1. Because this speech is one of the most important things I know, and it should always be kept relevant.

    handgrenade2:

    Vito Russo’s “Why We Fight” Speech, delivered at an ACT UP rally in May 1988.

    A friend of mine in New York City has a half-fare transit card, which means that you get on buses and subways for half price. And the other day, when he showed his card to the token attendant, the attendant asked what his disability was, and he said, “I have AIDS.” And the attendant said, “No, you don’t. If you had AIDS, you’d be home dying.” And so, I wanted to speak out today as a person with AIDS who is not dying. 

    You know, for the last three years, since I was diagnosed, my family thinks two things about my situation: 1) they think I’m going to die, and 2) they think that my government is doing absolutely everything in their power to stop that. And they’re wrong, on both counts. 

    So, if I’m dying from anything, I’m dying from homophobia. If I’m dying from anything, I’m dying from racism. If I’m dying from anything, it’s from indifference and red tape, because these are the things that are preventing an end to this crisis. If I’m dying from anything, I’m dying from Jesse Helms. If I’m dying from anything, I’m dying from the president of the United States. And, especially, if I’m dying from anything, I’m dying from the sensationalism of newspapers and magazines and television shows, which are interested in me, as a human-interest story, only as long as I’m willing to be a helpless victim, but not if I’m fighting for my life. If I’m dying from anything, I’m dying from the fact that not enough rich, white, heterosexual men have gotten AIDS for anybody to give a shit. 

    You know, living with AIDS in this country is like living in the twilight zone. Living with AIDS is like living through a war, which is happening only for those people who happen to be in the trenches. Every time a shell explodes, you look around and you discover that you’ve lost more of your friends, but nobody else notices. It isn’t happening to them. They’re walking the streets as though we weren’t living through some sort of nightmare. And only you can hear the screams of the people who are dying and their cries for help. No one else seems to be noticing. 

    And it’s worse than a war, because during a war people are united in a shared experience. This war has not united us; it’s divided us. It’s separated those of us with AIDS and those of us who fight for people with AIDS from the rest of the population. Two and a half years ago I picked up Life magazine, and I read an editorial which said, “It’s time to pay attention, because this disease is now beginning to strike the rest of us.” It was as if I wasn’t the one holding the magazine in my hand. And since then, nothing has changed to alter the perception that AIDS is not happening to the real people in this country. It’s not happening to “us” in the United States; it’s happening to “them,” to the disposable populations of fags and junkies who deserve what they get. The media tells them that they don’t have to care, because the people who really matter are not in danger. Twice, three times, four times, The New York Times has published editorials saying, Don’t panic yet over AIDS. It still hasn’t entered the general population, and until it does, we don’t have to give a shit

    And the days, and the months, and the years pass by, and they don’t spend those days and nights and months and years trying to figure out how to get hold of the latest experimental drug, and which dose to take it at, and in what combination with other drugs, and from what source, and how are you going to pay for it, and where are you going to get it, because it isn’t happening to them, so they don’t give a shit. And they don’t sit in television studios, surrounded by technicians who are wearing rubber gloves, who won’t put a microphone on you, because it isn’t happening to them, so they don’t give a shit. And they don’t have their houses burned down by bigots and morons. They watch it on the news and they have dinner and they go to bed, because it isn’t happening to them, and they don’t give a shit. And they don’t spend their waking hours going from hospital room to hospital room, and watching the people that they love die slowly of neglect and bigotry, because it isn’t happening to them, and they don’t have to give a shit. They haven’t been to two funerals a week for the last three or four or five years, so they don’t give a shit, because it’s not happening to them. 

    And we read on the front page of The New York Times last Saturday that Anthony Fauci now says that all sorts of promising drugs for treatment haven’t even been tested in the last two years because he can’t afford to hire the people to test them. We’re supposed to be grateful that this story has appeared in the newspaper after two years. Nobody wonders why some reporter didn’t dig up that story and print it 18 months ago, before Fauci got dragged before a congressional hearing. How many people are dead in the last two years who might be alive today if those drugs had been tested more quickly? Reporters all over the country are busy printing government press releases. They don’t give a shit; it isn’t happening to them, meaning that it isn’t happening to people like them: the real people, the world-famous general public we all keep hearing about. Legionnaires’ disease was happening to them because it hit people who looked like them, who sounded like them, who were the same color as them. And that fucking story about a couple of dozen people hit the front page of every newspaper and magazine in this country, and it stayed there until that mystery got solved. 

    All I read in the newspapers tells me that the mainstream, white, heterosexual population is not at risk for this disease. All the newspapers I read tell me that IV-drug users and homosexuals still account for the overwhelming majority of cases and a majority of those people at risk. And can somebody please tell me why every single penny allocated for education and prevention gets spent on ad campaigns that are directed almost exclusively to white, heterosexual teenagers, who they keep telling us are not at risk? Can somebody tell me why the only television movie ever produced by a major network in this country about the impact of this disease is not about the impact of this disease on the man who has AIDS but of the impact of AIDS on his white, straight, nuclear family? Why, for eight years, every newspaper and magazine in this country has done cover stories on AIDS only when the threat of heterosexual transmission is raised? Why, for eight years, every single educational film designed for use in high schools has eliminated any gay-positive material before being approved by the Board of Education? Why, for eight years, every single public-information pamphlet and videotape distributed by establishment sources has ignored specific homosexual content? 

    Why is every bus and subway ad I read and every advertisement and every billboard I see in this country specifically not directed at gay men? Don’t believe the lie that the gay community has done its job and done it well and educated its people. The gay community and IV-drug users are not all politicized people living in New York and San Francisco. Members of minority populations, including so-called sophisticated gay men, are abysmally ignorant about AIDS. If it is true that gay men and IV-drug users are the populations at risk for this disease, then we have a right to demand that education and prevention be targeted specifically to these people. And it is not happening. We are being allowed to die, while low-risk populations are being panicked — not educated, panicked — into believing that we deserve to die. 

    Why are we here together today? We’re here because it is happening to us, and we do give a shit. And if there were more of us and less of them, AIDS wouldn’t be what it is at this moment in history. It’s more than just a disease, which ignorant people have turned into an excuse to exercise the bigotry they have always felt. It is more than a horror story, exploited by the tabloids. AIDS is really a test of us as a people. When future generations ask what we did in this crisis, we’re going to have to tell them that we were out here today. And we have to leave the legacy to those generations of people who will come after us. 

    Someday, the AIDS crisis will be over. Remember that. And when that day comes, when that day has come and gone, there’ll be people alive on this Earth, gay people and straight people, men and women, black and white, who will hear the story that once there was a terrible disease in this country and all over the world, and that a brave group of people stood up and fought and, in some cases, gave their lives, so that other people might live and be free. So I’m proud to be with my friends today and the people I love, because I think you’re all heroes, and I’m glad to be part of this fight. But, to borrow a phrase from Michael Callen’s song, “all we have is love right now. What we don’t have is time.” 

    In a lot of ways, AIDS activists are like those doctors out there: They’re so busy putting out fires and taking care of people on respirators that they don’t have the time to take care of all the sick people. We’re so busy putting out fires right now that we don’t have the time to talk to each other and strategize and plan for the next wave, and the next day, and next month, and the next week, and the next year. And we’re going to have to find the time to do that in the next few months. And we have to commit ourselves to doing that. And then, after we kick the shit out of this disease, we’re all going to be alive to kick the shit out of this system, so that this never happens again.

     
  2. fergiedellorusso asked: go ahead and publish it, i rly should have clarified the intent of it was to criticize weaboos for having their own romanticized idea of japan that causes them to ignore HORRIFIC SHIT due to their own generalizing bullshit exotification. i mean if anything i stand in solidarity with japan as a culture in terms of not wanting to be commodified by westerners as just anime and ~wacky stuff omg~ and that they cant pick and choose just things they like to represent entire cultures and societies

    part 3!

    all in all I don’t think we’re in disagreement about anything, just—yeah.  You really can’t just pick and choose. 

     
  3. fergiedellorusso asked: i understand your concern about the vagueness of my post, i should make it clear that i am in no way indicting blame on japan as a whole (its government and war apologists however are wholly deserving). mostly i'm trying to criticize (mainly white) americans who choose to remain ignorant towards japan's war crimes because they romantisize the fuck out of everything japanese & i'm tired of explaining that just because i make posts about this i don't hate japan, which is what they immediately

    publishing part 1 of a 2 parter ask that got garbled in my inbox system, i’ll publish part 3 too, on op’s request

     
  4. fergiedellorusso:

    as a korean-american young adult, ive had to deal with the fact that so many young americans romanticize japanese culture (for example that one popular post i saw going around a while ago written by some weaboo about how japanese culture is so perfect and nice and polite because some person returned a safety pin or some shit) and it makes me so angry how the stories of millions of east asian people suffering through genocide, cultural cleansing, colonization, etc are often ignored and looked over in favor of what the idealized weaboo idea of what japanese culture is. i’m a firm believer that every culture and society has wonderful, beautiful, unique aspects to it and japan is certainly no exception but seeing a bunch of people support notable japanese people who are literally WAR CRIME AND GENOCIDE APOLOGISTS and choose to just ignore and refuse to educate themselves about how the japanese government is literally trying to cover up MASS MURDER and other obscene war atrocities while claiming to be ~~~soo obsessed~~ with everything about Japan it’s like…. ok i get you wanna be a fan of some anime and that’s cool but please educate yourselves and maybe try not to support horrible people who think my country is “better off” after having been colonized and having my people murdered, raped, and stripped of their identities. i understand most people are clueless about this and that’s okay but ignoring that some asshole is a war crime apologist just because you like some anime just adds to the collective ignorance about historical AND modern (japanese textbooks and other media are still covering this shit up TO THIS DAY) issues that really should be brought to light. i know i always get really preach-y about this but being a war crime apologist is still fairly accepted in modern japan to some people and it makes me want to fucking cry and scream and seeing instances of modern weaboo ass bitches overlooking and not caring about any of it just adds insult to injury

    Uh, fellow Korean-Am here: Zainichi, actually, so I can verify my existence is literally a result of the devastation of Japanese imperialism on the people and nation of Korea— very directly, in a series of not-that-distant ugly events that I’d rather not detail.

    Can we clarify we’re talking about Isayama Hajime and the dumbass ignorant pro-imperialist bullshit he’s said on Twitter?  (If we are, that is; I’m just assuming so, though if another currently popular Japanese media figure is doing the same thing I’m going to put my head in my hands for a while.)  I understand you’re probably not saying so out of fear of inciting drama and fandom defensiveness— and shit, I understand that— but the alternative seems to be a vague post encouraging suspicion of Japan and discouraging weeaboo cultural fetishization not because it’s like, an obnoxious and offensive thing for any Americans to do, but because Japan itself is undeserving.

    Isayama doesn’t represent Japan; Himaruya Hidekazu (of Hetalia) doesn’t represent Japan, though they’re both products of the same empire-related cultural poison and historical erasure.  Criticizing Westerners for being into Hetalia because it’s fucking mindbogglingly offensive and horrifyingly clueless is one thing— as an example.  Encouraging anti-Japanese sentiments in Westerners is kind of another.  In my experience, if there’s one thing white Americans find comforting in talking about Japan, it’s talking about how racist the Japanese are.  I wonder why that is.

    Isayama Hajime is one 26-year-old mangaka with inexcusable opinions he had the lack of common sense to put on Twitter.  He’s not the nation of Japan.  I don’t think encouraging white Americans to self-righteously feel better about Japanese war crimes helps shit-all; it’s like Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking all over again, top of the bestsellers in the US not because people cared suddenly about the incredible crime against humanity that was the Nanjing massacre, but because it makes Americans feel better when they can talk about other imperialism as if it compares to theirs.

    So yeah, although you didn’t call him out— and if you weren’t talking about him, sorry, I’m going to look like an ass — I’m gonna name him here.  Let’s talk about a sector of SNK fandom’s uncritical hero-worship, sure, and how it ties into Japanophilia, but please god let’s not incite white Americans against anything but white America.

    Again, I say this as another Korean-American, and believe me I am pretty sure I do not enjoy the American amnesia of Japanese colonialism any more than you do.  But let’s clarify that this isn’t about the nation of Japan, this is about the nation of America and its willingness to overlook shit that happened to people it doesn’t quite see as people in the service of enjoying fun media: in this case, Korean people.

     
  5. 21:26 5th Nov 2013

    Notes: 231

    Reblogged from fuchsiagroaning

    Tags: nycpolitics

    inothernews:

    The first Democrat elected mayor of New York City in 20 years.

     
  6. image: Download

    housingworksbookstore:

flavorpill:

The Death of the Unpaid Internship Is Good For Everyone
The instinctive reaction to Condé Nast’s decision to completely discontinue its internship program rather than deigning to pay its interns minimum wage has generally been along the lines of, “Screw you, you cheap bastards.” This isn’t entirely unfair, obviously — the fact that one of America’s biggest publishing companies can’t put its hand in its pocket to pay its entry-level staff isn’t exactly a great reflection on the company or its management. But if others follow suit, the whole sorry business might have at least one unexpected benefit: hastening the end of the unpaid internship system as a whole.

I’ve never been an unpaid intern — the early stages of my “career,” such as it is, largely predated the arrival on Australian shores of the genius idea of not paying entry-level staff. Similarly, I’ve pretty much never written for free — I put work into articles, so why the fuck should I do it for “exposure”? But sadly, stamping your foot in this manner isn’t really an option for most young writers today; there’s a pervasive expectation that you “pay your dues” by working for free in the hope that someday someone might deign to actually pay you for your trouble.
The unpaid internship is one of those ideas about labor that seem to have wormed their way into the American psyche, like the belief that it’s somehow OK for restauranteurs and bar owners not to pay their staff on the understanding that customers will kindly do so for them. But that entrenchment doesn’t mean it isn’t a whole truckload of horseshit. Even if they’re learning something while they’re doing it, interns are providing their labor, and deserve to be remunerated accordingly, at minimum wage if nothing more. (So do the people waiting your tables for tips, but that’s a subject for another article.)
FULL ARTICLE on Flavorwire

We’ll be discussing this very issue on Tuesday at Will Work For Free: Breaking Down the Intern Economy with Ross Perlin and More.

    housingworksbookstore:

    flavorpill:

    The Death of the Unpaid Internship Is Good For Everyone

    The instinctive reaction to Condé Nast’s decision to completely discontinue its internship program rather than deigning to pay its interns minimum wage has generally been along the lines of, “Screw you, you cheap bastards.” This isn’t entirely unfair, obviously — the fact that one of America’s biggest publishing companies can’t put its hand in its pocket to pay its entry-level staff isn’t exactly a great reflection on the company or its management. But if others follow suit, the whole sorry business might have at least one unexpected benefit: hastening the end of the unpaid internship system as a whole.

    I’ve never been an unpaid intern — the early stages of my “career,” such as it is, largely predated the arrival on Australian shores of the genius idea of not paying entry-level staff. Similarly, I’ve pretty much never written for free — I put work into articles, so why the fuck should I do it for “exposure”? But sadly, stamping your foot in this manner isn’t really an option for most young writers today; there’s a pervasive expectation that you “pay your dues” by working for free in the hope that someday someone might deign to actually pay you for your trouble.

    The unpaid internship is one of those ideas about labor that seem to have wormed their way into the American psyche, like the belief that it’s somehow OK for restauranteurs and bar owners not to pay their staff on the understanding that customers will kindly do so for them. But that entrenchment doesn’t mean it isn’t a whole truckload of horseshit. Even if they’re learning something while they’re doing it, interns are providing their labor, and deserve to be remunerated accordingly, at minimum wage if nothing more. (So do the people waiting your tables for tips, but that’s a subject for another article.)

    FULL ARTICLE on Flavorwire

    We’ll be discussing this very issue on Tuesday at Will Work For Free: Breaking Down the Intern Economy with Ross Perlin and More.

     
  7. 23:33 10th Oct 2013

    Notes: 162029

    Reblogged from kotaline

    Tags: politics

    image: Download

    flatbear:

freeindie:

Hmm…

we can never come back from this

    flatbear:

    freeindie:

    Hmm…

    we can never come back from this

     
  8. image: Download

    theatlantic:

'Would Be Nice to Have a Similar Shutdown in Russia'

Yesterday, Josh Keating at Slate had a great post asking, “How would we report on the shutdown if it were happening in another country?” (“The current rebellion has been led by Sen. Ted Cruz, a young fundamentalist lawmaker from the restive Texas region, known in the past as a hotbed of separatist activity” is just one of many gems.) Well, today we have a shutdown, and we have the answer to that question — at least through the lense of foreign newspapers and social media.
The comments on American coverage in foreign papers can be really fascinating, first because the readers seem surprisingly informed about the inner-workings of American politics, and also because the areas that they’re wrong about are often colored by the context of their own political climates. If you come from a country where public officials do nothing but pad their own pockets, you might think sending them all home is a great idea. Meanwhile, if your homeland long ago made healthcare universal, the idea that the U.S. government would grind to a halt over such a measure is unthinkable.
Read more. [Image: Larry Downing/Reuters]

    theatlantic:

    'Would Be Nice to Have a Similar Shutdown in Russia'

    Yesterday, Josh Keating at Slate had a great post asking, “How would we report on the shutdown if it were happening in another country?” (“The current rebellion has been led by Sen. Ted Cruz, a young fundamentalist lawmaker from the restive Texas region, known in the past as a hotbed of separatist activity” is just one of many gems.) Well, today we have a shutdown, and we have the answer to that question — at least through the lense of foreign newspapers and social media.

    The comments on American coverage in foreign papers can be really fascinating, first because the readers seem surprisingly informed about the inner-workings of American politics, and also because the areas that they’re wrong about are often colored by the context of their own political climates. If you come from a country where public officials do nothing but pad their own pockets, you might think sending them all home is a great idea. Meanwhile, if your homeland long ago made healthcare universal, the idea that the U.S. government would grind to a halt over such a measure is unthinkable.

    Read more. [Image: Larry Downing/Reuters]

     
  9. charlienight:

commanderbishoujo:

bogleech:

prokopetz:

johnlockinthetardiswithdestiel:

truthandglory:

assbanditkirk:

whoa canada
someone needs to turn down that sass level

Two things to know about Canada!
We are smart enough to know hot things should be hot.
We are sorry if you don’t

fun story about the reason they do that (at least in America)
once this lady spilled her McDonald’s coffee on herself and ended up getting like 3rd degree burns and since there was no warning on the cup she was able to claim she didn’t know it would be hot (or at least that hot) and won a lawsuit against McDonald’s for $1 million

That’s what the media smear campaign against her would have you believe, anyway. The truth of the matter is that the McDonald’s in question had previously been cited - on at least two separate occasions - for keeping their coffee so hot that it violated local occupational health and safety regulations. The lady didn’t win her lawsuit because American courts are stupid; she won it because the McDonald’s she bought that coffee from was actively and knowingly breaking the law with respect to the temperature of its coffee at the time of the incident.
(I mean, do you have any idea what a third-degree burn actually is? Third-degree burns involve “full thickness” tissue damage; we’re talking bone-deep, with possible destruction of tissue. Can you even imagine how hot that cup of coffee would have to have been to inflict that kind of damage in the few seconds it was in contact with her skin?)

Yeah I’m tired of people joking about either the “stupid” woman who didn’t know coffee was hot or the “greedy” woman making up bullshit to get money.
She was hideously injured by hideous irresponsibility, it was an absolutely legitimate lawsuit and the warning on the cups basically allows McDonalds to claim no responsibility even if it happens again. Every other company followed suit to cover their asses.
So they can still legally serve you something that could sear off the end of your tongue or permanently demolish the front of your gums and just give you a big fat middle finger in court. “The label SAID it would be HOT, STUPID.”

obligatory reblog for the great debunking of the usual ignorance spouted about this case
obligatory mention that the media smear campaign to twist teh facts on this case and get public opinion against the victim was deliberate and fueled by the right wing tort reform movement
it was seized upon to limit the rights of consumers to hold giant corporations accountable for wrongdoing
watch the documentary Hot Coffee, it lays out all of the facts and examines the response to this case and explains why everything you think you know about this case is bullshit, and explains why tort reform is bullshit in an entertaining and informative manner

The woman injured in Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants was 79 years old at the time of her injuries, and suffered third-degree burns to the pelvic region (including her thighs, buttocks, and groin), which in combination with lesser burns in the surrounding regions caused damage to an area totaling a whopping 22% of her body’s surface. These injuries that required two years of intensive medical care, including multiple skin grafts; during her hospitalization, Stella Liebeck lost around 20% of her starting body weight.
She was uninsured and sued McDonald’s Restaurants for the cost of her past and projected future medical care, an estimated $20,000. The corporation offered a settlement of $800, a number so obviously ridiculous that I’m not even going to dignify it with any further explanation.
The settlement number most often quoted is not the amount that the corporation actually paid; the jury in the first trial suggested a payment equal to a day or two of coffee revenues for McDonald’s, which at the time totaled more than $1 million per diem. The judge reduced the required payout to around $640,000 in both compensatory and punitive damages, and the case was later settled out of court for less than $600,000.
Keep in mind that at the time, McDonald’s already had over 700 cases of complaints about coffee-related burns on file, but continued to sell coffee heated to nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit (around 90 degrees Celsius) as a means of boosting sales (their selling point was that one could buy the coffee, drive to a second location such as work or home, and still have a piping hot beverage). This in spite of the fact that most restaurants serve coffee between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit (60 to 71 degrees Celsius), and many coffee experts agree that such high temperatures are desirable only during the brewing process itself.
The Liebeck case was absolutely not an example of litigation-happy Americans expecting corporations to cover their asses for their own stupidity, but we seem determined to remember it that way. It’s an issue of liability, and the allowable lengths of capitalism, and even of the way in which our society is incredibly dangerous for and punitive towards the uninsured, but it was not and is not a frivolous suit. Please check your assumptions and do your research before you turn a burn victim’s suffering into an throwaway punchline.

    charlienight:

    commanderbishoujo:

    bogleech:

    prokopetz:

    johnlockinthetardiswithdestiel:

    truthandglory:

    assbanditkirk:

    whoa canada

    someone needs to turn down that sass level

    Two things to know about Canada!

    1. We are smart enough to know hot things should be hot.
    2. We are sorry if you don’t

    fun story about the reason they do that (at least in America)

    once this lady spilled her McDonald’s coffee on herself and ended up getting like 3rd degree burns and since there was no warning on the cup she was able to claim she didn’t know it would be hot (or at least that hot) and won a lawsuit against McDonald’s for $1 million

    That’s what the media smear campaign against her would have you believe, anyway. The truth of the matter is that the McDonald’s in question had previously been cited - on at least two separate occasions - for keeping their coffee so hot that it violated local occupational health and safety regulations. The lady didn’t win her lawsuit because American courts are stupid; she won it because the McDonald’s she bought that coffee from was actively and knowingly breaking the law with respect to the temperature of its coffee at the time of the incident.

    (I mean, do you have any idea what a third-degree burn actually is? Third-degree burns involve “full thickness” tissue damage; we’re talking bone-deep, with possible destruction of tissue. Can you even imagine how hot that cup of coffee would have to have been to inflict that kind of damage in the few seconds it was in contact with her skin?)

    Yeah I’m tired of people joking about either the “stupid” woman who didn’t know coffee was hot or the “greedy” woman making up bullshit to get money.

    She was hideously injured by hideous irresponsibility, it was an absolutely legitimate lawsuit and the warning on the cups basically allows McDonalds to claim no responsibility even if it happens again. Every other company followed suit to cover their asses.

    So they can still legally serve you something that could sear off the end of your tongue or permanently demolish the front of your gums and just give you a big fat middle finger in court. “The label SAID it would be HOT, STUPID.”

    obligatory reblog for the great debunking of the usual ignorance spouted about this case

    obligatory mention that the media smear campaign to twist teh facts on this case and get public opinion against the victim was deliberate and fueled by the right wing tort reform movement

    it was seized upon to limit the rights of consumers to hold giant corporations accountable for wrongdoing

    watch the documentary Hot Coffee, it lays out all of the facts and examines the response to this case and explains why everything you think you know about this case is bullshit, and explains why tort reform is bullshit in an entertaining and informative manner

    The woman injured in Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants was 79 years old at the time of her injuries, and suffered third-degree burns to the pelvic region (including her thighs, buttocks, and groin), which in combination with lesser burns in the surrounding regions caused damage to an area totaling a whopping 22% of her body’s surface. These injuries that required two years of intensive medical care, including multiple skin grafts; during her hospitalization, Stella Liebeck lost around 20% of her starting body weight.

    She was uninsured and sued McDonald’s Restaurants for the cost of her past and projected future medical care, an estimated $20,000. The corporation offered a settlement of $800, a number so obviously ridiculous that I’m not even going to dignify it with any further explanation.

    The settlement number most often quoted is not the amount that the corporation actually paid; the jury in the first trial suggested a payment equal to a day or two of coffee revenues for McDonald’s, which at the time totaled more than $1 million per diem. The judge reduced the required payout to around $640,000 in both compensatory and punitive damages, and the case was later settled out of court for less than $600,000.

    Keep in mind that at the time, McDonald’s already had over 700 cases of complaints about coffee-related burns on file, but continued to sell coffee heated to nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit (around 90 degrees Celsius) as a means of boosting sales (their selling point was that one could buy the coffee, drive to a second location such as work or home, and still have a piping hot beverage). This in spite of the fact that most restaurants serve coffee between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit (60 to 71 degrees Celsius), and many coffee experts agree that such high temperatures are desirable only during the brewing process itself.

    The Liebeck case was absolutely not an example of litigation-happy Americans expecting corporations to cover their asses for their own stupidity, but we seem determined to remember it that way. It’s an issue of liability, and the allowable lengths of capitalism, and even of the way in which our society is incredibly dangerous for and punitive towards the uninsured, but it was not and is not a frivolous suit. Please check your assumptions and do your research before you turn a burn victim’s suffering into an throwaway punchline.

     
  10. brushing aside the ashes of dead lovers, the gay movement battled for the right to do its own killing.
    — “‘Community Spirits’: The New Gay Patriot and the Right to Fight in Unjust Wars” by Mattilda Berstein Sycamore