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“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
-Mark Twain, maybe

I like this quote and I envy its author. It is rational, clear headed, and it makes all kinds of sense. Earlier this year Makagutu had a post asking people about their views on death. I would have loved to have replied with this quote, but that would not have been honest. I did not take part in the conversation as my views are not as sensible as this quote or those from the other commenters. While I do see the wisdom of the quote, fear rarely listens to reason. I have feared death for most of my life. My journey into science and atheism has done very little to help with it. It isn’t just the prospect of dying, it is oblivion. Everything that I am will dissolve, degrade, decompose, and disappear. Eventually this will happen to everything that will ever live. I won’t even exist in memory. While this is sometimes a distressing thought, it isn’t the real problem. What really gets me is the inevitable end of everything and an eternity of nothingness.

The Heat Death of the universe has plagued many of my sleepless nights. The thought of the universe so expanded that there is no energy or matter left to spread out is terrifying. Nothing ever changing, nothing ever warm, just frozen pure entropy encompassing all of existence Forever. I have dealt with a lot of theists who throw about words like ‘eternity’ and ‘forever’ without really thinking about what that means. They talk about true immortality as being a good thing. If you spent half a second actually considering Forever, you would soon realize that an eternity of anything would eventually become hell. But of all the possible hells, the worst must surely be that of everything being stuck as the ultimate barren wasteland of Heat Death. Read the rest of this entry »

abortiongod

Mysterious ways and what-not I suppose…

 

We start our lives as the whole of the universe. Reality is completely comprised of our perceptions and any “outside” object that is blocked from our senses puffs out of existence. Eventually, we learn object permanence, and we recognized that things outside us actually do exist on their own, but we are still the centre of the universe. Then our universe grows a little bit and we can relate to those closest to us and we start to look out for our tiny group. And here, unfortunately, is were too many of us stop.

Empathy is hard. Damn hard. We may well have an innate ability for it, but it is only through a great deal of instruction, practice, and nurturing that empathy can develop and extend beyond our immediate circles. The ability to understand your fellow humans, to see how we’re connected, to look beyond one’s own limited perspective – these are skills that require much honing. They need to be taught.

Here is a short documentary on an empathy class in Japan. It is amazing. These 4th graders display moments of clarity, responsibility, and understanding that outshine many adults in the world. This is an immensely important project, one that needs to be adopted by schools around the world. Grab some tissues, this one is full of all kinds of strong emotions.

 

 

Well, it is that time of year again, and nothing really says ‘Halloween’ like the good ole Monster Mash.  I’ve found a couple versions, but I like the original the best.

Sometimes updated for the times isn’t always a good thing.  I’m with down with Frank’s opinion in the ‘modern’ Monster Mash.

Monster Mash” is a 1962 novelty song and the best-known song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. The song was released as a single on Gary S. Paxton‘s Garpax Records label in August 1962 along with a full-length LP called The Original Monster Mash, which contained several other monster-themed tunes. The “Monster Mash” single was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 20–27 of that year, just before Halloween.[citation needed] It has been a perennial holiday favorite ever since.

Pickett was an aspiring actor who sang with a band called the Cordials at night while going to auditions during the day. One night, while performing with his band, Pickett did a monologue in imitation of horror movie actor Boris Karloff while performing the Diamonds‘ “Little Darlin’“. The audience loved it, and fellow band member Lenny Capizzi encouraged Pickett to do more with the Karloff imitation.[2]

Pickett and Capizzi composed “Monster Mash” and recorded it with Gary S. Paxton, pianist Leon Russell, Johnny MacRae, Rickie Page, and Terry Berg, credited as “The Crypt-Kickers”. (Mel Taylor, drummer for the Ventures, is sometimes credited with playing on the record as well,[3] while Russell, who arrived late for the session, appears on the single’s B-side, “Monster Mash Party”.[4]) The song was partially inspired by Paxton’s earlier novelty hit “Alley Oop“, as well as by the Mashed Potato dance craze of the era.[5] A variation on the Mashed Potato was danced to “Monster Mash”, in which the footwork was the same but Frankenstein-style monster gestures were made with the arms and hands.

The song is narrated by a mad scientist whose monster, late one evening, rises from a slab to perform a new dance. The dance becomes “the hit of the land” when the scientist throws a party for other monsters. The producers came up with several low-budget but effective sound effects for the recording. For example, the sound of a coffin opening was imitated by a rusty nail being pulled out of a board. The sound of a cauldron bubbling was actually water being bubbled through a straw, and the chains rattling were simply chains being dropped on a tile floor. Pickett also impersonated horror film actor Bela Lugosi as Dracula with the lyric “Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?”[6]

Spotted this conversation illustrating the oft heard charge (and wonderful riposte) that radical feminists are all about the biological essentialism.  As demonstrated below, being aware of scientific fact and material reality is quite reasonable.  The nerve of these radical feminists not bowing and scraping to gender ideology that fundamentally ignores reality.  :) 

 

Radical Feminst:  Why are women “people” and “vagina owners” and men are just “men”?

Genderist:  “Bc there aren’t a bunch of cis men constantly trying to invalidate trans men and push them out of spaces, fam,,, anyways not all women have vaginas so?

  Terfs just love to cry that they are reduced to their genitals and are more than just baby carriers but they then go around and say that trans women aren’t “real women” because of their genitals. 

  Way to be hypocrites, you dirty fucks”

Radical Feminist:  Having a vagina is what makes me a woman. I am not /only/ a vagina. Does that make sense? I have female genitals and a female body, that’s why I am female. I am a female because of those things. I am not only a “vagina owner” or a “uterus bearer”, I am a woman.

   Women have vaginas, we also have uteruses, a clitorus, XX chromosomes, we produce large gamates, we store fat a different way, our centre of balance is higher than males (due to the fact that if pregnant it prevents us from falling the fuck over) our skeletons are different to males, our breast tissue is different.
We don’t “reduce ourselves to our genitals” (we already have plenty of assholes doing that) but nor do we IGNORE that female genitals are different to males. They are PART of who we are, not ALL that we are.

   I think you might be wasting your time talking to people, prolly men, who see no difference between having a vagina and being a vagina.

Impotent dude rage...

Impotent dude rage…

Fun fact: Morgan Ramsay, founder of the Entertainment Media Counsel, did an objective study of how much of gaming journalism talks about sexism or social justice.

To do this, he downloaded 130,524 articles from 37 RSS feeds of 23 outlets, including The Escapist, Rock Paper Shotgun, CVG, Edge Online, Eurogamer, Gamasutra, Game Informer, GamePolitics, GamesBeat, GamesIndustry International, GameSpot, GamesRadar, IGN, IndieGames, Joystiq, Kotaku, Massively, MCV, NowGamer, PocketGamer.biz, Polygon, Shacknews and VG24/7, published over a period of twelve months. He then did a search on how often these games articles mentioned sexism, feminism, or misogyny.

The result? Over a period of one year, 0.41% of 130,524 articles referenced feminism, feminist, sexism, sexist, misogyny, and misogynist explicitly.

That’s less than half of one percent.

So next time you hear someone whining that “feminism is taking over video games journalism”, what they’re actually whining about is that feminism exists in video games journalism.

The story from the other side, to feel what others feel and appreciate and understand what their experience is like is the first step in resolving the injustices that mar our history and continue to sicken our experiences as we move forward.

  “I remember well when the shadow crept across me.

  I was a little thing, away up in the hills of New England, where the dark Housatonic winds between Hoosac and Taghkanic to the sea.  In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something put it into the boys’ and girls’ heads to buy gorgeous visiting-cards – ten cents a package – and exchange.  The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card, – refused it peremptorily, with a glance. 

  webdubois Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil.  I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt, and live above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering shadows.

   That sky was bluest when I could beat my mates at examination time, or beat them at a foot-race, or even beat their stingy heads.  Alas, with years all this fine contempt began to fade; for the worlds I longed for, and all their dazzling opportunities, were theirs, not mine.  But they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I would wrest from them.

   Just how I would do it I could never decide: by reading law, by healing the sick, by telling the wonderful tales that swam in my head, – someway.  With other black boys the strife was not so fiercely sunny: their youth shrunk into tasteless sycophancy, or into silent hatred of the pale world about them and mocking distrust of everything white; or wasted itself in a bitter cry, Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house?  The shades of the prison-house closed round about us all:  walls strait and stubborn to the whitest, but relentlessly narrow, tall, and unscalable to sons of night who must plod darkly on in resignation, or beat unavailing palms against the stone, or steadily, half hopelessly watch the streak of blue above. 

   After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with a second-sight in this American world, – a world which yields him no true self consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.  It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this send of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of the world that looks on in contempt and pity. 

    One ever feels his two-ness, – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; to warring ideals in one dark body, who dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” 

– The Souls of Black Folk.  W.E.B. Du Bois  p.2

     Women share this double-consciousness, with different actors, but the results are the same.

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