Tag Archives: religion

Whose Lane Is It Anyway? [rant]

You may have read that the NRA recently admonished doctors to “stay in your lane” when they decided docs shouldn’t be talking about gun control. Then a whole bunch of doctors tweeted “this is my lane” regarding bullet holes in their patients. They gave a well-deserved takedown to those arrogant bullies at the NRA who believe no one has the right to disagree with them.

There was a time when I agreed with the idea that people should, in public, stick with their field of expertise. I disliked it when actors and other entertainers gave their political opinions publicly. When I watched an award show, I didn’t want to hear political diatribes. When I listened to a speech from the Prez, I didn’t want him going off the rails to rant about his pet peeves.

Topics had their places and you could call them lanes. Celeb gossip was for tabloid mags, not the nightly news. Crazy grandpas made holidays miserable for their own families only. Religious loons preached to their choirs. Now it’s all mixed together like a toxic soup. Scholarly, researched articles are accessible on the internet same as wackadoo ramblings about aliens popping out of volcanoes. So, where are the lanes?

There aren’t any. The lanes have been erased. Now anyone gets to jabber on about anything at anytime, in all our faces. It’s up to the listeners to sort out the wheat from the chaff and decide what’s good info, what should be addressed in debate, and what to switch off altogether because it’s not even worth our attention.

Unfortunately, I am finding the “real news” to be extremely tabloid-like lately, at least online (I don’t watch TV news). Suddenly Monica Lewinsky is opining about Bill again. Why? Who cares? Michelle Obama “wrote” a book and her feelings keep popping up. They aren’t news. Neither are the doings of the royals across the pond every damn day. Charles is 70! Why do I need to know that?

Talk about drifting out of your lane! I swear, half the “journalists” aren’t even on the freeway any longer. 😡

Advertisements

Agnostic vs Atheist [a bit ranty]

Back to the obsession with labels! I tried googling the difference between the two, beyond the strict dictionary definition, and received many confusing and contradictory results. Maybe we don’t need to precisely know what the difference is between an agnostic and an atheist, but instead shrug and let people call themselves what they wish. Today I’m identifying as a tiger 🐯 ~ are we all cool with this? Rawr!

I have believed for a long time that the mania to label others is mostly for negative purposes anyway. We rush to tag with a label so we can mock, box, and dismiss. That way, we don’t have to bother doing the more difficult work of actually getting to know someone as a whole person with many facets. I’m an atheist, or maybe I’m an agnostic, possibly an agnostic atheist.

Is it possible for humans to know if God exists? I tend to think it is not. That makes me agnostic. But I also acknowledge that I don’t believe in the supernatural a priori, which makes me an atheist. I dismiss every instance of someone’s account of “direct personal experience” of it and think there is, instead, a logical explanation, such as lying or hallucination or schizophrenia or other illness. I also admit the possibility that I could be wrong. But I’m not going to argue either way because I’m fine with people believing in goofy things. I believe in goofy things too, just different ones. I occasionally think my mom’s spirit is with me, which is wacky and possibly an indication of mental illness, especially since if you asked me do I believe in spirits or souls I would say NO.

Who cares, right? I used to be vegetarian for a while, then was pescatarian, but now I eat meat too, though not a lot. I never eat sushi anymore though or veal. Do these things matter to you as far as wanting to follow my blog or be my friend? I follow atheists and believers… and many who haven’t said (or I haven’t noticed). It just doesn’t matter to me. I’m totally cool with various points of view ~ makes life much more interesting.

But somehow, whether or not I believe in a supernatural being is very important to some people! Especially when I was on dating sites. Well, you knew I was going to mention that. Even to older people, who are done with the issue of having children together, this religion thingie is a big freaking deal. If someone does want to go to church every Sunday, then why aren’t they looking for dates in church groups? Anyway. As I’ve mentioned several times, older daters are a horrendously picky group, insisting on a shopping list of items in another human as if they were choosing a TV off Amazon. It’s absurd. And it’s why the same people are still single, including me. Hah!

I suppose I could believe in the old system of a bunch of random petty gods who do some good stuff, when they feel like it, and some bad shit, when they’re in a jealous or nasty mood. That would make more sense to me than this one, capital G, God who’s supposed to be perfect but lets a bunch of little kids get cancer, starve to death, or die in a tsunami. Plus HE invented parasitic w*rms. Really? Whyyy? Just for fun? Whatever. I know the faithful are okay with all of it. 🙄

I have more religious rantery saved, no worries. Happily, this one dovetailed with a prompt word today. Doves! Rainbows! Yay!

Scary Shary [SYW]

Here are Melanie’s “Share Your World” 10-15-18 Questions:

What’s the biggest screw up in the kitchen that you were responsible for?

– I tried to open a bottle with a serrated knife before work and almost sliced my finger off. Went to work with a makeshift bandage that kept getting blood-soaked and they sent me to the doctor, where I got stitches. 😢

What, in your opinion, makes people believe absurd conspiracy theories?

– Fear. People are scared of the unknown, of things they can’t control ~ natural disasters, crime, death, etc. ~ so they latch onto comforting explanations. Without this comfort, many people would not be able to function because life is fucking terrifying. And for the atheists who like to mock those who believe in the supernatural, I have news for you: you also believe in bullshit, just different bullshit. Consider this. At any moment, you could die and die horribly, but you don’t think about that because you wouldn’t be able to get through the day. And what’s more, every time you leave the house, you trust that crazy medicated (or unmedicated!) other humans in their monster vehicles are going to obey the traffic laws. These are the same people who believe in gods and ghosts and angels and aliens. But you believe they’ll stop at the red lights. That’s nuts! But you believe it or you couldn’t leave the house.

In 40 years what will people be nostalgic for?

– Trump. Yeah, he was an absolutely disgusting horrible racist misogynistic pig, but at least he was human and now we have these AI overlords and glrkk–(end transmission)

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

– No, a hot dog is a bunch of garbage scraps of meat byproducts scraped together from the slaughterhouse floor and fake colored pink. Perhaps you’re thinking of the hot dog bun? Again, not if it’s hinged together. A snadwich is two separate bread pieces with something in the middle. Like peanut butter and blackberry jam, which is much more delicious than yucky floor scrapings.

And finally:

What wonderful thing happened to you this week that you’d like to share?  It can be a gratitude moment or something that just made you feel very happy at the time or made you laugh.

– Well, I had a big mad at Amazon because I ordered cat food and tea last week that was scheduled for delivery yesterday and I was sitting right there in my apartment when I got an email that the delivery guy came and left since he didn’t have my gate code. Wtfff? My gate code is in my address on Amazon and so is my phone number! Why didn’t he call? Why can’t he read? I know it’s only cat food and tea, and it’s rescheduled for today, but I was livid. I feel that Prime’s quality has gone down as their prices have increased just like my internet provider Spectrum. So, I began a chat with Amazon at 11pm last night all irate and they were very sorry and are going to “strictly escalate” my order and yada yada plus give me five bucks. Yayyy!

Happy! Shopping again. 🙂⭐️🎈

The Obsession with Sound [ranty rant]

I cop to being unusual, but I really do not understand the internet’s obsession with sound. Here we have the perfect medium for the written word and yet people relentlessly attempt to undermine that, day in and day out, with audio. Whyyy???

I mock all of you who can’t go five minutes without listening to music or babble. Hell, I teased my own children about this, not that it did any good. Apparently they were able to get great grades with their awful tunes blasting as they worked, idk how. BACK IN MY DAY, I studied in silence as the goddess intended.

It drives me bananas when I click on a link, believing I’m going to be reading a nice article, but instead a horrible video starts playing. ICK!!! Of course I have my phone on silent, but that’s not the point. The point is… why do so many of you prefer to be yapped at rather than read something at your leisure?

I almost did a lengthy music poll the otter day from a fellow blogger until I realized, meh, I don’t care enough about music to answer all these questions. I’ll tell you guys a secret too, since you’re my extra special blog readers: sometimes I don’t have any music 🎶 on in the car. I just drive along, accompanied only by MY OWN THOUGHTS. Pretty damn scary, eh? Well, I’m a tough old bird. Ask anyone.

Now before anyone misreads this and concludes I hate music ~ I don’t. I simply am not obsessed with it. I enjoy music some of the time. (Audio clips of news items pretty much never ever.) I have a minimal amount of trivia stored in my mind about some oldies, but not a lot and idc. This makes me a mediocre player at many of the music trivia games. Boo hoo. Last couple years I’ve been enjoying a little bit of country music (when it has amusing lyrics) and a little bit of classical (no lyrics). But again, I have no knowledge of these genres. There is nothing more irritating than mentioning I like something to a rabid fan, and then they dive into an enormous boring lecture on the thing. MUTE BUTTON PLZ!

Oh look, I segued into a secondary rant there. It happens. Actually rather a lot. 😂

The takeaway? Silence is next to godliness, even for an atheist. Especially one who gets migraines.

Playthings!

Today’s pics are part of another fun Cee’s photo challenge: things people play with.

Games:

Dolls:

Words:

Food:

Love:

Light:

Fire:

Song Lyric Sunday: Glass

Thanks to Helen for once again giving us a great prompt! Lots of good song choices for “glass” ~ I ultimately went with “Sunrise, Sunset” sung by Herschel Bernardi. There are many versions, including clips from Fiddler on the Roof, but this studio version is articulated so clearly and I just love it. A friend sent it to me last night. The lyrics were originally written in 1964 by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Listening to it can be a very emotional experience, especially for a parent. (Warning.)

Sorry, I can’t find a full set of correct lyrics to C&P. The relevant lines are as follows:

“Now is the little boy a bridegroom,
Now is the little girl a bride;
Under the canopy I see them, side by side.
Place the gold ring upon her finger,
Drink the sweet wine and break the glass –
Soon the full circle will have come to pass.”

Please listen to the whole video. 🙂

So Much Extra

Lotta questions from a new blog I’m following, so much extra you don’t need to know about me, but you will read to the end, yes? I lazily stole the intro para and links from Fandango:

“Blogger Melanie, over at Sparks from a Combustible Mind, posted a series of questions (along with her answers) on the philosophy of living life that she got from A Guy Called Bloke. As one of the great life philosophers in the blogosphere, I felt compelled to respond. So here goes.”

Q1] What is your take on ‘free will?’

Mythical, like a unicorn.

Q2] We all ask ourselves at one time or another what is the point? So what is the point to our existence?

There is no point. It’s all meaningless. Might as well have another donut. You know you will anyway (see Q1).

Q3] What is your belief on fate and Karma?

Good concepts for poetry and fiction.

Q4] As a species, how do you think humans will become extinct or do you believe that we will not?

Whoops, forgot to answer this one first time around. Sorry. I’m operating on four hours of sleep. I think there will be a mass extinction event, such as a meteor strike or an incurable fatal plague epidemic. Or maybe we will end up in a nuclear WW3.

Q5] What is your belief with regards the meaning of life?

See Q2.

Q6] Ok, fess up, do you believe in aliens from outer space – is there really other life out there in the far reaching galaxies beyond our own?

Likely.

Q7] What is your best quote for ‘living life?’

“Life is short; eat dessert first.”

Q8] What doesn’t kill us – makes us stronger – yes or no? Explain.

Depends what it is. Divorce? Alligator? Nuclear bomb?

Q9] What would you say have been your biggest successes in life?

Raising children to be good people.

Q10] If you could find out the exact time and cause of your death – would you want to know?

Sure.

Q11] Is it more important to help yourself, help your family, help your society, or help the world?

Each of these doesn’t have to exclude the others.

Q12] If humanity was put on trial by an advanced race of aliens, how would you defend humanity and argue for its continued existence?

It would be difficult right now.

Q13] What is the biggest waste of human potential?

All the technology used to destroy and divide instead of help, build, save, feed, clothe, house, etc.

Q14] We often see those that write ‘what would you say to a younger you?’ However, what would you say today to a future you?

Your bangs are crooked.

Q15] Why do you think that as a species, humans need to believe in something? Be this religion, fate, karma, magical, mystique, and so on.

I don’t, but I get that it’s too hard for some people to cope with falling into the abyss of nothingness. It’s not scary though ~ it’s just like before you were born. Nothing.

Q16] If we could not retain any of our memories – who would we be?

Nobody, like one music note at a time by itself, having no relationship to other notes.

Q17] Time is such an important part of our world, but do you think you would notice if time was altered in any way?

It already is going faster, as I perceive it.

Q18] How important is play in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

I play a lot of games.

Q19] With no laws or rules to influence your behavior, how do you think you would behave?

I’d be even more terrified of other people, since so many of them disobey the laws and rules we have now. I’d probably have to buy a gun and kill lots of them. /shrug

Q20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

Nope.

Q21] Should euthanasia be legal? Why or why not?

Yes. There should be safeguards of course, but if an adult who is terminally ill or has a horribly painful or debilitating condition wants to end their suffering sooner than later, that’s their biz. Remember that life is terminal regardless ~ it’s just a matter of when. There’s no getting around this fact.

Soul Mate Noodles [FOWC]

If you believe in soul mates, you have to believe in some sort of God or supernatural meddling. Otherwise, the entire concept of soul mates makes no sense because math.

What are the odds that your other half or twin flame or however you term the soul mate concept would happen to be your next door neighbor? Infinitesimal. Not to mention the inconvenient fact that s/he would have to be born around the same time as you, give or take a decade, and all your paths geographically converge. The chances of meeting your soul mate sans angelic level interference approach zero.

So, yes… I say if you believe in soul mates, the supernatural concept is baked in. Since I’m an atheist, it follows that I must reject the idea of soul mates, sweet as it may be. This is despite the fact that I’ve loved romance novels and romcoms my whole life. Hey, I can also enjoy good science fiction. I cop to using the term “soul mates” however and not always in jest. It’s one of those expressions everyone understands.

I don’t actually believe in souls anyway. What does that even mean? Something beyond the physical self that existed prior to your conception and will go on after your death? Nah.

I can see the attraction to the idea though. And I’m happy to use it in my writing because it’s a way to convey emotional content that is universally relatable.

Group Noodles

Community conjures up the feels. I’m an only child, and my parents weren’t involved in religion, sports, or even extended family get-togetherness (much), so I grew up in a community of three. We also moved house frequently, so I didn’t have long-term friendships until high school. Those were individualized more than with groups, so again… not much experience with community.

This all led me to the mindset that I was alone in the world and could do for myself with no help from anyone, which is true regarding some things but not so much others. Forex, I’m happy with a lot of alone time while others need to be more social; but I am not exactly Miz Fix-It. When something goes wrong, I usually need a person to help me. That is unfortunate, but it is what it is. Luckily, there are a lot of people who know things.

I had an identity as wife for a couple decades, along with mom, so I was part of a family group. When I joined a temple, along with some informal social groups, I was a member of those communities, but my interest in them dissolved as time went by.

I felt part of the diverse Huntington Beach community when I owned real estate there, but after I sold it, not so much. Now I rent in Costa Mesa and don’t feel much of a connection. If someone said Costa Mesa sucks, forex, I’d shrug and not feel any need to defend.

Sometimes I’m happy I grew up free from group identities, but otoh it makes it harder for me to relate to others, especially now in this increasingly polarized political climate. Politics is the one thing I find myself getting groupish about at times, and I dislike that. I want to feel I can blend in and be friends with anyone, or no one, if I choose.

I’ve noticed that most people like to tie themselves to groups ~ I think it’s human nature. Safety in numbers and all that. Occasionally I feel a twinge of identity, like woohoo I’m in the blogging community ~ I’m a blogger… hear me rawr! ~ but that doesn’t really mean anything. It’s not important like, say, being a Raiders fan, or whatever. Those people take their identity and community seriously.

MP7&8: Two for Tuesday

File_001

No, that’s not the name of the movie! I saw two flicks last weekend and I’m gonna tell you about them in this poast. No spoilers, relax.

1. The Cakemaker. Saturday I saw this film alone because none of my friends were interested, boo hoo. Actually, I don’t mind seeing movies alone, so no biggie. This is an Israeli movie, and the credits are in Hebrew, plus some subtitles. So, if this bugs you, be aware. It also has some gay lurve scenes, not super graphic, but even so ~ this might bother some sqeamish types. Though idk why they’d be reading my blog. Anyway. I liked this movie a lot. It was a very well-crafted relationship drama, involving multiple relationships. To really grok what’s going on in the second half, it’s helpful to understand Kosher rules. You don’t have to though. Ultimately, it’s a sad movie, exploring grief and loss. Simple really, yet layered, like a cake. And there are cakes. Cookies too.

2. Three Identical Strangers. Saw this on Sunday with two friends. It’s hard to say much about this film without giving away any of the suspense, but I will say that it was extremely disturbing. My friends agree. It doesn’t seem like it would be upsetting from the brief ads, or even from the first third of the film itself, but it takes one twist and then another and another and bam! You’re left a bit shocked and definitely sad. Oh, and it’s not really a movie as much as a documentary, which I didn’t know and might not have gone if I had. Remember, I like movies to entertain me, not Wikipedia me. But I must admit I found TIS fascinating, so maybe I should be more open-minded toward docus going forward. My friends and I concur that TIS could have been cut in length ~ too much irrelevant and repetitive jabber.

Alrighty then. After these two good but downer flicks, I am ready for a fun movie! Where’s Mamma Mia playing?!