Monday, August 25, 2008

Moving day!

So it turns out blogger has a severe lack of features that are marvelous. There are very few marvelous features here.

So I'm packing my bags, pulling up stakes, and heading elsewhere.

Tune in to the new and improved Enemy Combatant Trail Mix Club and wait with bated breath and clenched fists for the second installment of "A Tale of Two Drunk Skeptics in Loon Town."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Afternoon Delight, With the Discovery Institute

**Note: This really ought to have been posted weeks ago, when I was fortunate enough to in fact, have a little bit of afternoon delight at the Discovery Institute.. But I'm lazy as hell. So. Here we are. **

I don't know how many of you know what the Discovery Institute is. And I do mean what it is as opposed to what it purports to be. A quick refresher course can be found here.

If you're reading this, I'm going to assume, for the sake of brevity, that you've got a decent idea of how it is I might feel about an organization such as that. So, when my good friend, Cuddly Atheist ,
suggested that during her visit to Seattle, it might be fun to pay them a visit and see about a little tour, I, when done giggling madly, got right to scheduling the visit. Or attempting to. I emailed them to see about a tour, but never received a response. I'm not sure if that's because they are as incompetent at clerical duties as they are at debate, rational thought, and the interpretation of law, or if it's because my email address fairly well identifies me as a godless liberal. Either way, no response was forthcoming.

Fast forward a week or two, to the day of Kate's arrival in my fair city. I picked her up from the airport, proceeded to a bar (or two), and plotted. Or, at least, we plotted to plot. The furthest we got was, drink the rum, go knock on their door, see what happens. We were fairly certain that we would just collapse into giggles, pointing and asking for Michael BWAHA, instead of Michael Behe.
So. After a drink (or three), we made our way downtown, and after some searching, found the very small and discreet door that marks the entrance to the fabled Discovery Institute. Several attempts to open the door met with resistance, until eventually we spied an intercom mounted by the door.

Hold your breath for episode two, where you'll encounter the voice behind the door, why evolution shouldn't be taught in schools, the reason for the season, and even possibly such luminaries as the charming Casey Luskin.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

When Oregon was Burning

Look underneath the house when I’m gone. Look underneath the house, but only when I’m gone, and when am I ever not gone?

Look under the house, crawl into the tiniest spaces you can find, under the house, and try as hard as you can to see something that has meaning to you. I want to guarantee you it’s there, I want to paint pretty pictures of what it might be, tantalize you with the mystery of what I’ve hidden under the house for you, just for you and not really for anyone else at all. I can’t do that, but I want to. I want to always promise you whatever you want to believe in.

I want you to look under the house after I leave, and I want you to see what I’ve left behind. I want what I’ve left behind to be everything I wanted you to give me. I want to give you all those things I so desperately needed from you, I want to leave you a pile of understanding. If I could only give you a piece of what I was hoping for every time you gave me nothing, it would be enough. The foundation would buckle and your knees might give, looking at all the pieces of everything I had to go without for so long.

I want you to have all of those things. I want you to never be rid of them. I want you to look at them under the house and know that you have to pull them into the light, and display them on the highest and brightest shelves you have. I want to fill your rooms with these pieces of wholes that were never all that big to begin with, and I want you to look at them every day. I want you to have so many examples of what I needed from you that you have no room for anything else, and no time for anything else, and no energy for anything else.

I want everything in your world and mind to be how easy it would have been to give some of this. To give me some of this somewhere along the way. I want you to always know that giving just a tiny bit of what was needed could have lightened your burden considerably, but it has gone beyond too late now.

I want you to never dream again without my miniscule desire being what wakes you. I want you to be covered in night sweats and consumed by regret when the bits and pieces of need fall on your head from the overloaded shelf.

I want the end to never be the end, for you.

So look under the house when I’m gone.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Really? All of them?

I'm going to be posting at length about intelligent design, and my visit to the fabled Discovery Institute soon, I swear, but in the meantime, here's an actual sentence uttered by an actual human being at dinner tonight, on the topic of teaching intelligent design in schools:

"Well, all points of view are equally valid. No, they ARE."




I deserve a shiny gold enormous medal for not laughing so hard I did a spit take. That conversation had some lunatic moments, including but not limited to the statement made by one person that they trust science less than they trust the government, the inevitable invoking of Pluto in defense of that statement, and the repeated and ever more insistent declaration that all points of view about everything ever are equally valid and must be respected.


Kate and I spent HOURS making jokes about that this weekend, so I could hardly believe my ears when someone said it in seeming earnestness. Wow.

Onward and upward, friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crocodiles will stone cold eat a bitch

But not a leopard. Lesson learned.

So I'm completely obsessed with these pictures, and the video. It's the first time a leopard winning in a leopard v. crocodile conflict has been photographically documented, and I can't help thinking of it as this epic battle between a superhero and the villian-y-est of villians. Kind of like this:

CROC: I'mma eat you like the scary real life monster I am. Bwahahah!
Leopard: NO! Fuck YOU, scary real life monster! I'mma eat you, and FURTHERMORE, I'mma eat you in front of a camera like NOM NOM NOM! How you like me now? Where my superhero cape, bitches?"
CROC: *silence, crocodile is dead*

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bring on the wolves, please.

I’m doing that massively busy and therefore copping out by posting a few perfunctory lines about what’s been going on with me, and what’s coming up. A thousand “I don’t cares” to those who find this boring.

Last weekend featured a number of lovely things. Friday night one new friend said goodbye with a show I’d like to praise, but can’t, and other new friends were made and made closer. After an evening full of precisely the kind of ridiculousness that should precede such an event, we made it to the Egyptian in plenty of time to catch the midnight showing of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. That film will never cease to amaze me. Every time I watch it, I catch a million tiny things I don’t remember noticing before, but probably have. Every time I watch it, I’m reminded of every thing Hunter S. Thompson wrote and lived that makes him the closest thing to a person I would idolize that exists. Even if he had just been the drug fueled lunatic he so frequently portrayed, he’d have been fantastic beyond the ability of words to convey, but the fact is that he was so many astounding things. An amazing writer, sure. A lunatic, absolutely. The most important thing he was, to me, is a man that believed in truth above all other things, and a man who understood that it was absolutely right to take any action necessary to facilitate the illumination of truth, no matter how deceptive or subversive those actions might be on the surface.

Sunday was lazy and perfect, spent with one of my oldest, most marvelous friends. Coffee, boats, sparkly jesus pins obtained on the sabbath, and a whole lot of laughs. Anything that went wrong afterwards is insignificant and irrelevant.

This week is packed with: The finalization of a close friend’s divorce, visitors from strange universes (read: Idaho), birthdays, drinks, dreams of Mexico, plans for Kenya, kites, more drinks, a tiny touch of hope and advance plans for Block Party.

Enjoy the summer, kids. It’s going to end sooner than you’d like. Your couch is an illness.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

George Carlin is in Hell. Fred Phelps Cannot Properly Comprehend the Definition of Words.

Sometimes it feels like kicking a puppy, this pointing out how completely ridiculous people like Fred Phelps can really be, but some puppies are ugly, and really, you want to kick them a lot. Like, you know, poodles.

And again, it seems somewhat unnecessary to point out that a man who begins his little shows with graphics proclaiming things like "god hates fags" might just maybe not be the kind of guy whose opinion is worthwhile, maybe. But you know, just maybe.

So I'm not really going to devote a ton of time to explaining what Fred Phelps is. Fred Phelps is, in the simplest, truest possible terms, a cunt. There is absolutely no redeeming quality in the man, and I almost wish there was a hell, because I assure you, if there were, it would be men like Fred Phelps who populated it.

What I am, however, going to point out, is that apparently, in addition to being an absolutely worthless and disgusting hatemonger, Fred Phelps is unable to understand how words and their definitions work.

While explaining to us that George Carlin is in hell, Fred Phelps does a lot of name calling. Among the "doody head, poopy face" style insults he heaps on a recently diseased man who was talented, intelligent and will be missed, was the following little tidbit:

"filthy blasphemer obscene potty mouth skeptic agnostic profane atheist."

Cool. Some of that was probably true, even. Definitely a blasphemer, definitely a potty mouth, definitely skeptical, absolutely profane. Here's where I want to help Phelps out a bit.


Adjective: . related to or characterized by or given to atheism; "atheist leanings"
Noun: someone who denies the existence of god

Adjective: of or pertaining to agnostics or agnosticism.

Noun: a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

The fact that the two are different, and, hey-o, even conflicting worldviews seems pretty obvious to me. So obvious in fact, that I'm not going to explain it even further.

Fred Phelps: If you're going to be a revolting, foul waste of flesh who spews hatred and lies every time you open your nasty sewer of a mouth, could you do me a favor and at least grasp the basics of the language and concepts you're using to attack people? That would be rad.

Further, towards the end of your charming little rant there, you announce that you're going to be picketing Carlin's funeral. You've picketed other funerals, including those of men and women who died in combat. It isn't my hope that when you die someone pickets your funeral. That is the language you and your followers speak, that is an attack you'll have prepared them for, and that would be the essence of lowering ourselves to your level, a task beyond Herculean in it's implications.

No. It is my simple hope that you die quietly. That you die quietly, and soon. That you die without a bang, without a whisper, and that no one ever need speak of your foulness again.