Archive for July, 2008

Giving the word “controversial” a new meaning

July 30, 2008

There are many ways to tell if someone is lying. One way is when they take a word that you know how to use and use it in a way that makes no sense. In this case, the word being tortured is controversial.

It’s getting to the point where when certain words are used, I stop reading. I move on to something else. That is because these words are basically part of a lame bullshit campaign. Words include: bias (unless you are speaking of deviation of data from an experiment from the actual value) and Islamofascist (a word that makes no sense kind of like circular square’; if you hate Islam–I don’t–grow a set and just say it).

In this case they fired a professor for saying a milder form of what I have been blogging about <a href=”http://www.philly.com/inquirer/home_top_stories/25930754.html”&gt; the Bible was the work of both humans and God.</a> Actually, I contend that only people wrote the bible. I’m basing this on my reading alone.

The best part about the story is that there was no hearing. I wonder why. I think because the people firing him WOULD LOSE. I used to be pretty laid back about religious people as I think that religion can help others, but I’m tired of people hiding behind big words and now just abusing their power because they can’t stand up to the truth.

If the bible was written by God, it should be trivial to demolish Peter Enn’s arguments except for one caveat. HIS ARGUMENT IS PARTLY TRUE.

Here are some questions the committee can’t answer:

1. Why is the bible so poorly written?

2. Who is King James and is the history of the translation a lie?

3. How well do languages, that were formed in different cultures, translate?

4. Why are there many versions of the bible found all over the Middle East?

5. What about the apocrapha.

I’d love to read a transcript of this non-existent trial. Just because something was written by humans does not make it useless. But if they are so insecure about such an clear fact that there were humans with pens jotting down the words in the bible then they demolish their credibility in all things. And that’s a shame because religion should help people NOT LIE TO THEM.

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Meta-Religious Comments and a New Disorder: Glinchitis

July 29, 2008

I’m going to continue this until I start my bicycle trip because it is actually the most popular thing that I write. It’s also the easiest by far. I have a bunch of other articles in the works, but nothing is faster than a read of a few lines followed by free association by my retarded, loopy, and eclectic mind. This leads me to wonder if there is a such thing as religious talent or conversely lack thereof. And with this tangent, I’m going to delay the post on the bible reading so I can ramble at length about a new disease I created. Glinchitis which literally means the swelling of Glinchy.

Think about it. There are reading disabilities; there are people with trouble with math; there is gambling addictions. Why not have a disability where people have trouble with theology? I guess this shows how unimportant religious is in surviving in today’s America.

The implications are staggering. Both Left and Right would be rigorously apposed to this innovation. The Left would be angry because they would see it as yet another lame attempt to impose religion on a country that loves to watch shows like Desperate Housewives more than they like to go to church. Hell, I heard this show was even popular in Utah. Haha to “Family Values” gibberish.

The Right would get stressed out about religion disability because it would make excuses for those of us who just don’t have the imagination to believe in God, the Eucharist, and ιερό εσώρουχο. Abstractions give me a headache in every religion. Plus they really make me nervous because when I hear someone giving me a complex, airy, long-winded, explanation, I get the feeling that they are trying to pull a fast one on me. To say that this is a disability would make sin the result of some kind of disease. This would retard any attempt to tar and feather us religious morons, and chaos would ensue.

I do value religion, however, because it helped me with my own life, and I read about so many other people getting use out of it. When my mother died, I heard nothing but a litany or religious explanations for her death. This didn’t work for me because I hate it when people use a death to impose their religion on me. Also, my best defense over worry about family member’s disease is intellectualization. I focus on the actual mechanics of what is killing them. By learning what size and make of tube they used to intubate her with will stop me from feeling sad that the woman who carried me for nine months is in a lot of distress.

Anyway, the whole notion of a Religious Disability leads to the creation of a religious exam. This can ask such question as: “How many angels can dance on a pin?” This should be essay because multiple choice tests tell you nothing about a person. Answers such as “What is an angel” can lead to a lot of insight. The first place I’d go to learn about angels is a D and D monster manual.

Answers such as “What is a pin” would lead to a worse diagnosis. But the person would be treated as an equally valid individual in my happy, utopian, liberal fantasy world where everyone is genuinely nice just because and not because they fear some supernatural shit. Hey, I wonder if this should be a new kind of phobia, fear of the supernatural. Glinchiphobia.

Delilah: Judging a Book By Its Cover

July 28, 2008

My favorite part of my job is reading the letters students send. I love the letters I get to read on my job. Here’s a good one on a building named Delilah’s:

BEGIN COMMUNICATION

Upon moving in, my room, like all other rooms in Delilah’s, was beaten up, run down, and overall in poor condition (though if I were to write down an account of every blemish the book would have been the size of a telephone book). Driving through West Philly things looked pretty bad, but I never thought I that my expensive college was going to be just as bad. I guess sometimes you _can_ judge a book by its cover.

At one point, I waited over a month for a service request on a clogged toilet. I really didn’t think we were going to get through the month, but my room mate, who is a history major, said that they used to just shit in a pan then toss it from the window. I have to admit this was entertaining, but WE INCURRED NO DAMAGE TO THE ROOM. Plus people down below thought it was kind of funny especially the locals.

Upon move out, I put on my little maid’s uniform, and I cleaned and vacuumed each room, leaving it in PRECISELY in the same condition in which I found it. There was no damage to any wall or furniture that was not already there upon my moving in. I will not be paying the $14,250.00 for any reason, as I caused absolutely NO damage to the room or any of its amenities. Please remove the charge from my account. Now. Bitch.

END COMMUNICATION

My first thought is to just give them their money back. They are going to go much further in life than I will. But then I followed orders and gave them a form to fill out.

I’m looking forward to their response.

Matthew 6:16-18

July 25, 2008

Next comes fasting rules.

I don’t recall any talk about fasting before so again, this is confusing to me. I really hate to hear myself say the word “confusing” because I feel like I am flogging that dead horse, but that’s my feeling.

I guess he is assuming we all fast at one time or another. Or he is pointing to rules that we all ready had. This leads me to believe that Christians should follow all the laws of Judaism with minor tweaks. I can only guess what is right. And guessing is fun.

Anyway, when you fast you need to look as if you are not fasting by washing your face. Also, you need to annoint yourself. With what, it does not say. I heard this one politician used Crisco. That’s so ghetto. I’d use fine olive oil and make a nice cross on my head. Oh wait, in Jesus’ time, the cross was not a sign of good luck. It was a sign of criminals like having your pants come down your ass is today. I wonder if they had some rebelous youth in his day who would wear Roman plumes on their head to look bad and shit. It seems like the best parts of history get left out.

I think the main point of this passage is that if you are religious, don’t wear it on your sleeve. Hide it. Don’t lord it over other people. I think that this is sound advice.

I never fasted as a Christian and never gave anything up for Lent because I did not comprehend renunciation. I do now, though, because it was explained to me. Renunciation is NOT giving stuff up as much as it is understanding that you never had it in the first place. That makes sense because it is getting in touch with reality something we are all short of.

One time I did fast with a Muslim. I did it because we were friends and we worked together so we ate together. I ate when he ate as this was my habit. I would get so caught up in my work, I’d forget otherwise. He would eat an early dinner because it got dark early at that time since it was winter. It was kind of fun because I was doing it with him. At the time, I would not have enjoyed it so much if I had done it alone.

I liked Equa Yona’s comments, but I do NOT see these articles as a face-off between religions. I am not saying a religion is _better_ than any other religion. I am honestly putting down my feeling and what worked for me. Some people get a lot out of Buddhist ideas. Other people pervert them to mean being a dirty hippy. Other people pervert Christianity. Still others mix and match in a salad bar. OK.

I have spent a huge part of my life trying to live as a good Christian, and it did not work for me. I just hated myself and life in general. I did not want to face God because I was scared. I hated not believing in him, too, because then I would become nothing.

I had no clear spiritual ideas, and I was very angry. I read Buddhist books and things improved a lot for me. I have been happiest this year since I have ever been. I still want to be open minded and will read other books because I think that not doing so is like putting yourself in a cult. However, i am not mixing and matching. I am following Buddhist ideas as much as I can. I’d like to join a community, but I don’t know of any that suits my needs and beliefs.

I’m not that great spiritually, and I don’t particularly want to be. I would like to be a whole lot funnier to other people, though.

Matthew 6:12-15

July 24, 2008

The first part asks for forgiveness of debts. On one hand, I can relate to this seeing as I have a ton of stupid debt. On the other hand, is this not asking for something? We are not supposed to do this when we pray. Again, as the priest demonstrated, I’m dumber than a box of rocks so there’s probably a good reason for this. On the other hand, without doubt is it and will forever be over my tiny head. This seems like a contradiction to me.

I’m starting to feel that one of the main points of religious writing is to contradict oneself as much as possible. This makes Ann Coulter something like a modern day Thomas Aquinas.

The line continues and says, “As we forgive our debtors.” This is what I call sock puppet prayer. God becomes our sock puppet because he can say whatever we want to say. Why we can’t just own up to our own thoughts is due to a lack of self-confidence so we must invoke God. Again, this argument was underlying the priest’s argument about the bread. It was one of the clearest things that he said. Christ said so and we take his word. OK.

For some reason, sock puppetry pushes my angry buttons. The content on the other hand, I like. Forgiving debtors is nice. Again, there’s no reason _why_ to do this. Again, I’ll turn to my usual metta argument.

If we are worried about people who owe us all the time, and they don’t pay us back, this could lead to anger and upset us. Forgiveness can create a healing and a calming feeling. As I was told, don’t do any special meditations, just grit your teeth suck it up and forgive, pilgrim! After all it’s only fair. You got your debt forgiven in the phrase before. If, and only if, the debt collectors are Christians who actually read and follow the bible. The latter is doubtful seeing how many Christians force you to swear on the bible in court. Idiots!

The next line asks not to be lead into temptation. I like this. It makes it easy, I guess which is nice for the lazy. Still, what if there is temptation. It does not say.

Next it tells God his is the kingdom, power, and glory. Usually, I’d say, duh, but I am used to reading about prayer that states the obvious. I actually don’t mind this now because it is better than stating the ridiculous which is our other choice. The third choice is saying something profound which is what I’m waiting for. And waiting.

The next two lines basically say that if you forgive people then God will forgive you and vice-versa. This is nice. More forgiveness is always nice.

I hear this spoken of by Christians often, but it is always when they have wronged someone. I have never wronged a Christian and had them say, that’s OK, I forgive you, God wants me to. In fact, he put this in his book. Bzzzt. Wrong.

I had a friend who bought a car. He paid it, on time, until he had $500 to go. He asked for the title, but never got it. Then he was stopped, and the car was being taken by the police. No title, no car. He called again. This time, she claimed the car was hers and she took it back. She took his money and his car.

Then he got a card from her quoting this line. This shit makes my blood boil. There’s hellfire for us non-Christians when we don’t follow their little rules. After all, every church says it’s the _only_ way. But if Christians do something wrong, they want forgiveness from us because God says so. I guess this is why I hate sock puppetry, but I like the word.

First Thought, Best Thought

July 23, 2008

If you write fiction, you know that often the best version is the first version. A critique group gives a story a more committee feel taking out the rough edges which are often the most innovative parts of the story. Also, people tend to all have their own axes to grind, thus it’s nice to see the work which springs from a single mind.

I believe the same is true for the bible. The folks at The British Library are going to put an ancient bible online. Imagine what this will do for the bible blogging world!

It is over four hundred pages long. I wonder how long it will take me to critique the entire work?

Just as a committee can screw up a story, it seems that the committee who worked over the bible screwed things up. Mark ends with the followers leaving the tomb. Strangely post-resurrection stuff was not covered. Perhaps that could be because IT DIDN’T HAPPEN?

Who knows, but the people who were closest to the situation never heard about it. I don’t know why people think that Christ’s death is a “strange” way to end the book. The book was about his life, and when he died it was over. The same is true with books on Mohommed and Buddha. They lived, they did stuff, they said shit, then they died. END OF STORY.

If you watch season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will realize that ressurection should not be attempted because it messes with the natural order of things. Also, realize that if you perform a resurrection spell, bad shit happens. Really bad shit. Starting with the pulling into our dimension a spiritual hitchhiker which must be completely materialized before Buffy can kick its ass.

I like how they try to justify kicking out the other books from the bible using the scientific method known as idle speculation. They thought that perhaps Christians bound some worthless books in with the bible in order to “save some money.” Yeah, because Christians are so cheap, they would bind a trashy novel in with the holiest of books. (SARCASM in the last sentence; this is a form of humor. The proper response is laughter.)

A more likely explanation is that ALL THE BOOKS WERE PART OF THE ORIGINAL BIBLE. Why can’t people just take it like it is instead of imposing their retarded beliefs on things they find? I’m sick of people being programmed with some kind of story when they are little then tossing out all evidence that they learn forever and ever, amen. What if the first thing you learned was wrong?

For me, I spent about a decade deleting nearly everything that I had learned. Then I learned a much different better way to live. I moved from dread and depression to delight and happiness.

Perhaps today is a good day to forget everything you know and relearn everything. It could be fun.

Gigli

July 22, 2008

I’d like to start this post reminding people that THIS IS A COMEDY BLOG. The point of my postings is humor. I know that many people say nasty things then they run for cover by waving the comedy flag. I don’t do this. If I hate something, I have the brass ones big enough to say it. Alternatively, I’ll keep my pie hole shut and suck it up like I was told to. I’ll just simmer inside for a bit, do the mindfulness of being pissed off meditation and move on with my life.

I will not say hateful things then say, just kidding.

Why are many of my posts unfunny? I guess because I am not a professional comedian. I’m not even an amateur. It is just a little hobby I picked up along the way after seeing a funny Dmetri Martin sketch. I had a lot of things in common with him, and I wanted there to be one more thing in common. That’s it. I did stand up for a little bit and some comedy writing. Now I am comedy blogging.

I have found that there are many comedic styles from the silly word game style of Dave Berry to the observation style of Seinfeld to anger of Carlin to the saying nasty things about fellow Americans and hide behind patriotism and don’t really have any comedic premise style of Ann Coulter. All are unique, and I love them all save for the latter.

I am still finding my style. I don’t think I’ll ever succeed in saying anything that funny. I’m just not gifted like that. However, I do realize that when I try to hard to be funny, I’m not. I find when I just let my basic observations and yes anger flow, I am mildly funny for my wife and some of my friends.

Of course, this requires an object. Those who cling to these objects may or may not be offended. I think it depends upon how lightly you hold it. It also depends upon if you know me. I am not malicious. I am not trying to change the world. I am just trying to get a chuckle from other people’s expense. Just a little chuckle. I don’t go over to other people’s blogs to offend people, but if there’s something wrong, I may mock it a little. Like a fight over a crumb of bread, which I still think is funny, but people with the big hats and bigger words don’t get it.

I might not get the jokes on Buddhists. Actually, I think most of them are quite funny save for the really nasty ones from dumb shits. My friend wrote a song about their little fuzzy heads which I thought was funny.

However, that bitch who drove on the sidewalk and tried to take me out while I walked my bike near the car wash on Grey’s Ferry. That was not funny. I hope you rot in hell, which is odd because I thought hell was hot and should thus stop rotting by sterilizing.

Anyway, back to our regular programming. Good ol’ mockery.

Gigli worst movie ever?

I don’t even know why I saw this movie. I’d like to say I was dragged, but I can’t recall.

Let’s start with the title. It’s dumb. It’s also a punch line in the movie. Don’t get it? I didn’t either, but I think that’s the point. Since it’s so idiosyncratic, the title is actually a warning label. Gigli, if you don’t get the title, you won’t get the movie.

In most cases, one can’t avoid learning _something_ about a movie before they watch it, but besides the fact that Bennifer starred in this movie, and they were an item at the time, I did not know anything about this flick.

I don’t know when it was, I think several days later when I was struggling to scrub my neurons of any vestige of this movie when I realized that this movie was supposed to be a comedy. It hadn’t dawned on me earlier. I have seen a lot of unfunny comedies, but I have never seen one where I didn’t even realize that it was _supposed_ to be funny.

The movie was un-everything that makes a movie good from the start. It started out with a threat, but I think that was supposed to be a joke. I recall thinking, “This a little funny.” More and more stuff happened that didn’t make much sense until they were mistreating a boy who was developmentally delayed. At this point, I wanted to walk out. I don’t remember even being tempted to walk out of a movie.

When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it turns out that Jay Lo is a lesbian. She does this monologue on why she’s gay while doing yoga. Through the magic of film, they manage to take a hot woman, a hot idea, and a hot exercise, and make it dull.

Of course, there’s the whole male, convert a lesbian fantasy that does not happen in real life. I was thinking, I hope that they don’t do that. Of course, they did.

Many famous people did cameos in this movie and each one was the worst scene in their entire career.

The only thing that I got out of this movie was the book _Being Peace_ by Thich Nhat Hanh. I think that they realized that they needed to flesh out Jay Lo’s character to make her more spiritual so they got an intern to grab a random book from a New Age bookshelf. I picked up the book because I remembered it from the movie thinking it would be funny, but it was actually quite good.

Piece of Bread or Kidnapping Ordeal?

July 18, 2008

I recently read a story about someone who was accused of stealing after he tried keep a piece of bread he was given in a religious ceremony.

Now, I have to say that going to a religious ceremony and acting out is not a correct way to behave. You will agitate those in the ceremony. The best thing to do is to not go. If you are there, and you disagree with it, quietly leave.

However, here was a case where this person made a mistake, and was assaulted for it. He had been given a piece of bread and he tried to leave with it instead of consuming it immediately.

I think that what Cook did was obviously disrespectful. The people in the church had a certain way of doing things. They had a lot of fear that if things were not done a certain way, something bad would happen.

However, I don’t think Cook was particularly disruptive. If you go to a mass, it is much more disruptive to hear a baby crying than to have someone take a host. Furthermore, it is far more disruptive for someone to grab someone and to draw attention to them than it is to let them quietly do what they are doing.

Also, we need to consider the crime. He took a piece of bread that they gave in his hand and tried to take it from the church. That’s it. People are freaking out over a piece of bread. Not only is it just bread, but he didn’t even steal it.

So we have on one side, a slightly disrespectful person. On the other side, we have a whole group of people who are freaking out over a gift they have given him.

This reminds me of the story in the Dubliners by James Joyce called The Sisters. In it, a priest gets paralyzed and dies. In the end, they reveal, he started to do downhill after he dropped a chalice, a holy cup.

I am seeing a pattern here. It seems that the making of things sacred is an avenue for a vast world of suffering. If the people in the church just believed it was bread, they would not have had such distress. I have read one report where they liken the incident to kidnapping.

This goes far beyond the world of making up stories to make us feel better into the realm of the insane. This actually scares me because there are people in this world who actually believe that a piece of bread is more important than a person’s life. Clearly their values have been warped.

It seems that this religion is lacking in compassion when they think that assault was OK just because someone is mildly disrespectful. Kidnapping is a huge crime being an ass should not be equivalent to this. Were they going to spend the same resources they would to go after a human two year old to save this bread?

If I had a holy pencil and I gave it to someone and they tossed it out, and I called the cops, they would be angry at me for wasting their time. To me, this is a non-story. The only real story here is that they have convinced a vast number of people that there are objects that if they are harmed then they will suffer. They will not be compassionate to these people who do not respect these objects. This is a recipe for suffering.

Matthew 6:9-11

July 17, 2008

Last time, we learned what NOT to pray about. Don’t repeat yourself, and don’t ask for stuff.

This part teaches us how to pray. I think that this is a huge step for Jesus. When you establish a religion, the practices are very important to the believers. Like it or hate it, this is what I wanted from the start.

It starts out with an introduction telling us that the Father (God) is holy and in heaven. This is standard for many prayers.

Next it says, “Thy Kingdom come.” I believe this refers to Jesus’ view that his Father’s kingdom will come to the earth in the near future. I could be wrong here. If not, I have no idea what this means.

Next he says, that Father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I find this fascinating because it points to a vastly different view of God than the one I have. If he has to spell out something this obvious, perhaps to the people of the time, God was less powerful. I mean if God’s will was not done on earth, then who’s is? I thought God was all powerful.

Perhaps he means that God is _not_ all powerful or has somehow decided not to extend his power to the earth. This is an interesting concept and would make a good short story. Very nice line. In stating the obvious, he stated much, much more than the obvious.

Next he says, “give us this daily bread.” By this, I think he means more than just a request for bread. Recall, we are not supposed to ask for anything. I think that by this, he means that each day, the same old, same old goes by. Sort of like another day, another dollar type of thing. I’m not sure.

One thing I did notice is that prayer is a bit ADD in that there are no good transitions. Perhaps this is because he is more interested in the ideas presented rather than the form?

I stopped here, but there’s more prayer to cover. This prayer has too much going on to cover in just one post.

Erie Needs to Stem the Tide or Forever Lose Its Title by Tullie Antipodes

July 16, 2008

I find it funny how Erie’s Population has declined at the rate of only one person a year for the last 7 years. Now jsut imagine if that pizza deliveryman wasn’t forced to blow himself up! Then Erie would have been bigger by a whole person! True, had he lived, he mgiht have simply moved away by now – but I kind of doubt it.

Apparently, however, the decline was still humiliating enough since the Mayor of Erie wants to take back the all-important title of Third Largest City in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania back from that all-mighty boomtown, Allentown. It’s like Philly vs. Phoenix all over again! Only we now know that Phoenix ended up winning and it seems that Allentown is charging ahead, at the impressive rate of 77 people a year. There’s no way Erie can catch up to that steam train!

After all, there’s a lot of prestige riding on being No. 3 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Just like people can always name New York, LA, and Chicago as the largest cities in the country, people used to typically say Philly-Pittsburgh-Erie all in one breath. Now its Philly-Pittsburgh-Allentown. It’s time for Erie to get equal billing again! Also, in the same way San Antonio looks like it might snatch the titel of 6th largest from Philly only 2 years after Phoenix took away the title of 5th, Erie can’t afford to have that upstart city of Reading, PA take away the title of 4th largest.

Erie should hire Billy Joel to write a song about it. After all, he did it for Allentown and that place has gone nowhere but up since the 80’s. Why does Allentown get all the benefit and not Erie??? Never mind that the song really described Bethlehem and not Allentown. Well, I guess they’re the same place…