Department Of A Rhetorical Question Which Is Going To Be Answered
Dateline: Sunday morning, returning from walk, listening to The Go-Go’s album, Talk Show. It’s one of my faves, except for the chorus of the song, Forget That Day. The song’s narrator laments what seems to be a tryst at a no-tell motel, with a lover who is already involved with someone else. In the chorus, she laments the consequences…over and over and over….
♫ Why’d you say you loved me
That day, that day
When you knew you wouldn’t have me on
This day, this day…♫
What do you mean *why?*
Because it worked. Because he wanted you to fuck him, and you did.
* * *
Department Of The Best Kind Of Spam Call
MH called me into his work-at-home office. When I entered the room to find out what had put the impish lilt in his voice, he held up his cellphone for me to see the caller ID for the call he’d just received (but did not answer). “I knew you’d like this,” he said, when moiself raised my hands with gratitude to unknown cosmic pranksters when I beheld the call’s destination:
Hopefully, fans of the romcom Made of Honor will also one day have the opportunity to say that you got a call from some anonymous athol.
* * *
Department Of Well, There Goes My Award
Dateline: Tuesday, noonish. MH comes downstairs, holding his phone, with yet another bit o’ impishness about him – this time, in his expression.
“What?” I ask him.
“Did you hear that Richard Dawkins got his Humanist of the Year Award taken away?” he says.
I didn’t even know that Richard Dawkins – evolutionary biologist, author, professor, atheist activist, religion-and-supernatural-thinking debunker, and equal opportunity offender when it comes to towing *any* group’s party line – had even received a Humanist of the Year Award…but him being bestowed with that title wouldn’t surprise me. I knew Dawkins had received the prized, “The Emperor Has No Clothes” award from the FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation), as well as a variety of other accolades for his advocacy of science and critical thinking.
“No, I didn’t,” I replied. “Why was it taken away – wait; let me guess. He said something ‘offensive’?”
“It was taken away for, ‘transphobia.’ ” MH scrolled through the news feed he was reading. “Something he tweeted.”
“Oh dear,” I giggled. “Did someone get their trannie panties in a knot?”
* * *
Department So Of Course I Got Curious
Moiself got to be wondering: when was the award given, and when and what did Dawkins tweet? The answers were just a google search away.
The award was given in – holy crap – 1996? Twenty-five years ago? Yeah, he’s gonna be missing that…certificate…trophy…framed plaque…engraved toaster, or whatever prize is bestowed upon a Humanist of The Year.
“Mr. Dawkins sparked a backlash on Twitter after he tweeted on April 10: ‘In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black. Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as. Discuss.’
Several hours later, Mr. Dawkins clarified he was asking the question for academic purposes and not stating his own opinion on the matter.
‘I do not intend to disparage trans people,’ he wrote. ‘I see that my academic ‘Discuss’ question has been misconstrued as such and I deplore this. It was also not my intent to ally in any way with Republican bigots in US now exploiting this issue.’ ”
( “Richard Dawkins loses ‘Humanist of the Year’ award after comparing trans people to Rachel Dolezal,”
The Washington Times, 4-20-21 )
Okey-dokey. So: Dawkins didn’t call anyone names; he didn’t call for anyone to be marginalized or vilified. He merely stated several verifiable historical, biological, cultural and social commentary data:
- In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black.
- Some men choose to identify as women.
- Some women choose to identify as men.
- You will be vilified if you deny that they (the men and women in points B and C) literally are what they identify as.
Richard Dawkins is a scientist. He views the world, even the “social constructs” of the culture wars, through the lens of scientific critique and investigation. Here is another thing he said, in 2015 when the Rachel Dolezal brouhaha was going on:
Is trans woman a woman? Purely semantic.
If you define by chromosomes, no. If by self-identification, yes.
I call her “she” out of courtesy.
(Richard Dawkins, @RichardDawkins, Oct 26, 2015 )
I call her “she” out of courtesy (my emphases). Whether you are a scientist or a sociologist or a dinner party guest, you call people what they want to be called; it’s a simple courtesy. Dawkins reinforces that, by using the preferred pronouns a trans woman would use. Were any of his critics paying attention?
In terms of the reaction to Ms. Dolezal, Dawkins stated the facts that had many people on the many sides of that wild rumpus wondering, “Wait a minute – how is this is this different from that?” (including moiself , who, deep down inside, identifies as Scarlett Johanssen, no matter what moiself looks like from the outside).
Such questions ( “Can we talk about how or why this is, or is not, different from that?”) can lead to illuminating dialogs.  Dialogs; you know, as in talking about the issues. As in, “discussions.”
Nope. “Discuss” translates into – Dis-and-react. As in (attempt to) shame, shout down, demonize,  and “cancel.”
It often seems that, in the censorious here and now, we cannot merely discuss any hot button topics. This, regrettably, gives ammunition to those on “The Right” who say that “The Left” is composed of thin-skinned, self-righteous, free-speech fascists/crybabies who cannot abide the examination of their sacred cows without hiding behind the skirts of The Rhetoric of the Oppressed (“You offended me! WAAAH!”).
Dawkins, of course, should’ve expected this reaction. Or, perhaps he anticipated it? He seems to enjoy putting the proverbial burr under the saddle – any rider’s saddle, including those of his own cavalry.
Also, after decades of being threatened with the torments of hell by the (Christian) religious right for his pro-evolution/anti-creationism campaigns (Dawkins has likened the teaching of creationism in schools – which can be found hiding behind the rhetorical skirts of “intelligent design” – as “educational debauchery”), I don’t think Dawkins is going to lose any sleep over the retracted prize.
And so it is that I dust out the Asshat Of The Week award.  It seems fitting to give the award to The American Humanist Association, to dishonor their sanctimonious revocation of their 1996 award to Dawkins. 
* * *
Department Of Everything Is Going To Be All Right, Trust Me
You know how some people contact a famous person and request birthday or other greetings for their friend, their elderly mother, a child dying of cancer, etc.? Apparently, not all such requests are on the up-and-up, as Former Member of Parliament Nigel Farage discovered when he fell for a prank on a video-sharing app wherein fans pay celebrities to record personalized messages.
Serves him right, sez moiself. Farage, a Brexit party leader , anti-semitic conspiracy theorist, right wing German anti-immigrant party supporter , long-time #45 defender and all-around enema bag, participates on this greetings-for-hire site (and reportedly charges £75 for each recording). But money can’t buy a petty thrill as delightful as the one that comes from knowing that Farage’s petty greed and/or ego led to him being seen and heard around the viral world, wishing a happy birthday to a “Hugh Janus.”
“Happy birthday Hugh Janus, I’ve heard you’re a massive fan,” Farage said.
You can see the video here.
* * *
Department Of 7 Am Reflections On The Meaning Of Life ®
On a walk, blissfully solitary except for the early risers  taking their canine companions for a morning piss stroll, I find moiself thinking,
Dogs are amiable, furry, quadrupedal structures enclosing gallon-sized bladders.
* * *
Pun For The Day
I keep asking wat LGBTQ stands for,
but I can never get a straight answer. 
* * *
May Those Who Bestow Such Things ® have a helluva good reason before they take away your award;
May you refrain (sorry) from writing songs with stupid questions in their choruses;
May Mr. Hugh Janus record a birthday greeting for you;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 If cool heads reign.
 Which is a failing strategy, when applied to an atheist.
 Which actually has not been bestowed, by moiself, in several years.
 Who will likely lose little sleep over the issue. “Dawkins, 80, claimed that the loss of the award would have little practical effect on him because he had never used it. ‘Apparently the honour hadn’t meant enough to me to be worth recording in my CV,’ he said.” (The Times)
 Now, why would you think there would be a footnote here?
 And the answer is “Let’s Get Bubble Tea Quickly.”