Tag, I’m it


It seems I have been tagged (thanks Mooselicker). Until today I had never even heard of tagging another blogger, so I will try to do this right, but please bear with me.

From what I can glean, I am to answer the eleven questions posed by the one who tagged me, then tag eleven others with a list of my own eleven questions.

The questions posed to me and my responses are below.

1. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you think you would become?

When I was very little, I wanted to be a ballerina, even took 11 years of ballet lessons.

2. Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Eddie Izzard

3. Angels, Bigfoots, or Aliens; which one do you think is most likely to exist?

Aliens are most likely, in my opinion, however, I am skeptical as to the existence of all three choices.

4. What is something that everybody seems to enjoy that you hate?

Coffee and beer. I never acquired a taste for either.

5. If you opened your front door and I was there, what would you say? What would you really be thinking?

I’d say a polite Hello. I’d be thinking, how the hell did you get my address?

6. What is your favorite movie and why?

I have favourites in many different categories, so it’s almost impossible to pick one over all the others, but if I had a gun to my head, I would have to choose All About Eve because it excels on every level, writing, direction, acting, etc. and I love Bette Davis.

7. There has to be something that you believe you’re the best at, what is it?

Scrabble

8. Who is the ugliest person you know and why are they so ugly?

I’m going to take this question as ugliest person I know of, so I can include famous people. I instantly thought of Kim Kardashian, because she is so incredibly shallow and stupid, which are traits that I find ugly, but then thought, no. Her mother, Kris Jenner would be uglier for shoving her shallow and stupid family down our collective throats. But then, I suppose the ugliest of them all would be the E! Channel executive that decided to stink up the air with them in the first place.

9. Is love unconditional?

Never

10. Lots of people have addictions. What is yours?

It used to be cigarettes, but I quit. So now I’d have to say, the internet.

11. What is the nicest compliment you have ever received? What is something that you would like to be complimented more about you?

Nicest compliment is when someone tells me they like my writing. That is also the thing I crave more compliments about.

Here are the eleven questions I am asking the people I tagged.

1. Why did you start your blog?

2. Who is your favourite actor/actress?

3. Name your favourite band/musician?

4. What is your favourite TV Show?

5. Who is your favourite scientist?

6. Name your favourite author?

7. What do you do with your free time when you are not online?

8. If you had to live in another country, which country would you choose and why?

9. What three words best describe you?

10. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

11. If you were throwing a dinner party, and could invite any 10 people (living or dead) who would you invite?

And lastly, here is who I tagged.

Humanist Musings 

Wandering Sideways

Kitty Blogger

Always Question Authority

Bongo Dog Blog

Feeling Good About Feminism 

Intelligent Life

The Call of Troythulu

Galileo Unchained

Ariaphoenix

Erika Gardner

The GOP from one Canadian’s perspective


Yesterday, I came across the following quote, attributed to GOP candidate, Rick Santorum.

“It has been my experience that when dealing with females, you need to treat them as though they have a mental disorder… especially those that are constantly seeking equality in the workplace, the military, and in the home. Women need to know their place and need to know when it is okay for them to speak. They were put on this earth for two reasons, and two reasons alone: taking care of their husband, and giving birth to his children… that is all. Any woman who tells you otherwise is obviously touting the liberal agenda of equality, and they need to be told the truth of their purpose. It is a disorder that can be fixed, but not until they go through several years of therapy to understand that they need to be subservient.” 

I have since been informed that the quote is fictitious. To which I responded “Can you blame me for not putting it past him?” After all, this is a man who gave us such bon mots as,

“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

and

“In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might find they don’t both need to. … What happened in America so that mothers and fathers who leave their children in the care of someone else — or worse yet, home alone after school between three and six in the afternoon — find themselves more affirmed by society? Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism.”

He doesn’t exactly come off as woman friendly. Sadly, he’s not the only one. The entire Grand Old Party is seemingly waging a war on the American Woman, or more specifically, feminists. It seems that Republicans want their women to be docile and subservient, do as they’re told types who don’t challenge what rich, white, old men tell them is the way things should be. To which I say maybe you should move to Stepford… but, oh no, Stepford doesn’t exist, and neither does the female ideal you pine for.

Newt Gingrich had this to say about women on the front lines of war,

“If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don’t have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they’re relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn’t matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.”

Then there’s this tidbit when speaking to a friend about why he was divorcing his first wife,

“She’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a President. And besides, she has cancer.”

Mitt Romney fired off these beauties regarding reproductive rights,

“As president, I will end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood.”

“I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. I support the reversal of Roe v. Wade, because it is bad law and bad medicine. Roe was a misguided ruling that was a result of a small group of activist federal judges legislating from the bench.”

Is it any wonder that I was so easily duped into thinking that the first quote was a real quote and not a parody?

**All caricatures were brilliantly done by Donkey Hotey  http://donkeyhotey.wordpress.com/

It’s the little things


 

I quit smoking a little over 6 months ago. I was a pack a day smoker for 33 years. It was my choice to quit. No one else forced me to make that decision, try as they might over the years. I was just at a point where I was ready to stop, so I did. I still think that if people want to smoke, that it is their right to do so. I am a firm believer in my body, my choice. So when I read this article  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/14/cote-st-luc-smoking-bylaw_n_1276604.html?ref=canada  it put the wind up my skirt (or, in this case, the smoke). I understand banning smoking in indoor public places, what with ventilation being an issue and all, but OUTDOORS? I could even get on board with no smoking in playgrounds, if only to keep parents quiet. This smoking ban surprised me most of all, because it was put in place in a Montreal adjacent municipality. Yes, French Canadians are banning cigarette smoking outside. The last time I went to France (admittedly, it’s been a while), I got off the plane in Paris, went to the service desk, cigarette in hand, asked for a light and was immediately obliged. Smoking is practically mandatory in France. Have French Canadians been so watered down by Canadian political correctness that they are okay with banning smoking OUTSIDE? I expect this kind of erosion of personal freedoms in laces like California, where you are not allowed to smoke on the beach anymore… yes, the beach, nature’s ashtray. But Montreal? Really?

Then, on the very same day, from the other side of the very same country comes this story. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/14/former-bc-attorneys-general-pot-prohibition_n_1277040.html While I think this is potentially a good thing, what I would like to know is, if we can’t smoke cigarettes indoors or outdoors, just where will we be allowed to smoke pot? While one hand gives us freedom to do what we want to/with our body, the other hand takes it away by telling us we can do it, but only in designated areas, which are getting fewer by the minute. So for those of you who are excited by the prospect of legalized marijuana, don’t think you’ll be seeing this sign anytime soon.

 

 

This makes me angry and sad


This is Rihanna. Isn’t she cute?

In the wake of Chris Brown’s performance and award win at the Grammy’s last night (which I will reserve comment on), there emerged a very disturbing trend on Twitter. Quite a few young women and girls have decided that it would be fun or cool or sexy to get beaten by Chris Brown. The following are some examples of tweets from young women who clearly need a dose of self esteem, STAT.

To all these young ladies, I’d like to remind you what that looks like.
Doesn’t look so cute anymore does she?

Re-post But What if You’re An Asshole?


Whitney Houston was found dead yesterday at the age of 48. This is another celebrity death I was not shocked to read about. This woman was living like she wanted to die for decades. The sad thing here, for me, was how she squandered, not only her talent, but the opportunities afforded to her.

Reading the news inspired me to re-post my feelings about how we immediately forget about all the crappy behavior a person has engaged in once they have died.

RE-POST

Bill Cosby had this great joke (the only one in which he used profanity). He asked someone what was so great about using cocaine, the person replied it enhances your personality. His response was , but what it you’re an asshole?

I have always loved this joke. The punch line, for me, now becomes the question I ask when someone dies, and people begin to canonize him/her without merit. For example Amy Winehouse was a very talented singer with a unique voice and I am sure she is missed by her family and friends, but let’s get real. Was anyone really that shocked when she died? The way she lived her life, it was like she was begging for death.

Then there’s Michael Jackson, another very talented singer, dancer and performer. His childhood was far less than perfect. He grew into someone who used drugs as a crutch for his issues instead of facing them with strength and moving past them (which I would have actually admired). But now our hearts are supposed to bleed because he was to weak natured to overcome his demons.

Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley are examples of the very same behavior. I still don’t understand the fascination we have with the emotionally weak and famous. Fewer people mourned the passing of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, people who actually turned their, much worse, situations into wonderful acts of strength and kindness.

Could it be because these celebrities died young(er) that society sees it as so tragic? Or is it that we love to see this in a morbid, Schadenfreude kind of way? If we can’t be famous, then fame and happiness shouldn’t be allowed to coexist, so we are secretly celebrating the passing of these celebrities because it serves them right for pissing away the opportunity that we would sell our soul to have knock on our door?

I understand 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.

Interesting experiment


 

Recently I was asked if I am a positive or a negative person. I replied, a little of both, as all humans are. Then I was asked but which are you more of the time? To which I had no reply. As a logical thinker, I decided to try an experiment. For 24 hours (okay, actually only about 16 hours, I do need my sleep) I decided to try not to say anything negative. It’s harder than it sounds. It means cleaning house on your vocabulary. Words like no, not, can’t, don’t, won’t, shouldn’t and but are verboten. Something as simple as I don’t like broccoli is a negative statement. I didn’t last very long. Less than an hour. What tripped me up? I felt it necessary to say, “I can’t stand these smug Christians who go around whining about how ‘persecuted’ they are” **Note to self, try this again when I am not in the throes of PMS.

In the interest of equal time, the following day, I spent the day trying not to say anything positive. This proved much easier. I lasted the better part of 6 hours before stating that I love Sheldon Cooper (yes I am a Big Bang Theory geek).

So I guess I skew more toward negativity. I do have positive leanings, but it would be ridiculous to be positive all of the time in the world we live in. You would have to be in serious denial… or at least on some really strong medication (or religious indoctrination).

This experiment in human nature was a fun for me. I challenge any of you who would like to know themselves a little better to try it.

 

Thou Shalt Not Kill?


 

Yesterday’s post brought with it some very interesting comments. One, in particular from a lovely Christian lady who said “The idea that people can take my religion and decide that “Thou shalt not kill” is negotiable makes my heart sick.”

This got me thinking quite a bit about the commandment, Thou shalt not kill, perhaps the most impossible commandment to abide.

Every one of us commits mass murder on a daily basis. Yes, PETA members, even you. When we are walking outside, we kill countless number of insects. Every time we scratch or wash ourselves, we kill thousands upon thousands of bacteria. We kill without thinking about it all day every day. We kill to feed ourselves. Even the most vegan of vegan people are killing plants in order to sustain their own lives. When a lion kills a limpy gazelle we say it’s thinning the herd or it’s natural selection at work. If all life is sacred, then what makes insects so expendable?

We, as human beings are members of the animal kingdom. We are hard-wired to kill, just as all other parts of the food chain are instinctual killers. It seems that only us humans have put in place a set of rules regarding when it is okay to kill and when it isn’t. For instance it’s okay to kill another person in self-defense, or in defense of others.

Then there’s the fact that humans are the only species that kills for sport. How do religious hunters reconcile their breaking of the number one commandment?

As an atheist, I can’t help but look at sweeping statements like thou shalt not kill and question its meaning. If it is taken literally, we are all going to burn in hell for simply stepping on a spider. If taken as thou shalt not kill other humans, then why are we inventing exceptions to the rule, like self-defense, or killing in the name of God? (which makes no sense if he told you not to kill in the first place)

A little religion is a dangerous thing because it teaches us to deny and ignore who we are at our most basic core. We pretend to be better than animals when it comes to killing, when in fact we are far, far worse. Animals don’t kill just for sport. Animals don’t keep souvenirs of their kills hanging on the walls of their dens. When a lion looks at a herd of gazelles, he purposefully picks the lamest, weakest or oldest one to take down so that the herd will continue to replenish itself. When a hunter looks at the same herd, he wants to bag the biggest, strongest, most magnificent specimen for bragging rights. When are we going to drop the pious, holier than thou crap and admit to being the self-serving hypocrites that we actually are? It’s great to strive to be more than that. I think we should be striving to back up our own lofty opinions of ourselves. But until we admit to what we really are, we cannot know how far we have to go.