The 300 Rifftrax is very good.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
So friend works at the Freedom Center and last night called to talk about whatnot. During our conversation he told me that the Freedom Center has an authentic slave pen on exhibit. Apparently some people when confronted with the slave pen feel a deep sense of guilt which correlates to whether or not their ancestors owned slaves or participated in the slave trade. The thinking, using that term loosely, is that if great great great grandpa Jethromiah owned slaves then his presently living kin (who, mind you, are not slave owners) have reason to feel bad or guilty.
And I'm pretty sure that invoking that attachment to ancestry and so belaboring a fabricated notion of inherited guilt is fucking stupid.
I know that in the Western tradition we are inundated with the notion of original sin, the notion that we are all fundamentally flawed not due to what we do but what those who came before us did. But if you think about it? That idea has no basis in reality; we made it up.
Certainly one may employ a biological notion of heritage and so argue that as with genetic diseases ancestral sins are passed down from generation to generation. But to employ a biological basis for non-biological fabricated bullshit phenomena is, said plainly, moronic.
Moreover, a person's ancestral guilt is fundamentally based upon one's knowledge of their ancestry. If you do not know that great great grandpa Beasley was a slave owner, or a member of the KKK, or a Nazi, or Australian then you have no sense of guilt founded on your knowledge of great great grandpa Beasley given that you have no knowledge. This is not to say that by maintaining ignorance one may avoid the need for an embrace of ancestral guilt but rather indicates the nature of ancestral guilt: It does not exist until we create it. Upon one's discovery of an ancestor's transgressions one may invoke a sense of shame or guilt. But note how this process occurs! "Upon one's discovery".
It is not the case that one is born with the shame or guilt as, say, one can be born with an inherited genetic predisposition towards the acquisition of cancer. Rather, one adopts guilt, embraces guilt, fabricates guilt. There is no fundamental component of one's being from which ancestral guilt spawns: YOU MAKE YOURSELF FEEL GUILTY!
This is not to say that one ought to release one's feelings of guilt and rather embrace a feeling of pride over one's slave owning ancestors. Rather, my point is that one ought to shut the god damned fuck up about one's ancestors and relatives and focus, rather, on what you do; what you have done.
You are your own being. You are not a branch on a tree. You are not merely a link in an ancestral chain. You are not your parents, your grandparents, your great grand parents.
You are fundamentally your own individual being responsible for and beholden to your self.
Fucking act like it.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I really like MSNBC's First Read political blogy posty thing. First Read posts are full of insight, quotes, statistics, and Chuck Todd being awesome. This First Read regarding how superdelegates feel about Hillary being a bitch ends with a quote from an uncommitted superdelegate:
"Uncommitted delegates can come out and say, 'If you don't stop this now, we won't vote for you'."
In complying with the Democratic Process uncommitted superdelegates could utilize their position to influence the debate between Obama and Clinton and so hopefully put an end to this bickering by threatening to not vote for someone. While these threats might put an end to the bickering and perhaps bring the debate back to topics of substance I have a different suggestion for remaining undeclared superdelegates:
MAKE UP YOUR MIND, STOP BEING A PUSSY, AND DECLARE WHO YOU ARE VOTING FOR!
Let's look at the numbers:
P Delegates: 1408
S Delegates: 218
T Delegates: 1626
P Delegates: 1251
S Delegates: 255
T Delegates: 1506
Since 2024 delegates are needed Obama requires 398 more delegates and Clinton requires 518 more delegates. Out of a total of 800 super delegates 327 have yet to declare an allegiance to either candidate.
So how about instead of being indecisive, opportunistic, manipulative assholes towards the Democratic party you undeclared superdelegates find a microphone and declare who you are fucking voting for. Sure, if all 327 of you go to either Obama or Clinton that will still not end this damn fight. But, you could at least remove the superdelegates from the speculation and present the party with a complete picture of delegate counts for either candidate and allow us all to move the fuck on.
Not declaring who you are voting for is not helping anyone other than yourself. I'm sure you all know who you would like to vote for already; it's not a difficult decision. At this point? You're not pondering possibilities and assessing the qualities of either candidate; you're just waiting to see who is more likely to win. You're allowing the Democratic party to destroy itself out of a selfish desire to attach your proverbial wagon to the winning horse and so personally benefit.
If you're willing to not attach your name to the candidate, if you're willing to let this fight continue, if you're willing to allow the Democrats to destroy one another and so allow John "Fucking" McCain to win in the fall, if you're willing to put your well-being before the well-being of the party, the country, the American People?
Then you really need to rethink your priorities, asshole.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Transgender Man Pregnant
Wait for it...
"A transgender man can be pregnant because he has the same organs as a woman."
"To Nancy, I am her husband carrying our child," he wrote, explaning that his wife is unable to conceive. "I will be my daughter's father, and Nancy will be her mother. We will be a family."
...Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.
The situation: Male student asks Chelsea Clinton if her mother's credibility was hurt during the Monica Lewinsky Scandal.
The Reply: "Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question, in the, maybe 70 college campuses that I've been to. And I don't think that's any of your business." - Chelsea Clinton
Now, plenty of people at the source of this story are bickering with regard to whether or not the question was inappropriate. This, I think, indicates that some people do not know what inappropriate means.
This would be an inappropriate question:
"Hey, cunt! Remember that time your dad fucked someone other than your mom? How much did that suck?"
"Hey, whore! While you're out stumping for your mom do you ever think about your dad stumping Monica?"
Those questions? Entirely inappropriate and mean-spirited.
But to ask Chelsea Clinton if her mother's credibility was damaged during the Monica Lewinsky Scandal? That is no more inappropriate than asking one of Obama's daughters if her father's credibility was damaged by his relationship with his preacher. Questions regarding credibility are fine given that credibility is something of an important component of a president's image.
But more problematic than a confusion over what is inappropriate is the confusion Chelsea has over what is or is not the voter's business:
"And I don't think that's any of your business."
Really? Hillary's credibility is not our business? The answer to the question "Did Bill staining Monica's dress in turn stain Hillary?" is not to be shared with the public, is not our concern, is not our business?
So Hillary's credibility is not our business. Pledged delegates ought to ignore the voters. Super delegates ought to ignore the voters. The popular vote doesn't matter. The delegate counts do not matter. So, then, what does matter? Hillary's thinking that she is right and ought to be in control?
I wonder where I've heard that mentality before...
CHENEY: On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. That’s been a major success.
RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.
RADDATZ So? You don’t care what the American people think?
CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.
Clinton's credibility? That's not our business.
The war in Iraq? That's not our business.
C is for Clinton
C is for Cheney
That's good enough for me.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
"And also remember that pledged delegates in most states are not pledged. You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody. They're just like superdelegates." - Hillary Clinton
Pledged Delegates are not pledged?
Senator Hillary Clinton, everybody! Remember to tip your waiters and try the veal.
There is a Newsweek Interview with theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg on the MSNBC.com which discusses the Large Hadron Collider, Physics, and God. And while you really ought to read the whole thing for yourself there are a few select quotes on which I would like to ruminate.
"As science explains more and more, there is less and less need for religious explanations. Originally, in the history of human beings, everything was mysterious. Fire, rain, birth, death, all seemed to require the action of some kind of divine being. As time has passed, we have explained more and more in a purely naturalistic way. This doesn't contradict religion, but it does takes away one of the original motivations for religion."
This weekend peoples watched 300. In the film King Leonidas must consult the Oracle before he may go to war with Xerxes and so defend Sparta. The Oracle says that Sparta must not go to war so that the Carneian Festival can be observed and not interrupted. When we watch the film we think "He had to consult an Oracle? That's fucking stupid." Yet we watched the film on Easter Weekend as a result of my having Good Friday off.
That situation intrigues me. We acknowledge the history of religion and know damn well that its utility decreases as naturalistic explanations of the world in which we live are discovered, tested, and found to be useful and empirically grounded; we can read Greek mythology and think "Wow. That is silly". But some people still do it; still religion. It is bizarre that we can watch 300 and recognize the idiocy of Leonidas having to consult the Oracle at Delphi before defending Sparta from Xerxes yet after watching the film we can go to church and sign praises to invisible sky daddy and listen to sermons from our own little Oracles. And that duality, that lack of self-awareness, is completely absurd. It's a miniature example of the quote, "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
The problem, though, is the requirement of understanding which to this day still eludes some people.
"We don't see any purpose dictated to human beings in nature. Human life does have a purpose, but it is a purpose that we invent for ourselves. It takes a certain act of courage to look at nature, not see any plan for human beings in there and yet go on and live good lives, love each other, create beautiful things, explore the universe. All these take more courage without having some divine plan that we discover, but one that we rather create for ourselves."
This is something upon which I have dwelt for a few years now. Purpose is the result of beings who purpose and purpose only ever happens when purposing beings purpose; We invent purpose. And while we can dismiss the notion of whether or not courage is involved, since that complicates the conversation considerably, we are left with the truth that purpose is something we create and maintain; purpose does not exist apart from our saying purpose exists.
And I am not entirely sure how it is that people can miss this and belabor the notion that purpose comes from something other than ourselves.
"I don't think that we can ever prove that God does not exist. But if he does exit it might be possible to prove it."
If I had a craw this would be the thing forever stuck within said craw. It is impossible to prove a universal negative; this is simply how proof works. But the inability to prove a universal negative does not somehow indicate that the universal negative claim is false.
If we claim that there are no ducks we can look at the world in which we live and seek out ducks (a potentially hazardous venture as ducks are omnivores). If we find ducks then the claim "there are no ducks" is incorrect. This is simple enough. If we claim, however, that there are no fuchsia ducks and after seeking said fuchsia ducks we find no fuchsia ducks this does not mean that there are no fuchsia ducks. Since "there are no fuchsia ducks" is a universal claim our inability to find fuchsia ducks within the particular area in which we searched does not indicate some flaw with the universal claim.
Given that there are a nigh-infinite number of universal negative claims it is nonsense to suggest that our inability to prove "There is no God" is somehow uniquely indicative of the existence of a God. God's existence, based upon the inability to prove a universal negative, is just as substantial as the existence of fuchsia ducks and, really, anything else one desires to pull from one's ass.
When we combine these ideas and ruminate on the concepts at large and the manner in which they interact we are left with the notion from yesterday's rant about perinatal hospisces: observe the world in which we live and live in accord with the world in which we live.
And that is really not a difficult task provided that you shut the fuck up and pay attention.
Monday, March 24, 2008
If pregnancy had a warning label it would be "May cause psychosis". And this unique brand of psychosis is not limited to the parents. From the fetus fetishizing fucks of the religious right to the couples who have a miscarriage and forget that they can make another one fetuses and babies make people dumb. This article on MSNBC delves into another component of the pregnancy psychosis: the Perinatal Hospice.
A Perinatal Hospice is a hospice for families who know that their baby will die shortly after birth. You see, when a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal condition which ensures its death shortly (within a few days) after birth some couples suffering from psychosis will decide to continue the pregnancy. When this happens a perinatal hospice can be found through sites such as perinatalhospice.org which will help foster the parent's delusion by cutting a lock of their baby's hair, making hand impressions, and bathing the body in warm water to stave off rigor mortis. Perinatal hospices exploit the delusions of parents.
"It was clear I was taking him around to say hello and goodbye" said one father of his taking his soon-to-die son to "meet" friends and relatives. “My big hope was that his life, however long it was going to be, would be full and not painful," said the same father of his soon-to-die son. Another couple who learned three months before its birth that their baby would die soon after birth adopted another approach:
"We weren’t going to get to keep him, but this was our time with him. We think of it as our summer with Gabriel. We took him fishing. We had a family portrait taken. We took him to a baseball game. We picked out his casket. All of those were ways of parenting Gabriel.”
All of these approaches, all of these manners in which parents deal with the inevitable loss of a fetus or death of a baby contain a degree of psychosis, of a "loss of contact with reality". And while some may sympathize with the parents and see this as a beautiful way to confront a tragic loss the error in this thinking can be made plain in one simple statement:
YOU CAN MAKE ANOTHER ONE YOU FUCKHEADS!
And not only is the truth that children are a renewable resource useful in this conversation but also the fact that fetuses are not people; that babies are not people. The father who was "taking him around to say hello and goodbye" is suffering from psychosis. The baby is not saying anything, is not in any way engaged in the act of hello or goodbye. The couple who took their still-in-the-womb fetus fishing, who took a family portrait of their selves, are suffering from psychosis. Both the baby and the fetus, in these examples, were basically inert objects, themselves less functional than retarded kittens.
But these psychotic parents, these delusional idiots, embrace stupid and abandon reality. Rather than discard the failure and try again they coddle the doomed pregnancy and refuse to let go as they confuse nobility with petty clinging, reason with psychosis.
It is not wise. It is not noble. It is not beneficial. It is not healthy. It is not good. Perinatal Hospices do not behoove anyone. Perinatal Hospices profit off of delusional, weak parents seeking an outlet for their grief who refuse to accept reality and instead harbor a grand delusion that their dying fetus is anything more than a dying fetus.
"We picked out his casket. All of those were ways of parenting Gabriel."
Think about that.
I can appreciate that it would be difficult to discover five months into a pregnancy that the fetus was flawed in such a way as to ensure its demise shortly after birth. Presumably those five months would have been filled with hopes and planning, dreams of the future of the child and excitement over raising the being.
The problem is that parents confuse the being which is with the being which may be; they confuse the illusion child in their dreams which the being which actually exists. They get ahead of themselves and think of the fetus as a child which could go fishing, attend ball games, think, and feel. Certainly it would be difficult to lose the child in which one had invested such time and cultivated such memories.
But you aren't losing the illusion child in your head. You're losing the sickly fetus you've never met which exists in reality. You're confusing what exists in your mind with what exists in reality.
And that is psychosis.