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Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Year Less

I have never liked celebrating my birthday. Birthdays only remind me that I am one year closer to dying.
Last December 28 was my birthday, and were it not for two old friends who actually made the trouble of going to my house to greet me personally, I would probably spend my birthday just like I did the year before (and the year before that): playing a video game.
As it was, the three of us drank and talked about old times.  
I’m glad they came; I actually enjoyed my birthday this year, which surprised me. 

I suspect I am turning into a grouchy old fart, though.
And I find I am content to be a grouchy old fart.
What the hell, I am disappointed and disillusioned with the world—and the world is disappointed and disillusioned with me.
Might as well live with that, and accept my grouchy old fart persona, even if I am not as old as this old fart:

This is probably my last post for 2011. Frankly, I didn’t think this blog would go past this year, given my talent for procrastination.

But then, I discovered that I truly enjoy blogging. Yet another thing that surprises me. I think we should always try to surprise ourselves. In a good way, of course.

For 2012, I’d try writing more about Philippine history; there are many things about this country’s history that are simply fascinating, and I don't think I even made a single post about the subject.
There, I am actually excited about the coming year! Will wonders never cease.

Anyway, have an exciting new year—and may our fuck-ups be small and unimportant.
 Also this:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Can We Be Good For Nothing?

So, in this season of hope, peace and good will, Catholic League president Bill Donahue has launched a campaign—“Adopt An Atheist,” is what it’s called.
Here’s what our campaign entails. We are asking everyone to contact the American Atheist affiliate in his area, letting them know of your interest in “adopting” one of them. All it takes is an e-mail. Let them know of your sincere interest in working with them to uncover their inner self. They may be resistant at first, but eventually they may come to understand that they were Christian all along.
If we hurry, these closeted Christians can celebrate Christmas like the rest of us. As an added bonus, they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing.”
What he is doing is just perpetrating the bigotry that religious nuts like him have towards people who happen to not share his set of beliefs. 
Religion could be dangerous, as it is; combine it with ignorance and hate and the resulting mix is positively lethal.

I have often said that those people who sincerely believe that they are doing the will of God are a dangerous sort. 
You can’t fight them, can you? And why should you? They are doing the will of God; by their logic, disagreeing with them is disagreeing with God. And who the fuck are you to disagree with God?!

Let's take a moment and watch this:

And you wonder why there are very few self-admitted atheists, especially in this country. Here, politicians hold a press conference to announce that they are going to ask God if it’s His will to let them run for public office.
You gotta admire them, those politicians; afterwards, they can claim that they won because it is God’s Will. And woe to them that dare go against them. They have God on their side, that means God isn’t on the side of their political enemies, and if God isn’t on their enemies’ side, the devil must be dictating to them. See the beauty of it? That’s the Philippine politicians' version of the Divine Right Theory.
There was even a politician who was convicted of raping an eleven-year old girl; he was always photographed in prison with his rosary very prominent on his neck, and polishing a statue of Jesus’ mother. (Hey look, he’s religious, he loves Mama Mary. Must be innocent, the poor guy.)
Makes me ill just thinking about it.

Religion does not go anywhere without his little brother, Hypocrisy.

Atheists are one of the most hated, most misunderstood, minority—anywhere in the world. It is easier to be accepted as a gay person than it is to be accepted as an atheist.
People think that humanity needs God in order to be moral, and they think that without a belief in some sort of a deity, humans will descend into chaos and anarchy.
By that logic--since Filipinos always trumpet the fact that we are the only Christian nation in this part of the world, and that we, as a people, are deeply religious, and believe strongly in God--our jails must be rotting away, for lack of occupants. 

Are there many self-professed atheist inmates in Philippine jails? That is funny, though not exactly ha-ha funny. Inmates in Philippine jails are busy polishing the statue of Mama Mary, or accepting Jesus as their personal savior. 
Filipino inmates are very religious--and I am not being ironic.

It’s time we realize that we do not need religion to be moral, and that we can treat fellow human beings with kindness and compassion without the threat of being roasted in hell for eternity if we do not.
We can be good here, in this world; not because we would be rewarded for it in the next life, but because it is the right thing to do.
Go ahead.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Beware of Girls in Elevators

I know I am blogging about an incident that happened several months ago (June in fact), about a topic that is well past its shelf life, but see, I just read about it. And this one really irked me, and affected me enough it made me want to go visit my Shrieking Tree, i. e., this blog, to  rant and bluster, albeit in a somewhat wussy manner.
Here’s what happened (as Inspector Monk used to say): A woman was invited to speak at a skeptics’ conference held in a hotel in Dublin. Later, as she was in the elevator going up to her hotel room after the conference, a male attendee followed her to the elevator and invited her to his room for coffee. She rejected the offer, and that was that.  They both went their separate ways.
Should have invited my right hand instead

The woman then posted a video that mentioned her apparently creepy and harrowing experience.
After the video got posted, things in the skeptics’ and atheists’ blogosphere got interesting, which, as you may have surmised (you smart thing, you), I read about only today, to my everlasting regret. 

Anyway, the “elevatorgate” (as some bloggers refer to the incident) was in fact a non-event; it was an incident that’s been played out millions of times, an incident that will surely happen again.
Really, it was just a woman who thought that being propositioned in an elevator in a hotel in Dublin at 4 am is not appropriate, then somehow being interpreted by others as an assault on women in general. The man, we must remember, invited her to his hotel room for (gasp!) a cup of coffee. Yeah right—coffee. A rape coffee, she must’ve thought. 

Men, according to these people, have sex always on their minds, and approaching a woman is an indication of intent to rape. 
No matter that she rejected elevator guy and the poor sap didn’t even press on (guy just left, probably thinking that he needed better pickup lines), he was still considered as a (potential) rapist, foiled only by her dislike for coffee at 4 in the morning.
Which makes me wonder what the elevator guy looks like. Or if he even exists at all—nobody really stood up and admitted that he is the pathetic loser in the elevator.
I for one don't blame him

Everybody and his Granny blogged about it (except me, who is blogging about it only now). Then a prominent evolutionary biologist and atheist, Richard Dawkins, weighed in, and  posted a few comments on one of those blogs. Dr. Dawkins’ original post was in the form of a letter to a Muslim woman (comment #75):

Dear Muslima
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.
Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so . . .
And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

Now that is pawning! But really, I think what Dr. Dawkins is pointing out here is perspective, with a hint of sarcasm.
And to make things more exciting, feminists of all shapes and sizes (as well as other “enlightened” males) got on the bandwagon and accused Dr. Dawkins of using all sorts of logical fallacy. They even referred to him as Dick (get it? Dick?!).
Sound logic, we must remember, is a big deal to atheists. 

But one blogger really got on my nerve when she said that “women are correct in assuming that ALL men are potential rapists.” 
Not true

Then, to make it even more surreal, commenters on her blog agreed with her, even the males (pussies).
This may be a surprise, but when we look at women we do not always think of introducing our juniors to them. 
Come on! We do not automatically think that we want to engage in a little game of pokin’ whiskers when we look at women. 
Sure we think that sometimes, but not all the time, and only in passing.

But with these women, one would think that all they think about is SEX. 
Did it ever occur to them that maybe elevator guy was just being kind to her?  

Just because we have a penis does not mean we want to bone all women we see. Women have mouths; do we accuse them of wanting to fellate us all the time?
Yeah, you wish.

The debate went on, with both sides (to be fair) making valid points. However, I’m with Dr. Dawkins on this one. 
And I'm not alone.
Dr. Dawkins on a bus

Rebecca Watson’s (the woman who refused elevator guy's "coffee") experience is trivial, but got turned into a big deal by over-zealous feminists and white-knighting assholes. It was just an incident of a woman claiming to have rejected a stranger's offer of a coffee that somehow became a feminist issue. An ill-timed and somehow a bit creepy gesture, perhaps, but he accepted the rejection, didn't he? He didn't threaten her, or even touched her.  
Who knows, maybe it was all just a misunderstanding.
Now Rebecca Watson is calling for atheists and skeptics to boycott Dr. Dawkins. Does she really wield that kind of power in the atheist community?

And all this because of a coffee invitation.

Also, the generalization that that female dog of a blogger (who shall remain unlinked) did? That really pisses me off big time.
Her generalization is idiotic and offensive, not to mention false.
All men are rapists? Seriously?
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