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Shit that Pissed me Off – 8/15

We Lost Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall in One Week

I’m very sad to think that both these amazing artists are gone.

I’m just wondering why anyone would use this opportunity to abuse Williams’ daughter online.  I mean, what the fuck is wrong with you?

In the meantime, others are using Williams’ death to call attention to depression or addiction or to say that suicide is selfish and look, I don’ t know.  I’ve never been depressed so I have no idea what kind of despair would lead to making that choice.  I can’t imagine ever making it myself.

Robin Williams

Thing is, I didn’t live inside his head.  I don’t know what brought him to that incredibly dark place where the only conceivable decision was to end it all.

But so what? He’s gone.

And that sucks.

So let’s leave it be and say goodbye.  You were awesome, Robin.  I’m sorry whatever demons haunted you finally won.

Losing Bacall in the same week just pours salt on the wound.

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Shit that Pissed Me off – 7/25

Syrians are Destroying Sculptures Because Allah

Dear everyone in the world:  Just because your particular strain of god does not approve of something is no reason to take that thing away from the rest of us.

When you destroy a sculpture that is thousands of years old, you can’t just make a new one.

This has existed for thousands of years and Allah has done nothing about it.  Therefore we must!

This has existed for thousands of years and Allah has done nothing about it. Therefore we must!

Unfortunately, this sculpture ended up in one of those places where the prevailing belief system says that historical significance is not a good enough reason to keep something around if there is a face on it.

So thanks, religious extremists, for taking something away from the rest of the world because you believe it will lead to eternal damnation! You guys are the best!

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Friend a Day – Stephanie Zvan

ZVAN-copy

CONvergence week continues here at Friend a day headquarters!

I met Stephanie when we were in the same play in college.  I was nearly killed by a piece of scenery on opening night.  That’s a different story.

After that show, I hardly saw her for years.  It was only through the Skepchick/FreethoughtBlog events at CONvergence that we re-connected.

Stephanie is devoted to supporting social justice issues through her Almost Diamonds blog.  She has become a target for a lot of internet hatred because she’s not willing to back away from an important fight.  She’s openly critical of well known members of the atheist community like Richard Dawkins.

I can’t imagine how exhausting the abuse can become and yet Stephanie faces it with a sense of humor and, I think, the conviction that she is right.

When there is an issue that has me upset, I find that Stephanie frequently is commenting on exactly the thing that has me frustrated.  Her thoughts are well researched and detailed.  Certainly you can disagree with her but you can’t disagree with the effort she put into presenting a cogent argument.

She was a guest on Geeks Without God our first weekend and was one of the people who helped set the tone.  We’ve had her back since to play the horrible Left Behind Board game.  You have to have a little extra helping of respect for anyone who endured that game.

I remember working with Stephanie on that show all those years ago and even back then she had a ton of confidence you knew would get her through a lot.  It is that strong sense of self that helps her keep saying things that make her a target for a lot of petty stupidity.

And that is something I don’t think the petty, stupid people have figured out.  Being an asshole on the internet is easy.  Fighting against the assholes is a lot harder.

I’m really proud to know someone who is fighting the assholes.

 

Shit That Pissed Me Off – 6/13

George Will Is Unsurprisingly Tone Deaf When It Comes To Rape

Nobody expected anything less from Mr. Will, right?  When he writes about rape on college campuses, he’s not going to come off as particularly sympathetic to the victims, right?

Well, he sure doesn’t.  He gives an example of a rape story he thinks is a false accusation and when I read it, I see an example of a young woman being raped.

I know, I know. I say “tomato” and George Will says “tomato.”  I say “rape” and George Will says “Sexual Misunderstanding.”

Why is rape insensitivity primarily a conservative trait?  Is it just that conservatives are dumb enough to say it out loud?  They always seem to be trying to find some way to ignore rape statistics.  Will doesn’t believe the numbers so he goes through an analysis of one set of numbers to prove that they all must be wrong.

He’s a smart guy, right?  He knows that the single set of numbers he’s using don’t actually constitute and kind of proof, right?

I don’t think he cares.  He was looking to torpedo the Obama administration because he’s a conservative columnist and that’s what he’s paid to do.  What he managed to do was tell every rape victim on college campuses that what happened to them isn’t so bad.

BTW, I don’t think most conservatives are rape apologists. They need to be telling the conservatives stepping up to the microphone to stop because I don’t think George Will is going to listen to me.

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Friend a Day – Brianne Bilyeu

1417623_657636340934047_1685969728_oI’ve only called Brianne a friend for a couple of years now.  We knew each other but it was only once I started co-hosting Geeks Without God that I began to grow more familiar with some of the prominent secular voices in my part of the country.

Because it impresses me, I’d like to tell you what Brianne does on weekends.

She goes to women’s health clinics and escorts patients past the protesters who are standing out front.

She walks women (and men) past crowds of people who are there to call them names.

I don’t care what side of the abortion debate you are on – what Brianne does is amazing.  She stands up and defends those who have made a decision that is, to some, extremely unpopular.  She shows them that there are people out there willing to sacrifice time so they might have some dignity at a very difficult time.

There are lot of other things I like about Brianne, but what she does so many weekend mornings is, to me, heroic.

Brianne blogs as Biodork on the Freethought Blog network.  She blogs about social issues and atheism but she also does a lot of photoblogging.  It makes her blog one of my favorites on the site.  She has a voice that is one of my favorites and I always look forward to a new post.

As the result of appearing on Geeks Without God, Brianne is also responsible for introducing me to Lords of Waterdeep,  which is only a problem because all I want to do is play *more* Lords of Waterdeep.

She’s one of my favorite sources for new games.  Whenever we are at Omegacon together, she makes me play at least one new game that inevitably results in dropping several dollars at the Source one or two weeks later.

Finally, while I could say this about most of my friends, Brianne has one of the best smiles around.  It is a smile that will brighten anyone’s day and it is a smile that she hardly ever puts away.

Brianne is a great friend and a great person.  I’m glad that choosing to use my voice helped me to get to know hers.

 

Shit That Pissed Me Off – 5/2

Concerned Citizen Calls the Cops on Someone Giving Away Banned Books

So to be clear: this was a private citizen who was distributing donated books to High School students after the school board voted to ban the title in schools (because SEX.)

The book wasn’t illegal to own and it certainly wasn’t illegal to distribute copies that had been bought and paid for.  It wasn’t even illegal to give the book to High School students.  Nor was parental consent required for High School students to own a copy of the book.

But somebody decided that the police had nothing better to do than question someone for handing out books.

If she’d been burning the books, police involvement wouldn’t have been required

Now here’s where I get snarky.  Do you think that same person would have thought to call the police if someone was handing out bibles in the park?  Even though the Bible has a lot more sex than the book that was banned?

That’s OK, though, because I’m not sure I want my kids reading the bible but if they do want to read it, I’d rather they got a copy for free.

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Shit that Pissed Me Off – 4/25

Christian Comedian Asks A “Hilarious” Question That “Proves” It Is Crazy To Be An Atheist

This is pretty old and I just happened to click-through because I wanted to know if the question really proved I’m crazy.

Basically, his hilarious question is “why are atheists offended by ‘under god’ in the pledge of allegiance if they don’t believe in god?”

HA!  You got me there, buddy!  Forcing my kids to acknowledge a god they don’t believe in is totally OK.  Having a problem with that is completely insane!!!

If they object to saying “Under God,” they are COMMUNISTS!

Let me ask you, though, how you would feel if we changed the word “God” to “Allah?”  Or Shiva?  Would that be OK with you?  Or would you be upset because you were expected to say that our country was under a god you didn’t believe in?

The issue has nothing to do with the existence of god and everything to do with the idea that nobody’s god should be held higher than any other god in the eyes of the state.

So anyway, I don’t think the question proved I’m crazy.  You can’t prove a negative, however, so it’s impossible to prove that I’m not crazy.

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