Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hoot on Top of the Holler

Since about 2006, Peryton and I have been driving past a certain spot on I-71 (going from Cleveland to Columbus) and seeing the Travel Lodge Inn sign at the crest of a ridge of hills and thinking that the spot would make a great place for a Hoot. So nine years later, we finally have one of the get-togethers there. The specific spot is right at the I-71/SR 13 intersection, which seems to an area that has a lot to do with Mannsfield, Ohio without actually having to visist that city.

JerryTel sounded interested when I mentioned this particular gathering, but then remembered a previous date in Germany or Tibet, or somewhere. My younger sister Caed, tried her best to come up with excuses to avoid coming, but even her first grandchild was born earlier than was expected so the woman finally just submitted and agreed to show up. Drew, from Spacers, and Beckett also were coming as well without half as much hassle. There were a couple of folks that mumbled something about let me ahead of time, but I have my own scheduling to keep track of, let alone theirs, so I just called them a wash months ago. But on April 24th around 3pm, I was picking up Peryton from her workplace and we en rout to Exit 69 on I-71, or the Mansfield exit commercial district come hell or high water.

The afternoon/evening went beautifully. Caed started texting me that she was Ashland, just as we drove past that city, picking cheese from Grandpa's Cheese Barn and would be a little late. When we checked in, Pery and I realized that we weren't actually at the top of the hill, but in the lower complex of the motel. Still, we had arrived, and there was a Mexican food restaurant right on the premise. There my sister would meet us and help Pery finish a pitcher of margarita. Around 8-9pm, Beckett and Drew, from Spacers, would show up as well and the festivities were underway.

Friday and Saturday were spent with role-playing and lots of jokes, and bit of napping between the two. We didn't see much else of the town around us, except other local dining establishments, but I was on top of world. Or at least I was on top of hill finally. I think I might just make the spot my preferred place for future hoots dedicated to playtesting my scenarios. It really was a good time.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"democrat"= Stunt Men and King of Siam

On the Daredevil series on Netflix and Hillary Clinton.

Netflix's Daredevil is definitely showing the producers of DC's mass audience "street level" TV (like Arrow and Gotham) shows how to make a street-level superhero . At the same time, the show where Marvel tends to be wrong about life, or in other words, wrong-minded.

Anybody else notice a lack of anybody making over 90K a year in this scene?
From the first episode, we, the viewers, learn that Matt Murdock is a dude that likes to get into fights. He happens to have been blinded in an accident involving toxic wastes. The chemicals are brushed aside to focus upon his family that is nominally Catholic but grossly dysfunctional to where the eleven year-old(?) kid knows how to apply sutures.  At least up to the seventh episode, we learn that Mister Murdock is a super physically-fit, a genius, and has superhuman abilities because he disabled. And Scott Glenn jumps in to show what dickish super ninjas all blind people really are around that particular episode. This is actually unlike every person that we actually have met that is legally blind , but who cares? I think the show is actually written by a machine using Blade the TV series algorithms.

Instead, we should be focusing on the evils of Mandarin-speaking old-women consorting with crude Russians, stylish Japanese, a dude that wears glasses and is good at math, and also polite hipster that also speaks Mandarin. These evil sorts don't seem to like actually fighting nor are particularly good at it. That an neurotic, overly intellectualized man who might, or might not, have testosterone issues, is their leader is not the least of the protagonists' problems. It's something about corrupt cops, peddling drugs, local TV, and prostitution all being a second evil compared to gentrifying a neighborhood.

Ignoring the rather exploitative mixed cliches going on here, I don't get Daredevil being anything but a block bully. He needs a fight, it isn't until the fourth episode of this show that the audience is given any sort of justification for his behavior, unless you count his unethical father finally deciding that he didn't like working for Italians. He uses the discomfort that the unfamiliar brings as his excuse for brutality and offers nothing but his "best friend" exemptions as the pay off for it.

For me, for all the confusion I felt watching Arrow and Gotham, I didn't feel so "nativistic" about the message being proclaimed while watching those shows. Dude, I already live in a depressed area, I read Spanish and have black friends, but the Russians, Asians, and rich people just don't scare me that much.

I am reminded of my picture when entering Army basic training.
And now for Hillary's fair shake.

I like voting. Better yet for most of the Democrat Party members (Lil' W apparently let it slip), I like voting to the "Left" of Republican. That said, I didn't vote for Barack Obama in 2008. While it is none of anybody's business who I voted for, please understand that it was still left of Republican. Perhaps I was making it too hard to re-enter the fold of the Two-Party system when Obama could not close down Guantanamo?

Okay Hillary Clinton has announced that she is running. Boringly, I am unsurprised. I keep hearing that news outlets that I have enjoyed listening to for decades are surprised at the announcement. I keep seeing advertisements of people oblivious to the news of the last fifteen years are living their lives and are also surprised by the announcement. So since Muslim terrorists haven't nuked Manhattan nor a black person isn't running for president, the electorate is supposed to have forgotten what is going on in the USA since 2001?

Oh give it break DNC. In 2003, Mrs. Clinton was flying around in a helicopter. These days, she's riding around in a minivan. Do you over-react much? She is still saying nothing to everybody and meaning what?

Monday, April 06, 2015

 I've just finished re-reading the English language Bible for the third time in my life.  I've actually read the work six times if you count the times I've read "it," in other languages. One was Das Buch, in German and two were the on-line texts for students of Latin available to many from the University of Maryland and Concordia University of San Marcos, Texas.

Mind you, I am a poser when it comes to academic scholars. I've only read the Penguin Books version of the Torah once. I've only read three English versions of the Quaran. I'm pretty up-to-date on English language Hindu and Buddhist texts.  

The funniest thing about being an atheist is how much religious material that I am familiar with. Frankly that comes from both my trying-to-be-literate upbringing and the demands of responding to so much rhetoric from religious sorts. I gave up about a decade ago trying to make religious sorts see the error of their ways. Consequentially over the last couple of years, I've given up trying to preach to fellow atheists on the best approach towards dealing with the hordes of religious sorts all around them every day of their lives. The first modus operandi is because Vishnu/Jewish/Buddha/Jesus/Koran-smokers are too stoned to listen. The later is because, thanks to atheism, I've realized that no one wants to be told what to do. Even the godhead of Judaism, Christendom, and Islam only suggest (SHALL versus "must") anything.

Beyond learning that these sort of texts justify the most immoral behavior in people, there isn't much to garner from them beyond shallow poetry (IF ONLY REVELATIONS WAS AS GOOD AS ITS HYPE). Any supposedly important messages, like say all of the Ten Commandments, are violated by the very holiest of characters contained in the book after the set rules from whoever's sky god. In short, scripture works best if the person proclaiming this or that has an audience that hasn't read it. The tales read all together at best, "the Bible" would make a really big mini-series on HBO. More than likely it inspires three years of really soft porn and incoherent violence on soap showing a Spanish-speaking channel after midnight.

Now gays and liberals, please stop playing along at being "spiritually" good. In the Christian Bibles, you are considered sinful at least 14 times, starting in the Cities of the Plains. Those cities are mentioned in the book of Genesis, towards the front, and were big on sodomy. The Sky god "smote" them. The there is Jude, "7: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." From there it gets more explicit in Leviticus, Romans and Corinthians

I keep hearing that Jesus didn't condemn gay people. It was Paul that came to Rome to lecture those Latins on their wanton abandon, "...26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error...."  I don't want to get too eruditic here, but Mathew wasn't happy about buggering either.

So even if one says, "It was HIS friends speaking for him.", that's nonsense. So just ignore the fact Jesus actually never have existed,  I can't help but think the folks that wrote the New Testament slipped in anecdotes by equally fictitious apostles to appeal to some majority of people's baser instincts. So  nontraditional person with a really good heart, who says they are wise, do you think that the anti-sodomite torch wielder in front of you really wants to review his understanding of the Bible? I've read the thing six times, and it's hard for me to say "Christ Says Stop Victimizing Gays." Are you thinking that the fanatical is a better reader than me? The dude is going to look at your complex argument with unsubstantiated inferences and say, "Okay, there's wiggle room?"

I'd say work at being fluent in Biblical text, but never engage in spiritual debates. The superstitious talks to spirits like a drunk drinks. Logic based supposition on the written word is only helpful when it helps win a convenient argument. Stick to pointing out that there are laws and how religion is a drag on society. Do not try to "balance" the argument with the _believer_.

Okay aside from my sinful plea to folk that are inherently sinful according to those that "practice" (as in don't bother reading and those that would like to lead them) religion, I don't have a lot to add. The Bible, as written in 1611, has been translated into too many languages to not be about just selling books. The folks thumping the Bible are more than likely up to something. According to the book of Exodous, having an agenda for folks not wanting to lead themselves is perfectly natural.