On Mother’s Day

Today as I was in a drive-through to get breakfast, I saw a crow get its breakfast. Right in front of me, just as I was saying something nice about crows (I’d recently seen one using a proper tool and it warmed my heart), a crow flipped a sub-adult pigeon off the roof and started pecking it to death slow like. Up on the roof, a mother watched its child murdered. Portentous?

The driver of the car was herself a mother, and more upset by the scene than I was. Dismal business, if natural on all accounts.


Uncomfortable Positions

Some people occupy uncomfortable positions in culture. Ladies that are into video games, when gaming culture is overrun with misogyny. Ex-muslims who want to denounce islam, without playing into the hands of racists and xenophobes. Atheists that care about their fellow humans at all, apparently. For all of us, there’s a lot of choosing your battles, choosing your allies, choosing your enemies, and – worst of all – having those options taken away from you by circumstance.

Some of my favorite bloggers in progressive atheism have gone silent in the face of this horrorshow world kicking it up all of the notches. Unrelated, maybe. I think some people are considering the path of least resistance – scaling back their approach to social justice issues, tolerating some skeevy fools more than they would have a year ago. Maybe for some of us, that’s really what we would have preferred all along – not getting into an ideological corner box where one must fight the world.

That isn’t me. I’m in the corner box, no interest in playing nice with people I fundamentally disagree with about hugely important issues. If you want more discourse with people who don’t see you as fully human, there will be blogs you can follow. If you’d rather not see that, this place is going to remain clean as a whistle. I don’t care if people see me as a jackbooted enemy of all freedomz amurrica holds dear, but I have no intention of loosening up moderation here in any way.

Certainly, I have no intention of cutting slack to half-assed allies and NPR liberals either. If you’re 95% in favor of the progressive agenda, but feel the need to condescend about bellicose radicals, don’t bother to comment. I can take criticism, I know I’m not always right, but I won’t take it from someone who has to be an asshole about it. Already banned one fool over that. Step up to the plate if you like, you’ll get the same.

Anyhow, I find running this kind of show makes my personal uncomfortable position a lot easier to navigate. There are a few battles I’m avoiding, you can guess at. But within the blog? It’s the SJW-dome. For me at least, fuck anything less.

All that said, as much as I have a powerful distaste for the nice guy approach, can’t hang with it, I really don’t want anyone to think I begrudge them for going that way. We’re all in uncomfortable positions, some worse than others, and it’s far from the worst thing one can do, morally. There’s even a place in the world for people too peaceful to punch nazis. It’s a different path. Good luck with it.


LGBT Lingo and Pronouns in Europe

I understand there are a lot of borrow words from the American movement. One thing I don’t know about is if folks of non-binary genders have terminology for themselves in various non-English languages, and if they would prefer some different pronouns, how they handle that. I know we have that international audience here. Let us know how you do.


Who Loves the Wachowski Speed Racer Movie?

Somebody has to. Maybe you saw it as a child and it totally worked for you? I wanna know. One thing about the Wachowski sisters, they like to try something new. I think the movie was an ambitious failure, but had a lot of gusto. Some of it worked. Just, as a whole? Too gotdam zany for 99% of the human species. I’d love to hear somebody talk about it fondly, or tell me about someone they know who likes it. I think the effort deserves at least a few fans. Who are they?

Here’s one positive review from Emily Asher-Perrin. I want more.


Muted Commercials

Corporations do franchise-wide updates of their interior and exterior design. One day you’re at the McDonalds and it’s primary colors clownland, the next day it’s classy hipster color swatches and the M is italicized. Usually they do not advertise the redesign overtly, they just slip it into the background of a commercial or whatever.

Domino’s Pizza isn’t so restrained. They have a series of commercials now talking about how cool their new look is. Anyhow, I ALWAYS mute commercials, so I miss some information and it can occasionally have amusing results. One time I saw a commercial for I think heart medicine? and without the sound it seemed like the family’s children transformed into happy healthy pet dogs. And just now I saw this one about the redesign at Domino’s.

First they show all this Made-in-Amurrica imagery like a truck commercial. There’s perfectly manicured farmland, white men in overalls, someone using a machine that shoots beautiful sparks. They transitioned from an image of a barn to somebody furiously digging a hole inside, which was a bit bizarre. “This is where real Americans stash the bodies,” you know?

So, time for the big reveal. This is what it looks like inside the fresh look new Domino’s pizza. Everyone’s happy, customers and employees alike. What does it look like? A cool barnhole? No, a payday check establishment with bulletproof windows. So, kinda like it already did, but with lovely commercial lighting. Congratulations.


Anyone Watching Agents of Shield?

Just got caught up today. I think Madame Hydra was pretty cool, the whole creepy What If? scenario is giving some opportunities for thoughtful writing about psychology, philosophy, and ethics. Not as simplistic as that sort of thing could be, which is good, because in the past fifty years we’ve had hella different shows using the same Mirror Mirror setup. I admit it’s a fun premise, but also fun to see it being handled with maturity instead of slapping goatees on fools.

Expect SPOILERS in the comments, if anyone does comment.


Islamophobia: Still Real

It’s a perennial debate in the atheistical community, and a snoozer.  Many of us are total patsies for the man, gleefully feeding the xenophobia that got The Fascist Orange elected.  I’m only making this post to add balance to a fleeting list of text that shall be subsumed beneath the tides of internet.  It’s not even worth discussing any more, honestly.  No one is changing their mind, are they?

Is Atheism or Religiosity Innate?

Is atheism or religiosity innate? I don’t know.

I’ve thought about this from time to time. This time it was inspired by a comment someone made here about asexuality that I realized was similar to an atheist experience, and as asexuality is an innate characteristic, could atheism be as well? Another time I thought about it briefly and dismissed it without further consideration, it was popular science nonsense about a region of the brain supposedly there to make faith happen – a “god lobe” or whatever they called it.

What would it mean for one’s status with regards to god belief, for it to be innate? To me, it would mean that the belief or lack thereof, once set by development (natural inclination + environment), would be something we cannot truly change about ourselves. That belief isn’t something we can have a choice about, and that debating the matter is just about completely pointless.

I act as if that’s true already. You don’t see me arguing directly with theists here, not that they ever come around. Now, is that a good way to be? The argument is often made that the debate isn’t to convert your opponent, but to give undecided bystanders something to chew on. And where would someone with flexible god belief fit into this concept? Call ’em demitheistic?

This path of inquiry could get wildly offensive, I suspect. It’s my Friday tomorrow (today?), and the work week turns my brains into mush. Not thinking of all the ramifications, I’m sure.

As I see it from mush PoV, feels for and against:

For: Anecdotally, it really feels like I have no control over what I believe, strongly feels like any attempt to “choose faith” would be a toxic act of self-abuse, a time for buzzing cognitive dissonance that couldn’t last long. When you look at someone like Stephen Colbert “choosing” Catholicism – well aware of all the towering unbeatable arguments against it, it’s easy to imagine he’s just innately religious – that it was the path of least resistance for him.

Against: God belief seems hella unnatural, at face value. I mean, it’s natural insofar as you can see the mechanisms that underpin it: pattern recognition gone haywire, fear of death making a denial of that reality tempting, and so on. But the concept of god just seems like an artifice that had to be contrived and communicated socially, not something that would arise out of a brain naturally. Then again, something something, bicameral mind theory, bleh bleh.

I have to be at work in seven hours. You get this post as is. Good day!


Have a go at it, if you like. What do you think?

I’ve Seen the Light Yet Again…

April brings an important holiday or two. You know to
Pay extra attention at the beginning, work on your
Rational thought and skepticism. Also, it brings us
International Down with Cis Day. But you know what?
Listen. I’ve advocated for DwC Day before, wrongly.

For all this time I’ve believed that it was impossible,
Oppressing a privileged group from minority status.
Older now, I realize this is a mistake. Reverse racism
Lives, and heterophobia and cisphobia are real things.
Surely if I can see the light, you can to. #ALM, amen.


Hothead Types Should Maybe Calm Down

Google tells me that “Threatening the President of the United States is a class E felony under United States Code Title 18, Section 871. It consists of knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making ‘any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States’.”  Now, my new wallpaper here may suggest harm should befall someone who technically is the POTUS, but I’d like to make clear that this is not in fact meant to represent the dude. After all, you see that the hair is not moored to the scalp, and Donny’s hair is. Also, small hands. Definitely not meant to resemble the POTUS. Just some kind of metaphorical face of American fascism, that should only metaphorically be smashed.

It’s easy to get carried away given the enormity of the terrifying changes being made to our country, and to think about drastic measures. But that’s just, I don’t know, scary. Maybe more scary than Bannon’s apocalyptic racist global war agenda. OK, not that scary. But surely it’s bad news. Everything’s bad news. Gotta try and ride the wave like a teenaged mutant ninja turtle. Cool my hot head. Yeah. Easy.