I’m in a place right now that I’m surrounded by a lot of people who don’t see race and racism the same way I do. They casually toss out racist slurs, and when the ones they have don’t go far enough, they make up new, cute ones they can laugh about together. Their speech and racism are both very casual. And they don’t see a problem.

I’m outnumbered. There are ten of them and one of me. I spoke up and was shouted down. I spoke up and was personally attacked. I spoke up and learned my lesson.

I always feel when I see racism, I need to call it racism. I need to point it out and say that’s wrong. It’s my responsibility as a human, but it’s also my responsibility as someone who gets it. When I don’t get it and someone else does, I need to be called out, too.

But that doesn’t work when the people around you don’t want to be educated. They think you’re over-sensitive and no fun and should just sit down and be quiet. When you’re speaking truth to power or whatever the 2012 version of the cliche is, you should never sit down and shut up, but when you’re telling the same ten people that black people are smart enough to use Facebook, or can really count change, or do know how to use a cell phone, your voice starts getting hoarse.

Maybe it’s time to shut up. They obviously don’t want to hear it, and nothing I say is going to change their minds. There is no incremental scraping away at their prejudices. Because they’re happy the way they are and with the beliefs they have, and they’ve surrounded themselves with like-minded people.

I’m the deviant. And being the deviant is starting to wear on me. Whereas my insistent drumbeat of race education is having no effect on them, it sure is have an effect on me. It’s wearing me down and wearing me out. I’m running out of steam fast.

I’m not sure where to go from here. I don’t think there is anywhere to go. I stay where I am and so do they. They keep being racist and thinking it’s funny, and I keep leaving the room.


The CW orders Hunger Games-style pilot, but girlier

The CW has ordered a pilot based on a forthcoming series of YA novels by Kierra Cass. The Selection is a cross between The Hunger Games and Disney Princesses. No, really, it is.

hunger games cw(image source: Amazon)

America Singer is one of 35 girls chosen by lottery to compete for a prize that will lift her out of her less than life and put her in the path of a prince. She’s already in love with her hometown boyfriend, but as she gets to know the prince, she realizes she may not be as into townie boy as she thought. A little Princess Jasmine being rescued from a predetermined life path, a touch of Belle softening to the Beast the longer she lives in the castle, and a dash of Katniss Everdeen running through the forest with her legs on fire, The Selection has something for us all. Read More

Everything at Downton is Yours

You can own the clothes

If you go for the full Lady Mary, you’re going to look like a freak in the streets and an assassin between the sheets. Or maybe just a freak. Especially if you sport Lady Sophia’s harem pants and coronet (We’re really all for harem pants here at Giraffe et al., but tonight we’re just not buying whatever Lady Sophia is selling.)

But you CAN party like it’s 1909 with a few key pieces added to your wardrobe, says Rachel Elbaum of Today. Lace-up boots with a small heel, a cloche hat, or a buttoned up cropped jacket are all perfectly reasonable clothing pieces that will allow you to live the fashion of Downton Abbey without setting off the crazy alarms. Read More

SOPA and the huge deal about censorship

Argh… Pirates?

This is late in the day, but I wanted to talk about SOPA, what SOPA means, how it’s different from PIPA, and why law-abiding citizens should care. Also, I want to poke fun at people who are freaking out about Wikipedia and Google going dark.


Obviously (?), online piracy is the downloading of copyrighted material. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, whether you’ve never download a single MP3 without shelling out 99¢ to iTunes or you’re torrenting all six seasons of Lost at this very moment to burn and sell in Seoul, we all understand that illegally downloading copyrighted material is illegal in the United States. You may not agree with the MPAA or RIAA, but the law is with them. So, ostensibly, laws to prevent piracy are good? Right? Read More

A Bright Game in a Small World

Illuminating Point-and-click Puzzles

The lights have gone out in Lume, and it’s up to you to get them back on. This point-and-click puzzle game, developed by State of Play, has an elegance and sophisticated aesthetic not seen in other casual puzzlers. While you have seen many of these puzzles before, especially if you’ve played any of the big name puzzle games released in the last few years, Lume remains challenging.

lume image(image source: The Mac Gamer)

The story begins as the main character, Lumi, approaches her grandfather’s house. With some hovering of the cursor, the player can easily identify the hotspots and what needs to be sorted out. Lumi has to first find her way into her grandfather’s home, and then begin getting the power back on and solving the mystery of how it went out in the first place. It’s a fairly straightforward story, but Lumi is endearing, and the paper model environment is a more than a little like a storybook.
Jump into the light

Wednesday Afternoon Anime

That Was a Joke

Darker Than Black, created, directed, and written by Tensai Okamura and animated by Bones, is set in an alternate Japan that exists on the edge of a no-man’s land called Hell’s Gate. Hell’s Gate appeared about ten years prior to the beginning of the series, and with it’s sudden, mysterious, and chaotic arrival, some humans began displaying special abilities. These superhumans are called called contractors, and they are segmented in society, neither acknowledged by the public nor given full rights as humans. Much of the conflict stems from the efforts of humans to control and even eliminate the contractors.

Marginalized as they are, contractors have to look for alternate ways to make ends meet, and that’s where much of the story happens. Hei, the main character, and most of his cohort work for a variety of shadowy organizations, some legal, some not, doing all sorts of things that are often very much illegal. Hei and his partners are employees of a Chinese crime syndicate, but that doesn’t make anyone around them more noble. It’s hardly surprising that Hei, the conflicted criminal, often seems the best of them all.

darker than black image

(image source: AnimeBox)
Jumping is my superpower

To the Left, to the Left

The Humble Indie Bundle finishes up today, and I thought I would take a look at one of the older games packaged with this third release. Osmos, released in August of 2009 for just about every OS, was included in Bundle #2 and is available as a bonus in #3. Developed by Hemisphere Games, the player is a mote, or single-celled organism, gobbling up all the other organisms around.

Backwards, Forwards, Left and Right

Much like 7 pm at the bar, Osmos involves bumping up against those around you, trying not to get rejected. Okay, it’s nothing like that. Osmos is about propelling a mote gently among lots of other motes, sometimes computer controlled, sometimes randomly moving, attempting to “swallow” smaller motes. If the player’s mote comes into contact with a larger mote, it will lose some volume; if it slams into a larger mote with too much force, the smaller mote will be swallowed whole.

osmos image

Take a Leap