December 31, 2014

Let’s Go 2014

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Going Places, Personal — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

Well, that was something. Another year gone. Time for another recap!

January: Viewer Discretion Is Advised

-Better change my address after lots of laziness.
-Ooh, possible job. All the way in Frederick, though.
-Mmmm, almond cookies.
-Why does Downton Abbey have a viewer discretion warning? There’s never anything racy or violent in it…
-Oh. That’s their way of saying “trigger warning” I guess.
-Cat ran away! :(
-Volunteering at WES. Because unemployed and bored.
-I made chili! :D

February: Backwards N Thing

-Making chili and guacamole and cookies for Superbowl.
-Prep ran long. Did I miss kickoff?
-Aww, I missed a safety?!
-Winter Olympics in Sochi!
-Ooh, US women’s hockey is about to take Gold against Canada…
-FUUUUUUU- They remembered they’re from a country whose capital is Washington DC. :irked:
-Didn’t get other suggested job, but got interview for another one with same company but much closer location!
-And I got it!!! :D

March: 37 Cents Per Ounce

-Ski night!
-French brunch thing.
-New job!
-So many trainings and SOPs to read.
-Lego Movie!
-More snow!

April: Existentialism

-Huh. The lab doors unlock each other.
-Brookside on Easter Sunday!
-Philosophy discussion lunch. Followed by fajita dinner. Fun day!
-Hendrik and Sasha visiting DC! :D

May: Next Door

-I shouldn’t have said that.
-Where’s my birthday cake? Everyone else got a birthday cake.
-Oh, I finally got it a couple weeks later. Okay.
-Trip to New York sounds great… just not with my family. :irked:
-Wow, hotel room right above World Trade Center site.
-Good thing I came. My family couldn’t steer themselves around this city for anything. :roll:
-Holy crap, this sauce is spicy!

June: Councilmanic

-Netflix!
-Kingdom Hearts!
-What do you mean my voting registration address wasn’t changed with my address change? They said it was!
-I hate provisional ballots. They’re as good as not voting at all. :irked:
-World Cup!

July: This Fruit Salad Is Spicy

-Fruit salad has no business being spicy
-Dinner with Pam!!!
-How to Train Your Dragon 2!
-I think I’ll go to… Ugh, it’s too hot to drive anywhere. Stuck in so much traffic.
-Memorial service for dad’s aunt with lots of distant relatives I never see.

August: Red Trail

-Welp, I’ve gotten myself addicted to GeoGuessr again.
-Smithsonian with little brother
-Every Simpsons ever!
-Nats game! :D
-Finally successfully went to Calvert Cliffs for Day 100.

September: Photospheres

-Mmmm, Middle Eastern Bazaar…
-Perfect 25000 score in GeoGuessr!
-To Baltimore with little brother! To Aquarium and other stuff!

October: Wild Pitch

-Nats are in playoffs!
-And lost badly. Sigh. :irked:
-Winter Festival rehearsal time!
-There’s a trick-or-treater dressed up as the Eleventh Doctor!

November: Windmill

-Sugarloaf climb!
-Auction night! I’m a devil! :D
-A drunk devil.
-Big Hero 6! I’ve seen a lot of movies this year.
-Wait, why aren’t they playing Christmas Canon much in the Christmas music lineup this year? :irked:
-Almond cookies! Trying to get it just right.

December: Give Us Hope

-Shoulder hurts.
-Holiday potluck at work. I think I’ll make hummus.
-I put a lot of chopped parsley into the hummus. Now it’s green. It looks like guacamole.
-Got to bake lots of cookies for Cookie Walk!
-And dress rehearsal.
-And Washington Ethical Society’s Winter Festival. I’m Pandora! And my little brother’s a prince!
-And I get to pull the Hope banner!
-Cookie Walk! There are my cookies! :D
-Trans-Siberian Orchestra! Damn, Verizon Center is packed!
-Dinner with Victoria!
-Time for Christmas shopping. Oy.
-Running around at work giving Christmas chocolate to coworkers!
-And finally… Christmas Eve. And Day.
-For New Year’s Eve, saw Mockingjay in movie theater.
-And now I’ve posted an entry every day in December!

With 2014 about to be in the books, it leaves a few things dangling. Though I suppose every year should, what with the arbitrary nature of when we determine when a year ends and a new one begins. The next year could prove very quickly to be great or another let-down. I guess, of course, that remains to be seen. We’ll see if I have more to say this time next year. Or at least something more interesting.

We’ll see.

Happy New Year!

December 30, 2014

Leelah Alcorn

What happened to Leelah Alcorn is tragic and infuriating.

She was transgender but stuck with super fundamentalist religious parents who told her that she’s really a boy and that she’s going through a phase. When she wouldn’t relent in wanting to transition, her parents pulled her out of school and removed her from social media and friends, completely isolating her for months. Finally, after leaving her suicide note on Tumblr, she committed suicide.

Why didn’t her parents accept her? Because she brought shame to them. Because they wanted to maintain for themselves an image of Good Christians. In their minds, she stood in the way of that. In their minds, she had to be removed.

So they did. They removed her from school and from public pretty much. They tortured her with religious pseudo-therapy. Did they think they would “cure” her? Or keep her out of “sin” long enough for her to outgrow this supposed phase?

Any way you look at it, they wanted Leelah gone. They might have preferred that she simply stopped being LGBT or maybe not. They wanted everything that Leelah was to be gone, out of their life, out of sight, so that she would no longer sully their image, their honor.

So now that she’s dead… problem solved! It may be more extreme than her parents intended, or maybe not. They saw her as a problem that needed to be removed, so she removed herself for them. In fact, given the treatment of her leading up to it, clearly this is exactly what they were hoping would happen.

They couldn’t kill her themselves without going to prison or – gasp! – tarnishing their image as Good Christians, so they drove her to do it herself, not only to keep their hands clean but to ensure, in their minds, that she goes to hell where she belongs. They wanted an honor killing, and they got one.

And, as a youth rights supporter, I must ask the very important question here. Why in the hell were her parents even able to put her through all this shit in the first place? She should have been able to transition whether they wanted her to or not. She should have been able to stay in school and stay in contact with everyone regardless of how her stupid parents feel about her. She should still be fucking ALIVE and happy!

But they had power over all of this. Because just like they cared more for their image than her life, our society cares more about their “parental right” to control her (even to death) than for her life. And that right there speaks volumes.

December 29, 2014

Tyson the Christmas Troll

On Christmas Day, Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted the following:

On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642

Hehehe. Cute. I shared it. Why not? :)

Then, as I should have expected, a bunch of idiots complained that this was offensive to Christians. Tyson tweeted a bunch of tweets on Christmas, all of them a little snarky, yet somehow this is the one that pissed people off so much.

How the hell is this even news? Is anyone that surprised?

Well, actually, I’m a little surprised. This Newton tweet was just a clever play on words. I can’t even find anything in it that would even be offensive to Christians.

If anything, it’s some of the other tweets they should take issue with. Like this one:

Merry Christmas to all. A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA).

Two problems with this one.

One, Pagan IS Religious. It’s so often that the non-religious calling out Christian hypocrisies talk about paganism as if it’s some other thing entirely, forgetting that pagans are also religious, just not members of an Abrahamic religion. This sort of statement implies that only the Abrahamic religions are truly considered “religions” and that those that aren’t are just something else. Which is, needless to say, rather disrespectful and othering.

Two, yeah, the USA is not even close to the only country that spent the past month in a shopping frenzy. Come the fuck on! :lol:

But aside from that, well played, Tyson. Well played.

December 28, 2014

In a Nutshell

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Inside the Fortress — Katrina @ 9:56 pm

Youth need rights.

Ageism is bad.

I love Christmas!

I mostly love Christmas music.

Harry Potter is awesome!

People are stupid about religion.

People are stupider about politics.

People are especially stupid about love.

Everyone else does things weird.

Food is yummy.

Unless it’s cheese. Fuck cheese.

Minesweeper rules.

Disney movies give us a lot to ponder.

Go Redskins!

Dallas sucks.

That about sums up the past nine years.

Happy 9th Anniversary, Eight Mine Fortress! :D

December 27, 2014

Reproachable Rights

Filed under: Assorted Politics, Christmas Time!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:43 pm

(I wanted to call this “Right Doesn’t Make Right” but I already used that title for another post eight years ago. Oh, well!)

I’ve mentioned before that merely having the right to say something doesn’t mean you can’t be criticized for saying said thing. Yet so often when someone says something completely abhorrent or just stupid, and they get called on it, they come back with “Hey, free speech! I have a right to say it!”

No shit, you have a right to say it, dumbass! Nobody is saying otherwise. It’s not an attempt at censorship. It’s a reply. Replying is – gasp! – also free speech!

Seriously, a friend of mine shared a screen cap on Facebook recently of a conversation with an acquaintance, in which said acquaintance posted some racist article, and my friend asked why they’d post such an article, and the person literally came back with simply “Free speech.” My friend asked again, and the person gave no other answer.

As it often does, xkcd covered this one nicely.

This goes beyond speech, though. Sometimes those defending the right to something seem to act like any and all use of said right is okay or even heroic.

You see this with gun rights, where there’s a nasty shooting, and the problem is not that the shooter had a gun, but that everyone else didn’t. :roll:

You see it with abortion rights, too. Pretending every woman who has an abortion is a hero. Barely a word against those who abort because of the baby’s sex or (compatible with life) disability. Yes, you can support abortion rights and still say sex-selective or disability abortions are really shitty. Even in general, you can support abortion rights without necessarily even believing abortion is a good thing.

It’s an important distinction to make. Believing something to be wrong and believing something should be illegal are and should be very different things. It’s the difference between believing someone shouldn’t do something and believing said someone should be arrested/imprisoned/have their life ruined over it.

Imagine how much better the world would be if this distinction were more widely recognized!

December 26, 2014

Not a Christian Holiday

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Decrees!, The Occasional Godliness, What the hell? — Katrina @ 6:35 pm

I hereby decree…

Christmas is not a Christian holiday.

Well, it’s not.

Yeah, “Christ” is right there in the name, and I find switching the name “Christmas” out with “Solstice” or “Yule” to be really fucking obnoxious. But Christmas is not a Christian holiday. And it shouldn’t be.

There are Christian aspects of it, and that’s how it got its name (in certain languages anyway). There’s the nativity story and the midnight masses. But that’s about it. And that’s far from all there is to the holiday.

I see people getting all up in arms, that they feel being wished a Merry Christmas somehow excludes them because they are not Christian. Which is fucking stupid. Christmas is not a religious holiday. It’s a holiday of lots of stories and symbols of varying degrees of association to the winter solstice. It’s everything this very awesome Cracked article talks about.

What do we do for Christmas? It varies. I go to the late night Christmas Eve church service, but that’s about the extent of any explicitly Christian activities for the holiday. Other than the Christmas carols whose subject is the nativity, but those are just telling stories, right alongside the other songs telling about glowing fog-light noses or sentient snowmen or a man playing the cello while Sarajevo gets bombed. Other than that, it’s a lot of twinkling lights, fuzzy garland, sparkly pine trees, candy and cookies, and of course gift exchange. Much of it is derived from other religions’ winter solstice traditions, but other than that, there’s nothing Christian or otherwise religious here (well, unless you want there to be, but it’s up to the individual on that one). Some aspects are specific to certain cultures or regions, but as a whole, it’s just a worldwide human thing.

So that’s why I don’t get why people think they’re being excluded. They’re human and part of the world, aren’t they?

December 25, 2014

С Рождеством!

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Personal — Katrina @ 9:25 pm

Oh, have I run out of Roman alphabet languages already? Er, no, there’s a few more. Next year, next year…

Well, nothing all that unusual about this Christmas. Same stuff. Work early on Christmas Eve, which was cool, not because I had to work but because I actually have a job at Christmas time for the first time in three years. Then cookie baking. Then putting up with family. Then church and Silent Night. Then wrapping presents. Then finally in bed at almost 6am, having been awake nearly 22 hours.

Anyway, it’s Christmas Day. Today is for joy. For love. For peace. For hope. For generosity.

We’re a bunch of assholes to each other much of the year, in many ways. But for this day, let’s just try not to be. Let’s at least be the peace we want the world to be. Let’s put kindness and understanding first. Let’s forgive and be together and be happy. Let’s put aside differences and annoyances. Even if just for this day. So that even when we go back to our normal rotten selves, we’ve at least had a taste of what could be. So we know it’s possible, at least in theory, at least in small doses.

Or, well, that would surely be nice. Anyway, I’m stuck with my family today. Excuse me while I get back into the fray. *cocks shotgun*

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2014

See What the Time’s Done

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Musical Musing — Katrina @ 5:08 pm

Children sleeping
Snow is softly falling
Dreams are calling
Like bells in the distance.

We were dreamers
Not so long ago
But one by one
We all had to grow up.

When it seems the magic’s slipped away
We find it all again on Christmas Day!

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste
There’s so much to celebrate.

Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe.

Trains move quickly
To their journey’s end
Destinations
Are where we begin again.

Ships go sailing
Far across the sea
Trusting starlight
To get where they need to be

When it seems that we have lost our way
We find ourselves again on Christmas Day!

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste
There’s so much to celebrate.

Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe.
If you just believe.
If you just believe.
If you just believe.
Just believe.
Just believe.

(song by Josh Groban, obviously)

December 23, 2014

Three Ships Too Far

Yay, Christmas songs are fun! :D

I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day in the morning.

The Virgin Mary and Christ were there
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
The Virgin Mary and Christ were there
On Christmas Day in the mor-

*massive earthquake*

*reality itself seems to split at the seams*

Whoa! What’s happening?

“OVERLOAD! OVERLOAD!”

Huh? What? What’s overloaded?

“THERE IS TOO MUCH SHIT IN THE NATIVITY SCENE!”

There is? How so?

“HOW SO?! THINK ABOUT IT. IT’S FAR BEYOND JUST MARY, JOSEPH, JESUS, AND THE STAR. THERE ARE SHEPHERDS. THERE ARE THREE WISE MEN. THERE ARE A CRAPLOAD OF FARM ANIMALS. THERE’S THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY. AND NOW… FUCKING SHIPS!”

I didn’t write that song. I was just singing it. Besides, what’s wrong with ships?

“THERE ARE NO BODIES OF WATER CLOSE ENOUGH TO BETHLEHEM FOR SHIPS TO MAKE ANY DAMN SENSE!”

What if they’re flying ships?

“WHY THE FUCK WOULD THERE BE FLYING SHIPS? HONESTLY!”

For the same reason there’s a baby born from a virgin impregnated by God, under a conveniently placed star. Why the hell not flying ships?

“ONE SUPERNATURAL THING AT A TIME!”

Speaking of supernatural, what the hell are you supposed to be?

“NEVER YOU MIND.”

How about repairing reality? Whatever you are, you sure pitch a fit when the nativity scene gets out of whack. Wait, does this mean you’re…?

“EVERYTHING NORMAL!”

*reality restores itself*

Huh. That was weird.

December 22, 2014

Rondo alla Builders and Bashers

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Musical Musing, Personal — Katrina @ 11:45 pm

One of my favorite pieces of classical music is Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca”. Believe me, you know the piece even if you don’t know the name. Go find it on YouTube, listen to the first three seconds, and be all “oh yeah, this one!”

Told you!

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes. So, like I said, this has always been one of my favorite classical pieces. Just a few years ago, I finally taught myself to play it on the piano, though not very well. It’s a lot of fast parts and unnatural stretching of the hands for some monstrous chords! But I more or less got it down and have thus achieved a goal I’ve had a long time. Yay!

So how did this piece of music come to my attention? Did I hear it on a classical radio station at a special time that it stuck with me? Did I see or hear someone perform it at an event I attended?

Nope.

It’s one of the background music tracks in Lemmings. :P

Seriously.

How I found what would become one of my favorites was hearing it repeatedly while trying to steer some adorable little blue-green idiots through a bunch of violent obstacles.

Here, give it a listen. It’s the first level here, Fun 11, and the first level in which it plays.

So, yeah, that’s some serious rocking out there. :cute:

But, no, it’s not weird. This sort of thing is why the music from Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda is so popular and beloved. Because we all spent so much time listening to it while working our way through these games that the sounds grew on us.

And, hey, I got lucky in that the Lemmings background track that caught my attention was one that was already a real piece of music and not one of the created-for-the-game tunes as several of the others are.

On a related note, all the above having taken place like literally 20 years ago, it was only a year and a half ago that I learned that one of the other Lemmings tracks is a modified version of Pachelbel’s Canon.

December 21, 2014

Background Music

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Musical Musing, Think About It! — Katrina @ 11:48 pm

You know what’s fun about listening to Christmas music? Well, a lot of things.

One thing is that it makes everything you do seem like it’s part of your very own Christmas special. That mundane actions suddenly become festive.

Filing paperwork? Meh. Filing paperwork with “Sleigh Ride” in the background? Festive!

Driving to the grocery store? Meh. Driving to the grocery store with “Jingle Bell Rock” in the background? Festive!

Stuck in traffic while in a hurry? Meh. Stuck in traffic while in a hurry with “Carol of the Bells” in the background? Festive!

Sitting around eating cookies? Delicious. Sitting around eating cookies with “Holly Jolly Christmas” in the background? Still delicious. And festive.

December 20, 2014

Lack of Remorse

Filed under: Assorted Politics, Christmas Time!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 3:44 pm

You know what (among a lot of things) has been irritating me about the recent racially-based police violence, with Michael Brown and Eric Garner and others? How politicized it has gotten in ways that it has no business being politicized.

It should be a no-brainer that a police officer shooting an unarmed person is not okay. Even if you could say said officer, at that moment, had reasonable cause to shoot, you’d think there would at least be a little bit of remorse and regret about the incident. That there would be some genuine interest on the part of the police force and other related entities in preventing anything like it from happening again. Even if Michael Brown and Eric Garner were armed and ready to shoot the cops, there should still be at least some degree of regret about the deaths.

But there’s so much digging in of heels about it that everyone forgets to be compassionate humans. And worse it is for some reason divided along party lines. That the left wingers are calling for change in the racially-targeted police violence, while the right wingers fight tooth and nail to insist it’s either justified or not real. And the police forces, rather than apologizing for the incidents and pledging to prevent it in the future with any sincerity, stick by what happened unashamedly, blaming the victims for trying (without a shred of evidence) to take the officer’s gun or for being overweight.

Not to mention the “Support Darren Wilson” assholes. I really don’t know how they sleep at night.

December 19, 2014

Collateral Damage

Filed under: Assorted Politics, Christmas Time!, Think About It!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:15 pm

There’s a lot of collateral damage in activism. When making points for change, you need to be careful. Who is getting thrown under the bus in your talking points?

In youth rights, we sometimes make the case, when someone goes on about how “undeveloped” teens’ brains are, that studies have shown that, despite this, teens’ brains function better than those of people over age 60. Which on its face is a good point, showing that we’re not so fussy about this same metric in another context. But I’m generally uncomfortable with it, because a “solution” to the double standard might be then to restrict the rights of the elderly. Though the intention is to expand the rights of young people, the flip side is the point throws the elderly under the bus.

A couple months ago, I saw at an event about climate change a print-out from some old article on Mother Jones. I don’t feel like looking for it, because fuck that article, but basically it was demonstrating how people in wealthier countries use up more resources than those in poorer countries (which is a major “no shit, Sherlock!”). And a lot of its points were basically about keeping the population low, so there’d be fewer people to use up resources and generate greenhouse gases. Points included: praising China’s one-child policy (you know, the one with the forced and sex-selective abortions and infanticide that resulted in a severely skewed gender ratio), implying that countries with the most unrest are in turmoil because such a huge portion of their population are young adults (you know, because young people just do nothing but start wars, right?), and even some completely ridiculous points about how apparently TV families are getting larger (their entire basis was the existence of the Duggars), and a few more that were just rotting my brain cells with each letter.

You know, no matter how much I might support a cause, I just can’t get behind the ridiculous hyperbole and fearmongering and outright lies that a lot of them resort to. Especially when, as said, some of this causes damage to other causes for human rights and whatnot.

And ultimately it’s self-defeating. It’s hard to defend your position on an issue when most of the points and info you’ve been given to use are full of shit. You have to spend so much time weeding out the bullshit to find the one tidbit that’s actually valid. And if most of what there is to defend the cause is so exaggerated, it discredits what’s real.

All of it is to make a serious problem look worse than it actually is. So the organizations and other entities working on it can get more support and funding. Like I mentioned before about how groups talking about child marriage in certain parts of the world are using a rather loose definition of “child marriage” in order to inflate the number of “victims” to make the problem look even worse than it already is.

The groups who do this know they’re doing this and are often proud of it. There’s usually the “yeah, that video is fake and the facts are pulled out of our ass, but it truly really is a serious problem and needs your attention!” They don’t seem to care that all they did was expose themselves as shameless liars.

For God’s sake, these causes and movements are only necessary to fix a problem. They are a huge waste of time in the long run. But these people turn it into a morbid self-promotional tool in and of itself. Where doing good for people comes second to making damn sure you look like you’re doing good for people. :roll:

December 18, 2014

Hurry Down

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Musical Musing — Katrina @ 11:37 pm

What’s that sound? Is that Eartha Kitt?

Oh no. Aww, man, I hate this song! :irked:

Santa Baby, slip a sable under the tree for me.
I’ve been an awful good girl.

Fur is murder, you know. How good can you be?

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

He’s got a lot of other houses to visit. Settle down.

Santa Baby, a ‘54 convertible too, light blue
I’ll wait up for you dear.

I think you’re supposed to be asleep when he visits- ohhhh…

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

You just requested a specific car. Give him a minute!

Think of all the fun I missed

What fun? Did you not go on a roller coaster you wanted to ride?

Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed.

Whoa! Why would Santa have any problem with you kissing someone? Are you… saving yourself for Santa? :dubious:

Next year I’ll be just as good
If you’ll check off my Christmas list.

Wait, seriously, how does having fun or kissing a guy make you not good? That’s not right.

Santa Baby, I want a yacht and really that’s not a lot

You’re getting an inflatable raft and you’re going to like it! :doitnow:

I’ve been an angel all year.

Somehow I think we have different definitions of “angel”.

Santa Baby, hurry down the chimney tonight.

There are children who might not get a Christmas meal, but yeah, he should rush right out and get you a goddamn boat.

Santa Honey, one thing I really do need… the deed

A deed? To what? A mansion? A fancy car? A fancy resort?

To a platinum mine.

Wha… what? Huh? What?

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

He’ll get to you when he gets to you. Go take a cold shower.

Santa Cutie, fill my stocking with a duplex and checks

Wait, a duplex? As in one of them townhouses with one other house attached? Rather than, say, a mansion. And even so, it needs to be inside the stocking. With checks. What, too good for tens and twenties?

Sign your X on the line

What makes you think Santa is illiterate?

Santa Baby, hurry down the chimney tonight.

Yes, yes, hurry and supply a mediocre house and an unspecified amount of money.

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany’s

Pick up some breakfast while you’re at it.

I really do believe in you
Let’s see if you believe in me.

Giggity?

Santa Baby, forgot to mention one little thing

Uh oh.

A ring

Wait…

I don’t mean on the phone!

I… didn’t think you meant that at all. Are you supposed to be Mrs. Claus then? *facepalm*

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight!

Yeah… he’ll get right on that…

December 17, 2014

Coventry Carol 2

A couple years ago I wrote about Coventry Carol and what I realized about the lyrics.

About a tiny child, presumably Jesus, being referred to as a youngling.

And that Jesus, therefore, is a Jedi.

But just recently I learned some more about the song, in that said tiny child actually isn’t Jesus. The song is about the Massacre of the Holy Innocents. When Herod went looking for Jesus in order to kill him and ended up ordering all first born boys under age two to be killed.

The song is a mother singing to her soon-to-be murdered baby.

Oh.

Well, this doesn’t change anything. It just means that the Bible forgot the part where Obi-Wan shows up and walks among the slain sadly, saying “Not even the younglings survived.”

December 16, 2014

Secular Spirit

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Here's To You!, The Occasional Godliness — Katrina @ 11:02 pm

Now for a non-theistic, festive edition of…

Here’s to You!!!!

So I raise my glass and say, “Here’s to you, non-religious people who love Christmas!”

Yeah, that speaks for itself. People who aren’t religious but still love Christmas are a special breed as far as I’m concerned.

I think first of my former coworker. First work day after Thanksgiving, she and I were both putting up our respective tiny Christmas trees in our office space, which we both took down at the same time after Epiphany. She had been raised Catholic and remained one into adulthood, but after a while had enough of it. She wanted nothing more to do with religion, but she sure kept Christmas.

You can so easily have the Christmas without the Christianity. Either remove the Jesus element entirely or, better yet, treat it like just another Christmas legend, with the miracle virgin birth in the manger under the star right there alongside the snowman who comes to life when a magic hat is on his head.

I sort of wandered away from Christianity several years ago (as the progression of posts in the Occasional Godliness category sure demonstrate!) but I still go to my old church on Christmas Eve night. And you know what? I’ve always loved Silent Night and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and other classic carols, but I think I’ve come to appreciate them more since I pulled away from the mindset that one must believe these stories actually took place. I mean, who cares if it’s real or not? It most likely isn’t, but there’s no reason that should diminish the holiday at all. If anything, it just takes the pressure off!

And this shout out is to those who adore this holiday season without the “It’s all about Jesus!” junk. This shout out is for those who aren’t hung up on the idea that not being Christian means not having a place in the festivities. And those who gladly celebrate and don’t waste energy whining about traditions being “stolen” from other religious celebrations (which, being non-religious, they don’t believe in anyway).

And even in secular form, still calling it “Christmas” because, hey, why the fuck not?

December 15, 2014

No Glowing Anymore

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Musical Musing — Katrina @ 9:49 pm

So I was listening to (sigh, here it is again) the Christmas music on 97.1 WASH the other day at work via its website, when I glanced at the page to see what the next song was going to be.

It was…

The Rolling Stones, “Paint It Black”

Huh? That’s not even in the station’s regular lineup. (Awesome song, though.)

I had the music turned down to barely audible at the moment so I turned it up. What was actually playing was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Now ever since I keep singing to myself “I have a red nose and I want it painted black…”

Hey, it fits! :D

December 14, 2014

Holiday Whining

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Rants — Katrina @ 11:40 pm

People complain way too much about this time of year. I do too, I suppose. Complaining about complaining is especially annoying. But, fuck it, I’m doing it anyway. :-P

So here are some responses to all the bullcrap you people keep bitching about this season.

“Jesus is the reason for the season!”
Shove a nativity set up your ass.

“Everything about Christmas is stolen from pagans!”
Eat the above-mentioned nativity set.

“It’s too early for Christmas music/decorations! It’s only December 20!”
Consider a diet consisting solely of poinsettia petals.

“Christmas is so commercial!”
Yet you’re making an awful lot of money saying exactly that in Christmas specials and songs.

“Jesus was definitely not born on December 25!”
And you should definitely not have been born at all.

“Why don’t stores say ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore? Why?”
There’s almost half a gallon left of last year’s egg nog. Why don’t you finish it off?

“I don’t call it Christmas. I call it Yule.”
I wish “you’ll” shut the hell up and die.

“Remember what Christmas is all about.”
For you, I hope it involves choking on a candy cane.

“I heard three seconds of ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ while at the store! I’m so sick of Christmas music!”
Maybe you should be tied down and forced to listen to FOUR seconds of it.

“If there is a Christmas tree here, there should be a menorah, too! Why isn’t there a menorah?”
I hope some of that latke grease flies up and hits you in the eye.

“Why is there a menorah here? Why are we catering to the Jews?”
I hope the one who got latke grease in the eye runs you over while driving around blindly.

“Christmas is about family, not presents and stuff!”
I hope your family realizes you’re an asshat and abandons you in a snow drift this year. Without a coat or anything because that’s just “stuff”.

“I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas!”
Neither did I. Which was for you to get impaled on a holly branch.

December 13, 2014

Male Privilege

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Estrogen, Think About It!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 2:53 pm

Privilege is a tricky concept to explain. People have a way of never using examples or never adequately explaining what they’re talking about, so the privileged ones who feel attacked act accordingly and everything turns into a completely pointless mess.

But a while back, I found a pretty good example of male privilege, and it was on the radio. No, it wasn’t 97.1 WASH this time! It was DC101, the rock station. There’s this thing they do weekday afternoons where they play a song that used to be played all the time but now isn’t played at all. They usually do one song but sometimes two or three. On occasion, they do more than that on certain special days.

This was one of those days. They played two songs, both of which had male lead singers, and a third one had a female lead singer. The fourth also had a female lead. At this point, the DJ was apologizing for making the set of songs too “girly” for playing two consecutive songs by female singers, and that apparently a couple of people tweeted or texted him commenting on that. So the DJ decided to make up for it and the fifth song was by an all-male band who, the DJ said, were “proudly misogynist”. And the next two songs were also sung by men.

So that’s seven songs, two of which were sung by women, and the other five by men. And somehow this was “too girly”. Even though the male-sung songs were still the majority. The fact that two of the songs were not sung by men, and that they were done consecutively, and that after they were done, the songs were two by men and two by women, thus even, this was considered “too feminine” and thus offensive.

And that, there, is male privilege. That when things are equal between the genders by the numbers, it is not perceived as equal but of a sign that men are losing out on something and that women have too much power. Even when they are equal. Even when, with the whole seven song set, the men still have a strong majority. Somehow, even in this case women still have “too much power”.

December 12, 2014

The Right to Privacy

Filed under: Assorted Politics, Christmas Time!, Teh Interwebs, Think About It! — Katrina @ 11:24 pm

How can people honestly worry about their right to privacy in this age of social media? People tweet constantly. People share their meals on Facebook all day long. They share their exact locations whenever they migrate to a different location. How, oh, how can people do all this while worrying about the government or police or whoever spying on them and knowing where they are and what they’re doing at all times when they share all this info freely anyway?

Easily.

Because the important difference with all the social media sharing is that it is freely chosen. Not everyone shares all these details or is interested in having a wide audience for these things. Some people do. And those people retain the right at any time to no longer share these details.

With other entities spying, it is outside of one’s control. It is invasion and coercion at that point. It is the removal of one’s autonomy.

Autonomy is so undervalued. :pissed:

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