May 26, 2017

WTF Montana?

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Assorted Politics, In the News, What the hell? — Katrina @ 8:27 pm

So you may have noticed there seems to be more bad behavior than usual in US politics. I mean, this was painfully realized last November, confirmed in January, and has been a not-sure-whether-to-laugh-or-cry spectacle ever since. The Orange Thing that’s been occupying the White House the past few months has bragged about sexual assault, mocked a disabled person, advocated war crimes, and, dear God, I’d be here for the rest of the decade if I were to even attempt a comprehensive list. But his party and supporters still stick by him. They still excuse this behavior.

But I didn’t mean to talk so much about him. Montana just elected a congressman who literally physically attacked a reporter who was merely asking him questions.

That’s right, elected. This incident happened on Wednesday night, the night before Special Election Day. In any decent or just universe, this would have been the end of him. But sure enough, despite there being some question as the race has been kind of close, Montana voted him right in.

While some have chalked it up to early voting, that many or most Montana voters had already cast their ballots before this happened, surveys taken at polling places yesterday are less than encouraging. People who knew full well that this man, Greg Gianforte, physically assaulted an innocent journalist, Ben Jacobs, still happily voted for him.

Because they believed the liberal journalist deserved it.

You know, yeah, we all know politicians have always been kind of terrible, to varying degrees anyway. You sort of have to be kind of terrible to succeed in it, sadly. But for the most part, they tend to at least pretend they are not terrible. They at least acknowledge there are certain behaviors that are unacceptable, even if so many get caught in their share of scandals. Even when caught, they and those around them might not try to act like it was all cool. They might still support them otherwise, but they acknowledge some wrong was done. That’s how it’s supposed to work anyway.

But whether the Orange Thing or Gianforte or whoever else (including those who aren’t Republicans, not pretending Democrats or others are at all innocent), it’s like some sort of party unity comes before everything else.

It’s like…
“Did you know Candidate hasn’t paid taxes in two decades, is cheating on his wife, and likes to kick puppies?”
“Yeah, but Other Candidate is Other Party and therefore evil. Also, her e-mails.”

Again, this is nothing new. It just seems to be getting a lot more blatant. A lot more shameless.

That there is the problem. Where is the line? The Orange Thing seems to be going out of his way to cross it, and why the hell hasn’t he yet for so many? And Gianforte and who knows how many others seeking elected office are getting the clear message that they can behave badly all they want, that being violent and out of control is the path to success.

We need to hold our leaders and ourselves a LOT more accountable than this. We need to fully understand that, no, the journalist did not deserve to be straight up body slammed just because of his political affiliation and because he was asking a tough question which, you know, any elected official had damn well better have thick enough skin to handle if they expect to get anywhere. We can’t have so many people in this country not understanding that.

The survival of our country depends on us all getting this. Violence like this out of someone wanting to be a congressman, and violence against a member of the press no less, which undermines the First Amendment, is the kind of thing that, if it becomes more commonplace, we can say goodbye to considering ourselves anything close to a free society. As it is, we have a police brutality problem, and there are too many people defending that for sure. How much worse can we let this get? How much more is going to be excused because of authoritarian beliefs or partisan rage?

Because this shit is not even close to okay!

This has been Day 3 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 17.

February 14, 2016

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 11

Filed under: Think About It!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 7:47 pm

“MY LOVE” What a sweet little candy heart you are!

“URS 4 EVER” Damn, candy heart, slow down!

“LET’S KISS” Well, you’re going into my mouth anyway. Close enough.

“NO WAY” Oh, well, can’t win them all. :(

Oh, hello. Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s time once again for the tradition that began ten years ago today, when I sit here and eat these candy hearts and gripe about romantic relationship stupidity.

I’ve said in the past that it’s people’s behavior and expectations around relationships and their partners that I take issue with, and that love itself isn’t what I’m against. That love itself really is pure and good.

I’ve changed my mind. Love is fucking stupid.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say it isn’t a good thing at all, that it is terrible, and really we should be recognizing it as the affliction that it is.

Love is a destructive illusion that causes terrible behavior and misery. When you’re in love, sure, everything feels all warm and sweet. At first. Then something goes wrong, and now all those warm and sweet memories turn to poison, no longer making you happy but only sad and angry. Someone who was once a source of comfort and joy is now just a reminder of shame and loss. You believed you felt some strong spiritual connection, but the bubble burst, and you feel more isolated than ever before.

People have a way of reacting badly to this, from making total asses of themselves in front of their object of affection and others to outright harmful or abusive behavior. Yeah, I’m not seeing the beauty here.

Maybe we should just remove “love” from our vocabulary altogether. Maybe just cut straight to what you actually mean when you say you love someone. Maybe instead of “I love you” it could be “I want to spend time with you” or “I’m deliriously happy when I’m with you” or “I want to kiss you” or “I want to have sex with you” or “I don’t wish you any specific harm” or “I want to buy a house with a nice yard and fight with you over money and dinner plates for the rest of my life” (also known as “will you marry me?”). In any case, maybe the only real response to a declaration of love is “yeah, and?”

I mean, it’s a loaded and muddy word. It distracts from what specifically is going on. It inflates importance of what’s being felt, adding some artificial divine quality, which really serves only to make it hurt so much more when it goes wrong, that the very essence of life itself has failed you. It’s just not worth it. There are much better uses of time and energy.

If only it were that simple. I get so afflicted just as anyone else.

Oh, well. There’s always the candy hearts!

“I-M SURE” Well, heart, most people aren’t sure of much of anything. You’re lucky.

“YOU ROCK” Awww, thanks!

“XOXO” I fucking hate that Elle King song.

December 30, 2015

Oversold

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Going Places, What the hell? — Katrina @ 10:43 pm

So I flew on an airplane yesterday, coming back from my aforementioned Christmas travel (never again!), but I almost didn’t fly on an airplane yesterday.

I checked my suitcase and got a security pass or something rather than an actual boarding pass. No earthly idea why, just the way that airline rolls I guess. I get to my gate to get my boarding pass and then I’m told “Flight is oversold and everyone else is checked in. You stay behind.” And I’m like “I already checked my suitcase! Can I have it back?” And they’re like “No, that’s going to Dulles. You stay behind.” They go on about denied boarding compensation, admittedly a nice sum that would be quite a bit more than the amount I would lose by missing work the next day, but my concern was that I wanted to go home, and it was cold and my coat was in my suitcase. They said that if someone volunteers as tribute for said compensation, I would then be able to board. And, fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. Thanks, unknown volunteer!

Why the fuck did that even happen? Who lets you check your suitcase and then be like “you wanted to board a plane you paid a bunch of money to fly on? LOL nope!”?

Also, when I booked this round trip a month ago, I got an error message when I went to confirm the purchase because between getting to the final page to enter info and clicking “confirm”, the fare for the return flight went up $95. -_-

Meh. Let’s close out this year already…

December 29, 2015

Coming and Going

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Shut the Hell Up!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 5:52 pm

Now for an unfriendly edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

I despise the phrase “friends come and go”. I mean, it’s true in general that relationships of any sort are certainly not guaranteed to last forever, and it helps to accept that when/if things change.

But so often I’ve heard this phrase used to mean friendship is unimportant, that friends should not be trusted or valued. Particularly that family are the only ones worth anything and are the only ones who are ever really there for you.

Fuck that. This may be the experience of some people, sure, but it is not at all the way it should be and certainly not universal. Family very often abandon you and friends very often move heaven and earth for you.

And it’s more than a little sad if your only relationships with others are those that happened by birth rather than those you actively cultivated yourself.

December 27, 2015

Smoking

Filed under: Christmas Time!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

Why do people smoke? I’ve never understood it. It’s nasty.

Okay, I just made it two days of picking on vices like I’m up on some kind of elevated equine. I’m a snobbish asshole, I guess.

But still. Setting aside how detestable anti-smoking campaigns are, why the hell does anyone smoke? It’s expensive. It’s deadly. It’s gross to oneself and others.

Yeah, they’re addicted and it calms them down. Fine. But why does anyone start? What’s the appeal? I see smokers having to go out and smoke in all kinds of unpleasant weather. Getting pulled away from some other activity because nicotine cravings.

We all know this. Everything I’m saying is obnoxious and just judgmental shit smokers are sick of. I don’t have much of a point. Just find the self-destruction puzzling.

December 26, 2015

Slot-Shaming

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Going Places, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:15 pm

Slot machines and other gambling gadgets are everywhere in Nevada. It’s kind of gross. Not just in actual casinos. Malls. Gas stations. Even the airports. If you want to compulsively piss your money and time away, this state makes damn sure to provide. They even supply the free alcohol to quiet your ability to think or self-reflect so that you’ll keep feeding the machine.

This of course also comes the 21+ age restrictions on all this, so that even though they are unscrupulously profiting off people destroying their financial health by gambling and destroying their physical health by drinking, at least they can pretend they’re Protecting Children. :roll:

December 25, 2015

Hyvää joulua!

Filed under: Christmas Time!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 12:49 pm

Here it is. Another Christmas Day. The preceding weeks consisted of Winter Festival rehearsals, cookie baking, and shoving chocolate down people’s throats because it’s Christmas, damn it!

I’ve never had to travel for Christmas before. Always sort of pitied those who do. I guess I’m lucky. Or just stationary. Why leave your home for Christmas? Stay and relax. Eat yummy treats. Bake more yummy treats. Watch specials. Play music. That’s a nice Christmas. Why hoist yourself off to some airport and fight crowds just to spend some awkward time with relatives for whatever reason like some kind of chump?

Well, for some reason, I’m a chump this year. I’m off to the airport. Sigh.

Merry Christmas!!!!

December 21, 2015

Sitters Are Now the Sittees

Filed under: Christmas Time!, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:34 pm

You know what’s depressing? Twelve-year-olds in day care. Twelve!

As in, they’re in middle school, and parents need to arrange for some kind of after school care for them until they get off work.

Did I mention… twelve!

I mean, in many places, the parents don’t have much choice, as twelve or thirteen is about the minimum age a kid can be left alone at home.

Ugh. Rules like this are not only a huge insult to these kids, but they’re a boon for the care providers. I mean, if parents are required by law to use their services, they’re raking in the cash. I wonder if they’re behind the age of being left alone at home being so high, since they sure do profit from it.

And this just makes things harder on lower income families. Child care is expensive, and it doesn’t help to make parents and kids have to wait longer before the kids can just go straight home after school and take care of themselves for a few hours. They either have to shell out the money or quit their jobs. Or break the law.

And, obviously, of course kids twelve and under can go straight home and take care of themselves for a few hours before their parents get home. It’s what my sister and I did. I was home alone as young as eight. Last time I was in day care, I was the oldest kid there… at age seven.

In fact, when I was thirteen, I was the one looking after a four-year-old neighbor every week or so while his parents were out. I was the one doing the sitting at an age that kids now are the ones being sat.

Nothing biological has changed. Just fears of lawsuits and -gasp!- unattended children! Children who aren’t busy with some activity, who, if without an activity, will get into -gasp!- trouble!

December 20, 2015

21 to Drink… Anything

Filed under: Christmas Time!, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:04 pm

So I was at Target earlier and there were some sets of novelty drinking glasses on one shelf. One set’s theme was of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, with glasses showing the squirrel and Clark entangled in lights and other stuff. Oh, and this set identified these as “pint glasses” and had “Age 21+” printed on the corner of the box.

Yeah… Okay. A lot of things about this.

1. These are drinking glasses and contain no alcohol. Drinking glasses are not age restricted. They can be used for any drink.
2. There were identical drinking glass sets on the shelf of Wonder Woman, Minions, Peanuts, and Avengers and such, none of which said “Age 21+” nor identified them as “pint glasses”.
3. Pint is a unit of volume, equal to two cups or half a quart or 16 fluid ounces. This measurement refers to this volume of any substance, not just beer.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is not an “adult” movie. In fact, it’s been on constantly all month on ABC Family.

December 16, 2015

Your Choice, Huh?

Filed under: Christmas Time!, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

Some time ago, I saw a picture of a protest in California about some new vaccination requirements. Yeah, the protesters were anti-vax idiots (redundant, I know) who were none too pleased about this. One woman’s sign even clearly said “My Child, My Choice”.

:dubious:

There’s yet another sign of the mind-blogging extent of parental entitlement. When forbidding you from letting your child catch serious illness and die is suddenly some egregious violation of parental rights.

What’s next?

“How dare you force me to actually FEED my child? Food contains sugar and pesticides and scary sounding ingredients I can’t pronounce and know nothing about but am sure they cause cancer. I have a right not to give that to my child!”

“How dare you force me to actually give my child WATER? It’s also called dihydrogen monoxide and it’s the main component of urine! It’s also full of fluoride which will make my child stupid! Also chem trails.”

Sigh.

December 15, 2015

Environmental Progress

Filed under: Assorted Politics, Christmas Time!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:42 pm

Where does anyone get this ridiculous idea that being more environmentally friendly means impeding human progress? As if it’s one or the other. As if wanting to reduce pollution is against technology or something.

I’ve seen some of my friends make this sort of claim, particularly libertarians. And it’s pure political posturing, and as with most or all political posturing, it makes no sense.

Here’s a thought. Maybe a new technology that is more environmentally friendly than its predecessor is in itself a form of human progress. What an idea!

Instead of this whole “you want to reverse climate change? how dare you disparage the invention of the telephone!”, or, more to the point of what people who say this are really thinking, “how dare you impede a business’s right to destroy the planet!”, how about “hey, climate change is a problem, we need renewable energy, let’s embark on finding ways to solve these problems via, you guessed it, new science and technology!”?

This is obvious if you think about it for five seconds. Though if you’re just trying to make some political point, thought has nothing to do with anything.

December 13, 2015

Games and Other Games

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Estrogen, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:05 pm

I’m completely sick to death of the idea that watching sports and playing video games are male-only activities.

Me, I do watch sports, being a fan of the various Washington teams, and while I don’t play as much as I wish I did, I do enjoy video games as well. Oh, and I’m female!

I even see this idea coming from progressive sources that should know better. Too busy criticizing traditional cis-het masculinity and all that’s stereotypically associated with it that they end up reinforcing it by erasing those who aren’t cis-het males who enjoy such activities.

Society has been very slowly coming around about this, truth be told. Realizing that, yes, there are plenty of female gamers, and, yes, there are plenty of women watching NFL games who aren’t just putting up with it with a male (real) fan. Too slowly, though.

Not to mention that “nerdy” activities, like comic books and role-playing games and sci-fi and the like, are assumed to be just for guys. I don’t even get that stereotype. What, are girls supposed to be too pretty and not supposed to be thinking at all to be interested in that sort of thing, and that any girls who aren’t pretty are just, as always, assumed to not exist?

December 9, 2015

So Many Lies

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Teh Interwebs, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:57 pm

Every now and then I go through a few days or weeks that I read Snopes regularly. After some time of it, I just have enough. There’s just so much bullshit floating out there that people are for some reason believing and spreading around more, all of which could be avoided if they gave it five seconds of thought. The idea that Snopes even has to debunk some of this stuff is just exhausting to think about.

A fair share of new posts to Snopes are debunking bullshit floating around about Muslims. The assertion is like “help, a Muslim forced some event to stop serving pork products!” and they’re like “no, some satire site made that up”. Or “help, Christian imagery was removed or banned because Muslims complained!” and they’re like “no, some right wingers made that up”. Or, as one recent one, “help, look at this image of a pro-ISIL rally in the US!” and they’re like “no, that’s actually an anti-ISIL rally”.

This shit spreads around, for one, because bigoted assholes. But also because people seem to really want to be offended or outraged or indulge some sort of persecution complex. I guess screw facts if it gets in the way of running around like a panicky idiot. And not in a delightful Wade Duck sort of way.

December 8, 2015

Trans, Homeless, Preteen

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Estrogen, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:38 pm

According to a trans* activist friend of mine, apparently, in New York City, the average age at which homeless trans youth become homeless is 13.5 years.

Average!

I mean, I’ve written before about how parental love isn’t exactly as unconditional as conventional belief would have you think. But even knowing that, it’s so pathetic that parents would kick out kids who are in middle school or younger for any reason really, but still so much more mindblowing that it’s about something so ridiculous as the kids not acting the part of the gender their genitals tell them to be. How fucking petty and heartless can you goddamn get?!

I’ll bet these parents think they love these kids, too. I’ll bet lots of people think that. I guess the mere idea that they might not despite some clear evidence to the contrary here is just too much. :roll:

December 6, 2015

Coloring Age

Filed under: Christmas Time!, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:35 pm

So there’s a hot new trend these days of coloring books “for adults”. These things are everywhere!

Except coloring books for adults have already existed. They’re just called “coloring books”.

That’s adult society’s insecurities for you. There’s nothing explicitly “for children” about the coloring books that have already existed. Unless what you’re coloring being animated characters of some sort has some hard and fast upper age limit. Which it doesn’t. It’s just adults balking at the idea of doing anything associated with children. So label some coloring books as being “for adults” and they’ll clamor for them and you’ll make a mint!

Not only that. It’s not like adults are supposed to be having fun with these “adult” coloring books. No, they’re therapeutic somehow. Stress relief! You know, the only thing adults’ leisure time is supposed to be about. Fun and imagination is just for children, after all. :roll:

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with these more various types of coloring books being out there, not at all. But by branding it as “adult coloring books”, therefore something typically associated with children being presented with the children somehow removed from the equation, it’s adults invading children’s space for their own benefit and shoving the real children out. Makes me start to understand what the hell people mean when they talk about “cultural appropriation”. *shrug*

December 5, 2015

Immunity Intact

Filed under: Christmas Time!, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:53 pm

I hate it when anti-vaxxers and intactivists are talked about together as if they’re basically the same thing. Unfortunately, there is plenty of overlap, from those who see both issues as part of some “natural parenting” movement (more on that another day).

Anti-vaxxers are against vaccinations. Intactivists are against infant circumcision.

Those against both see it as some issue of infant body integrity, a thing I can get behind. But there’s one gigantic difference.

Vaccinations are actually extremely necessary, to save the baby and anyone around said baby from preventable diseases. This much is fact. When anti-vaxxers deny these life-saving vaccinations to their children, they are not protecting their children’s rights to their body. They are condemning their children to serious illness, a very severe violation of their rights and an abandonment of parental responsibility. And why? Because vaccines contain ingredients they can’t pronounce and that’s scary to them?

Circumcision, on the other hand, is not at all medically necessary. There is no prevention of life-threatening illness involved in it, unless you count the ridiculous grasping of straws like “uh, we think circumcision might possibly maybe prevent HIV (even though condoms would still be necessary so it doesn’t matter)”. And even so, most of the time it’s done for cosmetic or religious reasons, and people are really goddamn attached to these cosmetic or religious reasons, so this unnecessary barbaric practice continues. This is a painful violation of a child’s body that serves no real purpose and must be stopped.

Vaccinations save lives. Circumcisions are just “durr, foreskins are gross”.

Really no comparison.

December 3, 2015

Connections

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Going Places, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:54 pm

When flying, I’ve only ever had a layover twice, in 1997 and 1998, and both were in Denver, going on to Salt Lake City and Albuquerque respectively. Family vacations. Of flights I’ve booked myself, they’ve always been nonstop. I insist on it.

That 1998 trip, we missed the first flight and had to catch a later one, which in turn made us miss the second leg, which we had to get the next morning. Annoying.

And not worth it! Unless the flight is really goddamn long or it’s absolutely not an option for whatever reason, nonstop is the way to go.

But in those situations where a connecting flight is necessary, the connection should at least make sense. The connection point should at least not be completely out of the way. When I went to London in 2009, thankfully there were plenty of direct flights from Dulles to Heathrow, but the search pulled up some that would get to London by way of Munich. Munich! As in clear past London, only to turn around and come back. What the hell? There are flights to Seattle-Tacoma from here that would connect at Dallas-Fort Worth, swinging way to the south and very much not in the direction of Seattle from Washington DC. There are flights to Las Vegas that connect in New York-JFK or Boston-Logan or Long Beach.

These don’t make any damn sense! If any one leg of a trip with at least one stop is longer than the nonstop flight, something is terribly wrong.

Or it’s the airline industry being the airline industry. Something like that.

December 1, 2015

Nineties Kids Remember

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Teh Interwebs, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:00 pm

(Have I really not posted in three months? Ugh. Well, let’s see how far this December thing goes this year…)

You know those posts that float around social media saying “only 90s kids remember this” or someone else whose adolescence occurred entirely or in part prior to the turn of the century?

Cassette tapes. Getting film developed. Car windows that roll up and down by use of a hand crank.

Yeah, I, a 90s kid, am glad to be rid of all that shit, too. Thanks for reminding me.

Oh, but the next generation won’t appreciate not having annoying things like this anymore because we have digital media files and power windows? Well, good, it gives them more room to find what’s lacking in the current technology so they can in turn improve on that! Yay, progress!

And then there are the posts suggesting today’s kids will never know such bygone things like, say, a Pez dispenser or ending friendships by playing a well-timed Draw 4 card in Uno.

Except they can because Pez and Uno are totally still around, so I don’t know what the fuck these people are talking about. *shrug*

February 14, 2015

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 10

Filed under: What the hell? — Katrina @ 5:38 pm

“Crazy 4 U” Aww how nice.

“Sweet pea” Isn’t that the baby from Popeye? That’s not romantic.

“Soul mate” Having a candy heart for a soul mate? Eh, could do worse.

Yup, it’s that time again, where I eat these traditional Valentine’s Day conversation hearts and mull over their messages, while musing in my traditional Valentine’s Day way about romantic relationships. Somehow I’ve managed to churn out ten of these now. What shall this tenth be about?

Ah, I know.

Ever notice in a romantic couple that the girl seems to take on this really cutesy and meek persona? Almost bordering on whiny. Okay, it’s hard to explain.

Actually, no it isn’t. It’s well known. Basically, she pretends to be weak. Common examples are she has the guy kill a spider for her or open a pickle jar. More than that, though. She talks to him with this sad little voice that seems to scream “I’m a helpless weakling” no matter what words she’s actually saying. And it annoys the hell out of me.

I’m not making this up. I’ve actually seen it as relationship advice for girls! Not to mention any number of TV shows with plotlines in which a wife ends up the primary breadwinner or is otherwise independently strong in some way, and the result is the husband can’t get it up. And the relationship advice is based on that idea, that if you as a female are not at least giving the illusion of being a faint little flower petal of a being who needs some heroic masculine manly man to justify her existence, then he will lose interest in you.

Needless to say, this is pretty damn offensive to both genders! That an independent and capable female is incompatible with romantic relationships. That a male’s entire sense of self-worth is based on being superior to a female.

And yet maybe it’s effective? I’ve seen these guys eat it up. Offensive to both genders it may be, they grew up in a society where said offensive gender expectations are commonplace, so that’s what they’re comfortable with, unfortunate though it may be.

I don’t think I could pull it off, though. Not that I have much interest in trying. The idea makes me think of in Garfield comics when he sees Nermal acting all cute and getting attention and food, so Garfield wants the same food he’s getting so he pretends to be all cute too but he fails miserably at it and comes off as creepy and unsettling. Yeah, that’d be me trying to do this cutesy meek thing. :lol:

But even so I hardly see the point. Relationships have real built-in aspects of interdependence without all these showy fake nonsense. Everyone is sometimes the weak one and sometimes the strong one. It’s called being human, and being with each other through those times is called being in relationship. Isn’t that enough?

Oh, well, it’s not like these things make sense. Back to hearts.

“Be true” Yeah, better than being false. See above.

“Don’t tell” Huh. That’s kind of rapey.

“I M sure” You’re a candy heart. Your sureness is limited.

“Get real” Uh oh. Made a wrong move? Come on too strong?

“See ya” Welp, even the candy hearts get sick of your shit eventually!

January 8, 2015

That Takes Religion

Filed under: The Occasional Godliness, What the hell? — Katrina @ 10:09 pm

You’ve probably heard the line that goes something like “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” And as I’ve mentioned before, it’s full of shit. In that those doing evil things aren’t somehow not evil just because they claim it’s because of religion.

But I think I’d like to amend it a bit. Let’s try it this way.

“With or without religion, you would have smart people saying smart things and stupid people saying stupid things. But for smart people to say stupid things, that takes religion.”

Sound about right?

It works both ways, too. One might think of people who, despite smartness, have some religious belief or affiliation, something that the Very Smart anti-theist types, ironically, just can’t wrap their heads around. Or just plain a smart religious person turning an inexplicable blind eye to or defending troublesome or even abusive religious practices. But it’s for the atheists, too. In that, yeah, they are very smart, until the topic turns to religion and in beating the religion-is-evil drum, some of them start saying some astoundingly stupid things.

We’re of course seeing a lot of examples of both with this Charlie Hebdo attack.

You’ve got the otherwise-intelligent religious participating in some good old fashioned victim blaming, with the “they shouldn’t have been killed, but they shouldn’t have attacked people’s sacred beliefs either”. Ugh. And we’ve got the anti-theist “religion is for idiots” crowd saying “see? see? proof positive that religion is evil, atheists never do anything wrong!” Ugh (if, in all fairness, less so than the former!).

The problem with the first one is hopefully obvious. With the second one, while this attack was without a doubt religiously motivated, it defies and violates basic statistics horrendously to imply such a thing is representative of all 1 billion plus who identify as Muslim, let alone all the billions who identify with some religion. Now, is religion statistically and historically the most likely reason for any given terrorist attack? Absolutely. But it rarely acts alone, in that cultural superiority and good old fashioned power hunger have helped it in those attacks just about every step of the way, and if you remove religion from the equation (and, you know, actually learn something about the people and situations involved and find out how complex it all is, like a smart person might do), very little will have changed.

But I’ll get into all that in more detail in another post. The point is, when religion comes up, whether for or against, people have a way of losing their damn minds, whether it’s the anti-theist pegging anyone who sets foot inside a church as a potential violent fanatic when otherwise completely against any such blanket pigeonholing, or it’s the observant Jew who fiercely defends infant circumcision as some kind of cherished holy tradition despite being opposed to such violations of bodily autonomy in literally every other scenario.

Although, come to think of it, my amended quote has the exact same problem as the original. In that, no, these supposedly smart people really aren’t all that smart if they’re spouting this crap. :roll:

Or maybe they are. Varies by individual. It is just one topic after all, as opposed committing acts of evil for whatever chosen reason. But we all have those friends who are typically very thoughtful and logical on a wide variety of topics, while there’s one or two that they just start on and they sound like their brains fell out and all you can do is sigh and say “ugh, here we go with this shit again…” It’s just that this topic is usually religion.

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