Postmortem (Early Edition)

As you enjoy the festivities in Washington, please permit me to throw ice water on your fun.  I do this because, of course, we all know what is coming.  Barring a miracle, the Dems will lose the House, and the Senate will probably hang on the vote of Joe Lieberman, of all people.

Not a surprise, in light of the usual performance of out-parties in midterms.  But the whos and hows this time around make my head hurt.  For example, take Sharron Angle (please).  When asked about her views on foreign policy, her response left something to be desired.  Like, for instance, an actual thought.  She said: “I’ll answer those questions when I’m the Senator.” 

She said this the week before an election.  And she still could win.  Oh, to be a fly on the wall when she goes in for the inevitable policy boot-camp Jim DeMint is going to run for his new minions.  That will be hilarious.

Seriously, though:  The Dems had momentum and a clear mandate for change.  They passed sweeping legislation — not a whole loaf by any stretch, but something tangible.  And they are about to lose to a bunch of people who are as content-free as a documentary on the life of a mayfly.  And not just content-free, but people who actually break into fits when asked to think about something.  What this says about politics, and about Americans, is almost too frightening to contemplate.  It is enough to say that, if ever there was a moment for sanity, it is now.

With that: OPEN THREAD!  Laugh to keep from crying, everyone.


It always happens the same way, if a little out of sequence. We have had our Caligula. Maybe Angle is the figurative horse being appointed to the Senate. I wonder when Washington, DC will burn.

Watching the replay of eMeg v Jerry Brown debate replay on C-SPAN now. Gee whiz — the fact that Whitman had a chance against Mr. Smooth here is bewildering.

I dunno about “policy boot camp” – even a parrot can be trained to say “taxes bad” with only a little training…

Watching the live feed on CSPAN. Good crowd, nice tunes, pretty weather. Woodstock, Altamont, or just a swank good-bye party?

@Nabisco: I’m seeing some Smug Alert carping on Twitter. Geez, folks, it’s a free concert! It’s always been a free concert! Nothing more or less.

Walked the dawgs, picked up the truck from Mrs. RML’s office where we stashed it before the party last night, headed for the tire store. for her rig Hack around on some chores around the house we’re selling then the day is over.

ADD: As for the rally, I think I know a dude from here who went out to get his marching orders for the great progressive insurrection. At this point, I’d be pissed if I was him.

@nojo: Im not seeing all the fleece the tweets mentioned, but it is pretty, well, sane. I’m feeling a “party now folks, cause in a week we’ll be eating dog food” vibe.

Is MellBell on the Mall?

To the topic: The Dems sealed their fate when they passed a half-hearted stimulus bill. Its shortfalls were noted at the time. And the midterm was always going to be about the economy.

Mythbusters! Well, they’re not exactly Wavy Gravy…

ADD: pun not intended…

@Nabisco: First crowd estimate 150,000.

Any good herb out there?

The first time I saw Don Novello, I was a teenager. Now I get AARP junk mail.

Yawn. Give me Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples!

@Nabisco: I’m not sure which Stinquers are in attendance. I didn’t think to arrange for text reports.

Oh, and Cat’s singing his songs again? I thought he swore those off.

@nojo: Dude was on the no fly list for awhile. Fun fact: Tea for the Tillerman features different Cat voices on sides 1 and 2(throat surgery).

@Nabisco: Your wish is granted.

And you cheated, looking at the leaked schedule.

@nojo: CSPAN has a scroll…

ADD: with that, good night, and stay sane!

Still seeing carping on Tweeter. Geez, folks, it’s a live Daily Show/Colbert Report. What the fuck did you expect?

Unless, of course, you read all the media hyperventilation. Calderone was just a representative sample.

@nojo: It’s the victory of postmodernism. It is what you think it is.

WAIT: Sheryl Crow’s using a teleprompter! FRAUD!

@chicago bureau: I think the Roots are a lot better when liberated from Jimmy Fallon.

The stars playing this for laughs is refreshing. I guess.

“We live now in hard times, not endtimes.” That’s a good one to go out on.

That, plus the media criticism. Which is what Stewart’s always been about.

Great: C-SPAN going to open phones. UR DOIN IT RONG.

@chicago bureau: My feelings exactly. And in my world, not sucking is high praise.

@chicago bureau: “Today’s rally: Political or Entertainment?”

With separate phone lines for Dems, Reps, and Inds.

Point proven.

I’m going to have to find the page in “America: The Book” where he rips on the media in the same terms he used today. His message hasn’t changed.

Back on Twitter, blistering criticism from lefties: Tom Tomorrow, Harry Shearer, Digby, even Olbermann.

Main criticism: False equivalency between right and left blowhards.

Point taken, but they’re really angry out there. Dudes: Chill.

Jeezus Keeriste…

Sampling the media coverage out there, and it’s fucking brutal. I guess everyone’s taking the opportunity to give as hard as they get, but I’m being told in no uncertain terms that the pleasant Saturday morning I just spent was three hours of Major Fail.

I was thinking of doing a post called “Rashomon on the Mall,” but it’s too overwhelming to contemplate.

@nojo: Haven’t seen a minute of it – working, then shrink. I’ll catch the highlights later, but I take it Stewart was actually fair towards the wingnuts?

@blogenfreude: I wouldn’t say it was fair to the wingnuts. But the media montages sampled equally from MSNBC, which is what has the lefties pissed.

What was it? A live, satirical show about politics. Who could have known?

@nojo: How can you brutalize a rally that features Tony Bennett, Kareem Abdul Jabbar AND the guys from Mythbusters together on stage? It sounds like the “serious cable journalists” are peeved that Stewart and Colbert reminded people that ultimately the game of politics doesn’t really dominate their everyday lives 24/7. Which is the exact opposite message the “serious cable journalists” bombard us with every minute of every day in their pursuit of viewers for their advertisers.

@Dave H: Stewart’s “political” message was that the media are incessant fearmongers and controversialists. So of course everybody’s piling on.

I watched the whole rally livestreaming on CSPAN and felt really great until they went to the phone lines, then I had to go outside and play with my dog. Lucy rules!

And then there’s Dave Weigel, who can annoy the shit out of me, but I keep him on the radar for his wingnut coverage:

Burned RT @jesteinf Perhaps the smugness of the ralliers is only exceeded by the smugness of the political media coverage of the rally?

There’s also a “Stuff White People Like” angle to the criticism out there. I feel like everyone’s shouting at me for daring to enjoy the show.

Lockstep moments like this are one reason why I don’t self-identify as a Lefty. Obviously I’m a fellow-traveler, but I keep my own counsel.

I hereby declare the Olympiad of Co-Opting Jon Stewart’s Message As If It Was Your Own…. open!

Je declare ouvert l’Olympiad du….

Per my buddies who were on the Mall this morning, they didn’t see a single misspelled sign. That’s all you need to know. There were some pretty witty signs, too, judging from their photos.

I thought it kind of sucked. Not much more than a middle aged liberal variety show.

@chicago bureau: Funny thing is, Inevitable Co-optation was one of the jokes. Their Evil Plot is playing out as planned.

@redmanlaw: That’s certainly fair — it was a show, and as a show you enjoyed it or you didn’t. Folks out on the Internets are trying to criticize it as something else.

Via Sully, the Secret Link:

Analysis of his mitochondrial DNA, inherited from his mother, revealed that [Ozzy] Osbourne shared a common ancestor with Stephen Colbert about 1,000 years ago.

Can’t wait for Beck to diagram that one.

I planted bulbs (with a piece of absolute total fucking made-in-China crap that bent as soon as it hit the first fucking stone – True Story: there’s a road in Woodstock called Rock City Road, so named because if every rock were a person it’d be a city. Altogether now: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww – so that will go back, I wouldn’t have bought it had I realized it was made there. It is artfully plastered with info about Ann Arbor, rather like hiking boots in boxes with pics of lissom blondes climbing buttes in Utah but which harbor the same Cheap Chinese Shit: God! I hate the motherfucking crap those motherfuckers make! Plus the spade folded in half as I tried to lift the wilding daylillies), trimmed the crack willows, planted the carbon-offset willow for JNOV so now she can like party like there’s no tomorrow, which is just as well since there may well be no tomorrow. Came inside and… scene.

I have been all over the Danish invasion. I even sent the queen a carton of unfiltered Luckies. I’m begging them: if ever we needed a deus ex machina it is now, Lars! Do not hang up on me! Blue jeans! Big Mac! Phone Home! Which was, I admit, a mistake: they’re Danes not Russians. Anyhoo I hear back. Apparently they get cable too (who knew? I thought the fjords ruled that out. Oh wait. Denmark is flat. Fjordless. Damn. I skewed my approach Swede) and they’re basically saying: We’re blonde, we’re not stupid. So. That’s my last bright idea. I’m flat. I got nada.

Though I am renewing my UK passport. I am actually contemplating living among the English again. The OH is agitating for London and a ready supply of olives. I’m promoting the Hebrides even though they have no musical theatre. Yet. Unless I can somehow drug him and get him on a ferry to Eggilsstoddir.

Seriously. I am supposed to be here working on my comedy about dying which is going to be presented for the first time in public sooner than might be sensible and which might just lure me back to the stage and instead here I am, trying to amuse all my faceless pals. I am going to have to start charging admission.

BTW. This for noje: Darling one, was watching Great Expectations last night (OMFG!!!!!!!!!) and was struck by the gorgeous love theme – shall I come there and hum? – but it seemed strangely familiar. And I thought, hm, how? Then it came to me, while the cows were talking to Pip, it’s With One Look, the Big Song from Sunset Boulevard note for note. I’m wondering if there is a reality show here: Each week we take one of ALW’s ‘works’ and make the contestants try to find the song he’s stolen. The one who identifies most wins.

Carry on.

You know what I wish? I wish I could send my cats on errands, and I wish they could cook. I wish I could hook them up to little, uh, little, uh, those things that they would drag behind them. Not wagons — um, those things, you know, they begin with a T, I think (Fuck. I must have a fever. Travois?), but I’d put wheels on them to make it easier for the cats to bring me stuff. I guess they’d be wagons after all.

I wish my cats could take my debit card and buy me a couple, no, maybe three or four of cans of tomato soup, some bread, and some cheese. It would be nice if they could cook up a grilled cheese for me. Oh, and some tissues would be preferable to toilet paper, because I’m going to eventually run out of toilet paper and then what? The drip dry takes too long. I’d substitute a cat, but they sleep with me, and they’re kinda feral, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to attempt to wipe your ass with a feral cat even if you wouldn’t be able to smell it later. Shedding adds another dimension to why cats should not be used as Charmin.

And I wish my cats had good credit and could buy me a car. And drive me around. But I bet cats would be shitty drivers, because I doubt they’d obey any traffic laws. Oh, wait. That’s been done. Toontzes or whatever.

I’m looking at one of those beasts right now. She’s lounging fast asleep on my shoes and mocking me snoring. Another one is curled up in my jeans. The third one is outside planning my demise. I’m sure they think I’ll taste like chicken when they eventually resort to eating my face. I’m dosing myself with coffee hoping that it will trick me into feeling well enough to go to the Wawa. I think the cats are forming a union.

Did Promight make it to DC? Good thing I didn’t go with him, as I imagine he would have abandoned me for fear of catching the fungus.

@Benedick: OH! Thank you! I feel better already! Oh, thank you!

@JNOV: There will be pictures but I’m trying to avoid awkward IMs on Facebook from someone I do not want to talk to. I am putting my foot down and I will be called many nasty names by people I don’t know. However, I took a pic of the tree – it’s a wee thingy, lassie – but will also take pics of the same variety of willow about 8 years on which is growing in another place on the estate. Also pics of the hole – as the bishop said to the actress – and surroundings. Very beautiful bright warm/cool fall day here. The foliage was nothing special this year, which is good: the fact that our wondrous New York falls will fade into memory along with Woodstock’s ice trade, bluestone quarries, glass manufactories, leather tanning, and home recording studios (have I mentioned lately that Dylan owns the top of our mountain?) is something best digested slowly, year by disappointing year.

I am now realizing that this Stewart/Colbert thing is depressing me mightily. I feel like someone has been assassinated.

PS. I love Paul Reubens. One of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with. Feel better. When I post pics I will also post For I Will Consider My Cat Geoffry. For he can spraggle upon waggle.

@Benedick: :-* No worries about the pics. Thank you for taking them, and whenever you’re able, I’ll be thrilled to see them. In your own time, Benedick. In your own time.

Yeah, I have weird feelings about the Stewart/Colbert thing. I thought I’d go down just to have something to do, but…I don’t know how to express it…it seems empty. Maybe it’s got something to do with the the whole commercialization of Hope and Change or the abandonment of Hope and Change and this whateveritwas today filled a vacuum. It’s the existence of the vacuum that disturbs me, and here you have all these people who are still hoping for change, but this is the only mass venue available to them?

Something is lacking. Leadership?

ADD: Wait! You worked with Reubens? I’m seriously cooking up some sort of Get Tickets to Paul’s Broadway Show Plan. I think one of the best things that my brother (16 years my junior) was exposed to was Reuben’s Pee-wee character. It flew in the face of all the fundie indoctrination our mom was jamming down his throat. It’s hard to explain, but seeing Reubens as this man-child opened my brother’s mind to other ideas of what it means to be a man. I keep trying to explain (and editing and editing) why I think it was important, but I’m falling short. My brother is rejecting homophobic rhetoric. That’s a HUGE step in the right direction, especially for someone who was more immersed in fundieism than I was. I think Reuben’s character contributed somehow.

Now then: in line for Black Eagle’s rally at the U of C. (Actually, it’s the line to get into the real line. Which is a half-mile long. Hoo boy.)

Anyway– all those screaming about how Barry’s a socialist? Bah! I got your real socialists RIGHT HERE. The line has a bunch of undiluted Marxists trolling for signatures, talking about their new constitution for a superstate that brings those pesky Canucks into the fold. They almost outnumber those passing petitions for the Rahmbo for Mayor campaign. Which is scary enough, to be honest.

@JNOV: “Free concert.”

That’s all it ever was, and that’s what I expected tuning in this morning. The media (and, apparently, the Internets) worked themselves into a frenzy trying to make it otherwise.

@nojo: Well, I dunno. Was is a good concert? It doesn’t even seem like it was, and it seems like there was more yapping and silliness than music. (This from someone without a TV or the ability to stream, so I’m just going on what I’ve read here and at the NYT.)

It was a free concert/comedy show, but it was held on the mall by comedians who make their living skewering politicians. It’s kind of hard to ignore the political connection. It may not have been connected to a party per se, but much like the Tea Baggers claim they are an independent movement, it’s hard to divorce politics from whateverthatwas today.

I was reading the NYT live blog, and it seemed that the people they interviewed, or at least the people whose comments were published, were looking for more. Something political. They were looking for something. That’s the sentiment I’m trying to express. Free concerts are nice unless the music is crap.

ADD: They were looking for direction?

@JNOV: I had a look at the NYT blog earlier, and yes, folks in the crowd may have been looking for more than the folks on stage offered.

But teabaggers form a manifestly political movement, whether or not they care to reveal themselves as wingnuts. Jon Stewart claims to be a political satirist, and I haven’t seen him budge from that.

His message? Stop shouting at each other.

Personally I agree with the criticism that he can be too even-handed, that there really are (say) racists out there infesting the body politic, and it’s not hyperventilation to call them out. And of course I approach political subjects from the perspective of an amateur satirist, so hyperventilation is part of the toolkit.

So I don’t necessarily agree with him on the finer points. But I didn’t let that get in the way of enjoying the show, and I would have been happy to be there.

And I’m not criticizing Stewart/Colbert or the whateveritwas. I’m thinking that there’s got to be a way to take all the people who were willing to head to the mall today and mobilize them in some more meaningful way. Maybe people just needed some sort of silly respite. I’m all for that. But there’s this huge potential just waiting to be tapped. Obama tapped it but didn’t maintain, support, or cultivate it. Now it’s just aimless and somewhat pitiful.

@JNOV: Alas, that’s the depressing point: Obama did mobilize them. And then he threw it away.

I’m too old to say whether he lost a generation. But I know how it felt to turn 21 the same year Reagan was elected. For any number of reasons, I checked out of the Eighties.

@nojo: I’m not trying to connect today to the Tea Baggers or to Beck in substance, but the venue connects them in form. I’m also not trying to say that Colbert and Stewart have some sort of duty to uphold or anything like that. Gah. I’m having such a hard time expressing myself. If you consider that there have been two rallies on the mall this year that have garnered this type of attendance and attention, and you consider that one was of the fomenting fear, hatred, and violence vein, and the other was a free concert, it’s just pitiful for the left.

Dems have been criticized for sitting on their hands during political campaigns and thinking, “Meh. Those Swift Boat loonies — we don’t need to respond to them. It’s quite obvious they’re nuts” and it’s turned out that ignoring these jackasses was stupid. Yes, there are a shitton of people who put on their fucking tin foil hats and go along with the Swift Boat tide.

I’m trying to express my frustration with a party that seems to stumble along blindly, that ignores their supporters (or that throws them under the bus), a party that doesn’t take people like Beck and O’Donnell seriously because, hell if I know why. Because they’re that out of touch? Maybe they don’t want to believe that many people are turning over rocks looking for the next Swift Boat scandal, or, hell, they’ll just make one up, and a scary number of people want to believe ridiculous shit. Maybe Democrats are just lazy or don’t know what the hell to do. Meh. Ramble.

Well, I enjoyed it. Granted, I had to squint to ignore issues of false equivalency, but there were some really funny bits and I was glad I tuned in.

I think the timing of the rally was the only unfortunate part. At this point people need to understand how obstructionist Republicans have been and have promised to continue to be. That, however, is not Jon Stewart’s job. That’s the job of journalists and Democratic leaders. Unfortunately, they have all been nothing but fail on that front.

Benedick, will you adopt me? Or you could hire me as your body servant. I don’t mind moving to the Hebrides, or London.

@JNOV: I’d like to know whose brilliant idea it was to give chairmanship of the DNC to that complete tool Tim Kaine. That was a major tell that the administration was going to forget everything the campaign knew about the power in numbers.

@nojo: Yeah. I think that’s the thing. Wasted potential — you don’t have to be a parent to get torqued when someone pisses it away.

The last time we had a chance was the 60s. It turned into sex drugs and that other thing. And they kicked us to the gutter where we belonged. This time our president is going down in flames and we have a rally to be nice? Are You Fucking Kidding Me? Had it been a rally to burn down K Street I would have been all over it. But NICE? Fucking NICE? Please. Let’s sing songs. Let’s demonstrate for the Cock brothers how fucking ineffectual we are. Oh and plus we’ll do jokes and make snark. Snark: where passion goes to die.

The only thing more depressing than Democratic politicians are Democratic supporters. And now we can all boast how we didn’t vote for Obama in 12. I voted Green, man. I voted for Nader. I made my vote count, man. They don’t repeal DADT? Fuck that shit, man. I am like so over the process.

I am too good to vote.

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: Yeah. Funny you should mention that. As I was writing, I was thinking, who is the head of the DNC? Screaming Mimi is out. (Loved him!) Terry McAuliffe — what did he do? He did some ole crazy shit. Anyway. Yeah.

@JNOV: [bizarre repetition of previous comment removed]

I just read your next comment (“If you consider that there have been two rallies on the mall this year that have garnered this type of attendance and attention, and you consider that one was of the fomenting fear, hatred, and violence vein, and the other was a free concert, it’s just pitiful for the left.”) . You’ve hit the nerve with that insight. It’s like Democrats are bringing a rubber chicken to a gun fight.

@JNOV: a party that seems to stumble along blindly, that ignores their supporters

Actually, Wall Street is doing quite well by them.

Oh, you mean us.

Laura Bush is wearing some fugly-ass blue beaded necklace to the World Series game. I wonder if Shrub will choke on a peanut.

I would have liked to attend but life got in the way. Got to watch most of it on the tube on Comedy Central. Switched to Top Gear immediately after. I don’t give a healthy crap what the news(?) organizations think of the show, I enjoyed myself.

Good to see Yusef Mohammed (sp?). I was saddened when Cat Stevens converted to Islam only for the reason that it stopped him from performing. Any religion that is intolerant of music, especially music that teaches tolerance as his did, should be ignored.

I think Tony Bennett sounded much better today then he did the other night at the game.

I think what Stewart did was show that normal people outnumber the followers of that jackass Beck. I find that somehow reassuring. And I notice that the spelling only seemed intentionally incorrect.

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: And the woid of the day is “Clueless.” I mean, can we buy a fucking clue?

@DElurker: Yusuf Islam.

Harry Shearer shot off a couple of tweets about the last name being omitted. But it seems he’s recorded officially under a single name for a couple years, so nothing new there.

@JNOV: Progressives and teabaggers have one thing in common: They’re used by their respective parties for the sole purpose of getting votes.

After that, it’s back to their real constituents.

@DElurker: I’d be reassured if normal people who vote and run for office outnumber the followers of that jackass Beck.

ADD: There are lots of Islamic performers. Think Egyptian belly dancers. I’m not sure religious tenets stopped him from performing.

Fuck John Stewart (learn how to spell your fucking name, you prick) and Stephen Colbert. This stunt will lose the Democrats even more votes. Let’s all go out and show the world what smug fucking losers we are.

I can only hope that Comedy Central fires them both. However, since they are tools of Viacom this kind of infantilism makes the boss happy.

@nojo: Keep talking like that, and I’m going to research whether I can write in a candidate in my commonwealth.

@JNOV: Pedo-bait.

But if I cared to take the time, I’d look into who has actually benefited from one party or the other since, oh, 1980. A purely empirical approach. And I don’t think the answer includes the middle class or the poor.

@Benedick: Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, for the record.

Oh, that song’s called Peace Train? When I was a kid, I thought it was about strained peas. I wish I were kidding. And he didn’t sing that song about the dad missing his son? Again, I wish I were kidding.

Plus. Can we please learn how to sing the national fucking anthem in TUNE????????!!!!!!!!!! Someone? When we sing the anthem of our country can we please stop singing FLAT?????????? And stop with the grace notes if you don’t know the fucking TUNE.

I am lost to despair from this retardery. I am seriously thinking of voting Republican. Anything to stop this shite. I will burn the TV. I will listen to Miley Cyrus. (Billy Ray. Call me. About the wrestling thing you did in high school? Coach here. Get down and give me twenty, boy. Johnny Earl who? Floppy hair? Not ringin’ any bells, boy. You’re fillin’ out them jeans mighty fine)

This Crystal Lite Party has shown us where we are going. Fascism Lite. China taking charge of the currency. Descent into Palinism (she is running, cupcakes). Europe yanking credit. I can’t….

One thing I do know: we spend more on useless military bands than we do on all the useful arts in this country that enhance our lives and go out around the world making this country look good. Though not good enough that the Danes want to invade.

@nojo: Oh, I know. At least one party fakes it pretty good. I just looked up Sestak’s estimated net worth, and I’m confused as to how a Navy admiral makes all that cash. Pedo and I take the same bait: grilled cheese and tomato soup. And with that, I am off to the Wawa!

@Benedick: Or change it to America the Beautiful. I can live with God shedding his dandruff on thee.

@Benedick: That was one of my dreams when I was in the Navy. I almost auditioned to sing it at a pro game. Then Roseanne Barr came and fucked it all up.

@SanFranLefty: From TPM’s list o’ signs: “I spell check my political rage.”

Let’s hope the missing hyphen was a transcription error.

We suck

[E]very minor party candidate for statewide office in Pennsylvania was forced to withdraw from the 2010 general election, after major party operatives challenged their nomination petitions, due to the risk that costs would be assessed against the candidates if they defended their petitions.

This sign made me bark:

What do we want?

Evidence-based change!

When do we want it?

After peer review!

Ess Eff man goes to a Catholic retirement home and gives the priest who repeatedly raped him and his brother 35 years ago a massive beat down. Santa Clara County DA’s Office took five months to file charges, I’m curious if this will even go to trial or if the defense attorney will gamble for jury nullification.

@SanFranLefty: Y’know, that’s really a tough one. I was torn between retribution and forgiveness on your description, and the article itself just widened the extremes. (Priest is now 65. Kids were 7 and 5 at the time.)

I really don’t know that I could acquit. But I really doubt I could convict.

@SanFranLefty: I got halfway through. Usually I’m one of those, “Meh. As long as people don’t foist their beliefs on me or use religion to fuck up other people’s lives, I don’t care what you believe.” Then I read about this kind of stuff, I read about the priests with well-known histories of abusing kids and women and men and just throwing their divine weight around, I read about people of all stripes doing shitty stuff in the name of Gawd, and I start to think that religion as a whole is bad. I try really hard to find a reason for the existence of religion that outweighs the shitty stuff so I won’t be an asshole for thinking that the world would be better off without it, but right now I can’t.

People will always seek power and often use it to harm others in a religionless world. I’m sure of it. But when I think of all the time and effort and money many organizations put into shielding these assholes, into shuffling them around the world, I don’t know. It just compounds the abuse somehow.

You’ve got people wrestling with trust and eternity and notions of what it means to be a good person and to live a good life, they’re told they can trust their spiritual leaders, and then they get Jonestowned.

@Mistress Cynica: I think there *were* L&O episodes on this, except the priest was killed on teevee.

@nojo: If he had killed the priest, it’d be a tougher call for me. But that “Man of God” raped those little brothers for years and forced them to perform sexual acts on one another while he watched. I don’t feel a twinge for the priest because he’s 65 – maybe 40 years ago 65 was old, but these days 65 ain’t that old, it’s not like he’s a drooling 87 year old with Alzheimer’s.

@JNOV: Well, you’re preaching to the choir here (so to speak) and I feel that more shitty things have been done in the name of organized religion than just about any cause in the world, and I hate that there is this sense that people who are not religious somehow lack morality or ethics…OTOH, every time I hear about one of these evil assholes I try to remind myself of some of the kick ass nuns and laypersons I know who are advocating for poor people and teaching literature in the LA County Juvenile Hall to gang bangers charged with murder. Or people of faith who I respect like Tommy or flippin.

@nojo: I also liked the “OMG snake! OMG snake!” sign.

Don’t mind me, just checking out a geek tip…

ADD: Ho-lee shee-it. If I’m not alone seeing that, we’re going to suffer an epidemic of interrobangs the next few days…


Exactly. I don’t mean to offend or hurt my friends. I don’t think people are stupid for believing in God — I think that point is often lost or ignored. There are many wonderful people who do wonderful things, and I suspect that they would continue to do these wonderful things without a belief in God. I need to distill my thinking on this some, so I’m roaming around Amazon (through the link, mmmkay? Beer for you, Nojo!) trying to decide where to start.

I’m moving from Dawkins to Hitch to Harris on Wikipedia right now. Harris sounds like a bit of a jerk. This is going to sound so weird, but I think I have a vestige of fear about buying a book about atheism. I wanted to buy God Is Not Great when it came out, but I was temporarily living with my mother at the time, and I didn’t know where I’d hide it (I was 41 years old. SMH). I’ve had plenty of time to buy/borrow it since, yet I haven’t. Ugh. The programming runs deep.

I’m trying to decide which of the unholy trinity to read first. I have a nerd crush on Dawkins, so I think he might win.

@nojo: I see it. What is that?!?!?!?!?!?

ETA: Never mind.

Oh, and it looks like the Phillies P, so have at it!

@JNOV: For the geekily inclined, it’s character 8253, rendered thus:


Next question: Do I have special dispensation to use special character codes because I’m God? Or can any WordPress plebe do it?

@nojo: Huh? Please to translate to non-geek speak for those of us who can barely turn on a MacBook?

@JNOV: You might want to start with Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson by Jennifer Michael Hecht.
I enjoyed Hitch’s book, but Dawkins gets a bit strident for me, and the whole thing of “brights”–bish, please. I can also recommend The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever, edited by Hitch and containing writings from some of our best atheists/agnostics throughout history.

I’m already going to concede that you’re God, because many of my HTML tags don’t work. But I’m all for exercises in futility, so here goes:

@Mistress Cynica: I thank you. :-) Very much. I think I’ll start with The Portable Atheist.

I’m reading reviews pro and con on the unholy three. Some of the quotes from That Harris Guy — Yikes! And his ears are not nom worthy. Boo, Tree!

@SanFranLefty: It’s shorthand for ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Now, if only Nojo would release the hounds for other HTML code, we’d have a good time. And I’m not bitching about embedding. I gave up that fight/whine a long time ago.

@Mistress Cynica: Emily Dickinson? really? Those cadences? Rumpti-umpti-tiddly-pom? Why am I so wrong about her? What don’t I understand? Please help. Srsly. Why is she not Judy Blume?

Brights can kiss my ass. I am in no fit state. Plus Hitch, Sully, Amis and Maher. They can also kiss my ass.

@SanFranLefty: Two points:

1) I had no idea the interrobang is included in standard font sets. I thought it was literally a mythological character.

2) I had no idea the interrobang has a standard HTML character code.

Knowing these two things, I am incapable of self-control the next few days.

@Mistress Cynica: I’m reading about the Brights now. Do they sell cookies?

ADD: Or Maybe Rainbow Bright didn’t make it across the pond. I dunno. BUT if you’re a bright, you can roam around saying you’re a bright, but that you don’t speak for all brights, yet still be a bright. I think FCS and I should fashion Girl Scout or Rainbow Bright type uniforms and become Brights Ambassadors. I’m sure we’d be well-received.

But what is geek shorthand for !!!!!11!1!1!!? Preferably with the word Mooslem before it?

@JNOV: As a librarian, I can’t help myself when I see someone in need of reader services.

And finally…

CBS calls the crowd at 215,000. Using the same balloon-photo technique, they called Beck’s crowd at 87,000.

In fairness, this wasn’t the umpteenth Daily Show rally in a row. But in equal fairness, it hadn’t been humped 24/7 for six months by Fox News.

@Mistress Cynica: I just ordered the Doubt book (used copy of it via the Stinque/Amazon kickback linque). Looks quite interesting. I know we don’t have a book club around here anymore, but once I read it, I’ll want to discuss with you and JNOV and anyone else who picks it up.

@Mistress Cynica: I’m coming to you from now on. I’m also interested in Madalyn Murray O’Hair. You brought up L&O upthread — I think they based one on her murder.

@SanFranLefty: A Jefferson impersonator guy came our church and told us he was burning in hell. (Pre-Sally Hemmings DNA tests.)

@SanFranLefty: Awww. You got Doubt? I was going to get The Portable… Haven’t bought anything yet (I was distracted by the brights), so I’ll check out Doubt. Back to the Rainbow Brights — I really don’t understand the need for a new designation. If you want to build a coalition, go to the FFRF. Sheesh. Brights.

I will never be drunk again. I might be squiffy or whiffled, but I’ll never be drunk.

ADD: OMG! I haven’t heard or read the word “popinjay” for decades. Must work it into daily use.

@SanFranLefty: There was an article the other day about a study asking peeps to give examples of the positive things organized religions do — only a minority could come up with anything.

I can’t remember where it was but I pasted it up in the Book of Faces.

@nojo: The interrobang is very subtle. Except that I know that’s what it is, I would have thought there was some schmutz on my screen.

weighing in to say i enjoyed the rally…but then i enjoyed jon as Smoochie.

JNOV..still laughing at you considering wiping your ass with a feral cat.
i miss you!!!!

funny story: besides JNOV, only benedick knows (he’s my mom!) about my going on a date when i was in philly. so he starts writing on my facebook wall. his estranged wife gets whiff and i am bombarded by hate mail from her. i unfriend him. he protests. i write to him on friend acceptance, “ok fine, JUST DON’T WRITE ANYTHING!” now, every new “friend” gets that message. i think thats hilarious! which is fortunate because i can’t remove it.
noje? what do you know of FB hamsters?

@baked: You think wiping your ass with a feral cat is hard — try blowing your nose on one. I might have to break down and ask my dad to bring me some soup, etc.

Imma send you an email via FB in a few.

@Nabisco: Long story short, I watched the rally — but barely — on TV like everyone else.

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