Winter Holidays 2013

It’s almost Thanksgiving, so you know we’re about to hit that time of year when Christians insist that there’s a “War on Christmas” and start saying ridiculously inane things like “Keep the Christ in Christmas!”

There are whole websites (kind of) dedicated to blacklisting any business or organization that has the audacity to say something more inclusive, like “Happy Holidays!” I know I’ve seen posts from family members in previous years about how more people should be “unashamed” of greeting people with the specifically Christian holiday phrase.

To combat this silliness, I’ve compiled a list of some of the other holidays also happening around this time of year. Hold on to your hats, Christians, because you aren’t the only people with a special day in December: Continue reading “Winter Holidays 2013”

VIDEO: Stop conflating mental illness with religious fundamentalism!

Alright, you guys know I make videos sometimes.

Well, recently Miri brought to my attention that Dave Muscato likes to say things that misconstrue the actions of religious people to be due to mental illness. Since this is not only WRONG but also stigmatizing and fallacious, I decided to make a video explaining exactly why one should not make this conflation.

Putting it below the fold:

Continue reading “VIDEO: Stop conflating mental illness with religious fundamentalism!”

"Mystery ‘Angel’ Priest Appears at Missouri Car Crash"

Looking through my Facebook front page, I noticed one of my family members shared an article about this. Basically, in Missouri, this car wreck happened in which a young woman was pinned in a mangled car.

This process was apparently stressful, so the woman asked for someone to pray out loud. A priest showed up, anointed her with oil and prayed over her. After the rescuers freed the woman, they went to thank the priest and he was gone.
And apparently he isn’t in any of the pictures that were taken during the event.
So people are asking if he’s an angel, thinking he’s a mystery, wondering where he came from and where he went.
My initial response to this was: Leave it to a holy man to show up after the tragedy has already occurred and leave without doing anything actually useful.

Seriously, why would anyone thank this priest for saying some words and putting oil on her? The rescuers and the woman got very lucky in that she was freed and survived (though she’s reportedly in serious condition). 

Yeah, it could be said that comfort in these situations could be helpful, but still, why are we giving this priest credit for work that he didn’t do? In fact, for doing nothing to help, keeping the rescuers from just doing their job (because I’m sure they stopped to let him pray over her), and perpetuating the false notions of religion and theism?
And why are there a bunch of ignorant people asking if he’s an angel? Oh, right, because we live in a century in which people fucking believe in angels.

**EDIT: The priest didn’t actually impede the rescue; apparently the rescue team was waiting for another team to show up with some equipment when the priest prayed.**

Compare/Contrast: My Mother and I

Since this is a thing I’ve been hearing about for a long time, I’d like to mull over the similarities and differences between my mother and I–the good and the bad. There’s some stuff I like and some stuff I really hate, but it all makes me who I am and I want to fully acknowledge as much of it as I can think of. The many times I’ve been derisively compared to her, it has been a completely incorrect correlation and I want to cover that stuff as well.

I’ll begin with the similarites–the things that make me miss her; the things that make me sad we can’t have a relationship; the things she taught me to do and to love.

Compare

We both have a love for Greek and Roman mythology. She would read to me from the Iliad when one of her classes was covering it.

We both have a love for language. I took French instead of Spanish in high school thanks to her influence. I still love French, though I haven’t been practising it much in previous years. I should get a bunch of French music and watch films en français… This general love for language and my interest in linguistics hasn’t abated since I stopped talking to her.

Seriously, I’m interested in learning Na’vi. Also, do not get me started on Christopher Paolini’s made-up languages unless you’re ready for some words. Lots of words.

We are both non-Christian, that I’m aware. I know she used to wear a pentagram pendant and she thoroughly enjoyed owning many versions of the Bible and taking classes like “The Bible as Literature”. Mixed messages, and I wasn’t into that stuff as much (or at least, not comfortable with talking about it publicly) when we still spoke.

I occasionally have incredible bursts of productive energy like my mom did, except hers were fueled by manic-depression. There are some things that I’m very picky about being orderly as well.

We both have promiscuous tendencies. I used to be really pissy and slut-shamey about her behaviour, and now identify as poly. (If not behaving that way, at least identifying.)

We both have mental illnesses, although I got mine from my dad and not her.

Contrast

Speaking of mental illnesses, I don’t let mine rule my life. My mother’s manic-depression is probably the most fundamental characteristic of her identity, at least in that she lets it influence all parts of her life and actions. I continue taking my pills when they make me feel better, and actually try not to let my illness dominate my life.

I will never get into physical fights with a partner. That shit is unacceptable and is something she got into many times. I will also never emotionally manipulate people, and will certainly not inflict any of those behaviours on children.

I intentionally avoid conflict wherever possible. This isn’t really the best alternative to flipping out at everything, but it’s a deeply ingrained behaviour and it stems from a fear of conflict and anger. I can’t stand it when someone is mad at me, and often go to great lengths to avoid those situations entirely. When they do happen, I mostly find myself silent or crying. There are few times when I’m the angry one, but I tend to keep that in and not say anything. (That, plus I generally feel bad/wrong at the end of an argument in which I was the angry one.)

I do not intentionally hurt people’s feelings. I go to great lengths to avoid causing people pain or discomfort, and will alter my behaviours to accommodate others. Often up to and beyond the point of actually having to sacrifice something for myself to achieve those ends.

So, those are the major ones. This has been sitting in the drafts folder for a really long time. I have no idea how long, but it’s been totally done so HERE IT IS.

Lol Passive-Aggressive Family

The last thing I wrote on here with any substance was a big long post with screencaps of how condescending and passive-aggressive my maternal family can be.

So, one of the things my grandmother said in that final email to me was that she’s letting me go. Which I assume means that she’s breaking off contact, so I didn’t respond to that correspondence. Instead, I blogged about it here. Yesterday was my birthday, and I got another email from her! I was so surprised. Continue reading “Lol Passive-Aggressive Family”

Emotional Associations, Music, and Being Socially Conscious

My friend and I were having a conversation a couple weeks ago and I stopped to ask them a question. I couldn’t tell you what they actually said, but I remember the message and particularly the accompanying facial expression. I think “wry” is the correct term. That face and the emotions I can guess were behind it are sticking with me, more-so than their actual answer.

This is definitely not the first time I’ve had an emotional association strong enough to blot out other aspects of a memory. On the flip-side, I’ve had emotional associations strong enough to throw me back years into vacuum-clear recollections that I wasn’t aware still existed in my cortex. I’ve particularly noticed this phenomenon with certain songs and bands that I used to listen to.
Continue reading “Emotional Associations, Music, and Being Socially Conscious”

The Best Analogy for Privilege Ever

Okay you guys, I just came up with the best analogy for privilege.

Have you ever had a bladder infection or UTI? (I guess this might work for kidney stones as well.) If you have, you’re currently cringing. If you have, you might sometimes feel grateful when you pee that it doesn’t burn like fuck, because you’ve dealt with that horrible shit before.

And privilege is never even thinking about what it feels like to pee because it’s always the same and has never been the worst thing about your day.

“I don’t even get how trans* people know they ‘feel’ like another gender. I don’t feel like a man, I just am one!”

“Merry Christmas! How could anyone be offended? IT’S THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.” (As if there are NO OTHER HOLIDAYS.)