late 90's

I recently saw a video of a young woman talking about all of the reasons our generation, the Millennials, sucks and that’s she’s sorry for what we’ve become. Here is my, a fellow Millennial, response:

You say we’re just ‘existing’ and not ‘contributing anything to society.’ The oldest Millennial is 34, the youngest is 12, we haven’t had time to contribute anything yet. We’re trying to survive in a world that no other generation has had to grow up in, with a tanked economy and most of our childhood hearing nothing but war in the Middle East on the news while also being profoundly connected. We didn’t do that.

You say we’re no longer polite, we don’t say ‘no, sir’ or ‘no ma’am’ anymore and we no longer hold the door open for our elders or women. We also don’t expect low-paid workers to break their backs for us, or at yell at them when they make a mistake, like my 60-year-old grandfather does. We say ‘no problem’ when there’s a mistake in order, and politely stand by while the 40-something-year-old soccer mom huffs and rolls her eyes as the new girl struggles to punch in the correct code.

You say our music objectifies women and glorifies drugs and criminals. There has been no significant change from the songs that were once sung or the singers who sang them. Many of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s performers were drug addicts, womanizers, and criminals in their own right. Elvis Presley was child abuser, John Lennon raped his many girlfriends and most of the music I grew up listening, which was 80’s rock, were performed by habitual drug abusers. Let’s not pretend like human nature took a drastic turn when 1983 rolled around.

You say we cuss to prove a point. We, as a generation, have learned it’s not the words we fucking use, it’s the passion in them that we care about. As a generation, we’ve become more interested in politics and the world around us, cursing is minor problem when we consider the political climate the older generation has plunged us into.

You say we use ‘bae’ to describe the ones we love. Bae, originally, means ‘before anyone else’ which is incredibly romantic in my opinion. Bae is also hardly ever taken seriously, it’s a jokey way to talk about someone you love. Language changes, I doubt people were happy when we changed ‘wherefore’ into ‘why.’ The greatest injustice we can do to our language and culture is not allow it to evolve and grow with us.

You say we idolize people like Kim Kardashian and shame people like Tim Tebow. Kim Kardashian is a business woman who had a private video she made with a lover illegally revealed. Instead of fading into obscurity, she stood tall and did not let the sexual shaming she endured stop her and now runs a multi-million dollar industry, is married to one of the richest men in the world, and had two beautiful children. Tim Tebow is a Christian who was criticized by a few people for praying in an open stadium while most people just wanted to see a game.

You say we’re lazy and entitled, we want to make a lot of money and get a free education but we’re not willing to put in the work. We are not lazy. I cannot tell you how many people I meet who have gone to school full time while working a part or even full-time job just to make ends meet. We’re not entitled, we’re bitter. In the 70’s, you could work a part time job over the summer and pay your way through four years of school because tuition was $400, now just to walk in the door of your local community college you need to drop $14,000. We have kids who aren’t even old enough to drink, yet are already $20,000 deep in debt. Debt that won’t go away because even filing for bankruptcy won’t erase it. And even with that education, there’s no guarantee you’ll find something in your field. I have a friend who has a degree in microbiology and she’s making $9 an hour selling $15 candles. I have another friend who has a masters in Sport Psychology and Counseling. She’s a bartender. My parents bought a three bedroom house in the suburbs in the late 90’s while my generation is imagining apartments with breezy windows and trying to get enough money to get food while we scrounge up less than $8 a week.

You say we spend more time online making friends and less time building relationships and our relationship’s appearance on Facebook is more important than building the foundation that relationship is based on. We are a generation that is profoundly connected and no other generation has seen this before. We have more opportunities to meet people from all over the world and better chances to understand other worldviews and lifestyles. Being able to stay home and talk to people over the internet is cheaper and more relaxing than having to force yourself to interact with people in public settings after a long day of minimum wage labor. The people I talk to more over the internet are people I have been friends with for years. It’s easier to talk about the day’s events over Skype or Facebook Messenger than arrange a day to meet in person when you have conflicting schedules. I truly don’t believe most people care what others think of their friendship or how their relationships ‘look’ on social media. Most often what you are calling ‘our relationship’s appearance on Facebook’ are documented and searchable memories.

You say our idea of what we believe in is going on Facebook and posting a status on Facebook. Not everyone can join in with the crowds of protesters. It’s easy to see what others have to say through the comments and argue back without the threat of violence. And when this generation does organize events to stand up for ourselves, it’s met with childish name-calling or being reduced to a ‘riot.’

You say we believe the number of follows we have reflects who we are as a person. It’s nice knowing there’s 20 or 50 or maybe even 100 people who care what you have to say or think. We live in an age where we can and will be heard.

You say we don’t respect our elders, that we don’t respect our country. Our elders grew up in one of the greatest economic booms in history and in turn made it the worst economic situation since the 1930’s all while blaming kids who were only five at the time for it. We stand on our flag because it means nothing, it’s a pretty banner for an ugly lie. We’re a country that says you can make it if you just work hard enough while, in the end, that will almost never happen. We’re a country that becomes irate at the idea of 20-something college kids standing on some canvas dyed red, white, and blue but seem to shrug off the millions of homeless, disabled veterans.

You say we’re more divided than ever before. Ever before what? When black folk couldn’t drink from the same fountain as white folk? When women couldn’t vote? When white southerners fought for the idea that they could keep black people as slaves? We’re a generation that is done with injustice and when you fight for social change, you will divide people.

You say everything that was frowned up is celebrated. What does that mean? We frowned up gay marriage. We frowned upon wives being able to say no to sex with their husbands. We frowned up interracial marriage. We frowned up black folk being allowed to go to school with white folk. We frowned upon women being allowed to vote. Are those things not worth celebrating?

You say nothing has value in our generation, that we take advantage of everything. We value friendship more, we value the fists of change, we value social justice and family and the right to marry those we love. We value the right to be yourself, wholly and fully. We value the right to choose and we value the idea of fighting what you believe in, even when everyone older than you is telling you you’re what’s wrong with the country.

You say we have more opportunities to succeed than those before but we don’t ‘appreciate’ them. We are a bitter generation. You can finance a boat for 3.9% but you have to pay back college tuition plus 8.9%. We may have more opportunities but those opportunities cost money we don’t have.

You say you can see why we’re called ‘Generation,’ but we’re not Generation Y, we’re Millennials and we do feel entitled. We were promised a strong economy and inexpensive education. We had the world in our hands and we were going to make it better. And it was ripped away from us because of incompetent rulers, illegal wars, and greedy corporations and we get blamed for it. Crime has gone down, abortion and unintended pregnancy has lowered, people are living longer, people are more educated, people are less likely to die from violent crime or diseases, yet my generation is touted as the worst generation and for what? Crimes that we’re accused of that happened before we could even wipe our own ass? We were raised better, and we were raised in a society that treated, and continues to treat, us like garbage. And we are done. We are not sorry, we did nothing wrong.

I think people really underestimate how huge of an impact the Internet has had on the LGBTQIA+ community as we know it today. This is also why it saddens me that people make the excuse of “x community only formed in the late 90’s/early 2000’s” to exclude certain communities.

The Internet started bringing people together, introduced people living in more rural areas to the larger community, and allowed for more detailed discussions about gender and sexuality between strangers who may never have met each other otherwise. It’s no coincidence that so many new communities and identity labels began to spring up at around the same time. Always remember that community formation did not begin or end with Stonewall.

Good things about the Scooby Doo movie

  • Daphne being a bamf who saves the day by beating up the macho guy who spent the movie calling her a damsel
  • Fred’s autobiography “Fred on Fred; The Many Faces of Me”
  • Popular late 90′s alt rock band Sugar Ray having a guest appearance where they try to kill Shaggy and Scooby
  • “Rour rom reats Rat Roo!” “NO SCOOB, YOUR MOM EATS CAT POO!”
  • The guy who tries to sacrifice a dead chicken
  • The monster training tape teaching monsters to act like stereotypical college students
  • “Oh i can be spooky, rawr rawr, with the claws and everything, rawr rawr rawr”
  • “What up dog…and dog?” “Reepin Real!”
  • Fred flicks Scooby on the nose so Scooby punches him in the fucking face
  • Scrappy doo peeing on Daphne then getting his ass thrown out of the gang
  • “He wasn’t even a puppy! He had a gland problem!’
  • “Rit rastes rike rastic!” “So what if it tastes like plastic Scoob you drink out of the toilet!” :RO RO ROU!”
  • Fred trying to get the monsters to do the electric slide
  • Velma getting drunk and dancing on a piano
  • “This is almost as embarrassing as the time you decided to clean your beans at Don Knott’s Christmas party!’ Scooby doo laughs and winks at the camera

Bad things about the Scooby Doo movie

  • ??????
  • None
  • This movies a national treasure 
Beating major d*ck.

Some people just like to use their power to bash people and degrade people publicly. Whenever I encounter these people I like to grasp the situation firmly in hand and beat them down. In this case I give you special piece of crap we shall call D*ck. D*ck is a older guy who has worked for a branch of state law enforcement for many years. He was very vocal about being three years away from full state retirement and about his rank in state gov.

I was working as a contractor doing some I.T. work. We had a large group to move the department forward at least 10 years technology wise. It was all hands on deck to prep computers for the incoming new computers and of course setting up the new ones. In my case as a coder/network grunt I was being ‘borrowed’ and more than happy to help.

D*ck was the only jerk out of at least 300 people I had enjoyably encountered. He complained about anything he could figure to complain about and would go over the departments managers heads to complain. Part of what I was asked to do was inventory their software used, directories mapped, and to copy files to their new network folders. Keep in mind we did a copy of the data and not a move. When new computers arrived the network copy served as a way to making sure the data was backed up before it was cloned over to the new system. D*ck was livid that someone touched his computer and swore we deleted a file we could not find.

I was marched up to his office with my management team and the department’s senior. I promptly found his file on his new system (and on the network). I happened to notice that he had newly installed a newsreader but did not say anything about it. I knew if I called him out on it I would get canned and they would not look into it. Instead I opened the reader while D*ck was bashing me in the hallway to his audience and changed his preferences. Now the files would not delete when they were read or deleted. Keeping in mind this was in the late 90’s and the internet was still a new thing for many. A lot of people would download their porn from newsgroups (usenet) by using a newsreader to download everything new dumped in the selected group (think like a folder). Groups would follow a theme or where supposed to. The reader would put all the pieces together so you could see the images or video and copy them to folders. I was made to apologize  in front of him and marched off in shame. D*ck was really throbbing with all of his smugness.

I was passed off from that project to just doing a rework of some DOS based software. I told my suck up manager that a lot of people were downloading and installing software on their own. My manager clicked that it was work we could be tasked with doing to create billable hours and that he could score suckup points with. This in turn created various email distributions and policy updates. I also point out that we need something about appropriate usage - great! The policy also now highlights that any private use on government equipment is subject to the same rules as fraud - perfect. This helps later because there is NO wiggle room for offenders. In turn my manager was more than pleased with me and treated me golden - hell he even bought me lunch.

I quickly forgot all about D*ck and found myself expanding the list of software that needed to be rewritten by me. This kept me busy and extended my contract. My boss was happy, my agency was happy, and my clients were very happy.

Fast forward few months later. I get back to the office and the bosses are there looking for a coworker. They asked me if I knew anything about d*cks new system and I told them HELL no. They walk off and told me if I saw the coworker to send him over.

When my coworker (who was an employee and not a contractor) returned I told him about the managers, my encounter with Major D*ck and tipped him off about the newsreader. My coworkers eyes lit up and he stood straight like a huge weight had been lifted. It turns out that D*ck once again had senior staff watch the 'stupid idiot’ fix the computer that the “tech broke being incompetent’. Surprise - It turns out it was out of disk space and would not re-start. The tech had to boot from a disk and delete temp files just to boot. In front of everyone the tech points out that one directory was filling the drive with images. Once he had everyone’s attention he then popped open some images. Porn immediately filled the screen including some very sketchy stuff from what I hear.

The tech was ushered out and D*ck lost his job. Instead of putting D*ck into jail they covered asses and terminated him. No job, no power, and pension for you D*CK.

How to tame your hedgehog

African pygmy hedgehogs are becoming more popular as pets and with this rises the question on how to handle them. A quick glance at hedgehog fora and Facebook groups shows threads and posts titled “my hedgehog doesn’t like me” or “my hedgehog hates me”, “anti-social hedgehog”, “very angry hedgehog” and so on.

In order to understand the behaviour of our pets we have to look at the animal itself. What kind of animal is the hedgehog?

First off, hedgehogs do not “hate” people, nor are they “angry”. They are physically incapable of feeling such a human emotion. When handling hedgehogs we need to be careful not to project our own emotions and feelings onto the animal; this does not help us understand the needs of our pets. Instead, we need to go back to the root of it all: the natural instincts and behaviour of the hedgehog.

African pygmy hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris) became more widely available to the exotic pet trade around the late 80′s/early 90′s in the US (and a decade or more later to other parts of the world). This isn’t that long ago. We need to realize our pet hedgehogs are not fully domesticated yet - in fact, they’re basically still the same (behaviour-wise, at least) as their wild cousins. I have seen wild caught animals which were more “social” than captive bred ones, and the other way around. This is also why I chose the word tame for the title of this post. While they might be captive born, our pets are still quite wild.
We cannot compare hedgehogs to animals we share an extensive, sometimes thousands of years old relationship with. But besides that, hedgehogs will most likely never become like a dog or a guinea pig simply because certain behavioural treats are not in their nature.
Learning how to handle your hedgehog starts with having the right expectations of its behaviour.

Hedgehog behaviour

Hedgehogs are relatively small prey animals. They are nocturnal, spend the nights foraging for food and sleep in their burrows during the day.
They are solitary animals and only come together to mate.
They are not aggressive by nature but have a marvellous defence instead: thousands of sharp quills. When threatened, they roll into a tight ball and wait until the predator has left (or in rare cases, fight, but only if they’re forced to).

So what does this mean for someone who has a pet hedgehog? 

1. Do not expect a similar bond as with e.g. a dog. Dogs are social animals that were bred from an animal that lives in packs. Hedgehogs are solitary. They are not social by nature. They do not need you and while they might get used to you being around, you’re mainly the Food Bringer and the Warm Thing To Sleep On but little more. There will not be much interaction. Your hedgehog will not come up to you when you call its name nor will it “love” you as its owner, simply because it can’t.

2. Being defensive prey animals, you can seem threatening to them. Balling up is an automatic response to a possible threat. This is totally normal hedgehog behaviour.

3. Since they’re nocturnal all they want to do during the day is sleep, not interact with you. And they do not interact or play the way some other mammals do. Most of the time you’re spending together will consist of the hedgehog either running around and doing stuff on its own, or sleeping on your lap.

These things are all very important in helping you understand the behaviour of your hedgehog. There are reasons your hedgehog is displaying these behaviours and if you know those reasons, you can use them to make your hedgehog feel more comfortable around you.
Arguably, other than looking cute hedgehogs don’t really have much going for them when it comes to being what most people think of as a “good pet”. They are definitely not suitable for everyone, but if they’re your type of pet they can be very interesting and wonderful animals to have!

Tips on handling/taming your hedgehog

Before I start I’d like to point out that every hedgehog is different and there’s not just one right way when it comes to handling. This is how I do it, coming from my experience with captive bred and wild caught (as well as actual wild hedgehogs) and from well socialized to not socialized at all. Besides the socialization of hoglets by the breeder, character plays a major part in hedgehog behaviour. Some hedgehogs seem to be naturally social and more open towards interaction (or at least let you interact with them) while others will remain more defensive for their entire lives.
The key with hedgehogs is patience. Do not expect a hedgehog to stop huffing and balling up within a week. If you just got a hedgehog it will need to get used to its new environment and owner, which takes time. How much time varies. Some will get used to you within a few weeks, others take months.
“Used to you” is also relative, as this doesn’t necessarily mean your hedgehog will stop balling up or quit huffing at you entirely - that’s very unlikely, since this is normal hedgehog behaviour.

Hedgehogs have bad eyesight and rely mainly on their excellent noses. You can make use of this by giving your hedgehog an old, worn t-shirt which has your scent on it. Alternatively, if you don’t have an old shirt, you can sleep with a piece of fleece in your bed for a day or two and give that to your hedgehog.
By putting this in the enclosure for the hedgehog to sleep in it will get more used to your scent.

The more you handle your hedgehog, the faster it’ll get used to handling. Don’t be afraid to handle your hedgehog; use your bare hands or a piece of fleece but no (leather) gloves, because then your hedgehog won’t be able to smell you properly. Do not reward unwanted behaviour (such as biting or extensive huffing/clicking) by putting the hedgehog back into its enclosure. Instead, enforce positive behaviour, e.g. by offering treats like live insects (I always use tongs so they do not mistake my hands for food).

Some people prefer a more “manhandling” way when handling hedgehogs, I personally don’t really like this for most hedgehogs but it’s a thin line: after all, you’re always forcing your pet to be with you when you get it out. If a hedgehog clearly shows it doesn’t like to be petted on the quills, I don’t go on petting it that way. But I don’t put it back either. Instead, I try to search for a way of handling with which this particular hedgehog is more comfortable right now. And yes, sometimes you have to do something they don’t particularly like, but be sure to reward positive behaviours - you don’t always need to reward with food, but it could also be simply “releasing pressure” (like giving them some space for themselves for a bit instead of continuously petting them, for example).
Handling should be seen in a very broad sense. Some hedgehogs prefer to sleep when out while others are active explorers. Try to adjust your ways of handling accordingly.
Because hedgehogs are nocturnal, some do much better when you take them out in the evening and/or when there’s dim lightning in the room.

When I have a new hedgehog which isn’t well socialized or simply has to get used to me and its new surroundings first I like to start by having it explore the (hedgehog safe) room or play area. I sit down on the ground and let the hedgehog do its own thing. If it likes to explore it can explore, if it likes to sleep it can sleep on my lap (most hedgehogs don’t like to sleep out in the open so a fleece bonding bag works great for this).
In the following days I will start to move around more. First still in a sitting position, then walking around, so the hedgehog gets used to my movements and me simply being there without me really interacting with it directly. You can do this both when the hedgehog is exploring or in its cuddle bag on you lap. For many hedgehogs it’s a combination of the two, some explore time and then back to sleep (especially during the day).
Depending on how much time I feel the hedgehog needs I keep repeating this for the following days or even weeks. With some, the slightest movement causes them to raise their quills. Others don’t react at all and could do fine with skipping these steps.

After that I start doing more “hands on” interaction, touching them more, trying to see if they mind petting on the quills or not, or the face, belly etc. Again rewarding wanted behaviour. It’s a constant search for what they really don’t like, what they tolerate, and what I think is necessary for the process. This is something you can’t just know without experience, it’s something you will have to learn and that’s completely fine! And simply being around them, having them sleep on your lap is bonding too. You might not be really doing much but the hedgehog will get used to your presence.
Even if you bought a hedgehog with the intention of not handling it much (which should be fine, as long as it gets enough enrichment from its habitat) handling should be a part of hedgehog ownership. You need to be able to check for injuries, clip the nails, etc. These “medical checks” are part of my handling routine: I hold the feet, check the hedgehog all over including their teeth (if possible). Your vet will thank you for this as well! Even when I have no intention of clipping their nails I still hold their feet, not only to check them over but also to make them comfortable with me holding them, which makes for easier nail clipping.

So it all boils down to this: have lots of patience, take small steps, and don’t have expectations a hedgehog simply cannot live up to. Accept that some hedgehogs, even with extensive handling, will never be “cuddly” simply because that’s how they are. All those hedgehogs you see on the internet, the ones that are getting belly rubs and petted while looking extremely chill: these are not the majority. This is rare. And even if you see a hedgehog that tame, remember there’s a lot you’re not seeing: possibly many weeks, months or even years working towards that moment, and it still is just a few minutes out of the hedgehog’s life. They don’t show you the times the hedgehog is huffing and clicking and balling up. Don’t feel bad if yours is, be open and willing to learn about hedgehog behaviour and never stop asking questions. And most importantly, listen to your hedgehog by watching its body language, because that’s going to tell you more about your hedgehog than my posts about general hedgehog behaviour ever could!

Star Wars is particularly good at tailoring its villains to what people of the time fear most: in the late 70’s/early 80’s, it was faceless, militaristic dictators, in the late 90’s/early 00’s it was shady politicians who seize power questionably and then immediately start wars with murky ulterior motives, and in the 10’s, it’s twentysomething white men with no self-control.

10

Atlantis: The Lost Empire- Kida

Part of a series of adventurous but critically claimed “near misses” from Disney’s late 90′s and early 2000′s run, Atlantis is still a beloved movie that claims and exceptional cast and some of the best CGI and hand animation fusions that would later fuel the stylings of modern cartoons and Disney’s Tangled and Frozen.  The story follows a series of adventurers into the lost city of Atlantis, deep beneath the ocean. They find that the city is still alive, if not thriving, and work to bring it above the waves once again and returned to its former glory. Kida is the princess of Atlantis, although she eventually becomes its queen. The film is also notable for having much of its production art done by comic artist Mike Mignola.