Pscytheology

Mowing down psychological tall grass and tangled weeds; clearing the field and planting new seeds. Thoughts lifted from my angry days, when someone asks my opinion and then denies it. If I tell you my favorite color, who else would have the "right" answer? Challenge it, oppose if you must, but to correct it is to erase my existence. If we all had the same thoughts, there would be no need for democracy. Cogito Ergo Sum.

2012/12/25

If "reason" is your enemy, then you better believe I am too.


What do you say to this?

Is the church, or the members thereof, actually willing to argue and be proud that to have faith, it must supplant reason?

These kinds of statements, arguments, positions are the reasons I have grown to despise faith - even the "polite" kind that isn't attacking me. Because the polite kind, the kind that wants to have it's views without condemning or arguing with mine, still acts as a segment in the pole holding up the tent that covers the rest of the genuinely "are you fucking kidding me?" crazy faith - the kind that says kill your kid with your bare hands if you think the "devil" is inside him.

Every argument, religious or otherwise, involves reason.

Want proof?

Even the most "faithful" of believers uses "reason" in their every instantaneous movement, decision, and intention. People don't put their hand on a stove they know is hot because reason tells them (maybe from experience) that there would be REAL consequences to ignoring what they know about hot stoves and how badly human skin reacts to that kind of heat.


I got into a fight - online, mind you, but if I were standing next to him in person his ears would have been ringing from the volume of my shouting - with a guy who DENIED - just flat out waved his dick in the air and DENIED that any atheist does not have faith.

I stand in living proof that the asshole is gaping, hairy, and WRONG. I do not have faith, I have REASON.

So this dumb bastard just kept arguing with me. (there's a larger point I must save for another discussion about blaming someone who is getting more angry as you proceed; he acknowledges you are getting angry, He acknowledges that he knows he is the reason the other is getting angry, that person plods forward - either oblivious or belligerent - and just says he has untrammelled freedom to say whatever he wants to say....who then you throws up a red flag and decries that the OTHER GUY (the angry one) - well, his reactions must have limits.

Got that? You can say whatever you want; but if the other guy is angry, and targeting you - he has limits. I wonder if that person would see a bear at the zoo, beneath a sign that says "do not feed the bear"; tear the sign down, feed the bear, and then blame the bear for mauling the dumb bastard who gave him a slice of his pizza and lost and arm for his generosity.

That's reason - to know enough that a bear will eat you, you don't give the bear the chance -

...faith is that in an argument, you have "faith" that the law will protect you even when the other guy is pointing a gun at you and screaming for you to shut the fuck up, you keep yammering....and then your relatives want the cops and the courts to clean it all up and punish the other guy ex post facto.

Would it not be more "reasonable" to say, "Hmm, this conversation is not going anywhere productive, the other guy doesn't look healthy or restrained, I probably ought not to feed that particular bear".

Faith says carry on, you will be protected.

Now there's another argument that I'm basically claiming hostile tactics must be respected, and I'm not. Shooting someone who says something you don't like is unwarranted. Punching him in the face is not even allowed; after all their just words.

But at some point, when you hold up your hand and say "this argument is not healthy, let's stop", and the other guy thinks it's great to have this kind of tension out in the open - says it's "healthy" for the community for these kinds of things to be aired out -

I call bullshit, and I'm using reason as my basis.

Having the law punish someone for an illegal act after it's too late to repair the damage the conflict inspired is dumb. Unless you believe that it serves some greater purpose, perhaps the will of some god, in which case the reasonable person should still rightly call you galactically and shamelessly stupid.

Humans have big brains and opposible thumbs. These two characteristics are supposed to set us apart (and above, we claim) the other animals on the planet. But whenever we, collectively or individually, make such stupid decisions in the light of our capacity to reason - like war and economic collapse - what basis are we using at that point to claim we're better than all the "lesser" animals?

We were smart enough to see the problem coming.

We had the means to stop it,

but our ego, our hubris, or grossly unjustifiable overconfidence in our own noble justifications (in the light of all the ignoble ones) allowed us to fuck up just as bad as the dumb "lesser" animals who never had any chance to make the right decision.

We did - do.

We make those choices based on a body of logic, casually referred to as "reason".

If that's your enemy,

I'm building a fence between you and me, and I'm going to bean anything that comes over the top with a big, sharp rock at the very least.

If reason is your enemy,

then so am I.

and I do not, will not,

ever

apologize for your duplicity.

Gaping Asshole said that it was faith that I used, as an atheist, in order to convince myself it was OK to drive across a bridge.

I said it was reason that gave me confidence to drive across the bridge because I understood the underlying mechanics that made the voyage possible.

I argued that "faith" - the believe that there are unseen forces at work, and those unseen forces will act in ways that are impossible to imagine or explain - if I felt "faith" would get me to the other side no matter what,

...then I should not even need a bridge, should I?

Faith says that (whatever it might be that I would have faith in) will get me to the other side of that chasm with or without a bridge.

Confidence, I argued, that is based on reason, is what allows me to proceed across the bridge; I understand many of the fundamental laws of physics, enough of the laws of engineering and mechanics, enough of the principles and practices of modern construction to know that the bridges I traverse will support me and whatever else is on it.

On those days I don't (I can show you that bridge) I don't drive across the fucking thing, because I don't have FAITH that will save me when the goddamn bridge fails. (the limit on the bridge says 12 tons; it's the main road on the way to a coal-fired power plant that someone I know used to work at; I saw the log books and the trucks that cross that bridge weighed over 30 tons loaded, and they were NOT the only thing on that bridge.

So I used "reason" to say that the extra five miles to go around that bridge were worth my time and fuel, faith was not involved in the process.

And said dickhead, his name was John C. Howell of Beaverton Oregon, with a smile on his face and claiming that such arguments were healthy for the entire community that was there to watch it, kept on insisting that all atheists have faith.

And nobody could understand why I got pissed.

I don't have faith.

I have REASON, and REASON gives me 'confidence'.

John said they were synonymous and interchangeable.

I present to you the above photo, which proves that I'm not the only one who thinks they are not the same, and the others who agree with me are not always atheists.

Religious people have as much contempt for logic and reason as they insist that I do for their faith. They take for granted that everyone else will treat them according to social customs and legal precedent, many (most) of which are not based on superstition or conjecture, but on reasoned arguments presented in an open society and only agreed upon after it is found to be acceptable to as many of the crowd that can be called on to support it.

We suspend "reason" when there is no explanation - and we supplant it with "well, 'G'od must have had one (he always does, I am told) even if 'H'e never explains it to us"

And that gives me no comfort what so fucking ever.

That it gives others comfort is great, I won't take their faith away from them, as long as their faith or their support thereof is not being used to take my comfort - reason, logic, and healthy skepticism - away from me.

And this seems to have some bearing on the conflicts of our age; all ages in fact, and not just the conflicts unique to me.

You want to go through life with your thumb to your nose in the face of reason? Feel free. But the First Amendment says I can't take it away from you, it does not say I have to support you, encourage you, or in any conflict or exchange, if the faithful chooses to pit their faith against my reason, nobody is going to argue with me (and expect to win) by saying the First Amendment protects their faith, but not my reason.

Particularly if these hypocritical louts are going to start insisting that atheism is a religion. I think they bit themselves in the ass on that one - because if "atheism" is a "religion", then would atheists not also deserve all the rights and privileges of all the religions who want to blame atheist as the root of all evil?

Ooops.

Listen - read - I dont' care what you believe in. But in a symbiotic society where we must interact, engage, and even at times depend on one another, there has to be a mutual agreement of respect.

Religious people say atheists are disrespectful of their faith; I typically respond that all atheists can not be held responsible for the actions of a few - for if that were true, I've got some Christians who they had better answer for and fast -

but the larger point is that to hold up faith as not just an alternative to reason, but a better one - a preferred one - is such rank hypocrisy that I will not tolerate it. Faithful people are far more dependent on reason than I am on faith. In fact, you try to show a faithful person what it looks like when reason is abandoned -

like me saying "I dont' give a fuck about your religion, you're a liar, a fool, and I'm not going to let you destroy my country" - well, they don't like that.

But they will then turn around and say the same thing to me as an atheist.

I find that unreasonable.

and I do not stand for it.

So if you see me, as an atheist, getting rather animated, loud, and arguably hostile in the face of some devoutly faithful people,

please don't try to argue that you always know the atheist started it; or at least dont' fall back on the First Amendment argument when there are so many Christians making the accusation that atheism is a religion as a perjorative statement. If it casts aspersions for atheism to be regarded like a religion, then why?

Is it because they think atheists make claims that they find unreasonable, and they use reason in the argument to make their point?

Checkmate.

“I don’t need to wear a seat belt. I have an airbag.”

“I don’t need to wear a seat belt - I have an airbag.” I was involved in a T-bone collision with a full size pickup truck. I had the brakes applied, anti-lock was working on dry pavement and had brought it down from 40 to about 15 miles per hour, while driving a 1998 Saturn SL-1. My girlfriend at the time was in the passenger seat; her 3 year old son was in a car seat in the back. All three of us wore seatbelts. We all walked away with minor injuries.

My injury was to the wrist as somehow the airbag deployment snapped it backwards and stretched my tendons. My girlfriend saw the impending collision and turned to see her son in the back seat, so when the airbag deployed, the airbag bounced her heat into the A-pillar of the car and she had a minor concussion. The child in the back seat bit his lip, as the type of car seat he had consisted of a padded bar that went across his lap, with no shoulder belt.

But we all walked away under our own power. The kid was giggling and asking to “ride again”.

When we went to the body shop to retrieve personal effects from our car, we took pictures of our car for archival purposes. The receptionist at the body shop gave the photo below of another car in the lot near mine. There are a few things of particular importance to me:



This is a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse, (Go ahead, ask me how I know) and since the photo was taken late in 1999, it’s obvious this car didn’t survive more than a few months in the hands of it’s owner before it was wrecked. It appears to be a sideways glance into a guard rail or other vehicle, indicating loss of control for one or another reason. Now look at the windshield. Notice the characteristic starburst where a human head makes contact with laminated safety glass. Auto glass is actually two plates of glass formed under vacuum and high temperature with a plastic film between them. This obviously can’t keep the glass from shattering, but it does help all those little pieces from flying so freely as they normally would.

But the airbag can clearly be seen as the white mound on top of the dashboard. It is clear that whoever thought the airbag would substitute for a seatbelt found out by experiment that the inertia of a human body will vault it right over the airbag until that body finds some other force strong enough to stop it. The only real question I wish I could ask of the occupant of that seat is if they wear a seatbelt now.

There is another image that I carry only in my mind, as I had no camera at the time. But twenty years later it is still vivid. A friend I met my sophomore year in college was involved in a collision and we made a similar trip to a junkyard to take the stereo out of her car. Next to it in the junkyard was a full-size Chevrolet van, vintage 1980. A similar starburst was visible in the passenger-side windshield, of course minus any evidence of an airbag as there were none available in vans of that era. But what I can’t erase from my mind is the shape of the web of cracks: there were two centers where the radial cracks started and spread outward, one larger than the other in the center of the left side of the windshield, and a smaller radial set of cracks just below it and a bit towards the outside of the van.

If you don’t have the same mental image now that I have, what I see is a small child in the lap of an adult, the adult so convinced that he or she could protect the child from harm just by holding it, both being thrown head-first into the glass when the adult was proven wrong. I don’t want to know the truth about that particular collision because I choose to believe that somehow the child survived. Typically in such cases the adult does live, since their impact with the dash and the windshield was ‘cushioned’ by the softer child in front of them, and of course the child’s impact is compounded by having the additional force of an adult that weighs five to ten times as much as they do forcing them into the dashboard and windshield. It is images like this that fill me with rage when I see children in other cars who are not buckled into safety seats or even wearing a seat belt at all.

There is another pathetic footnote to this story. The child in my car was not mine; he belonged to my girlfriend and after a nice Christmas celebration we were driving him back to his father’s house. His father was mentally retarded and lived with his parents and two brothers who were also affected. They arrived at the hospital in their own car while we were being transported by ambulance, and two things happened that day which also make me cringe with disbelief whenever I recall them.

There is always so much mayhem and confusion in an emergency room, at least from the patient’s point of view. Add to that a family of people who are less than remarkable themselves, and it adds considerably to the hysteria. The child only had a small cut to his lower lip and was still in good spirits as he still thought all the excitement still must be some sort of celebration. But his father and his two brothers were all milling around telling stories and his parents (the grandparents of the boy) were quiet but confused. The nurses brought a clipboard of papers into the emergency room, asked who was responsible for the child, and the father raised his hand. The nurse told him where to sign in about seven places and he lazily scribbled his name where instructed, and then picked up the child and told everyone it was time to go home, which they did.

Now I was told this is what happened by a nurse, because I was with my girlfriend who had been taken for skull X-rays. Imagine our shock when we returned to the ER and we were met by half a dozen panicked nurses who were asking us where the child was. We said we didn’t know, but placed a call to the father’s house and of course that’s where everyone was. When we told the grandmother that all of those papers the father had signed were not a release form but granting permission for the doctors to examine the child – which none ever had – and that he needed to bring the child immediately back to the hospital, she said, “Oh, he’s fine. We’re staying right here.” I went to the house and took the child back to the hospital later that night, with everyone at the father’s house oblivious to the legal implications of what they had done and still berating me it was a waste of my time.

Now keep that thought in the back of your head for later.

That’s not the worst part of this story. The boy’s car seat was obviously still in my car, which was somewhere on it’s way to or already at the body shop at that point. But despite the fact that the father normally had custody of the child (both legally and physically) they had two cars but only one child seat. And of course on that day the car they took to the hospital was not the one with the child seat in it. You’ve figured this out now, I’m sure: only two hours after being in a car accident, the same child who survived a collision because he was buckled into a safety seat was taken home from the hospital in a car without a car seat and not wearing a seat belt. How do I know he wasn’t even wearing a seat belt? Because his father had jammed quarters into the seat belt buckles to keep that light on the dashboard from coming on and that buzzer from annoying them when they drive.

Do you still want to tell me that I’m not supposed to get upset about things like this?

An optimist? Therein lies no hope, they are dreaming

"
an optimist is one who believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist is one who fears that this is probably true.
- J. Robert Oppenheimer, head of the Manhattan project that brought the world, for better or worse, nuclear weapons.

2012/02/12

watching "Se7en"

‎"...anyone who spends a significant amount of time with me finds me disagreeable"

- Morgan Freeman as Detective William Summerset: "SE7EN"

That movie is way far deeper than most people want to investigate; they all see the shock value and horror of what Kevin Spacey's character did - and yet look around you; what that Character said is irrefutably our current condition:
...
http://youtu.be/v4NcuPb4wmA

"it's more comfortable for you to label me insane"

Pick it up at 2:15

"...but that's the point. We see a deadly sin on every streetcorner, on every home, and we tolerate it"

well, a lot of people feign outrage over it, but what they're really doing is just reassigning blame. All the sanctimonious, falsely pious, indignant scolds in this country are quite fine with leaving all that goes wrong in this country to unfold on it's own; they make a career out of their outrage after the fact, to screaming that they are the defenders of "justice" to punish someone after it's all over -

...ask those same people to deal with the underlying structural and sociological factors that contribute to all the madness we see, and you'll find them screaming about socialism, inventing more demogogues, but never a penny or an ounce of effort to affect the madness before the next headline.

Case in point - I'm almost banking on somenoe to call the local cops in my town or the hospital and tell them Joe is talking about deep things; he mentioned a movie with a fatalistic plot, Joe must be up to something - (it's happened before). Take that same person that wants me to change my thinking and cheer up, lighten up, be happy, don't worry and try to have a substantive discussion about what is the reality of our headlines in this day, and they'll say there's nothing they can do.

And so it goes.

2011/07/14

Five years is a long time to be in the company of "friends" to find out...

that nobody really is.

It's deeper than that -

when someone says to me

"Well because you have these particular views (which they completely misunderstood) that's all I need to know about you"

Then the other chimes in

"Well now we know the real you"

Both of these people are far more destructive to a communal society than I could ever be - even if I were to go out of my way to live up to all this monstrosity that they are sure belongs to me.

I can't put this together; I get so caught up in the surreal conflict of being accused of something my accusers are far better examples of that I can't let go of the anger.

At the same time, a "friend" says this to me - a guy who I did think I had a unique relationship with -

"All you want to do is argue"

Um - can I get an objective voice in here? - It takes two to argue; any time someone wants to end the argument it's simple - concede and let the other guy win. Otherwise, whoever is still contesting an issue has just as much desire to 'argue' than the other person.

Someone pulled this on me a few years ago; a dentist who refused to give me copies of my dental records (who would only release them to a dentist). That's a violation of the law; I printed out the law and provided links to the state and federal government websites where the law is posted and still there had to be a big production. At the actual face-to-face meeting where the records were being surrendered, the representative from the dentist's office says to me

"Well, I'm not going to argue with you"

Hey, I don't want to call you stupid - but you're too late. You're already arguing with me, and you can end the argument simply by obeying the law and I'll be all smiles as I leave the office with what is my legal property and right.

But for the love of anything lovable,

not for Christ's sake but ours - as mortal beings who have to share a planet whether we can see Christ or not -

don't tell someone you "are not going to argue with them" while you're standing there arguing.

If what you actually mean is "I'm going to pull rank, use my authority, or just be a stalwart bump on a log and stand here and pout while you try to tell me that's not allowed" - go ahead and say that, but you might want to check the brutal clarity of a mirror before you tell anyone that you're

"not going to argue with them"

It's petulant, it's petty, and it makes you look silly (unless you really do have the authority and power to end the argument on your terms)

Either way,

perhaps all the parties who'm I've severed ties with, or who severed ties with me, can have the intellectual integrity to look at whatever they think is an objective adjudicator in the universe and tell all of us and answer for me:

If you are a student in school, does it get you a passing grade to tell your teacher "I understand plenty. The answer to the question is XXXXXX" - which is the wrong answer?

If you are being handed a traffic ticket by a law officer, can you get him to drop the charges by saying "I understand plenty"?

Can you go into any situation, given any number of people, given any amount of time you've known one or all of them and say, "Well, based on what you've said in the last five minutes, now we know the 'REAL' you" -

...and in either or all of these scenarios think that really does put a lid on the matter and settle the issue?

Let me know, because I'm confused.

If anyone knows me so well that I don't even need to be party to the conversation (or am excluded from it)

then what am I needed for at all?

And if that drives me to spend time in isolation pondering where in thsi world I fit in, so that the answer arrives in the form of "You don't; get over it" - every one of the people who went out of their way to make goddamn sure I did not fit in

can just shut the fuck up

if that puts the idea of suicide into my head

It's fascinating how people want to drive home the idea that they are right and I am wrong with a 16 pound sledgehammer to my face, but if I take it seriously and take it to heart and that somehow gives me the feeling that this planet doesn't want me

that doesn't get these people off the hook who spent so much energy and grabbed my ears so that they could be god damn sure I heard them when they told me what a piece of shit I am

It's fascinating

these people want to shout as loud as they like

in a canyon full of loose rocks

knowing the canyon is full of loose rocks that are unstable

(that's what they're ranting about)

and after they scream and shout and make goddamn sure the rocks heard them at all the volume they can manage

they blame the rocks for falling in the avalanche.

You have free speech to say whatever the fuck your little heart feels like saying

PROVIDED

that you have the courage, the integrity, and the honesty that when you ring the bell because you have the right to ring the bell

you can't un-ring the bell.

Have some courage, people. Your free speech is indeed not free; not because someone fought and died for you to have it, but because you now own all the echoes, feedback and consequences of whatever it is you want the world to know.

You can tell us how you feel

you cannot tell us how

or have much control over

how we react to it

if this be the case

where's the freedom for anybody else?

2011/07/13

It's your world, Boss

That line is from The Shawshank Redemption; a movie about prison.

Today I got an email from my bank, a bank that has an account with no money in it, because they paid a check on my behalf; then charging me $35 for the overdraft and presumably adding that to my credit report.

How?

Why?

Because my ATT wireless bill is paid online. They of course want to have a "method of payment" recorded in their system that they can draw their funds on. I had originally used the account that is now empty, although not closed. I had added a different method of payment.

In my haste to may my bills, I did not realize that although I have used payment method #2 for the last three bills, the old account still shows up first on the list and is the default for online bill pay.

My fault.

Nobody's fault but mine.

So, mad as hell at myself today, I go to ATT.com to delete that method of payment so I don't make this mistake again.

Guess what?

After spending 20 minutes scratching my head at the 300 buttons, pull downs and re-directs on their page, I could not find one way to delete an existing method of payment.

So I call their customer support.

Ten minutes on hold.

Customer support guy tells me that the only way to delete a method of payment is for customer service, (this guy) to delete ALL the methods of payment and to re-enter any one that I want to use in the future.

Have you noticed that the burden is always on us to do what they want
they set the rules for how it will be done

and despite all the comments they gleefully speak into your ear about how much you can do at ATT.com, despite all the "is there anything else I can do for you today, Sir?" obsequeous and false joy and protocol they speak, in the end, it's NOT all for the customers after all.

I can add a method of payment online without help from customer service over the phone

...but I cannot delete that same method of payment unless I get on the phone, wait for a customer service representative, and have him delete

ALL

the methods of payment, having then to start over and add the one I want to use even if it was just there only a few moments earlier.

"It's your world, Boss"

2011/07/12

"big" government vs. "dumb" government

So one of the things that really lit the fuse which blew up this friendship is when I asked the "friend" to read my postings on a large political blog; arguably one dedicated to and run by people from the left. My postings are mostly all about "meta" - the existential and sociological and psychological conflicts that make human communication oft times less productive than amongst all those "lesser" animals who we think we're so much better than.

Right now my 94 year old aunt next door is having a new bathroom installed in her house. WHy? Well, because she fell down a few times in recent years and the government, which gets involved because whenever she gooes to the hospital, is paying the bills. A truck just pulled up and dropped off a portable toilet - a chemical porta-jon.

We are now in the midst of a heatwave like none other in this area. It will get into the high 90's - very unusual.

Now aside from the construction workers themselves who are doing this work

(I'm a plumber, electrician, and handyman who got his start doing projects just like this in 1987, I'm not allowed to do this work even for free, because I'm not licensed, insured, or registered to perform "professionally": It doesn't mean I can't do the work, but I can't do it within the laws put in place to control disreputable contractors.)

So the idea is that when these contractors are installing this new bathroom, if they need to use - or if the 94 year old woman they're doing the work for - needs to use the bathroom, they're going to use the chemical toilet.

Think about that. A 94 year old woman using a chemical toilet in her own yard (which right now is leaning about 10 degrees to a seated occupant's right) - instead of walking the 70 feet over to her neighbor's house.

A neighbor, whom I might add, when he had no facitlities on his lot because of construction, used her bathroom with her gracious invitaiton and her insistence.

So could we all have been neighborly and said that my bathroom was open for anyone's use during any length of time that my 94 year old aunt's bathroom is unusable? We surely could have.

Was such an option even considered?

The law does not even allow it.

So when my former friend accuses me as a liberal of being in support (or even agreement with) "Big" government, I surely do not believe that government has all solutions for all problems - and why I refuse to vote for a Republican in 2011 (since 1999 actually) has nothing to do with my love of big government than my hatred of rank hypocrisy and unforgivable duplicity.

This is an example of DUMB government. We could have done this whole project for 1/5 of what's being spent - after all, this former plumber and electrian and amateur carpenter is unemployed - nevermind that the porta-jon is kind of a "we know better than your generosity"

What are the odds that a 94 year old woman is going to use a chemical toilet in the 94 degree heat of a sunny July day? I"m not sure I want anyone to answer a question that hopefully all would agree is a little silly to have asked in the first place.

She can use mine.

And so can the guys (or girls - woe to me that I might be presumptuously sexist) on the construction crew.

But we still have to have the porta jon, sitting on the edge of the driveway at some weird ten-degree list to starboard just to be safe.

Dumb government.

Do you tell someone you understand, or do they tell you?

Two blowups happened in my life in the last week, and they both had something in common.

Well, me, of course. But since people who think they're being objective will stop analyzing at that point and think they've figured everything out.

This post, this blog, is just that last gasp to suggest maybe they don't know as much as they are sure they do

and that may have some bearing on our situation.

"That you would uprate such a piece of shit diary tells me all I need to know about you"

"All you can do is argue and say I don't understand, and that I never will. I understand plenty. You pretty much hate me because I am content, you are not, and it's all about you. But I don't look down on you - that has to be you measuring yourself against others. You are the one that thinks you are a failure. Not me."


The first one is pretty simple: that a person can say they know "all that I need to know" about a person based on one comment/lack of condemnation of what they felt deserved to be condemned - that's the depth of their investment in knowing a person before judging them.

The second post was from a friend of 25 years ago. A relationship that was apparently so shallow that despite it's original importance had sheltered both of us to things that would not have allowed a friendship had either one of us known. The other guy, it seems, wants me to know that he has nothing to prove, he does not judge me (but I judge him) and to prove it, he has to tell me that our parting is all my doing because he did not judge anyone.

Focus please on just this one sentence:

All you can do is argue and say I don't understand, and that I never will. I understand plenty."

Can you name for me one situation in life where it's good enough to tell someone that you understand the subject at hand, and they take your claim at face value, that's good enough?

Do you tell your teachers/professors that you understand, or do you have to take a test to prove it to their satisfaction?

How about the Bureau of Motor Vehicles? Many people will tell you that they are great drivers and they KNOW all the rules, yet the BMV still makes you take the exam. They will deny you a license if you don't answer enough questions correctly, and the police reserve the right to pull you over and issue a fine or arrest you if you demonstrate your actual failure to understand.

But to my "friend", I tell him he doesn't understand what I'm telling him, and his answer is "I understand plenty".

Wow. My grades in college would have been so much better had I been able to get a deal like that.

But this person takes it one level further - his whole point is to tell me that he is my friend no matter what and that he has nothing to prove.

Am I the only one who thinks it's odd that a guy who has nothing to prove went a long way to prove he wasn't wrong; and that if what he was trying to prove was that he is my friend and he doesn't have a problem with my faults...

...did he not just take the time to point another one of them out to me?

2011/07/11

back to my cave. Don't open this door, I'll let you know if I'm coming out

http://www.dailykos.com/user/snafubar

Diaries published: 178
Comments posted: 12177 (6 days since last comment on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:24 PM EDT)

Diary frequency: often
Comment frequency: frequent
Total Recommends: 3160
Total Comment Ratings: 29547

Most Recommended Diary: They're gone. I was close. I'm still curled up in a ball. (UPDATE), 492 comments, 436 recommends

People Following snafubar: 60

There's a little skull and crossbones where there used to be five bars out of five that measured "mojo"

Here's the comment I'd like to ask the blog moderators (or the one who created the algorithm that triggers the autoban)

When someone says

"That you would uprate a piece of shit diary like this tells me all I need to know about you"

That means someone else wrote a diary, it pissed a lot of people off, but I thought it made a valid point. Five others did; about 190 voted against it.

Now - regardless of what the subject of the diary was (it was about the use of the word "pussy" by men in locker rooms and whether or not it makes sense for women to go on crusades about sexism when that happens)

what is a more significant measure of why/how our society is coming apart

Men using "pussy" in the locker room to insult other men (by *gasp* comparing them to women) and ignoring that women take offense to it

or

A community so shallow that after five years, 12,000 comments, 192 essays/diaries, and 60 people "following" me

that a person's entire worth, character, contribution, or value to anyone can be determined by one or just a few comments on a blog.

If our society is that shallow

if all it takes to learn "all one needs to know" about another person

can be learned by having actually experienced so little of what constitutes them as an individual

perhaps I will be so bold to suggest that the shallowness is our bigger problem.

Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song in 1970 called "The Boxer"

I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/simon+and+garfunkel/#share

People go where they know they will like things. They avoid things they don't like. Surprisingly, they get the impression that things work pretty well and everybody gets along....until that moment when something rubs them the wrong way and they say

"HEY! That upsets me, we don't want that here"

Well, the other guy obviously did, so now it's a competition over who belongs and who doesn't.

This is not new, this is not unique

but if the answer is always to scatter off where we all see things the same way and build a fence to keep out anyone who doesn't

or make it easier to pick off anyone coming over the top

"community" is starting to lose it's meaning.

That I can be summarily judged a sexist - a person who denigrates, opposes, hinders, ridicules, belittles, or otherwise obstructs to a person just because of their gender - all because I say that the use of the word "pussy" does in itself NOT make me a sexist -

That some people do

may I suggest this may have some bearing on our problem.

I think we've lost the plot

I also told a story how the political left takes a lot of shit for their hysterial overreach on matters that DO have legitimacy; when the minutae is carried so far that somehow the legitimacy of the more important hunt is lost because too may people have been lost in the weeds on a red herring.

Someone who turns down a job candidate because he's a male and she's a female - that's a sexist

The kind of guy who says a woman is nothing more than a life support system for a cunt - that's sexist

the guy who says to become apoplectic because two guys in a locker room where no women were even close called each other "pussy" because - well, that seems to be what guys in locker rooms do -

both those guys may go home and treat their wives and daughters and mothers and bosses and employees with all due respect

And yet still people insist that from the conversation in the locker room, they know all they need to know

Someone who says that it's a fools errand to try to control people's language because it saps energy from other more legitimate sources of the problem

that's not a sexist.

So to dismiss the entire value of one person's contribution to the effort,

to say that such a simple and brief encounter tells one "all (they) need to know about you"

may I suggest that could be a bigger part of the larger problem.

People congregate because we have greater strength together than we have individually.

That the minute we gather we start sequestering ourselves again into smaller groups within the whole

and talking about people as "them" who only moments earlier were part of the "us" that was in league against the other "them"

well, when you meet a guy like me who has few friends and now spends most of his time alone no longer daring to make others

perhaps this example will

nah, who am I kidding. it won't mean a thing

That I do not hate women
that I have stood with them in their defense
that I have given to help them
worked to help them
on an individual basis as people who had as much need as I did and I recognized it

...and never have tried to exclude them merely because they were women

somehow I'm still a sexist because I think it's a fool's errand to go apeshit because some guy used the word "pussy" to describe -

who cares

it wasn't to a woman, it wasn't about a woman

but some woman who had no dog in the fight

was sure that there was a larger fight that needed fighting that day

and knew - without knowing anything else about me -

"all she needed to know about me"

from a dozen comments on one day about one diary

that made sense to enough people to send me on my way.

It's amazing I was able to keep all that a secret for five years, 192 diaries, 12,000 comments, with 60 followers in tow.

For those of you who know me, I have a story that I tell, and I made some overtures in this spirit during the pissing contest that ended in this banning,

you can find examples of this not only in psycology, sociology, history - or your local new outlet -

if a person who is NOT ostensibly a real example of some label he keeps getting slapped with
enough people slap that label on him over and over
enough people ignore him when he says that label is not enough to describe all that he is and what he's about

some day

some moment

some trigger is pulled inside that man (person)

and the words

"well, if I'm going to be taking all the shit for this thing that I don't believe I am,

regardless of how hard I'm trying to show that I am not this thing I am being labelled

I might as well start going out of my way and deliberately engaging in all those things that will surely get me labelled as this thing people are sure I am

and get some fucking mileage for all this grief I'm taking now."

...cross his mind.

My only real strength in this life, being the spiteful bastard I am, is to not become that which people assail me for being, just to prove they didn't get me.

That some people still bang their drum to gather a crowd and scream to them "THERE'S THE WITCH!"...

...to our sober and astute readers, is how people get pushed into places they had no intention of ever going

and why I have little sympathy and less forgiveness for those rubberneckers who slow down at a car crash and say

"Holy shit, look at that! Wow! I wonder how that happened?"

Don't bullshit yourself -

they don't care how it happened.

Because you know

that two miles earlier on that very same highway

only a short distance in time and space from that wicked and horrible wreck that "shocks" them

they were likely engaged in about five of the seven bad driving habits that led to the wreck that now has them stuck in traffic and going so slowly that they can see the mangled bodies bleeding in the mangled cars.

When a guy snaps

either homocide

suicide

or just plain "you're fired, we don't tolerate that"

all the people who think whatever it led to was just unacceptable and unforgivable

...five minutes earlier would have been the very same people who were arguing with that same person for 59 rounds...

...who drew a line somehow at round 60 and said that the OTHER guy had gone TOO far.

and so it goes.

2011/04/17

Save the lottery tickets. The "ejected" man was pronounced dead.

http://standardspeaker.com/breaking-news/man-involved-in-rt-93-crash-dies-1.1133824

Regarding my last post, I mean no disrespect to this man, his family, or his memory, but my point in posting this is that this should not be a headline.

Two reasons, really; people ought not to be dying for such pointless and preventable reasons - and people who do ought to be put in such a place of prominence that their galactic stupidity and recklessness is held on a level of those who juggle chainsaws.

So, what are you afraid of?

Another day, another car crash. Another ejected driver.


I was expecting to see another fatality here, but no, surprisingly despite being ejected from the vehicle, this man lived. May his injuries not be crippling. I did not see anything in the article that explicitly says he was not wearing his seat belt, but being ejected from the vehicle is an indication. 

After the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq,  I wrote an essay titled "What Are You Afraid Of?" I related people's willingness to send US troops anywhere in the world to "protect us" and "save lives" no matter what the cost in blood and treasure; meanwhile 25,000 people every year still die in car accidents - and still 20 percent of them won't wear a seat belt. Months can pass without reading of a local person killed in the war zone; yet hardly a day can pass in the Standard Speaker without articles recounting deaths from car accidents, violent crime, domestic disputes, a lifetime of unhealthy habits, and a surreal number of house fires.

People fear terrorists and think their lives hang in the balance if the US is not all over the world "protecting" them, yet like this driver, the same people will spend the money to buy a Mercedes-Benz because it's known as a safe car, and still not wear their seat belt.

I suggest that he immediately devote the rest of his assets to buying lottery tickets, because he's just proven he's a wizard at beating the odds.

I also predict those who know me, and those who read this story will use this as yet another example of a person who did not wear their seat belt and nevertheless still lived to tell the tale. (again, may he recover from his injuries, described as "critical")

They will decry the "nanny state" which has the temerity to mandate seatbelt use, while they echo proud libertarian fantasies about wind-through-the-hair motocyclists without helmets and "I don't want to get trapped in my car if there's a fire" nightmares that are always the rare exception to the statistical facts.

Seat belts were not invented by the government. No, they were first invented - and requested - by those pilots who watched their fellow airmen die, not in a fiery obliteration of their aircraft, but in 'survivable' crash landings where they simply bounced too hard off the inside of the cockpit. Carrier landings would be lethal without a seat belt, even if the pilot was perfect.

And so, despite the testimony of Mr. Mulligan, the man who lives on this road and recounts for us the frequency of accidents, and despite the statistics that count the dead 9 to 1 amongst those who forsake seatbelts over those who wear them, this particular accident will probably become another tale recounted at parties for those who want to believe in the 1 in 10,000 exception and ignore the 9,999 headstones.

Ask someone if they want to jump out of their car window at 40 MPH, and they look at you in horror that you dared to even ask such a ludicrous thing. The same people will suggest that they want to get "thrown clear" of the car in an accident and don't realize it's the same proposition. Then there's all that stuff in the way of being thrown "clear", like windshields and dashboards.

I'm sure a quick phone call to anyone at Mercedes-Benz will be able to connect you to any engineer who helped designed precisely this car who will tell you that they do not intend for the passengers to be ejected.

A New York State Trooper visited my elementary school in the early 70's, and told us always to wear a seatbelt. This was old news and a habit already for me, because my dad was a mechanical engineer and refused to start the engine of any car he was driving until all the passengers, including the stubborn ones, were wearing their seatbelts. But the trooper spoke an enigmatic sentence to a then 7-year-old that fascinates me now that I'm in my 40's  . He said,

"In my 30 years on the force, I've never had to remove the seat belt from a dead body".

...because if they were wearing one, the person survived the wreck and unbelted themselves, and the ones who weren't wearing one were thrown from the vehicle; and therefore did not need the trooper to remove a seat belt that wasn't there. The only people touching the bodies at that point were from the ambulance crew or the coroner's office.

My congratulations to the survivor of the accident. My only wish is that he doesn't brag about it.

When, if he recovers fully from his injuries, I'd like to meet him some day and ask him if he will wears one after this event or not.

Oh, and "water runoff" does not cause accidents; people not paying attention to water on the road and driving too fast for conditions causes accidents.

All the people who drove through it safely can attest to that.

2011/02/08

People will die. Those remaining will yawn and continue on as before

Blogging is a strange beast; I'm not so deluded to think that before we all had the freedom to say whatever we wanted and be heard by a larger audience than ever before, that the world was more peaceful and harmonious place. But it wasn't so easy then to prove that even though it's easier to talk to anyone than ever before, now there's nothing left to talk about without some form of violence.

I've learned in recent years that most Americans only get along at the level we do because we're too shallow to even know who each other is in the first place. Once we start "sharing" our true feelings, all of this networking tears apart as many relationships as it creates.

We only maintain the most minimal of contact precisely because to know how much we would find out that we hate each other over things we never knew. I have not yet come up with the right word for this yet - the opposite of networking - "splintering", maybe. Although the internet has allowed us to reveal more of ourselves and meet new people with like minds (networking), and in the end made it harder and harder for there to be any interaction at all beyond the weather.

(I was going to say that at least we can still talk about the weather because the weather can't be blamed on anyone, but then I thought in the context of climate change, you and I both know two people can find that as a reason to burn a friendship to the ground)

What is overwhelming me is the realization that given the vitriol, abject hatred, and dehumanizing indifference between total strangers, now lifelong friends who are finding more out about each other than they knew before,  and becoming strangers by neccessity. Until we "shared" so much, it was not yet obvious that the only reason any relationship existed was because we didn't know who each other was.

"Friends" I thought I had 25 years ago reintroduce themselves into my life through Facebook, and when I read their profiles I have to close my mouth to keep my keyboard clean. Really? People have somehow never figured out that if one's views on life and society involve a lot of hatred, condemnation, and vitriol of "them" in the abstract, sooner or later one of "those people" will turn out to be someone they once thought of as a friend. One can hate the figurative, rhetorical "Them" as an ambiguous and anonymous construct, but once you find out that a friend you've had for decades falls under the same classification, aw...crap, really?

By then its a little late to walk backwards to that moment when I wasn't "them" in the eyes of a friend.

"oh, well, I don't mean that about YOU, dear friend, but I do have those views about __________ (insert generic classification here)", and they subconsciously switch on the cognitive dissonance and ignore that their old friend is a member of "them".

Cognitive dissonance is a sinister beast; it allows people to internally ignore two contraditory thoughts within their own head. Blogging has now become so personal, with Facebook and Twitter and all manner of political and religous blogs that when the fury and antipathy being expressed about "THEM" suddenly reveals itself as a living, breathing, walking, talking example of humanity with a name and a familiar face - well, now the shit hit the fan, didn't it?

Pointing the fan in a different direction or running it backwards does little to bring the shit back to it's original anonymity.

Somewhere in my past was the adage that "polite people do not politics, religion, or sex". Sex is the one that, believe it or not, is the least volitile of the three; you can at least be vague and although the conversation dies quietly as long as specific details were left out; but they'll at least get the idea and nobody blushes or leaves the room.

Politics, and now that religion has been "married" (ha!) to it by one political party, has now made almost every innocuous conversation to ultimately be a series of zero-sum equations; for one point of view to "win", the other must "lose". And of course, the views all have to be farther and farther toward the poles and away from one another to have any significant reason to be attractive or repulsive enough to sway people's views in the first place - every comment is a live grenade, and the grenades are bigger, now with more shrapnel!.

What depresses me - and I hate that word "depressed", I wanted to say "demoralizes" because that's more accurate, but it's deeper than that - is that we literally have to lie about who we are and how we feel to have any peace at all.

 In a court of law, the crime of perjury is committed even in the absense of evidence; if you know something and you don't reveal it (and it can be proven you knew it and did not reveal it when asked under direct examiniation) that's against the law. But in polite (ha!) conversation, one had better leave all but the most evident characteristics of your personality and beliefs out completely, or already have your path to the exit cleared or some kind of weapon within reach. The more someone knows, the more reason they have to attack you, hate you, or distance themselves from you. As a result, now that we have more ways to communicate than ever before, the conversations have become so shallow and empty of substance that they're effectively worthless. Anything more substantive than that is too volitile to mention at all unless your health insurance deductable has been satisfied for the year.

Makes "freedom" (TM) and "liberty" as professed by all those self-proclaimed patriots kind of a joke: I may have the "freedom" to say a lot of things and the "liberty" to hold certain views, because the civil code is not permitted to interrupt me; but if the crowd I'm standing in at the time I feel inspired to reveal a particular idea simply will not tolerate it, it matters little that the law protects my opportunity to express it.

I got into a flamewar online about religion; people who are absolutely horrified that anyone might belittle or disparage their faith/religion - even if it's not about them specifically, but rather words and actions of another who represents their faith - were feeling put-upon and claimed there was "bigotry" against religion in the room. Those same people have utterly no awareness that it is their own position that has presented a zero-sum situation; their views are sacred, and they must be allowed to assert and defend them; yet at the same time those people don't recognize, or don't acknowledge that it is their view who have excluded, condemned, or ridiculed anyone else.

So.

Guns.

Abortion.

Taxes.

Religion.

Those are all off the table. Of course, they're all still issues that directly or indirectly affect each one of our lives, but now we can't talk about them lest someone be offended. And the frequency with which someone is easly offended (while utterly oblivious to how pointed their views belittle and offend everyone else) is getting too much for me to endure.

I don't mind a conflict when the rules are the same, but that's not what's happening.

Religious people talk of "bigotry" against their faith; yet they have no understanding that if their faith is as much "truth" and "proof" as they insist it is, that makes everyone else but the other members of their faith quite a fool and, according to their faith, destined without hope to quite a miserable eternity. They will tell you not to quesiton or challenge or belittle their faith for they find it offensive; yet they can't understand why it might be offensive to me, that if their faith really is true, my future is going to be horrific and unthinkably tortured. In fact, I am sure that's the point that those who embrace their faith want everyone to know - in the abstract. Christians want all the apostates, atheists, and members of any other religion to know that anyone but a 'good' Christian will face Hell for all eternity - at least to everyone who's not in the room.

When I say to my "friend" - "hey, you do realize that you're talking specifically about me, right?" - suddenly they looked shocked, as if to say, "well, I did not want my friends to suffer, but...(long, awkward pause)...yes, that is indeed what my religion says, you will suffer in Hell".

Gun rights, abortion rights, taxes - they've all become zero-sum conflicts that are as intractable as the alleged tortures of Hell. Either one side wins, and they care not who loses as long as it's not them, or the whole conversation has to be scrapped. If the conversation goes on too long, and suddenly it's obvious that the "THEM" who are so reviled by one group happens to turn out to be represented by a few of the people in that very room...now everyone has to look at the walls, the table - anywhere but directly in the eyes of the others in the room who were just revealed as "them" -

You have your views; I have mine. Generally, we never interact. Each of us has our own 'circle' of influence; people who have interaction and influence on us through their behavior, and we have our own power to affect the lives of others through our interaction with those people we encounter in our daily affairs.

Normally, most of that interaction only occurs at the shallowest levels; "how's the weather", "who won the game last night" kind of stuff; and since not much of that is any big deal, not a lot of conflict arises.

But now that "freedom" (TM) has been somehow adopted to mean that each individual has the unalienable right to think and act on whatever they want without reservation or apology, there's suddenly a lot more of bricks being figuratively thrown at people's heads and a lot more occasions where the room just empties out and acquaintences are abandoned just to keep the violence at bay.

I've grown grim, very grim.

We - humankind - has more ways to communicate, easier ways that happen instantaneously across all boundaries than ever before; and it seems we're only using them to divide each other.

I wrote a blog post the other day that included a change in the name of our country:

"The United States of - You Gotta Be Kidding, Right?"

2011/01/13

And So It Goes...

I used to post on some popular blogs.

I've learned something.

I really don't exist, none of us do really.

Open your mouth and speak your mind, and you will be told by other people who are also speaking their mind that you should have stayed quiet. They don't seem to see the irony in that.

Who wins these arguments is largely a function of the personality of the speaker, not the merits of the argument, some people simply won't back down and declare themselves winner by raising their own glove in their hand and just insist that it's so far above everyone else that no one can touch it. Then they make it a personal character attack which takes on a very interesting dynamic:

Person A can say to person B that they are "lower than whale shit" "the worst person I've ever known" or you can add to this list because you know where it comes from. Fair enough, it's an opinion.

But if person B actually takes it to heart - meaning they take it personally and become emotional or angry over the matter - then suddeenly person A walks their argument backward and claims that it wasn't supposed to be taken so seriously.

Well, hey, if it wasn't meant to be taken so seriously, why did person A go to such lengths to grab person B by the ears and make goddamn sure that they FUCKING HEARD WHAT THEY WANTED TO SAY. AND THEY'RE RIGHT, SO WHY HAVENT YOU, PERSON B, STUFU AND GONE HOME YET, YOU MISERABLE PIECE OF SHIT, then it seems rather odd that they were expecting person B to not really take it seriously.

Its a common moment in the life of a parent to remind their progeny that "with freedom comes responsibility". That speech used to be given upon big moments like the aquisition of the young person's driver's license. (of course given the circumstances of our age, that speech obviously doesn't get delivered the way it used to)

But free speech - well, that just has no strings at all.

You can say things that will wind someone up like a childs toy, and when the listener is so apoplectic and unhinged they're even threatening to kill themselves - well, hey - now it's time to put the responsibility not on the one hurling insults, but on the listener to react properly.

That's right, always put the weight on the receiver to give you the reaction you wanted.

So in this analogy, freedom always belongs to the speaker. Responsibility always belongs to the listener, in this case to give the speaker the reaction they were expecting, or at the least, no reaction at all,.

And so I watch the news of the shootings, and for those who have the stomach for it who dig through our news and point out how many tragedies we've had in recent years, it's sad that we as a country have bastardized freedom beyond it's original meaning; it now comes with no responsibility.

You can yell "Fire" in a crowded theater, and now it doesn't have to be a clarion call of something burning - fuck, no - now you can use it as a signal to discharge weapons and still disavow any responsibility for where the bullets land.

And suicides, well, we've absolved everyone from any part in the 30,000 of those every year. Like the people who believe in "evil" as an abstract force in the universe and not a function of people who make choices to commit acts of evil, we have declared mental illness to be some kind of communicative virus that somehow is spread through the aether. (look it up, it's worth the google).

If people who committed suicide had spend their entire life in seclusion, seperate and isolated from humans and the society that humans create, then there is some ground to claim that it's in the water or some mysterious mental wave of dark energy that just grabs some people but not others. Blame it on the chemistry in their brains.

But the people who are labelled "sick" or "ill" or crazy were not raised in seclusion on the moon, they were interacting with people for their entire existence; gathering experiences, lessons, pain, joy, sorrow, elation. Our lives are a dynamic screenplay in progress that is shaped and formed by our social relationships and interactions.

But in 2011, people want to believe that there are just "sick" people out there - the religious chalk it up to Satan and "evil" as an abstract force in the universe. Surely it wasn't a result of any interaction they had, no, not that.

Kurt Vonnegut to lace his writing with the phrase "and so it goes".

It seems the greatest tragedy in the story of the human spirit is that while we have claimed dominion over all the universe and act as if we can solve any problem of nature, we shamelessly surrender that the acts of other humans are the one thing mankind will never have control of.

After all, humans just do whatever they want, and nothing can stop them.

I've had my fill of people who will argue with me for 59 rounds, then claim that I alone have gone too far by taking it to round 60; and then who waste their precious time in round 61 by coming back to tell me that the whole thing was a waste of their precious time.

Priceless.

Pointless, too, but only if you have the objectivity to be that honest. Most get through life by the noble technique of just declaring the other person "wrong", "sick", "sad" or "pathetic" - "lower than whale shit" and then insisting that a smart person would end the argument; they end the argument and claim in the falacy of affirming the antecedent, declare themselves the smarter one.

...the person who was somehow still so smart only moments before while mired in it, but now has been somehow awarded by whatever council in their mind that decides these things to have the higher ground.

There will be more shootings, more suicides, because people just love the freedom to push as hard as they want and then blame everything that falls over and crashes for being weak or unstable.

In a perverted irony, people who write their thoughts out will be arrested and detained because their thoughts sound dangerous.

Of course, the people who aren't speaking their mind are dangerous too, but they're smart enough (or deliberate enough) to keep their mouth shut. People like me speak so that a discussion can be had, while all manner of people who have no fucking clue what they are thinking make pronouncements about how and why and who put the thoughts in someone else's head; while never actually listening to them.

The society of people who surrounded a person for their entire life who put those thoughts in their head will disavow all of it; leaving all the culpability for their words upon the people who's throats they crammed their words down sideways because they had the "right" to speak.

Watch.

People who are honest about how they feel are held against their will because their thoughts sound dangerous.

the ones who are dangerous aren't held, because - well, this is easy - if their thoughts are never spoken, they don't make any sounds at all.

They're smart enough that they know it's stupid to tell anyone what you're going to do if you want to actually do it, they just do it.

So every so often a Jared Loughtner makes himself famous, and the offices of shrinks and cops all over the country are suddenly busy, beause now everyone has to take every angry word as a threat that someone will kill in an at of senseless psychotic violence.

Meanwhile, the senseless psychotic violence continues anyway, because the problem is not who's speaking and who's not, but people care nothing about anyone but themselves. Society has become a zero-sum proposition where person A's freedom must come at the expense of person B; and thus the meaning of the word has been bastardized beyond redemption.

Freedom cannot belong only to some people or it has ceased to be freedom. That' the lesson that America is not learning at this time; society has forgot that even if we dont' agree with each other we are nonetheless symbiotic.

Lewis Thomas wrote "The Medusa and the Snail", within he tells the story of a parasite, the medusa (wasp) whose eggs are laid within the flesh of the snail. The wasp larvae eats the snail with deliberation to gain energy to grow - it saves the snails vital organs for last until the rest has been devoured - and thus gets the most out of the snail. Good for the wasp.

The snail sees it otherwise.

This is an example of a parasitic relationship; where one party gains at the expense of the other.

This country was supposed to be a symbiotic relationship. A place where all parties gain together; their interactions are mutually sustaining, one gives to another, and it is returned in some form to maintain the equilibrium. Otherwise, if one party gains always at the expense of the other, well, we're going to run out of "other" eventually.

So I'll be the guy who lays bare his soul in the blind and foolish hope that somehow humans might realize they are their own worst enemy; we create and perpetuate this misery we think we're so upset by, but we never take responsiblity for it.

In America today, the bastardized concept of freedom is the uninhibited opportunity to shout at whoever you want about whatever you want.

Responsibility for what happens from the echo? Well, that's for everyone else.

And so it goes.

Although maybe not forever.

There have been  many great societies throughout history.

Where are they now?

Why do we have the hubris to think we'll be different?

It's our hubris that blinds us to our own faults and failures that will consume us from within.

Wecome back my friends to the show that never ends,

well, sometimes it ends.

You see as an atheist, I believe in the end of the world, only my version has nothing to do with a prophecy or the book of Revelation; there will be no rapture, no place of salvation where some can escape and endure while others suffer and perish.

We all go together, and it seems the reason this is guaranteed to be our fate is because whenever someone has the temerity to suggest something is wrong and needs genuine attention - well, in the "Greatest Country In the World, (TM) 'tis treason to say any such thing. We wouldn't be the Greatest Nation On Earth if such a thing were possible, now would it?

Carry on. This is one man's rambling that we attack each other from within, claim it is precisely what our founders and "G"od himself want (after all, everything is) - and that means if we all die catastrophe or by our own hand, think of how many people will close their eyes and seek comfort in the idea because they're just sure that everything that happens is the will of someone or something we can never understand.

This is why religion scares me - why I see society consuming itself - people see something wrong, they're comfortable with it being wrong...just as long as it's not their fault. They solve this by never accepting anything as their fault.

and so it goes.

Maybe not forever, though.

2010/09/30

I'm still there - the laughter turns to tears once again

Two things happened today; Tyler Clementi is in the news because he's dead; and that inspired me to check Street Prophets - only to see I'm still in the FAQ as the poster-child for how atheists are welcome there; my profile links to this very diary and they haven't found it. 

having a link to an atheists diary in your FAQ months after you sent him packing is a little wierd...if not pretty shameless, or just blind.

Here's what you've never addressed:

I may go a little deeper on this, given the current headlines about Tyler Clemente who just jumped off  a bridge because a video of a gay encounter was posted on a public website.

Fox fucking News - a guy named "Dr." Keith Ablow has summarily exonerated the two students who posted the video and absolved them of all responsibility by saying (ya gotta love this) that the temptation provided by the new electronic media was just too much to resist.

Yet here is the most frightening possibility of all: Wei and Ravi may have had no deep, dark desire to bully and humiliate someone to death at all.




The Web and webcams and Skype and Twitter may have hijacked essentially decent people, kindled some potential for intrigue and eroticism and practical joking that resides in millions and millions of young Americans and turned it in a lethal force.




it's not the people's mindset, they weren't bad, it's just that the internet made it so easy to torment someone.

Ha ha ha.

Lets see how far we run wih that

Somebody emailed me and said it's time for me to let this go - it's eating me up inside.

and that's the point

Here - this is a comment left on a Fox news Blog about the dead

"The person who killed himself was entirely responsible for his decision. "

Hoo fucking rah.

Just keep pushing, if the other guy falls over, he's to blame for not standing up straighter.

We should make rape legal, then? If the woman could only redirect what she feels as fear, dread, and trauma and remember there could have been a nice juicy orgasm for her if she had just looked at it differently, I guess that will be next?

Why do we even put brakes on cars - I mean, if you hit the other guy, it's surely his faults because he did not get out of your way fast enough.

I've fucking had it - and you all will too when the ends of these means comes around to consume us all eventually as the brakes are slowly disconnected from our society -

This kid who jumped off the bridge was not living in a vacuum on the moon, in isolation for his whole life.

His life - as is mine, yours, and all others who have walked this earth - a function and a component of the societies we live in. Your actions affect mine, mine affect yours - this is called "sybiosis" - we are a mutually interdependent group of organisms who cannot detach ourselves entirely from the environment of people who surround us.

So this fucking bullshit - I would love to let the cocksucker who wrote that see the look on my face - as I could John Fleetguy from Street Prophets and Dear Old Rain Sarah Reed who is still making quilts to "heal people" but says that my thougths of suicide were unacceptable on her blog -

Blame the people for their thoughts, and well - maybe with all this blame on ourselves you'll get closer to understanding why some people jsut say fuck it and turn it all off.

I wish there was a "G"od - because the pious motherfuckers who have told me about "H"im all my life are the ones most likely by any objective, rational, unbiased analysis to have their own wing named after them in the bowels of whatever Hell might look like.

I personally think the only "H"ell that ever will be is the one we make for ourselves; no ethereal forces or divine beings neccessary. We create this pain and misery - the only species on the whole fucking planet with the power to contemplate or reason any of these thoughts, and how often we turn away, throw up our hands in futile surrender and say, "well, that's just the way it is".

Whether "G"od gave us these big brains and opposible thumbs and the power to use both of them, or we evolved from atoms and void to emerge from the primordial slime to become the "smarter" animals, its' still disgusting and shameful how often sober people simply surrender their power - the only power they do have to make a difference - to the fates of the universe that all the other "lesser" animals are helpless victims to.

Shameful.

Tyler Clemeti did not live isolated with no human contact. I did not live this long without interaction with others - and if all of you are simply going to keep throwing any fucking thing you goddamn feel like at anyone you feel like and cry about your freedom to do so, your shame has no bounds as you then wash your hands of all that comes from your actions and blame others for not reacting to it as you had planned.

Pick one - but not both. You either speak your mind and own what comes next, or you had best check with your "G"od about the legitimacy of pushing someone as hard as you like and then blaming the other guy's spine for being so fragile as to break in your grasp.

Frankly, this is one of the easiest reasons to piss on the idea of there ever being a god - he clearly is a sick creature indeed to watch all this bloodlust and misery and claim it to be part of some greater plan, to be revealed only to those worthy of surviving it under certain rules.

I wish there was a "G"od who I could hope would "damn" this kind of shit -

Maybe that is why so many others invented one.

What Street Prophets did to me was entirely in their rights to do - but if they were trying to set an example of what they felt was the proper way to respect other people by weeding out those they thought had gone too far, look back through my posts there and you'll see they missed a few on their own team.

And so it goes.

For some people, anyway. I know in my worldview, Tyler Clemente's torment is over. He's at peace.

And lets count how long it will take for the first Christian to remind us that he's in Hell...

Google "Brad Delp" suicide - you'll find it. There are dozens of them.

Cold, raining, empty here.

Bout average.

2010/09/25

I'm still in the FAQ - do they have any idea

how it feels to be a poster child for how atheists are welcome at their site, and almost ten months after they closed the door, still have me listed as proof that atheists are tolerated?

Well, Joe - it's the way you reacted that caused the problem.

yes - re - acted. If you have the courage and the time, look at my diaries from beginning to end - you can start with the one linked to in the FAQ - i only started to change my tune about August of 2009 when one particular blogger broke their own rules (Don't be a jerk or a hater) and nobody called them on it.

Oh, sure - privately they said things like "well, Joe seems rather sensitive, so you best treat him special" - but nobody paid any attention to the routine manner in which he belittled other religions, in particular atheism - and most sadly for me, the guy who invited me to Netroots pointed out that "proselytization is not appreciated and is considered bad taste"

Want to hurt somebody's feelings other than mine? Specifically count the number of biblical verses in JCHFleetguy's posts - in particular, the number of posts per diary/comment - and get back to me.

This was not about building community, or progressive politics - he's a self-professed political Conservative and even whined about how it was not easy for a Conservative at a self-described liberal website.

And that's why I snapped. I saw him in my diaries over and over; it was always chapter and  verse, or this absurdist argument that everyone has faith.

he'd screw around with the definintion of faith, like Conservatives screwedd around with the defininton of torture or "freedom" - and that would be the same thread over and over.

SO the link I put to his comment - "anyone without faith would be a suicide victim"  - is either an egregiously offensive say to someone months after the person he said it to told him in no uncertain terms that no, John, I - snafubar - do not have faith. I don't want it, it gives me no peace, and yhou have substituted "confidence in things I can understand" for "blind faith in things that can never be explained" - you have ignored the difference and then said "well there's no way I'll come around to your definitions"

And nobody banned him.

he even wrote his own rules for what cookies/troll markers mean - like I said in other threads I sure hope for his sake that he does not start interpreting traffic signals by his own rules. When George Carlin talked about "my brother drives like this" - it was a joke - John still does things his way and simply dismisses standard, agreed upon, conventions.

But in the end, this will always be a blog (my blog) that proves that they simply did not care if I lived or died.

They cared about the liability if the last thing that I wrote or talked about on Earth before i went through with it was on their blog - because that would be too difficult to plausibly avoid cause/effect. This is why I make no apology. If another soul like mine came along tomorrow, based on their lack of culpabilty for how I wound up changing my attitude, they'd simply play the game the same way again, and someone

you know this, I know this, the statistics bear this out

Someone else will pull the trigger - either on themselves or whoeever cannot get out of the way.

And because I even brought that up, they'll say Im "threatening" = but lets' go one step further -

so even if I was - they'd ignore the threat and plow forward.

Tha'ts not about me - that's about kicking me out because I violated site rulese about being a "jerk" or a "hater" - but like Danish Brethren called me a "terrorist" for saying that if I'm in pain it inspires and fuels my anger, if I say that I'm using it as a weapon.

Got it?

If they hurt me, telling them is to use my pain as a weapon.

If I  hurt them, they slam the door.

Thirty thousand suicides a year. More than homicides - did you even realize?

And they'll do it all over again.

I see no evidence that they would change anything.

2010/07/25

191 days and they still don't have a clue

What's so sad about this is that what I'm about to show you is posted in the FAQ under the heading

"Who Speaks For This Site"

...and there I am, an example of how welcome atheists are - and it's been over six months since they banned me.

Banned me for being an asshole, for using words like motherfucker.

That's fine - but the forest they were standing in kept me from seeing all the trees.

Because what I saw was the following:

The rule was "don't be a jerk or a hater" - here's some quotes from the people who still post there and who obviously weren't banned for them:

"anyone without faith would likely be a suicide victim"

(I was also banned for frequently mentioning that it was precisely the kind of belittlement and disdain for my point of view that made me accept that if this is how people really saw me, I'd be doing them a favor by leaving their midst and it would surely be more peaceful for me as well to be dead and not worried about any of it)

my personal favorite, since one of the things that I was told was "unacceptable under any circumstances" was talk of suicide - this comment was made by the guy who, for six months, had gotten under my skin because he was so oblivious to the violence he did to my point of view, while playing victim when I got pissed about it.

2010/04/03

Thoughts

I think I'm about done with "social networking". I always knew I was different than the other kids, and the more time I spend on facebook and blogs and just my own personal flaw that I ignore the tact not to talk about all the things apparently no one talks about, I'm realizing this fact: I don't know how many of the people I was friends with in my past that I'd be able to be friends with now.


It seems that there is a systematic double standard that always works against my favor:


When someone else tells me their point of view, that's simply their perogative to utilize their freedom of expression and state their opinion.


But somehow the rules change  when I speak up, particularly when I happen to hold the point of view that is in the minority, because that means - well - everyone can see that this is far beyond just a polite opinion, I'm just being "provocative".



I'm not so deluded as to suggest my freedom of speech (protected by the First Amendment) is being infringed, like Rush Limbaugh did when he got fired for saying something unpopular on ESPN. Limbaugh was fired as an example of pure, unbridled capitalism: His bosses fired him because they did not want to take the hit to their ratings when he pissed people off. His current job as political windbag and provocateur is also a captialistic enterprise, and not neccessarily the most noble or sublime use of "freedom of speech"; he gets paid a handsome sum because a lot of people like to hear some other guy say the things they know would get them fired if they said it. Democracy only guarantees the government can't shut you up. But the rest of the population will take care of the ones they don't like on their own.

What does this have to do with me?
All these years with good memories, or at least memories I could live with, and now it seems like I am indeed such an outcast and a freak that I should never leave the house except for groceries.


And of course - that earns me a new label - "depressed". Or my favorite: "paranoid". Why is it when you keep standing in the rain they say  you're not learning very fast, but when 99 out of 100  people tell you to STFU and you just stop talking altogether because you think everyone hates  you, they call you "paranoid"? In both cases, the label is more defeating than the thoughts, and that only makes those who gave it to me demand that I need them more.



A label for me, a career for them, and when they insist that it is not possible for me to heal myself because of my "disease", and I tell them that such a thought is the single most powerful one I could be given that would make me give up completely - the ones who shout it into my ears will only shout louder. They accuse me of hurting others...by telling them how much pain I'm in.



So when you see that the "side effects" for the anti-depressant drugs (expecially Abilify, which is the THIRD drug they insist you should take if the other two aren't enough) - and one of the side effect of that drug is still "Suicide" -



Hey - it isn't the drugs.



It's the society. It tells me I can't feel healthy until they tell me I'm healthy, but when I say their remedies make me feel worse, that's only proof to them of how much more i need.



Hey - if I'm that bad, I'll save the food and energy I'm consuming for someone more worthy and make space for them in my absense.


Holy shit - that sounds like a threat of suicide! Well, lets see here....a long list of people have told me with no ambiguity or equivocation that my ideas are not welcome, I'm outnumbered, and I'm not going to win - but make the best of it!...that's not me sitting in my house being paranoid that I'm not welcome. It's me finally accepting that it's raining outside, and only fools go out to stand in the rain.

Can you see how the rules change to fit whatever side I'm not on?

That's what they call paranoia, depression; I call lucidity and perspicacity. I'm only listening to what they tell me and putting it all together. This country's greatest industry - it's only industry, it seems - is taking people who once gave a shit and convincing them what a fool they are until they stop caring about anything at all. Then they blame them for giving up.



Neat trick.



If I thought fixing me alone would do something, I'd do it. But fixing only me and still leaving everything else as is - knowing that someone else is being crushed and broken as I supposedly heal by shutting all this out - I can't buy that. We won't change what is breaking people, we'll just wrap them in pillows and send them through the gauntlet one more time.

And those of you who are astute and honest with yourselves will have to see that sending me to get "help" doesn't have a goddamn thing to do with whether or not I ever feel better; it's nothing more than a limit on other's liability. If someone is the reason I'm so depressed and they can say, "well, I recognize he needed 'help' and said he get some" then they think they've done their civic duty. The help is never intended to change my state of mind, it only exists for their absolution.

If they really wanted to change my state of mind, they'd recognize their role in forming it, and offer to make changes on their own. That's not what is happening here.

The promise - the delustion - ofhelp exists so that everyone else can maintain the status quo. If I go get "help" that means everyone can now agree that we all knew where the real problem was - me - and now that I've gone to get a tune-up, everyone else can continue on as before without any obligation to change a thing. After all, surely none of my distress could have been their fault; by going to get "help" i've somehow granted them permission to label me deficient and therefore the only thing that needed any modification.


I first went for counseling at the behest of my mother and girlfriend in 1993. I didn't think there was anything wrong with me, and all this stress was just "life". I was told I had a disease; I was told I'd need counseling and medication for the rest of my life or I'd never be happy - and from that moment to this, it seems they were right.

It only seems now that more people have no hesitation telling me not only am I depressed, but they actually become angry with me if I dare hang on to the things that keep me hanging on - insisting that it's dangerous to tell anyone else.

I'm still alive. Whenever I think about the end, about writing a suicide note, I think about some of the conversations I've  had online or in person or in the presence of 'professionals' - all who think they know better than I do what is in my head and how to "fix" it - and say,

"well, I had managed to stay alive for 42 years. After listening to you tell me that you - only you, never me - could have the answer - that's when I finally gave up."

But you and i both know that the kinds of personality I'm talking about would never even pause in reading such thoughts; they'd see my death as further proof of how wise they were and how sound their advice was, "if he'd listen to me, he coudl have been saved".

Religion, therapy - just condescending people who are never wrong - they always disavow their handiwork and find absolution in simply saying "The other guy was sick when i found him, the fact that he's dead only means I didn't get to work with him long enough to save him".

And that, dear readers, is why I'm not letting anyone - neither church nor counselor - ever get their hands on me again.

2010/03/29

A quote from a friends Facebook page

Facebook - A post by a friend of mine:

Say what you want but this sounds like the Mark of the
Beast to me! We will NOT be getting one!

National Healthcare Will Require National RFID Chips
 http://www.thenewamerican.com/

Ok, folks - this is what I'm talking about when I say that religion can be as dangerous as it can be transformative. This is someone I know, have known, for 25 years. I admire her. I still like her as a person. But I see her as one who has got "religion on the brain".

First of all, the RFID at best, will be in a "card", just like the one you wave in front of the gas pump to send the bill to your bank account, or the E-Z pass module you can get for your car to go through toll booths without stopping.

But here is a college educated woman who is convinced that
  • The government will be requring people to get things implanted under their skin.

  • As I remember the Mark of the Beast stories from Revelation, it's supposed to be an easily identifiable mark so that without it no one will be able to do any kind of business of any kind. Given the death threats towards Obama and Democrats in general lately, I'd be frightened more than I can relate in words to see what would happen if Obama were to announce that you must have something implanted under your skin to buy a cup of Latte and a scone at Starbucks, or .30 buckshot at the local gun shop.

  • Somehow this will be able to encompass "Woe, to you oh, Earth and Sea, for the Devil sends the beast with wrath. Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the Beast, for it is a human number. It's number is six hundred and sixty-six."
what, so are there 666 transitors in the RFID chip? it only takes 9 digits to give every human on Earth a unique number, so I'm having a hard time rationalizing that a college educated woman can go from this passage in the book of Revelation to thinking that somehow a chip will be implanted under her skin - when the health care bill is not even mandatory.
Smart people are buying otherwise unconscionable and incomprehensible lies, and it is shameful to all America that we have people who are this gullilble, and worse - this reactionary.

Joseph Goebbels would have had better luck with the Christian Right in America 2010 than he did with the depressed and vengeful Germans in 1933.

I am ashamed of my country that we have people this easily led, and that they can be led to ideas that are so bizarre, so that they will turn away from ideas that they themselves don't know they should be embodying.

I wonder if my friend can tell me what is in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25, verse 31-45.
I'll see if any of you are so astute.