A note from the future

This site represents things that I, Matt Dragon, though worthy of posting to the internet to be publicly consumed from age 18-27. Many of those things were, and are, wrong. I used words here at the time I hadn't bothered to educate myself about the harms of. The fact they were more widely used then doesn't absolve my use of them. Many of my opinions reek of what I now understand to be white male privilege.

But I'm not going to take those posts or this site down. For one because it wouldn't matter, the internet is forever and people would still be able to find it. But also because it's important to acknowledge that people should and do change over time. Merely changing doesn't reverse the wrongs or forgive us of what we said or did before. But the actions we take in response to those personal changes should be evaluated to see if they can offset at least some of the harms we caused. I no longer believe people are beyond redemption if they put in the work and the communities their prior words or acts hurt decide to accept their help going forward.

Taking this down entirely wouldn't address the harms nor hold me accountable. So instead I'm adding this note and asking people to evaluate for themselves if they think that 2021 Matt has done enough to offset 2010 Matt. To be honest, these were not my worst takes. Around this time I also stated less publicly that when people run from the police they should hit them with their cars to catch them. If you run you must have done something, right? I had an argument with someone about how no one who wasn't guilty would ever confess to a crime. (Sorry random dude in MegaBYTES)

Obviously those takes were bad, uninformed, and I was wrong for voicing then at the time. I share them because I feel they represent how easy it was to feel empowered as a white male teenager and young adult despite knowing almost nothing. I share them because I think they represent the rock bottom of my opinions and show how much someone's thoughts can change when you simply seek out first hand knowledge and then listen.

Those are just terrible opinions I can remember right now. I'm sure there were others. I haven't exhaustively read all the posts here so there may be similar or worse things I said here. But today, I'm writing letters to the editor about the need for civilian oversight over jails and the police and advocating for the police to be taken out of traffic enforcement. I'm speaking at County Commissioners meetings about civilian jail oversight and the need for accountability. I'm constantly trying to unlearn my bad habits and challenge my initial responses to things. Not because the world has changed but because I have learned to listen. Because people took the risk, the time, and the emotional effort to share and luckily I realized I needed to hear them.

So I leave this up, with this now lengthy disclaimer to try to push folks reading my bad takes to also learn to listen, and to be explicit, not always and only listen to white dudes like me. Where I'm at now, I'm trying to lift other voices. Folks actually experiencing the struggles I have ideas about trying to lessen or solve. Folks who's opinions I trust not because they have degrees or status, but because they're talking about their community, their friends, their family, their life, their struggles. For some of my later posts elsewhere, I chose to channel Dennis Miller when naming that blog. That decision didn't age any better than he did. He's now a racist bigot or at least he is publicly, maybe he always was. He's probably beyond redemption at this point. Andrew Gutmann is probably beyond redemption too, but it's honestly not my decision. I think people definitely can change, and they can change for better or for worse.

So I've done some more recent writing elsewhere that, if you want to read it, is definitely more informed, less self absorbed, with fewer blind spots, and just generally better all around.

My whiteness and maleness have given me all the second, third, and fourth chances anyone could ever ask for. It's up to me to prove I've changed for the better. Hopefully this is a step in that direction.

At least Dilbert still has hope

posted 11/03/2009 11:43:13 by matt flesch-kincaid: 67, grade level: 8 commentscomments(0) linklink
There are often times that I read a Dilbert strip and look over my shoulder to try to catch Scott Adams watching me... this might be the creepiest of those experiences. It does make me a little sad though, I was hoping the rest of the world wasn't as screwed up as my little section.

Natural selection always seems to catch up with the human race

posted 10/05/2009 10:19:37 by matt flesch-kincaid: 60, grade level: 8 commentscomments(0) linklink
Pet bear kills Pennsylvania woman. I think the neighbor should be charged for shooting the bear. Why on earth can you get a permit to keep lions, and tigers, and bears (oh my) at your house in Pennsylvania? They should have a fake permit application, and then just shoot you when you come to apply and save some future little kid from getting mauled by your "pet." Nothing is idiot proof, nature always invents a better idiot.

This was the year

posted 06/17/2009 14:31:47 by matt flesch-kincaid: -132, grade level: 32 commentscomments(0) linklink

City of Champions

posted 06/17/2009 12:57:45 by matt flesch-kincaid: 121, grade level: -3 commentscomments(0) linklink

Bill McCreary is an idiot

posted 06/17/2009 12:50:38 by matt flesch-kincaid: 42, grade level: 13 commentscomments(0) linklink
Both teams in this year’s Stanley Cup final played so skillfully and cleanly that the referees “didn’t have to get involved a lot,” Bill McCreary, the veteran referee who worked Game 7 and three other games of the series, said Tuesday.
“We didn’t interfere with the players,” McCreary said.
It's true, they didn't interfere with the players, they just let the players interfere with each other to the level that approaches inappropriate amounts of touching in several of the more conservative states in the Union. However, I agree 100%, Henrik Zetterburg is a very skilled goaltender player. Oh wait, sorry I got Zetterburg and Scuderi confused there for a minute. Scuderi made several great, legal, plays in the crease to save the Penguins season. Zetterburg made several questionable, blatantly illegal plays in the crease to facilitate Detroit making it one win away from another Cup, all with Billy MC standing there staring right at him. I think one of the biggest off-season stories for the Wings will be who's going to get the start in goal next year. Osgood obviously has the resume, but Zetterburg apparently can't contain his desire to grab and cover the puck in the crease. McCreary is the Dick Cheney of hockey. Fuck everything up and then come out later and talk about how you think you did a great job and how doing anything different would mean certain doom.

I know that he probably had orders from on high to call the games differently, but if it's your last Finals you owe it to yourself to call it by the book, it's not like there can be any blow back. At the very least don't come out afterward and continue to be the league mouthpiece. Can the refs get fined for criticizing the officiating? When the coaches do it they can be fined seemingly any amount, though $10,000 seems a popular number. Yet when a player gets fined for something that was illegal on the ice but short of a suspension their fine is capped at $2,500. Way to go NHL, you fine the coaches more for saying what everyone is already thinking, than you do the players for breaking the rules in such a blatant and dangerous fashion that a penalty alone is not enough punishment. Mr. Bettman has obviously never heard this quote before, so I'll present it to him here:
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. - Friedrich Nietzsche
Every time a player or coach criticizes the officials the NHL should donate $100 of it's money to a charity of the officials choosing. The number of complaints about the officiating should be tracked as an official statistic by the league, and the leader at the end of the year should be given the "Matt Dragon Award" represented by a giant middle finger attached to an arm wearing an orange arm band:

The most criticized official would win the "Bill McCreary Award" which would just be a giant mustache also wearing an orange arm band:

Little known NHL rules

posted 06/04/2009 23:07:41 by matt flesch-kincaid: 46, grade level: 12 commentscomments(0) linklink
Despite the NHL Rulebook only having 87 rules, there are actually 89 rules that govern an NHL game. The two missing from the book are:
Rule 88. Henrik Zetterberg is allowed to freeze the puck in the crease whenever he wants to.
Just to make this as clear as possible, they also rewrote Rule 67.4:
Penalty Shot - If a player except Henrik Zetterberg, and except a goalkeeper, while play is in progress, falls on the puck, holds the puck, picks up the puck, or gathers the puck into his body or hands from the ice in the goal crease area, the play shall be stopped immediately and a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team.
Rule 89. When the Detroit Red Wings have an empty net and an opposing player has a clear cut break away and is fouled, there is no automatic goal, because we love the Red Wings, they're so dreamy
Again, just to remove any ambiguity they rewrote Rule 57.4:
Awarded Goal - If, when the opposing goalkeeper, except if he plays for the Red Wings, has been removed from the ice, a player in control of the puck in the neutral or attacking zone is tripped or otherwise fouled with no opposition between him and the opposing goal, thus preventing a reasonable scoring opportunity, the Referee shall immediately stop play and award a goal to the attacking team.

And before all the Detroit fans' heads explode: Yes, the Penguins had too many men on the ice. Yes, it went uncalled. No it does not even begin to compare with the at least 100 uncalled interfereance penalties the Red Wings have gotten away with. No it does not even remotely cancel out the fact that almost every goal in Games 1,2 and 3 went in due to pure dumb luck or because of an uncalled penalty. Yes it's not fair that the refs don't call blatant, incredibly obvious penalties that any idiot with a working set of eyes could clearly see. Welcome to my fucking world, grab a seat it's gonna be a long series for you guys.

The beard is kinda low budget, but the octopus is awesome

posted 06/04/2009 22:22:55 by matt flesch-kincaid: 68, grade level: 3 commentscomments(0) linklink
Credit: Empty Netters blog at the Post Gazette

The Economics of Broadcasting Stanley Cup Games

posted 06/04/2009 22:07:43 by matt flesch-kincaid: 48, grade level: 10 commentscomments(0) linklink
First I doubt any of you will be willing to respond to this email and have a reasoned, intelligent conversation about your decision and the needless bad PR you're now raining down upon yourselves but I'd welcome the one in a million chance it would happen.

I'd like to know if any of you would setup up and take credit for the decision to ban the Penguins from showing the NBC feed for the Stanley Cup Final games. I really can't understand why any company which exists to make money would possibly want to limit the audience that it's commercials reach. Even if you ignore all of the negative PR, which given the size of the uproar and the ferocity with with you are being vilified is pretty hard to ignore, why would you not want fans to be able to enjoy the game together in a more energetic atmosphere? Even if only a single person in Pittsburgh walked past the Igloo and saw one second of one of your commercials, they might buy the product they saw advertised. Would you decide to broadcast dead air instead of commercials? I mean funny looking hats before horses running in a circle is pretty close to dead air I suppose...

I really don't understand why you would agree to broadcast the NHL and then treat the fans like garbage. Two years ago when you cut away from SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME in an Eastern Conference SERIES CLINCHING game to show the 2 hour PRE-RACE coverage of the Kentucky Derby, it was an awful, awful decision, yet at least that probably makes financial sense given the relative popularity of horses running in a circle and funny hats. SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME in a SERIES CLINCHING GAME, and you picked STUPID HATS and probably made millions of dollars in the process. I just can't fathom how getting thousands of people angry at you could possibly benefit you, your brand, or the brands who buy your commercial time. Hockey fans everywhere are left wondering what ridiculous stunt you're going to pull next when their team's game on the line. You have just as much vested interest in the NHL on NBC getting good ratings, why wouldn't you welcome any and all who wanted to partake? Maybe if you got the NHL to make the players wear stupid hats....

Matt Dragon

In case you want to contribute to letting NBC think that they might possibly be the worst thing that has ever happened to the game of hockey, you too can be email these folks: nbcsports@nbcuni.com; brian.walker@nbcuni.com; adam.freifeld@nbcuni.com; Mike.McCarley@nbcuni.com; Lyndsay.iorio@nbcuni.com; Dick.Ebersol@nbcuni.com

The Onion has apparently been scooped by Reuters

posted 05/06/2009 10:06:17 by matt flesch-kincaid: 37, grade level: 13 commentscomments(0) linklink
No "Afghanistan's only pig quarantined in flu fear" is not one of those bizarre CNN/Onion cross over headlines. It's actually news, from an actual country, in 2009, though reading the article you might not exactly believe that:
The pig was a gift to the zoo from China, which itself quarantined some 70 Mexicans, 26 Canadians and four Americans in the past week, but later released them.
Yes, that's right, Reuters just correlated Mexicans, Canadians, Americans, and the pig.
One fighter climbed into the lion enclosure but was immediately killed by Marjan, the zoo's most famous inhabitant. The man's brother returned the next day and lobbed a hand grenade at the lion leaving him toothless and blind.
I'm not sure which is better, the natural selection of the lion killing the idiot who climbed in his pen, or the fact that the idiot's brother couldn't kill the lion using a hand grenade... I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Something tells me that Bush wouldn't be able to tell you who was on first either

posted 04/08/2009 18:41:26 by matt flesch-kincaid: -44, grade level: 20 commentscomments(0) linklink
Somehow I feel like this is less a spoof of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first?" and more a regular occurrence in the Bush White House

"Kofi Annan?"
"No, thanks. And Condi, call me George. Stop with that ebonics crap."

Yes, someone must have actually done this before

posted 04/07/2009 14:14:25 by matt flesch-kincaid: 50, grade level: 10 commentscomments(0) linklink
So I get to the front door of my apartment building and notice a sign hanging up about work being done, not unusual, but it says:
Due to plumbing work there will be no hot/cold water from ...
So far nothing out of the ordinary and then we get to the fun part
Please make sure that all faucets are in the closed position to avoid any flooding when the water is turned back on.
What? Seriously?!? Do you understand what got that second paragraph to show up on the sign? Someone, maybe not in my building, but in some building managed by the same company, somewhere, had to have caused a flood. Someone, somewhere left their sink or their tub or their shower or whatever on, despite the fact there was no water coming out and then left their apartment, took a nap, whatever. And as a result of this, they flooded their apartment and/or other apartments when the water was turned back on.
This is the kind of warning that no one thinks to give until someone has proven themselves stupid enough to require the extra heads up. Being in a position where I've had to give these types of technology related warnings all the time, it cracks me up to see them manifesting themselves in the physical world as well.

George Bush will be judged by history

posted 01/20/2009 21:37:22 by matt flesch-kincaid: 47, grade level: 10 commentscomments(0) linklink
So.....you have to make sure you update your Google bombs impeachable douchebag, miserable failure, worst President ever. Let me be the first to call David Letterman the first Historian of 2009 for Great Moments in Presidential Speeches. All I know is those of you acting as History's judges are going to need an gibberish translator.

Reply to All added to Axis of Evil

posted 01/12/2009 15:32:10 by matt flesch-kincaid: 38, grade level: 13 commentscomments(0) linklink
The State Department announced today that "Reply to All" was the newest member of the "Axis of Evil" after a Reply to All snafu took down their email systems last week. A diplomatic cable dispatched to all employees threatens disciplinary action against anyone mis-using Reply to All in the future, because if you're not with us, you're with the terrorists. I wonder why they didn't just send it in an email...

Microsoft announced improvements to Outlook to help support the new mandate:
Of course if you answer "No" a message box pops up informing you "It's OK we've been watching everything you do on the Internet anyway."

Sometimes it boggles my mind that there's no "drivers license" test to get on the internet. When I get an ill-addressed email followed by a ton of geniuses replying to all tends to be one of those times.