I can’t remember what triggered it, but about 10 years ago I finally admitted to myself that a personal god doesn’t exist — there isn’t a magical, invisible man in the sky who grants wishes and gets murderously jealous if you don’t love him enough. Even though I was an adult who hadn’t been to church in 20 years, even though I’d read many books about the questionable accuracy of the Bible and the agendas of the men who wrote it…that feeling of “What if you’re wrong and God is real?” had been programmed into me since I was a kid. (I still capitalize it because it references this person that people pray to.)
It’s hard to describe what a relief that was. I’d never realized just how much this oppressive idea of going to “hell” had affected me all my life. I didn’t always believe it, but it wasn’t until I consciously denied it that I felt what a massive burden it had been. And suddenly that burden was gone, leaving me feeling free and fearless! But I also felt a deep resentment at having that fear instilled in me to begin with, and I was angry that so many people I’d come to know and love over the years had been outright abused by their religious family just for being who they were. I’m lucky to have a family (save for one) who fully embraces and accepts me as I am, but many of my friends had a very different, much darker experience.
I’ve also seen religion turn people selfish and cruel. I’ve seen it sway elections, deprive people of their rights, demonize those who are different, tear apart families, and enslave believers with fear of apocalypse that never comes. American Christianity can be especially toxic — it’s been weaponized by conservatives to inflict maximum damage to whoever its “righteous” followers think deserve it. It also carries the stench of nationalism, which opens the door to a whole new world of misery for non-believers (and everyone else, really).
Thus began what I call my “asshole atheist” phase. I fully embraced my non-belief and got a little carried away on social media, posting religion-skewering memes and news stories about Christians doing horrible things whenever I could. (Unfortunately there’s never a shortage of that stuff.) A few of my friends and family weren’t too happy about it, but I felt it was fair play — Christians love wearing their religion on their sleeve, so why can’t I do the same for my lack of one?
This all began to wind down after a couple of years, however. I began to feel like the kind of person I’d normally unfriend or unfollow on Facebook/Instagram/whatever: someone whose posts are mostly just joyless complaining and shit-stirring. Plus, the atheist community on social media can be suuuuper annoying and antagonistic. I started to worry that my friends were seeing me the same way, and I didn’t want to be That Guy.
So one day I stopped cold. I decided to stick to the approach I’ve taken for many years, which is to shout my complaints into the void, a.k.a. a blog that few people read. Being clinically opinionated having a compulsion to rant, this has always worked just fine. (Whenever I get off my ass and put some time & effort into it, that is! 2020 was so depressing I could barely fight back my apathy enough to write anything, let me tell ya.)
So am I still a godless heathen? Well, mostly.
Despite waving my atheist flag in everyone’s faces, I hadn’t completely written off the possibility of certain “woo-woo” topics as having some substance to them. As an atheist you’re supposed to dismiss and ridicule that stuff, but in the last few years I’ve read some fascinating books that have pried my mind open a little more. Quantum physics weirdness, the source & nature of consciousness, experiences with DMT & psilocybin, and scientific studies of near-death experiences (yes, they exist) are some of my favorite things to read about. I should also mention that my grandmother experienced some very weird stuff in her lifetime, things I know she would never lie about or even need to, and they’ve always stuck with me as exceptions to things I’d normally dismiss as fantasy. One of them even involved me! Personally I’ve only had a couple of what I’d call “unexplainable” experiences, but nothing like hers. Maybe I’ll write about those sometime.
So my “fuck all religions and fuck all that loony spiritual shit” phase didn’t last long, and it wasn’t 100% authentic besides. It made for some fun writing, but it wasn’t really the whole picture. Going back and reading through some of that stuff, I think I was still processing my open rejection of what I was taught as a kid, and feeling emboldened by not having the shadow of Hell following me any longer.
I still don’t believe in a personal god of any religion who grants wishes and condemns you to a fiery eternity of pain and suffering for insufficient groveling, but I’m open to certain other possibilities. It’s complicated.
One thing that isn’t complicated, however, is my belief that evangelical Christianity is a cancer that’s eating this country alive and dragging us down into madness. That view has never wavered, so more blathering about that is bound to show up sometime. 😀
This was supposed to be posted months ago but the nitwittery of the subject matter made it hard to finish. Better late than never?
I probably shouldn’t be so astounded that something like QAnon became such a massive “movement.” It’s a pro-Trump religious cult after all, and we’ve all seen how Trumpers don’t exactly question what they’re told to believe. Its followers believe everything Q says as if they personally know the people behind it aren’t lying to their stupid faces. So it’s basically a massive online Trump rally in that regard. (I was going to call it “political LARPing for retards” but decided against it.)
QAnon’s absurd theories have many levels, circles, and loops. Some of the most eyeroll-worthy claims:
Furniture company Wayfair has been using their products to transport children in a sex-trafficking ring. That’s why so many of their closets have girl’s names. SO OBVIOUS!
COVID-19 was engineered by Democrats/Bill Gates/George Soros/etc. to purposely hurt Trump’s presidency. OF COURSE!
A shadowy cabal of Democrat and Hollywood pedophiles secretly runs the government as the “deep state”. OH YES!
Hillary Clinton was running a sex-trafficking ring out of a Pizza parlor basement. (Technically this came shortly before QAnon, but many of his followers were early believers in “Pizzagate” and it was quickly absorbed into the Q canon, so it may as well have come from Q.)
Robert Mueller and Trump were secretly working together against the “deep state” pedos and Mueller’s investigation was all for show. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT!
Trump uses hand signals in his press briefings to make the shape of the letter Q, as a signal to QAnon followers. CAN’T YOU SEEEEE IT?
JFK Jr. faked his plane-crash death and is living secretly as a Trump warrior. NATURALLY!
Trump’s choice of necktie color sends out secret signals to QAnon followers. Example: a yellow tie during a COVID-19 press conference indicates “all clear” (the virus is fake). WATCH THE SIGNS!!1!1
So…yeah. They’re not exactly living in the same universe as the rest of us. They live in a world where pedophiles and sex traffickers lurk around every corner, and they don’t give a shit if their antics interfere with legitimate organizations who are actually battling this stuff. Their fixation on child sex is more than a little disturbing, if you ask me. They really seem obsessed with it.
Anyway, here are the most obvious signs that QAnon is a massive, bullshitty hoax, a collective delusion that’s going to fuck with our country for years.
It was spawned on 4chan. 4chan is no more, but if you even halfway pay attention to internet culture, you know that if something originated on 4chan you should take it with a square-mile-sized grain of salt. 4chan was a playground for racists, incels, rape apologists, Nazis, and all the other dregs of humanity you can think of. They turned trolling into a sport, doing their best to make peoples’ lives miserable just to amuse themselves. QAnon is just a long-haul trolling campaign that has gotten wildly out of control.
Trump is touted as a mighty warrior in the battle against evil. Are you fucking kidding me? You really think Trump is capable of doing anything that doesn’t personally benefit himself? Have you been paying any attention to his behavior at all? The man is an emotionally unstable, morally bankrupt, mentally declining sociopath who takes no action unless he gets something out of it. This is common knowledge, folks. Trump is incapable of being the savior of anyone but himself. Q’s followers say this is all an act to throw everyone off the scent of his secret heroic fight, which shows the rest of us that these fuckwits are able to rationalize literally anything to confirm their delusion.
The targets. Just who is behind this evil sex-trafficking of children, you may ask? According to QAnon, it’s Hollywood elites and powerful Democrats. Specifically, Hillary Clinton. Oh, and the Jews (naturally). This is basically Trump’s 2016 campaign turned on its ear and severely perverted for maximum pearl-clutching. This means all those morons who are still fixated on Hillary’s emails can say “See? SEE?? I knew she was up to something!!”
Declaring all media as part of the evil scheme…except Fox News and OAN. Because these two mouthpieces of the Trump admin, each with long histories of spewing provable lies, are the ones which have the real answers. They’re so totally unbiased! Riiiight.
Failed “insider” predictions. Time after time Q has predicted things that never came to pass. Stuff like: Trump was launching a coup against the “deep state” and would open thousands of sealed indictments. There would be widespread civil disorder as a result. Then he’d declare martial law and order the military to take over. Yeah, how’s that going? The most famous failed prediction is probably when he said Hillary was going to be arrested in 2017. Whoops. These all had specific dates attached to them, and none of them happened. That’s why his more recent predictions have become more and more vague, leaving them up for interpretation and letting deranged imaginations run wild. Q followers actually don’t care if the predictions have completely failed, because they’re already used to waiting for the often-predicted End Times that never seem to come. It’s like a cult within a cult.
Spoon-feeding “secret truths” to the gullible. This goes for all conspiracy theories: everyone wants to be in on a secret. Everyone wants to feel like they have answers, even if they don’t have any questions. It’s addictive, I know. The problem is that followers of Q aren’t willing to apply even a tiny grain of critical thought to what they’re reading and sharing. Instead they willingly guzzle it down, because it helps them feel less shitty about supporting an un-American, un-Christian, sexual predator piece of shit like Trump.
When asked for proof of anything, the typical QAnon zombie goes glassy-eyed and repeats the phrase “Do your research!” As if that means or settles anything at all. For them, “research” is sitting on the toilet and looking at a bunch of shitty Q-related videos and memes.
QAnon beefs up follower counts and sells tons of merchandise. Many “influencers” (god, I hate that word) on social media are injecting QAnon material into their regular content to pull in more followers and cash in on those sweet, sweet ad clicks. Even the yoga and spiritual communities are getting infested with it. It’s pretty gross. And there are tons of online shops hawking Q crap to those with money to flush down the toilet. Which is actually kind of funny in a “holy shit these people are dumb” kinda way.
There are probably more, but this is about as much as I can stand to write about it. The whole thing is laughable but also terrifying, because it signals a dangerous turn for this country and its psyche. It’s bad enough that so many people voted to keep Trump for a second term, but a large group of them are also these QAnon dipshits. And now we have Q supporters in Congress. Fuuuuuuck.
Don’t you just love generalizations? But in this case I think it’s justified. And just FYI I’ve been stewing about this for many months, so if I come across as angry or hateful, well…let’s just say Trump and his simpering fans bring out the worst in me. 😀
Over the past couple of years I’ve discovered that Trump is the perfect subject for gauging someone’s character. When I learn that someone supports Trump, it tells me everything I need to know about their politics and morals, and how deep (or shallow) their convictions are. It’s super convenient because for me there’s really no grey area. “Oh, you voted for him? And you still support him after all he’s done? OK, I see. No, you don’t have to justify your views to me. I already know everything about you.”
So how can this one fact about someone inform me of their entire character? Well, I tend to put them into certain groups, and each group has its own dumbass behavior that gives it away. Here are some of the most common ones. If you need examples of anything mentioned below, go do some Googling because there’s more than enough evidence out there. Or you could go read the comments on a Fox News story, but I really don’t recommend that. Your intelligence will be severely degraded for hours after.
Pro-death pro-lifers — Trumpers who call themselves “pro-life” don’t give a shit about babies after they’re born. (Actually, this is true of most anti-choice folks.) They don’t think women can be trusted do make their own decisions. They’re fine with breaking up families of brown people and throwing their kids into cages. They’re OK with letting hundreds of thousands of people die from COVID-19 because trusting science “infringes on their liberties.” Some Republican mayors and governors have even gone so far as to forbid any mandatory mask measures! Why? Because they think it’s God’s will that thousands of people die as the virus burns its way through our cities. The dead are basically sacrifices for the economy. Yeah, that’s suuuuuper pro-life of you.
Christian hypocrites — Trumpers who claim to be righteous, God-fearing Christians are actually the phoniest “Christians” — and some of the most morally bankrupt people — in America. They ignore his adultery, sexual harassment, pathological lying, racist shit-stirring, ethics violations, lawbreaking, and laughable pandering to them. They overlook these and many, many other things because they have a guy in power who’s trying to ban abortion (though he’s surely paid for many) and advance the nutty evangelical agenda. Because of this they’ve forfeited their right to criticize anyone else’s morals ever again, so they can shut the fuck up. An article in Washington Monthly puts it just right: “Trump takes kind old ladies who worry about the unborn and transforms them into hate-tweeters. He turns upright and model citizens into apologists for sexual assault, white nationalism, business fraud, self-dealing and foreign interference in our elections.”
Phony patriots — Many Trumpers love to squawk about the sacredness of our Constitution, even as he squats down and takes a gigantic shit all over the Constitution every single day he’s in office. They cheer his demonizing of the free press, they love his public personal attacks on anyone who calls him out on his bullshit, they’re fine with his hundreds of ethics violations and self-dealing, they had no problem with bribing Ukraine to help him win re-election, they’re silent about his using military force on peaceful protesters in D.C. so he could have a photo op…the list of his dictator-wannabe actions goes on and on. And they defend it 24/7 as if it’s totally normal.
These fuckers are un-American and have zero convictions, and the same goes for the cowardly elected GOP lawmakers who refuse to police his behavior. I watched hours and hours of craven, bile-spitting Republicans do and say literally anything to defend Trump’s corrupt and treasonous acts during his impeachment, all because they were either benefiting from it financially or they were afraid he might tweet something mean about them. Imagine if Obama did any of the things that Trump has gotten away with — he would have been lynched by conservatives and burned on the White House lawn within days.
Spineless rifle-strokers — Gun-toting Trumpers are some of the worst. These weirdos fetishize high-powered firearms in a way that’s truly disturbing, and they just love being seen in public waving their fully-loaded dick enlargers around. They screech endlessly about their right to own guns that nobody but the military should have, while thousands are killed each year by unhinged psychos spraying bullets into crowds and schools. Gun nuts don’t give a shit about dead kids — they just want to hold and caress that cold, heavy steel and fantasize about saving America from tyranny. Meanwhile, actual tyranny lands on our doorstep as Trump sends masked, armed goons in unmarked vans into Democrat-run cities to kidnap protesters off the streets. Where are you tough guys with your badass weapons now? This is your chance to fight back and be heroes at last! Aaaand they’re nowhere to be seen. Either they’re cowardly little posers like we always knew them to be, or they’re standing aside because Trump’s goons are mostly attacking lots and lots of black people. (Actually, they’re both.)
Anti-mask fuckwits — It would be a shame to ignore the coronavirus denialists, right? These troglodytes live in their own little world, where science is a lie and nothing in the news can be trusted unless it plops from the distended cornhole of Fox News, Breitbart, OAN, or any number of other batshit-crazy extremist conservative orifices.
To them, wearing a mask is “tyranny” and “conditioning.” Any measure taken to stop the spread of the virus is seen as an attack on America’s liberty, maybe even its very soul. They go to church, grocery stores, concerts, parties, and conventions while proudly proclaiming their independence of the evil influence of masks or social distancing. Many of them later become sick and die, and some publicly regret their actions and beg others not to be as mind-blowingly stupid and selfish as they were, but few of their fellow “patriots” ever listen. Oh well, maybe it’s just nature weeding out the dumber bits of our gene pool.
Conspiracy dipshits — What to say about these people? Well for starters, critical thinking isn’t part of their daily routine. They’re so desperate to make sense of the pandemic chaos, so determined to make their 2016 vote for Trump somehow not the biggest mistake of their lives, that they will believe anything they read on the internet that paints him in a good light. It doesn’t matter how outlandish or insane it is, they’ll greedily swallow it and then shit it out all over social media as “OMG The Actual TRUTH You Gotta SEE this OMG”. The Black Lives Matter movement is funded by wealthy Jews who want to control America? Sure. Obama is a secret Muslim who wants to ban Christianity? Of course! 5G wireless is the real cause of the pandemic? Yes! It’s all soooo obvious, you guys!!!1!
These nutjobs were bad enough before the election, but now we have this QAnon bullshit to wade through. It’s too moronic and convoluted to sum up easily because the rational brain wants to reject it outright, but in a nutshell QAnon (which Buzzfeed rightly calls a “collective delusion”) says Trump is single-handedly fighting the (nonexistent) Deep State in its efforts to take him down. They also think there’s a cabal of celebrities running a pedophile ring via a pizza parlor somewhere, and naturally Trump is fighting them too. But in secret! As if he has the brain capacity to even remember what he had for lunch yesterday. And they accept it without question, and it all comes from some anonymous douchebag who drops cryptic comments in a 4chan forum (which, ironically, has ties to child porn). The “movement” has gained international legs, which means America isn’t the only country plagued with a large number of internet lemmings.
Gay Republicans — And then we have a small but obnoxiously vocal number of Trumpers who fall outside of the “100% hetero with a clearly-defined gender” zone. These people are a shade browner than other MAGA turds because they’re voting for someone who actively oppresses them. Trump and his simpering enablers in D.C. (not to mention all those right-wing federal judges he’s installed) are doing everything they can to make sure gay folks can be discriminated against at every opportunity. A gay Trumper is a self-loathing twat who stubbornly clings to conservatism even when he realizes how damaging it is, and he causes severe harm to others when he somehow convinces them that conservatism is gay-friendly. I should know — I went through all that twattery in my early years, but luckily I snapped out of it and figured some things out.
The rest of the assholes
So…what about those who don’t fall into any of the above categories? Let’s say you’re not particularly religious, you’re ambivalent about the military, you don’t think about the abortion debate much, you have a vague knowledge of the Constitution but you leave the details to the scholars, etc. Well, all that doesn’t matter — supporting Trump still makes you a total shit of a person because by default you endorse all his other corruption, such as:
He’s distrustful of experts and hard science…not great for a pandemic
He used his “charitable foundation” to put money into his own pocket, for which he was fined $2 million to pay back 8 charities
He fawns over murderous dictators and tries to emulate their authoritarian actions
He gleefully courts racists and conspiracy nutjobs
He was fined $25 million for his scammy university which ripped off thousands of people
He pardons convicted criminals if they’re vocal supporters
He doesn’t read his daily security briefings, which is why he didn’t know about the Russian bounty thing (in fact he barely reads at all)
He told the public that injecting disinfectant might work against the coronavirus, and hundreds of idiots actually did it
He’s gone out of his way to fuck with the upcoming elections and accept help from any country willing to interfere
He’s using the presidency to funnel profits into his own businesses (emoluments what?)
He’s spent $137 million of your money on trips to his resorts for golf (per Trump Golf Count), plus he charges the Secret Service to stay there…at full price
He spouts complete nonsense about the coronavirus: it’ll just disappear, it’s only the flu, you can inject sunbeams to kill it, you can drink disinfectant to cure it, this or that drug totally treats it, masks are dumb, etc.
When someone shines a light on his wrongdoing, he fires them and replaces them with one of his ass-licking toadies
He’s using the DoJ to investigate and attack his enemies, and to hinder investigations into his own conduct and businesses
He tells dozens of lies a day, things that are easily fact-checked
He calls Mexicans rapists and killers, and wants them all deported, and yet he employs many illegal immigrants at his hotels and clubs (until the press made it public and he had to sack them)
He demonizes the free press, calling any unflattering news about him “fake news”, especially stuff that’s 100% accurate
He spends more time on Twitter than doing his actual job, sometimes posting 100+ tweets in a single day
He’s been getting rid of much-needed experts in many government agencies, replacing them with people with zero experience to basically neuter the agencies and let corruption thrive
He’s working hard to loosen regulations on corporations so they can pollute the country and fuck customers over more than ever
He made sure that millions of coronavirus stimulus money went to personal friends and businesses he has connections with
He does everything he can to stymie any sort of Congressional oversight of his doings
He crusades against mail-in voting with outright lies about “voter fraud” (WA is one of several states which has been doing it for years with no problems)
He forces his Secret Service to attend rallies during the pandemic, and many of them have gotten sick
And that’s just what I came up with off the top of my head. His evil fuckery is well-documented, and anyone who can look at it and still say he’s “a great guy who’s just trying to do what’s best for America” is, by association, a fuckery-enabling asshole with zero moral compass who enjoys watching the world burn.
Some might say this attitude is intolerant. “Typical libtard intolerance! Can’t handle different points of view.” Oh yeah…I’m intolerant as fuck. I’m intolerant of all the shit I listed above because rational, decent people don’t do those things, especially those in the highest office of the nation. I’m also pissed off for having to watch such morally-retarded people drag America further into the sewer.
“But I love Trump and I’m a good person!” you might say. “I donate thousands to charity! I rescue puppies! I volunteer daily at homeless shelters! I adopted 14 orphans! I saved a baby from a burning building! I fight to save the environment! I have three Purple Hearts! I invented Post-Its!” Well la-dee-fuckin-da. Who cares? You’re still shitty and God hates you. Keep rescuing those puppies, though. It’s not their fault America elected a goddamn adult baby.
Look… You’ve had almost 4 years to figure this guy out. If you’ve been paying attention to what he does, not just what he says, and you can honestly say you’re fine with it, that tells me all I need to know about what kind of person you are. If you’re on my social media and we’re not that close, I’ve already booted you. If you’re a friend, you surely know better than to bring this subject up to me. If you’re family and you still talk to me, I’ll still talk to you…but not about politics, never again. I’m done arguing and trying to reason with Trumpers and conservatives in general — I’ve done it for years and have nothing to show for it but damaged family relationships and countless hours wasted debating online. Nobody’s mind is ever changed, and I honestly have better things to do with my time. So I’m just going to try and survive this pandemic and focus on staying sane until that vile orange douchenozzle is no longer in office.
A friend of mine on Facebook recently lamented Trump’s childish hostility towards reporters who ask difficult questions (and many asking easy ones). I agree: Trump has been a massive dick to hardworking journalists who are giving us real news, not the half-assed tripe that spills from his drooling mouth.
Naturally, his Facebook post rubbed a MAGAt the wrong way. She spouted the usual right-wing excuses: the press is out to make Trump look bad, they’re trying to trip him up with “gotcha” questions, they ask him the same thing over and over, blah-blah-fucking-blah. It’s soooo tiresome and it shows a staggering willingness to gobble up whatever narrative their GOP overlords feed them. But what else is new in Trumpland, right?
I can’t stand to watch his “press briefings” on COVID-19. I just can’t ruin my day like that. But I’ve seen many clips of his outbursts, and what I see is reporters asking him direct, important questions that trigger him into a weird kind of attack mode. He interrupts, he stammers, he calls them names, insults them and their work…instead of just answering the questions. This is why reporters ask him the same question again and again: they never get a straight answer!
Someone from NBC News asked him, “What do you say to Americans, who are watching you right now, who are scared?” Instead of showing leadership and strength (as if!), he flipped his goddamn wig. “I say that you’re a terrible reporter! That’s what I say. I think it’s a very nasty question and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people.” So….was that question trying to trick him into taking “blame” for the virus? Or was it something every national leader gets asked in a time of crisis, when citizens need reassurance that their government is here to help? Gee, let me think…
Another reporter asked why America still lags behind countries like South Korea on testing per capita, and he snapped, “You should be saying congratulations instead of asking a really snarky question.” Congratulations? On what, the fact that our testing lags FAR behind these other countries? Oh that’s right, he takes responsibility for nothing. And rather than answer a difficult question, he stomps his little foot and pouts. Because he’s a fucking toddler.
The idea that those naughty reporters and the EEEvil Media are trying to make him look incompetent is a fairy tale cooked up by Fox News and OAN. He certainly doesn’t need them for that — he’s an old pro at it.
With the terrorizing spread of COVID-19, brave Christians all over America have decided to show just how defiant and unafraid they are. A virus? We can’t even see it! How can it hurt us? Jesus will protect us! And that’s why you have crap memes like this flooding social media:
Because, naturally, Christians feel compelled to scream to the world just how deep and strong their belief is, at every available opportunity. They just won’t shut up about it. Is something bad happening in the world? You can bet there’s a bunch of very vocal Christians somewhere on the internet telling anyone and everyone that Jesus will protect them, they have no fear, bring it on because God is watching over them. Well aren’t you the special chosen ones! Nobody asked how devout you are, and nobody but you actually cares.
And now that this Coronavirus has been wreaking havoc across the globe, Christians have a whole new stage where they can do their song and dance of defiance for everyone to see. Defiance against what? Oh, all sorts of things: common sense, rationality, the safety of others, proven science, self-preservation, and hard evidence, just to name a few.
Here are some stellar examples of Christians being spectacularly irresponsible, courtesy of The Friendly Atheist, which has been tracking this stuff since the outbreak:
This was posted to someone’s Facebook and was later hidden from view, but I saved a copy knowing it wouldn’t be around long…
Krishnamurti once said, “The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.” I think we can also say it’s an indication of doubt, and in a crisis it can serve as a weird sort of defense mechanism. I think they know that the virus doesn’t give one flipping shit about their beliefs — in fact, it’s directly challenging the power of their belief because their prayers obviously aren’t working:
That 2nd one is a doozy. He made a big deal out of his scorn for what those know-nothing experts are telling us, and he apparently said “As long as I walk in the light of that law of the Spirit of life, no germ will attach itself to me” on Facebook. He also indicated the media was over-hyping the problem, and that it’s just a way for people to attack Trump, and other predictable stuff. Then he took his entire family to mingle with the crowds in New Orleans, hoping to save some of them from sin (sigh). Well, now he’s gone. Maybe it was what Jesus wanted.
Christians apply magical thinking to everyday life, which is basically how religion works, but it’s especially convenient in a crisis like this. If a devout Christian doesn’t get the virus, he’ll undoubtedly hail this as proof of Jesus’ protection. If he does get the virus and lives, that’s proof of Jesus’ protection and he passed a test of his faith. If he gets the virus and dies, fellow Christians will just say it was part of God’s plan. See? With blind faith, any shitty event is a win!
I fully realize that this is why religion exists: to give some hope and meaning to our existence in this world that doesn’t care if we live or die. But that doesn’t mean you have to be an idiot with your behavior. If you believe in a god, then you have to believe that he/she/it also gave you the ability to reason, which helps you survive. What these people are doing is letting their religious programming shut off that built-in reason and common sense. They willfully ignore all the information given to them, letting religion override their survival instinct, and then they end up getting sick. They basically think the Bible should overrule what experts say about anything, hoping they’ll be rewarded in Heaven, and I think it’s going to get a lot more of them killed before this is all over. It’s not very pro-life, is it?
Should we feel sorry for these people? I feel they should be given care when they get themselves sick, but I don’t feel much pity for them and their conscious choice to be ignorant and reckless with their health and the safety of others.
So Rush Limbaugh has lung cancer. Well, isn’t that interesting. Here’s my little personal history with this guy.
In the early 90’s, when I left home and moved to Phoenix to do the college thing, I discovered Rush on the radio. To my small-town mind, which hadn’t been exposed to a lot of politics (and before then I didn’t really care about it), he seemed to make a lot of sense. I loved his parody songs, some of which were wickedly clever, and his over-simplified way of pitting Us. vs. Them felt right. Liberals were the ones destroying America, they were the danger to be conquered at any cost! And I believed him. I really didn’t know any better. Yes, I knew I was gay, but I hadn’t come out to anyone officially and I didn’t really feel the need to. So I went along with it, thinking I was a conservative and hyping Rush to everyone I knew. My mom was delighted when I told her about him, and she became a massive fan and longtime listener (much to my shame years later). I laughed when he called women “feminazis.” I chortled when he basically called Chelsea Clinton an ugly dog. I cheered him on while he ranted scandalously for countless hours about Whitewater and Vince Foster’s suicide and Bill Clinton’s alleged affairs. America, fuck yeah!!
But the longer I lived in Phoenix, and the more I began looking around and exposing myself to different ways of seeing the world, the less certain I was about calling myself a conservative. Rush began to sound a little…crazy. His conspiratorial spiels got stale, and I began to realize that it’s all just fluff that preys on peoples’ insecurities. White peoples’ insecurities, to be more specific. So I just tuned him out, feeling I’d outgrown him. A few years later, in late 1999 (literally the last day), I moved to Seattle to start a new life. I was exposed to more culture and political views, came out to everyone officially, and further cemented my position as an outspoken Liberal. You know, the ones who are supposed to destroy America and all that? Uh-huh. I felt like I’d finally reached the Age of Reason.
During visits to my little hometown, though, my mom still had him on the radio all the time, which was upsetting. She was still hooked, and by this time Fox News has started to become part of her daily news intake as well, which didn’t help things at all. Fox News became ten times worse than Limbaugh, delivering carefully-crafted fear and paranoia targeted directly at her demographic: the aging boomer. It was a double whammy that changed our relationship forever, leading to many political arguments about stupid shit that I knew she was far too smart to believe, yet they convinced her anyway. To her credit, though, my mom was 100% accepting of me as her gay son and always supported marriage equality. She immediately accepted my partner (later husband) without blinking an eye, which I’ll always be grateful for.
My mom died suddenly a couple of months ago. We stopped arguing about politics about a year before Trump was elected (she said he scared her, interestingly), but I’ve always regretted introducing her to Rush Limbaugh — chances are she would have found out about him somehow anyway, but I’ll never forgive myself for contributing to the poisoning of her mind and worldview that way.
OK, back to Rush. Now, I’d never wish cancer on anyone. What a horrible way to go. Cancer killed my dad a couple of years ago, and it has claimed several other family members and friends over the years. But when I found out that Limbaugh already has advanced lung cancer…I smiled. The phrase “Reap what you sow” came to mind. For one thing, he’s smoked cigars for ages, because he doesn’t think it’s necessarily bad for you. But more importantly for me, this man has spewed bigotry and lies for decades, to millions of listeners to gladly eat it up without question. He’s contributed to the culture of assholery that has become part of the conservative norm: publicly troll and ridicule the innocent and weak, champion authoritarian ideas, cheer for the corrupt billionaire class, tear down those who would make our world a cleaner and safer place to live, exploit his listeners’ racist tendencies, support Trump 100% no matter how many laws he breaks…Limbaugh’s legacy is undeniably toxic and has done massive damage to our political culture and discourse. He basically opened the door for self-serving monsters like Trump, which is unforgivable. (Naturally, Trump asked him to put off his cancer treatment so he could attend the SOTU address and receive a totally-unearned “medal of freedom” for some reason. Classic Trump, LOL.)
I told the staff today that I have a deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about. But I do, and I have been working that relationship tremendously, which I do regularly anyway, but I’ve been focused on it intensely for the past couple of weeks.
Well, now. The man dedicates his life to spreading hate, lies, and division, then figures he’ll assure his spot in Heaven by gettin’ good with God at the end. Why is he doing that, if he felt in his heart he was doing righteous work all his life? People like him always think they’re doing righteous, godly work. Could it be that he’s got some regrets? Might there be some doubt about his “guaranteed” arrival in Heaven? If God exists, he/she/it isn’t going to overlook the damage you’ve done, so prepare for your life review at His feet, Rush. It’s gonna be pretty cringey.
So yeah, I’m not feeling one tiny shred of sympathy for this cancer-riddled old man. Unlike most Americans, he’ll have the best treatment money can buy and he’ll likely die in absolute comfort with an endless supply of happy pills. I predict he’ll get a hero’s burial, broadcast live on Fox News, while famous right-wingers fling their weeping bodies onto his coffin and mourn the loss of such a valiant soul. On social media there will be weeks of public weeping, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, and all that other dramatic shit. And then, finally, he will be gone.
In fact, the public teeth-gnashing has already begun on social media. I can barely bring myself to read any of it. Right-wingers on Facebook and Twitter are oh so appalled that some might be glad to be rid of him, even cheering for his death, and their fairweather outrage is pretty comical considering their absolute lack of compassion in so many other ways. Kids torn from their parents’ arms and babies dying in Trump’s border camps? Those brown people deserve it! But this right-wing radio guy gets cancer and HOW DARE YOU NOT WEEP?? Let’s see what happens when Obama falls ill or dies — these “compassionate conservatives” will be dancing in the streets, I guarantee it.
So let them mourn their precious radio guy. As for the rest of us, we’ll be fine. We won’t shed a single fucking tear.
Nearly 20 years ago I took the plunge and began moving all my music into the digital world, ripping hundreds of CDs to MP3. Years later I did the same to my DVDs and Blu-rays, converting everything to video files in one giant library. So basically I abandoned physical media as much as possible, which was great…mostly because back then I moved to a new apartment every couple of years, and it was always such a pain in the ass to pack up, move, and unpack giant, heavy boxes of discs and their little plastic boxes over and over again. Remember those tall spinning racks that held 100 CDs each? Yeah, I had several of those…and every time I had to pack them up and move them I hated them more and more! It was such a huge relief to just dump everything onto my hard drive (or, ironically, CDs full of music files) and just be done with it. So I ripped apart all my CD cases and saved the artwork, slapped all my CDs onto 100-disc spindles, and that was that. Since going 99.5% all-digital I’ve chosen to buy/download digital copies of everything, which has been fine.
But recently I started doing something I never, ever thought I’d be doing: buying vinyl LPs again. No, I’m not a mustachioed hipsterdouche who liked everything before you’d ever heard of it. I’m also not an audiophile, though I do think there’s a difference there. For me, it’s mostly a way to connect to something from my childhood and teenage years that I’d almost forgotten about.
The start of a teenage addiction.
Memory time! In the 70’s, my dad was a D.J. in Los Angeles at the mega-station KFI (his call name was Roger Collins — he died a couple of years ago but his legacy lives on via his Facebook page). My brother and I still lived in Arizona, but my dad would always send us promo LPs when they went out of rotation — so when we were kids we had a steady stream of cool records coming to us, which was how we enjoyed a lot of music that was otherwise hard to come by in our little country-music town. We had a steady supply of popular bands coming in, though I remember The Bee Gees and Donna Summer most.
I grew out of LPs when tapes came along, though I did listen to a lot of records as a teenager when I discovered 12″ remixes. To this day, all those hours spent in my bedroom listening to 45s and LPs on my crappy little player and speakers come flooding back every time I slap the 12″ remix of “She Bop”, the first remix I ever bought, onto the platter. (This was long before the 90’s came along and ruined remixes for me almost forever — they’d take a song you loved and completely annihilate it, leaving barely a lyric or two to remind you of the original. But I digress…)
Back to the digital age. Over the years I’ve mostly dismissed the vinyl resurgence as a hipster fetish for old things, and there’s always that guy you know who insists that vinyl sounds better than anything else. I used to just roll my eyes and continue downloading, downloading, downloading. Who has the space and money for all those records? Why settle for vinyl when you can choose from hundreds of thousands of songs at any given moment and play whatever you like, in the order you want?
And that became part of the problem. After nearly 20 years of amassing digital music with abandon, I have over 75,000 songs, which iTunes tells me would take 205 days to play. Even after converting most of it to more space-efficient formats, it all takes up around 223GB on my system. Not only is that far more music than anyone could ever want or hope to listen to, but it’s a challenge to keep regular backups of it all. I have so much music I can barely decide what to listen to, and that doesn’t even include Spotify which I use often for new music. It’s insane. There’s stuff in my collection that I don’t even remember getting, or why I even have it. And yet there it is.
I can’t remember what triggered it, but at some point a couple of years ago I began to remember how much I used to enjoy playing records when I was younger. It used to be so exciting to get a new record and bring it home, study the sleeve artwork closely, slide a fingernail down the side to open the shrink-wrap and peel it off, and pull out the disc which usually crackled with static electricity. That stuff really began to appeal to me because I have so many great memories associated with it.
So my husband and I said “Fuck it, let’s get a turntable.” Both of us have kept our oldest and most treasured records in storage for decades, hauling them from place to place when we moved, so we were able to pull those out and begin enjoying them again. We buy new music almost exclusively on vinyl now, if it’s something we really want. And we’ve begun filling in the gaps in our collection with new & used copies of our favorite albums from years past. eBay, Amazon, and Discogs.com have gotten a lot of money from our record shopping, as well as some local shops (though they usually don’t have some of the weirder, more obscure stuff we want). We try to find the best deal, though sometimes I go a little crazy. Did I really need that Devo box set? Or that extremely limited edition Okami soundtrack on 4 clear, color-spattered discs which is absolutely gorgeous? Probably not, but goddammit I enjoy it. And yes, most of it does sound brighter and warmer than the cold, flat digital stuff. The hipsters and audiophiles were right on that one, I have to admit.
And you know what? When I play a record, 95% of the time I play it all the way through, both sides, and I actually listen to it. The physical format of vinyl makes playing music a more deliberate act, which somehow makes me want to focus on it more closely. With music from my phone, I can flip through dozens of playlists and genres looking for something, then skip it halfway through and move to something else. Hello, short attention span and instant gratification. With records, unless it’s a super shitty song (and there are some that I used to like but can’t stand now) I actually want to just let it play. I don’t know what that is, but I like it. Even if there are crackles and the occasional skip on the older ones, I’m fine with it. People who grew up on nothing but digital music are starting to appreciate this, too — vinyl is becoming hugely popular with those folks, as the very concept of music on a physical medium is new and novel to them. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. (Unfortunately they’re also getting into cassette tapes, which I was more than happy to abandon on the trash heap decades ago.)
Anyway, thus ends the blathering ruminations of an old fart and his occasional wallowing in nostalgia…for now.
I’ve seen a LOT of spam over the past couple of decades. I’ve seen every pitch, every clickbait subject line, every phony email supposedly from one of my contacts. It’s just old hat by now, and I don’t even see spam emails anymore unless I go into the folder they get swept into by Gmail’s amazing filters.
But recently I looked in there for the hell of it, and I found this. I have to say this is something completely new to me. This spam has a very specific target: misogynist right-wing douchebags. You know them well — they’re the guys who complain about “radical SJWs” anytime someone condemns racism or the mistreatment of women. The guys who harass and threaten women on social media simply for saying something. The guys who rage-shit their diapers when women have major roles in big-budget movies. The guys who proudly call themselves “incels” and hate women because their asshole personalities can’t get them laid.
This spam is targeted directly at this type, and frankly it’s the most needlessly inflammatory one I’ve seen in ages. It’s carefully crafted, ridiculing them for being impotent and somehow blaming “angry feminists” for it, as well as all their other troubles. It’s utterly and laughably ridiculous, but also a little upsetting if you imagine how it affects the type of guy it targets. I’ve never seen anything like it.
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Click here to see the penis enlarging trick FEMINISTS HATE. P.S. The truth is there’s a war going on in America… And it doesn’t involve guns or violence… It’s a war against your manhood. That’s why you must watch this video… Before feminist get it taken down and censored forever.
Click here to see the penis enlarging trick FEMINISTS HATE.
This “invasion” nonsense has been spouted by racist nutjobs for decades. I remember in the mid-90’s there was a lot of frothy-mouthed hysteria about the “Aztlan conspiracy”, which claims that illegal immigrants are slowly and methodically invading the Southwest U.S. in an effort to re-colonize it and magically turn it into their own country. Yeah…totally plausible. This idea lives on today, spouted by the NRA and its mouth-breathing supporters. And when unhinged guys with access to ridiculously powerful guns actually believe such obvious fairytales, it’s not much of a leap for them to take the next step of killing brown people in the name of “preserving American sovereignty” or whatever made-up excuse they can come up with.
In 2013, LaPierre wrote an apocalyptic op-ed in The Daily Caller, a conservative outlet that has published white nationalists. LaPierre’s op-ed, titled “Stand and Fight,” was eerily similar to the manifesto reportedly written by the El Paso shooter, as well as those written by the attackers in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Poway, California.
Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee took a break from his full-time job of fellating Satan to tap out some tweets about how gun violence can only be stopped by prayer and absolutely nothing else. Because it’s worked so well already, right?
On Monday, the former Arkansas governor and twice Republican presidential candidate wrote a post on his blog where he attempted to make the case that “thoughts and prayers” are “the only thing that’s ever really going to help.” Huckabee said mass shootings will never stop until “kids are brought up once again to believe that we are all made in the image of God, that life is sacred and superficial differences like skin color are meaningless.”
And here we have the standard “blame the homos for mass shootings, because why not” post from a clueless Republican politician, someone who likely also believes vaccines cause autism, the earth is only 6,000 years old, gay marriage causes deadly hurricanes, Jesus was a blue-eyed white guy, contrails are targeted poisonings for population control, and the moon landing never happened. Jeezus — someone please take this bitch to a drag show and let her experience a little joy in her life already.
“The breakdown of the traditional American family (thank you, transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates); fatherlessness, a subject no one discuses or believes is relevant; the ignoring of violent video games; the relaxing of laws against criminals (open borders); the acceptance of recreational marijuana; failed school policies (hello parents who defend misbehaving students); disrespect to law enforcement (thank you, Obama); hatred of our veterans (thank you, professional athletes who hate our flag and National Anthem); the Dem Congress, many members whom are open anti-Semitic; the culture, which totally ignores the importance of God and the church (until they elect a President); state officeholders, who have no interest whatsoever in learning about our Constitution and the Second Amendement; and snowflakes, who can’t accept a duly-elected President.”
Meanwhile, the Cheeto-in-Chief acted predictably shitty by using dozens of dead brown people (his favorite kind of brown people, apparently) as an opportunity to get in some “good” campaign photos. Such empathy and class!
Trump Slammed For Tone-Deaf ‘Photo-Op’ With El Paso Orphan
None of the eight victims still being treated at El Paso’s University Medical Center agreed to meet with Trump during his visit, The Washington Post reported. A hospital official told CNN that the general assessment was that there was an “absence of empathy” from Trump. During his hospital visit, the president boasted about the crowd size at his campaign rally in El Paso earlier this year and called former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a city native and Democratic presidential candidate, “crazy.”
And then we have this: a dipshit who thinks he’s being super clever walks into a Wal-Mart fully armed and armored, just days after another Wal-Mart was sprayed with bullets that killed 22 people. Predictably, people freaked out and he was arrested. He wanted to “test” his Second Amendment rights (sigh), and by his logic, the fact that it ended this way somehow proves that his rights were infringed. What a prick. This “reasoning” is a perfect snapshot of America as were being held hostage by open-carry fetishists who basically think they’re above the law. They get off on putting guns in peoples’ faces and telling them not to worry — I think it gives them some kind of hero boner or something. The fact that he put so much time and effort into this bullshit stunt (and even livestreamed it) proves this.
He was carrying an AR-style rifle and had a handgun attached to his hip, which was also loaded. While in the store, he appeared to be taking a video of himself with his cellphone as he pushed a shopping cart. An employee then pulled the fire alarm to alert customers to leave the building, and an off-duty firefighter took him into custody until police arrived. No shots were fired and no one was injured.
And finally, we have a predictably shitty response from a Republican congressman when one of his supporters said illegal immigrants should be shot. He didn’t shut the man down and condemn the idea of killing immigrants, oh no. Instead, he corrected the guy on exactly which type of immigrants should be shot. It’s stunning, and yet…should we expect any different from today’s Trumpublicans?
The congressman, who goes by the twitter handle @DocAbraham, was speaking at a meeting of the extremist “Acadiana Patriots” Thursday when one of the members began ranting against immigrants and pro-immigrant members of Congress.
“I think some of these people, whoever they are, ought to be shot,” said the man.
“Let me jump in here,” said the congressman who would be governor. “Many of those apprehended are not Hispanic, they are Chinese, Pakistani, Indian.”
Well this is something to brighten anyone’s day: the Nazi twat who runs the Daily Stormer website will have to pay out the wazoo to answer for his stupid racist crimes. What an unmitigated asshole. I hope he goes broke and ends up on the soup line somewhere. That is, if he ever comes out of hiding — apparently he’s cowering somewhere overseas, something these ultra-right provocateurs like to do when their bullshit catches up with them. (How soon can we get Alex Jones to do the same?)
A federal judge awarded a Muslim-American radio host $4.1 million in monetary damages Wednesday after he successfully sued a neo-Nazi website operator who falsely accused him of terrorism.
SiriusXM Radio show host Dean Obeidallah filed the civil complaint against The Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, who hasn’t responded to Obeidallah’s libel lawsuit. Anglin’s whereabouts are unclear.
Here we go: the religious conservative persecution complex is in full bloom with this one. This is directly from today’s right-wing playbook: spout conspiracies and medical misinformation that has deadly consequences, and when someone calls you on your bullshit, throw a persecution tantrum and declare it all a plot to silence God’s chosen people (or whatever nonsense they can come up with). This is far easier than, you know, proving your “facts”. Hey Mr. “Health Ranger”, here’s an idea: why not leave Facebook and stick to that one social network that promotes “free speech no matter what”, the one all the neo-Nazi types love? Or go start your own goddamn social network and take all your trolling, believe-anything followers with you. It’ll be a gigantic feedback loop of crazy, religion-fueled bullshit — a pseudoscience circle-jerk, if you will. But at least you won’t have pesky critical-thinking types holding you responsible for your moronic “news”.
Facebook has suspended Natural News from posting on the social media platform where it has amassed almost 3 million followers. Natural News, which pushes wild conspiracy theories and once published an injectable DIY homeopathic “vaccine” for Ebola, had already been banned from Twitter and YouTube. The site was also blacklisted by Google in 2017.
Founder Mike Adams, who calls himself the Health Ranger, called the Facebook suspension an “online ethnic cleansing” that’s being carried out by people who are hoping to “enslave humanity and create Hell on Earth.” Adams also called for military action against the social media companies.
When I saw the headline “Wasps invade Alabama”, I immediately wondered: “The insects? Or the people?” I also wonder if any of Alabama’s residents see this as a punishment of pestilence from God. I mean, if God can punish California with earthquakes and fires for its embracing of [insert thing Christians hate here], is it so far-fetched to say he’s punishing Alabama for the way it treats many of its residents as subhuman?
President Donald Trump’s campaign is offering an unusual new item for sale: commemorative plastic straws with the president’s name on them. “Liberal paper straws don’t work,” claims a tweet promoting the straws. The Team Trump account then asks supporters to “stand with President Trump” by using his special “laser-engraved” plastic straws at just $15 for a pack of 10 (plus shipping). Typically, 1,000 plastic straws retail for about $10, making the Trump straws 150 times more expensive.
Thoughts and prayers, y’all. And let’s not forget that the N.R.A. has been funded by Russian oligarchs for a few years now (there’s documented proof of this, for you fake-newsers). This is an organization as un-American and un-patriotic as it is rabid about its gun fetish. The day the news breaks that the N.R.A. has disbanded in shame and bankruptcy is the day I’ll be dancing a fuckin’ jig out in the street, cocktail in each hand!
The development is the latest in an already tumultuous year for the N.R.A. The gun group has struggled to right its finances; faced investigations in Congress and by the New York attorney general; and witnessed a leadership struggle that pitted Oliver North, until recently the N.R.A.’s president, against Mr. LaPierre.
This is old news, but what I jotted down at the time was: What the fuck is wrong with Republicans today, when they turn tail and run away to prevent a vote on something they disagree with, rather than just voting against it? Is this what America is now? Are Republicans in other states going to pull the same stunt? They are clearly trying to emulate Trump, who does whatever he wants no matter how unorthodox, unethical, or even illegal, and he faces zero repercussions because the GOP will defend him to the bitter end to maintain their power. They obviously think it will work the same way for them, and they’re probably right. Oregon should hold a quick election to replace these infantile GOP shitbags with people who actually take the office of Senator seriously. Oh, and get a load of that quote from Boquist. Wow, such a tough and super-manly attitude! Such machoness! Such a prick.
Oregon’s legislature is about to vote on a piece of climate change cap-and-trade legislation that the Democratic majority are likely to win, so to avoid the vote, 12 Oregon state senators have gone into hiding, thus depriving the senate of the necessary quorum.
Meanwhile, the AWOL Republicans are widely believed to be hiding out of state — the Oregon state cops are coordinating with neighboring states’ law enforcement to locate them — and Republican State Senator Brian Boquist issued this communique from his undisclosed bunker: “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner.”