Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Zippy Did It!!!

Over at The Friendly Atheist, Hemant put up a post about another blogger, Lindsey, who recently went through her old bible and was looking at what her younger self found so inspiring and important to her as a believer, that now kind of freak her out. So Hemant asked the rest of us to dig out our old bibles and have a looksie and see what what was important to us as youngsters with belief and report anything interesting.

I was never a big believer anyways and have always found religion and church a bit creepy. Especially when filled with worshipers. Empty churches are great and I love to visit them when no one else is around. I can appreciate the aesthetics and histories within them much easier without God's fanclub in attendance. It was no surprise then when I opened my old bible, given to me on Christmas 1984 - what a dreadful gift. Sorry Mom and Dad, but really, what 12 year old wants a bible? - and it was pretty much untouched. The white cover had, after 25 years molded to the protective book sleeve, so no secrets were held within its files. A quick leaf showed nothing highlighted, nothing underlined. I did come across an interesting card insert, though.

Zippy the Pinhead

That Zippy The Pinhead, he sure does get around. I think I blamed a lot of my hijinks on him as a kid. Zippy did it!

Some of the language is a bit dodgy. "As God enables me" because I can't enable myself. what exactly is a "faith promise"? I thought I was offering cash - why would faith have anything to do with it? One either has faith or doesn't, just like one either has cash or doesn't. However one doesn't need faith to donate cash. It's a silly concept, is a "faith promise". Can you imagine trying to get a mortgage on faith? " promise is a covenant between me and God." Can you imagine what would happen if you fell behind in your payments? Would God come and bust a kneecap? "It will extend for the next twelve months." unless I choose the one-time option but thanks for the pressure. "However I'll not be asked for a payment at anytime." We'll just let your covenant guilt eat away at you, you scum. " It is my sincere desire to commit myself and my financial resources..." can you just feel the hand slipping into your pocket and rifling for the billfold already - and you've not even signed yet! " the cause of worlwide evangelization." UGH! This was in 1984 or 1985 when Africa was starving and the world needed a whole lot more then a bunch of guilt-trippers fobbing off bibles and preaching about god.

Apparently I didn't think too much of it at the time, either.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Back in 15 min.

I should put this sign on my face. People shouldn't talk to me just now and expect there to be any measure of attention leveled towards them. My brain is in LaLaLand. Not because I'm particularly busy, run off my feet or even slightly stressed. I'm languid. I'm remarkably laid back. I'm not expecting this to be anything more than a day the kids open new presents and run away to play with new toys, and maybe later if the weather is nice, we'll drive down to the beach and let our feet get wet in the surf.

I woke up this morning with two strange things going on in my head; the first was the last word from a dream I don't remember: Sheetcake. I have no idea why sheetcake was such an important word that it was shouted and woke me then left me confused as the dream dispersed into nothingness. Second was the song Tom Sawyer by Rush. Now that is stuck in my head. It didn't disappear. For now it's ok, but later it may grate on me.

I have no need to Rush a sheet cake.

Coffee and a cookie for breakfast. Diet must begin ASAP. Sugar will have to be excluded from my life for ever and ever. I'll try the reprogramming of my mind to associate sweet things with sewers or something.

My hair is a nightmare right now. It's at that in-between stage of growing out. I'm starting to talk myself out of growing it out, because it looks so crap all the time. Shorter is easier to handle. No combs, no clips, no nothing. Scrunch in some product and go. But I still have the love for a long ponytail. Doesn't a ponytail say young? Doesn't ponytail = youth? Fact is I don't know that I have the right face shape for long hair. No one ever compliments me for my long hair. I think I'm just holding on to some old romantic ideal of beauty. What suits me is short and curly. What to do, what to do?

I feel slightly inadequate as compared to others who are so busy at this time of year. The manic baking, the decorating (I have the tree and that's it. Nothing else. Not even a wreath or some garland on the fence) the guests. It's just the four of us this year. Feels strange.

I need to go out and buy some drink. Wine and beer. Gin would be nice too. Maybe just spending the next few days slightly buzzed...nah. Doesn't work for me. I'd just fall asleep.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Happy Holidays!


Ok, what do you think....

Long hair

May 09 long hair

Short hair

July 09 short hair

For your amusement. Merry X-mas.

Sept. 09 Silly

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Awesome!! Awesome awesome awesome!!

See, this is a far more appropriate way to talk about sex. He even says fuck and doesn't come across as filthy like Oral did. I love Dan Savage!

Share this with a teen who may be thinking about inflating some douchebag into "The One"

Creepy!! Creepy creepy creepy!

Oral Roberts was a sick bastard.

Glad we didn't erase that bit.

But it's all vagina, poison, booby fondling is ok, but you'll get AIDS and die if you poke about in the poison like a queer. I'll have to listen again to see if he uses the word penis, I think he just says male organ over and over. Vagina is ok but penis is a no no.

Religious zealots are the biggest perverts around.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Am I too paranoid?

I don't think so. I'm comfortably skeptical but not yet paranoid. I don't think so - it's why I'm putting it out to you. Reason I ask is, I'm replaying a conversation I had with Sassyface this morning about TV commercials programming you to have a preconceived idea about what something should be like, but when you actually get it it's never like the commercials. So you get more of it, telling yourself it must have been a bad batch, or maybe you weren't in the right mood and yet time after time you may get the same results. The ads still run saying "This product will make you young, sexy, attractive, popular" etc so at some point a person either accepts the ads are rubbish and lies or the person begins to force themselves to take the product regularly and pretend it works, thereby mimicking the ad and creating a false persona. Trust me, she's 10 and she totally understood! I think.

I used the example of McDonalds. Asked her to tell me what a McDonalds ad tells her, what does she see, who does she see, how does she think those people are feeling? Does the ad make you want to have those same experiences? Do you think the food is what makes them happy? Did a Happy Meal ever make her that happy? "No it's just a plain burger and I never eat the chips. Sometimes the toy is nice!" Is McDonalds a toy store or a food store? Food store. Is the food as good as the toy? No. So why don't kids just go to the toy store instead? Hmmmm....

Then I told her about Budweiser. Told her about how the ads are for adults, but they show barely out of teens youth doing fun things like beach volleyball, or having fun camping trips or whatever. Young, fun, popular. Or they use animals and the animals are popular and funny. The ads are shown when kids can see them. This gets the kids brand aware many, many years before they are even legally able to drink alcohol. It sets the seed in their minds. It's the only explanation I can come up with for why so many people drink Budweiser because really; it's piss. It's awful stuff! (Thankfully I've not had to endure the eyesore that is Bud on TV for a long time.) (I'm sure it shows)

I think we can sum it up with cigarette ads of the 70's/80's. Young? Sexy? Independent? Rebellious? Let's personify with a smoke in our hand. I know I did. I was highly insecure as a kid and was roped in easily to the idea a cigarette would make people think I was better than I thought I was. Despite the fact that when I started smoking it made me feel violently ill - I pushed through it. It was a right of passage, not a sign I was poisoning myself. Cool people don't puke from a cigarette! Never once did I think I was being a sucker to an ad campaign - I was creating a cool, confident persona. I bought Marlborough Reds, then moved onto Marlborough Lights. Smoked nearly three packs a day for six years. Quit when I was married, hopped back a few times after bad things made me depressed but never never back to that level. Have not had one in over 3 years now. Still crave them though. That's the problem - most of these products have some element of addiction to them, be it habit or chemical dependence or both. You don't hear about vegetable addicts, or water addicts or deep breathing meditation addicts.

I'll have to get some ads together to show her the ways advertising manipulates people, and how kids are the most susceptible because they aren't often taught critical thinking skills. They aren't encouraged to question adults. In fact they question the wrong adults. Don't question me when I tell you to go clean your room. Question strangers who tell you you must have a certain toy, food, magazine or sneakers. Toy stores won't ground you for belligerence, Mom will. But if Sassyface feels she can challenge me, then maybe she'll grow up confident enough to challenge others. Especially since they can't ground her, either.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Let's talk spirals.

What is the Norway spiral? I saw the initial news of it, but so far there's been not much boo about it down here. Have the Aussies figured - C'mon it's obviously a fucking light shown up on a cloud. Do you think we're stupid??

Well Aussie Atheist has strapped on his sparkle tiara to have a chat with someone who thinks they know exactly what the spiral was. It was a sign from God.

There are people like that out there (Not meaning the weird Aussie with a tiara on his head) who look at these kinds of phenomena and clap gleefully that it must be sign everyone's gonna die! Yippee!!

But sadly, he's not alone. There are lots of people whose first thought is something nonsense. Just google "Norway spiral lights" to see the examples of foolishness rattling about the electronic ether: (Fuck, how do I take a google screen grab??) I'll save you the hassle: It's Aliens!!! Aliens wanted to give the Norwegians a light show. NO they wanted to show support for Obama! NO, They wanted to show Obama he was bad. Has anyone checked Nostradamus's predictions?? One headline read "Norway's Wormhole is First Encounter!" Give me a break.

Turns out, the spiral was a failed Russian missile test. Sneaky bastards! Although they had told Norway they were going to test a missile and had a window of opportunity in which to do so, they kept quiet until Thursday night before confessing the fubar.

Sorry weird man, your rapture will still have to wait.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What's next?

My class has finished and I have my certificate. Sadly, there's not much I can do now until February. First off, most of Australia takes its summer vacation pretty seriously and the whole pace slows down considerably after X-mas and New Year, or so I've been told to expect. The radio school is out of commission for the next few weeks until the middle of Jan and the kids are on break until Feb 1st. So for now, it's time to lay back and relax...

Yeah right. I'm too fired up now to relax. The mind is churning. I'm even more determined.

My last class was somewhat anticlimactic. We had a visit from the general manager and he gave a bit of a talk about the close knit family that is his radio stations. He manages all six. At one point he was asked if working in radio was a full-time commitment. I think he sort of misunderstood - I hope so anyway - because he began to go on about how radio isn't a 9-5 job. Folks work hard, happily, and may do 60 hour weeks. I asked what percentage of staff were part timers and he said none. He says the only regular 9-5er was the receptionist. No part time in radio. That doesn't quite bode well for me. I began to get a bit choked in class, hid it well. Telling myself I'd look into it. It's not his stations are the only stations. Then he left and we started the last homework assignment which was to prepare interview questions from a list of acceptable topics given to us by another classmate. Mine went pretty well as the guy was very much interested in Ultimate Fighting Championship and MMA, which I'd not known much about and spent some time researching to gain.

When it came around for me to be interviewed, the girl - who was sitting next to me - hushed me. she was hoping the instructor wouldn't notice she'd not conducted her interview. At the time I was fuming because I don't get much opportunity to talk about myself apart from the daily explanation of where I was born and from where we've emigrated. That gets tired - it was tired 13 years ago. (Most people think my accent is Irish which will amuse most people as the only Irish accent I can put on is Mrs. Doyle from Father Ted.)She did get away with it, the instructor didn't notice, not only that she'd not done an interview nor that I'd been interviewed and I was hurt because I felt so unimportant. I managed to talk myself out of that pity-party and realized the important part was conducting the interview - which I did. She was the doofus for chickening out. Things always make more sense when I remove my own ego from the problem.

First thing the next morning I looked around to community radio stations. Commercial radio may be all full time, but community is much more easy about scheduling. I looked about and find the station 3CR suits my needs. They also have classes to learn lots about how the station works. Sure, I'd be a volunteer, but no one gets into radio for the money (If they do they'll be disappointed). they also want new show ideas.

New show ideas.

They don't have an atheism show. They have an anarchy show, a pro-Palestine show, a few Women's interest shows but no atheism/free-thinkers/rational thinking/ secular humanism show. I bet they've pitched one. I'll also bet they've feared it's too controversial - several community radio stations have in the past, I've been told. So I'm buying a new, fresh notebook and I'm thinking. what would I want to hear in a show about modern atheism? What would I want to tell believers about atheists? How do we build bridges in society between multi-faiths and non faith? I wouldn't want it to be angry, shouting religion bashing because that gets old and people tune out, also I'd love to be seen as a good and decent person regardless of the fact that my morality doesn't come from fear of eternal damnation or making Big Daddy angry, or because of a holy script's instruction. Lots of things to ponder and even more to write out as a pitch.

Finally, let me tell you about an annoying thing that happened during class that's bugged me to no end, but that I've ignore and put aside, and I never should have...

Our instructor often wrote up things on a board. He would refer to it as the "White board", "Grey board" as it was grey and the "Not so white board". One day I quietly said "Wipe. Board." to him. He asked me to repeat. "Wipe. With a p, as in you wipe the words away. Wipe. Board."
His face lights up. "I've never heard it called that. Is that an american thing? Did everyone hear this? it's a wipe board!" I felt a tad silly, he was either having a genuine Eureka! moment or he was being sarcastic and I didn't pick up on it. But I think he was genuinely Eureka about it. Until the know-it-all at the other end of the table said "No it's not."

"Yeah it is."

"You made that up."

"Google it."

Now "Google it" is exactly what I should've said! From now on when I know something with absolute certainly and someone says "No, you're making that up." I'm going to say "Google it." as it was I shrugged and ignored her. I should be content with just knowing I'm right and she's an argumentative snotface. Google it, you'll see I'm right. Why keep calling a grey board a white board when you can legitimately call it a wipe board - I just don't know!!

So help me come up with ideas to pitch for a radio show! Doesn't have to be the atheism thing - what else would you like to hear about?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Well, he asked me nicely in a song...

I kind of have a sick love for Parry Grip. Check out their youtube pages. Become addicted.

OK..ok. One more!!

Wait!! Wait...Spaghetti Cat!!

Vive the Black Hamster!!

I think I'm done now. Fuzzy fuzzy cute cute.

I'm done.

Monday, December 07, 2009

So busy! I'm a bad blogger...

Lots of things going on just now - just as I'm sure they are with you all too. the season of busy, the fact my radio course finishes this week and I've been putting in lots of studio hours to improve and overcome my nerves - I think I've done it. Pretty much. Getting better all the time.

The big thing we've been doing this week and last week is news reading. Taking the "just in" stuff from Reuters, rewriting it and then reading it for the radio. The thing about rewriting news is you not only have to include the who,what, where, when, why and how but you also have to ciut all the fluff and go straight to the climax and conclusion - no build-up. Just shoot your wad and move on again. Isn't that a classy way of thinking of it? I've been practicing this because editing is always something that makes get headaches but since I didn't write the news, it's ok. I'm editing someone else's work and that makes me feel smug and superior. Even though I'm still not very good at it.

Other good news is I will get my driver's license next week. My USA one expired in 2005 but here in Australia, if you're license is not expired for more than 5 years then they'll just do the eye test, take your cash and voila! I get my license!! Suck on that one Scotland you punks! Failing my driver's test for cutting off a white van that most likely cut off 100 people before I'd crossed his path - you pussies! Australia loves me and says "Here Lyvvie! you can drive here and drive whatever takes your fancy, mate!" Love that. I called VIC Roads (the equivalent of the DMV) and asked them and got all the info and even had a New Yorker on the phone! Small world. I go in next Wednesday, we'll see how my picture turns out before I share.

Finally, we passed by this church on Saturday and the sign caught my attention...

Burwood Uniting Church with kind of creepy sign. i don't know about you, but my first reaction was to think they were inviting me in to have the baby Jesus wipe my butt. What about you? Did you make the Change the Baby/Baby Change You connection? Not to mention the slightly odd shining star spearing the baby on the altar in its manger with golden blood spurts and everything. Nice image. Can we add this to Fail blog?

Ok...just spent a stupid amount of time over at failblog.