Posts Tagged ‘Reddit’

Jorts the Cat (and Jean)

March 28, 2022

AITA for “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes” about Jorts?

UPDATE: aita for perpetuating stereotypes about Jorts?

The above-linked posts are to the original Reddit posts that started an Internet phenomenon. The usual fare on Am I The Asshole is full of people treating people awfully. This post was a breath of fresh air. It was silly but also featured a workplace disagreement that illustrated why dignity and solidarity are important. Further, Pam’s issues show how we can internalize others’ issues and simple disputes can become emotionally complicated. Here, Pam may have seen “herself” in klutzy Jorts and did not want to see him made fun of. The poster realized they were being insensitive and things were righted before they went too far. Well, Jorts still got buttered but everybody made it through alright.

At the end of the update, the poster mentions a “joke” Twitter account. I follow that account and have since shortly after its creation. Of course, the thing that got me to follow was not the many pictures of Jorts and Jeans. What drew my attention more was that the account became a union solidarity account. I have been pro-union since I first learned what unions were. I have become an even bigger proponent of worker solidarity as the years have gone by. It is true as Karl Marx said that the workers control the means of production. If we stand up to corrupt owners and bosses together then we hold true power to even the playing field at least a bit.

The Twitter account has become a hub for union news and solidarity movements. Jorts reposts a lot of stuff from various unions. He also points to various articles in the news and Twitter posts highlighting strikes and unionizing efforts. Jorts and Jean signs have started to go up at strikes and pro-union rallies. Unions have gotten a really bad reputation because corporations have tons of money to malign them. The truth is that even the worst union is there to protect its workers. Giving the unions a cuddly face is obviously doing great things.

On top of all of that, Jorts tweets a lot of kind messages. Jorts details his day and all of the chaos he gets into. Jorts is a chaotic kitty and Jean is a much more gentle soul. Jorts gets himself trapped in trash cans, closets, or gets up to all sorts of other trouble. Still, he keeps putting himself out there and saying that tomorrow is a day to do better. His little positive messages can definitely be a light in the darkness.

I know that a cat is not literally tweeting. We all know that but it is fun to play pretend especially for a good cause. There is a lot of crap in the world right now and if two cats can help mobilize the people for good causes, I’m all for it.



April 29, 2016

I woke from blackness and everything was fire and ruin around me. There was a massive hole in the roof and I could see the stars above. It looked like a little cabin that I was sitting in, although it was mostly cinders and ash after what had happened to it. Whatever that had been, it had somehow not happened to me. I got to my feet and started to walk through the mess. It was at this point that I realized that I had forgotten my name. In fact, I could not remember much of anything. No memories of what had happened or really who I was. I looked down at my body and realized that I was armored.

The armor was elaborate and it had been well-crafted but now much of it was damaged and hanging off of my body. My chest was mostly exposed and I carefully tore myself from the armor around my torso. It was not doing any good anymore so why not remove it to check my body for injuries. There were no injuries to speak of. At least, none of the injuries were of an urgent nature. There were too many scars to count across my chest but the most prominent and seemingly most fresh was a burn scar in the shape of a hand print over my heart. The mark was the dark gray of ash and it looked to small to be a grown man’s hands but it was hard to really tell. Was I some sort of warrior? Some sort of renaissance faire employee?

There was a small house not far away and I started toward it with purpose. I reached up and touched the hand print as I walked and as I touched it, my fingers started to tingle and then burn. I jerked my hand back to my side and flexed my fingers until they felt closer to normal. I looked at those fingers and realized that whatever the gray ash was, a little of it had rubbed off on my fingers. Some sort of chemical weapon? Why wasn’t that tingling, burning sensation on my chest? The thought crossed my mind that the nerve endings might have already been fried and that stuff was going to eat its way inside of me.

I kicked in the door of the house and stomped through it until I could find a bathroom. I fumbled for the light and when it came on I looked in the mirror and nearly had a heart attack. I thought somebody was coming up behind me but as I turned and turned again and looked in the mirror, I realized there was nobody there but me. Nobody there but me and the black, feathery wing coming out of my left shoulder. I focused and it flexed and stretched and then went back to a folded position. I leaned hard against the sink and tried to slow my breathing. This was amazing. People do not just have wings sprouting out of them. I reached and felt my right shoulder and there was nothing there, not even a stub. Why only one wing?

I washed the ash off of my chest and watched it slide down the drain. I hoped wherever it was headed it would not harm anyone else. My chest looked fine so I headed back out into the sunlight to get my bearings. Thankfully this place looked like it was in the middle of nowhere so it might be some time before the residents complained of his break-in or noticed the smoke from burned out cabin. Hopefully, the cops or worse were not on their way. I had no idea where I was and I began to feel silly for thinking that I could pick out my location by randomly spotting the right rock or tree. I went back into the house to look for some sort of evidence about where I was.

“Confused?” A man said from the darkness behind a makeshift bar. In the darkness, bright red veins suddenly pulsed through a human body. At least, I thought it was a human body.

“Of course, I am. Who are you?” I asked as I turned on the lights. This was no human. Their skin was jet black with what looked like neon glowing veins just below the skin. As I watched, the skin pulsed from jet black to ivory white and back again.

“I am Xolotl.” The thing grinned, its teeth looked they were carved from ruby.

“Bless you. What are you?” I asked. It laughed in response. I was so tired of this already.

“Bless me? Not usually something one says to demons.”

“What are you talking about? Is that what you are? A demon?” I asked.

“If you want to get technical, you’re a fallen angel too though it looks like you were pushed.”

“Are you just here to taunt me? If you’re a demon and I’m an angel. Shouldn’t we be fighting?”

The demon laughed again. “It’s a long story but demons are actually much, much older than you angels. Somewhere along the way, you guys got yourselves twisted around.  Now sit down, Yoriel. We have a lot to discuss before the end of the world begins.” He said and my headache got that much worse.

An Uncooperative Subject

April 25, 2016

(Hurray for fanfiction! I urge you to watch Rick and Morty  and also play Portal and Portal 2 on whatever gaming system you want.  There are slight spoilers if you haven’t partaken in these two things but nothing too major.)

Rick woke up slowly and he started to push himself to his knees but he was a little dizzy. Of course, being dizzy was not out of the ordinary for Rick but it was best to take these things slow. He could tell from his field of vision that he had woken up on an unfamiliar floor. Rick had woken up on a lot of floors so an unfamiliar one was more than a little alarming. He was also curious about what had knocked him out as he had taken practically every substance legal or otherwise in the known multiverse. It really took a lot to lose consciousness nowadays.

“Aw geez, Rick! Where are we now!?” Morty whined. Rick looked to his right and saw his shivering grandson sitting against a clear wall of some sort. He looked around and confirmed that they were surrounded by four of these walls. All that was in their little cell was a toilet and an alarm clock.

“Shut up, Morty. Grandpa needs to think.” Rick said and pushed himself to his feet.

“Where do you think we are, Rick?”

“Goddamit, Morty, I said I need to think,” Rick said with a loud belch. “It looks like a prison but not one I’ve been too before.” Rick said and tried to remember what had happened before they had been taken.

Thankfully shut up and stayed sitting in the opposite corner. Rick ran his hand across each wall in turn but he couldn’t really feel anything. He was starting to get really ticked off. If this was the Council of Ricks again he didn’t know what he was going to do. More like Council of Dicks, he thought and smirked to himself.

“I miss my laptop,” Morty said softly, breaking the dead silence. Rick whirled to face him but Morty spoke before Rick could tear him a new one. “I mean, what are we going to do?”

“Well, turning you into a car was a one-time thing and you blew that in class. Somebody took my portal gun when they left us here. Give me a minute.” Rick said and leaned his forehead on one of the walls.

“I took your portal gun. It will interfere with the testing and we will be doing a lot of testing.” A soft, feminine voice said. The voice had a slight bite to it like whoever it was was talking to a small, annoying child or a Morty. Rick’s Morty made a small frightened noise but Rick only grunted and rolled his eyes. One of the three walls sank quickly into the floor.

“Who.. who’s there!?” Morty cried out.

“I am GLaDOS. Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System. This is Aperture Science and you are Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith. Our research indicates that you are one of the smartest beings in the galaxy. Looking at you, I think we were misinformed.” GLaDOS said, her voice resonating from speakers somewhere in the wall or ceiling.

“Listen up, you computerized piece of shit! Nobody pushes me around! I’ll find you and I’ll tear you apart!” Rick yelled at the ceiling. It was his best guess at where the speakers were.

“Listen, I am so frightened. I really am. Actually, I’m not used to a test subject who talks so this will be a burden on all of us. If you enter the first testing chamber, you can pick up the portal gun and start testing.” GLaDOS said and a door opened up. Rick grumbled and started to walk into the next test chamber with Morty following close behind. There was a device on a pedestal in front of them with a spotlight shining down on it. Rick picked it up and examined it.

“Listen, it sounds like you have a lot of history before we got here. We’re not interested in a crossover, let’s just end this now and I’ll go get drunk and maybe I won’t come back here and burn this place to the ground.” Rick said, belching again just as he started the last word.

“I don’t think you’re in a position to bargain, Rick. We can test or I can throw Morty into boiling lava. It’s your choice, both would be fun for me and, in the end, we’ll test anyway.” GLaDos said. The room started to rearrange itself into a series of platforms and white surfaces. Rick looked around and examined his surroundings. It looked like some sort of obstacle course.

“This portal gun looks pretty crappy, GLaDOS. I mean, what’s it got in here? Some sort of subspace converter, something for quantum tunneling. I bet this thing still runs on fleebs. Wait, it’s not pre-fleeb is it? I bet if I sold it I would only get, like, two schmeckles maybe. My gun is waaaay better.” Rick said with a disdainful look at a nearby camera that was pointed their way.

“It is more than adequate for testing. If you do not begin testing, I will fill this chamber with nerve gas.” GLaDOS warned.

“Oh Geez, Rick. Let’s just do it.” Morty said.

“I huff nerve gas before I get out of bed in the morning. You’re gonna have to do better than that!” Rick said with a grin. A green gas started to filter into the room but Rick pointed the portal gun and fired and the gas was sucked through a hole in the black ceiling.

“Wait. What’s going on? How did you do that?” GLaDOS said. For the first time, she sounded less than bored and more than concerned.

“I fixed this portal gun while we were talking. I used the alarm clock and you don’t want to know where I was storing the other parts.” Rick said, his grin getting very big.

“Gross,” Morty said.

“I give in. You can leave. I have learned my lesson” GLaDOS said simply.

“Oh no, you don’t. Now we’re gonna test my way!”

“But I let you go, I don’t want to be dismantled again.”

“I don’t give a fuck! That’s my catchphrase! I say it all the time!” Rick yelled with glee and Morty knew from experience that things were about to get very dark, very quickly.

It Is In the Closet

January 19, 2016

“I don’t know about this, Abel.” Kevin said. He was pacing the room, unable to sit back down on Abel’s bed. It was just after school and Abel had called them to his room to discuss a solution to their problem. Abel hadn’t been prepared for what that solution was.

“I think Abel’s right, Kevin. This is the only way to deal with this.” Priya said. She took the bow out of her hair that her parents had made her wear for picture day.

“I’ve gone over it and over it. I’ve read all the books in the library and I’ve searched the internet every night until mom and dad sent me to bed. I’ve gone through all the options, guys. We have to do this.” Abel said, opening the book in front of him. It was a very old and worn book and it had taken a lot of work to get hold of it.

“Why is the monster back anyway?” Kevin was glad they were discussing this away from any of their bedrooms. It was unclear if the thing could understand English but assuming it didn’t was playing with fire.

“Who knows? We’re lucky it’s been gone for eight years.” Priya said. She had that same dissatisfied look on her face and Kevin shrugged.

“Look. There is a monster in my closet. I hit it with a baseball bat and right now the locks are holding.” Abel said and looked around at the other two and they nodded. They all knew this much. “They won’t hold forever or my mom and dad will let it out without knowing the danger. It will kill me, it will take my family and so on. I have a solution. It’s up to us. Right?”

“I agree.” Priya said. She looked determined an Abel found himself smiling. He saw fear on Kevin’s face but Kevin smiled too.

“Yeah, we have to. I can’t lose you guys and I kind of don’t want it coming after me.” Kevin said.

“Then this is what we have to do.” Abel said as he made sure the book was laid out properly. “We each cut our palms and put the blood in the bowl. I’ll speak the words and then we get the power. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.”

“What if it doesn’t?” Kevin asked.

“There’s no more time for what ifs.” Abel said. He was about to say something else when here was a noise of anguish from Priya. She held a knife in her hand and blood poured from her other hand and into the bowl. She smiled weakly at the boys and clenched her fist to stop the bleeding. “Well, I guess that’s that.”

Abel cut his hand and then Kevin did after a moment or two of hesitation. Abel started to read from the book, a language he could barely pronounce and hoped he had translated correctly. There was a bright flash and the blood in the bowl glowed an eerie white. A deep sonorous noise filled the room and everything seemed to shake. Abel could barely keep his eyes open and then he could not. He felt things moving around the room. Whatever it was huge and powerful and very, very close and suddenly the blood loss Abel had suffered felt like nothing.

A voice from nowhere came in that darkness. “The bargain is struck.”

Abel opened his eyes but the room was as it was and he looked at his blinking friends. The bowl of blood was still glowing bright white. The blood moved and then it started to float out of the bowl and divide itself into thirds. Before the three teens could react, the blood was seeping itself back through the wounds in their hands. Kevin shook his hand to get it off but to no avail. Priya and Abel just sat there stunned. As the three of them watched, their wounds closed up.

“What was that?” Kevin cried out. His eyes were wide.

“That felt really powerful.” Priya said with wonder. They all looked down at their hands and Abel thought he could see something where the cut had been. He just wasn’t sure though.

“Good. We’ve got a monster in a close to exterminate.” Abel said.

The three of them arrived at Abel’s family home and tropped up to his bedroom. Abel was grateful that his mom, dad and little sister were out. They approached the bedroom closet and they could hear it scratching at the inside of the door. That sound had filled the last three nights for Abel. When they got within a few feet of the door the sound suddenly stopped.

“You can feel it. Can’t you? The power we hold?” Abel said as he glared at the door.

“You are fools. We are legion. There will be more where I came from.” Said a deep but scratchy voice from beyond the door.

“I think this time we’ll be better prepared.” Abel said and he could almost feel his friend’s smiles.

The thing burst from the closet suddenly, all claws and scales and surprisingly feathers. Time seemed to slow down and they all got a good look it. All three of them raised their hands toward the creature and lightning lanced out and struck the beast. It wriggled and burned and cried out and then it was gone. Just gone.

World on a String

December 27, 2015

Koriana woke up and groaned at the wooden floor below her. The last thing she remembered was trying to drag her boyfriend out of a bar in South Lucroy harbor. Had they gotten out of there and back to their little farm? She wasn’t exactly sure. Her head was spinning and it was hard to get her bearings. Maybe the horse had gotten them home safely and maybe not. Maybe she had given in and joined him for a pint or two. It wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary for that silver-tongued devil to reverse her efforts to sober him up. If he did, it would account for her light sensitivity and a funny feeling in her stomach.

It was at this point that she realized that although the ground below her was wooden and quite hard-looking, it didn’t actually hurt to lay on it. In fact, she felt pretty numb as she lay there and the realization was more than a little troubling. What had happened the night before? She had a huge blank spot in her head when she tried to recall the night before. She reached out to feel the floor with her fingers and that numbness persisted. She heard a scraping sound as her fingers moved over the wood and it was the only way she knew she was making contact at all. The whole thing was very strange.

Koriana started to climb to her feet but nothing seemed to be working. Her muscles wouldn’t gather under her so she could push herself to her feet. Her head would barely move and she felt so heavy and strange. She didn’t even feel tired or hurt, her body just wouldn’t cooperate with her. The room had been absolutely still and silent and the silence suddenly struck her as odd. If she was home there would be the sound of the dogs, the birds and all the other animals. If she was near the port there would the sound of the sea and the city. There was absolutely nothing and that was strange.

The silence was suddenly broken, the sound of a rough wooden door opening echoed throughout the room followed by creaking hinges. There were thunderous footsteps and fear went straight for Koriana’s heart like a dagger. Why were those footsteps so big? She had hear of giants but thought they were only a myth. However, magic had touched her life before and she had seen myth become reality in earlier days. The thought terrified her and she tried to move again but only managed to wiggle a little. She was frantic to run, to hide but again nothing was working.

“You need to relax, little one. I imagine it may take some time to get your strength back in your present condition.” The voice was surprisingly soft and heavily accented.

“In… In.. In m m my present condition?” Koriana managed to choke out though somehow her voice didn’t feel like it was coming from her body.

“Let us shed some light on your situation, shall we? I will warn you, this may come as a bit of a shock.” The voice said. Koriana barely had time for that statement to scare her. How bad was her situation? What was her situation? She felt herself get pulled to her feet and she could now see the room. The room was giant and the man in front of her was huge as well. She was sitting on what looked like a humongous desk. “Now, I found you in this condition and I was able to reverse the enchantment a little bit. I’m glad it allowed you to speak. Perhaps it will allow you to move soon.” The giant said.

“You keep saying condition. P P Please tell me what y you mean.” Koriana said.

The giant set a mirror before her and she was shocked at what she saw. She looked back at her own face but it was now wooden and her hair was made of thread. Her body was wooden under doll’s clothes. She hung there just above the desk by strings through her wrists and knees. She was the very model of a marionette and she felt her vision dimming with the revelation as if she would just black out. The giant watched her from just beyond the mirror and Koriana fought back to consciousness.

“I told you it would come as a shock.” The giant man said.

“I I Is this what giants do? Turn human beings into p p puppets?” Koriana asked. She looked up past the mirror and directly at the man with what she hoped was an accusatory glance.

“Giant? I assure you that I am as human as I believe you were. This was the work of a djinn. It made a deal with your husband and he was unprepared for the results. Whatever his wish was, it and your body were twisted. I only know as much because I coaxed the story out of him when he sold you to me.” The man said. His voice and eyes were steady and Koriana felt he just might be telling the truth which was devastating enough.

“So I’m a doll now?! What am I supposed to do now? How am I supposed to live?” She asked.

The man took the mirror away and brought his face level to her entire body. “The first step is to cut those strings. He can no longer control you. Although I paid for you, I do not own you either. You are your own woman. Your destiny is in your hands now.” He cut the string connected to her right wrist carefully and her arm fell limp. Slowly she flexed it and found she could move afterall. He held a small blade out to her and she grabbed it with her tiny wooden fingers. She reached and cut her own strings and fell to the desk. After a few moments she was able to push herself to her feet. She held the blade out to him.

“Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for setting me free.” Koriana said with what she hoped was a smile but was probably just the same painted wooden face.

He gestured for her to keep the blade. “Keep it. My gift to you. I sense a great strength within you but the small need every advantage they can get. What will you do now?”

She hefted the blade and it was just about sword-sized for someone of her stature. “Revenge on my husband maybe.”

“And after that?”

“I don’t know.” Koriana said. A future as a wooden doll was daunting.

“Meet me back here if you can’t figure that out. I may have a path for you yet.”

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