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Lowered Expectations

Higher Aspirations


December 19th, 2013

All my ducks lined up in a row... @ 09:16 pm

Current Mood: discontent discontent

So, the thing that everyone seems to be talking about is the man from Duck Dynasty who said wildly bigoted things for which he was put on indefinite suspension from taking part in a reality show currently being shown on A&E.

Let's not beat around the bush here: Phil Robertson is a bigot. If you consider homosexuals to be in the same class of people as a) terrorists, b) drunkards, c) people who cheat on their spouses or d) people who have sex with animals, you are a bigot. Maybe you're the nicest human being in the world otherwise, but you're still a bigot.

Things Robertson was not put on suspension for:
1) Believing in God
2) Talking about God
3) Talking about his belief in God
4) Being a Christian "bible-thumper"
5) Believing homosexuality is a sin
6) Talking about his belief that homosexuality is a sin

(Those last two things also make him a bigot, but had he resisted the temptation to be so colorful with his disgust, I don't think he would have gotten into any trouble.)

On my facebook now, there are many posts in support of this man. As far as I can see, there are three reasons to want to do that: 1) You believe that Robertson shouldn't be fired/punished for things he does or says on his own time; 2) You believe that freedom of speech protects folks like Robertson from being fired/punished when they employ unpopular speech; or 3) You believe that Robertson is completely correct in casting aspersions on gay people because gay people (or their sin) disgust you.

I would love to believe that the people on my facebook are in camps 1 and 2, but I'm far too cynical for that. If I were less of a coward, I'd posit the question on my facebook to find out exactly why the folks supporting him support him.

However, I am too big of a coward to posit that question. I fear that my cynicism would be vindicated, and I'm not sure I can deal with that right now. It's hard to reconcile that people I like or people who are friendly acquaintances are the same people who espouse dishonest, hateful things. It's also hard to know that there's naught I can do about that except to accept it as another reminder that people who do not necessarily see the world as I do are not necessarily evil people--or, to state it more simply, abhorrent opinions don't have to come from abhorrent people.

As for what I personally think about this issue... On the one hand, I believe that the first amendment protects unpopular speech. On the other hand, I don't believe that the first amendment protects one from the reactions other people have to one's unpopular speech. People have the right (and are right!) to call Robertson a bigot. People have the right not to buy Robertson's merchandise or to watch his show.

As for A&E, suspending Robertson is a wee bit hypocritical on their part. After all, when they decided to dedicate a block of television to watching the adventures of a family of unpolished, unsophisticated, bible-thumpers in the deep south, well, what the hell did they expect? I'm not trying to cast aspersions on southerners here--this is how A&E marketed this show! They market this show based on the idea of hillbilly/redneck charm and then they act shocked when they get what they signed on for. Can anyone honestly say that it's a surprise when one of the cast turns out to be a bigot?

Maybe when I'm feeling a little bit braver, I'll adapt this to facebook. For the moment, though, I just wanted to get it off my chest.
 

August 28th, 2011

The Result of Years of Chinese Food... @ 12:38 am

~ The Chinese ancient civilization attracts you.

~ You will enjoy good health.

~ The job is well done.

~ You have a reputation for being straight forward and honest.

~ You have an unusual equipment for success, use it properly.

~ You have great physical powers and an iron constitution.

~ Working hard will make you live a happy life.

~ To love and be loved are blessings.

~ The current year will bring you much happiness.

~ There is no one so rich that they don't need help or so poor that they cannot help.

~ You will enjoy good health, you will be surrounded by luxury.

~ You look happy and proud.

~ You are next in line for promotion in your firm.

~ The laws sometimes sleep, but never die.

~ The hard times will begin to fade, joy will take their place.

~ Your dearest wish will come true.

~ The laws sometimes sleep, but never die.

~ Relax and enjoy yourself.

~ You look pretty.

~ Forget those things that aren't worth remembering.

~ Remember to share good fortune as well as bad with your friends.

~ You will read this and say "Geez! I could come up with better fortunes than that!"

~ Watch your relations with other people carefully, be reserved.

~ Your luck has been completely changed today.

~ You will have no problems in your home.

~ You will be called upon to help a friend in trouble.

~ You will have good luck and overcome many hardships.

~ You display the wonderful traits of charm and courtesy.

~ Versatility is one of your outstanding traits.

~ You have a lively family.

~ You will have a pleasant trip.

~ The time is right to make new friends.

~ A surprise treat awaits you.

~ You are next in line for promotion in your firm. (This one looks familiar...)

~ You are original and creative.

~ You are working hard.

~ Life to you is a dashing and bold adventure.

~ Share your happiness with others today.

~ You are gifted in many ways.

~ You believe in the goodness of mankind.

~ If your desires are not extravagant, they will be granted.


And, finally, my favorite:

~ Borrow money from a pessimist--they don't expect it back.

What I've learned after all these years is ... I really, really like Americanized Chinese food. ;)
 

November 8th, 2010

Glitter @ 08:23 pm

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

Hi all and welcome to my blog.

My mother recently took a trip to Salem, Mass. and she bought me a present while she was there. It's a necklace with what looks like a glass container of copper colored glitter surrounded by a pewter fairy whose facial features are basically non-existent--either because her head is tilted to the side or because this thing is just extraordinarily poorly made. I'm leaning towards the latter, personally.

What's interesting about it is not the fact that I feel the quality is lacking or that it's a fairy or that it's a bottle filled with glitter. What's interesting to me is the packaging. I'm going to reproduce every word here and show you what I mean.

Read more...Collapse )

Anyway, to make a long story short, mom bought me a necklace with glitter in it with a fairy (?) on it. It's always nice to have some new swag. ;)

Quote of the Entry:
"Every time a child says, 'I don't believe in fairies,' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead." ~Peter Pan
 

September 11th, 2010

English! Do you read it?! @ 09:01 pm

Current Mood: aggravated aggravated

Hi all and welcome to my blog.

I had a rather unproductive exchange with a gentleman on facebook about the whole Burn the Koran Day thing on “Getting Civil At Ground Zero.” For the sake of my flistCollapse )
 

March 20th, 2010

I don't understand people at all @ 12:02 am

Current Mood: depressed depressed
Current Music: Take it Back - Barenaked Ladies

It seems like there isn't a day that goes by where I don't lose a little faith in humanity. People can be cruel and stupid in ways that keep on surprising me even though, at this point, I should be expecting it.

This Health Care(tm) thing is really getting me down. I'm very tired of listening to mom and dad yell at the television and talk about how America is going to be destroyed because Obama is a bad president.

Read more ... if you care toCollapse )

Sometimes ... I just hate people.
 

January 7th, 2010

(no subject) @ 05:20 pm

Current Mood: sad sad

Dear Mom and Dad,

Please stop listening to Glenn Beck and taking him seriously. Please stop repeating Glenn's talking points as though they're fact. Please stop saying things like "we should send [the detainees at Gitmo] back to their families in boxes with ribbons on them!" Please stop acting like Obama has ascended from Hell to murder us all. Please stop acting like the government is a single, monolithic force of pure evil. Please stop telling me what I believe since I'm a liberal. Please stop saying "liberal" like it's a filthy word. Please stop asking me if I have "buyer's remorse" as though I were singing Obama's praises when I've told you, time and time again, that I voted him for him because McCain and Palin were worse. Please stop being willing to trade your freedom in for "safety" while pretending that doing so is the best way of preserving freedom. Please stop being so gleeful when something goes wrong because it "proves" that everything is Obama's fault. Please stop saying that it's dangerous to try the Christmas bomber in a normal court, as though it being dangerous is the same as it being wrong. Please stop saying "interrogate" when you mean "torture." Please stop saying that we need to torture people to keep us safe. Please start being sane again ... I don't know how much more of this I can take.

-- Your daughter
 

November 28th, 2009

November 12th, 2009

Because words don't actually *mean* things .... @ 09:25 pm

Current Mood: aggravated aggravated

"Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve."
-- Luke 22:3

"Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly."
-- John 13:26-27

That's right, dad: nowhere in the King James version of the bible does it say that Satan entered Judas.

And, yes, dad, when the bible says that Satan entered Judas, clearly, entered doesn't mean entered - it totally means something else. I don't know what but something. Because nowhere in the King James version of the bible does it say that Satan enters anyone - least of all, Judas.

And, you're right, dad: when I argue passionately about something, I should definitely make sure I know what I'm talking about. Since I've never read the bible, or listened to people who know what they're talking about, or have actually given thought to my opinion, or anything like you have.

But, you know, dad, there is one thing that doesn't makes sense to me: my brother is the "anti-religion" because he's a Dischordian who worships Eris, but me, the atheist, I'm religious. How does that work, exactly? And, for someone who's agnostic and completely not religious, well, you seem awfully touching when it comes to criticizing the bible. Just saying.

PS: I completely don't understand what the point of Jesus Christ Superstar is despite it being my favorite rock opera in addition to listening to the soundtrack ever since I was little - the point of the whole thing just went over my dainty little head.

Which totally has nothing to do with the Jewish priests wanting to keep their power or Judas being torn between his friendship with Jesus and the worry over the possible destruction of their people. It totally has to do with Jesus opening the gates of heaven because two morons in the Garden of Eden ate some fruit. Totes.
 

November 8th, 2009

Because I'm a Geek ... @ 08:46 pm

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: New York City - They Might Be Giants

It took me a total of 70 hours (since I started the game over back at the 34 hour mark the first time through because I realized a better strategy that required a restart) but I've finally done it: I've beaten Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. I didn't quite find all the beans but I got Mario, Luigi, and Bowser up to level 40 (which means nothing if you haven't played the game). So, go me! :)

On the whole, I liked the game but I really wish that I had been able to skip some of the cut scenes :D Everyone loves to talk in this game and there's only so quickly you can skip through it - I noticed this more on the second play through. The first time through, it wasn't so bad. Also, once I figured out what I'd been doing wrong, beating the final Boss wasn't too hard. Of course, it took about an hour of play on the final boss to figure out what I needed to do (which is what required the restart). -_- Yes, I *can* be a little slow at times. But I won in the end so there!

Unfortunately, now this means I need to buy another $30 DS game ... Still, I feel accomplished ;)

What next?
 

August 3rd, 2009

I just don't get it ... @ 11:53 pm

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

I've been watching quite a few atheist vs. theist debates lately and there has been one "argument" that I've heard over and over again which is starting to drive me nuts. It is as follows and said in a smug tone of self-satisfied cleverness:

"Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence!"

Now, this is true as far as you can't say anything isn't possible just because you find no evidence for it. Proving a negative is very difficult for this reason. However, what annoys me is how the person who says this acts as though this sentence is the clincher for their argument. "You can't prove God doesn't exist so He must exist!"

I mean, how does that follow? Since when is having no evidence of something proof of something?

Sure, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, but it sure as hell isn't evidence of presence either! It's an asinine proposition and I'm constantly surprised that it's never called out. I mean, I can make the same statement about unicorns and bigfoot - just because you've never seen a real picture of either of these things doesn't mean they can't exist somewhere and just haven't been found yet. Therefore, since you can't prove unicorns don't exist, they exist.

That is stupid.

I'm not sure why these people of faith feel the need to pretend that their beliefs are based on scientific evidence anyway - faith is, by definition, believing in something without evidence. Like, if I believe that a student who has always done poorly on tests will get an A on the final, that is faith. The evidence tells me that this student probably won't pass, yet I believe he will since my faith isn't based on evidence.

Another thing: I'd also like to know where some of these evangelicals get the idea that one can decide what they want to believe. I can't just suddenly decide to believe that the moon is made from cheese or that we're all actually in the Matrix. Just believe, just believe. It's not something I have a choice about! I can't believe in Jesus any more than I can believe that my brother is the reincarnated Napoleon. I could pretend to believe, which is what I did for the brief period when I was 12 and became a Born Again(tm) Christian. However, I'm not willing to devote my life to something that I know isn't true.

I honestly don't care what people believe. My brother's girlfriend believes in fairies. It doesn't bother me because she's not acting as though I'm a bad person for not believing in them or that it's imperative that I start believing. Likewise, I don't ask her to prove the existence of fairies to me - if she wants to believe in something I think is a little silly, that's her business and I have no desire to bully her about it.

You're a young Earth creationist? Fine. You believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis? Fine. You believe that a Jew named Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead two thousand years ago and is the son of God and is with us even today? Fine. You believe that everything and everyone must have been designed by an intelligent creator (who doesn't have to be God, totally, we swear!)? Fine. Just don't pretend that you're basing this on anything other than faith. Don't undermine science and the education of our children. It's bad enough that "under God" was shoehorned into the pledge in the 50s to save us from the Godless pinko commies - at least that is just a couple of words which no child really pays attention to.

But crippling a child's understanding of science ... that's a lot worse. And there's no need for it - plenty of scientists are religious, so a religious parent need not worry about that.

Because faith isn't based on evidence - therefore, no amount of evidence would convince a person of strong faith of anything they didn't already hold as true. By the same token, no amount of faith could convince me that God exists or that the Earth is 6000 years old. I need evidence.

... Where was I? Oh, yes. Stop saying "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" as though it actually proves something. Thanks.
 

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