I have had my twitter account for about as long as long as I have been writing this blog. I use it to post short little bon mots and, of course, to publicize my blog. I also like to participate in trending topics (hashtags) from time to time, if the subject is fun or interesting… or annoying. Such was the case last night when a trending topic appeared in my timeline. It should be noted that I am a grammar and spelling geek of the highest order, so when I saw this was trending, you can imagine how annoyed it made me.
immediately took to my keyboard and fired off this little shot at whoever came up with the above bastardization of the English language.
#MentionAAttractiveFollower Any follower that I would consider attractive would know that there is an ‘n’ missing from this hashtag.
I didn’t think any more of it until I awoke this morning to see that I had an inordinate amount of email from twitter. It seems that, overnight, my little tweet had taken the top slot for that topic (or hashtag, if you will) and it had been the recipient of 114 retweets and 42 favourites. This is astonishing, as the majority of my tweets get no attention whatsoever. On any given day, I am lucky if more than one person decides to retweet anything I say and now this!
Alas it’s now a new day and this hashtag has disappeared from the trending list and I must slink back into obscurity, but I will always have the memory of that night fleeting fame and how great it felt to be at the top for one brief, shining moment.
Lately I have been feeling very uninspired. Oh, it’s not like there’s nothing going on in the world, just nothing that is sparking my interest. In the past week, we’ve been bombarded with a lot of “news” that I couldn’t care less about.
For instance, I don’t care if some young “actress”, that I have barely heard of, cheated on her overrated actor “boyfriend”. This only answers my question of who she had to sleep with to get famous… directors, apparently.
Who are these people and why does anyone care?
And pardon me if I yawn when I see yet another “story” about Tom and Katie and how they parent their precious Suri differently.
While Katie chooses the, down to earth, taxicab option…
Tom buys his daughter’s love with a helicopter ride.
Oh, and why exactly am I supposed to give a damn about the publicity seeking Jackson family and their so called drama that seems to be occurring just before young Paris’s first movie is about to debut?
The Jackson kids with their Grandmother/guardian/missing person/ not guardian/ co-guardian, Katherine.
Now I may be jaded, but I am just so sick and tired of all of this manufactured celebrity drama creeping into my consciousness. It’s everywhere you look. It’s impossible to escape knowing all the intimate details of these attention whores’ lives. The best part is when they say they want us to respect their privacy. Meanwhile they are tweeting, calling TMZ and giving interviews to US Weekly and People magazines.
Enough is enough. Isn’t there any actual news worth reporting? Isn’t anyone on the planet doing anything worthwhile? If anyone knows of such a person or persons, please let me know, I could really use some inspiration.
This blog just hit 10,000 views and I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has ever spent time here. When I started this blog in October of 2011, I wasn’t sure if there would be an audience for it. Each and every day is a pleasant surprise.
As Dr. Sheldon Cooper said when he hit 100 twitter followers, “I’m not gonna lie, it feels pretty good.”
Today is a day to celebrate. Tomorrow I go back to griping.
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.
Each day on Twitter, I post my quote of the day tweet. The other day, the quote I posted was, “Gods don’t kill people. People with Gods kill people.” – David Viaene. One of the responses I got to this quote was, “people without Gods hold it down in the killing dept just as well. It’s a human problem.”
While I take no issue with the fact that there have been many killings done at the hands of people without Gods, the problem I have with the above statement is with the phrase, “just as well”. I decided to do a little research on the subject and here is what I came up with.
While there is really no way to tally the amount of individual murders committed by individual atheists, there are some numbers to be found when one looks at State Atheism, for instance in Mexico, under President Plutarco Elias Calles, there were at least 40 priests killed between the years 1926 and 1934. In the Soviet Union, Marxism-Leninism ideology sought to eliminate religion from the state entirely. In the period between 1922 and 1926, 28 Russian Orthodox Bishops and more than 1200 priests were killed. In Cambodia, under the Khmer Rouge, the estimated death toll is between 740,000 and 3 million. In the Mongolian People’s Republic, the Soviets launched a full-scale attack on Buddhism in 1936 where between 30,000 and 35,000 lives were lost. In North Korea, in the late 1940’s 166 priests and religious were killed or kidnapped. Using the high estimates, the total adds up to 3,036,434 deaths. Which, is a very substantial number.
On the side of people with Gods, I am only including the tally of one mass killing. The Holocaust, which took place between 1938 and 1945. Christians like to tell you that Hitler was an atheist, but, by all accounts, Hitler was a Catholic raised, Christian who espoused his belief in Jesus Christ (albeit an Aryan Jesus Christ), which makes him a man with a God. “As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.”- Aldof Hitler There were 5.9 million Jews, between 2 and 3 million Soviet POWs, 1.8 to 2 million Poles, between 220,000 and 1.5 million Romani, 200,000 to 250,000 disabled people, 80,000 Freemasons, between 20,000 and 25,000 Slovenes, 5,000 to 15,000 homosexuals, and between 2,500 and 5,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses killed in the Holocaust. Even using the low estimates, the death toll is 10,227,500 or more than 3.3 times the number killed by Atheist States in 5 different instances.
The reason to only include the Holocaust on the side of men with Gods was because, all of the Atheist State examples I used were from the 20th century and I didn’t want anyone crying unfair if I used examples like the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Thirty years War or the French Wars of Religion, which all took place in different eras, when people were not as enlightened as they were in the last century.
I do agree that killing is part of human nature, and I am positive that, even without a belief in any sort of deity, people would find something to fight about on a mass scale. My point here is that belief in a god seems to be a pretty popular reason to kill people. Here’s a question to think on… is God the reason, or the excuse?
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. “
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…
In this blog I will make the argument that the folks on ALL sides of this event are showing their stupidity. Let me begin with the aforementioned Ms. Grey. It should be noted that I am not anti porn in any way. I consider myself a sex positive feminist, from the old school of feminism that believes a woman should embrace her sexuality, not be vilified for it. I do not judge Ms. Grey for her former profession, only for her behavior in this instance. As a former porn star she should know that society will not want her in direct contact with children unless they are her own. While I applaud her wanting to volunteer for a worthy cause, she picked the wrong one. If, however, she had gone into that classroom, read the story and left without feeling the need to be validated through tweeting about her good deed, chances are, we and the children’s parents never would have heard about this situation. But, then Ms. Grey would not have had the publicity she so sorely desires. I am so sick of women playing the victim, especially when it’s obvious that they cast themselves in the role. Oh, look at the poor former porn star, she’s not allowed to do anything good without being reminded of all the bad she’s done. It was stupid of her to tweet about reading to elementary school children under her performing name to all of her porn fans (and TMZ). What I really want to know is who took the pictures of her in the classroom? Can you say Publicist?
Then there’s the school who claimed, when pressed, that Ms. Grey was never there. Could it be because she was there under her non-porn name and they just didn’t put two and two together (not EVERYONE watches porn after all)? Could it be because they wanted to avoid the inevitable shit-storm from the parents? Or maybe they thought that if they denied it, no one could ever possibly prove otherwise. Enter Twitter and TMZ. Denial was possibly the most stupid route to take in this drama. Who do they think they are, politicians?
Now to the outraged parents. The collective complaint here seems to be that their innocent little angels were subjected to the horror that is being in the same room with a lady who read to them. Let’s face facts, in the moment, all these kids were aware of was that some lady was reading to them. It’s the parents who have made this an issue that they now have to explain to their kids, by voicing their outrage. And we all know how parents hate having to talk to their kids about sex. How do you explain pornography to a 6-year-old? This is a question the parents should have asked themselves before reacting emotionally. If they had just left well enough alone, then these little children would not have had to know the meaning of the word pornography and why the pretty lady with the long brown hair was a bad person. These parents in their stupidity are just breeding more hate and playing right into the hands of Ms. Grey and her quest for fame (or, in this case, infamy) through victimization.