But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?”
“Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied-
“If you seek for Eldorado!”
art: Edmund Dulac
“If slavery was outside of US history, for instance—if indeed it was a drag and not a rocket booster to American economic growth—then slavery was not implicated in US growth, success, power, and wealth. Therefore none of the massive quantities of wealth and treasure piled by that economic growth is owed to African Americans. Ideas about slavery’s history determine the ways in which Americans hope to resolve the long contradiction between the claims of the United States to be a nation of freedom and opportunity, on the one hand, and, on the other, the unfreedom, the unequal treatment, and the opportunity denied that for most of American history have been the reality faced by people of African descent. Surely, if the worst thing about slavery was that it denied African Americans the liberal rights of the citizen, one must merely offer them the title of citizen—even elect one of them president—to make amends. Then the issue will be put to rest forever…the other half is the story of how slavery changed and moved and grew over time…From 1783 at the end of the American Revolution to 1861, the number of slaves in the United States increased five times over, and all this expansion produced a powerful nation. For white enslavers were able to force enslaved African-American migrants to pick cotton faster and more efficiently than free people…The returns from cotton monopoly powered the modernization of the rest of the American economy, and by the time of the Civil War, the United States had become the second nation to undergo large-scale industrialization. In fact, slavery’s expansion shaped every crucial aspect of the economy and politics of the new nation—not only increasing its power and size, but also, eventually, dividing US politics, differentiating regional identities and interests, and helping to make civil war possible.
“The idea that the commodification and suffering and forced labor of African Americans is what made the United States powerful and rich is not an idea that people necessarily are happy to hear. Yet it is the truth.” — Edward E. Baptist, We still lie about slavery
Arguably as fine an adaptation of Lovecraft as any to date.
Here’s a link to the
original short story;
compare and contrast.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Hunter S. Thompson, author of Hell’s Angels, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, and The Great Shark Hunt among other books, followed a strict regime of clean living, healthy food, and adequate rest so that his mind would remain clear at all times, thus enabling him to concentrate on his writing. The rest of you know I’m yanking the noobs’ cranks.
Here, according to his biographer E. Jean Carroll, is his daily routine.
3:00 p.m. rise
3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills
3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill
4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill
4:16 orange juice, Dunhill
5:11 coffee, Dunhills
5:30 more ice in the Chivas
5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.
6:00 grass to take the edge off the day
7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margaritas, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jiggers of Chivas.)
9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously
10:00 drops acid
11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass
11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.
12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write
12:05-6:00 a.m. Chartreuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, coffee, Heineken, clove cigarettes, grapefruit, Dunhills, orange juice, gin, continuous pornographic movies.
6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo
The colossal hissy fit being pitched in Houston has to do with HERO, or the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The point that is causing some people to defecate cinderblocks is a provision that basically allows people to use restrooms based on their gender self-identity, not the one arbitrarily issued at birth.
Now, one would think this would not be a problem. People typically do not walk about unclothed in public restrooms, we tend to do our business behind closed doors or shielded by stalls.
Unless someone was acting out in a threatening or offensive matter, most people would just mind their own business when tending to their business, if you know what mean and I think you do.
However, there are people who
cannot live and let live,
poop and let poop with others.
The main challenge to HERO has been the perceived threat than transgender people pose to innocent public convenience users, in particular the dread fear that a pre-op transgender female would suddenly be overcome by heterosexual lust and use their still attached penis to commit rape on a physiological female.
First off, let’s not make light of the issue of rape:
While certainly opportunistic rapes occur where the victim does not know the rapist, they are not likely to occur in well trafficked areas such as public restrooms.
This is certainly not to say restroom assaults never ever occur, but when they do they are committed by rapists who are just too psychopathic to recognize the danger they are putting themselves in, or else are excited by that added level of danger.
And while I have never heard of a heterosexual disguising themselves as a member of the opposite sex in order to get close enough to a victim to physically assault them, that’s not to say it has never happened.
But look at those parameters:
It’s not the genuine transgender person who is feared of committing such a crime, but a heterosexual in disguise.
True transgender persons are no more / no less likely to be good or bad citizens than any one else, no more / no less likely to be criminals.
If there is no pattern of same-sex rape in public restrooms among heterosexuals, why should one fear rape by a transgender person?
A rapist determine to carry out a rape will do so, and if their modus operandi consists of donning a disguise in order to get close enough to their victim, they will don a disguise: Their gender / orientation has nothing to do with it, and they will ignore any and all laws to commit their crime.
They will not stop just because they’re afraid of breaking a public ordinance against people of one physical sex wearing the clothes of the opposite physical sex in a public restroom.
No, this hysterical reaction is based on no real public threat,
it’s based entirely on the ick-factor in many Christians.
The exact same kind of ick-factor that repulsed
white Christians when African-Americans
wanted to use the same restroom.
Look, I understand being raised with one set of preconceptions and then later in life realizing those preconceptions were woefully ill-informed, and yet still not be able to completely shake the emotions and values associated with the now disproved preconceptions.
Nobody’s perfect, and it’s not unreasonable for a person who has been raised to believe “men are men / women are women” to be somewhat ill at ease in certain situations when encountering a transgender person.
But being ill at ease is not an excuse to torment or deny civil rights or common decency and courtesy to a person.
I will give the benefit of a doubt to many of the people who are opposed to HERO and grant that they truly believe they are acting in the best interests of society as a whole instead of their own personal prejudices.
But if they claim to be Christian, they better learn to give up their cherished ick-factor and start treating other people the way they want to be treated.
And if they don’t want other folks deciding
for them which bathroom they can use…
 I choose my terms carefully. Typically all of us are assigned a gender identity on our birth certificates based on what appears to be our physiological sex. Most of the time the hospital / nurses / midwives / taxi cab drivers guess correctly, but has been pointed out elsewhere, that ain’t necessarily so. Even if only a small percentage of the human race has an issue with their assigned birth gender it is nonetheless an issue with millions of people, and all of them deserve courtesy and compassion in their attempts to come to terms with their physical form.
 I use the term transgender as shorthand to cover a wide range of issues and concerns for a large number of people, not all of whom have similar, much less overlapping objectives and goals. Insofar as the Golden Rule would seem to indicate we should not intrude on the private lives of others unless invited to do so, any commentary on a transgender person’s personal issues is unwarranted.
 Though typically transgender persons do tend to be singled out for persecution and bullying by heterosexuals.
 Indeed, when such assaults occur it is typically nothing to do with sex but everything to do with dominance; typically a gang will humiliate a victim of the same sex in order to demonstrate their control and authority.
 Not even on Facebook.
 But not to their leaders, who are lying sacs of human excrement.
If no chain is stronger than the weakest link, no bridge stronger than the weakest girder, then the Christian church is royally fucked.
We have bullying liars who, when called on their bullying and their lying, proclaim themselves to be victims, and the very people they have been actively seeking to harm are portrayed as villains.
Let us discuss the recent brouhaha regarding the subpoena issued by pro bono lawyers for Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Ms Parker and the Houston City Council recently passed a measure called HERO (for Houston Equal Rights Ordinance) as is their right as duly elected officials of that city.
So far, so good.
A group of people opposed to that law circulated a petition for a referendum to repeal it.
Again, so far, so good.
Ms Parker et al rejected the petitions citing discrepancies that invalidated most of the signatures gathered.
Hmm, could be problematic;
hope they have the facts to back this up.
The group opposed to them filed a lawsuit — as is their right — claiming the petitions had been arbitrarily and unjustly dismissed.
A serious charge, if they can prove it’s true.
Up to this point, a few things that make one go “hmmm” but nothing illegal, unjust, or unconstitutional. Elected officials make a ruling, challengers go to court to challenge it, happens all the time, all legal and above board.
The next step is the one where
the lying sacs of human excrement
present themselves front and center.
See, under the laws of this great land — hell, under any standard of common human courtesy & decency; including most specifically the Bible’s own Golden Rule — what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
If you file suit against someone, you are asking a court to compel them to hand over evidence they may possess that will strengthen your case, establishing and proving facts that will help your claim.
But guess what?
They get to do
the exact same thing
right back atcha!
Pro bono lawyers, responding to the lawsuit on behalf of the LGBT community, fired back with a volley of discovery subpoenas of their own — which is their right!
They requested internal communications from the group bringing the lawsuit, as well as with people outside that group who had been working with them on the petition issue.
Now, you want to make the argument
that was not the brightest political
move to make, go right ahead;
I’ll agree with you on that point.
But there was nothing illegal, unconstitutional, threatening, or stifling about it.
Rather it was just a logical step any competent (albeit in this case politically tone deaf) lawyer would have done.
The subpoenas issued, while legal and basically justifiable, have been criticized as too broad and ambiguous, in particular when asking for copies of sermons written / delivered by various pastors who were associated with but not part of the group suing the mayor and city council.
The mayor, when she learned of them, had those particular subpoenas recalled; she and her legal team will obtain the information they need through other means.
But here’s what the lying sacs of human excrement have done:
Instead of saying merely that the opposing legal team’s subpoena request re discovery in a lawsuit that they and/or their allies had initiated was too broad, they quite deliberately and unambiguously presented the perfectly legal discovery subpoenas as an unwarranted, unprovoked, and unilateral action aimed at Christian churches purely with the intent of stifling opposition to laws passed by the government, in particular laws that reaffirm equal rights and protection under the law for all citizens and legal residents, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, nationality, gender, or previous condition of servitude.
And that, in a nutshell, is why people
are leaving organized Christianity
in greater and greater numbers.
If you’re going to act like a bully and deny other citizens their God given and constitutionally guaranteed rights, if you are going to file suit against people who protect those rights and demand discovery from them, then you are a hypocrite of the lowest, rankest order if you then turn around and deny you started the ball rolling, deny you initiated the process, deny your opposition is merely enjoying the exact same rights as you do in the exact same set of circumstances.
You are hypocrites.
And you are the reason more and more people are saying “shuck this fit” and walking away from our churches, never to return in our lifetime.
You lying sacs of human excrement are poisoning the well. You are convincing millions and millions of others that everything Christ taught, everything the church traditionally stood for re mercy and compassion and justice for all is nothing but a sham and a lie.
Nobody will side with that.
The time is coming when perhaps the kindest thing true Christians can do to the rotting shell of their organization is just to walk away from it, let it collapse, and start planting seeds for a truly organic Christian faith to grow.
It may be time to start thinking about walking away from Omelas.
Two nuns, Sister Helen and Sister Mary, are traveling through Europe in their car. They get to Transylvania when suddenly, a tiny Dracula jumps onto the hood of the car and hisses through the windshield.
“Oh my!” shouts Sister Mary. “What shall we do?”
“Turn the windshield wipers on.
That will get rid of the abomination,” says Sister Helen.
Sister Mary switches them on, knocking Dracula about but he clings on and continues hissing at them.
“What shall I do now?” she shouts.
“Switch on the windshield washer.
I filled it up with Holy Water,” says Sister Helen.
Sister Mary turns on the windshield washer. Dracula screams as the water burns his skin but clings on and continues hissing at the nuns.
“What now?” shouts Sister Mary.
“Show him your cross,” says Sister Helen.
“Now you’re talking,” says Sister Mary as she opens the window
and shouts, “Get the @#%& off the car!”
tip o’the paper bag to
Murray “The Unknown Comic” Langston
for this little gem
underlying art by