If you’re prone to depression – or particularly empathetic to other people’s emotional turmoil – best to skip the links in this post.
Otherwise, please spend a bit of time reading this beautiful, brilliant post by one of my favorite comedians, Adam Cayton-Holland. It’s about the awfulness that was the Summer of 2012 here in Colorado, but turned out to be so much worse for he and his family.
I’ve always known that some of the best comedy comes from pain, but these levels … how both these hilarious and talented men remain standing (literally, based on their job description) is just astounding.
I applaud you both, kind sirs, and thank you for sharing your stories.
Under normal conditions, one can enter a search string on Google and get thousands – sometimes millions – of hits.
Today, I typed in a specific name – Fayhan al-Ghamdi – and got just three returns. Two were from the same opinion piece, so they don’t exactly count. I’m looking for more information, if it is to be had, on this gem:
Why? Because one online news source and two postings of the same rant by Ann Coulter do not testify to the veracity of a story in my eyes, especially in an era when it’s in some people’s interest (*cough* evangelicals *cough* anti-immigration groups *ahem*) to make Islam look bad.
If anyone out there has more on this, I’d much appreciate being pointed in the right direction. I’ll do my own research to discover if this bit from the last line of the news story is true:
The ruling is based on Islamic laws that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives, activists said.
Because if all of this is genuine, the U.S. needs to seriously reconsider our relationship with Islamic states.
For the past few weeks, I’ve spent time and energy in various atheist and skeptic forums. I finally figured out that’s why I haven’t written much here: I’ve shot my intellectual and writing wad elsewhere.
I’d like to say I’m gonna stop, but that probably won’t happen. Purely rational, diplomatic debate is a forte of mine and I enjoy it immensely. Here are a few news stories and items I’ve been following via my most recent forays into the depths of the Web.
Did you know Nova, the great science show on PBS, broadcasted an episode in 2004 which specifically stated areas around Oklahoma City, Oklahoma would be hit very, very hard by a super twister in the coming years? Yet no one in and around OKC planned for it – the school in Moore didn’t have adequate underground shelter, for instance – and everyone says they’re going to rebuild in the very same spot. How is that not considered sheer madness?
Yet I donated to Doug Stanhope’s IndieGoGo campaign to buy a new house for the nice lady who announced on national television she’s an atheist. Why? Because I know she’ll suffer in her community for coming out as a non-believer, that’s why.
“You don’t believe what I believe, so you must die for it.”
Really? How Dark Ages of you. Oh, wait, that’s right: Islam is about 1400 years old now. What were Xtian folk doing around year 1400 … ? Crusades. Burning witches and heretics. The Inquisition. Doesn’t mean we have to put up with these behaviors now, but it explains a lot, doesn’t it?
Delacroix – Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople
(Think the locals were glad to see them?)
But enough about religion. How about politics? Like the fact, studied and published by a nonpartisan organization, that Republicans lie up to three times more frequently than Democrats? As a skeptic and a moderate, I’ve known this for some time because I research just about everything either side says. You can’t trust any of them to be spot-on all the time, but the sheer magnitude of the GOP’s lies is pretty astounding if you pay any attention whatsoever.
Then there’s the anti-GMO folks who don’t want to hear this, but it’s true: Every bit of food you put in your mouth, even the “organic” stuff, contains some kind of genetic modification. Livestock is fed GM food and you can’t escape it in most vegetables, either. Benedictine monks in the 1400s spliced and hybridized roses to help them endure all nature throws at them, so modifying the genetics of seeds isn’t new. The way it’s done, though, definitely is.
Furthermore, Monsanto might indeed be putting profits ahead of all else like most corporations do – though they are NOT responsible for thousands of East Indian farmers committing suicide, as erroneously reported for years – but lumping them in with all GMOs is irrational and anti-science. Some GMOs are good and might even help to feed the starving in other countries. Monsanto doesn’t produce all GMOs, either, just a bunch of them.
Doesn’t matter if you’re pro- or anti-GMO, all researchable, solid, provable information is good, right?
That’s not true. I’ve felt the urge, but the vitriol would have poured forth in such quantities it may flood the minds and hearts of folks who, though they may not necessarily expect more from me, would never expect to see me go off in such a manner publicly.
So I’ve been stewing on some things. Laughing about others. Mostly just irritable.
As is the custom now in the age of immediate information and instant response, viewers found the restaurant’s Facebook page and posted mostly negative comments. Most business owners choose – wisely – not to respond to haters and trolls online. They know if you just go about your merry way and leave it alone, it will pass.
But guess what these two knuckleheads did? That’s right: They picked a fight with the Internet. She and her hubby melted down on Facebook, Reddit, and everywhere else something bad was said about themselves and/or their restaurant. Now they’re Internet celebs for all the wrong reasons; famous not for their food, business acumen, or sparkling personalities, but for their delusions of grandeur.
I have to thank them for the laughs, though. No, I didn’t do any of the trolling, I just didn’t think anyone could bring the crazy more than that Xtian lady on Wife Swap a few years ago.
Kudos to Gordon Ramsey for getting as far as he did with the borderline personality disorder lady and her cuckhold husband.
At any BDSM event, you have to work to find people who share your specific interests.
I mean no one walks around with a tag indicating they like spanking, bondage, and/or feet; you have to actually talk to people if you want to have your fantasies realized. It’s imperative to be able to strike up conversations with total strangers to see if your desires match in the slightest.
Even in a safe, helpful environment, it’s unbelievable how hard people think this is to do. At a fetish ball last night, for every one who struck up a genuine conversation, there were three who followed me around like puppies, always looking as if they were ready to say something, then backing off.
I don’t find that type of behavior attractive, not even in a sub. Step up or go away. I need strong, independent partners, not pets. And you’re more likely to get what you want if you ask for it, right?
So when I go to such places, I wander and watch, swat the occasional moth away from the flame, and seek out the one – there’s almost always just one – who doesn’t mind getting just a little burned around the edges.
Ten years ago, I drove from Albuquerque to Los Angeles for the first Domcon, a convention for professional dominas and others who partake in the femme domme lifestyle.
Our then roommate, who was also a professional dominatrix at the time, wanted to attend as well, but she had other plans before and after the convention. We agreed she would drive my Toyota and I would go in my then-new-to-me Audi.
On the way across Arizona, I realized my car was having problems. BIG problems. Automatic shifting was an issue; I had to resort to manual shifting to get her up to speed. As I continued on, I kept in touch with my love and made arrangements to see the first Audi dealer I could find right away.
Of course, the news was bad: I needed a new transmission. STAT. But knowing I didn’t really have to drive for the weekend – conventions tend to be contained to a host hotel – I nursed the car to the venue and checked myself and our roommate into our room. I was looking forward to a relaxing time and worrying about my vehicle troubles on Monday.
Then all hell broke loose: I asked her for the key to the Toyota so I could run a couple of errands.
My intention was to go to a convenience store for some weekend supplies and grab dinner. To go, even. Not to take the car from her, not to return home in it, not to leave her stranded. To run a 15-30 minute errand.
You’d think I’d asked her to kill her own mother.
She not only refused, she stamped her feet, yelled and screamed, and generally acted like a two year old. I had to physically fight her for the keys. To my own car.
Yet “But you told me I could drive it!” and other nonsensical, unreasonable, immature babble isn’t why I decided to take my car back at that moment, nor is it why my love and I kicked her to the curb after the trip. There was a long line of other behaviors which had put her on probation as far as we were concerned; she merely provided the final straw that weekend.
I got calls and comments from other people at the convention saying she was going around whispering nasty things about me. Luckily I knew quite a few people in the scene who refused to believe her and who instead came to me to share/clear up the gossip. When the convention was over, my love and I summarily picked the roommate off of us like a tick.
You can be an irrational jackass all you want, but the moment you mess with my reputation, you are OUT.
Fast forward to this past week: I arranged a trip to Los Angeles to spend a little time with family. When I searched for other interesting things to do, I discovered the 10th anniversary festivities for Domcon.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp curry powder (red or yellow)
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp water
Mix all dry ingredients except the garlic with water until smooth. Rub mixture on chicken breasts, place on a plate, sprinkle with garlic powder, and allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes. Grill breasts for 8 minutes each side or until interior temperature reaches 165° (grilling time is for high-altitude; sea level may cook a bit faster).
Best part? It’s Republican (so-called) fiscal conservatives pushing for the money to be spent.
Next time someone bitches to you about the national debt, or how Obama is outspending any other previous President (another favorite lie of the right), please send them to this video from The Colbert Report.
Then make them explain why even fiscal conservatives can’t manage to help us save a few BILLION dollars here and there. And if their argument is “We had to save those jobs,” tell them they’re full of it. All the jobs put together on this project are not worth a product the Army has stated, loudly and clearly, it does not want and does not need. To push it through anyway means it’s a welfare program for workers who would otherwise be unemployed.
Welfare is something conservatives are vehemently against. I mean they keep calling such programs “entitlements” and “handouts” and generally ensuring we all know sucking from the government teat, no matter how dire our straits, is wrong, Wrong, WRONG.
I realize I’m railing against something that happens all the time in Washington and has for decades, but dammit, when does it stop?
The Birthday Boys
Amy Schumer (would have seen her this past weekend, but show was canceled)
Kumail Nanjiani Rory Scovel Kyle Kinane (three times)
June Diane Raphael Matt Jones
Issa Rae Jason Mantzoukas (at taping of The Jeselnik Offensive)
Jonah Ray Hannibal Buress Garfunkel and Oates (twice)
Chris Gethard Pete Holmes
That’s 35 of 50 … shit, it may have been easier to list the ones I don’t know. But now that I’ve discovered them, I’ve got research to do.