The JesusWeen Story

I won’t wear a costume this JesusWeen eve—
The lord is my shepherd; I shall not deceive
This holiday’s different for folks who believe
For folks who have Christ as their savior

I won’t be a hero, cos Jesus comes first
I won’t be a villain, cos Satan’s the worst
I won’t ask for candy; the candy’s all cursed
(That’s typical godless behavior)

I’m giving out bibles to trick-or-treat kids
They’re looking for chocolates to quiet their ids
But self-satisfaction, God’s message forbids,
So candy bars surely are sinning

Though Satan is hiding, and wearing a mask,
The godly confront him and take him to task
So each trick-or-treater we simply must ask:
“Is Satan or Jesus Christ winning?”

This JesusWeen, children from all ‘round the block
Will visit our porch, ring the bell (or else knock),
And, getting a bible, will cry out in shock:
Hallelujah! Sing glory of glories!

Cos JesusWeen’s all about Jesus, and love
And gifts that are given by God up above
Cos candy these children are sick to death of…

And other such fictional stories.

Headline Muse, 10/27

See, I don’t want my prices to rise
But it’s worthless if nobody buys
As I calculate cost,
I’m admitting—I’m lost!
What’s the right rate to charge to tell lies?

Headline: This Way to the Séance

A strange story in the Wall Street Journal. Just another profile of a small business owner… in this case, though, the business is talking to the dead lying to people for money. A weekly group, Séance in the City, meets for fun, to test their psychic abilities, to mingle with one another, and to have Jesse Bravo give them a reading.

“I have a gift and I want to share that with as many people as possible without overcharging them. For two hours, it’s less than a movie ticket and popcorn,” Mr. Bravo said.

Which, of course, brings up the question in the limerick: What exactly is overcharging, when your service consists of lying to people?

In real life, he is a money manager and stock picker; he claims not to use his psychic powers to help him on the job. I believe that, of course. I also believe that if they were actually real, that’s pretty much all he’d use them for, and he wouldn’t advertise the fact for less than six figures. After all, he could make a cool million with Randi if he were really out for money. Convenient, then, that he’s so altruistic, meeting these dozen or so people for only $20 a head for the 2 hour session.

Aside from these meetings, life as a psychic can be a lonely gig. Mr. Bravo’s 88,000 Twitter followers and nearly 3,000 Facebook friends are relentless with their questions, but the friendships are one-sided.

“I get a friend invite and then I get a message with a question,” said Mr. Bravo. “I’m a human being, too. I like to chat and be friendly, and not just be used for my abilities.”

Some advice, then; if you want to make real friends, stop lying to them.

Oakland Lullaby

MSNBC anchor: “In Oakland, police fired tear gas to calm down the crowd.”

Hushabye, hushabye, rest your sweet head
The tear gas is fired, the rioters fled,
The bullets are rubber; we’re saving the lead
Hushabye, hushabye, darling…

Hushabye, hushabye, close your sweet eyes
The tear gas would give them a sorry surprise
So looking about you is rather unwise
Hushabye, hushabye, darling…

Hushabye, hushabye, draw down the shades
The darkness approaches, the day softly fades
There’s no need to witness the flash-bang grenades
Hushabye, hushabye, darling…

Hushabye, hushabye, darling, now rest
Sleep like an angel; sleep heaven-blessed
Sleep while your momma is under arrest
Hushabye, hushabye, darling…

Hushabye, hushabye, time now to snooze
Nothing to see here, we’ve turned off the news
So no one can see when policemen abuse
Hushabye, hushabye, darling…

Hushabye, hushabye, here in the dark
No need to worry about folks in the park
It isn’t a fire; it’s only a spark
Hushabye, hushabye, darling…

(Yes, there is a particular tune, but any sleep-starved parent could come up with one equally as good. It’s quiet, gentle, and would put any baby to sleep. Even in Oakland.)

Headline Muse, 10/26

Though some see the number and mourn
Others look at their sadness with scorn
Is it yes, no, or maybe,
To celebrate “Baby
Seven Billion” about to be born?

Is it cause for some big celebration?
Or for policy forcing castration?
Seven billion to feed
And we still feel the need
To contribute to more population?

I’m sure that the parents are proud
And of course that is fully allowed
But this rate of our growth
It could sure use some slowth—
We’re already a menacing crowd!

Headline: World Population to hit 7 billion

By the end of this month. So some momma is currently walking around, back and feet aching, looking like she’s smuggling a pumpkin under her skin (and yet, radiant–how the hell does that happen?), carrying the planet’s Seven Billionth Human. She’s probably already experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions.

I just missed being the world’s 3 billionth person. There are more than twice the number of people on the planet as there were when I was born. I have a hard time shaking the feeling that this is going to make the “housing bubble” look like a bad dream.

But It Was Supposed To Be A Parody!

In the New York Times today, an article on a Mississippi constitutional amendment on the ballot, which would define personhood as beginning at conception.

The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and “morning-after pills” that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.

It is clear that the impetus behind the issue is religious, not simply because it flies in the face of science (the majority of fertilized eggs don’t make it to birth, so “personhood” is certainly not guaranteed by biology), but because we can hear it in the words of the supporters:

“I view it as transformative,” said Brad Prewitt, a lawyer and executive director of the Yes on 26 campaign, which is named for the Mississippi proposition. “Personhood is bigger than just shutting abortion clinics; it’s an opportunity for people to say that we’re made in the image of God.”

This being the NYTimes, the comments are more coherent than on most sites (I have yet to see the equivalent report on Fox. Can’t wait.). Many bring up, as the logical consequence of this proposed amendment, a scenario very like one I wrote about a while ago. I did already repost it here, but that was before FtB really got going, so I am reposting it after the jump: [Read more...]

Dawkins Flatters Jesus

No self-esteem deficiencies
For Dawkins, I can see:
“A man as smart as Jesus Christ
Would clearly think like me”

hmmm…

If Jesus was as smart as that,
He knew he was a faker—
A man as smart as Jesus was,
Today, would be Jim Bakker.

If Jesus heard the voice of god,
The man was not at all well
A man as crazed as Jesus was
Today, is Jerry Falwell.

If Jesus cleared the marketplace
He clearly had some stones
As power-mad as Jesus was
Today, he’d be Jim Jones

When Jesus led his followers,
His “church” was more a cult
Two thousand years of shepherding
And what is the result?

Two thousand years since Jesus led
His tiny little sect
And even Richard Dawkins treats
Lord Jesus with respect

Blasphemous rant after the jump: [Read more...]

Good News, Political Pundits!

The news is bad; a daily bummer
But just when you thought that you’ve never been glummer
A candidate rises who couldn’t be dumber:
His name’s not Joe; He’s not a plumber

He’s one of those guys; he’s one of those faces
That keep popping up in the strangest of places
Like campaign stops and congressional races
He’s ready to run; he’s knotting his laces

He’s qualified—he’s off his rocker—
His name is Sam “Joe” Wurzelbacher
Whom every pundit, fool, and mocker
Had written off (now that’s a shocker!)

In case you think it’s all just funny,
With friends like his, small things like “money”
Are drawn to him like flies to honey
So cheer up, bub! The skies are sunny!

The hero of the middle class,
A pompous, preening, boorish ass—
Rejoice, reporters! Know, alas,
The sad, sad truth: this too, shall pass.

And I’m An Atheist!

Sometimes, people just like to piss me off. I need to start making a list. Today’s entry is the person who writes a long letter to the editor (why, yes, it was just yesterday I read it) about how we shouldn’t care if there is “under god” in the pledge, or “in god we trust” on our money, or a prayer on the wall of a school, or the ten commandments in a courthouse… Because after all, “God” is just a common word for the inimitable essential spirit of humankind, the force that drives culture, ethics, and morals, and which we all must surely agree exists beyond any shadow of a doubt. (First off, I do not agree in the slightest…) … and then ends the letter with “and I’m an atheist!” *sigh* It takes all sorts.

There’s “In God We Trust” on my money
But I don’t really notice it’s there
And you may think it’s odd or it’s funny
The truth is, I really don’t care!

And I’m an atheist!

See “God” is a metaphor, actually
For a spirit, or essence, or spark
Not meant to be taken quite factually
And we all say our prayers in the dark

And I’m an atheist!

There are mysteries none can unravel
All our knowledge is merely façade;
And I’ve learned, as I grow and I travel,
I can label my ignorance “God”

And I’m an atheist!

So this spirit’s in all that surrounds us
In each sight and each sound we perceive
In each feeling of awe that astounds us
Till there’s no other choice but “believe!”

And I’m an atheist!

[Read more...]

Oh, Wow. Four Years.

I just noticed that yesterday marked the 4th anniversary of The Digital Cuttlefish going public (I had collected a few of the things I had posted on Pharyngula on the site privately, before figuring “what the hell?”)

I’m still a tiny little cuttlefish in a vast internet ocean, but I honestly never expected to last this long, let alone to have jumped to an actual blogging community. Many thanks to a number of people, including especially those readers whose generosity changed my world in the first year of this blog (you know who you are, and what you did, and I intend to be grateful until I quit breathing), to PZ for over 90% of my traffic, and especially to Kylie who told me to do it in the first place.

I forgot to get a cake, but I think I might have some leftover meatloaf I can stick a candle in.

Happy blog-day to me…
Happy blog-day to me…

(If I finish it, it’s copyright infringement, so to hell with that)