Friday, April 17, 2009

Exactly what I had in mind

I was thinking a few days ago (again) about the mixture of paganism, Christianity, consumerism, and random crap that surrounds and fills our holidays. Then I ran across this professionally made cookie cake, decorated with a shining cross, white bunnies and easter eggs. It's exactly - EXACTLY - what I was thinking about.

Must be a sign from God. Dunno what it means, though.

BTW, I'll say it again: WHY does "a sign from God", or "wow, that's so beautiful, it must have been made by God" mean that it has to be made SPECIFICALLY by the wrathful OT guy who got nice and sent his kid to save us from our evil selves, etc etc etc?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Why should Christians have all the fun?

Who says Islam isn't evangelical? I snapped this shot while driving around San Francisco.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The God Virus

My favorite podcast for a while now has been Dogma-free America, and they just had a mini episode where he talks to the author of the book The God Virus.

It certainly sounds like an interesting book where he compares religion to a virus outbreak and he makes some pretty damn good points.

I'm not going to spend too much time talking about what he said because it's available online, but definitely go have a listen. It's not as long as the usual podcasts so it's not too long.

So the episode is #83... I think this is the direct link, but if not then just find that episode on the site and you'll be good.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Christians stole my rocket car

You remember when we were growing up and all the futuristic movies where people were flying around in cars and living in space all took place in either 2000 or 2010?

Well it dawned on me a few days ago that since we had pretty decent innovations and discovery before the goddamn xtians threw us into the dark ages. In fact, it's always been religion that's halted science and technology.

So what I'm trying to say here is that had it not been for the goddamn xtians, we'd all have our rocket cars by now... ASSHOLES!!

Big dildo up your ass.

Fooling God

I heard a story on the radio today. If I recall correctly, Jews are supposed to purge their houses and businesses of leavened bread on passover because when the Jews fled Egypt they didn't have time to let the bread rise to take it with them.

Anyway, with mass distribution and restaurants it is kind of a pain to actually get rid of inventory and then restock after Passover, so how do they solve this in Israel? Apparently all the businesses in Israel assign ownership their leavened bread stock to their Rabbis who sell it to one particular Muslim fellow who puts a $5k down payment on it. The businesses and such then hide their bread instead of actually getting rid of it. The contract for the bread sales states that the buyer must come up with the rest of the money shortly after Passover or the down payment is refunded and the bread ownership falls back to the original owner. Somehow the guy never comes up with the rest of the money any year.

What the fuck? Seriously? Why bend over backwards to find loophole to pretend you're following a tradition?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Compatible With Environment

I'm making it slowly through Dawkins' The Extended Phenotype, partially because it has a lot of technical topics and terms that need careful reading and glossary checking, and partially because there's no plot compelling me to pick up the book every night to see what happens next. Nevertheless it's a very interesting read. And again it inspired some thought in me that isn't necessarily presented in the book.

And this is another blog where I don't quite have the idea fully formed. Here it goes anyway. And what I say here isn't really what Dawkins was saying, and I can't fully explain out of context what he was saying, and I might have understood it wrong in the first place. Okay, shut up with the qualifiers already, praiseNull!

Anyway, the inspiring concept was that brain patterns in the form of songs and ideas and such might replicate, mutate and evolve analogous to how genes do in natural selection. So a popular song--for illustration's sake let's think before recordings were possible and this is a folk song passed about from tribe to tribe--may replicate itself to other brains, mutate and evolve as it is communicated from brain to brain.

The moment of inspiration was when he said both gene selection and meme (brain pattern) selection must be compatible within their environment. Where this lead me was to think of religion as a meme, and it fits with what I've been saying. The concept of God, Jesus--or Mohamed or Moses or whoever--and morality mutates as it is passed from person to person, and groups of faith form and split over various disagreements.

What really really really really hit home was that atheism is not compatible with religion. Not in one mutation, anyway. Most Christians may believe in God and Jesus but aren't out to stone blasphemers or inflict other harsh punishments even though that's what the religion started. God and Jesus are kind (well, sometimes...anyway kind from a Christian's point of view), so kindness where the bible says you should stone someone is not a particularly incompatible view (or mutation of a view) to adopt (replicate) for a Christian. Divorcing or aborting a pregnancy is not too strong a mutation because in many cases it prevents suffering and misery. But perhaps "look, seriously, there is no God and all of this is made up" is too much a mutation of a meme--it's incompatible with the ubiquitous monotheistic meme. Perhaps the path from Christianity to atheism is to evolve the meme bit by bit to emphasize the morality and good social behavior and de-emphasize God, Jesus and life before or after this mortal life. And come to think of it, that's sort of the pattern I followed myself. Not that I ever had a belief in a literal God or that Jesus was actively saving my soul, but it took a long while to make the apparent leap from agnostic to atheist, or at least to declare to myself that no, I don't really believe that there's a God out there somewhere.

One more qualifier: Although Dawkins is an atheist and some of that shows through in this book so far, where I have gone with this has really nothing to do with what the book is about.

Atheism and Socialism

I saw an episode of Family Guy where Meg becomes a book-burning Christian after watching a Kirk Cameron show and Brian mentions to the family that he is atheist. They were shocked. He said he figured they knew because he never went to church and because of his opinions, but the family was still horrified. Meg kept trying to convert Brian and told her church that he was an atheist, and pretty much the whole town went nuts with stoning him and calling him out on local TV newscasts.

Of course it's a cartoon, but it made me think some more about why Christians are so horrified by atheists. And today I recall how Socialism is such a horrifying concept and idea to most, yet Social Security, Welfare and some other programs are Socialism implemented. And people like them. And many church goers are fairly grounded and tolerant people who don't buy into every bible story or even their church's interpretation of them. They might not even believe in a literal individual God and Jesus; they may have pantheist leanings or just not give much thought to it. Some certainly make moral judgements without consulting or necessarily agreeing with their church or peers. But tell them someone is an atheist and they may be uncomfortable.

So maybe it's just the cognitive dissonance. As long as you don't call it atheism it's okay? And as long as you don't call social programs socialist it's okay?

Brian resorted to pretending he had found God so the bars would start serving him again, and to celebrate Meg took him to a book burning where the congregation was throwing Origin of Species and Stephen Hawkings books on the bonfire. Brian couldn't stand it and converted Meg back by asking her if God would have let her have such a hot mom while allowing her to grow up looking like her dad with a big ass and small breasts. Heh. Poor Meg.

Edit: I'm not for going all socialist. I just can't quite figure out why it's such a powerfully bad word and concept when the USA has several socialist programs implemented, and hell it's what the hard core conservative fiscal people are wanting to resort to (temporarily) to bail out Bear Stearns, AIG and the rest. I nearly shit myself when the Republicans nationalized the mortgage industry and don't quite undertand why it would be so systemically bad if Bear Stearns, AIG, GM and Chrysler all went tits-up. It's been a while since I took the SAT, but Socialism:US politics::atheism:religion.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Lucky Shirt

I hope this one is going to be short because I really just wanna kinda follow-up on some of the topics we've been spitting around here for a while. I'm playing with the notion again of why we need to even had a god figure in the first place.

There's really just something in our nature (as has been told by Dawkins) that makes us want to not only assign nature to things, but to also take control over things that we can't personally control ourselves. Because let's face it, you don't see anyone breaking their kneecaps to pray that a soda suddenly flies out of the fridge, right? That's because we can do it ourselves. But have your favorite baseball team get a couple points behind and suddenly it's because your wife didn't wash your lucky game shirt. Or the runner was tagged out at 1st base because you couldn't eat the hotdog fast enough.

There are so many stupid sports superstitions you can't even count them all. And some of them are easier to get away from than others. Let's say you have your lucky game shirt and your team always wins when you have it on. So of course you have to wear it to the game because they'll lose if you don't. Of course you never think about the fact that they win plenty of games out of town that you don't even go to. But all it would really take to get you off of that stupid tradition is to lose the shirt for good and have the team keep winning. It's really that easy. One day your wife just throws it away by "accident" and it's gone. Now that the team is still winning you're able to put the shirt back in its place as just a shirt and nothing more. Some other sports myths are harder to bebunk because they don't consist of anything solid like a shirt. Some of them require a chant or a special dance, or wave, etc. Those are the ones you'll never get rid of because you'll always do them regardless of what anyone around you says.

So it's not confined to religious nuts either. These guys are sports nuts and I actually met one a few months ago in Seattle. He was a diehard athiest who had a special network cable he always traveled with and it had never failed to get him a good network connection at the hotel. Forget the fact that most of the time it stayed in his bag because everyone's on wireless now. Just having the cable was good enough. And you know what? I just let it go. I wished him good luck with that and went on about my way.

But these stupidstitions are fucking everywhere you look. They're hard to avoid. So since I more or less promised to keep this short I'll stop it there. Except to say that I know actors have their little things too, and in keeping with the theme of one of my last posts, I'm sitting here wondering what kinds of things pornstars need to obsess on to get the job done. You would tend to see this in the male stars primarily I would imagine since a woman can always perform. But I could see a woman needing something every now and then as I'll demonstrate below.

2 male pornstars talking after a shoot:

1. Dude, what happened to you out there today?
2. Man, I know I fucked up. What could I do? I didn't have my lucky cockring.
1. DUDE, you went out and tried to do a scene without your lucky cockring? What were you thinking?
2. I know, I know. What could I do though, I had to go on. I'm under contract. I just don't know what happened to it.
1. Yeah, but this is what happens when you try to get away with something like that. Stuff like this happens man!
2. Yeah, I feel really bad about that. I just hope she's ok.
1. I don't know man, she looked pretty bad.
2. Oh god... should I sent flowers?
1. I'm not sure, I've just never seen anything like that before.
2. Me neither. And it's certainly never happened to ME before. I really hope she's ok.
1. Yeah, me too. Just imagine having someone go to cum on your face and they shit all over your chest. Dude, what were you thinking going out there without your lucky cockring?!?

Now, 2 female pornstars talking after a scene:

1. Honey I don't know what you were thinking but I doubt if he'll ever do a scene with you again.
2. Oh shit do you think so? Was it that bad?
1. What it that bad? Girl I'm not even sure I should be talking to you anymore.
2. It's not my fault, my boyfriend washed my lucky ass beads and I didn't get a chance to use them before the scene.
1. WHAT? You went out there without your lucky ass beads? Girl, don't you know that's a career killer? You remember what happened to Kelly Couchback, right?
2. No, I've never heard of her.
1. Exactly, nobody has. She was doing one of her first scenes ever and she mocked the lucky ass beads. Well, what happened next was just the worst thing ever. She was gangbaning these 2 guys and when one of them finished, she queefed cum all over his face.
2. Oh my god, that's horrible.
1. Well, not as horrible as what you just did.
2. I know, I know. I can't believe that happened. I hope he doesn't sue me.
1. Oh he's not gonna sue you, but you'll be lucky if you can ever get another job.
2. I just never thought that not having my lucky charms once would be so bad. I thought that at the most I might not be able to take his whole cock.
1. Yeah well you wish that's all that happened. I still can't believe you actually spewed chocolate all over him while he was eating your pussy.
2. Oh don't remind me. Has anybody seen him?
1. I don't know. The last I heard there was just a trail of peanuts leading back to his dressing room.

Big dildo up your ass.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Expressive Language

This has been at the back of my mind for at least a couple of weeks, but it really hasn't been ready for a blog. What the hell, like my stuff is up for a Pulitzer anyway.

I periodically find myself looking for alternative phrasings to expressive statements like "thank God" or "bless you". A lot of people use god-related wording when expressing emotion: heavenly, divine, etc. And devil references can indicate strong negative emotion or playful or deceitful trickery: "damn him to hell", "he's a little devil".

Secular intense negativity is pretty easy as that's what swear words are for. Yet somehow damn is a greater curse when it is goddam! Yet I have trouble coming up with superlative secular positive expressions. The only one I could think of today was "orgasmic" to describe some great food. (But then SurferJesus told me to stop fucking his casserole.)

It's fun to come up with mocking secular alternatives to an enthusiastic "praise Jesus" or "it's heaven on earth", but I am unable to come up with useful daily alternatives.

I'm not suggesting that God is necessary for intense enjoyment outside of sex (btw, "oh god, oh god") but instead that religion has successfully co-opted our positive emotional language to make a profoundly happy secular person sound as corny as someone trying to use "gosh", "darn" and "shoot" to avoid swearing.

EDIT: It looks like Faithenate covered religious language expression about a year ago.