Walk This Way

We all do it, to some extent.  Christians do it more than Atheists.  What is IT??!

“IT” is to assume that other people think, feel, and act just like you do.

It is like comparing British English to American English.  The words are the same, but the conclusions they reach and the information they convey, are vastly different.  I think that I felt it, but I had it clearly pointed out to me by a young, Atheist YouTuber.

He had been raised as a fervent, evangelical Catholic.  In his teens, he began to question!!  By twenty, he admitted that he had become an Atheist.  His Bible-thumper Mother was appalled, and tried to lure/force him back.

First, she accused him of “Just blindly believing what those Atheist books say.”because she blindly believed in a book.  He explained that he had not read most of the books she was worried about, and the couple that he had, he had not read until after he had declared himself an Atheist.

While he had not read the evil Atheist books, and had arrived at his position through years of careful study and research, she then accused him of just unquestioningly accepting the non-religious claims of Atheists who establish themselves in authority – because she unquestioningly accepts the self-declared authority of The Catholic Church.

I recently listened to a Christian apologist try to wiggle out from under an Atheist complaint about the Christian concept of infinite punishment in Hell, for the finite crime of not believing.  His justification was that, the infinite punishment was not for merely not believing, but that Atheists die, and go to be judged, and are cast into Hell, and the infinite punishment is because, even in Hell, they continue to ‘deny God.’

I find this apologist scenario preposterous.  Any Atheist who dies, expecting to just fade out, who finds his spirit, his soul, his consciousness, his personality, still coherent and miraculously transported to Heaven, faces God, is condemned to Hell, and who is suffering horrible tortures – would admit to observed reality and accepted truth – not petulantly continue to ‘deny God,’ whatever that means.  But the Christian apologist believes that the Atheist would – because he would!

Frank Turek, a Christian debater, whose slick, used-car-salesman face beams down from the top of this post, was asked if there was any information or argument that might make him change his mind.  He responded with a Bible verse which orders the loyal to reject anything which might cause them to doubt.  No matter how reliable, proven, or convincing the facts and evidence are, Turek and his ilk will simply deny it!  😳

To even try for a non-believer to have a discussion with a Christian about morals/morality, seems doomed to failure.  It will not become a debate or a conversation.  It is like two solitudes, shouting past each other.

The Christian will allege that there are Objective Morals, things which are good or evil, whether or not people exist.  Without any evidence that either of them exists, they claim that God defines and enforces morals, despite the fact that great swathes of Good Christians disregard and disobey them, filling prisons, divorce courts and rehab facilities.

The very words morals, and morality have been hijacked by Christian debaters.  Like sin, they are something that their God wants mankind to do, or not do.  Atheists have ethics, and evolution-induced empathy.  If Atheists can get Christians to agree that reduction of harm and increase in happiness and wellbeing is an acceptable subjective basis, then we have Objective Atheist Morals, and all without God.

’22 A To Z Challenge – M

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgotten Words – Forgotten Attitudes

What do we want?

GOOD MANNERS

When do we want them?

Right now!

Are we likely to get them??!

F*&@ no!

In a world where the words we use, and our attitudes, are supposedly of utmost importance, words are regularly passing out of use from the English language.  We become dumbed down intellectually, ethically, and spiritually. Here are a few words which have been forgotten, though they were in regular use just a few decades ago. Interestingly, they’re all related in meaning:

Modesty

Humility

Courtesy

Honesty

“I pray thee then, write me as someone who loves his fellow man.”  (Abou ben Adhem)

Donald Trump is gone, although, if he can evade the FBI on his magpie collection of classified documents, he’s threatening to return in 2024.  While he facilitated much of the above, and vindicated it to a too-large swath of the American population, he was not the cause of it.  He was merely a visible symptom of the cultural rot.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Be nice to each other out there.  Okay?  The life you save may be your own.

Thus endeth the reading of the first lesson.  More of the usual drivel soon.

Book Review #28

Days of Future Passed

The shape of things to come!  This author was prescient.  This is where it all began, or at least, a big part of it.

The book: Neuromancer

The Author: William Gibson

The Review:
This book was written in 1984.  I had a chance to read it over 30 years ago.  The son read it, but I passed on the opportunity.  It would not have had the effect on me back then, as it did to read it recently.  I read a post by a blogger who was doing what I am doing, taking old Science Fiction books out of storage, and re-reading them.  His description intrigued me, so I got a 2010 re-published copy from the library.

The story itself is not all that exciting –by today’s standards.  His protagonist is a computer hacker who can mentally access, not merely individual computers, but can surf the entire Internet.  Of course, the author doesn’t call it that.  The term, and the function, did not exist back then.  He did not coin the term Cyberspace, but this book popularized it.  Soon, readers and other authors were regularly using it.

In 1984, computers, and their interconnectivity, were far less common than in his then-future fiction.  Since he couldn’t call it the Internet, he coined the term The Matrix.  While this author, and this book, are not completely responsible, they both heavily influenced Tron, and the three Matrix movies.

The précis reminded me of Johnny Mnemonic.  A bit of research revealed that, 17 years later, he shuffled some concepts around and wrote the novel that another Keanu Reeve movie was based on.  Microsoft had incorporated in 1981, but the microsofts (small m) that the hacker uses to jack in, are nail-sized inserts that plug into a socket at the base of his skull, like Sim-cards, or SD cards.  They contain relevant data, and operating code – the Apps of their time.

The plot involves the hacker either slicing or surreptitiously oozing past security protocols, to free a manacled A.I. – Artificial Intelligence.  The story also contains a couple of computer ‘Constructs’, which are essentially the uploaded knowledge, experience and personality of hackers who were killed while online.

This author impresses me like the deaf composer, Ludwig von Beethoven.  He conceptualized huge amounts of technology that he couldn’t see, but which later came to exist.  Finally, there is another peculiarity, not of the story, but of the particular copy of the book that I received.

It is in the page numbering.  Each page is numbered in the lower corner.  Each number is underlined.  The underlining on the right-hand, or Recto page, extends to the edge of the page, across the thickness of the sheet, and continues till it underlines the number on the left-hand, or Verso page.

Infinitesimally and imperceptibly, the numbers and the underlining rise and fall several times through the book.  If you firmly close the book and look at the lower edge, the ink forms an EEG brain-scan readout.

Make Book On Humor

Subject: Muslim Bookstore

So, I was walking in the mall and I saw that there was a Muslim Bookstore.

The sign outside led me to wonder just what exactly was in a Muslim bookstore, so I went in.

As I was wandering around taking a look, the clerk gave me the stink eye, but asked if he could help me.

I know I didn’t look like his normal clientele, so I asked, “Do you have a copy of Donald Trump’s Book on his U.S. Immigration policy regarding Muslims and Illegal aliens?”

The clerk said, “Kiss my ass, Get out, and Stay Out!”

I said, “Yes, that’s the one. Do you have it in paperback?”

***

This Ought to Make All Grandpas Feel Warm and Fuzzy

A six-year-old goes to the hospital with her mother to visit her Grandpa. When they get to the hospital, she runs ahead of her mother and bursts into her Grandpa’s room. “Grandpa, Grandpa,” she says excitedly,  “As soon as my mother comes into the room, make a noise like a frog!

“What?” said her Grandpa.

“Make a noise like a frog because my mum said that as soon as you croak, we’re all going to Disney World.”

***

A retired older couple returned to a Mercedes dealership where the salesman has just sold the car they had been interested in to a beautiful, leggy, busty blonde in a mini skirt and a halter top. The old man was visibly upset. He spoke to the salesman sharply, “Young man, I thought you said you would hold that car till we raised the $55,000 asking price. Yet I just overheard you closed the deal for $45,000 to the lovely young lady there. And if I remember right, you had insisted there was no way you could discount this model.”

The salesman took a deep breath, cleared his throat and reached for a large glass of water.

“Well, what can I tell you? She had the cash ready, didn’t need any financing help, and, Sir, just look at her, how could I resist?”, replied the grinning salesman sheepishly.

Just then the young woman approached the senior couple and gave the car keys to the old man.

“There you go,” she said. “I told you I could get that idiot to lower the price. See you later Dad, Happy Father’s day.”

***

Better than a Flu Shot!

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.

One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room.  She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea. As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a cut glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat.  The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.

“Miss Beatrice”, he said, “I wonder if you would tell me about this?” pointing to the bowl.

“Oh, yes,” she replied, “Isn’t it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease.”

“Do you know I haven’t had the flu all winter?”

Thirty For Fibbing Friday

No theme this week, so pensitivity101 wants to see where your imagination takes you with these.

  1. What is a bandana?

That is the industry term for the female leader/singer/writer of a rock musical group – someone like Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders, lamenting the loss and urbanization of rural Ohio, in her song My City Was Gone.
2. What is a rum baba?

It’s what alcoholic sheep drink.
3. What is a marinade?

It’s a new flavor of cooling, summer drink, that tastes like seafood.
(And seagull shit, seal snot, whale sperm, and rotting kelp – sales are not good!)
4. What is an asset?

A pre-pubescent female Kardashian child.  They usually have names only a drug dealer, or psychotherapist could love – like Chicago, Psalm, North, Saint, Penelope Scotland, True, or Reign)
5. Who was Apollo?

He was the male half of the former American pop singing duo, Paul and Paula, best known for their 1963 million-selling, number-one hit record, “Hey Paula”.
6. What is meant by BYOB?

Times are tough, and finances are tight, even among the monied elite.  Unless you’re someone like Randy Andy, attending a NXIVM party, where all the willing female company is paid for, it means you have to Bring Your Own Bimbo.
7. What is a pekingese?

It’s my favorite variety of Chinese cuisine.  The duck is tasty, if a bit dry and chewy.  It’s hard to find a restaurant that serves it though.  They only exist where stray cats are plentiful.
We no see you cat.  You stop ask.
8. What is a crockpot?

This is the ridiculously wrong information, answers and opinions that you will receive from someone who just had their medical marijuana’ prescription filled at one of the now ubiquitous cannabis dispensaries.
9. What is meant by upbeat?

This happens mostly, though not exclusively, in Southern, Appalachian, America.
(High School is open agin.  Y’all git yer lazy ass outta bed and go, or ah’ll whup ya good!)
10. What does it mean to recycle?

It’s when you’ve had to give up working from home for a day and rode your bicycle all the way to the office – only to find that you’ve forgotten your office key at home.

Speaking English Like A Frenchman

In 1066, William of Normandy rowed across The Channel, became William the Conqueror, and took England.  In a spirit of fairness, his descendants gave scores of words to the ‘English’ language.

Here is a list of French words and phrases that are commonly used, but have not officially been adopted.

Je ne sais quoi – a special, indefinable quality
Her fancy clothing had a certain je ne sais quoi.

Habitué – a person frequently visiting a place
As an habitué of the bistro, he headed to his usual table.

Billet-doux – a love letter
Stewart’s first novel was a billet-doux to his home town.

Bric-a-brac – a collection of ornaments
Among my aunt’s bric-a-brac was a glass angel that she treasured.

Flāneur – one who idly strolls around and observes
Paul spent the day as a flāneur on the streets of Montreal.

De rigueur – required by fashion or convention
A jean jacket is simply de rigueur this season.

Esprit de l’escalier – a perfect retort, formulated too late
A comedian went home after being heckled, and finally delivered his esprit de l’escalier to the cat.

Sang-froid – self-possession under stress (literally – cold blood)
The butler retained his sang-froid during his employer’s crisis.

Ā la carte – ordered separately from a menu
Not hungry enough for a set meal, Terri ordered baked potato and creamed spinach ā la carte.

Renaissance – cultural revival or rebirth
Toronto’s restaurant scene was undergoing a renaissance.

Contre-jour – with a camera facing the light
Matt positioned his grand-nephew contre-jour to produce a halo effect.

Armour-propre – self-worth
Getting dissed by a nerd wounded Rory’s armour-propre.

Éminence grise – a person with no official title, but great influence
Years of insightful posts had made Archon an ėminence grise in the blogosphere.

Laissez faire – a non-interference approach
Small businesses benefit from laissez faire economics.

Roman ā clef – thinly-veiled novelistic accounts of real people or events
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a roman ā clef about the Russian Revolution.

I prefer to speak my French in plain English.  Aside from a couple of these which have finally been naturalized into the language, I don’t use any of them.

’22 A To Z Challenge – L

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was going to be sure that I had an L of a post for this letter, then I thought, “Why be satisfied with half-measures?  Let’s go for a Double L version.  Words with two Ls in them are fairly common, but I have several which begin with two Ls.

I recently read a user strongly questioning silent letters in English words – particularly the silent G in words like ‘sign.’  Often, silent letters perform the same functions as accents in French, or Spanish.  They tell you how to pronounce the word.  If there were no G in sign, it would be a sin.

The Welsh language is well-known for its rather cavalier, creative spelling.  It has used a couple of its superfluous Ls to build names with.  There is (Desmond) Llewellyn, who was James Bond’s Q foil in several 007 movies.  His name means that he is a leader.

There is also the Welsh name, Lloyd.  Lloyd is a Welsh surname originating with the Welsh adjective llwyd, most often understood as meaning “grey” but with other meanings as well. The name can be used both as a given name and as a surname.  There is Lloyd Bridges, who went on a Sea Hunt, and then for an Airplane ride, and Doc Brown – Christopher Lloyd.

Not to be out-done, South American Spanish has also given us a couple of double-L words.  The funny animal that lives in the Andes is a Llama.  The funny animal that lives in the Asian mountains is merely a lama.  When you descend from the Andes, you might come out onto the llano, which is a flat plane.  It started as a ‘plano,’ but spelling drift is inevitable.

I’d like to blame these double initial letters on something like pronunciation rules, but I find no such basis.  😀

Flash Fiction #288

 

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

IN AUTUMN, A YOUNG MAN’S FANCY

It’s Labor Day??!  Time to go back to high school.  Oh thrill!  Oh joy! (Insert sarcasm here!)

Some more pencils
some more books
some more teachers’
dirty looks

All the fun and freedom of summer, gone for another year.  No more swimming.  No more camping.  It’s like walking the Last Mile.  I feel the will to live draining away.

Hmmm??  A hot new girl just moved into the neighborhood?  She’ll be on our bus??!  She’ll be in our class??!  Interestinger and interestinger!

I’m going to get my hormones rotated, and YES, I enrolled in the Drama course.  Bring it, school!

***

If you’d like to join the Friday Fictioneers fun, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

One-Liners On The Menu

The waiter asked me how I found my steak….
….I told him, “Accidentally!  I just moved the tomato slice, and there it was.”

I told him I didn’t find any oysters in my oyster soup….
….He said, “Would you expect to find angels in the angel cake?”

He said, “These are the best eggs we’ve had for years.”….
….I told him to bring some that hadn’t been around that long.

I asked for a cup of coffee with no cream….
….He said they were out of cream.  How about no milk?

I told him he had his thumb in my soup….
….He told me not to worry, because it wasn’t hot.

Doctor, I keep thinking that I’m a bridge….
….What’s come over you?

Doctor, I have a ringing in my ears….
….Don’t answer it.

If Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus….
….why did three random guys show up with presents?

A guy goes in to see a psychologist and says, “I can’t make any friends….
….Can you help me, you fat slob?”

When I was in school, I cheated on my metaphysics exam….
….I looked into the soul of the guy sitting next to me.

Some of us learn from the mistakes of others….
….The rest of us have to be “the others.”

Footwear made from banana peels….
….are slippers.

Isn’t it ironic that procrastination….
….is something that you can do immediately?

If I got 50 cents for every math exam I failed….
….I’d have $6.30 now.

People who raise poultry….
….are literally chicken tenders.

I have a clean conscience….
….I haven’t used it once yet.

I never knew what happiness was, until I got married….
….and then it was too late.

Know any jokes about Sodium?….
….Na

I love chocolate….
….but it makes my clothes shrink.

Some people say that their body is a temple….
….Mine is a bouncy castle.

If I’m lucky, my internal organs….
….will never see the light of day.

They used to time me with a stopwatch….
….now they use a calendar.

’22 A To Z Challenge – K

 

I went looking for sauerkraut, –I don’t know why.  I should be able to smell it – and found a Cabbage-Head instead.

I am sometimes sooo… happy that I am saddled with the simple name of Smith, when I research the meanings of other people’s.

A reader made me aware of surname.com, but it only concentrates on English, Scottish and Irish names.  Bing has become more reliable, offering results from several sites.  One of them often does the job.  I also rely on Google Translate, though it does have its drawbacks.

I recently ran into a new, female blogger, who had married a man by the name of Kohlhepp.  This is a rare German name that I had never run into, here in ex-Berlin, Ontario.  I had to look it up.  The biggest problem with Google Translate, is that it does so literally, word by word, rather than idiomatically, with the meaning of the entire phrase or clause.

When I entered Kohlhepp, I got back cabbagejerk.  Now, does jerk mean a sharp tug, or is he the guy with the big desk in the corner office?  Another rare, local German name is Dreisinger.  I know that it means Three Singers – but which three?  The Magi??  Larry, Shemp and Moe??  A Christian-based name from a church choir??

I may snicker a bit to find that Kohlhepp is a cabbage harvester, but in Germany, that’s an important job.  Somebody gotta make all that sauerkraut.

Here in Canada, we have an up-and-coming Federal politician named Poilievre.  In French, pois are peas, and lievre is a form of ”lever,” which means to lift or raise.  If Tennessee Ernie Ford were still alive, he would Bless his little pea-pickin’ heart.