It’s amazing. This is the universal comic, it applies to everything right now.
Except spiders and cephalopods, that is. They’re looking better and better.
Gender Workshop, as ever, is brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood Crip Dyke.
There’s been much talk over the last few years about witch hunts. Targeting Dawkins. Targeting Shermer. Targeting Hunt. Targeting anyone who happens to sit near Adria Richards. And though I think it is far from a witch hunt to be criticized by a lot of people, even by a lot of people at once, because your comments or behaviors merited criticism, for a long time I merely rolled my eyes at the inevitable, defensive backlash: “Witch hunt!”
I usually watch movies alone. I like to go, and we have a very nice old theater here in town, but my wife isn’t really into them. There’s usually a conversation something like this at my house on the weekend…
“Would you like to go to the movie tonight?”
I get shot down more often in my requests for dates now than I ever did in high school. It’s OK, though, it’s usually because the movie playing isn’t to her taste, and I can respect that. It has to be some kind of chick flick to get her interested.
I’m sorry to report that comedian Robin Williams has committed suicide, an event of great import and grief to his family. But his sacrifice has been a great boon to the the news cycle and the electoral machinery — thank God that we have a tragedy involving a wealthy white man to drag us away from the depressing news about brown people. I mean, really: young 18 year old black man gunned down for walking in the street vs. 63 year old white comedian killing himself? Which of those two stories gives you an excuse to play heart-warming and funny video clips non-stop on your 24 hour news channel? Besides, the real story in Missouri is that businesses have been damaged by angry black people — no one is going to trash the Family Dollar in rage over the death of a popular comedian. Mike Brown’s death is confusing — the police say he was a shoplifter struggling to get a gun, while no stores reported a shoplifting event, and Brown was unarmed and shot while raising his hands in surrender. Where’s the moral clarity? We’re supposed to want to believe the police, you know, yet all the evidence points to their status as a gang of militarized thugs. That’s very uncomfortable.
Boy, I hate to say it, but it sure was nice of Robin Williams to create such a spectacular distraction. No one wants to think the police might be untrustworthy.
And think of the politicians! Midterm elections are coming up. Those are important! So people like Barack Obama need to be able to show their human side and connect with the real concerns of the American people by immediately issuing a safe, kind statement about Robin Williams, while navigating the dangerous shoals of police brutality and black oppression by avoiding them. Wouldn’t want to antagonize those lovely law-and-order folks before an election, you see.
Lovely folks like this white lady:
She seems nice. She looks like the kind of person who would have laughed at “nanu-nanu” and cried at What Dreams May Come. She is a Real American whose opinions deserve the attention of the powers that be.
I hope AtheistTV is good — they’ve announced they’ll be putting 50 years worth of their video archives on there, so I’m hoping for some interesting content. On the other hand, if it’s recycling crap from youtube as a fast way to get lots of noise online, well…it could get embarrassing. There has to be some quality control, somewhere.
I’ll check it out next Tuesday and let you know what’s on.
Princeton physicist William Happer is still getting invited on television to say stupid things.
I keep hearing about the "pollutant CO2," or about "poisoning the atmosphere" with CO2, or about minimizing our "carbon footprint." This brings to mind another Orwellian pronouncement that is worth pondering: "But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought." CO2 is not a pollutant and it is not a poison and we should not corrupt the English language by depriving "pollutant" and "poison" of their original meaning….CO2 is absolutely essential for life on earth.
Did you know oxygen, while not a poison at standard concentrations, is highly reactive and will kill you at high concentration? Or that CO2 is vital for plants and is measured to regulate your breathing, but too much and you’ll suffocate?
What makes a substance poisonous is how much of it there is. Paracelsus figured this out in the 16th century. So Princeton physicists are unaware of developments and explanations that predate even Newton? That’s kind of amazing.
Maybe CNBC and other networks ought to take a lesson from the BBC on ginned up controversies and false dichotomies, and cut this bozo Happer from their invitation list.
Chris Clarke has published a short excerpt from his upcoming Joshua tree book. It’s good. It promises great things to come. It’s also mildly sorrowful, but then, that’s what you’re going to get with good environmental journalism.
There’s also a deal where you can sign up for weekly stories on the desert, in return for a reasonable donation. I signed up for a year’s worth — you might want to consider chipping in, too, if you can afford it.
Holly Hobby Lobby explains what she was thinking with that picture of her holding a bible and a rifle in front of a flag.
“I expected less backlash with this than I did the first one because the picture is, like, America’s founding principles,” Fischer opined to Fox News on Wednesday.
Hold it right there. Guns and God are what you get out of the Enlightenment principles that inspired America’s founders? That’s rather missing the point.
“That’s all that’s in the picture. And I really didn’t think it would cause the uproar that it has.”
What uproar? Pointing out, on media like blogs and twitter that parading about with a Bible and a gun isn’t exactly progressive, and exactly mirrors the attitude of the worst of the Abrahamic fundamentalists (heck, it is modern Abrahamic fundamentalism) isn’t exactly a riot. What I saw was a great deal of amusement on the left at the juxtaposition of Christian and Islamic ‘freedom fighter’, and most of the outrage came from the right, where they were howling in denial and insisting that they weren’t the same, because Muslims were gun-toting barbarians with a false god, while Holly was a white human being married to an American soldier. Totes different.
Fisher said that she posted the photo because there was a “growing intolerance among the left, and conservatives are becoming more and more afraid to speak up.”
In my culture, martyrdom is folly and a martyr complex, where no sacrifice is made but one pretends to be oppressed, is contemptible and stupid. Here, let me quell your fears.
Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News (hell, Holly was being interviewed on Fox), World Net Daily, Ann Coulter, the Family Research Council, Dinesh D’Souza, Sean Hannity, Sunday morning television punditry, Alex Jones, Michael Savage, Sarah Palin, Clear Channel, Pat Robertson, Focus on the Family, Phyllis Schlafly, and the entirety of the Republican Party.
Conservatives aren’t afraid to speak up, because they sure won’t shut up. Everywhere I go, the Far Right Noise Machine is squawking nonstop.
Meanwhile, you probably think President Obama is a far left socialist/communist radical. He’s actually a centrist apparatchik who is less obstructive and destructive than the screaming idiots on the right.
You can complain when President Bernie Sanders is in office. Until then, your fears of socialism running the country are groundless. (And even then, a hypothetical Sanders presidency would be an even greater slog against the right-wing no-bots than the current one.)