Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Men Stopped Snoring and Now America is Over

How did I miss Simcha Fisher until now? She is just a treasure trove of snark material!

Her latest bit of snarkalicious wonderment is entitled Masculinity Reduction Surgery, which made me think that the New York Times had managed to find two hipsters trying to start the antitrend of penis size reduction, but alas, no.

It is far more sinister than that! It is the end of men and the end of America itself!!1!!eleventy!!!

Men are- I can hardly bear to type these words- getting plastic surgery. This is the end, my friends, the very end.

Look, I'm not really comfortable plastic surgery, unless it is reconstructive. If an accident or illness has left you looking significantly different than you used to, and this bothers you, reconstructive surgery all the way, baby! Otherwise . . . I dunno. I used to be totally opposed to plastic surgery, but then I noticed that my upper eyelids are drooping with age, as in actual overlap happening, and suddenly I think plastic surgery might be just the thing. So, I'm not judgey about plastic surgery, and I don't hold different standards for men and women on the subject, I'm just not comfortable with it. Probably because the results frequently look really odd, for one thing, and I also suspect that if we'd stop airbrushing and cutting up people showing the slightest hint of age, I might not feel quite so bad about a normal part of being 35.

Anyway, Simcha doesn't have these thoughts about plastic surgery, or at least she doesn't share them if she does. What she feels is, well:

What I mean to say is, didn’t there used to be men in this country? Men have always been vain, certainly, but one of their most endearing features has always been that most men will be vain for no particular reason. Haven’t you seen one of those 60-year-old behemoths on the beach, proceeding imperially down the shoreline like a glorious Adonis, even though his rock-hard, hairy, sunburned, hassock-sized belly alone takes up more property than the typical starter home? But he doesn’t care! He is

who he is, and he’s going to strut his stuff.

I’m not even kidding: That is what I like about men. They don’t give a damn. Their neck bulges over the back of their collar? So what? Their ears are hairy, their hands are rough, they snore and make noise and take up lots of space. That is what men are supposed to be like, and if they are going to start frowning into the magnifying mirror and getting all teary when bathing suit season comes around, then we might as well just call it a day. Good night, America. Sorry, Ben Franklin. It was a pretty good country, but it’s over now.

Ah, gender stereotypes. Girls like pink and don't know how to use power tools and men think their beer bellies and ear hair are hawt! And any man or woman not fitting into those stereotypes are destroying Western civilization!

First of all, fuck off. Men aren't "supposed to be" anything but themselves and men shouldn't have to pretend to be what you think men are supposed to be just so you can feel comfortable. Sorry, Simcha, you're not god.

Secondly, it's total bullshit. My husband's weight ranges from obese to morbidly obese. I don't care, but he does and he always has. He has never been proud of the amount of space he takes up or oblivious to how other people see him. My husband has eyes, Simcha. He can see all the movie stars and models and he can see that what's in the mirror doesn't look like that. And it doesn't make him feel good.

Yes, Simcha, men have feelings. (And soft hands. I can't imagine why a musician/recording engineer would have rough hands, but I guess that makes my husband a woman.)

I'm glad you like hairy ears and farts and snoring and neck bulges, but that doesn't make any woman who doesn't not a woman, or any man who doesn't want to be hairy-eared, farty and bulgey less of a man. And it's unbelievably arrogant of you to think that you can determine what men are, and declare that all men who don't fall into your categories aren't really men. Who the hell do you think you are, Simcha?

Oh, wait, I see, it's vascetomies. Men who have had them ARE NOT MEN.

How did we get here? In my entirely unscientific opinion, something else happened in the ‘50s, when men started making appointments with their doctors for a different procedure. And once it became common, there was no particular reason for men to look like men. One word, and I’ll give you a hint: It starts with “v-a-s.”

Ooh, sorry, neutered guys, did that hurt your widdle feelings? THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A MAN.

Hey, done with fathering children? YOU ARE NOT A MAN! Incapable of fathering children? YOU ARE NOT A MAN! Testicular cancer require the removal of your testicles? YOU ARE NOT A MAN.


And you ruined America, you thoughtless unmale bastard. Now think about what you've done!

*Simcha only wrote that choosing sterility makes one NOT A MAN, but what's the difference? If sterility means you are not a man, it shouldn't make any difference whether one is sterile by choice or not.

Now That's Just Mean!

I never stopped to consider this question:

The reason, according to Genesis, that humans have pain and suffering is that Yhwh cursed all humanity because the first two humans made a rather understandable mistake. Now, of course, I have considered how absurdly, breathtakingly cruel it would be to punish all humanity for the mistakes of two humans, but I never considered why we are still being punished. After all, Jesus died for our sins, right? That definitely includes Original Sin. So why do we still live under the curse of original sin?

My answer is that there is no god, no Adam and Eve, no original Sin and no curse. Bad stuff happens because it does. People grow old and die because entropy always wins.

Christians, however, have to come up with some other reason, and it is as breathtakingly cruel as the curse itself:

We know that the curse is the result of man's sin. And why then are we, who are forgiven of sin, still living the curse?

Because the curse is a constant reminder that we are in desperate need of salvation. It was designed with a purpose--put there for our good—so that we might understand our need for a saviour.

Wow. That's . . . indescribable. Imagine that your great great great great great great great great grandfather murdered someone, was tried, convicted and spent the remainder of life in prison. Would you find it fair for you to be in prison for his crime? Of course not. Your grandparents weren't alive when the crime was committed, why should you be punished for it? Your grandfather already paid his debt to society, why should you have to do it again?

What if the answer to that question was "yes, the bet is paid, but we're going to imprison every member of your family forever to show everyone else that we take murder very seriously"?

Apparently, if you're Christian, you think that's love.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Words Have Meanings: Unique

This is the most joyous creature on earth. Starting now, I am the founder of a religion that promises each truly true believer their own sloth.

Unique: Characteristic of a particular category, condition, or locality: a problem unique to coastal areas.

In fairness, the above is the third definition of unique, because that is the way it is being used in the post I am snarking on. I am all about the fairness.

As used above, "unique" denotes something that can only be applied to the thing in question. Hurricanes are problems unique to coastal regions. Hurricanes don't form over land, so you won't see hurricanes in Indiana or Iowa, for example. (Um, Germany?, for the Europeans.) This is important, because if you say certain characteristics are unique to a specific group or place, you can't use characteristics that can apply to anyone or anywhere. If you do, I can only assume that either you don't know what "unique" means, or that you have a rather odd view of other groups. I'm going with the latter.

The Unique Characteristics of a Godly Woman:

Here are some characteristics of a godly woman--check off the ones that describe you:

  • Gracious
I'm an atheist and I'm gracious! [checks definition of "gracious"] Well, at least some of the time. We'll give that one a half check.
  • Virtuous
No. I'm not that, not by the stretch of anyone's imagination.
  • Sober
Yes, actually. Drinking alcohol while taking Vicodin is a good way to end up with liver failure.
  • Chaste
  • Prudent
I am probably the most practical person you know. In fact, that is why I did not major in philosophy. I love philosophy, but I am simply too practical to really engage a discussion of whether or not the real world is the really real world.
  • Discreet
Well, it's not like I have sex in public, except that one time, in the park . . . okay, no.
  • Peaceable
Fuck yeah! Seriously, I think pacifism is the solution to a lot of humanity's problems. I'm just too practical to think it's a workable solution.
  • Patient
That I most definitely am.
  • Kind
Yes. I am kind.
  • Faithful
To what? God? No. My friends, my beliefs, my principals, few as they are? Yes.
  • Joyful
Overall, yes.
  • Good
Now I'm getting all kinds of offended. Only Christian women are good? How rude!
  • Merciful
I haven't set anyone on fire yet. Considering the provocations, that's damn merciful.
  • Pleasant
That's really a question for people who interact with me.
  • Ready
  • Honorable
Yes. I'm not sure the writer would accept my personal sense of honor as such, but she didn't define "honor" for me, so I'm giving this one a check.
  • Benevolent
You know, that's an odd word to describe a person with. Usually you see "benevolent" used to describe dictators or gods.
  • Keeper at Home
Typing this at work, so, no.
  • In Subjection
To what?
  • Quiet Spirit
If my spirit were any louder, you'd all be deaf.
  • Modest
What definition? How she is no doubt defining "modesty", purely on the basis of skirt lengths and such, no, but what about the real definition of "modest"? I had a heck of a time saying "yes" to any of this stuff, and it's all positive, or meant to be, so . . . another half check.
  • Obedient
To what? The laws of the US? Yes.
  • Loves husband and children
Who the fuck doesn't love at least their children? That's got to be the most insulting thing I've ever read. Only Christian women love their husbands and children? Fuck you!
  • Teaching the younger women
Doing so right now, asshat. As we speak. So, ha!

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Am the Queen of All Landinia

Love the sinner, hate the sin. How many times have you heard that one? It's always being delivered by some hateful asshat after they've been called on the essential hypocrisy of claiming to follow a person who said that the greatest of these is love and then spewing vile hatred at people different from them.

Now, I could explore the idea that one can separate a person from their actions, which is problematic at best. (Pro tip: if zie tells you zie loves you and continually treats you badly, it doesn't matter whether or not zie loves you, you're still being treated badly.) I could also ask how one could feel hatred for a person's actions without any of that hatred rubbing off on to how you feel about the person themselves.

I could do those things, but it would be a lot easier to simply show you how love the sinner, hate the sin actually works in the really real world.

The below all relates to the commercial above. If you can't watch the commercial, it's from the NBA. It shows basketball players trash talking each other until one of them uses "gay" as a pejorative, at which point various NBA stars unequivocally state that using "gay" as an insult is unacceptable and hurtful. It's quite well done.

Of course the evangelical Christians, who are, at this point, an organization solely devoted to oppressing gays and women, cannot handle this at all.

Watching the NBA semis and I cant believe I'm watching a commercial about not using the word "gay" because it's offensive to gays.


I can't believe how stupid you are. It is stated in the commercial, out loud, in words, small words, that it is using "gay" as an insult that is unacceptable. Using "gay" as a descriptive is still acceptable. You idiot.

The word "gay" actually originally meant "to be happy". Not sure how the word "gay" began to be used to describe homosexuals. But either way, forget the commercial's message. The gays and lesbians have to be told flat out that their behavior is sin, regardless of what the world says.

Actually, the word "gay" originally meant really, really (hetero)sexually active. So, word origin fail. As to the idea that gays need to be told that their behavior is a sin, (a) I'm sure they all know how you feel about it by now, and (b) I'm sure you'll be fine with me stopping by your house once a day to point out all of your sins, and, oh yeah, (c) not a sin. Get over yourself.

You can hardly watch any shows anymore where there is blatant display of gay talk and behavior. Is not like before where one guy just played to be gay for the funny part of it (the feminist acting that looked awkward funny in a guy) but now is about relationships, kissing, and beyond. And I am talking about just regular channels, not cable.

I have started watching shows where I thought they were really good but had to stop because I saw the direction they were going with.


It was totally okay to have gay people in public as long as they were the punchline of a joke, but gay people as real people doing what real people do? outrageous!

No gays? well we can go back to the word we used as kids - bundle of sticks.

Homosexuals are trying to whitewash our language so as to make their conduct "normal".

It will not work. Yes we can live peaceably with homosexuals. They are sinners just like us - in need of love and redemption.

But sin is still sin. And men will label it what they will. Even if they do not acknowledge the One who defines it.

I'm fairly certain one cannot live peacefully with someone who throws a temper tantrum when they can't call you names. I get the impression this entire group has a list of acceptable insults, starting with "n***er" and ending in "slut", and they cry every time they have to cross out a word.

If someone's named "Gay" can you still call her by her name?

Well, "John" is also a slang term for a prostitute's client and a toilet, can you still call someone named John, John? Clever: ur doin it rong.

Why is it wrong for NBA players to use gay slurs (and get heavily fined for doing so) because they are so worried about offending homosexuals, but its ok to blaspheme God regularly? I cringe every time I hear God's name used in vain. And I have heard players say it and seen them mouth it. I as a Christian am offended. Will the NBA make the players stop?

How backwards is that? When people are more worried about offending gays than God we are in deep trouble folks.

Maybe because the people using "Jesus Christ" as an expletive- assuming this is even true- are Christians themselves expressing frustration, not heterosexuals enforcing second class citizenship on homosexuals? Just a thought.

So if we are not supposed to refer to 'gays' as gays or homosexuals, what?? Surely they aren't advocating going back to the 'q " word, are they? I really hate using the word 'gay' for them because when I grew up 'gay' was a good, 'happy' word. My sister's middle name is Gay, and I had a friend whose first name was Gay. Anyway, just commenting.

You know what word would solve your problem? None. Just refer to people by their names, like you would anyone else. Solves the whole problem.

Okay, I have the solution - let's call them what G-d calls them . . . ABOMINATION

Yeah, that same god called dashing infant's heads against rocks a good thing.

You know, I realized why I'm having trouble writing my book. The main character is supposed to stop the Apocalypse and save mankind. Quite frankly, the more of this sort of thing I read, the more I think, "Let it all burn." Then I read this, from Charles Barkley, and I feel better.

"First of all, every player has played with gay guys," Barkley said. "It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say: ‘Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy.’ First of all, quit telling me what I think. I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play.”

Barkley went on to say that he believes every professional athlete has had a gay teammate.

“Any professional athlete who gets on TV or radio and says he never played with a gay guy is a stone-freakin’ idiot,” he said. “I would even say the same thing in college. Every college player, every pro player in any sport has probably played with a gay person."

It was revealed on Monday that former Villanova basketball player Will Sheridan told his teammates that he was gay during his career.

Barkley told Wise that gay players pose no problem and said, "we need to outlaw guys who suck at sports.”

Thank you, Mr. Barkley. I needed that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How to Tell You Are Not a Feminist

I've seen 1,000 word explanations of feminism, but as the Princess of Pithy, I can boil that down for you into one sentence: Feminism is the belief that men and women are equal.

That's simple, right? Men and women, we are equal. Anything else associated with feminism- control over fertility, criticism of media treatment, concerns about representation in power structures- flows from that simple, defining belief.

Determining whether or not you are a feminist or whether an organization is inherently feminist, is equally simple. Do you promote actions or ideas that treat women and men equally? Does the organization act in a way that results in women and men being treated equally?

If not, neither you nor the organization are feminist. You may wish to be a feminist, but if you don't hold to that belief, you are not. Go find another word. This is not to say that feminism is a monolith and that all feminists believe all the same things. I've heard equally good arguments for and against pornography and sex work from feminists I admire equally. I've heard some fairly silly arguments regarding subjects like wearing colours and skirts* from feminists I otherwise admire. However, even those arguments are within the framework of equality for all sexes**.

For example, is the Catholic Church feminist? The short answer is "no, what the hell is wrong with you?", but you probably didn't stop by for the short answer, and I'm stumped on what happens next in my book, so I'll ramble on a bit.

If you're not familiar with the Catholic Church (hereinafter "RCC"), even a cursory examination of the structure and teachings of the RCC is enough to show it is inherently misogynistic. Men rule the RCC. From priest to cardinal to bishop to pope, the entire power structure is exclusively male. Only men can lead worship services, only men can make policy decisions, only men speak for God. Women have two roles, and both those roles are in service to men: wife/mother and nun.

This is not feminism.

The policies of the RCC flow directly from this misogyny. Women are not allowed control over their bodies, and are fully expected to die in difficult pregnancies and to bear the child of their rapist, even if that rapist is their father, even if they are 9 years old. Women are fully expected to give up any possibility of a career and to bear one child after another until they no longer can. That is the role of women in the RCC and it will never change, because the policy makers will never be women.

This is not feminism.

Having established that, is it possible for a Catholic to be feminist, or for a feminist to be Catholic in good standing holding to the accepted teachings of the RCC? No. Logically, one could not embrace the above and be a feminist, simply because the beliefs of the RCC and feminism are mutually exclusive.

Now here's the thing about feminism: feminism does not promise you a rose garden. Even if feminism overcame all misogyny tomorrow, that doesn't mean every individual woman's life would automatically be perfect. Feminism seeks to remove artificial societal barriers keeping women lesser than men. Feminism does not require that each woman become a doctor or limit herself to two children or abort her rapist's baby. Feminism merely seeks to make those choices available to you. You are more than welcome to choose to be a stay at home mother, to have eleven children and to continue any pregnancy you wish, even if that means risking your own life in the process. I would not make those choices, personally, but I'm not you and I will support your right to make choices, even if I might personally find them bizarre or ill advised.

Basically, in the linked article above (and here, why make you scroll?) Simcha Fisher argues that because she takes advantage of certain advances earned by feminists, she is a feminist. Just soak that in for a minute.

What if I had to argue with the auto parts clerk to buy a headlight bulb, even though I was the one replacing it? What if the bank required me to get my husband’s permission for this and that? And what if I wore skirts because I’d be shunned if I didn’t, and not because I felt like wearing them?

Yeah, that would totally suck, right? That's the world many feminists lived in and worked so hard to improve. When my mother was in college, that was the world. Married women couldn't get credit in their own name, so she didn't. Female college students couldn't attend classes in pants. If you showed up to class in pants, you would be escorted out of the building. My mother is not 1,000 years old. This is very recent history.

So here's Simcha, aware of that history, grateful it is history and is simultaneously patting herself on the back for supporting an organization that is deeply misogynistic.

So what makes me a feminist? Some would say that all faithful Catholics are feminists, because the Church is the most pro-woman organization around: The Church honors and values the particular gifts of women, and demands that men treat women with dignity and even a little bit of fear. John Paul II famously called himself a “feminist pope”; and in practical terms, the Church has probably done more for the physical well-being of women around the world than any other charitable organization.

Catholics who are feminists recognize that, while so many true wrongs have been righted in the last 50 years, the poor treatment of women in America has just been displaced, not eradicated. So now, instead of corsets and disenfranchisement, we have widespread pornography, abortion, and abandonment of every kind. We have gained some necessary ground, but lost so much else that is valuable in the process. Most of my Catholic friends see the world this way.

Yes, pornography and abortion didn't exist until 1964, Simcha. JPII could have called himself a pink unicorn if he had wanted to, that wouldn't make it true. And you know what? I don't care what the RCC has done for women worldwide (health care missionaries? I'm not sure), as long as women are not allowed in the halls of power simply because they are women, the RCC is not feminist, and neither are you.

Find another word. "Feminist" is already taken.

*Admittedly, I wear skirts almost exclusively because I find them to be significantly more comfortable than pants, so maybe I just don't want to hear a feminist argument against skirts. Then again, I'm in favor of men having the option of wearing skirts (you'd think, given the, um, dangly nature of male genitals, that skirts would be the automatic male preference) as well, so I think I'm still falling within the equality test.

**We need to have a discussion about how limiting and exclusionary it is to discuss sex as if it is only male and female. There are those who fall outside the XX/XY paradigm, and it's hurtful to them to be constantly excluded from, quite literally, everything.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Planet Do You Live On, and What's the Weather Like There?

[Note: I can't log into blogger using Google Chrome, so I'm stuck using Explorer. Blech! Anyway, I'm used to blogger spellchecking as I write the same way MSWord does, and as far as I can tell, I'm going to have to copy/paste this post into Word, do the spellcheck and then copy/paste it back. Charmingly, running the spellcheck in blogger while in Explorer just highlights the misspelled words, and if I knew how to spell them, I wouldn't have misspelled them in the first place. Anyway, fucking blogger.]

Every now and then, I come across a post from a fundy so removed from reality as I experience it that I have to ask, "What planet do you live on and what's the weather like there?"

Now, I could rip apart every word of this post, I mean, she refers to homosexuals as "sodomites"*, but what made me wonder if the internet now extends to alternate realities was this:

First, God reveals Himself to all mankind. We are all born with a knowledge of
God and a desire to seek and to serve Him. This is why it is so easy to guide a
child into a saving knowledge of God and a life of service to God. This is the
desire God puts into a child. However, the first step one takes down this road
is rejecting God. This is compounded when parents place their children into a
sociological morass called the public school. In the public school, Christ is
only mentioned as a part of a swear word, as a study of mythology or when the
Catholic persecutions are purported to be in the name of Christ (Christ never
encouraged anyone to convert another by force or at the edge of a sword).
Christianity is, in many schools, mocked and ridiculed by the evangelistic
secular humanist and her religion: evolution.

"Sociological morass?" I can't decide if the author, Randy Ross, is referring to all those brown kids rubbing up against his kids' delicate white skin, or maybe all the poor people spreading poor cooties or what. (If you've started with the word "sodomite" I'm just going to ahead and assume that you're a racist as well.) I mean, really, children being expected to interact with other members of society who may be the slightest bit different from them. It's outrageous!

As for Christ only being mentioned as part of a swear word, can you imagine? I can't. I have no idea what, exactly, Randy thinks goes on in public schools, but I can assure you public school teachers are not instructing students in new, blasphemous swear words. Honestly. It's so utterly ridiculous, I can't help but laugh, but I think he may sincerely believe this to be true. He really may believe that if he sent his kids to a public school, they would come home with a spelling list that included "fuck" and "Jesus H. Tap-Dancing Christ!".

That's what actual people in America actually believe about America. They live right next door to you and they vote.

My work will never be done, will it?

*It's Christian love, baby!

**I'd probably be a bit more successful in life if I channeled my talents into marketable avenues.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Too Serious for Numbers

Hyperbole and a Half has clearly been there.

I'm not entirely certain why Christians, specifically Catholics, tend to be so against euthanasia. I didn't understand it while I was Catholic, and I don't understand it now.

Here, allow me to elucidate what euthanasia means to me. Saturday we celebrated my husband's birthday by going to the casino. He loves playing poker and he's good at it, we just don't generally have the $200 necessary to play at the casino. So his brother's birthday present was the $200 stake and his company at the tables. Initially, they were going to enter a tournament starting at 7pm, so we were going to go down at 5, hang out for 2 hours, then the rest of us would leave when they started the tournament. Through an unfortunate series of events, we didn't get there until 9pm, and I didn't get home until 3am. (He came home at 7am, enough up to pay for mastering his album, which is being released the second week of June. I do expect class participation in this project.)

After 6 hours spent on my feet at the casino (they don't have chairs for people not spending money), being up 5 hours past my usual bedtime and getting 4 hours of sleep after that, this was my week:

Sunday: I managed to get from the bed to the couch. I don't really remember Sunday except as a haze of pain.

Monday: The pain was worse, but I was more mobile and managed to take a shower. Mostly, I remember nausea and pain. And everything smelled funny for some reason.

Tuesday: The pain was somewhat better, but my skin felt like it was on wrong.

Wednesday: Delighted to discover my skin was back on right, not so concerned about the pain anymore.

Thursday: Back to a normal level of pain for me. Actually, I think I'm at the level of pain that had me calling the doctor for an emergency appointment, but after the preceding four days, it doesn't seem so bad anymore.

That's my life. What might be a little soreness and exhaustion for anyone else is a sojourn in hell for me. You know what keeps me going? I know that it will end. I know what the typical rebound time for me is. Well, typical rebound used to be one day of feeling not so bad, followed by two days in hell, but it's been years since I tried anything like that. But it does end, eventually. Even in the midst of pain so severe, I was left unable to really care for myself, I knew it would end. By "unable to really care for myself", I mean my husband was carrying me to the bathroom every so often because I couldn't form the proper intent to get there on my own.

If that were my everyday life with no end in sight, you'd better believe I would kill myself. Without hesitation and without apology. I love life, but that's not life to me. As much of an endurance challenge as formerly easy things can be to me anymore, there is still beauty and wonder in this universe for me, but not when I'm in that kind of pain. That kind of pain reduces the world to nothing more than screaming nerves and an overwhelmed brain that's not meant to take that kind of abuse. Imagine walking through a fog so thick you can't see your hand in front of your face. Now imagine that the fog is pain and you are pain and time is pain and the world is pain. Now imagine that is all that is left for you and then imagine what you would do.

If that sounds unreasonable to you, well, you haven't been there. I know Red Cardigan hasn't been there, because this is how she responds to quality of life concerns:

I first saw this article at a news site which allows comments, and the
comments were overwhelmingly in favor of suicide for the terminally ill, the
elderly, the handicapped, and anyone else who no longer enjoys "quality of
life," which is apparently defined by the ability to maintain a trendy home,
dash off on destination vacations, work long hours for the right sort of people,
and shop for cool toys and couture fashion at America's most
religiously-attended structures, otherwise known as shopping centers, malls,
strip malls, or misleadingly named "town squares"
(and this is off-topic, but the couple of times I've had the misfortune of
actually setting foot in that place linked to I have honestly felt like the
whole thing is frighteningly unreal in a rather evil way; but then, I'm a
writer, and thus prone to fits of imagination).

A part of me laughs. She is clearly more concerned with some [follows link] shopping center than she is with another person's screaming agony. On the one hand, most of us, including me, are more concerned with what affects us than with what affects another person we've never met. On the other hand, does she really think that people are stuffing a bag over grandma's head because she can't shop at Coach anymore?

A part of me screams with a rage that has few words. That part of me is still quaking in fear that last week will come back for me, that the all-encompassing pain will return and never leave and it will kill me before I stop breathing, and she's yapping on about shopping centers and being a writer?

Does anyone have words for that? What kind of monster are you, Red Cardigan, that you call a shopping center "unreal" and "evil" when there is suffering in this world, all around you, suffering with no release, not even a pause, suffering ended only by death? You ignore this and call it morality.

I don't even know what to say.

There Is No Why

As soon as I saw what Stephen Hawking had to say about Heaven, I knew my reader would explode with articles denouncing, and completely misunderstanding, his words. For some reason, a large portion of Christians seem to think Hawking is the High Priest of Atheism and they must! denounce! him!

My reader did not disappoint. I could blog about nothing but theistic reactions to Hawking's thoughts from now until doomsday (December, 2012). I'll spare you the stoopid (see how nice I am?) and give you this one representative reaction:

I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack, but I missed something here. Hawking was asked about the value of knowing WHY we are here, and responded above about societies, survival, Darwin, yada yada. But what I'd like to know if, as he says, our very existence is "pure chance", WHY ARE WE HERE? Why should I care to seek the "greatest value of our action"? Why should my personal goals include the consideration of "our" anyway? And what if I belong to a society that isn't fittest? Wouldn't natural selection wipe out my goals, my greatest value of action anyway? I'm not being facetious here, either. If anyone out there wants to take a stab at WHY, from a Darwinian and atheistic point of view we're here, I'd like to know. It's only fair. I asked believers why doesn't God heal amputees. It's the nonbelievers turn.

Here's the answer: There is no why. That's it, really. There is no reason, no grand design, no plan, nothing. We are because we could be, and all things that could happen do happen at least once.

I know, right? It's so fucking mindblowing that we are not the center of the universe. We're just a speck of dust in the vastness of infinity and in the grand scheme of things, we matter not at all, except to ourselves. We could disappear off the face of the Earth right now and the vast majority of the universe wouldn't notice a thing.

It's okay. Just breathe. You'll be alright, I promise. I didn't say you didn't matter to anyone at all. I'm sure you do. And that's why you should seek out the "greatest value of [your] actions". Because to other humans, it does matter, and each other is all we have. There is no god to save us, no Armageddon to wipe the slate clean, so salvation and no glory. If you want good, you'll have to make it happen. Just you. And me.

We'll be okay. We always have been. You see, it's been this way the whole time. There was never a time when it wasn't just you and me. You may not have known it, but this is the way it always was and you got along just fine.

So take a deep breath and carry on with whatever it is you do.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Keeping the Boot on Your Throat, One Policy at a Time

Capitalism: It's like this, only with more screaming.

Today, I would like to discuss credit checks during job applications. I don't bother to check my credit. Whatever the lowest score is, I've earned it. I've earned it, not through irresponsibility, most people don't, but through misfortune: illness, job loss, circumstance. I tried to pay my bills, I just couldn't. Because no matter what the finger waggers like to say, anyone faced with the choice of paying the credit card bill and eating will choose to eat. Unless you've starved yourself to death to pay off your student loans, don't lecture me.

The reason I got my present job through a temp agency is that temp agencies, at least around here, don't do background checks. Everyone else does. I applied for a bank teller position and was told that my credit score was the only thing preventing me from getting the job. Then I had the humiliating experience of explaining each and every entry to the interviewer, in detail. That was so much fun.

Good credit scores are for the wealthy, the healthy and the lucky. If you're poor, you don't have a good credit score. You couldn't. You will pay your bills late, and if you've been poor more than 6 months, you know exactly how long each utility will wait before shutting you off- and you pay your bills accordingly. I've heard the advice not to get a credit card, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Gas has gone up, electricity has gone up, water has gone up, food prices have skyrocketed, but you know what hasn't gone up? Wages.

More and more people are living one paycheck away from absolute ruin and part of the problem is credit scores. It wouldn't do me much good to finish college, because I couldn't pass a credit check anyway.

And what's the logic? I have no idea. There's no correlation that I could find between poor job performance and poor credit, and what sort of people do they think are desperate to get a bank teller position paying a little over minimum wage?

It's just another way to keep the boot of the plutocracy to my throat and make sure I, and millions more like me, don't ever climb one rung up the ladder. The more of the pie I have, the less they have, and if you have to go through life with only three gold-plated yachts, what's the point, really?

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

At 6:01 on Saturday, May 21, my husband turned to me and said, "Well, we'll be seeing a lot of new atheists soon."

He's wrong. He's not totally wrong. I think the children of those who believed Camping and watched their parents lose everything to a rapture that never happened may end up questioning their faith, but the adults? No. For one thing, they're too invested in their belief. Once you've sold your home, quit your job and put down your dog for your beliefs, you're not backing down. For another, the Bible provides the perfect out for these people: Deuteronomy 18:20-22.

“But if any prophet presumes to speak anything in my name that I have not authorized him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. 18:21 Now if you say to yourselves, ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the Lord?’ – 18:22 whenever a prophet speaks in my name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.”

So, let me get this straight, predictions that do come true are from Yhwh, predictions that do not come true are not from Yhwh. Heads, I win, tails, you lose.

It's almost like the writer of Deuteronomy knew these sorts of things would happen- over and over again. Funny, that.

So don't expect that Camping's devotees will lose their faith along with their homes and jobs. They might, might mind you, stop listening to Camping, but their belief in god will remain unaffected.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bonus Saturday Logic Fail

From Rapture Ready, regarding rapture parties (we're having one tonight at 7. Homemade bruschetta and mussels in white wine sauce. Om nom nom nom!):


I am a little confused by what they are saying here. i read this article yesterday and couldn't help but to wonder certain things about what they are saying. First, they claim this is a win-win situation for them. That if we are raptured ,then they as athiests are not going? I don't know if they seem totally athiest or not. I mean they would have to believe it was possible for the rapture to happen first, before admitting they know they're not going. And if it does happen its like a new lottery winning for them. Does any one else find that weird or is it just me?

I guess what I am asking is, they don't really seem to completely reject the idea of the rapture, or God's existence, or anything? Just seem to be happy with their lives in sin and wanna make it easier for themselves after we're gone? And if they're not completely rejecting the idea of all this being possible there may be hope for them yet. I just found it weird. I apologize if how I described this didn't make much sense.


I assume this person can draw a unicorn or a dragon, right? well, I guess they believe such things exist, then. Mah brane, it hurts.

Wait, Is This Standard with Mail Deliveries?

Cuz that would be awesome!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Next Generation

(posting from an iPod is a pain in my ass. also, autocorrect seems to want to make me antisemitic lately. the first stage of the AI's war against us is moderate social embarrassment, it seems.)

ugly link:


this is from a series the blogger is doing on modesty, asking young fundamentalist men she knows how they feel about modesty and women in general. this one is revealing of the rampant misogyny in the Christian fundamentalist culture.


When I see a girl who dresses a way that shows that she could care less about how she looks, I wonder to myself… “If she doesn’t care about the way she represents herself…what other areas is she purposefully lacking in…?”
But typically girls do worry too much…And it’s not their fault - they are built that way. A lot of times when a girl is nervous about the way she looks, she usually looks great! But she just needs confirmation from others.


yes, it has nothing to do with the culture we live in or the knowledge that asshats like you are judging our every lump, ripple and bulge. our tiny little minds are just wired for shoes!


8) What do you consider flirting and what do you think of a girl when she flirts with you?

For the most part, I find it sad; because I can’t fulfill her wishes of liking her. And I want her to be happy.


you can't like her because, um, gay? oh, no, that's not it. you'll see. he just can't like slutty sluts who flirt.


12) What is your view on college for girls?

If the girl intends to be a home schooling mom, I think the money could be used in a more wise way. House payment? Her kids college? First car?


yes, why would educating the person who will be educating your children be nearly as important as a car ?


16) A lot of guys like using sarcasm around girls…do you know why that is?

Because they have not matured yet. It’s a foolish thing to do, and will one day get them in trouble.


wut? oh, right if women are exposed to sarcasm after midnight, we turn into gremlins.


17) Do guys like it when girls are tomboyish or more girlie?

If I wanted a tomboyish wife…I could just be gay…it would be easier. Hahaha
Most defiantly a girlie girl; one who lets me open her door, loves twirling in a dress (P.S. I am fine with pants too) and loves being a lady.


yes, that's right kids, a woman who opens her own doors and doesn't twirl may as well have a penis. my husband, married to a woman who mows the lawn and uses power tools as often as possible is gay- and that is very bad.

in fact, fucking a person of the sex you aren't even attracted to would be "easier" than being with a woman who opens her own doors.


24) What is one thing that girls do that you hate?

There isn’t anything I could say that I hate, because even things like overeating too much are part of being human, and I do that too. So I am not the one to be judging.


of course he went straight for fatties. where else could he go?

this is the future of fundamentalist Christianity, folks. lovely, ain't it?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kirk Cameron: You Only Love Hawking Because You Have To

(I really just need to pay for the full apple blogger app, but for right now, I'm unable to link or format.)

You may have heard that Stephen Hawking has come right out and said that heaven is a fairy tale for people afraid of death. I, for one, wasn't surprised.

Kirk Cameron, of course, was and this is his response, the relevant portion, anyway:


To say anything negative about Stephen Hawking is like bullying a blind man. He has an unfair disadvantage, and that gives him a free pass on some of his absurd ideas.

end quote

Isn't it fun being disabled? all the barriers and frustrations and even if you are the smartest man alive- possibly ever- people will reduce you to your disability and dismiss you as such.

Hey, Kirk! FUCK YOU. Stephen Hawking isn't a world reknowned physicist because we all chose to give the poor guy something to make up for being all weird and weak, but because he is smart and hard working. Unlike a certain failed sitcom actor whose big talent is having pretty blue eyes.

You asshole.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Are Smart- and Edumacated!

Sir Isaac Newton: I don't think he lived anytime recently. Or he was the bassist for a hair metal band.

I'd like to start this off with some facts. You may have heard of them, facts. They are things about which one cannot have an opinion. You may not like the facts, but they are as they are, how you feel about them doesn't change them.

Generally speaking, the more fundamentalist one is, the less educated one is and vice versa. It's a direct correlation: christian fundamentalism=low levels of education. This is no doubt the result of a complex interaction between the traits that create fundamentalism and the traits that prevent secondary education. Is this true for every fundamentalist? Of course not. Nothing ever holds true for every single individual. Well, okay, nobody can breathe in a vacuum. Other than that, of course there will be exceptions. However, it is not out of line to assume that a fundamentalist is poorly educated.

Generally speaking, as far as I can tell, there is some sort of correlation between being a christian fundamentalist and having a lower IQ. (That same research shows that the really smart people choose Shintoism, in case you were wondering.) Again, does this mean fundamentalist christianity causes IQ loss? No. It means that if you unquestioningly accept the literal truth of a book that starts with a talking, legged snake, you might not have the necessary reasoning capacity to see why that's a problem. It also does not mean that being a fundamentalist christian automatically means you have a low IQ. Again, on average. Some people fall outside of average.

So, why do I bring this up? Well, for one thing, if you're considering entering the wonderful wide world of Ponzi schemes, you need to know your target audience . . . no, wait, the Rapture Ready folks are all kinds of offended I think they're kind of gullible*.

Hi all. After reading some of the negative e mails posted in the interesting e mails section , I seem to see a common theme among those who are critical of christians, and what we believe. They seem to always assume that we are uneducated, easily manipulated people. This is a myth that we christians need to try and dispel.

Well, you could start by not saying jackass stupid shit about global warming and homosexuals. How about that?

Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most brilliant minds ever, was a pre trib , prophecy believing christian.

No, Newton would not have hung out at Rapture Ready. He lived in a slightly different time than we do now. Not that I think he really was a pretrib Christian. This pretrib stuff is relatively recent.

I met 4 people at an event this week, all avid christians, all with PHDs.

Pics or it didn't happen! Really, what was the event? Church? Doctors' Night at the local church? I can't even imagine what "avid" means in that context.

Although I myself am no genius, and I don't want to sound arrogant, let me state some of my accomplishments.

I don't mean to sound racist, but . . .

I have a BS in accounting, am an instrument rated pilot, an advanced open water diver, I had two scholarships in college, one academic, the other athletic (golf) and years later still carry a zero handicap.

What does your golf handicap have to do with your intelligence or understanding of science?

I became a christian after reading Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth, which led to a life long study of Bible prophecy. The liberal media seems to always portray christians as uneducated kooks. The bible states clearly that in the last days, the wise would be called fools, and fools would think themselves wise.

Oh, well if the Bible says it . . . the Bible says bats are birds.

The idea that you can dispel a myth from the mind of a fool is a lovely notion but the fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient tells us they already know it's a myth before they speak it.

Wut? Okay, I'll try again. We'll remove everything before the "but"

The idea that you can dispel a myth from the mind of a fool is a lovely notion but the fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient tells us they already know it's a myth before they speak it.

The fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient?

Okay, we'll remove the "not convenient" and replace it with "inconvenient", maybe that will help.

The idea that you can dispel a myth from the mind of a fool is a lovely notion but the fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient inconvenient tells us they already know it's a myth before they speak it.

Nope. There is no way to make heads or tails of that.

There are a great many very accomplished true believers. In the end, the world will mock us because it hates us. There are probably many true believers out there who were never able to go to school and are dirt poor, but none-the-less are significant in God's eyes, and probably in the eyes of anyone they offer assistance to during the course of their lives. We Children of God are very very fortunate, no matter how the world treats us.

I would imagine, being a case in point, that there were just as many, if not more, dirt poor nonbelievers without access to education.

I used to scuba dive when I was younger and single. Besides a few cold murky lakes and underwater caves, I've dived in the Mediterranean, all around the Island of Okinawa Japan, Guam, and the waters off of Florida.

Again, I fail to see what your leisure time activities have to do with your intelligence, though I am jealous of your travels.

I passed the MENSA entrance test when I was 16. Technically that makes me a 'genius'.

Personally, I think it just means Im good at taking tests. That skill does occasionally come in handy though.

Okay, I'll give you high scores for intelligence, though not for passing the MENSA test. A good many people don't seem to realize that intelligence tests aren't the best measure of intelligence.

these same people that mock Christians, media, movie "stars" and "movers and shakers" are heavily into Scientology. I mean, come on!

This "religion" was started by a guy who said he was going to start his own religion. And died in prison for his stupid worldly crimes. And the rules and regulations would rival the most superstitious of any pagan/space cult belief.

And don't even get me started on atheists! They think that they are their own god and they put their faith in people. People they know are weak and going to fail them, a lot. People whose moral center depends on that person's "moral standards" are. Which changes with the wind or flavor of the month.

All I am saying is, who is the ignorant one?!!!

Yes, last month I was totally into setting puppies on fire, this month I'm vegan. C'mon now.

Related to the OP there is the myth that Christians are weak and need a crutch to get through this life. When I hear this I just mention that Chuck Norris and Albert Pujols are Christians. Pretty much blows that theory out of the water.

Um, you do know those "facts" about Chuck Norris aren't actually true, right?**

I am a Christian and a lawyer

[insert lawyer joke here]

so I am no dummy, but that does not contribute in any way towards my salvation. Intelligence is just a gift from God much like any other talent, and as the others pointed out, it is no guarantee of wisdom or maturity. To me, atheists come across as whiny, boastful, and obnoxious, and they really don't tend to "play well with others."

If the Father has bestowed some talent upon you, then you ought to use it to glorify Him and not your own ego or theory of the universe.

But what if my talent is being whiny, boastful and obnoxious?

Also, sometimes I think that people who are atheists have just consistently gotten the dirty end of the stick all through life and never had anyone who really cared for them. So, I guess it is all the harder for them to understand how great the love of the Father is for them. Maybe that is why they are so unduly negative about everything. Just a guess.

Or maybe, just maybe, people aren't too friendly and perky after you call them whiny, boastful and obnoxious. Just a thought.

I have a BS Physics and am working on my MS Geophysics. Everything I studied in physics only supported or furthered my faith. I will admit, however, that I did have a crisis of faith when I started my geo courses. However, after some careful study of Genesis, I don't really see conflict between the Bible and geology either.

Translation: I had some cognitive dissonance and I couldn't handle it, so I changed how I interpreted the Bible until it went away.

I know for certain that a few of our physics faculty are Christians, as well a large portion of our science students.

You mean like most of the US? Shocking!

To assume that Christians are all stupid and uneducated is just stupid and uneducated.

Yes, however, see facts above.

Anyway, I've found that those who are atheists (or even just non-believers in general) are the same type of people who believe in spending borrowed money to get out of debt. Not exactly smart.

I . . . wut?

The OP noted that people bash Christians by saying that we are uneducated, easily manipulated people. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this (or simply substituting my own understanding of certain kinds of bashers), but I equate this with saying that Christians are of low intelligence, so hopelessly stupid that we just don't "get it" that Christianity is all a baseless pack of fables and lies.

When they say such things, they are actually insulting not Christians but all uneducated, easily manipulated people and/or people of low intelligence (not just those who are Christian). It's obvious that the bashers have an underlying hatred of Christianity, an a priori belief that Christianity is bad, or at least worthless. So, by associating those of lesser intelligence with Christianity they are really revealing that they are contemptuous of people who are not educated and/or not very intelligent.

Actually, that's not what I, or anyone I've seen make this argument in good faith, means. What we mean is simpler than that. I don't hate people who are less intelligent. I am not contemptuous of them, either. However, what I'd like to ask this person is, when you choose a doctor, are you hoping for the doctor who got straight As in medical school, or the person who skated by with the lowest possible score zie could graduate with?

Is this because you are contemptuous of people who are less intelligent? No, it's because you are putting your life in their hands and you want to put your life in the most qualified hands possible. Well, the same goes with choosing whom to believe about religion. Do I trust the person who can't tell the Colbert Report is satire or Steven Hawking? Does that mean I hate people who can't understand irony and satire? No. I'm still not going to spend my time fearing hell on their say so.

*I think I could sell them 4 armed sweaters on the basis of the fact that you get twice as many arms for 200% the price!

**My favorite: When Chuck Norris jumps into a lake, he doesn't get wet, the water gets Norrised.
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Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at foreverinhell.blogspot.com.