Of Game of Thrones and Google Translate

Aside

I see that someone has used Google Translate to make one of my I Enjoy This Too Much posts readable in Finnish, and someone else has used it to translate my “Ramsay Makes Fat Jokes” post to Hindi. This is how Game of Thrones brings people from lots of different cultures and linguistic backgrounds together. I can see it in my WordPress stats. 

So my question is: does it work?

I once tried using Google to translate a Swedish legal document to English, and it was awful. The result was complete word salad. I don’t exactly write my Game of Thrones posts with translation in mind. My prose style is more about showing what a raging smartass I am, and my smartassery doesn’t necessarily do so well outside of English. I can’t read the first thing in Finnish or Hindi, so I can’t tell how well my posts come out through Google Translate. (If someone tried to put them in Spanish or Albanian, I might be able to see if the results made sense.) 

Does Google Translate give a comprehensible result with my writing style, I wonder?

A Gentle Reminder of Who is Getting Hurt

And the moment we see large groups of black people running outside to break shit, at even a small fraction of the rate of attacks on black churches and their preachers and congregants, then suddenly the media is going to be very interested in wringing its hands over the damage done to property.

Dean Esmay, MRA and big old white dude, tells feminist women of color they’re “Aunt Jemimahs”

alysonmiers:

Oh, yes, of course. Black folks will TOTALLY let Dean Esmay tell them how to black. Especially feminist black women.

Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:

Dean Esmay: Considers himself qualified to judge your blackness Dean Esmay: Considers himself qualified to judge your blackness

Dean Esmay — Men’s Rights Activist, AIDS “skeptic,” big old white dude — has added another skill to his resume: Arbiter of Blackness.

If you haven’t been following the activities of Mr. Esmay of late, the A Voice for Men “chief operations officer” has been having a rather extended Twitter meltdown, posting endless puzzling yet impassioned Tweets to his own #SpankAFeminist hashtag, addressing an assortment of imaginary feminist enemies.

Some of the more puzzling have involved race, like his repeated charge that feminists are a bunch of white racists because, well, let’s let Esmay explain:

View original 506 more words

Kalahari Bushmen, Han Chinese, Carthaginians and Aztecs

It’s basically impossible for anyone to make an argument continuing to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage without embarrassing themself anymore. Today I show you this vicious BURN from Ishaan Tharoor on Chief Justice John G. Roberts, who complains:

…the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?

As Tharoor goes on to show us, the randomly chosen four cultures (I will be charitable and assume he just listed whatever cultures came to mind without any research) are hardly exemplars of the procreative, monogamous, heterosexist culture Justice Roberts thinks we should be trying to maintain. At least he didn’t mention Ancient Greece.

That out of the way, I will answer each of Roberts’s questions in turn, with all the consideration and nuance his concerns deserve. In order of appearance:

…the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States

More than half the states had discriminatory, unfair laws on marriage. They can fucking deal with it.

and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia

Society is not going to fall apart because we civil marriage to another small percentage of the population. No, it really won’t. We’ll be okay. Several countries have had marriage equality for a number of years, and their people aren’t facing a degradation in their quality of life. Several states in the US instituted marriage equality years ago (some of us even by popular vote!) and we’re still doing just fine. Humanity might destroy itself by fucking up the planet with carbon emissions and ocean acidification, but same-sex marriage is not the bringer of Doomsday.

Just who do we think we are?

We are the newest member of Team Fabulous! Rainbow is the new black, muthafucka!

No, you are not the Bonhoeffer in this moment.

It’s so cute when the Enforcers of Tradition act like they’re the victims of the evil status quo while they take the side of the oppressors. (And by cute I mean pukeworthy.) Huckabee is up to his usual tricks

I don’t think a lot of pastors and Christian schools are going to have a choice. They’re either going to follow God, what they truly believe, or they will follow civil law. They’ll go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his brilliant essay, the Letters from a Birmingham Jail (sic), reminded us — based on what St. Augustine said — that an unjust law is no law at all.

Abusing the words of Dr. King is basically a reflex for the American Right Wing at this point. It’s like someone pushes a button, and they start talking about MLK like they would’ve been on his side. Nice try, but I fucking see you.

Huckabee isn’t the only one calling for grassroots opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling. For months, several far-right conservative pastors — including Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd — have been referring to America’s slow embrace of marriage equality as a “Bonhoeffer moment” for opponents of LGBT rights, invoking the name of famous German Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was killed for participating in an assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler.

Oh, dear. How do I say this?

Fifty years from now, opponents of gay rights—emphatically including civil marriage—will be the ones that we struggle to explain to our disbelieving, horrified grandchildren. From what I recall, sexual minorities were among the groups targeted for extermination by the Hitler regime. If Ronnie Floyd had lived in Germany at that time, he wouldn’t have sympathized with Bonhoeffer. 

But by all means, Enforcers of Tradition, keep on acting like we’re making you the oppressed underdog by letting more people get married to the people they love. Keep on embarrassing yourselves.

I’ll be the weird old lady hobbling around the neighborhood, surrounded by a gaggle of curious little kids examining my wrinkled tattoos, while I explain to them that when I was their age, same-sex couples could take care of each other for decades and never be allowed to marry. I’ll be the one who explains to them how society could be so warped and hateful.