Discrimination against gays persists, democratic protests are trampled in Iran, Kim Jong Il keeps flashing the nuclear bird at the US, but all this pales in significance when compare to the most important news of last week: The White House Beer Summit:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|White House Beer Simulation|
About 1:30 into the video, there’s a clip of Fox News pit bulls attacking the President’s choice of Bud Light. Bravo, Fox News, for dodging all this “racial tension” bullshit and going right to the heart of matter.
Attention, all of you Bud Light drinkers out there. You call yourself red, white and blue-blooded Americans, but we here at Mind on Fire know that you are actually sleeper agents for a Belgian and Brazillian conspiracy for world domination. If you are a true patriot, you will go to your fridge, extract your Costco 48-pack and pour each can out on that French Tarragon plant growing by the shed in the corner. You have my sympathies–these foreign powers patiently waited to let Budweiser sink into the American psyche for 150 years before forcefully taking it over. (If you want, you can piss into cans for later consumption. This beverage will be American, and probably taste better. We’ll wait.)
Now that we know that our president imbibes a Brelgillian blend, what can we, we who truly love our country, do about this? Well, we won’t take this lying down! We will sit on our fat asses, with remote in one hand [editor's note: most remotes not made in the USA] and a real American brew clenched angrily in the other.
We propose the creation of all-American liquor stores. The shelves would only be stocked with Sam Adams and Jack Daniels and other beverages named after American patriots. Former border patrol agents will guard against encroaching tequila and Corona, and Congressmen Ney and Jones will make sure to block any French wines and wines that come places too close to San Francisco.
Beware: liberals may point to “craft brews” from local establishments. While technically brewed in America, these are known to have a lingering socialist aftertaste. Also, watch out for un-Christian beers with names like Kilt Lifter, Happy Ending, Damnation, and He’brew, The Chosen Ale. And although the reporter on Fox News suggested that Coors is an all-American brew, it’s actually a product of Molson-Coors, an all *North*-American brewing company, with half its leadership in Montreal, which is practically France. We advise against drinking Coors, except at hockey games.
In other news, apple pie was bought out by a Japanese-Chinese consortium, and Johnny Appleseed will now be referred to as ジョニー林檎種. The Stars and Stripes are sewn in Thailand and Guatemala. And your mom is owned by a syndicate operating out of BFE, but you already knew that.
One of the things I love about MoF is that we’re a pretty small community and don’t attract a lot of trolls. This is not to say we never attract trolls, but when we do, it’s a surprise. There are many sites whose comments I simply don’t read because I don’t want to deal with the douchebaggery that goes on. One of my favorite podcasts, This Week in Law (iTunes link) had an interesting discussion of the reasons why it’s easy to flame people when you don’t see them in person. It’s a long podcast, but I think it’s a good discussion of the many factors. And that may be why MoF is different: most of us, even if we don’t know each other in person, know each other on other sites: I know you from your own blog, from twitter, maybe we IM each other, maybe we’re in the same flickr group. And somehow, that manages to make us more congenial toward each other’s opinions. Or maybe we’re just nicer people than the intarwebs at large.
This vid is NSFW and ROTFL funny.
Canada: Liberal! Secular! Not as cold as you think!
I want to talk about a matter of serious import to me and to many other men who have either abandoned or who are struggling with the Mormon faith. This concerns a nearly universal mandate that focuses on the external, and yet is perceived by many to be a reflection of internal purity and righteousness.
Recently, a dear friend of mine has chosen to perpetuate this cultural commandment. While I have the greatest respect for Bored in Vernal, I cannot let her propagate the Myth of the [so-called] Best Look in the World unchallenged.
I abandoned white shirts many years ago. Though they appeared clean and pure, I feel like they portrayed an image that ran counter to the blackness in my dark soul. My first experiments seemed harmless enough–a white shirt with blue pin stripes from Armani, a powder-blue oxford broadcloth, but before long, I was distracting the Elders with dark checkered patterns and pink shirts with french cuffs. What’s more, I liked it–it was like the little polo rider above the pocket was crying out, speaking for me, “Look, this is me! This is who I really am!” It felt good to stand up and stand out in the legion of white-shirted conformists.
Soon I realized that yes, black was slimming. Black hid stains. Black worked just as well at work as at the cocktail parties I was now attending. Everything that had been hidden from me by a life in white shirts was revealed–no longer could they pull the wool over my eyes.
As I write this, I want you all to know that I’m wearing a black shirt. I take my black shirt philosophy seriously. Sure, there are variations among us black shirt wearers–purists may scorn those who wear, say, charcoal grey or black broken up by red and orange stripes, and the debate between pants-deniers and those who want to reach out to fellow pants wearers has been worn ragged by the media. But I just wanted to say to all my fellow black shirt wearers, and those of you who are considering a life in darkness: I’ve got you covered.
The original Man in Black.
I’ve long been a fan of Sinfest, but it’s mostly been religious, rather than political in nature. Recently, since one of the characters is a pig, there was a whole Palin lip-stick-on-pig thing that I’m still not sure what I think about. But then there were these, which are interesting more because Sinfest is not a political cartoon than because they are spot on. Which they are also:
My cousin does a lot of babysitting. She recently babysat a kid who was trying to tell her about a friend’s imaginary friend, Genius, who was a reverse zombie: he died but then, instead of wanting to eat your brains, he wants us to eat his. It took my (Catholic) cousin a long time to realize that this (obviously non-Christian) child was trying to explain that her friend’s imaginary friend was Jesus and that she was describing the Mass. At which point she laughed heartily.
This comes to mind because I just found these:
Kinda ironic that all religion really wants is to eat your brains. I also find it interesting that the only Christian I know I used to work with at the Apple Store was obsessed with zombies. Maybe the reason everyone thinks the End Times are at hand (besides the fact that, you know, they’re always at hand) is because zombies are in the zeitgeist. Anyone who hasn’t seen Shawn of the Dead run, don’t walk to Netflix and watch it. It will save your soul.
First, there was John’s dabbling in mapping lolCats onto traditional religious images. Then, the folks over at Cracked gave us some awesome lolReligion interspersed in their 10 Things Christians and Atheists Can Agree On (scroll down for the lolDog in need of a
Catholic exorcism). But it didn’t stop there, oh no! Someone linked John to Agnostic Kitteh who in turn showed us the lolBible (any translation of the Song of Solomon that includes the phrase “U iz so cute! U iz so hawt!” has to be good). [I skipped the lolPrayer that would be ever so useful if anyone had the cell number of The Divine.] But yesterday, while perusing teh intarnets, I discovered a host (and I mean that in the full, angels-singing, sky-filled-with-heavenly- meaning of the word) of lolReligion. I’m not saying that it’s John’s fault (or that he deserves the credit), but this is so up our alley here at MoF. I’m just sorry I didn’t think of some of these: Read more >>
19 years ago, Jana and I met. We danced. I asked her out. I washed her hair. We fell in love.
18 years ago, we kissed. Then we kissed a lot more. I left for my mission in Japan. We didn’t promise to wait for each other.
17 years ago, we wrote to each other every week. I knocked on doors proclaiming the gospel according to Joseph Smith. She started a sorority and dated around.
16 years ago, I returned to California and proposed to Jana. She accepted. We married five months later. We had lots of sex.
15 years ago, we lived in student housing. We conceived our first child. We went to class and we went to church.
14 years ago, Jana took finals on the week she was due. Our son entered our world. I greeted customers at a Japanese restaurant as the maître’d, filed legal documents as a clerk, and dug through Japanese archives as a research assistant. Jana’s father lost his fight to cancer.
13 years ago, we moved to Salt Lake City. I started grad school. We slept on the plush carpet of our rented duplex apartment near Liberty Park and played with the Box Elder beetles.
12 years ago (to the day), we conceived our daughter. I left grad school and entered the corporate world. I ran my first marathon. I played a lot of street hockey. We slept on a convertible futon bed in a cinderblock apartment. Jana managed our complex of student apartments.
11 years ago, we experienced one of the roughest years of our marriage. Jana struggled with post-partum depression. I entered an MBA program. I hated it. I quit the program. I realized that I no longer believed in Jesus.
10 years ago, I worked for the LDS Church. Jana’s brother-in-law was diagnosed with an aggressive melanoma. We moved back to California. We lived in Bakersfield for two months.
9 years ago, we moved back to Irvine. I began database administration. We lived in an apartment complex with a continually babbling stream and an occasional great blue heron.
8 years ago, I realized that I was mostly atheist. I shared this with Jana. She was not happy. I began working at a dot com. I had the best year of my work life. We had the worst year of our marriage. Jana began taking classes at the community college.
7 years ago, I was laid off by my dot com. I began working for UCI. I created this blog using my own code. We conceived of a new, shared dream of returning to school and getting PhDs. I began taking classes at UCI.
6 years ago, Jana began taking classes at UCI. We moved back on campus less than fifty yards away from the apartment we lived in when we first were married. I started walking to work under the eucalyptus trees.
5 years ago, we both happily attended classes at UCI while I worked on campus. I enrolled in courses on atheism and Japanese ghosts. Jana began developing a passion for 19th century America. I bled away much of my idealism by protesting the war in Iraq.
4 years ago, Jana and I both applied to graduate schools. I got into Stanford. Jana got into UCI. We made the hard decision to stay in Irvine. In the summer, we ate lots of baguettes and listened to the street musicians in Paris. In the fall, Jana started her PhD in history at UCI.
3 years ago, as I watched Jana thrive in her PhD program, I entered into a six month long depression. I returned to my regular happy self again when I was accepted into the evening masters program in religious studies at CSU Long Beach. We organized our two thousand books using the Library of Congress cataloging system.
2 years ago, we left the LDS Church as a family. We began attending the local Quaker meeting. We made lots of wonderful new friends. We recorded several episodes of a podcast exploring our combined faith/doubt journey.
Last year, we moved to a slightly larger but much healthier and better lit apartment. Jana passed her comprehensive exams. I cooked lots of French meals with vegetables and herbs fresh from Jana’s garden. We traveled to Boston with a friend and stayed at the Beacon Hill Friend’s House. We entertained a lot and played many games of Ticket to Ride.
This year, we continue to move towards our dream of simpler living and creative, cerebral careers. We delight in our books, our projects, our kitties, our friends, our children and, of course, in each other. I delight in almost two decades of Jana. I look forward to what adventures the next few decades will bring.
10. We eat babies.
No, but we think about it sometimes. Mmmmm, baby…
9. Without God, we’re a miserable, weepy lot.
Look at all the happy atheists:
8. Without God, we lead gluttonous, hedonistic lives, throwing orgies all the time.
In addition to being inconsistent with misconception #9, my personal experience tells me this is utterly baseless. If you know of any atheists who lead lives like this, please have them email me right away. For, um, research purposes.
7. Without God, we’re murdering, lying, cussing, thieving pedophiles who go around kicking kittens and spitting on old ladies.
Actually, we save the spit for crosses and Bibles. Just kidding! Dang it, I know some blogger is going to quote me on that. Anyhow, God does the kitten killing in these parts.
6. We are all angry and cantankerous.
While I can’t speak for Christopher Hitchens, we are probably as happy or sad as any group of people on this earth, but not as happy as Tom Cruise. Cory Doctorow loves Disneyland, and I don’t think you can love Disneyland and be irascible. And the voices inside my head tell me that the atheist humorists Dave Barry, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett are pretty happy blokes. They must think about babies, like, all of the freaking time.
5. We like to blaspheme.
Like f[REDACTED REDACTED]s C[REDACTED REDACTED]t we do.
4. Foxholes magically transform us into theists.
This is one of those myths that has some basis in truth. It is said that Pope Lucius IX, to facilitate the mission of the Inquisition, ordered a group of Dominican scholar-priests to develop a device capable of turning heretical atheists into faithful believers. This group, led by Father Fernando Fox, devised a pit, narrow enough that a man had to stand upright, with only room enough to move his hands a bit. They surrounded the walls with pictures designed to induce reverence, including the apostles, the bleeding and naked body of Christ on the cross, and choir boys. Men were forced to stand in the Fox Hole for days or even weeks at a time, until they recanted their stubborn unbelief. It was remarkably effective, but it is rumored to have had the side effect of triggering pedophilic urges in its victims. The Vatican reclaimed the device from the Inquisition, and I am certain that they destroyed it long ago, since if it existed, we would see evidence of its use in the Church today. Nevertheless, the saying has remained with us: “There are no atheists in the Fox Hole.”
3. We are all middle-aged, middle-class white men.
Come a little closer and say that again. I know enough atheists to give you a cultural, gender, sexual-orientation, and racially diverse ass-thrashing. In a happy, completely non-angry sort of way.
2. We hate God.
You got us on this one. We also hate invisible pink unicorns, the square root of negative one, Dick Cheney’s compassion, and the girlfriend in Oregon I told everyone I had in the 9th grade.
1. We memorize paragraphs from the Origin of Species and worship Charles Darwin.
This is a favorite image of Creationists: pews full of atheists, each grasping well-worn copies of On the Origin of Species, all facing Richard Dawkins as he proclaims faith in evil-utionism and hatred of God and the Bible. The stained glass windows have elaborate scenes depicting the trilobite and the archeopterex and Australopithecus Africanus (the more I describe this, the cooler it sounds). After the closing hymn to Darwin, we go out into the atrium for a potluck. There we dine on whiskey and mmmmm….baby casseroles, before engaging in our sad and angry womanless orgies.
The school board in Oregon’s Onionville School District has ordered librarians to pull The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from its library shelves following a petition by parents concerned about the religious content of the children’s classic. Teachers have been told not to use the book in their curriculum pending a complete review of the author’s Christian background. Other religious titles may be pulled after a review of the library’s collection.Richard Harris, the district superintendent of instruction said that he fully supports the school board’s decision. “These are secular public schools, after all. Separation of church and state and all that.”
Atheist parent Sam Dawkins agreed. “Those Catholic schools in Canada had every right to pull The Golden Compass from their shelves. As atheist parents at a secular school, we have to protect our children from books by authors with hidden religious agendas. Take C. S. Lewis, for example. He dresses Christ up in cat costume with a big mane so that kids cozy right up to Him. Then they’re caught helpless in Jesus’ furry paws.”
Onionville resident and school board member Christopher Johnson is a self-professed Zen Buddhist who voted in favor of the ban. His choice was motivated by a concern for Lewis’ reputation as a Christian apologist. Although Johnson admitted that he hadn’t read the books, he said that “[The Chronicles of Narnia] are just thinly veiled Christian propaganda…there is nothing innocent about [Lewis'] agenda. This man’s sinister goals are to promote Christianity and denigrate atheism. To kids!”
Johnson added, “Also, there aren’t any Zen books in the library for them to remove, so I have nothing to lose.”
The controversy has spread beyond the classroom and into the movie theater. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was adapted into a hit movie a couple of years ago, and the sequel, Prince Caspian, will be released this spring.
Ellen Hitchens, President of the Atheist League, an American lobbying group for non-believers, is leading an effort to boycott the movie. “We encourage parents not to be lured in by the incredible special effects and the thrilling action. We expect that our national email and news campaign will reach parents who haven’t heard of this multimillion dollar epic and keep them from exposing their unsuspecting children to the religious elements hidden under the Christian-approved sorcery and cute talking animals.”
In Onionville, atheist parents say that C. S. Lewis is just the tip of the Christian iceberg. A source confirms that the SF classic Ender’s Game, by Mormon author Orson Scott Card, The Lord of the Rings, by Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien, plays by Anglican William Shakespeare and epic poetry by pagan Homer will all be under review. This purge may not stop at religion, as some parents are also worried about the hidden vegan agenda of Dav Pilkey, author of the popular and irreverent Captain Underpants series.
Note: This is a work of satire.