7 things at 11 o’clock (6.24)

1. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (or, in this case, Mr. Boddie). Look at the love and gratitude on display in this middle school and file that image away in your brain. This is what fundamentalist Christians are condemning when they rail against evil public schools, what Randian narcissists are condemning when they sneer at public schools as “government” schools, what anti-public public servants are destroying when they demonize teachers and teachers unions, and what the homeschooling cult is denying its children by choosing total control over community.

2. Related to that, I finally watched that awful “The Thaw” video, in which homeschooled kids from Idaho are coached to repeat the nightmares they have been taught about public school. They love America. They hate the “public.” Both of those things can’t be true.

3. Rick Perlstein on Glenn Greenwald. I think Greenwald is to civil liberties what PETA is to animal rights. I mean that precisely.

4. Sheila O’Malley has a lovely rave review of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing posted at RogerEbert.com. One quibble: O’Malley repeats a Very Old Mistake that has become part of the conventional wisdom about Shakespeare. She refers, unironically, to “the melancholy Jacques in As You Like It.” Jacques says he is “melancholy” and that his melancholy is unrivaled by anyone else’s. If you think this means that Jacques actually is superlatively melancholy, then you don’t know Jacques.

5. Hemant Mehta relays a terrific story: “Kansas City Atheists Will Battle Local Christians in a Volleyball Game With Proceeds Going to Charity.” This seems like a good example of what Uncle Frank meant when he said, “If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter.” Religion News Service has a nice video story on the big game and the people involved.

(A warning to KC atheists, though: Bible Belt Baptists tend to be pretty good at volleyball, softball and roller skating. If you want an edge, challenge ’em to a pool tournament.)

6. John Fugelsang quotes Billy Wilder: “If you’re gonna tell people the truth, make it funny or they’ll kill you.” The bit from Fugelsang starting at 5:50 in that video is excellent:

You can’t attack down. If you’re in a comedy club and someone makes fun of homeless people, or developmentally disabled people, and calls them “retards.” The audience might laugh for a minute or two. And then it starts to feel dirty. It doesn’t feel good to attack down. No one admires it. And also, if there’s no element of truth in the point you’re making, it won’t be funny. … There’s a reason why, by the end of the play, the only guy King Lear trusts is the fool.

7.Call it what it is — MALE violence against women.”

 

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  • Kubricks_Rube

    Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” is a blast (if you can get past the “woman’s virginity is prized above her humanity” subplot from the source material). Reed Diamond is particularly excellent as Don Pedro; his line delivery and cadence make the most out of transplanting Shakespeare’s words to a modern setting.

  • Cathy W

    Having seen a local stage production of “Much Ado” a couple weeks ago just made me seriously itch to see this film – among other reasons, because I think Nathan Fillion was born to play Dogsberry. (I mean that in the best possible way, Nathan!) Right now the nearest showing is about 4 hours from me – I hope it gets a little closer than that.

    Edit: Never mind, it’s at a theater 45 minutes away. I’ll take that!

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Fillion kills as Dogsberry; you won’t be disappointed.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It’s strange. I’ve never seen Dogsberry played by an actor who was heavyset, but (I’ve done some research), there is literally hundreds of years of criticism which asserts that Dogsberry can only be properly played by a fat man.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    Yes, much as I loved the movie, I did have some alternate dialog for Hero running through my head. But the physical comedy was amazing, and should be a lesson for those who think physical comedy means vomit jokes.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    On a lark, my senior year in college I took a low-level Shakespeare course, and one of the group assignments was to perform a scene from one of the comedies we’d covered. We did the masque scene from Much Ado. Partially because we were one actor shy, we decided that rather than casting Hero, we’d just have her played by a mask on a stick, which we’d pass around to the person closest to whoever she was talking to for each line of her dialogue. It was especially fun, I thought, when Leonato gives Hero to Claudio by literally, physically handing “her” to him. Perhaps giving us too much credit, the professor was impressed at the way we lampshaded the fact that the action of the play treats Hero more like a prop than a character.

  • zmayhem

    Reed Diamond was especially fantastic, but really everyone is just so damn good; their comfort level with the language, and ability to roll and dance and play with the wordplay is such a pleasure to the ear.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    You know, I have not seen Much Ado yet. I did not even know Reed Diamond was associated with it until just now. I am not sure I’ve even seen Reed Diamond in anything since Homicide Life on the Street.

    And yet, when I think “Don Pedro”, I now see Reed Diamond. (Admittedly, costumed as in the Brannagh film)

  • Lori

    All those evening spent doing readings at Whedon’s house paid off.

  • Persia

    I never understood why Reed Diamond didn’t get more work after Homicide: Life on the Streets. Maybe this will do it.

  • SisterCoyote

    I dunno, Fred. I think Greenwald is getting defensive, and aggressive, because he’s getting hits from all sides. His position is absolutist, but up until very, very recently he was impeccably reasonable about it. And being attacked for one’s conscience, not to mention the way the federal government has been reacting to journalists and leaks… I think he’s understandable.

  • Lori

    Do you mean impeccably reasonable about the Snowden story, or in general? Because I haven’t been reading all his stuff about Snowden, but in general Greenwald stopped being impeccably reasonable a long time ago. Greenwald was defensive long before this incident and that goes double for his fans. Example: we had a flying monkey invasion here a couple years ago because Fred dared disagree with Greenwald about something. I don’t recall the details of the topic, but I do recall that I agreed more with Fred and that it took several days for Greenwald’s fans to give up and go find someone else to attack.

    Greenwald didn’t send those people here and AFAIK he didn’t tell people to get snippy with Perlstein on Twitter, so in that sense he’s not responsible for them. However, he did create the atmosphere that spawned them and his reactions to criticism set a tone that encourages them. I stopped reading him on a regular basis while he still had his blog at Salon in part because the comment section had gotten a little creepy to me.

    Also, Greenwald is getting hits from all sides because A) there were some problems with his reporting and when they were pointed out he didn’t handle it well and B) he’s obviously tied to Snowden on this thing and Snowden is not above criticism, even if one is not a tool of the surveillance state.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    You might be thinking about this post about the raid on the OBL compound. Apparently, GG posted a comment in that thread that was eaten by the spam filter due to its numerous links, which triggered the latent paranoia in his fans. Check the comments – they’re every bit as hostile and Manichean as what we’ve seen the last few weeks.

  • Lori

    Oh yeah, that was the one. I remembered it a bit wrong in that I disagreed with both GG and Fred (won’t refight that argument now). I remembered correctly that GG’s fans were totally obnoxious in a way that pretty clearly connects to the way GG himself handles disagreement and criticism. That was 2 years ago and neither GG’s reaction nor that of his fans was the slightest bit surprising to anyone familiar with them, so I think it’s safe to say that GG lost his claim to reasonable a while back.

    He’s smart and I admire a great deal about him, but then there’s the rest of it, which is really a problem. (I would include in that the fact that he doesn’t seem to have made any distinction between Swoden’s revelations about NSA domestic data gathering and those about US hacking against China and cyber-warfare targeting plans. The former is whistleblowing, the latter is espionage.)

  • SisterCoyote

    Well, I feel a fool. I only started following him a few months before the Snowden leaks came out – he was a guest speaker at our university, sponsored by our department. I and a couple of the other journalism students got to speak with him at some length afterwards, and he made an impression as crazy-smart, friendly, and civil with those of us who did disagree with him. I suppose I should’ve done more research before assuming that this was always the case. Thanks for the points.

  • Lori

    Eh, don’t feel bad. GG is really smart. He’s also incredibly committed to civil liberties, which is hugely important. I have a great deal of respect for his work. I just wish he was more rigorous about some things and handled disagreement better. Honestly, it doesn’t surprise me that he deals with disagreement much better in person than online. Plenty of us do. F2F the other person is clearly a person, not a disembodied opinion.

    Also, if they’re being pleasant & polite it’s easier to avoid a bunker mentality. GG has absolutely been fighting an uphill battle for a lot of years, in circumstances where he must often feel very alone. That makes it easy to lash out. I think he needs to learn to take a walk around the block or make a snack or pet the cat for a while before he responds to online disagreement, but I don’t think that makes him a bad person and it definitely doesn’t totally negate the good he’s done.

  • SisterCoyote

    Aye, I suppose you’re right. I’ve met many of my closest friends through internet communities, and tend to presume that people’s behavior and personality in real life are very similar to their conduct online – in the communities where I usually hang out, this has generally been supported by evidence. The assumption that this is always true, or that the reverse is… yeah, that one probably needs a lot more critical thinking.

  • Lori

    This is true. Also, I don’t think GG comes across as unkind exactly online, mostly just very defensive. When you meet people in person and they’re nice and polite and clearly just have an honest disagreement about an issue that defensiveness doesn’t feel so necessary. If I had the chance to meet him in person I’d jump at it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Swoden’s?

  • Lori

    You are so very clever EH. You must be so proud. /sarcasm

  • GDwarf

    he’s obviously tied to Snowden on this thing and Snowden is not above
    criticism, even if one is not a tool of the surveillance state.

    I wish I knew why people thought that was so important. Snowden could be a robot built by enemies of all goodness anywhere in the world, designed solely to advanced their sinister agenda, and what he revealed would still be no less important. But media the world over are focusing on his personality, rather than what he leaked.

    It’s the same bloody thing that happened with Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. Attacking the person (rightly or not) took precedence over looking at the message and so we ended up with no change and the story quickly being dropped. I lay you 10:1 most people couldn’t even tell you what they published/leaked, and Snowden seems to be headed the same way.

  • Lori

    I think that this is true of Manning, somewhat less true of Assange & much more complicated in Snowden’s case.

    Bradley Manning was young, idealistic, right and more than a little naive. He doesn’t deserve what has happened to him, people should be more outraged by it and they should also be paying attention to what he leaked.

    Julian Assange is more than a bit of a publicity hound and he went a long way toward making himself the story. The fact that the result was not what he had planned doesn’t change that. That said, it’s true that Assange’s appalling personal history was used to bury the main story and that was wrong. Of course it’s also wrong that some folks on the Left have been completely willing to discount the rape allegations because he’s a leaker hero. (Naomi Wolf* I’m looking at you. WTH happened to you, woman?) You can be a rapist and tell truth to power. Neither one ought to negate the other.

    Snowden’s case is even trickier because his misdeeds tie directly to his good deeds. Some of what he leaked was whistle-blowing, but some of it pretty clearly meets the definition of espionage. That muddies the waters in a way that was bound to have exactly the result we’re seeing. That’s so obvious to anyone with any clue about how politics & media work that there are half-baked conspiracy theories floating around about him being some sort of plant instead of a true leaker. That’s not true, but he did make a mess that’s serving TPTB a great deal better than it serves those of us who would like to see real change.

    Then there’s the fact that he took refuge first in China and then in Russia, which puts a rather odd light on his supposed hatred of the security state. I obviously have no way of knowing the details of his thought process, but he knew what was coming and therefore he had options. The choices he made are at least a little off.

    Yes, people should be able to focus on the signal instead of the noise. Still Assange & Snowden have to carry some of the responsibility because of the level of noise they generated.

    *Note: Naomi Wolf, not Naomi Kline. Beauty Myth, not Shock Doctrine. People tend to mix them up when talking about this.

  • GDwarf

    Then there’s the fact that he took refuge first in China and then in
    Russia, which puts a rather odd light on his supposed hatred of the
    security state.

    I’m curious as to where else he could go. Allies of the US would hand him over in a heartbeat, and most non-US-allies aren’t known for their open governments. Essentially he could either be arrested by the US or hide in a less-free country. Not an easy decision, but given what happened to Manning it’s easy enough to understand the choice he made.

    I’m also curious as to what he’s leaked that would count as espionage, and even why that matters. But then, I’m of the opinion that governments should have almost no secrets, so perhaps I’m just naive.

    Edit: Also, I still dearly wish that the media of the world had ignored Assange’s grandstanding and focused on the actual story. They’re playing right into the hands of the powerful, and I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t at least somewhat on purpose.

  • Lori

    I’m curious as to where else he could go.

    He’s seeking long-term asylum in Ecuador (and will probably get it given that Assange did). He could have gone there to start with. Note that I don’t object to the fact that he fled the country. My question is about where he went, not why he went.

    Snowden is not just accepting at least tacit help from two of the world’s nastier security apparatuses. He’s handed them a tool to garner good publicity for themselves. Anything that benefits them hurts those who are their targets and those fighting against them. Snowden took a principled stand against the US government’s abuse of its people and then moved to save himself by acting in a way that benefits agencies that do far worse to their own people pretty much every day and twice on Sunday. It’s off.

    I’m also curious as to what he’s leaked that would count as espionage,

    Information about US hacking against China and plans for cyber warfare targeting almost certainly meet the requirements to be considered espionage. Those things are both aspects of intelligence/defense statecraft. That lies firmly within executive prerogative, which is not some new thing or a gray area.

    I think governments in general, and the US government specifically, should have far fewer secrets. I believe that for reasons both philosophical and practical. I don’t foresee a time when governments will have no secrets about statecraft and that’s pretty much what it would take to move those leaks out of the realm of espionage.

    and even why that matters.

    Maybe I’m the one who is naive, but I think that the spying a government does against it’s own citizens, especially when it violates the rights that form the bedrock of the country, is a way bigger deal than the spying it does against other governments. Governments spy on each other. Like many other countries, China and Russia both spy on the US all the time and they’re well aware that we’re spying on them too. That’s how it goes. The US government spying on it’s own citizens is not.

  • Lorehead

    Calling it “espionage” to publish state secrets is a recently-invented excuse to make that illegal.

  • Lori

    No, it’s really not. Saying that it is, is the current way for people who cross the line to frame the issue to people who (quite reasonably) don’t have much information about the history of intelligence.

    Not all state secrets are created equal. The espionage line is not drawn based on level of pissed off-ness, neither how pissed off the government is about the leak and nor how pissed off the leaker is about the secret.

  • Lorehead

    And yet, you’ll go to jail?

  • Lori

    I’ll go to jail? Huh? Do you mean would I be willing to go to jail if I was in Snowden’s place?

  • Lorehead

    No, I mean, if someone who does it goes to jail, it’s illegal.

  • Lori

    If we’re playing “more cynical than thou”, sure.

  • Lorehead

    And yet, after seeing what happened to Bradley Manning, Snowden fled the country instead of practicing civil disobedience like Daniel Ellsberg.

  • Lori

    Yes, and? What’s your point? That as long as Snowden stays out of jail then what he did isn’t illegal? That if he does go to jail everything he did is equally illegal, regardless of other factors? I’m not seeing it. I’m also not exactly sure why you’re asking me since I’ve already said that I don’t have a problem with the fact that he left the country.

    I’ll state my position as clearly as I can and maybe that will help. If I had been in Snowden’s place I like to think that I would have released the information about the domestic spying. I would not have released the other stuff. I would almost certainly have opted to leave the country before the information went public because I have no interest in being the next Bradley Manning. I like to think I would have realized that Hong Kong is part of China and therefore not the place to go.

  • Lorehead

    Well, if what you go to jail for has nothing to do with what’s really illegal, then people in China have the right to free speech.

  • Lori

    Who said that what you go to jail for has nothing to do with what’s really illegal? I certainly didn’t. We’re clearly talking past each other because your framing of this issue isn’t making a lot of sense to me.

    You can go to jail for things that are legitimately illegal. You can go to jail for things that are illegal, but shouldn’t be. In some cases you can go to jail for things that aren’t actually illegal. You can do things that are legitimately illegal and nevertheless avoid going to jail. This doesn’t strike me as a particularly novel thing to note.

    Snowden broke the law by passing classified information to someone not authorized to have it. As far as the domestic spying goes I think he probably shouldn’t go to jail. If that was the only information he leaked there might have been a way for that to be the outcome, but I understand why Snowden wouldn’t have wanted to bet his freedom on it.

    WRT to the other leaks I have a lot less of a problem with him going to jail, but I certainly don’t support harsh punishment. A couple years in club fed maybe. Life in super max or some such, no.

  • SisterCoyote

    Man, I wish the government would acknowledge that. Or the media. Or pretty much anyone would be a good start.

  • Lori

    Yeah, and you can bet your last dollar the government isn’t going to be the first to say it, so I feel like the rest of us have to.

  • Lori

    I still dearly wish that the media of the world had ignored Assange’s grandstanding and focused on the actual story.

    You & me both.

    They’re playing right into the hands of the powerful, and I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t at least somewhat on purpose.

    I think it’s less a case of playing into the hands of the powerful and more a case of having one’s interests aligned with those of the powerful.

    In our current media we have a lot of pundits and entertainers and not all that many journalists. The journalists that we do have are almost all employees of large corporations. Pundits and entertainers have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The powerful, which includes corporations, have the same interest. When the pundits & entertainers act in their own interests, which they always do, they’re almost always also acting in the interests of the powerful. Corporate employees are also generally in the position of doing the same. I think that’s pretty much what we’re seeing in these cases.

  • Lorehead

    There are two separate issues here: what do we do about the facts that Snowden revealed, and what do we do about Snowden himself? These two things have little or nothing to do with each other.

  • Lori

    Those are definitely separate issues, and they should be treated completely separately. Anyone who thought they would be has not been paying attention since basically always.

  • Lori

    I wish I knew why people thought that was so important.

    One other thing, if I’m understanding correctly Snowden had contract with Greenwald prior to him ever getting the job with BAH*. If Snowden told GG in advance what he was planning to do, especially if he asked for advice about which information to gain access to for the purpose of leaking, then Greenwald is in this thing in a very different way than he is if Snowden only came to him with the information after the fact.

    This case is a mess every which way.

    *Exhibit #12,342: our security clearance process is broken.

  • Lori

    If you think this means that Jacques actually is superlatively melancholy, then you don’t know Jacques.

    You’ve also missed some stuff about Shakespeare in general.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    There is no website called Shakespeare.in

  • Lori

    It was a typo, which disqus in it’s infinite wisdom attempted to convert to a link. Please note that I have fixed the typo and the wanna-be link as gone away.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    its

  • Lori

    Jesus, seriously? What is wrong with you?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    The answers to your questions are “yes” and “nothing”.

  • Lori

    You’re wrong about that 2nd one. Harping on a typo like that is a jerk thing to do. What is with you and all your kindred spirits and the inability to grasp that? It’s a typo. A very common one. Pitch a fit about it if you must, but keep it to your damn self. Educating people who pretty obviously don’t need educating (typos are not an issue of education) is just obnoxious and the it’s/its thing brings that out in way too many people. You like to think you’re smart and righteous, but you’re really just pedantic in the worst way.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Friendly advice: If you stop feeding it, it’ll probably go away.

  • Lori

    Available evidence says no it won’t. Also, harping on typos irritates me when other people do it too, and on the it’s/its issue it happens with some regularity. EH just provided me with an excuse to say so.

  • The_L1985

    See, pedantic arrogance like that is what makes people around here not like you very much.

    Also, I’m pretty sure your name is not Jesus.

  • JustoneK

    This is not what good faith looks like.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    How should I have answered?

  • JustoneK

    That is the wrong question. More salient is “why did you answer that within the context of your other answers, specifically to just Lori, in this thread?”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Because I thought my answers were correct.

  • Alix

    Perhaps being correct isn’t always the most important thing. Perhaps sometimes one ought to give other commenters the benefit of the doubt, and lay off the nitpicking.

    The only time a typo matters is if it really, truly is unclear what the hell the person meant. Otherwise, leave it alone.

  • JustoneK

    Whatever your intent, which we can’t divine, it mostly appears you’re haranguing one specific person over what we see as terribly irrelevant, trivial matters in a conversation. It’s a little distracting and it doesn’t make you look like you want to actually be a part of that conversation.
    Context is everything, and in the context of a conversation about Shakespeare quotes and not linguistics, pointing out typos and…site errors? I don’t know how to qualify the shakespeare DOT in comment, honestly. It appears petty and pointless if your goal is to enter the dialog.

  • TheBrett

    My main quibble with Greenwald is that he tends to get defensive and evasive when he makes a mistake and gets called on it. I’d have much more respect for him if he could honestly admit when he’s wrong, but self-righteous people are rarely capable of doing that.

    But aside from that, he does serve a valuable purpose in identifying this stuff and reporting on it. And as someone over at the Washington Post wrote a while back, his type of advocates tend to be strident and self-righteous – you have to be, to deal with some of the crap thrown your way.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    And he committed sockpuppetry a few years back. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/187585.php

  • Rupaul

    Not all homeschoolers are in a cult; there are some really inferior public schools, esp. in very poor areas or places where public schools have been badly underfunded, and parents reasonably enough want their kids to have the best education they can; sometimes that means homeschooling. Those parents may not be the majority of homeschool parents, I don’t know, but I’ve known at least three families (with liberal,
    well-educated parents) where this was the case. Granted, it is a luxury to be able to
    do this, like going to private schools or getting music lessons, and ALL kids should
    be able to be in small classes with good teachers and get music lessons, and health
    care! but that is not the homeschoolers fault. (As a child at one point I attended a
    way more than usually repressive Catholic grade school, and it was as crazy and
    insular as any rightwing homeschool setting. My parents eventually sprung me,
    and later I went to a very good Catholic high school, so it was not the Catholicism
    that was the problem (and I think nowadays the Catholic grade schools are much
    better, at least from what friends have told me.)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I have a very good reason for having been home-schooled– I was unpopular, so after a few well-placed words and fingers from the In-Crowd, I started finding myself being stopped between classes by police officers who wanted to search my bag and locker to see if I had anything indicative of either the intent to make a bomb or to shoot up the school. My history as a child with conduct disorder was enough to justify treating me like a criminal suspect. After several weeks of this happening on a daily basis and all the disruption it caused, I pretty much had the choice of either failing all my classes, being expelled, or dropping out.

  • Fusina

    I am so sorry to hear this. I also was bullied at school, and it sucks. And it can affect you your whole life–trust is very hard for me to do.

    Why is it that the people who cause the problems are never blamed? I have a friend who was told by the admin at her son’s school (he is seven years old) that he wouldn’t get bullied if he would just stay away from the kids who were doing said bullying ‘as that would make them stop’. (Thus essentially making it his fault…) o_O

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Same here. That loss of the ability to trust people made me a shut-in for a long time and contributed to losing my faith. Never for a minute was it ever entertained that it was anything but my fault — including by my father, who gave me the advice that if I just made an effort to be like the popular kids, I’d get along with them. Gee, thanks, Dad.

    My school favored the same approach and would purposefully ignore bullies, but punish their victims (the reasoning goes, I have heard from actual teaching courses, if you try and prevent bullying, you cause a greater disruption than letting the bullying take place unhindered). I knew I had no recourse whatsoever when it started and that was why I eventually did drop out.

  • chrisalgoo

    Well, if you leave bullying to take place unhindered, you’re certainly teaching something.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Heh. Indeed.

    Also odd- your post to me just triggered a Disqus Deluge. 20 messages you’ve posted in the distant past (the oldest one being from August of last year) were just sent to my inbox as if they were newly posted.

  • chrisalgoo

    I just merged guest comments I’ve made with my disqus account – sorry I flooded you and likely others with loads of emails!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Interesting, so that’s what causes those floods. No major inconvenience to me, just a little more clicking than usual and a moment of whoa when Google cheerfully announces I have 35 new messages.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    My school favored the same approach and would purposefully ignore bullies, but punish their victims (the reasoning goes, I have heard from actual teaching courses, if you try and prevent bullying, you cause a greater disruption than letting the bullying take place unhindered).

    -I absolutely despise that “reasoning” with great fury.

  • themunck

    As does any person with a sense of morality, justice, empathy or even just damn common sense.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Strongly agreed.

  • JustoneK

    this is what good faith looks like, btw. :)

  • hidden_urchin

    …if you try and prevent bullying, you cause a greater disruption than letting the bullying take place unhindered.

    Huh. I now wonder if that was the approach one of my HS teachers was taking when she witnessed one student bully another in the middle of class. What ended up happening was that I stepped in and stopped the bully, because she didn’t, and lost a huge amount of respect for my school in the process.

    I despise bullies and refuse to respect the people who enable them.

  • Fusina

    Ah, yes, the old, “If you want to have a friend, you must be a friend” canard. BT, DT, doesn’t work worth a damn.

  • Lori

    It can work, but not on the sort of people who would bully someone. Nice people, sometimes (depending on a lot of things, including stuff you can’t control, like chemistry). Bullies, so rarely as to not be worth talking about. It certainly isn’t an anti-bullying policy.

  • Fusina

    Yeah. Apparently I picked the wrong person then. I tried to be friendly, and in middle school I met a girl and we talked–she invited me over to her house to play yahtzee. Um. I won the game, apparently that was the wrong thing to do. She called me names and never spoke to me again. I gave up.

  • Alix

    I think the one time I proactively tried to make friends, I started hanging out with this one girl from my gym class. She was nice, but she quickly became … kind of creepy, in a way I couldn’t put my finger on, and really clingy.

    So I started distancing myself from her. It helped that I’d managed to make some other friends in the meantime.

    She promptly started following me around threatening to kill herself if I didn’t become her exclusive friend. I reported this to her guidance counselor, and that was the end of that. :/

    I found out later that she’d apparently also been telling people that I was trying to kill her, and that if she wound up dead they’d know who caused it. Fortunately, our classmates’ consensus was that I was rather unlikely to bother – things could’ve turned out much worse.

    After that, I stuck to a more cautious friend-making approach. :/

  • stardreamer42

    The way we (as a society) treat bullying and the way we treat rape are effectively fungible. Thinking about this may help you to understand why it’s such an uphill slog to get people to look at the perps instead of the victims as being the problem.

  • Grey Seer

    Oh man, I remember this wonderful philosophy from my school days. I also remember there being a companion piece of advice to the children, insisting that when they were bullied, they should take it to an adult rather than attempt to do anything about it themselves.

    And then I got told off for reaching the conclusion that the teachers honestly didn’t care about us.

    (Except Mr Watson and Mr Owen, who were both parents with school aged children themselves. Somehow I doubt this was a coincidence.)

  • mattmcirvin

    At my junior-high school, bullying was completely out of control, and seemingly tacitly accepted in some places like gym class. But after a series of extremely disruptive, high-profile public fights, there was a massive crackdown on fighting. So if you were bullied, heaven help you if you tried to fight back.

    The administration also had a tendency to do things like seek out “good” kids as informants on misbehavior, and pull them out of highly visible public places (like the lunchroom) without doing anything to keep it remotely confidential.

    These days, education authorities seem to make a bigger deal out of bullying. I can’t tell whether it indicates an actual change or not. I hope it does, for my kid’s sake.

  • Fusina

    Okay, I am sorry to say that I have some really, really bad news for you. They talk a good talk, but they don’t back it up. At all. My kids were being bullied on the bus, my son especially, to the point that he was fine until I said it was time to go, at which point he suddenly would develop a horrible stomachache, can’t go to school today etc… When I went in to the school, after having witnessed the behavior on the bus myself and pulling them off the bus to drive them myself, I was told that there was nothing the school could do about said behavior. So I, I thought reasonably, suggested that since there were three buses to the same school that passed within a half block of my house, so let’s just change the bus they ride.

    I had to threaten to take them out of the school and homeschool them to get them changed to another bus. I was lucky in that both my kids are little geeklings and were raising the school scores vis a vis no child left behind, and therefore my threat was not empty. But that I had to get to that point in order to remove my children from the presence of a bully was–irritating, to say the least. I felt like I had to use an atomic bomb to kill a little fly. I tried being reasonable, but that did not work.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    My mother is the sort of person who never gets angry or forceful with people other than family (with the result that me and my sister both had fairly fraught relationships with her for years (it got better after we respectively moved out, got married, and made independent lives for ourselves), despite the fact that our respective spouses have no idea why we would ever say anything mean about that nice woman), except for once. They called her down to my elementary school to talk with her about the possibility of kicking me off the school bus, because me getting bullied by the other kids on the bus was causing a disruption, and it just wasn’t practical to kick off the bullies. It’s the only time in my life I remember my mother standing up to someone.

    Anyway, I never did get kicked off the bus. (But this was not my only run-in with the idea of “Let’s isolate the victim, as it’s an easier way to end the disruption than actually solving the problem”)

  • Fusina

    Good on your Mom for sticking up for you at least that one time. And I am so, so sorry that you were also one of the bullied people. Apparently there are a lot of us.

    A side note, about a month after I changed the kids’ bus, the bully asked me why they didn’t ride the bus anymore…and the way he asked indicated that he wasn’t actually trying to hurt them, just get them to make friends. It broke my heart, because I realized he was trying to make friends and that was the only way he knew. That is one hellish home life for a little kid.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    When I went to my high school reunion a few years ago, afterward, my wife asked me why I never talked about all those fun friends I’d had back in school who all seemed like really nice people and seemed to like me so much. I explained to her that, back in high school, those were the people I thought of as my tormentors.

    Because I’d had a pretty good life, on balance, since high school, I was able to look back and say that yeah, those days weren’t so bad, and I wasn’t universally reviled and hated, I was just treated in a way I didn’t like to be treated by people who were themselves also children and didn’t get how to treat people yet.

    But I can totally get why not everyone would be able to get past it and be okay about it afterward (though I found it strange and offputting that some of my old school friends reacted badly and freaked out at the idea that I might willingly go over and say hi to the former-cool-kids, “After everything they did to us.”)

  • mattmcirvin

    Sadly, that’s kind of what I figured. I will be keeping an eye out.

  • Persia

    When I was in seventh grade, our class advisors basically called us together to tell us to stop being horrible to each other. It was only years later that I figured out that most of the reason we were horrible was that we were being pretty aggressively bullied by the upperclassmen (I knew even then that calling us in a room and telling us to stop being jerks was stupid and counterproductive).

  • The_L1985

    Fred isn’t talking about good homeschoolers here. By “homeschooling cult” he is referring to the specific subset of Christian fundamentalist homeschoolers who keep their kids at home for the explicit purpose of “protecting” them from “evil” secular culture. Those sorts of people do, in fact, behave in a cult-like manner. SEe also: http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/

  • Baby_Raptor

    There’s so much just complete BS in that Thaw video that my brain just shut down. Fundies say stuff like this, and then they wonder why the greater populace is taking them less seriously with every passing day.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I could only handle it with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIrHwHYtQxo

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Nice choice of entertainment you’ve went for there: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/TheAmazingAtheist#What_a_guy

    Content note: Rape, Suicide, Paedophilia.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Completely irrelevant to the content of the video I “went for”.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Is that really your position? You don’t care what kind of person you are supporting, unless they happen to bring it up?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Pretty much.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    When I ran across this video back in May, I couldn’t help but notice how the video went quickly from the “we’re martyrs” narrative to othering and “declaring war” on those not like them.

    And then there was the whole “take back OUR country” bit.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Reminds me of a website I saw a few weeks back, linked to as proof of some argument or other about equal marriage rights being evil. It was supposed to prove how liberals were mentally ill. The text basically went “Liberals want to start a new civil war, which is really evil and despicable and sick and wrong! But what they don’t know is that we’ve been preparing for civil war for years, and we’re going to kill each and every one of them, and our war will be glorious and awesome and righteous and EAAAARRGH MY AWESOME PENIS IS HUGE.”

    I replied, “Well, you’ve proven something.”

  • Emcee, cubed

    (A warning to KC atheists, though: Bible Belt Baptists tend to be pretty good at volleyball, softball and roller skating. If you want an edge, challenge ‘em to a pool tournament.)

    Either you are closing your eyes to situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are unaware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of a pool table in your community.

  • P J Evans

    Only if your kids are rebuckling their knickerbockers below the knees.

  • J_

    * Bible Belt Baptists tend to be pretty good at volleyball, softball and roller skating*

    No. You are wrong. In my experience, Bible Belt Baptists tend to be really good at two-fisting boxes of ice cream sandwiches.

    Hear me: *Not* individual ice cream sandwiches. BOXES OF ice cream sandwiches. I have worked at the municipal pool ice cream counter. I have taken the orders and seen the speedos. I know whereof I speak. Fucking godophilic lardos.

  • Alix

    Yeah, like, how dare fat people exist! And eat food they enjoy! I’m so sorry they ever entered your line of sight. Why, that must’ve just ruined your day!

    *rolls eyes*

  • J

    Fuck fat Christians. And also you.

  • Alix

    Dude, my two-year-old nephew can do better. Running out of steam?

  • J

    Fuck fat Christians. And also you.

  • Alix

    That’s a yes, then. LOL.

  • Jenny Islander

    Isn’t this the second time he’s repeated himself?

    J., you’re losing your edge, man. Have a nap, get some fresh air, eat something with protein and complex carbs, drink some water. This is not up to your usual standard of vitriol.

    Also, I’m a fat Christian. Come on, come on, I haven’t filled my J. bingo card yet!

  • The_L1985

    How surprisingly eloquent. It’s like you don’t care that skinny Christians exist, that fat non-Christians exist, or even that body weight isn’t something shameful.

    I wear a size 6, and I’m a Wiccan. Come at me, bro.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Oddly, I kept reading the troll’s repetitive response to scan with “The Lord be with you / And also with you.” It took some of the ugly out of the trolling for me.

    (Friendly reminder to all that the “flag as inappropriate” button hides under the down-arrow in the upper-right corner of the post.)

  • Jamoche

    Wow. I had no idea that was even there. That ranks up there with the Win8 “charms” bar in the category of “least discoverable UI elements”.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Least discoverable until you get a touchpad that doesn’t like you, you mean. While I was using Windows 8 without a mouse, it would repeatedly pop up at the most inconvenient times.

  • Daniel

    Presumably you’re Willowy.
    Or wait- is size 6 big in the states?

  • The_L1985

    Get over yourself, beanpole.

  • Alix

    Also, it’s “theophilic.” Stop mixing your roots.

  • Lee B.

    Fuck that noise. I’ll keep using the word “television”, thank you.

    I’m not trying to defend Yod here (I think “godophilic” is rather clumsy), I just can’t stand this particular bit of prescriptivist nonsense. Once a compound borrowing has become common in English, mixing its components with other roots—regardless of origin—is a perfectly valid manner of coining new words.

    And if it annoys the classicists, so much the better.

  • Alix

    I was picking at our troll here. I actually agree with you.

  • AnonaMiss

    This reminds me of a great troll argument I once read about why polyamory is inherently wrong.

    It was a bait and switch that started off going on about the moral decay of society, and after about a paragraph it dug into the meat of the issue, to wit: mixing Greek and Latin roots is wrong. It should be polyphilia, or multiamory.

  • dpolicar

    A friend of mine insists that his mother, upon learning of his poly relationship to his wife, called his sister to say “I don’t really approve of this ‘polyamory’ business… it’s either ‘multiamory’ or ‘polyphilia’, this mixing of Greek and Latin roots has got to stop!”

    I have no idea if the story is true, but I really want it to be.

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    I wish I had more than one upvote to give for this well-chosen quote…

  • Panda Rosa

    “Are certain words creeping into their conversation? Words like–Swell?”
    “Shit, yeah!”

    My mother remembers getting in trouble for using “swell” as an expression.

  • Jamoche

    I remember an “I Love Lucy” routine about “two words you shouldn’t use are swell and lousy” / “ok, so what are the words?” (repeat ad nauseum) that just struck my 8-year-old self as incredibly stupid.

  • Baby_Raptor

    What was wrong with “swell”? Or is it something else that will make my brain hurt?

  • -G-G-

    To go off topic, if you guys haven’t read the Friendly Atheist yet today, you should. Today’s the 40th Anniversary of the deadliest act of anti-lgbt terrorism in the US. 32 people killed (most members of a gay church) in a firebombing in New Orleans that no one was ever prosecuted for. It’s pretty sobering stuff, but important to remember.

  • Lori

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Emcee, cubed

    I am, at present, directing a production of The Laramie Project (actually, I’m done. They opened this past weekend, and run this coming weekend. My work is technically over.) While I had sort-of-in-the-back-of-my brain-closet knew about this, I was reminded when I came across stories about it doing research for TLP. Definitely needs to be remembered.

  • Emcee, cubed

    For anyone who is interested, our production of The Laramie Project got a rave from the major paper here in Vegas. http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/shows/laramie-project-onyx-devastating-not-without-hope

  • dpolicar

    That’s awesome! Go you!

  • Carstonio

    At first I was disturbed by the goat, because I assumed that the Christian organizers were seriously equating atheism with Satanism. But if the symbol came from the atheists themselves, them it’s a good joke at the expense of people who make that association.

    The tournament I really want to see would be theocratic fundamentalists against secularists. The latter includes religious people like Fred, and any atheist who opposes religion isn’t a secularist. My frustration with groups like American Atheists is that they end up sacrificing secularism in the name of atheism.

  • themunck

    *quietly hopes this does not turn into another 50-post argument about the merits (and/or lack thereof) of calling Atheism a religion.*

  • Carstonio

    You won’t hear any such arguments from me. I classify atheism as another position on religion for secularist convenience. While many atheists aren’t evangelicals in the generic sense, atheism is not a neutral position. I see the goal of secularism as both government and society taking no position on religion, with no such thing as a default or normal position.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Makes me wish the concept of nontheism would catch on. Too many people conflate atheism and nontheism (and sometimes agnosticism).

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    All these look the same from here.

  • Alix

    I have to admit, I’ve never seen atheism and nontheism used as anything but alternate terms for each other. What’s the distinction you see?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Theism is “Yes”
    Atheism is “No”
    Agnosticism is “Maybe”
    Nontheism is a blank space where the answer hasn’t been filled in.

  • Alix

    Ah, thanks.

  • Amtep

    Agnosticism isn’t “Maybe”, it’s “We can never know”. At least that’s how it was coined in 1869 and I’m a traditionalist :)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    It seems to me that the definitions are basically the same with varying degrees of enthusiasm, although one’s bearing can definitely alter the way the message is conveyed. You know, some people answer the question with pencil, some people answer it in pen, and some people took a paper cutter to the stack of answer sheets lest someone give the “wrong” response…

  • Space Marine Becka

    I thought that was Ignosticism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignosticism

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Ooh, I like that one. But I’d see that as more “More information required” than no answer at all. Alternatively, answer D (None of the Above), which is always the correct answer when offered on a scantron, for some reason.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    I’ve heard the term “hard agnosticism” used to describe the “we cannot know” mindset.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I think the U.S. government should adopt a clear position of state atheism. After all, one can’t be neutral in regards to the idea that nothingness can think.

  • Alix

    state atheism

    Huh?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Nothing in the Constitution prohibits an official government position of atheism. I’m perfectly fine with In no Gods do We Trust as a national motto.

  • Alix

    Well, except it’s alienating to the religious, who are still full citizens. How about we take that ridiculous motto off entirely?

    The US gov’t needs to be a hell of a lot more secular/less religious, I agree. I don’t think enshrining atheism is really the way to go about that, though. :/ Because that’s still enshrining a particular position on religion above every other one.

    In short: the govt’s position on religion should be “no comment,” not an actual position on any kind of belief.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I do not believe such a position is possible. On what sorts of religious claims should the U.S. Government be neutral? On the existence of a god? On the age of the Earth? On the ability of a god to affect the weather? On the efficacy of prayer? As Sastra once said, the only difference between the Supernatural and the Paranormal is how they are marketed.

  • Alix

    On what sorts of religious claims should the U.S. Government be neutral?

    …all of them? I’m honestly not sure how this is a hard question. It’s not like the proper functioning of the government requires that it make affirmative statements of religious belief.

    Science is a separate issue, as are laws. Simply stating that current science is taken as true, or that laws should rest on secular principles – neither of those is taking a religious position. “Leave your religion at the door” isn’t actually a statement favoring atheism.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    “Leave your religion at the door” isn’t actually a statement favoring atheism.

    Huh? Can you please elaborate?

  • Alix

    Secularism =/= atheism. Atheism is the position that no gods exist, as I understand it; sometimes it’s phrased differently, and I’m sure someone out there’s going to argue the semantics here, but that’s the basis.

    Secularism is the position that it doesn’t matter.

    Secularism allows people to hold whatever wacky beliefs they like, whether or not they can prove it; it just says that (when talking about the government) those beliefs need to take a backseat to the common ground of non-religious beliefs*. Anyone can participate, religious or otherwise, as long as they leave those beliefs out of the secular square. That’s what “leaving one’s religion at the door” is.

    Official atheism would be taking a definite position, and an alienating one.

    *Let’s not argue the semantics of “belief” here, okay?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Secularism allows people to hold whatever wacky beliefs they like, whether or not they can prove it; it just says that (when talking about the government) those beliefs need to take a backseat to the common ground of non-religious beliefs*.

    -There is almost no “common ground of non-religious beliefs” between PZ Myers and a geocentrist flat-earther jinn-believing YEC who believes prayer can cure any illness.

  • Alix

    I strongly disagree with that statement, and I think assuming that to be true causes a lot of problems.

    Here are some things they might have in common: a belief that people ought to receive fair pay for their work. A belief that they have the right to vote. A desire for their children to have a decent life. Etc.

    Sometimes I think we focus too often on labels instead of digging beneath to find the person. The only way your statement is true is if we’re only talking about those people’s views on religion and particular kinds of science – that’s hardly all there is to someone.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You are right I forgot a whole category of beliefs in my previous comment. However, you still didn’t address the questions I posed at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/06/24/7-things-at-11-oclock-2/#comment-940707835

  • Alix

    1. Would you please just copy and paste the comment, instead of fucking up my internet with Disqus links?

    2. I thought I had addressed those questions, and I really honestly don’t know what you feel wasn’t addressed.

    Whether god/s exist – doesn’t matter from a policy/governance standpoint.
    Efficacy of prayer – likewise.
    Age of the earth – matters only under certain circumstances; a secular position allows for actual science over religion and is not a statement of position on religion.
    Whether god/s control/s weather – likewise.

    There will always be a handful of religious extremists – of extremists generally – who will find anything not explicitly favoring them a position against them. But there are more religious people than that – a lot more – and it seems to me that secularism by its very nature is the most inclusive governing philosophy possible; explicit positions in favor of atheism would not be inclusive at all.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Would you please just copy and paste the comment, instead of fucking up my internet with Disqus links?

    -Why?

    Efficacy of prayer – likewise.

    -I completely disagree. If prayer worked, then students could use it to improve their test scores and grades. Also, some medical intervention would be made unnecessary.

    a secular position allows for actual science over religion and is not a statement of position on religion.

    -Yes it is. It’s a position that religion is false in some circumstances.

    Whether god/s control/s weather – likewise.

    -Again, completely disagree. If gods could control the weather, we might convince them not to kill people with it.

  • Alix

    Why? Because it’s just as easy, if not easier, than searching out the comment link and c/p-ing that; because as I just said Disqus links fuck up my internet; because it makes the comments much easier to follow.

    Seriously – people’ve asked you repeatedly to please do this. Refusing at this point is just plain rude.

    On prayer: that’s based on your views of prayer. It’s not like everyone thinks the same thing.

    On science and religion: again, that’s based on your views of religion and science. My religion is entirely compatible with what we know of science; the same is true of many other’s. You don’t get to sit there and pick and choose which religious beliefs count, and then use them to smack down all religions.

    Note I did point out that some extremists will absolutely agree with you and see any attempt at anything not explicitly their religion as legislating against them. But a) that’s not nearly all religious folks, b) that doesn’t make promoting one particular position on religion acceptable, and c) doesn’t mean they’re right, either.

  • themunck

    “-Why?”

    Because Disqus is a temperamental fiend, who only works when fueled by the blood of innocence*. I cannot begin to tell you how many I’ve clicked a link for a specific comment, only to be sent to the top of the comments. Because not everyone is reading this with a fast connection, and Disqus is slow enough as it is. Why make us all hunt 2 extra min for a comment when you can just repost here and now, where it’s relevant?

    Pick a reason. -.-
    —-
    * Not a typo
    EDIT: Also, it seems I was ninja’d.

  • Alix

    Yeah, Disqus frequently refuses to load the actual comment linked for me. It also often borks the whole page, forcing repeated reloads.

  • LoneWolf343

    “No Gods, No Kings, Only Men?”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Might be a little sexist.

  • SisterCoyote

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

    That doesn’t just mean the US can’t have mottoes like “In God We Trust,” or decide that Generic Christianity* is the official State Religion – it also means that it can’t decide atheism is the official State Religion/Nonreligion. Either way, it’s taking a side in a debate in which the government has no place. Secularism – a lack of sides, a lack of any position whatsoever – is the only acceptable response.

    ..someday, maybe in the next few hundred years, that might actually happen. Sigh.

    *yes, I am well aware of how ridiculous this is – now if only someone will inform the Religious Right…

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Atheism isn’t “an establishment of religion”. The government must take a role in deciding whether claims about gods are true or false so long as it sponsors education. There are no theists in the emergency room.

  • Alix

    Atheism is the establishment of a position on religion, and if it were made the official state position it would have all the same problems that establishing an official state position of religion would.

    There are no theists in the emergency room.

    Sure there are.

  • SisterCoyote

    Those three sentences are remarkably disconnected, so I’m going to address them each separately, if you’ll bear with me.

    Atheism isn’t “an establishment of religion.”

    That depends on who you ask; from what I have seen, the atheist community is as fragmented as every other religion. There are those who believe the word should be capitalized, and those who do not – we’ve had that debate here, IIRC. There are really skeptical atheists, and atheists who venture nearly into agnostic territory. It’s a wide spectrum. All of which is really a tangent, because the point is that endorsing atheism would be taking a stand on religion. If the government comes out and says “There are no gods, and there is no God,” it is taking a stance on pretty much all religions. That is forbidden. The government cannot say “There is no true religion,” just as it cannot say “There is one true religion,” or even “There are some true religions.” A negative stance is still a stance. The only way to abide by the First Amendment here is to have no stance.

    The government must take a role in deciding whether claims about gods are true or false so long as it sponsors education.

    Er, no. Religion has no place in education. It is just that simple. Education should teach us about the physical world we inhabit: its properties, both historical and physical, and how we inhabit it. Outside of objective discussion of religion as it effects politics, history, and so on, there is no reason the government should have a role in religion. Ever.

    There are no theists in the emergency room.

    I must confess I have no idea what this has to do with any of the above.

  • The_L1985

    Good fucking luck with that. My brain, like that of many other people, is wired to believe that gods exist, and no amount of coercion will be capable of making me not believe that gods exist. Just as no amount of coercion will be capable of making you believe that gods do exist.

    …Seriously, down-voters? Some people’s brains are just wired up to sort of force theism or atheism on them. I’m not trying to say that theism or atheism is better.

  • arcseconds

    my goodness, Enopoletus, and here was I thinking you were a libertarian, and you’ve gone and made common ground with Bolsheviks and Theocrats on the matter of the Government poking its nose in on metaphysical matters which have absolutely nothing to do with upholding contracts and defending property rights!

    Moreover, in a completely undemocratic manner, it would seem, given that by far and away the great majority of the citizens of the USA self-identify as religious, and even many of the non-religious people would object to the Government taking sides.

    What’s going to be next? Mandatory impostion of the Dogma Manifesto on Hollywood? Compulsory consumption of State-manufactured yoghurt?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’m fine with the Second Vow of Chastity of the Dogme 95 Manifesto, but am not fine with any of the others. I certainly would not like it if Vows 3 and 6 were mandated upon Hollywood. Why would I try to institute “compulsory consumption of State-manufactured yoghurt”?

    In any case, as I can see no distinction between the spiritual and natural worlds, I see no conceivable way for the state to avoid state atheism in practice as long as government continues to sponsor education.

  • arcseconds

    I dunno, EH, mandatory yoghurt is the sort of thing that patronizing dictators like, isn’t it? At least, Saparmurat Niyozov, (AKA Türkemenbaşi ‘Father of the Turkmen’) was a fan.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Also, the existence of gods has much to do “with upholding contracts and defending property rights”. What if someone argued that a god magically changed the text of a contract while no one was looking?

  • Alix

    What if I decided the sky was green tomorrow? It doesn’t affect policy, or how other people think.

    Just because people hold a belief doesn’t mean it automatically starts affecting everything else.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    But if the government legislates that schools will teach the skjy is blue, that’s the government taking a stand that this tenet of your religion is wrong.

  • Alix

    But it’s not taking a position on religion itself. One tenet is not the whole religion. And it’s not telling me I can’t believe that, or teach it on my own time. And aside from a few very particular circumstances, one of which you mention, it doesn’t matter from a policy perspective.

    Honest to god, I don’t see what’s so hard about asking that government be noncommittal on the religion question. (I also don’t see how people keep missing that I’ve already pointed out some religious folk will still find shit to complain about.)

    The government has to do right by the most people it can. Deciding to officially legislate atheism as state policy would not be doing that, anymore than deciding to officially adopt Christianity as the state religion would be.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You’re right, unless you were a meteorologist, in which case you might incorrectly warn of severe weather.

  • arcseconds

    I don’t know whether or not to take this seriously, EH. What a hilarious suggestion!

    How often does this happen now? And do you really think the courts are currently helpless in such a circumstance?

    [citation needed]!

    Maybe we should get the Government to pre-emptively take positions on all possible specious arguments, because obviously we shouldn’t expect courts to be able to assess any evidence for the claims of a party.

    What if they were to argue that Government Agents broke in and altered all the records? By parity of reasoning, we would have to also insist the government denies its own existence.

    It’s the only way our property could be safe!

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    How often does this happen now?

    -Not often at all.

    And do you really think the courts are currently helpless in such a circumstance?

    -No.

    By parity of reasoning, we would have to also insist the government denies its own existence.

    -Not at all. The existence of a government, however, also “has much to do “with upholding contracts and defending property rights””, as it adds some credibility to the “Government Agents broke in and altered all the records” argument. My point in my above comment was not to argue against the existence of gods, it was to point out that “the existence of gods has much to do “with upholding contracts and defending property rights””.

  • arcseconds

    Well, I suppose if you say so, that was your aim. But you did that by positing a case which is either extremely rare or non-existent, and which you admit the courts can currently deal with.

    (and I would say deal with quite well. This particular case may never occur, but courts deal with implausible scenarios put forward with little or no proof by one party all the time.)

    Proposing it as a solution to a non-problem doesn’t show that it has anything to do with the matter.

  • FearlessSon

    At first I was disturbed by the goat, because I assumed that the Christian organizers were seriously equating atheism with Satanism. But if the symbol came from the atheists themselves, them it’s a good joke at the expense of people who make that association.

    Well, I know that RationalWiki uses goats as a running gag.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    any atheist who opposes religion isn’t a secularist.

    -That’s an unconventional definition if I saw one in my life.

  • Carstonio

    One can lack belief in the existence of gods and hold no opinion as to whether others should have or lack that belief. Or one can lack belief and insist that everyone should also lack it. The former is secularist in principle and the latter isn’t.

  • Alix

    Thank you for clarifying.

  • Worthless Beast

    I thought both logos were baaadass. I liked the goat, a lot. It’s very Metal. The atheists are lucky – they get to wear the heavy metal poster logo that looks like it wants to kick ass while the sheep looks merely ” a tad miffed.”
    I’m not an atheist, myself, so if I were there, I couldn’t wear the Metal Goat. I think my personal logo would be more like… a cat.

  • Carstonio

    Of course it’s metal – Venom used it for their debut album.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    The Church of Satan is an atheistic organization, so the association of Satanism and atheism already exists. I wonder if atheists are bothered by this.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I am bothered by this!

  • Alix

    Why?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    One of my comebacks to those who ask me “do you believe in Satan” after I tell them I’m an atheist is “If I don’t believe in the Christian god, why would I believe in the Christian Satan?”.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    Don’t feel too bad, EH. The Church of Satan doesn’t believe in Satan either. To them, he’s just a fictional character whose example/exploits they admire.

  • themunck

    No more than so many other people claiming a label they probably shouldn’t.
    See “National socialism” (By most definitions, including my own, not socialist), “The People’s Republic of North Korea” (a monarchy if I ever saw one), or any time people describe cabbage as “food” (…there might be some personal bias in that one).

  • J_Enigma32

    “Korell is that frequent phenomenon in history: the republic whose ruler has every attribute of the absolute monarch but the name. It therefore enjoyed the usual despotism unrestrained even by those two moderating influences in the legitimate monarchies: regalv ‘honor’ and court etiquette.”
    – Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation”

    Sir Humphrey: East Yemen, isn’t that a democracy?
    Sir Richard Wharton: Its full name is “The Peoples’ Democratic Republic of East Yemen.”
    Sir Humphrey: Ah, I see, so it’s a communist dictatorship.
    – Yes, Minister

  • Alix

    Nah, I’m totally with you on the cabbage. ;D

  • P J Evans

    I’ve met some cabbage that qualified as food. Steamed. With corned beef. (It was some of the best corned beef and cabbage I’ve ever had.) I wanted their recipe.

  • Fusina

    Parboiled cabbage (half a head sliced thin) and parboiled potatoes (about 2 lb. sliced in thickish slices and quartered). Cook some bacon (1/2 lb.) until it is crispy, crumble into little pieces. Stir bacon crumbles into cabbage and stir potatoes into bacon grease with a little salt and some black pepper. Layer into a casserole dish potatoes, cheddar cheese (1 lb ,shredded), cabbage, cheese until you run out of potatoes and cabbage. Bake until cheese is nice and melty. Stand back until the rush is over. Sadly scrape the bits left onto your plate. Resolve next time you are using a whole head of cabbage and a five lb bag of potatoes. If there are any leftovers, I like to reheat for breakfast and fry an egg to go with it.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    That sounds fantastic. Printing out and tacking to refrigerator door in preparation for cabbage harvesting time.

  • Fusina

    It got my kids eating cabbage.

    Here is another I like. Thai Style Noodles.

    Slice one red cabbage into thin strips. Boil 1 lb spaghetti. While spaghetti is cooking, saute 1 minced hot pepper (jalapeno, habanero, serrano) in oil. Toss in julienned carrots, sliced red onion, sliced red pepper and a mix of half a cup soy sauce, two tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp white pepper and some fish sauce if you like it. Stir, bring the liquid to a boil and add the cabbage. Steam until the pan isn’t heaped full of cabbage. The pasta should be done by then, stir it in and add a little sesame oil.

    Warning, this stuff tends to be Thai style hot. Without the heat it is still good, but not as good, IMO. Remove the hot pepper seeds and cut the white pepper by half if you want it somewhat tamed.

  • J_Enigma32

    Not I, said (one of?) the resident transhuman atheist(s?).

    But then, I was aware of that (there’s two types of Satanism, iirc; theistic satanism and atheistic satanism. Well, that and dabbler satanism, which is kids trying to reenact the satanism that they see in moves). There may be a few that aren’t.

  • Carstonio

    If Wikipedia’s description is correct, the Church of Satan might be better described as materialistic. Would it seem more atheistic if it preached the existence of Satan but not the Christian god?

  • JustoneK

    I do have a question bout that label, actually. If there is an atheistic branch, why does it still go by Church of Satan?
    it gives me church of $cientology vibes and I HATE THAT.

  • Lectorel

    Because it’s not a branch, they’re two completely separate ‘religions’. (I put that in quotes, because atheist Satanism is more a philosophy, and I’m not convinced theistic Satanism is actually a thing.)

    It was founded by an atheist who watched the hypocrisies of the Christians in his community, and decided that if this was the example of ‘good christian living,’ then maybe Satan might actually be a better role model.

    And then he wrote a book to that effect, and the whole thing took off.

  • JustoneK

    it’s mostly use of the word church that confuses me about it. it suggests a very theistic thing of some sort more than I don’t know, center.

  • Lectorel

    Most people just call it Satanism. I’ve rarely/never heard people use the ‘church of’ part, which is mostly a holdover from it’s origins as a mockery of christian hypocrisy.

  • JustoneK

    I think in my brain satanism had become associated with fluffbunny teenage rebellion and church of satan with folks who actually had it as a philosophy. oh english.

  • Lectorel

    “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.” – James Nicoll

    Oh english, indeed.

  • Alix

    Theistic Satanism is actually a thing. I can’t attest to how organized it is, but I know a good dozen or so people who practice various forms of it. (That multiplicity of forms is one reason I’m not sure it’s an organized religion.)

    Hell, depending on who you ask/how I frame my religion that day*, I’m a theistic satanist. But my religion’s pretty idiosyncratic, so I’m not sure that counts.

    *It’s complicated.

  • Lectorel

    I stand corrected. I’m sorry for saying they didn’t exist then, that was rude. Now I’m curious what theistic satanism actually looks like in practice. I assume it involves less virgin sacrifices and cackling then the movies portray?

  • Alix

    No problem. :)

    I assume it involves less virgin sacrifices and cackling then the movies portray?

    Ha! Yeah, usually. (Well, maybe not on the cackling…)

    I tend to run across two main versions – people who see Satan as just another god and incorporate him into their practice (including some people who see him as their patron), and people who are essentially modern-day Gnostics, and view Satan as the real savior/hero of the Bible. Mostly it’s the same sort of religious practices you find in other pagan religions – prayer, rituals that stay more or less within legal limits, that sort of thing.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    Best as I can tell, Anton LaVey (founder of Church of Satan) adopted the label because he wanted to be shocking. He was also inspired by literary portrayals of Satan, particularly that of Milton.

    I was puzzled by your Scientology reference until I noticed that you spelled it with a dollar sign. If you mean that LaVey’s name choice strikes you as a money-making scheme, you are not far wrong. While I do not think that money was LaVey’s initial goal, he developed that ambition later on. The CoS is organized in parody of the Catholic Church with a multi-tiered hierarchy of priestly offices. Some time in the late 70s/early 80s, LaVey began selling these offices. If you had the money and the inclination, you could be a priest in the CoS. Naturally, this did not please long time CoS members who had had to earn their positions. Eventually there was a schism over this, with those members who preferred the old ways going off and founding the Temple of Set. These days, ol’ Anton LaVey is dead, and the old practice of needing to earn your position has been reinstated. They still have a ridiculously high membership fee, though. Two hundred dollars. And, no, the membership card is not made out of gold.

    In other words, the Church of Satan has had problems remarkably similar to that of the Catholic Church which it seeks to parody. *sigh*

  • Lorehead

    In other news, Pope Francis snubbed a gala concert the cardinals were holding. Reportedly, he was in the next office over, reading Benedict’s secret report of the corruption in the Vatican and deciding which officials to replace.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    Wow. This new pope may actually be the real deal. I hope so, but I’m hesitate to get my hopes up. I do feel sorry for the musicians, though. It must have been disappointing for them; they thought they would get to play for the pope.

  • JustoneK

    dammit humanity.

  • Alix

    …Heh. I’ve almost gone straight through misanthropy and out the other side. I’m becoming oddly fond of humanity’s foibles. In that sort of “dammit humanity” + exasperated headshake kind of way.

  • J

    So chalk another one on the slate for Things Liberal Christians Do Not Understand. What makes atheists/Wikileaks/Greenwald/Snowden AND the Right so much more effective than you dumbfucks–not necessarily ‘correct’ or ‘smart’ or ‘moral’ or ‘scholarly’ but politically winning, which is, in the end all that matters–is that we both know the value of a good extremist.

    While you’re reacting to events and analyzing them–analytically, if you like–GG, on the other hand, has opened a HUGE space for discussion of ‘security’ and the Deep State. Bill Keller had most of this information for TWO. FUCKING. YEARS. And couldn’t be bothered to write about it. Mostly because of the My Wife problem–all these writers for the NewNews (New York Times, New Yorker, New Atlantic, New Republic) have wives who are Senate aides and National Security Council and Brookings Institution: All of them were muzzling their spouses in the nicest way. Over quinoa salad and chardonnay in the evening, they’d spot the emails on hubby’s iPad and say, “Hon, you guys *can’t* publish that. Please, it’ll mean SO much work for us at the office . . .”

    And so it was not reported. At least, not as they would prefer it not to be.

    So yeah, y’know, stroke your beards and cluck your tongues all you like. Do it in an analytical fashion, if you prefer. Know merely this: We are the ones We’ve been waiting for. And you as well, even if you don’t already know it.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Like, whatever.

  • Lori

    My gripe with GG is that he opened the space for an important discussion and then gave the establishment more than enough tools to slam it closed again.

    The discussion has already been derailed by issues that would never have come up if GG had been a tad less extremist and a bit more thoughtful. He’s not a journalist, which is good in a way because you’re right about the problems of our mainstream journalism. However, it’s bad in this case because it means that he didn’t follow some basic rules about how to approach your subject.

    The problem is not GG’s extremism, per se. It’s that he hasn’t learned a very basic rule—-when you are handed “proof” that someone/thing is exactly as bad or as good as you always knew it was it’s time for you too look again. The world is complicated and people are a total PITA. It’s very rare for them to conform to your assumptions, regardless of what those assumptions may be.

  • J

    Yeah, that’s exactly the sort of thinking that I’m talking about:

    “Blahblahblahdetails”

    Let me know the SECOND our public political system rewards precision. Really: Let me know. I will be all. fucking. ears.

  • Lori

    Let me know when it rewards GG’s brand of imprecision. Really. Let me know.

    Those “details” are going to allow the establishment to bury this without doing a damn thing about it. Slow clap for GG and for you. Good fucking job there.

    ETA: Not only are TPTB not going to be forced to make any meaningful changes, later, when they do something far worse they’re going to say that we all knew about what they were up to and essentially agreed to it by not forcing them to change so we can just STFU about it. GG did a good thing, and then totally screwed the pooch, which is typical.

  • J

    Uh huh. Now tel me about the horrible things Dan Savage, Elevator Guy, Richard Dawkins, Russ Feingold, Irshad Manji, Hirsi Ali, and Julian Assange might once have been overheard half-saying!

    Keep betraying friends, Christophiles! There are easily HUNDREDS of people on the planet who can still stand the sound of your voice!

  • Lori

    First of all you total dumbass, I’m an aethist. Second of all, if you’re going to try to sell the idea that being an ass isn’t a problem as long as you’re an ass in service of things with which J agrees then your list has some major problems.

    The fact that Assanage is an asshole and almost certainly a rapist has derailed much of the good the could/should have come from Wikileaks.

    There are plenty of things wrong with the advice that Dan Savage gives and there are some real issues with It Gets Better. The fact that he’s done a lot of good doesn’t change that.

    I’m not even going to get into Dawkins.

    If your head is so far up your ass that you can’t see that, then there’s no point talking to you. You should just go back to the flying monkey club house and leave us to wallow in our ignorance.

  • J

    No, I’m afraid none of this is going to help your betraying-friends problem, christian.

  • Lori

    Again, I’m an atheist. Repeatedly, incorrectly calling me a Christian so that I fit into the enemies box you’ve created for me doesn’t change that.

  • J

    If you are not are christian, then why would you apologize for the U.S. government or criticize atheists or wikileaks? Only apologists for power do that sort of thing. And all christians are defenders of power.

  • Alix

    Because neither atheists nor wikileaks are completely infallible? Because the US government is not actually Satan incarnate?

    Besides, I’ve criticized the gov’t before, and I’m pretty damn sure I’ve seen Lori do the same. Barking up the wrong tree here, my friend.

  • Lori

    Oh hell yeah I have. I’m not going to play J’s game by bringing up my many criticisms of the government in order to prove myself. I’ll just say that anyone who thinks I’m an apologist for the US government doesn’t know me at all. Straw Lori may be a “Christian spy” for Big Brother. Actual Lori, not hardly.

  • SisterCoyote

    He’s commenting on Slacktivist that all Christians are defenders of power. If none of the other massive logic fails were dead giveaways…

  • Lori

    Do you actually think that this is how logic works? WTF?

  • Alix

    I think logic has left the building.

  • Lori

    I suspect it was never in J’s building.

  • Alix

    Fair point.

  • The_L1985

    “Only apologists for power do that sort of thing.”

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

    Criticizing people you support is called helping them improve, and sane people do this. Have you honestly never fucking heard of constructive criticism?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    All p are q.
    Lori is q.
    Therefore, Lori is p.
    Logic fail.

  • Lori

    Yup. It’s total logic fail, even if we ignore the fact that in this case all p are not in fact q. J and logic are not mixy things.

  • JustoneK

    are you sure you’re not a christian spy? you’re really sorta working for the fundie case here.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Wow. Twice in one day you’ve proven that you could be even stupider than you already seemed to be.

  • The_L1985

    LORI. IS. AN. ATHEIST, you stupid fuck.

  • Alix

    Not Christian, still think Greenwald dropped the ball here, for the reason Lori lays out so well.

    Mostly because of the My Wife problem

    Nice misogyny there.

  • J

    Kill yourself, Security Apologist-Derailler.

  • Alix

    LOL. You first, baby.

  • J

    Kill yourself, Security Apologist-Derailler.

  • Alix

    I’m sure you can manage something new. Come on, dear, it’s really not that hard to find new ways to tell me to go fuck myself. Burn out your only brain cell already?

  • Em

    The FBI sent a letter telling Martin Luther King, Jr. to kill himself. J is telling liberals here to kill themselves. J has just outed himself as an FBI agent whether he knew it or not.

  • Lori

    You are so far over the line right now that it’s just a dot in your rearview mirror. Get a grip or get gone.

  • J

    Fuck you, christian spy.

  • Lori

    “Christian spy”? Are you high right now?

  • Alix

    That’s a far more charitable explanation than the one I have…

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    WTF? Lori is an atheist, not a Christian. Why do you find this difficult to understand?

  • Fanraeth

    Calling it now, J is actually a robot with some bugs in the dialogue tree.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Excuse me, you misogynist, obnoxious, fucked up. obsessive piece of shit. You’ve done more than anyone ever has to push me to be religious because I never want to be on the same side as you, ever in anything. Please go crawl under a rock and never come out in public again, you rancid dirtball.

  • J

    Don’t worry: When we’re in year 15 of Syria and we all have NSA rectal implants, it will absolutely NOT be your fault. You Meant Well. You really did. And “The Avengers Part 6” will be coming out with the super-cool scene where Iron Man and Thor kiss, so who can worry about such things!?

  • Alix

    What, homophobia now, too? You working off a checklist?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Not homophobia. Hyperbole.

  • Lori

    That NSA rectal implant will also obviously not be your fault for being careless with the truth and prone to hyperbole in ways that make all criticism of the security state seem like paranoid conspiracy theories promulgated by pasty nutters living in their mothers’ basements. So at least your hands are clean, eh?

  • J_Enigma32

    Clearly. He can’t be busy putting those in; tinfoil hats get tight, y’know. They need to be adjusted every so often.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Actually, it will like be more your fault than anyone else’s. Your rabid “I’m right and noone else is unless I say so” is the attitude that always leads to that type of thing happening. Please explain how your ridiculous “all religion should be outlawed” BS would be enforced other than by spying on people, having neighbor turn on neighbor, and all the other things you claim to be against (but aren’t actually against them, just against people you don’t like using them). Oh, and by the way, how exactly is yelling at people on a blog going to stop any of what you are saying? Because it’s pretty obvious you don’t actually ever leave your house and get into the real world. Seriously, I bet you cringe in terror whenever the mailman knocks because you might actually have to talk to a real person face-to-face.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Where did J say “all religion should be outlawed”?

  • J_Enigma32

    Given this is J, probably several times across multiple different threads.

    He’s a broken record. And as kids on the Intrawebz say these days, “Broken record is broken.”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Link to comment, please?

  • J_Enigma32

    Dude, it’d be a really old thread. I haven’t seen this clown around here in a while, and I’ve been a semi-regular fixture since early 2008(?), possibly as early back as 2006. I hung out for a while over at the original Slacktivist typepad site and I was around during the community schism. This jackass was, too, and if it’s not on this board, I know for a fact he’s expressed that sentiment on the other.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Not to mention he uses an unregistered account, so his post history isn’t saved, and the nature of his name makes it all but impossible to find it through a search engine.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    At least he can’t downvote!

  • themunck

    I cannot begin to tell you how much I would prefer this world if he just shut up and downvoted.

    I decided to take your comment at face value, so sorry if you meant to be sarcastic. You probably were, in the end.

  • AnonaMiss

    And “The Avengers Part 6” will be coming out with the super-cool scene where Iron Man and Thor kiss

    Friggin FINALLY!

  • Fanraeth

    Meh. I ship Tony and Bruce.

  • Lori

    There was obviously chem there in the after the credits scene in IM3 :)

  • Fanraeth

    I know! It was adorable. :D

  • LoneWolf343

    “You won’t like it when it’s angry.”

  • Lori

    Well, he might. (Yes, Rule 34 applies to the Hulk.)

  • The_L1985

    I dunno, I prefer some incestuous ThorXLoki myself. Mmmm…. :3

  • themunck

    Incestuous? Are Thor and Loki brothers or something in the Marvel universe? oO. I only know them from the Valhalla comics and half-paying attention in history and/or religion classes, and I seem to recall Loki being Odin’s blood-brother (IE, not related, but have sworn to be brothers regardless), and therefore more of a substitute uncle for Thor, rather than actual family.

  • Lori

    Loki & Thor are not blood-related, but they were raised as brothers due to Loki’s “adoption” by Odin. Speaking as an adoptee, I’m totally squicked by the idea that that’s not incest.

  • themunck

    Speaking as someone not adopted, I hope you will forgive me for not considering that angle. You are entirely right.

  • Lori

    Not a problem.

  • The_L1985

    In the comics, Thor and Loki are brothers by adoption. So yes, technically incest of a sort. (Just as it would be incest if I had sex with my brother’s hypothetical wife.)

  • Lori

    Unless we’re playing Old Testament rules it’s not incest for you to have sex with your sister-in-law* (although it is almost certainly an incredible asshole move). It’s the sibling relationship that makes Thor & Loki incest.

    The definition of adoption is that a child born to someone else becomes the child in every way of the adoptive parent(s). That includes being the sibling of any other children that the parent(s) may have. Siblings getting it on = ew for reasons that are social & psychological, not just biological.

    *And if we’re playing OT rules then the sibling thing is a gray area. One of the many things that make it impossible for me to take the OT seriously as the word of the Almighty.

  • Mark Z.

    If we’re playing Old Testament rules it’s mandatory for you to have sex with your sister-in-law under some conditions.

  • Lori

    Yes, but IIRC if your brother isn’t dead it falls under the incest rules. As do some other things we don’t consider incest, like sleeping with both a mother and daughter. (That is, as long as they’re not your mother and sister/half sister.)

  • Alix

    Is the latter (edit: the sleeping with both a mother and a daughter) coded as incest, or just taboo? My brain is shot, and I can’t recall.

  • Lori

    It’s definitely against the rules & my recollection is that it’s in with a bunch of other things that are coded as incest or basically incest. It’s been a long time since I’ve used that section as my “bored in church” reading & I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon preached on it (because, why?), so I may be wrong.

  • Alix

    Thanks!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Y’know, I’ve heard of this, but I just can’t see it. I can see Loki being interested, but Thor seems like the sort who prefers ruggedness and straightforwardness, and wouldn’t know what to do with a soft-featured prettyboy woobie whose entire character is based around being sneaky and underhanded.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    All I’m going to say is…

    He makes him wear the helmet.

    And he attaches reins.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You still haven’t answered my question about the Ukrainian pronunciation of the word pronounced in Russian as “Ookrayeena”.

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m sorry, it completely slipped my mind. I’ll ask Andriy when he comes in.

  • Jenny Islander

    No no no NO, Iron Man and Captain America have been married in all but name for at least 25 years–just look at the actual comics–artist after artist deliberately puts in scenes so fraught the two of them might as well change their names to David and Jonathan.

    Headcanon: My pie recipe of choice.

  • Fanraeth

    There is that alternate universe where they got married and thus avoided the Civil War event. Tony was a woman in that timeline, but it totally counts.

  • AnonaMiss

    Oh jeez, I totally misread Thor as Captain America in the post I was replying to, because it’s what my brain was expecting.

    I am actually a huge Tony/Cap shipper.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Meh. Thor would never be swayed by Tony’s rogueish charm. Everyone EVERYONE knows that Wolverine is the only man for him.

    (I mean, unless Captain America finally gets over Bucky and learns to love again)

  • J_Enigma32

    Well you’ve got nothing to worry about, then.

    Between your head and your “facts”, there’s no space in there for rectal implants.

  • LoneWolf343

    I was going to make up some pithy comeback, but nothing I could think of would top this.

  • Grey Seer

    Friendly hint. If you want to convince anyone of anything, ever, do not respond to reasoned criticism with a personal insult and an invitation to suicide. It never works, and it certainly doesn’t encourage people to treat you seriously.

  • LoneWolf343

    What does that mean? Are you saying that he derailed a security apology, and that is a bad thing?

  • http://estneillaamata.blogspot.com/ JulianaSundry

    It is probably equivalent in meaning to the first fifteen seconds of this video: http://youtu.be/-aVgjvQKW1g

  • The_L1985

    …what the fucking Hel?

    By the way, did you know that many commenters and regular readers here are not Christian? :)

  • http://shadsie.deviantart.com/ Shadsie

    In fact, from someone who is still marginally so (Christian), I feel like a stark minority on the threads here, but am glad that most of the time, we can still discuss things without wanting each other to kill ourselves. People have lots of reasons for reading here. I came for the ripping apart of bad books originally…

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I came for the ripping apart of bad books originally…

    -Me, too. Then I decided to argue against Fred’s support for the minimum wage.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That’s what brought many of us, originally. For what it’s worth, I often feel closer to the Christians here than I do to atheists elsewhere, because so many of them resemble J here.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I’ve found that, in general, if an atheist feels the need to self-identify as an atheist, or a christian feels the need to self-identify as a christian, outside of a forum on the topic of religion, there’s a markedly elevated chance the person you are dealing with is a giant asshole.

  • Baby_Raptor

    He kinda just ignores that. Its inconvenient to his rants.

  • Jurgan

    Oh, I read the volleyball link and am relieved. My first thought was that they were playing for competing charities. Say, if the Christian group wins the proceeds go to Operation Rescue, and if the atheists win it goes to the Freedom From Religion group. Fortunately I was mistaken, as that sort of competition would end very badly.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Also, it looks like I became an official member of the Slacktivist Community Top Commenters a day or two ago, beating out arcseconds and Jessica_R. All in less than a year since I first began intensively commenting on Slacktivist and less than a year and a half before I first commented on Slacktivist in April of 2012! Whoo-hoo!

  • Lori

    Oh yeah, that’s something to celebrate all right.

  • SisterCoyote

    …what on earth are you talking about?

  • themunck

    If I had to guess, the fact that he’s now posted so many post here Disqus has declared him a “top poster”. Given that this is calculated only by total number of posts, and not any terms of quality or relevance, I fail to see the importance, myself.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Click on the “Community” tab toward the top of the Disqus comments. You’ll soon see what I mean.

  • SisterCoyote

    Oh, I see it now. I never paid much attention to that tab, nor do I intend to in the future – is it really worth so much time, looking at arbitrary watermarks on the wall of the forum? Isn’t it better to engage in deeper, respectful conversation with people than to simply post lots of short comments that drive your fellow commenters up the wall? I mean – The Letter Who Shall Not Be Named may well have posted more often than I, but I’d rather be me than him. And if Ragnar the Red posted his bile twenty times on every single Slacktivist thread, Lori, ReverendRef, and Victor would all still be higher in my esteem than him.

  • Alix

    I’ve got a soft spot for Victor, not gonna lie.

  • themunck

    As do we all. I cannot help but think that he’s seen something I’m missing, and that if I just crack the code and understand him, the secrets of the universe lies before me. He’s like an echo of a whisper from Malkav himself.

  • J_Enigma32

    Or the Slacktivists’ own Abdul Alhazared/Abd Al-Azrad.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I think it’s Eric the Red, not Ragnar. Agreed that he does post some pretty off-topic and bizarre comments.

  • SisterCoyote

    I know his name. I prefer Ragnar. Eric the Red was an interesting person, brave if not actually heroic. Ragnar the Red was a [fictional] boastful lout who got his ass kicked and his head chopped by a shield-maiden. I know which our MRA-troll more resembles…

  • Launcifer

    Did you really have to go spoiling my memories of *every* tavern in Skyrim by drawing that comparison?

  • SisterCoyote

    Is it really every tavern? I thought it was just the ones in Whiterun.

  • JustoneK

    there’s a reason there are addons to expand on the bards’ repertoires.

  • The_L1985

    …there was a competition?

    Why?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    There was/is no competition, but I was hoping to became a member of the Slacktivist Community Top Commenters since quite a while ago.

  • Launcifer

    I may regret this shortly but… er … why is/was it a goal to be one of the people with the largest quantity of individual posts?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    As I was commenting so much, even being blamed for drowning out potential productive discussions by Liira, I thought I should get something for my commenting. A place in the Top 20 Commentators is at least something.

  • http://kadhsempire.yuku.com/ Matt

    LOL

  • Rhubarbarian82

    “People have accused me of drowning out discussion, but at least I’m on a top 20 list for posting so much!”

    I’m sure the irony is lost on you.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    The irony is lost on me. Also, this is my 900th comment here.

  • Alix

    The irony is lost on me.

    This explains a lot.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Can you please explain this irony to me?

  • Alix

    1. People complain you post too many comments.
    2. You decide to post many comments and become a top commenter.

    You don’t see the disconnect?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    What, was I to stop posting?

  • Alix

    It’s more the fact that you made this a goal that people are reacting to, I think. It implies you care more about an arbitrary volume of posts over their quality.

  • The_L1985

    And again…..why?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Congratulations. Software created by a company which frequently sacrifices user experience and ignores negative feedback in their ongoing quest to create a program as cheaply and with as little upkeep as possible recognizes your contributions. Sounds perfectly appropriate to me, Klondike Bar.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’m assuming you’re referring to Disqus. Klondike Bar?

  • arcseconds

    … wait… I’m a top commenter?

    my street cred… in tatters!

    (*bawls*)

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Bible Belt Baptists tend to be pretty good at volleyball, softball and roller skating.

    …Oh please, please tell me about the Bible Belt Baptist Roller Derby League! It must exist. And the members’ skate names must be awesome.

  • The_L1985

    I’m picturing names like Rapture Rebecca and ArchAngela.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    I just had the name “Gabrielle Strumpet” jump into my head. Someone needs to thwack me with a rolled up newspaper.

    But hey, it’s not yet taken on TwoEvils!

    (Hey! My name’s been accepted and added to the registry! DUDE! I feel so official.)

  • Jessica_R

    Worlds Colliding! Shelia O’Malley’s The Sheila Variations is one of my daily stops. Absolutely tops writing on books, movies, actors, culture at large. Dive in and prepare to lose a few hours, http://www.sheilaomalley.com/

  • arcseconds

    Ah, so this is J.

    Didn’t someone accuse me of being J once?

    Frankly, I can’t see the resemblance.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I wish Disqus offered a way to block posters.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I think it does (for moderators), but I’ve never remembered Fred engaging anyone in the Disqus comments or blocking anyone for any reason.

  • Cathy W

    I think there have been something like two people blocked by Fred in the ten-year history of the blog.

  • Emcee, cubed

    There had been only two when we were at the old site. I believe it’s up to 5 now. Fred did a post a while back where he mentioned a list of problematic poster, which specifically mentioned the two who had been banned that everyone knew about, and 3 more recent ones that we didn’t hear from again, and it was generally believed that those 3 had been banned as well. (I think one was someone whose screen name was shared by the love-interest of Benedict in Much Ado – just to bring this around to the OP for no reason…) There may have been more that we weren’t told about, as well.

  • Space Marine Becka

    So that last one…

    Apparently racism is male violence based on race and racist women have just internalised it. *headtilt* Is she saying it’s mens fault that white women are racist?

    Lesbians who beat their partners have internalised dysfunction heterosexual patterns? *tilts head further* What?

    Maybe I’m misreading but I smell a whole host of gender essentialism here. Men are horrible and women are great unless men have infected them.

    Her point may be that we shouldn’t try and belittle the problem of male violence against women by pointing out female violence but we shouldn’t ignore it or try and blame men for it either. Especially not when it involves our intesection with other oppressions.

    *Does some checking*

    Oh dear. She’s one of those feminists….

    The sort of feminists this is about… http://jezebel.com/5975828/transphobia-is-a-goddamn-embarrassment-to-us-all

    She’s not in that article but google her name and transphobia and you’ll see it – I am not linking that crap.

    But here’s a quote from her to chew on:

    “Transphobia is a term invented by surgically altered MEN who claim to be women. They are members of the dominant caste masquerading as oppressed women.”

    I’m going to go be sick now though my TERF alarm was screaming so loudly I’m not actually shocked..

    I suspect it went off when I read that because I’d read the Jezebel article moments before. There was something about the phrasing and ideology that made me think probably a TERF.

    Not that Fred hasn’t linked to thought provoking things written by horrible bigots before but I do think you should at least know the person you’re linking to is horrible.

  • Alix

    I … yeah. Some good points, some that I’d probably agree with if I could parse them, and … a rather uncomfortable feeling overall. And probably not the way she meant it.

    (Also, I am wondering where the hell she gets this 6000 year figure for patriarchy. Because I tend to find that sort of thing only among alt-archaeology believers who think that there was once some perfect primordial matriarchy and then some man invented male gods and somehow women became subjugated. This is probably my single biggest pet peeve when it comes to mythology/prehistory.)

    Thanks for doing the research and calling this out.

    Honestly not trying to start a fight here, but people like this were my first exposure to feminism. And … when I tell people I’m gunshy about the feminist movement and won’t ID as one – this is why. And it’s not as rare a set of beliefs as a lot of people try to insist. :/ Gender essentialism, minimization of violence/bigotry by women, weird reframing of racism that frankly seems minimizing/appropriative to me, transphobia…

    :/ Not my cup of tea, thanks. I … honestly couldn’t read that whole article; it brought back some nasty memories. (And honestly, I could barely tell you why? It’s like there were a bunch of completely innocuous turns of phrase there that just triggered a big flashing WARNING sign.)

    Also: Thank you for the link to that jezebel post. I hadn’t seen it.

  • Space Marine Becka

    Yeah the ancient matriarchy myth drives me up the wall. If it were the case why were Papuan and Native Australian cultures patriarchial as well when they were first colonised 40-60000 years ago before Patriarchy arose in the myth? Is the Patriarchy like the illuminati? Did the men plan it together by magic.

    And I don’t think a matriarchy would be idyllic anyway. Hegemonies tend to be … well hegemonic. (I’m actually creating a matriarchy in one of fantasy settings and one of my friends read my notes and was all “what’s with the man hate?”)

  • Alix

    I love asking ancient-matriarchy believers for their proof. They usually only have two bits: the “Venus” figures, like V. of Willendorf, and myths that talk about primordial female monsters getting overthrown by male gods.

    The former ignores the fact that we don’t actually have enough context to know what they were, and the existence of those figures doesn’t preclude a belief in male gods as well. The latter ignores the huge variability in cosmogonic myths, and insists on treating a highly changeable genre as somehow recording true facts.

    AFAIK, the earliest certain records of anthropomorphic deities indicate a robust pantheon with gods of several genders. The idea that there was one pantheon of goddesses and a completely separate one of gods that just sort of got imposed is … frankly, it’s absurd.

    I’m actually creating a matriarchy in one of fantasy settings and one of my friends read my notes and was all “what’s with the man hate?”

    Ha! I write weird fantasy, and one of the major cultures is a matriarchal warrior society. They think men are fit for cannon fodder and hard labor, but don’t have the brains to be good leaders. Or do math.

    …playing in that particular sandbox is a great form of stress relief some days, lemme tell ya.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Someone pointed out that the Venus of Willendorf could have been the primitive equivalent of a centerfold.

    Not that that precludes her being a goddess-figure as well — we just don’t know.

  • Alix

    I’ve heard that. (And then heard a bunch of dipshits claiming that couldn’t possibly be true because the figures are fat. Sigh.) Also, that the Venus figures might be magic charms – which again, doesn’t preclude them from being goddess figures, but also doesn’t require it.

    Or they could just be art! Art’s not necessarily utilitarian, or possessing a clear rationale.

  • arcseconds

    ‘just art’ might be a suitable reaction to a unique work, or even a highly localized fashion.

    But the Venus figurines show similar designs over long distances and phenomenally long time periods by the standards of recorded human history. There’s surely some kind of phenomenon at work here apart from ‘just art’. At the very least, it’s art that has widespread appeal in paleolithic cultures over a long period of time, which demands some kind of explanation as to ‘why’. Were the cultures very similar and static over this extent?

    Of course, our ability to divine what was going on so long ago when we have so little evidence is very limited, and we should definitely not be too sure of ourselves.

    I’m still thinking fertility symbols is the best explanation, although I’m not at all married to the idea.

    I’m a little disturbed by the fact that they lack faces, and often heads, though.

  • Alix

    Well, except artistic styles and trends do happen. That said, I do tend to agree – fertility symbols/charms seem most likely.

    Were the cultures very similar and static over this extent?

    What really bugs me is that the ancient-matriarchy folks essentially argue exactly that – that prehistoric cultures were basically static and the same until patriarchy somehow arrived. Which … doesn’t do much to make matriarchy sound awesome.

    I know there are similarities in culture in terms of where these Venus figures have been found – paleolithic Europe, though some into Russia – but one of the other things that bothers me about the Venus statues is they have a huge range of variations, and people apparently just lump them all together. :/ Those variations argue for at least some cultural differences/evolution, if not for the various kinds of statues being created with various intents, so.

  • Alix

    Is the Patriarchy like the illuminati?

    That line totally made me laugh.

  • Space Marine Becka

    And yeah my first interaction with feminism was of the same order.

  • Alix

    Those kind of radical feminists scare me. Not least because it means I never know if any given feminist really is my ally or not. :/ Every movement must have their asshole contingent, I suppose.

  • arcseconds

    I didn’t really go for it much either.

    I’m sure male victims of rape will be happy to hear that what they suffered was not fundamentally a horrible assault that happened to them personally, but rather an abstract wrong commited by men against womenkind. One wonders really what they are complaining about: women, as ever, are the real victims here.

    I’m no great fan of Margaret Thatcher, but calling her a ‘broken, token female’ is both ridiculously inaccurate and ludicrously insulting. Any women going up against the boy’s club that Parliament was back in the 70s has to have had a lot of gumption, willpower and personal togetherness, and she has my respect for that. She wasn’t exactly chosen off the street or out of a beauty pageant by the Tories to appeal to the Modern British Woman: she had to fight for everything she got, and there’s nothing ‘token’ about that.

    (I appreciate the point that it’s a somewhat superficial improvement if the only women who can make it in politics if anything instantiate ‘masculine’ qualities more than the men do, especially when they’re largely undesirable ones like aggression and despotism top-down leadership.

    But you can make this point without being loathsomely insulting to actual women, denying their agency, complete with a hardly subtle subtext that they aren’t real women. way to go, gender essentialism.)

  • http://worldsandtime.blogspot.com/ sphericaltime

    I actually had to stop reading in the middle of link 7 (at point 5). Not for boredom, which is what normally causes me to stop, but due to a bout of really unusual anger.

    The big problem is indeed male violence against women. It’s pervasive in the United States and around the world, and it is a serious social problem that needs to be addressed on a societal level. We need to recognize it, work to stop it, and *yes* we need to explicitly frame the issue as male violence against women because that is the best way to address issue.

    But _all_ male sexual assault against men isn’t actually male sexual assault against women. Sorry, I completely reject that.

    In prison and certain circumstances male sexual assault can use the framework of gender to shame the raped man, but if we agree (I think we do) that rape is primarily about control, domination and violence, it is not absolutely necessary to frame it as “male violence against women” as the underlying issue.

    Gay men can and have experienced rape and that rape is not based on “contempt for women.” The suggestion that it is . . . is utterly infuriating. I can’t describe to you how upset I am to see this suggested and honestly I thought I didn’t have any general conversation triggers left. I went through this last in college when the women in a writing class told me that men can’t be raped (as the author of the article in no. 7) suggests.

    What an utter dismissal of actual crimes that have occurred.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    You may reject it, but I’m not convinced. What word is used to refer to a male rape victim? “Bitch.”

  • http://worldsandtime.blogspot.com/ sphericaltime

    I would say that the preponderance of that word is associated with prison male on male rape. Not between gay domestic rape situations. Then again, I don’t have a peer reviewed study on the matter and I’m about 95% sure you don’t as well.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    If I had enough spoons, I’d go digging in my library’s research paper database access thingie, but it’s too ugly a subject for my present state of mind. I do think there’s a near-universal basis for identifying women as the weaker sex and therefore anyone placed in a position of victimhood (any such position) as being/acting “like a girl/woman” though.
    It makes me wonder what it’s like in a matriarchal society. Sad fact: Wikipedia not only has no examples of such a society existing in the present day, but has citations from people claiming that no such society has ever existed, despite having many citations for matriarchies from the Bronze Age onward on the same page.

  • http://worldsandtime.blogspot.com/ sphericaltime

    I agree that it’s almost always true that in this kind of abuse, the use of gender is to put down the victim. But not always, and we need to recognize that we may not be able to help male victims by telling them that they were only raped as a show of distain toward women.

    I think the thing that’s disturbed me so much is that it assumes that any kind of penetrative sex must be male on female. That’s not the case for everyone, even though that’s predominantly true for most of humanity. It essentially delegitimizes any kind of gay sex as much as any anti-sodomy law ever has.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I don’t think the author intended to make it sound as though male-male rape is only committed to send a hateful message to women. I think it’s a matter of mental identification — in their minds, only women are weak enough to be raped, so someone being raped is as weak as a woman. The author need not believe this to assert that other people commonly do, just like I can point out that it does appear to be a common assumption that all sex involves partners fulfilling a masculine dominant role and a feminine submissive role, and that this dates back thousands of years, to the point that that wonderful law in Leviticus itself does so: “You shall not lay with a man as you do with a woman.”

    This gender essentialist perspective is where we get people like Doug Wilson who say that egalitarian sexual relations are impossible even between men and women. They can’t imagine it being any other way, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us are so bound. It does, however, mean that it’s going to be very difficult to convince them men are capable of having sexual roles that aren’t synonymous with behaving “feminine,” much less that gender rules about femininity and masculinity are a load of nonsense that have done more harm than good.

  • http://worldsandtime.blogspot.com/ sphericaltime

    Thanks for this. I appreciate having your opinion to help me understand hers.


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