sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (science vs religion)
So this happened. Lest I be accused of jumping to conclusions, I will state that I am not absolutely sure that some New Atheist Reddit troglodyte cracker fuck murdered three innocent young Arabs in a vicious racist act of terrorism, but it looks like that's what happened. And if that's the case, it's not really surprising; I know people like this IRL and not a one of them is all that far from a newspaper article that ends with, "...before turning the gun on himself." Pity this jackass didn't have the decency to do the last bit, but that's besides the point.

The point is, like any other white man that kills women or POC because just having straight white male privilege isn't enough for his special snowflake self, he is now mentally ill, a lone wolf, and the act will not be classified as terrorism even though it totally is. Other people made this point, and in a less ragetastic way, before I managed to get home to my computer, so let's talk about the other thing, which is the connection to New Atheism.

New Atheism, as I've said before, is Western imperialism by other means. The history of Western imperialism has consistently been one of smug, know-it-all privilege. Libertarianism being a strong current in American political culture, and one linked to atheism, it's not surprising that there's a substantial population of über-privileged, slighly educated, entitled shitbags who still hate and fear brown people but just can't get behind the whole Onward Christian Soldier thing. And these people increasingly have a voice. If you spend a lot of time online, you'll discover that they in fact have most of the voice. They certainly—particularly through their figureheads like Dawkins, Harris, Maher, and before he died, Hitchens—seem to be adept at grabbing the mic and speaking for all atheists everywhere, and in light of what appears to be a hate crime carried out by an atheist, I feel the need to speak out about it.

I'm an atheist. They don't get to take that label from me. Nor will I accept them being labeled as "fundamentalist atheists," or "atheist extremists" or any variation thereof, because no, they are not, I am. I'm not a moderate just because I get along with religious people and think the Flying Spaghetti Monster is lame and unfunny. I am, in fact, the most fundamentalist atheist you will ever meet. At a very basic level, possibly even at a genetic level, I am not just unwilling to believe in God, I am incapable of it.

So incapable that I do not feel the need to shout from every rooftop that I don't believe in God, because I actually don't give a fuck. As Elie Weisel put it, "the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." I am indifferent to religion. Accordingly, I do not feel the need to go around converting everyone to my way of thinking, and I don't think I'm superior to believers (except New Age types; fuck those guys). It's maybe because I'm Jewish and most of the so-called New Atheists are from Christian backgrounds and feel kind of insecure, maybe, or feel the need to evangelize even though that's really fucking stupid, but it grates. There should be no atheist organizations, no atheist church. Should one spring up, all of the atheists should be run out of it (I volunteer to do this; just call me Atheist Jesus) and the building should be converted into affordable housing for the homeless.

The murders in Chapel Hill were only a matter of time. Violent racism—and in particular racism directed at Muslims—is socially acceptable amongst whites of means and education in a way that it wasn't a decade ago. (Of course, it was always there, but it was institutional; the personal variety was on the wane, as white robes and burning crosses were a bit of an embarrassment.) It has found, among other channels, an outlet in what BoingBoing termed the Redpill Right, that fetid swamp of conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, MRAs, and GamerGaters. These are people who are tolerated to a degree in circles that I am tolerated in, and it scares the shit out of me.

Hold the would-be leaders of this would-be movement accountable. Drag them into the sunlight. Demand Maher and Dawkins apologize for the excesses of their followers, just like we demand apologizes from Muslims every time some unhinged asshole who shares their religion kills someone. When they sprew their bile on the internet, dogpile and shame them. Turn being a Redpiller into something as socially unacceptable as being a soulbonded otherkin who never leaves their parents' basement. It was social media pressure that turned these murders into a story—I mean, Buzzfeed broke the story, ffs—and as this is primarily an online movement, it is probably up to us to do something about it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (cat teacher)
I was arguing with a Stupid Person On the InternetTM on a friend's post about John Tory, which led to a digression. Basically, John Tory, who likes to promote himself as a reasonable centrist* believes that creationism should be taught in schools and wanted to funnel public funds into religious education. Another person on the thread brought up that, as potential mayor of Toronto**, he would have nothing to do with education.

Very well, I (and several others) replied, but it's indicative of a stupid way of thinking. And I pointed out that, if he was willing to fritter away my tax dollars—I really do sound like an arch-conservative sometimes—on religious education on a provincial level, who knew what he might get up to at a municipal level. At any rate, he couldn't be trusted with the budget.

Somewhere during the course of this discussion, I found myself arguing against the Catholic school system and Tory's proposed publicly funded religious schools on the grounds that this was an inefficient use of public resources. This is true, and it is, but it's not the primary reason why I don't support tax dollars going to religious schools, and Stupid Person On the Internet immediately jumped in with, "well, it's not like our public schools are models of efficiency now."

Which is true (though they are more efficient than a multitude of little Bible camps and Branch Davidian compounds and yeshivas and madrassas would be), it occured to me that I needed to amend my initial statement. Schools should not be models of efficiency. Education and health care are the two big areas that I can think of that can never, and should never, be efficient.

Is it, for example, a practical use of money to extend the life of an aging cancer patient by five years? It is not. But if that aging cancer patient is your loved one, you understand that while not practical, it's a correct use of money. Likewise, it is expensive and inefficient to ensure that special needs kids have EAs, adaptive equipment, and a lower student-to-teacher ratio. We pour a lot of money into kids who won't necessarily put back into the economy what they give in. From a purely financial perspective, it is not cost-effective to educate them. But we should, we absolutely should, because the intangible social good of an educated and socialized populace transcends numbers. And because it's morally right. The alternative is barbarism.

Efficiency is the worst lie of late-stage capitalism. The economy has never been leaner or more efficient or more productive. And yet we work longer hours and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. We buy into it because on an individual level we're told that it's good to be productive, and most people can't think past the individual level. On a macro level, inefficiency and redundancy are actually beneficial. We already have enough stuff.

There's, of course, a world of difference between pouring in resources that we won't get back (which is necessary) and deliberately taking money out of the system to duplicate services that don't need to be duplicated, and have a bunch of mini-systems that do a shittier job than one big one would do. Bureaucratic and lumbering though public education may be, it is the best of a series of worse alternatives.

* My least favourite political position, incidentally; well below Westboro Baptist Church and the RCP, who at least can be arsed to take a stand on things.
** And dear readers, you have no idea how much it pains me to even write that sentence; Ford More Years would actually be better than fucking Tory.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (champagne anarchist)
I forgot to tell the story of getting Marinetti to that last vet appointment.

So I called a cab. When I got in, the guy was on the phone figuring out Koran orders. As in he was bulk-ordering Korans but the other guy had sent the wrong amount or something. He had not been sent enough Korans. Anyway, there was a lot of traffic so we started talking. He said he'd been a vet back in Pakistan and was working on getting his license here, but he'd only been here two years and was working as a cab driver in the meantime. I said, "well, welcome to Toronto, good luck, etc."

He said he really liked Toronto. Previously, he'd been living for six years in Scotland and hated it. Apparently all there is to do in Scotland is drink, fight, and curse the English, and there is a pub every 100 metres*. I thought the latter bit sounded pretty good, but then I said, "Oh, I guess you don't drink."

Which was enough to launch him on the most hamfisted attempt to convert me to Islam ever, with my dying cat purring on my lap. It was the worst conversion attempt I've ever encountered. Like, I would have done a better job trying to convert me to Islam. He wasn't even being a dick about it; he just couldn't come up with one argument that made any sense. (Example: He went from being a cell to a fully grown human, isn't that a miracle? I told him that I'm pretty sure that happens all the time. Also, you don't start with the "alcohol is evil" thing. That's like the worst selling point of any religion.)

Anyway, the whole thing was quite good natured and a distraction. I left him with the story of the Prophet Muhammad and the cat, which I think is a better argument for Islam than any of the ones he provided.

He said, "I'm banging my head against a brick wall, aren't I?"

"Yep," I said. "But you distracted me from thinking about how my cat's dying, and I really appreciate that, so thanks. Salaam alaikum."

So that happened.

* Which led to a funny discussion later with [ profile] the_axel about how I wanted to go to Scotland now. Because it has pubs and castles. He pointed out that it is not all pubs and castles. I told him I was disappointed because I was picturing "castle, castle, pub" all the way down the street and apparently it's not like that.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
For those keeping track, the Honourable Wife-Beating, Drunk-Driving, Bird-Flipping, Crack-Smoking, Gangsta-Poppin' Mayor of Toronto now has had three songs written about him. During his probably completely illegal campaign kick-off barbecue, a local Calypso artist called De Carra, who is not very good, played a little ditty called "Toronto Is Strong."

While I thought nothing could beat "cost cowboy and rollback viceroy" from the Jenny James song, De Carra has her beat with this:

The number-one mayor
In North America
He was sent by the messiah
A man fighting for the taxpayer

Epic. I love it. I mean, I can't listen to it all the way through because it's so bad but I admire the chutzpah. God bless Toronto.

Meanwhile, are we getting a Scarborough subway? No one fucking knows. I suspect we'll get one the day I retire and no longer have to commute out there.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (science vs religion)
It's a sad and strange day when I agree with anything that comes out of Jason Kenney's mouth, but broken clocks, twice a day, etc. Quebec's proposed charter of values that will ban public servants from wearing any religious symbol (but really we mean Muslim religious symbols) is so completely batshit insane that I'm amazed it got this far.

I wonder what even constitutes a religious symbol. I mean, I used to wear ankhs and pentacles and inverted crosses, not out of any religious conviction but because I was Goth As Fuck. In Montreal, would a Habs jersey count? I mean, it's really unclear. Also racist. And loopy.

There is a certain type of New Atheism that's essentially a continuation of White Man's Burden by other means. This is its exemplar.

 photo quebec_values_zps28ac957b.jpg
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (TARDIS by mimisoliel)
Today was, apparently, the day to get cool shit in the mail. First, when I left the house on my way to physio, there was a Doctor Who ice tray in my mailbox. It's not especially convenient for ice cubes, but my intent is to make chocolates with it because I'm awesome that way.

Nevertheless, in the meantime it also does make ice cubes, albeit really large ones, so here is Marinetti exterminating an ice Dalek:

 photo marinettiandadalek_zps7e1821c2.jpg
My badass Adventure Kitty, you guys.

Here's what the TARDIS one looks like:

ice tardis photo ice_tardis_zps31c39137.jpg

As if that wasn't already enough to make my day, I got yet another package in the mail in the afternoon, this one from the lovely and talented [ profile] nihilistic_kid. He'd blogged awhile ago about the most hilarious ever Jews for Jesus pamphlet, a rare specimen of the sort I collect for the lulz, and actually sent it my way (along with a book that looks awesome).

Feast your eyes:

leave it to bieber photo leaveittobieber_zps3a15752a.jpg

It's about how Jesus is more awesome than Justin Bieber. Which is really setting a low bar if you ask me, but I am probably not the target audience. Anyway! In an effort to share some of the joy, I've scanned the whole thing so that you can read it, print it, and evangelize. You're welcome!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
Hey, can we talk for a bit about the newly established Office of Religious Freedom? I heard something about it as I was making my bleary way out of bed, but didn't quite catch what was going on. I was pretty sure that we had religious freedom in Canada these days, unless you say, want to take your own holidays off instead of getting the Christian ones off, or if you're a schoolkid forced to stand for an anthem that invokes a monotheistic god, or if you happen to be First Nations, with a history of having your religion shat upon and the present day pleasure of having the occasional asshole journalist draw a pay cheque for mocking your faith.

But mostly we have fairly well-defined lines separating church and state up here, so it makes sense, I suppose, that this is an office that deals with freedom of religion in other countries. Which is an important issue, I guess, but when you have a government that's cutting down on refugee claims and foreign aid in general, all the while screeching about smaller government and austerity, it seems like a weird priority. Perhaps I'm just biased on account of my atheism, but I feel like clean water and sanitation and food might be more important international aid issues to tackle first, and then once those are solved we can worry about religious freedom.

Not that I really want the Harper administration doing any sort of foreign aid, given that they spend our tax dollars on anti-gay groups in Uganda.

Anyway. We have an Office of Religious Freedom now, with one dude heading it and a $5 million budget. Said dude is Catholic and is dean of a private Christian college. His speech focused on the assassination of a Christian politician in Pakistan. It's pretty clear that the Office of Religious Freedom will focus mainly on the persecution of Christians around the world. And while I don't believe that anyone should be persecuted on the basis of their religion, I also think that various Christian churches in the West have shitloads of money to toss around, and perhaps that $5 million might be better spent on combatting malaria or providing generic AIDS drugs or something else a little more urgent.

There's also the interesting point raised by this editorial, which is:

Some wonder whether Ottawa will go as far as the U.S. has in criticizing trading partners or allies such as China, Saudi Arabia and Israel for treating minorities unfairly. And what will Ottawa say when religious beliefs clash with women’s rights, gay rights and so on?

$5 million isn't a lot in federal government terms, but I do find it interesting that governments that preach fiscal conservatism always seem to find money when they need to pander to their base. Which in this case, is not a base that actually wants religious freedom for anyone other than fundamentalist Christians.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (science vs religion)
So Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, died today. In a startling coincidence, this was the day everyone in my class had to do their presentations on various habits (they were actually pretty funny because my classmates are cool, but I think the book is bollocks).

One thing that struck me is how often that book, which is ostensibly about leadership and management, segues into religious claptrap. Same with most self-help books, even some of the better ones I've encountered. Of course, they don't call it "religious claptrap." They call it spirituality.*

Everyone, I am told, is spiritual.

No offense to people who are religious, but this one grates. Big time. Especially because "spirituality" outside of the context of New Age nonsense almost always means "Christianity, but we don't want to alienate Jews who might want to buy our book." In this case, there are direct references to "your church" and "reading scriptures," which is pretty specific to one religion that happens to be the dominant one in this part of the world. It's another way that non-Christians and non-theists are erased: "Oh, 'church' could mean 'synagogue' or 'mosque' too! Oh? You don't go to either of those? Well, walk through Nature-with-a-capital-N to renew your spirit. Everyone is spiritual."

Nope. I'm not. I'm completely grounded in the material world. I don't believe in a God, or gods, or fairies in the garden, and haven't since I was a wee child. That's cool if you do, but your assumption that my experience is just an exotic variation of your own is annoying as all fuck. I've never had any sort of religious experience, and it's pretty hard for me to comprehend how people can have religious experiences; I imagine the reverse is just as alien.

I've often been told–and it's generally meant as a compliment—"[ profile] sabotabby isn't religious, but she's one of the most spiritual people I've ever met." Which, yes, is also pretty offensive, and untrue. It makes me think that people just think that I'm lying when I tell them about my beliefs. I think maybe they mean "ethical," maybe, but again, the conflation of ethics with belief in the supernatural is problematic. I do the stuff that I do because I believe that there's no afterlife, no judgment, no punishment, and no reward. Because the here and now is all that matters. To suggest that I'm an activist because subconsciously I'm doing what someone's God wants me to do is to negate my agency as a human being.

To be told that my spiritual wellbeing is an essential part of my fulfillment as a person is to tell me that I'll never be fulfilled as a human being. Fullstop. That's okay, I guess. I might be happier if I were religious, but then, I'd also be happier if I were a billionaire, but we live with our limitations. The problem is I don't think it's actually true. I suspect that religious people live with the same kind of gnawing doubts and empty spaces as atheists do, get just as terrified when their relatives die or when their bodies fail, are just as awful when they get into positions of power and responsibility, and so on. It would be like me suggesting that everyone should be politically involved; that if you're not out on the streets marching with signs, you're neglecting a vital part of your personhood. It's something that I'm into, a lot, but I don't think you're lying to yourself if you're not into it. You probably find it as boring as I find Nature-with-a-capital-N.

So that's my rant for the day. If you should happen to find the phrase, "everyone is spiritual in their own way" bubbling up in your head, clamp a lid on that baby and I'll be quiet about the opiate-of-the-masses thing.

* It's been awhile since my rant about how I respect religious fundamentalists more than cafeteria New Agers, but I'm sure I don't need to go into it again. Right?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (stfu by chernobylred)
"I'll pray for you."

(So far okay.)

"Do you believe you, uh, believe?"

(Getting a bit personal here.)


"Oh. You should."

(Totally. Out. Of. Line. Plus now I have Cher running through my head.)

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by the Committee Against You Getting Punched In Your Smug Face.

Here, have a song to get Cher out of your head.


Dec. 8th, 2011 06:55 am
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (sleep of reason/goya/wouldprefernot2)
I must be reading too many Left Behind reviews.

Miss Tabby goes to Heaven )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (abstinence by jaig)
Some photos from today's adventures...

We got a slow start to the morning, and ended up grabbing coffee in a cute café across from the Monument to the Revolution:

This is the view. It's approximately a two-second walk from the Casa.

Then we went to the Basílica de Guadalupe.

I think this is seriously the best picture I've taken here.

more )

Then we met up with the Mexican film editor and did film stuff. Wish me luck that the phone call we get tomorrow morning says that it all exported and burned correctly.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (science vs religion)
Via Feministe, behold this EPIC video about how if you don't pray on a certain day, the world will end:

Feministe has a video description.

WHAT IF WE DIDN'T ANSWER THE CALL FOR PRAYER? Apparently the world ends? But we never find out, because the far-too-ethnically-diverse-to-be-real congregation gets down on its knees on the floor (they ran out of pews? It's hard to tell) and the lightning stops and the fiery sky turns back to blue. If this is how the season finale of Fringe goes tomorrow night, I will be sorely disappointed.

There is some beautiful green-screening. Interesting type effects too.

We are reminded that God created the heavens and mountains (and can take them away JUST LIKE THAT).

And the music. The music is just so epic. It's exactly the kind of music I have to repeatedly stop my kids from using in every single video they make.

What I don't understand—and correct me if I'm wrong—is that Christians of a certain stripe (I don't even want to say evangelical Christians because I can name at least one who is Not Like That) actually want the world to end. Like, that's their thing. There are billboards advertising it all over the city at this point, and they've even settled on a date. Which is soon. Yet the message of this video seems to be "pray or it's the apocalypse for you!"

I am very confused.

Also, I don't know about YHWH, but I'm guessing Cthulhu does not approve of videos like this, and will eat the people who made it last.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (design)
New and exciting blog the Eschatologist has an interesting and charmingly non-judgmental article on the redesign of the Left Behind novels and what the new covers say about how pop culture imagines apocalypse(s).

left behind old and new covers

Aesthetically, I like the new typography—much more modern, fun, and refreshing. The old covers had an extremely formal design, with the horrible faux-stone 3D effect on the serif type. This made the apocalypse seem like a done deal, to be honest, which robbed the novels of any sort of suspense that their protagonists might, you know, actually lift a finger to attempt to struggle against evil rather than calmly waiting out the Tribulation. Also, the type on the old covers looked too much like a movie poster, which is presumptuous.

Image-wise, I am split. The photos for Left Behind, Soul Harvest, Appolyon, Assassins, The Indwelling, The Mark, and Glorious Appearing are clear improvements. Tribulation Force's new cover is terrible. It looks like a dull book on American policy in the Middle East. No one wants to see photos of faces on the covers of trade fiction books. It is simply Not Done.

The cover of the original edition of Nicolae is terrible—the new one is a much better photo, artistically speaking—but I agree with the Eschatologist that it kind of screws with the meaning. Carpathia is not supposed to look like an old Soviet bureaucrat. For fuck's sake. The original one is a terrible composition but at least it keeps the whole Antichrist-as-charming-visionary aesthetic.

I disagree with the Eschatologist on the cover of Assassins. I don't disagree that it's racist as fuck. It is definitely racist as fuck. It's prettier, though. The original looks like a Clancy cover.

I can't make up my mind on Desecration. Personally, I'm just not sure a book with dead fish on the cover will sell. Who is their target market, exactly? Does this target market like dead fish floating in blood and, more importantly, are they likely to either buy it to put on their bookshelves or give it as a gift? "Just what I wanted for Christmas, Aunt Maude! A book about dead fish floating in blood." Whereas on the old cover, it's clear that the Antichrist is rising and means business, and they manage to get this impression across without dead fish floating in blood. I'm just sayin'.

Both of the covers for The Remnant suck. Come on, book designer! This is a series about the end of the world—you really couldn't find a better photo to use?

The old cover for Armageddon is the clear winner. As a book designer, if I'm given the choice to show the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse or a helicopter flying over an explosion, I'm going to choose the former every time, if only because the movie Live Free Or Die Hard is pretty much the end of the story in terms of illustrating helicopters and explosions. Also, horses are cool.

left behind,books,cover design
What Would Sabotabby Do?

Both covers for Glorious Appearing are a bit shit, mostly because they missed the boat. That's the book where Jesus comes back and shoots laser beams out of his eyes and burns all of the sinners in a pit of lava (sorry, I guess that was a spoiler). That is the sole reason why anyone would pick up the book, to read about Jesus with laser beams shooting out of his eyes, and you're telling me that the designer couldn't be arsed to put that scene on the cover? What. A. Waste.

left behind,books,cover design
There, I fixed it.

I really like the new clock graphic, too. Subtle, Tyndale. Very subtle.

Still, this would be a very difficult book design project, both because a designer would have to actually read the books and also if you don't do a good job, Jesus will kill you with his laser eye-beams, so I doff my hat to the person tasked with this endeavour.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (science vs religion)
[ profile] cannibal_x posted this intriguing Zizek lecture, "Why Only an Atheist Can Be a True Christian," and I just got around to watching it last night. Zizek takes his typical meandering approach to discussing morality with and without religion, how atheists secretly believe, and how religious people secretly don't. He also discusses secular liberal hedonism and provides the best fix-it for Life is Beautiful.

Skip the first few minutes if you know anything about Zizek. He doesn't actually start talking until around the seven-minute mark, wherein he describes how he was symbolically castrated by the moderator.

[Closed-captioning is reportedly available, but I can't get it to work. Ah, this resolution is turning out to be harder than I thought to keep.]

A madman thinks he's a piece of grain. He's finally cured; now he knows he's human. He's freed from the psychiatric asylum—then quickly comes running back. He tells his psychiatrist: "I met a chicken. I was afraid that the chicken would eat me."

The psychiatrist says, "But now you know that you are not a grain of corn. You are human."

He says, "Yes, I know it, but does the chicken know it?"

On a slightly shallower note, on a whim, I searched Zizek's name on TVTropes. There he is, under Real Life examples of Memetic Badass. ("He lives on a giant whiteboard in the centre of time and space.") The usual warnings apply to clicking that link.
sabotabby: (jetpack)
While making/eating dinner, [ profile] zingerella and I discussed several perplexing problems. We felt that the internets might be able to help us answer them.

1. Would Dollhouse have been better (or, more to the point, able to grapple with the questions Whedon wanted to ask) if all of the characters except Adele were genderswapped?

2. What would happen if Angel had a calling to the priesthood?

And the most troublesome, and thus important, of all:

3. Can a cyborg perform baptisms or last rites in an emergency?

Help us, internets. You're our only hope.

ETA: [ profile] zingerella adds, "Okay, but what about a replicant?"
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat flaming death)
Oh [ profile] sabotabby! You silly leftists are always exaggerating. Surely most cops are good people doing a tough job, and it's just a few bad apples. Stop using terms like "police state" or "fascists" or "uniformed thugs with guns and no accountability"; we're not in Iran, after all. No one will take you seriously.

After all, cops would never shoot intellectually disabled or mentally ill people, face absolutely no consequences, and then turn around and extort money from the victims' families.

Nah, you know, I'm just going to say it: Toronto cops are the scum of the earth. When I see them speak up in significant numbers against this sort of state-sanctioned terrorism, I'll consider revising my opinion. It's not just the system. The system is bad, but the individuals within that system are also power-drunk bullies who shouldn't be allowed to wield a butter knife let alone a small arsenal of deadly weapons.

I have to say that I've been impressed with the Star's Above the Law series. It's truly courageous journalism. I think I'll print it out and give it to the next person who tries the "cops are people too" line on me.

This article isn't, though. Hilarious title aside, it includes Bible quotations and merely hints at an opposing, reality-based position.

I couldn't help but mentally rework the article a bit:

Cthulhu will devour us before climate change happens: U.S. Representative

U.S. Representative John Shimkus, possible future chairman of the Congressional committee that deals with energy and its attendant environmental concerns, believes that climate change should not concern us since the Old Ones are scheduled to arise from the submerged city of R'lyeh long before it becomes an issue.

continued )

See what I mean? Totally silly.
sabotabby: (books!)
If you are going to burn a book, any book, the way I see it, you've got three options.

1) You steal it. If you are a religious nutjob, you will probably not do this.

2) You take it out from the library. You should not do this because librarians know where you live, and they are not people to be trifled with.

3) You buy it. This is really your only practical option for mass burnings*.

Except, then, you are upping the sales of the very book you claim to hate so much. And financially supporting the publishers and booksellers, who, let's face it, need any sale they can get these days, and don't really care what you do with a book once you buy it.

Really, everyone wins.

* Obviously, there have been historical cases where book-burners raided universities or parents took their children's possessions to burn. But I have a hard time imagining that Bible-beaters already owned copies of the Qu'ran.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Jew jokes)
Epic video of epicness about "Burn a Koran Day":

In other news, I am going to celebrate the New Year with perogies.* And apples. And the latest episode of Leverage.

* Someone took a trip to Costco today. I can't believe how much food I have. [ profile] zingerella, you had better help me with this.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (teachthecontroversy)
The humanities don't make us materially wealthy. They don't increase our market share or increase the size of our homes. They don't lower our taxes or pay our medical bills. And so they get pushed aside in our everyday affairs. The humanities of history and literature and philosophy and religion speak to the human condition, something invaluable. And people take them for granted, until others begin to define and delineate what it means to be human. Only then do people get up in arms. If we are going to conserve our humanities, we must be revolutionary in our politics and pedagogy.

[ profile] canonfire's post on the Texas State Board of Education's social studies and history standards is required reading. Go read it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
The humanities don't make us materially wealthy. They don't increase our market share or increase the size of our homes. They don't lower our taxes or pay our medical bills. And so they get pushed aside in our everyday affairs. The humanities of history and literature and philosophy and religion speak to the human condition, something invaluable. And people take them for granted, until others begin to define and delineate what it means to be human. Only then do people get up in arms. If we are going to conserve our humanities, we must be revolutionary in our politics and pedagogy.

[ profile] canonfire's post on the Texas State Board of Education's social studies and history standards is required reading. Go read it.


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