Halloween’s Spooky History

Posted by on Oct 31, 2015 in Fallacies & Rage, Just for Fun | 0 comments

Crazy cat lady costume

Cher is a crazy cat lady, it’s a culture, not a costume. This is not OK.

Here in the US Halloween continues its long day’s journey into oblivion, a victim of attacks from conservative/evangelical Christians that consider the holiday Satanic (and they’re kinda/sorta right, just not in the way they think) and increasingly from the rising American victim culture and its mortal sin, microaggression. In the name of being inoffensive stories like this one are only going to proliferate. Halloween is dying here in the US, and when the strange union of evangelical Christians and microaggressed liberals finally win they will have buried the most Catholic and American of holidays.

“Wait, what?” I hear you say, but I assure you that it’s true. Halloween is indeed the most Catholic and  American of holidays.

Isn’t Halloween Just a Rebranded Samhain?

No. This will take a while to explain, but let’s start with the basic problem with the contention. While Samhain was an ancient Druidic festival, nobody really knows the exact date that it was celebrated on. The ancient Celts didn’t use the Julian calendar. The Romans, for their part, suppressed the druidic religion throughout the Roman Celtic world (which would be modern France and England) in the first century AD, and didn’t really make note of when the festival fell on their calendar. The only attempt that we know of to reconcile the calendars was discovered in France (the Coligny Calendar) and dates to the third century, approximately a century and a half after Samhain was gone. Samhain may certainly have been sunset October 31st to sunset November 1st (the Celtic day began and ended at sunset). But then it could well have been October 30th to 31st or November 2nd to 3rd.

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Flea is so F*cking good that…

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Music | 0 comments

Flea and Kiedis

Flea’s bass hypnosis powers are become deaf to Kiedis’ horrible lyrics

You forget that the lyrical stylings and vaguely melodic mumbling of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ lead man Anthony Kiedis, are retarded (at least, about 80% of the time). It’s not just that a great majority of his lyrics are steeped in an oversexed soup of squandered semen and lost brain cells, it’s that—thematic content aside—the lyrics are just bad.

Even as compared to lyrics within the unique genre of frat-rap, he’s still a hideous train wreck of barely coherent cum-gobbling (and, yes, that’s also a jab at his generally awful annunciation. But, then again, this is probably what saves us from fully realizing Kiedis’ lyrical atrocities. “Here. Sing with a mouthful of marbles… That’s better.”) But I digress… back to Kiedis’ oversexed funk forefathers…Take this gem from one of Kiedis’ pervie predecessors Blowfly (Rapp Dirty):

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Larry Norman and Don McLean on the 1960s

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Music, Political Madness | 1 comment

Larry Norman's Only Visiting this Planet

Alas it was far too short a visit.

The other day I was talking poetry and music with Cher Nobelle, and she informed me that McLean’s original manuscript for American Pie had sold some months ago for $1.2 million dollars. She mentioned that his comments on the song’s meaning were akin to the widely held view that it was about the cultural ruin of the 1960s. This set me thinking, because I have been promising a follow up to my review of Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman, (and I will do it I swear there’s a giant mess of an article that needs to be broken up in my drafts folder), and I thought I would talk today about the song of Larry’s that changed my life, The Great American Novel, and compare it to American Pie, to demonstrate the power of Larry Norman at his best.

The Great American Novel is a counterpoint to McLean’s magnum opus (Norman’s point is political and spiritual) in that both songs start in the exact same place and end in roughly the same place (Norman released the album Only Visiting this Planet the year after McLean released his American Pie album). But Norman’s song isn’t intended as a general observation of what has happened so much as a personal awakening to what was happening. And this is what sets his song apart, making it not a lamentation for times past but an acceptance and defiance of the existing order. 

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Udall v Gardner: Why It’s Time For Elections via Public Spankings

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Political Madness | 0 comments

What’s worse than chewing a stranger’s bloody used bandaid? Political ads. No race makes this point better than the Udall v Gardner race in Colorado.

Cory Gardner, a Republican who presently occupies a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, is setting his sights on the Senate seat currently occupied by Democrat Mark Udall. While you think voters may want to know where the candidates stand on immigration, healthcare, economic and foreign policy, they’re, instead, mired in a he-said-he-said round of finger pointing fit for a high school lunch room.

Honestly, I probably would eat a stranger’s used bandaid if made these two stop. I would eat 100 if the U.S. would pass a law outlawing campaign ads altogether and restricting voter education to circulars written by an objective third party. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Perhaps, after I present the evidence, you’ll arrive at the same conclusion.

Exhibit A: The Parade of Ridiculous Ads

Udall v Gardner has really been an advertising throw down, each party guilty of telling half-truths, pushing all those emotional hot-buttons–You know, those buttons voters have that apparently bypass the brain, like “socialist healthcare,” or “Obama,” “abortion,” or “extremist.” It’s a lesson in rhetoric more than democracy.

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Why Women Get Away with Domestic Violence Against Men

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Fallacies & Rage | 0 comments

Woman places high heel on man's face

Are women getting away with committing domestic violence against men?

I love idealism. It’s the bane of my existence. Essays like the one that appeared in The Guardian on women getting away with domestic violence against men is a fine example of idealism oversimplifying the world.

Let me get it out of the way first: It’s not that Glen Poole is wrong when he says that, “Our cultural understanding of violence and gender is shaped by a relentless, binary narrative that maintains our unconscious, collective belief that men are problems and women have problems.” I don’t disagree when he writes, “Women are committing violence against men and boys on a daily basis and their male victims are less likely to report the violence to anyone, fear they won’t be believed and are less likely to see the perpetrator held to account when they do come forward.”

It’s that the argument assumes that idealistic equality that’s so deeply flawed it’s near impossible to have a realistic conversation about gender and violence. It’s that definition of equality that says, “when we act like each other, we’re equal.” So women run around acting like men singing tired slogans, like “anything you can do, I can do better.” They complain about job titles like “fireman,” and protest, “There’s no reason a woman can’t be a firefighter.” And from this comes some strange idea that in order for women to be equal, they must prove they are equal. They must prove they can do anything a man can do. They can think and act just like men.

Feminism F’s It Up Again

When Women’s Liberation came about in the 1960s it went even further–from equality to superiority. Take this ad from 1968, which reads: “We make Virginia Slims especially for women because they are biologically superior to men.” If the market wasn’t large enough to make this appeal successful, I doubt Virginia Slims would have invested their advertising dollars in it. This was just one of a long line of advertisements telling women, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” (Guess being put off by being called “baby” didn’t happen until later.) 

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Crazy Cat Lady Equivalent for Those Deluded Dog People

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Just for Fun | 0 comments

Man kissing dog

Yeah… that’s not crazy.

I can accept that cat ownership is somewhat stigmatized. I’ve grown accustomed to the snarky remarks, the strange inferences that my cats are evidence of my oddness. But, you know, I simply can not take being called a “crazy cat lady” by someone who is—at the very moment of derision—laying on the floor with a dog sprawled atop her chest getting a full on facial lick down. The dog’s tongue flickers in and out of her mouth as she speaks. “It’s okay,” she says. “Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than ours.” Then she looks at her mutt and coos, “Yes, they are, aren’t they?” Lick. Lick.

As I’m being accused of having a cat obsession, this woman is rolling around on the floor with her dog, dangerously close to an ape-canine French-kissing frolic. I’m crazy? Really? I don’t make out with my cat. My cat is really only interested in me when it’s hungry anyway. Though my cat and I have what I consider to be a perfectly normal and healthy feline-ape relationship, why does my ownership of a cat make me crazy? Why is there no equivalent term for dog people who clearly have some boundary issues and delusions about their relationships with their dogs? Why no “demented dog bitch”? No “crazy canine chic”? 

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How Anti-Rape Nail Polish Made Me Feel Sorry for Men

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Fallacies & Rage | 0 comments

Nail polish changes colors when in contact with date rape drugMany have already heard about the anti-rape nail polish that changes color when in contact with “roofies,” a rape drug. The idea is that a woman can dip her finger in a drink and her prettily painted nails will be able to detect a spiked drink. But it’s not the nail polish that makes me feel sorry for guys.

The story unfolded in it’s usual way—feminists come out against the polish, proclaiming it encourages victim-blaming and creates the expectation that women should now be testing their bar beverages before imbibing. If she fails to do so, she’s some how responsible for being raped.

But preying on fear to sell a product isn’t all that new or even original. The gun lobby, home security companies, antivirus software creators do it all the time—don’t be victim, get a gun/an alarm/a program. In almost all other discussions of crime we agree that finding ways to protect yourself is empowering, except in rape. To even suggest there might be something a woman can do to protect herself from rape is to commit an act of treason against womankind.

And then I kind of felt sorry for all us. But that’s not the point. I wondered how often rape drugs are used in sexual assaults, and so the statistics search began…

Curious Rape Statistics

Curiously, I couldn’t find any hard statistics on how often rape drugs are used.

“We really don’t know the true prevalence,” said Dr. Susan R.B. Weiss, associate director for scientific affairs for the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health told USAToday, “but we know for sure alcohol is much more common than other drugs.”

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