I have decided that, what with my browser becoming increasingly cluttered with links and my deep down need to take a freaking breather from the constantly self-examination and navel sniffing, now would be a good time to go back to the well and share some stuff with you nice people that has almost nothing to do with me.
Weird, I know. And today was even a therapy day! The sheer amount of willpower involved in not horking up my therapy cud to chew on is nothing short of spectacular, don’t you think?
Sorry for that mental image, but I write what the muse tells me.
I write on the wind with words of fire! And, apparently, vomit.
First off, check out this amazingly well written article telling the Republicans down south just, exactly, why they lost the election last time ’round.
Not only is it impeccably well written, with marvelous lines like “As a Card-Carrying White Male I love expressing my opinion irrespective of whether people care to hear it…” but the writer goes to great length to establish his lily white male bona fides, including the fact that his family traces their lineage all the way back to the frigging Mayflower.
I seriously recommend reading it, even though it is now well over a month old and it was written shortly after the election. The points are made extraordinarily well and I think make a very good nonpartisan case for just how wildly radical the Republican platform has become and just how far from true mainstream American opinion they have strayed.
They thought they could always just tell Americans what to think. But the American people have their own opinions and you keep up or get left out.
Watching the sunset of an era of conservatism is a darkly satisfying thing. I just wish it didn’t have to come to this every single time.
Bringing things down to a more personal level, we have this extraordinary story of a 21 year old university student who had to get a restraining order against her own parents.
It is a very unusual thing for a judge to basically declare a young woman’s parents to be stalking her, but these parents are apparently total psychos who make the average “helicopter parents” look like absentee parents who leave a bowl of cereal out once a month with a note that says “Don’t burn stuff.”
They regularly drove 600 miles from their home to their daughter’s university for unannounced visits, and follow her around tracking her every move, and making wild accusations of promiscuity, drug use, and mental health issues.
Classic control freak shit. They probably believed what they said when they said it. Controlling people have no problem imagining that their loss of control can only mean chaos, death, and destruction. That level of controlling behaviour can only stem from a very distorted sense of the world that only trusts that which it can completely control.
How bad did it get for this poor girl? Check this out :
The parents became such an issue that the school hired security guards to keep them out of their daughter’s performances. When the parents stopped paying her tuition because she’d cut off all contact with them, the school gave her a full scholarship for her final year.
Obviously, the school knows the parents are psychotic. Is anyone surprised to find out that the girl is an only child? As a very dear friend, also an only child of controlling parents, recently said : “Have more than one kid!”
Bet your parents seem sane compared to these ones, though, don’t they dear?
And while I am speaking to my dear friend, here is a piece she will like : Peter “Boson” Higgs takes on the anti-religious zealotry of Richard Dawkins.
My friend and I have deep, deep issues with rabid fundamentalist atheist like the kind Dawkins promulgates. It is as hateful and vicious and dehumanizing as any other form of intolerance, and if these rabid anti-theists think they are somehow advancing their cause with their bellicosity, they are sorely mistaken. Like all vocal bigots, all they are really doing is fostering hate in the hearts of others by encouraging them to abandon any shreds of true humanism for the jingoistic joy of feeling better than others. They rally the base, but they make no conversions.
In fact, they do quite the opposite. They force a nontheist like myself to align against them, because I am a true humanist and that means I must do my utmost to maximize tolerance of diversity. When you truly embrace love of humanity, you embrace love of the humanity in us all and come to understand that it is our common humanity that unites us, and intolerance of difference which drives us apart.
Dawkins is a bigot, that is all there is to it. And that is the sort of thing that has made me stop identifying as either a skeptic or an atheist, although both labels fit my point of view in many ways.
So I am quite happy that the Higgs of the superstar particle the Higgs Boson is using his newfound high soapbox of credibility and visibility to speak out against this kind of intolerance.
I don’t think religion is true. I think we would be better off without it. But one of the things that international communism proved is that you absolutely cannot take people’s religion away.
If Soviet suppression could not kill it, your angry wounded barking won’t do it. The only cure for religion is knowledge and understanding, not hate and vitriol.
And I find it strange how all these people who hate religion offer no substitute. Religion continues to thrive because it fills a number of needs, and does it better than any cobbled together patchwork of secular substitutes. Pure reason does not cut it for most people.
So unless you have something better to offer people, they are not going to give up what they have. You and I can go on about the awe and majesty of the natural world, but that is small comfort to someone who is dealing with the loss of a loved one, or suffering terrible poverty, or racked with pain from illness.
What do we have to offer those people?
Cold, calculated clinical cynicism?
We have to do better than that.