Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Lesson In Holidays, Capitalism, Family, And Priorities (Prepare To Be Destroyed)

You want to boycott stores that are open on Thanksgiving, you say? Well, isn't that fancy. That sounds like something a responsible adult would do. I have feelings about this issue and I'm going to act on them, you say from your SUV and your suburban house. Go you! I am all for you, believe me, but I think before the boycott actually occurs, I ought to remind everyone once more of a few things related to reality. I know we don't like reality, as it gets in the way of the universe revolving in its entirety around our wants, needs and beliefs, but stay with me on this. Put down your picket signs for a second.

If we're going to defend this holiday, we ought to remember what it's actually about. You can boo me all you want, but the fact of the matter is that the holiday is not about being thankful that you have a lovely car and a wonderful job and 868994 children. Thanksgiving as I understand it without doing a college level amount of research is a yearly recreation of a feast held to celebrate a bunch of unprepared, silly white religious zealots surviving with the generous help of Native Americans, without whom they would have either perished or been forced to return to caucasialand (AKA Europe). To thank them for this generosity, they would spent the next several hundred years murdering and raping the Native Americans into desolate little patches of land that no white people wanted to live on.  They would spend that same amount of time attempting to wipe them out with disease-laced blankets or whiten them into "decent human beings." Indeed, happy thanksgiving. Thank goodness those crazy crackers survived, otherwise this land might still belong to its rightful inhabitants and several thousand Africans might have avoided being enslaved over the next few hundred years as well. Turkeys and American flags for everyone. Pass them around.

As for family, if you only have time to spend with your family on holidays, you might as well consider yourself a solitary unit and give up. The truth is, if you found yourself so far away from family that holidays are the only option, that's cool. You know what? There's a reason we leave home and go out on our own. We are all raised by crazy people.  No one seems to think that a visit just to visit is feasible, but instead that visiting family has to be planned with the same strict schedule as paying a loan off. How is that bonding? Is that what you're fighting for? That seems pretty lame. I ended up with a pretty good family, but some people aren't so lucky. Some people get homophobic, racist assholes for parents. Some people get abusive morons. Some people are cast out entirely and keep coming back in the name of tradition. You know what? Family is what you make it. You are born (whether it be a good or bad thing) related by DNA to a group of people who are more likely than strangers to expose your every misdeed and judge you for not visiting them when you clearly have hundreds of miles between yourself and their front door. You wonder why they're hostile during Thanksgiving? Why even come home? Stay gone. You have friends who are happy to serve as a surrogate family, and in reality, they are usually people you've chosen because they agree with most of what you think. Wouldn't you rather be in that kind of company than a bunch of might-as-well-be-strangers who live in your memories as shadows moving from instance of abuse to instance of abuse and now wear some shiny smile because my GOODNESS they thought you'd NEVER visit. All year we complain about these people and what they did to us and how they did us wrong, but we're perfectly willing to show up at their house and be accosted over a dinner table. Like I said, I ended up with a fairly good family. That being said though, I have a life of my own over an hour away, and I don't make constant apologies to my family for being gone the way some people do. I don't have to. They understand, because you know what? They have their own lives to live. They don't have to guilt me into visiting because they feel bad for being bad people, because either they weren't or they don't know they were. Either way, I prefer it that way. So, if we're boycotting in the name of family, let's make sure we aren't doing so out of context. Family is not a forced DNA circle with room for outsiders only by romantic invitation. Those people are called "relatives." Your family is yours to choose. While I'm on that note, my combination DNA/chosen family bonds on Black Friday not by shopping, but by watching the chaos. I've had more fun tossing items into the carts of strangers at Walmart with my sister and Dad than any of you sad shankwhales do sitting around a table eating in resentful silence. We eat, sit around and have a grand time chatting, and then go out to survey the carnage of the Muncie Mall at 1AM on the busiest day of the year. You really ought to try it. Here's a suggestion for family bonding. It's called the Day After Thanksgiving Games. Go to Walmart with your family, each of you grab a cart and toss a bunch of hot items into it and make the loop around the store screaming "MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE!" until you reach the checkout lanes. Then stick the carts in the checkout lane like they belong to the lady with the other nine carts and leave. On to the next store. Happy Thanksgiving indeed!

If we really want to know why stores like Walmart are open so early, look no further than the other end of that finger you're pointing at big box retailers. You greedy asshats have allowed this and even encouraged it to happen by being willing to shop earlier and earlier until stores figured you don't mind if they open at 6PM on Thanksgiving. The fact of the matter is, no one is making you shop that early. No one is making you wander around in a hysterical fit of bath salts-grade shopping rage. You do it to yourself. And by doing so, you have made it mandatory for the employees of these companies to work through Thanksgiving. You cannot now protest what you caused to happen, because there is no good way to reverse it now. If you boycott the store and it succeeds (and it won't, because too many people are mindless drones buying into the notion that love is not love until it is represented by a financially crippling rock someone dug out of a filthy cave), you will effectively signal a nationwide mass firing of all those employees you're "defending" by boycotting. At least they'll have plenty of time to visit family after that, right? They might even find themselves living with them. Happy effing Thanksgiving, everyone.

Put down your damn picket signs, visit the people you WANT to visit, go support the poor sad people who smile through you yelling at them for "bad service" and go get some coffee. Most of all, chill the fuck out. Who knows what this stupid holiday is actually for anyway? It seems to me it's just as happy a day as Columbus day. Happy Thanksgiving. Let's go deep fry a frozen turkey and blow the garage to the moon. That's how you do it right. Stay classy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Prefer To Think Of Myself As "Third Grader Chic"

So let me tell you about my adventures tonight. They were simply too numerous and wonderful to not share. My goals were simple: do laundry, get groceries, come home and sloth about on Netflix.

Things did not go as planned. I mean, then did, but not really. Behold, I come bearing stories. Sit your asses down.

The laundromat was the gayest place on earth. I don't mean that in the way my generation refers to DVD rewinders and food that has to be prepared before it is eaten, I mean Ru Paul himself beamed down on a rainbow next to the dryers and wanted to know where the slot machines were. There were so many catty queens in that place, and not one of them was shiny or pretty. All they had going on was the valley girl girl GURRRRLLLL accent, and one of them looked like a stubby, balding little treasure troll. I swear he said literally everything on his mind. OMG MAI HURR ITH FALLING OWUT EYE LUV HUR SHEEZ FABOOLUS GURRRRRL EYE TOLD U NOT TO DRI THAT ON HI NOW ISS GON HAVE WAYVS GUUUUUURL OH GURL FUK U EYE TOLD U SO. Just queening it up back and forth across the laundromat, raging around on a sugar buzz, flaming up and down the aisles like a circus clown. I was both amused and horrified. I was mostly horrified, and it wasn't because of him directly. He was just so annoying, because he talked so fast and so much that I don't think he had a human respiratory system, and I just wanted to kick him until he was dead. I pictured myself heaving his treasure troll ass down a flight of stairs and I giggled, and I don't even feel bad about it. GUUURRRRLLLL EYE NO U DID NOT JUST KULL ME O NO HE DINT INT.

Finally, my laundry was done, and I left. On to Walmart. Judge me if you like. Zero fucks to give. "You should shop at Whole foods and eat organic blah blah blah blah emo hipster stupid uninformed save the world cult rhetoric." I have $20. You shut the fuck up.

So I went to Walmart with no grocery list, which was a disaster. I was side-eyed by Quasi Moto in the frozen section because I walked by twice. YALL NO WUT U WUNT? Shut the fuck UP @vv@ I am shopping!

I get to the register, and there's one open, which is this big huge surprise to everyone in the store every single night. Oh gee, there's one register open, just like every night ever. This meth-addicted forever-teenager behind me was all "Man I hate coming to this place at night. Only one register open." Meanwhile, his bourbon breath is melting my ice cream.

Let me drop some knowledge on the world, because these are the people who complain about this loudly in the store and make the cashier uncomfortable and hate their job even more. Let me explain capitalism to you AGAIN. Okay, so after 10PM, Walmart gets no business save for three fifteen minute periods between then and when the morning shoppers arrive at 6AM. They only have one register open because it makes zero sense to have a full line of registers open in an empty store. Sure, maybe there's a crack head vibrating near the cheese, but he's not here to buy anything. He just wants to shit his pants in the cheese section.

Then suddenly, a factory lets out, and let's face it (because I know; I have worked at a factory), these are some of the most bitter, illogically angry people on earth, and everyone has the same bright idea: let's go to Walmart. Suddenly, there's a line. Why don't they open all the registers for fifteen minutes at a time? Because they would have to put drawers in, then take them right back out. Someone would have to count those drawers when they ought to be doing something else, and then whatever was supposed to be done will go undone, which will cause some other stupid, pointless customer complaint. Listen, take my advice. Don't pick on Walmart people. They didn't hold a gun to your head and make you marry some idiot and make babies. They didn't make your mom a bitch. They didn't make your car a piece of shit. They don't run the bank that's about to take your house. They're struggling to survive. Go home and yell at your kids, punch your husband in the dick, tell your wife she's a slug with defective eye stalks, drive your car into your house and deliver it on a truck to the bank and tell your mom to go shake her tits down McGalliard. Put the anger where it belongs, for the love of fuck. I am just as inconvenienced as you are, and you don't see me waving my bottle of disgusting cheap vodka around like some fake 1980's TV asshole like WHATZA GUY GODDA DOODA GIDDA BIDDA SERVISA ROUND HERE? Kindly retract your beak and shut the fuck up.

You are welcome.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I See What You Did There (Warning: Offensive Content)

There are a lot of decent human beings on this earth, and some of them happen to be Christian. A couple of them are my friends, and they know well enough to support equal rights because they have read Leviticus. ALL of it. And they know that if we were to use three lines out of it and ignore the rest, that would be called "taking it out of context," which is considered a fallacy. 

The book of Leviticus is used by frightened, old white men to suppress people who are not old, white men. It was used to justify slavery, and it is used to justify excluding a whole ton of people equal rights. Yes, I am about to quote scripture. No, I don't need your opinion. I realize that people diaper-rash sensitive when an atheist quotes the Bible, but I am not out to disprove anyone's religion, merely to clarify the relevance of the book of Leviticus in modern times. I just want you to pay careful attention. I will give both the NIV and King James versions of these verses. 

This is Leviticus 25:44.

NIV: Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.

KJV: Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

The Bible is almost never read or studied cover to cover, much like the Patriot Act, and most people know just as much about both.

Let me give you the most used verse in the fight against gay rights. Leviticus 18:22. Burned into my brain at this point.

NIV: Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

KJV: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

You really ought to read this particular book. It is full of strange instructions for a rigid, strange lifestyle that cannot be considered normal in modern society. Leviticus 15:1-33, for example, pertains to the apparently unclean status of a woman during menstruation, for example, It's really just very bizarre and uncomfortable to read in 2013. I would consider most of it offensive, personally. The whole book of Leviticus is offensive in a modern context.

If we are to use this ridiculous and no longer relevant set of rules set forth for a nomadic desert tribe as rules for modern living, it would make sense that we would have to ignore all those silly rules for women, because that's just not cool anymore. And slaves are so 1800s. Let's ignore those rules, too. But you know who it's still okay to single out? Oh, most other people. Until they win their rights. Eventually, those verses will be ignored, too. Eventually, the whole book of Leviticus can be disregarded, thankfully, because it is not compatible with modern life. Period.

HOWEVER, it should be noted that there are a lot of stupid, trite, idiotic people arguing for my side as well, some of them on my news feed. I have to address this, because it is a glaring issue. Fellow atheists, pay careful attention.

Proving the existence of a unicorn is not the same as proving that God exists. You cannot do both arguments and call them parallel. God, in theory, is an all-knowing, all-powerful entity and creator of the universe as we know it. A unicorn is, in theory, a magical horse with a horn. They are not the same. If you must use an example, use something like the flying spaghetti monster, because it at least represents the same set of requirements for proving its existence. You have to understand the religion in order to argue against it, and if you simply cannot be bothered to understand Christianity, you ought to avoid the topic until you know how to do some research on philosophical arguments. That's what an upstanding, responsible person would do, rather than become a vehicle for uniformed hate. I grew up in a Christian household, and I consider the majority of my fellow atheists ignorant of most world religions.

Personally, I see no need to disprove anything. I merely see the need to point out why certain arguments are completely invalid. You are welcome. It's not my intention to offend anyone, but I'm sure that I have done so.