The Family Reunion

Well, today was another day of what is an annual tradition in my family – the family reunion.  This is a day when family members come from far and wide (sort of) to see each other.  Well, that is what it it originally was.  Now…well, let’s just say that the size of the crowd has gone down considerably.  Very soon, these events will be incredibly small.  Part of me doesn’t feel much for that, another part of me feels very much sad and a little bit hurt.  Part of the dual nature of my existence.  Let me explain.

The first family reunion I can remember was after my head injury.  I wasn’t there, because I was in the hospital.  Bummer.  The next one wasn’t much fun for me.  Still in a lot of pain.  The one after that is the one that I remember the most pleasantly.  It was a great experience.  So many cousins and whatnot were there.  At this point, I was still getting to know people.  You see, post head injury, I didn’t remember much of anybody.  My connections that were being made were new and each experience was unique.  Very quickly I found out that I had little in common with these people, but I was able to still have fun getting to know them.

There were so many there.  It was a giant occasion.  If memory serves, it was at the lake where my the mother-unit’s cousin and what have you live.  There were three places that these events took place.  The first was at the lake.  The second was at the aunt’s place,

The view from the family reunion at my house.

300 miles away, and the third was at my family’s home.  It was a lot of work, for whoever did it.  Everybody showed up.  Getting around 50 people was a pretty good chance.  My old man always complained about having it here.  I get why.  It was a royal pain in the ass.  I’m sure that others had just as much complaint.  Still, it was the family tradition, and that was respected.

For a few years, this kind of turnout ran strong.  But very quickly, things changed.  Everybody seemed eager to move away, to get out on their own, and not to look back.  I don’t blame them.  I mean to do the same in the not too distant future.  Still, the turnout got smaller and smaller.  It went from being a giant event that was held for an entire weekend, involving a lot of work and a lot of coordination and planning, to a one day lunch and dinner, with some socializing in-between.  The family reunion was now a very small event, and likely to get smaller in the not too distant future.

You see, the family is getting old.  Many of those attending have far more years behind them than they have ahead.  It’s a sad reality of life.  Once they are gone, I often pause to wonder if this event will happen at all.  I know that it will for one side of the family.  An aunt of mine has a bunch of kids.  Each of them now has offspring of their own.  Well, all but one, but he has expressed interest in this concept in the not too distant future.  For my own family, I doubt it.  I have no plans to have children.  My sister seems to be of the same mind.  We are both going to go our own way.

But today was a reminder to me of just how little that I do have.  The family reunion is seeming to me to be, more and more, a club for the people who are married, getting married, and have kids.  I am single, have no romantic prospects because…well, I guess that I am just the kind of person who is friend material or whatnot.  I have no kids, nor plans to have kids.  I am an atheist and a liberal.  I have no common ground with any of them.  I ended up talking to one guy.  He’s a gamer, like me.  It was the only person I found that I could talk to about anything that matters to me.

They all have these substantially different lives.  The way I look at things and the way that I plan to live seems almost alien to them.  But it was also a reminder to me of what I have lost.  Last night, I hit up a friend (I am always having to talk to people.  It’s rare that somebody talks to me) and she told me that she was going to climb the Butte.  It was 1 in the morning.  That sounded so amazing.  I find out now how great it was for her.  People seem to all have these amazingly fantastic lives, and where is my life going?

No-fucking-where, that’s where.  It is going nowhere.  I am stuck here, with nothing that I can do.  All my friends are busy when I try to make plans.  Where I live doesn’t have a large amount of prospects for things to do, and see the first part as to why things I try to do don’t work out.  It is so fucking frustrating how I am legitimately trying to get out and have a social life, yet all my plans either backfire, or go nowhere at all.  This family reunion reminded me that while everybody else has this amazing gift and finding ways to connect and be social, here I am, on my fucking chair, having come home and felt like I was socially dissed.  All the fawning over the kids.  All the dialogues about relationships and the families.  Where did I fit in?  Nowhere.

Camille, why did you have to pass away?  There are so many days when I don’t know if I can keep doing this.  I am trying so hard to get out there and to make something stick.  I am greeted by brick walls and a lack of enthusiasm on others’ part to make things happen.  I don’t know why.

The family reunion was once an event where, even if I wasn’t able to find a lot of joy and happiness, I was still able to enjoy.  Now I am an outsider at a family party.  I would cry, if I had some tears left to shed.  I ran out of those a long time ago.

I am starting to lose faith, in making anything happen for me.  It’s getting harder and harder.  Was it all for something?  I keep believing it was.  I have to.  Otherwise, if I took it all seriously all the time, I don’t know how I could live in this world.

But I want it on the record that I don’t hold the happiness of the family against them.  Being happy is a rare gift.  Enjoy it while you can.

Until next time, a quote,

“You think I like it?  You think I walk outside and look at the world and just say, ‘yeah!’  Well yeah, sometimes I do.  Because it’s all I can do anymore.  It’s all I can do, to fucking deal with it.  If I looked at it, and was honest with myself about it, then I don’t know how I could live here.  I don’t know how I could exist in this world, if I took it seriously.”  -TJ Kincaid, Atheist Answers: Fate of the World 

Peace out,

Maverick

Sexism and Atheism, the Rebecca Watson and PZ Myers conundrum

Now, before I get into this, I am not one for drama.  I generally let the YouTube and blogosphere communities fight it out when stuff like this comes up, but there are many reasons why I think that what is going on right now is worth talking about.

I had done a very emotional response to Rebecca Watson’s video about the guy who hit on her on an elevator at a bar.  I get annoyed when I see somebody being lambasted publicly for no good reason.  The problem is that after people like me and The Amazing Atheist went after this video, she got a lot of responses.  Admittedly, there were horribly unpleasant responses.  But unfortunately, Ms. Watson took them to heart.  Now, she believes that there is a huge problem about this because of all the hateful comments she got.

From this, she chose to make a giant mountain about this issue.  And she got a lot of backing about it, too.  PZ Myers, one of the biggest atheist bloggers on the internet has taken her side.  Now, some time later, there is a movement to stop sexual harassment at conferences.  The size of this issue is completely non-existent.  I have been to a few conferences in my time, and you wanna know how much sexual harassment I’ve seen?  None.  Like Thunderf00t, I’ve seen a lot of sexual harassment in bars after conferences, but sexual harassment happens all the time at bars.  If one measures how much misogyny there is at somewhere based on what they see in a bar, it is only natural that your opinion is going to be completely one-sided.

Watson was a speaker at a conference where she said that she has gotten “hundreds of comments” that atheists, she singles out atheists, wanted to rape her or hoped that she got raped.  She made these comments, and apparently takes them seriously.  Ms. Watson, you were commented at by internet trolls. Trolls who just wanted to push your buttons.  They are everywhere.  I have had this blog for some time, and I have gotten death threats from internet trolls.  You know how much I take them seriously?  Not at all.  Know why?  Because it is the internet.  Under the user named “Anonymous” or “Texan,” a person can say whatever they want, trying to get a rise out of me or scare me.  But I am internet-savvy and I realize that they are just trolls, nothing more.  If I actually had a threat that I believed was genuine, I would take it to the authorities, and it would end there.

However, you decided that you would take it a step further.  The new issue is to stop sexual harassment at conferences.  Like this is such a major problem that we, the atheist community, need to devote our time and resources to.

Now before the Watson-ites come on here and attack me as some kind of misogynist, I don’t hate women.  I generally prefer the company of women to men, because women generally have more interesting things to say.  The ones I meet, and chat with, anyway.

But really, where do you think that this issue falls in what the atheist community has in front of it?  Religion has a strangle-hold on America’s politics.  God is everywhere in a country that was founded on secular ideas, holding that one can have their religion, but it stays out of public affairs.  Religious intolerance is keeping our sex education system in the gutter in large parts of this country.  There are so many really big issues to face, and what does Ms. Watson want us to do?  Look at something that as far as I have seen, and as far as I have heard from everybody I know who is also a part of this community, not an issue.

Thunderf00t, the YouTube vlogger, made a video about a post he did about this topic.  I found it insightful, thoughtful, and generally approaching things from a very rational point of view.  Sadly, one of Ms. Watson’s supporters, popular atheist blogger PZ Myers, disagreed.  His response to him was laced with strawman arguments, along with outright statements that were false, if he had actually closely read Thunderf00t’s post.

But, as with Richard Dawkins’ comment to Rebecca Watson about the elevator incident, the battle lines are once again drawn.  The atheist online community is picking sides and fighting it out in a war of words.  And while we are doing that, our enemies are winning.

Here’s a reality – the atheist community is an overwhelming minority in this country.  I know that a lot of people say that there are more of us than it appears, and I agree, but the fact is that in a nation as religious as America, we are the minority.  When a house this small is divided among itself over completely small issues which could be remedied, as Thunderf00t pointed out, with the words “management reserves the right to refuse admission” on a pamphlet, there is something wrong.  Christian ideology is a fundamental element at play in this year’s election cycle, did you know that?  Very soon, it is really likely that the religious right of this country could take it over.  So while you are fighting with each other about harassment at conferences, and about gender roles the rest of us adults will be out fighting for something that actually matters.

This is yet another non-issue, Ms. Watson.  You and Myers have taken something that is small, and incredibly easy to deal with and inflated it with importance, just as you did with the elevator issue.  I am not writing this to insult you.  I am writing this because I hope that some part of you legitimately understands that what is happening here is pointless, and having the atheist community focus on this is a waste of time.

Of course, given your quick run to defend this position, I doubt it.  You haven’t listened to reasonable arguments before, why start now?

Women should be respected (provided that they have earned it, as with men and all people), and shouldn’t be harassed, but in the scope of issues, making a mountain out of this will absolutely do more harm than good.  Remember that.

Until next time, a quote,

“In terms of enforcement, ‘management reserves the right to refuse admission’ is perfectly fit for purpose for enforcing the policy of ‘don’t be a jerk!'”  -Thunderf00t, PZ Myers and the “embarrassingly clueless” article

Peace out,

Maverick

Texas: the Stupidest State in the Union

Yeah, again, I wish that I was making this up.  I wish that I had the imaginative skills to be able to make a satire of this.  It has come to the point where Texas has become its own satire.  This state is so stupid that it truly does amaze me.  Yet, as stupid as they are, they now what to make themselves stupider.  No shit, that’s exactly what Texas is trying to do.  They have written down, in the Republican Agenda, a new statement which absolutely astonishes me.  I had to have a few moments with this document.  In fact, let’s have some bits from it all over, so you can see where I am coming from in being amazed that Texas wants to make itself stupider.

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Wow.  Take a minute.  For real, take a minute, look at this bit from the article I linked to above.  Now, let it sink into your subconscious.  Texas, the state in the Union with some of the worst SAT scores, along with worst education, wants to abandon teaching that focuses on critical thinking.  That is…amazing, stupendous, unbelievably awe-inspiring.  I don’t think that I have seen something this incredibly stupid in my entire life.

An entire state of this country is openly admitting that they want to make our kids stupid and compliant to authority.  The levels of marvel that this strikes is unfounded.  I literally feel like I am watching a sitcom right now.  Texas, you are the dumbass dad from a bad sitcom, trying to make your kids obey you, and trying to make them stupid.  I love how they aren’t even hiding how evil they are anymore.  But guess what, it doesn’t end there.  These people, and their stupidity, goes all over the place.  Here’s another tidbit.

Supporting Motherhood ― We strongly support women who choose to devote their lives to their families and raising their children. We recognize their sacrifice and deplore the liberal assault on the family.

There’s been a running gag among liberals like me that Republicans want women pregnant and in the kitchen, barefoot.  Well, now it’s not a running joke.  The Texas Republicans have actually come out and admitted it!  I love this document!  This is the most awesome politically incorrect publication of a government plan that I have ever seen, and it gives me joy.  Not for the women of Texas whose rights could potentially be undermined while the government there tries to tell them that they should have kids and not pursue careers of their own.  No, I feel joy for the rest of America, who gets to have a laugh at how fucking stupid these people are!  If you are an intelligent person, and you live in Texas, run away.  Leave.  You have no places there.

But wait, it gets even better.  Here’s another morsel from the document.

Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.
Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.

This is incredible.  Does decency mean nothing to the Texas Republicans now?  I am glad that I can rest in the knowledge that not a single Republican from Texas will write on here that I am taking this out of context.  They want their evil opinions know throughout America.  They want the rest of us to know how horrible they are.

First, how is homosexuality destroying families?  If just one person could explain that to me, that would be great.  Oh, wait, they can’t, because it isn’t destroying the family unit.  It is just a group of people who want to lead their own lives and be left alone.  Apparently, that is too much to ask from the Texas Republicans.

Second, thank you for saying outright that there should be no legal repercussions for harassing and bullying LGBT youth and probably adults.  Hate laws, I guess you want to get rid of them.  Thank you for openly admitting that you want to spread hate throughout America.  Thank you for openly declaring that you hate gay people.  Not in as many words, but you have left absolutely no doubt.

Pornography ― We encourage the enforcement of laws regarding all forms of pornography, because pornography is detrimental to the fabric of society.

I guess all that jerking off really hurts Texas.  Like they think that if guys jerk off, they won’t want sex anymore.  News flash, Texas, guys who are jerking off would LOVE real sex.  Why do you think that porn has an audience?

Classroom Discipline –We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas.

Hey parents, want the teacher to have permission to beat your kid?

Juvenile Daytime Curfew – We strongly oppose Juvenile Daytime Curfews. Additionally, we oppose any official entity from detaining, questioning and/or disciplining our children without the consent of a child’s parent.

There’s nothing I can say about this.  It doesn’t get any stupider.

I would love to comment on all the parts of this document that are stupid, but honestly, there’s just no point.  Check it out for yourself.  It is proof like no other that Texas is the stupidest state in the Union.  It literally doesn’t get any dumber than that.

Texas, you are evil.  You are led by evil people who are hate-mongering bigots, and obviously hate all of you.  Enjoy your stupidity.

Until next time, a quote,

“I will just end by saying this – fuck Republicans, fuck Texas, and double-fuck Texas Republicans.”  -TJ Kincaid, WTF TEXAS?! 

Peace out,

Maverick

America: Crucifying Sandusky, while Cheering Our Monsters

There was a video put out by The Amazing Atheist today, and it was something that I have been thinking about for a long time.  Now look, I am not going to be one of those people who says that what Sandusky did isn’t that bad.  What he did was monstrous, and he should go to jail for the rest of his natural life.

But there was a video that Source Fed, a group that I find very enjoyable, which talked about this as well.  They said that there was a report in the news about how when Sandusky reported to prison to serve his time, the inmates serenaded him with “The Wall,” which had the lyrics, “leave those kids alone.”  The general tone seems to be that America is totally cool with what is about to happen.

There was also this graphic floating around –

The Amazing Atheist pointed out that condoning horrible actions of other people is not the values system of people who say that they are for justice. I agree with him.  There are a lot of days when I find the culture of this country rather disturbing.  Horrible people do horrible stuff.  That makes sense.  Sandusky did do horrible things.  But when we just turn a blind eye and acknowledge that we don’t care that another person is going to rape and probably brutalize a person because of what they did, what does that say about us?

If America is going to be openly unethical and morally bankrupt, as there are so many facets that are these days, can we at least just go all the way?  For real, balls-to-the-wall, let’s take this concept as far as we can take it.  Let’s say that rapists should be brutally sliced and diced in the street, huh?  How about we take murderers and stone them to death?  Get the little kids to throw a big rock and bust their brains out!  Hey, here’s an idea, how about we take all domestic abusers, both male and female, and tie them up and let people beat them for hours in public!  Or maybe we could take thieves and publicly cut off their hands.  If we are going to take delight in the rape and beating of other people, let’s just go all the way and decide to abandon our squeamishness and take it as high as it can go.

Oh, right, we won’t do that.  We won’t do that because America is a cowardly people.  They like to fantasize about violence toward people they don’t like, but they won’t do anything themselves.  They won’t do that because it is easier to simply hate and cheer from afar than it is to acknowledge your own moral bankruptcy and to say that you are the good guy.  We have to believe in our own goodness, while cheering the rape of an old man, just because he did something horrible.

There are a lot of days when this culture and what is acceptable to us disturbs me.  America is totally cool with mutilating men, women and children overseas.  We are totally fine with filling tiny graves with the bodies of babies so that we can fight wars that we choose to believe are “just.”  We won’t take the money from those useless wars and invest it in something useful, like universal health care.  We let the poor die, claiming that them being sick and them not having medicine is there fault, and how we shouldn’t have to feel bad for them.  Like they could have chosen to not be poor.

I got a fucking clue for you, America – you are NOT the morally superior people that you think you are.  I acknowledge that I won’t shed any tears if Sandusky does get raped in prison, but I am not going to actively encourage it.  I’m not that much of a monster that I will say that this man should be violated by other people because what he did was wrong.  He is going to do his time.  He is going to be removed from society.  The social contract is fulfilled.  Meanwhile, while horrible things are happening every day in this country, people here want to think that we are the good guys, and that we have some kind of high ground to stand on.

BULLSHIT!  You have nothing!  You have the barren corporate wasteland that you have let your country become.  You have the unethical medical system that is causing more bankruptcy in this country than any other cause.  You allow this country to imprison more people than any other nation on Earth, most who are non-violent offenders.  People whose only crime was putting something in their body that you don’t like.  You legislate your taste because apparently, the common good is what you say it is, and damn anybody who says otherwise.

TJ pointed out, we tell our kids to be nice, to help each other, and to play fairly with each other, but then, after the show turns off, what do we do?!  We do the exact opposite!  America is a country that canonizes back-stabbing, unfairness, ruthlessness and greed.  We let the sick in this country starve and die, even though we could so easily afford to help them.  It would be cheaper, by billions of dollars, to have a universal health care system than what we have now.  America would be saving money, but I guess that’s just wrong.

If America is going to be a nation of cutthroats and murderers, can we stop with the pretense?  Can we stop pretending to be better than we are?  Can we stop pretending like we have a values system that is better, when we are cheering for an old man to get raped?  Oh, right, we’re the good guys, because we gave him a trial.  God forbid that we actually think that him being in jail is punishment enough.

Fucking idiots…

Until next time, a quote,

“Jerry Sandusky is not being punished because he’s a monster.  Alright?  He’s being punished because he’s not the right kind of monster.  He didn’t get the memo that here in America, when we ruin the lives of those who are weaker than us, we do it from afar.  With an air of detachment, so we can pretend we’re the good guys.”  -TJ Kincaid, Jerry Sandusky: The Wrong Kind of Monster

Peace out,

Maverick

Video Game Confessions: Bowser

Being a journalism major, and a future journalist, suffice it to say that I get around.  In my travels, I have met some of the most insane characters!  These are the kinds of people that most nerds only dream of seeing, and I have gotten to meet, in the flesh.  And, seeing as how it is late, there is soft jazz music playing, and I am feeling all deep and introspective, I thought that I would tell you one of my stories now.

Every once and a while, I meet a character who is so absolutely out of place for what you think you’d see, that you are left almost a little bit too amazed for words.  I was at a court the other day, covering this stupid Sandusky trial.  Honestly, who cares?  Yeah, he did horrible stuff, but you think he’s the only one?  Like this guy and all the horrible shit he did means anything.  Honestly, a Catholic priest gets away with worse every day in this country.

Anyway, I am walking out when who should I see, sitting on a bench outside of a court room – Bowser.  The King Koopa himself.  Why the hell is he in here?!  This was a golden opportunity that I simply couldn’t afford to waste.  I walked right over and introduced myself.  By now, word of who I was had spread pretty good, so the giant spiked turtle didn’t just tell me to piss off.  I won’t lie, I would listen if he did.  I can’t tell you how absolutely terrifying this guy looks up close.  I mean, I’ve gotten to see some crazy video game characters, but damn, this dude makes all of them look like buttercups in comparison.  I keep worrying that if I piss him off, this dude is going to rip my head off.

I can’t help but notice that Bowser looks REALLY uncomfortable right now.  He looks around a lot, as if he is expecting something to jump out at him.  I cock an eyebrow, looking over at him.  “Something bothering you?”  Looking back over at me, he nods in a very sheepish way.

“I’m a little nervous about this trial I’m involved in.  Princess Peach is going to be there.”

This gave me a giggle.  After all the times that he’s kidnapped her, she’s finally filing charges, eh?  I stifle it, though, and I ask him, “why are you worried about seeing her?  Why are you here?”  He lets out a sigh.  A bit of fire came out.  I’m a little terrified.

“Well, you see, after all the kidnappings, things got a little bit…weird.”

The look on his giant fanged face was priceless.  I’ve never seen a fire-breathing dragon look awkward before, and it’s a look that I’ll never forget.  “How so?”

“Well, you see, she got kind of used to it.  I could understand that.  But recently, she started to…well…get into it.  Like I mean REALLY into it.  Like she was giving me these looks sometimes.  At first, I just thought that she was messing around.  Hanging out at a castle all day, it can get a little bit boring.  Even I am having to find ways to pass the time.  I swear, Mario can be a slow bastard sometimes.  Anyway, I thought she was just trying to have fun, but then, well, it started to get a lot more personal.”

He looked a little better.  I guess talking it all out made him feel better, which is good.  “How so?”

“Hm, I guess when it got really freaky was during my most recent bout with Mario.  I kidnap her, take her to the star palace place I had in my own galaxy.  Man, I am SO glad I got a corner on that real-estate.  I’m making a ton of money!  Anyway, I take her there, and she starts…coming on to me.”

I nearly gag.  “What?!”

“Yeah, coming on to me!  No joke.  She starts pulling her dress leg up, talking about how I make her so hot.  How she can’t imagine being with any other man.  I tell her to knock it off, saying that it is making me really uncomfortable, and for a while she does.  But then, a few minutes later, daffy bitch is at it again!  She is now rubbing herself and getting all close to me.  She talks about how she thinks I am so hot, and then starts explicitly talking about all the fantasies that she has been having.  Now by this point, I’m just creeped out.  I mean, I am already a single dad, with Bowser Jr., and let’s face it, I’d kill Peach.  She’s a tiny human, I’m a giant reptile.  My dick would tear her in half.  But that isn’t even why I am so creeped out by this.  She won’t let up!  After a while, she is practically stripping naked, telling me to take her.  I tell her to knock it off, saying that I’m not messing around.  She doesn’t listen.”

I feel like a kid at Christmas.  How often does a story like this fall into one’s lap?

“So Mario gets there, sees her like that.  I tell him to take her and leave.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  It’s a few weeks later, I’m back at the star palace.  It really is gorgeous real-estate.  I’m telling you, I am making so much money on galaxy hotels and rentals.  I am already kicking myself for how I missed out in Isle Delfino.  The locals would have worked with me.  But not here!  I have money coming in boats!  Anyway, I am sitting in the palace, when I get a call from Peach.  She starts talking in vivid details about all the things that she wants me to do to her.  I hang up, but the calls keep coming!  I eventually stop answering the phone.”

The awkward look is back.  He is looking all around again.

“Then I start getting these emails.  She is sending me naked pictures of herself!  She’s even sending them to Jr.!  As you can imagine, I’m right pissed and freaked by this.  Then, she starts sending all sorts of weird packages to me.  There are sex toys, lube, candy, all of it surrounded by naked pictures of her.  I figured that I had to put a stop to this.  I met with the lawyers at Waluigi’s law firm.  They filed a suit to get a restraining order.”

I can feel my mouth dropping.  “No shit!  Against her?”  He can tell that I don’t get it.

“Crazy bitch is making my life a living Hell.  I can’t just kill her.  I’m walking a legal tightrope as it is with all this kidnapping stuff.  So, I figure, I get a restraining order, and even though that kills my chances with having more fun with Mario, I’ve got enough money coming in on the galaxy real-estate that I can live off the royalties of that and live like a king.  And whatever problems that Peach has, she can fix with Mario.  Poor bastard…”

The door opens, and he is called inside.  Bowser looks down at me, still sitting there.

“All good things have to end sometime, eh?”

He walks into the courtroom, and that’s it.  Peach looked really distraught, seeing him.  I didn’t follow.  Didn’t seem like my place.  Man, what some people will do for love.  Not a pretty picture sometimes, you know?

Peace out,

Maverick

The Words Left Unsaid

Sometimes, in one’s life, the hardest words are the ones that you never said.  The words that one always meant to say.  The words that mean the most to a person, but that you were never able to convey because of circumstances beyond your control.  You then wake up one morning and find that you waited too long.  The time for those words has come and gone, and now you are left, having to think about what could have been, what should have been, but what can never be, and will never be again.

A friend posted a Facebook status.  I knew that it wasn’t talking about me.  I got that right off the bat, yet I still feel like they somehow were talking to me, indirectly.  They were talking to me because they were something that was exactly where I am.  The post said that if one has feelings for her, to keep them to themselves.  I get why one would say that.  This person is in a relationship now.  That makes sense, right?

It feels lately like I am stuck in neutral.  Everybody that I was interested in either wasn’t interested in me or has found somebody else.  Did I miss a window?  Was I friend-zoned?  Was there ever a chance?  These questions aren’t healthy, I know, but dammit, why?!  What is the reason?  What is the reason that everybody else can find love and I can’t?  I had it once.  I’m trying to get it back.  I’m trying really hard.  Is it all just a waste of time?

Listening to sad song from The Land Before Time.  Like if I can cry it all out, my heart will feel a little bit better.  It does help, a little.  The right music makes it all feel better.  The loneliness is better when one has a good companion to walk through it with.  There is nobody else I can turn to.  Hell, the one person I want to turn to doesn’t want to hear about it.  Who am I to refuse?

They leave.  They find love and leave.  They go off into the great unknown and leave us far behind, never looking back.  I wish I could do like Jack Skellington.  I would find a deep cave to hide in.  A million years, they’d find me, only dust, and a plaque.  It would read – here lies poor old Lucien.  Alas, I cannot.  I have to keep going, through this desolate wasteland called life.

No doubt, the words left unsaid are the words that hurt you the most.  The words left unsaid are miserable.  The words left unsaid are pain.  The words left unsaid break your heart.  Is it worth it all?  Is love worth it when the pain of losing it and not being able to find it again is like an anchor, bringing down your soul?  What is life but a collection of these thoughts?  Does it all mean something in the end?

Questions, many questions, and none of them will give us happiness.  Yet why do we ask?  Perhaps we just want to be miserable.  There is a simplicity that comes from misery.  Oh well, the moment has passed, and it will never come again.

The words left unsaid…are the breaking of our heart.

Peace out,

Maverick

Would a World Without Religion Be Better?

Well, this is a written response to many videos of this topic.  One that I am focusing on is Bionic Dance’s video.  I don’t watch her videos much.  She seems a little to vehemently driven by her own ways of thinking, to the point of excluding any perspective that differs with her own and getting very upset whenever her beliefs are challenged.  But the question that was asked was – would the world be better if religion suddenly disappeared?

Here’s the thing – religion grows for a number of reasons.  The first is that it is a tool by those in power.  Henry Ford, and many others, once said that religion was the only thing keeping the poor from murdering the rich.  He’s got a point.  Those in power have always used religion as a tool of their own power.  Take the Vatican.  The people seated there are incredibly wealthy and are openly corrupt.  The Vatican and the Catholic church doesn’t even go out of its way to hide its corruption.  There is an infrastructure that defends rapists, embezzles money, and keeps a tight reign on politics, wherever they have a strong presence.  Churches and church groups all over this country have vast amounts of wealth and clout with those in positions of power.  The people in power will get votes and support by using their religion.  How many people have said that they voted for Bush II because of his faith?  How many people voted for Obama because he was Christian?

Would manipulation of the corrupt go away if religion disappeared?  The answer is obviously no.  The corrupt will always find ways to manipulate the masses.  The corrupt will always find ways to keep control over the people that they want control of.  The corrupt won’t be deterred by a lack of religion, because another way to control people is just over the next hill.  It just has to be discovered.  Hell, the American people are controlled by TV and bad information being given to them by their corporate “news” networks.  Corruption will never stop, because our species is young, stupid, immature, and unwilling to make sacrifices for a larger goal.  That’s just who we are.

The next thing that Bionic Dance makes a point of is that if religion disappears, people won’t be so eager to get in her face about their morality.  Again, I have to show that that is wrong.  The thing about people who hate gays or what have you is this – it isn’t the religion.  Their hatred of gays is a much more basic thing.  It is tied directly into human nature.  The people who hate gays and lesbians don’t hate them because God told them to.  They hate them because it is natural for a person to hate what they see and don’t understand, and they use religion to justify their hatred.

Religion is a tool for a lot of hate.  Now I’m not saying all religious people are hateful, because that is blatantly not true.  I grew up in a Lutheran church, and man, those people are some of the most open-minded people that I have ever seen.  But for those who hate a group of people, like gays and lesbians, they will use this as a justification of their hate.  But if it were to disappear, they would still hate gays, because their nature does that.  The way that we can get rid of hate is through education.  That’s a real way to change things.  People have become more accepting of the LGBT culture because they have learned about them.  They learned that they aren’t all deviants who prey on little children.  They learned that they are everyday people, like you and me.

Finally, religion will ALWAYS exist, BD.  Always.  Wishing religion would leave this world is like wishing for a girl to constantly want to give you oral sex.  It’s just not happening.  The fact is that the true reason, in my mind, that people are religious is that it gives them comfort.

Life sucks.  That’s a fact.  For most people, life is a completely awful mess that they are able to get through by having the strength to push through the darkness and to find pleasure in the things in life that they can find, which makes all the shit seem less bad in comparison.  But along with life sucking, there are a lot of things that we just don’t get.  I know a lot of intelligent people who are very religious, and I recently have been asking myself – why?  Why are these people religious?  I have come to the conclusion that it allows them to not have to worry.  Death is a scary concept to most people.  The vast emptiness of this universe is a scary concept to most people.  The idea that bad things happen for no reason is a scary concept to most people.  They don’t like to accept these realities, and choose to go to a nice and comforting series of thoughts that make them feel better.

But for the sake of argument, if there was no religion, what do I think would change?  Honestly, nothing.  Not a damn thing.  People would still be just as selfish and unwilling to sacrifice.  Leaders would still be corrupt and ignore the people to further their own power.  There would still be things that science couldn’t explain that people would question.  Life would still suck.  Nothing dramatically different would change.

I have changed my tactic in the last several months about how I look at religion on my blog.  Instead of going after the entire institution, I go after various peoples or groups, in order that I might show the religious people who are reasonable that this is why a large community has a problem, and why we are trying to change things.  We want to make this world a better place.  A lot of religious people do as well.  The problem is that we can’t seem to meet in the middle.  There is a lot of hate in this world, and rather than go after religion and lump all religious people together, I am going after the hateful and bigoted, in the hopes that the rest will stand up and make a firm stance against them.

Until next time, a quote,

“Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they’re alive and human.”  -Albert Ellis

Peace out,

Maverick

Relationship Advice: S&M

Let me say right off the bat that this is not a kind of relationship that is for everybody.  An S&M relationship is among the most intimate relationship style there is.  It also requires more trust than any other.  Now, I am not some kind of big connoisseur of this kind of stuff.  My late fiance and I dabbled for a while.

Here is where I figure I’ll give a little history.  The last relationship I had was with an incredible woman.  Camille was amazing in so many ways.  When she died, it was something that I have never been able to truly walk away from.  I am trying to get back into the dating world again, but it is hard to do.  Now, while she was incredibly intelligent and incredibly different, Camille was also a deviant in a lot of ways.  She had a libido that wouldn’t quit, and she corrupted me a LOT.  I’m still an old-school romantic, only now, I’m a very dirty old-school romantic. We walked the S&M circuit for a while, and it was…intense, to say the least.

But back to the topic at hand, I gave the back-story as reference, so you can understand where I’m coming from.  As I said, there is no form of sexuality more intimate than this.  A lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about what S&M is, and how it works.  So, I thought I would write this post and try and clear some of it up.

First, let me say that in order to have this kind of relationship, you don’t have to have pain.  S&M isn’t about hurting.  It is about submission and domination, as the name implies.  But one thing that I HAVE to mention right now is that in this style of relationship, you are still equals in the relationship.  There has been a lot of conflict on different S&M forums about this.  I take the side that the Dom/Sub relationship begins and ends when you are in the act.  At the end of the day, you have to have equality in the relationship, or it is doomed to fail.

Like I said, S&M doesn’t have to involve pain.  It involves doing something that most people are completely uncomfortable with – giving yourself to a person completely.  Putting yourself at their mercy.  That can be expressed any way you like.  It has to be something that you and your partner talk out.  There was a post on The Amazing Atheist’s page that I really took a shine to about this.  A girl who was a Sub wouldn’t tell her Dom what she wanted, saying that she was inferior to him.  That’s a problem on many levels, but the one I will focus on is that if you don’t tell a person what you want, you needs aren’t going to be fulfilled.  Like any relationship, it is about getting the most out of your time together.

This brings me to something that I want to mention – trust.  I said that there is no relationship style with this amount of intimacy.  Similarly, there is no relationship style with as much trust involved as this one.  When you are a sub, you have to trust, absolutely have faith, that your dom isn’t going to go too far.  You have to know that if you say the safe word, or tell him/her to stop, that they will.  That’s how it works.  In these kinds of relationships, you have a safe word or something to indicate that you want to cool off.  The moment that word or action is taken, it stops.  As a sub, you have to know that the person you are with will.  It’s a hard amount of trust to bestow, because you are giving all of yourself to this person.  That is an incredibly hard thing to do.

There is, however, not only a lot of trust on the dom, but also a lot of responsibility too.  One of the things that I hate is the modern image that these kind of relationships have the dom as some kind of brutal slave-master.  There are a lot of guys and gals (cruelty knows no gender) who get into this solely for the purpose to have control of somebody and mistreat that and abuse them.  That isn’t what this is about.  As a dom, you have a lot of responsibility to your sub.  They are placing their trust in you.  You have to respect that.  But there is trust.  You have to trust that your sub will let you know when things have gone to the point where he/she wants to stop.  While you do have an obligation to know their verbal and physical cues to know when they are uncomfortable, you can’t be expected to read their mind.  It can be very easy to get caught up in the moment.  You have to know that they are going to be open with you, as you are with them.

As I said at the beginning, this style of relationship isn’t for everybody.  In fact, there are a precious few who are able to truly get into it.  I won’t say that it is the best kind, because it is all totally subjective.  I would say that if you think that you and the person you are with can handle it, give it a try.

Love is a complicated thing.  How it is expressed even more-so.  Keep an open mind.  In the end, it is all about finding your happiness with the person that you have decided to pursue.  I may be a deviant on many levels, but I am also a romantic.  I believe in finding love, and expressing it however you please.  I just wanted to make this post to try and dispel many of the fallacies associated with this kind of relationship.  Call me perverted or weird, but that is how I roll.

Until next time, a quote,

“Intimacy, as I am using it, is sharing my reality with you.”  -Keith Miller

Peace out,

Maverick

…And I’m a Mormon

This is a bit old-news, but I still see these ads all over YouTube whenever I watch video by some of my favorite vloggers like The Amazing Atheist or Zinnia Jones.  These ads all have a very similar approach – to make the Mormons seem less annoying, and more relatable.  And to be honest, I find these ads fascinating.

Why exactly are the Mormons trying to sell themselves off as a group for us to like?  Thanks to the internet, we are able to more and more get out information about different groups.  It is part of the reason that the atheist community grows so fast.  When you can quickly get information debunking all of the BS that religions spout, how can one buy into the belief that a religious group is cool and worth being a part of?

Looking at the Mormon faith, there are a lot of reasons why they aren’t worth even giving the time of day.  The first reason is that they are openly hateful of the LGBT community.  Their church preaches about how being gay is a sin, Satan is gay, and how Satan wants all the gay people.  Some of the biggest proponents of Prop. 8 in California were Mormon groups.  Mormon groups all over the country are working to keep gay marriage from becoming legalized.  Somehow, they feel that it will hurt society or their own marriages.  They’re stupid like that.

Next up, there is the clear subjugation of women.  You won’t find many faiths that are so openly sexist.  Well, actually, not openly.  With these “And I’m a Mormon” ads, they are trying so very hard to make it look like women are just so happy and that they are living up the party.  Perhaps these women like to be viewed as secondary to their husbands, I don’t know, but it’s still wrong.  Every time I see women making these videos, I always feel like there is some kind of weird Stockholm thing going on.  Creepy.

Then there is the indoctrination.  The church teaches you to obey.  You have to do what the church leaders tell you to do.  You are demanded not to think for yourself and to simply follow the preacher’s lead.  Well, I can’t hold that one too much against the Mormons.  Christianity and Islam are just as guilty of it as well, but that is part of the reason that I am against all religions.  They are telling very small children that to be who you are is a sin.  You have to be who the church wants you to be.  Failing that, there is something wrong with you.

Then there is how racist the Mormon church is.  The only reason that the church stopped preaching the message that black people are evil because they didn’t join God in the fight against Satan is because the Supreme Court came in and said that if they were going to exclude black people, they could leave behind their tax-exempt status (something that all churches should be deprived of, but that’s neither here nor there).  Racism is written right into the Book of Mormon.  The church has recently been trying to look like they are diversifying, but that is all smoke and mirrors.  The truth is that it is still just as much a very white religion as it always was.  I find it so fascinating that they can believe that Jesus came back as a Native American, and still be so white, and think that white people are blessed, when if he really did come back as a native, and if you see how the white man treated Native Americans when we first came here, he would hate this race so much.

But the most fun thing about the Mormon faith is just how bat-shit crazy a lot of their beliefs are.  Now, you don’t get to know how bat-shit crazy stuff is until you have been a member of the Mormon church for some time.  They have beliefs that men, only men, get to own their own planet when they die.  Adam populated the Earth by owning his own planet and getting to have tons of sex with a zillion women there, and produce Earth’s residents.  There are also a number of cultish rituals that go down in their church, like their baptisms of the dead.  Among the dead people baptized are Adolf Hitler, and Holocaust victims.  There is a spectacular way that that is offensive, I just don’t have the literary skills to make the connection in a way that makes sense.

These ads are trying to change our perception of the Mormon church.  They are trying to seem very connectable and very understandable.  They want us to see the church as a place that is very open and cool with who you are.  The problem is that these ads are coming too little, too late.  The internet has become a hub of religious debunking, and the Mormons are just going to have to accept that.  Otherwise, they will start to look like the bad writers who tried to make Robin seem cool in Batman: The Animated Series (a show I love, but come on, he was awful).

Mormons, if you want people not to see your religion for the bigoted, homophobic, sexist cult that it really is, you’re going to have to work a lot harder than having an ad where a guy goes surfing.  Perhaps you could try a reality show where Mormons are being stupid.  America’s big on stupid.  They like watching stupid people be stupid, and then stupidly trying to imitate that stupidity on their own.  So try that.  Or, you could try having a sexy celebrity say that being Mormon is awesome.  America likes sexy people.  Don’t appeal to people’s intelligence, appeal to their base nature.  You’ll get farther.

Until next time, a quote,

“If I was in the right environment, and I was taking religion classes, and I was still praying and reading the scriptures that maybe I would figure something out.  That didn’t happen, though.”  -Alex Stout, My name is Alex and I’m an Ex Mormon

Peace out,

Maverick

It is a fascinating time of year.

Lefty on the Left

With the 2012 Presidential elections just around the corner, it has been fascinating to sit back and watch the liberal and conservative voices, both in the media and in person, talk.  I have been content not to join the choir, because honestly, this was all too interesting.  The conservative line is boring.  There is the endless schtick about Obama and the liberals.  You just learn to ignore that after a while.  Their war on women’s rights is far more pressing.

However, the real voice to pay attention to is the liberal perspective.  Truly, the left has been the far more engaging of political debates.  Now, just to get something clear, I am a far-left political idealist, more in line with socialism than liberal or progressive ways of thinking.  I, however, am not a supporter of President Obama.  Nor am I a supporter of Mitt Romney.  I believe voting is useless…

View original post 594 more words