Us vs. Them


Lately the world has been reminding more and more of the Dr. Seuss book about the plain bellied Sneetches and the star bellied Sneetches. This book should become required reading for children and adults alike worldwide. It’s a simple story about how we focus too much on our differences and forget how alike we actually are.

Everywhere I look there’s a fight going on. Liberals vs. Conservatives. Women vs. Men. Straights vs. Gays (and the whole LBGT community). Whites vs. Blacks (and Hispanics, Asians, Indigenous Peoples etc.) Theists vs. Atheists. Rich vs. Poor. The list goes on and on to the point where there is fighting between sub-groups of each group.

When are we going to collectively wake up and realize that we all share this planet and these petty arguments only serve to distract us from moving forward in life. I identify myself as a feminist, an atheist and a Canadian, but first and foremost I am a human being, a life form on this planet. I respect all other life forms who share space on earth with me. Yes, I like to state my opinions, and invariably those opinions will be opposing to those of others, even to the point where they may offend others. My intention is merely to bring my viewpoint into the collective fray of opinion that we have created as a global online community.

While I identify myself as a Canadian, I am hardly patriotic. I see no sense in patriotism. Something as random as where you were born shouldn’t give you a sense of pride. You didn’t build the place. I can understand a feeling of nostalgia for your home town/country, but patriotism is just another way to separate ourselves from others and to incite anger. At its worst, patriotism is used to brainwash young men and women into dying for their country. In reality these soldiers are not dying for their country, or even for the beliefs of their country (a mass of land can have no beliefs… the people in any given country will have a widely varied belief system). They fight in wars created by smaller groups of men who can’t get past the whole might makes right theory of winning an argument. (I am aware that I am simplifying here.) Patriotism is simply my Dad is better than your Dad.

Religion is very much the same thing. My God is better than your God. Wars are fought, blood is shed and for what? In the end, there is no end. I mentioned that I identify as an atheist. You won’t see me on a religious battleground. Atheists don’t believe in God, yours or anyone else’s. This, for some reason gets religious folks all riled up, to the point where they wish us harm. I wonder if they are angry at atheists because we found a way out of church on Sunday and burning in hell for acting like humans act every day. In the eyes of theists, atheists have no shame, so what stops them from committing heinous acts of atrocity? Interesting viewpoint. I could ask the same of religious people. It seems your God is simply there as an excuse for the atrocities you commit. Atheists may not have some invisible Santa Clause watching over us and making a naughty and nice list, but we do have a conscience, same as you, that tells us when we are crossing our own moral line. Without going any further into argument territory, honestly, I don’t care what you believe in or don’t believe in. Religion is just another way we have of separating ourselves from others and inciting anger.

A while ago I wrote a blog entitled ‘What Do Women Want’ about feminism and what it really boils down to. In it, I state, “Women want the same freedoms, rights and privileges that are afforded to men, no more, no less.” It’s unfortunate that we still don’t have this. It’s unfortunate that we have to fight for this, but, unlike patriotism and religion, it’s a cause worth fighting for. However, like patriotism and religion, the fight for women’s rights stems from the idea that there exists a group of people who are superior to another group of people. This simply isn’t the case. Just as no one country is the BEST country on earth and no one religion is the one TRUE religion, no one sex is the GREATER sex. As Shakespeare said, “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

Whether we have stars on our bellies or plain bellies, we are all Sneetches.

Unless, of course the conspiracy theorists are right, and this is happening…

Looking toward the New Year


We should all begin a new year with a smile on our faces.

So, I have decided to supply one or two in the form of adorable New Year’s babies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as they say in the nudist colony,

 

 

 

Public or Private? Make up your mind.


It really puts the wind up my skirt when celebrities leak news about their private lives to the media, then have the audacity to say, we ask that you respect our privacy in this difficult time. If you really wanted your privacy, then why are you telling the world about your private life to begin with?

We had two examples of this kind of behavior this week.

First, the announcement was made that Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa were getting a divorce. The following is a quote from their publicist.

“The Bryants have resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately with the assistance of counsel and a Judgment dissolving their marital status will be entered in 2012,” their publicist said in a statement, to which the duo added, “We ask that in the interest of our young children and in light of the upcoming holiday season the public respect our privacy during this most difficult time.”

The second example happened just today when it was announced that Chaz Bono and his long time girlfriend were splitting up. Here is the quote from their publicist.

A publicist for Chaz Bono says the relationship between the author and activist and his longtime partner has ended. Howard Bragman says in a statement that Bono and Jennifer Elia “leave this relationship with great love, respect and affection towards one another.” He adds that the two are seeking privacy in the matter.

Seriously, if you are truly seeking privacy you’d just keep your big, fat, narcissistic yaps shut in the first place.

Can you spot the differences?



Yesterday was indeed a sad day. Christopher Hitchens died and it was reported that Etta James is terminally ill. In both cases, Cancer was the culprit. For Hitchens it was a long battle with esophageal cancer, for James, the final stages of leukemia. Both are being touted by their fans and friends as iconic and legendary in their respective fields. Both have been controversial figures who liked their alcohol. Both are known for an arrogant personality. So why is it that the public response to each has been so different?

Let’s begin with Ms. James, a wonderful singer with a soulful voice, a member of no less than three Halls of Fame, who has influenced the careers of numerous artists in her wake, but has had a rocky personal life. She has had a well publicized heroin addiction since the 1970′s and has been in and out of treatment facilities for decades. She has had her run ins with the law. She has suffered ill-health due to her addictions to heroin and various pain killers. When Beyoncé Knowles sang her most famous hit song at President Obama’s inauguration, Ms. James went on a very public jealous rant against, both Ms. Knowles and the President.

When it was announced yesterday that the blues and gospel singer is terminally ill, people immediately began asking for prayers (even her live in doctor asked for her fans to pray for her), calling her great, a legend, saying how much they will miss her, how sad they are at hearing the news etc. This is exactly how one would expect people to react to the impending death of a celebrity. The pedestal is at the ready and all is forgiven.

Moving on to Mr. Hitchens, a renowned atheist, intellectual and author, known for his outspoken nature and penchant for debate. His personal life was not quite as rocky. He was a drinker and a smoker, but, by no account, did he partake of anything harder than that on a regular basis. Admittedly, his alcohol intake was enough “to kill or stun the average mule”. He is also famous for his politics, or more specifically, his seemingly opposing political views. But it is his railing against religion that he is most known for and, likely, will be most remembered for. In his book, God is Not Great, he criticized every religion on the planet as “the main source of hatred in the world”.

When the news hit, there were quite a few people calling him great, a legend, saying how much they will miss him, how sad they were at hearing the news etc, but there was another layer to it. Religious people seemed to revel in the news that a man, famous for his atheistic views was gone and likely burning in hell.

I’d like to share some twitter messages on the news of Etta James being terminally ill.

Praying for Etta James…

Hang in there Etta James… There is no one else n music like you

have Ms. Etta James in my thoughts. Sad to hear she’s terminally ill. Thankful to have seen her sing live and fill hearts & minds with love.

OH NO! DOCTORS ARE ASKING FOR PRAYERS FOR TERMINALLY ILL ETTA JAMES!

My Prayers Go Out 2 Etta James

Etta James is terminally ill with cancer. Great lady, great voice.

Etta James In Leukemia’s Final Stages: Iconic singer is in a home with her husband by her side. (End of golden era of soul)

I think I’ll put some Etta James on. I hope her last days are peaceful.

In contrast, here are a mix of twitter messages in response to the death of Christopher Hitchens.

‘Farewell great voice against can’t, hypocrisy, obscurantism, pretension, against all tyrants including god

I am 100% certain that Christopher Hitchens is no longer an atheist.

Goodbye Christopher Hitchens. Your lance-like rhetoric introduced my hungry young mind to the intellectual battlefield that surrounds us.

Christopher Hitchens is in hell, in case you’re wondering

Noted atheist Christopher Hitchens has had plenty of time to re-evaluate while burning in Hell the past couple of days.

Then there are the reactions to his book title, God is Not Great as a trending topic.

WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? Whoever started #GodIsNotGreat needs the shit beat out of them!

whoever started that trending topic #godisnotgreat needs 2 die a slow death

WHO EVA MADE THIS A TRENDIN TOPIC.ILL PERSONALLY KILL EM MYSELF.

And it just gets worse from there.

Honestly, I was never really a fan of Etta James, yes she had a lovely voice, but I’m more of a rock fan. I was never a fan of Christopher Hitchens either. I know this is tantamount to blasphemy from an atheist, but his smug arrogance rubbed me the wrong way.In a previous blog entitled, But what if you’re an asshole? I wrote “I get the impulse to celebrate someone’s life after they die, but let’s actually celebrate the WHOLE PERSON. Warts and all. After all, the sooner we can collectively embrace our humanity the better off we will be as a society. It’s easier to change something when you stop making excuses and see it for what it really is.”

It says so much about us as a society that an alcoholic atheist is demonized and a heroin addicted gospel singer is deified.

I’d like to leave you with this last message from a twitter user and close by saying, if religious people are going to claim to be better than the rest of us, you might want to act like it.

“Remember that time when atheists threatened to kill and burn all those christians over a twitter trend? Yeah, me neither. “

What makes a man sexy?


I can only speak for myself, but I am willing to bet that there are quite a few women out there who would agree with my answers here. Although it’s nice to look at a great body, the abs and pecs fade with age. What really holds my interest are qualities that go a little deeper.

Intelligence is sexy.

As a fairly smart woman, I need a man who can carry on an intelligent and interesting conversation. I have a very eclectic list of interests (from music and the arts to science and politics) and the man who captures my attention is well versed in all, or at least most of them. It’s a bonus if he’s passionate about what he does. Passion is infectious. I love listening to a man talk about his job with excitement. After all the biggest erogenous zone is between the ears.

This is the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is my ultimate example of sexy intellect.

Charisma is sexy.

Charisma is borne from confidence and there’s nothing sexier than a confident man. A knowing smile, the ability to hold center stage, to seduce the whole room with the raise of an eyebrow, yes charisma is as rare as it is sexy. Not to be confused with arrogance, true charisma/confidence comes from just being yourself, unabashedly, without shame or fear of the opinions of others.

This is Mick Jagger, not the world’s best singer but, for me, the epitome of Charisma.

Wit is sexy.

Wit is another rare commodity. A man who can make me laugh has got a shot with me no matter what he looks like. I respect humour as a means of communication and seduction. Wit cannot exist without intellect and a keen sense of perception. Only an observant man is a witty man and there’s nothing sexier than a man who pays attention to who you are.

This is the author, Tom Robbins, famous for books like Still Life With Woodpecker and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I have yet to read another male author who understands women more fully, or loves them more transparently than this man. Oh, and he can make me laugh so hard that I wet my pants with one simple sentence.

Style is sexy.

A man who dresses for himself and not in the traditional male uniform is very sexy to me. It shows a lack of conformity that I relate to as a rebellious spirit. Some may call it peacocking, but when done to please yourself and not in order to attract female attention, it’s sexy as all get out.

This is David Bowie, a true icon of style, then, now and forever.

The Renaissance Man.

Or the man who I define as the embodiment of all of these qualities simultaneously, is indeed difficult to find. But, as a woman who possesses those qualities, I will settle for nothing less. The common thread that links all of these men is that none of them are afraid to be who they are… no apologies. I’m not saying you have to be a genius like Neil deGrasse Tyson, or have the charisma of Mick Jagger, the wit of Tom Robbins or the style of David Bowie, there is only one man I can think of that is the personification of all of that, just be you and don’t try to impress me.

In case you were curious who I was referring to when I said there was only one man I could think of that personifies the intellect of Neil deGrasse Tyson, the charisma of Mick Jagger, the wit of Tom Robbins and the style of David Bowie, this is my ideal Renaissance man.

You’re my favorite


Or favourite, as we spell it in the Great White North.

On twitter I spend most of my time giving out gold stars to my favourite tweets. I’d like to share some of them here. In order to get one of these coveted stars, for me, a tweet must fall into one of several categories…

Funny:

Kathy Griffin

@kathygriffinKathy Griffin
Lindsay Lohan’s Playboy cover leaked online this week – I hope 2 christ that’s the only part of her that’s leaking.
Dr. Twittenheimer

@DrTwittenheimerDr. Twittenheimer
What you say obviously contains many kernels of truth, but that’s only because they tend to pass through you undigested.
David Horton

@watermelon_manDavid Horton
If you have already named your baby and then find the name isn’t in the top ten most popular for year should you change it? Well, obviously!
D. Olly

@DaanandoD. Olly
If current trends continue, you’re all going to die! :(
Michael Fricano

@Lucid_SinMichael Fricano
I’m thinking of making a mistletoe belt for Xmas.
SimonNRicketts

@SimonNRickettsSimonNRicketts
I just rang Alcohol Concern. Told them I was worried I didn’t have enough beer in the fridge. They’re quite rude, aren’t they?
Ricky Gervais

@rickygervaisRicky Gervais
Karl asked me once if the presents the 3 wise men gave the baby Jesus were for his birthday or christmas.
Bad Taste Jokes™ 

@BadTasteJokesBad Taste Jokes™ 
Amnesia patients. Who do you think you are?
Jimmy Carr

@jimmycarrJimmy Carr
Apparently home vajazzle kits will be very popular this Christmas. Good to know, I was just going to get my nan a cardigan
wheatnik

@wheatnikwheatnik
“I wanna rock right now!”– Overzealous geologist.
Denis Leary

@denislearyDenis Leary
Hangover pill. Does it cure everything or do we need separate pills for the shame, guilt and STDs?
serialmatrix

@serialmatrixserialmatrix
My new party trick is to swallow two pieces of string and an hour later they come out of my arse tied together…Seriously. I shit you knot.
Jesus Christ

@Jesus_M_ChristJesus Christ
You’d be surprised how “accidentally” drowning a baby really cuts down on people asking you to baptize them. Looking at you John.
serialmatrix

@serialmatrixserialmatrix
I think it’s safe to say Schrödinger was probably a dog person.
Chelsea Handler

@chelseahandlerChelsea Handler
Listen up! I have nothing to say.
True:
MoronWatch

@moronwatchMoronWatch
Morons tell me we can’t cut “defence” spending because it supports millions of jobs. On that basis, child prostitution would be a good idea
Whenever a theist accuses me of ‘believing in nothing’ I simply laugh, because they too believe in nothing, they just don’t realize it.
DC Debbie

@DCdebbieDC Debbie
American society applauds sexually active men no matter what the age (Viagra) and punishes women–especially when practicing responsible sex
Amanda ♥

@MinouChatteAmanda ♥
Kids can pray in school…it’s what the moment of silence is for…but schools can’t dictate everyone follow Christianity!
Ben C. O. Grimm ✔✔

@BenCOGrimmBen C. O. Grimm ✔✔
Seeing #atheism as a movement, with rules, leaders, and world domination as its goal, mirrors a typically narrow religious world view.
Nelliot Spitzer :)

@HarrietThugmanNelliot Spitzer :)
Every gay person should call in gay for work at least once a month. Hey, its a fucking “sickness”, right?
Christian groups don’t seem to realise that they promote pornography/explicit content on TV channels by publicly complaining about it
Dear Kim Kardashian, Your entire wedding could have paid for my college education for 25465 years….
To deny true & historical realities of poverty, unemployment and incarceration rates for the African American population… That’s racism!
Feminist:
ThankYou JKRowling

@Ms_UK_AmericanThankYou JKRowling
The day ProLife takes back saying women who are raped are damaged goods I’ll take them seriously
The name-calling says more about the person’s attitude and gender bias toward sex than anything else. Only women are sluts. Really.
eeeegads

@eeeegadseeeegads
Saying women are unqualified to make her own reproductive choices, but she is qualified to be parent/incubator. Hypocrisy
Mrs. Christ

@JesusWifeMrs. Christ
My hubby thinks it’s hilarious to say to me, “Onward, ho!” I think it would be hilarious to make him sleep on the couch.
taslima nasreen

@taslimanasreentaslima nasreen
Female Genital Mutilation is practiced among Bohra Muslims in parts of India & Pakistan. FGM is torture, not culture. Ban #FGM.
Atheist:
Don T. Givaphuk

@NostradamnisuckDon T. Givaphuk
Bible once was used to persecute witches and Negroes. Fortunately, women and black people fought for rights. Now Atheists remain to target.
Rosa Rubicondior

@RosaRubicondiorRosa Rubicondior
The Holy Bible. Providing an excuse for hatred and persecution for nearly 2000 years.
When Lip Service to Some Mysterious Deity Permits Bestiality on Wednesday and Absolution on Sundays, Cash Me Out. ~ Frank Sinatra
Religious Critic

@religiouscriticReligious Critic
“‘There are no atheists in foxholes’ isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.” – James Morrow
Black Rabbit of Inle

@NullGodPointerBlack Rabbit of Inle
Think bible had perfect moral truth? Would you want your daughter to have to marry her rapist?
Augustus

Prayer has no place in reality.
NietzscheQuotes

@NietzscheQuotesNietzscheQuotes
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
Rachel Haywire

@RachelHaywireRachel Haywire
We seek a future where freethinking artists and published philosophers sit in the same room and have the best conversations of their lives.
Religious Critic

@religiouscriticReligious Critic
“Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.” ~ Richard Dawkins
A big thank you to all of you who make the hours I spend on Twitter so much fun and so addictive.

Fashion to die for


A few of years ago I stopped wearing a bra. I have a history of fibrocystic breast disease (I get large fluid filled cysts that must be drained with a big needle) and I had undergone a lumpectomy to remove a cancerous tumor. While fervently searching the internet for any bit of a hint as to what I might be doing to cause these conditions, I came across a very interesting study regarding a link between wearing a bra and breast cysts/cancer. http://www.breastnotes.com/bc/bc-causes-singer-bracancer.htm As a massage therapist, I am very familiar with human anatomy and this made a lot of sense to me. I was one of those women who wore my bra all day, then slept in it as well, never allowing my lymphatic system to do its job.

Before you think it was easy for me to just stop wearing a bra, let me tell you that I have quite large breasts and sagging was a concern, admittedly a vain one, but a concern nonetheless. I was also worried about worsening the back pain I had suffered from by having to bear the weight of my breasts without help from a bra. These concerns, it turns out, were entirely unfounded. Yes, I now sag a tad more than I used to, but not nearly as much as I had feared and likely not more than I would have just by aging. My back pain has lessened. All those little muscles that were being “helped along” by my bra, were now forced to work and became stronger. Even my posture is better.

Since I have been braless, I have had exactly two cysts drained (once each), as opposed to 3 to 5 cysts twice a year and no recurrence of breast cancer. I never changed my diet or my exercise regimen. I did quit smoking, but that was the only other change I made to my lifestyle. I will wear a bra occasionally, but never for more than a few hours at a time and never an underwire bra. After a week or so of feeling oddly naked without a bra, undershirts, or soft cotton tank tops have become far more comfortable than I ever imagined and I don’t have those horrible divots, caused by bra straps, in my shoulders anymore.

It seems those feminists of the 1960′s knew what they were doing when they burned their bras, even though they may not have known it was the healthy thing to do. Breast binding with a bra is no more healthy for your breasts than foot binding is for your feet.

I encourage you to try going without a bra for a month and see how it changes your life. If you are a man, I hope that you pass this on to the women in your life.

There is no need for women to be a slave to a fashion item that can kill them.