Cocking A Snook Too!

Independent, Irreverent Unschoolers – or at least one – Take On the Universe

Teabagging John Adams: Or, a Brief List of Things About Which I Have Recently Become Enraged April 16, 2009

The greatest satirists of our age

The greatest satirists of our age

I haven’t blogged in a long time.

The Rick Steves thing doesn’t count, I phoned that in. But it’s just been that this last semester there hasn’t been that much to write about. Obama won the election; Sarah Palin was returned to the padded cell that is Alaska; John McCain seems to have rid himself of the Venom Symbiote; Scott McClellan revealed once and for all that Fox News was not only a Bush shill but a Bush mouthpiece, and there was Peace and Harmony Throughout the Land. Mostly. Enough.

There wasn’t much to be enraged about, really. The few rabid conservatives still showing their pasty faces were like amusing court jesters, or Vegas contortionists – a little disturbing, a little macabre, but ultimately hilarious. I mean, have you seen those people on Morning Joe? They’re a freaking laugh riot! There’s that blonde one whose father is an economist, but she doesn’t know anything about anything; and Pat Buchanan comes on sometimes to kill hippies live-on-air, and OMG, that stupid jerky one who pretends he used to be a Congressman? Joe? He’s better than Stephen Colbert.

But my ire has slowly but surely begun to rise. It all began with this Rhodes Scholar, right here:

Michelle Bachmann, fucking insane

Michelle Bachmann, fucking insane

Does anyone else remember that episode of How I Met Your Mother where the subplot was all about not dating girls with “crazy eyes?” That’s what Michelle Bachmann makes me think of. Crazy. Eyes. Like she wants to seduce me in an elevator and then kill my rabbit. Just sayin’.

She’s been on my radar since her fittingly disastrous Hardball appearance, when she basically suggested that we reinstate the McCarthy hearings. Every time I hear her name, it’s because she said something yet more awful. In an era of increasing globalization, ennui, and mediocrity, this woman outdoes herself every single time. A week or two ago she suggested that AmeriCore was going to turn into a “mandatory re-education camp.”

Check out this highlights reel. Nuckin’ futs.

Anyway, not too long ago, Bachmann made the following statement, which, as Dave Barry would say, I swear I am not making up:

“The Founding Fathers fought against taxation without representation.

Today we have taxation with representation.

I wonder what they’d think of that!”

(crowd goes wild)

Much as I hate to burst her crazy little bubble, I gotta say: I think the Founding Fathers would be pretty goddamn psyched about taxation with representation, considering that the right to it was what spurred them to revolution.

I dont even know what this means

I don't even know what this means

But the Republican base, as usual, is much more interested in style than substance.

“Tea Parties” have “spontaneously” “sprung up” “all over the country.”

Translation: “Uninformed protests” have been “organized and publicized by Fox News” “in cities in which they could scrape up a couple hundred, or in some cases, a couple dozen, people.” (more…)

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I Have a Dream September 20, 2007

Filed under: College Stuff,Connections,Edumucation,Funnies,Gullibility,Religion — Meredith @ 3:53 pm

There are a lot of tables in the Student Union of my community college, especially at the beginning of a new year. To the left of the door is a gentleman in fatigues, attempting to recruit me to the Army; to the right of the door is a lady in fatigues, trying to recruit me to the National Guard; by the back door is a woman in a crisp suit attempting to recruit me to the Bank of America. I have learned that it is best not to make eye contact with any of these people, lest they lavish you with gifts of free key chains, pencils, and checking accounts, all while asking you penetrating questions along the lines of, “Would you like to take a test to determine your eligibility to join our bank/army?”, (oddly, everyone seems to pass) and “Would you like our bank/army to pay for your college education? All we’d need is your soul!”

But never, in all my days, have I seen Mormons recruiting in the Student Union. Nor do I recall ever seeing a Mormon sitting still, usually they are best described in verbs: riding their bicycles, hassling me in the parking lot, etc.

But today, there they were.

I recall writing the other day that I try to know as much about the world’s religions as possible. In fact, to quote myself:

 “…..my lack of any definitive religion makes it possible for me to see all religions without the filter of dogma. I take my irreligiousness not as a free ride to ignore the faith of those around me; on the contrary, I try to know as much about their doctrines and cultures as possible. I think that’s just being responsible.”

So, with that in mind, seeing the two sweet little blue-eyed-well-scrubbed Mormon girls sitting there, I decided to jump in headfirst.
I really got very excited (“Yes! Mormons!”), hung up on my mom, who I was talking to at the time, with what must have sounded like, to her, the phrase “gottagonowiseemormonsbye.”

As far as entertainment value and interesting belief systems go, I’m actually a huge fan of Mormons as they are portrayed on the HBO series Big Love, but I’m smart enough to know that this image probably isn’t very accurate. So, with some time to kill and some handy Mormons right there, I thought, why not ask?

I think I surprised them with my direct approach.

“So, would y’all like to tell me about Mormonism?”

They looked flustered for a second, as if thinking, wait, isn’t that our question? But they recovered well, and asked me what I wanted to know.

“Well, I just don’t know very much about it, and I was hoping you could tell me a bit.”

I did not mention that I was an atheist. (more…)

 

As the Philosopher Said: Great Metaphorical Presents April 12, 2007

Children love symmetry, adore things in pairs. Anything good can automatically be made (in a mathematical anomaly) ten to fifteen times better by adding a second. You can’t eat one M&M. One potato chip. Oreos are not eaten as a unit, but tops are separated from bottoms, savored, and eaten individually. You can’t be expected to listen to only one bedtime story any more than you can be expected to walk with one foot, or breathe with one lung. Two is where it’s at.

Children love symmetry, and this child was no exception.

In my (long past) youth, I adored the Olsen Twins with the idol worship that little girls normally reserve for Disney Princesses. Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Detective Agency. You’re Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Ballet Party. It Takes Two. How The West Was Fun. Billboard Dad. Passport to Paris. Whatever that movie was when they went to Australia. I could go on for days. If Mary-Kate and Ashley starred in it, I probably owned the VHS tape. Actually, I probably still own all of them at present, since I never throw anything away.

By the time I was about 12 or 13, it began to dawn on me that Mary-Kate and Ashley didn’t write their own movies. Hell, even the guys who wrote the movies didn’t write the movies, I think the plots were determined by a committee made up of the guys who ran the studio.

It even occurred to me to wonder who actually designed all those clothes with the Olsen brand across them. And, for that matter, why they even had a clothing line. I grew to the rather uncomfortable realization that they aren’t 11-year-old girls making fun movies for other kids their age, anymore: they are money-making machines who, in the long run, don’t stand for anything. Except, you know, money.

Around that same time, I became more and more certain that there was no God. Mary-Kate and Ashley had nothing to do with that, in case you were wondering, the two great awakenings just occurred along parallel timelines. I looked all around me and recognized religious hypocrisy, coupled with some biblical fairy tale that shared a surprising connection with the Olsen twin stories I’d bought into for so many years – just a little too convenient and implausible to be true.

I rebelled against my peers, society, anyone willing to listen to me disassociate myself from any -ism I could lay my hands on (Baptism, Catholicism, Presbyterianism, Communism, etc). To this day I think of it as a rebellion, against society, although not my equally jaded parents. So my dander gets up a little when it suddenly becomes “cool” or “rebellious” to dedicate your life to your imaginary friend. That’s less of a “rebellion” and more what I like to call “caving to pressure”.

The religious fascinated me for awhile after that, as schoolkids are fascinated by exotic beasts prowling behind the safe bars of zoos. “Mom, do they really eat zebras?” “Mom, do they really believe all that stuff?”

After awhile, I grew out of my childish fascination with both the religious and with those alluring twins, although I still watch their doings with bemusement.

When Mary-Kate was diagnosed anorexic, I was not surprised.

Nor was I surprised to hear the religious attempting to strip this woman of her dignity under my very nose in my own home state.

When one or the other of the twins moved out of their mutual apartment, I was the least shocked of my peers. Like socks in the dryer, pairs you think will always remain – if only based on mutual color and style – inevitably separate.

So, now, when my friends and family grow irate on my behalf, ranting about Big Religion and Unfairness and Vote Tampering and Contest Rigging, I just smile beatifically.

And I explain that I stopped caring about twins, religion, and even religious twins quite some time ago.

 

Ruminations on Olive Oil March 25, 2007

Standing in line at a fancy grocery store, I spotted a display (among many).

EXTRA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL! It proclaimed.

Excuse me? I thought. Extra extra? Isn’t that a little unnecessary?

That is to say, I never really understood the concept of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to begin with. Is it made from olives that aren’t allowed to touch other olives? Are they modestly shielded from life’s elements by tarps?

And Extra Extra Virgin Olives – what on earth does that entail?

Or does the “virgin” refer to the oil itself? Has it never been mixed with another oil, commingling and developing new, brassy flavors? I certainly hope not, one takes for granted when one buys olive oil that it is, in fact, olive oil, and not some other hybrid. But then it seems that they shouldn’t have to bellow about its virginity so explicitly.

Having all these thoughts in the line at the store, I suddenly reached a breaking point. I wanted to tap the older woman in front of me on the shoulder and ask her my question, maybe she’d know the answer. But no, that wasn’t enough. I wanted to stand up in a shopping cart, I wanted to address the store at large, I wanted to shout it to the heavens: “Isn’t just being a virgin enough for you people anymore?”

It’s not just olive oil – women, too, now, are expected to come with a label that reads Extra Extra Virgin.

Much of society appears to have decided – rather abruptly, if you ask me – that it is not enough to wait for a person, time, and place that connote “right” and “safe” before you have sex for the first time. To make the whole process more efficient and less painful, the decision-making process has been streamlined – good news! You’re no longer required to make those pesky decisions; we’ve done it for you.

Person: Husband/Wife.

Place: Hotel Room.

Time: Honeymoon.

I could say a lot of things about the abstinence program. I could say that repression, sexual or otherwise, isn’t healthy. (See this movie to learn how it leads to broken families, insanity, and arguably the Great Depression.)

I could say that it makes people ashamed of what’s perfectly natural, and thus leads to self-loathing.

But I think I’m going to focus mainly on how creepy it is. (more…)

 

Blogs Vs. Newspapers: Shirley Temple Explains It All September 24, 2006

Filed under: Gullibility,News to Ponder — JJ @ 10:11 pm

Alert! Alert!

Contrary to previous reports, Innocence and Naïveté are alive and they occupy a college campus in the form of a young lady college student majoring in Newspaper Editing. Isn’t it amazing how these things turn up where you least expect to find them?

Read all about it because then you’ll know everything you need to know to understand the always-unschooled young lady standing boldly at the helm of this omnivorous blog!