sensationalist media

Richard Ramirez was 24-years-old when he began murdering people, which, in the world of serial murder, is an exceptionally young age. His spate of brutal killings took place over just a few years during which he took the lives of 14 people and committed senseless acts of rape and assault. Below are a compilation of what I think are some of the most interesting facts about the infamous Night Stalker.

The Night Stalker wasn’t his original title: The sensationalist media brainstormed a whole array of nicknames for the killer who was terrorizing LA. For a while, he was called “The Walk-in Killer” the “Screen Door Intruder” and “The Valley Intruder”.

A juror was mysteriously murdered during the trial: Phyllis Singletary was found shot to death in her home. This terrified other jurors, and many tried to leave, fearing they would be next. It’s unknown whether or not Ramirez had anything to do with the murder.

His wife, Doreen, vowed to kill herself if he was given the death sentence: In 1997, she told CNN that she would commit suicide if her darling husband was killed.

Ramirez refused to wear gold: Being a Satanist, the killer didn’t believe in a lavish lifestyle so he refused to wear anything containing gold. At his prison wedding, Ramirez and Doreen wore silver wedding rings. Furthermore, upon visiting his niece one day, he made her take her gold necklace off because he was so disgusted by it.

As a child, he slept in the cemetery: Ramirez became obsessed with the macabre as he grew older. From about 12 years old, he would sneak out of the house in the dead of night and go to the local graveyard. He would take his pillows and blankets, and would lie next to graves and sleep there.

ugh god like holy shit people are out here swallowing wholesale unverified claims just like they did with Iraq. buying hearsay propaganda claims as fact, defending the legacy of ISIS and AQ aligned fighters, and otherwise putting out this hypocritical “humanitarian” propaganda to drum up support for more bloodshed.

like i hate both assad and the nato backed rebels but seriously this type of sensationalist media is only going to lead to more imperialist terror on syria

Sharks: Not Vicious, Just Mouthy and Inquisitive

In lieu of all of the sensationalist shark media occurring out there this summer, let’s talk about shark behavior and, in specific, shark attacks and white shark.

Some basic white shark facts (and yes, Carcharodon carcharias is often also officially called the great white, but that just exacerbates all the media attention, so white shark it is). Whites are huge pelagic (open water) sharks that get on average 4-5 meters long, and their only known predator as an adult are orcas. They’re one of the longest lived cartilaginous fish known with a lifespan that appears to extend into their 70′s. They have hella tons of teeth and lots of rows of them, so that when one pops out the next just pops into place as if on a conveyor belt. A white shark’s bite force is something like 4000 pounds per square inch from a six-foot-long animal. (Thanks to wiki for all the basic facts). 

Have a white shark anatomical drawing from wiki, because while it’s nightmare-inducing, it’s the only thing about sharks that should be. 

People love to talk about sharks as these horrible monsters of the deep, eating everything they come across with gruesome abandon. This is just ‘perfect’ for summer, when sharks start showing up on beaches in the US and scaring the bejeezus out of basically everyone. 

Luckily, those people are making things up. You’re more likely to die because you shook a vending machine and it fell on top of you than you are to get bitten (note: not attacked) by a white shark. There’s a couple things you’re got to know about how sharks function to understand why worrying about getting nommed on by one at the beach is pretty silly. 

To start, they’re not man-eaters. Sharks don’t even know what a human is. We’re not aquatic organisms and they’ve probably only rarely encountered humans before, so there’s no reason to assume they’re going to be like ‘omg tasty hooman’ and charge over for a snack We don’t fit into what sharks consider prey, so they’re not going to prey on us intentionally. 

However, they do prey on seals. Tasty, blubbery, freaking-stupidly-clever-and-fast seals. And a human on a surfboard (which is when almost all shark encounters happen that result in injury) happens to look mightily like a seal if all you can see is a silhouette. More importantly, it’s a slow, stationary seal, which implies an easy meal. Most of the time, sharks ‘attack’ surfers thinking they’re seals. And guess what? Humans do not have all that tasty, energy-loaded blubber that seals do. We’re pretty bony and we’re on these weird plastic things that have got to taste nasty as hell. Most shark ‘attacks’ last for one bite, because the shark pretty quickly realizes that we’re not the pinniped it thought we were, and those bones aren’t worth the effort, and it leaves. Not great for the surfer who is now missing lots of bits, but hey, the shark isn’t purposefully being an asshole. It was a case of mistaken identity!

But there are lots of encounters where people don’t get hurt, right? They just get the shit scared out of them when a shark starts face-punching their arm, and panic, and call the media, and suddenly it’s an attack again. This is actually because most of a shark’s sensory organs are on it’s face. 

All those red dots are organs called the ampullae of lorenzini, and they sense electrical stimulus. They’re the organs that all cartilaginous fish use to locate food - when you see a ray sweeping it’s rostrum across the sand, it’s using it’s ampullae to search for buried critters. So if a shark is curious about something, say, a human, the first response is to nose it to get more information. That’s not aggression, it’s curiosity. Then, unfortunately, if it still wants more information, it’ll go and take a nibble - because, if you look above, there are more dots right around the mouth than anywhere else. Sharks are basically the really sharp aquatic equivalent of that annoying baby who has to put everything in it’s mouth. 

Because humanity is collectively terrified of anything that has more naturally provided pointy bits than we do, everything has to demonize sharks, and that ends really badly. Everything gets interpreted as aggression. This, for instance, is a video in which a shark attempts to figure out what a pontoon boat is and gets stuck in the float. The people watching it of course put JAWS music on and captioned it as an attack, but that’s just a stressed shark going ‘wtf is this weird thing and why won’t it give me my teeth back’. 

It’s shark season, but that doesn’t mean they’re out to eat us. We’re a bony, problematic food that likes to play mean tricks by pretending to be seals. If you don’t want to get attacked by a shark? Be careful about being in the water, and don’t surf at sunset or sunrise. If you see a shark being inquisitive, just bop it. They’re not used to any sort of physical contact from something that isn’t either food, a predator, or a mate, so they’ll generally just leave immediately.

Tl;dr, sharks are mouthy babies who aren’t good at differentiating humans from seals, and we certainly don’t help them any.

The Bestiary: Swellshark

The scariest thing about the sea is how little we know of it. As the saying goes, we know less about the oceans than the surface of the moon. And that’s the scientists. The laymen know even less, and even most of that is skewed and laden with misinformation, no little thanks to the media’s sensationalistic fuckery that proposes that the entire ocean is out to fillet your ass. (As a reminder, my continous insistence that the sea is a writhing Lovecraftian hellscape full of man-eating terror is a conscious exaggeration for the sake of comedy. Please do not take my writing style seriously.)

The worst case of this is obviously sharks. The poor things have been so much vilified for no reason. Ever since Jaws and its massive cultural impact, sharks became the go-to bad guy of the animal world, with real-life effects too. (Can I say widespread shark hunting after the movie came out? I’m sure I can.) It also caused various memetic bullshit spreading about sharks that means we ended up with films like this.

Pictured: what the fresh hell

A trend I noticed in this killer shark shittery is that the “killer shark” is always a Great White. Always, always a Great White, which is also the first thing that pops into people’s minds when someone says “shark”. It’s like other sharks don’t exist, which is sad because sharks are a group as diverse as, say, carnivore mammals. Can you imagine if people wrote off carnivores as just wolves and nothing else? Because this is exactly like that.

Sharks are crazy diverse, but we never manage to peel our eyes away from the Great White for a long enough time to notice how insane they are. We have stuff like sawfish,

dogfish,

frilled sharks,

zebra sharks,

angel sharks,

and the utterly ridiculous thing called the wobbegong. (Yes, that is a shark.)

What I’m basically saying is that sharks have as many forms as any other order of animals do, and people are so preoccupied with tacking as many CGI teeth on the Great White as it is humanly possible that we don’t notice how interesting, and weird, and fucking stupid sharks can be.

Seriously, I dare you to go to a shark horror movie and take the shark danger seriously after acquainting yourself with today’s specimen, the swellshark. Because this guy is just so ridiculous, I swear to Cthulhu.

This right here is today’s specimen, Cephaloscyllium ventriosum. It’s a pretty run-of-the-mill shark, small, brown and pointy-nosed, but its entire life goal is to methodically fuck up the fearsome reputation its Great White cousin has worked so hard for, and be absolutely laughable.

It spends all day being a lazy ass and sleeping in rocky crevices, hunting at night by being even more of a lazy ass and lying in wait until the prey is mere centimeters away, or even more of a lazy ass by laying on the rock bottom with its mouth open and literally waiting for the prey to swim into it. However, sometimes it can be a surpisingly daft little shit and raid human lobster traps without getting caught.

The stupid part is its self defense strategy.

So we’ve established that this little fuck lives in rock crevices. Naturally, this means that anything sufficiently determined and hungry can easily pull it out, right?

Wrong. Because if threatened, the swellshark lives up to its name by pulling the most ludicrous defense stunt this side of self destruction.

It sucks up water, and does this.

IT INFLATES. IT FUCKING INFLATES. THIS IS AN INFLATABLE SHARK. I QUIT.

Furthermore, it bites into its own tail and thus turns into a swollen little donut that’s completely impossible to dislodge from the crevice it’s in. I mean it works, but it’s so dumb.

To take away even more from the fearsome reputation of sharks, it is bioluminescent, and it has a tendency of sleeping in heaps of fellow little sharks.

So the next time someone puts out an Ultra Mutant Killer Shark movie, remember that there is a shark that glows in the dark, sleeps in cuddle piles and inflates to defend itself, and have a merry day laughing at the film’s stupidity.

That video was heartbreaking.  Seriously, fuck the sensationalistic people in the media who put their own agendas ahead of the telling the truth when someone’s reputation is at stake.  It’s funny, I thought that “call-out culture” was something unique to social justice warriors, but apparently even mainstream sources aren’t above tearing popular figures they don’t like down any way they can.  I’ll admit, I don’t agree with every decision Felix has ever made on his channel, and I understand why some people are offended by some of his content.  But I can still recognize that he’s a good person, and he doesn’t deserve this slander or this grief.

Felix, you’re a funny, kind-hearted person who has brought laughter and happiness to us.  So many people love you and are grateful for what you do.  And if there’s anything I or any other bros can do to help you, whether that’s finding a way to let your show live on or supporting you in any other way, please let us know.

partlyfrozenpartlyflowing  asked:

people around them (both acquaintances and the sensationalist media) always make a big deal over the fact that yuuri ended up with his childhood idol, but no, it's viktor who so often lies awake at night thinking how lucky he is to have found yuuri.

oh, i’m sorry, did you need a place to stay for a night later this month? too bad you’re BANNED for this TOO SOFT HEADCANON

Silencing of Trans Men

A friend and I were having a long conversation today about how trans guys are pretty much not allowed to talk about our experiences in any forum, and how that’s especially hard because we already suffer from a problem of having minimal visibility. 

Trans men who can pass tend to fly under the radar as much as possible, because it makes life a lot easier. Trans men are also less appealing to the gross fetishistic sensationalist media than trans women, so we get less (good AND bad) representation.

But another element of it is definitely that trans men, by and large, are socialized as women. Society treats us the way they treat cis women at least until (and sometimes long after) we come out (IF we come out). We’re taught literally from birth, just like cis girls, that the appropriate reaction to conflict is to retreat, to hide, to avoid. Just like it does for cis women, society tells us to keep our mouths shut. 

 And as a result… that’s what a lot of us do. 

So when trans men remain invisible on purpose, that’s often a direct reaction to being taught that being invisible is safer, that hiding is safer, that retreating is safer. 

Because on most levels it is. 

We’re told to keep our mouths shut, and since we’re told that for our entire childhoods, we internalize it. So we keep our mouths shut. We learn to perceive our voices as less important, and less valid. So whenever we speak up, it’s perceived as speaking OVER all the cis men around us, because we’re perceived as girls, and that’s how society perceives girls. 

Now enter the culture of online intersectional social justice forums and discourse. We want to contribute, to talk about our experiences, and to commiserate with other people who’ve experienced similar oppression. It’s hard to talk about this stuff sometimes, especially after being conditioned to think that any talking is too much talking. 

So we’re here, we’re queer, we’re ready to contribute, and… we’re told to keep our mouths shut.

I’ve seen a lot of discourse about how safe spaces for women should include ONLY women, which is mostly valid. Without even touching on the openings this leaves for TERF ideology, it still gets complicated when you start recognizing that not all trans men ever come out or are visible or present as masculine, and that nonbinary people exist, and that anyone who is dfab and femme is targeted similarly regardless of their actual gender, but still. Woman only spaces have a place and a purpose. The need for them has been stated by the people who need them and I understand and respect that, as should everyone else. 

But I’ve seen a lot of it extend to either stating or implying that trans men have no place in conversations about the ramifications of sexism, on the basis that contributing to the conversation equates to speaking over people. Specifically with the implication that we’re speaking over people who have had more VALID experiences of misogyny solely because they are women, regardless of whether the people perpetrating misogyny on trans men knew, believed, or cared that we were men. 

And that doesn’t make sense. 

Yes, we’re not women, but we sure as shit suffered at the hands of men who thought we were, and society who raised us as though we were. That wasn’t accidental, and it doesn’t go away as soon as we transition (IF we transition). It’s not like cis gay drag queens being subjected to transphobia. We didn’t choose to be assigned female at birth, we couldn’t opt out of it, and it wasn’t accidental. We suffer in many/most/in some cases ALL of the ways that cis women do as kids and teens, and that is completely intentional because society doesn’t care that we’re men. Society only cares about the anatomy we were born with. 

The message we get is that conversations about misogyny are irrelevant to us, when the reality is that they are deeply relevant to us because they affect us deeply. 

I’ve seen so many times the statement or implication that trans men need to keep our mouths shut about women’s experiences. 

And I get it, conceptually, but when I’ve seen it it’s usually attached to the sentiment that our experiences are irrelevant to the overarching subject of feminism, and also lacks any alternative platform for us to talk on. Because we’re also told to keep our mouths shut, of course, about male experiences by cis men (of course). So we can’t talk about what it’s like to be guys, and we can’t talk about what it’s like to be treated like girls. 

So…. we can’t talk.

And all the trans men I know respond to this overarching silencing message by thinking “Oh, well, okay I guess. I mean, I don’t want to speak over anyone.” 

Here’s a take on what happened yesterday:
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count "holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.“

—  Morgan Freeman
Trump's supporters have always been here, and have always been vocal

The stunning inability of beltway media to understand Trump supporters may be the most frightening part of his candidacy.

Reporters and editors, look at your Facebook high school friends and your relatives’ email forwards. This reactionary paranoia is NOT NEW. It has been thriving for decades. Wishful thinking and willful ignorance will not make it go away.

This is the Republican base, and it has been for years. It’s long past time for both our staid and our sensationalist media outlets to notice there are not two moderate “sides” in US politics.

The GOP IS its voters. It is not Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush; it is terrified Fox viewers who justify racist violence and want the US to lash out at the world. They crave a strongman who will attack opponents without forethought.

By not recognizing the far right as widespread, media outlets have lost all credibility with them AND with informed moderates. As such, denunciation of the mainstream press coming from all over the political spectrum is not due to its balance, as columnists like to claim. It is due to its consistent blindness.

There appears to be a press mentality that publicly sharing the base racism and violence that animates today’s conservatism would be unfair. As if, since it is so offensive to reporters themselves, it would undermine one “side” of political debate and thus skew the public process. So, it instead goes unmentioned, which strengthens the hand of racist politicians. This result reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the American voting public, and of what “balanced” actually means.

If Trump accomplishes anything positive in his White House bid, public acknowledgment of the GOP’s reactionary and racist base will be–well, it will be HUGE. It may allow us to finally progress. Pretending we are a “post-racial” society, or some other such nonsense only keeps bigots in power.