Archive for December, 2012

Knowledge is Power

Posted: December 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

There’s been a fair bit of discussion of late about whether The Walking Dead is a sexist show. To which I say, more or less, “Duh!”

However, that’s not actually what I’m going to talk about here. Intentional or not, the show certainly reflects sexism, and in that regard serves as a useful example.

There is a particular scene near the end of the second season, in which Andrea’s gun is disassembled on the kitchen table of the RV and Shane (whose ” I AM ALPHA MAEL” instability is rapidly spiraling towards a conclusion) smugly debates whether he wants to teach her how to reassemble it or not — whether she should be permitted to have access to a functional gun which was originally hers, in a planet (and shortly, in a RV) full of brain-eating zombies.

Her gun. His decision. Why? Because she never learned a basic function of her own gun — not when she first acquired it, nor at any point thereafter. This despite, at this point in the series, having extensive and obvious reasons to learn. Had she known — and it’s very simple; the gun they showed on the screen was similar to my own, which breaks down into five parts and takes about four steps to reassemble which are fairly intuitive given a basic understanding of how it is supposed to work — she could simply have picked up the pieces and put the gun back together, thereby defusing Shane’s power play.

So this is, pretty much, your cautionary tale. Learn how the things that are around you work and how to work them. Learn how to figure things out even when you don’t know in advance. Do this, lest you find yourself sitting across the table from someone who does not have your best interests in mind but does have the knowledge and willingness that you lack.


Turkeypocalypse Now

Posted: December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

For a number of years, one of my aunts and her family have had an established tradition of eating fried turkey at Thanksgiving — most years, turkey that they fried themselves. Of course, they applied every precaution to the process, but nonetheless this is a food product with something of an infamous reputation. So, last year, my aunt convinced my uncle to pursue what would seem to be an optimal solution to the problem — have the turkey fried by professionals who presumably knew what they were doing, thusly avoiding all the hassle and the chance of explosive turkey burning death.

At the appointed hour, my uncle went to the place of fried turkey to collect the turkey. As he got to the door, he was greeted by a firefighter — it seems that the fried turkey place had burned down, and more importantly that his turkey was therefore not available. 

(The newspaper article on the event quoted the firefighters as being amused that many people apparently were still asking for their turkeys, in the hope that theirs might perhaps have been salvaged from the ashes of the place that cooked it.)

Knowing that my aunt, cousins, and grandmother were sitting around the table, knives and forks at the ready, and that if he arrived without a turkey to direct those knives and forks at he might be the alternate target (if there’s one thing my family takes seriously, it’s food), my uncle rushed off to the local grocery store just in time to grab the only turkey-related item they still had — a packaged turkey breast. For a family that uniformly favors dark meat.

This year, my aunt and uncle had smoked turkey.