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July 19th, 2015


06:09 pm - Believers, unbelievers, and rude assholes
It's a funny thing. I've been an evangelical Christian, a neo-Pagan Witch, some kind of half-baked Indie Scientologist, a dogmatically-correct atheist, a follower of R. A. Wilson's Crowleyism-lite and now a member of a Sufi tariqa, and believe you me I've had some religious arguments in that time. I've had Thelemites tell me I was clueless, New Agers criticizing my prickly aura, fundamentalist Christians be passively-aggressively bitchy, orthodox Muslims just "blanking" me, and my Catholic grandma yelling that she could see the Devil his own self sitting on my shoulder.

But only when arguing with those people I call missionary atheists have my opponents been downright rude and personally abusive to me. I would call them "fundamentalist atheists", but last time I did that I got dogpiled by snot-nosed punks informing me that that was an oxymoron. Nevertheless, they certainly act like dogmatic, self-righteous bigots; as do many Marxist or anarchist activists, and they don't need a god other. (Funny thing, though, they all tend to end up worshipping idols of one kind or another, dead, alive or fictitious...)

Now why is that? If you descend into the sludge that is Traditionalist Catholic ("Pope Francis is a COMMIE HERETIC") comments boxes, you will see pompous bigots snarl and sneer at women, minorities and anyone different to and hence lesser than them. But some dude will occasionally say "Hey, tone it down, fellows! Charity to our fellow man is a Catholic virtue, remember?" But where is the reflex for an atheist who sees no higher authority than their own rational mind to not be an asshole?

That's slightly unfair, I know. Most atheists that I know subscribe to a Humanist form of ethics, which I have no problem with. Those guys won't be assholes because there is an inherent moral code in human nature which deprecates assholery.  But ... who was that atheist woman who was sleazed on by Richard Dawkins in an elevator? Anyway, she said that she had always seen atheism as a "social justice movement". Indeed, in places like modern Iran, the "red states" in the USA and of course Tsarist Russia, religion is a major prop of the ruling elite and deserves to be critiqued to hell and back. But, unless you're specifically a Humanist or have some other form of ethical structure in mind, there is nothing in atheism per se that will make you a nice person.

And you try telling this to those rude assholes who call me braindamaged because I use the language of God, and they don't get the point.

This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/374400.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

 

April 25th, 2015


10:00 am - The Love of Hopeless Causes
This morning, my yoga instructor addressed the subject of ANZAC Day. Because she's from a German-speaking country, she explained that she had always had no interest in war or its commemoration. But because she's a yoga instructor and thus an awful hippie, she had realised that it's right to fight for good causes, for the things you love. Therefore, "this day is about love", apparently.

She's absolutely right that fighting to defend your people, your family, the Earth and its creatures, and basic decency is a noble thing. I've been working through a text on the New Zealand Wars, and those Māori who fought for their land, their people and their tikanga; and those Māori who fought against them, sometimes out of old feuds, sometimes out of sincere belief that being part of the BRITISH EMPIRE was the best safeguard of all those things. It made no difference after the wars, of course, all the "damned Natives" got their land confiscated alike.

But what did the ANZACs "love"? It wasn't a love of New Zealand. New Zealand wasn't a country, it was a Dominion of the mighty BRITISH EMPIRE, by Gad. Many of those young men joined up in a passion of excitement and love for an Empire which ruled a quarter of the globe and had decided to pick a fight when A CHALLENGER APPEARED in the shape of the Second German Reich (and its Ottoman and Hapsburg buddies). The Germans were NOT going to sail south from Apia and Zeppelin-bomb Auckland. No, Winston bloody Churchill sent my trusting, naive, loving great-grandfather out to a beach in the Dardanelles to catch a load of shrapnel in the back from Turks who were defending their homeland. (And of course their general, Mustafa Kemal, loved his country so much as to overthrow the Ottoman monarchy after the war.)

People fight for love, true. Sometimes we love things that are not worthy. Can we honour the love while despising the object?

This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/374197.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Current Music: "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman", ELP

 

February 22nd, 2015


08:12 am - From Tumblr...
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/1CXOtl4 at February 22, 2015 at 08:47PM
Auckland Pride 2015Auckland Pride 2015:

Tonight was Pride. For the first time in the history of pride, the police were allowed to march in their uniforms. We didn’t think a violent racist colonial heteropatriarchal institution like the…


This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/373949.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

 

February 12th, 2015


10:22 am - From Tumblr...
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/16WGBXS at February 12, 2015 at 09:13PM
August Never EndsAugust Never Ends:

ohdeargodbees:

It’s a head splitting cognitive dissonance to be fielding requests for help from friends who have just gotten swatted at the same time as giving someone else numbers on the harassment and abuse perpetrated by GamerGate because someone he’s talking to thinks it’s over and never had a big impact on…


This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/373530.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

 

January 18th, 2015


10:24 pm - From Tumblr...
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/1BQbnhu at January 19, 2015 at 09:31AM
whedonesque: dracofidus: If you EVER think Anthony Head is...
whedonesque:

dracofidus:

If you EVER think Anthony Head is anything less than an angel then you’d best remember that I have always been a huge fan of his and we’ve always had a little contact over the years and he heard I’d come out as Trans and was having a hard time and that I was kind of sad that the photos I had from conventions with him were of me with long hair and no binder and they were all signed to “Sarah” and so he invited me to spend the day with him at his farm and he picked me up from the station and we just hung out and had lunch and he insisted on paying and took loads of photos and had them printed on photo paper the same day so he could sign them to Jay, along with other photos of him as Giles and Uther and he literally spent five hours chatting with me and got all of the pronoun stuff right every time and then he dropped me off at the station, gave me a final massive hug, waved me through the ticket barrier and insisted I message him when I got home so he knew I got back safe. (More HERE)

<3


This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/373268.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

 

December 10th, 2014


07:42 pm - From Tumblr...
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/1AgsENu at December 11, 2014 at 08:39AM
"I went to [Tolkien’s] public lectures. They were absolutely appalling. In those days a lecturer..."
“"I went to [Tolkien’s] public lectures. They were absolutely appalling. In those days a lecturer could be paid for his entire course even if he lost his audience, provided he turned up for the first lecture. I think that Tolkien made quite a cynical effort to get rid of us so he could go home and finish writing Lord of the Rings.””
- Yeah, I always wondered how Tolkien kept an academic job, considering he only wrote one (Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics) and a half (the Gawain translation) academic works worth bothering with.


This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/373108.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

 

November 21st, 2014


10:40 am - Pimpin' posts ain't easy: BLACK DYNAMITE

I'm going to intrude on Cousin War Arrow's shtick for a second here...




The original live-action Black Dynamite film (2009) was the perfect blaxploitation parody, an homage to the genre with a special tip of the hat to Rudy Ray Moore's rhyming kung-fu pimp, Dolemite. But the animated series - currently in its second season on Adult Swim in the US - blasts off into orbit (quite literally, in one episode), becoming a perfect blaxploitation version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - the Alan Moore graphic novel series, not the hideous Hollywood abomination loosely based on the first book thereof.

In LxG, every possible fictional character and situation co-exists, making it cross-over and what-if heaven. In the Black Dynamite animated universe, every Afro-American cultural icon, real or fictitious, is present in a vaguely defined "1970s" - plus era-appropriate honkeys, such as Richard Nixon or Elvis. All right, you might consider a "Michael Jackson is an alien" plots to be vaguely predictable. And the one where Black Dynamite is betrayed by O. J. Simpson on a space mission, where he meets a Soviet space chimp and Black Santa Claus, might be a bit silly. But I defy any man, woman, or children alive to watch the Apocalypse Now parody starring Mr T. and two different versions of James Bond where the MacGuffin is a secret barbecue sauce recipe and try to tell me that they ain't seeing THE GREATEST DAMN ANIMATED THING ON TV SINCE BACK WHEN THE SIMPSONS WERE ACTUALLY GOOD AND SOUTH PARK WAS TRULY TRANSGRESSIVE.

Here, let's just bask in the warmth:




 

This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/372557.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

 

12:49 am - From Tumblr...
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/1vu4TmW at November 21, 2014 at 10:55AM
vostoklake | Pimpin' posts ain't easy: BLACK DYNAMITEvostoklake | Pimpin' posts ain't easy: BLACK DYNAMITE:

The original live-action Black Dynamite film (2009) was the perfect blaxploitation parody, an homage to the genre with a special tip of the hat to Rudy Ray Moore’s rhyming kung-fu pimp, Dolemite. But the animated series - currently in its second season on Adult Swim in the US - blasts off into orbit (quite literally, in one episode), becoming a perfect blaxploitation version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - the Alan Moore graphic novel series, not the hideous Hollywood abomination loosely based on the first book thereof.


This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/372872.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

 

October 10th, 2014


12:54 am - From Tumblr...
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/1vSjdSB at October 10, 2014 at 01:33PM
The Last Psychiatrist: Product Review: Panasonic PT AX200U (Hipsters On Food Stamps Part 3)The Last Psychiatrist: Product Review: Panasonic PT AX200U (Hipsters On Food Stamps Part 3):

I realize Aspirational 14% wants their beloved 90s to be about something more than just bicuriosity and JDSU, but I was there, it wasn’t.  Anyone who thinks the grunge movement was “serious” and “combative” and who thinks feminism “reached a peak” also thinks The Hunger Games was a step forward for women and 50 Shades is poorly written “but still hot.” 

Wow, there are people who loved the 90s? It was my undergraduate career at university and I hated it with the blinding heat of a thousand suns. It was the era of Cool Kids, Smart Drinks, Everyone Reads Aleister Crowley and Thinks They’re a Witch or Neo from the Matrix… The era when we believed that the frivolous consumerism of the 80’s could have 60’s-style social ramifications, rather than an escape from the fear of nuclear annihilation. Which didn’t end until 9/11/01, so thanks for that Osama and Dubya.


This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/372230.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

 

September 22nd, 2014


08:06 am - From Tumblr...
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/Z8lfDU at September 22, 2014 at 06:04PM
POEM: The Starved Heart
the starved heart beats

till it can no more

in ashes on

the cutting floor

while all around

its maker’s mark

glows sullen, leaden

in the dark

this darkest wine

this nameless vow

the one release

from ‘I’ and ‘thou’

can liberate

from liberty

the thingless face

we dare not see

the evidence

we can’t permit

the crime on which

all others sit

the sin from which

All others start;

to feed the belly

starve the heart


This entry was originally posted at http://vostoklake.dreamwidth.org/372059.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

 

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