it. I really do believe that someday we will see our loved ones who have died.

But in my review of this movie, I seem to have barely touched on the goodness of the message of resurrection. Because that's not really what this movie was about. Nope, not at all. The message of VeggieTales "An Easter Carol" was not about how good and wonderful and life-giving the idea of resurrection is. Instead, it was "isn't it terrible that a lot of people don't believe THE CORRECT THINGS about Easter?"


To see all my VeggieTales reviews: Perfect Number Watches VeggieTales (Master Post)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Starting Point of the Great Wall (Qinhuangdao, China)

More photos from my trip to Qinhuangdao 秦皇岛! These are from 老龙头 [lǎo lóng tóu] which means "old dragon head." It's the starting point of the Great Wall. As in, here's where the Great Wall runs into the ocean.

It was just AMAZING. I've mentioned before I love the Great Wall. The view at Laolongtou was just, wow.

Here's the gate you walk under when you first get there.

There was a courtyard with a bunch of small buildings, like I guess where the guards used to live in ancient times or something? This picture shows some kind of well mechanism, I think.

Here's a stream with a tiny little bridge you can walk over.

There were some delightfully-translated signs telling us to keep off the grass. This one says "芳草萋萋 踏之可惜 A pity to tread on fragrant and luxuriant grass." (It rhymes in Chinese.)

It was very hot and sunny that day. It's common for Chinese people (mostly women) to carry umbrellas for the sun.

On the Great Wall

Wow. Just wow. Look at this view. That's the ocean out there, and that's the end of the Great Wall.

There were lots of people enjoying the beach. It was a really interesting juxtaposition- children running and playing, building sandcastles, people wading in the cool water, feeling the soft warm sand, like we are all just on summer vacation enjoying the sunshine, and then right next to that is a piece of ancient history. Wow.

So apparently this last bit here looks like a dragon head, and that's why it's called Laolongtou 老龙头
Note: You can walk around the end there. So like, if you are an invading army, just walk all the way to Qinhuangdao and walk around the end of the Great Wall.
Here's the ocean. Go far enough and you might reach Korea.

There was also some sort of temple there.

A lot of Chinese temples have statues like this. These ones were about as tall as a person, but it's also common to see huge statues like 3 or 4 meters tall, with really angry faces.

"小草有情 脚下留靑 Grass and enthusiastie at the foot to stay green." It's actually a clever pun in Chinese though.

"少一串脚印 多一份绿意 Less a bunch of footprints, more of a green"

On the Great Wall again

There's a rusty fence here blocking you from walking farther along the Great Wall.

That's all my pictures from Qinhuanghao~ I'm really glad I get to live in China and visit all these amazing places~ ^_^

Photos from Qinhuangdao 秦皇岛:
Great Wall at Jiaoshan 
First Pass Under Heaven
Laolongtou (starting point of Great Wall)


If you want to see more posts like this, consider supporting me on patreon~ When I reach my goal of $20/month, I'll do a series of blog posts about various aspects of life in Shanghai. With lots of photos. ^_^

Thursday, October 11, 2018


Adult dolphin and baby dolphin. Image source.
1. Judge blocks Trump’s efforts to end Temporary Protected Status for 300,000 immigrants (posted October 4) Good news, but wow it would be stressful to live as an immigrant under this policy.

2. Episode 18: Stereotypes of Mixed Race Children Debunked – Sharon Chang (posted October 1)

3. Didsbury church's radical change after gay girl's suicide (posted September 23) "I used to be somebody that would hold a traditional view. But we lost a teenager, at 14, to suicide. And that puts everything else into perspective." Damnnnnnnnn. A church that values actual people's actual lives over beliefs about the "correct" biblical interpretation... wow.