Someone needs to do a scientific study on why many LDS college students after a devotional feel compelled to congregate around the stacks of chairs and ignore the people who are trying to put the chairs away. And why they fail to learn from experience and instead keep doing it every single week. It's very annoying, but in all seriousness, I think there must be some evolutionary driving force behind it, probably the same force that compels white-collar workers to gather around water coolers. You may in fairness ask, what use would that study be? And the answer is, who knows? Science in its purest form is just the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. Let someone else figure out the practical applications later. There will undoubtedly turn out to be some that we never could have imagined. Actually, there's a good chance someone has already studied this, but the only results I could find were about crows and flies.
I found this video to be less stupid than I expected. It's not phenomenal either, but it's worth watching if you're bored. Having said that, I would like to make perfectly clear that I am not endorsing Provo, any universities in Provo, or Mormon dating culture.
Having said that, I have only one real complaint, which is about the part on their first date where the guy has to recover from not listening. The joke, of course, is that guys don't listen. But this should not be presented as normal or okay. It doesn't even make sense. Why would you be like "I want to go on a date with this girl" and then when you're on a date with that girl you want to think about something else? If she isn't interesting enough to hold your attention then why do you want to spend time with her in the first place? Humans are so weird.
I was surprised that they were bold enough to include an emotion of lust, albeit thinly veiled under the theologically significant title "Natural Man". I have also thought about lust in the context of "Inside Out" but was reluctant to broach the topic because I would hate to ruin the whimsy and innocence of that film. Now that the Provo YSA 26th Ward Elders' Quorum has given me an opening, however, I'll go for it, and if you think you're going to be offended please just skip this part and don't stop reading my blog because of it. This is what I imagined -
Scene 1: Three identical triplets walk into Riley's brain.
Joy (clapping with glee): Yay, new friends! Nice to meet you! I'm Joy!
Triplet #1: Hi. I'm Love.
Triplet #2: I'm Infatuation.
Triplet #3: I'm Lust.
Joy (smiling nervously): Er, I'm so sorry, but I can't tell any of you apart.
Triplet #1: No worries, we get that all the time.
Scene 2: Joy and the others are sharing the control panel. Lust walks in, whistling casually.
Lust: It's my turn to run the controls.
Joy (perplexed): What, now? I don't think -
Lust: I SAID IT'S MY TURN TO RUN THE #@$% CONTROLS!
Lust pulls out an Uzi and herds the others into a corner.
I'm sorry if you considered that to be in poor taste. If you're upset with me you should be upset with the Provo YSA 26th Ward Elders' Quorum too.
In trying to find books about Hinduism in the USU library, I stumbled upon a book called "The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture". Its entire thesis is to describe religion using the analogy of viruses. I considered reading it, because I consciously try to overcome the pernicious human tendency of confirmation bias which leads people to only read or watch things that argue for viewpoints they already hold. But first I looked in the index to see what it had to say about Mormons (I knew it would have something to say about Mormons). It had a lot to say about Mormons. The first page I flipped to had something to this effect: "Mormons had such complete political control over the territory of Utah that non-Mormons were murdered or driven out from the enclave. The Mountain Meadows Massacre was the worst such case but was not unusual." The footnote explained what the Mountain Meadows Massacre was but gave no citation for the barefaced lie that it was not unusual.
Having thus ascertained the author's standard of research and integrity, I decided not to bother reading it after all. The people who provided the worshipful blurbs on the back of the book probably don't even care how much of it is true, because it told them what they wanted to hear. I wish people had integrity. I wish people didn't make crap up because they they think the ends justify the means. I hate it when I have to defend Donald Trump because someone is reposting the "Republicans are the dumbest group of voters" quote that he never said. As Mark Twain famously quipped, "There are four kinds of lies - lies, damned lies, statistics, and fabricated quotes on the internet."
I said in one of my blog posts several months ago that I wasn't concerned about Donald Trump because he isn't going to be the Republican nominee. It's becoming apparent that I was probably wrong. Since I was obviously expressing an opinion and have never claimed to be able to see the future, I feel no need to apologize for that, but what I do apologize for is severely overestimating American voters. I feel very foolish to have made such an unprecedented and unwarranted mistake. I should have known better. I won't let it happen again. And here's the other thing. Even though I detest the Republican party, I'm registered as a member on paper so that according to Utah law I can vote in the primaries. Except that my vote in the primaries means exactly zilch because by the time Utah gets to participate, the nominee has already been chosen. I love democracy!
I find it interesting how things have changed in eight years. I remember that eight years ago when people accused the Democratic nominee of being a socialist, his supporters were like "No no no, he's not a socialist. We aren't socialists. Stop slandering him just because you disagree with him." And now the guy who is obviously going to be the Democratic nominee is just like "I'm a socialist" and his supporters are just like "Yep, he's a socialist. Nothing wrong with that. We like socialism." No comment.
A few months ago in the Aggie Bull Pen Creative Writing Club we played a game which consisted of working three pre-selected words into a story that fit on one side of an index card. I've just now gotten around to scanning my index card so it can be shared with you lucky people. Here's the second story I did, but I'm putting it first because it's inferior.
I'm much more pleased with this one.
I don't remember whether I quoted Red Jumpsuit Apparatus on purpose. Probably.
Debbie continues to be a source of frustration and heartache. Last week she made her position clear to me, and I know I should just gracefully accept it, but my desire is too strong to just turn off like a light switch. I can't help holding on to some hope that maybe someday, if I continue to be kind and respectful to her, I can convince her to change her mind. There's something to be said for persistence sometimes, isn't there? Until then, however, I have no choice but to respect her wishes even though they feel unreasonable and unfair after what I've done for her. I let her read my novel, but she won't let me read hers. She didn't even tell me she was a writer.
This past week, thanks to YouTube's Autoplay feature, I discovered many new songs. One of them was really catchy and I listened to it five times and got it stuck in my head forever. Then the comments tipped me off that the refrain is a play on words glamorizing the recreational use (is there any other kind?) of ecstasy. Naive, innocent, literal-minded, unfamiliar-with-the-street-names-of-drugs me would never have picked up on that. So I guess I won't share it here after all. Besides, the video might cause seizures in some people. So I'm continuing with the theme of non-English love songs, but not sharing the video of this one either because it's on Vevo and Vevo is super lame and won't let me embed things. Just close your eyes and drift away with the music...
Makano - Te Amo
The other day as I was waiting for my order at the Taco Time on campus a guy from my poetry class last semester, whom I shall be racist and refer to as "Texas", strolled by. I waved to be friendly. He's cool, but I'd only ever talked to him a couple times, so I was a little surprised when he enthusiastically stopped, exchanged a few pleasantries, and said, "When are you going to -"
As he was still in mid-sentence the thought flashed through my mind, Do I have an unfulfilled obligation to this man? I don't think so...
"- be published?" he finished. "It doesn't seem right in the eyes of God for you to not be published." And that totally made my day.
Non-fiction Writing has turned out to be a breeze since I'm quite accustomed to sharing my life with the world whether they want to hear about it or not. Unlike my previous two classes in this vein, our peer reviews are done by the whole class instead of just groups of four, so I've gotten to read everyone else's essays. I can't help evaluating each person's writing skills to see whether they're equal to, greater than, or less than mine. But I try to see and encourage the potential in everybody because we're all in this together until we go out in the real world and have to compete. There has only been one essay in this class that, when the teacher asked "What can we do to make this better?", prompted me to think Put it through the shredder and turn it into confetti. Actually, I liked it because it made me laugh, but I'm pretty sure that's not what the author was going for. The only reason I'm making fun of it is because it was so arrogant and pretentious that it begged to be made fun of. It can be summarized by one brief line on the third page: "This makes of me, in my mind, a god." No kidding.
Other than that, I don't put people's writing down because mine has lots of room for improvement too. It has become obvious that my need to continue revising my novel is not merely owing to self-deprecating perfectionism, but actual problems such as continuity errors, plot holes, and clichés. A lot of the continuity errors happened because I wrote many chunks of it completely out of order, and sometimes I changed things and forgot to change the repercussions references to them elsewhere in the story. As for the plot holes and clichés, watching CinemaSins on YouTube has been surprisingly helpful in noticing them. I listen to that guy absolutely skewering what I used to think was a good movie and then I imagine how he would skewer what I used to think was my good novel, and after I recover from the blow to my self-esteem I go in and make more changes.
I didn't take this image, as you can probably tell, because you probably know by now that I wouldn't have bothered to censor their names or pictures.
In all seriousness though, this discussion does raise a legitimate theological question which in all non-sarcastic seriousness troubles me. Why did God create this level of stupidity? Just as a test to see if I could still be humble? So far I'm failing.
Here's another theological question I thought of that my fellow Mormon readers can use to derail a Sunday school lesson (though it will probably be of little interest to anyone else, sorry). You're welcome. It is generally understood by Mormons over the age of eighteen that "soul mates" as a general principle are not real and that almost anyone can make a marriage work and yadda yadda yadda. It is also generally understood by almost everyone that children's appearances are determined by a mixture of their parents' DNA. It is also generally understood by Mormons that our bodies look the same as our spirits and that our spirits predate them by a very long time. So how does that work? Obviously God, with His foreknowledge, could foresee which pairings would come together to reproduce and plan accordingly. But by accommodating those future choices, He would seem to be precluding any other choices and thwarting agency. What if my parents had each married someone else? Where would I be and what would I look like?
Figure 1: My brand of apostasy resonates with a surprising number of Mormons.
Public Service Announcement: My sister is home from her mission. Anyone who tries to date her and does not meet my approval will be punched in the throat by me. That is all.
Americans, are you looking forward to this election? I'm not. I have no enthusiasm for any of the candidates and I don't understand how anyone does. I see that a lot of people are "feeling the Bern", and good for them, but I anticipate him being a disappointment regardless of his views or promises simply because he's a federal-level politician and it's in their nature to be corrupt, incompetent, or usually both. I would love to be pleasantly surprised but I'm not getting my hopes up. Dumbocraps suck, Repugnantcans suck, and our country is going to continue its moral, intellectual, and financial decline regardless of which group of thieves wins. No human empire has ever lasted forever. What makes ours any different? And with that cheery thought, let us move on.
Someone blocked me on Facebook for agreeing with one of her posts. I can see how she might have misinterpreted my remark if she didn't read it carefully, but she could have discussed it instead of jumping to conclusions and acting like a twelve year old. Number of times I have blocked a friend for disagreeing with me: zero. Number of times I have unfriended a friend for disagreeing with me: zero. Sometimes I have unfriended them for being jerks about it (e.g. the girl after the 2012 election who said "If you're upset that Romney lost, you are RETARDED"). And a couple times when their posts have showed up in my news feed all the time and gotten really annoying, I've unfollowed them. But that's all. I think Facebook's blocking feature should be used to avoid harassment, not to avoid developing and avoiding conflict resolution skills like an adult, but that's none of my business. Speaking of controversy, it's a bit late, but this video in reference to NARAL's anti-baby gaffe made me laugh.
Last night was the Ladies' Choice Dance at the institute, and someone unexpectedly asked me the night before that. Since I didn't think I was going to get asked this year I had been planning to talk about last year instead so that's what I'm going to do. I didn't expect to get asked last year either and that was fine. Most guys didn't, because most girls weren't asking anyone, either because they were hypocrites or they just wanted revenge. When the dance was announced in class my teacher felt confident saying, "Guys, go ahead and make other plans, because none of you are getting asked to that," and none of them argued.
When some unknown number texted me to ask if I had a date for it I thought I was about to become the victim of some tasteless prank, but I wasn't. She did that thing where you make the person look up scripture verses and pick out certain words to string together a sentence. In the meantime I was wondering who this could be that could have gotten my number without being a total stalker, and I suppose it was kind of arbitrary to add that caveat but she turned out to be one of the seven roommates of this girl I had met like a month ago and hung out with a few times. I didn't know if she was interested in me or just lost a bet. There was one time when we were all walking past the cemetery at night and I scooped up a plastic flower on the sidewalk and gave it to her, and she kept it, but who knows if that meant anything.
All the roommates and their dates were going together. I made sure to show up on time, but then we had to wait nearly an hour for one of the dates to show up. Everyone was in the lobby talking but I just sat on the floor and listened because I'm not talkative in big groups. Then we walked over to the institute on the opposite end of campus, and my date and I were soon two blocks ahead of everybody else because she was the only girl not in high heels. This allowed us to talk freely and that was really nice. Then there was a lot of food at the dance, and I'm a slow eater, so I spent too much time eating and probably annoyed her. And then we were all planning to leave early and make pancakes, but we ended up only leaving like five minutes early, so I had to go home because my perpetual sleep problems didn't leave me in a position to stay up late on the weekends like a normal college student. "Just sleep in tomorrow," one of them suggested. Ha! If it were only that simple... But after I got to bed I just lay wide awake for three hours, so I might as well have stayed.
In decorating for that dance as part of the Service Committee, I had stuck cheap old records to the gymnasium walls. One of them - I wish I could remember its title - had a painting of a couple cuddling under a tree on a hill at night, looking down at an orchestra in the valley. I noted that the year of release was 1963, and when I think of 1963 I automatically think of the civil rights movement. So on a whim, I looked more closely at the orchestra. To my astonishment, although their heads were just dots of paint, still it was quite unmistakable that every single orchestra member was white, yet the conductor was - wait for it - black. I thought that was really interesting. I told my date later while we were walking there. I don't think she thought it was interesting. She just kind of smiled and nodded as if to say "Oh, I didn't realize you were one of those people."
Well, after that night I didn't know what to do, so to stall for time I invited her to my stake's dance that was conveniently the following week. I don't understand the purpose of having dances for only one stake in Utah. It's like deliberately narrowing down the options. Oh well. Anyway, she couldn't make it and then she went on a mission and that was the end of that.
I'm still on the Service Committee so I was in on the planning and decoration for this one as well. I don't participate much in those meetings, though. They were like, "Okay guys, think of some fifties and sixties themed decorations." And I immediately thought, A sign that says "Whites Only". There's a reason I keep most of my thoughts to myself.
This week I decided to continue the theme of love songs in foreign languages. Even my French friend Marie, whom I asked about the meaning of the lyrics, thinks this one is weird. But I like it, and the video is full of non-stop action. Will Elli open the window? Watch and find out!
Elli et Jacno - Anne Cherchait l'Amour
I heard a florist commercial on the radio that was technically just as manipulative as the jewelry commercials I despise, but it was more forgivable because it was just a seasonal thing, flowers are much cheaper, and the person teased prospective customers instead of kissing their butts. "You'll come out smelling like roses," she says, "which is much better than what you usually smell like!" I respect that kind of gumption. Speaking of commercials...
The kind of football I like is the kind that everyone who isn't American has in mind when they use that word. You know, soccer, where the players actually use their feet to kick the ball. Make sense? I'm not crazy about American football. I went to the first game during my freshman year of college and never bothered to go again, because the action stopped about every five seconds. Woohoo! Not. But I can agree to disagree. If you like American football, good for you. Anyway, I wouldn't have bothered watching the Super Bowl except that my neighbors invited me and it was a good opportunity for food and and male bonding, two things I could use more of in my life. The price I paid was that the puppymonkeybaby will now haunt my dreams forever. Would you just sit there and let that thing dance on your coffee table and give you drinks and lick your face? I wouldn't. I'd be like, "Hey, you little abomination against God, get out of my house."
So, I just thought this Doritos commercial was whatever...
...but now I absolutely love it, because it's angered some people who deserve to be angry.
1. The term "anti-choice" is moronic and I can't believe people actually use it in complete seriousness. You don't see me calling pro-choicers "anti-life", do you? Though it would clearly be appropriate in some cases, but we'll get to that in a moment.
2. Sexist though it may be, I actually was clueless. I didn't, and still don't, understand what's wrong with eating Doritos or any other snack item during an ultrasound.
3. The doctor in this commercial clearly said "any day now", which even I, an Aspie with limited understanding of metaphors and slang and hints and implications, clearly understood to mean that the baby, I mean fetus, was going to be born very soon. Yet the toolbags at NARAL have a problem with "humanizing" it nonetheless. According to their logic, I suppose the baby, I mean fetus, is not human and has no rights as long as it remains inside its mother, but the birth canal is lined with fairy dust that magically turns it into a human as it emerges. Strange how a mindless obsession with "choice" can lower your IQ by 70 points.
Then this bit...
...apparently upset one of their smaller affiliates.
Go on, try to convince me that these are decent and well-intentioned people who just happen to be slightly misguided. I dare you.
Their astonishingly lame attempt at backpedaling:
And maybe... just maybe... it's none of their business. Their idea of "family planning" is to kill unborn family members. Anyway, NARAL ProChoice Ohio got something else to complain about just a few days later when Ohio joined the list of states that have defunded Planned Parenthood. That $1.3 million will be redirected to other women's health initiatives that are not affiliated with abortion providers, but mainstream media coverage has unsurprisingly "forgotten" to mention that.
Of course this commercial was my favorite owing to the sci-fi elements.
Knowing me, you might expect that I hate Valentine's Day with a passion, but you would be wrong. It's just whatever, and I actually find the people who complain about it to be more annoying. Having said that, I have to agree with the assessment of self-proclaimed dating doctor David Coleman, who has come to speak at USU a few times but was unable to help me because darn it, he's a doctor, not a miracle worker. He doesn't like Valentine's Day because romance is supposed to be spontaneous and surprising and Valentine's Day is the exact opposite of spontaneous and surprising. He has a work-around for that, though. He suggests that guys (or girls who believe in equality) get their significant other something the day before and say "I just couldn't wait another day to show how much I love you." And then if she hates it, he says, you can be like "Haha, I was totally kidding" and you still have time to get something else. Though personally I would suggest you just dump her and find someone who isn't an entitled brat.
Also, like most holidays, it provides an opportunity for me to buy myself candy without guilt. Spending money usually feels like tearing away little pieces of my soul, but this time I can justify it by pointing out that I'm only spending a fraction of what I would be spending anyway if somebody loved me. And that's not even taking into account the post-holiday sale on the seasonal stuff. I love those little powdery candy hearts with the banal little messages. They need to come in a jumbo size with messages like "I want to have thoughtful, intelligent conversations with you." In homage to Valentine's Day I am going to repost this clip from "The Red Green Show" that I posted months ago, because I had fewer readers then and those who have already seen it may have forgotten it sufficiently by now to find it funny again. As always, I hope that by watching it here you will come to subconsciously associate it with me and find me funny by extension.
Probably no one loves Valentine's Day more than my old roommate. Last week he bore his testimony about how we should change our perspective to think about all kinds of love and not just romance, and think about our friends and family and all the people who love us and that we love. He said that if he could, he would visit each and every one of us to show us that he cares. And then he gave the congregation a conspiratorial grin and said, "Some of you know what I do for Valentine's Day." To anyone who didn't, it must have sounded much creepier than it actually is. This is what it actually is.
I was excited by a table outside the campus store advertising $2 cremations, but then I realized they were actually "carnations". I don't even have any dead people to take care of, but I would've had to find some, because how could someone pass up a deal like that?
I'm not even going to be cynical, but I will be lazy and recycle something I've already posted again. In homage to Valentine's Day, here is a song whose title translates as "Salute to Love", already featured on my racist page about Indians because I danced to it in the finale of USU's Diwali Festival in 2011. I've listened to it too many times and now I don't get the same thrill I felt the first time I heard it, but it still seems like the best choice with its generic yet all-encompassing theme. Ignore the risqué bit.
I meet their stares for a moment, then look back down at the podium, staring at the swirls of the varnished woodwork as I listen to my heart pound. I clear my throat. As always, for the first few moments I'm uncertain whether I'll be capable of speaking at all. Then I manage to force a few words out.
"Insert obligatory joke about being asked to speak and not wanting to speak."
For a horrifying moment, nobody laughs. Then they start, softly at first, but gaining in volume.
I press on. "Actually, I had a dream about this a couple nights ago, and there was this guy speaking before me, and he was just talking about weird stuff like what we should do when we colonize Mars, and he went on for forty-five minutes, and I was just watching the clock and rooting for him to keep going. But I woke up before he finished."
They laugh some more. That part is a true story.
"For those of you who don't know me, my name is in the program. If you want to know more, just visit my website. But I won't tell you the address right now because that would probably be an abuse of my podium privileges."
They laugh some more. Finally, the tension level has decreased from paralyzing to merely crippling, and I can continue on with the topic at hand. The last time I did this was a year and a half ago, and I had hoped that I would be better at it by now; that I would, I don't know, maybe be able to look at the audience while I'm talking. Everyone says they get nervous but I've never seen any speaker who shared my inability to maintain higher brain function while looking at the audience. I get through it in a little over five minutes, and then since the third speaker is sick, the poor girl after me is left with about twenty minutes for her own talk, but she fills it nicely. Afterward everyone congratulates me and says they loved my talk, and she does too, but her face is kind of weird, as if she's perplexed and slightly annoyed that I'm getting all the glory when she clearly outperformed me in both the quantity and quality departments. Maybe I'm just reading too much into things.
I invited three people to come listen. All three said they would be out of town. The morning of it, however, one of them said she had canceled her trip on account of the weather and would be showing up after all. That one was Debbie (see last week's post). Afterward she started acting weird. We had a delightful Facebook chat a couple days later, though.
Sonnet 90 by Petrarch:
She used to let her golden hair fly free
For the wind to toy and tangle and molest;
Her eyes were brighter than the radiant west.
(Seldom they shine so now.) I used to see
Pity look out of those deep eyes on me.
("It was false pity," you would now protest.)
I had love's tinder heaped within my breast:
What wonder that the flame burned furiously?
She did not walk in any mortal way,
But with angelic progress; when she spoke,
Unearthly voices sang in unison.
She seemed divine among the dreary folk
Of earth. You say she is not so today?
Well, though the bow's unbent, the wound bleeds on.
Shakespeare's rebuttal, Sonnet 130:
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
I don't understand why people who bathed every couple weeks at most would be concerned about bad breath, but there you have it. One of these men has a healthy self-esteem and is not blinded by love. He should probably keep his observations to himself, though.
One of my friends/neighbors recently wrote an opinion piece in the Utah Statesman in which he observed, "When we examine dating in its most primal form, it is a very simple process... [but w]e have built and abide by a set of rules in this process we generally refer to as 'the game.' The game dictates the proper behavior during every step of the way. The proper way to express your interest, how long you have to wait until you contact the person afterward, the after-date texts you must send and when you send them, the exact amount of forward and not caring, and so on. In all that hubbub, saying no has turned taboo."
I couldn't ask for a more perfect summary of why dating, as currently practiced by those rare humans who still date in this century, is stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. A "game", is it? Strange, I was under the impression that games were meant to be fun. And though I feel more often than not as if the "rules" of this particular "game" were crafted for the express purpose of screwing me over (for those who haven't heard/noticed, I'm autistic, and neither can nor want to learn or follow these arbitrary and stupid "rules"), I have yet to hear anyone else express appreciation for them either. No one within my hearing or vision has ever said or written, for example, "I love this game! These rules bring me such joy and exhilaration! Honesty is for chumps!" I suspect that most people hate this crap almost as much as I do but put up with it because "that's just how it is". How asinine it is to be judged not merely by personality and behavior, or even by appearances if you must, but also and perhaps predominantly by an ability to discern and follow "rules" that serve no purpose other than to make life more difficult.
But one cool thing about games is that, unless you're a criminal or prisoner of war in a barbaric ancient society or a student in gym class, no one can force you to participate in them. And I think the aforementioned nonsense is more than just a teensy bit connected with the fact that young single Mormons aren't dating as much as they're "supposed" to despite repeated pleas at all levels of church leadership. So anyway, I was delighted with this opinion piece for telling it like it is, but more calmly than I would have. Tune in next week when I'll stop holding back and share how I really feel.
I do not disrespect or unfriend anyone merely for being pro-choice, but it disturbs me that so many pro-choicers have so little integrity as to keep regurgitating (and I apologize that this is a rude and inflammatory term but I don't want to say "parroting", which is unduly insulting to parrots, who have been found in studies to actually process information in their brains when they speak) the lie that David Daleiden's undercover Planned Parenthood videos were "deceptively edited". Even Planned Parenthood's own analysis that (shockingly) declared Planned Parenthood innocent of any wrongdoing was forced to admit this in pathetically obfuscatory language. David Daleiden was not arrested for "deceptively editing" the videos (because he didn't) but for using a fake ID, which, you know, has obviously never been done by any other investigative journalists ever, and for attempting to purchase fetal tissue. Never mind why Planned Parenthood was letting him attempt to purchase fetal tissue from them if they've never sold any. You're not supposed to do that much thinking.
But if these pro-choicers were willing to let pesky facts get in the way of their worldview, they wouldn't need to keep regurgitating absurd claims that fetuses are "not alive" (first grade level biology disagrees) or "not human" (first grade level biology disagrees) or "just lumps of tissue" (like, let's see here, oh wow, literally every other person on this planet). This willful ignorance of reality is equivalent to clamping their hands over their ears and saying "Lalala, I can't hear you!" The pro-choicers with integrity are those who admit the blindingly obvious fact that fetuses are alive and are human, but just don't care or don't consider their rights on par with those of bigger people. And on that point I agree to disagree with them.
Speaking of disturbing worldviews, let's move on to a less contentious one. I promise I'm not making fun of this person, but just using them as a basis for discussion. Anyone who has followed me for an extended period of time is probably tired of me beating this dead horse. Well, this is my blog and I can beat as many dead horses as I want.
First, it is problematic that people still believe "the Church doesn't support the theory of evolution", which is not true. Although its doctrine is neutral, the universities under its ownership and control teach evolution and if that's not "support" I don't know what is. Second, the phrasing "we don't believe in evolution" irks me just a little bit. I resent being spoken for and lumped in with creationists. I do not share their worldview, I do not endorse their worldview, and I do not respect their worldview, though as a former creationist myself I understand the psychological factors that make it appealing and know it isn't necessarily because they're stupid, as I don't think it is in this person's case (though in other cases it's difficult to draw any other conclusion).
Third, and actually the main point I wanted to make, is the notion of compartmentalizing knowledge and supporting it in some settings but rejecting it in others. What kind of sense does that make? If it's true when you want to talk about dinosaurs then it's true when you want to read the scriptures. Where in LDS doctrine or philosophy is there any support for this kind of compartmentalizing? It isn't rational and it isn't tenable. Sooner or later the cognitive dissonance will become too great to bear and you will have to choose a side in the false dichotomy you have created for yourself. And fourth, categorizing a perceived necessity to reject evolution despite the evidence as something we just won't understand in mortality is a common abuse of the concept of "faith". It's easy enough to say for someone with only a superficial knowledge of evolution, but to those who have actually studied it in any depth, denying its validity is like denying the existence of the sun while you stare at it.
Feedback from my Creative Nonfiction Writing professor: "I love the voice and approach of your writing. It's almost completely stripped of metaphor--which is really interesting to read. I also love how veracious [an actual word meaning honest, not a misspelling of "voracious"] it all feels. It's really refreshing." I hadn't realized until he pointed it out that I don't use a lot of metaphor, but as I thought about it I realized I much prefer simile. Metaphors irk me a little because they're saying that something is something that it's not, when they could just as easily be honest and say that something is like something that it's not.
"Her hair is a golden field of wheat."
"No, it's not. It's hair."
"I just mean that it has properties that remind me of a golden field of wheat."
"Well, that's not what you said. Why didn't you just say that?"
Some time ago I talked about how Kitaro's "Symphony of the Forest" consistently triggered my depression as a child and that it isn't difficult to tell why. I'm slightly surprised, however, that this one didn't, as it includes what sounds like a distraught little girl crying, "Tell me why-hy!" Somehow I actually liked it.
Mike Oldfield - Only Time Will Tell
I created my Facebook page in 2012 and then proceeded to do virtually nothing with it. Now, I'm trying to migrate my witty posts and shares from my personal profile over to there and grow its following so that when I publish my novel I can just make an announcement and thousands of loyal followers will go out and buy it. If you would like to help me achieve this dream and haven't already, please click "like". Look, I've made it easy for you, at least as long as the code works.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
C. Randall Nicholson
This is where I occasionally rant about life, the universe, and/or everything. I'm a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate me without guilt, but I'm also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual.