Happy birthday PZ!

happybirthdaypz

It is once again the time to mark the joyous occasion of The Great Tentacled One’s completion of another orbit around our sun. Longtime readers of mine may recall that in February of 2011, PZ Myers published my little screed In Defense of Mockery on Pharyngula. At the time I was a fledgling blogger, and hardly knew whether I might be any good at this writing stuff. That boost of confidence—and the readers I gained that day—meant the world to me then, and now. By 2013 when PZ posted Casualties of War, I had come a long way in a short time, thanks in no small part to his generosity and encouragement. But this past year? He brought some serious next-level shit, man: he invited me to write for Freethought Blogs (!!!). For all of this and more, PZ has my undying affection and appreciation.

Today I will be celebrating the good professor by imbibing squid ink cocktails and copious amounts of calamari.

Happy birthday, my friend.

Long may we mock.

squidinkcocktail

Barchetta’s Spezia cocktail.
vodka, caper brine and squid ink, whole caperberry garnish

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Now normally on these sacred occasions, I’d post some of PZ’s more trenchant blurbs, culled from his writings over the previous year. Just a sentence or two that strike me, like this one (perhaps my all time favorite):

[I]magine the culture we would live in now if, instead of a dead corpse on an instrument of torture, our signifier was a child staring in wonder at the stars. –PZ Myers

But in the past year the world has changed. For example, US government policy is now dictated by a madman via 140 character tweets in the middle of the night (Eastern Standard Time). So in keeping with the zeitgeist, please enjoy these pithy bon mots from the master:

Fuck you, Grandma. –PZ Myers

I could be quite happy with an octopus arm transplant. –PZ Myers

Stop me before I #ChristianMingle. –PZ Myers

So fuck the police. –PZ Myers

I’ll smack hope a few more times with a ball peen hammer and see if I can’t get it under control. –PZ Myers

OK, motherfucker, then do it. –PZ Myers

Stoned fish are so much more cooperative. –PZ Myers

I’ve made it on to the list! I feel so appreciated. –PZ Myers

Hate is a strong word, but not strong enough for my feelings.-PZ Myers

Go fuck yourself. –PZ Myers

Hear, hear!

Recent reads + quotes.

NOTE: This is a semi-regular feature on my perrystreetpalace blog readers here might enjoy: a roundup of links, vids and memes I’ve recently come across, organized (more or less) by topic, with occasional brief commentary thereon. Important disclaimer: linking or quoting here does not imply 100% agreement with, or endorsement of, any content, organization, source or individual.

library

RACE.

Racist hate crimes increase five-fold in week after Brexit vote. Payton, M., The Independent (Jul. 2016). [Gosh, who ever could have seen this coming? This is what happens when conservatives and their lies are legitimized—by, say, corporate media or the “election” of George W. Bush—instead of mocked and driven into the dust and shadows. –Ed.]

Shameful Camps. Caine, Freethought Blogs | Affinity (Jul. 2016).

It’s not surprising that white attitudes towards indigenous people remains so negative when this whitewashing is taking place in the heart of Indian country. It’s sad and burdensome to see that lying about Custer is still so very important to some people. “History comes to life”. Yes, a very whitewashed, colonial version, which celebrates the largest mass murder in U.S. history, the Massacre at Wounded Knee.

[It’s bad enough that incredibly significant events are routinely either whitewashed or completely blacked out in public school history classes and by corporate media. But this goes further than propaganda, into dehumanization and genocide…as entertainment. –Ed.]

The Amazing Atheist’s Racism. Hughes, M., Patheos | barrierbreaker (Jun. 2016). [&%#*@! –Ed.]

schrodingersimmigrant

JOY.

How to stay happy when the sky is falling in. Burkeman, O., The Guardian (Jul. 2016).

[Derrick Jensen, a writer and co-founder of the radical environmental movement Deep Green Resistance] has written that people sometimes ask him why he doesn’t just kill himself, if things are as bad as he says. “The answer is that life is really, really good. I am a complex enough being that I can hold in my heart the understanding that we are really, really fucked, and at the same time that life is really, really good. I am full of rage, sorrow, joy, love, hate, despair, happiness, dissatisfaction, and a thousand other feelings. We are really fucked. Life is still really good.”

HARASSMENT + ABUSE.

Man sends woman an unsolicited d*ck pic, woman responds brilliantly. Man regrets it. Felton, J., SMS (Jun. 2016).

In Orlando, as Usual, Domestic Violence Was Ignored Red Flag. Chemaly, S., Rolling Stone (Jun. 2016).

Intimate partner violence and the toxic masculinity that fuels it are the canaries in the coal mine for understanding public terror, and yet this connection continues largely to be ignored, to everyone’s endangerment. It is essential to understand religious extremism (of all stripes), racism, homophobia, mental illness and gun use, but all of these factors are on ugly quotidian display in one place before all others: at home.

Rape fantasy letter haunts Scotts Valley High School girls. Baxter, S., Santa Cruz Sentinel (Jun. 2016).

“All of us (named in the letter) felt extremely uncomfortable that he was given no true consequence. Along with that, the school didn’t even follow policy. The school was not interested in our well-being but more in his, and in this they believed that pushing this under the rug will make us forget everything. We were asked not to tell anyone, including the people on the lists (named in the letter) who have a right to know.”

somethingtocryabout

[For some of us, they were going to hit us too. -Ed.]

TERRORISM, WAR.

As Medina reveals: ISIS is not hijacking Islam, it is actively at war with Islam. Ali, A., Amro Ali (Jul. 2016).

If a self-proclaimed Catholic group bombed the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica and constantly killed scores of innocent Catholics, then we would deem such an entity, in various degrees, as an anti-Catholic terrorist group. Likewise, ISIS is not a radical Islamist movement as much as it is an active anti-Muslim, terror movement.

How many more sickening anti-Muslim, if not anti-human, acts does it take for a diabolical group to be dissociated from a religious body in the eyes of the world?

CONSERVATIVES.

The Authoritarian Personality Revisited: Reading Adorno in the Age of Trump. Gordon, P., Greanville Post (Jun. 2016). [A long but excellent read. –Ed.]

‘Kill the gays’ pastor has a pulpit-stomping meltdown after he’s booted from online fundraising. Markus, B.P., Raw Story (with video) (Jun. 2016). [CONTENT NOTE: extreme hostility to LGBTQ individuals and communities. See also. –Ed.]

Lie Witness News – Hillary Clinton Email Edition. Kimmel, J., Jimmy Kimmel Live via youtube.com (Jul. 2016).

 [Behold the US voter. –Ed.]

ABORTION, RULE OF LAW.

What Monday’s Supreme Court Decision Means in the Fight for Abortion Rights. Pieklo, J.M., Rewire (Jun. 2016). (“Monday’s decision striking two provisions of Texas’ HB 2 doesn’t just threaten similar laws nationwide; it could be the basis for finally stemming the onslaught of anti-science abortion restrictions in the states.”) [Here is the decision (pdf). Read Thomas’s dissent for a special treat: a case study in characteristic conservative reality-denial. –Ed.]

How Did I Get an Abortion in Texas? I Didn’t. Peterson, V., The New York Times (Jun. 2016). (“I had never been involved in activism before. I didn’t know about these types of laws, or really have an opinion on abortion before I needed one myself.”) [JFC. smh. –Ed.]

MEDIA.

Donbass Truth – Drunk Russian Propaganda edition. Chopov, A., youtube.com (Jul. 2016).

“[W]e spent countless research hours to make this video to see if anything you hear in Western media about ‘failing Russia’ or ‘rising Ukraine’ is grounded in actual facts – for this we used statistics from the UN, CIA, IMF and other world famous organizations. Take a look – this might just cause to learn to think for yourself!”)

[Highly doubtful—see above links re: conservatives. CONTENT NOTE: violent and disturbing images, including dead children. –Ed.]

 

The Ralph Nader Myth. gjohnsit, Daily Kos (Dec. 2013).

So why did Gore lose to Bush? Democrats…Nader only drew 24,000 Democrats to his cause, yet 308,000 Democrats voted for Bush.
Nader wasn’t the real betrayal of Democrats. Democrats were. Nearly a third of million of them.

Even more important, consider the math: since Bush was the main challenger, a Democrat voting for Bush hurts twice as much as a Democrat voting for Nader.

This is a fact. The reality-based community must learn to deal with it.

[Oh must they? Hahaha. Citation needed. An old post well worth re-reading. –Ed.]

malcolmxquote

FEMINISM.

Teens, Marines, and Men. angietheantitheist, Misandry Angie (Jun. 2016).

I have to say men aren’t looking too good as a group right now. They claim to be strong protectors yet fold at the idea of a strong, armed woman. They throw utter tantrums about not getting to gawk at teen girls on stage, not realizing they are the reason the swimsuit competition was dropped. Beauty pageants are a controversial thing, but they award the largest college scholarships to girls. Did your scholarship application involve adults staring at and appraising your nearly naked underage body? Probably not.

SCIENCE, FOOD.

Probiotics Are Useless, GMOs Are Fine, and Gluten Is Necessary. Rogers, K., Motherboard (May 2016).

taxevasion

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Finally, for my poor neglected Quote Collection:

Everything is going to be unimaginably worse and is never going to get any better. –Kurt Vonnegut

We’re terrible animals. I think that the Earth’s immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should. –Kurt Vonnegut

The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was elected. –Kurt Vonnegut

I don’t know about you, but I practice a disorganized religion. I belong to an unholy disorder. We call ourselves “Our Lady of Perpetual Astonishment.” –Kurt Vonnegut

However sugarcoated and ambiguous, every form of authoritarianism must start with a belief in some group’s greater right to power, whether that right is justified by sex, race, class, religion or all four. However far it may expand, the progression inevitably rests on unequal power and airtight roles within the family. –Gloria Steinem

As the little boy said when asked if he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother, “Oh no, that’s women’s work.” Logic has nothing to do with oppression. –Gloria Steinem

It doesn’t surprise me to learn that there is bias and sexism everywhere, just like there are problems of racism and homophobia stemming from the whole notion that we’re arranged in a hierarchy, that we’re ranked rather than linked. –Gloria Steinem

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