Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lazy Time Reblog Sunday: Skeptical South

People who ask me what I believe often walk away confused. Tell someone you're an Atheist or one of the many forms of Theist and they know where they stand. If you're not particularly lucky, they're standing near a handy pile of stones just made for throwing. Tell them your Agnostic, however, and they end up staring at you in confusion, frozen mid throw, wondering just what the hell you're talking about.

"Hurry up and explain your belief system, bro. My bicep is getting a cramp!"

An Agnostic, according to Wikipedia, is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown or unknowable. An Agnostic doesn't believe or not believe. Simply put, we're the fence sitters of the theological world, waiting to see how it all turns out before we give a decisive opinion. There are many types Agnostics. Some believe that if a god or gods do exist, it would be impossible to know or understand them. Others believe that if gods do exist, we might know them one day. Maybe. Possibly. Who knows? That pretty much sums up what I believe.

And no, there is no such thing as an Agnostic angel. Probably. Who can say?


It's always a good time trying to explain this to a fundamentalist of any faith and even some hardcore Atheists. When they realize you're on the fence, I swear you can almost hear the wheels turning in their heads. "Do I tell her she's (a godless heathen bound for hellfire) (a damned idiot who can't make up her mind about the true nature of a godless reality) or do I try to bring her over to my side? Hmmmm...." I get this more from Christians than any other group. Most Atheists don't give a crap what you believe so long as you aren't preaching it to them, and when you think about it, it's easy to see why. What does an Atheist have to lose if he/she can't convince you their beliefs (or non beliefs) are the way to go? Nothing. Christians think they're saving you from an eternity of suffering. They believe it enough to come knocking at your door at odd hours of the day wielding pamphlets telling you just how fucked you are going to be if you don't listen to them like right now! I've often wondered where these people live so I could find them and visit them with some pamphlets of my own.

Have you heard the good news of "Stop Knocking on My Fucking Door When I'm Trying to Sleep, Jackass"?

In honor of all you wonderful southern Atheists and Agnostics out there who have thus far had the good grace not to wake me up at a godless hour(pardon the pun) to tell me the good news about there being no good news, this week's Lazy Time Reblog is a post by Matt Stokes from Skeptical South, a blog he and his wife Laci Roth created for all you southern skeptics out there. Yankees can read it too, I guess. Follow Matt and Laci through their blog and their twitter page.


Skeptical South. Skepticism for the discerning southern heathen...Y'all.


I notice how often Christians use the Bible’s prohibition against “sodomy” to stand in for “homosexuality.”

Let me be clear: The Bible absolutely prohibits homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13 makes it pretty clear), just as it prohibits so many things (like eating rabbits). I’m not contesting that. But I am objecting to the lazy equating of sodomy with homosexuality.

Sodomy does not just include homosexual sex. It basically refers to any and all kinds of sex that aren’t heterosexual missionary-position intercourse. Here’s Dictionary.com’s definition:

3

Hmm. So Dictionary.com at least thinks sodomy includes things like oral sex and heterosexual anal sex. But maybe that’s just a weird Dictionary.com thing. Let’s check good ole Merriam-Webster.

M-W



Wow. Same thing. Well, let’s try something different, like Wiktionary.


Wiktionary


Okay, so we at least know sodomy doesn’t just refer to homosexual sex. This is the legal definition of the word, and in fact there are still laws in the United States forbidding sodomy. In my dear state of Louisiana, sodomy is illegal. Now, this law was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, so it’s not actually enforceable, but still, the law is on the books. Efforts to get this obsolete law taken off the books are met with staunch opposition from dumb people. Hey, this law isn’t legal. We’re not allowed to enforce it. Shouldn’t we just delete it? HELL NO!

[Aside: Last year there was a horrendous story out of Baton Rouge in which police officers were going undercover to seduce gay men into sexual encounters, then arresting them for attempting to violate Louisiana's anti-sodomy law. Once the men were arrested and processed, the District Attorney would strike the charges, because, after all, no actual crime had been committed. But still, our tax dollars supported buffoonish, homophobic police operations like these—police operations that can yield no positive result. Even if you were the world's most zealous homophobe, the only thing you would get from this operation is gay people being inconvenienced for a few hours. This operation, nonetheless, was politically popular, because this is pious Louisiana, in the heart of the Bible Belt, and to hell with the gays. And keep in mind, this didn't happen in some small, safe town where police officers have nothing to do... this is Baton Rouge, with a violent crime rate that's more than twice the national average! It's one of the most dangerous cities in America, and cops were spending time and money on arresting gay people for seeking gay sex, then releasing them and never pressing charges. If you want a reason to get angry about how religiously-motivated bigotry pollutes our political system, look no further.]

So what’s up? Every definition of sodomy includes heterosexual sex as well as homosexual sex, but it somehow became shorthand for “gay sex.” Does the Bible intend for it to apply to heterosexual people as well?

I hereby ask any learned religious authority—a priest, pastor, minister, philosopher, etc.—does the Bible prohibit sodomy as defined by the legal system? Does God forbid oral sex between married couples? Can a wife give her husband a blowjob and avoid God’s wrath?

Actually, scratch those questions. I have a better one: Why exactly does the creator of the universe care so much about what people do in the bedroom?


About Matt Stokes

I'm a writer and editor here in New Orleans. I have a novel called 'Generation Why,' available from Amazon and BN.com.
  


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sh*t Massage Therapist Say





I Think I've used all of these. Except the ones having to do with chi. I don't believe in chi. I believe in pure awesomeness, which is what I am when I'm rubbing your shoulders. And I don't sniff Tiger Balm like it's glue or some shit. I sniff Biofreeze. 'Cause that's what my spa carries. Otherwise, I'd totally be tripping on the Balm...tripping Balms...heh.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Doomtown Theater Presents: A Thief in the Night

Wasn't feeling well last night, so I didn't have time to post a Lazy Time Reblog Sunday. Enjoy this Doomtown Theater presentation of A Thief in the Night instead. If you plan on emailing me telling me I'm the whore of Satan and how I'm going to burn in hell for all eternity, be aware that I reserve the right to blog our correspondence, and I will make fun of you mercilessly. You can find this masterpiece on Storify as well as Skeptical South, a blog for people who will probably not be taken up in the rapture. In other words, the cool kids.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lazy Time Reblog Sunday: Thug Notes Presents: The Giver

Sparky Sweets, PhD.
A couple months ago, I went to see How To Train Your Dragon 2 with the hubby and was happily surprised when they showed The Giver as one of the opening trailers. Then I realized the entire thing was in color. If you've ever read the book this movie is based on, you might understand why I felt somewhat deflated. A second trailer came out recently that showed that while some of the scenes are indeed in black and white (leaving me to suspect someone in editing decided to digitally alter a few scenes after a bunch of online bitching), there are still a few deviances from the book that make me wonder if this isn't going to be another World War Z fiasco. And I don't care what Max Brooks says. The movie version of his book was shit plain and simple. Brad Pitt can just suck it.

In honor of Lois Lowry and her wonderful book (and hopefully her equally wonderful adaptation...knock on wood), this week's Lazy Time Reblog is brought to you by Sparky Sweets, PhD. Dr. Sweets is the host of Thug Notes, a show on the Wisecrack channel on YouTube where, as the banner over his channel suggests, you can "learn your ass off". Thug Notes is kind of like Spark Notes, only more fun. This week's episode is dedicated to The Giver. Please be sure to subscribe to his channel, and remember: The book is always better than the movie. Always. I'm looking at you, Brad.


For real, player.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lazy Time Reblog Sunday: How To'sday by tadelesmith

The beauty industry has been going crazy lately-in other words, business as usual-with something they're calling "thigh gap" mania. A thigh gap is when you're so thin, you could clinch your legs tighter than a virginal nun trapped in a whore house and still see the fat ass standing behind you. And if you don't have a thigh gap, that's what you are. A fat ass. At least, that's how the world in general makes it seem. Because Gods forbid a woman should look like a normal human being with actual mass.

I've seen women with thigh gaps, and I have to tell you, I don't see the attraction. I guess it comes in handy if you need a cup holder or something. Whatever. If you are one of the "lucky" few to be thigh gap prone (i.e. skinny to the point of skeletal), more power to you, but I prefer a little more meat on my bones. For those of you out there who are not thigh gap prone (i.e. big and beautifully flabby like me), that want to jump on the crazy Katemossian, yoga pants wearing band wagon but can't afford surgery or an eating disorder, there's still hope for you. A YouTuber by the name of tadelsmith has a fool proof method for faking one in five easy to follow steps. Be sure to check out her other How to'sday videos if you want to learn how to go on a datehow to prepare for your first day of school, or even learn how to be the life of the party! I've been meaning to check her how to vid on procrastination, but I've been busy. I'll get to it. Eventually.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Doomtown Theater Presents: Frozen

When the ladies at the spa where I work found out I had never seen Frozen, they were all like, "Damn, girl! You've got to rent it! It is SO good!" One of them even said it made her cry. I knew this wouldn't happen to me. No movie has ever made me cry. Ever. Not Titanic. Not Schindler's List. Not even Big Trouble in Little China-although, I must admit, I got a little misty eyed when Jack Burton finally got his truck back.

I'm only human, damn it!

Darren had it on Blu-Ray so we both decided to hunker down to see what all the fuss was about. I didn't cry. I didn't even get misty eyed. When the girls at work asked what I thought of it, I shrugged and said, "It was meh." They were astounded, probably wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Every woman I've talked to about it since has said it's the best animated movie Disney has ever put out and they don't understand how I don't feel the same way. The word that usually comes up when describing it to me is "empowering" or some such equivalent, and I'm not saying it's not. I've never really understood that whole love at first sight shtick. And bringing some chick back from the dead with "true love's kiss" is just creepy as fuck. Kudos to Disney for not falling into the same misogynistic trap it usually falls into, but that didn't make me like the movie any better. I just thought the story was...meh.

All arguing over whether or not this movie passes the Bechdel Test aside, I just wasn't that into it. Mostly for the reasons explained here. And here. And the fact that that Kristoff guy likes his reindeer friend a little too much for comfort. Not that I'm judging. Okay, maybe just a little.

Is it me, or is that look on Sven's face just a little too..."rapey"?
I've decided to live tweet my Frozen movie experience in an attempt to help these ladies understand why I feel the way I do about this movie. And because I'm bored and need to post something other than a Lazy Time Reblog. Blogger still sucks, but I finally figured out how to embed this biotch. Go me! Enjoy.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Lazy Time Reblog Sunday: Cry Plays

In an attempt to keep my post quota up to date, I've decided to make every Sunday a Lazy Time Reblog Sunday by posting cool stuff I find on the internet. This week's Lazy Time post comes from a faceless gamer going by the name Cryaotic. Cry plays various video games while delivering commentary with such comedic timing, he'll have you falling out of your computer chair with laughter. Or shaking your head at the foibles of today's youth. Either way, I blame him for renewing my addiction to PC games with this episode he did of Vampire the Masquerade - Bloodlines even though the game is buggy as all hell to the point of inducing rage every time I play. I'm even contemplating purchasing The Last of Us when I'm done with VtMB. If my husband hasn't locked me away in a padded cell for my own protection.

I learned it from you, Cry. I learned it from watching you!





Friday, August 01, 2014

"Meet Our Therapist"...Doomtown Style!

My boss has been getting on me to make a bio for Balance Spa's Facebook page for ages, and I've only just consented to do it. I had been putting it off mostly because doing so would require me to have a picture taken of myself. Having a picture taken of myself would require me to wear makeup. I could go without, but doing so would cause one of the seven seals to be opened therefore heralding the coming apocalypse. I hear a river in China recently turned to blood. I'm not saying I had anything to do with it, but I wouldn't make any long term plans if I were you.

For it has been foretold!
The bio was written by one of our lovely and talented receptionists, Rayme. For those of you wondering why I hadn't written the thing myself, read a few of my posts. You might notice a pattern. I can't seem to write anything serious without becoming sarcastic or goofy. That's just the way I roll. But I couldn't help tweaking Rayme's version just a bit to fit my own "fabulous" personality. Here is the one Rayme wrote:



Today on “Meet Our Therapist” we introduce you to Karen, one of our fabulous Massage Therapists. Karen explains that she received a gift certificate from her then boyfriend and now husband for a massage. She was so enthralled with the process and felt healed and relaxed by the experience so much so that she wanted to teach herself how to practice massage. She bought an instructional DVD, to get a grasp of the basics and then she enrolled in Delgado Community College’s Massage Therapy Program. Karen graduated in 2010 and has been passionately practicing massage ever since.

 
And here's mine:
 

Repent, ye sinners!
Today on "Meet our Therapist" we introduce you to Karen, one of our fabulous Massage Therapists. Just don't tell her how fabulous she is or she might get a bit full of herself and start making foolish demands like...shudder...asking for a "raise". Karen explains that she got into massage when her then boyfriend gave her a spa gift certificate for Christmas. Brimming forth with gratitude, she decided to buy an instructional DVD to teach her how to give her ever lovin' man a massage instead of forking over the cash to buy him a spa package. Mostly because she is incredibly cheap. The DVD entitled Massage Your Mate turned out to be a legitimate instructional and not porn as was initially believed, but she watched it anyway and came to the conclusion that becoming a massage therapist seemed a whole lot easier than her current job, a casino dealer at Boomtown Casino. At the very least, she figured, there would probably be less death threats. Because drunken gamblers losing their money are just so unreasonable. She enrolled in Delgado Community College instead of Blue Cliff because it was less expensive only to discover she would be forced to take a whole mess of biology prerequisites. In spite of a natural aversion to things floating around in formaldehyde, Karen soldiered on, passed her certification exam in 2010, and has been passionately practicing massage ever since. But not too passionately. Because she doesn't do that type of massage.
 
...Maybe it's a good thing they didn't let me do the bio.