Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Not Saying That Steven Crowder Condones Racism... [New Youtube Video]

I've mentioned Steven Crowder here before. He's... well, this is how I usually put it: "Steven Crowder, budding conservative pundit/'comedian,' ostensible journalist, professional-troll-in-the-making, and all-around closet-case..." (just kidding about the "closet-case" part... he has a girlfriend. No, really! He told me himself! And we all know that every guy who has a girlfriend is totally, completely, 100% straight, right? Yeah... anyway...) I just caught him, let's say, not being very careful about the comments on his videos or his replies to them. Keep in mind, I'm always very [but reasonably] cautious about accusing people of racism, and I'm not accusing him of racism here. I'm not even accusing him of condoning racism, but... that's not the only thing going on here. But let me be clear in stating that I unequivocally condemn any hate directed at anyone, including [especially] people who are guilty of it themselves. I'm pretty sure I'll make an in-depth, follow-up blog/video on this issue soon.

Video: "Does Steven Crowder Condone Racism?"


[contents of description bar below for those of you who'd rather not click your mouse more times than absolutely necessary]

IMPORTANT: I do not hate Steven Crowder. I have no ill will toward him. I give no indication of that anywhere in this video. Please do not use this video as "justification" for threatening him or his family, friends, associates, or anyone else he might care about!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"It's the End of the World As We Know It!"

...and I feel fine. Anyway... in case you didn't know, twitter is down. Everybody panic. As a public service, I typed "twitter" into my google search engine for you all. According to the almighty interwebz, some "Iranian Cyber Army" has apparently hacked the world's most [potentially] superficial social networking/media site. Updates at 11... please stand by... I got my radar up and my finger on the pulse of the universe... right...

I should mention that before I typed "twitter" into the google search field, I typed in my twitter handle, "AderalApocalyps." I thought one of the results was quite amusing. You see, it was about two months ago that I had my first discussion about atheism on twitter with JohnJ (who I've mentioned several times here). It seemed as though, at the time, he had some misconceptions about atheism. Somehow, Austin Cline of atheism.about.com became aware of the twitstorm and contributed his two cents. This is the "amusing" search result I mentioned. Enjoy!

By the way, please leave a comment letting me know how you're coping with the "twit-apocalypse." Thanks.

I'm Speechless [New "Infomercial"]

I don't know if you've seen a lot of infomercials lately, but many of the newer ones contain some not-at-all-veiled sexual references. I mean, you can't even call them "double-entendres" anymore! I think this might be the most blatant example I've seen thus far. There's nothing wrong with this, but I guess I'm just used to some level of subtlety. It seems like the current trend in this variety of marketing is to [continually] explore [new frontiers in] how anti-subtle a commercial can become. It's like an arms-race of anti-subtlety! I'm not sure whether or not I think it's funny, though. Maybe I'll get back to you on that...



Seriously: "I need a handjob dot com". Mind-boggling. Not that I don't need a handjob... but I digress.

[h/t: Martin Pribble. thanks! :-D lol.]

EDIT: ok... I think I get this now. This type of product used to be called "as seen on TV," and because the commercials were played on tv, they had to conform to certain FCC standards of propriety, but the standards on teh Interwebz are much looser, so it's not surprising that the manufacturers of these products have since been trying so hard to "see what they can get away with." ...but I'm sure you already had that figured out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New YouTube Video: "Thoughts on Slavery and the Bible"



For your convenience, here's the "script" I was loosely working from:

Hey! Adderall Apocalypse here! The other day I was in TogetherForPeace/Jack's blogtv room and one of the things we were talking about was the Bible's stance on slavery. Basically, what he was saying was that the Bible (NT) does provide a basis for the abolition of slavery. But he says that the New Testament writers who talked about slavery weren't very concerned with the political activism; they weren’t very concerned with telling the governments of that time that slavery was wrong and they should abolish the practice. They were more concerned with "freeing peoples' spirits." Well, first of all, I don't believe that people have "spirits" the way Jack believes that we do. Secondly, it doesn't really make sense... if God exists and is all-powerful, I would think he’d be able to free slaves, but instead, all he decided to do was, what, make them feel better, in effect? I think that if I was a slave, I’d rather be not a slave than just be made to feel like Jesus loves me or whatever, but that’s just my perspective... what do I know?

So it seems fairly clear that if God exists, he cares a lot more about "cosmic justice" than actual justice here on earth. Obviously, I don’t believe in God or "cosmic justice." I suppose it makes sense that if God and the afterlife is eternal, this life would be less significant—but don’t you see how logically unworkable this is? That God created an entire universe so that 13.7 billion years later, he could insert souls into some monkeys living on a rock in the middle of nowhere so they could live for 70 years, if that, and then, afterwards, face eternal judgment? And then either be with him forever or be tormented forever for their so-called sins? Isn’t it obvious that the afterlife is an idea people made up to combat their fear of death!?
(anyway...)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fuck You, Twitter!!! [Or: Fuck You, Humanity!!!]

Twitter is down right now for scheduled maintenance? Are you fucking kidding me!? It's the middle of the day in all parts of the U.S.! But, hey, don't worry! They should be back within 30 minutes... which is only a motherfucking eternity in terms of twitter time!

EDIT: 12:54 PM MST. And we're back! ok. 3 minutes. not so bad... (no, I'm calm... I've been calm this whole time, what's wrong with you...)

RE-EDIT: 12:31 AM MST ["the next day"]. I've decided to take a short break from twitter. In all likelihood, this will merely mean that I'll just end now instead of being on there for another 4 hours before falling into bed. Whatever. But who knows. The reason for this is that the person I talk to the most on twitter (and the internet in general), with whom I disagree about a lot of things, but still usually enjoy talking to (JohnJ, who you might remember from a previous blog) mentioned "Palin Derangment Syndrome" tonight, which I granted exists. But then I showed him this essay by Cenk Uygur titled "The Irrefutable Stupidity of Sarah Palin" (ouch! Obviously, Uygur wasn't going for subtlety!). This was John's reaction to the essay:
That's an excellent example of Palin Derangement Syndrome. Thanks.
To be fair, I suggested that he send me a full-length message detailing why he believes Cenk suffers from PDS. I'll let you know if he responds.

I'm considering... well, I don't know. The fate of humanity is starting to look pretty bleak if two seemingly/supposedly1 rational people can operate from two completely different conceptions of reality. I'm almost too stunned to be able to speak right now. Anyway, I'll let you know my next course of action. Thanks for reading, MOTHERFUCKAZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!



1Look: John is supposed to be one of those "sane" conservatives. Maybe I should just stop giving him "the benefit of the doubt." I don't know. I feel like I can actually discuss many of "the issues" with him intelligently. But that's not the point! The point is that he seems more intelligent and rational, let's say, than your "average" conservative. So if (emphasis on "if"!) I were to conclude that he were "crazy" and it wasn't worth discussing certain issues with him, then I'd also have to conclude that there are tens of millions more Americans who may be even crazier and even less "worthy" of discussing those issues with whoever among us is sane. I'll remind you: I'm not intending to be dismissive. I'm only using this language because John basically called Cenk Uygur crazy, at least in that one area, by "accusing" him of having "PDS." So John is the one who was being dismissive (or if you wanted to be more gracious, you might say that he was being dismissive, "too," since he might have thought that Uygur was being "dismissive" of Palin). But is it really such an either/or thing? Could there exist a reality in which neither of them were crazy? or both of them were crazy? OK! This is starting to drive me crazy! Anyway! This is the bottom line: I find Palin (let's say) unimpressive in many areas. As far as I can see, she still has a lot of work cut out for her if she wants to be a serious "contender" in the political "arena." (OMFG! I can't stand the sports analogies that have crept into our political language!) My experience listening to Cenk Uygur is that he usually has a firm grasp on/knowledge of the issues. Maybe I could say the same thing about John, but the problem remains that we're seeing two different things when we look at reality! How can we overcome that!?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"What's Wrong With Me!?"

Hello, readers! If you follow my twitter or youtube activity, you'd know I'm majorly addicted to the "fringeelements"1 (real name: Ryan Faulk, I guess) channel on youtube. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his work, I'll provide some background. He could be classified as an anarchist, but it would be more accurate to say (and he says this himself) that he supports an "emergent" government. I'm a lover of ideas. I want to hear as wide a variety of ideas and viewpoints as I can. It doesn't matter how "out there" they are as long as they're not ideas that I've heard before and have seen enough relevant evidence to conclude that they're stupid/wrong. So I don't necessarily agree with everything Ryan says,2 but a lot of what he says is new to me (relatively, at least). However, a lot of other people on youtube (TheAmazingAtheist, Thunderf00t, HowTheWorldWorks, etc...) don't seem to like what Ryan has to say or they casually dismiss him or whatever. Anyway... because of this, I've been asking certain people who are critical of Ryan, "what's wrong with me?" Here's the exchange that occurred when I asked this of twitter/blog "friend" JohnJ (who I believe agrees with Ryan about a lot of things, although I'm not sure). I've found that a major source of disagreement I usually have with John is that he seems to be culturally conservative, whereas I'm basically culturally "liberal," I guess. No, wait. That's not a very meaningful way of putting it. (Not to sound condescending, but) what I really mean is that I prefer solutions to social problems based on evidence rather than tradition and that although I recognize the importance of individual/personal responsibility, I also realize that there are a lot of things that are beyond the control of the individual.3 Anyway... without further ado, here's the transcript of our "conversation":

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hello, Technorati!

AMK2X7MTV3AT
I am now ready for verification. Thanks...

There Are No Sound, Rational Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage

After looking at some of the reaction to my last political blog, I realized that this isn't acknowledged often enough. I'm not saying this is an absolute truth, just an observation. That said, I often think there's not enough of an effort to understand why people oppose gay marriage. I don't want to seem pedantic, but I feel as though I must break down this issue as clearly and basically as possible.

Not to offend anyone, but in all sincerity, expounding arguments against people who oppose gay marriage is a bit like arguing against religious people or creationists. They're wrong, but there are many levels at which a person can be wrong. A person may incorporate many correct ideas into a worldview or philosophy that is fundamentally wrong, and vice versa. Furthermore, unless you know a person well, it's difficult to tell whether or not they're being intellectually honest about being wrong. With that, let's just dive right in...

All of the arguments against gay marriage I've ever heard (though I do not rule out the possibility that there are arguments I have not heard that might be sound and rational) can be categorized one of four ways:
  1. Religious arguments1
  2. Appeals to tradition2
  3. "Slippery-slope" and other idiotic, fear-based arguments
  4. "Social-engineering" arguments
Furthermore, in my relentless effort to be masochistically thorough, (and though some of them may seem like strawmen, I assure you that you could find at least some people who will need to be convinced of any given item on this list), and as a reminder to everyone just how far the discussion needs to progress in (at least parts of) the U.S., let me assert that the following items have been established far (miles, light years, even!) beyond reasonable doubt:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

And Now For Something A Little Less Serious (Menstruation)

This is a reply to a post (about something called "The Diva Cup") by my blog-pal Rebekah over at jauntydame.com, whom I love... a lot... like really... like... "♥" status... like seriously... Anyway... I was going to post this directly as a comment on her page, but then I thought that maybe it's not the kind of thing her readers want to see. So if you want, read that post first (but no trolling, ok!?), and then come back and read the rest of this one. Thanks...

First of all, I'd like to thank you for sharing this! I'm so glad you're comfortable talking openly and honestly about things like this. As a student/researcher of the universe, I am continuously fascinated by the inner workings of the human species of gene-transportation unit (in addition to all other varieties of gene-transportation unit, of course)! I find it a little frustrating that some people seem so disgusted by such conversations. I never look down upon an opportunity to improve my understanding of how (any aspect of) the universe operates!

Now if you'll please forgive me for being such a terrible person... can't... resist... "immature"... humor... agh...
  • That was quite a gushing review of this product!

  • Mr. Garrison: "I'm sorry, but I just don't trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die." (South Park)

  • Wow! This product gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "two girls, one cup"!

  • I can't wait to see "Two Divas, One Cup: The Musical"!

  • The difference between the two sizes (and the fact that you use the larger size) doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me. As Kid Bengala has said, "The elasticity of the vagina is something surprising!"

  • This goes to show you how much Freud needed to learn about women... If only he had known how many more nerve-endings there are in the clitoris than the vagina... oh well, he could be a real douche sometimes...

Friday, November 20, 2009

And Now For a Random Quote From the Pharyngula Files!

One blog I read often is Pharyngula. One of the boxes in the sidebar always contains a random quote of the "religious nutjob" variety. When I went there today, I instantly recognized the quote:
The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked, his wrath towards you burns like fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night, that you was[sic] suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep.
["Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," preached July 8, 1741. In Ola Elizabeth Winslow, ed., Jonathon Edwards: Basic writings (New York: New American Library, 1966) p. 159.]
Yes. Jonathan Edwards. "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." Always held in high regard in our household. We were all big fans of that "fire and brimstone" stuff. Special thanks for contributing to my childhood/adolescent immersion into Puritanism, Tabletalk Magazine!

Obviously, this sermon is completely ridiculous, but maybe you wouldn't know that if you underwent similar immersion through the entirety of your upbringing. We can't judge people, but we must challenge one another to question our beliefs. If something is true, then it should be independently verifiable.1 In our search for truth, though we may be dependent upon the (again, independently verifiable) work of others, we must remember that "authority" means absolutely nothing.



1There may be some who claim that "nothing can be completely independent!" This is a different discussion, but for our present purposes, I reject that claim as false, or at least irrelevant. Don't believe me? I'm not stopping you from looking into it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Passion of The Prejean, According to St. Meghan

Hello again, dear readers! It's been a long time since I last blogged. Where have I been? Well, twitter. Yes, *sigh*.

One person I "follow" on twitter is Meghan McCain. I was reading her article in The Daily Beast on Monday regarding conservatives' treatment of her in comparison to Carrie Prejean. There were a few points I wanted to discuss, but couldn't fit into 140 characters. (I have other topics lined up about which to blog, but this one is actually sort of timely!)

Ms. McCain rightly notes the hypocrisy of those who defend conservatives who are guilty of actions for which they would condemn everyone else (of course, I would say that the same goes for all other political/ideological groups). Speaking of this, two words: Bristol Palin. I'm sure others have observed that if it had been a 17-year-old daughter of Obama who was pregnant out of wedlock, many conservatives would have become apoplectic! Not even considering how they would have reacted if the pregnancy had been terminated! But Palin's defenders were tripping over themselves trying to "justify" the circumstances of her unwed-teenage-pregnancy. "um! But at least her and the father are going to get married! oh, no? um! at least she chose not to have an abortion!" What was that? "Chose"? First of all, yes, there were people using this language. It seems strange, considering that these are the same people who do not consider abortion an option, who say things like, "It's not a choice! It's a child!" Secondly, if you are "pro-life," and you think there's a moral equivalence between abortion and murder, why give anyone special recognition for not murdering a child!? I never hear people congratulating mothers for not committing infanticide!1 But I digress... I fully agree with Ms. McCain that it sends the wrong message to justify making a sex or masturbation tape with/for another person on the grounds that you are in love with that person. It's the height of disingenuousness to justify an action you would otherwise condemn on such shaky grounds. Of course, she wasn't the first Republican to try to do something like that... To be fair, Ms. Prejean did appear contrite for what she admitted was the "biggest mistake of [her] life." Oh wait, sorry, make that the "eight biggest mistakes of her life." Did she really think that producing these tapes was such a huge mistake before they became public knowledge? There's no way of knowing for sure, but I'm skeptical.

Look: Let's be clear: In contrast with Ms. McCain, I neither condemn nor condone the production of sex tapes or the act of sex per se. I, in fact, have taken and distributed nude photographs of myself for, let's say, non-artistic purposes (upon request, of course, and I was "smart" enough to obscure my face). I don't envision the release of these photos as having political consequences for me since I'm being so open about it. (But honesty often has its own penalties...) As I may have said before, the ethical guidelines I try to follow are based primarily in empathy and what I "do unto others," as well as maintaining a consistency between who I am in public and in private.2 Under this paradigm, the only major "sins" [I can think of at this time] are: harming or restricting the freedom of others,3 violating prior agreements, and hypocrisy. An act such as the production of a sex tape would be "wrong" only if a person had previously agreed not to produce one or if s/he had publicly stated that such an act was immoral and had condemned others who had participated in such activities.

Friday, October 9, 2009

"There's Only One Woman in the World... With Different Faces"

This is a follow-up to my column, "Bitches Ain't Shit, but Ho's and Tricks." It seems that I left out a few things I wanted to say, even though that column was over 2300 words in length.

I am a strong believer in freedom (to a certain extent. I can discuss that more in-depth later). But I believe that freedom requires responsibility. I don't think I made this perfectly clear in my "Bitches" column. When it comes to sex, freedom in this area requires that we take certain precautions. If you've taken any sort of sex-education class, you should know what those are (for the present purposes, I think it's sufficient for me to state that they exist without going into a lot of detail about what they are). I also believe that freedom requires us to have realistic expectations. Things aren't going to be perfect just because you have more options. With more options come opportunity costs because there are more options you can't choose than there are when you have less options from which to choose. OK! I hope I've cleared that up!

Everyone masturbates, but when I bring up masturbation in front of people I've just met at a Denny's at 2 am after karaoke, they think it's awkward for some reason. Why is that?

My mother was raised Catholic, so she was raised to think that sex is disgusting. When her and my dad were "living in sin," she got pregnant with me so she could convince my dad to marry her (half-joke!). But during this time, she was also ashamed to go out in public because people would know she was having sex or had at least once had sex in the past. She still hasn't gotten over this misplaced aversion towards sex. When my dad tries to feel her up, (even at home!) she tells him to stop, and calls him a pig (on the other hand, maybe there are other reasons for that). That just goes to show you how such a restrictive upbringing can fuck up a person. You see how difficult I (and others) have it trying to educate people not to be ashamed of their bodies or anything like that.

I really hate self-righteousness. My reaction to it is always: "But you masturbate!" That's always a great self-righteousness trump card. Another thing I can't stand is people who try to act like their "relationship with God" makes them more moral. Most moral standards based on religion are unattainable. Don't tell me that it's possible to live a "sinless" life. Don't tell me it's possible to "overcome" human nature. Sure, it might be possible, but what fully-informed person would make the decision to live like that? How does a person with such a human-nature-denying system of morality deal with continually failing to meet their own standards? I would assume that if s/he is a mainstream, non-Catholic Christian, s/he just asks for forgiveness and moves on with his/her life, possibly subtly, smugly looking down on the "unforgiven." Other religious people might have their own problems to deal with, like guilt, etc. Of course, if anyone tries to make me feel guilty for not living up to their moral standards (of course, not believing in God is about as far as I've gotten at this point), my response is usually "Fuck you, man! I was more repressive of myself than any of you for the past 24 years! Don't act like you're more righteous than me just because you have an imaginary friend!"

Ok. Gee... ended on kind of a harsh note there. Anyway, thanks for reading! Happy trials!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New YouTube Video: "I Want You..."



I want to feel connected to you

I want to understand you, and I want you to understand me.

I want to be able to look into your eyes and know that I'm speaking to a human being.

I want you to make yourself completely vulnerable--completely break down the walls you've built around you.

Dispell all preconceived notions you've ever had about anything.

Let us not be afraid to be completely honest with ourselves and each other.

Let us reject fear, pride, contempt, and other irrationalities.

I'm not looking for a fight. I am not your enemy.

I want you to realize that we are all one... figuratively speaking.

Is this too much to expect?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Belated Obligatory Ted Kennedy Blog

As you may know, Ted Kennedy died recently. Death is usually caused by what biologists call "fatal genes." In the case of Mary Jo Kopechne, this was the gene that causes young women to get into cars with drunken senators as well as the gene that causes the human brain to use more oxygen than can be filtered out of a body of water.

I've heard various perspectives on the Ted Kennedy legacy. Most of those on the left praised his legislative accomplishments. Some were particularly obsequious and "hagiographical" of the man. I believe MSNBC spent several days' worth of coverage on the story. Obviously, this can become annoying after a while, but one needs to keep in mind that the seemingly over-arching philosophy on the left is that a person's accomplishments (or even just a person's intentions) for "the greater good" count for more than their personal failings. This is why many liberals (including feminists) loved Bill Clinton even though there exist women who he might have allegedly mistreated on a personal level. Some would argue that Kennedy's "personal failings" were far worse than Clinton's, but I'll get into that later.

Of course, one question we must ask is how effective Kennedy's legislation was at accomplishing its intended goals. As a "libertarian," I am fully aware that law-making is like manufacturing sausage. There's a lot in there aside from meat. There are also a lot of "unintended consequences." For example, large corporations tend to be able to afford the legal muscle to seek loopholes in regulations, whereas for smaller businesses, these regulations might not seriously increase "equality of opportunity/access," but may be difficult or costly to implement, and a smaller business would not be able to afford to pay a legal services department millions of dollars to seek a loophole. Yet, as a semi-rational human being, I also realize that not everyone is going to "do the right thing." No, you can't legislate morality, but (go ahead... call me a hippy) I believe that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of things like race, gender, religion (or lack thereof), etc., except, of course, in very limited cases, such as in private clubs, like the boy scouts, which I, in turn, refuse to support. Since I believe this is a right, I also believe that it's the government's job to protect this right. Of course, I don't think that congress has to enforce this using the interstate commerce clause! I'm sure the equal protection clause would work just fine. But if I'm wrong and we need to change the constitution to reflect this idea, I'm sure there are ways of doing so that do not require congress to insinuate itself into every aspect of my life! So, anyway, for what it's worth, thanks, Ted Kennedy, I guess, for that Americans with Disabilities Act... I mean, it's possible that there would be other ways for me to have equal access to employment with my "condition," but then again, maybe not. I don't know. Since I'm ignorant in this area, I'm not going to assume anything right now. Since it's not my primary concern at this time, I'm not going to research this question right now, either, although I probably could. Yeah, thanks.

I don't think I need to discuss at length Ted Kennedy's aforementioned "personal failings." That has been done elsewhere. He has been criticized, obviously, for the Chappaquidick incident. He has been criticized for laughing at jokes about it. Some have criticized him for "wasting other people's money"; for his alcoholism[?] and his treatment of women. He has been rightly criticized for many things. Although I will say that I'm not sure how he can be criticized for laughing at Chappaquidick jokes. Lots of people laugh at such jokes. Why can't he? Just because he was responsible for the incident? Call me callous, but I would think that it caused him quite a lot of guilt and humor about it became a coping mechanism for him, possibly among numerous others. Ok, fine. I'm perfectly willing to admit it if my folk psychologizing is incorrect, but it's an idea that doesn't seem to have been considered by those who criticize Kennedy over it.

Andrew Breitbart1, for example, was all a-twitter upon the demise of the Massachusetts senator. Ok, so Kennedy "wasted other people's money." He was "an animal to Clarence Thomas." He was "responsible for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne." You could reasonably claim that if he was responsible for her death, an investigation should have been performed and charges should have been filed. Wait... isn't that the process that was followed? I believe Kennedy was charged, albeit with a much lesser crime than, say, vehicular homicide. Ok, so you say he still needs to apologize. Not to you, right? To Kopechne's family? I haven't heard any of them ask for an apology. Is it really any of your business who he apologizes to? Obviously, his constituency doesn't seem to need an apology since they re-elected him numerous times.

Another thing Breitbart said was that Kennedy was "proof that big government is evil." Ok. Even if he was responsible for Kopechne's death, I don't see anyone who was outraged at Kennedy similarly outraged over the Iraq war (which Kennedy at least had the decency to vote against, thought it might not have required much political courage as he was "the senior senator from Massachusetts" at the time) or even the Oil for Food program (thanks a lot, Clinton administration!), each of which were responsible for over 100,000 deaths. Surely no one would claim that if you kill one person, you're a monster, but if you kill hundreds of thousands, you're a hero and a great leader. I would seriously question the sincerity of anyone who would suggest that, for example, the Americans with Disabilities Act was worse than the Patriot Act, or that "No Child Left Behind," as bad as it was, was worse than the Iraq War. Not seeing it!

Thanks for reading. Happy trials!



1The man is possibly my Moby Dick. Well he is white... and kind of whale-like.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Racewars 2.0!!! [or: Credibility Issues 1.0]

[note: I had wanted to write about Andrew Breitbart's latest intellectually dishonest column, but I felt like I needed to write about this one first, for the sake of context. See you next time!]

Andrew Breitbart, in addition to operating breitbart.com and bighollywood.com and writing for the Drudge Report, has his own little column in the Washington Times (not helping your credibility there, pal). He would seemingly like to think that he has fresh ideas about the race issue in this country, but there are a lot of aspects of that issue that he doesn't really quite seem to understand. He's of the school that believes that [of course, it's possible that I'm being reductive] the whole racism problem in America ["c" not "k." Don't worry, I got it!] would simply vanish if those darn liberals cut out all that politics-as-usual "identity politics" and "affirmative action" bullshit! Now let's be clear. I am certainly no fan of identity politics. I do agree that it's bullshit [not that Republicans or conservatives ever play identity politics. Certainly not. You can just ask Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, and Piyush "Bobby" Jindal]. Also, there's obviously a difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. Government actions always have unforseen consequences. Affirmative action based on race has probably engendered at least a bit of bitterness and resentment among those who saw it as being at their expense. "Hey! I never owned slaves or discriminated against minorities, or even had the opportunity to do so," some might have asked, "so why am I being punished!?" My concern right now is not whether or not those poor, unfortunate souls suffered actual damages due to affirmative action. My point is that it's not necessarily the fault of most white people alive today that racial inequalities are still such a problem in this country. But that's not even the real point. The real point is that you don't even need the racism of ordinary Americans to perpetuate a state in which there are gross inequalities. It so happens that most of the people in charge of this country today are white males. This is largely because of racism, definitely that of the past, although it is far less prevalent now, yet it still exists. There are, of course, other factors (including classism and sexism, and, sure, whatever reasons conservatives say there are), which I don't feel the need to address at this time! But now that the system is set up this way, you no longer need racism to "keep the black man down" because this state is "self-perpetuating." Is this not a "self-evident truth"? Could anyone perhaps present an argument against this? I'm sure you would at least agree that people have to realize that, if nothing else, this has been the case until very recently.

So a few weeks ago, this black dude got arrested for being loud in his own yard, and maybe being a bit disrespectful to a [white] cop. I would like to remind you that nothing this guy did was actually a crime! I cannot emphasize this strongly enough! But not a big deal. Happens all the time. Oh wait, turns out this guy was a well-respected Harvard professor. Should the cop have thought twice before arresting a partially disabled [basically] senior citizen for a non-crime? No. Of course not. The police in this country have the authority, nay, the obligation to tase first and ask questions never. So then, someone from the press did a "man in the white house" interview of another black guy, and he was all, "gee, I wonder if race had anything to do with this." Totally a legitimate question. For example, it's a commonly-known statistic that black people use drugs at a rate similar to that of white people, yet 2/3rds of the people in jail for drug offenses are black. Hm, I wonder why that is. But it turns out that, no, the cop actually taught a class on racial profiling, so, maybe race didn't have anything to do with it. Maybe the cop was simply being a major dick-hole. Again, not a big deal. This sort of thing happens all the time. But then again, as author/genius/"blowhard demagogue" Michael Eric Dyson pointed out, maybe things would have been different if it had been a black officer arresting an older white man in his own home for a non-crime. This too is a legitimate question to which I know not the answer. It's something for us all to consider on our own. This is, I think, the difference between Dyson and, say, Al Sharpton: Instead of asserting that race had something to do with the incident, Dyson asks that we examine what race may have had to do with the incident. In any case, when this revelatory information was revealed, that the police officer was probably not a racist, merely a dick-hole, the president, for political reasons, had to back away from his perfectly legitimate criticisms of the man. Of course, the officer's co-workers came to his defense. This was to be expected. Just as Obama came to the defense of Gates, who he said was a friend. I have heard some say that Obama should have simply kept his mouth shut on the issue until he knew all the facts. I personally think we shouldn't have invaded Iraq until we had all the facts, but that's beside the point. What, are these people going to tell the president that he shouldn't excercise his own 1st Amendment rights simply due to a lack of information? Was Obama wrong in his assessment of the situation? I think not. I understand that there was a lot of hatred poured out against poor Officer Crowley and this might possibly have had something to do with Mr. President's refusal to stay silent on the issue like some kind of submissive dhimmi. But how do we know that similar feelings were not directed at Professor Gates? What is the complaint of those who [most likely before they had full knowledge of the circumstances] sided with the officer? I don't understand.

To me, Andrew Breitbart lost more than a little bit of credibility on the race issue in his [predictably intellectually dishonest] post-Gates-gate column in the Times, in which he makes some claims that I find difficult to understand. First, he claims that Obama wanted "to protect the status quo." What status quo is that? The one in which less than 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are black? I find it difficult to imagine that the Democratic party is so greedy for black votes that they'd be willing to keep this "status quo." Breitbart also writes, "Any serious discussion would have put multiculturalism on trial." I don't really know how he defines multiculturalism here. I, for one, think that multiculturalism is fine as long as there are no burqas involved! As long as we're all under the same set of laws! As long as we're not terrified of offending people in certain groups! To me, it's not "seeing people in terms of the color of their skin" or anything like that. It's embracing the freedom of others to be different. That's what America is all about, right? Breitbart then spends a couple of paragraphs of the column trying to argue for some kooky conspiracy theory about Obama taking classes from far-left professors in college or something like that (oh no! Far-left professors!? Anything but that!). Then there were a couple of statements in the rest of the column that drew my attention. First, Breitbart points out that mediocre college grades didn't seem to be a problem for Bush II, Gore, or Kerry! Obviously, college grades don't matter if you're a white, upper-class, heterosexual male. But could we say the same of anyone from a different background? This is a question that Breitbart seemingly fails to consider, though it stares him in the face. Then, he makes the odd declaration that Obama and Gates wanted "to end a national discussion on race, not begin one," that they had initially "played the race card," which "proved unpopular," and so "orchestrated" the infamous 'beer summit' so that they could "have their frosted malt beverages and get outta Dodge." Wow! Nothing racist about that statement! Nope! Move along now, nothing to see here...

Breitbart's problem is that he seems to ignore or at least downplay most of the factors in our country's race/class/gender problems [some of which I mentioned earlier in this column!] and focus on the following issues: (1)What are the black-studies departments at our Ivy League Liberal Elite Universities teaching? (2)The Democratic Party, in order to keep its lock on the black vote, tells black people that they have to be afraid "of cops, of Republicans, of conservatives, of 'Uncle Toms,' and even of Tiger Woods, who proves that America, while still imperfect, is clearly heading in the right direction." Right. None of the things I mentioned previously in this column are part of the problem. We can apparently ignore all of that stuff. It's all Liberal Elitists and Black-Studies Departments that we should be concerned about! Alright! Glad you shared that oracle with all of us unenlightened masses! Thanks!

Sorry, but the rest of us live in this foreign land called "reality." You are always welcome to join us, if you are so inclined.

EDIT: I'm pretty sure that if you wanted to "accuse" someone of being an "Uncle Tom" you couldn't find a much better target than Obama, himself. To act like he hasn't been critical of this attitude within the black community is ignorant at best. I don't know. I don't want to read too much into that... or do I?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New YouTube Video: "Fuck Her Gently"

This is my cover of "Fuck Her Gently" by Tenacious D. I'm sure I would have otherwise made my first video one in which I attempt to expound "deep thoughts" or whatever as I [attempt to] do here in my blog. It just so happens that I finished this first. Oh well. I'm sure I'll put up "real" videos later. Anyway, enjoy!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Silent Treatment

Once I had this friend who I loved very, very much (I still love her, but not quite in the same way). It might be more accurate to say that I was completely obsessed with her. She didn't like me any more than any of her other friends, but she tolerated me for quite a while. She didn't completely stop talking to me until about a year and a half ago when I temporarily moved to a location within 70 miles of where she lived, although she didn't cut me off from all contact with her, or "excommunicate" me, as she would say.

After this, I would sometimes talk to her on instant messenger when she was online, but she would never respond. Sooner or later, I realized that the way I felt when I was talking to her on IM was the same way I felt when I prayed, and I had to ask myself,"Is it consistent with my view of God that he would [permanently] give me 'the silent treatment'?" I then realized that I had never felt or perceived that God had "spoken" to me, figuratively or literally.

The whole thing made me kind of sad, although I've gotten over it since then. It was just one step out of many on the road to atheism, [in addition to everything else it was. I would never reduce such an experience to just one thing].

Monday, July 27, 2009

2 Girls 1 Cupp?

EDIT: S.E. Cupp iz DOUBLE PWN3D!!

Please feel free to join me in [giving her] the golden shower of haterade, if you like.

S.E. Cupp is an atheist... well, probably "faitheist" would be a more accurate term. She single-handedly proves that atheists can be dumb, too. She's a conservative and she says the most ignorant shit regarding politics and defending those who already have power. In one of her columns, she laughably referred to Dinesh D'Souza as a "scholar"! She even parroted his line about how "atheist" regimes are responsible for the most deaths in the 20th century, [so there! hm! *turns up nose*, *sticks out tongue*]. It's fairly clear that she's not the most contemplative person I know of. But she's on tv a lot. I guess because they need more hot, idiotic, conservative brunettes on Fox News?

Here, however, she does a decent job of pwning Mark Sanford, so I guess she's not all bad.

EDIT: bonus video!


RE-EDIT: double-bonus video!!! *gag*

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Satan[-atan-atan-atan...]!?

My dear mommy found out that I'm an atheist about a month and a half ago when we were watching Hardball w/ Chris Matthews! They were talking about gay marriage, and my mom asked me what I thought about it. I said that I thought it was fine. I believed I had already explained to her why I thought that. You know, America isn't a theocrazy, we should have freedom of choice, blah, blah, blah... But then she asked me if I was still a Christian, as if that had anything to do with whether or not I thought gay marriage was ok. The two are completely unrelated1. But I didn't want to lie to my mother, so I hesitantly told her that I was no longer a Christian. Then she asked me if I was an atheist, and I hesitantly nodded my head. This is an extremely serious issue to my parents. They still believe in hell. My dad saw it with his own eyes! Well, not his literal, physical eyes... his spirit had separated from his body at the time... but you know... he could still, uh... "feel" things... um... anyway... [SHUT UP! I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANY QUESTIONS FROM YOU! THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!] She said that she was extremely disappointed in me and she thought that this was the one thing I would retain out of all the things I had been brought up [read: held down] to believe, and my mom is one of those people who seemingly does not distinguish belief in God from morality. I think I said that there wasn't any real evidence of God's existence. This is where things got "interesting." She said something like "You don't think Satan has anything to do with [your loss of faith]?" She was already crying by this point in the conversation. I was thinking two things: (1) I feel really bad that you're crying right now, and (2) I can't believe you brought up Satan! As if there's any more evidence for the existence of Satan than for the existence of God. Then, my mom told me I was going to hell. I'll remind you that she was crying at the time. She wasn't making a judgment against me, per se, just an "observation" based on what she had always believed; an observation of something she considered a tragedy. It has long been prophecized that in the last daze, even the very elect shall fall away, if that were possible, depending on whether or not you're a Calvinist or an Arminianist or a thousand other possibilities... "they follow the lies—the fables men devise"... anyway, I'm diverging wildly off-topic. At this point, the conversation abruptly ended because at that moment, my dad emerged from the bathroom. My mom has always been good about not ratting me out to my dad, who has a tendency to, let's say, "overreact," so, she just kind of hid her face and pretended to look for something in the chest of drawers or whatever. She had to go to work shortly thereafter, anyway. The next day, mom basically acted like nothing had happened, which I suppose is a good thing. I guess that's cool that she can tell me I'm going to hell one day, and the next, act like I'm still the same person to her... My dad still doesn't know. He's always been one of those "I brought you into this world; I can take you out" types.

Anyway, what I wanted to talk about is the idea of Satan in religion/culture. In Christianity, Satan slowly evolved over about 2 or 3 thousand years into the "Accuser of the Brethren" [and Sistren too, I suppose] and the "Father of Lies/Liars." He must be a busy guy. It's kind of hard for me to imagine the energy it would take. He must be some kind of sadist, taking such pleasure in constantly fucking with people. Especially 6 billion people. The "Church of Satan" sees "Satan" [more appropriately, in my opinion] as a symbol. They don't use the word "accuser;" they use the word "questioner," and he's not the questioner of the regular guy, but the questioner of authority. Looking at it from that perspective, the whole idea seems slightly less nefarious, doesn't it? I don't associate asking questions with the desire to deceive. In fact, what's wrong with asking questions if you're looking for "the truth"? But in religion the form of Christianity my parents practice, it is taken as axiomatic that the truth is already known, and any truth we need to know in the future, God will reveal to us, so there's no point to seeking new information. In fact, any new information that conflicts with this "truth" is casually [or sometimes violently] dismissed as a "Lie From The Pit Of Hell!" After all, what was the original sin? Wasn't it curiosity? Obviously, this is a very "good v. evil," "black and white" world view.

In reality, we all know, and my parents would readily admit, that "good" and "evil" aren't so black and white. It is even said that "Satan comes as an angel of light." This is another way of saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." There are probably a bunch of other cliches that mean the same thing.

My point is that my parents have it backwards: "truth" is discovered by asking questions, and blindly trusting in authority is an easy way for evil to be accomplished, even if that is not the intent. Christians have no more of a magical ability to discern between "good" and "evil" than any other type of person. Was the average German any less "Christian" than the average American in the 1930s and 1940s? Was the average Bush voter any less Christian than the average Gore, Kerry, or Nader voter? I highly doubt it. Christianity is correct about the idea that lies can and should be combated with truth. I like the metaphor of "shining a light rather than cursing the darkness." The problem is that their idea of "shining a light" is simply "proclaiming the truth of Christ." There's no concern for refining their ideas about anything through independent sources. The perspective is not that truth is something that we need to discover on our own, it is that we already know the truth and we need to spread it as far as we can. Let me make this perfectly clear: Nobody knows the final, ultimate, absolute truth about anything. All we can know are facts, and we can refine our knowledge of those facts through science and reasoned logic. If somebody has another way of increasing the size of the global knowledge pool, I'd really like to know. Thanks.



1The "problem" with gay marriage in this country is that marriage has two meanings: a legal meaning, and a religious meaning. I think these two aspects of marriage should be completely separated. But we have combined the two into one and we still call it marriage, and we've been doing this for hundreds if not thousands of years, so it's going to be difficult to undo.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different [Warning: Please Do Not Read This!!!]

I was taking a nap today [Oh, Mexican taking a nap. Who would have thought!?] and during it, I had a dream about this youtuber to whom I subscribe (ColourMeAmy), which is strange, considering I've never even come close to meeting her in real life and she's Canadian, and I'm in the American southwest, which is quite far away, although, last week, I did comment on one of her videos, and she replied to me. Anyway, in the dream, she was living in a house in a rural area, but she was in the process of moving and I visited because I wanted to see her off, like somehow I knew where she lived and it was ok for me to be there, although even in the dream, we had never met each other before. So I came in from the back, noticed the house was empty, and then went out through the front door. I wasn't the only one there. There were other people standing around in the front yard. There was a row of trees between the road and the yard. There was no fence in the front, (maybe on the sides). She was near a car on the side of the road, I think packing some of her belongings into it. Some of her stuff had been arranged in piles ready to be placed into whatever vehicle was going to take the stuff away. I (accidentally) knocked over a few things somehow [that's what I do. I knock things over. boohoo...], and then I was trying to keep other stuff from falling down that I had somehow made unbalanced. And that's when she saw me, and she started walking over to where I was, and I was like "sorry, I don't know how this happened," and then, maybe I was wondering "how do I introduce myself to her?" [in case you were wondering, "Adderall Apocalypse" is not my real name]. I don't exactly remember what "happened" next, but she said a few things, and then I probably said a few things, and then, a bit later, I heard the choral intro to Madonna's "Like a Prayer" [still in the same setting; I think everyone else there was the "choir"], although I didn't recognize it at first. So then we both spontaneously started singing the part of the intro that Madonna sings, although I couldn't quite hit the high part ("I hear you call my name"), especially since I had food in my mouth, somehow, so I just stayed silent for that line, and then, I think, after "and it feels like... home..." that's when I woke up. Very strange...

By the way, I really like the song. It's the subject of a joke I'm sure I stole from a music magazine made up. One reason I like the song so much is that it's vague, so I'm not sure what it's about. Is it about fellatio, or is it about God? Or is it about performing fellatio on God?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Breitbart!!! *shakes fist* [Please, No Lightbulb Puns]

Hello, beloved readers. Did all of you see Andrew Breitbart's appearance on Real Time w/ Bill Maher? [Yes, I know it was in March, but that's beside the point]. He had the misfortune of having to argue with Bill Maher and author/genius Michael Eric Dyson1. I won't comment on who fared better in the discussion. The video speaks for itself.

Let me first state this perfectly clearly: there is absolutely nothing racist about the song "Barack The Magic Negro." The song is based on a paragraph or so from an LA Times opinion article by David Ehrenstein. It's a satire of racial pot-stirrers and opportunists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and, like the article, speaks against the use/embracing of the "magical negro" archetype by guilty white liberals (GWLs). Of course, I can see how a person might think it inappropriate for Paul Shanklin to impersonate Al Sharpton. ["You're out of your element, Shanklin. The racial-tension-exploiter with the funny haircut is not the issue."] After all, what authority does Shanklin have on Sharpton? Do black people in general have the obligation to recognize the moral authority of any white conservative in matters of race? I strongly believe that one needs to have [i.e., earn] a certain amount of credibility with others before s/he can tell them anything with authority. Otherwise, what's stopping the target from saying "You don't know me, motherfucker! STFU!" That is why, when Prop 8 was passed in California, [white] people generally protested at Mormon churches instead of black churches. They thought that they would have more moral authority among people with whom they shared more similar life experiences. Also, the $25 million that the CoJCoLDS [which for some reason retains its tax-exempt status!] donated to the Yes on 8 cause seems slightly more significunt than the 5% of Californians [or something like that] who happen to be black who voted for prop 8. Also... white people protesting/picketing outside of a black church? That wouldn't look right. That is what those who were critical of the Mormon church-protesters simply do not understand.

Breitbart asserts that the worst possible accusation you can level against a person in Amerika today is the charge of racism, because it affixes a Scarlet Letter on a person who is "guilty until proven innocent" and the charge is very difficult to disprove. I believe there is a lot of merit to Breitbart's assertion. But let's be clear on this. Racism nowadays isn't as obvious as it was in the past. No longer is it "get these niggers out of the pool!!" Racism in Amerika today is a lot more subtle. For example, is it racist that black people tend to be pulled over more on the highway than whites or that blacks and Hispanics tend to be arrested on drug charges at a higher rate than whites even though drug usage rates are the same across the board? I think that even if it's not the intent, the result is certainly "racist."

Further, is it racist for Rush Limbaugh to claim that "the advancement of colored people" is sometimes based on the desire of GWLs to see minorites succeed rather than actual accomplishments? I actually think that Rush has a legitimate question (even though in the case of McNabb, it was an assertion rather than a question). I certainly believe that everyone should be judged according to their merits. But as Dyson said, it would appear that, since McNabb did succeed so greatly in his own right, perhaps race was not the reason for the accolades so many bestowed upon him. Let us remember the "glass ceiling" there had been on black quarterbacks for so long that has only [relatively] recently been broken.

And hey. Don't even get me started on the crowds at last year's McCain rallies and the tea parties or certain jackass stunts performed by the elephants during the last election season. You can't tell me there's nothing racist about the Obama food stamps or the "little Hussein" Curious George doll.

On the other side, there is the aforementioned Magical Negro archetype. The most blatant example of this is Michael Clarke Duncan's character John Coffey from "The Green Mile." This is a terribly racist movie. "Oh yes, let's turn the functionally illiterate negro into Jesus titty-fucking Christ. That'll play great in San Francisco!" There has never been a more literal take on the magical negro archetype in any movie I can think of. And what happens? The white guy learns some sort of lesson and gets miraculously cured of dick-infection but is "cursed" with the affliction of having to live for a long time, while the black guy is executed for no reason. No, that's not even the most racist part. At least there's some kind of point to that [yes, the death penalty is bad. We know]. The most racist part is that Duncan's character isn't even a real person! He's more angel than human being. The prevailing theory is that these characters exist so that [some] GWLs can be assuaged with the knowledge that they are not racist without the burden and inconvenience of having to deal with actual black people who may have flaws, etc. Of course, I have no idea how accurate that is.

There is also, as Dubya put it, "the soft bigotry of low expectations," though it can be potentially difficult to distinguish from the simple realization that the system has been gamed in favor of those who have always been running it and that it's not enough to simply say "Everything is equal now, so what are you complaining about!?" This was the subject of Pat Buchanan's last appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show, and her subsequent correction of his gross errors.

The problem I have with Rush Limbaugh is that, yes, even though there are those who still see everything in terms of race even though it's not the best explanation for "how the world works," Rush too often accuses people of "seeing everything in terms of race." In my opinion, overuse of the accusation is just as bad as the "crime" itself. On top of that, let's be frank, Rush Limbaugh is clearly an opportunist who is not above using any racism his listeners might have in order to get them riled up. I would assert that this is, in fact, the purpose of his overuse of the accusations I mentioned.

Breitbart: If you're reading this, let me say that I am honored. Let me further say that I'm not quite as sensitive as Dyson was to things like "code words," so I can't really help you there. In case you're wondering, I'm Hispanic, but culturally, almost entirely "American." The only deviations in my upbringing from the "norm" were that we often ate "Mexican food" and my mother would sometimes watch Spanish-language soap operas. My parents both speak Spanish, but they never really taught me. :'( I did not have the good [depending on who you ask] fortune to grow up around a lot of black people, so black-white relations was never one of the top issues I had to deal with.

EDIT: More racism from McCain supporters and/or Obama opponents. [Yes, I'm sure there may have been as much ignorance on the other side. I will definitely post it if given a link.]



1Why is this guy's name so similar to "Myles Bennett Dyson" from Terminator 2? I've always wondered about that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Four Horsemen of the Adderall Apocalypse

Hi, readers. This was inevitable. I couldn't resist incorporating the so-called "Four Horsemen" into a blog post or a title, at least. I just found this video of a two-hour discussion between these guys. It's good. To me atheism isn't worth talking about all that much, but that's because atheism has been around for thousands of years and all the arguments against the supernatural have been made and the type of religion that is used to control people has been shown to be a paper tiger and a naked emperor1. People still believe it because of the self-perpetuating nature of faith. So I don't see the need to keep talking about the same things repeatedly. Once you study the facts, you'll know that there are a lot of things that we can't really know. To me, questions that are beyond the realm of what it is possible for us to know don't really matter all that much. On some level, who cares whether or not there is a higher power? Is that higher power going to do anything? Is s/he/it/them going to tell us how to cure malaria or solve the oil crisis if we fall to our knees in worship? And sure, "religious experiences" are great, but don't tell me that you have the only way of attaining something like that. As they say in the video, "religion isn't the only game in town" for that sort of thing. P.Z. Myers had a great post on Pharyngula recently in which he was saying that religion as it is practiced by most people makes claims of a God who interacts with the physical world. These are claims that can be tested scientifically. In science, faith (in the religious sense... we can talk more about that later) isn't necessary because we have ways of testing claims and the scientific method is self-correcting. It's ok that we can't be absolutely sure of anything. The point is that positive claims require evidence. And "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

But maybe you'll find this discussion informative. If anything else, you'll see that these people don't want to eat babies or rape your children or anything like that... Sure, Hitchens is a bit too "America, Fuck Yeah!" for my tastes... but my point is that people are people. Let's remember that.



Hour 1:


Hour2:


P.S. If you are so inclined, you can buy the DVD of this conversation here



1You can say that I'm going to hell, but neither of us really knows that for sure, and we can't really know until we're both dead. But by that time, I'll be dead, and by then, it doesn't seem like it'll matter to me all that much. Will there be no other sign given to me to indicate you're not completely bullshitting me?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Announcement: Addition to Blog List (with Overthinking)

Hey, "everyone." (Surely, there must be so many of you...)

I added the incomparable blog "horse hung" [NSFW] to the blog list. This is one of the best blogs I have ever seen in any category. So I'm promoting it even though it probably has much more traffic than my blog (though mine has been around a bit longer). I'm a straight man, but who isn't a fan of looking at gigantic cocks? ...Well, lots of people are fans. If you don't believe me, just go to youtube. There are videos of elephants mating on that site that have millions of views. I don't want to seem as though I'm promoting the ludicrous idea that large penises have more intrinsic value than small ones. The "truth" is that people have "value." They have value because other people gave it to them. There's no objective standard we can use to determine how much value any individual has in a metaphysical sense. Neither do I claim that penis size is an extremely important part of the sexual experience. I don't know. Some women (or men) may prefer average or smaller dicks to large ones. It depends on the individual. It's not as if [a man with] a smaller penis is inherently less capable of giving a woman an orgasm than [a man with] a larger one. So there's no reason for anyone to be insecure about it or to develop an inferiority complex. There's no reason not to be satisfied with the size you have now. It's not really one of those things you can (easily) change [safely]. For all you know, there might be some disadvantages to having a large penis. You know, it probably gets in the way; unplanned erections are probably more difficult to hide; underwear doesn't fit as well... penises are probably sort of like breasts in that way. Except it's easier to change the size of those.

...Anyway, enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Bitches Ain't Shit But Ho's and Tricks!"

UPDATE: Follow-up post here

Thank you, rap/hip-hop/whatever, for so enriching the vocabulary of the English language! But let's take a more in-depth look at the meaning and implications of this type of language. Our society has basically been set up to make people feel ashamed of themselves: who they are and what makes them feel good1. One purpose of religion is to impose this view on people to ingrain into their minds the idea that they are fallen and they need to be redeemed, or else they'll burn in torment and anguish for eternity! They need to be ashamed simply for being human, because by nature, humans are totally depraved and society would descend into unbridled chaos and destruction were it not for the auspicious hand of providence keeping us all in check and were it not for the fear of his awesome2 vengeance. The shame is usually not explicitly endorsed, but seems to be the effect. In this view, pleasure is, at best, good for some people, in certain situations, but not most. It is a necessary evil to keep the human species alive, but never! to be pursued as an end unto itself! Unless, of course, you're a guy. Then the rules are a bit different, depending on who you ask. Some are at least decent enough not to have a double-standard in that area. Obviously, those who hold this view would claim that they're definitely not anti-pleasure, just against certain actions that some people happen to find pleasurable, and the solution is for these people to somehow (through religion or some other means) transform [i.e., conform] what they find pleasurable to acceptable activities. You can see this in many religious movements, for example, ones involving abstinence until marriage or "curing" homosexuality. Hopefully, you can see that it's still a blatant attack on the human "spirit." Telling a person that s/he is not "good enough"3 is a terrible way to treat another human being, but it's an excellent way to sell something (anything, really)!

Now that we live in modern times, it's a lot easier to pursue pleasure, since we no longer have to spend so much time pursuing wildebeests. But many of these restrictions are still in place because of the memetic nature of the ideas behind them. Typically, if you're a woman who has enlightened herself to the idea that pleasure can be pursued as an end unto itself, we have some special titles for you designed to devalue your humanity, and we will use them at every opportunity! We will also tell you that you're being used and/or lied to. We'll say you're being stupid and that you don't value yourself highly enough, which is strange, because that's exactly what the person who calls a woman a slut is doing [if s/he means it in a derogatory way]! [Of course, I'm sure there may be women in such situations who really are "being used," but let's have that discussion another time.] This is what's fucking us all up! This is why women can't be honest about the fact that their sex drive is no weaker than that of a man! I find it to be a common observation that women don't want to be judged, and they don't want to be called sluts, so they have to be "careful" about who they have sex with. So our society has set up elaborate social rituals so that women can "cover their asses" with respect to accusations of whoredom. I don't have a lot of experience with these rituals, but my understanding of one of them is as follows: people go to a bar; a guy sees a woman he finds attractive, or maybe she sees him; anyway, they talk for a bit; he buys her a drink, never explicitly stating that he wants to have sex with her, but let's not kid ourselves [she is, of course, under no obligation to the provider of said drink; the male assumes all risk in the interaction]; she goes home after she's had her fill of free drinks and has sex with her boyfriend; the guy goes home in frustration and masturbates to a video on youporn.com [NSFW]. [There. How did I do? Was that an accurate description of the ritual?] You see how smoothly this system works. Occasionally, some asshole will ignore the rules and assert that the female is under some sort of obligation to him, which is why bouncers are so large and lacking in empathy. In a more honest system, we wouldn't need to pretend what our goals were or were not, and we wouldn't have to endure such elaborate rituals.

I would now like to discuss a few related issues. I have observed that there is a double-standard regarding the level of sexual experience among men vs. women. If you're a guy and you're still a virgin by the time you're 18, some people (usually other d00dz) tend to think less of you, you queer-pussy-homo-faggot. The amount of respect men confer upon other men seems to correlate positively with the amount of sexual experience (i.e., "conquests"... wow, what a bullshit term that is!) they have. Of course, there comes a point at which a man will come across as a "player" to women, and I have heard that most of them don't like that kind of guy because they have the idea that he "uses" women, which is odd considering that women who might otherwise be considered "players" are more likely to be called "sluts" and are accused of letting men "use" them, as I previously mentioned. It seems strange to me how one person can do the same thing as another person, yet others will have exactly the opposite opinion of the two people depending on who they are. For women, I believe the general conception is that an 18-year-old female virgin is less of an oddity than an 18-year-old male virgin, and that at some point, women will respect another woman less the more sexual experience she has. I don't really know why this is, but I am curious. It might be related to something I do know slightly more about: women who get mad at women who "steal boyfriends." If you are one of those women, then listen, sugartits: Nobody can "steal" your boyfriend because he isn't your property. You can't "own" another human being. That would be sort of like slavery. I will grant you that, yes, "boyfriend-stealing" is wrong, but if I were you, I'd be more angry at the man for whatever commitments he made to you that he subsequently broke... whatever...

Anyway, my own experiences with women have sometimes been unpleasant. I could at least partially blame my upbringing for that because until very recently, I was under the delusion that premarital sex was somehow inherently wrong. My father had some bad experiences earlier in life involving divorce, custody battles, child support, etc. You can see how he could become disenchanted with certain aspects of male-female interaction after such ordeals. He and Mother would likely attribute these bad experiences to the fact that Dad had premarital sex. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that he didn't use protection [properly, anyway], right? All my parents ever told me about sex was "don't do it!" and I was home-schooled during those crucial grades 5 - 7, so the only sex-ed I had growing up was The Learning Channel and the Clinton Impeachment Hearings4. Taking my parents and the Bible (i.e., their fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible), etc. seriously, I basically kept myself as far away from sex as possible. I've never even gone out on a date or kissed a girl, and I'm in my early-to-mid 20s (sure, I've felt a couple of tits in my day, but those were largely "freak occurrences"). How many people do you know at my age who can say that? If you wanted to spin this as positive, I suppose you could make the argument that this action [or, more accurately, lack of action] may have protected me from "getting hurt," but you'd be stupendously mistaken. Some degree of pain is inevitable regardless of what precautions a person takes. I have been hurt before. The level of pain is a function of the level of emotional investment. How can I control how I feel about another person?5 How can I control that person's reaction when she inevitably finds out? I've also heard the idea that somehow, sex is more "special" if you only do it with one other person in your entire life. Again, I assert that these people are tragically in error. Sex is no different from any other activity or experience one person can share and enjoy with another person [or persons], except that (from what I've heard) it feels better than most other experiences, and probably as a result, has more potentially severe consequences.

Our genes "programmed" us to want to have sex because it helps them survive into the next generation6. But we have progressed to the point in our evolution at which it is possible for us (consciously) to figure this stuff out, and use that knowledge to figure out other stuff. The robot has become self-aware! We are here because of our genes. But our genes are merely mindless self-replicators. They have no power to condemn us to eternal torment! So is there any reason for us to deny ourselves or others of any of the joy (or pain) of the human experience (as long as a person does not infringe upon the privileges of another person... you know, those privileges we gave ourselves, and as long as "society runs smoothly")? Life is enough of a struggle on its own, isn't it? We don't need to make it more difficult by limiting our opportunities to enjoy it! I believe that we should celebrate those experiences7. As someone who does not see himself finding joy anytime soon, I know how difficult it can be, and I can greatly appreciate it when someone else experiences it (it's like schadenfreude, but the opposite). And I consider it an abomination for those of us who have the necessary political power to use it to restrict others less fortunate from pursuing the same happiness as the rest of us simply because they have a natural inclination to pursue it differently. And I don't mean "abomination" like the snowman, or like eating shellfish. I mean "abomination" in the same sense as torture, slavery, and the Holocaust (though probably to a lesser degree).



1 And in some cases, even feeling good itself, although, thankfully, that seems to be in decline.

2 Wow. What happened to this word? This word is used quite often in many translations of the Bible. How, in the 1980s, did this suddenly become a ludicrously overused surfer/stoner term?

3 Ok, so let me get this straight... God loves us, but we could never possibly be good enough to spend eternity with him. He made us in His image, whatever that means, but now we're fallen. So do we no longer "look like" God? Does that make any sense whatsoever?

4 I don't think I found out what sex really was until I was 13, and I don't think I knew what masturbation was until shortly after I started doing it (I think I was almost 13). Sure, I "knew" it was "wrong," but how can you expect a teenage male not to masturbate!? That's beyond insane! No, believe me, the guilt was "punishment" enough. Do you know how much that kind of guilt can fuck a kid up!? I don't even know if the average person [not exposed to such childhood trauma] is capable of imagining the effort I exerted and all the time I spent praying that I would be delivered from these awful, terrible, sinful, damnable thoughts and feelings that every other human being just so happens to have as well. I'm almost surprised I never underwent an aneurysm! ...Alright. Maybe I'm overplaying my hand ["That's what SHE said!"]. It's possible... And finally, yes, I had to figure out what oral sex was solely from the clue that Clinton [may or may not have] said that it was "more like having sex with a pair of lips than a person." At the time, I was in my early-to-mid teens and I had only recently found out what sex was (though I don't remember how I learned that... probably TLC). But after rolling that quote around in my head for a while (again, I don't remember how long it took), I was able to reach a conclusion regarding what the definition of oral sex is. I probably thought it was gross at the time. psh... kids...

5It's too bad, if there were some sort of God who demanded my emotional purity, that I was always on my own in this department. My parents were never much help, either, especially my dad, because "Girls are evil, you know, unless I've met them first. Otherwise, if you even mention a girl to me, I will say the vilest things imaginable about her (or at least the vilest things I can imagine)." The Second Coming of Rose Muldoon, over here... what a guy!

6 What, does this argument sound circular? Sexual reproduction does provide evolutionary benefits because it results in more variability than asexual reproduction, which better protects the genome from drastic changes in a given environment. If a given trait provides an advantage, it will naturally spread.

7 Like when a child discovers masturbation through self-examination or when a gay couple gets married or when two retards fall in love... generally, any time a person who has experienced mostly hardship in life finally finds joy.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Teh Internets is a Virus! 2.0

Another announcement: I joined twitter today, just to increase my interwebz footprint, I'm sure... blah. I'm sure I'll be posting monumental outrage in 140 character intervals non-stop! Yeah... really, I just wanted to make sure no one else took the username "AderalApocalyps." There was such a high risk of that, right? Right...

A Couple of Announcements [Welcome, Users of "The" Atheist Blogroll and The OUT Campaign Blogroll!]

Good news, everyone! This blog has been added to "The"
Atheist Blogroll
. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The
Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to
Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey
at Deep Thoughts for
more information.

Also, below the blogroll, I have placed "The Scarlet Letter of Atheism" as a sign of "solidarity" with all the other human beings who feel as though they cannot reveal this aspect of who they are in public or to certain people they may know and/or love.

Happy Trials!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Obligatory "RIP, Michael Jackson" Blog

So Michael Jackson died yesterday. He was only 50. Such a tragedy. We should all mourn the loss of such a brilliant artist (20 years ago, anyway). I guess all those times growing up that the people at my fundagelical church prayed for him to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior (i.e., embrace a fundagelical Christian worldview) were for naught. Some say Michael Jackson was a pedophile. Others (mostly fans lacking objectivity) deny these allegations. I've heard comments from both sides of the issue. Some have said that he was a great man, citing all the humanitarian efforts I'm sure he undertook (but that I haven't bothered to research at all), because remarkable artistry on its own is no indication of a person's "character" (Oscar Wilde, anyone?). And of course I've seen commentary with a more sensible, realistic perspective on the issue. As Sullivan duly noted, it is a complicated issue. Believe me, I completely understand that it's complicated. But let's not pretend that if he weren't famous and if the trial took place in a location other than California, he wouldn't be rotting away in a maximum-security prison right now. So ignoring for now the question of "did he or didn't he," as I am not one to judge in areas such as this, does it really matter? Would he have been any less of a great artist or humanitarian if he was, in fact, sexually attracted to boys? Should we, as a society, be condemning such people to a lifetime of suffering and subjugation simply for possessing a non-standard sexual orientation? Should we be treating teenagers as criminals for posting nude or semi-nude photos of themselves on the Internet? But I digress!

On a final note, this whole controversy reminds me of a quote from "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl," which I have included below in edited form:
The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do. For instance, you can accept that [Michael Jackson] was [possibly sexually attracted to boys] and a [great artist/"beautiful soul"/whatever] or you can't. But [many factors in his life were consistent with the "profile" of a person who was sexually attracted to boys], so you'll have to square with that some day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Truth!

There is no truth... there are only facts.

There are no paradoxes... only contradictions1.

There are no miracles... only unexplained phenomena2.

There is no great plan to life... things just happen and we just try to make the best we can out of our situation.

There are no absolutes... only general guidelines agreed upon by society in what we consider normal cases3.

There are no unalienable rights... only privileges we gave ourselves that the government hasn't yet decided to infringe upon.

There is no soul... only electro-chemical interactions in our brain.

There is no free will.

There is no afterlife.

There is no supernatural.

Suck it, Kant.

Obviously, none of this is very rigorous. The point I'm trying to make is that most people assume all of these things exist. I believe there's no harm in questioning these assumptions. I assert that the existence of any of these things is yet to be verified. In any event, there is no need for any of them. If there is purpose to life, I believe that one of them is to find the answers to "the big questions" on our own. I often lament the way it seems that most people believe superstition to be more wondrous than reality. I assert that the knowledge we've discovered through science and reason is far more fascinating than any ideas from mythology or mysticism. But I suppose that's merely an opinion.



1 Alternatively, what we think of as a paradox might actually be a statement that does not contradict itself, but merely appears to.

2 Of course, most things people think of as miracles have been explained, they just don't know it.

3 The only "absolutes" are logical constructions, but that's a discussion for another time. What most people think of as "absolutes" they would most likely throw out in extreme cases.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Annie Hall "Meta as Fuck" Award Nominee

[Welcome to the inaugural nominee for the "Meta as Fuck" award. Hopefully, there'll be more of these throughout the year.]

I'm very interested in something I (among others) call "meta." It's somewhat difficult to define, but I know it when I see it (the Miller Test for epistemology, I suppose). Anyway, this "debate" between Matt Slick and Matt Dillahunty is most definitely meta. Aside from that, the debate is over the TAG (Transcendental Argument for the existence of God), which takes the opposite view of the person I was talking to in the previous post that God is above logic, instead, seeing logic as a part of the nature of God, and that he cannot defy logic, just as he cannot defy any other part of his nature. Yes... good luck with that...

But now, (W/O further delay), the debate:



The whole thing is about 50 minutes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Christianity Refutes Itself!

...to paraphrase William Lane Craig 1.

I'm sure this comes as no surprise. To illustrate this, just look at this conversation I recently had with a friend (I'll let you figure out which one is me).

A:
hey, my final for philosophy is to write a paper on how is it logical for Jesus to be all God and all man... pretty interesting, hard thing to argue.
B:
yeah... it's not logical... but I guess you'd say it's a paradox... and I'd say that it's much more likely for something to be a contradiction than a paradox...
A:
that's his whole point...shouldn't God make sense...
B:
yeah...
A:
my argument is always something along the lines of, God wouldn't be God if he was confined by human understanding...
but he thinks of it as a cop out...
B:
it is
lol
A:
idk what I'll write
no its not
some people may use it as one, but i don't
B:
well, this reminds me of a Mitch Hedberg joke...
he was a comedian... went on tour a lot... stayed in hotels...
at a lot of hotels, they have bottles of "2 in 1" shampoo
he says...
"2 in 1, which is a bullshit term. 1 is not big enough to hold 2. That's why 2 was invented."
"imagine if it really was 2 in 1... it would be overflowing... the bottle would be all sticky n' shit..."
A:
o come on...
B:
hm?



There you have it, people! You heard it right here! God is above the pathetic human science of logic! He's got a plan! And it's above anything we miserable, puny, filthy, pissant humans could ever possibly imagine! Everything that happens happens for a reason! Just ask any of those 6 million Jews who were killed during the holocaust what they think about God's plan! Oh wait... well, they were humans, anyway. God doesn't care about their opinion! He's soooo above that. Besides, they were Jews! They weren't going to heaven anyway, either! But I kid... The holocaust happened, as we all know, so that the state of Israel could be established, so there could be a place for Armageddon to occur. Wow, this plan of God's sure seems to involve a lot of dead Jews... hm... well, I'm not going to question it. If God said it, then it must be right!





1This guy is a fucking idiot. I mean, he's either willfully ignorant, or lying. He totally gets naturalism wrong. Naturalism is *not* the idea that "we should only believe what can be scientifically proven." The other tool that naturalism uses in an attempt to understand the universe is reason/logic [more here and here]. It's like Kant argued regarding empiricists v. rationalists: experience and reason are both important tools to obtain knowledge. I mention this merely to point out that this is not a new idea, and that in philosophy, divine revelation is not one of our tools for understanding the universe.

I just think that if Christianity is ultimately true, then it should not be contradicted by every other method of finding "truth" we've ever conceived, especially when those tools have been so useful in every other area of life. I'll give another example from science. Newton's laws of motion and gravitation are "wrong." That is, they break down in what we human beings consider extreme cases. Einstein's law of relativity has been shown correct in those cases (for all I know). But in non-extreme cases, Einstein's laws "simplify" to become identical with those of Newton. Do you see the parallel there? Einstein's law is "higher" than what Newton understood, but it is only different from Newton's law in those extreme cases. Not so, Christianity (or any other religion). Christianity does not do a better job of helping us understand the universe than science and reason (again, "for all I know").