The Digital Pack-Rat, vol. 23

Welcome, to a special blasphemy edition of the Digital Pack Rat, courtesy of troll/spam commenter “DM”. I was not going to include the second entry today, but since DM called this a “blasphemy blog”, I really have no choice. All credit, though, must go to DM–it is his spamming that leads directly to this blasphemy. If he wants to see more, he should keep spamming. If he really cares about his faith, he should shut his pie-hole. Oh, and for the rest of you–on the off chance that blasphemy offends you, you might want to click on through to some other page right about now. Fair warning.

So… the first verse is only a *little* blasphemous. It was a comment on “America’s Next Religion“, the game show proposed by PZ, in which the various faiths compete to become our National Religion.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Grab your cellphones! Make the call!
To make certain your religion is the favorite of them all!
The preliminary judging puts us clearly in the lead,
But your vote must still be counted to succeed!

Onward, Christian soldiers! It’s a one-nine-hundred line,
That will keep your lord and savior turning water into wine!
We know we’ve asked a lot before; it’s really kind of funny,
But your vote is what we need now, more than money!

Onward Christian soldiers! Vote as often as you can!
For the god who loved you so much that he turned into a man,
And got nailed upon a cross of wood (which you should not attempt)
Just to keep the right religion tax exempt!

Onward Christian soldiers! Stop your praying! Grab your phone!
Your God may be omnipotent, but can’t do this alone!
Yes, we told you faith moves mountains, but we’re asking you now, please–
God needs action now, so get up off your knees!

Onward Christian soldiers! Here’s a message from above:
We’re about to get our ass kicked by Muhammad’s boot of love!
All your praying is a waste of time; We really want to win!
Here’s a New Commandment: Praying is a sin!

Onward Christian… never mind, you haven’t got the stuff–
You must’ve thought that prayer alone would really be enough.
We lied, and you believed us. Guess we just deserved to lose.
Do we really have to suck up to Tom Cruise?

Ok… now the fun one. This one comments on an interesting find on, again reported by PZ. It seems they sell communion wafers, and in the “people who bought this item also bought these”, we see… Astroglide:

I hold it as a point of pride
To walk with Jesus by my side
With him alone I will abide
It was for me that Jesus died.

I walk with Jesus, every stride;
To him alone will I confide
The things I seek, He will provide
No need of mine will be denied.

My heart, of course, I open wide
And let my Jesus come inside;
Jesus wept. And me, I cried:
That’s why we bought the Astroglide.

Lastly, to keep people thinking about giving, a comment on the umbrella organization for non-believers to give aid to Haiti (and, I hope, a continuing project when it is needed):

I probably would holler
If you stole from me a dollar,
But a dollar isn’t really all that much.
I could maybe buy a cola
Or a handful of granola;
Maybe tuck it in a g-string, but I couldn’t buy a touch.

I’d be angry for a minute, maybe two
But a dollar might be life or death for you.

And you know I’d shout aplenty
If I went and lost a twenty
That’s a pizza, and a six of decent beer
Or the cover at a nightclub
Where I’d go, or where I might, bub,
If it wasn’t so annoying, so I mostly just stay here.

I’d be pissed off for a day, or two or three
But that twenty bucks might save your family.

I’d be sure my anger thundered
If some asshole stole a hundred
Cos a hundred is a major chunk of dough!
And I’m sure that I would feel it
If some wanker were to steal it
But a hundred means much more to you, as anyone would know.

And a hundred less would hardly break my neck
In perspective, guess it’s time to write a check.

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 22

My apologies for no recent posts. As I was telling Podblack Cat recently, this is not necessarily a bad thing–I tend to write more when under great stress. The Cuttlekids are home from college, and I am a happy mollusk. But hey, we have plenty of stress, so stay tuned.
I know I am missing some, but here are a sampling of recent comments from Pharyngula:

Regarding Isabella Rosselini’s “Green Porn” series… specifically, she was a squid:

The warm embrace of twenty eighteen arms
And Isabella’s human charms
Are pure delight for Cuttlefish,
Although, of course, I’d make a wish
That she’d remove her squid disguise
Just her, beneath the sunny skies
No costume, just herself and me
As happy as two fish could be!

Ah, the wonderful past. So much better than the present, wasn’t it?

Ancient Man was so much smarter
(Ancient woman played a part–her
Contribution, though gets edited, and loses quite a bit)
Than our modern Man Of Science,
Who is forced to put reliance
In the stuff we stole from Aliens, like microwaves and shit.
Yes, the Neolithic human
Wasn’t always “doom-and-gloom”, and
Had a better way of thinking than the average man today!
We depend on our computers
As our parents, friends, and tutors–
While we fiddle with technology, our brains dissolve away!

The most amusing billboards are not the atheists’, but other Christian denominations:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
What did you think of Joe?
Compared to God’s, I think the odds
His measured up are low.

Mary, Mary, kept her cherry,
May God protect the lass;
To be like Her, good girls prefer
To take it up the ass.

Oh, yeah, the woman in the red jumpsuit tackled the Pope…

The war on Christmas grows in scope–
A woman just attacked the Pope!
While on his way to give the Mass
She knocked him on his papal ass–
He got right up and on his way
To speak to all, this Christmas day.
Although his world-view may be shit,
The geezer Pope can take a hit.

And Ray “Bananaman” Comfort stole some pages for “his” book:

A book which needs no introduction
Got one anyway.
Ray’s writing had the sound of suction;
Now, he’ll have to pay.
His first three pages did not quite
Appear like they belong–
They’ll argue over copyright:
It’s surely copywrong.

Prayer works–just ask your local Cardinal.

For pain relief, take true belief,
And call me in the morning.
But be aware, there’s nothing there
(Consider this your warning)

Devoutly pray, three times a day,
Not waiting for an answer;
And, what the hell, says Cardinal Pell,
It might just cure your cancer.

Wanna choose a religion?

Spin the wheel,
Roll the dice,
Throw the dart–
Don’t think twice!

Win or lose?
Beat the odds!
What the hell,
They’re only gods.

A gene for belief? A gene for atheism?

Eureka! I’ve a Christian here, genetically engineered!
Identical, as far as we can probe–
It turned out much much easier by far than we had feared;
All it took was turning off the frontal lobe.

We’ve carefully examined, and we’ve searched for any flaw,
But it seems that nothing major’s gone amiss;
A side effect elicited is wonderment and awe,
But the primary? That ignorance is bliss.

What evolution started, we can fiddle just a smidgin,
And improve a lot, with very little strain;
From an atheistic creature, we can generate religion!
All it takes is just removing half the brain!

Truly conscious beings live in the “now”, you know.

“Now” is a wonderful word
Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard.
Though dead men, or ‘bots,
(Whom we say have no thoughts)
With no concept of time
Nor of reason, nor rhyme
Find a concept like “now” quite absurd.

“There is no now for the dead”
I have heard (or the similar) said
Though the newly deceased
Have not claimed that, at least
To my knowledge. The claim
Is most often, the same
Made by those who are living, instead

We generate circular claims
For our own philosophical aims,
But our own points of view
(Mine is me; yours is you
Which no other can see
(Yours is you; mine is me
Hasn’t changed since the writing of James!

Oh, yeah… Congress shall recognize… an asshole says “Merry Christmas!”

Mister Brown, he went to town
To pass some laws for Jesus.
He doesn’t care if what he does
Is likely not to please us.

He doesn’t care if what he does
Might not stand up in court;
You tell him “Happy Holidays!”
“It’s Christmas!” he’ll retort.

Mister Brown will use his faith,
He gladly will explain.
Of course, we could have guessed as much:
He doesn’t use his brain.

The Digital Pack-Rat, volume 21

It is, as it always is this time of year, approaching the ragged end of the semester. I am inundated with grading, so it is time to collect the detritus of blog comments, assemble them together, and pretend to post. If I find the time, I may come back and actually add links, but not now!

Also, I know the last “pack rat” post was #19. So was the one before it, so this #21 is the proper number.

Re: Uganda’s proposal to execute HIV-positive individuals, and impose life imprisonment sentences on gays.

It may seem cruel; it may seem strange,
These cold, barbaric tactics.
But think of all the souls thus saved
From using prophylactics!

We could be wrong; perhaps we purge
And yet the virus stays–
At least we’re doing something, right?
And what the hell, they’re gays.

Re: the Deep Rifts in atheism–

The thing about atheist creatures
Is, we’re willing to challenge our teachers;
Don’t call it a schism,
It’s mere criticism:
These things, they’re not bugs–these are features.

Re: a Godwinization of evolution…

Your misattribution claims mean evolution
As sole inspiration for Hitler;
What poor execution! Its small contribution
Could probably not have been littler!

Religion’s pollution, and claimed persecution,
Contributed more, don’t you know?
The right institution to grant absolution
And Hitler was ready to go!

Re: the eating of live cephalopods (!)

I’ll admit there are meals that have certain appeals,
And some, I should say, that excite me.
But if any here wish a live cuttlefish dish…
Bite me.

Re: creationist logic and middle fingers—

Stupidity lingers; we see it in fingers,
Which clearly could not be descended from fins!
They’re perfect, and Godly, and from this we oddly
Conclude that the myth of the goatherders wins!

And of course, the return of the son of the bride of… Wafergate.

Desecration of a cracker is uncivil disobedience
The son of god, remember, is the whole of its ingredients!
You tried to make a point, but with unsuitable expedience–
It was your right, but surely you were wrong!

The epitome of sacred, you reduced to mere profanity;
One wonders if you’ve kept the merest sliver of humanity!
You’re clearly out of touch with any form of christianity,
As on the road to hell you trot along!

Our point of view is crystal-clear; our pithy editorial
Accuses you of crimes unseen since time long immemorial,
Perhaps the worst since humankind first ceased to be arboreal
Or since the first prokaryotic cell!

And so, Professor Myers, I will say with all sincerity
In case you choose to sin like this with any regularity,
I wish you strength and perseverance, boldness and temerity–
You’ll need it, cos you’re going straight to hell!

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 19

It has been an eventful month, so I am rather surprised to have so much to post here.

First, a comment on the “millions of years” wrecking ball at the creation sci… *snorfle*… science muse *hee hee* museum:

Six thousand years since Adam’s “birth”–
The bible tells us so.
A few more days, the age of Earth;
P.Z., you ought to know!

The sediments were all laid down
As rivers ran their courses
And fossils deep within the ground
Are merely Jesus Horses!

The “old-earth” claim, a wrecking ball
Assaulting my belief,
Will never cause my faith to fall,
But always cause me grief;

I grieve for people everywhere–
It really gives me pains–
Who cannot bring their faith to bear…

And have to use their brains.

Of course, at that museum *snort*… PZ got a bit of flack for riding the triceratops that everyone rides:

You take it as a point of pride
To sit upon a child’s ride
A fiberglass triceratops, a propaganda tool–
A sauropod of fiberglass
To cushion and support your ass
The photographic evidence is there for us, you fool!

How dare you flaunt the rules divine,
As posted on the little sign,
Restricting it to little kids, not Doctors in disguise!
Although you only meant to laugh
It’s serious to us! The staff
Alone are drawing paychecks here for emphasizing lies!

Oh, let’s see… Oh, yeah, Dembski is offering credit for 200-word posts:

I will not spell-check; must not edit—
There is no time; it’s extra credit!
For Dembski’s class, I think perhaps
I think I need to write ALL CAPS!
(or maybe not—it’s hard to tell;
The wrong choice, though, may lead to Hell!)
I have to say, cos it’s my grade,
(It’s time to check—that’s sixty-two,
I need more words to get me through.
I need two hundred words or more
To get me Dembski’s perfect score!)
(The meter’s wrong, but no one cares—
A hundred words; I’m halfway there!)
It may seem callous, even cold,
But now it’s time to post in bold—
else, perhaps, I spoke in haste,
And ought to go with cut and paste,
With plagiarizing Dembski’s words,
Regardless if the meaning’s blurr’d.
And time to find a proper site
With points for all I’m doing right!
I think I’ll choose Pharyngula
Where scientists all mingle, ah…
To post my extra-credit screed
For everybody now to read
And offer their analysis
Regarding my hypothesis:
And now, although it seems absurd
My post has hit 200 words.

What else… Oh, yeah, a church votes to do something right, despite centuries of entrenched prejudice:

Amps and volts and lightning bolts
Are sometimes God’s Own Word;
Unless, of course, we disagree,
In which case it’s absurd.

Great news this is, although in truth
It’s more than some can swallow;
But where the people speak their mind
Their leader–God–must follow.

A bit of a rant on morality and religion… someone noted lines 5 and 6 in a comment on Pharyngula; I liked that, since it is the entire poem, condensed.

The Word Of God, conveniently for those of us who hate,
Will always back our hatred with religion’s holy weight.
The good may credit God, of course; sing praises to his name–
The bad, as well, cite scripture, which they loudly will proclaim!
The Word Of God is leather-bound, and sits upon your shelf,
And lets you blame a deity for things you do yourself.
You’re good, or bad, or neither; you are moral or you’re not;
You think that God contributed? He did precisely squat.
It’s you who takes the credit, and it’s you who takes the blame;
No God controlled your hatred, so don’t try to spread the blame.
So go ahead; pretend that you are acting on God’s word;
Both you and we know better; you’re a coward and a turd.

And lastly, a comment on the “logic” of one of the sharper minds of creationism:

He’s razor-sharp, or even keener,
Calm and cool is his demeanor;
Ranting “Neener, neener, neener!”
Never was his style;
Poised and thoughtful, his debating,
Never stoops to low berating,
Turns aside barbaric hating
Merely with a smile.
Logic is the tool he uses,
Striking when and where he chooses;
Quick and strong, he never loses–
Always wins the prize;
Ready for a rough-and-tumble
Sure of foot; he’ll never stumble.
Through it all, remaining humble…
Problem is, he lies.

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 17

Yeah, I know, it has been nearly two months. But in all that time, there is only enough pack-rat material for one post. (Seriously, it took over a week before I could read the news without rewriting each story in rhyme–but I forced myself. Now, it is taking me a bit to get back into form…)

The first… I poked my head up out of my hiding-place to write a few lines about homeopathy, when the swine flu scare brought the snake-oil salesweasels out into the open.

I would never give plain water
To my wife, or son, or daughter
Any more than I would bleed them, or would chant some silly spell.
If their symptoms verge on flu-ish
I want medicine that’s true-ish
Give me proven (double-blind) effective drugs, or go to hell.

Next… I don’t ordinarily include limericks in the pack-rat volumes, but if I don’t, this will be a too-brief post. The topic? Creating dinosaurs, through genetic modification of … chickens.

Though the task is a little complex,
Given time, we can work out the specs–
With the motive and means,
We can juggle the genes:
From a chicken, derive a T-rex!

Though the papers will claim that I’m mad,
There is nothing I’ve done that’s so bad–
This isn’t designing,
But merely refining–
I’m giving them back what they had!

Every egg that you’ve scrambled or fried
Is a dinosaur’s sibling that died–
If you’ve cooked up your dozens,
I’m telling you, cousins,
It’s time that you’d best run and hide!

Just one day later, PZ published back-to-back posts. One wrote of his commencement speech at Keck. The other wrote of email he got from Heck. Come on; that’s just not fair…

By juxtaposing Keck and Heck,
You’ve fashioned me a nervous wreck–
The one is nice, the other, dreck;
My head so spun, I sprained my neck.
So now I type (well, hunt and peck)
And try to keep my thoughts in check;
Please, next time, won’t you wait a sec
Or maybe holler “clear the deck!”
Before you deign to flick that speck?

Next, a singular(ity) verse… I must write at length about the singularity at some point–I actually have well-considered opinions, backed up with consistent logic and (even better!) evidence. But for now…

My mind, they say, will fit in lots
Of itsy bitsy nanobots–
Assuming such a thing could be,
That thing, of course, would not be me.

The same day (wow, I must have had lots of grading due or something), PZ had to write about “Men in fancy hats”. Hats are, to a verse-monger, what a red flag is to a bull. Too much metaphor, too easily rhymed. Ask Dr. Seuss.

I saw a man who wore a hat,
So big, so bright, so tall–
So heavy on his head, it sat,
The biggest hat of all.

He carried this tremendous weight,
Although his neck did strain,
Because it made him contemplate
Christ’s suffering and pain.

It made him feel that pain is good–
It fortified his soul.
He suffered greatly, as he should,
For thus is mankind’s role.

He wore it proudly, even though
The atheists would scoff;
It hurt his head, but even so
He would not take it off.

The moral here, I think you’ll find,
Is easy to apply:
Take off that hat, and free your mind,
And hold your head up high.

Almost done now, I promise!

Again, I blame PZ. He shares his Mr. Birdnow with us, and Birdnow mangles John Donne.

Though “thee” and “we”, it seems to me,
Are similar, phonetically,
The use of each in proper speech
Is out of Mr. Birdnow’s reach.
Ask not for whom we sit and fume
Ask not whose writing gives us gloom
For now, as ever, the bell, so clever,
Tolls and tolls for Mr. Birdnever.

Lastly (!!!), a bit of wordplay with Thunderf00t and Luskin. Just because.

Thunderf00t’s not mean, or brusque; in
Fact, when he exposes Luskin,
Leaving just a tattered husk, in
Pieces on the floor,
He does so in his usual Thunder-
F00tish manner; Luskin’s blunders
Neatly listed. It’s no wonder
All of us want more.

Again, I remind you to vote in the poll (over there to the right–it is clearly the most important poll on its subject that there has ever been). And donate blood, tip your waitress/waiter, hug your loved ones, and don’t make me come over there.

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 15

The objections to stem cell research are not all … rational. Everyone knows, we are working on the ultimate weapon—a gun, made of babies, that uses babies as ammo.

No ifs, no ands, no buts, no maybes,
Merely guns made out of babies–
We need good guns, to go to war;
That’s what we made eugenics for!

I was happy to hear, on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, about the problems the elves are causing these days. Or is that the fairies? Anyway, it’s somebody who likes to stay hidden.

A book lost somewhere on my shelves
Assures me that there are no elves
Nor fairies, banshees, gnomes, nor trolls
Not one of these, my text extols!
The certainty with which it speaks
Reflects its out-of-date techniques:
It’s mostly full of Bronze-Age tribal
Myths. It’s called… let’s see… The Bible.

(And that’s why I don’t find it odd
That fairies don’t believe in god.)

And the spate of recent news stories of the other apes (the non-human ones) gaining the upper hand prompts this reminder that 2/3 of the planet is still out of reach for them.

With coconuts, and rocks, and feces
Daring plots, and cunning plans,
The battle’s on! The warring species
Want the crown that once was man’s.

The apes will have the upper hand,
Unbound by superstitious gods,
And when it’s done, they’ll rule the land–
The seas belong to cephalopods.

Oh, yeah, it’s not just the apes you gotta watch out for:

When working with an angry horse,
(As well with donkeys, asses, mules)
You’ll find it is the prudent course
To armor-plate your family jewels.
Or else, bring gauze and lots of ice
For when your nuts head further south.
I know this must be good advice–
I got it from the horse’s mouth!

And, oddly enough, one from this strange blog called “The Digital Cuttlefish”. Not quite enough to merit its own post, but (yet) another antireductionist rant in the Dennett thread. Seriously, it reminds me of a line from a Barenaked Ladies song; the line goes “I’m not trying to sing a love song; I’m trying to sing in tune”. The finest description—even to the quantum level—of what an action is, does not explain why it is taking place. A description of my fingers on the keys—even to the quantum level—does not tell you whether I am writing The Great American Novel, or a dirty limerick! Assuming that you were to elaborate on the description at the quantum level such that you knew it was a dirty limerick, you would not know whether I was writing it as a joke, a submission for publication, a mistaken attempt at seduction, or any of dozens of other motivations. In other words, you would not know the cause.

The graphite’s slip is just the same,
With this view thrust upon it,
If I should merely sign my name
Or write a quantum sonnet!

Your answer serves to illustrate
My problem with your view:
I think that answers should relate
To questions—how ‘bout you?

To speak in terms of “gentle slip”
Describes the graphite’s flaking,
But not the path my pencil’s tip
Across the page is making.

Description of the finest kind
Is still not explanation;
Not pencil tips, and not the mind—
That’s misinterpretation!

You act as if reducing mind
To quantum-level laws
Allowed a person thus to find
A true internal cause!

But this, of course, is not the case—
One only finds description!
(A simple fact, which you must face
And not have a conniption.)

Our explanations, grounded in
The world that we can see,
Are where we fruitfully begin
To find what mind must be.

(I also see, parenthetically,
A view that you ascribe to me
That does not sound like mine at all
A strawman, rather, built to fall–
In searching my views for contradiction,
Please have a care not to tilt at a fiction!)

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 14

Ok, back to the list… On a pharyngula thread about a scandalously titled recent discovery about the evolution of sex. Well, not sex, per se, but having sex. Sorta. What we really need is a clearer fossil of the action… in action.

To see if fishies copulate, thus little fishies born,
We need some “more revealing fossils” (i.e., fossil porn)

A clear fossil pic o’ flagrante delicto
would really be reason for bragging–
A stone preservation of fish copulation,
A petrification of shagging!

A fossil find of such an act would surely take some luck
But think… for all eternity, preserved in stone, mid-fuck!

“I never drink water. Fish fuck in it.” W. C. Fields

Next, we have a complaint–we’ve driven God out of our schools! Won’t somebody think of the children?! Well, somebody is thinking of the children. They even made a little video, showing all the places where God was too weak to overcome the actions of evil school boards…

It opens with a spotting scope–
God’s rifle, from above–
That seeks to find His victims
Then he’ll pump them full of love.
If God in his omnipotence
Is weak against O’Hair,
Don’t tell the little children;
They might think he isn’t there!
Almighty God is weak, compared
To school boards, so it feels.
Don’t blame him; after all, the buses
All have iron wheels.
I wouldn’t mind the petulance
Of God the Petty Whiner
If only those who followed Him
Could be a bit benigner.

Next… I couldn’t bring myself to write about the actual topic of PZ’s post–the rape of a little girl. The headline spoke of the “alleged” rape. Wow. What sort of … never mind.

Make certain that your bets are hedged
And always use the word “alleged”–
It shows your head is firmly wedged
Where sun will never shine.
That word aside, we can’t escape
The facts: this case is clearly rape
Made even worse because of Pap-
al reasoning divine.

Almost done… a delightful webcomic poked a bit of well-deserved fun at hard scientists, and happened to mention pharyngula. The main characters are furries, which I can’t very well have a problem with while I self-identify as a cuttlefish.

I call myself a cuttlefish, but now I have to worry–
Can one be an invertebrate, but still be called a furry?
I would have thought it simple, but the line seems rather blurry;
If someone here could clue me in, I truly hope they’d hurry!

Now, thanks to Dr. Seuss and Ray Comfort…

In the World Nut Daily, or so the tale goes,
There wrote a strange man that most everyone knows
His name, it was Ray C.; he was dumb as could be
And he never seemed sane—frankly, out of his tree!

Sighed Ray C., this crazy man hatching his plot
“I’m a great many things, but a genius I’m not;
I don’t like to think, cos it makes my brain hurt,
So I’d rather say God made us all out of dirt.”
The evidence, though, left him caught in a bind,
Till Horton the elephant passed through his mind!

“I wonder” thought Comfort, “how elephants bred,
When it takes two to tango—or so it is said”
A thought that showed Ray was clean out of his head.

See, Ray thinks selection gives animals things
Like backbones and fingers, like tusks and like wings
Before they were both male and female of sex—
A notion that’s clearly designed to perplex!

While Ray could not see what was wrong with his view
A smart second-grader could—how about you?

He meant what he said, and he said what he meant;
Ray Comfort’s a pinhead, one hundred percent.

And lastly, PZ tells us that his Trophy Wife does not share his squid kink…

Oh, trouble and strife! The Trophy Wife
Doesn’t quite get the cephalofetish?
But think, if she did, and dressed up like a squid
To entice you to someplace that’s wettish–
She would use both her charms and her tentacle arms
To entrap you in utter delight–
We’d just stare at the walls, while Pharyngula stalls
Cos you’re too effing busy to write!

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 13

Lucky thirteen! A fairly large one today, too–I have let this get away from me.

I’ll start with one posted on Evolving Thoughts, (and later posted as a comment in the Dennett thread), commenting on the arguments regarding consciousness. Worth reading the original, BTW, and the comments.

It seems to me philosophers have somewhat been seduced
By the metaphor of storage, and conclusions it implies.
The self, itself, it promises, is something that’s produced
Via information transfer in that blob behind our eyes.
All too often this assumption underlies their exploration;
The conclusions that it leads to seem a normal path to follow
But inherent in the metaphor is one sort of explanation;
By removing those assumptions, it’s a tougher bite to swallow.
If the structure of the person helps to form what’s introspected
(And the social and environmental atmosphere as well)
Then feelings, thoughts, or memories just cannot be dissected
From the person as a whole, as information one could tell.
“Ah, but that’s just further information”, I have seen in practice,
When I try this explanation—and I want to pull my hair—
You could stuff it in, of course, but it’s like sitting on a cactus:
Just because it can be sat on, doesn’t mean the thing’s a chair.

Next, a short little verse inspired by George Will’s habit of making shit up:

Republicans observe the news
And don’t like what they’re seeing;
They dream up facts to fit their views,
Then Will them into being.

A poll gets pharyngulated, and all the votes coming from PZ’s link get deleted. Too bad, because I know more on the topic than the author of the poll does. Guaranteed.

I’d wager I’ve read much much more on such topics
Than he has, and yet he deleted my vote!
With evidence rarer than snow in the tropics
The chances of life after death are … remote.
But out with the bath-water, there goes the baby,
Throw out the bad votes and good votes as one:
The lesson that’s there to be learned is that maybe
An internet poll should be nothing but fun.

A little musing on the topic of spirituality–all the benefits of religion, without the actual social part of getting together with your fellow humans:

I’m spiritual, but not religious;
egotistical, not prestigious;
belligerent, but not litigious;
deviant, but not prodigious.

Take the extreme, remove the part
that shows I have a working heart;
Whatever’s left is what I am,
Because I do not give a damn.

The benefit, but not the cost
Is mine–if something might be lost,
It’s paid by others, not by me–
Three cheers for sociopathy!

Ack! The real world beckons! I guess there will be a volume 14 up very soon, but this one gets cut off prematurely.

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 11

I really don’t think my readership contains a whole lot of people who are offended by strong language, or who cannot recognize satire, but if either or both of those describe you, I am warning you that the last verse this time might be one you want to miss.

So, as it turns out, what PZ Myers did to a communion wafer is not something that can be taken care of by his local priest. No, this was so egregious that it must be handled by the Pope himself.

Oh, the Pope’ll make you pay fer
What you did to that poor wafer
And you oughta be just mortified for doing what you did!
It’s a sin to take a nail an’
Poke a cracker, cos impalin’
Is a Godly thing, that only He can do unto His Kid.
If you’d only done, say, homicide,
Or broke some sacred promise, I’d
Expect some lower lackey is authority enough
But to drive a nail through Jesus
On your blog, no less, to please us,
Why the Pope himself’s required, when it comes to cracker snuff.

How is it that one could be blessed with a lovesick squid?

I looked up to the heavens and I wished upon a star
Though I knew it couldn’t hear, from unimaginably far,
I wished two arms to hold me, two arms to keep me tight,
Two arms that I could cling to every second of the night,
Two arms to keep me safe and warm, two arms to share my fun—
I meant “two arms in total”, but that star’s a silly one.

Musing on the merits of politeness…

Would you think me less than civil
If I gussied up my drivel?
Would your disappointment shrivel up and vanish in the mist?
Would you give me greater latitude
If I cleaned up my attitude?
I do not need your gratitude, goddammit, I am pissed!
Comments here may seem…well, rude,
But they’re rarely misconstrued
If you’d rather be a prude and miss the point, then go to hell.
Want polite? You’re out of luck, you
Smarmy bastard, cos you suck. You
Don’t deserve less than a “fuck you, and the horse you rode as well”

This one came before my “cuttlefish genome”, but was a quick response to the same story—Steve Pinker’s genome being made public.

The volumes that are written in a strand of DNA
Are a poetry we thought beyond our reach
But thanks to all the thinkers reading genomes such as Pinker’s
We will see how much a molecule can teach.

More arguing over trying to force creationism into schools…

If ignorance was good for me, It’s good for children, too;
If I get by not knowing bupkus, so by god can you.
Them science types, they use big words–don’t understand a bit.
I’m happy with Creation, cos it keeps me dumb as shit.
If Darwin’s evolution says we’re all just beasts and brutes
There’s no room for religion, or for spiritual pursuits.
Creation puts us humans at the top where we belong
Besides, don’t want my kids to learn the fact that… I am wrong.

First, go read scicurious’s ode to the prairie voles in love. Otherwise, you won’t get the context for this next one. Besides, it’s wonderful. So… go. read. I’ll wait.

My worry is
With verses such as this,
With rhyme that flows in
May have found her bliss!
The premise, see,
Is: chemistry,
And not the moon above,
Will vary roles
Of prairie voles–
And people, too–in love!
Will some vole croon
Beneath full moon,
And woo the lass he’s chosen?
As Cuttlefish,
My subtle wish
Is–pass the oxytocin!

Yeah, this next one is offensive. It’s satire. I think my credentials on this issue have been established on this blog. The targets of my ire here are the commenters to an editorial in the Concord (NH) Monitor (as reported at Dr. Joan Bushwell’s Chimpanzee Refuge) about Bishop Gene Robinson having been asked to speak at Obama’s inauguration. Don’t bother reading them—I have summed them up here.

Sing praises! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! Happy Day!
Unless, of course, you pervert, you’re a godless bastard Gay–
All you faggots, dykes, and homos, all you lesbos, all you queers,
You’ve been persecuting Christian folks for too, too many years!
With your godless Gay Agenda, and your Liberal Elite,
You expect us decent people, now, to bow and kiss your feet?
Now this Robinson, this homo, who pretends that he’s a priest,
Real Americans will tell you he’s not Christian in the least–
He’s unchristian, unamerican, inhuman, and insane
He’s pretending he’s religious just for monetary gain;
He’s a hypocrite, a liar, he’s a Communist inside
Cos America was founded with the Bible as its guide!
When he dies (and he’ll die early–he’s unhealthy, you can tell)
I can only hope he’s happy sucking Satan’s cock in Hell
While good Christians spend eternity just spitting from above,
Where we’re gathered up in Heaven… because God, you know, is Love.

The Digital Pack-Rat, vol. 9

All the xmas verses that got away–starting with a response to a youtube clip of ignorant buffoons pontificating on how the true meaning of christmas was being destroyed by having other belief systems … basically, do what christianity had done in its turn.

I do not think highly of Mr. O’Reilly
(That’s fine–he can do that himself)

And Gretchen’s kvetchin’ just pure leaves me retchin’

My guts out, the bleached little elf.

They do love the season, but don’t know the reason

Their holiday comes in December

It was stolen from Norse, and from Romans, of course,

But these “journalists” must not remember.

These pinheads demand, but the Puritans banned

The observance of Christmas, you know:

True Christians could see that a creche or a tree

Was improper, and really should go!

So Gretchen and Billo, go purchase some brillo

And use it to polish your brains

So that maybe next year we can live without fear

Of your ignorant, selfish refrains.

As part of that continuing saga, you may recall, the (horrible, deplorable, sacrilegious, whatever) sign that the atheists put up beside the creche… was stolen! And yes, I stole the melody.

They came upon a midnight clear
Unto the Olympia Square
The night disguised them while they took
The sign the godless put there:
“It is our wish this Solstice time
That reason should prevail”
With hardened hearts and minds enslaved
The thieves may land in jail.

Still, tis the season to forgive;
To turn the other cheek.
Let’s hope they’ve learned their lesson if
It’s wisdom that they seek:
“Be kind unto your fellow man;
Treat them as you’d have them treat you”
There’s room for you in the public square
But only if others fit, too.

The right to different views is where
The strength of our nation abides
The First Amendment makes it clear
The government cannot take sides;
The tyranny of majority
May change with the whim of the day
And someday you may need it too–
Don’t throw your rights away.

My last (I hope) comment on this particular silly nonsense. This year, at least:

The traditional creche, to my thinking, is fine;
I won’t mess with theirs if they don’t mess with mine.
Not even the one at my town’s public square
So long as my own has an equal place there.
If you want the display to be yours, and yours only,
Then keep it at home; hope you like being lonely.
Or join with the rest of us–come and have fun,
If you want a real party… invite every one!

Another in the long line of back-and-forth regarding the Cinci Zoo and FantasyGodLand or whatever it was called…

I’m looking for some funding; gonna open up a zoo
With cages of creationists, all blithely flinging poo
They’re much more fun than pandas–much more active in their cages
With a longer line on Sundays, when they all sing “Rock of Ages”
The children love to point and laugh–they say “Hey look! They’re praying!”
And when they talk, you almost feel they know what they are saying
But clearly it’s just gibberish, not language like a man’s;
(It shows itself–in transcripts, it comes out in comic sans!)

And lastly (this time, anyway), a response to an editorial. This year is Darwin Year, but sadly, it seems that some of those who will speak at Darwin Year events are (gasp!) atheists! Why can’t those militant atheists be more like, say, Darwin himself, and act like the second-class citizens they are? Won’t somebody think of the children!

I thought I saw an atheist, who dared to speak aloud,
Who did not meekly bow his head–oh, no, this man was proud!
Who, rather than–like Darwin–hold his tongue and keep his place,
Demanded equal membership among the human race!

I thought I saw an atheist–a scientist, as well–
Who dared to mention Darwin in the stories he would tell!
Whose glib association with the noble Darwin name
Would tar it with comparison to atheistic shame!

I thought I saw an atheist who read what Darwin wrote,
Who did not have agenda or religion to promote,
Who, on this anniversary, will stand in line to thank
A man who saw a view of life inside a tangled bank.