Off the Top of My Head
I’m introducing a new feature here in the salt mines fueled by my insatiable desire to innovate. Off the top of my head I’ve decided to call it Off the Top of My Head. It’s part hair-raising excitement, part brainy thought-provoking ideas, a healthy dose of attitude, a smattering of snark, and, of course, snow drifts of dandruff.
Here’s just a little slice of the all-American pie known as Shit I’m Pondering Lately. This is stuff right Off the Top of My Head. (This post contains very little actual research.)
- A doctor was diagnosing people with cancer when they did not have cancer. He even gave them chemo.
- A doctor has been diagnosing women with MS when they did not have MS and putting them on a potentially dangerous battery of expensive medications.
- Stories about sexual misconduct by doctors when patients are under have been in the news of late.
- A priest installed a hidden camera that looks like a power outlet in the women’s restroom in his church. Before he could be brought to justice he bravely fled the country. Amen.
- I’ve always known about the existence of hypocrites yet somehow I can still feign surprise when they are dragged out and exposed to the light of day. The case of John Duggar, a hyper-energetic evangelical Christian (see Quiverfull) is interesting. On one hand he’s an upstanding member of the community and fights for causes he believes in, like the sanctity of marriage (aka “seedbed of virtue”) while serving on an organization known as the Family Research Council. On the other hand he’s paying $250 for an account on AshleyMadison.com, a web site that helps married people have affairs. Absolutely breathtaking.
- Then there’s the case of Jared Fogle, Subway pitchman and part-time child pornographer. Let’s see. What’s the tally now? Bill Cosby? Horny. Brett Favre? Horny. Anthony Weiner? Horny. Tiger Woods? Horny. John Edwards? Horny. Sandwich guy? Really, really horny. Need I continue? I think I see a trend.
My point? None, really. Except, perhaps, that people like these actually exist. They are out there. They walk among us. They are, like Mr. Rogers likes to say, some of the people in our neighborhoods.
Who has a stronger moral code than humans? Try the humble amoeba. For starters.
Bonus read: Quiverfull of Shit: a Guide to the Duggars’ Scary Brand of Christianity (Gawker.com)
Justice is eyes gouged out
They say that justice is blind. As far as I can tell it has had its eyes gouged out.
Compare and contrast.
A man with a .38 revolver and 10 rounds of ammunition entered a building. He went to the office of his first victim and shot him in the shoulder and chest, and twice in the head. He reloaded his gun while walking to another office and found his second victim who was shot five times with “the final two shots fired with the gun’s barrel touching” the victim’s skull.
An open letter to Anita Sarkeesian #gamergate
Note: I have chosen to include the “gamergate” hashtag with this post. Am I using it correctly? I don’t really know. I don’t have a friggin’ clue. I am not a gamegate scholar. I don’t have the time or inclination. I don’t really care if I’m using it improperly. That’s not what this post is about. IMHO a lot of people are trying to control, define and co-opt the term based on their own bias, point of view and/or agendas. I’m not taking sides in any gamergate wars. Any offense you perceive as you read the following is your own. –Ed.
Dear Ms. Sarkeesian,
May I call you Anita? I hope so. If not, that’s okay, too. Either way, no offense is intended.
I’ll be honest. I look up to you. I think you are a true modern day hero. When I say “hero” I mean that in the grandest sense of the word. You rock.
Wikipedia says that “[a] hero (masculine) or heroine (feminine) refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity.” Two different words for “hero” based on gender? Isn’t that part of the problem? Whatever. Either way, I believe a “hero” is you.
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Spanks A Lot
For a long time I’ve said that parents are the worst people to have children. That much seemed obvious. But the burning question remained. Why?
I was pondering the current state of the National Football League (NFL) when it hit me. On second thought, perhaps “hit me” isn’t the best turn of phrase in conjunction with the NFL these days.
First there was the Ray Rice video where he punched his then-fiancée in the face. That shined a stark light on the issue of domestic violence within the league. The video hasn’t changed the reality of what has always been a very serious matter but now, thanks to the virality of the video, the issue is finally being taken more seriously.
News media took the ball and ran with it. The journalists scurried to look under rocks and ask probing questions like, “Who else might be doing stuff like this?”
With the NFL under a microscope suddenly all bets were off. I’m not sure how but the next big thing in NFL umbrage was the Adrian Peterson who was arrested for child abuse after “whooping” his four-year-old son using a “switch.”
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Barbarians At The Door
The church bell chimed ’til it rang twenty-nine times
for each second it took for her herald.
The leaflet she left I did throw on the ground
not a green way to grub for my money.
I believe that God has a plan for all of us.
I believe that plan involves me getting my own planet.
And I believe; that the current President of The Church, Thomas Monson, speaks directly to God.
I am A Mormon,
And, dang it! a Mormon just believes!
Q. Oh, where can I go to learn about God, religion, being humble and serving the poor? (Remember: When claiming he out-gave Barack Obama, Mitt Romney referred to giving money to his church as “charitable donations.”)
A. Take this road two miles, hang a left at the oak tree, and look for the most opulent building in town. You can’t miss it. It’s the one that makes the Tower of Babel seem like child’s play. We call it a Temple. Don’t ask us how it was funded, though. Our financial records are more private than your phone calls.
This weekend, Thomas Monson, the 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had a message for his faithful flock of 15 million worldwide via the LDS General Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve built 142 temples, he proudly said, the most recent one in Gilbert, Arizona, and there will be a modest 172 of them by the time all current construction projects are completed.
Another Mormon leader had a slightly different message for the record number of nearly 85,000 Mormon missionaries crawling around the surface of this planet. Jeffrey Holland, an official member of a select group known as the Quorum Of Twelve, called on missionaries to “defend” their faith.
Holland pointed out that missionaries should stay strong and defend their faith despite the inevitable personal abuse they will encounter. (Source: FOX News.)
Since I couldn’t make the conference this year, I guess you could call this an open letter of sorts containing an opposing point of view from the Abyss. Maybe my invitation got lost in the mail?
Tom’s Law #42
You never have to defend your religion to me if you don’t stick it in my face in the first place. In other words, please don’t put me on the receiving end of your missionary position.
Source: Tom’s Infinite Book of Infinite Laws
I am The Niggle
And I’m here to say
I bore in your skull
Every hour of the day
You wanna live your life?
You wanna get away?
I’m gonna stalk you down
I’m gonna make you pay
I’m a patient guy
I got plenty o’ time
No matter how long it takes
I’m gonna own your mind
Introducing my good buddy The Niggle. He’s an ornery rambunctious sort. Invisible and sneaky, at any given moment in time there are literally thousands of him latched on tight, gnawing at our skulls, always desperately trying to get in. Fun stuff, huh?
The Niggle is the price we pay for this modern life. He hangs on dearly when we look around and ask, “What gives? Is this all there is?”
He’s the background highway noise that permeates our fancy homes. A little drill bit of omnipresent pressure that pushes us one step closer to the edge. Our brains may have long since given up and deemed those road sounds as mere “white noise,” but even if we’re no longer conscious of it, it’s always there, chipping away. Chip, chip, chip.
The dictionary describes a niggle as something that causes “slight but persistent annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety.” But, to me, he’s a modern day superhero of goodness and fun.
What other forms does this little devil take? Read on. He might even be working through this very blog post.
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