Offensive Billboard Removed By Courageous Bigot(s)

Before:

After:

Story.

It almost made me ill, Lord,
What I saw up on that billboard
Down at Poplar Ave and High Street, as I drove along today;
I was passing by, commuting,
When I saw a man saluting—
In a uniform and everything—but doing it while gay!
It’s offensive and disgusting,
How he’s standing there, just lusting
(You can see it in his eyes, I think, or maybe in his smile)
We must all protect the children,
Who must find such smut bewild’rin’,
And remove these homo billboards as offensive, crude, and vile!
Must we really see gay faces
In our normal, public places?
Must they rub it in our faces that they’re living in our town?
It could jeopardize the traffic,
Standing there, all pornographic—
For the benefit of everyone, I had to tear it down!

I’m all for the First Amendment
But the messages these send, meant
That my children might think homos are the same as you and me
So I used my free expression
To remove their indiscretion
Now the Memphis that we live in is decidedly more free!
There are other billboards out there
That the world can do without, where
People see them on their way to work, with children in the car—
Why, it’s bordering on criminal:
A sign on which two women’ll
Be saying that “We’re married, and God loves us as we are”!
I’m not normally so pensive
But these signs are so offensive,
And what’s worse, they’ve got me thinking, which I really hate to do!
If the message is far-reaching,
What a horror that they’re teaching—
What if people start believing it… that gays are normal, too?

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(I could have sworn I saw this story on CNN.com, but it is not there now. Poor memory? I certainly hope so.)

Suppose You Found An Actual Alien…

Daringly, erringly,
Children in Panama
Saw a strange being, and
All held their breath:

Certain the creature was
Extraterrestrial,
Showed they were human, and
Beat it to death.

In some of the pictures, the “creature” looks like E.T., or “a fetus”, or some unidentifiable alien being. In the video, it is fairly clearly (to my eye, anyway) a three-toed tree sloth. But “teens beat sloth to death” is not nearly so cool a headline as “unidentifiable creature found in Panama” (the title of the linked video). Note the use of “unidentifiable” rather than “unidentified”; a small but crucial difference.

There are a great many stories already, and there will be more. Even CNN is going with the “unknown/unknowable” angle. As of this writing, Google news lists a mere 120 news articles. Any bets?

My favorite coverage thus far is this nicely skeptical article:

The story begins at a waterfall near the town of Cerro Azul, Panama. A group of teens, four in all, were playing in the area when the mystery creature, a large hairless monster, shuffled out from a cave hidden by the waterfall. According to most accounts, the creature approached the boys. Growing alarmed, they began to throw rocks at the monster. They continued to do so until it — Gollum, E.T., monster, whatever — stopped moving. Satisfied that they had killed the hairless mystery creature, the Panamanian emissaries of Earth tossed E.T. into the water.

But in all the pictures being circulated on the web, E.T./Gollum looks more like a hairless sloth (and has been identified as such by many who have seen a full body picture of the Panamanian mystery creature), which means that the animal moves at an extremely slow pace (it is difficult to move across the ground on its hooked-claw feet). Which means that the teens might have been alarmed when they first saw the creature but could have easily outran it, so remaining frightened at something that presents no real danger probably did not occur. And they certainly did not have to pelt the mystery creature with stones until it died. That the teens decided to make a sport out of hitting the mystery creature with rocks sounds like a typical teen reaction. But it is doubtful they did it out of fear.

So they lied. They’re teenagers. It’s what they do best, besides eat and sleep and whine about being bored.

There are other news outlets showing evidence that it is a sloth:

Nevertheless the local media has played up the story, reporting that zoologists are unable to identify the “alien-like” creature. But DNA testing should soon confirm what most are saying: the animal is a sloth.

As a consequence of a slow news cycle towards the end of summer, August and September tend to be peak months for sightings of “strange” and “unidentified” creatures including unusual marine life, malformed animals and the mythological beasts like the Chupacabra, the Mongolian Death Worm, Big Foot, and the Loch Ness Monster.

I wonder how long it will take CNN to correct themselves?

It’s a sloth. They are teenagers. Ignorance->fear->kill it. No wonder the aliens all choose to show themselves to isolated individuals with lousy cameras. They are scared!

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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
Scicurious,
With verses such as this,
With rhyme that flows in
Oxytocin,
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.

Oh, wait…

Pharyngula reports on an opinion poll from Britain, revealing widespread belief that god is, in fact, male.  From the Lancashire Evening Post article:

A majority of people think God is male with nearly half of the population in Britain believing that all religions discriminate on grounds of gender.
Only 1% of people think of God as female, with 62% considering God to be male, the online survey conducted earlier this month of 1,050 adults in Britain found.

It certainly seems clear to me that somebody was made in somebody’s image.

My God is pretty self-assured, and quite convinced He’s right.
He made me in His image, so He’s green-eyed, blond, and white;
And He’s very, very wrathful with the folks who disagree;
He’ll hold a grudge for centuries—Oh, wait—that might be me.

He’s insecure enough to want to hear how much you love Him
And He never will forgive you if there’s someone else above Him;
He’ll jealously react to any threat to His domain
By smiting all His enemies—Oh, wait—that’s me again.

He’ll make the world a better place for those who think like Him
For those in opposition, well, the situation’s grim;
He’ll call jihad, or else crusade—some form of Holy War
Because He knows He’s always right—Oh, wait—that’s me once more.

He’s handsome, bearded, steely-eyed, deep-voiced and somewhat haughty
So wonderful, his naughty bits are never seen as naughty
But perfectly proportioned, grand and firm and never shrinking,
A miracle of awesomeness—Oh, wait—that’s wishful thinking.

National Day Of Prayer

No, seriously. It’s the National Day Of Prayer. Not everyone is happy about it.

It’s time to raise our voice in prayer,
And pray to–well, there’s no one there.
No god to urge to do our bidding;
Go on and pray–just know you’re kidding.

It’s time to all sit on our asses,
And pray forgiveness for trespasses
(Or is that to forgive our debtor?
Who cares, as long as we feel better.)

It’s time we all embrace god fully,
Feel all righteous, good, and holy–
Or be some atheistic jerk,
Roll up your god-damned sleeves, and work!

It’s time to say “I do not care
To join you in this day of prayer.”
Sure, a day off looks like fun,
But there is work that must be done.

Our problems will not fix themselves
There is no god to send in elves
To do the work of human ranks
So… join, today, in prayer? No thanks.

Can An Atheist Be Moral?

I don’t usually have quarrels
Over where we get our morals
Ah, but every now and then somebody steps beyond the pale.
Once they know that I’m ungodly
They start looking at me oddly
And If I could walk on water, It would be to no avail.

When Katrina brought the flood,
I gave money, time, and blood;
When a local kid was missing, I was there at once to search;
I’ve sent clothing and supplies
To starving Afghans, but–surprise!–
I am not a moral person, cos I never go to church!

There’s no yellow ribbon sticker
On my car, because it’s quicker
If I send the funds directly to the folks who need it most.
And I work instead of praying,
So because of this, they’re saying
My behavior lacks the guiding hands of Father, Son and Ghost.

When “accepting Christ as savior”–
When belief, and not behavior–
When some obsolete mythology determines what is right,
I could feed the starving masses
Cause the blind to just need glasses
Feed the world on loaves and fishes
Give Aladdin three more wishes
Cure the miseries of lepers
And the myriad twelve-steppers,
Cure Ben Stein of his inanity,
Bring peace to all humanity…..
Am I moral in the eyes of Christianity? … not quite.

A Lizard Is A Lizard Is A Lizard

A lizard will remain a lizard
Even if it grows a gizzard.

Even if it grows some fur,
A lizard’s what it always were;

A lizard will be of that ilk
Despite evolving glands for milk;

A lizard with an upright stance–
Could that be different? Not a chance!

A lizard standing on two legs,
Who bears live young instead of eggs,

No matter what, you’ll always find
It still belongs to lizardkind.

Hmmm….

At last I think I understand
Some crazy things about this land:

The audience for Bill O’Reilly?
Lizards prob’ly rate him highly.

The changing views of John McCain?
The answer’s simple: Lizard Brain.

Paris? Brittney? Cher? Madonna?
Must look hot to some Iguana.

I think I’ll stop here, if you wish–
It’s time to feed my inner fish.

I Read The News Today (Oh, Sandra…)

The newspaper said that America’s Sweetheart
Was hit, but not injured, today.
When her auto was hit by a Subaru Forester—
Still, Sandra Bullock’s ok.
The driver, arrested for driving while drunk,
Was sitting, in cuffs, in the car,
While onlookers photograph Sandra and Jesse
As soon as they see who they are.
The headlines are shouting all over the globe
(Because that is what headlines are for)
That Sandra and Jesse are hit, but unhurt!
(Please turn to page two for the war.)

The Ballad of Sally Kern

Via Dispatches From the Culture Wars, a video making the rounds. Oklahoma legislator Sally Kern missed the politician’s lesson about the combination of microphones and internet, and unwisely revealed her true feelings to a small gathering. If you have not seen it yet, it is worth viewing:

Sweet, isn’t she, to be so concerned for us? Anyway, I wrote her a little poem. I must point out, in case she wants to try to sue me later, that the words I have put into her mouth are not hers. At least, not from this particular speech. It is poetic license, hyperbole, and a very low Godwin number.

A legislator, Sally Kern,
Was simply voicing her concern,
But Sally Kern was unaware,
Or if she knew, she did not care,
That someone had a microphone
So Sally Kern was not alone.
“Oh, I’m not anti-gay” said Sally,
To the fifty-person rally;
“But there are things you have to learn”
And who will teach us? Sally Kern.
Sally Kern, she knows the answer—
Knows how gays are like a cancer,
Knows they’re worse than terrorists
If Sally Kern can keep the lists.
So Sally Kern must raise her voice
Against unhealthy lifestyle choice;
The cost of life against God’s Word
Is clear, the people gathered heard:
Disease and death, and then you burn
In Hell, or so says Sally Kern.
Then Sally Kern, in pure effrontery,
Tells us gays will harm our country:
If we embrace these sinful ways,
Says Sally Kern, allowing gays
To join the City Council ranks
Or work in schools, or stores, or banks,
Our country would be tempting fate,
And all too soon would be too late.
Now, such a stance may seem too stern
But heed the words of Sally Kern;
If we let gays live right among us,
Soon, like mold, or creeping fungus,
Even straights will be infected—
Sally Kern wants us protected.
The path to safety is God’s Grace:
We must protect the human race.
Sally Kern just wants us purer…
Right. Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer.