Jaysus. And I Thought Coming Out as an Atheist Was Hard.

Maybe you've already seen this. A young man in the military, stationed in Germany, calls his Alabama father. Can I tell you something? Will you love me, period? Dad, I'm gay. Kudos to his father, too: Dad, you totally rock! Makes me kind of ashamed I occasionally conceal the fact of being an atheist. . http://youtu.be/DVAgz6iyK6A … [Read more...]

First!

Hmm. Late September, huh? Let's see ... pre-Halloween, pre-fall-colors. Still, not too early, is it? Yeah, baby! Let me fire the first volley in this year's Evil Atheist War on Christmas™. http://youtu.be/Jjcq5yBk5Gk … [Read more...]

Making Language

I make up words all the time. Silly things like “farfoculation” – which I KNOW is original, because Google doesn’t have it (but then again, I guess it will now; wish I knew what it was supposed to mean) – but also useful words I continue to privately use. … [Read more...]

The Fate of Broken People – Part 3

Okay, now picture this broken lady I described earlier. Imagine ALL the broken people — all the sick, injured and suffering — throughout all of human history. All the kids who died of diphtheria and cholera. All the kids today with cystic fibrosis, or cerebral palsy. All the adults with heart disease or lung cancer or crippling arthritis. Imagine more: Your best friend from school, your close buddy at work, the families of dear friends, all those you know and like, beset by cancer, or … [Read more...]

The Fate of Broken People – Part 2

There’s this thing I notice so, so often in the world. I wish there was a good name for it – Murfingburben Syndrome or Dumonification, or SOMETHING – so that I could just name it and you’d know what I was talking about. But I’ve never come across a word for it, or even a good description. So I just call it “the 180-degree thing.” By which I mean “180 degrees opposite.” It’s like this: You hear that something is a certain way, and you believe it, sometimes for years. But one … [Read more...]

The Fate of Broken People – Part 1

I work in a bakery, did you know? Part of my “blue collar” thing. And not a great bakery, with fresh croissants steaming as they come out of the oven, fragrant and delicious and buttery, but a corporate-owned supermarket bakery. I often see it as more a factory outlet than a shop. Frozen bread arrives in boxes, we take it out and heat it in the oven, package and put it out. And our customers, knowing no different, knowing no better, buy it. … [Read more...]

Yeah, where ARE the flying cars??

It was a Tuesday, and a cold afternoon in February, 1962. Ten years old at the time, I sat in class in Houston, Texas, with my friends Johnny Nicholas, David Snow and Roberta Holiday. Mr. Davis wheeled in a huge old TV and we watched the launch. Friendship 7 was headed into space with John Glenn aboard. It was a big deal to me, and I was on the edge of my seat. Just the year before, I'd discovered science fiction in the local library, a simplistic children’s fantasy story titled Zip-Zip Goes … [Read more...]

What’s It Like Being An Atheist?

From Facebook friend Elliot C. Myrick: “It’s a lot like being the only sober person in a car full of drunk people, and they refuse to pull over and let you drive.” … [Read more...]

Yarrr … Who Be Readin’ Here?

I see from the stats how many people are reading here, but I don't know who and where most of you are. And it would be cool to hear YOUR voices for a change, those of you who have yet to comment (and even those who have). Delurk for a moment and tell me something about you. Besides, it be Talk Like A Pirate Day! Sure and I'll be puttin' the black spot alongside yer names, ye scallywags, if ye don't speak up hearty! … [Read more...]

Jean

Her name was Jean Mullen, but she called herself Green Bean Jean. She played bars in the small California mountain town where I lived at the time, and I first saw her on a night out with some of my mule-packer cowboy friends. She was either skinny and gawky or model-thin and infinitely elegant — it was a time in my earlier life when I was between opinions on women — they might be little girls or alluring goddesses, either one. Eventually, I came down on the side of the goddess. She sat on … [Read more...]