The Passing of a Loved One

Greta Christina recently lost her father. My father died on October 1, 2012, at the age of 79. My dad, like me, was an atheist. And when you’re an atheist and a non-believer, and the people you love die, you don’t get to tell yourself that they aren’t really dead. You don’t get to tell yourself that you’re going to see them again someday, in some hypothetical post-death existence that somehow both is and is not life. You have to accept that death is really permanent, and really … [Read more...]

Sorry, Way Too Busy to Blog

I just started a new class today, and I was studying hard for almost half of it. I know you'll understand the sometimes exhausting demands of higher education. Official school picture below the fold (click to embiggen): … [Read more...]

First Person Revolutionary — Part 4

[ First read Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 ] All the civilizations I ever heard of had this in common: Somewhere right near each one’s heart was religion. It seems impossible to get away from. And yet it shouldn’t be. After all, it’s never been true that religion is ALL people do. And it’s not as if religion is food, or water, or air. It’s just this ... idea. Hideously embroidered, massively wrapped in confusing, fanciful language, aggressively forced upon people in their vulnerable … [Read more...]

Thoughts On My Upcoming 60th (!) Birthday

Okay, fuck it. I’ve decided to celebrate. To explain why I actually had to decide that: I had a thing happen a few weeks back. Was at a dinner party and a close friend happened to mention the date of my birth right out in public. I was peeved at him for several minutes. For years now, I haven’t liked people knowing my birthday. I’ll tell you why. It’s a glitch left over from childhood, but apparently I’m still carrying it around. (I’ve just apologized to my good friend, who puts … [Read more...]

One in Five Americans Stricken With Crippling Mental Illness

Well, it’s a crippling mental illness if you’re a religious authority. Otherwise, it’s Freedom. Nones Climb to 19 Percent America’s “Nones” — the nonreligious — are at an all-time high, now comprising nearly one in five Americans (19%), according to a new study by the Pew Center for the People and the Press. The 19% count is based on aggregated surveys of 19,377 people conducted by the Pew Research Center throughout 2011 and reported by USA Today. … [Read more...]

Toasty Toes at Tony Robbins Event

I actually like Tony Robbins, and I lean toward buy-in to the basic concept of motivational speaking. The difference between believing you can do a thing, and not do that thing, matters. I've had amazing successes at points in my life, and terrible failures at others. Some of those amazing successes were attended by a deliberately positive mindset, some of the terrible failures were attended by aimlessly negative ones. … [Read more...]

Death From Above! Sloppy Bats!

If you've read my Falling Leaves post on Earth Day, you know I have a somewhat grim view of what's coming. Based on nothing more complex than the fact that we have no way to control human population growth, and will probably never have a conscious, deliberate way, we are screwing ourselves out of a future. Control will come from outside, via natural forces, and it will be ugly. On that light-hearted subject, here's an interesting article from the New York Times: The Ecology of Disease. … [Read more...]

No Secret Here: I’m Voting for Obama

Facebook friend Dave H. used the acronym "LMO" in a political comment earlier today. After I asked about it, he clarified: LMO stands for “Lord Messiah Obama.” Ack. My reply went on for a bit as I explored how I felt about Obama, and other things. I’m reprinting it here because ... well, I wanted the clarification to get a larger airing: Re: Lord Messiah Obama I don't think Obama sees himself that way. I don't think thoughtful people see him that way. … [Read more...]

An Open Letter About the Making of Mistakes

I’m always afraid of screwing up. Seriously. That's especially true when I'm online, because sometimes online reactions can be extreme. One little mistake, and you’re suddenly The Enemy. I once got on the wrong side of a group of women on a feminist website, and ... damn, it got nasty. Some of the nice ladies actually followed me to the comment sections of other websites to point out what a viciously sexist woman-hater I was. I’ve made disparaging comments about tattooing, and oh boy, … [Read more...]

YOUR Thoughts and Feelings Are Nothing. Wrong. Bad.

Whew. I just stumbled across a link to an Answers in Genesis page, and oh boy, it’s ugly. In an article posted June 6, 2012, Tim Challies asks and answers the question, What Kind of God Would Condemn People to Eternal Torment? The beginning lays out the question, but in a way that’s almost comical in its intensity: … [Read more...]