Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sort of a 9/11 post

Everybody's posting their 9/11 reminiscences today. Most people seem to have watched the whole thing on TV and wept or stood in shock. Oddly enough, I didn't. I had no idea anything was amiss until I got to work and saw my co-workers huddled around the radio. As it became clear that this was big, my first thought was "I hope Mary [my editor who was in D.C. for a visit] got some good photos."  Then the enormity of the whole thing struck me.

Such is the thought process of a newspaperman. And that day, our little afternoon daily actually scooped the big metro papers that had all gone to press before the attack. We were on the other side of the country, not any sort of a target for even the most hateful enemy. What are they going to do, terrorize our potato fields?

So I don't have a lot of memorial stuff. What I do have is a snippet of a column by Dorothy Rabinowitz that reminds me why America is worth preserving:

There are other faces of Muslim America. Five years or so after the terrorists drove their planes and passengers into the twin towers and the Pentagon, a cab driver from Pakistan remarked, as we drove past the rubble where the towers had stood, that he could never pass this place without trying to see them again in his mind. A painful effort, for all that it brought back. What was not painful, he added, was the memory of certain people in his neighborhood—a mixed but mostly white area of Queens, with many Italian-Americans, some Jews, and he thought some Irish. After the attacks, some of the men had come to him.

"My wife doesn't go out without a head cover," he explained. The men had come to tell him that if anyone bothered her, or his family, he must come to them.

"I must tell them and must not be afraid. Do you know," he said, in a voice suddenly sharp, "what would have happened if Americans had done this kind of attack in my country? Every American—every Christian, every non-Muslim—would have been slaughtered, blood would have run in the streets. I know the kind of country this is. Thanks be to God I can give this to my children."
Thanks be to God indeed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Friday, May 09, 2014

If Jonathan Edwards were a feminist nutcase

I mean, seriously, doesn't this have the same cadence as Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?
Men, homo rapiens, you scum, you filth. There is no word to describe the extent of your evil, you are pure evil, pure lechery. I hate you, how I hate you. In the 250,000 years of your rotten, defunct existence, you have managed to kill 5 million years of life on earth...
Whew! I'd beg for mercy, if only it were possible for a homo rapiens wretch like me. RTWT, if only for an appreciation of the sheer artistry of the rant. I've known plenty of Fundamentalist preachers who couldn't approach that level of pulpit-chewing, mouth-foaming intensity. (No disrespect to Fundamentalists intended.)

This, incidentally, is the same womyn-spirit who wrote the roundly-mocked screed about how all sex (at least, any that could possibly fulfill its natural function) was rape. Go ahead and read that one if you like, but you'll want to take a shower afterward.

Akubra tip to V the K.

Monday, March 10, 2014

You gotta know when to hold 'em...

...know when to fold 'em, and most importantly, know when to stagger away from the table and vomit in the alley before your buddies can come up with a bet like this.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Of bakers, sociopaths and brownshirts

On the religious freedom/anti-harassment bill in Arizona, V the K at Gay Patriot writes:
There are several personality traits that define a sociopath. Some of the key ones are: Superficial charm, Untruthfulness and insincerity, Lack of remorse and shame, and Pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love,
A sociopath is not led by facts and reason to a conclusion; they are not relevant, only the conclusion is relevant. The sociopath wants what he wants. Often, what he wants is ego gratification through forcing others to capitulate.
You can’t argue with sociopaths. They don’t care about reason, or liberty, or freedom. They only care about getting their way; which in this case means forcing Christians to bake cakes and arrange flowers for gays. Because that will mean that they win and Christians lose, and that’s all that matters; the Power. And they know that their fellow sociopaths in politics, business, the media, and the courts… career fields that reward and celebrate sociopathic behavior… will be only too happy to grant them that power.
Normal, reasonable people are capable of getting along without constantly having to stir sh-t up. But Drama Queens (which, when you think about it, is just another word for sociopath) love stirring sh-t up and turn people against each other for their benefit and amusement.

Before I get into the main topic, let me first say that the next person who uses the phrase "Jim Crow" will be clopped upside the head with a history book. Jim Crow laws prohibited merchants from serving customers across the color line. They were a restriction on the freedoms of business owners, closer in intent to the "civil rights" legislation currently in place than to this attempt to mitigate their coercive nature.

Most opponents of this bill probably know only what they hear in the news, which is to say, nothing. The bill does not allow businesses carte blanche to deny service to gay people. No restaurant, no cab driver, is going to be permitted to turn away a gay customer. Even the baker and the florist cannot refuse to make a cake or arrange flowers for gay people simply because they're gay. All it does is close a loophole in existing law, to extend to religious believers the same protection from punishment by individuals that they already have from punishment by government.

Now to the meat of it. What kind of person opposes that protection? The word "sociopath" is a strong one, not to be used lightly.
In other states that have no protections, it has become a trend for gay customers to approach, say, bakers who feature their Christianity prominently in their advertising,  and order a wedding cake. The baker refuses politely, explaining that his religion forbids him to participate in blasphemy, and refers the customer to another bakery. The gay people take their wounded feelings first to court, where they bankrupt the baker, and then to the news media, where they all join in a chorus of "Ooh, those awful Jesus Freaks!" In the meantime, some other baker has made them a cake for free by way of consolation.

Here's where sociopathy comes in. If the stated purpose is true, that the goal is to buy a wedding cake, there are plenty of bakers out there to choose from. The customer has the choice of buying from one of the many who do want his business, or the one that doesn't. He chooses the unwilling one. At this point, it's not just about the cake, but about getting the cake by force. When a man does this with sex, we call him a rapist. When it's commerce, he's hailed as a courageous activist. At bottom, they're both sociopaths.

But I doubt very much that the cake is the issue. The issue is whether people who are different may be left alone, or must be ostracized and punished. Targeting a small minority – and Christians with this scruple are a minority – in order to put them out of business is (pace Godwin's Law) the same method used in pre-Holocaust Germany, albeit on an individual basis rather than a wholesale one. The law is merely the cudgel with which to beat the undesirable people. And the people who engage in it are still brownshirts, whether they display swastikas or rainbow bumper stickers.

A sociopath wants to harm people to feel powerful. A brownshirt wants to harm people because he hates them personally. Two different kinds of two-legged vermin.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Things you need to know #462:

My friend Lazarus Lupin was found dead in his home two nights ago. He and I became friends in middle school, bonding over mutual geekery. He introduced me to bad movies, thud-and-blunder fantasy literature and the eldritch horrors of H.P. Lovecraft. He had the bizarrest sense of humor I've ever encountered (and looking at my other friends, that says a lot). We lost touch after high school and only reconnected a few years ago on Facebook and in the blogosphere. I wish I could have seen him one more time.

Travel in elephants, Mike. That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Not dead yet!

I know, I know, I haven't posted since Christmas Eve. Mea culpa.

Part of the delay has been my new job. I'm no longer a one-man department at the (former) Greatest Newspaper in the Northwest™. Rather, I've been promoted and am now a one-man newsroom (and composing department and everything but ad sales) at the NEW Greatest Newspaper in the Northwest™. (The link in the sidebar will be changed to reflect the re-ranking as soon as the new paper's website is up.) It's a monthly agricultural news publication covering all of Central Washington. It's owned by the same corporation as the paper I just left, but it's kept carefully separate. This is the sort of challenge I've been working for for the last 17 years, and so far I'm loving the bejabbers out of it.

Trouble is, there was a major project (the actual term I use for it is a bit more pungent than "project") that I was still working on at the other paper. I've been trying frantically to get it out while hitting the ground running at the new job. That latter part isn't helped by the fact that my predecessor here left abruptly and took her staff and most of her archives and information with her. Frustrating.

Meanwhile, we seem to have settled everything with the bank and are going to be able to keep our house. We also were approved for SSI for Visigoth and Ostrogoth, which is good because they're the reason my Lovely and Brilliant Wife can't accept a job outside the home. It's hard to work when maybe one day out of three you get a call from the school to come and pick up a melting-down child.

You may notice a few changes in the sidebar. I'm taking out the blogs that haven't posted in forever and I've got a few more to bring in. I'll try and introduce the new ones as I add them.

You're now up to date, you few, you happy few, you band of readers who still wander by here occasionally. Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Repost: The Play of the Nativity of the Child Jesus

Bringing it back from last year, not just because I'm crunched for time, but because it was a really, really good (non-) Cheesy Christmas Movie!

I've been saving this one for last, because it's decidedly not cheesy.

If you're looking for a plain old Christmas pageant on screen, you're going to be caught a bit off-guard, especially by the dialogue. This isn't some hokey Hollywood bastardization of the Christmas story. This is modeled after the medieval Nativity plays.

The archaic, rhymed dialogue and the lighting give this an overall tone of reverence and age befitting to such a holy narrative. Notably, the commercials are only at the beginning and end; the play is uninterrupted.

Such a solemn, joyful treatment of Christmas on TV is impossible to imagine today. I doubt it was commonplace even in the early 1950s. If you've watched none of my Cheesy Christmas Movie series, watch this and leave me your thoughts in the comments.



Available for streaming and download here.