Dispatch from the trenches #6

If you’ve never needed the welfare system, consider yourself lucky. If you’ve never needed to have strangers pour over your bank balances, had to pester your landlord for a letter about your bills, your friends and family to document their financial support, or had to face the stigma of trying to buy groceries with a food stamp card, you are lucky. Next week, if things turn for the worst, you could be waiting in line to have the same process happen to you. That’s the biggest problem of all: so many people are willing to support the welfare system when they need it, but when someone else does, they don’t—especially if that somebody is black, a single mom, or both. You can’t have it both ways.

A View From Inside the Welfare System

Soul-crushing read. I’ve worked in government for years at various levels and while government is viewed as good or bad, it’s all people. It’s made up of smart, hard-working people.

As Richard says, they’re overworked and underpaid and there’s no hope of that changing soon. I’ve seen the same thing. Budgets are cut. Money is sent elsewhere. The job of 5 people is now the job of two. Or one.

It’s not just like this in the welfare system. It’s like this everywhere.


Even if you did go see it, you may have still missed it. The moment is fairly small but it’s completely deliberate. In the denouement of the movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Trench” and Jet Li’s “Yin Yang” are canoodling at the team’s favorite bar when Sylvestor Stallone’s character tells them to “get a room.”

There are myriad reasons why this moment is noteworthy and they’re all worth mentioning: one of Hollywood’s biggest action stars being depicted as gay, a gay couple being a part of a crimefighting team, and also the subtle way the inclusion is slipped in — not a plot point, just a fact of life.

Yes, There Was a Gay Couple in ‘The Expendables 3’

I thought was interesting. It’s not a theme of the movie, but it’s there and under the radar. It’s a part of life. I like that it was treated as such.


Don’t simply focus on what you’re shooting — focus on why you’re shooting.

“SHOOT BECAUSE YOU LOVE WHAT YOU’RE SHOOTING”

I’ve thought a lot of photography lately. I’ve resisted the call of new, better cameras. I shoot with an iPhone 5. I like shooting with it because I can capture what I want, without screaming **Look at me! I am a photographers!* I’m working on a daily photo project and another smaller set of photos.

I’m terrible about posting and sharing what I shoot, even when that’s my intention. But I’ll get it together because I really like what I’m doing because it’s fun.

I’m not great. I don’t pretend to be. But I’m having a lot of fun. My short-lived Bethesdoors project was born from the same idea.

Shooting something different and having fun with it.


If everyone starts calling themselves a gamer, the stereotypes will die out, the societal stigmas will fade and the dearly needed changes to games themselves and gaming culture will start to happen more rapidly. Let’s do this.

Let’s ALL be gamers, OK?

Games are fun. Play games to have fun. It shouldn’t be a hostile place.