Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Addendum to ”Totally Innocent Toys?”

A while back I did a post called Totally Innocent Toys?, where I posted some pictures of some really creepy, badly designed toys. Since then, people have sent me some more, that they think I should post in addition to the ones I had. So, here I go.

This one is in exactly the same genre as the Pikachu-vagina in the last post. It’s damned creepy and I can’t imagine why anyone would design something quite in that fashion. Unfortunately I don’t know any source for this one, since it came to me as an e-mail attachment, so tell me if you know who deserves credit for this nasty looking picture. I only know that it makes me exclaim the well-known adage “What the hell ass balls?!”

Then there are... these... They claim that they are lighthouses. I’m not so sure, but if they say so I guess I'll have to accept it. Found here.

Speaking of male reproductive organs though; here are some more cocky pictures. They aren’t toys, but they are clearly aimed at the little children. And they are also very, very wrong.

Here we have Jesus showing his manliness to devout little children. Found on Flickr.

And here is some sort of hanger, in the form of a bear showing his even greater manliness. Found on the excellent FAIL Blog.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Troops: Star Wars/Cops parody

I feel the need to educate some of you people. Several years ago I saw the most amazing parody of both the TV-show Cops and Star Wars. Recently I’ve tried discussing this masterpiece with my fellow nerds and I have found that many haven’t even seen it! Therefore I feel the need to help spread the message of this brilliant work. It's apparently created by a Kevin Rubio in 1997, and I find it utterly hilarious.

So, if you’ve already seen it, see it again. If you haven’t, shame on you! And in either case, here’s the YouTube-version of the video, for your viewing pleasure:

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Monday, June 16, 2008

My Nomination for the Scariest Video Game Character Ever

There are many scary videogames. There are many scary characters. Some would argue that the zombie dogs, as well as various other creatures and characters, from the Resident Evil games are very scary. Some can’t sleep while thinking of that little girl in F.E.A.R., and some people similarly think that the “Little Sister” character from BioShock is someone to fear (while the heavily armored “Big Daddy” from the same game is mostly laughable). Some people fear anything in the Silent Hill games, and a dear friend of mine thinks that Mario is damn right creepy. But I think that another character from various games in the Mario franchise have them all beat.

Freaking Yoshi. That stupid little dinosaur-thing is one of the creepiest things in the world of videogames. Not because of the stupid voice or silly appearance, but simply because of its outlandish biology.

This thing can eat almost anything, and mostly eats fruits and enemies almost half the size of the whole dinosaur. And it can eat lots and lots of them, without gaining in size at all. Now, that isn’t all that strange in the world of videogames. A lot of video game characters can eat many times their weight with no apparent effects. No, what scares me is what happens to the enemies that it swallows.

In some games you can use Yoshi’s freaky tongue to pull an enemy into your mouth, and then squat down to pop out a damn egg. Somehow it seems like Yoshi’s reproductive system (Yoshi is usually said to be male; did I mention that?) is directly linked to the digestive tract, so that food can be made into eggs. And not just egg shells over the corpses of your newly digested enemies; no, as far as I understand they are actual, functional eggs. At least one game I’ve heard of (though haven’t played) lets you put the eggs in nests to make Yoshi-young from the corpses of the beasts you eat.

That is freaky, and it all goes with an amazing speed too. But Yoshi doesn’t really seem to care much about the eggs though, even though there could be its precious sons and daughters in there. No, Yoshi uses its own eggs as a freaking weapon and throws them at enemies, switches, and whatever else needs to be reached or killed.

I’ve got to go back to killing some zombies or something, in some other game. Games with Yoshi in them scare the crap out of me. That is one freaky dinosaur.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Father has Delightful Quirks

Also; I love it when science beats common sense over the head.

At the moment I’m spending some time with my parents, visiting them over much of the summer. Spending time with my father reminds me of one of his most endearing characteristics; he has this charming way of flat out denying that he ever makes any mistakes. It’s always so sweet to see him with the unexpected outcome of something, acting like he knew all along what would happen. One of my favorite examples of this is from when I was in high school.

My father had an old pickup truck that he needed to do some work on, and wanted a convenient way to lift it with his forklift truck. He came to me one day and showed me some sketches he had made for a simple solution.

He had a couple of steel I-beams that he was going to weld together at the right distance from each other, so that he could drive the truck up on them, and lift the whole thing. He wanted me to calculate if the rig would hold the weight of the truck.

Of course, my dad is a classically schooled engineer; he could do that himself. But the task involved a lot of boring fact-finding; things like the distance between the forks of the forklift, the distance between the wheels of the truck, weights of different components, and so on, so I guess that he was just a bit too lazy to do it himself.

Either way, it was no big problem. I had learned how to calculate things like that in school, and it seemed like a simple enough problem. I got the necessary data; I sat down and did the math, and found the answer confusing. I went to my dad and said “Well, according to my calculations it isn’t going to hold.”

He looked at me with surprise. “Of course it is!” he said. “Look at these girders; they’re really thick and sturdy. The truck isn’t that heavy; of course they’ll hold.”

I showed him my notebook and showed how my calculations said that the girders will bend significantly, giving a 20 cm deflection at the ends. He briefly looked over my calculations, couldn’t find any fault in them, but concluded that I must be wrong anyway. After all, the girders looked so sturdy; of course they would hold the weight! He had a great air of “I don’t care what the math says; common sense tells me that this is going to work.”

So, the next day when I was coming home from school, I noticed a couple of bent steel girders sticking out of his scrap metal dumpster at the back of his workshop. I saw a golden opportunity to gloat a bit. I went in to him and was about to innocently ask him about his truck lifting-experiments, when he beat me to it.

He looked up at me from his desk and said, with a totally straight face, “Oh, I tried making that lift. The girders bent to hell, just like we said they would. But you know, I thought, what the hell, might as well try, right? It could have worked anyway, but they bent so much that the truck rolled off.”

So, he managed to make it sound like he was never of a different opinion. It’s really quite sweet; he is so good at not acknowledging at all that he made a mistake, even when it was just the day before.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Poem - Her Tears

Disclaimer, of sorts.
It might be wishful thinking, but I’d like to think that this poem had some actual structure once. But the thing is that I wrote it several years ago, when I could still write poetry, and now I’ve translated it from Swedish to English from memory.
It came out better the first time, but I felt like making an attempt at it, since some recent events with a couple of close friends reminded me of it. It's just very suitable right now, despite lack of flow.

Her tears are my tears
Her tears bring mine

My tears are her tears
They bring more of hers

My tears make her cry
Even more than before
Because she’s so sorry
For making me worry

But I am thankful to her
For being who she is
For making me care
Care enough to cry

But she cries
And I tell her that I want

She cries more because I want
Her to change

But she has misunderstood
I don’t want to change her
I think that she is perfect
Just the way she is

No, her tears make me want to change
The world
So that it will not hurt her

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Friday, June 13, 2008

I Finally Understand Why Homosexuals Shouldn’t be Allowed to Marry

A rough sketch of our impending doom

I’m from Sweden. I have been told that many of us Swedes have a tendency to toot our own horns. I think that sounds like a euphemism for something thoroughly enjoyable, but they mostly mean that we tend to point out the good points of our country every chance we get.

This might be true. I also think that it’s true that Sweden is a pretty decent place. It might even be great, in some respects. It is however not perfect. For instance, we don’t have gender-neutral marriage laws; that is, gay marriages aren’t allowed.

Even if Sweden generally is a comparatively good country for LGBT-persons, I still think the legal rights and general climate for these groups should be improved. I have always believed that allowing gay marriages would be one of many positive steps that should be taken.

There are however tons of websites out there that go on and on about how gay marriages are wrong, how homosexuals getting married to each other will destroy the very foundation of society and how it’s not really an expression of homophobia to not want gay couples have the same rights as straight couples.

Now I’m here to tell you that I have finally seen the light. I have finally seen the danger of men marrying men and women marrying women. Above is a picture where I try to capture this evil. It’s just a rough, quickly drawn sketch because that’s all I had time for, but I think that it still captures the feeling of dread that we all should feel about such acts. Clearly the two women joining together in love are a vile, society-wrecking menace.

Oh, and on a completely unrelated note I just want to tell you that I love both sarcasm and satire.

The reason for my sudden insight is a Swedish organization that is “trying to preserve marriage as a union between a man and a woman” and their website to further this goal. This website is brilliant. I mean, they mostly re-iterate the very same arguments I have seen many times before, but still, they have me convinced.

Some of you might be tired of the entire debate, but I think that it’s still very important (for several reasons that will be presented later on) and therefore I will present the information on that website for those of you who are not Swedish-speaking.

They have a number of arguments, all brilliant, that are repeated again and again, and again, throughout the site. I will try to collect these arguments here and give my own comments on them.

1. Marriage is an ancient tradition and has always been a union between a man and a woman. The life giving union of a man and a woman has been the very foundation of society and that it has been in existence since before the formation of nation-states.

They start out strong, bringing out this “this is the way it’s always been”-argument in the beginning of a petition they have written, protesting gay marriage.

Of course, there are some tiny objections against the claim that marriage as it exists today is the way it’s always been. There have been some changes. For instance, wives are no longer considered the property of their husbands, it isn’t standard practice to arrange marriages for your children and people are allowed to marry people of a different social standing, skin color or religious denomination.

But despite those minor changes throughout history, it is true that marriage is an ancient tradition and as such it should naturally be preserved. All ancient traditions that helped shape our societies should be preserved. Like for instance the abundant slavery that was a cornerstone in the formation of almost all of our civilizations.

OK, so that was a bad example. But still. I’m sure change is still always bad; no one wants a change in the basic structure of our society right?

2. If we loosen up the concept of marriage to include people of the same sex, that will open up for further changes. People will want to marry members of the immediate family, animals and minors.

Yes, of course, this issue can not be treated separately. This is a slippery slope where one thing will obviously lead to another. If we allow consenting adults to marry each other because they love each other and want to spend their lives together, that is obviously going to lead to people marrying their dogs. Provided that the consenting adults are of the same sex, of course.

And it is perfectly reasonable to equate same sex marriage with incest and bestiality. Those things are obviously related and I can’t see how anyone could think that such a comparison is in some way offensive.

3. Heterosexual and homosexual relations are fundamentally different. The union between a man and a woman is a fertile one, while homosexual relationships can’t without help lead to children. This is no small difference; the future of the entire human race depends on it.

This is a great argument. It’s so hard for anyone to refute that two men or two women can’t have children, so obviously we can’t allow them to marry. If we allow that, we will endanger the entire human race.

For instance, imagine that there are two young guys living next door to me. They have fallen in love, moved in together and lived in a blissful relationship for several years and they want to spend the rest of their lives together and because of that they have joined together in a civil union.

Now imagine that gay marriage is suddenly allowed in my country. The lovely young men next door are ecstatic and immediately go and get married to each other.

Naturally that would stop me from ever finding a woman to spend my life with. I will never get children, because there are some gay couples who are married instead of just living together. The connection is so obvious and irrefutable that I won’t even bother explaining it, just like these web pages never seem to explain it.

And besides, it’s obvious that gay marriages are wrong since they can’t produce children. That’s why infertile people, like those who have undergone a vasectomy or women past menopause, aren’t allowed to marry.

Wait, what, they are? Oh, well, anyway… I’m sure the point is still valid; homosexuals can’t marry because that would be an infertile relation, and heterosexuals can marry no matter if their relation can result in children or not. There, that’s clear as day.

4. Marriage is the best thing for the children. Children need parents who have a long term commitment to caring for them. It is the parents who have given the child life and the institution of marriage is designed to strengthen the long term relationship between the man and the woman in favor of their children.

Heterosexual couples are obviously always more likely to have a long term commitment to their children, and more likely to make well informed, planned decisions to have children.

When a man and a woman get children together it is always the product of a long and arduous process of adoption or artificial insemination, which forces them to really think things through and discuss it with several other people.

Homosexual couples however can have children by complete accident or on a whim, without any thoughts or plans for the future.

No, wait, that’s the other way around. Oh well, anyway, even if it sounds likely that homosexuals would have that long term commitment to their children, there are other arguments.

Imagine again that there is a married gay couple living next door to me. Now also imagine that I have gotten married to a woman and have children. The fact that there are homosexual people married to each other out there will naturally change the way I raise my children. If there are homosexual married couples out there I won’t be able to provide a long term commitment to my children.

And besides, if there are homosexuals married to each other just like the children’s parents are married to each other, the children might grow up to believe that homosexuals are just like everyone else. That would probably be bad, for some reason.

5. The institution of marriage protects fidelity. Traditionally marriage is heterosexual and monogamous but according to Andrew Sullivan another view on relationships is common within the gay community. According to him, homosexual men “have a need for additional sexual contacts in a relationship between two men.” This would by extension weaken the longevity of marriage, leading to more divorces.

Andrew Sullivan is an author and political commentator. Also he’s gay. Consequently he knows what he’s talking about. I mean, he’s gay so of course he can speak for every other homosexual man.

If he says that homosexual men are less likely to be faithful and commit to long term relationships we can be certain that he knows what he’s talking about. Just like when Ann Coulter says that women can’t handle money, shouldn’t be allowed to vote and shouldn’t be in the military.

Ann Coulter’s views are of course the view of every heterosexual woman, since she is one herself. And the views expressed by Andrew Sullivan are shared by all homosexual men, since he is a gay man.

And of course there is never any infidelity in heterosexual relationships. Who has ever heard of a man cheating on his wife or a woman cheating on her husband? There is no such thing as heterosexual infidelity, so even if only a small fraction of the homosexual men adhere to Mr. Sullivan’s image of them, they would still present an unprecedented behavior into the world of marriages and destroy the entire institution.

So, obviously marriages, old and new, gay and straight, would all somehow be affected if we introduced gender-neutral marriage laws. There would be a lot more divorces, anyone can understand that.

Never mind that statistics show that during the 15 years homosexual marriage has been legal in Denmark, divorce rates among heterosexual couples have gone down and the rate of new marriages has gone up. Or that Massachusetts, a US state currently offering same-sex marriages, has some of the lowest divorce rates in the country; almost half that of the national average.

Statistics always lie, so such nonsense presentations of facts should be taken in stride. Just because gay marriages don’t have any proven ill effects anywhere is no reason not to believe that it will cause an irreparable breakdown of society if we allow it here.

6. Marriage is between a man and a woman and that is an expression of the fact that men and women need each other. Separately they are incomplete but when a man and a woman marry they form a complete unit.

Yes, that’s why we don’t consider singles functioning members of society. Children, widows and widowers, bachelors and spinsters, celibates, nuns and monks, catholic priests and others who for some reason aren’t married are clearly incomplete persons.

If we allow gay people to marry each other they will be incomplete. If we continue to disallow it however, they will probably find a suitable partner of the opposite gender instead and then they will be complete. It’s all so simple.

7. The institute of marriage is important to society and changing it to let men marry men and women marry women will lessen its importance, which would prove harmful to society.

Of course, the importance of marriage is seen much more clearly if a lot of people live together with the person they love without even being allowed to marry.

8. It is not homophobic to be against gender-neutral marriage laws. In Sweden we already have a form of civil union into which homosexuals can enter and get basically the same legal rights as you would get in a marriage.

This is true. In Sweden civil unions, or registered partnerships as we call them, are of pretty much the same legal standing as a marriage. The only real differences are the name and that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman, while these unions can be between two men or two women.

It is basically a “separate but equal”-approach, of the same kind as during the days of government regulated segregation in the United States. And we all know that segregation is a great idea, because…

No, wait. I can’t really go on anymore. I can’t even pretend to find an argument to why segregation is good. I notice that I couldn’t really pretend to have any good support for the other arguments presented either. I tried to sound positive and have just a bit of a sarcastic tone to everything, but I found that my pro-gay marriage subtext was rapidly becoming actual text.

If I still somehow haven’t been able to express my utter contempt for these arguments against gender-neutral marriage throughout the text, I will tell you now: I’ve really been lying this whole time. I think that all of the arguments I have presented are utter bullshit.

I have never been presented with a single good argument against gay marriages. All the arguments I’ve ever seen has been firmly grounded in emotion. They say the ubiquitous “Oh won’t someone please think of the children!”-line, they warn us that the very structure of society will crumble under the pressure from gay marriages and that the human race will actually die out if we allow “them” to marry.

People who are against gay marriages make it sound like if gays can marry this will affect every single heterosexual marriage as well. It seems that in their reasoning people will stop marrying people of the opposite sex and stop having babies and being productive members of society, if we allow this to pass.

In the real world, where we have rational arguments and can look objectively on facts, we can see that isn’t really the case. In fact, we could argue that one relationship rarely affects another and people will continue being with the one they love, regardless of what the marriage laws say.

So, why is this important to me? I have tried to argue that marriage laws don’t really affect who people will fall in love with and spend their lives with. I have stated that at least in my country civil unions give gay couples the same rights as straight couples. So, aren’t there more important questions to focus on?

Well, this is important for several reasons. First of all I think that it’s important to expose this sort of shoddy argumentation for what it really is, in all areas. People are often coerced into thinking things that aren’t true through statements like those, which look like sound arguments.

In cases like this that is dangerous. Here large groups can promote things like discrimination, segregation and homophobia under the disguise of caring for children and the society. People trust them because people aren’t critical enough sometimes and can’t expose such bad arguments.

This issue is also very important in itself. I really do believe that it is important to allow gay marriages. I will now give you a quick list of reasons for that, which you can critically examine and pick apart at your leisure.

1. Segregation is bad.

This one is obvious to me. In racial segregation it was said that blacks and whites should have the same facilities, at different places. This only served to further the idea that blacks and whites are fundamentally different, which leads to racism.

When we today say that homosexual and heterosexual unions should be separate things with separate names, we are really saying that homosexuals and heterosexuals are different and should be treated differently. That way lies homophobia and bigotry and I frankly feel that the world has had enough of that.

2. …

Wait, I don’t really feel that I need more arguments. Homophobia is bad. Every step on the way towards treating homosexuals and heterosexuals the same helps eliminate homophobia and anti-gay bigotry and that is good for society.

Now, I’m not gay myself. I’m not exactly straight either though. A comprehensive study into my own sexual orientation could actually be interesting, but I’ll save that for a possible future post. Regardless of my orientation though, I can see the ill effects of homophobia everywhere.

One of the worst effects of this is that one of the leading causes of death among young homosexuals is suicide. It is easy to see why, when everywhere in society there is a constant berating of homosexuals.

It must be especially tough when you’re growing up. When you are just discovering your sexuality and find out that you aren’t like everyone else around you, you would need to know that it’s ok.

We don’t need groups who claim that homosexual relationships are kind of like incest and bestiality, that gays are prone to infidelity and that they can’t care for children. We don’t need religious groups who say that homosexuality is an abomination and a sin. And we don’t need laws that state that homosexual relationships are fundamentally different from heterosexual ones.

I think that we should do whatever we can to further understanding and fight bigotry. There are a lot of young homosexuals who think that suicide is the only way out from the mental and physical torture of homophobes. If we can change the climate in society at enough to spare at least one of them from that feeling, I think that is worth a tremendous amount of effort.

Allowing gay marriage is a good step on the way towards convincing people that there aren’t any important differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals, and it requires very little effort.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Short Story - For the One Who Has Everything

As I entered the store I saw a sign saying “For people who have everything” and it actually made me smile. Normally signs like that one, and their variations, tend to annoy me a bit.

You can find them in almost any store selling curios junk and strange gadgets. Due to the male-centric nature of such stores they more often say something along the lines of “The perfect gift for the man who has everything!” and sit atop tables filled with some really strange contraption that no one is ever likely to own.

This time though, the table under the sign wasn't filled with something like that. There were no electric corkscrews with built in short-wave radio transceivers. No toaster ovens with 3-inch LCD status screens. No vibrating keyboards. No boxer shorts that double as refrigerator magnets. There were none of those strange (and usually pretty useless and dreadfully expensive) gadgets that they usually try to sell to people desperate for that unique gift.

Instead it was just an empty table. They had probably just run out of whatever was on the table before but it was still really nice to see to me. Because really, what does the one who has everything need? I would immediately say nothing. And if they already have everything they certainly already have that weird gadget, whatever it is and however inconceivable it is.

So I thought the empty table carried great symbolism. And then I started thinking about what you should actually give the people who have everything.

I thought about it while browsing the store. I also started thinking about what you should give people who has nothing, a question that suddenly seemed just as hard. It felt very hard to know where to begin with people who has nothing when there is so much that they need.

Soon I came to the conclusion that the thing that the one who has everything needs is something that the one who has nothing also needs. After that I suddenly felt done with my shopping, left the store and went home.

As I walked into the apartment I immediately smelled smoke. Quickly running into the kitchen I found my temporary roommate taking something out of the oven.

I don't know what it was before he put it in there, but when it came out it was something black and shriveled up. It didn't look at all edible and looked about as sad as my roommate.

“My life is such a mess,” he said, putting down the severely blackened piece of food in disgust. “I'm still out of a job. I still live with you since I can't afford my own place. My car is gone, my girlfriend has definitely left me for good now and I seem to have lost the ability to cook. I just feel like have nothing going right in my life right now. I have nothing.”

I looked at his sad face for a moment.

“Come here,” I said, waving him over. “I picked something up for you at the mall today.”

He looked surprised and a bit happier and slowly went up to me to see what it was. As he got close I stepped up to him and put my arms around him, drawing him in close to me.

“A hug, just for you,” I whispered by his ear, as he hugged me back.

“Well, then at least I have that,” he whispered back, and I could hear in his voice that he was now smiling that sweet smile of his.

And he was right. He did have at least a hug. And he could have as many more as he would ever want from me, as well as a friendship that should last a lifetime. When he thought about that he seemed to feel that life isn't all that bad anyway.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Number One Beauty Tip

Become more attractive using only one easy, totally safe and absolutely free method.

I don't really care much about how people look, but have been thinking about beauty lately. What people think of as beautiful in people and what people do to achieve beauty.

Every time I go grocery shopping I see those glossy magazines by the check-out line. You know the ones that I mean. For every headline about Paris Hilton's latest escapades there are two about articles that will teach you how to lose weight, fast. And for every headline about something actually important or interesting there are at least ten about what really concerns people; wrinkles, hair loss, fashion, muscles, suntans, breast size, penis size and other things like that.

Every day I get spam. Most of it relates to the same topics as those magazine headlines. Make this or that bigger, alter this, chop that off, get hair, remove hair, get bulked while you sleep, remove wrinkles, and so on, and so forth in all eternity.

So, do you have to do all these things to be attractive? Not that I think many people do truly all of it. It is for instance a very select few who do both breast and penis enlargements. But some people surely do, and a lot of people do most of the things the magazines tell them to. Do you have to spend all of your free time at the gym, the solarium, the health food isle, the stylist and the trendy stores to become someone worthy of a second glance? As you might have guessed by now, my answer is a resounding no.

I don't mind if people dress nice. I don't mind if people who are overweight try to lose some weight; if nothing else there are plenty of good medical reasons for that. Frankly I don't really mind any of the stuff people do to make themselves look pretty, as long as they do it for themselves and because it is something that they enjoy to do. I don't think any of that stuff is really important though.

So, what is it that I actually do think is important? What is this big secret that I'm going to tell you?

Well, the secret isn't that big, really. It can all be summed up in one word:

That's right, that's all I'm asking you to do. Before you start protesting I want you to think about it. When was the last time you saw a really genuine smile directed at you? Didn't it make you feel really good, and really good about the person smiling? Didn't a beautiful smile make that person seem more attractive to you?

If you've answered no to any or all of the above questions you are very different from me and everyone I know. If however you have answered yes to them then you already know what I'm talking about.

All kinds of smiles can be beautiful, and heighten the beauty of the person wearing it. The cute innocent smile of certain young people, the heartwarming smile of someone receiving a well thought-out gift, the infectious smiles of people who are genuinely happy and content, the intoxicating smiles of people deeply in love, the playful grins of up to some surprise… There are thousands of kinds of smiles and they all instill some kind of emotion, which is almost always a positive one.

Now, this may all seem obvious. I still think people should mention it more though. I see too few smiles in my daily life and I find that the world would be a nicer and more beautiful place if people would smile more.

So, from now on, if you are unhappy with the way you look, try not to let it bother you. Try to be a happy person anyway. That is altogether healthier and will make you more attractive to me and most other people in the process.

Click here to read the rest of "My Number One Beauty Tip"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Kind of Have a Dream

A short while back it was 40 years since Martin Luther King, Jr. died. At the day of his death I started thinking about his famous “I have a dream”-speech, and about my own dream. I decided to try to write it down here.

It will soon be 45 years since Martin Luther King made his most famous speech about his dream for change.

Since the days when he made that speech we actually have seen change in the world.

It would be a blatant lie to say that the entire world has risen to the cause of ending bigotry, but we’ve seen the slow, cumbersome wheels of social change turn.

Thankfully, the conditions that King spoke of can now confidently be said to be a thing of the past. The open, horrible bigotry and oppression that existed in those days is now almost unthinkable. But, even so, racism and bigotry is sadly still far, far from dead. I still see it everywhere.

I see black people being subjected to milder variants of the same bigotry, hatred, harassment and subjugation that they have been subjected to for centuries.

I see people being incessantly harassed because they “look Middle Eastern.”

I see examples of vitriolic anti-homosexual and anti-transsexual bigotry everywhere.

I see Asians continually subjected to racist stereotyping and hateful speech.

In this day and age, in some of the most progressive countries in the world, I still see women being treated like second-class citizens; I see them getting paid less and I see them treated as if they were worth and capable of less.

I see people who are considered ugly or overweight, by some people’s seemingly arbitrary standards, being treated as if their physical appearance makes them stupid and worthless.

I see people of all walks of life that express fear and hatred towards people whom they consider to be “different” than themselves.

When I see all this small-minded bigotry all around me, I die a little inside. I would have expected the human race to be able to get past that sort of thinking more easily.

I would have thought that the inalienable rights of all people, which are so often mentioned by great speakers, should be so self-evident that people would treat everyone with the same respect that they demand for themselves. But still, the bigotry remains.

Most of all I see all this bigotry as a symptom of a dangerous “us versus them”-mentality.

People are still all too quick to associate and relate only to those who share a superficial likeness with them. People who, for instance, have the same skin color, the same nationality or the same gender as yourself are assumed to have other things in common too, while those who don’t share those attributes are assumed to be different.

Well, like the late Martin Luther King, I kind of have a dream, too.

I dream of a world where there is no longer any need for brilliant orations like King’s speeches.

I dream of a future when such things are firmly put behind us as a thing belonging to the past, only remembered to remind us not to go back to the foolish way we used to act.

I dream of a time when each and every person exclaims with pride and conviction “I am a minority of one, and so is everyone else.”

In my dream people stop automatically considering themselves a part of a group just because they happen to have been born in the same country or with the same skin color.

In my dream people say “I am myself with my own thoughts and ideas. I am not defined by my group; I am not my nationality, nor am I my gender, my skin color or creed. No matter what group I am born or joined into I am still myself, a unique individual, and so is everyone else. I can not be judged based on my group, and neither can they. I am just as likely to have things in common with someone outside of my group, as with someone in it.”

This world of my dreams would be considered a sad place by many. Many think that it’s sad if you don’t feel an automatic connection to those who happen to have been born into the same group of people as you.

I say that it shouldn’t be considered a sad thing at all.

I say that if we stop concentrating on the broad, obvious similarities such as skin color, we are freer to explore the smaller, but more important, similarities between us; to explore the similarities that can be found between humans anywhere, of any culture, appearance or gender.

I say that we should learn to celebrate the things that bind us together, and explore similarity of thought and ideas, instead of dwelling on superficial things that set us apart. I want us to realize that skin color and other such attributes are simply things we are born with; they do not define us. The important things are those we do after we are born.

Modern societies of freedom and law usually condemn acts of bigotry. There are laws protecting minorities and laws against persecution and hate speech. This is good, but some people see it as enough.

I say that it is not enough.

In my dream people don’t act civil against people different than themselves simply to be law-abiding.

In my dream there is a lack of bigotry not from law and decree, but from understanding and communication.

In my dream we live in a world where we can look upon and treat people, judge, reward and punish them according to their actions and who they are, not what they look like or any other superficial, unimportant qualities.

King said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Those words are as important today as they were then. And I have a dream that we will soon live in a world like that.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Homophobes Should Support the “Gay Agenda”

Today I'll be talking about homophobia and gay rights, but first I want to talk a bit about the American sitcom Friends.

I like Friends; it’s a really nice show. Some of the lines are wonderfully witty and a lot of them can make me smile again and again. One exchange I particularly remember is a dialogue between Ross and his friend Phoebe, in a flashback episode where he has just found out that his wife is a lesbian.

In that scene, Ross stumbles into the bar that used to be their hangout and meets Phoebe. She notices his distress and asks what is wrong.

“My marriage…” he says. “I think my marriage is… is kind of over.”

“Oh no,” she says with concern. “Why?”

“Because Carol is a lesbian… And I’m not one… And apparently it’s not a mix and match situation.”

That line slays me. I think it’s hilarious. Of course the scene has a bitter aftertaste when you remember that this sort of thing actually happens in real life, which is something I find very sad.

What I find even sadder yet, however, is the people who think that it’s sad for an entirely different reason than I do, the people who blame “the gay agenda” for things like this happening.

Now, I’m friends with plenty of gay people and I must admit that I hadn’t even heard of this agenda before I started watching Fox news and listening to American social conservatives. And I must say that after hearing about it I’m shocked; apparently “the gays” and “them damn, dirty liberal fag-lovers” (which I’ve so lovingly been called) have a hidden, secret agenda together.

The ones who are part of this agenda are the people who sometimes mention homosexuality in a positive way. Apparently this is a most nefarious thing to do and is ruining western society by “making people believe that people being queers is something normal” and other bad things like that.

The ones who oppose this obviously despicable agenda claim that it is to blame for things like the aforementioned scene from Friends. Since they love to claim that homosexuality is a choice (and an evil choice, at that!) they think that all these proponents of the agenda are recruiting innocent straight people to join them in their evil, wicked ways. By “making homosexuality seem good and normal” we are obviously tricking people into somehow converting to being gay.

They say that the entire concept of women leaving their husbands for another woman, and men leaving their wives for another man, is all because of this. They claim that these good, married people have been converted to homosexuality and thus the evil gay agenda succeeded in ruining another straight marriage.

That’s the kind of talk I’ve heard many times. What about reality though? What do we see if we ignore the paranoid ramblings of those homophobes?

Well, I’d say that first of all we should see that even if there was such a thing as a hidden gay agenda it would not be at fault for ruining any marriage. In fact, I’d say that those homophobes have things completely backwards; I think that a greater public acceptance of homosexuality actually helps reduce the number of ruined marriages.

You see, the kind of thing that happened in Friends actually does happen in real life. The reason is however not that straight people marry someone and then “turn gay.” People don’t choose or change their sexuality like that.

So no, it’s not the people involved in the “gay agenda” who have converted them. It’s rather that being gay is such a stigma in large parts of our societies. The sad truth is that the oppression against gays makes many repress their sexuality and try to believe that they are straight, or at least act straight in the eyes of the outside world.

Sometimes these people get married. This is often a cover, either to others, to avoid oppression, or to themselves so that they don’t have to accept the truth about themselves. This happened more before, but it still happens today and it’s a sad state of affairs. These people are living a lie and generally have miserable marriages that sooner or later break down.

I like to imagine a world where homosexuals don’t feel oppressed, where young people finding that they have feelings for the same sex see no reason to suppress those feelings, where people can be themselves openly and without question. I want that because it’s the right thing; people should always be allowed to be themselves.

The homophobes who blame “the gay agenda” for the failed marriages between a gay and a straight person should wish for the same world. They should wish for it, because in that world of tolerance and understanding there would of course not be more of that kind of marriage, there would in fact be substantially fewer, perhaps even none.

In a world where that perceived agenda has succeeded in making homosexuality universally accepted there would be no need and no reason for gay people to ever marry straight people. Straights would have no risk of getting involved with someone who doesn’t actually like the opposite sex, because people would be open and frank about their sexuality, eliminating such things.

So even the people (and I use the term “people” quite loosely here) who are complete homophobes should support this “gay agenda.” A world more open and friendly towards gays would only mean benefits even for those who want to avoid homosexuals.

An important thing to note however, and I can’t stress this enough, is that there is no secret, nefarious, hidden gay agenda. All the non-straight people in the world don’t get together in secret meetings with secret literature and plot the downfall of heterosexuality.

The only agenda I’ve seen among gay people is a strong wish to live normal lives; to love who they want without a need to hide it and have relationships just like straight people, without being condemned for it. For most homosexuals this “agenda” just means quietly living their lives, without bothering people. For others it means fighting for their rights by trying to convince people that they’re not doing anything wrong.

It’s the latter group who bother some people and who gives rise to these strange rumors of secret, evil agendas. Many homophobes feel that the mere mention of homosexuality is so bothersome that they want to stop people from talking about it. But remember; if we suddenly live in a society where homosexuality is fully accepted there will no longer be any need for them to fight for their rights, no need to be loud and talk about it. So, again, even homophobes should support this “agenda” so that homosexuals can “shut up about it.”

People being gay just shouldn’t concern you, because the relationships of other people do not involve you. Let people live and love in the way that’s in their nature; it doesn’t affect your life if they love someone of the same sex and if you don’t bother them about it they won’t bother you.

So, support the gay agenda; stop giving homosexuals any reason to be dissatisfied or complain.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dirty Haiku Poems

A friend and I were discussing haiku poetry. For some unknown reason she got on the subject of dirty poetry and mentioned that while dirty poetry exists in all forms it is very unusual to see any obscene haiku poems. Naturally I took that as a challenge.

So, just for the fun of it, here are some of my attempts at it. Some are meant to be funny, some are meant to be sensual and some are merely dirty. Perhaps you will grant us some dirty haiku of your own in the comments?

Be advised; some of these are obscene. You have been warned.

A hot summer night
Her warm wet folds spread and swell
His probing tongue licks

Grass under our knees
Bodies moving fervently
In the style of dogs

A white world outside
Snow and cold depresses them
They fuck to forget

Moans fill the cold night
Legs tremble and buckle in
Orgasmic delight

Firmly tied to bed
Perfect enjoyment during
Complete abandon

A warm spring breeze blows
Soft moans echo through the air
As she blows me too

Dry leaves in the yard
A couple rolling around
Having dirty sex

In the spring she gave
The sweetest proposition
“Fuck my pussy hard”

Sweat forming droplets
Bodies in heat glistening
Moving rapidly

A walk in the woods
A sudden revelation
Public sex is great

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Have Found the Magical YouTube Video

This, dear ladies, gentlemen and others, is a true story. It might seem inconceivable, it might always seem irreverent in its complete departure from the natural order of things, but I assure you that it is what actually happened, even though now it all seems like a dream…

Late last night when I, as per usual, could not sleep, I was roaming around the magical world of YouTube to entertain me. I do not consider myself a part of the YouTube-generation, but I do highly enjoy the site when small injections of entertainment is required.

I was watching various viral videos, most very whimsical, some with a professional veneer, and they were titillating my senses with their variety of views of the world.

Everything was new and everything was like it has always been. The videos were entertaining, but rarely surprising, and the comments below were just as they always are, like all frequent visitors have learned and accepted that they are.

Suddenly I felt a yearning for some classical music. I made a few searches and listened to a couple of versions of some of the more accessible examples of music from days long since gone.

I came across several amateur renditions of Fur Elise, I listened and I enjoyed. Watching hands move across a piano holds strangely little fascination to me though, so while listening I mostly occupied myself with scrolling down and perusing the comments. The YouTube comments holds some sort of morbid fascination to me, so when I don’t have any reason to actually watch the video I often read them like that.

It was the usual snippets of vile bile and wildly uninteresting spam and I was once again wondering why I was even reading them. Then, suddenly, something struck me like a blow to the stomach. While reading the comments to one particular video something was extremely strange.

I rubbed my eyes. I was amazed. Awestruck. Since it was the middle of the night and I was actually starting to get tired I thought I might be dreaming. I had to stop myself and start reading again from the top just to make sure that I wasn’t mistaken.

After a while I could feel certain that I was neither dreaming nor mistaken. What I had first thought was true; there were hundreds of comments, but not an angry or hateful word. There were just… Compliments. Nice things.

The woman playing was not perfect. She was good, very good, much better than I have a chance to ever be. I am duly envious of her talent and the hard work she must have put in. But still, even I could hear some of the mistakes made. Normally any little mistake would be repeatedly pointed out in the comments in vile and insulting ways. Now people saw past trivial mistakes and somehow just complimented her for being talented overall.

I looked through all the comments. It wasn’t just that no one was pointing out the mistakes. No one was saying “Gee, get a fucking life, nerd”. No one wrote that she was fat or ugly (not that much of her could be seen, but that is rarely a problem for those who enjoy posting comments like that) nor was anyone saying that she was “fukking smexy” and that they would like to sex her up.

There was no sign of the usual “Why do you bother putting this shit up? I could do better when I was three years old!”-type of comments. There wasn’t even one person telling her to give up any aspirations of ever getting good and no one told her that the video had wasted their precious time.

My jaw was figuratively on the floor. There wasn’t even any spam!

And now, it all feels like a dream again. I can no longer find the video and though I feel certain that it did exist I can’t really grasp that it happened. It truly must have been a magical video, somehow forcing people do be nice and behave. That video should be used to resolve international conflicts, if it can make people commenting on YouTube be polite and civilized.

Seriously though. I do understand that this has probably happened before. There have probably been many times when a video have gotten at least mostly positive comments. But I think anyone who regularly reads the comments on YouTube agree that (and I do apologize for my language) “What the fuck is up with YouTube commenters” is often a very valid question to ask.

It seems like a majority of the people commenting truly do not enjoy a single video they watch but they still keep coming back, spreading their hatred in the comment-sections of video after video. Not to mention all the people claiming that videos were a waste of their time, while they still take the time to actually comment. It’s all very confusing to me.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Comments on "Sex, God, and Marriage"

Several times I’ve seen Google Ads for a “Free ebook on handling sexuality in a way that pleases God”, called Sex, God, and Marriage. I hate that book.

The book, written by Johann Christoph Arnold, claims to be a book that will help people deal with their relationship. I guess that’s what it is trying to do too, and of course I don’t have anything against that. What I do have something against is how they express themselves.

The book blatantly ignores the common knowledge that no two relationships, and indeed no two people, are the same. They are not saying “You should try this” and “This might be a good idea”; they are telling people that there is one and only one thing to do, and that if they don’t, then God Almighty will be very cross with them.

Words like “sin”, “abomination”, “perversion” and “demonic forces” are thrown around a lot, and I see this as a problem. The book has a very impressionable target audience and it is very authoritative in its style; the author clearly think that he both knows and speaks God’s own will, it is riddled with bible quotes and there is a foreword by Mother Teresa.

Couple this with that the book tells us that virtually everything that has to do with a normal, healthy sexuality is in some way sinful and dirty, and I strongly suspect that it leads to some very confused and ashamed youths. Their bodies are telling them one thing, the Word of God (by proxy of Mr. Arnold) tells them another, and when they can’t keep themselves from “sinning” they are likely to get very ashamed and depressed.

Here is an illustrating quote from early on in the book:

“Perversions – masturbation, homosexual practice, pornography, premarital sexual intercourse, divorce and remarriage – have become increasingly accepted“

And he says that as if it is a bad thing!

I admit that I’ve read far from the entire book. But I did read some of it, just because my first glance at it bothered me so much. I hate it when people preach intolerance and ignorance under the guise of religion. Religion gives people such a good defense against rational discussion.

I will now pick on this book a bit by giving you some quotes from the parts that I read, and my own sinful comments on those quotes.

Wives, for their part, should give themselves in love to their husbands as they are able, even if their joy in doing so is not the same as it was in earlier years (1 Cor. 7:3-4). Otherwise a husband may be tempted to seek other outlets for his sexual impulses.

The amount of sexism in this single quote confounds and angers me so much that I feel the need to make a numbered list of things that bothers me about it. Remember kids, numbered and bulleted lists are fun!

  1. The bible verses in question don’t say that at all, at least not according to my reading of them. In my interpretation they are actually very much for equality in a marriage. Of course this is also an example of why have such problems with books like this; the authors always seem so sure that their particular interpretation of their Holy Texts is correct, and they feel entitled to condemn and command people in accordance to that particular interpretation.
  2. Saying “A wife must give herself to her husband whenever he wants it; God says so” is just so completely wrong, in so many ways, and almost any moral standard would agree. According to my personal moral standard it is certainly unjustifiably evil. But it’s usually glossed over as pretty much ok as long as it has religious basis; after all “we must respect their beliefs”.
  3. The whole quote also works under the assumption that sexual urges is a very male thing. This is a very outdated view, from the time where the entire female sexuality was suppressed by society (which it still is to a much lesser degree), assuming that women don’t crave sexual pleasure and release. This is of course patently false; women have their sexuality just like men, and if the man’s lust dwindles before the woman’s (which is in fact very common), she will also be “tempted to seek other outlets for her sexual impulses”. But the author ignores this and says that only women have the obligation to keep up with sexual relations to keep their spouse happy.

Also, this quote says that if people don’t get sex, they will seek other outlets for their sexual impulses. Oh, cue the loud interjections of surprise! Of course people do that. But the author wouldn’t have to order wives to give themselves to their husbands against their will if he didn’t spend much of the rest of the book condemning masturbation.

Of course, the author tries to subvert the image of him as a sexist pig several times, by claiming that he is all for equality in relationships. But I feel that his heart isn’t really in the whole equality-thing. There are several quotes along the lines of the above one, and the fact that he sees fit to include wonderful Bible verses such as “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything”, from Ephesians 5:22-24.

In some school districts an appreciation and understanding for the homosexual lifestyle is encouraged: it is, our children are told, a perfectly acceptable alternative to heterosexual marriage

Again: they say that as if it is a bad thing!

The whole book contains numerous examples of gay-bashing. The author does his best to deny this in one section, saying that everyone is a sinner and that he’s not advocating judging homosexuals worse than other sinners. That would be all well and good, but I have a hard time believing him when he just goes on and on about the abominable sin of “homosexual conduct”; he really does seem to have a big giant stick up his ass about it, and he really does seem to judge homosexuals harsher than all the other sinners.

For instance, Mr. Arnold says:

“In Leviticus 18:22-23, God calls homosexual intercourse an abomination: ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.’ And in Leviticus 20:12 we read, ‘The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties. They have brought it upon themselves.’ Let those who discount such prohibitions and warnings by explaining that we are now ‘no longer under the law, but under grace’ then explain why incest, adultery, bestiality, and human sacrifice are not to be ignored. All of these are condemned in the very next sentences”

I guess what he is trying to say that if we take one part of the bible to heart, then we must take it all. Since we still condemn things like human sacrifice we must also condemn homosexuals; they are both in the same chapter of the Holy Book, after all.

So, let’s see what else Leviticus tells us.

Well, shrimp and other crustaceans are of course an abomination (Lev. 11:10), as is “every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (a very exact definition indeed!) (Lev. 11:41) and they should not be eaten. Likewise we should not eat swine or touch their carcasses, since they are unclean (Lev 11:7-8). Naturally you should never wear a garment made from both linen and wool, nor plant two different crops in the same field (Lev. 19:19). And don’t forget that you’re not allowed to cut the corners of your beard (Lev. 19:27) or get tattoos (Lev. 19:28).

Now, I would say that today very few consider these things serious crimes or sins, and I would guess that Mr. Arnold himself rarely crusades against shellfish or clothes made from mixed fabrics. But for some reason he seems to think that the brief mention of homosexuality is still very important. I can’t for the life of me understand how he knows which verses are important and which are not, though.

In many curricula students are graphically taught (sometimes by way of films) about various sexual practices, including masturbation, and about “safe” sex. [...] Some schools even have students pair off to discuss topics such as foreplay and orgasm. […] Abstinence, if not entirely ignored, is mentioned only in passing.

Oh great, another proponent of abstinence only sex education. These people seem to believe that kids actually won’t have sex if we just tell them to abstain. They think that there is no need to tell people about things like sex and protection, because if we just preach abstinence they won’t be having any sex anyway.

Mr. Arnold seems convinced of this, and says “All the same, there is a danger in giving a child too many biological facts about sex. Often, a factual approach to sex robs it of its divine mystery” and “Haven’t we seen by now that knowledge is no safeguard, and that sex education as taught in most schools has only increased sexual activity?”

Seriously people; we live in a world where there are Catholic priests who rape children. If we can’t get every priest, people who have taken holy vows and gone through lengthy training, to act in even a halfway decent manner, then who the hell do you expect to get every kid to go against their natural urge to have sex?

Sexuality is one of the strongest, most noticeable parts of us, especially in young people. Young people have sex; that’s just the way it is. Not everyone, but very many. The “don’t tell them anything about it”-line just seems stupid and dangerous when considering that. Surely telling them that if they have sex they should use protection and so on, isn’t a bad idea?

I am not against teaching abstinence. Of course abstinence is always the best way to avoid both STDs and unwanted pregnancy. Most kids don’t want to abstain, but some might and it’s not a bad thing to tell them that it might be good. But it’s the abstinence only thing that gets to me.

Abstinence only education is what has given many Florida teens the belief that drinking a cap of bleach will stop HIV, and that Mountain Dew and marijuana can stop pregnancy, as reported in this news story.

Many abstinence only-proponents claim that if we tell kids about anything more than the bare necessities about sex, they will invariably be sex-crazed maniacs and there will be tons of teen pregnancies and abortions.

I’m not so sure about that though. The Netherlands, for example, is a very liberal country with comprehensive sex education. If you look at the statistics cited in this Washington Post article, you see that they have just a fraction of the teen pregnancies and teen abortions that the United States has. This article shows some more figures for the Netherlands, which shows lower rates of STDs too.

Yes, statistics lie. If you don’t know the whole cultural context for figures like this, the statistics are somewhat worthless, I realize that. But, the most important thing to note here is that the abstinence only-proponents often claim that a more comprehensive sex education invariably leads to higher rates of STDs and teen pregnancies, and we can clearly see that isn’t true.

I am of course far from alone in thinking that abstinence-only education is bull. Here are some resources found on the Wikipedia page on abstinence (sources available on the page for anyone who does not trust this):

“Abstinence-only education has been criticized in official statements by the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the American College Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Public Health Association, which all maintain that sex education needs to be comprehensive to be effective.”

Of course, there is another type of people also against comprehensive sex education in schools. They claim that schools shouldn’t teach kids about sex, because that’s their parents’ job.

I kind of agree that parents should teach their kids about such things. But it is a fact that far from all parents will do that. We do not live in a perfect world, and most parents are too embarrassed about the subject to mention it more than in passing. Did the parents of the aforementioned Florida teens take their responsibility to teach the kids about sex, protection, and basic common sense? I wouldn’t think so. If they had, those kids wouldn’t be drawing from their repositories of unsubstantiated rumors and feel “oh it’s ok that we didn’t use protection; good old bleach and Mountain Dew will cure all!”

Kids are imperfect, parents are imperfect. Schools are very far from perfect, but at least it’s a somewhat controllable institution that can be used to propagate vital knowledge (one might even assert that it is a primary function, of sorts, for schools).

Young people underestimate the powers of the demonic forces they allow into their lives when they give in to impurity. Take masturbation for example. […] Increasingly, parents, educators, and ministers of our day claim that masturbation is healthy and natural; many see it as just another form of stress release.

Apparently, we are supposed to tell kids “Absolutely no sex! Sex is deadly and wrong and sinful”, then tell them “Oh, and don’t masturbate either! That’s unhealthy, unnatural, and such a bad sin that you let demonic forces into your life if you partake in it!”

So, we are actively trying to traumatize them? Seriously; as previously mentioned, all young people have strong sexual urges. That’s how a species survives, and it’s of course entirely natural. Besides there being numerous health benefits to masturbation, people will always want to masturbate just because that’s how we work. So, when young people are told by someone speaking for the Supreme Authority that all of their urges are unhealthy, unnatural, and somehow related to demons, how do you think that they will feel lying alone in bed at night, fighting said urges?

And if we are now aiming for decreased sexual activity among young people, and they are told that masturbation lets in demonic forces in their lives (while pre-marital sex is just a normal sin), do you think that they will be more or less likely to have sex, rather than masturbate, to handle the sexual urges?

To me it feels like young people masturbating gives them great opportunities to get to know their own bodes, get sexual relief, stress release, pleasure and entertainment without any risk of STDs or unwanted pregnancy. But of course there are always people like Mr. Arnold who thinks that’s just all too good and want to stop it.

Contraception undermines the fulfillment and fruition of two who are one flesh

The guy who wrote this book really hates contraception. The whole “spilling one’s seed without the intention of knocking someone up” really gets to him, and he seems convinced that all relationship failures are because of people having sex to actually enjoy it.

Every time he mentions contraception he uses quotation marks around the word “safe” in “safe sex”, using scare quotes tactics to drive home his point that he doesn’t consider safe sex safe at all. This is another pattern of behavior that I really hate among people like this.

Yes, no protection is 100% perfect. People like Mr. Arnold tend to severely exaggerate the risk of failure, but the truth is still that condoms don’t work every single time.

The important point is though that people will have sex. People will also have sex with partners whom they can’t know are “clean”, they will have sex at times when pregnancy is unwanted, and they will do so regardless if there is protection available or not. Now, a condom protects against STDs and unwanted pregnancy almost every single time, so of course it’s a very good thing to use them.

But when people like Mr. Arnold keep exaggerating the failure rates many seem to think that it isn’t worth the bother. When things start heating up and the young couple realizes their lack of condoms, some seem very liable to think along the lines “but people say those things don’t work anyway, so screw it”.

Of course, the Catholic Church is famous for aggravating the problems of HIV and poverty in many areas, by actively campaigning against condom use. Mr. Arnold seems keen to join in that fun; wanting to help spread venereal disease and contribute to the problem of overpopulation. What a man.

Only a few decades ago, transsexualism – the practice of undergoing a surgical male-to-female or female-to-male sex change – was unheard of. Today this godless practice is gathering momentum across the western world. The enormous cost of these surgeries alone is a crime against humanity when one thinks of the widespread hunger and poverty in the Third World and in our own American ghettos.

This statement really saddens me. Saying that sex reassignment therapy is a “godless practice” is just evil. People born with the wrong physical gender sometimes really do need those operations to be able to live with themselves. Telling those who need it that it is godless, and in extension a crime against humanity, is something I just find sick.

Every year many transsexuals are killed because of the social stigma against them. Guys like Mr. Arnold certainly aren’t helping by telling people that they commit crimes against humanity… It would sadly not surprise me if he has at least one murder on his conscience, by someone who took his words to heart and thought they would rid the world of a dangerous threat.

What would we be if God had not breathed his breath into us? Darwin’s whole theory of evolution, by itself, is dangerous and futile because it is not God-centered. Something inside of us cries out against the idea that we have been hatched by a purposeless universe.

Why do certain religious types feel the need to drag the theory of evolution into absolutely everything? This was supposed to be a book about relationships and sex, but the author obviously thought that it was incomplete without some evolution-bashing, no matter how much of a non sequitur it is.

The theory of evolution is a bit of a favorite of mine, as far as scientific theories go. I could write a whole post just on how certain religious groups misrepresent the theory (and I probably will some time), but for now I’ll try to keep myself short.

I just want to say that, yes, it is totally true. Evolution is not God-centered. Mr. Arnold is right about that. This does not, however, mean that it is incompatible with religion, nor does it try to “disprove God”.

Scientific theories are the conclusions and predictions that come naturally and logically from observing and examining observable reality. God is by definition supernatural and not included in the natural, observable. You can’t make any accurate predictions starting from the premise “God did it”, so science does not concern itself with Gods.

This does not automatically mean that scientists try to say that there is no God, or that the universe is purposeless, or that we came from nothing. It only means that God is not useful in science since it does not involve anything that can be measured and quantified. Very many scientists, and very many evolutionary biologists, are religious. Many are not religious. Religion and science have very little connection to each other; stop trying to make science out to be some evil, atheist plot.

I’ll leave things at that. I know that most of the book’s target audience will never read this post, but I still wanted to give my thoughts on the book. Hopefully the people reading this post understand what a stupid and potentially dangerous book it is.

Note; as I didn’t read the whole book myself I might have been unfair towards it in some case. If you suspect me of malicious quote mining, feel free to check out the book for yourselves; it is free after all.

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