Monthly Archives: January 2007

More new cats – Welcome Aoife

We finally have our Maine Coon kitten, safe and sound, all the way from Sydney, New South Wales.   She arrived in Perth on 23 December.  This cute widdle bebbeh kitteh has been cause for much anticipation for months, and now that she has at last joined our little family much excitement and mushiness has ensued.  (OMG !!!1!   PON1ES !!!!1!)

She truly is a very precious little cat.  She’s a silver patched torbie with white, a coat colour description that translates as patches of silver and black tabby, with light ginger patches and stripes bordering on apricot, while her legs, tummy, chest and some of her face is white.  She has huge ears with the tufted tips, a pretty little face, big greeny-yellow eyes lined in black (think, wearing kohl eye liner) and at around 14 weeks already has the typical Maine Coon tail-with-a-cat-attached look.  That tail is absurd on a wee thing like her … but impossibly cute.  We both wanted a Gaelic name, given Tuxedo is Irish, I’m part-Irish and Irish by marriage, we both love the country and wanted to celebrate all that in our own little way.  There were several names on our short-list, but we eventually both loved and decided on Aoife, pronounced Ee-fah.  (No, I don’t know how Gaelic works either, seems to be a very high vowel to consonant ratio and the spelling is definitely not phonetic.  I mean, how do you get a pronunciation such as Kwee-vah out of a name spelled C-A-O-I-M-H-E?)

Our little Aoife (who won’t be little for long, if that tail is anything to go by) is a non-stop, full-on three-ring circus.  Anything and everything is a potential toy*, she is extremely inventive, and doesn’t just bat jingly pom-poms around, she leaps and bounds and rolls and flips, just about ties herself in knots.  Her favourite toys are definitely small toy mice, she loves playing in water, plays “fetch” and has invented a number of games, one that can only be described as Reverse Cat Soccer.  The rules of RCS are to leap into a laundry basket and flail around until said basket falls onto it’s side; the kitten (“the player”) then bounds out of the upturned basket (“the goal”), grabs a soft mini-tennis ball in either the mouth or between two paws, flings it into the goal, and leaps after it.  After much flipping, somersaulting, diving, huge vertical bounds and frequent progressive motion of the goal itself, the player finally succeeds in getting the ball out of goal.  Hurrah!  Round two is then commenced with no intermission for massage, coach instruction and encouragement, sucking of orange quarters, etc.  Meanwhile the human audience has all fallen over and are retching from laughing too hard.  

*including a certain male human’s dangly bits that roll about in an exceedingly tempting manner from the point of view of a wicked li’l pusscat.

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Creationists are morons

I have long since decided that the entire neo-conservative group, with it’s fundie redneck reactionary ideas, is not only a cause for amusement; it’s fucking scary.  If the religious right has it’s way we’ll be living back in pre-Renaissance times, complete with that century’s level of health care, treatment of women, rights of man (hey, Martin Luther!), war-mongering and disregard for the environment.  Come to think of it, that’s a pretty accurate description of George W and his followers right now, in 2006 – 07.  Brrrrrrr …. 

While there’s a lot to choose from for a good old rant in the above paragraph, what I’m going off about now are Creationists.  You know, those folks who believe the world was created in six days (the seventh being the day of rest, for the drinking of beer and watching of American football) and argue for this to be taught in schools; that evolution is a theory; and atheists are devil-worshippers who live empty, barren, lost lives.

First off:  No, evolution is NOT a theory.  It is scientifically proven, universally acknowledged, incontrovertible FACT.  Get a life, you literal minded fundie redneck freaks.

CREATIONISM IS A THEORY.  Actually, it’s not even that.  It’s a weird, backward myth which cannot be proven in any scientific or logical manner.  Tell me that dwarf hamsters are more intelligent/sapient than humans and show me the results of all tests and controls, all the papers, articles and peer reviews, the decades of irrefutable evidence and research, and I might come round to believing you.  Otherwise – forget it.  Remember cold fusion?  The earth is flat?  The sun revolves around the earth?  They were all theories that were proven wrong, wrong, and wrong again … I still haven’t seen any evidence which can support the creation of the Earth and all it’s creatures, and oh yeah the universe too, in seven – sorry, six – days.  The writings of a book which contradicts itself thousands of times over, of which there are many versions, and parts of which were written hundreds if not thousands of years after the events described, does not strike me as “irrefutable evidence”.

The teaching of Intelligent Design/Creationism will result in a desperate situation in regard to the sciences and scientific progress; quite possibly a successful attempt to take the “modern” Western world back to pre-Renaissance times.  Hey, here’s to heliocentrism, Galileo and Copernicus! (and look where debating that issue got them, babies). 

The merging of religion not only with politics but now education is an issue I find frightening and of great concern.  Intelligent parents – and kids – need to start fighting back NOW.  (Fortunately along with Richard Dawkins et al we have “real people” like biologist PZ Myers and his daughter Skatje leading the charge – congratulations a billion times over.)

Back to evolution.  It is not “just” a theory, as already mentioned; it is a very real science incorporating many decades of meticulous research and evidence.  It is also much more exciting, powerful, captivating, totally awesome and thrilling (I’d say sexy, which is appropriate given that sexual reproduction really sparked things off, evolutionary biologically speaking):  Imagine, that any uni- or multi-cellular creature on this planet, in the last X billion years and at this precise moment, ever existed at ALL.  Let alone that a species as insignificant and pathetic as Homo sapiens has survived long enough for me to be here, writing a blog … I’ll take that over a six-day bodge job.

Creationists have such weak arguments.  One can so easily rip huge new holes in everything they come up with – BUT they will still refuse to acknowledge the debate and slightest validity of that argument.

This is because you cannot have a rational debate with an irrational person.  To be rational and have a debate, one requires a) intelligence and b) the sharing of some basic framework of reference;  OR at least allow that the other person may at least have a point.  Creationists will never, ever, ever give ground.  EVER.  To allow the teensiest crack in their defences would definitely be the “thin edge of the wedge”.  See: house of cards, tumbling down.

Another thing that totally shits me off, how come Creationists-Christians-fundies automatically classify atheists as evil, immoral, wicked baby-killing devil-worshippers with empty, barren, unhappy lives?  That’s simply not logical: merely because I don’t believe in god or some other higher being/deity does not make me evil, immoral, a blank slate yadda yadda.  Our lives (me and millions of other happy atheists) are full of meaning thank you very much, and lack the blinkers installed by such a narrow world view; blinkers that restrict creative and conscious thought, not to mention diminish responsibility and willingness to help others where and when needed.  “An Act of God”; “God told me to do it”; “God will reward me” – see now, I call that “passing the buck”.

I don’t give a damn if someone is a Christian (Roman Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Anglicans, Latter Day Saints, Amish etc etc etc inclusive), Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, or whatever. You’re all totally okay with me.  As Christ said, “All men are equal in the eyes of God”.  And he was a Jew and got crucified for it, for crying out loud. Seems to me I am not only just as moral, ethical, caring, and SPIRITUAL as any of those “Christians”, but more so – the majority of the aforementioned religious right in the good ol’ US (see: current administration) are greedy, hypocritical, lying, immoral, fascist, murdering, war-mongering dictatorial bastards, with no respect for human life, the environment, the natural world.  In short, they have less than zero concept of basic ethics.

One can be spiritual without believing in some bearded old white dude.  I believe in the rights of humans to be treated equally and well, to live peacefully; to care for and nurture the environment and our precious planet, to not start wars.  And not to murder for that matter, although I might put that in abeyance for some individuals …

While I’m on the subject of being a happy atheist, I definitely and vocally do not subscribe to what I call the Christmas Sampler Box, “pick & mix”, mode of religious support.  You cannot take bits and pieces of Catholic dogma and dismiss the bits you find unpalatable, and still call yourself a Catholic.  For example, the Bible and church teach creationism, the myth of the virgin birth, etcetera; if you find these unpalatable and hence reject those key structures of your faith, then you cannot believe in all the other bits you do happen to find desirable.  Whole package or nowt.

Personally, I like a lot of what is written in the New Testament – at least, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; you can take St Paul and shove a barbed wire wrapped piece of two by four up his — but I digress yet again.  The basic “commandments” of Jesus Christ (who I believe was a cool and groovy political animal, in the same mould of Ghandi and Martin Luther King) were 1. to treat others as you would wish to be treated and 2. that all men and women are equal in the eyes of God.  That’s really pretty socialist and harmonious.  I like it; I definitely do believe that all sexes, races and creeds of humankind are equal.  But I don’t believe in God.   As for the rest of the New Testament, well, it’s pretty much blecchhhh.  (NB:  The “un-canonical” Gospels of Thomas and Mary [Magdalene] make interesting reading, particularly when compared and contrasted with the canonical M, M, L & J. 

Take the Virgin Birth – what a load of horse apples!  There’s a whole other post brewing on the Marian myth, so I’ll leave that rant to another time.  However, I do find it excessively amusing that the Catholic church is currently “extremely embarrassed” because the actress who starred as Mary in The Nativity Story (the gorgeous Keisha Castle-Hughes of Whale Rider) is, in real life – gasp – pregnant and unmarried!  Just like Mary, right?  Who she portrays in the film?  Ahhh …. ummmmm …. ok.  Hmmm … shouldn’t unwed mothers therefore be fussed over and deified like Mary because they seek or have entered into a state that emulates her?  See?  ILLOGICAL. 

Condoms, use of.  Why the heck are they banned by the Catholic Church?  Okay okay, there’s the “every sperm is wanted/every sperm is good” line of thought, but apart from that, doesn’t the Church know how fucking difficult it is for a woman to become pregnant?  That even in a woman of normal or better-than-average fecundity there’s a tiny window of fertility wherein one teeny weeny sperm might fertilise an egg, which might eventually implant on to the wall of the uterus and not be rejected in the first 72 hours?  And that the embryo survive the first few months where as much as one in three pregnancies end in a miscarriage?   And then grow into a healthy foetus throughout the entire 38 weeks from fertilisation to the joyous birth of a baby; without a hitch? Eg cervical and placenta problems, fibroids, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, autoimmune diseases and physical trauma?  Conception and birth are indeed miraculous.  So how, please tell, does the use of a condom or little white pill that might prevent the possibility of glorious fertilisation, equate to baby-killing?   Let’s not even start on the related issues of population economics and health issues of refusing birth control and sex education (from refusing to give rape victims the morning after pill, to prevention of HIV/AIDS).

Backwards, reactionary, destructive (to individuals, the world order, the environment, you name it), insulting to women and scientists, illogical and totally fucking moronic – yep, that, my dear friends, is creationism and conservative religious thought in all it’s glory.

A-men.

Purging

I know I know, haven’t posted in bloody MONTHS. I have been writing, and making notes to myself, and composing rambles in my head, but none have actually made it from brain to keyboard. Some kind of sub-vocalisation oral implant is required … Several other uses come to mind.

So on with the motley.

Over the next couple of days I’ll be doing a little “purging”. Topics include the saccharine-sweet to inflammatory (woohoo!), for eg:-

  • More new cats – Welcome AOIFE (OMG !!!!!!1! PON1ES !!!!!!1!)
  • Creationists are morons
  • ‘Tis (’twas) the Season
  • Concerts of 2006 – Coldplay; Ben Folds & WASO; Robbie Williams
  • Battlestar Galactica – Best TV show EVER
  • Book Review – Wintersmith – Terry Pratchett

And who knows what else? At least I’m baaaack.