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The I’m Erotic Cattle Abduction Scene I’m Not Writing

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Some authors should not go there

Sex.  As in, writing a sex scene. I find myself either yawning or cringing – sometimes both [1] – when I read them.  Rarely have I found a fictional account of a sexual encounter to be anything other than mildly ludicrous at best, and wonder, is this claptrap supposed to be erotic?

No entendre, double or otherwise, intended with the use of the word claptrap.  Although it would make a good title for a murder mystery novel.

Claptrap :  While on vacation in New York City, Kenyan homicide detective Yawanna Ubangi gets drawn into the investigation of an apparent female serial killer, a Femme Fatale whose M.O. involves weakening her lovers through intentional gonorrhea infections….

Hot damn, I may be on to something. I shall have to restrain myself, until I’m at least done with the first draft of the next Quinn book.

Once again, I digress.  Back to bad sex.

Case in point, the book I am currently reading.  I like the plot and most of the characters; I want to like the book in toto, but the author is making it difficult for me to do so.  There is something off-putting about the prose style I can’t quite put my finger on, and then, there are the intermittent sex scenes between the protagonist and her husband that make me never to want to put a finger on anything, ever again.  Not only are the sexual encounters awkwardly written IMHO, they are so…perfunctory, mechanical, and terse .[2]   I find myself wondering, in the most basic, high school Literature Evaluation sense, why are these scenes in the book in the first place?  What plot point or character reference do they serve to illustrate or advance?  Did the author feel obligated to include a minimum amount of whoopee, or was it an editor’s misguided marketing strategy (“There’s no sex in this book, FFS!”) ?

BADSEXjpg

*   *   *

Yet another reason not to follow a link on Facebook and end up wasting far too much time blowing steam about some hypercritical misanthrope

The link to a Huffington Post opinion piece was posted by friend RN, with the question, “You know, this is how A__ (RN’s partner) and I roll, too.  Are we extremists?”

After reading the article I had to wonder if RN had read it all the way through, for although I know that RN & A___ have generous spirits and kind hearts and have opened their home to rescue dogs, I can’t imagine they are anything like the extremely judgmental lady dick who wrote An Open Letter to the Person Who Left This Sweet Dog at the Kill Shelter.

The article is a hostile, self-congratulatory screed by a self-described “blogger, Dog Lover,” who takes to task – and threatens the safety of – the person who surrender an elderly dog with multiple health issues to a “kill” shelter.

“Warning – it’s not easy to read,” RN wrote re the article, referring to the details of the poor dog’s plight, I assumed.  Assumption #2: I anticipated my reaction would be similar to RN’s, until I followed the link and read the article…and felt compelled to reply:

Uh, it’s not easy to read because the author is a vile, judgmental, sanctimonious narcissist, who in truth knows little to nothing about the situations that may have led to a family surrendering their dog. 

My daughter and I volunteered for a no-kill animal organization [3]  and we met some of those people. “Pet surrenders” increased dramatically with the downturn of the economy, and for every jerk who turned in a pet that they just didn’t want anymore there were two grieving families, heartbroken over the fact that they had lost their jobs and their homes and/or leases (yes, our organization researched these surrenders and checked references), had no friends or family to take their beloved pet and had to choose between buy their own diabetes medication or their son’s anti-seizure drugs…. 

What little information is on an animal surrender intake sheet does not tell the whole story, and people are often reluctant and embarrassed to reveal their private miseries. That self-congratulating dog rescuer may have a heart for animals but I wish s/he’d extend the same compassion toward his fellow bipeds.

I could have gone on, could have mentioned the heartbreak of seeing the elderly pets “surrendered” by their elderly, loving owners who had fought for years to be able to stay in their own homes but due to illness/disability/dementia were entering nursing homes and had exhausted every resource to find a home for their beloved animal companions – stories way too complicated to fit on an intake form…. And no-kill shelters almost always have a waiting list.  A very long waiting list.  To assume that any person who “surrenders” an animal does so voluntarily and cavalierly frosts my butt.

And so, Blogger-dog-lover, this asshat’s for you:

AHat

*   *   *

It was time to send another care package to K, up at UPS.  I gathered a motley assortment of silly items ® and went to a certain store to get some cheap junk food inexpensive nutritious snacks to fill out the box. I also got him one of those paper fold out turkey centerpieces (one dollar, such a deal!), and wrote my suggested instructions on it: K should wait until his housemates are out, assemble the hideous thing tasteful decoration and place it atop the dining table. Once its presence has been noticed he should deny all knowledge of how it got there, and suggest that they have been the victims of yet another drive-by centerpiecing.

TURKEY

 Anyway….

I placed my items on the checkout counter conveyor belt along with my own bag, and for some reason flashed back to the first time I’d brought my reusable bag to the store (the name of which rhymes with Collar Free):  The clerk seemed to be in a hurry, and started shoving my items into a plastic bag seemingly before they’d touched the conveyor belt.  “Oh, wait please.” I waved my cloth bag while stating the obvious. “I brought my own bag.” The clerk’s eyes grew wide with concern as she transferred my items from the store’s bag to mine.  “I’m sorry,” she said, in the measured, you may want to sit down for this tone usually reserved for telling someone their favorite auntie has died, “But I can’t give you a discount for using your own bag. Store policy; it’s still a dollar, for everything.”

Uh, yeah, that’s fine. That’s not why I bring my own shopping bag, to get five cents off my total.  I didn’t even think of the bag rebate until you called it to my attention…but, now that you mention it, the injustice is sinking in and I am outraged, I am appalled, utterly appalled. GODDAMMIT I WANT MY NICKLE REFUND!  I AM NOT LEAVING THIS STORE UNTIL I GET MY NICKLE BACK OR YOU GIVE ME ONE OF YOUR PLASTIC BAGS.

REUSALE

It has rained several times this week, after last week’s glorious burst of late summer sun and high temperatures. The first rainstorm of the season – I love the way it smells.  For some people, the return of the rain is enervating, but I find it energizing.  The harbinger of autumn, my favorite season. Bring it on.

*   *   *

SOAPBOX

One of my favorite comics from one of my favorite comic strips, Bizarro, shows two couples, beverage tumblers in hand, meeting at an outdoor party.  The husband of one of the couples extends his toward the other couple and says, “Hello, we’re the Hendersons. You must be the non-Hendersons.”

I can't afford whatever the fee would be to borrow a Bizarro comic, so use your imagination here.

I can’t afford whatever the fee would be to borrow a Bizarro comic, so use your imagination.

This shall make sense; bear with me.

The first rain of the season reminded me of other firsts.  Three of We (MH, Belle and I) are attending the FFRF’s [4] annual convention later this month.  This will be Belle’s first, Mark’s third and my fourth FFRF convention.  I’ve been fondly recalling one of the more thought-provoking moments at my first convention, which occurred during the convention’s customary non-prayer breakfast [5] .  The charming elderly gentleman seated next to me at breakfast outed himself as a “non-atheist.”  He said that although his wife was a “long-time atheist” he was a theist, and that he found it educational, intriguing and humbling to be in the minority, as he was likely one of the few non-atheists in the room.  Isn’t it funny, I replied, that you’re sitting next to another minority member…only in that I do not call myself an atheist.

I think words are incredibly important; they are what we humans, a non-telepathic species, use to communicate ideas.  And I can get picky about labels. Although some might find it amusing if not presumptuous for a freethinker to even attempt to persuade other freethinkers to think differently, I don’t like the atheist label and wish those who claim the word would claim…something else, instead.

There are several reasons for my dislike of the term.  For one, I find it to be a misnomer.  Also, I think Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, Skeptics and others who accept and even embrace the A-label are making a semantic as well as a strategic/public relations mistake.

One of the best pieces of parenting advice MH and I received was that when it came to discipline we would need to “choose our battles” wisely.  We found that to be true; there are things not worth the fuss, and others that are so worth fighting for.  I think the battle to claim or rehabilitate the word atheist is futile; it has too many negative connotations and associations.  Of course, those associations were and are concocted and perpetuated by the religious and are largely and historically inaccurate, but since when has acknowledging that fact corrected a firmly entrenched misperception?  [6]

Personally, I’ve no “fear” of being called an atheist.  To the contrary, being thusly labeled has provided many an Entertaining Educational Moment, when I’ve reminded the person who used the word that we’re all atheists vis-à-vis our stance on other gods/religions, and that it is only relatively recently that “atheism” has come to mean a lack of belief in any gods (historically, an atheist was someone who didn’t believe in the god you believed in, and so Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Pagans, Moslems and Hindus have all been referred to, by those outside their respective religions, as atheists).

But that Educational Moment, no matter how entertaining, ultimately misses the point.  For if we are all Something in relation to Something Else, then Something has no specific meaning.  I find the Something that is atheism to be imprecise, and so I correct someone who applies that term to me, just as I would correct a mispronunciation of my name or misstatement of my height. [7]

The religious generally try to understand or dismiss atheism as just another (“false”) religion. That’s silly, of course, but that’s how they, in their minds, can handle it. One reason they get away with this is that self-labeled atheists involuntarily abet such faulty reasoning by allowing themselves to be defined in religious terms by religious people.  But atheism isn’t a religion, a philosophy, or even a world view. It’s not even an ism.

In fact, “atheism” is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a “non-astrologer” or a “non-alchemist.” We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.

Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

"I believe, Elsie, I believe!"

“I believe, Elsie, I believe!”

I am not religious, and thus find it improper and even rude to be defined in terms of what I do not do, believe, or practice.  I am not a negation of something; like anyone else, I want to be defined positively, on my own terms, not in terms of my relation to someone or something else.  When it comes to politics, I’m an Independent, not an anti-Democrat, un-Republican, de-Green Party or dis-Libertarian.  I’m not an a-astrologist, a-New-Ager or a-theist; I am a Freethinker, a Humanist, a Skeptic, a Bright.

Let’s say I’m visiting my Floridian, Republican, Lutheran, tennis-loving, Gucci satchel-toting mother-in-law, Gladys. [8]  And let’s say Gladys gives the following description of me to her neighbor, Jethro:  “Her name is not Gladys, she’s not from Florida, she’s an a-Republican and an a-Lutheran, she’s not a tennis player or an Italian purse carrier, and she’s not my daughter.”

While technically correct, that description provides no pertinent information about me.  Jethro knows nothing of what I am, only a little bit of what, in relation to Gladys, I am not.

Another reason I don’t like the term atheist is that it elevates theism to the #1 position of the many things in whose existence or veracity I don’t believe.  It gives the false assumption that there is something out there (a supernatural world and/or deities) to deny. Yes, I do not believe in the existence of deities, but I also don’t believe in demons or ghosts or fairy godmothers or homeopathy or astrology or the trickle-down theory, either.

Most religious folk think they know what an atheist is, does and/or believes, but, in my humble opinion and experience, even the most academically challenged Fundamentalists can be intrigued by the unfamiliar.  Call yourself an atheist (or allow them to do so) and in their eyes, you’re pegged – beginning/end of discussion.   Call yourself a Freethinker, a Bright, a Skeptic, and you’ve set their ears (and sometimes…gasp…even their minds) atwitching.  (“Freethinker?  What exactly do you mean by that?”).

As a Bright, I hold a naturalistic worldview, free of supernatural and mystical elements.  As a Freethinker, I hold that opinions or beliefs of reality should be based on science, logic and reason, independent of religion, authority, “tradition” or dogmas. As a Skeptic, I take a provisional approach to all fantastic declarations, and support the application of science and reason to test the validity of any and all claims. As a Humanist, I hold a progressive philosophy of life that bases my values and actions on a naturalistic worldview and affirms my ability and responsibility to lead an ethical life that aspires to the greater good of humanity.  And yes, if you are a religious believer you may call me an atheist (but be prepared for me to point out that you’re the one who’s the theist, not me, a- or otherwise).

Bright, Freethinker, Skeptic, Humanist, Happy Heathen, Apostate, Atheist, Heretic – I will embrace or tolerate any of those terms.  Although my title of choice would be “T’Saywhat, Galactic Sovereign of the Terran System.”

ZSAQUEEN

Queen T’Saywhat’s philosophy is to protect and enhance the earth, to enjoy life in the here and cultivate moral excellence, maturity and common human decency.  She would exercise her Galactic monarchical responsibility by requiring all humans to meditate upon the truths illustrated herein:

Get that Captain a charcoal seat cushion, and let the hijinks ensue.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] Which I am able to do thanks to years of yoga practice.

[2] Not that I’m complaining about a poorly written scene not dragging on and on and on….

[3] over five years with C.A.T. Cat Adoption Team

[4] The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s objective is to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to non-theism.

[5] Which begins with a “moment of bedlam” instead of a moment of silence.  Such fun before 9 am is illegal in most Islamsit countries. You really gotta be there.

[6] Greater and more articulate minds than mine have argued for dropping the A-label – most notably author and neurobiologist Sam Harris at the Atheist Alliance Conference, for which he was burned at the rhetorical stake, so to speak.  Hmm, are there Atheist Fundies?

[7] I am taller than you think.  I am taller than I think…in my dreams.

[8] Neither her real name nor her taste in handbags.

The Cough I’m Not Suppressing

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Yes, I know it is months before the book’s real-time release, but there is a FB fan page for The Mighty Quinn.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Mighty-Quinn/314422698666956

Like it.
You know you want to.
Please don’t make me beg.

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Now that Santa’s left the proverbial pile of coal in select stockings,[1] it seems fitting to haul out the Asshat of the Week award.  I don’t want to be stingy, especially at this time of the year, but really, so many asses, so few asshats.

The Iowa Supreme Court seemed to be a slam dunk, what with their ruling that a woman could be fired if her boss finds her “irresistible.” I’m looking forward to benefiting from the legal wisdumb of the Big Minds in such matters, when  the inevitable lawsuit find its way to the SCOTUS, allowing them to rule on the workplace hazards of those deemed to be too fabulous.

As I was saying, the candidates for the award were legion. And during this Solstice season, with its focus on charitable feelings toward one’s fellow human beings, it seems only fitting to list a few of the other contenders.

It seems the Big Daddies of Catholicism spent a good portion of their holy season getting their rhetorical man-panties in a knot.  The Imbeciles of Italy’s chief blusterhole spokesman, Joseph Ratzinger [2], used his annual Vatican Christmas message to diss marriage equality and other gay’s civil rights advancements as a “manipulation of nature” and an “attack” on the family. Meanwhile, the gentle folk of Ireland were privy to the gibbering of another pontificating baboon, this one taking the form of Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate[3] of all Ireland (I jest not; that’s his official title).  Brady, one of Ratzinger’s fellow pedophile apologists, used his Cardinal’s holiday soapbox to exploit the death of a pregnant woman in a Galway hospital.[4] Brady misrepresented the proposed content of Irish Constitutional legislation while he urged the Irish people to protest plans for legalized abortion (the medical treatment that would have saved the afore-mentioned woman, who suffered an agonizing death from septicemia).

But wait, there’s more.  Just days before the RC dudes chugged their Kool-Aid, another public figure was caught after indulging in too much eggnog.  I refer to Mike Crapo, the aptly named Republican Senator from Idaho who was DUI’d after a cop caught him blowing through a red light.  Crapo, a Mormon who has said he does not drink alcohol,[5] was a member of last year’s “Gang of Six” budget committee and is was considered a candidate for the top Republican spot on the Senate Banking Committee.  It wouldn’t surprise me, should Crapo play the penitent, that his party would keep him on their list for the committee.  Because there’s nothing our country needs more than a teetotaler drunk Mormon Republican kicking the crap-o out of our nation’s fiscal policies.

Oh, hell’s bells, let ’em all share it.  Supreme Courts, Popes, Irish Primates, Crapos – this asshat’s for you.

AHat640

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This week, the days I think of as the Tweenolidays, are some of my favorite days of the year.  Dec 26-31; the pressure is off while the fun still lingers; there is still another major celebration on the horizon; the seasonal fatigue hasn’t yet set it.

‘Tis also the season to be jolly judgmental.  I had the opportunity to refine this art yesterday, while waiting in the checkout line at a bulk/discount grocery store:

The Woman In Front Of Me, whose cartload of items was being scanned by the checker, was going through her wallet and pockets, counting her cash while her way-too-old-to-be-sitting-in-the-shopping-car-seat son dangled his feet from the shopping seat’s legholes. The boy loudly spewed wetness in my direction; TWIFOM occasionally/half-heartedly admonished her son to cover his mouth when he coughed.  He ignored her. The next time he coughed I got his attention, smiled at him, and mimed covering my hand over my mouth, indicating he should do the same.  He stuck his tongue out at me.

The checker was waiting. TWIFOM apologized for not having enough funds to cover her purchases (“I need to pay in cash”), even as both the checker and I could see that TWIFOM’s checkbook style wallet was bulging with forms of plastic payment.  TWIFOM directed the checker to remove and reverse-scan certain items, to get her total down to cash-on-hand.  While the checker did this I passed the time by silently critiquing TWIFOM’s choices:

 (“No; keep the low-fat mozzarella! Your son does not need that box of Red Dye #2 Krusty Sugar Puffs for breakfast. And neither of you needs that processed lunch “meat,” which, BTW, costs twice as much and has 5 times the fat, half the protein and 100 bajillion times the sodium as the carton of eggs you’re subtracting…Thank you, Sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster, at least she’s removing the Summer’s Eve box – wait,WTF?!  She’s changing her mind…she’s directing the checker to rescan the va-jay-jay douche?).

I shut my eyes and took a brief trip down memory lane, back to when I was a health educator in an OB/GYN practice. I had a spiel for the traveling corporate reps who had the misfortune to try to convince me to stock free samples of their “cleansing wash”:

The vagina, like other bodily organs, is self-cleaning; douches are marketed as part of the primitive cultural baggage that teaches women that genitals are icky. Not only is douching unnecessary, the practice is associated with serious health conditions, including bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. My boss, Dr. B—, says that your “Summer’s Eve” should more accurately be named, “Summer’s Deceive.”  Only a douche would try to promote douching…

It’s one of my fondest memories, that of Fleet Laboratory salesreps leaving skid marks trying to flee our office.

But I digress.

I kept my diatribe to myself and seethed in silence. Meanwhile, TWIFOM placed her V-be-gone product next to a jug of blue-colored sugar water in her “keep” pile and removed – this was so painful to watch, my eyes almost bled – a bag of navel oranges, a second carton of eggs, and a gallon of 1% milk. 

Excellent parenting choice. Pay for your lady parts to smell like morning at the bakery while your son’s only breakfast option is to lubricate his Type II Diabetic-inducing cereal with high fructose gel.

WT food

After finally settling with the checker TWIFOM bagged her groceries junk. The checker began to scan my items, and I noticed TWIFOM hds left her open wallet (the thing had so many credit cards into its slots it couldn’t be folded shut) on the checkout counter. I hoisted the wallet and managed to catch TWIFOM before she left the store. “Whoops, you don’t want to forget this,” I said.  I handed her the wallet; she lamely joked about forgetting her head if it wasn’t on top of her neck, but offered no “thanks.”  Nor did she apologize when her son launched one last, obviously intentional, spittle-laden cough in my direction as they exited the store.

On my way to my next stop, the market where I was to purchase the organic produce I am fortunate to be able to afford, I pondered the differing perceptions of, and the relationship between, having good luck and making good choices. I’ll notify the Nobel Prize committee when I figure it all out.

*   *   *

 An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
(Bill Vaughn, American author and newspaper columnist.)

Until next year, when hilarity ensues.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] It’s too early for a footnote, don’t you think?

[2] Bear in mind that “Pope Benedict XVI” ad nauseum are made-up monikers – attempts to confer an aura of authority to the theology-thumpers .

[3] A fitting label in so many ways, although the RC poobahs would remind you that “Primate” is a title of honor denoting ceremonial precedence in their church.

[4] I blogged about the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in my November 16 post.

[5] But he supported a federal bill to cut taxes on small beer makers (Mormon farmers in Idaho raise barley for Budweiser and Negra Modelo beers).

The Weekends I’m Not Narrating

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In an effort to protect the privacy of friends, family and acquaintances from the torrents of attention likely to befall anyone who has the dreadful misfortune coveted windfall of being mentioned by name in this blog, I’ve been using pseudonyms and/or first and last initials instead of names. Clever moi, until attentive reader MH (my husband) pointed out that last Friday’s blog post referenced two different people who were both “initialized” as LH.

Mistakes were made.  Initial usage will be more carefully monitored, with (are you sitting down for this?) middle name initials added for clarity. Better yet, humiliating nicknames may be assigned.

*   *   *

The 2012 election is history and the MR [1] whine-rate about why he lost has trickled down to about one per day. Isn’t it a relief to realize we can stop perusing the news sites for the latest political shenanigans and get back – to using the internet in ways more productive to our intellects and overall mental well-being? Yes, I refer to watching cute cat videos:

Mea kitty culpa.  Not what I’d intended as the exemplar. However.  A kitten de-fooding in time to “Wannabe” – how cute is that?

*   *   *

~ Things I didn’t know until yesterday ~

 Your car’s emissions control system has something called a purge valve, a device I until now associated with snorkels and body-image-obsessed teenagers. If your bulimic automobile’s purge valve malfunctions and needs to be replaced, the service bill may make you want to, well, do a purge of your own.

*   *   *

Two barfing references in a row – that was unintentional.  (Really, Mom).

As today’s title suggests, I was going to write about two recent weekend getaways MH and I had. Both were in October. Trip 1 qualifies as such only if you consider staying at a hotel a mere eleven miles from your house to be a getaway[2]. This outing was to attend the Freedom From Religion Foundation‘s annual convention, which this year was oh-so-conveniently-for-us held in Portland. Trip 2 involved a drive up to Tacoma, to visit our son, the lovely and talented K, during the University of Puget Sound‘s Homecoming/Parents weekend.

About our excursions I tried to write, but distracted I got.[3]

The past week, quelle fromage! So many award-worthy characters and incidents…I thought I was safe from such diversions, what with the election finished. Silly moi. I tried, and failed, to skim past the Yahoo/Google news headlines or the front pages of the four (yes, four) dead tree newspapers[4] to which our household subscribes. The stories I read reminded me of the plots of movies – really bad and/or surreal movies. It seemed as if an Academy Awards Ceremony of human folly was parading on a red carpet before my eyes, begging for the chance to practice their bogus heartfelt, it’s-an-honor-just-to-be-nominated speeches.

In consideration of the audience’s attention span and sanity, the Academy shall whittle down the number of awards presented, cut the opening monologue, memorial montages, nominated song performances and winners’ acceptance speeches – oh hell, we’ll skip all the nominees and go directly to the awards in three categories. The ceremony director promises to instantly cut to a SNL adult diaper commercial spoof should any of the winners attempt to thank their agents, accountants or parole officers.

~ Best/Worst Foreign Documentary ~

Asshat of the week isn’t nearly a…sufficient…moniker for those who caused the death of Savita Halappanavar.

Halappanavar, a 31-year-old, 17-weeks pregnant dentist, presented with severe back pain at Galway University Hospital in late October. After doctors confirmed she was miscarrying, Ms. Halappanavar asked for a medical termination. Savita’s husband, Praveen Halappanavar, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says his wife asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated, but her request was refused because the fetal heartbeat was still detected (“This is a Catholic country,”[5] Savita and Praveen were told). Savita spent a further three days “in agony” until the fetal heartbeat stopped, after which the doctors removed the dead fetus and took Savita to the intensive care unit, where she died of septicemia.

Heart-wrenching, scandalous, deplorable, merciless, primitive, callous – of the many dreadful descriptions  that can be applied to this travesty of medical “care,” surprising isn’t one of them. This is what happens, outrageously but totally predictably, when governments allow interpretations of Iron Age mythologies to influence and even dictate 21st century medical decisions.  As Irish Parliament member Clare Daly pointed out, “An unviable fetus…was given priority over a women’s life.”

And so the Academy regretfully but appropriately decrees that the Hated Abyss Foe[6] Award be shared among:

* the Galway University Hospital staff
* the entirety of RC hierarchy; the incense-huffing/pederast-protecting/mackerel-snapping swarm of Men Who Dress Like Women But Refuse to Ordain Them
* the Irish government – nay, the whole damn adult population of servile, papist-toadying citizens of the country responsible for  50% of my genetic material[7].

*   *   *

~ Most Superfluous Supporting Performance in An Increasingly Silly Scandal ~

There are many deserving nominees among the dramatis personae of the General Petraeus dramedy, and the cast is increasing daily. The nominations must be closed at some point; thus, The Anthony Weiner Memorial Man Boob Award goes to Shirtless FBI Agent [8], with honorable mention to all other  XY chromosome holders who just can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to sending pictures of their amazing man parts to their (allegedly) awestruck lady friends and rent boys.

*   *   *

Pardon the Academy’s digression, but if you’ve paid the slightest amount of attention to the convoluted shenanigans of General P and his wacky sidekicks (bankrupt/deadbeat mother/military-soiree-throwing socialites are the latest addition), you may understand yet another of the 200+ WhyamIdoingthis? reasons that cause me, every day of my working life, to consider taking down my Fiction Writer shingle. Nothing I could dream up would be as entertaining as the flapdoodle follies of What Goes On In Real Life. ®

Nevertheless, the Academy soldiers on. The last award category:

~ Most Pathetic Adapted or Original Screenplay ~

WhyamIdoingthis? reason # 124 is receiving a note like the following, from the lovely editor of a respected, long-established[9] university literary press. Years ago this editor reviewed stories of mine from my first book of short fiction, and asked to see more of my work when I had a second collection ready. The brevity of her gracious response to my query belies the extent of the troubles afflicting literary publishers.[10] 

Hi, Robyn—
Unfortunately, the ___ Press is out of business.  I’m sorry, because your collection sounds appealing. I wish you all the best in your search for a publisher.
Sincerely, _____

The Academy, in a rare moment of self-awareness, is rethinking its position, and admits that any award bestowed in this category could only be a blatant exercise in self-pity. The woes of writers are nowhere near as noteworthy to humanity as, say, disfiguring genital cancers, or fecaluria,[11] or the recent reminders of how Lee Atwater, the notorious GOP political strategist, refined and promoted[12] the Southern Strategy. Thus the Academy in its infinite wisdom is suspending the ceremony, and suggests for your continuing entertainment that you imagine having the cinematic ability to inflict integrity-free political strategists with disfiguring genital cancers and poo-pissing.

Hilarity ensues.  Or not.

*   *   *

Smarter People than Us Said This

Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.  (Susan B. Anthony)

Wishing you all a week filled with memorable, stray-dog-sniffing incidents.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] Speaking of initials, how appropriate, if not PC.

[2] Anyone with teenagers and pets knows the answer is a resounding, Yessss!

[3] “Do or do not. There is no try.” But somebody, please, DO TRY to get this Yoda voice out of my head. Help me Obi-wan; you’re my only hope.

[4] Epithet courtesy of attorney/writer/blogger SCM. Shelley, here’s your citation!

[5] Halappanavar told the hospital staff, “I am neither Irish nor Catholic,” but they said they couldn’t do anything.

[6] Scrambled acronym: Eat Shit And Die You Festering Excuse of a Sentient Human Being

[7] I’m half Irish, from both my parents. There is no escape.

[8] Makes me wonder, what are the qualifications to join our nation’s “intelligence” services?  I’m guessing when this particular agent filled out his FBI application, at the bottom of the form where it says “sign here,” he wrote, “Aquarius.”

[9] publishing works in the humanities, medicine and literary fiction since the 1930s.

[10] the editorial assistant of the press’ parent company was not even aware that the imprint had suspended operations.

[11] The passing of feces through the urethra due to an intestinal-bladder fistula.

[12] The Nation dug up an interview with infamous GOP strategist Lee Atwater, who explained how Republicans can win the vote of racists without sounding racist themselves:  “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that…backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites…. ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger.'”

The Halloween Costume I’m Not Wearing

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What I am not wearing in this picture is the full alligator costume.  Leaving the (admittedly cute) head behind and substituting a certain distinctive black helmet, I became…I’m sorry, but there’s no turning back now…Darth Gator.

But you knew that, didn’t you?  Obi-Wan has taught you well.

You’re never too old for a good (or silly) costume. As you see, this year MH bought himself a Star Trek red shirt. What you can’t see is that he chickened out on wearing it to work.

Last year he was a pirate. My 2011 costume began with Belle doing an impressive zombie makeup job on my face and hair. With a severed limb for a prop and with notes reading Thank you,  Much obliged and I appreciate it fastened all over my blood-stained shirt and pants, I was, of course, The Grateful Undead.

MH is one handy dude with the sewing machine, and made our kids’ costumes when they were young (the itsy-bitsy spider outfit, worn by K & then Belle on their first Halloweens, was a favorite).  As the years passed Belle got into the costume-making aspect of Halloween, and used her artistic and engineering skills to collaborate with MH in producing arguably her finest costume: an ATM machine.  Belle still attends costume parties with her friends, and her fellow Oregon Zoo Teens Leadership corps throw themselves a great Halloween bash every year.  Serious Sophomore that he is, I don’t know if K participated in any of his college’s Halloween activities (and what happens in Tacoma stays in Tacoma).

Halloween, along with the Fourth of July,[1] was one of my favorite holidays when I was a child, for a simple reason. It was fun!  I eagerly awaited Wilson Elementary School’s annual Halloween carnival, even though I never won the cakewalk nor ever managed to lob the ping pong ball into one of the miniature glass bowls which housed those poor, fated-to-be-flushed goldfish. I was three times cast in key roles in the Haunted House play, won prizes for tossing the most bean bags through the ghoul’s mouth, and was awarded the Best Grade Four Costume blue ribbon when I was…wait for it…in the fourth grade.

Planning/making your costume;[2] haunted houses; trick-or-treating; feigning fondness for Butterfingers or other candy you loathed[3] so you could “reluctantly” agree to do your sister a favor and swap her in a one-for-two ratio for M & Ms…. What’s not to like?

Our neighborhood trick-or-treating was a pack affair, and traditionally began with an argument over who had to include “the little kids” (the collective pejorative for younger siblings and their posse) on their rounds.  My trick-or-treating years were way-back-when enough that you could accept homemade goods without a thought of poison candy or razor blades.  I earnestly thanked the elderly couple who gave out candy apples and the young mother who doled out popcorn balls, treats I did not care for but which made great bargaining chips for the Sweetarts I adored.  By age seven I knew who had the best candy (the people on the corner gave whole M & M bags, not the mini-size!), who had the lamest (one neighbor’s treats were orange & black pencils – okay, she was a teacher, but, pencils!?), and which house to avoid because despite the bright porch light and beckoning Jack o’ lanterns by the door, the prune-faced occupants’ response to Trick or treat! was to thrust a basket of Halloween=devil worship! Chick religious tracts in your face.

Confession: we didn’t avoid that house.  Far from it.  My T & T gang saved it for the end of our circuit, when we were tired and well-laden with candy.  Reading the unintentionally hilarious tracts — comics which looked like a collaboration between the Hagar the Horrible and Family Circus cartoonists after they’d dropped acid at a Pat Robertson rally — gave us a metabolic boost unrivaled by the most potent chocolate covered espresso bean.[4]

I don’t recall K or Belle ever receiving a religious pamphlet along with their candy; still, the barking-mad practice apparently continues.  Chick tracts are the granddaddy of religious pamphlets; you must have run across them at some point. Never had them dumped in your goody bag along with a Snickers bar? You might have noticed a pile of ’em left at a bus stop, or by the change machine in a laundromat, or planted on a dentist’s waiting room reading table, snuck in between the six months old copies of Newsweek and Good Housekeeping by a stealthy patient.

(From the Chick Tracts website) Make Halloween a Soul-winning event
While Christians should not celebrate Halloween, if you drop a Chick tract (and some candy) into their Trick-or-Treat bags, you can easily give hundreds of kids...

 It goes on. I kid you not.  An excerpt from one The Devil’s Night tract (their emphases):

 

Yuk!  Is that how Halloween got started?
-Yes, Buffy.[5] It wasn’t a fun time.  It was a night of horror!  Teens everywhere are going into both white and black witchcraft, and both really serve the devil.  You know God hates witchcraft…but witches don’t care. And when they die, they’ll end up in hell. Thank God my grandpa told me about Jesus, so I won’t be in hell with them.

*   *   *

Halloween is not the only target of the tracts’ rabid-dog wrath. There are dozens if not hundreds of pamphlets, arguing all manner of evangelical whackadoodledoodery, including the belief that Catholics are not Christians , “the papacy helped start Islam” and the Holocaust was in fact an Inquisition sled by Jesuits. In the World According to Chick, starting in the 1950s a (gasp) “beat” was introduced into popular music by The Devil ® : all rock ‘n roll acts, from Elvis to the Beatles to Motley Crue to contemporary Christian Rock, are Satan®’s tools to “destroy country, home and education.” So, you’re not a Jew, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic, or even a rock ‘n roll fan? If you read a Harry Potter book, if you’re an Orthodox or  liberal or moderate Christian, even a conservative one who’s in favor of ecumenism, if you’re any kind of liberal or libertarian, or support gay/women’s/civil rights or have a basic understanding of science – if you are anything other than a card-carrying fundamentalist/young-earth creationist Christian, God has a plan for your life Chick has a condemnation tract, especially for you.

Trick or tract? The Halloween edition of Asshat of the Week goes to Jack Chick and all the would you like some candy, little girl? purveyors of inanity, fear and prejudice.

*   *   *

My Lutheran parents would have had a WTF?[6] response to people who trash-talked Halloween.  I say would have had, because, except for a Jehovah’s Witness friend of mine, we didn’t know any such folk.  It seems to the grown up, religion-free moi that a number of evangelical/conservative Christians consider the October 31 goings-on to be a celebration of evil. Although in my experience there is ultimately no comprehending the incomprehensible, several years ago I was curious about the origins of this myth-understanding of the day, and did an internet search on the subject.  Perusing several why-true-Christians-should-not-observe-Halloween websites, I saw that a common belief among fundamentalists is that Halloween originated from the worship of Samhain, the “Celtic God of the Dead.”

Minor major sticking point, fundies:  there ain’t never been no Celtic god named Samhain.

Samhain (“summer’s end”) was the name of the Celtic month equivalent to November. The “Feast of Samhain” on October 31 marked the end of summer and celebrated the last harvest of the year. The veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was said to become thinner on that day, and thus the spirits of the departed – those beloved to you, as well as the cranky neighbor who’d screamed, YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN PEATBOG!– could cross that boundary and walk among the living. The Celts left food at their doors to encourage good spirits and donned masks to scare away yucky ones.

I’ll take Holiday Histories for 500 dollars, Alex

The more fundamentalist the believer, the more ignorant they seem to be re a fundamental truth behind their religious observances: “Christian” holidays, in particular the biggies, Christmas and Easter, began as pagan festivals.

When the Roman Catholics came to power and spread north from Rome, they met pagan practices that had gone on for thousands of years before the Popes decided to claim divine authority and subdue the illiterate masses by dressing like the bastard spawn of Elton John and Lady Gaga.

 Early Catholic missionaries tried to convert northern Europeans to the RC brand of Christianity, and part of the conversion process was to alter existing religious festivals. The indigenous folk, whom the church labeled “barbarians,” quickly discovered that when it came to dealing with the missionaries, resistance is futile. The pagans intuitively grasped the concept of natural selection and converted to Christianity to avoid the pesky price of staying true to their original beliefs.[7] But they refused to totally relinquish their old celebrations, and so the church, eventually and quite effectively, simply renamed most of them.[8]

Pagan practices were given a Christian meaning to wipe out “heathen” revelry.  This was made official church policy in 601 A.D., when Pope Gregory the First issued the now infamous edict to his missionaries regarding the traditions of the peoples they wanted to convert. Rather than try to banish native customs and beliefs, missionaries were directed to assimilate them. You find a group of people decorating and/or worshipping a tree? Don’t chop it down or burn it; rather, bless it in the name of the Church.  Allow its continued worship, only tell the people that, instead of celebrating the return of the sun-god in the spring, they are now worshipping the rising from the dead of the Son of God.

In the case of what is now called Halloween, ancestor veneration had been going on with the Celt’s Samhain festival for as long as anyone could remember, and so RC missionaries incorporated a Christian connection. The day was set aside by the church: All Hallows’ Eve, to honor the dead Saints.

Sweet baby Jeeeeysus and Isis[9] sittin’ on a Ritz® !  I am, like, so having a major duh moment.  The basic intent and result of any “successful” religious missionary endeavor is in succinctly expressed by the Borg manifesto. Ya think I’m kidding? Just swap “Borg” for “Missionaries for Christ/Yaweh/Allah.”

 We are the Borg.
Lower your shields and surrender your ships.
We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.
Your culture will adapt to service us.

*   *   *

Yet again, I digress. Time to flip the page on my Demotivators calendar.  The picture for November was, I’d wager, taken at the annual Running of the Bulls (Pamplona, Spain). Its caption has become a motto of sorts for K and I.

*   *   *

But wait, there’s more!  Just when I thought Asshat of the Week was a slamdunk….

Sliding in at the last moment, leaving skidmarks on his tighty whities, we have Washington[10] state congressional candidate John Koster.  Yet another festering turd of ignorant misogyny conservative politician running on what seems to have become the hottest Republican platform: Life Begins At Rape.  This week, in response to questions asked by a liberal activist, Koster said he does not oppose abortion when the life of the mother is in danger, but would oppose it when it involves incest or “the rape thing.”

Such astonishing crap-wipery is deserving of…oh, but really. Two Asshats of the Week, in one week?  I can’t do that. Instead, a newly-created award, Bite Me, You Horseradish-and-Batshit Crazy Yap Flapper,[11] is conferred on John “the Dickhead Thing” Koster.

*   *   *

This is too depressing — an Asshat of the Week and a Bite Me, You Horseradish-and-Batshit Crazy Yap Flapper? I haven’t even mentioned the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, nor the devastatingly dim-witted pastor who blamed gays for causing the storm. There have been, of course, many good things the past seven days have brought, including encounters with intelligent, decent, witty and kind people, the crisp air and brilliant foliage of autumn, and the simple yet profound pleasure derived from watching your daughter turn a really big pumpkin into a really awesome angler fish jack o’lantern, complete with lure:

*   *   *

And so the season marches on. I’m sorry if you couldn’t find the right naughty nuclear scientist outfit for Halloween.  There’s always next year.  And there’s always some celebration going on, somewhere.  If you’re anticipating the aftermath of Election Day and looking for levity, you might want to:

– remember This Stupid Day in History, Nov. 2 1960, when a not-so-well-hung British jury determined that Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence was not obscene.[12]
– grill a BLT on Nov. 3 to mark the 1718 birthday of John Montague, Earl of Sandwich
– walk like an Egyptian on King Tut Day , Nov. 4
– do whatever is done (turn on the fan, please) on Nov. 5 to mark Panama’s Colon Day
– ditch your GPS, find your way to Nov. 6 and observe Marooned Without a Compass Day
– remember you’ve got until Nov. 7 to celebrate National Fig Week
– smack your favorite Romney supporter knucklehead on Nov. 8 for Dunce Day
– nothing.  There is nothing else to do.

Yet another reason to live: next Friday, Nov. 9, is Chaos Never Dies day.  Hilarity ensues.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] Only a history geek would call it, “Independence Day.”

[2] Store-bought costumes were considered “cheating.”

[3] I prided myself for my poker face but couldn’t bring myself to pretend I liked candy corn, even if I could have gotten a barf bag load of Milky Way bars from the ruse.

[4]  At the time yet to be invented. Not much of a footnote, is it?

[5] Not making that up, either.  Buffy.  Holy mother of fornication.

[6] If they thought in those acronyms, which they didn’t. My mother would probably think it’s shorthand for, “Where’s the fire?”

[7]  Persecution, torture, death.

[8] Except, oddly enough Easter, a word found nowhere in the Bible. It comes from the many variants (Eostra, Ester, Eastra, Eastur….) of a Roman deity, goddess of the dawn “Eos” or “Easter,” whose festival was in the Spring.

[9] This Egyptian deity was queen of the multi-taskers — patron of nature, magic, slaves, sinners, artisans, the oppressed….

[10] What — mouth breathers running for office in my beloved Pacific Northwest?

[11] The horseradish is authentic (and kosher). Alas, no bats in our ‘hood. Fresh-from-the-litter contributions (thanks, Nova and/or Crow) are the stunt poo.

[12] Unless you consider “being boring” an obscenity.  Which I so fucking do.

The Romantica I’m Not Googling

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This week’s internet hygiene tip for smart boys and girls of all ages: be sure to practice safe Googling.

I received this email from my publisher’s publicity assistant:

Great news! People can now pre-order The Mighty Quinn. Here are the links: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Quinn-Robyn-Parnell/dp/1938063104/ref=sr_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350928793&sr=1-20&keywords=the+mighty+quinn  

Barnes and Noble (the cover image should be up soon): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mighty-quinn-robyn-parnell/1112095494?ean=9781938063107 

And another interesting piece of news to go along with this is that evidently there is an erotic novel series called The Mighty Quinns… And so when you search “The Mighty Quinn” on Amazon or B&N, your book gets lodged right in the middle of some saucy covers. Not the most ideal placement, but perhaps we’ll just suggest people search your name instead.  

Where is a deep, protracted, “Oh, myyyyyyyyy” when I need it?  Oh, yeah, right here.

But of course, I had to do my search and check out the source of those alleged saucy covers. I found Harlequin Blaze a certain publishing imprint, which describes itself thusly:

                 You like it hot! (Our) stories sizzle with strong, sexy heroines and irresistible heroes playing the game of modern love and lust.
They’re fun, flirty and always steamy. 

Ah, as in, Lifetime Channel aficionado core porn? Excuse me for using the p-word; the genre prefers to call itself Erotic Romance, or Romantica.  And, indeed, the series cover “art” features various square-jawed, pectorally-enhanced men[1], most of whom seem to be battling (but not too successfully) the genre-specific, shirt-be-gone malady.

The idea that a searcher for my book may encounter (from The Mighty Quinns: Marcus):

                                                                Boat restorer Marcus Quinn is not going to sleep with the infamous Eden Ross he tries his best to ignore her topless sunbathing and blatant teasing. But when that fails, what else can he do but give her exactly what she’s asking for–frenzied, brain-numbing sex?

 is reason enough to send me into frenzied, brain-numbing my Happy Things file, and confer a Pretty Purple Toe to…well, to me.  And to The Mighty Quinn.  Singular, please.

*   *   *

Whaddya mean, there’s nothing to celebrate this weekend?

Notable birthdays on October 26 include

– Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary and founder of the Red Army, 1879
– Mahalia Jackson, “The Queen of Gospel” singer and civil rights activist, 1911
Felix the Cat (the wonderful, wonderful cat),   1917
– Wheel of Fortune host and Vanna White’s drinking buddy, Pat Sajak, 1946
– Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State and world-renowned texting-maniac, 1947

*   *   *

Smarter People Than Us Said This

– The truth will set you free.  But first, it will piss you off.   (Gloria Steinem)

– If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.  (Anatole France[2])

*   *   *

It’s been quite the week, both personally and politically, and no rallies for wisdom or reason or common sense in sight.  One of the few things I find more relaxing and sanity-restoring than doing Tai Chi, reading a good book or contemplating the diverse criteria for categorizing farts[3]  is the bestowing of the Asshat of the Week award.

So many worthy recipients come to mind.  Nominees include:

-The conservative/Republican/fundie/non-uterus bearing Indiana senate candidate who attempted to justify his grievously mistaken notion that what goes on in a woman’s uterus is any of his bid-ness by proclaiming that even a pregnancy resulting from rape is something his god “intended.”[4]

-Perennial Lady Asshat[5] Sarah Palin, who was mysteriously silent[6] on fellow wingnut whackadoodle  conservative pundit Anne Coulter’s use of the word “retard” to refer to President Obama , despite the fact that when then White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel used the term, Palin wasted no time in seizing the spotlight, and called for Emmanual to be fired.

About the r-word.  After Anne Coulter’s spew, a mutual friend of MH and moi posted a FB link to an article that addressed how most people still don’t get the gum-flapping about using “retarded’ as an insult.  That night MH and I had a rumination-worthy dinner conversation about the subject.  In that calm, trying-to-appreciate-the-issue way of his, MH dared to postulate that people (in particular the teens, including our own, we’ve heard rib friends about having, say, a “retard” idea) never envision an actual, mentally retarded or developmentally disabled person when they use the word to tease a friend.[7]  MH rhetorically wondered/wanted to understand why other people find it hurtful, or claim insult for another person or category of persons, when the word is not directed at them.

Earlier that day I’d read a commentary about the incident on a British newspaper’s website.  The article began  “… it should come as no surprise to anyone that Coulter used terms that were idiotic and offensive.”  Well, now, I said to moiself.  I’d bet that many people, even those who decry using retarded as an epithet, would not hesitate to declare that a politician who preaches about divinely intended rape pregnancies is an idiot, and his ideas moronic.  And they’d likely do so with nary a thought as to the origins of the labels.

Moron and idiot are/were rankings on the Binet Scale of Human Intelligence ,and indicated intellectual deficiency based on IQ score ranges, with the respective orders of moderate and profound.[8]

Perhaps, MH speculated, it is just too recent in history that retarded was both a medical description and an insult, but idiot and moron have been out of the medical lingo long enough not to ruffle feathers in the same way.

Yet again, I digress.  The business at hand:

I’d read the excerpts in online newsmags about a certain cartoonist blogging his endorsement of a certain presidential candidate.  Surely, they must be wrong, I thought.  Had to go to the source to discover that no, Toon Guy wasn’t quoted out of context.  And the context, yikes.

In a recent blog post  Scott Adams[9] spends a good deal of time enumerating President Obama’s failure on what seems to be the key issue for Scott Adams.

We grapple with increasing world population growth and climatologically induced natural disasters and extricating ourselves from ill-planned wars and a possible nuclear Iran and the continual rumblings of other conflicts in the Mideast and around the world and a tenuous economic recovery and the burgeoning social, cultural, political and economic divide both abroad and here at home…and the deciding factor for Adams?  The Obama administration’s upholding and enforcement of existing Federal laws governing medical marijuana dispensaries.

So while I don’t agree with Romney’s positions on most topics, I’m endorsing him for president starting today.

Uh….yeah.  Because nothing says rational decision-making like voting for someone you think is wrong about most topics.

And so, with a lusty, pungent inhale, asshat bong-head of the week goes to Scott Adams.

*   *   *

With all the hoopla-doodle-doodery  as Armageddon the election approaches, I yearn for a combination sanity/humor break.  Has it really been two years since the The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear took place at the National Mall in D.C.?

The rally, as those of you who were sober may remember, was co-led by The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (who stayed in-character as his Colbert Report conservative political gasbag analyst).  The purpose of the rally, besides being a send-up of a certain, prevaricating talk-radio show host’s[10] ironically titled “Restoring Honor ” rally,[11] was to have some fun promoting the idea of civil, reasonable social and political discourse — you know, the kind of dialog favored by most intelligent, thoughtful, good-natured folk, in contrast to the fear-mongering and irrational shrillness of the more vocal and extreme political voices which manage to dominate the news.

After the rally I remember spending more than a few I-should-be-working hours minutes perusing the online photo collections of people who’d attended or covered TRTRSAOF.  Revisiting the list of homemade signs carried by (and/or t-shirts worn by) the rally attendees still brings a smile to my cynical heart, and will do the same, I hope, to yours.  It is in that spirit I share some of my favorites:

Use your inside voice

I Disagree With You But I’m Pretty Sure You’re Not Hitler

Make Awkward Sexual Advances, Not War

I scare Juan Williams at Airports (sign carried by a Muslim woman)

ALL CAPITAL LETTERS MEANS I’M SERIOUS

Down With Zippers

I Masturbate And I Vote (But Not Usually At The Same Time)

Facts Are Like Opinions Except They’re True

Reality Has A Well-Known Liberal Bias

We Disagree But I Still Understand I Mustn’t Stomp Your Head

What Exactly Is In That Tea you’re Drinking?

THREE WORD SLOGAN!  THREE WORD SLOGAN![12]

I Want My Country Forward

I Fought Nazis And They Don’t Look Like Obama (sign carried by an elderly man)

If You Keep Shouting Like That You’ll Get Big Muscles All Over Your Face

Confused Senior Citizens For Sanity

Christine O’Donnell Turned Me Into A Newt!

I hate taxes.  But I like:  roads, firemen, some cops, traffic lights (except red ones), national parks, the coast guard, etc.  so I pay them anyway.  Oh yeah, I hate war too.

Frustrated
Arizonans
Rejecting
Tea

More Beer Nuts, Less Paranoid Nuts

…and take it off CAPSLOCK

The Mad Hatter called.  He wants his tea party back

WTF, I thought I voted for a Muslim?!

I like tea and you’re kind of ruining it

Don’t be a douche

Even my sign chooses not to yell

Obama is not the devil, I am
(carried by a woman wearing a devil costume)

I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals flaming

I want more tortillas when I order fajitas at a restaurant

Is this the line for Justin Bieber tickets?

Eggs are white.  Obama isn’t.  Breakfast is RUINED.

Stop Americans from stealing our jobs

100%  randomly searched at the following airports
(t-shirt with picture map of us with all major airports highlighted, worn my man with cobalt blue turban and long curly beard)

Bacon is good for me

The sign is too damn BIG

We should do this more often

My arms are tired

404 error political message not found

(Sign attached to a beagle puppy’s collar):  I am not afraid of Muslims, tea partiers, socialists, immigrants, gun-owners, gays…but I am kind of scared of LARGE BIRDS

Am I acting suspicious? (sign carried by a man wearing a Sikh turban)

Lions and tigers and Muslims, oh my

I am pretty sure that god hates us all equally

I already regret choosing to carry around a sign all day

I’m mad as hell but mostly in a passive aggressive way

End Glee theme nights

I see smart people

My name causes national security alerts.  What does yours do?
(shirt worn by Muslim teenager)

When I think about Christine O’Donnell I touch myself

God hates TimesNewRoman

I am the next generation responsible for you in your old age – FEAR ME!
(sign held by toddler sitting atop his dad’s shoulders)

Floridians
Against
Rational
Thought

I left my hyperbole at home

The rent is too damn high

Somewhat irritated about extreme outrage

Does this shirt make me look Muslim?

If you’re not using your braaainnzzzzz can I eat ‘em?  Please?
(shirt worn by zombie)

I shaved my balls for this?

Ironically, this rally is insane.

*   *   *

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] Alone, or in a suggestive embrace with a lissome crotch clutcher

[2] French poet, novelist, journalist, Nobel Prize Winner, and all-around quotable dude

[3] Screamers:  High-pitched, tight-sphincter offerings, often of astonishing duration and tonal variations.

[4] What is it about religion that compounds political stoopidity? Never mind; I already know.

[5] Sounds like a pop star moniker, doesn’t it?

[6] Okay, Sarah Palin remaining silent on any issue, for any reason, should be a cause for unilateral rejoicing

[7] However, Coulter really was directing the “retarded” at developmentally disabled voters

[8] The scale has been revised several times since its inception, with moron, imbecile and idiot replaced with words deemed more descriptive of a scale of intellectual deficiency, such as Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh.

[9] Dilbert comic strip creator and infamous internet sock puppet, who seems to enjoy nothing better than (a) to warn readers of his blog that they are going to misunderstand what they read and (b) issue condescending apologies for confusing readers with his cogent blathering proclamations.  Because, you know, people are too obtuse to appreciate his genius.

[10] Why is it always the lying, slandering, chickenhawk Glenn Becks of the world who loudly squawk about “honor”?

[11] I think Stewart in fact denied that particular motivation for the rally.  But, really.

[12] Actually, that was a chant, not a sign