“…When the landlady of my Toronto apartment building said an outraged [muslim] neighbour had filed a complaint about me over an apparently inappropriate hallway interaction with his wife, my mind raced through the countless conversations I’ve had with fellow tenants, none of which seemed a possible source of offence. It turns out, it wasn’t a salacious transaction that had caused the complaint, but rather a neighbourly and — to me — entirely forgettable greeting, little more than a brief “good morning” as I passed my [muslim] neighbours on the way to work…” Read here
Archive for May, 2009
Woman rescues suicide jumper seconds before train pulls through. That is one courageous woman. This must be the other side of human nature (well, doesn’t look like anything cynical here–very disappointing).
Note: while the woman above perhaps represents the finest in humaness, these beasts are among the worst.
Tags: Bankruptcy, Depression, Divorce, Marriage
“…Millions of American families may now be in the initial stage of their responses to the current crisis, working together and supporting one another through the early months of unemployment. During the Depression this stage seemed to last a year at most. Today, it might last longer. Wives now share with their husbands the burden of earning money, and the government provides more assistance. But history suggests that this response will be temporary. By 1940 the divorce rate was higher than before the Depression, as if a pent-up demand was finally being satisfied. The Depression destroyed the inner life of many married couples, but it was years before they could afford to file for divorce. Today’s economic slump could well generate a similar backlog of couples whose relationships have been irreparably ruined. So it is only when the economy is healthy again that we will begin to see just how many fractured families have been created…” from Married with Bankruptcy.
Bad financial times aside, it’s amazing to me that the institution of marriage–something that by it’s very nature is bankrupt (as in the joke “till death do you part”–is still alive, that a lot of people will still spend thousands of dollars on something that is most likely bound to fail, either in outright terms (divorce or murder) or hellish coexistence ( as in for the sake of the children or financial dependency). Before you say “I Do” just remember what Andy Warhol might have said, “Everybody will be married for fifteen minutes.”
“…The circus was sexually charged, too, according to Halperin. One ex-female acrobat tells him Cirque was run by “horny little boys” whose goal was “to [bleep] as many women as they could until they dropped dead. They were all decent human beings until it came to women . . . They would not take ‘no’ for answer. First they tried to charm you — they were certainly most charming — and if that didn’t work they’d ply you with the most expensive booze, get you stoned, and voila, the next morning you’d wake up in their bed naked…” Cirque du Soleil
Tags: Bible, God
Biblethink has it down pat:
“I became a Christian at the age of 17. I was in my bedroom and a feeling swept over me that there was something missing in my life. I picked up the Bible, read it, prayed and God saved me. Since then I have heard the audible voice of God Almighty, I have seen the devil (Satan himself) with my eyes, and I have had an encounter with Jesus Christ that was the most AMAZING experience of my life. Also, I have found the Bible to be true and trustworthy. See “My Testimony” at BibleIllustrated.com (looks oddly like the Drudge Report format)…Note: I am not in the business of educating morons.”
Update…Attention morons (to use the ever witty biblethink’s term for atheists): need more proof of God?–I mean besides Romans I–then go here where a British mother has found Jesus in a jar.
Tags: Conservatives, Cortex, Liberals
It seems, according to an article by Nicholas Kristof, that the difference between liberals and conservatives lies naked in the medial prefrontal cortex. It’s like this (quoting Kristof): “The larger point is that liberals and conservatives often form judgments through flash intuitions that aren’t a result of a deliberative process. The crucial part of the brain for these judgments is the medial prefrontal cortex, which has more to do with moralizing than with rationality….One of the main divides between left and right is the dependence on different moral values. For liberals, morality derives mostly from fairness and prevention of harm. For conservatives, morality also involves upholding authority and loyalty — and revulsion at disgust. Some evolutionary psychologists believe that disgust emerged as a protective mechanism against health risks, like feces, spoiled food or corpses. Later, many societies came to apply the same emotion to social ‘threats.’ Humans appear to be the only species that registers disgust, which is why a dog will wag its tail in puzzlement when its horrified owner yanks it back from eating excrement…”
From an article in the “NY Times” (adapted from “Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work” by Matthew B. Crawford: The television show “Deadliest Catch” depicts commercial crab fishermen in the Bering Sea. Another, “Dirty Jobs,” shows all kinds of grueling work; one episode featured a guy who inseminates turkeys for a living. The weird fascination of these shows must lie partly in the fact that such confrontations with material reality have become exotically unfamiliar. Many of us do work that feels more surreal than real. Working in an office, you often find it difficult to see any tangible result from your efforts. What exactly have you accomplished at the end of any given day? Where the chain of cause and effect is opaque and responsibility diffuse, the experience of individual agency can be elusive. “Dilbert,” “The Office” and similar portrayals of cubicle life attest to the dark absurdism with which many Americans have come to view their white-collar jobs.
Tags: American Revolution, Fourth of July, Government, History
Is it too early to post for July 4th? Well maybe so…but anyway, patriots out there, just remember that it’s never to early (or too late for that matter) to remember what we hold so dear about that date–that the American revolution was when we threw out an oppressive unrepresentative government and replaced it with another even more oppressive unrepresentative government.
That’s right. In the eyes of the state–even that bland mass of stifling ugliness, Ohio–the individual is nothing more than a piece of shit. Read here.
Update: Now here is a guy who has found a way to fight city hall. Now I can’t say I condone this type of thing but at least he got their attention:
Tags: Catholicism, Sports
Worst combination: Religion and soccer. That’s right, combine your religious thugs with your sports thugs and you get this. And to think it all started after the Glasgow Rangers won the Scottish Premier League (yeah, that could bring out the worst in any mob). It’ ain’t pretty.
Quoth the valley girl: Like hell is so gross, eeeeewwwww, like really.
“…So far, though, you have not been told what it’s like as a car; as a tool for moving you, your friends and your things from place to place. So here goes. It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more. The biggest problem, and it’s taken me a while to work this out, because all the other problems are so vast and so cancerous, is the gearbox. For reasons known only to itself, Honda has fitted the Insight with something called constantly variable transmission (CVT)…” Read rest of article here.
Newly fixed Hubble telescope picks up life on distant Planet X. CAUTION: they could be more dangerous than Martians. Stay in your homes. Look to the skies…
I read Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men” a couple of years ago, then saw the movie when it came out. Most movies do a lousy job of putting a first rate novel on screen (witness Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” fiasco), but I was pleasantly surprised by it, finding the movie version actually better than the book, yet keeping probably ninety-five percent of visual contexts and stark dialog. The movie was a tighter version of the novel, free of some of the extraneous scenes that didn’t work well to begin with. A few months ago I read McCarthy’s “The Road” and was held in suspense throughout. Excellent novel about the mother of all survival tales. Judging by the movie trailer it too could be better than the book. And yesserie Bob, I do believe this is the way civilization will end, in a big heap from an asteroid hit, with survivors living on fast food cannibalism, brandishing Anglo Saxon weapons of the 1000AD kind, and quickly forgetting what the internet age was all about. (Personally I can’t wait; I’m going to turn my Toyota pick-up into a Somali warlord wagon.)
Polish photographer Maciej Dakowicz has spent four years photographing a single city in Great Britain, Cardiff. He calls his collection project ‘Cardiff At Night.’ Some of the photos are published here; looks like he wouldn’t have got half his shots if it weren’t for fast food joints like McDonald’s.
A few Cardiffians snorting the beef and fries.
Forget the boring useless history of the Roman Empire or the history of Greece…here’s something much more interesting–the history of TV’s laugh track.
Tags: Debunking, Michael Shermer, Myths, Skeptic
“They gave me a shovel and told me to dig my own grave, because if they had to, they’d just bury me alive. Then they told me they were going to cut my head off and brought a basket filled with leaves and set it in front of me…” Read story here.
“…Let’s go to the numbers: Caracas, with about 3.2 million people, is in a bloody league of its own, with an estimated murder rate of 130 per 100,000 residents according to government figures. Cape Town is about the same size as Caracas but nearer to Baghdad’s murder rate with 62 violent deaths per 100,000 people. New Orleans, with an estimated post-Katrina population of just over 300,000, is tiny in size compared to its rivals. But the number of murders is huge; figures vary, but even the low estimate puts the city on a par with Cape Town. By way of comparison, Moscow, one of the most violent cities in Europe, has an estimated murder rate of just 9.6 per 100,000 residents. New York City’s murder rate is 6.2, Washington D.C.’s about 32…” Read article here.