Lack of Remorse

December 20, 2014

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.

Collateral Damage

December 19, 2014

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. 🙄

Hurry Down

December 18, 2014

What’s that sound? Is that Eartha Kitt?

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

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?

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!

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.


Santa Baby, forgot to mention one little thing

Uh oh.

A ring


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…

Coventry Carol 2

December 17, 2014

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.


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.”

Secular Spirit

December 16, 2014

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?

No Glowing Anymore

December 15, 2014

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! 😀

Holiday Whining

December 14, 2014

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. 😛

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.

Male Privilege

December 13, 2014

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”.

The Right to Privacy

December 12, 2014

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?


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:

Christmas in Africa

December 11, 2014

You’d think I should know better now after what happened last week, but I’ve continued browsing cool Christmas stuff on Wikipedia. And so far there has been significantly less child abuse.

I was looking through the Christmas Traditions article, with what countries all over the world do at Christmas. It’s pretty neat. Haven’t gotten all the way through it yet.

I had the radio on, playing the Christmas music. And guess what notoriously geographically-impaired song came on!

“There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time. The greatest gift they’ll get this year is light. Where nothing ever grows, no rain nor rivers flow… do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”


Christmas in South Africa is a public holiday celebrated on 25 December. Many European traditions are maintained despite the distance from Europe.

Christmas trees are set up in homes and the children are given presents in their stockings. Traditional ‘fir’ Christmas trees are popular and children leave a stocking out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The gift bearer is Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

The Christmas meal is mince pies, turkey, roast beef or a barbecue outdoors. The meal is finished with Christmas Pudding. Christmas crackers are used to make noise.

Okay, I guess they don’t mean South Africa. Surely the rest of Africa is devoid of holiday spirit- oh…

Christmas Day is a public holiday in Nigeria which is always marked by the emptying of towns and cities as Nigerians that have been successful returning to their ancestral villages to be with family and to bless those less fortunate. As the towns and cities empty, people jam the West African markets to buy and transport live chickens, goats and cows that will be needed for the Christmas meals.

On Christmas Eve, traditional meals are prepared according to the traditions of each region. Rather than having sweets and cakes, Nigerians as a whole tend to prepare various meats in large quantities.

Huh. Okay, Nigeria seems to have this whole Christmas thing down. But then again, that song was more specifically about Ethiopia, right? And it’s not like they- oh, look at that!

Christmas Day in Ethiopia is celebrated on January 7. Many people who are Christian in Ethiopia, go to Church on the Eve of Christmas, and stay there all night until 4am the next day on Christmas while doing many spiritual prayer and rituals like Liturgy and Holy Communion.

Oh, snap!

Well, alright. Ethiopia has a lot of Coptic Christians. They in fact do know it’s Christmas time, just like Nigeria and South Africa. But maybe it’s just them, and that the rest of Africa doesn’t know about Christmas…

Or they do, since according to this map, only in Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia, SADR, and Somalia is Christmas NOT a public holiday.

Though the song is from 30 years ago so who knows what’s different between then and now. And there’s some new version of it out now that seems to have changed the above line. That’s something. But the original is played frequently, complete with misleading information. And it’s stuck in my head now and I’m still annoyed because it’s three weeks into the Christmas music and I’ve only heard them play Canon twice with its nice lyrics of not-totally-sure-what-but-at-least-not-geographical-misrepresentation. :irked: