Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Kind Of Kid Doesn't Like Ice Cream?



Me vs. God in the Matter of Richard Dawkins (Sunday Theology God Blog Post)

Just kidding. The title is just kidding: clearly it'd be not me vs. God, but me vs. my rather limited and bigoted conception of God. Even Dawkins would concede that much! But so would I. Different reasons.

Demonstrability of God would coerce belief in all reasonable people. I mean real demonstrability: if God can be demonstrated to exist like electromagnetism, or the strong nuclear force, you'll have a few fringe loop-groups sure, a few holdouts still claiming "no such thing!" But everyone who today believes in say, black holes, would then be forced to believe in God.

My question is: I don't know why God would want to coerce my belief, or destroy our ability, as individuals and as a species, to freely learn, grow, and create our selves and our way in a natural universe. I'd feel like he knocked me down and stole my candy. I'd feel like he did it just to make Richard Dawkins look like a dork, and for no higher purpose. What higher purpose could there be, to forcing belief in God upon us?

And while we're on the topic of Richard Dawkins. I love Richard Dawkins. He's one of the most courageous moral crusaders we have. He spends his vitriol in withering rays directed with calm, constant focus against all of the worst, most harmful, most hateful and oppressive tendencies that fanatical orthodoxies of the supernatural are capable of producing. I'm not the judge of any human's virtue, mind you - but I strongly suspect God loves Dawkins, too. I suspect God admires Dawkins's work, and appreciates that Dawkins's best efforts are on God's behalf, while being quietly amused at Dawkins' very rational contempt for the very idea that "God" - such a thing! - should be taken seriously to exist.

This is purely my own take! Dawkins would say there's no one to distrust, and nothing to dispose. I say it's not my call, the disposition of souls, but I trust whose call it is. It's certainly not your call, buddy! Still, you're free to have an opinion on the matter, as am I. I do have an opinion on the matter. We're allowed to take an interest. Especially if we feel strongly things would go a certain way, if our expectations are disappointed, we're allowed to be curious as to why. If God takes the human being who Dawkins has shown himself to be, the passionate human being, aghast at religion misused to crush, kill, destroy (and so am I, by the way), the Dawkins who is committed to enlightenment and reason (and so am I, by the way) - and consigns Dick Dawkins to burn in hell, well I will most certainly be surprised! And I will most certainly be curious. And I will most certainly ask, humbly, why.

Here's how that conversation won't go.

"God?" "Yeah. What." "I notice Richard Dawkins isn't up here. Is he in the 'bad place'?" "Yeah. Hell with that jerk. He kept picking on me." "But...but...he was so strong an ally in the cause! Against the horrific misuses that people put your name to - he was kind, and compassionate, and a crusader to help You - you in the person of each of us, the least of us, the most helpless! In your human ministry, in your Word made flesh, you said once and always that whatsoever we do unto the least of our brothers and sisters, that we do unto you." "And?" "And Dawkins stood courageously each day, defending the least of us! The most powerless, the most easily led and most easily led astray - Dawkins tilted like a sane Quioxote against tyrannies great and small, tyrannies carried out in your name, but against your will! And you gave us free will, didn't you God?" "Look, you better button it, pal. You barely got in here yourself, you know. You can't imagine how irritating you can get - I suggest you spend most of your time over on the other side of heaven, if you're looking forward to this infinity as anything pleasant. Weren't you going to go bother Plato? Shouldn't that be good for a milennia or two?" "No, he and I are cool. We settled up in five minutes." "Well glory halleloo for that. Buzz off, pipsqueak."

Yeah, that's not going to be how the conversation goes. I'm confident of that. Being as I trust in the mercy n' justice of God, I pretty much expect there won't even be one.

So does Dawkins. Different reasons.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fiction Friday: Make It Up As We Go

Okay. Fiction. Fiction.

Fiction. All our attempts to understand reality are fiction. But this is not one of those! This is fiction of the more gratuitous sort, the sort where you're just sort of making up a character, and putting him or her through some adventures (or an arc, if you're really feeling aggressive), for the edification of the reading public (the author). So.

So I'm in a room, no features yet. A featureless room. Who am I?

I know I am me. I have never been anyone else than me, or anywhere else but here. In a featureless room. What is my past? I feel certain I have had a past, in fact: I must have. But perhaps before telling you what that was, or who I am - what my features are - I should tell you more about this room. "Featureless," my eye! My eyes must have been closed when I said that. This room is full of features! It's chock full of them. Wait. Maybe I should open my eyes, first. Enough declarations of blind faith.

Wow.

It's just like I remembered it. I am in my childhood bedroom. The window looks out four stories above a residential street in Parsimanee, NJ. Or at least, the street we're facing is residential - we're in the back of the bank building. We live on the top floor of the tallest building in town. An old building, from the pre-penthouse era, when top floors lacked cachet. There is no elevator, but I don't mind that at all. The stairs smell like pee!

As a child, I liked things like that. They seemed naughty. Somebody was in the stairs, peeing!

I can't remember whether I'm a boy or a girl. Why am I back in my childhood bedroom? I'm curious. I have to look around.

There are stuffed animals here, but some of them are dragons. Some of them are teddies and bunnies, though. They all look very well-worn-in. I don't see any barbies.

There are two beds in this room. One of them has pink sheets - the larger bed has pink sheets! Do I share a room with my big sister? Am I the big sister?

I hope I'm a boy. I hope I'm the brother. I don't think I can write convincingly like a girl.

Wait.

I can check.

There is a mirror on the back of the door. Or I could pull my pants down, too.

I'm a boy. Thank god. Girls have it hard in this life. I know that much, though how I know is a bit hazy.

Why am I back in my childhood bedroom? How old is my sister? Her bed is pretty big. What kind of parents room a kid boy with a clearly much bigger sister? Isn't that going to mess me up a bit? I wonder if she's hot?

See! Clear psychological damage already. Well, the damage is done I guess. Whatever damage, it'd be done. And I'm not some sicko, I'm not going to -

- oh.

Ok! She just barged into the room, grabbed a sweater out of a drawer and barged back out. Slamming everything in the process on the way through! She's not hot. No worries there. Anyway, I'm no sicko. I wasn't worried.

What is her name?

My name is Elijah, and hers is Elizabeth.

We call each other "Eli" sometimes, as a joke. As sort of a joke. Both of us secretly prefer it I think.

I come to her for comfort when the world makes all the worst kinds of sense, and she comes to me when people are jerks.

I spend most of my time in the room. I'll sit in the little surplus school desk in the corner, filling books with wordless stories. Hours and hours and days go by, between school and dinner. The desk is almost too small for me now.

I'm ten. She's fourteen.

Our friends don't like each other. Mine are afraid of her, and hers think I'm a little shit!

Nobody messes with me. She beats up the bullies at school. I excoriate her persecutors with withering cracks, right to their face. Nobody messes with her, either. Except teachers.

My sister hates homework. Hates it. Absolutely detests it.

My sister helps me with my homework. She hates math, and is fantastic at it. She can explain anything.

My sister's the smartest girl I know.

I don't know any smart boys, so I guess I win there. When I get to be my sister's age, I'm going to be smarter than she is! She told me.

Right now, my teachers think I'm pretty well-behaved. I'm great at gym, but bad at sports.

I hate homework too.

My sister says she doesn't do anything really well, but I don't know what she's talking about! Every time we do anything together, she makes the whole thing up as we go and it's always great. She can make anything up.

She says an elaborate little prayer out loud, every time we pass the Gillette's house on the way home. She made up the prayer herself. It goes: "stay and keep and sleep and wait all day all week for goodness sake and don't get up and don't you roam I'll come back soon to take you home."

My sister makes up little prayers all the time. Usually God's not in them, but you can tell by how hard she squinches her eyes and clenches her fists, as she breathlessly recites - she's sending that prayer up. This one is about a car, up on blocks in the Gillette's huge front yard. Really, they live behind an empty lot, they just park on our street and walk through this lot, which I think is owned by nobody, to their house. They call it their front yard, but it leads to their back door, which has been surrounded by lawn furniture. Their real porch is jammed full of bicycles and exercise equipment. It's on the far side of the house, facing their real front yard which is tiny.

I think the Gillettes don't get along with the neighbors on their real street.

Ellie makes a point of getting along with them. Ellie is in love with this car, and convinced that it's hers: in two and a half years. It's a Mustang, a pretty ugly one. Love has weird eyes.

We call each other "Ellie," too, sometimes. When either of us is being overly romantic. It's like a chide, a code-word between us: "Okay, Ellie."

I love my sister Eli. I just remembered she dies when I'm twelve.

Sometimes when the world's making the worst kind of sense, I come back to this room. Sometimes I can forget for hours at a time. And when I forget completely enough, sometimes she'll come banging through - always looking for something, and then bang right back out again!

I don't remember the day I moved in, but ever since then I think this was always more my room than hers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do I Have To Be Undersecretary? I Want To Be Deputy Minister.

You know what I'd like to be? A Minister. Like, how nations other than the U.S. often have Ministries? With a Minister in charge, rather than Departments, with a Secretary in charge? Basically, I'd love to hold a cabinet-level position someplace, preferably in the Free World. Although, assuming I can get a strong enough faction and clout together, to the point where I can pose a respectable coup-threat (yet tempered by the tyrant-in-question's love and trust in my person, and dependence upon my almost-miraculous competence in the area of my defined scope, such that I would be an ever-present threat to be sure - but a threat that need never be eliminated, a blow that is trusted never to fall - a Sword of Damocles, yes! But suspended by an infinitely strong string), then I should probably not choose a position in the Free World.

I mean, that would be selfish of me, to choose a position of power, influence and prestige in the Free World. Clearly the real need is in the un-free world.

Man, this sucks. I want to be in service in a leadership position in a respectable government, dang it! I guess instituting reforms is good too, but hard. Then again...Nobel Prize? Yeah. I've always been keen on getting in the running for one of those! Going over to the un-free side of things, that might be my best chance to "make the grade."

Anyway, leave that aside. Wherever I end up, it goes without saying I'd need full latitude to invent my own Ministry (or Department) on a par with cabinet-level departments like State (foreign ministry), War (defense), the Interior (what do they call that dep't in the U.K., the "Home Ministry"?), or etc (etc). I'd basically set its agenda, write out its budget, then they'd fund it up and staff it and I'd run the bitch. I could do so much good for any nation willing to spring for this sort of committment to my vision and leadership!

It doesn't even matter what it's called, really. What the Ministry is called, or does. Trust me, we'd be doing strong work. There's way too much good in the world to do.

I would be forced to insist that my title be "Deputy Minister." Even though I'd be the supreme head of that Dept! This is not just an important gesture, to show my humility in a very blatant way, it's - I just like the sound better. "Deputy Minister of War." "Deputy Minister of Reason." The Department of Reason! Perfect! Um.

There would be all sorts of sub-agencies to come underneath that, like the Federal Enlightenment Agency, the Bureau of Logic, the - NO.

WAIT. TOO CUMBERSOME. Tighten the focus.

MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA. Perfect.

There is absolutely no shame in my game. Propaganda bad? Awwww, no. All my propaganda would be on behalf of Reason: skepticism, awareness of advertising fallacies, con jobs perpetrated on global scales (especially and including very nearly all wars), I'd be educating people using all sorts of posters and broadcasts and materials. And if people protested, "hey! It's propaganda!" I'd be all, well sure it is. So? Check out all this basis. We have a huge six-drawer filing cabinet chock jammed with basis. Then the so-called protester would slink away. Can't deal with all our well-documented basis!

Ministry of Propaganda, it would be just so forthright to call it that. None of this b.s. literature-of-dystopia "Ministry of Truth" crap. No, we call ours propaganda.

We can back it up, too. Ready to have some shams debunked?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SEX TALK: Warning, Hot Stuff!

I'm basically the fuck talk king.

I mean, people talk about talking dirty? Screw that, I talk very raw and completely at ease with it. I mean - let's face it, who doesn't know what sex is about? In this day and age? I remember when the sperm hit the egg I was like "HOLY CRAP!" "WAS THAT JUST SEX THAT JUST HAPPENED?" And yes it was, but it was never the same after that one. I had to grow a pair, and figure some junk out. Which I have. And which I did.

Let's be honest: even a virgin pretty much knows what's going on. When you get a look at that thing? You know what it's for. Sure, you might be, "being a virgin, I better take things slow," or "well, as a virgin, I think I might be in for an experience here, it could be wonderful or it could even be pretty wild! But I better take CARE OF MY HEART" - and that's dead-right, people! You don't want to end up in a situation where you regret whatever the heck you're doing. Let's face it, a lot of virgins know what THAT is about.

A lot of people, look: consent is pretty much where it's at. It's the main thing. Do you consent? You should, but it's your call. Don't go around consenting unless it's what you want to do. Consent is the most important thing two people can do together, relationship-wise. Even if it's not about sex! That's right. That's what people forget about consent: it's versatile. A lot of people can consent to going to a movie together - both in the same theater, who knows what could happen? Or going to a restaurant - the same restaurant, at the same time? Well, in a restaurant, you might be a bit more constrained in that environment, but a lot can still happen. Try the crespolini di zucca. Fucking amazing, they put those crisped basil leaves right on. Right on.

We talked about virgins, we talked about consent. I think you know what I'm talking about: SEX. And people, don't be pressuring virgins about consent! That is rude, wrong, and GROSS. Even if it's not about sex! Say a virgin owes you ten dollars? BACK OFF. Don't be pressuring him or her! Maybe they need to come along at their own speed, they could have some growing and learning to do, too you know. What are you doing lending ten dollars to a virgin, you sicko? What's your angle? Come on.

This has been sex talk with the dog. Dogimo, AKA "Mr fuck talk."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Uncle Dogimo's Advice For Easy Livin' #1: How To Know Where It Goes.

Want to know where something goes? That's easy.

1. Pick it up. Hold it in your hand.

2. Pretend you don't know where it is.

3. Go Look For It.

4. First place you look - that's where it goes! Now put in there, consistently.

Note: this won't help you find something if you don't know where it is. But if applied consistently, you won't have to worry about that ever again, more than once! Because going forward, it'll always be where it goes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Brethren, Each of Us Is Called, in Our Own Way, to Be Christ-like: a Sunday Theology God Blog Post

I'm a lot like Jesus, in the sense that I drink a lot of wine, prefer to hang out with lowlifes, and enjoy making pharisees look stupid.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

OMG NEW PSB

WHY NO ONE TELL ME



This was out like days ago. Eleven days ago.

God I love the lyrics of this.

.
.
.
this is the moment we'll remember every day for the rest of our lives
time my rush us, hurt or love us, but on this day we have arrived

it's been a long time coming, we've been in the running for so long
but now we're on our way

let the ride just take us side by side
and make us see the world through new eyes everyday

you're a winner
I'm a winner
this is all happening so fast
you're a winner
I'm a winner
let's enjoy it
while it lasts

I've been a loser, I paid my dues. I fought my way up from the ground
now at this moment: the crowd acclaim us - will you just listen to that sound

it's been a long time coming, we've been in the running for so long
but now we're on our way

let the ride just take us side by side
and make us see the world through new eyes everyday

you're a winner
I'm a winner
this is all happening so fast

you're a winner
I'm a winner

let's enjoy it all
while it lasts

Friday, September 21, 2012

There's a Trick to It.

I suppose that may sound a little facile, a little glib, a little too easy. But then again, everything sounds easy when you spend your entire life thinking about it hard from every angle you can conceive before even opening your fucking mouth. As long as you also, the first time anybody chimes in with something better you hain't factored in, something you didn't consider, something you need to add in - you add it in. As long as you sneak that all in first, what you have to say after is going to sound easy!

Usually when somebody tells you what they think, they're telling you what they already thought. You can often get a sense of how much work they put in, but not always - a real fundamental truth finally arrived at and fully at rest in you, that's a thing that's often going to sound very easy, maybe a little too easy.

Doesn't matter how much work you put in, though. Doesn't matter easy or hard. Like anything else, you should judge an opinion for what it's worth, not for how much work it took to get there.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lincoln: Some Misgivings?

So ever since I heard that this Lincoln biopic was going to be based on Team of Rivals and would star Daniel Day Lewis, I've been psyched! I even almost went to see the Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter one by accident. But who better to play Lincoln than DDL, right? Talk about tall and lanky. Talk about cheekbones.

Well wait a second, though - have you heard the trailer? Why has he picked such a whiney voice? Listen to this guy: "Weee're stepped out upon the wirrrld stage now...!"



Shouldn't he have more gravel and gravitas than that? Or at least, sonorousness? Some kind of impressive vocal tone? This guy sounds like he wants to be Mr. Rogers or something! I can't picture this dude knocking 'em dead at Gettysburgh. Lincoln was a spellbinding orator, wasn't he?

Well, so was Hitler I guess. Yet that guy was a screeching ninny who couldn't so much as say "Hello, Nuremberg! Great to be here," without freaking out like a spaz.

I guess people who grew up without television had a fucked-up idea of what constitutes oratory.

Monday, September 10, 2012

If I Could Send Me To You

If I could pack myself in a parcel and mail myself via US Post 3-day priority to you for your birthday, a belated pressie, I'd probably be so beat-up, half-suffocated by the time I got there, all stinking from inevitable bodily issues and bloody from scuffs and bangs, and probably crying too, because I'd be such a wuss, I have no doubt - I am a wuss! I have very little threshold when it comes to stuff like discomfort at the level of being jammed in a box for three days shipping and hard handling (DESPITE THE 'FRAGILE' TAG! BASTARDS!), and I'm sure I'd be crying like a baby by the halfway mark, sitting hemmed into the little limbo of my own me-size box, surrounded by the unseen pitch blackness outer limbo of some anonymous, enormous warehouse facility in-between trucks and planes.

Twisting and twitching from muscle spasms, rubbing raw against the constricted cardboard universe of my own rash decision - I'd be softly moaning through my snot and tears, no doubt: "I didn't think it would be so HARD, to be MAILED!" - that you'd probably open it up and say, "EW! YUCK. Who the hell sent me THIS?"

You'd never find out, though. Because I'd long since have eaten the card. Partly from pure shame - but also from being fucking STARVED!!

Jesus, what a bad idea that would turn out to be, if I did that. See, it's a good thing I have a good imagination. That lets me put some thought into things, first.

It's totally worth the extra for overnight.

Exploring My Old Drafts #1: Even I Can't Understand The Last Sentence of This Post

I don't imply and I don't hint. I never have. No one should ask themselves how to interpret what I say except smack on the lines! I don't write between them.

That's not to say I don't write very extravagantly with a wild, careless headlong rush! And unintended meanings may creep in. Most of the time someone draws a possible unintended meaning to my attention, I repudiate it - not only was it not intended, it wasn't what I meant! I'm not saying I am flawlessly precise in all things, but I do not freight my words with deliberate hidden significances.

I don't duck around with hints and hidden meanings. I say what I mean, perhaps to a fault. I believe that it's always better in the long run to either be truthful, or shut up. I've never found a situation where lying to someone is anything more than a selfish impulse. And as selfish impulses go, I count the times I've bitten off the truth of how I feel in order to spare the other person my big, wet, needy, failed feelings of utter and desparate love for her, in favor of silence and wallowing in my own virtuous emotional self-martyrdom.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

"Sacredness lies in the veneration of what opens the heart to joy." Pt.2

Now on second thought, that kind of sounds stupid. I mean, it sounded alright, but reading it today, what's it mean? What are we supposed to get from that? Sacredness?

Joy?

Shoot, I might need to rethink this quote of the day business.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

"Sacredness lies in the veneration of what opens the heart to joy."

Damn right it does.

That's a quote of the day, I just put it in the title instead of down here. Maybe that's how I do it from now on!