Monday, December 24, 2007

Make no mistake about my use of the word "literally"

Today, I literally shit my pants.

David Cross does a great bit about the misuse of "literally" where a guy is talking about laughing so hard "that he literally shit his pants." "What did you do with your pants? - I didn't actually shit my pants. ..." It's pretty damn funny, but it's even funnier when you actually, literally, really shit your pants.

I was meeting my friend for coffee when it went down. Fortunately my apartment is steps away from the coffee shop. I immediately turned around and started walking back to my apartment to get some new pants and started laughing to myself. By the time I was in the bathroom for a quick lower-half shower I was laughing out loud. As I walked back to the coffee shop I was laughing and crying so much that I thought my neighbors would be concerned if they saw me. When I tried to tell my friends what happened it took me about five minutes to be able to speak without uncontrollable laughter prohibiting all of my speech functions. It was awesome.

The funny thing here (and mind you, it's not ironic) is that the cause and effect seem to be reversible. The pants-shitting induces laughter as strongly as laughter allegedly causes pants-shitting.

"Dude, I shat my pants so hard I literally laughed out loud!"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Funny Hillbilly Kid

You might curse me for making fun of this little hillbilly kid, but I don't care--it's just too funny. I totally appreciate his loss, but the whole conversation together with the music (even the graphics are funny) is so bible belt comedy.

The thing I've never understood is that people claim that God understands their loss because "God gave his son to die on the cross." Jesus was dead for like a day and a half (although he claimed that he would be dead for three days and three nights.) For an infinite being, that doesn't seem like a long enough time to really miss your son, especially when you know that he is going to be alive again before church on Sunday morning. This makes the concept of "substitutionary atonement"--the idea that by Jesus dying, he took the punishment for all of humanity--seem pretty silly as well. Humans are all evil and deserve to burn in Hell for eternity (sorry, that's just the way God made it), but Jesus, by dying (but not really, because he was alive again a couple days later; and, I don't think he spent any time in hell) made up for it all? All of Christianity is based on this idea, yet it doesn't make much sense.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Story of Stuff

This video, The Story of Stuff is worth the twenty minutes it will take to watch. It may be nothing new for you, but it is very well made and offers some solutions with its accompanying website. Watch it and feel free to comment.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christians suck

I read the Christian Defense Coalition's press release in response to the shootings in CO today. Complete insanity. These fundies love lying to each other to try to propagate fear within their own ranks. It's totally fucking insane. The reaction from Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the CDC:

"These deaths in Colorado highlight the fact that Christians and churches are the overwhelming target of violent hate crimes in America."

It is irrelevant to the post, but I believe the shooter was brought up in a Christian home, home-schooled by fundamentalist parents and had enrolled in some kind of missions training program. (I don't think we can blame Richard Dawkins or Philip Pullman for this one.)

I expected some odd reactions from the evangelical crowd, but I didn't expect the kind of deluded or deceptive kind of response that these people would give. These kinds of statements are just preaching to the choir, but this one seems more like lying to the choir (maybe this shouldn't be so surprising.)

"Most would believe that the groups or facilities most likely to be targets of hate crimes are persons of color, gays, Muslims or abortion clinics.  The reason for that is the national press, media, elected officials and special interest groups focus, dramatize and over report when those groups and facilities are subjected to violent acts."

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, "most" Americans are right and the CDC is dead wrong. Here are some numbers for bias motivated incidents from 2006 (from the FBI Hate Crime Statistics site):
Anti-Protestant 59
Anti-Catholic 76
(these two are probably mostly perpetrated against each other)
Anti-Islamic 156
Anti-Homosexual 1,169
Race Motivated 4,000
I don't think bombing an abortion clinic is a hate crime; I think it is terrorism - a term Christians don't readily use to describe their own crimes.
It is truly sad to see that there were any, but there were more hate crimes against people with mental disabilities (62) than there were against Protestants.

These people influence the vast majority of America, they lie to everyone including each other, they act like they are a persecuted minority while they preach un-acceptance of others, and they just generally suck ass.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Good News from the Pope

It's hard to find a picture of pope ben where he doesn't look like a creepy, boy-raping corpse, so enjoy this one; I think he looks quite dashing, actually.

The occasion, of course is the release of the encyclical by Benedict XVI in which he attacks atheism and calls for a renewed hope in god or something. This sounds like good news to me. The pope and his pals spent months writing this thing that says they believe in god and that atheism is bad. No shit!? The pope is not an atheist? He's not even agnostic? Next we're going to hear that Kirk Cameron is not an evolutionary biologist. The good news is that the "new atheists" are making enough noise that the Vatican feels the need to release an encyclical (I guess it's a big fancy term paper with quotes from saints and everything) to address the apparent interest in atheism in the developed world.

It seems like Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, et. al are doing a good job. It looks like people are thinking about the issues rationally and refusing to accept some of the insane bronze age mythology that has dominated our thinking for far too long. It appears that the Church is scared. Sweet.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Alright. I'll do this for you north county blogger fools.

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle/Random
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
Opening Credits:

REM "You Are the Everything" (damn it. my movie is gay.)

Waking Up:
Velvet Underground "I'll be Your Mirror" (not bad, somehow)

First Day At School:
Electrelane "On Parade" (I haven't even listened to this song yet.)

Falling In Love:
Simon and Garfunkel "The Times They are A-changing"

Breaking Up:
Nirvana "Sliver"

The King's Singers (Elgar) "Deep in My Soul" (I didn't go.)

Life's OK:
Frank Zappa "Bamboozled By Love"

Mental Breakdown:
Ernesto Martinéz "Estudios Micro Rítmicos A 4 Part 1"

Massacre "Say Hey Willie"

Ernesto Martinéz "Estudios Micro Rítmicos A 4 Part 2" (weird)

Getting Back Together:
Tom Waits "Walking Spanish"

Sex Scene:
Neutral Milk Hotel "Song Against Sex" (ha.)

Dance Sequence:
Pixies "This Monkey's Gone To Heaven"

Ruins "Nivaftopoftz"

Birth of Child:
Bologna Ponies "Porcus Rex" !!!

Final Battle:
Radiohead "Scatterbrain (As Dead As Leaves)"

Funeral Song:
Beethoven "Symphony #9 2nd movement - Molto Vivace

End Credits:
Finntroll "Fiskarens Fiende"

I only cheated on tracks that weren't really songs, like recordings of me singing vocal parts for b.p. songs and shit. I was kind of hoping "Does My Cock Look Fat in these Brand New Pants" would come up for something, though; I would have answered with that one but, alas, it didn't.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yosemite Trip Report

Well, we made it back with our bodies intact, but with our egos slightly damaged. Tangerine Trip was a bust. On the bright side we did a bunch of shorter climbs that I have had on my list to do for a while. Here's a quick day by day of our week:

Sunday, we drove up to the valley and then spent 6 hours or so carrying massive loads up to the base of El Cap. Ferrying loads to the base may be the hardest part of an El Cap ascent. That night we bivied right at the base in the dark shadow of big granite.

Monday we cast off on the Tangerine Trip via the beginning pitches of Lost in America and Virginia. I led the first pitch clean at C3+ (moderately hard and awkward, and with ground fall potential.) After Greg ascended the fixed rope up to the belay, he led the mostly free second pitch in good style. Meanwhile Trevor had followed and cleaned pitch one - a real challenge due to the traversing nature of the pitch. Trevor and I then followed the second pitch up to Greg and we decided that we were not moving quickly and strongly enough to realistically finish the route. We decided to bail, but I thought it would be fun to go ahead and haul our gear up to the top of pitch 2, set up our portaledges and spend a night hanging from the side of El Capitan. After hauling our gear up (no trivial exercise) we drank some much appreciated water, set up the ledges and had some canned raviolli. We decided to skip bringing beer to ease the hauling as much as possible, but I offered some Jameson to the boys. They must not be too used to drinking Irish whiskey because they both nearly choked to death trying to gulp it down. "These youngsters are going to need a lot of training" I think. I didn't sleep particularly well, thinking about the suspect flake that my portaledge was hanging from, but I got to watch the nearly full moon make it's way through the ecliptic as the sky cleared and came alive with stars.

Tuesday we rappelled down, carried our loads down (not as heavy, as we dumped most of our water) and secured a campsite in camp 4 before having dinner.

Wednesday we did the Jam Crack in the morning - Greg led the first pitch and Trevor led the crux 5.9 pitch - then I took the afternoon off to take a break from the boys' shenanigans.

Thursday Greg and I climbed the Royal Arches route. It was a nice long route with lots of fun climbing, great belay ledges and an easy 10 minute approach. The descent via the North Dome Gully was the crux of the day. It is a long way down and covers some super scary terrain with loose sand and potential for certain death falls in some sections. We were very glad to have light packs rather than our 80 pound haulbags! The new guide book said to expect up to 14 hours car-to-car, so we were pleased with our 7 1/2 hour time.

Friday Trevor and I got a nice pre-dawn start for Snake Dike on Half Dome (after the Canadians woke us up at 1:30 thinking it was 5:30 - they had already made breakfast before we convinced them that there watch was wrong. Ha!) We hiked 4 miles up the main trail to Half Dome, then 2 miles cross country and on climbers' trails to the base. The route had pitch after pitch of fun climbing on these wild, fat dikes that appear to bulge through the skin of Half Dome. I could do without the hellacious walk up the slabs to top out though. You walk several hundred yards up these steep slabs that get your calves just searing with calf searing calf-searing. (I don't know how else to put it.) That was my first time on Half Dome so I had to take the obligatory Visor Lip pictures before pounding the 8 miles back downhill and ordering a pizza in Curry Village.

Saturday we had breakfast at the Lodge, said goodbye to "the ditch" and I took a shower (my carmates refused one) before loading up and making our way back home.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Keep track of our climbing progress. Maybe.

Anyone who is interested in how my partners and I are doing on the Tangerine Trip may be able to get a quick daily update by Tom Evans. This guy is cool. He provides an amazing service to El Capitan climbers by taking their pictures with this insane telephoto lens from El Cap Meadow. If he can get in contact with the climbers he will give them their pictures basically at his cost for the film. He makes heroes out of us chumps by giving us cool pics to show off. Thanks, Tom.

Anyway, if you check the Supertopo Forum and look for posts by "elcap-pics", usually titled "el cap report d/a/te," you can read about what he has been seeing on the Captain that day. If he is still in the valley next week he will likely be reporting on our progress on The Trip.

Blogger isn't letting me post a picture right now, but I have a few that Tom took of me on my first El Cap route, solo on the Zodiac. With any luck, I'll have some from the Trip to post later too.

edit: Here's a pic that Tom Evans took of me on Zodiac.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What's So Great About Christianity? ...well, it's better than NAMBLA.

I doubt I will be able to get through the whole thing. I was really excited to read about the science that Francis Collins praised about:
Assembling arguments from history, philosophy, theology, and science--yes, science!--he builds a modern and compelling case for faith in a loving God.

Alas, I haven't been able to dig quite deep enough to get to the good science, but I have read enough to get a taste of what D'Souza is getting at. In part I he tries to scare you into believing that there is a liberal conspiracy among the academics to indoctrinate your children with atheism. It's really quite funny. Here's a typical excerpt:
So, the secularization of the minds of our young people is not, as many think, the inevitable consequence of learning and maturing. Rather it is to a large degree orchestrated by teachers and professors to promote anti-religious agendas.
Consider a timely example of how this works. In recent years some parents and school boards have asked that public schools teach alternatives to Darwinian evolution. These efforts sparked a powerful outcry from the scientific and non-believing community. Defenders of evolution accuse the offending parents and school boards of retarding the acquisition of scientific knowledge in the name of religion. The Economist editorialized that "Darwinism has enemies mostly because it is not compatible with a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis."
This may be so, but doesn't Darwinism have friends and supporters mostly for the same reason? Consider the alternative: the Darwinists are merely standing up for science. But surveys show that the vast majority of young people in America today are scientifically illiterate, widely ignorant of all aspects of science. How many high school graduates could tell you the meaning of Einstein's famous equation? Lots of young people don't have a clue about photosynthesis or Boyle's Law. So why isn't there a political movement to fight for the teaching of photosynthesis? Why isn't the ACLU filing lawsuits on behalf of Boyle's Law?

This guy is unreal. If teachers were explaining an alternative theory to photosynthesis that was based on some nomadic tribe's mythology and not on science, then, yeah there would be -- and should be a movement to stop the teaching of that theory and to start teaching some real science! And, I actually might call the ACLU if a teacher claimed that Boyle's Law was "only a theory" and that the relationship between the pressure and volume of a gas is better described by how much you pray about it, or is dependent on what the eagle whispered to the coyote, or is controlled by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (Well, actually if she brought up the FSM I would cheer for her.) Anyway, I don't believe he doesn't get it; I think he's just full of shit.

In part II he explains how Western culture is entirely based on Christianity (at least all the good parts) and that the ancient Greeks and Romans gave us nothing except pantheism and homosexuality. I'm not kidding at all here, he equates Greece and Rome to NAMBLA. Then he goes on to describe how Christianity invented "romantic love" and a whole bunch of other steaming, squishy stink.

I probably won't read any more, so you'll have to take that as my review for now. The good news about that is that I already wrote more than you wanted me to about it. The bad news is that you are now welcome to have the book yourself to read or to do anything else with that you see fit.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What's Going On

Yes, I have been hiding from my vast internet audience. The pressure of enlightening and entertaining all of my readers becomes too much for me sometimes. Here's what's been going on:

I participated in the Bike Tour at the Long Beach Marathon this last weekend. [I'll edit in a picture or link later.] I slept in my truck in downtown Long Beach Saturday night so I could roll out of bed and ride straight to the starting line. I finished in the time I wanted to and was drinking beer (well, a sort of synthesized beer product by Anheiser-Busch) by 8:30 a.m. My friend, Shayna did the half marathon (not on a bike) and exceeded her goal by coming in under three hours -- much more impressive than riding your bike along the beach for a couple hours.

This weekend I will be headed to Yosemite for a trip up El Capitan -- Tangerine Trip to be more precise -- with a couple pals. If all goes well we will be on the wall for about five days, plus a couple of days getting us and our gear to and from the route. If things don't go well we will be home either much earlier or much later. One thing is certain: there will be some very tight man-man-man sleeping arrangements to look forward to. There will also be some gourmet wall cuisine being consumed, i.e. cold canned chili and week-old bagels.

In the mean time, there is a batch of IPA in the fermenter looking to be ready for consumption mid November; and there is a book "What's So Great About Christianity" that I got from the editor to review. Dinesh D'Souza wants to give us some answers besides the obvious "not much." It smells like a steaming pile, and so far tastes like one too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Scariest Picture Ever

This may be one of the scariest photographs ever:

From left to right: Stephen Bennet, "former homosexual" of the evangelical christian, SBMinistries; Mrs. Bennet (I'm not sure exactly what to say about her, except that I am very, very frightened of her.); Beverly LaHaye, Founder of Concerned Women of America; and Tim LaHaye, co-author of the "Left Behind" Series of fiction books, which have been partially adapted to the big screen starring Kirk Cameron.

*photo viewing and link clicking must be done at your own risk.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blasphemy Makes the Baby Jesus Cry.

I went ahead and signed the petition tonight. I'm not sure my name and comment will last too long though, so I took a screenshot for posterity.

So Kathy Griffin said stuff that Christians didn't like, including "...suck it, Jesus." Who cares wtf Kathy says? S/he's a comedian/enne. (I'm still not sure on Kathy's gender.) Part of the humor of the remark is reflected from all the apparently moral-less and hypocritical people who thank jesus for their awards in these acceptance speeches, but this is obviously lost on the sheople who make such a big fuss.

I'd like to explore all the idiocy of this reaction from the fundy-mental-ists; there are great free speech issues here, as well as political, philosophical and sociological issues to discuss. But, when you get down to it - it's just fuckin' funny how these people react! Here are some names and comments if you'd like a taste:

Oh. I didn't want to keep typing it, so just picture a big (sick)(sic) at the end of all the quotes. They are copied directly.

Howard Wilson
People of faith are sick of spoiled brats trying to destroy our countrie's foundation

donna kenchel
it is about timee we christians stand up for our GOD. these perverts are getting away with anything they want to and we just set back and let it happen. how does anyone do anything and think GOD is not in everything that happens. H E knew exactly what you would do your whole life before you were ever born.

Stephen Lumpkin
Very tired of white, heterosexual, christians being stepped on in this country. Step up or step out.

she needs to keep having plastic surgery, but she'll always be ugly and on our D-List!

i dnt unsderstand but the devil is really tryin to bring us teens down by getting her to say that and i am going to keep her in our prayers!!!

Deborah A. Hall
I don't think I would tempt faith if I was her. [ What does it mean to "tempt faith?"]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

C'mon, Kids! We're going to Orlando for ...

The Holy Land Experience!!!!!
Bitchin', dad!!
KICK ASS, mom!

Wait. The What?

That's right, guys the Holy Land Experience. You're going to LOVE it.

Poor Kids.

I can't imagine a more soul draining experience myself. I'm not a big fan of theme parks anyway, but this just looks mind-numbingly boring. It is also quite deceptive to be teaching these innocent kids -- probably from the mid-west and likely home-schooled -- that Jerusalem is all about Jesus and how the holy land is going to be rebuilt for them and their fair skinned freckled friends and cleansed of all non-believers when really there are rich religious traditions from three major faiths running deep in the city. They will be groomed to believe that Jerusalem belongs to them and their god before they ever get a chance to learn about the people who live there today and what they believe. If they learned from the beginning that there are three main faiths here, they all think they alone are right, they all try to kill each other every several years because they know they are right, and it doesn't look like they will ever stop killing each other until they admit that their own particular fairy stories are not true and not the only perspective from which to see the world, we might be a little better off.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nice Embouchure, Larry

I just have to say this is about the funniest thing I've read from a police report. Larry Craig said "that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that "his foot may have touched mine." while apparently trying to instigate sex with an undercover policeman. This is just another in a long list of politicians who want moral laws passed against behavior that they themselves practice in their private lives. Here's what the president of the Human Rights Campaign had to say. Here's what I have I have to say: What a douche.

Keri who tipped me to the story also saw the other funny side of the issue. That being that the undercover cop sounds just like Angelo Mancuso from A Confederacy of Dunces who gets the worst beat possible which is sitting in the public restroom waiting around for homosexuals. The difference is that this guy actually made an arrest and it was a freaking senator! If you haven't read it you're missing out on one of the funniest books ever (and many strange allusions that I use almost daily.) Read it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sixth Sign?

Well, this could be it, guys.

The moon will be turning red tonight during the lunar eclipse.

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; Rev. 6:12

I might get up to watch it because I haven't seen one in a while. Also, It could be near the end of the world; there's only seven seals, you know. If anyone is going to be up, let me know. If you need a way to stay awake until 2:30 or 3:00 - when things start to get interesting - you can try reading the rest of Revelations. Actually, I dare you to read Revelations. It is some crazy stuff - kind of like an LSD trip, but not as fun.

Thoughts for Christians Concerned with Marriage Rights

Whether you are an ultra fundamentalist who hates fags altogether, or a more tolerant Christian who still believes that "marriage is between a man and a woman" I think you should stop and think before you start making laws for all of us. Some folks in California want to "protect marriage" which means nothing except discriminating against same-sex couples.

As a Christian I would be extremely wary of a government sanctioning an institution like marriage. If you are a true believer why would you want a secular government to mandate the details of your sacred institution? It is in your best interests to keep the government out of your church and your bedroom lest they decide that the way you worship or marry or whatever isn't the right way. When Jesus said render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's we usually think about taxes, but shouldn't that apply to letting the government take care of governing and keeping your private beliefs out of it. Jesus never encouraged influencing the government with religious ideas, he spoke about letting it do it's job (and making sure you pay your fair share to make sure it can.)

Here's what Randy Thomasson, one of the organizers for California Marriage Amendment, had to say:

"This is proof positive that the initiative, which will prevent marriage from being abolished and prevent marriage rights from being eliminated, is absolutely needed to protect the sacred institution of marriage from activist judges and liberal politicians,"

This is typical language of his kind to scare you into thinking that there is some kind of threat. Do you really think that marriage will be abolished? Seriously?? And marriage rights eliminated? I don't think that is anybody's agenda, but the goal is to offer benefits to people who deserve them from the perspective of a government that is concerned for the well being of it's citizens and not a government that wants to look into every bedroom in the country and make sure there's nothing they don't approve of going on.

Lets all try to move forward here and leave behind these people who's idea of government is to watch you have sex and tell you that you're doing it in the wrong way or with the wrong person. Whether you are a godless liberal or a bible thumpin' fundie, no one wants Uncle Sam telling us how to worship, marry, fuck or anything else we do in our churches, homes, or parked cars.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Wow. This is too cool to pass up. Someone named Robert Bowie Johnson has a new book called Noah in Ancient Greek Art. His books are about how ancient Greek art actually depicts Bible stories - not Greek mythology - and so the Bible stories must be true. I think I can pretty much guess at the entire bibliography for this book:

An article by Dr. Henry Morris, famous young earth creationist and founder of the Institute for Creation Research who's degree is in hydraulic engineering. (Should it surprise you that he has no education in biology, geology or any other field related to what he wrote about? No, because he is a YEC! What do you expect?)

Genesis 1:1 - Revelation 22:21 because this is the most up-to-date and accurate writing we have on art history - as well as biology, physics, music, teen dating and ethics.

Dr. Bronner (It's good to have a couple of doctors on the list - and, I do love the soap.)

An article from Parade Magazine (You need to have an article from a peer-reviewed journal in there too.)

Oh yeah. Another recommendation for this author is that his last book "has been translated into French and Greek." To me that sounds like when a shitty sit-com in syndication announces that it is available in Spanish during the opening credits. Impressive.

Here's the best part of the press release though:

"To shock the Darwinists out of their denial of the overwhelming evidence in Greek art for the reality of Genesis events, the author urges Creationists to refer to evolutionists as what they imagine they are—'Slime-Snake-Monkey-People.'"
I guess I have to claim to be a slime-snake-monkey-person, since I am not too sure that Athena was actually Ham (Noah's son)'s wife.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Biology and Mathematics in Harmony

According to Uncle John's Bathroom Reader, the elephant is the only mammal that can not jump.

The elephant is also the only mammal with four knees.

It is impossible to jump without knees.

Based on this information, I can only assume that in order for a mammal to jump it must possess at least one, but less than four knees. In other words,

More research is needed on one and three legged mammals, but I think the basic concept of my theory is pretty solid. Feel free, biologists, evo-devos and mathematicians to expound on my work, but please have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due when using my equation(s).

Friday, August 3, 2007

Cartoons? They're Not Even Funny.

Here's a cartoon called Umbert the Unborn. The creator, Gary Cangemi says "The cartoon gives a name, face and personality to the unborn baby within." Not surprisingly, the cartoon is not very funny. Pro-lifers want to use the cartoon in sex-ed classes to show kids that women's reproductive rights and stem-cell research is evil.

For some reason, my favorite lines about the conception of the article are these: 'At first, he was unable to come up with a "U" name until he remembered the name of an author he had recently read - Umberto Eco. "Umberto sounded too ethnic," Cangemi said. "So I knocked off the 'o,' and Umbert was conceived."' I can just picture some of the people in my city who don't want their kids learning about birth control, but are also scared of "ethnic" people and who would, behind closed doors, say something like "I wish those damn Mexicans would learn to use some birth control. You can't swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a pregnant Mexican!!!"
Anyway, I made my own cartoon. It's not very funny either.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Coolest Dolls Ever

These dolls look like they kick a lot of ass.
They are called P31 Dolls - short for Proverbs 31. They are supposed to be based on Biblical principles and to be Christian alternatives to toys like Bratz (which are probably more fun, but I don't know.) You can read Proverbs 31 if you want but I'll just tell you that the best passage is vss 6-7 "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." The rest is about a guy daydreaming about the ideal wife. I think it says something about working in the kitchen because the P31 dolls come with cookie cutters and cookie recipes. Sweet. (I mean that.)

Guys, don't feel left out. Most of their stuff (just like the bible) is for you. One of the coolest is Noah. He was the most righteous person on the planet before God destroyed every living thing on it. He was so righteous that he got hammered on wine and then got naked in his tent. When his son came in and accidently saw him naked, Noah got pissed and put a curse on that son's son, Canaan. Canaan was cursed to be a servant of his uncles after that because his dad accidently saw his grandpa naked. Wacky. The only righteous man on Earth.

They have other cool stuff too. They're sure to have your favorite Bible character. Unless that character, like mine, is Balaam's talking ass. (Numbers 22:28) But, it's pretty much just all talk from somebody's ass anyway.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Jesus Camp Trailer

This is supposed to go in the previous post. I'll get it eventually.

Jesus vs Muhammad vs Harry Potter vs Frodo

So I was working in the 'hood this morning - actually in a neighborhood dominated by Sudanese, Somali, and Ethiopian refugees.  There are lots of Muslims in the area walking by with their Qur'an in hand, and then I hear a group of kids singing.  They are doing the thing that I only know as the "jihad yodel."  (Someone can probably school me on sacred Muslim music, and someone might want to try to school me on religious sensitivity.)  But, it kind of freaked me out to hear those kids screaming like that.  My only impression is of suicide bombers in training.

Then I remembered some of the songs I sang in Sunday school.  One of my favorites was something like "I'm in the Lord's Army."  "...Riding in the cavalry/flying over the enemy/shooting the artillery./Yes, I'm in the Lord's Army!"  I loved it because we could do all the "motions" that went along with it: flying over the enemy, shooting the artillery, etc.  It seems totally fucked up to me now.  Why do you want your kids to go to church and sing about shooting people?

So, now I remember the movie, Jesus Camp.

Get it and watch it. It is unreal.

I won't go into it all, but it made me remember something from the film that has always pissed me off. I think it's Becky Fischer or maybe one of the moms talking about how Harry Potter is evil because it talks about witchcraft and wizardry and etc. The directors must have got the shot on purpose, but on the coffee table is one of the LOTR books. I have wondered at this phenomenon for years. Why do the Christians condemn JK Rowling's books (to the point of book burnings), while they just love JRR Tolkien and his brand of wizardry and sorcery!? It's ridiculous. Is it because she is a "nonbeliever" herself and Tolkien was a Roman Catholic? The fundies don't even think the Catholics are true Christians! Is it because she was a single mom and he was an upstanding, (married) professor? I don't know. I won't geek out on Tolkien, but his books are not about Christianity, and they do include wizards (good ones and bad ones) and there's all kinds of (good and bad) magic going on. I just don't get it. What is the bfd with Harry Potter for these people?

So, anyway the Deathly Hallows has been out for about 15 hours and I still haven't picked up my copy, so I guess I'll go do that now. My friend was already done yesterday and said it was the best of the series. Read it, read Tolkien, imagine Gandalf vs Dumbledore - or Frodo vs Harry - (whatever you're in to) and tell a fundamental Christian how much better either one of them is than the old and new testaments combined. (Tell them the Qur'an is better too, even though it's just as wacky.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It looks like Michael Reardon is gone. He was famous for his free solo climbing of routes at Joshua Tree, Tahquitz and in the Sierras. He routinely climbed at a high level of difficulty with out any backup system in case of a fall, so it didn't surprise me when I heard the news. But, he didn't die in a fall; he was pulled out into the Atlantic by a huge wave in Ireland. Weird.

I met him once out at Tahquitz in Idyllwild, but didn't recognize him. We just said "hi" to each other on the trail like any other climbers would. Then later I read that that day he had free soloed The Vampire. I would be feeling pretty badass to get up The Vampire with any number of ropes and/or partners. Michael did it with just a pair of climbing shoes and a chalk bag. It kind of makes my guts drop into my shoes just thinking about.

He leaves a wife and teenage daughter behind which is, of course, tragic.  He also leaves the climbing community with one less character who exemplifies the incredible mental focus and love for the physical challenge that drew us all to the sport and keeps us climbing still.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Theology Minute

So, if you're not interested at all in Biblical fundamentalism, then skip this post and go check out something a little different like this.  You probably should be interested, though because, depending on your perspective, either bunches of your pals are going to burn for ever in hell, or crazy people are in the process of trying to indoctrinate your children with their superstitions and teaching them to ignore rational thought and avoid critical thinking.

Anyway, my issue today is this whole "original sin" thing that is crucial for all of Christianity.  The story is something like "Adam and Eve were created without knowledge of good and evil.  They were commanded by God not to eat some fruit that would make them know good from evil.  They ate it anyway and now they know good from evil."  This is called the original sin.  Now, how could they have sinned if they didn't know good from evil before they ate the fruit?  Either they didn't know it was wrong, so they didn't sin or if they did sin, then they must have known it was wrong.  It doesn't make any sense.  I've heard some apologists try to explain this with some elaborate mental gymnastics, but it still doesn't make sense.  Feel free to give it a shot though.  Seriously.

The supposed repercussions of the o-sin are guys having to dig in the dirt and girls having excruciating pain in childbirth.  Thanks alot for that, God.  So christian men, if you were thinking of picking up dinner on the way home from work, maybe you should pick up a shovel and get to work in those fields instead.  You've got to stay right with the Lord.  And, ladies.  Epidural...?  I don't know if that would be in God's will for you.  Better go natural to be safe.

Oh.  And check out Van Der Goes' painting.  Silly artist didn't know Adam and Eve didn't have bellybuttons.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My First Blog Post

I thought I'd start my blogging career with a nice product recommendation for everyone.  Nicorette gum is fantastic.  It is great if you are trying to quit smoking, but if you smoke and don't plan on quitting, get some anyway.  Chew up a piece a little bit, park it in your gum, then light a Camel filter or your cigarette of choice.  It's great.  It's kind of like you first smoke.  You get pretty high from that shit.  If you don't smoke, get some anyway.  You might achieve the relaxed attitude and efficient work habits of a traditional nicotine addict, but can maintain your hot-aught non-smoking iImage.  I have been using it to quit smoking (no smokey treats since last Wednesday.)  So far, so good.  We'll see how things go when I start reading posts over at Evangelical Right, which I love/hate to do.  Wish me luck.  Buy some Nicorette.  Read something.