left biblioblography: September 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Funny – The Boondocks

Adult Swim has numerous shows for us…older folks. One of these is The Boondocks. Very funny,despite all the N-bombs that are dropped.



Saturday, September 25, 2010

Written In The Cards? Actually, No It Isn’t.

Cross posted @ Atheist Oasis2010.01.13.tarot

And that deck of Tarot cards
Won't get you very far
There ain't no hand to break your fall – Lazlo Bane

While we rage at the monolithic madnesses of religion gone wild, sometimes we forget all the small flotsam and jetsam that float down the river, little slivers of silliness that can chip away at the meme stream of critical thought. And there’s so many. There’s astrology, numerology, feng shui, reflexology – the laundry list is long.

As I’ve had a lot of experience with some of the older foolishnesses, I think that I can speak from some (anecdotal) authority about them. Of course, I was in my twenties, I hung around a lot of stoners who’d read LotR (to the extent that we had a Fellowship Of The Bong – and yes, I did manage to get laid during high school, so shut it), and pissed away a great deal of resources and money by squandering it on those ‘forbidden topics’, the sort that are have their own section in the library (you know whereof I speak – where Von Daniken is paired up with the Bigfoot books). I did ‘witchcraft’ in my teens, and wolfed down multiple occultic books throughout my early to late twenties.

The truth of it, is that children are not only testing barriers, but struggling to find some sort of niche in the general herd, and also finding something that makes them stand out. Likelihood is that we all know what I’m talking about, so I’ll not deconstruct the mindset. Sufficient to say, those of us who had little or no athletic skill, weren’t extraordinarily attractive, or had some other major perceived dysfunction, tended to flock to the fringe cliques where our…discrepancies wouldn’t be outed at the top of someone’s lungs, or made a constant target. Nutshelling it: self-esteem problems make you do the nuttiest ass things. For me it was the occult. I got to the point where I could (somehow) influence dice being thrown, read an ephemeris, and yes, I could read a ‘mean’ tarot.

Mind you, I did this sort of nonsense as a way to attract attention to myself. It also helps when you are doing a reading at a party where everybody is in some state of intoxication, which makes people more malleable to suggestion.

The easy answer is that yes, it is a load of unmitigated crap. The long version is somewhat interesting. The Tarot is

(first known as tarocchi, also tarock and similar names), pronounced /ˈtæroʊ/, is a pack of cards (most commonly numbering 78), used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination or as a map of mental and spiritual pathways.

So the cards aren’t the ‘beginnings’ of all card games (like astrology is to astronomy), nor are they as ancient as most think (there is an Egyptian variant that has the design of ancient Egypt). If you were ever to pick up a book on the topic, you’d find long involved explanations for each card, both major and minor arcana, and their uses in cross-reference to other cards dependent on spread. It’s just as easy to bend the ‘interpretation’ of said cards to one’s own vision as it is the bible, or any other ‘sacred’ text. So it is one part extensive context, one part playing with people’s minds, and one part cold reading.

On my part, every time I see a tarot deck get whipped out, I immediately call bullshit. Perhaps a little more diplomatically than that, but not by much. Because people who do astrological readings, tarot cards, psychic ‘visions’ are classified (in my book) the same as priest, ministers, and rabbis. They’re lazy little parasites who should get a real job, and try actually doing something to benefit society, not rip it off.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Funny – Mr. Deity And The Denial

For good religion-based satire, Mr. Deity is always good for numerous laughs.

In this episode, Mr. Deity’s application to create a sentient-populated world is denied.




Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Bible – Inspiration For Immolation?

Cross posted @ Atheist Oasis.cross_stabbing_bible_bloody1243806634

(Hat tip to the Freethinker for this one, and of course Nigerian humanist Leo Igwe)

That old whore Christianity just keeps on mounting a body count, even after the most cherished traditions have been demolished, proven wholly fraudulent both historically and intellectually.

The NGR Guardian reports this horrifying incident:

The father of the children told a local newspaper that he recently noticed the children’s strange behaviours and complained to local authorities. It appears they did nothing to call the children to order. According to him, the children established a ‘strange church’ in his house and commenced their prayers around 10 p.m each day. He tried stopping them without success. And on this fateful night, the children, in the course of praying, made fire with some household items which they soaked with petrol. At a stage, they took off their clothes and jumped into the fire holding copies of the Bible. Three of them who died on the spot have since been buried.

One might ask how a father could allow this sort of weirdness, then again, he was outnumbered 5 to 1, and I would likely freak out myself in that situation.

No one knew exactly what led the children into acting in such a ‘strange’ way. But some of the witnesses interviewed by a local newspaper said the children acted on the advice of a local pastor who told them that their parents were responsible for their joblessness and not getting married. He advised them to burn the items in their home because that was where the parents hid their magic. The village head, Matope, blamed the churches whom he said were misleading the people for this horrible incident. He promised to summon the religious leaders in the area so that ‘they could explain what type of worshipping this is’. This kind of bizarre religious experience is not new to Malawi.

As I’ve pointed out in the past (on the old GifS site), Africa is fraught with this malignant malaise. Conditions remain appalling – poverty, ignorance, poor education. Under these circumstances, religion usually wins. Mostly because it appears to be free, and so many of the faitheists hand out their garbage to an unsuspecting populace.

Malawi has had some instances of this prior:

Last year, police rescued some women who locked themselves up in a hut in one of the country’s remote villages. They were reading their Bible, fasting and praying for weeks expecting some revelations from God. Poverty, ignorance, hopelessness and bad governance have driven many Africans to religious insanity, absurdity and extremism. Africa is literally in a dark age. There is a proliferation of churches, mosques and worship centers. Blind faith, thoughtlessness and spiritual mumbo jumbo direct people’s lives. Many Africans spend a lot of their time praying, fasting and keeping vigil at their homes, in churches, on the hills(also known as holy mountains) and valleys, besides rivers and streams.

Lacking something better to do.

There are few countries  that promote and encourage critical thinking, scientific temper and technological intelligence. Many Africans devote much of their time to all sorts of crazy, useless and meaningless spiritual nonsense. And this is the time they could have used productively to acquire relevant skills and lift themselves out of poverty by working to generate income for themselves. Instead of developing their potentials, most Africans have embraced this fashionable nonsense of blaming others-one’s parents, grand parents, witches and wizards, the West, colonialism and imperialism for all the problems and difficulties they encounter in life.

In a country of victims, external forces are usually blamed.

Unfortunately, the local authorities are doing nothing to tackle religious nonsense and its discontent among Africans. Instead,  African states are sponsoring, aiding and abetting the spread religious absurdities including the misleading messages of priests, pastors, imams and witch doctors. The educational system in most parts of sub Saharan Africa has virtually collapsed. Most industries have been shut down or have taken over by foreigners because Africans lack the required skills- the scientific and technological skills to manage these companies efficiently and profitably.

I think a case can be made for capitalist colonialism – the more people that are kept ignorant, the easier it is to wield the insane threats of religion over their heads.

The police and justice system is corrupt and inept. African governments are not creating institutions to fight religious indoctrination and promote reason and critical thinking. There are no programs to combat the negative influence of churches, mosques and traditional belief systems and liberate Africans from mental slavery and religious stupor. Surely, humanists in Africa are in for an uphill task.

And again, the case is made for the intellectually bankrupt concepts of the afterlife, and divinity.

And the bleat goes on.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Funny - Black Books

Another hilarious series from England, Black Books is about a boozy bookseller who hates people. It’s extremely odd, and all of the characters are very funny. Follows is a clip of ‘The Best Of’.



Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Twin Towers Of Terror – Never Forget, Never Forgive


Because nine years ago today, two twin winged bullets struck the towers, and the sky became dark with dust and cement and fury, and human beings rained down on the streets below, a bloody rainfall of the rending of flesh and shrieks of terror sickeningly silenced.

These planes were hijacked and driven by highly educated religious fanatics. Men who would sacrifice not only themselves, but any innocents within range, for their cause. This is beyond reason. This is madness.

And only bullies strike at weak targets.

And now, nine years later, we have the accommodationists who want to pass laws to protect the rabid ideology of these hairy-eyed lunatics, protest the common responses as stereotypes, and the religionists are struggling to hold onto their ‘get out of guilt’ free passes.

The more hardened among us, however, see how backwards religious superstition is, how it shelters the lunatic fringe, how it holds us back and claims some sort of ephemeral ‘higher moral ground’.

Remember, remember, the 11th of September.

Never forget, never forgive.

And hope that our children, and their children, will no longer be subservient or chained by the antiquated anachronisms of the past.

To a secular world. May it be forthcoming in the decades to come. Until then, the lesson of 9/11 should always be in the forefront of all minds:

Religion is not trustworthy. It never has been, nor will it ever be. Belief in the afterlife is poison.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday Funny – Family Guy

I always wonder how a blatantly Republican channel broadcasts such a powerfully non-PC, anti-religious program like Family Guy.

This clip is about Palestinian alarm clocks.



Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Wreckage Of The ‘Religion Of Peace’ – The High Price Of Accomodationism

radical islam threat

The stomach churns, the teeth gnash, the blood boils. Again and again and again, religion provides no peace, poisons the minds of children, turns brother against brother, causes slaughter on an individual and collective levels, and fans the fires of xenophobia that horrify those of us who haven’t had our empathy short-circuited by this primal anachronism.

And the beating goes on:

QUETTA: At least 55 people lost their lives, while over 200 others were injured on Friday after a suicide bomber blew himself up amidst participants of a rally held to mark the Al-Quds Day in Quetta.
The deadly blast triggered chaos and panic in the provincial metropolis’s busy Mezan Chowk.
Calling from an undisclosed location, a spokesman of the banned Lashkaar-e-Janghvi, claimed responsibility for the attack and warned that the group would “carry out more attacks if Shias continue to take out processions and hold gatherings”.
According to eyewitnesses, a group of armed men started indiscriminate firing after the blast, injuring dozens of people.
The Imamia Students’ Organisation had organised the rally that started from Islam Imambargah, located on the Prince Road, soon after the Friday prayers to express solidarity with the Palestinian people. Hundreds of people joined the rally as it moved towards the centre of the city.
“Police tried to stop the rally near Mali Bagh and asked the participants not to proceed any further, owing to security concerns. However, nobody listened to us,” said City police Station House Officer (SHO) Muhammad Asif, adding that the participants did not follow the route that had been approved by the police. “We had earlier told them that no officers were deployed in Mezan Chowk and they should follow the given route. But they did not follow the instructions,” he said.
A number of young men, who were at the head of the procession, removed police barricades and continued to march forward. When the procession reached Mezan Chowk, the suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest.
As result of the huge blast, 25 people were killed instantly, and human limbs were scattered everywhere. A number of motorcycles parked nearby caught fire, sending up plumes of black smoke.
According to the Bomb Disposal Squad, 10 to 15 kilogrammes of explosive material was used in the blast.
Talking to reporters, Provincial Police Officer Malik Muhammad Iqbal claimed that the police had tried to warn the participants and their refusal to listen to the police caused the incidence.
Police later found the head of the suspected suicide bomber, who was said to be between 25 to 30 years of age.
An employee of a private TV channel was also among the dead, while eight other journalists also sustained injuries. All of them were covering the rally when the blast took place.
Attack condemned: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani both have strongly condemned the attack. In separate messages, both the leaders stressed that the perpetrators of such heinous crimes were the enemies of the country and would not be spared.
The Balochistan Shia Conference and the Tahaffuz Azadari Council have announced a 40-day mourning period.
In a statement, both groups have strongly criticised the government and the police for failing to protect the rally participants.

But of course, nobody dares even point a finger at that purveyor of dissonance, the wreaker of havoc, Islam.

Oh wait, somebody does, good old Tony Blair:

Mr Blair said radical Islamists believed that whatever was done in the name of their cause was justified - including the use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

Mr Blair, who led Britain into war in Afghanistan and Iraq, denied that his own policies had fuelled radicalism.

Asked about the argument that Chechens, Kashmiris, Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans were resisting foreign occupation, he said Western polices were designed to confront radical Islamists because they were "regressive, wicked and backward-looking".

Sadly though, he’s just another Neville Chamberlain, because of course (in his own words) people need to believe in something, and we as atheists are placed in the same context as terrorist extremists:

Blair stated that people of faith "face an aggressive secular attack from without" and "the threat of extremism from within," and went further in making an equivalency between nonbelievers and those who inflict harm and death in the name of their religion, saying:

These challenges are not for Muslims alone or Christians or Jews, Hindus or Buddhists for that matter. They are challenges for all people of faith. Those who scorn God and those who do violence in God’s name, both represent views of religion. But both offer no hope for faith in the twenty first century. The best hope for faith in the twenty first century is that we confront all of this together.

And even Obama is quoted as saying: “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

The problem, Mr. President, is that these deranged delusionists are doing just that, reinforcing these ‘negative stereotypes’.

I have, in my heart of hearts, hoped that reason will prevail, but as long as faitheists are given free passes for their nonsensical beliefs, the chances are growing slimmer and slimmer.

Religion is bullshit, and from here on in, I’m going to declaim that every time I see a T-shirt that says “Honk if you love jesus!” or a burqa. And if it comes to blows, well then, it’s America and I’m entitled to free speech, regardless of whether it honks someone off or not.

Till the next post, then.