Let me explain “mansplaining” to you

As a professional blogger, college professor, and world-renowned expert in patronizing condescension, I will take a moment of my valuable time to explain this important concept to you. As you can see, it has the word “man” in it, which means I’m even more qualified to pontificate, and…

What’s that? Did you just kick me in the shins? You don’t have to yell!


OK, Alice Rose Bell explains it pretty well. I guess.

Remembering the UpStairs Lounge

Over at The Friendly Atheist, Terry Firma points out that today is the 40th anniversary of one of the deadliest hate crimes in recent U.S. history: the deliberate arson of the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans.

Just before 8:00p, the doorbell rang insistently. To answer it, you had to unlock a steel door that opened onto a flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor. Bartender Buddy Rasmussen, expecting a taxi driver, asked his friend Luther Boggs to let the man in. Perhaps Boggs, after he pulled the door open, had just enough time to smell the Ronsonol lighter fluid that the attacker of the UpStairs Lounge had sprayed on the steps. In the next instant, he found himself in unimaginable pain as the fireball exploded, pushing upward and into the bar.
The ensuing 15 minutes were the most horrific that any of the 65 or so customers had ever endured — full of flames, smoke, panic, breaking glass, and screams.

It was a horrible murderous act, with 32 people dead, and Terry’s post is really hard to read. Not only for the description of the suffering (with a grotesque photo of the body of Metropolitan Community Church pastor Bill Larson, be warned) but also for the description of the reaction of locals after the event.

Tough reading, but do it anyway if you can. The victims at the UpStairs Lounge have been all but forgotten. They fucking well deserve better, and so do we.

Those are really good questions

Watching the Sunday news shows, which have become all Perfidious Snowden all the time, David Sirota asks some most excellent questions. These two in particular struck me as important:

9. Snowden’s decision to flee the United States has often been depicted as an act of treason unto itself. The idea is that whereas Daniel Ellsberg was a hero for blowing the whistle and remaining in the United States, Snowden is a coward for blowing the whistle and fleeing. Left largely unmentioned is the big change between the time of Ellsberg’s disclosures and today: this White House is waging an unprecedented campaign to criminalize whistleblowing; it sometimes tortures whistleblowers; and it claims the right to extra-judicially assassinate American citizens who criticize the government but haven’t even been formally charged for a single crime. In light of this, why have most media outlets not bothered to even ask whether Snowden’s location outside the United States is, unto itself, a response to these troubling changes in U.S. government policy?

10. And finally, perhaps the most damning question of all: Why are so many media outlets far more interested in the minute details of Edward Snowden’s life and location than in the potential crimes against millions of Americans that he exposed?

Yeah, that last one. On CNN, I saw some jerk standing in front of a map of the world spending 10 minutes tracing the route of Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong to Moscow, then going through likely countries he might end up in, and talking about the state of their extradition treaties to the US. Why? Are we going to marshal the citizenry to strap on their handguns and fly off to Iceland to patrol the airport?

The US media have become criminal colluders in oppression, instead of the watchdogs for citizen rights that they ought to be.

I’m going to be a ☆☆Movie Star☆☆ again!

Remember when I met Ray Comfort and he interviewed me? Here’s my summary.

He started by asking me for evidence of evolution. I tried to explain the evidence for speciation in sticklebacks, but he asked if they were still fish, and when I said they were, he said that didn’t count because they didn’t become a different “kind”, like a dog becoming a cat. So I told him that doesn’t happen in a single lifetime, and that carnivores diverged over 60 million years ago. I suggested he look at fossils, but he rejected that, because he wanted “observable” evidence, and anything that happened millions of years ago isn’t observable. So I said it was, too — fossils and molecular evidence are observable.

So the usual creationist run-around, where he defines what evidence he’d find acceptable by rejecting historical evidence as nonexistent, and contemporary evidence as too trivial.

Then he tried the usual stunt: “Are you a good person?” “Yes.” “Have you ever told a lie?” “Yes, but that a person has flaws doesn’t make them a bad person. The overall estimation of an individual’s character is not determined by one mistake.” And then he dropped the whole line of discussion.

Comfort is going to turn that into a movie!

Right. He held my feet to the fire until it was clear that there was no evidence for evolution. Riiiiight.

Someday maybe I’ll get to be in a movie in which I’m not selectively edited and misrepresented. It will not be this movie.

Big ol’ shameless liars with a poll for Jesus

Every once in a while, someone chastises me for calling someone a liar. It’s rude, they say, and you don’t know if they’re intending to utter a mistruth, so you can’t really call them “liars”.

Oh, fuck that noise. When you get patent phonies like the Christians of Evansville, you have to call it as it is: they’re lying. Lying, lying, lying. The West Side Christian Church is putting up 30 crosses on the public streets along the riverfront, and they’re going to have them decorated by their vacation bible school. How can the city get away with permitting this blatant violation of the separation of church and state? By LYING.

The Board of Public Works has jurisdiction under city ordinance to approve or reject such requests, Ziemer said.

“We told (the church) they could not have any writing of any kind of them,” Ziemer said of the crosses. “So they are statues. They might be a religious symbol to someone or they might be attractive statues to someone else.”

Oh, yeah? Just an “attractive statue”? Does this look like an “attractive statue” to anyone with half a brain?


This is the same kind of stunt Christians tried to pull with the 9/11 “cross” they want to install as a memorial. The same thing they did with the Soledad cross. Somehow we’re all supposed to pretend that their obvious religious symbol, erected by a church, used as a prop for religious instruction, is supposed to be a merely secular symbol. Lies. And within the context of their own religion, worse — it’s a denial of a symbol of their faith. It’s total cowardice and dishonesty.

Of course there’s a poll. And of course the majority of godflogging pudtuggers in that town are for it.

Should West Side Christian Church be allowed to put crosses along the riverfront?

Yes 55%
No 44%

I have an idea. Let’s cast a decorative bronze statue of my ass, and erect multiple copies of it on Evansville’s streets. To some, they might be an obnoxious symbol of my contempt, but they might be attractive statues to someone else.