A Sunny Place for Shady PeoplePithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.
Friday, July 04, 2003
Monday, July 07, 2003
We have endured the miserable, pathetic whining of the telemarketers' lobby bemoaning the loss of jobs because, quite sensibly, millions of Americans are silencing their strident telephones by registering with donotcall.gov.
We are unamused, unmoved, and unwilling to give these swindlers a scintilla of sympathy.
They've greedily earned their impending unemployment.
Apparently they failed to pony up enough payola even to tempt the Republicans-in-Charge (of the House, Senate, White House, and Supreme Court).
We reckon even Republicans suffer sporadic moments when their thoughts turn (ever so briefly) from their selfishness and ignorance just long enough to render some miscellaneous service that doesn't really cost them anything. (This serves to distract folks from their favoritism for their true patrons -- the rich and the corporate rich.)
Naturally we're skeptical that the registry will ever really silence the strident sales calls.
(There are several loopholes -- exemptions -- and we're certain the telebandits will somehow dance their way through them.)
Maybe these newly jobless opportunists will settle on a more honest and decent profession in their sizzling pursuit of lucre.
Many would enjoy, for instance, prostitution, drug dealing, child pornography, or standing for the U.S. Senate, or just plain breaking-and-entering, since they're already so telephonically expert at it.
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
Thursday, July 03, 2003
"I conceive some scattered notions about a superior power to be of singular use for the common people, as furnishing excellent materials to keep children quiet when they grow peevish, and providing topics of amusement in a tedious winter-night." -- Jonathan Swift, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity (1708).
(We aspire to Swiftian satire ... and fail.)
But we do fancy the studly and swiftly Swift.
How like him to invent an absurd proposition and then delight in exposing the frailties of Christian virtue.
(His "A Modest Proposal" to feed the blighted Irish by having them eat their own issue is even more charming.)
He's our favorite ecclesiastic.
Certainly the invocation of that "superior power" has been historically useful not only in quieting children, but providing balmy solace to the disgruntled with its seductive promise of an immortality more fruitfully entertaining than life.
Religion desperately needs that "life-after-death" myth to close its sale on maintaining moral order among the meekly obedient wage slaves in the here and now.
Swift's "common people" need the promise of this earned eternal bliss in exchange for good behavior toward their fellow human beings.
(Can't we just be ethical for ethic's sake and leave out the god business?)
Religion is primarily practiced by women and children, and it panders to their inherent weaknesses.
No gentleman embraces religion. (It's vulgar.)
We also berate religion for its prominent role in war, torture, terror, hate, repression, ignorance, oppression, greed, and immorality.
In short: religion's done more harm than good.
And government, especially the Evangelical Administration of the too pious Bush, should concern itself only with the protection of the right to worship.
Of course we believe in our democracy's guaranteeing freedom to be addicted to religion -- but not to unlawfully proselytize.
(This is, we believe, in keeping with the spirit of this Independence Day.)
The terror we today face from certain religious extremists -- at home and abroad (and tomorrow and tomorrow without end) arises out of religion's grasp on the ill fed, ill used, and ill educated.
As Swift would have it, we have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love.
The rant appears on Mondays and Thursdays.