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Dante Johnson
Occasionally depressed. Rarely irrational.
Occasionally depressed. Rarely irrational.

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At the end of May, MegaCon happened. I took a ridiculous amount of photos. I spent very little time in panels or events or even the dealer room. This is all about the people and cosplay that you'll see. If you know somebody that's never been, you can show them this album so they can see part of the experience.

I've noticed that when I search for MegaCon photos online, there's so much you don't see. Maybe a site has few dozen photos, usually of the most impressive cosplay or of a huge crowd, but it's just the tiniest of what's there.

I've also noticed that viewing these kinds of photos tends to be a lot better as a group experience. View it on a big screen TV with appropiately nerdy friends, and you'll find yourself commenting on the surprises or the quality, or the hot guys/girls, etc. Or somebody will ask where a cosplay came from, and another friend will have the answer. It's actually pretty fun. Alone, people just tend to wonder when it ends before getting bored and closing it after getting the idea.

Thursday, the photos tend to be more candid, but the traditional poses dominate the every other day.
MegaCon 2016 Part 1
757 Photos - View album

"If only the counterprotesters brought more guns, the whole event would have been safer." Why is nobody saying that? That's what the conservatives believe, right? Why aren't they vehemently suggesting that the counterprotesters weren't armed enough?

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"I think I’ll just sit back and take a long look at how institutionalized attacks against disenfranchised minority populations fall into place over the next couple generations before I really get involved."

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The saddest thing you'll read today…
Hey everyone I'm a clown and I just got back from facepainting at a picnic and here's my take on male violence in America:

Read on.

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Racism is not merely personal animosity. Though racism can be expressed through personal animosity.

Racism is a system - a society level effect. Without that system prejudice and bigotry are mere personal animosity.

But with the power of a society racism is built into everything and experience all the time by everyone. It is in the laws (which is where the power effects are most obvious), but it also in the mores and morals which say people who are dark are evil, less intelligent, less than human, cursed by "God", etc.

The system creates and maintains the stereotypes that are used to determine how a prejudice will play out:
- the presumption that black men are more violent and should experience more police force
- the presumption that black men are more prone to crime and need harsher sentences to discourage them
- the presumption that black people are going to shoplift and are thus followed more often in a store
- the presumption that black people are less intelligent and thus are given fewer opportunities in hiring
and so on.

The presumptions would have little power if they weren't backed by a deep power to create ubiquitously unpleasant consequences - and the unpleasantness doesn't even have to fatal, but continuous and every so slightly demoralizing - just like water wears down a rock. That continuity, that ubiquity, comes from the systemic nature of racism. And that pervasive continuity is also an expression of social potency.

Racism is indeed expressed at an individual level. But the power behind it is not at the individual level - it has the weight of a society behind it. If racism is just personal animosity, then it would be limited to personal effects.

It's a society against each black person.

It's not one bigot, but a town full of bigots that create sundown towns. It's not one person just redlining a black couple illegally, it's huge numbers of realtors redlining a huge number of black people which also creates segregation. It's a huge number of hiring managers turning away qualified black applicants which creates a lack of diversity in the work place. It's all those store owners following black customers. It's a language that uses slurs like "n*gg*r", "boy", "mandingo", etc. It's the government razing a black community to the ground ( )- that threat, that memory, that promise - that hangs over black community. It is the fact that black lives don't seem to matter; that black parents give their kids training that white parents can barely imagine.

It is that collective power that comes into play, that is why racism isn't merely bigotry or prejudice, but racism = prejudice + power.

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You will lose every contest you don't show up for.

When you don't show up there's no one to counter the image of you put forward by your opponents.

When you don't show up, year after year after year, no one notices how corruption has stacked the deck against you. All they notice is that you couldn't be bothered to show up.

When you don't show up at every level of political governance your points of view are erased from larger and larger swaths of the electorate.

Until a tipping point of corrupt, unanimous, authoritarian, inevitability crushes almost every election in the nation.

A year ago out of touch politicos were talking about the possible end of the Republican party. <insert scoff> Unless liberals embrace the only viable party they have left and choose to run for office, they will be politically erased. Null and void.

Political candidates do not magically appear. They are not grown on special DC trees. They are people like you.


In the meantime, if you are in a district that is gerrymandered to assure your opposition party's success, consider joining the other party (unless your state has open primaries) so that you can vote in that party's primaries.

Because in these districts the actual election is the primary.
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