From Yellowdog Granny, who has all the funnies.
All sorts of busybodies weighing in about all sorts of heavy topics. Your humble narrator is terribly outclassed in trying to keep up... and in figuring out a decent opinion.
Amanda Marcotte worries that the atheists and skeptics are "mixing up" their respective social movements. (I didn't even know they were still separate, so that tells you how much I know.) In doing so, she doesn't miss a chance to use the "fairy belief" comparison. (sigh)
Really, can't yall come up with something else? As a lifelong scifi-fan, I resent the fantasy-fans' terms being privileged over mine... if you are going to insult me, please call me a believer in aliens and UFOs instead. Okay? Instead of "sky-fairy believer"--I insist upon FLYING SAUCER believer. In fact, you can use any term you like: Flying Saucers, UFOs, Area 51, Aliens, Extraterrestrials, Little Green Men/Women, be my guest. But seriously, fuck this fairy-obsession, you know?
Ah, but here we come to the heart of it... the Politics of the Insult. Are they willing to write off the UFOs, as they freely write off fairies and God? Since they claim they are all about rational evidence, certainly they will unquivocally announce that UFO-belief is all bullshit too? But few do. Hm, I wonder why?
Lots of atheists like sci-fi and consequently do believe in aliens, is the awful truth.
Not that they could prove aliens exist; they simply enjoying thinking they do. It's a matter of faith. It's FUN. Just like fairies and St Francis are enjoyable and fun, right? But their fun and our fun isn't comparable. They are lots smarter than us, so their fun is allowed under the rules of rationality, while ours is dangerous and must be abolished... right along with those innocent fairies, who last time I looked, didn't do anything to anybody. Rationality uber alles.
Amanda doesn't like it that Skepticblog actually thought Christians (fairy believers) should participate (!) in a famous Skeptics panel.
She wants to trash people, but you know, not when they are actually sitting right there in front of her.
Before I get accused of being all mean to Amanda, I did very much enjoy what she wrote about the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind. And I find it fascinating that even though we are 20 years apart in age, I had the exact same emotional reaction to the Anarchist Cheerleaders that she did.
I tried to wrestle with the fact that 20 years has gone by since then, and I found myself thinking--
Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
I tried to rewrite this for grunge, couldn't quite get there. This was the best I could come up with:
Don't let it be unsaid
That once there was a dread
of scary kids who took the plunge
In any event, my sentiments are the same as Camelot.. and my hugs and kisses to you kidz out there who tried to resurrect the old faith. It was a nice moment, and you should be very proud and remember it fondly your whole lives.
Feministe has an endless thread about adoption as a feminist issue, that you must read. Although very long (374 comments as of this writing)-- it is amazingly heartfelt, as first mothers and adoptees and adoptive mothers and everyone else jumps in with their opinions, experience and knowledge. The thread includes excellent links and research, particularly about the feelings of mothers who give up babies for adoption. One commenter says the regret-percentage is as high as 96%, which surprised me... but not really.
Lots of talk on that thread about why people feel the necessity of having their own biological offspring, had me skipping all over the net, and eventually brought me to this scary story on Strollerderby: Sperm Donor Never Reported Fatal Illness: 24 Biological Children Could Be Affected Yow!
But why is that so surprising? You pay some guy for his sperm, which he'd just be wasting anyway, right? Easy money. Why wouldn't he lie to keep the easy money coming? Why would he kill the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs?
When you pay money for the biological properties of reproduction, this is one of the things that can happen, as in any other retailing or merchandising: a lack of quality control.
As PT Barnum famously said, you pays your money and you takes your choice.
Warren Jeffs is guilty! Well, of course he is, but now it's official. How many of you DEAD AIR folks listened to the tape recordings of the 12 and 14 year-olds (Jeffs' "spiritual wives"), having the sordid FLDS "facts of life" explained to them? The sound of little-girls "amens" was freaky and alarming. And then, the silence on the (audio) tapes as he rapes them. He doesn't deny anything. The infant of the 14-year-old (now 15) was proven through DNA to be Jeffs' -- so the evidence for that was already a done deal.
The Prophet (as he is known) Warren Jeffs stood defiant at the end during closing arguments (he acted as his own lawyer after opening arguments) and was silent for the allotted 30 legal minutes of his closing. Instead, he stared at the jury, one by one. They stared back. (I knew then, dude, you are going down.) Finally, he announced in prophet-like tones, "I am at peace." (Honestly, my first thought was of the fictional character modeled on Jeffs, Harry Dean Stanton in Big Love, who would do something equally melodramatic and unexpected in a courtroom.)
Today, during sentencing, Jeffs walked out after reading a statement about his Prophethood:
Jeffs is the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. Yesterday, he was convicted of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 12 and 15, whom he'd wed during what his sect considers "spiritual marriages."Yeeeuch.
Jeffs represented himself during the eight-day trial. Before the punishment phase began today, Jeffs asked to leave the courtroom, saying he objected to the proceedings against him. He also read a statement promising a "whirlwind of judgment" on the world if God's "humble servant" isn't set free.
District Judge Barbara Walther told Jeffs that he couldn't leave and continue to represent himself. She ordered two lawyers who had been standby counsel to represent him.
Jeffs could be sentenced to life in prison.
Certainly, I understand where Amanda and James Randi and everybody else gets their skepticism, or atheism, or whatever they are calling it. This kind of thing is too disgusting for words.
But I am utterly confident that if there was no religion, the Warren Jeffs of the world would find another playground to exercise their disgusting desires, oppressing women and exploiting children.
I wish I were not so confident of that (sigh), but I am.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Nevermind, time for some grunge!
Biographical background: Some years ago, I decided to 'pick up' (as we say in recovery) a substance I had sworn off. You probably know which one it is. I had gone without it for 23 years... Twenty. Three. Years. Can you believe? But at the time, things were emotionally very rough... and I thought, you know, I will choose the most benign substance I can think of... and I will offer no excuses.
And I don't and I haven't.
And yes, I know the guy singing this is dead. I wish he'd chosen a more benign substance, too.
Alice in Chains - No Excuses
It's alright, there comes a time
Got no patience to search for peace of mind
Laying low, want to take it slow
No more hiding or disguising truths I've sold
Have a great weekend everybody!
Friday, August 5, 2011
From Yellowdog Granny, who has all the funnies.