A Stupid Waste of Potential Joy

•November 18, 2011 • 2 Comments

I spent the other day helping my son celebrate his fourteenth birthday, along with the rest of his family. We gave him presents, we sang to him, we made a fuss over him. Those who couldn’t be there sent him wishes by telephone and mail and Facebook. He went to bed happy knowing he was deeply loved. He knows this every day, of course, but was there any harm in making one day a special all-about-him day?

Well, apparently there would be, were we Jehovah’s Witnesses. I did not know this, but apparently birthdays are verboten to the Witnesses. I discovered this when my friend, a good and friendly guy who happens to be JW, explained that he would not be attending our work department’s Thanksgiving dinner because, and I quote, “It’s wrong to set aside a day of Thanksgiving, because we should thank God every day.” From there the theological thread spilled out, and I learned that it’s wrong to set aside a day to celebrate a life, because you need to celebrate the gift of life every day… and, surprisingly to me, this is the only reason he doesn’t celebrate Christmas, because it’s just a birthday.

Perhaps I’m a bad person for judging his culture by my own standards, but so be it. He wanted to be at the dinner, and he was palpably jealous of the special fun day I had with my boy. There was nothing in the way of him celebrating the same way, except adherence to a silly ideology that insists on no day being special unless they are all equally special.
Yes, I call it silly, I call it stupid, and to the extent it imposes deliberate joylessness on others, especially children, I call it cruel, because human nature doesn’t work that way. You can love someone every day, but you can’t celebrate every day, and celebration is a very human and precious thing.

It doesn’t matter much what the proximate cause is, God or Marx or simple social conformity; when your point of view precludes parties, I don’t want any part of it; by definition, everyday isn’t a special day, and denying someone a special day because it can’t be every day is a stupid waste of potential joy.


11/11/11 11:11:11 – and so what?

•November 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I honestly don’t get what all the fuss is about. Yes, people, it won’t happen again in this century… just like next year’s 12/12/12 12:12:12 and last year’s 10/10/10 10:10:10 and the prior year’s 9/9/9 9:9:9 and so on back to 1/1/1 1:1:1.

At least there are no days or months numbered zero, and we aren’t on decimal time.

Okay, it is kind of neat to watch the moment pass (though not as cool as when epoch time hit 1234567890) but I’m bewildered by all the people who seem astonished by it,  like it was some unexpected coincidence. We’re counting up FFSMS!!

So Over BofA

•November 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Burning BofA

I am no longer a client of Bank Of America

I don’t live near an Occupy Whatever protest, and likely wouldn’t be able to find the time if I did, but I too have been growing increasingly irked with the arrogance and entitlement of big corporations.

Bank Of America is one such corporation in desperate need of humbling, and today I was happy to take part in a nationwide protest of a very traditional format here in America. That format is known as “taking my business elsewhere” and that’s what I and some tens of thousands of others did today.

It felt good to do something concrete. My money will now be served by my local credit union. It doesn’t hurt that this move saves me about $12 a month in fees.

Halloween – the Minecraft edition!

•October 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment



•October 31, 2011 • 2 Comments

There, Princess. In the cold autumn dark, a pallid face, fungal and damp.
It speaks no blandishments, that panting breath is all the message it bears.
This is the one that has awaited you, salivating, leering, watching you
As you blithely trudged from door to suburban door, seeking sugar
Wrapped in orange and black, your crystalline froth of princess dress
Floating like an illicit promise, like a gaudy wrapper for an innocent gift,
Like sweet ice, frosting on your virgin flesh, succulent and smooth.

This is the night of masks and confusions, hidden visages, darkest dreams.
Beneath the surface spray of fun, modern meaningless guises of cartoons,
Clowns and robots, true demons lurk with treacher’s hearts and wiles,
Watching the parade of heedlessness, pouring ineluctably careless past
And around and behind the wavering attention of adult supervision,
And their starving soulless eyes rest unseen on happily lost children,
Like you, little princess, floating alone from porch-light to lamp-post.

Now the light pools grow seldom, the ebon gulfs between widen inexorably.
Your pretty little dress flounces, your pert tiara flashes for each brightness,
But the darknesses between grow ever wider. That pale face, shadow of
A darker night yet, a starving ghost that aches to possess you to the marrow,
Drifts ever closer behind you. Your steps are slowing, as if you tire, or as if
The darkness is finally entering your blood, to make you tired and fearful.
It is the true night here and now, and real monsters stalk amid the faux.

Among the seeming safe suburbs, illusions hide black truths. The monsters move
From dark to dark between the lamps, under the dull blind eyes of townhouses.
One by one they douse their lights and become angular dark hills, lifeless, blank,
Merciless as those now-razed older hills where cryptic races slept. Soon, small one.
Soon… and yes, there he comes, smooth and swift, gracefully snatching you off
Into the silent woods beside the path, where no light will shine on you and he
And the bloody delight of the feast. Beautiful. Enjoy your meal, Princess.

BT Murtagh

Well over 90% of Unhistory

•April 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Remember when Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said this on the floor of the Senate?

Of course you do, if for no other reason than the bizarre attempt at takeback by his office:

Well, it gets better. Senators have the somewhat Orwellian right to “revise and extend” their remarks in the Congressional record, and Senator Kyl took advantage of it. The official Congressional record now claims that Senator Kyl said this:

If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that is what Planned Parenthood does.

Yep, that’s what he said all right, and that lying video to the contrary that’s all he said! (#notintendedtobeafactualstatement)

I must get this book “How Round Is Your Circle?”

•April 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I find these contraptions deeply appealing.