18 July 2017

The New Female "Doctor Who," and the War on White Men

Sunday, it was announced that Jodie Whittaker will be the 13th Doctor and the first female Time Lord. Twitter almost exploded (which I saw firsthand), and Brendan O'Neill wrote about it here in The Spectator. I highly recommend you give that a quick read (if you haven't already).

I've seen about 30 seconds of an early episode of Doctor Who, and was so bored of it I quickly switched Netflix to something else. I'll admit I haven't seen a bit of it since then, and know absolutely nothing about the story line or the Doctor's character. So, what follows (re: the show) is entirely my opinion (albeit with some actual research behind it because I don't want to look like an idiot).

IMDb tells me Doctor Who ran for 26 years (1963-1989), then picked up again in 2005 and is (obviously) still running. That's a fandom that stretches 54 years. In the 38 years of the show's active production, the character of the Doctor has been played by 12 different men.

I think my dear friend Neil said it best:

I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that Doctor Who is immensely popular with teenage girls, which was one driving factor behind the push to make the next Time Lord a woman. Two of the Doctors of late have been David Tennant and Matt Smith. I'm a red-blooded young woman, so I can totally understand why the show would be popular with teenage girls: those guys are incredibly easy on the eyes. Smith has an appealing personality, too. What teenage girl wouldn't gawk themselves silly over that? 

Just because the BBC have decided to make the Doctor a woman isn't going to make me interested in watching the show. I'm actually probably less likely to watch it now because of this. The BBC felt compelled to bring identity politics into a situation where it was totally unnecessary.

Which brings me to my next bit: the war on white men.

Not a day goes by that I don't see tweets like these:


(Insert AreYouEvenSeriousFace.jpg here)

Did I miss the memo that declared it socially acceptable to say this racist and sexist shit? Imagine if "white men" was switched in any of those tweets with a different race. There would probably be an uproar, and it's likely the tweeter would have their tweeting abilities temporarily limited.

I take offense when I see things like this. "But you're a woman! Why are you offended? Men are scum!" I'm offended because literally everything I have, I have because of white men. The men in my life have worked incredibly hard to be able to take care of themselves, and as a result, they see that I am taken care of, too. My father and my brother. My "smarter half" and my best friend. My housemate who I've known for 15 years (literally half my life), who lets me live in his house and smoke his weed.

Are you going to find me out in the streets, wearing a knitted hat that's meant to look like lady-parts, screaming about the gender wage gap? No. I'll be in the house, thankful that I have a roof over my head. And I'm thankful for the men that made it possible every moment of every day.

Because if we're being honest here, I'm a lot better at baking cakes than I am at pushing a lawnmower.

12 July 2017

♫ I'm just a shill... ♫

I was accused of being an anonymous vape-addicted shill again today. This shit is getting rather old.


For the record, this Nathan Lee chap is from Australia, home of our favourite professional troll with a nasty attitude, split personality and an awkward case of memory loss, Simon Chapman. So I think you can already tell where and how this is going to end.

"vaping addict"

Really? Funny he should mention that. When I switched to vaping from smoking almost three and a half years ago, I started at 12mg/ml nicotine. Within a year, I had more advanced vape gear and was using 6mg/ml. A few months after that, I dropped to 3mg/ml. It didn't take long for me to figure out that I was completely going against everything Dr. Farsalinos has said about tobacco harm reduction because I was vaping a lot, so I sorted out the vape gear and went back up to 6mg/ml.

I read somewhere that the average cigarette contains 15mg nicotine. I vape 2ml per day. I'm actually taking in much less nicotine as a vaper than I was when I smoked 10-20 cigarettes/day. Besides that, nicotine is benign. It's essentially the same as caffeine. And it's good for your memory. Who fucking cares how much nicotine is in my beloved White Lotus?

So, strike 1.
"provide input into laws"
Erm, there were no restrictions on who could submit to the consultation. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I could have made a submission from Jupiter, and it still would have been counted. Most likely completely disregarded (as the rest of them probably will be also), but still counted.

Ergo, strike two.
"in a country you have probably never been to."
To be fair to our new friend parasite, he is correct about this: I've never been to Australia. And for good reason, too: literally everything there wants to kill me. Spiders, snakes, all kinds of really creepy creatures that I want nothing to do with or be anywhere near. Including Simon Chapman. I'll be perfectly content with seeing the Sydney Opera House from the plane on my way to New Zealand.

He gets half a strike for that.

Aaaaaand there's strike three. Go sit on a cactus, you shitweasel.

11 July 2017

I am a Vaper, and I am one of #ABillionLives

I am a vaper. That’s not a confession, by the way; it’s a statement I’m proud to make. I used to smoke and now I don’t. For many that’s a difficult journey, but it doesn’t have to be. Electronic cigarettes make it easier to quit smoking than it’s ever been. At least, they do now. That might change in the near future thanks to bad laws, which is a pretty worrying thought.

My father smoked cigarettes until I was 16, and the day he decided to quit (for the last time) was on the Sunday he began having chest pains during church. I always swore to him and my mother that I would never start smoking, but I found myself buying my first pack of cigarettes when I was a few months shy of 19. I smoked a pack per day for eight years - several times I had tried to stop, but every time I tried I lasted no longer than an hour before lighting up again. Around late February 2014, I’d been hearing more and more advertisements on the radio for the local vape shops. I found myself almost looking forward to going into one - mostly to see what the adverts were all about. March 12, 2014, I finally got my chance: I was soon set up with two Evod tanks, an eGo-650 battery, and two flavors (one a fruity candy, the other green apple). Once I tried my new gear I knew I’d never smoke another cigarette; what I didn’t know was just how much my life was about to change.

It wasn’t long until I found my home on Twitter among the family of vaping advocates from around the world. As my vape gear progressed, so did my passion for fighting the lies that were being told by trusted “health organisations” and spread by the unquestioning media. It became an everyday occurrence to be attacked and/or blocked on Twitter by biased educators and respected journalists being paid to demonise vaping, and even by ordinary people who had fallen for the lies and didn’t understand why we were defending vaping. “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”

It was on Twitter that I found out about A Billion Lives, and I was immediately taken by the idea. The truth desperately needed to be told, and Aaron Biebert and his team were the ones stepping up to do it. I had been wanting to get a tattoo that was related to vaping, and once I realized just how powerful the message from the film was going to be, I decided to get “I am one of #ABillionLives” tattooed on my inner left forearm. Below the film’s title is a row of emojis that carry a little extra meaning for me; the song used in the first trailer (and also in the film itself), by Milwaukee-based band The Other Shapes, is called “Sing for the Sun.” I chose the treble clef and sun emojis based not only on how much I liked that song, but also because music has always played a tremendous role in my life. The heart emoji with the sparkles on it is there because I’m known as “Sparkles” to my vape family and the vape community on Twitter.

I want to do everything I can to prevent vaping from disappearing. It changed my life and the lives of millions of others, and has the potential to change millions more. Everyone deserves the same chance I got.