I never said I was a victim of circumstance

I never said I was a victim of circumstance August 5, 2022

This was as inevitable and predictable as the end result of it will be:

Forum12, a group of faith-based futurists has partnered with Gravity Jack, Inc. to announce the development of Carbon12, a cryptocurrency token built by Christians, for Christians. Carbon12 aims to establish a parallel economy of believers that functions independently of the traditional financial system by creating an ecosystem that circulates capital among an international faith community.

The text of the rest of this press release is deliberately impenetrable. “The Carbon12 team is dedicated to helping believers and churches transition from TradFi to Defi, and is hard at work developing multiple use cases that will facilitate migration to on-chain practices.” They’ll be using blockchain to reverse the polarity with a tachyon pulse, all while giving local churches get in on the ground floor of phlebotinum investments.

Before this collapses, a few people are going to take a lot of money.

• Adoption can be a magnanimous, mutually beneficial form of hospitality. It can also be an industrial “Baby Scoop” machine:

There’s also something we need to really focus on, which is that this was a commercial transaction. The women were the means of production. The babies were the product. And adoptive parents were pretty unwitting—they didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes—but they were the consumers.

• I never extensively relied on Billy Joel lyrics as a source of wisdom or spiritual guidance, but when I was younger I liked the follow-your-bliss admonition of “My Life.” Don’t worry about being “successful,” Joel seemed to be saying, just do what you love and follow your dream. Be like his old friend who gave up everything, “Closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the West Coast / Now he gives them a stand-up routine in LA.”

I heard that song and imagined Joel’s friend out there, poor and struggling, but happy because he was doing what he loved.

But then I learned that this lyrics was about an actual person, and I learned who that person was, and this complicated my initial interpretation of the song. It was Richard Lewis. By the time I learned that, Lewis was already a fantastically successful and very wealthy comedian. He was also famously miserable. I realize that this was partly his act — the neurotic comedian who mined his own incapacity for happiness to make others laugh. But the unhappiness at the heart of that shtick didn’t seem altogether imaginary.

This altered my understanding of Joel’s song. What if you follow your bliss, all your dreams come true, and you still wind up becoming the walking embodiment of human misery?

So it now makes me happy to see Lewis celebrating 28 years of sobriety and sharing that he’s learned to be able to be happy too — that we don’t need to worry for him, ’cause he’s all right.

And now I can go back to my original, slightly chastened, understanding of that Billy Joel song.

• I’m not saying the Church of Scientology is a monstrously creepy, vindictive, juvenile, abusive institution willing to destroy people’s lives to protect its high-ranking, moneyed members. I’m only saying the Church of Scientology is allegedly a monstrously creepy, vindictive, juvenile, abusive institution willing to destroy people’s lives to protect its high-ranking, moneyed members:

The women say that, in order to keep them from filing charges against Masterson, the Church deployed it’s “Fair Game” policy against them — which basically means that once someone is declared a suppressive person the Church can go and ruin their lives by any means necessary. They say the Church “surveilled them, hacked their security systems, filmed them, chased them, hacked their email, killed (and attempted to kill) their pets, tapped their phones, incited others to harass them, threatened to kill them, broke their locks, broke into their cars, ran them off the road, posted fake ads purporting to be from them soliciting anal sex from strangers, broke their windows, set the outside of their home on fire, went through their trash, and poisoned trees in their yards.”

• I am not the only Bible nerd who loves reading about “lost gospels” and alternative canons and how some of what’s out used to be in and some of what’s in used to be out, so I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who would enjoy Philip Jenkins’ closer look at the Stichometry of 9th-century patriarch Nikephoros, “Gospels That Were Lost, And Some That Were Not Lost At All.”

The Smithsonian continues to be a reliable source of historical subtweeting: “When Authorities Dunked Outspoken Women in Water.” They’ve gotten very good at the pose of “Hey, we’re just sharing information from history, any contemporary relevance you might find is, like, up to you, man.”

• Bigots hate when people talk about “intersectionality” because bigots invented it and desperately hope the rest of us will never notice how they’re able to exploit it to bully us all into compliance with their agenda. Example number eleventy-million: “White supremacists destroyed a Pride mural.”

Bigotry is always intersectional. That train is never late.

• Speaking of intersectional bigotry, here’s CBN News, “‘Attack on People of Faith’: Conservatives and Evangelicals Sign Letter Urging Senate to Deny Same-Sex Marriage Bill.”

Read the whole article and, indeed, the whole letter and you won’t find any explanation to support the assertion that legal marriage equality is, in any way, an “attack on people of faith.” It neither picks their pocket nor breaks their leg. They don’t like it, but they’re not being asked to like it, or to endorse it, or to do absolutely anything at all. It doesn’t affect their lives or livelihoods in the slightest or inconvenience them in any way.

These are people so obsessed with their chosen pretense of identity as being “under attack” that when others don’t attack them, they perceive this as itself a form of attack. “Help! We’re being persecuted by others’ refusal to persecute us!” It sounds ridiculous because it is, but this is who these Stuyvesant wanna-bes have chosen to be.

• The title for this post comes from the Billy Joel song discussed above. Here’s the way that song appeared in the opening credits of Bosom Buddies from 1980 to 1982.



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