The NFL doesn’t care about gay people

The Oakland Raiders traveled down to Mexico City to play a home game against the Houston Texans Monday night. The Raiders beat the Texans 27-20, but the real loser that night was the NFL.

To schedule a game in the cesspool of a stadium known as Estadio Azteca is to embrace the homophobic chants from Mexican fans. In soccer, Mexico fans chant “puto” at opposing goalkeepers. The word is a derogatory slur for a gay man, specifically, one that has sex with other gay men for money.

FIFA, the corrupt organization that governs international soccer, has fined the Mexican football federation five times in the past 11 months for the chants. Their fans still do it. They do it at soccer games, and they do it at American football games. They did it Monday night, and they will surely do it the next time the NFL plays a game in Mexico City.

The NFL just doesn’t care. What are a few homophobic chants compared to the billions of dollars the league wants to make internationally? The NFL isn’t content with the billions it makes here in the United States. It wants to increase its already bloated revenue streams by marketing the game internationally.

The NFL plays games in London so that the games will air in China during primetime. Why settle for only selling overpriced replica jerseys in America when you can also sell them to football fans in China? Personally, I think this is why NFL jerseys are now made in Honduras and not China. It’s a lot harder to make quality fakes in China if the actual product is not also made there. If you’ve seen any of the fake NFL jerseys coming out of China lately, you know what I mean.

They’re really bad.

We know the NFL cares about fighting breast cancer because they sell pink colored merchandise with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. We know the NFL cares about honoring US service members because they make military-inspired merchandise with a portion of the proceeds going to various military non-profits. We know the NFL doesn’t care about gay people because they play games in Mexico City.

Mark Waid sounds absolutely insane

Comic book writer Mark Waid wrote a long post on Facebook sharing is his feelings on the 2016 presidential election. Spoiler alert, he’s not too happy about how it turned out.

Donald Trump won and Hillary lost. I’m not happy with Trump being our president either. I wouldn’t have been happy to have Clinton as president either. That’s one of the things that made this election such a giant bucket of suck. No matter who won, it was going to be awful.

Mark began his post by stating that his therapist told him that he’s in the grieving stage with the outcome of the election. The post pretty much goes downhill from there.

He then talked about appearing at comic book conventions in red states. Some comic book professionals have vowed not to attend comic book conventions in states that voted for Donald Trump. Mark will not do that. He will attend conventions in red states. He will use his straight white male privilege, some argue to be the most powerful kind of privilege, to create safe spaces at these conventions. He went even further.

From Mark Waid’s Facebook account:

I’m not hard to find at shows. If you’re a fan or creator and are ever, ever made to feel uncomfortable on a convention floor, come find me. If it’s a fleeting thing, just come hang out. If, on the other hand, you can point out the aggressors, I will rain HELLFIRE on your behalf, I PROMISE you. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you that I’ll flip tables on bullies and creeps, and I’ll have your back. And while I’ve never had to use it, I’ve got enough clout to have hatemongers flat-out thrown out of shows, and I am not above those sorts of nuclear options.

I’ve never seen Mark Waid in person. Judging by his photos, he doesn’t strike me as an intimidating person.

I haven’t felt the need to attend a comic book convention in quite some time. It just never seems worth it. Panels are now usually posted to YouTube. You can buy anything sold at a comic book convention online.

Now that Mark is offering to use his straight white male privilege for anyone who asks, it might be fun to go to a comic book convention again.

The next time Mark attends a convention in the neighboring red state of Pennsylvania, I may have to go. I want to see him rain hellfire and flip tables. I don’t even know what hellfire is. Something tells me it’s not nice. It sounds dangerous, especially if used indoors.

Now that I think of it, the last time I went to the Baltimore Comic Con, the fire alarm went off. Everyone had to exit the building. Could Mark Waid raining hellfire on someone have caused the fire alarm to go off?

If it takes too long to see Mark Wade do his thing, I could have my wife go to Mark’s table to have him autograph my copy of Kingdom Come #3. She could then just casually mention to Mark that I annoy her.

It wouldn’t even be a lie. I annoy her all the time. She’ll ask me to do something and I then forget to do it. That’s so annoying.

Once Mark hears that I’ve annoyed my wife, he’s duty bound to find me and rain forth his hellfire upon me. He’s also obligated to flip my table. Considering that I wouldn’t have a table, that might be hard. He promised to do these things on Facebook, so by law, he has to do it.

That sounds like a lot of fun.

What it’s like to drive for Uber

A few months ago, I signed up to be an Uber driver. The way Uber works is that as an Uber driver, you are an independent contractor. You don’t work for Uber. You are your own boss. You work as much or as little as you wish.

Everything is handled through your smartphone. When you want to drive people around, you fire up the Uber Driver app and switch from offline to online. When someone requests a ride, Uber sends the request to the closest available driver. A driver has 15 seconds to accept a request. If the request is not accepted, Uber then sends the request to the next nearest available driver. Uber repeats this process until someone accepts the request.

Being closest doesn’t mean you’re close

Uber will send you to pick up a passenger 15 minutes away because you’re the closest driver. The next closest driver may be 16 minutes away. Uber does not pay you for the time or mileage it takes to get to the passenger.

Where will you be going? That’s a secret

When Uber sends a request to a driver, they keep the destination a secret. A driver doesn’t know where they are going until they pick the passenger up and begin the trip.

It means that you might drive 15 minutes to get to a passenger who only wants to go a half mile down the road. Since Uber takes 25 percent of what the passenger pays, you end up making a whopping $4.00 on those type of trips.

The last $4 trip I made, the passenger reported me to Uber for unsafe driving. The reason? I don’t know. Uber would not tell me. They only said the passenger reported me as being unsafe and they were refunding her payment. They extracted the $4 from my weekly earnings.

If I had to guess, she felt unsafe because a guy in a pickup truck was tailgating me and started honking when I made a legal U-turn in the nearby intersection. I wanted to turn around so that I could drop her off right in front of her house. I didn’t want her to have to cross the street.

That’s what I guess. Uber refused to tell me what I did that made the passenger feel so unsafe.

You will also get sent on trips you don’t have time to make.

One of the selling points of Uber to drivers is that you get to decide when you drive. In theory, if you have an hour or two with nothing to do, you can go out and make some money with Uber.

The last time I drove for Uber, I planned on only driving for a couple of hours. I ended up driving a lot longer. I got a request on the other side of town. Because the passenger failed to enter their correct location when requesting the trip, I had to drive around for 15 minutes to find them.

I did not get paid for this time.

When I finally located the passenger and began the trip, I found out they needed a ride to a motel near BWI airport in Baltimore. The airport is about 80 miles away from Hagerstown, the city in which I live.

What it's like to drive for Uber - Bent Corner

My knowledge of Baltimore is limited. I live in Hagerstown, not Baltimore. I know how to get down to the Inner Harbor area. It’s where the Ravens and Orioles play. I know how to go to the airport, Baltimore Washington International (BWI). I’ve driven to the airport many times, but only once with Uber.

It turns out, knowing how to drive to BWI and a motel sort of near BWI are two different things.

Once I got to Baltimore and headed towards BWI, it was dark out. I was relying on Google Maps to get me to the passenger’s motel. There are so many roads near the airport that it seemed Google Maps couldn’t quite figure out which road I was on at any given minute. First, it would show that I was on one road, then the screen would refresh and it would show that I was on a different road, giving me new directions. Google Maps was sending me in circles.

It made for a frustrating experience, both for my passenger and for me. Not being able to find the motel added at least 30 minutes to the trip.

Tips not expected or required?

Once I dropped the passenger off and helped him unload his bags from the trunk, he thanked me, shook my hand, and sent me on my way. He did not give me a tip. I wasn’t surprised by this. He told me earlier that one of the reasons he likes Uber over Lyft and taxis is he doesn’t have to tip an Uber driver.

As if tips are ever required. Almost always tipping is optional.

What it's like to drive for Uber - Bent Corner
How does Uber know what I expect?

Uber makes no-tipping part of their pitch to passengers. Most of the time, I’m perfectly fine with this. Most of the time, a tip isn’t necessary. With that said, when something unusual happens that makes the trip different, more complicated than most Uber trips, a tip can go a long way to smooth things over. For instance, not entering your correct location when you request the trip.

Can you imagine Red Lobster telling its patrons that tipping their server is neither expected or required? I can’t, yet that’s what Uber is doing.

I finally pulled out of the motel parking lot and began the long trip back to Hagerstown. It was a journey I wasn’t getting paid to make. When Uber sends you to a far away place, they don’t pay you for the trip back.

I haven’t driven for Uber since that trip down to Baltimore. It just doesn’t seem worth it.