Archive for August, 2012

From elevator farts to pinnoccio to pie charts: leftover signs posted

August 15, 2012

Sometimes life makes no sense. This week, I’m having a new version of an old dream at night. I’ve had it so often I’m often lucid in it at this point, but still unable to control the emptiness I feel no matter how I force it to end. So in that state of restless randomnity, I WANT to write, but I have nothing. Nothing in particular to say after wandering through my own day like a ghost.

I don’t remember who facebooked this, but I knew instantly that it belonged on this blog. What better way to introduce a post about nothing in particulars? I guess it would be time to stop looking and start living.

Pinnoccio is one of my favourite characters. So favorite that I have dated him and even married him over the years. Usually by the time he becomes a real boy, he’s someone else’s though.

The result of your actions will be an equal and opposite re-action. But this is my beef with Karma: it doesn’t seem to strike the person responsible. So for example, the people who voted for apartheid are mostly in Australia whining about SA to anyone who’ll listen. The people suffering its bad karma are in South Africa, suffering. This makes no sense, and frankly, is proof that if god does exist, he desperately needs a secretary.

Zuma is part of the bad karma. He’s not the worst president in the world, but he is ineffective, sexist, nepotistic, unable to form a coherent voice from the multitudes of voices within the ANC, and prone to obvious stupidity. This makes him not unlike Mao / Stalin, the obvious references in this satirical artpiece. I’m reading about Mao at the moment in the form of an amazing Biography/Autobiography, “Wild Swans” – the story of three generations of exceptional Chinese women. That book’s probably half the reason I’m so down on humanity at the moment.

And here’s what I miss about home. Stuff like this. This sign picture, taken by Nick Aldridge, who I hope won’t mind me using it in low res. here, was snapped at the Red Hill Shebeen. Red Hill’s a beachside community. Each of these little holiday towns has a little township next door (yeah, not much has changed since apartheid days out there) that supplies the holiday-makers with cheap labor and so on… I’ve been to a lot of them because I had this fairly dangerous habit of getting drunk and deciding to visit on the pretext of buying something. My poor, poor boyfriends…

Taken by screenwriter Leslie Rann, in the elevator of her LA apartment complex. Hilarious, how they explain the exact science of the smell moving around. It should really say “Please do not remove head from ass while in elevator. We prefer all your holes to be plugged while in public places.”

Summarizes how most people feel about pie charts. Although I’m not that into pie, here. Americans like them sweet. I miss the little individual ones you get at gas stations in South Africa. My favorite: Mutton Curry. One of those and an appeltiser the morning after a late night and you’re ready for a day at the office!

Right. Now I can finally delete all that shit from my desktop. Thanks for listening.

Don’t you hate it when….

August 14, 2012

You’re just thinking oh, cute house, that would make a great location for something…

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When you mouse over and…

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Aaaah. Some crazy bitch is eating her own babies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rebel nuns in the USA defy the Vatican! Awesome!

August 12, 2012

The news these days is silly to ridiculous. Romney’s choice of Ryan as his running mate implies confidence in right wing conservatism that worries me. After all, Obama’s not left wing, merely democratic centrist. I take refuge in NPR stories from Snapjudgement or This American Life that through their specificity say so much more about the world than the day to day news ever could. Hell, I nearly went out and bought a novel, but I won’t have the time to read it, so I stopped myself.

So I needed something that gave me faith that the war of brain vs. knee-jerk would still be fought by somebody. And then by this action was reminded that this war is fought all the time, quietly. Catholic nuns all over the world know that condoms will save certain societies, and that breeding more Catholics is not the way to save the religion.  Their practical compassion in the face of the Church’s male dominated stupidity is of course, underappreciated by the dudes in dresses.

So I found the picture here: http://cbsloc.al/LAiT8g Seems a few men agree on this. Taken in Philadelphia.

Today, they made me happy, these brave girls, who apply the teachings of Jesus H Christ, whether the other boys like it or not. Of course the vatican is calling it “Radical Feminism’. Someone remind me why that’s a bad thing for the world?! Come on, boys. Time to grow up and check out which century you live in – or move to a country like Iran or Afganistan, where they don’t dig uppity chicks much either.

Dumb stuff Facebook tries to sell me, mid-earthquake

August 8, 2012

I just went on facebook, because I experienced my first real earthquake. My apartment complex shook like an outdoor table at a cheap restaurant. I thought about phoning my lover to say “come quick, let’s do it!” And then it was over. Over already? A whole 4.4 on the Richter, and not a single glass was broken, although a friend reported a salt shaker falling over in his ground floor abode.

So, I was on facebook. And everybody was updating in CAPS like it was scary or something.

So here’s my life plan by facebook advertising: Pregnant! Then duh… lose a of pounds and my happy life continues. Except I was only able to afford that tummy tuck because I SOLD MY BABY ON THE BLACK MARKET AND GOT CAUGHT. But at least, before I went to jail, I could shop at Modcloth for these cute little outfits that I’d never have fitted into with my ugly baby-tummy.

Find it distressing to see someone’s crying face on my facebook page every day. I don’t want to see my friends’ criminal records. I don’t think it’s any of my business. I guess I need to change my age, race, and sexual preferences again. So now, I’ll be a gay man, widowed, 19. That should make me harder to target.

A Sunday of unexpected strangeness

August 5, 2012

I brought the weirdness of today on myself, of course. I have been traveling recently, and this has reawakened my appetite for new experiences and re-evaluation of habitual thoughts. So after I blogged last night about cray-cray Bible stuff triggered by seeing the words “Explicit Gospel” on a sign outside the Calvary Temple in Orange, CA, I set my alarm for 9am so that I wouldn’t be late for the 10am church service. My journalistic ethics demand that I do a bit of research. And my curiosity was aroused by the term “explicit”. How explicit, exactly?

Looks less scary in the morning.

I guess I was expecting oh, I don’t know… at least a mention of the gay marriage controversy in the sermon today. But the church was set up more like an AA meeting than a church, with coffee and cake and grapes at the entrance, and lots of greeting and hand holding and talk of love. The vibe was friendly, warm, and relaxed. I felt very welcome and a little sheepish for jumping to conclusions.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a church without awful sing-along music, played by ecstatic, mulleted ladies in barmaid blouses and some geeky dudes on guitar and drums. After the first few songs were over, Pastor Ray surprised me in one way. Firstly, he stuck to the “love is God’s power” message that seems to be at the heart of the Calvary Temple theology. He also surprised me with his ability to fictionalize what’s already fairly fictional, adding colloquialisms to modern dialog to the story of Adam and Eve and Satan. As I sat listening to him telling the story of creation and the Garden of Eden, mocking evolution with creationist zeal at every turn, I found myself becoming childlike. As in bored. Really, really bored. And unlike the two kids in the row ahead of me, I had nobody to punch and mess with in order to pass the time. So after an hour and a half, I left, half relieved, half annoyed and half confused.

Religion’s biggest attraction for most people is probably the comfort it provides. This is nice, and I have no complaints in a way. The safe space of the church and the light through the windows made me happy too. However I can’t help but think that part of that comfort lies in the dumbing-down of the world; the turning of miracles into fairy tales so that we don’t have to try to understand the wonders of how the world really works, or wonder about the grey areas of life that really do exist day to day. It’s harder to get angry about than hate speech, but still disturbing for me. Harmless? I don’t believe so. In the USA, parents have the right to force their kids to go to schools where they are preached at and where creationism is taught. I consider this a form of mental abuse. Education should not include indoctrination. Storytelling is one thing. But presenting the stories as literally the truth? That’s another thing entirely.

I guess I was expecting Prairie Home Companion when I got into my car and turned on the Radio to KPCC / NPR. Instead, there was news. Far away in Wisconsin, a Sikh Temple had been attacked. Sikh is a really peaceful religion – an offshoot of Hinduism. It seems like such a terrible thing to happen on a Sunday. Or any day. I can’t help wondering why the shooter did it. As if anything justifies actions like his. He’s dead, now, shot by police, and hopefully was operating alone. “Early reports describe the gunman as a white male in his 30s.” – Mother Jones

I was so distracted that I parked in a handicapped space at Trader Joe’s as I went to buy comfort food in preparation for Not Leaving the House Again Today.

Whatever I feel about religion, places of worship should be places of safety.

I don’t know what to expect anymore. I just feel sad.

Explicit Gospel – Reason #667 to be scared of Sundays in Orange, CA

August 5, 2012

So what kind of church is this? I know there are some pretty kooky religions in the USA. I first realised this when I was charged with taking care of a couple’s dildo and porn collection.

UPDATE Sunday 4th August 2012: As promised, I attended Church this morning in order to see what really went down: Blogged it here. There was none of the homophobia that the Bible guaranteed. Something much worse happened in Wisconsin though. A weird day in every way so far.

They’d left it with my housemate, and I held on to un-opened, until I left for the USA two years later. As I threw out or gave away or sold everything I owned, I came upon it. And I finally looked inside the box. They had nothing too crazy in the toys department. Dildos and vibes. A couple of anal plugs – I think. Porn DVDS… and this bizarre little book which I still have somewhere, and which was linked to some grouping in the USA. It’s a gospel of nudism of some sort, with all these pretty unsavory photos of a bearded man with his winky out. It wasn’t erect, which made it grosser somehow. I don’t know if it’s just me, but penises seem quite pretty when they’re up and about. When they’re not, well, I don’t really see the point in them. Selfish but true. When floppy, they just remind me of awkward times in bed with drunk guys, and bad art movies with too much voice over.

Anyhow, back to the topic: Church! Calvary Temple in particular.

I am thinking of going tomorrow at 10am, to check out this crazy stuff.

And here’s what I was able to find out about this church, which seems to have picked an interesting time to talk about “explicit gospel“. By this they mean that what is says in the Bible is all true, and all the word of God, the almighty.

They believe all this crazy stuff:

Kill blasphemers – Half the world must go. To make space for the crazy people.
One who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall be put to death; the whole congregation shall stone the blasphemer. Aliens as well as citizens, when they blaspheme the Name, shall be put to death. (NRSV)
Leviticus 24:16

Kill adulterers – You know how everybody’s so outraged – and rightly so – when this happens in Iraq/Afganistan/Nigeria? Well, sounds like the same deal to me.
If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. (NIV)
Leviticus 20:10

Kill female sorcerers Male sorcerers are okay – dates from Christianity’s crushing of female-driven religions during the bloody, cruel Crucades and colonization wars.
You shall not allow a woman to live who practices sorcery. (AMP)
Exodus 22:18

Kill naughty kids – But only after they’re born
Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense. (NLT)
Leviticus 20:9

Kill people that work on Saturday Christians are all going to die for breaking this rule.
You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the LORD. Anyone who works on that day must be put to death. (NLT)
Exodus 35:2

Kill women who have sex before marriage – they’re no good to you if it doesn’t hurt the first time you do them.
“If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,’ … and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones … (NKJV)
Deuteronomy 22:13-14,20-21

Every sperm is sacred – with apologies to Monty Python
Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her; raise up offspring for your brother.” But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brother’s wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother. What he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death also. (NRSV)
Genesis 38:6-10

Slavery is OK as long as they’re a different race – how convenient
Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. (NIV)
Leviticus 25:44

Women should shut up and do as they’re told – no comment
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (NIV)
1 Timothy 2:11-12

Homosexuals must die I have a feeling this one will come up tomorrow morning! And that they’ll act like they’re being nice by just preventing them from getting married… A quick note though. In this bit, it does sound like God is fine with lesbian sex. Like, duh, most men.
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. (NRSV)
Leviticus 20:13

Thanks to http://www.christianitydisproved.com for this source material on cray-cray bible stuff… although I should probably thank whatever self-serving zealot originally wrote the Bible to suit their personal needs and profit margins.

No, It is not my goal to disprove Christianity. It is, however, my goal to combat hate. Christianity has survived by adapting – all religions that survive do. There are good things in the Bible, but a lot of it is garbage too. The version of Islam practised in South Africa by people I know is an enlightened version – a version for this century. There’s a lot of outdated hatred masquerading as “tradition” in any old text. It’s important to see the difference between right and wrong, no matter what you’re told by nutcases promising absolution and eternal life in heaven.

My point: Any version of Christianity that says everything in the bible is true is no different in its rules to what the Taliban advocate. Nobody should be required to take it seriously, and it’s hard to see how belonging to this particular religion is any different to belonging to the Klu Klux Klan.

I have a feeling when I go there tomorrow to investigate the Calvary Temple, I’ll discover that they’re anti-gay, and that they want my money.

Note to my readers: I went to church, and I was proved wrong – they’re really sweet people: Read that blog. But I stand by everything I said about taking the Bible at its word. It’s dangerous.

Chick-Fil-A pays the price for their cheep, cheep, cheep homophobia

August 4, 2012

Chick-Fil-A not only speaks for Jesus (how presumptuous) but also has opinions about its customer’s personal lives. Eat more chicken? Eat less [insert body part here]. I don’t think so. Your funny ads don’t mask your hate speech.

Lesbians kiss in protest in a branch of Chick-Fil-A.


Chick-Fil-A – national chicken chain known for its Christian links (it closes on Sundays, that’s how old school it is!) is not the only fast food chain to be heavily linked to religion. Lots of chains have openly Christian agendas, including In-‘n-out burger (check the bottom of their soda cups for bible verses) and Tyson, supplier of cruelty-full meat to theme parks, prisons, and schools across the USA.

But Chick-Fil-A crossed the line by announcing its opposition to gay marriage recently, with crazy republican Michele Bachmann’s square-jawed support.

Of course, they’re trying to fudge the issue. Are “fudge packing” jokes bad taste in the context of my outrage at their homophobia? I guess so… Anyhow, Here’s how they try to wiggle out of it in their website FAQ in answer to a fake-sounding question:

“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our Restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Sure, so the stories of you firing employees who came out aren’t true, then? And we’re supposed to ignore what your Chief Operating Officer said – even though he hasn’t apologized? Here’s what their COO Dan Cathy said in defense of Chick-fill-A’s donations of millions to anti-gay groups. He prayed for “…God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” Sorry, but that is not open to interpretation. He’s dragging Christianity back two centuries. What’s next – black people? Mixed marriages? Women’s rights? Cause the Bible’s not into those either. Using your brain is the cause of progress and enlightenment. If God’s against intelligent reasoning? Well, then I’m against God.

As I drove into Hollywood today, I passed this building about a mile from a branch of Chick-Fil-A. We have no idea what Einstein thought about homosexuality, so not sure this group can truly claim his support.

Was Gandi gay? Who cares in one sense. But he didn’t eat the Christian kinda chicken either, being Hindu. As the “Young Turks” point out later in the video linked below, this information underlines how discrimination is so terrible. You might oppress the person who will liberate your nation. The Indian government, meanwhile, wants to purchase and destroy the letters between Gandhi and his lover to protect their image of their national hero…

Protesting in the hot sun. Not too sure what side the dude in the white suit is on, but it could be either.

It’s good to see people standing up for something. I may go hang out for a while myself. Although if I get arrested, I get deported, so I don’t really have a fair shake.

The protesters were still there at 5pm when we returned after taking the Koreans who’re visiting form Busan to see Hollywood’s walk of fame and on the way to a beachside restaurant in Malibu.

I used to love this billboard. No longer, now that I know what’s behind it.

Can’t wait to see Chick-Fill-A’s next ad campaign: What will it be? “Eat Less Cock?” Whatever, you intellectual and cultural troglodytes. You are not welcome to your opinion, because it’s a litany of hate that dirties Christianity and obstructs the slugglish old religion’s inevitable entry into the 21st Century world.

Jesus is always saving people. Someone needs to return the favor, and save Jesus from the clutches of these dead-meat-peddling haters. Talk about “audacity”!