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.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

America the Illiterate

I shouldn’t be surprised. I shouldn’t be at all surprised. I don’t know why I am. Americans in general, and the Supreme Court in specific have shown an amazing dearth of reading for comprehension skills where many issues are concerned. Where this specific area of the Constitution is concerned, they’ve demonstrated time and again that it may as well have been scribbled in crayon on a bathroom wall in pidgin Swahili. They comprehend it as well as if it had been.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Guess which bit of the above is rarely mentioned, and even more rarely understood, especially by the highest court in the land, apparently?

If you guessed the bit that clearly indicates that the right to keep and bear arms is not, in fact, constitutionally mandated on an individual level, you get a shiny new puppy. It is beyond my understanding how so many people can consistently fail to comprehend a sentence that is, frankly, just not that complex.

Let me lay it this out as simply as I can (although I’ll state again that I feel the original wording is pretty goddamned easy to understand). Listen, people. Listen reeeeeaaaaaaal close. I’ll try not to stutter.

The right for a well regulated militia, necessary for the security of a free state, just does NOT MEAN that you have a constitutional right to stock a handgun in every room of your suburban split level, your slum apartment, or your rusty trailer. It couldn’t be clearer or more simple.

I guess what I’m saying is that the whole “constitutional freedom” argument can kiss my ass. I’m getting ready to mail packages containing smart food and Hooked on Phonics to every single Supreme Court Justice as we speak. So let’s move on.

Next, I’d just like to point out that the Constitution was adopted in 1787. We’ve made an amendment or two to it since then. Why? Um, how about because we know a few things then that we might not have been able to forsee then. I’m not advocating riding roughshod over the Constitution. Far from it. I’m just pointing out that on even if it did guarantee the right of the individual to bear and keep arms, (which it patently doesn’t. Please don’t forget that simplest of facts) it would still be possible that given the knowledge we have now*, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for us to make a tweak or two.

But hey, you know what? I should calm down. What am I even so worked up about? It’s not as though there’s a gun violence problem in D.C. Or, for that matter, the entire country. Yeah. It’s not at all as though people are dying in increasing numbers as a result of gun violence, and it’s totally not as though this idiotic Supreme Court decision has completely kneecapped the gun control movement.

I am so fucking out of this country as soon as humanly possible. Until then, I’m on the internet, pricing bulletproof outfits for every occasion.

*Namely, that giving people guns? Considerably ups the probability that people will shoot someone with a gun. Cause rumor has it, it’s a touch harder to shoot someone when you haven’t a gun.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gay Update!

The video above is Klaus Nomi's pretty fantastic cover of Leslie Gore's "You Don't Own Me" . It's charming, offbeat, and a crazy lot of fun to watch. It's also a pretty good representation of the character of Nomi's artistic output during his all too brief life and career.

You know what else it is? It's the song Rush Limbaugh often uses to begin his "Gay Update."

Now, we all know that Rush Limbaugh is a fucking idiot. If, in fact, you do not know this, please, I beg of you, just google him and choose, at random, any of his quotes to read or radio shows to listen to. That ought to clear up any confusion nicely.

We also all know that Rush Limbaugh is a homophobe and a bigot of many colors. Here are a couple of Rush's warm and fuzzy quotes about gays.

The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit.

“When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation”

So, knowing what I know, I shouldn't have found it surprising that Rush uses Nomi's cover of the song as his theme song for the Gay Update.

But somehow, I did find myself surprised. I will never get used to seeing people do blatantly hateful things for no apparent reason. I will never be immunized and desensitized to it. Whether Rush Limbaugh approves of the lifestyle Klaus Nomi lived or not, I can't understand how he would fail to understand that playing that song while reporting on what he considers to be immoral and unethical acts by immoral and unethical people is sick. It's sick. Klaus Nomi died, at age 39, of AIDS. He was a great performer, a brilliant man, and he died far too young, one of the first casualties of an illness we didn't yet, and still to some degree don't, understand.

Even if Limbaugh believes the man's lifestyle to have been disgusting, how can he not see that this man was a human being, someone's son, someone's friend, someone's lover, someone's brother? How can a person sleep well at night while essentially saying, every time they play this song over hateful words about a part of the singer's life, a part of who he was, that they are glad he's dead? That they believe he got what he deserved?

One does have to wonder what Rush would think if someone started playing a recording of one of his shows every time they started denouncing drug addicts? Especially if they took up that practice only after he had passed away from drug related issues? I'm not saying, at all, that I'd be glad to see Rush Limbaugh die of a drug overdose, or that I'd say he deserved what he go...well, hold on a second.

There's a pretty big difference between Limbaugh's publicized struggles with prescription drugs, and Klaus Nomi's homosexuality. What's the difference, you ask?

Personal responsibility and choice. Anyone with half a brain in their head knows that being gay is not a choice, whereas being an over privileged, middle aged, fat headed bigot of a junkie? Is. In fact. A choice.

It's amazing to me how blind people like Limbaugh are to the fact that all of their misdirected hatred and nastiness is obviously going to come back on them, owing largely to the fact that they, like everyone else on the planet, are not perfect. They are human beings, and thus they are flawed, and as they put themselves in positions of high visibility while spewing viciousness and cruelty, they are much more likely to have those flaws spilled onto the public canvas for all to see. Rightly so. Keep on popping those vicodin, Rush. Maybe next time the entire world gets treated to a peek at how very, very flawed you are, you'll reconsider your policy of being a heartless, spineless, conscience-less bully.

Before I go, I'd like to add a few more adjectives to the ones I've directed at Rush Limbaugh. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

- Foul, fuckwit, toadlike, hammerhead archetype, coathanger bait, idiotic, moron, fucktard, wackaloon, jackass, worthless, asshat, assclown, dickhead, prick, turd, bigot,
accidentally unaborted fetus of a man. - Again, please feel free to add your own, as my list is extremely limited and in no way goes far enough to describe the skidmark that is this man accurately.

I'll end with a final treat from the singularly talented Mr. Nomi.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun with Fundies!

I procrastinate. It's just how I roll. I spend countless hours finding ways not to write, not to work, not to deal with personal situations, not to clean, etc. The amount of time I spend actively not doing any given task outweighs the amount of time it would take me to do that particular task tenfold, easy.

Today, I'm not writing. I'm also not working. While not doing these things, I stumbled upon one of the most delightful and infuriating distractions I've found recently.

I got there using a pretty convoluted path, starting with research on the John Freshwater situation in Ohio. (I feel I should mention that I was singing "once, twice, THRICE an idiot" as I read). From there, I felt a quick visit to JREF was in order, to clean my brain, and somehow, I ended up at the lovely FSTDT site, and spent far more time there than I would have needed to spend to complete my work for the day.

Continuing to hop along my procrastination path, I landed at what is clearly my true home. These? Are my people, obviously. Pack a bag, kids, we're Rapture Ready.

I think the best/worst thing about all this is that even if they're not joking, (and I'm pretty sure they aren't), they are still undeniably hilarious.

I've decided to register for an account. I haven't yet hammered out the details on where I'm headed with this, but visions of PZ's poll crashing were dancing in my head as I signed up, so stay tuned.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Let's Do Learning!!!!!!!

Life Lesson for the day: If you are super nice and cute when ordering insane coffee drinks, you will get them inexpensively, and the cute boy making them will turn your absurd drink into two!

I ordered a frappucino (fuck I hate that word) with 6 additional shots, and the aforementioned cute boy massively undercharged me, and then made my drink in two cups, because there were too
many shots to fit into one comfortably.

Yes. I know. This will probably be the death of me, but, oh, what a lovely time I'll have on the way to the grave!

Of Crocs and Cameltoes

Scene: Walking down Union on my way to work, just before eight AM on this fine, sunny Friday morning in June. I spy a woman, dressed decently enough for work, apart from the goddamned Crocs she's wearing. Not just Crocs, bright coral Crocs. There should have been ominous background music, because clearly? Shit was about to go down. I reach the crosswalk at the same time as my Croc wearing foe, and there's a moment of quiet prior to the following exchange.

Me: Is it worth it?

Croc-ashit Wearing Chick: Excuse me?

Me: Is it worth it?

CWC: What?

Me: You look fucking ridiculous in those shoes. So I just have to know, are you SO fucking comfortable that it's worth looking that stupid?


Okay. So here's the thing. I know that was mean of me. I get it. Not only do I, owing in part to never wearing Crocs, not LOOK stupid, I'm actually NOT stupid. So I know that saying that to a perfect stranger nice and early on a lovely Friday was not the nicest thing in the world to do.

BUT. If you take a longer view of the situation, I think you'll see that I did her a favor. Say there's even a 10% chance that she'll go home and throw away those shoes, now that she knows that they are so offensively awful that a total stranger just had to comment on them. Well, then not only have I done HER a favor, but I've done the whole city one as well, since there's at least one less pair of godawful shoes wandering the city that we have to look at.

I mean, if you were wearing something ridiculously ugly, you'd want one of your friends to tell you, right? If, say, your beloved new pants gave you some serious cameltoe, you'd want to know? I propose that this is no different.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I don't usually do this, but this seems important.

Barbara Forrest is sending this message out everywhere — they need concerted public action to forestall a dreadful legislative disaster that is looming large in the state of Louisiana. You can help!

We in the LA Coalition for Science have reached the point at which the only possible measure we have left is to raise an outcry from around the country that Gov. Jindal has to hear. What is happening in Louisiana has national implications, much to the delight of the Discovery Institute, which is blogging the daylights out of the Louisiana situation.

SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has passed both houses of the legislature, and the governor has indicated that he intends to sign it. But we don't have to be quiet about this. There is something that you and everyone else you know who wants to help can do:

The LA Coalition for Science has posted a press release and an open letter to Jindal asking him to veto the bill. The contact information is at the LCFS website.

It is time for a groundswell of contacts to Jindal, and this must be done immediately since we don't know when he will sign the bill. The vote in the legislature is veto-proof, so any request for Jindal to veto the bill must stress that the governor can make this veto stick if he wants it to stick. Please contact everyone you know and ask them to contact the governor's office and ask him to veto the bill. Please blog this. If you have friendly contacts in your address book, please ask them to also contact the governor's office.

We want people all over the country to do this, as many as possible, since Louisiana will be only the beginning. Their states could be next. Here are the talking points:

Point 1: The Louisiana law, SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has national implications. So far, this legislation has failed in every other state where it was proposed, except in Michigan, where it remains in committee. By passing SB 733, Louisiana has set a dangerous precedent that will benefit the Discovery Institute by helping them to advance their strategy to get intelligent design creationism into public schools. Louisiana is only the beginning. Other states will now be encouraged to pass such legislation, and the Discovery Institute has already said that they will continue their push to get such legislation passed.

Point 2: Since Gov. Jindal's support for teaching ID clearly helped to get this bill passed in the first place, his decision to veto it will stick if he lets the legislature know that he wants it to stick.

Point 3: Simply allowing the bill to become law without his signature, which is one of the governor's options, does not absolve him of the responsibility for protecting the public school science classes of Louisiana. He must veto the bill to show that he is serious about improving Louisiana by improving education. Anything less than a veto means that the governor is giving a green light to creationists to undermine the education of Louisiana children.

You can pull additional talking points from the LCFS press release and our online letter if you want them.

Now we have to get the message out to people. People can contact the governor and and also contact their friends, asking them to do the same. We need to create a huge network of e-mails asking people to do this. Where they live does not matter at this point. What is happening in Louisiana has implications for everyone in the nation. The Discovery Institute does not intend to stop with the Pelican State.

You can read the open letter to Jindal; you can call him at 225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121 (Toll Free); fax him at 225-342-7099. Anyone anywhere in the country should hammer the message home.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Love Octopi

You know what you get when you take one me, add a more than full time job, several deadlines, personal relationships to manage, and a key injury? You get odds and ends blog posts, now brought to you in fabulous Technicolor. By Technicolor, I, of course, mean bullet points.

  • Or do I love octopuses? There seems to be some disagreement over which is the correct plural for octopus, octopuses or octopi. To be honest, I cannot imagine caring about something less than I care about this. What I DO care about, however, is the adorable plush octopus I got from a supplier at work. We were meeting, and the male sales rep kept trying to sell me on the adorable baby deer, but as soon as I set eyes on good old Bartleby, as I've decided to call him, it was love.
  • I'm starting physical therapy this week. Although I know that my physical therapist's name is Jim, I cannot help that the picture in my head is of a terrifying, large woman named Gertrude, decked out all in white. I am not looking forward to this, but if it'll make the pain stop, and get me off the pain medication, full steam ahead, kids. See, the painkillers reduce my ability to drink heavily, and I don't think I need to tell you how I feel about that.
  • Travel ahead: I bailed out of Chicago, because flying right now? Sounds horrifyingly painful to me. It still made me really sad, as I cared about this trip, and I have a couple of good friends in Chicago that I'd have loved to catch up with. I am, however, greatly looking forward to a possible trip to NYC in August, and Rome in October. Another trip is possible in October, but I'm trying out this new thing where I don't talk about things until they're solidified. Closest I'll ever get to that whole "don't announce until the second trimester" thing.
  • Spencer Moody's new band? Was incredibly disappointing. I hit the first night of the Georgetown Music Fest with a couple of friends on Friday night, and while Helms Alee were amazing, Bronze Fawn were pretty damned good, and the rest of the bands just didn't matter to me even vaguely, I was, I'm not ashamed to admit, a little heartbroken by just how much I didn't care about Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death when I saw them. He rhymed cognition with recognition, which was my cue to leave. Before that, it was just an all around listless and boring performance of listless and boring songs, by a musician I used to simply adore watching. Spencer, you're too old to sound that angsty, and too young to seem so tired on stage.
That's all for now. I'm going to go rub aloe on my sunburn (again), and think about actually writing some of those things that actually, I don't know, make me money from time to time? Yeah.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Reading for Comprehension

I'm not at all convinced that John Mccain knows how to read for comprehension. I'm referring to the possibly mistaken idea I've got that a person running for president has at least read the constitution, and possibly a touch of the history surrounding that document.

If, in fact, John McCain has read these things, then he has a serious inability to divine the meaning of anything that he's read.

I propose that this inability may be the result of a long undiagnosed learning disability, and that we should see clearly deluded and backwards statements such as his in the video above as a cry for help. Let's all get behind the cause, and see if we can't get John McCain some long overdue educational support, shall we?

Sunday, June 1, 2008


We all have family and friends who have failed to receive the Good News of the Gospel.
The unsaved will be 'left behind' on earth to go through the "tribulation period" after the "Rapture". You remember how, for a short time, after (9/11/01) people were open to spiritual things and answers. (We are still singing "God Bless America" at baseballs' seventh inning stretch.) Imagine how taken back they will be by the millions of missing Christians and devastation at the rapture. They will know it was true and that they have blown it. There will be a small window of time where they might be reached for the Kingdom of God. We have made it possible for you to send them a letter of love and a plea to receive Christ one last time. You will also be able to give them some help in living out their remaining time. In the encrypted portion of your account you can give them access to your banking, brokerage, hidden valuables, and powers of attorneys' (you won't be needing them any more, and the gift will drive home the message of love). There won't be any bodies, so probate court will take 7 years to clear your assets to your next of Kin. 7 years of course is all the time that will be left. So, basically the Government of the AntiChrist gets your stuff, unless you make it available in another way. You can also send information based on scripture as to what will happen next. Each fulfilled prophecy will cause your letter and plea to be remembered and a decision to be made.

"WHY" is one last chance to bring them to Christ and snatch them from the flames!

So. I don't even really know what to say about You've Been Left Behind.

I mean, on the one hand, I'm pretty firmly in favor of capitalist society, and have no real problem with fools being parted from their money. I'm not certain you can find a foolier fool than the sort of person who would buy into the nonsense this company is peddling, so I should be fully comfortable with this. Really, it's a pretty solid business model, right?

Get religious folks to hand over their money using a fear and shame based argument? Hey, isn't that what churches and televangelists do every day?

You know what? I AM fully okay with this. The only thing I hope is that this company is actually run by a really hilarious and slightly evil atheist. I mean, no matter what, this money isn't going to people's hell bound loved ones when the rapture comes, what with the rapture not ever coming owing to it's non existence. And I have to think that whoever is running this little business knows that, because otherwise, how the heck does the business model work? I mean, anyone who is christian enough to care about other people this much, and sets up a company of this type is obviously going to be taken up during the rapture, right? So if that's the case, who distributes the money and power of attorney and whatnot following this rapture?

What, no. I know. That's logic and thinking and one of those silly atheist tricks. I totally know, guys. I'm just thinking like they think, because, you know, they think...what. God, guys. Jesus totally died for your sins, so, um, give us your money and we'll make sure those awful atheists that you are christian enough to love anyway get it when you're dancing amidst the flowers and clouds and cotton candy and puppies in the sky. No, seriously. We will.

I can totally picture the founder of this company trouble shooting possible customer service questions, and coming up with the above.

I really, really hope that the person or people that are going to profit from this profit big, and spend it on humanist or atheist education. This is one of those things that make atheists feel as arrogant and superior as we're constantly accused of being. Because? You can't convince us to give you our money and financial documents by reminding us that one day we're just going to disappear from our cars and workplaces and homes, and be beamed up to the happy dance in the sky.

Oh man, I'm leaving you with just one phrase from this site. Just the one.

Document storage and "Rapture" triggered email messaging system.

Cramming weeks of neglect into a few paragraphs...

Seems to be what I'm doing, so first up, a bit of housekeeping type news. I'm heading into another of my insanely overscheduled periods, as the release of the book approaches while I'm still editing and making changes, the screenplay is back on, I'm possibly taking on not one but two review writing projects, and am desperately hoping to pull off interviewing this guy at some point this week: . So, what I'm saying is, it's not unlikely that I'll fail to take your calls, and show up at events looking like a fucked out, drugged up zombie due to lack of sleep and a growing sense that I'll never have anything to show for the work I've been putting into this "writing" nonsense. Oh, yes. Additionally, I had a fit of whimsy combined with nostalgia this weekend and decided it really wouldn't be a terrible time to reacquaint myself with that whole making art thing. I think I hate myself somewhere deep down. It's the only way to explain the sleep deprivation I'm subjecting myself to lately.

Other recent events include lovely trips to Portland, getting my brain candy fix via the Sex and the City Movie (please note, future filmmakers of America - there is never any way for it to be okay to subject me to graphic displays of pubic hair, so DON'T DO IT), making plans to start performing again (which terrifies me, so if you see me at any readings around town, please feel free to mock and heckle me. It helps me feel right at home, I swear), and working, a lot. Work really does consume pretty large portions of my time and brain right now, but that's alright. I love my job, and that goes a long way toward making long days seem less wrenching.

In injury news, I haven't hurt myself in over a week. I'm due.

Also, I'd like (since there's this little black corner of my heart) to mention that last week was some bizarre schadenfreude edition of down home week for me, and gee was it ever satisfying. An old co-worker who tormented me and essentially was the reason I had to leave my last job applied for a position with my company and was soundly rejected, and, my old boss, the one who was horrid to work for and eventually lost his job for stealing from a children's charity? The guy that I tried, time and again, to point out to superiors was doing bad, bad things? I ran into him outside the courthouse, looking rather the worse for wear. It was a lovely, lovely sight. I may sound like a jerk, but it warms my heart right down to the cockles to see bad things happen to bad people.

Alright. Back soon with more coherent babble for you.