Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Know How to Disappear

This is actually a picture of a woman, but she's pregnant, so through the lens of misogyny, all you can see is the fetus. (Toe rays are always carefully marked in utero.)

No, I am not a wizard, I am a woman. If I want to disappear, all I have to do is get pregnant.

It's true. As soon as I get pregnant, my needs and wants will be ignored in favor of the needs and wants of a group of undifferentiated, rapidly dividing cells. (Some people call this is a baby.) I can return to my previous state of visibility by having an abortion, but it won't have been my decision, because pregnant women, not being people at all, don't make choices.

Think about it. What is the "abortion industry" doing to women? That's the framing of this entire article, and article I couldn't even read all the way through because my brain, in a desire not to die a horrible death, starting rendering it as wharrrgarble after the first few paragraphs.

What is the "abortion industry" doing to women. Doing to women. To women.

Keep in mind, no woman randomly comes into contact with an abortion, ever. It's not like incidentally viewing sexual material on the cover of a magazine at the grocery store. That's certainly possible. It's not random "bless you!s" contacts with religion. There is, literally, no way for a woman to, without choice and purpose, have an abortion. You have to want an abortion to get an abortion. You have to decide you want an abortion, you have to find where to get an abortion, you have to pay for the abortion, you have to get to the facility, you have to wait for your appointment, you have to take off your clothes and put your feet in the stirrups.

None of this is done to anyone.

Prolifers have made abortions as difficult to get as possible. They have enacted waiting periods, ultrasound viewing requirements, limits on when in the pregnancy you can have one, facility requirements well above what is required for other, similarly simple procedures, and, oh yeah, with all the protesting, bombings and murders, there are very few doctors even willing to perform abortions.

It's not like you can walk across the street to your neighborhood abortion provider two weeks before your due date and receive a free abortion five minutes later. You have to jump through hoop after hoop- and hope that nobody ever finds out you got one, because, well, you're a murderer. And a slut. A murdering slut.

Abortions are provided for women, women who choose them and want them so badly they are willing to jump through any number of hoops and risk the personal fallout of being discovered to get them.

Women are people. We make choices. We continue to be people and make choices even after we get pregnant. Stop infantilizing us. Stop making us invisible. We're right here, you should be able to see us.

You Shall Know Them By Their Love

The Rapturites were asked to define the Conservative Christian lifestyle- a request that had me cackling with glee right here at my desk before I even saw the responses.

I was wondering this today. What would make the Conservative Christian lifestyle stand out?

Things like no tv or movies, or nothing like that?

Honestly, I'm confused, too. I hope the Rapturites can clear this up for us.

The obvious answer to me is to put "Christ-honoring" things in your life, as opposed to things that satisfy the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.

Of course, as far as I'm concerned, Conservative Christians tend to stand out from the crowd anyway, in that the things that matter most to the world, matter not to us.

Yeah, like CCs don't care about taxes or immigration or money or politics or owning stuff or status symbols or . . . um, yeah.

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Yeah. CCs totally love everybody- except for gays, muslims, brown people, atheists, democrats, pacifists . . . everybody . . . who is just like them. It's love, I tell you!

The fruits of the Spirit.

Mangoes? It's mangoes, isn't it!

No one likes us because we hold to the Bible being true and the Word of God and it can be taken in literal context and no one likes us............

I don't like you because you used that smilee. Others may feel differently.

Obedience to God's will.

Dedication to daily prayer and Bible study.

Following Matthew Chapter 5.

Really? All of Chapter 5? That's interesting. Here's Matt 5:3-10, you may recognize it:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The meek, the merciful, the peacemakers and the poor in spirit, huh? Really? That's who you think you are? Fascinating.

My idea of a conservative or fundamentalist Christian believer is not seeing or hearing or doing anything that our Lord and Savior would not want you to do.Jesus is right by our side.Should you be listening or watching or doing what you are doing with Jesus sitting by you?That can mean sacrificing alot of things that others around you are doing. But it will be well worth it when you meet Jesus face to face.

So you never urinate, defecate or bathe? Because I certainly couldn't do any of those things with some guy sitting right next to me*.

+1 Love. All the things you do and don't do on account of the love that is in you. Each of us is a unique creation, we weren't punched out with the same shape cookie cutter. We'll be different and do or not do different things, but it is God's love that is a common link and denominator among His children.

God's love . . . of hating brown people and socialism? Although, I would like the Underpants of +1 Love. That'd be awesome.

I would add: show and share the peace that surpasses all understanding, even in the worst of times. Show the JOY that that only come from God. Live by example. Of course flee all appearance of evil.

God does not want us to put on any kind of a show. He wants us to be a witness of what having the one true God in our lives can do. No other faith or religion has what we have. That is what stands out.

Show and share the peace that surpasses all understanding, but don't put on a show. Be a witness, but don't be all showy about it. Does mutually exclusive mean nothing to these people?

Well, the OP actually seems to have found wisdom in that mess, I'm just as confused as I ever was.

*Bathroom time is alone time. I cannot stress this enough.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's Nicely Wrapped and All, but I Didn't Ask for This Gift

How many times have you seen this argument: you should worship god (in this specific way) because god gave you life. He gave you the greatest gift of all, so you should do whatever he wants.

I've seen that three times today and plenty of times before that.

So let's try a metaphor to help us examine this argument.

You are homeless until a man gives you a house. You don't ask him for a house, you just find out one day that you have a house. It's an okay house, decently maintained, taxes prepaid, utilities prepaid. That's awesome, right? Sure it is.

So, a month after you move in to your amazing surprise house, a man comes to your door. He tells you that he gave you the house and he'd like to ask you for a favor. Sure, whatever you need, right? He gave you a house, how can you refuse?

He takes you to his property, all 5 acres of it and ask you to mow the lawn. With a push mower. It's 100 degrees and humid. Of course you do it. This guy gave you a house, how can you complain about mowing 5 acres with a push mower in high heat and high humidity?

The next week, he asks you to paint the outside of his 5 story mansion- with a 1" wide brush. Two coats.

This goes on and on until your benefactor is taking up all your time with his requests.

That's kind of accurate, right? I didn't ask to be alive. If I hadn't been made alive, I wouldn't miss it. If I died right now, I wouldn't know the difference. And being alive is difficult at best. So why am I supposed to spend a lifetime thanking anyone for this?

But wait, it's not an entirely accurate analogy, is it? At least not concerning Christianity, or at least Christianity that believes in eternal hell, anyway. Okay, let's rework the analogy.

You're homeless. You get a free house. Some years later, your benefactor appears and tells you that he needs you to do something for him, but he's not going to tell you what. You need to figure that out for yourself by reading certain books he has written. Except a lot of people have written using the same name, so you'll have to figure out which books he actually wrote on your own. These books were originally written in Finnish, and you don't speak Finnish, so you'd better hope the English translations are accurate.

Oh, and he won't tell you how long you have to complete this mystery task, but if you don't do it in time, he has evidence, really believable evidence that you ran a child pornography ring and he'll give it to the police- and the news.

Good luck, now thank me for that house.

That's actually nicer than god, isn't it? I mean, eventually your prison term will be over, or you'll die in prison, but either way it's done. Hell is forever.

Now get down on your knees and thank god for this wonderful gift he's given you.

It's a Kinder, Gentler Hell

Not really, but it may seem that way for this post.

This is Bethany Patchin. If you're not familiar with her, in short, she was the poster child for chastity, courtship rather than dating and the quiverfull style of reproduction- for a while. At the age of 19 or 20, she wrote an article that become quite famous in certain circles stating that her first kiss would be at her wedding, with her husband. Then she wrote a book not long after her wedding condemning any kind of birth control, even natural family planning.

Then she had 4 children in 5 years.

Bethany experienced horrific post partum depression and in the end, she changed her mind. Publicly. She got help for her depression, got divorced, went back to college, started dating, and repudiated her former very public opinions on religion, dating, chastity, what have you.

I like Bethany. I admire people who are brave and strong enough to publicly say, "Hey, you know what? I was totally wrong. My bad!" So, I am not being rude to her in the following critique of her post on atheism. I am being kind because I like her, and because I can see her point of view.

Anyway, here's what I take very polite issue with:

Here's what I think about atheism. I don't really believe in it. I think that faith is never actually lost. I think it's there in everyone, like that "springtime is the work of winter, all the time" quote. We all have spring in our hearts. Every human throughout time has had it there. Some people were and are forced into a life of winter, some people choose it, but I think the undying spring is ALWAYS there. (I guess I'm a universalist now.)

Yes, I could spit fire about someone telling me where my faith is. (Nonexistent.) I could deride anyone telling me that not having faith is like eternal winter. (We both hate winter with the same passion.) I could condemn her for condescension and the arrogance of presuming to know exactly how I feel.

Or, I could think back to yesterday, to one part of a very long post about GAD and the worries it causes me to have:

What if I go blind? What if I go deaf? What if I can't work anymore? Am I being offensive to blind and deaf people by fearing this? Am I prejudiced against the disabled? I am an awful person.

It is condescending to say to a deaf person, "Oh, poor you, you don't get to hear things. That is clearly lesser than being able to hear things." That is offensive and awful.

It is not, however, awful and offensive to fear the unknown. I have never been deaf or blind. I fear it because I don't understand it, because I have never experienced it, because my knowledge is limited. I don't look down on deaf or blind people, nor do I think their experience of the world is less than mine. It is different. So is being Canadian or gay. It's a different life from mine, but so is yours. And, quite frankly, were I suddenly plunked down in your life, I'd be afraid. At first. Then I'd get used to it, figure out the rules and move on.

So here it is. Yes, there are people that have no faith at all. I am one of them. If I had faith, I assure you, I would know about it. I do not exist in a winter of the soul. I am not afraid. In fact, I am free. I have less fear than I did when I believed. My life is richer, more satisfying, more complete than I ever thought it could be.

Hi, I'm Faith, and I am entirely without faith, and I'm okay.

(Yes, yes, I know. I'd like to change it to Fleur. Still starts with an "f" and so much more appropriate to who I am.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Anxiety Went Up to 11*

So, yeah, I'm a great big hypocrite. Okay, being kind to myself, it's easier to see things in other people than in yourself.

Hi, I'm Faith, and I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Hi, I'm Faith and I have a mental illness.

Hi, I'm Faith and I actually decided to start treatment for mental illness, something I recommend to anyone and everyone, after years of totally toughing it out for no apparent reason. Hey, you! Go to a therapist, you'll feel great! What, me? No, no, I got this.

I don't know what it feels like for other people, but I can tell you that for me, it was very hard to recognize that I have a medical condition involving anxiety. Mostly because being poor tends to lead to anxiety. Being chronically ill tends to lead to anxiety. Working with a fucking maniac tends to lead to anxiety. And, I grew up with an unmedicated rapid cycling bipolar with narcissistic personality disorder. I've always been a bit anxious.

So, when people started to notice that I was anxious, cranky and withdrawing into myself, I had excuses. Of course I'm cranky, I never sleep. Of course I never sleep, I'm in pain. (And that is part of it, don't get me wrong.) Of course I'm anxious, I always need $100 worth of stuff and I never have an extra $5. It's totally reasonable to spend hours obsessing over the health of your 67 year old mother. Sure, she was fine the last time you saw her, but what if she goes blind? What if I go blind? What if I go deaf? What if I can't work anymore? Am I being offensive to blind and deaf people by fearing this? Am I prejudiced against the disabled? I am an awful person.

Of course I have to worry about appliances breaking, I can't afford to fix them. What if the oven breaks? We won't be able to prepare food. I'm on a special diet. I can't just eat anything. Of course I have to sit up at night and worry about money, I don't have any. No, I don't want to go to a party, I'm tired, I have a headache, I'm in a bad mood. Now everyone's going to hate me because I didn't go to the party. Now I can never go to parties again because then they'll think I hated the first person because I skipped their party.

No, I cannot relax for 5 seconds. I just can't. Seriously, could you relax if the above were the inside of your head- all the damn time?

The truth was, I couldn't relax. Ever. I was too wired up to eat and losing weight. I was too wrapped up in my worries to enjoy anything, not my dog, not my nieces, not video games, nothing. I couldn't read anything for more than a minute or two, my attention was fracturing and my short term memory was a total loss. I wasn't sleeping more than 3 or 4 hours a night. Online, I was okay, but in real life even familiar people were making me nervous.

Sleeping, or rather, trying to sleep, was such a torturous event that I considered trying to sleep on the floor because looking at my bed was making me physically cringe.

Yeah, at that point, you can't deny you have a problem.

Lyrica Reappears as the Hero of My Story

Remember Lyrica? That failed anti seizure medication that Pfizer created to replace Neurontin? Yeah, and then Pfizer marketed Lyrica as a pain medication, gussied up some fake studies, sent out their salesmen in full force and made life very difficult for pain patients who just weren't getting any pain relief from the fake pain drug. Then there was a class action lawsuit and doctors stopped prescribing Lyrica for pai-- what? Oh, that's right, no they didn't. I get prescribed Lyrica for pain every time I see my doctor. It's hilarious. I have a prescription right now for a year's supply, and at least 20 free sample bottles.

Anyway, I always remember Lyrica fondly. I couldn't figure out why. It didn't do shit for my pain and I wasted hundreds of dollars on it. Yet my memory of it is very positive.

Last night, I spent an hour talking to a very nice psychologist. She determined that I have GAD and we talked about treatment. I like the idea of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy** and totally nixed the idea of drug treatment. She thought I was just opposed to psychiatric drugs, some people are, then I explained that I've tried them for pain and the results range from extreme mood swings to violence to suicidal ideation. She suggested benzos (valium, xanax), I explained my rather unique reaction to that. Um, serious, overt, can't-be-out-in-public sexuality. Yeah, I'm weird***.

Then she says that in Europe, Lyrica is a standard treatment for GAD and all of a sudden, I understood why I remember Lyrica fondly. It didn't do jack for my pain, but it did calm me down. So, fuck it, I opened a sample bottle and took a pill last night.

And slept. Sort of. My dreams were like Inception as written by jabbering monkeys on a meth bender. One hyperrealistic frantically frantic dream "waking up" into another. By morning, I was really confused about reality, really dizzy and fuzzy headed. Which is exactly why I wouldn't pay $90 a month for Lyrica in the first place.

Until 10:00 am, when I was still dizzy and fuzzy headed- and friendly. I was saying "hi" to people. I was engaging in conversation. I wasn't holding off on making copies until the copy room was empty. Which was freaky weird, let me tell you. Somebody asked me how I was doing, and I enthusiastically replied, "good!" and meant it. Dizzy, fuzzy headed, questioning reality and good.

Brain chemistry is a weird thing.

Anyway, we'll see. If these side effects last, I won't last on Lyrica. I'd really hate to choose between relative calm and friendliness and not being dizzy and fuzzy, though. This is kinda fun. Being friendly and all. Hey, I haven't even considered being homeless in at least 2 hours. Neat.

*I hang out with a music engineer/producer. "Up to 11" never gets old with that crowd.

**I've actually been doing it to myself to some degree. It's pretty intuitive to my way of thinking, and a short course of treatment is intuitive to my budget.

***Or, once you completely remove the anxiety, I'm hypersexual to the extreme. Yeah, I may want to hold on to some of the anxiety.

The Devil Made Me Do It

[note: taking a new medication. feeling very . . . odd. having trouble writing, well finding words, really. more on that later.]

I am frustrated by the concept of god(s): it's illogical, irrational and, as evidenced by what's going on in the US lately, it stifles science and encourages bad government and bad behavior over all. "God says" becomes the easy, and impossible to argue, rationale for all beliefs, beliefs that, unsurprisingly, precisely mirror the speaker's own prejudices and desires. (See: All Republican action against women currently in the works.)

I am downright enraged by the concept of the devil, however. Satan is the externalization of the evil in all of us. I can be selfish. I can be greedy and jealous and just plain mean. I work hard, every day, to not be those things. Sometimes it's a struggle, but it's a deliberate choice I make, a choice to be the very best me I can be. Sometimes, the very best me isn't all that great, but I'm not blaming my bad choices and actions on someone else.

If I'm selfish or greedy or jealous or mean, I own it. (Not always willingly. I'm human.) That was me. I shouldn't have been that way, I shouldn't done that, that was wrong. And that was me. Nobody else. I'm sorry. I'll have to try harder next time.

Satan, though. With Satan around, who has to say they're sorry? No one. Who needs personal accountability when you have Satan to blame? That wasn't me being selfish, that was Satan attacking me. In fact, you should feel sorry for me. Yes, I called you a fat slut and told your husband some pretty vicious lies about you* and caused you all sorts of pain, but you should feel sorry for me, what with the Satan attacking me and all. Why aren't you feeling sorry for me?

Remember the vicious gang rape of the 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas? (If not, go to a doctor. Who could forget that?) Well, it turns out, it was Satan's fault.

Bertha Cleveland, an aunt of Mr. Cruse, said her nephew went to church regularly, held down a job at McDonald’s and had told her he intended to go to college. “Our younger generation is running rampant,” she said. “The devil is in full control.”

Oh, I see. You can't possibly commit rape if you went to church regularly. It must have been Satan. Rapists don't want to go to college, do they? Definitely Satan.

Guess what? I can wax rhapsodic about the rape culture, about othering, about prejudice and marginalization, and perhaps when my words come back to me, I will. Frankly, I enjoy writing about such things. However, in the end, the fault is with the rapist. He raped. Prejudice didn't reach down and force his penis into that child's vagina. That was him.

And it sure as fuck wasn't some mythological creature in charge of making us do horrible, evil things. We don't need the help.

*No, not really me. The first person just works better in this context. This is directly from a post at a Christian message board. Not making this up. She actually wondered why the victim of her jealous rage didn't feel sorry for her.

Monday, March 28, 2011

You Should Have Listened

This was the perfect
cure to my very bad mood. Who can be cranky with such snarkilicious fun to be had?

Tony sat on his sofa surfing away on the tube.....

Surfing the tube, huh?

Life is fast and ya gotta play hard ....that is his motto

Really? My motto is water is wet and ur gonna need a towel.

last night, he was clubbing and this morning he's paying...."4 ibuprofen's and a gatorade...he's got to fuel up and replenish because he's dehydrated from too much alcohol

I . . . I . . . where does the quote end? Is that a quote? I'm a little unsure. In all honesty 4 advils and a gatorade is just a normal morning for me.

head's a pounding, his stomach's turning and life's passing him by....that part he doesn't get

"head's a pounding"? why are you doing this to me? it hurts- my soul.

his cell phone's got ten messages ....."Tony, I just called to remind you of the INVITE" "hey Tony, hope you get a chance to come" "hey bro, heard Sandy Invited ya already, but just wanted to invite ya myself....hope to see ya there"

okay, look, i don't care how you pronounce "you", it is spelled y-o-u. that is one more letter than "ya", i think you can handle it. also, why does "invite" keep getting unnecessary capitals? is it perhaps the capitol of some nation i am unfamiliar with? RSVPia?

It's Easter Sunday....and Tony had been invited to his cousin's church....they are having this drama or some type of special service "for us heathens" Tony had thought

who thinks "for us heathens"? anyone? anyone? is anyone in america unaware that christian churches have special services on easter?

"I know what they are up to?" "I got their game all figured out"

"I'm not their token show pony"

WTF does that mean? "token show pony"? i . . . i . . . my soul, it is weeping.

his head throbs in pain.....

"if I needed God to get women or something I could understand" but he see's

"see's"?! that is an apostrophe, not a decoration!

three text from his newest entree's on his phone....

i can't decide what's bothering me more, the use of "entree" in this situation, or the repeated apostrophe abuse. apostrophes are not used to create plurals, in case you were confused. the "s" does that. the "s" does not need further help.

"hey stud...can't wait to hook up next week" "yo, Tony it's me from last night at Grumpy's....REMEMBER?" "thanks for the drinks, call me when your in my area...we will have to hook up ..ya know?"


Tony smiles in pride...."I hear ya ladies"..."so many women, and so little time"

i really dislike present tense writing.

SO LITTLE TIME.....boy did Tony have that right


flying through the channels ..crashed on his couch, he came to one channel where a man stood speaking to the camera

a news reporter? "flying" and "crashed"? this is the description of an aviation accident.

"Today is the day of salvation, Now is the appointed time, and maybe Last time you are EVER GOING TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY AGAIN" ....

Tony hit the mute and cursed..."shut the heck up dude" "I've heard that all my life, Jesus has been coming back for over 2,000 years....give it a rest"

he didn't change the channel?

His cell phone is text

elipses do not replace words. His cell phone is buzzing, he has a new text. now was that so hard?

"Tony, so sorry you missed us today, .....praying you can come next week"

"Praying for ya Tony, prayed all service cause I thought you said you would come" "75 people gave their lives to Jesus was awesome"


don't blame you, Tony.

as quick as they came....Tony deleted every mention of Jesus and Church, his family was a bunch of "holy rollers" and it was just not on his radar

he had world's to conquer...women to meet

comma, use a fucking comma!

but the last text to come across ....jarred him for a sec

A space! That's all that is necessary, a single space. "but the last text to come across jarred him for a secOND".

"Hey Tony, it's Lizzie, I heard you might be at Church my hopes up again but you didn't make it"

Tony slammed his cell phone shut.....Lizzie has always been his dream girl, but she dumped his butt when she gave her life to Jesus and Tony has resented Jesus ever since

um, sure, okay. Tony got cockblocked by Jesus. that's why we're all atheists. although, in my case, that would have to be a vagblock? Pussyblock? I'm not even sure.

all day long Tony ponders a reply, he hasn't hit delete to Lizzie's Message ..but it's not worth a reply

after a long nap.....his hangover "stealing time"

what does that mean? why is it in quotes? why is my brain outside of my skull, crawling away?

it's 10pm CST .....He turns his tv set back on.....BREAKING NEWS.......JUST MOMENTS AGO....911 call centers started receiving calls reporting hundreds and thousands of missing people

The Rapture occurs at 10pm CST? So, 11pm EST? Good to know.

Tony sat up from his place on his couch, His heart racing....."Tony, someday Jesus will Shout and Call His Church Home"..."and I don't want to miss out" "you can give Your Life to Jesus with Me or NOT but I'm going to be ready with or without you"

Lizzie's former plea... flashes in Tony's mind as he quickly picks up his cell phone and hits SEND ..calling Lizzie's number....NO ANSWER


Tony dials his brother and sister n law who had text him earlier to remind him of THE
INVITE........NO ANSWER....PANIC sets in....

JESUS Has come and those most closest to Tony are Gone....They Heard the Shout




Yeah, Tony, you have to take a shower before Jesus comes. Gatorade and Advil are not going to cut it.

Dispatches from Poverty

You know what the real advantage of having money is? Choices. When you have money, you have choices. You can choose where to live, where to work, what to wear, what doctor to go to, what to eat- really, the list is endless.

If you're poor, not so much. You live where you can afford, and of course it sucks. Sinks that don't work, toilets that don't flush, windows that don't close all the way when it's well below freezing- just another day in paradise. You eat what you can afford and of course it's not fresh fruit and low fat, delicious meals, but at least you're eating. You pretend your clothes fit well enough, that what's on your head is a style, and you don't even like going to movies.

As for work, well, count yourself lucky to get screamed at, count yourself lucky to have sick days taken away and dental coverage dropped and unpaid, mandatory overtime? At least you have a job.

I walked into work today at 8:26. That would be 34 minutes early, and only because the next bus would have me at work 10 minutes late. I heard the screaming before I opened the door. My boss agreed to an 8:30 Monday morning deadline to sign a release. The release was sent to the aol account we still maintain (don't ask me) Friday at 6:00pm. I leave at 5. My boss does not know how to use a computer. I'm not supposed to be in until 9am. And he agrees to an 8:30 Monday morning deadline.

That's my fault, btw.

After enduring an abusive tirade- at 8:30 on a Monday morning after 3.5 hours of sleep- I was informed that I have to be in at 8:30 every morning. I will not be paid for the extra half an hour of work. I do get paid hourly, and if I show up a half hour late, it is deducted from my check.

That's right, I now get to work 2.5 hours of unpaid overtime. Every week.

"Oh, you should sue" is something I expect to see in the comments. I will laugh at your naïveté in advance: HAHAHAHHAAHAHA!

Sure, I could sue. It is illegal to make people work unpaid overtime. And what will I do for money while I'm suing? I can tell you this right now, if I sue my boss, I'm never getting hired as a legal secretary again. I'd be lucky to work at McDonalds after that.

I'll stay. I'll take it. I'll count myself lucky not to be unemployed in this economy. Because that's what you do when you're poor. You pretend that misfortune is luck and abuse is acceptable. Really, is it any wonder religious belief is more prevalent among the poor?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Was That Really Necessary?

[trigger warning: weight in general, fat shaming. please enjoy this utterly trigger-free otter instead.]

Look, I love a good adjective. (I love a good adverb even more. Actually.) Language would be boring and grey without them. However, there is a point at which you need to put down the thesaurus and think about what you're saying, how you're saying it and whom your saying it to.

Given the First Lady's campaign against childhood obesity, this could have been an interesting article about how parents need to be educated, considering that parents are apparently unable to objectively view their childrens' weight. (Hardly surprising, but important to the discussion.)

Instead, the article becomes an interesting view of someone's thesaurus.

Let me preface this by saying that we have fairly nonjudgmental words for what is being discussed here: overweight, meaning "having a a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9", and obese, meaning "having a BMI of 30 or higher". Those are medical terms, people. We should strive to use them when appropriate.

What we should not strive to use are:

82 percent of the mammoth mommies underestimated their weight when looking at the silhouettes; 42.5 percent of overweight women did the same. About 13 percent of normal-weight women thought of themselves as thinner than they were.

• 86 percent of the corpulent kiddies underestimated their weight, compared with 15 percent of normal-weight kids.

"Mammoth mommies"? "Corpulent kiddies"? I understand it's alliterative, but really? That was fucking necessary? You asshat.

• 47.5 percents of moms with fat kids thought their children were at a healthy weight.

• 41 percent of the children thought their moms could lay off the donuts and lose weight.

"Fat kids"? Was "obese" taken? "Lay off the donuts"? Really, that's how it was phrased in the survey?

Fuck you. That was unnecessary, unkind and unprofessional.

As America gets fatter, people could get a warped attitude toward their fattitude, lead researcher Nicole Dumas, an internal medicine resident at Columbia, tells USA Today.

Fattitude? FattiFUCKINGtude?

Maybe next, Tom Henderson* can do an article on why he's so stupid, because 100% of me agrees he should be dropped in a box with 1,000 irritated scorpions- and a bird spider.

*When I went to add the Tom Henderson tag, I found I already had one. For good reason. He's the idjit who thought 9 year old girls might be having consensual sex with adults.

Friday, March 25, 2011

This Blog Goes Up to 11*

And this is how I feel about today.

*Totally unrelated, I know, but why should I wait for an appropriate moment to use a title that awesome?

Girl Genius Discussion Friday - 3-25

(reposted for noobs) From now on, Friday morning will be Girl Genius discussion day here in Hell. Girl Genius updates Monday,Wednesday and Friday, so we can discuss the preceding week, and Girl Genius in general, on Friday.

I highly recommend that anyone not currently enjoying Girl Genius to give it a chance. It's a great story, the art is superb, and the characters are interesting and varied. There is romance, adventure, mad science! and so much to explore with its 10 year backlog. And, according to the authors, we're about halfway through at this point, so there's more to come. So give it a try and stop by on Fridays to share what you've enjoyed so far, ask questions and join in the fun!

This week, the Jägergenerals prepare to do what Jägermonsters do best, we finally met the impertinent mechanical squid, and Gilgamesh gets serious.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oh, C'mon Now, Who Are You Trying to Fool?

You wanna mess up your kids? Tell them every stray thought will land them in hell and then show them the works of Heironymous Bosch.


Once upon a time, sin was a big deal to me. I was convinced, utterly convinced, that every little sin was sending me to Hell. I absolutely, sincerely convinced that Satan watched everyone at all times and listened to our thoughts and that any stray thought or negative emotion of any kind- no matter how fleeting- could land me in Hell. Immediately.

I was nine.

Yes, my childhood was a happy one. Ever try not thinking about Satan? Good luck with that.

Ever try not feeling angry about anything ever? Better luck with that one.

Keep in mind, that's not unusual Christian theology. Plenty of Christians belief that even feeling slightly angry at someone else is the same as murder. (coughRayComfortcough) Even more feel that finding a woman vaguely attractive is exactly the same as a gangbang with five hermaphrodite hookers, a goat and a pineapple- and it's all the woman's fault, btw.

Now, I know this guy comes from the Ray Comfort school of "ever been angry? enjoy hell, sucka!" school of theology, which is why I find this post a little bit . . . disingenuous.

The following comes from page 1951 in the John MacMarthur Bible Commentary and addresses the fact that born again believers do not habitually sin.

Why Christians Won't Habitually Sin

This passage begins with the phrase "Whoever commits sin" (v. 4). Commits translates a Greek verb that conveys the idea of habitual practice. Although genuine Christians have a sin nature (1 John 1:8) and do behave sinfully, their confession of sin (1 John 1:9; 2:1) and acceptance of forgiveness prevent sin from becoming the unbroken pattern of their lives (John 8:31, 34-36;Romans 6:11; 2 John 1:9). God builds a certain growing awareness about sin that provides four effective reasons why true Christians cannot habitually practice sin:

1. Genuine Christians cannot practice sin because sin is incompatible with the law of God, which they love (1 John 3:4; Psalm 119:34, 77, 97; Romans 7:12, 22); whereas habitual sin betrays the ultimate sense of rebellion - living as if there were no law or ignoring what laws exist (James 4:17) - in short, lawlessness.

2. Genuine Christians cannot practice sin because sin is incompatible with the work of Christ (1 John 3:5). Christ died to sanctify (make holy) the believer (2 Corinthians 5:21;Ephesians 5:25-27). Habitual sin contradicts Christ's work of breaking the dominion of sin in the believer's life (Romans 6:1-15).

3. Genuine Christians cannot practice sin because Christ came to destroy the works of the arch-sinner, Satan (1 John 3:8). The devil is still operating, but he has been defeated, and in Christ we escape his tyranny. The day will come when all of Satan's activity will cease in the universe, and he will be sent to hell forever (Revelation 20:10).

4. Genuine Christians cannot practice sin because sin is incompatible with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who has imparted a new nature to the believer (1 John 3:9; John 3:5-8). This new nature shuns sin and exhibits the habitual character of righteousness produced by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24).

So, who sins? Everyone. Who doesn't lie, who doesn't get angry, who doesn't feel lustful? Surely some of the people who claim to be Christians must actually be Christians, and I've never noticed a difference in behavior between Christians and nonChristians, have you? Christians have a higher divorce rate, there are more Christians in prison and the more religious a country is, the more crime it has. Christians sin, just like the rest of us.

What this is, really, is a No True Scotsman and a Guilt Complex. This allows you to say, "But they're not really Christians" any time I point to a clearly sinning Christian, "real Christians don't sin!" Sure. Unless conversion is actually being replaced with a pod person, yes, Christians sin like the rest of us.

[Note: before you go all apeshit in the comments section, follow the link, see why that is a logical fallacy and not acceptable in argumentation and DON'T USE IT.]

The Guilt Complex of this is a little more subtle. It explains the constant rerererererededicating their lives to Jesus that so many Christians engage in. You'd think once or twice or three times would be enough, but no, they're dedicating their lives to Jesus on a weekly basis. How many times does it take, really? 58,000 apparently. I can tell you what the internal struggle is, because I've lived it.

Christian: Oh, not again!

Atheist: What?

Christian: I keep sinning. I'm not really a Christian!

Atheist: You believe in Jesus, right? You accept him as your Lord and Savior, right? Sure you're Christian. Fairly obnoxious about it, actually.

Christian: No, no, no! I can't be a Christian, I keep sinning!

Atheist: Sinning how?

Christian: I keep finding women other than my wife attractive!

Atheist: Srsly?

Christian: How did you say that without vowels? Never mind, yes, it's sinning! It's adultery!

Atheist: Dude, finding an attractive woman attractive is no big deal. You're not fucking them, are you?

Christian: NO!

Atheist: Yeah, you'll be fine.

Christian: No, I won't be fine. I need to become a Christian, or I'll burn forever in hell when I die! I could die at any moment! Please, God, save me!

Atheist: Um, yeah, well, call me when you're done with that.

These poor people, they're absolutely tormented. Tormented by assholes who tell them, over and over again, that being human is proof of their worthiness for eternal torment. It's sick.

Insert Clever Title Here (Snarking on Stupidity- I've Run Out of Titles)

Miss Raissa is awesome! She's like Ray Comfort without the smarm. (Really, I think she's serious, which makes it all the more hilarious. Ray I have my doubts about.)

This is from a long post about Adam and Eve and the apple* and why women should not be equal to men:

have spoken with extreme feminists, who fight daily to create equality between men and women. One day I asked them this question: Why is it that you want to be equal to men but you don’t believe a man should hit a woman? They were incapable of answering my question accordingly.

Really? They were incapable of coming up with an answer to that question? Are you sure "incapable" is the word you are looking for? Because the answer to that question is easy: violence is unacceptable behavior in general, and is especially unacceptable in relationships of any kind. No one should be hitting anyone, male or female. Ever. For any reason. Violence's only purpose is to promote fear and pain, there is no place for that in relationships. Fin.

I cannot wait for this:

There is so much left to talk about. We shall cover the rest in part two the report. I mentioned the other day that a woman’s fuel is love and a man’s fuel is respect. Women want to be loved and men want to be respected. A few people disagreed with my statement and asked that I do a scientific poll. I will do that and will report it in part two.

Can you imagine what Miss Raissa's concept of "scientific" is in this context? I am squealing with joy!

I will leave you with a classic from Hell:

See, Yhwh put a tree in the center of the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Actually, it was two trees. He also put the Tree of Life in the center of Garden of Eden. Now, being omnipotent, if he didn't want anyone to eat of the fruit of either of those Trees, he could have put them outside of the Garden of Eden, or put them on top of a mountain, or put a fence around them, but no, he just leaves the Trees right there where anyone can get at them.

Then, Yhwh puts two people, two completely innocent people, who have been alive all of one day, who have no concept of right or wrong, who have never seen or heard of death, in the Garden with the Trees. The Trees he didn't want these two people to touch. Then he told them they would die if they ate the fruit.

Did I mention Yhwh is supposed to be omniscient?

Yhwh: You can eat anything you want, but don't eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Eve: Why not?

Yhwh: Because I'll fjwuieruthf you if you do.

Adam: What?

Yhwh: I will fjwuieruthf you if you eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

*Adam and Eve look at one another*

Eve: Ummm . . . what's fjwuieruthf?

Yhwh: You know, I'll fjwuieruthf you if you do it.

Eve (to Adam): You've been around twice as long as me, what's fjwuieruthf?

Adam (shrugs): I dunno. Maybe it's one of those furry things I haven't named yet?

Yhwh: Look, you eat that fruit and I'll fjwuieruthf you! End of discussion.

Eve: That fruit looks pretty tasty. What do you call it again?

Adam: Snorg.

Eve: Snorg? Really? Are you sure you don't like apple better?

Adam: What's wrong with snorg?

Eve: I let you have platypus.

Adam: I guess apple's okay.

Eve: Well, that apple looks pretty tasty, and we don't know that fjwuieruthf is bad. Maybe it's not bad at all.

Yhwh: I can assure you that fjwuieruthf is very bad. Very, very bad.

Adam: Yeah, but what is it?

Eve: Maybe you could fjwuieruthf something else in the Garden and then we could decide if fjwuieruthf is bad enough to make us not try the apple.

Yhwh: I can't fjwuieruthf anything! This is the Garden of Eden, nothing ever fjwuieruthfs!

Adam: So, wait, will you or won't you fjwuieruthf us? We're in the Garden. Why can we be fjwuieruthfed?

Eve: Screw this, I'm eating the apple.

*Not really an apple, actually, "apple" at the time of the King James translation was a generic term for fruit.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Speak Only In Certainties (Because I Know Everything)

(note: I took Zofran shortly after getting in to work because I was really nauseated. Normally, I get nauseated at night, take Zofran and go to bed, so I never realized that Zofran makes me incredibly tired. As in, I think I fell asleep for a few minutes between writing "as in" and "I think", but I'm not sure. My day has been very dadaist as a result, as may this post be. Or something. We'll see. It's like an adventure we're taking together!)

Hmmm . . . where was I? Oh, yeah, I found a new atheist bashing fundy! Yeah! There's nothing quite like the feel of something new, now is there? (And now I'm quoting obscure NIN songs.) She's hilarious, because, well, you'll see.

It’s beyond obvious that atheism is a lie that was created by rebels who felt they were superior to God. I have spent quite some time studying atheism and I have learned quite a few things. First and foremost atheism is simply willful rebellion against God. After speaking to quite a few atheists I have come to conclusion that the majority of them always sound very angry, although they claim their anger is not directed towards God, I have every reason to believe otherwise.

Okay, by "studying atheism" and "speaking to quite a few atheists" she means "I've been prodding atheists on twitter until they get angry and then publicly wondering why atheists are such cranky people. In fact, that's how I found her. I follow a number of atheists myself on twitter, and got very curious when one atheist who is normally very even tempered exploded all over twitter. Once I could see both sides of the conversation, well, I'm not sure His Holiness the Dalai Lama would be able to keep his cool- and he has the Saffron Robes of +25 Calm.

PF's Rule no. 5: If every person of a certain group you meet is angry, it's not them. It's you.

Now I would like to expatiate regarding a certain man called Charles Darwin, who is known as the founder of the “theory” of evolution. It has come to my attention that many believe that Darwin was an atheist when in fact he was a Christian man who came from a highly religious family. During his adulthood be began to question certain Christian concepts, which eventually weakened his faith. During that period of time he proposed the theory of evolution, and ever since then atheists have used it against Christianity. Darwin himself was never an enemy of the Christian faith neither did he propose his theory to destroy the Christian faith or discredit it. It’s those who hated the Christian faith who deliberately used his theory to advance their agendas.

Expatiate: to enlarge (on a theme, topic, etc.) at length or in detail; elaborate (on). The above is not expatiation. It is amusing. That explanation of Darwin and his theory is like explaining the history of the United States thusly (the voice in my head is saying all this as a Valley Girl): There was this country, Britain, and they had an empire and the US was part of it. And then the US people got all upset about tea and stamps so they said, "Hey, we're a country now!" and now we're the United States of America.

Technically, none of that is untrue. It's oversimplified and told from a really weird perspective, but it's not untrue- just like Miss Raissa's explanation of Darwin's life and theory.

As yourself this: does it matter what Darwin believed in? Does the Theory of Evolution change if Darwin was a Buddhist or a Muslim or a Jew? Is this relevant at all? The answer is no. Science is independent of belief. Scientists can go home and worship their dogs, it doesn't change science.

I have also noticed that atheists claim to be moral but how is that possible if they do not believe in God, considering the fact that morality comes from God. I have spoken to many atheists who claim morality does not come from God, stating it comes from society. Now allow me to ask these questions; how did human beings know the difference between right and wrong? Who taught human beings that murder, stealing, lying, adultery, were wrong? Who set the standards for morality if not God? After examining all these questions I came to conclusion that it’s impossible to be moral without God.
No, she does not provide any explanation for why she came to that conclusion. (And yes, that is the very next paragraph after the Darwin paragraph.) She provides no studies, surveys or proof of any kind that either atheists are immoral or that belief in a certain god is necessary to be moral. I can only conclude one of two things: (1) morality is utterly meaningless, in that moral and immoral people behave exactly the same way, or (2) Miss Raissa has no fucking idea what she's talking about. I'll go with option 2, although option 1 may have some merit*.

I, however, am not merely pulling pleasing bullshit out of my ass. Atheists get divorced less than religious people do, the more religious a country is, the higher the crime rate, atheists are a much smaller portion of the prison population, etc. The only way we have to measure morality is through actions. I can say I'm moral, but if I steal from people to fund my Alaskan cruise, clearly I am not moral. Miss Raissa is doing what so many other Christians do: redefining words that already have generally accepted meanings. She has redefined "moral" to mean: believes in my particular view of god and "immoral" to mean does not believe in my particular view of god.

I just can't say it enough: words have meanings. We need to stick with those meanings, otherwise we're left with contrail drink dancing gutter napkin already. We can't have that. If you need a new word, make one up. Or, go see if the Germans have one. They have a word for just about everything. Did you know they have a word for "a face badly in need of a fist"? Seriously, the Germans probably have you covered.

Let’s move forward to abortion, I have spoken to many atheists regarding this issue and I was shocked to see how they speak of the fetus as if it were a parasite. Abortion is clearly immoral but in the eyes of atheists the fetus is not a human being thus making the removal of the fetus acceptable. Atheists claim religion is responsible for the majority of deaths and violence the world has experienced over the years but isn’t abortion which is also known as “the atheist holocaust” responsible of the death of millions of defenseless children. Atheists are doing everything they can to destroy religion claiming it causes unnecessary deaths and violence, yet they support abortion which kills defenseless children. This sounds very hypocritical if you ask me.

Oh, I see. Anything Miss Raissa believes is the unvarnished truth, do not question it. There is nothing about which she is wrong and no other opinions could possible be valid. In fact, nobody else actually holds any differing opinions, they're simply being difficult about it for no real reason. Okay then. Glad we sorted that out.

I can't imagine why anyone gets frustrated talking to her. It's outrageous!

*Sociopathy is a little more common than you might think, or feel comfortable with. A certain percentage of sociopaths channel their sociopathy into societally acceptable goals and actions and are indistinguishable from people with empathy and consciences. They behave out of a desire to fit in and avoid punishment, which means that option 1 above may actually be true to an extent, not that I really want to think too much about that.
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