Completely Unrelated

Completely unrelated to my normal topics, I’d appreciate it if anyone reading this would stop by my Kickstarter and help me with a horror role-playing game I’ve been working on for a few years now. It’s in the final stages and will just take about a month or two worth of artwork before it’s ready for publication.

Here’s the link…

Even a casual glance is greatly appreciated.

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You’ve Got to Fight For the Right (to Reason)

It’s been a while since my last post. I know I say this just about every six months, but I’ve got a family which now consists of myself, my lovely wife, and four cats (less the dog I mentioned last year). It’s a busy life, but these little messages should still come out every now and then, especially considering it appears my readership is higher when I take hiatus for whatever reason.

And speaking of reason (forgive the poorly-done transition), it seems as though it’s a commodity we have to worry about being embargoed. While you sit, casually reading this article, somewhere, for whatever reason, there are those positioning their ships of war in the Bay of Intellect, trying to keep our species from advancing on into a brighter, better future.

This post isn’t going to be about fighting the good fight, and it isn’t going to be about not letting up, or about the disposition of the “enemy,” or about the strategy in ending their blockade. It’s simply a shout-out to what’s at stake.

I’ve been watching a lot of the hit TV sit-com “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s theme song, a goofy little ditty by the Barenaked Ladies, is actually what prompted me to write today. It may just be a silly song introducing a show about socially-awkward intellectuals and their plight of scoring with the ladies, but I can’t listen to it without thinking how meaningful it is.

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait…
The Earth began to cool,
The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools,
We built a wall (we built the pyramids),
Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries,
That all started with the big bang!

We haven’t been here that terribly long, but we have made some amazing leaps and bounds as a species in this time… and the biggest of these is the progress we’ve made toward understanding where we come from, and how the universe works, and how the two subjects are intertwined. It’s been a struggle, a long, arduous one, and there have been countless people who have dedicated their entire lives to unraveling the mysteries that all started with the Big Bang.

Let’s not ever give up, and let’s not just allow the “other side” to hold us back. I have a feeling that with the recent giant step of discovering (what most likely is) the Higgs Boson and some other things I’ve been keeping up with lately that there are some seriosly amazing days ahead for humanity.

 

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AN INTERESTING METAPHOR?

When I’m not doing one of the various things that makes me happy, I’m doing something that makes me fairly unhappy: trying to pay for all those other things by working at a hotel. Well, this hotel is hosting a large convention of a particular very strict religious group. We’ve held these before, and others like them, and I believe I’ve even mentioned them in previous post. Either way, they aren’t always my favorite times, and not just because I’m upset by all those minds being warped, those innocents being lied to. It’s normally the time that I get yelled at the most, treated most like slime, and have to evict more people for fighting, doing drugs, and not paying their bills.

 That aside, I have noticed something with this particular group. When the arrangements were first made, as soon as church let out, we got hundreds of calls nearly simultaneously, and they kept coming all day long, for the next week or so (this is an international conference, by the way… thousands are going to be attending. They all wanted to call and make their reservations immediately, and those that couldn’t get through kept calling back until they could).

 The thing I noticed, though, is that absolutely NONE of them were aware of the date or days they were supposed to be making their reservations for. They were just calling to make the reservations, and they had no clue when they wanted them for. They didn’t bother to set up a date, they didn’t bother to look at the days of the week they were going to be gone on. I wonder how many of them hadn’t even taken the time off from work yet, or made sure they had babysitters, or made sure they didn’t have any conflicting scheduling. I have to say, without fear of exaggeration, that about 85% or more of them were not aware of the date: they were just making the reservations because they had been told to.

 Isn’t this a keen metaphor? They’re told to do something, and they do it without even looking at whether or not it falls on a date they can comply with. Whatever they’re told, they’ll do. It kind of makes you lift an eyebrow.

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Dancing With Only Straight Stars

So, in case you hadn’t heard, One Million Moms, a group of dried up, sexually repressed bigots, is standing up against ABC for having Chaz Bono and Carson Kressley on Dancing With The Stars. These insane witches are even policing their own people, telling them “This is completely unacceptable and Christians should not watch the show, no excuses!

Honestly? If I were a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and they said “You shouldn’t be going to church! Ever! And if your kids or your wife want to go, you should kick them out of your house!” I’d say “Go stab yourselves repeatedly in the face” and leave without giving them a chance to redeem themselves. How stupid do you have to be to belong to an organization which tells its members what to do rather than having its members dictate how it operates?

Oh, wait.

Why does no one ever stand up against these groups? I mean, sometimes they fight back, but you never see anyone standing up and saying “These people are hatemongers, bigots, and their attempts to control society and bring everyone to their way of thinking should be considered evil and a threat to society which needs to be stopped.” They have more in common with Adolf Hitler, Lex Luthor, and Cobra Commander than Jesus, Ghandi, or Buddha. Why is it that, instead of speaking out against them for what they do, we don’t just stand against them the way they stand against homosexuals and other “sinners?”

One of the things I can’t forgive myself in life for is standing up in the pulpit or sitting among teenagers in a Youth Bible Study and teaching them to hate homosexuals. I wonder how these women can live with themselves.

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No More Saggy Trousers

I’m sorry. It’s been a while since I posted (new wife, new dog, new apartment, only just now got internet, blah-blah-blah). Now, my first post back isn’t even going to be on my normal topic…

THIS is ridiculous.

For those of you who couldn’t be bothered to read the article (lazy, lazy, lazy), a lawmaker in Florida named Gary Siplin has decided to ban saggy trousers, and was successful. Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking… “Great! That looks SOOO stupid!” But if you can make a law against how people dress (unless it’s obscene, which saggy pants really isn’t, considering the underwear these kids are wearing are just like a pair of shorts anyway), you can make laws enforcing that they dress a certain way… you can make laws that women need to cover their faces, or that you can no longer make your dog wear one of those silly sweaters. They can enforce which churches you can and cannot go to. They can tell you what you can and can’t write about, what you can and can’t criticize. A law like this is a ban against freedom of expression and free speech, and this lawmaker needs to be removed from office.

I do agree with the author of the original article… Maybe if this gentleman spent more time trying to make new jobs for these kids instead of telling them how to dress, they might naturally take on the responsibility of dressing themselves better on their own so they can get a job and make something of themselves. Tell them they can’t dress how they want, and they’ll figure out something else to do, or just do it to spite you anyway. Give them a reason to dress better, like a job where they have to dress nicely if they want to get hired, and they will.

***

Does anyone remember the Japanese film “Battle Royale?” Schoolkids were unhappy with the rigorous schooling they had to undergo, considering in this alternate future unemployment was at an all-time high… All their schooling meant nothing if they wouldn’t be able to get a job. So, instead of trying to make new jobs, the government punishes the students for rebelling.

I said all that to say this: lawmakers need to have priorities, and those priorities need to be based less on their (mostly Christian) sensibilities and more on what’s good for everyone. We elect lawmakers, judges, and leaders to uphold the Constitution, and for every one of them that turns America more into a “nanny” state, for each one that takes away freedom in the name of so-called morality, we are getting closer and closer to a dystopian world where it’s a crime to live past a certain age (see “Logan’s Run”), to express yourself as an individual (see “Equilibrium”), or to believe what you want to belive, do what you want to do, and be the person you want to be (see “V for Vendetta”).

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Inactivity!!

Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I’ve written, either here or at http://www.secularnewsdaily.com. The result of this, seemingly, would be a handful of friends and fans wondering wherre I’ve been and a lot more religious nuts frothing at the mouth wondering when they can try to sink their comments into me next. I’ve been without internet since I moved in early February and have only had a chance to hop on every now and then from my work computer. With getting married (July 2nd!) and still having to pay bills, including my ridiculous Verizon bill (for two people with the lowest number of minutes, limited texting, and a full data plan on one phone and no data plan on the other phone we pay about $160.00 a month BEFORE any extra overage charges), getting internet has been a hassle.

So, keep checking back. According to my site stats, I get a few folks passing by looking for me every now and then, with a big spike every four or five days for some reason. I’ll get back to my old writing habits soon, I assure you!

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Making Bad Choices…

Religion, superstition, and belief without backup cause people to do some fairly stupid things. Take, for instance, the santeros that stayed in my hotel this past weekend. Either there’s a good number of them here in Tucson or these were the same people responsible for the odd sigils I found written in chalk on a tourist bridge in downtown Tucson a few months ago. These particular two, a man and wife, came into our hotel late at night. The night auditor found he was having to change their rooms several times throughout the course of the evening, so he went to check exactly what the problem was.

The problem was demons.

The woman had, apparently, woken up in the middle of the night and peed the bed with terror. Her and her husband then spent the next half hour meticulously blessing the room and leaving appeasement for the spirits. The apparently went to Losbetos, a local Mexican restaurant, and bought large amounts of food and were leaving them out as offerings to the spirits. They also attempted a purification ceremony and scattered salt and whole, raw eggs at the entrances to each area of the room and all around the bed.

They had just been complaining to the night auditor that they felt scared and uncomfortable, and so he was moving them to accommodate them without hecking to see if they had done anything to the room. They had gotten four by the time he decided to check up on them.

Each room had the eggs, the salt, an individual container of food, and a personal item left on top of the TV stand, and the Gideon Bible in the room had been wrapped in blankets and thrown on walkway in front of the room.

When the auditor finally decided to catch up with them, he found the woman still soaked in and reeking of urine and screaming about how the demons had imprinted themselves in the carpet, which her husband was busy “purifying” with a boxcutter.

I’m not sure why he didn’t evict them, but as soon as I came in the next morning and heard the story and then investigated the rooms, I had them evicted immediately. We charged them $250.00 for damages done to the room and had them escorted off the property. The wife tried to argue that they had done what needed to be done, but when she found out that we didn’t jib to her jive, she said “Fine, just charge us.”

Why does belief still exist? How is it that this has not been left behind in our process of intellectual growth? Clearly, it is debilitating and destructive, and leads to making terrible choices for yourself, your family, and everyone around you (especially in the case of voting or child rearing).

Seriously, folks. Seriously. It needs to stop.

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