Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Couch Cushion Fort

NASA has unveiled a lot of new findings this week, including data gathered by the WMAP. In brief, it recorded the microwaves from all over the universe and has pinpointed the exact time when the universe was "inflated" during the Big Bang. It was this topic that got a fellow colleague and I into somewhat of a heated debate.

His stance (being the church-goer that he is), was that if the Big Bang is proven, that still doesn't prove how all the matter in the universe got there in the first place.

I refuted his claims by pointing out that Christianity has long since laughed and jeered at the possibility of a Big Bang. It's funny how now the religions will need to shuffle their views over a bit more to accommodate what we now know could be true. First it could never happen, and now that evidence is pointing to its possibility, everyone is strapping on the blinders and sticking fingers in their ears.

But that doesn't have anything to do with where the matter came from, he pointed out. True. I was just setting the stage. See, humans (myself included), make the awful mistake of setting down the "what makes sense" parts of an idea when we're hearing it. If someone is telling me that they drove to the store, I automatically think "they drove a car", not "they drove a horse and buggy"...even though it's a distinct possibility. In that way, we invest ourselves into one version of the idea until we believe in it so much that we can't accept a change to our own self-assigned variables, even when the reality says differently. I may hear the story a thousand times, and each time think, "They drove a car." But if the next time someone tells me the story they qualify it with, "We drove a horse and buggy," I'm likely to scoff at such an absurdity...even though it's the truth.

So what are the variables in this case? People assume that all the matter in the universe had to be created...or that at some point it wasn't there. Why? If "god" was always there, it stands to reason that matter could have always been there instead. 2,000 years of hearing the same story over and over has told everyone that god was always here. It comes as quite a shock to think something different; something that doesn't make sense on the first pass.

Too bad it's not a question of what makes sense. It's a question of how much can you wrap your mind around it. Imagine, for a moment, the universe. It has no bounds. It goes on forever in any direction. Even if there is no matter, there is still universe. Kind of like a city: the city (matter), stops at the city line, but that doesn't mean that the world ends. It continues on into the country, and in this case, the country goes on forever. So how did the universe...the container...come into being? Again, if "god" was always there, the universe could have also always been there. But instead of admitting that possibility of choice, people run and hide in the couch cushion fort that they've scribbled the word "faith" on the front of. Little beady eyes poke through the slats of their impregnable fort, just waiting for you to try and dash yourself against its stout walls. No answer for a tough question? Better rush back under that answer-all dome called "faith". Why couldn't matter have always been there? Because blind faith in god proves otherwise. Well I'm sorry, but some of us like to have the real answer, and that answer is never rooted in belief...it's rooted in experiments, research, and facts.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

"No Real Atheists"

I was hammering down on the Channel Up button tonight and stumbled upon the Bible Thumper channel. On it, an animated mummy was flapping his pompous lip about how if you weren't dedicating your entire life to "God", you have idleness in your life, and through some perverse logic, you're a sinner and will thus go to Hell. Isn't that the way it always ends with religion? Completely dedicate yourself, or roast like the heathen you really are.

The problem comes in the form of this fellow's accusations of everyone being a sinner because they invested in some form of naughty behavior, be it lust, greed, blah blah blah. But it got me to thinking...the Christian church has committed each of the "7 Deadly Sins" already, so what's the deal?

  1. Pride - If God weren't prideful, you would never see His name written with a capital letter. You should also look at Commandment #3..."Don't use my name as a curse word." Oh? Why not? If people used my name as a swear word, I'd be stoked. But since God has such a pristine name to uphold, He couldn't bear someone using His name in vain. That's pride, ladies and gentlemen....pride in His own name.
  2. Envy - Christianity is oh-so-notable for crushing rival religions in favor of converting its worshippers. Call it greed, but it's also called envy...envy that another religion has people believing in it. "Hey, they're praying to a 9-armed Elephant....I want them to pray to me too!!"
  3. Wrath - Crusades. Sodom. Need I say more? I do? Ok, God had a set of angels DEDICATED to carrying out his wrath....Archangels anyone? Anyone?
  4. Sloth - Essentially, Christianity is stuck in the year 1 A.D. and they have no plans of updating anytime soon. Sloth comes in many forms, and Christianity is showing it's true colors when it comes to pulling its collective head from the ass and seeing that we have computers, space ships, and Mt. Dew.
  5. Greed - God knocked this one off by writing Commandment #2. "You shall not have any gods before me". Hi, I'm God. I'm the only God. You should just worship me...not any other gods.
  6. Gluttony - Why collect money every Sunday if not gluttonous? In effect, gluttony and the upcoming Lust are hand-in-hand with the church.
  7. Lust - My favorite. The lust for new recruits. Every brand, flavor, and color of religion is lustful for more and more people to come listen to the same shit that's been brewing in the pot since 2k years ago (little do they know there's been no new soup added, so everything you swallow is backwash from the previous generation). The church is gluttonous and greedy for money, and uses it to feed the lust for new paritioners by payrolling missions.
Sometimes it's too easy.

Oh, and to that borderline corpse of a Friar that authored the book "No Real Atheists", to you I say this: you're ignorant. Want to see what it feels like to have the tables turned? Watch this: No Real Christians. I bet if you still had eyes young enough to read, you'd be red in the face. Boo hoo, someone made fun of my beliefs. Boo hoo. I'll strike a furious wrath of locusts and frogs upon you! A pox upon your household!

Get over it, Grandpa, your religion is dead. We're in the Age of Technology...no one has time for superstitions and hand-waving. We know how the universe was made and we know how humans came to be. No apples or arks. Just genetics and evolution.

Represent.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday Morning

As I was driving around on this fine Sunday morning, blaring "devil" music out of my speakers, I began to realize exactly what it was that religion is.

It's Star Wars.

Granted, the scale model of Star Wars is far smaller, but look at the similarities (I'm using Christianity for my examples):
  • The Christian Bible is a series of books, which tell a story about Faith.
    • Star Wars is a series of books, which tell a story about the Force.
  • The Christian Bible has characters, such as Jesus, Paul, Moses, etc.
    • Star Wars has characters, such as Luke, Hans, Vader, etc.
  • Christianity has an enormous following, to the point where people dress up in clothes that are not normal for everyday wear (would you wear the Pope's hat in public?)
    • Star Wars has an enormous following, to the point where people dress up in clothes that are not normal for everyday wear (would you wear Vader's helmet in public?)
I could keep going, but all the points would be about the same: religion is just a story that people really dig. People go to church every Sunday to hear the same finite set of stories told by the same person garbed in ridiculous clothes.

Isn't that what watching Star Wars is, too? Go ahead and watch episodes 1-6, or better yet read the books. Again, to a smaller scale, you've just initiated yourself into the religion of Star Wars. Now imagine watching 5 minute clips of a random Star Wars episode every Sunday morning (and don't forget to sing along to the theme song and send a donation to George Lucas).

So then, what are Atheists? We are the people that drive by the theater 2 days before the opening of a new episode, laughing and pointing at all the idiots standing in line wearing Chewbaca and Stormtrooper costumes.

And when I say "idiots", I mean "Christians". No offense Taoists, I'm square with you guys.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Wal-Mart: The High Price of Low Cost

I just finished watching the DVD of this show, and I have to say: America, I'm disgusted with you.

The entire show focuses around how Wal-Mart is a demon corporation, essentially killing the inhabitants of all the towns it comes in contact with. It takes jobs away from the community, gives no benefits to workers, and may, in fact, have been responsible for killing Jesus (if he existed).

Whine #1: Wal-Mart puts the "Ma & Pa" stores out of business.

Yes. Want to know why? It's called free enterprise. This happy little country that you call home is built upon it. Ma and Pa created a store in Bumpkinville USA, and rested on their laurels for 54 years, selling the same old crap at the same inflated prices. The Wal-Mart comes to town, selling 400x the amount of product at 1/8th the price. Seems to me that instead of smoking the corncob pipe on the back porch all night, or shootin the breeze with the Sheriff about last night's basketball game, Pa should have been investing in the stock market and sharpening his business plan.

And yet, instead of looking back on their own screw-ups, Ma and Pa blame Wal-Mart for their utter inability to run a business. News flash, Grandma: your business would be more successful if you took a little time out of the day to think about expanding. What would have happened if Sam Walton kept his gumption to a minimum and stayed with 1 store? We'd still be paying $5 for a bar of soap at the local grocery store. But we're living in the real world. Times are changing. Don't bitch to me about going out of business when a Wal-Mart comes into town, just because you have the business acumen of a plantar's wart.

Whine #2: Wal-Mart doesn't give us good enough wages/benefits.

Funny, you still go to work everyday, don't you? In an act that is often construed as pure heartless bastardry, I fall upon my age-old adage of education: You either work hard to get a degree, or you work hard the rest of your life.

I have absolutely NO pity for the worthless and whining bastards that complain about their wages when they fail to have a high school education. During the viewing of the DVD, one bright young chap said, "I dropped out of high school and had no intention on getting a degree." And yet he still had the tenacity to get up in arms about his apparent lack of a high-paying job. You blazing retard. Allow me to explain the purpose of a college degree. You get one so that you don't have to work in a dead-end job, like Wal-Mart. If you don't have the drive to get a degree, then why should you deserve anything above minimum wage? You're the reason why Wal-Mart is successful...it's built upon the backs of the idiotic and the lazy. Last time I checked, lawyers don't work as cart wranglers. Surgeons don't dust mop the floor in aisle 6.

"There has to be someone for every job." You are absolutely correct. But don't take the job if you find it so abhorrent that you can't stand to look at yourself in the mirror. People clean septic systems for a living and are pleased as punch. Great! People work at Dairy Queen for 15 years and love every minute. Cheers to you! People work at Wal-Mart and complain about everything. Boo. You should get a job making Blizzards or pushin poop through a pipe.

"My kids are sick and I can't afford to feed them." Honestly, you should have thought about that before you polished off that case of Bud Light in the back of your boyfriends Honda. Don't make me pay more for paperclips just because you couldn't keep your legs together. I don't have kids yet because I'm a responsible adult. My guess is that you have kids because of the exact opposite reason.

Observation

Towards the end of the documentary, there was a short piece involving a woman preacher (with a raspy/hoarse voice). She stood in front of her congregation, blabbering about the evils of Wal-Mart and how it was un-Christian. Suffice to say, the turnout for the sermon was devastatingly slim. So to her, I have these words of advice: instead of using your position in society as a means to promote your own [obviously wrong] views, mayhaps you would find it in your best interest to read that wonderful work of fiction you base your life upon, and find that it's not your role to smite the evil corporations. Your god couldn't grasp the concept of 24-hour shopping and self-service lines, so quit trying to make it seem like this is an updated David and Goliath story. It's not. It's someone with a good idea and the drive to do something about it coming under fire for being successful.

Secretly, I was wondering when the true face of this revolution would be revealed. The righteous are only happy when they're in the majority. Gotta love Christians.


Conclusions

Suck it up, America. Quit bitching about the success of "monopoly" companies and start investing time into learning why they're successful. If the mob of Wal-Mart insurgents were to put their heads together, they'd probably figure out a way to create a new company that overtakes Wal-Mart. The only problem with that pipe dream is: A - with the majority of the workers not having a high school education, it's doubtful they'd be able to build a workable business model; and B - if the workers were to create such a novel corporation, irony would soon set in, as the Republican in all of us would soon lead to the rich getting richer. The same righteous bastard complaining about not getting health care one day, would be the same penny-pincher that denies health care to his/her employee the next.

On a side note, if you ever do get the chance to watch this all-together sad film, you'll notice that there are 2 people that speak with eloquence: the CEO of Wal-Mart, and some lady that drives around in a boat. Both are successful in what they set out to do. Both use words with more than 2 syllables. Take a hint, and stay in school America.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cheney Shootin Spree

I'm a Democrat. I think the current Republican regime is inadequate at everything they've attempted to do.

But what in the hell is the deal with Cheney shooting people? I don't mean, "Why did he shoot his hunting partner?" because I know the answer to that: he's a city slicker that hasn't the common sense to know to clear your field of fire before you pull the trigger. That's a given. My real question is "Why is this such a big deal?"

Lets say that any John Dumbass Doe were to do the exact same thing to one of his hillbilly hunting partner, Cletus. What would have happened to him? In the softer and gentler side of life, the guy would have taken the lead to the cheek, gone to the hospital, and recovered. Dumbass would have sent him a "Get Well" card with some smiley-faced balloons, maybe some fake flowers in a gift shop mug, and gone to see him in the hospital once. "Shore am sorry I caught ya in the chompers, Cletus. 'least I didn't tag ya on the side with the chewin' tobacca!"

In a difficult and hateful world, Dumbass would have been thrown in the pokey on aggrivated asault charges, sentenced 2-5, and gotten out in 12 months on good behavior. Cletus would live out the rest of his days as a pock-marked freak, working in the stock room of the local Econo Foods.

So what makes the Cheney situation any different? Either the old bastard (the one who received the shottie to the face, that is) gets over it and doesn't press charges, or he shoots the moon and goes for broke in a civil suit. Just because Cheney is the VP doesn't mean he should get special treatment! To back that up, I refer to a dusty old text that some have forgotten about: The Constitution. As I recall, the passage is as follows:

"...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

The passage does NOT read:

"...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and +4 Immunity Defense from Laws that Govern our nation [when attacking Orcs, Paladins, and wrinkly old bastards]."

So either send Dumbass to the clink, or let him go about his business....and get the story the hell off my TV. It's not news anymore.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Metal music

I ran across a site today that had some pics from a few metal shows. As I browsed through the bands and their pictures, I realized a few things about the bands. As you read the following, keep in mind that I love metal.

(here is the page to which I refer: http://www.livemusicindiana.com/concert%20pics/2005.html)

Mudvayne
Well....they used to be good. I'll admit that I bought their first cd and a poster. Listened to the songs quite a bit and enjoyed it. And then they must have had a meeting with marketing and discussed their appearance. The end result turned them from freakish clowns into Good Charlotte.

I started listening to THIS Mudvayne. I stopped listening to THIS Mudvayne. Their music followed their appearance. Enough said.


Seether
Yeah. You're depressed. We get it already. Move on.


30 Seconds To Mars
More like 30 seconds until I fall asleep from you crappy music. Their sound is a cross between a slipping drive belt on an Aries K car, and my morning fart. You're not metal, so stop touring with metal bands.


Rob Zombie
Admittedly, he still produces semi-listenable material. But if an artist ever had a crutch for too much electronic dubbing, it would be he. It could be that he's too busy scrogging his insanely hot wife instead of working on lyrics and riffs. Either way, he's turned into a puss.

I started listening to THIS Zombie. I stopped listening to THIS Zombie.


Mastadon
There are some people that just shouldn't be in the public eye. THIS guy is one of them.


Black Label Society
Allright buddy, I know you've been playing the guitar since sound was invented, and you've got a bad attitude towards everyone...but it's time to hang it up. I'm sure you made a good impression on the world when "rock" was considered "the heavy stuff", but times have changed and now you're not heavy anymore. You don't want to end up like the Rolling Stones: making a total ass of yourself performing in front of an entire audience that only attended to see you break your hip.


Shadows Fall
It's official. You really can have too many dreadlocks. You look like a Hungarian Puli, but as long as you don't go the way of Lenny, you'll be ok in my book.



Santana
Get the hell away from everything that has to do with music. You're not metal. Hell, you're not even rock. You make me sick.


Slipknot
These poor poor bastards. They had a strong start and a good premise. The clown thing worked out for them for quite a while until everyone else started doing it too. Then the lead singer broke down and did an unplugged song for the Spiderman soundtrack? Whaaaat? That's like Marilyn Manson being seen volunteering at a soup kitchen, or Dez from Coal Chamber posting tips for proper marigold planting on Pernnials.com! I've always said that metal bands make the best acoustic songs, but come on man...don't be a pussy.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Puppy Bowl 2. How far we have fallen.

During my latest tour de la couch, I happened across a most peculiar TV show: The Puppy Bowl 2. My most immediate and logical question was, "Damnit, when did I miss Puppy Bowl 1?" I always hated to have to figure out the plot of the show midway through its second installment. Thankfully (or not), I soon found out the real purpose of the show.

The R&D guru at Animal Planet had apparently been doing his homework for the past month...or at least a more than generous amount of crystal meth. I can only imagine the corporate meeting that took place when this show was brought up.

"I've got an idea for a show. Let's call it 'Puppy Bowl 2'."

"Don't we need a Puppy Bowl 1, first?"

"No, we're freaking Animal Planet. We do whatever the hell we want. But I digress. The Puppy Bowl will be an entire show about puppies playing in a faux football arena. The best part is, we'll play it during the Superbowl, so the general populace will think that we've got seasonal spirit, when in fact we've simply run out of ideas."

"You want us to film 4 hours of puppies playing in a small enclosure, and pass it off as television genius?"

"Yes."

"Brilliant. Get this man a corner office."

The premise was unavoidably simple, so I invested little time trying to understand the mechanics of the game. I figured maybe there was some semblance of teamwork (short-hairs versus the worker breeds, etc.), or perhaps at some point they would douse one of the Beagle's on the side line with liver-flavored Gatorade. Instead, the puppies continued to play on. No first downs, no cheerleaders, no onside kicks. Just pasteboard paintings of cartoon fans with hastily attached strobe lights flashing maniacally, insinuating this was an event worth remembering with a photo.

As I stared at the program, mouth agape and mind stuck in high-RPM neutral, I couldn't help but wonder when my life had taken a turn for the worse. I hearken to the days of my youth, watching 20/20, Night Court, MacGyver, and Donahue. When had TV turned to crap? The answer: the moment the Puppy Bowl 2 aired. Here was show that made all attempts at passing itself off as quality network entertainment. It had miniaturized product placement ads, a "bowl cam", action camera movements, and the puppies...my god the puppies! Minutes passed as my now stasis-induced brain screamed to my unresponsive fingers to hit the Channel Up button, but to no avail. I couldn't help it. I watched on, eagerly at times, hoping for the sake of humanity that something important would happen. I would have given my kingdom for Terry Bradshaw to do a voice-over explaining how the Schnauzer had just committed pass interference. And still, those damned dirty puppies continued playing.

The very fiber of my being having been doused in flea powder, I finally mustered the will to break my eyes away from the monstrosity. It was then that I began dry heaving.

If television ever had the power to make puppies seem worthless, it was accomplished this night. To that end, I have one thing to say: Damn you, Animal Planet. You know that Schnauzer bitch caused a penalty and you did nothing.