Content Advisory

Content Advisory: Whereas: this blog occasionally employs "colorful language,"

may also occasionally contain implicit and explicit references to

tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, as well as sexuality,

and favors logic over dogma, any or all of which may offend some,

and whereas I may occasionally give disclaimers,

but I do NOT give "trigger warnings,"

therefore, be it resolved that: this blog is intended for mature readers.

However, this blog is not age-restricted.



Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015, He Lived Long And Prospered



Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations -- Something not to be feared, but to be celebrated.


The Spock of the Mirror Universe with his sexy goatee.


I do not remember a time before Star Trek.  I was very young when the series made its debut.  I do not remember the debut.  But by the time of my earliest memories, Star Trek was here, and it never went away for some of us.  Watching "The Enterprise Incident" as a young girl, I wanted to do two things when I grew up:  be the Romulan Commander, and marry Spock.  As I grew up, I realized neither was likely (alas).  I always hoped to meet Leonard Nimoy, but that event never occurred.  Now it's too late.  My heart is doubly heavy today, with my father having passed very recently and Leonard Nimoy having joined him today.  I'm sure my dad will let Mister Nimoy know something of how much Star Trek, and Spock, meant to me.  Two of my heroes (Dad and Mister Spock) have left this life.

Leonard Nimoy has gone to the Final Frontier.  May he rest in peace.


See:
The New York Times - Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

The BBC - Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's Mr Spock, dies at 83

Huffington Post - Obama Mourns 'Star Trek' Icon Leonard Nimoy: 'I Loved Spock'

The White House on Twitter - "I loved Spock."  --  Me too, Mister President.  Me too.

Star Trek Online | Arc Games - Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)






Monday, February 23, 2015

Dad, 1927-2015, Requiesce in Pace, Musica, et Amore


Asleep with his guitar back in September.  I love you, Dad.  Rest in Peace, in Music, and in Love.

This photo, taken on 1 September 2014, was the last photo I took of Dad.  Later in September, he started a series of stays in hospitals, the nursing home, and a physical rehabilitation facility which continued until the middle of February.  He passed from this life at home, as was his desire.  These past several months were often miserable for him, and his last day was agony even to watch.  When it happened, though, it happened very quickly.  He is at peace, and no longer suffering.  I can take some solace in that.

In the casket, he looked more peaceful than he had in a long time.  For the past three years, I have done my best to take care of him, and we were almost constant companions.  Now the house is empty except for me and the cats.  I made sure that there were flowers from the cats, as well as from myself.

I'm not sure what the future holds for me now.  Mom passed four years ago, and until Dad passed, he was my protector, my defender, my helper.  Now I am alone but for the cats, and not certain how to proceed.  Fortunately, I have friends whose advice I have already sought out and I will be listening to them.  But it's a frightening prospect to lose the person who was one's stability.  Snow has covered the land.  The community is still.  I suppose that the thaw will bring new responsibilities to me that I have not had to deal with in the past.  I will endeavor to be prepared for the challenges, in the hope that he will be proud of me.




Dad in healthier times, when Mom was still alive.









Saturday, February 21, 2015

Some Musings Regarding LGBTI Discrimination


Some Musings Regarding LGBTI Discrimination
Directed to Proponents of Discrimination on the Alleged Grounds of "Religious Freedom"
by Liviana (Giovanna L.)


In the article, "Kansas Guv Endangers Thousands of Gays," V. Gene Robinson writes:

It is an astounding and horrifying phenomenon when rights are actually taken away from citizens. It is the overwhelming tradition in our democracy for laws, acts of Congress, and the Constitution itself to give and protect its citizens’ rights, not take them away.

I keep affirming this idea just as Robinson has done.  The Constitution should never be amended to restrict rights, but only to extend them.  America is about Freedom as preferable to Control -- especially preferable to Control by some religious sect.

If I didn't know better, I would be tempted to argue for establishing a Senate Unamerican Activities Committee which could try unamerican twats like Bareback ... uh, Brownback ... on trial for disloyalty to the ideals of Americanism.  But such committees, like Puritans and Pilgrims in New England, tend to go on witch hunts, imagining that the bogeyman is behind every tree and under every rock, and a lot of cute and furry animals get hurt in the process.  (Try not to get lost in my extended metaphors.  It might hurt your brain if you can't find the key to get back to literal and figurative prose.  Then again, too many people seem to have lost the key to get into the figurative and metaphoric expressions and are stuck in literality, with serious psychological dysfunction being the rather obvious result.)

But this guy doesn't need to be entrusted with any authority over any citizen or group of citizens.  He's a crackpot, to put it mildly.

What I find most astonishing in all of this hoopla from the Sanhedrin of the present is the notion that discrimination is acceptable.  Woe unto you, busybodies and self-righteous ones, for you neither enter in nor suffer others to enter in.  Woe unto you, for you swallow camels in your credulity, but cannot let go of a turd that is of little or no importance to you, due to your anal retentiveness and compulsion to mind everyone's business but your own.  I can understand the desire you have not to look into the mirror -- the reflection must be akin to the picture of Dorian Gray.  You will eventually look at the reflection;  the act is unavoidable.  Best to do so consciously, willingly, and for an extended period.

I am going to repeat myself, though it annoy me to have to continue to do so on so many different matters in which the obvious ought to be obvious to all without having to be pointed out even once.  As such, I will add more details and allusions, for variety is the spice of life.

A limited number of Christian sects (or, as they prefer to call them, "denominations") teach that there are seven sacraments.  More sects teach that there are two.  Only those sects which teach the existence of seven sacraments hold to a view that one of the sacraments is what they term "Holy Matrimony."  The majority of Christian sects, including the Southern Baptist Convention (so very vocal in the fight against liberty, justice, and equality for all), teach that the only sacraments are Baptism and the Eucharistic ceremony.  In fact, one Protestant sect which still does affirm that "Holy Matrimony" is a sacrament is the Church of England, which came into being in part as a result of an English monarch deciding that his marriage was not such a big thing after all since the wife had produced no heir for him.  In spite of how the Anglican sect came into being, and in spite of the fact of most Christian sects not even teaching the doctrine that Holy Matrimony is a sacrament, a far more relevant prey awaits our hunt in this forest:  semantics.

Some of these opponents to Marriage Equality have suggested that same-sex couples should be "content" with being granted "civil unions."  Newsflash:  all marriages are nothing more or less than social/civil contracts.  That includes even "Holy Matrimony."  You can live anything sacramentally, even the work of digging a ditch.

On the contrary, I have suggested and still continue pointing out:  "Marriage" and "Holy Matrimony" are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!!!!!!!!

Or more precisely, for any x, if x is Holy Matrimony, then x is Marriage, but not every Marriage is Holy Matrimony.  There is no Holy Matrimony which is not Marriage, but there is Marriage which is not Holy Matrimony.  This is called "an A Statement."  Here, I'll show you a pair of Boolean Circles:



         

You'll note that the vesica piscis (the overlapping area of the two circles) there is entirely shaded in.  One of the two circles represents a subject S, and the other represents a predicate P.  This diagram says that all of the members of one exist solely in the other.  Verily, Holy Matrimony is a type of Marriage and all Holy Matrimonies fall into the category of Marriage.  Nobody disputes this.

Were the diagram showing one circle shaded in entirely, except for the vesica piscis area, it would represent "No S are P."  That is "an E Statement."  Since we don't have one here, I won't show the diagram.  Sorry, bigots;  I don't accept your contention that "no same-sex unions are marriages," because I know better, and the entire point of this is an attempt to educate you -- not to indoctrinate you, but certainly not to kowtow to your sacred cows nor enable your willful ignorance and fears.  I will instead show you Boolean Circles illustrating I Statements and O Statements:


The top diagram shows an X in the vesica piscis, and represents "an I Statement," which is a proposition that "Some S are P."  The lower diagram shows an X inside the S circle but outside the vesica piscis, thus graphically representing "Some S are not P," which is "an O Statement."


  • All examples of Holy Matrimony are members of the category of Marriage. (A Statement, All S Are P)
  • Some examples of Marriage are members of the category of Holy Matrimony. (I Statement, Some S Are P)
  • Some examples of Marriage are not members of the category of Holy Matrimony.  (O Statement, Some S Are Not P)


Now, of course (I utter in mildly condescending terms), the rest of us are aware that some of you insist that the world was created in 4004 BCE and that "God," by which of course you mean your God, somehow "instituted" marriage between the (forgive me, but I have no desire to coddle your literalism or irrationality) mythical Adam and Chaivah (or "Eve," if you insist on the English form).  Aside from the fact that your myth also refers to "the other people," and "the men of Nod," which ought, if your literalism were even remotely self-referentially consistent, to at least hint to you that your Adam and Eve were not the first humans, but fortunately, I'm not terribly interested in using your "beliefs" to demonstrate to you that you are inconsistent in the acceptance of what you claim to believe -- at least not presently.  Instead, I would like rather to remind you, once again, of your heritage and the freedom of religion you now have as a result of the activism, tears, sweat, and blood of those who left that heritage to you.

America is not a Christian nation.  Before you stop reading, consider why I say this and what I mean in saying it.

Adherents of many Christian sects migrated to "the New World" precisely to escape nations in which the government was married (you will forgive my further illustration of the equivocal nature of the term, I trust) to this or that sect's clergy and sought to impose the will of that clergy upon the masses, no matter the religious persuasion of the individual citizens.  When they were establishing their communities and governments, they sought to do so in a way which would allow them to believe and practice as they saw fit.  Pennsylvania was ab origine a haven for Jews as well as diverse sects of Christianity.  Puritans and Pilgrims were not the only settlers in Massachusetts.  The Merrymount Colony points to hints of non-Christians having come to these shores seeking freedom to live according to their own lights as well.  The result was eradication by the less tolerant;  in that there is some evidence of early efforts to enforce conformity.  The same can be said of the later witch trials.  Admittedly, this current runs deep in America, but it was rejected early as the constitutions of the states were prepared, before the Constitution of the USA, which proclaims not only that "Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise ... [of religion]," but also that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

You may stomp your feet and cry and flail and rage.  You may not deny.  Neither your religion nor mine is acceptable as a source for legislation affecting both you and me.  Why?  Simple.  I don't agree with your religious views, and thus should not be bound by them, and you don't agree with my religious views and should not be bound by them.  Nor should either of us have to contribute financially to the work of the other's religion.  We may agree in some particulars.  Religions and Sacred Traditions do share some common features, and some have more in common than others, but commonality nevertheless exists in all.  These common features, however, should not be emphasized to the point of obscuring the differences.  I should not be expected to abide by laws based on religious teachings which I find ethically outrageous or rationally questionable.  Here, however, let us consider exactly what this means.

Neither you nor I should be forced to pray to Antiochus Epiphanes or his image in some structure somewhere.  You don't view the man in question as at all divine, and I don't view him as any more divine than anyone else, and marred by flaws in addition.  In addition, Antiochus Epiphanes should not set up his image in a structure established for religious purposes by a distinct sacred tradition.  Furthermore, Antiochus Epiphanes, being a government head, should not be promoting any religion in any way, whether it be the religion of megalomaniacal narcissism or something less ... unhinged.  The government over which he sat was a government of a religiously pluralistic society, in which the rights of the minority should also be protected.

What it does not mean, however, is that I or anyone else has the right to impose restrictions on others which I place on myself by adherence to any particular (or universal, for that matter) religious teaching.  We do not.  If you believe that eating pork is a sin, then you are free to refrain from eating pork.  If you believe that the use of certain words is something you should avoid, then you are free to avoid using those words.  If you believe that your God would condemn you for marrying a person of the same sex, then you are free to refrain from doing so.  If you believe that having an abortion would displease your God, then you are free to refrain from having one.  Pork is not exactly my favorite meat, but I do eat swine flesh on occasion, and have no religious qualms about it.  You do not have the right to prevent me from doing so, no matter how wrong you believe the act would be for yourself.  I have very few taboos with regard to the use of language, and I do fairly often use words which others believe to be somehow forbidden (few know the origin of taboo words in English, nor how the cause thereof was anything but religious or ethical, but the information is not hidden), nor should any legislation impose a prohibition upon me with regard to those words based on socio-economic snobbery and cultural prejudice -- or the teachings of any religion.  In the same way, no law should prohibit the representation of your God or the supposed name of that God in print or art, except a religious law binding only adherents of that religion.  If I chose to have an abortion, I would not do so lightly or frivolously, but it would nevertheless be MY choice based on my reasons, and not your denial of such choice to me based on your views of what your religion teaches.  Your religion is yours, not mine.  I am not bound by its teachings, nor should I be forced to abide by the teachings of your religion any more than you should be bound by the teachings of the sacred tradition of my people.  If I fall in love with another woman and she falls in love with me, and we connect on such a deep level that we would like to marry, that will be OUR choice based on our feelings and our reasons and our beliefs.  It is NOT your right to deny us OUR rights, and all the more so is it not your right to deny anyone else their rights based on your religion, even if they share your religious views.  You may encourage your own fellow sectarians to abstain from exercising all their rights;  certainly most Baptist clergy discourage the exercise of the right to consume alcohol as a beverage, but the point is that even the members of their congregations still have the legal and civil right to purchase alcoholic beverages and consume them as potables, no matter the teachings of their religion on the act.  Freedom of religion does not mean that you can impose religious restrictions on others, nor that you can discriminate against others in a free society.  The very idea that one should defend a supposed "right" to do so is beyond shocking, and far from what we find in your own sacred texts (e.g., the epistle to the Galatians, which proclaims:  "There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.").

I'll point you also to the sixth chapter of Matthew, which can teach you many things, if you allow it to do so.  Directed prayer in public schools, for example, is rather discouraged by Jesus in this chapter, along with pretending to be something you are not in order to improve the way others think of you (like the fake "Ex-Gay" personalities and all others who pretend to be straight in order to conform to the expectations of society).  In fact, Jesus rather strongly condemned such hypocrisy.

You were slaves in Egypt.  It's time to take the chains off, and use them for something more humane, rather than to simply perpetuate the cycle of abuse.




In other words, ...

Grow up and get over it.