Well, I actually had a rant set up for yesterday, but it got veto’ed by the master of the house. Don’t worry though, my evil twin Spiffy will get the word out soon.
Just like millions of other people, I am totally amazed at the pictures streaming down from the Pathfinder mission to Mars. I took a look at this image and it blew me away. This one, the first of the so called monster pan image that will be completed in a few days, promises even more. I was only 2 years old, or thereabouts when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, so I don’t remember that, but I do remember seeing later Apollo missions to the moon, with the rovers getting around and the like. But this has a real sense of frontier exploring for me, and I like it, I like it, I do.
In other news. I learned something about an online friend last night that I never would have imagined. My netbuddy is (or was) very involved in the skinhead movement. Now, before you jump to conclusions, He’s no racist. Most people, when they think of skins, think of neo-nazi types right away. I know many of them aren’t, but that’s only because I was into the mod scene for a long time, and I know a bit about the various groups that fit into those genres.
Here’s the weird thing. If almost anyone else experienced what I’ve been through with skinheads in the past, they would probably automatically dislike any skinhead. See, I’ve gotten into fights with skinheads. When I was young, they were mutual things, but the two most violent experiences for me were in London. The first time, my girlfriend and me were walking along PaulMall late at night, when two male skins and one female sic’ed their dog on us. I kicked the dog pretty hard, and they came at me, one with a knife. I dunno what really happened next, but the next thought I remember is sitting on the curb as a cop car came up (weeenooo weeeeenooo) and I looked down to a big slash on my arm and the two skins in crumpled heaps on the sidewalk.
I wasn’t so lucky in the second melee. I was accosted by three skins on the tube run to my home late at night. I was alone in the car when they came on, and they walked over to me and tried to mug me. I managed to press the emergency strip on the wall, and then I got beaten up fairly bad – I did some damage myself, but by the time we pulled into the next station, and 6 security cops dragged them off me, I was in pretty rough shape. But they didn’t get my wallet.
I’ve known some skinheads personally in my life, and even a few of them were friends. One in particular, Sam, was very much involved in the anti-racism core, and was very up on the history of skins, the factions, and even on the Mods. Sam was a cool shit, and though dedicated to his “lifestyle”, he was hard working, very conscientious, and also very considerate. He definitely breaks the stereotype people have of skins.
So why am I ranting about this? Well, it goes back to my comment about “if anyone has been through what I’ve been through, they would hate all skinheads”. But you see, I try never to judge people by their likes and dislikes, the music they listen to, the people they hang with, the color of their hair, or which way their dick swings. I also tend to avoid certain labels. For example, “Jim” isn’t gay, he’s Jim, the cool guy, or the asshole, or the idiot, or just Jim. As you can see, I do use some labels, but not ones like skinhead, gay, straight, chinese, black, purple, whatever. I prefer to make my own judgments on the person, not their likes and dislikes. The only exceptions to this rule for me are racists and sexist or homophobic people – I have no tolerance for them or their way of thinking.
So after finding out about a person, or getting to know them, I categorize them in my mind as anything from “way cool” to “complete asshole”. And, after knowing my netbuddy, who happens to be a skinhead, for a while now, I’d classify him as cool. Others, like some netchick who isn’t a friend and says one thing to me in email and then is the opposite on her diary page, is nearing complete hypocritical asshole status.