Monday, October 30, 2006

Making Baby Jesus Cry

So, I finally received my first Christian hate-mail (see second to last comment). Well, it's about bloody time! I mean, really. I've been working hard for over a year now to make this blog as religiously intolerant and offensive as I could, with descriptions of atheists eating the flesh of Christian babies to blasphemous references to Jesus's milkshake bringing all the boys to the yard. And yet, not a single outraged reader has commented on what a sick twisted f*ck I am...that is, of course, until now. Okay, so maybe I'm overstating things a wee bit. The person in question (though her identity shall remain anonymous) was very polite and respectful (like any true child of God should be), and simply wished to voice her reservations about my frequent references to sex on this blog. Naturally, I have no clue what she's talking about. Me, make reference to sex?

Okay, so maybe the words “penis” and “vagina” have appeared on my blog a couple times, but is that any reason to call me obsessed? Why that's like labelling someone a misanthrope because they generally hate people. I mean, come on! Now usually, such benign criticism wouldn’t warrant much by way of a response on my part. However, I thought I should use this as an excuse opportunity to vent share a few things that piss me off carefully selected thoughts. What concerns me about my "anonymous" Christian Reader (and others like her) is that she's apparently so locked into her own worldview, that she's unable to appreciate the fact that other people don't share the values she does. Now for those of you who have never been very religious, you may not get a great deal of what follows. But as a former church minister myself (yes it's sad, but true), let's just say I've been there. So please bear with me as I take a few moments to have a brief heart to heart with my sister in the Lord.

Dear Anonymous Christian Reader,
I hope you’re sitting down, because what I’m about to say may shock you: Everyone does not believe the same things you do! Yes, I know this may be difficult for you to understand at the moment. But I’m going to go through this slowly…try to keep up.

You see, the world is more varied, complex and nuanced than your own blinkered worldview may sometimes make it appear to be, and many members of this varied, complex, nuanced world have beliefs and values (that’s right, values too) quite different from your own. As such, criticising them based on your values (values they may not themselves share) is like trying to convince someone who doesn't believe in the Koran (for example, you) that the Koran is the divinely inspired word of Allah by quoting passages from the Koran. In short, it just doesn't work! If you're going to persuade someone to accept your position, you first have to meet them where they are; just as the apostle Paul did in Athens when he preached to the gentiles about the “unknown god” (Acts 17:23). So, if you're really trying to win me for Jesus, I suggest that you begin by first removing your top...and we'll see how things go from there.

Now we may have our differences of opinion: You see sex as sacred while I see sex as the filthiest, most degrading act that two people who genuinely love and care about each other can share. But why can't we put aside these petty differences and focus on what's really important: Cheesecake! Because at the end of the day, sitting down and enjoying its rich artery-clogging goodness is all we really have.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Marriage...In the Abstract

Now I have no problem with abstract entities such as numbers, goodness or God. In fact, as a professional philosopher I pretty much spend most of my time explaining to people why the first two exist and the last one doesn't. Moreover, some of my best friends are abstracts (like my psychic ex-girlfriend who broke up with me two months before we met). But when it comes to making practical life-changing decisions, mere abstracts have little place. For example, I've often heard single women talk about how much they want to get married. They don't have any specific candidate in mind, but they simply want to get the abstract. There's just something about the concept of marriage, that makes them want to spend the rest of their lives trying to attain it (very much like the way I feel about vaginas). Of course, I should hasten to add, the desire to get married is certainly not limited to women. Why, King Solomon was a man and he pretty much holds the world record for number of marriages; I mean, the bloke had like seven hundred wives! (But can you imagine being the one girl he dated and didn't marry? Auch!)

But I digress. The point I'm making is that given the high incidence of divorce, and the equally high amount of unhappy marriages, the desire to just get married (in the abstract) seems, at best, ill-advised, and at worse, down right masochistic. A much more prudent approach, in my not so humble opinion, would be to focus on developing wholesome, fulfilling relationships. And if one of those relationships should lead to marriage, then so be it. But if not, then at least you won't be one of those sad blokes trapped in a union they wish they could get out of. But simply deciding that you want to get married (in the abstract), when you haven't even learned how to have a successful relationship is a bit like deciding to jump out of a plane and then worrying about whether your parachute works. In short, it's putting the cart before the horse, the target behind the gun, the regret-filled hangover before the night of tequila shots and the ill-advised phone call to your ex.

But I know what you're thinking: Get off the bloody soapbox Nubian. You're just another guy who would prefer not to commit and you're trying to justify your own fear of commitment by spouting a whole lot of high sounding BS. Well hello, professional philosopher here; spouting high sounding BS is what I do. And as for the allegations that I have commitment issues, I would have you know that I have joined a fear of intimacy support group (though I'm seriously considering dropping out because the members are getting way too close). And yes I admit that I happen to be a big fan of casual sex, especially since you don't have to wear a suite. But that's really all besides the point. The truth is that I someday hope to meet someone I can spend the rest of my life with, and if I did, marriage would seem like a good idea. But “getting married” is definitely not on my list of things to do just for the sake of doing it. Now, urinating off the top of the Eiffel tower and watching the golden droplets soar through the Parisian air until they reach their designated targets, that's something I would definitely do just for the sake of doing it (which perhaps explains why I'm not married and won't be for some time to come.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hans Landsteiner (Part 2)

Stop: If you have not already read All About Edwin Longwickle's Friend, Hans Landsteiner (Part 1), you should do so before reading the present instalment. Failure to comply with these instructions may give rise to confusion, dizziness, vomiting and impotence.

However, tragedy struck when Hans’s biological father dropped by for a surprise visit and was promptly accosted, covered in cheese and eaten by Han’s roommate. The unfortunate eating deeply affected Hans, who vowed from that day forward to fight in defence of vegetable rights. Odd enough, it was also around this time that Hans developed an acute allergic reaction to cotton. His psychiatrist prescribed pills for his condition, but he could never seem to get them out of the bottle. This proved to be a great inconvenience, particularly since Hans's aunt Betty (on his father's side) was a cotton plant. Every time she came over for a visit, Hans would turn red and swell up like a turnip (and on more than one occasion witnesses say he actually became one).

Despite his difficult childhood and many handicaps, Hans was determined to succeed. In a memoir he wrote: “I’d literally kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!” When he later relocated to Britain, his life-long goal of becoming a Nobel Laureate seemed on the verge of being realised after he single-handedly arranged a peace accord between carrots and the Cheshire Vegetarian Society. However, things took a turn for the worse at the dinner celebrating the accord when all of the carrot delegates were rounded up, juiced and served as the evening beverage. This sparked the violent 1978 parsley protests that culminated in the gruesome Gourd Massacre of April 18th; a day on which, according to noted historian Dame Veronica Wedgwood, “carrot and pumpkin juice flowed through the London streets like water!”

Because of the catastrophic failure of his human and vegetable reconciliation efforts, Hans was passed over for the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. Instead, the prize was ultimately awarded to an Albanian nun, who Hans described in his journal as “that pretentious little bitch, Teresa!” It wasn't until many years later, after inventing an animal-based vegetable alternative, that Hans came into his own. He was then promptly removed from his own and placed in someone else's.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

All About Longwickle's Friend, Hans Landsteiner (Part 1)

No less fascinating than the life of Edwin Longwickle, was that of his best friend and colleague, Hans Landsteiner. Hans was born in the small town of Fucking in Upper Austria (I swear that’s the name of an actual town, I’m not making this up), and is generally believed to be the son of Hanna and Jonas Landsteiner. As a child, Hans was both a bed-wetter and sleep-walker; urinating in up to twelve different beds in a single night.

A local psychologist diagnosed his chronic bed-wetting as stemming from childhood trauma, no doubt suffered when he accidentally walked in on his mother having sex with a head of broccoli. Things only grew worse shortly thereafter when his mother announced at a family gathering that Jonas Landsteiner wasn’t Hans’s real father. Hans, who already faced the challenge of being half Jewish in an era plagued by anti-Semitism, was now forced to come to terms with being half vegetable as well.

The revelation shocked all in attendance, prompting Jonas's infirmed mother to faint and his senile father to ask for a second helping of cake. Furious, Jonas kicked Hans and his mother out of their Fucking residence and they were forced to move in with Hanna’s botanical lover. A year later, Hans was sent to a boarding school in Petting, Bavaria, where he majored in Herbology and International Vegetable Affairs; hoping to reconnect with his lost family heritage. Hans also demonstrated an aptitude for languages and by the age of sixteen he was already conversant in seven, including Latin, Esperanto and Jamaican Creole. He was also elected president of his school's French club, whose weekly meetings consisted of reading the works of Madame de Lafayette and surrendering to the German club.