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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sports Idiot of the Week

Professional athletes and officials are an intellectually and politically diverse group of folks, just like the general population. The news has covered arch-Conservatives like Tim Tebow and Tim  Thomas, anti-homophobia spokesmen Brian Burke and Henrik Lundqvist, and the career of centrist goalie-attorney-author-member of Parliament Ken Dryden. Hall of Fame NHLer Peter Stastny is a career politician now, and Slovak countryman Zdeno Chara is also active when not leveling opponents. Folks like these may seem to be the minority of jocks, but they really are not, and the news media loves to get a quip from those who have attained the spotlight, regardless of whether it is profound or profane.

Enter boxing champion, musician, and Filipino congressman Manny Pacquiao.

It's no secret that PacMan's politics are shaped by his very literal adherence to Roman Catholic doctrine. His election was cemented on his hard-right views which have made him a darling of not only Filipino(a) Conservatives, but Spanish and American ones as well. Because he is not shy about his views, right-wing media outlets seek out the boxer as a source of inspiration; proof that you can be at the top of the sports world while championing conservative causes.

While most people know what to expect from the man who is currently on the anti end in the Phillipines' Reproductive Bill, his interview with the unabashedly racist, sexist, and homophobic National Conservative Examiner was destined to shock.

In a piece aimed at Barack Obama, the boxer spoke out against gay marriage to be sure, but also offered this direct quote from scripture that has caused reactions ranging from applause to revulsion.

In the piece he quoted Leviticus 20:13 verbatim, which reads as follows

"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

and then added his further opinion

God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other. It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.

Now, Pacquiao is not the first person to promote hatred of gays based on a book written over millenia by 70-odd different cave-dwellers and nomads. He's not even the first pro athlete to do it. However, what is different is the fact that it is a more modern era, and moreover, he stated the quote in such a way that one is led to believe that he really wants people not of his orientation to die. As in no longer living and creeping him and God out.

Because they always do such things, I expect the famewhores over at GLAAD to be all over this story, demanding an apology. But wouldn't any such entreaty be such an obviously artificial attempt for Pacquiao to save his massive endorsements from the likes of Hennessy and Hewlett-Packard?I don't actually expect the jerk to offer an apology, but if he did, it would be as much of a lie as the marital fidelity he claims to want to protect. (It's well-known that he's had a very public extramarital affair)

Pacquiao expects Obama and everyone else to read and obey Biblical law init's many contradictions when he is wearing proof that he doesn't himself. He's a guy who makes millions giving other people irreversible brain damage and promoting hard liquor, but moreover, he does it all while showing the world that he is violating Leviticus 19:28. You see, according do the book that Pac-Man holds so dear, possessing his variety of tattoos is as fatal of an abomination as sleeping with a dude. And not only does the boxer possess several tattoos, he even owns a tattoo shop in L.A. Talk about picking and choosing your commandments.

Needless to say, Many Pacquiao's obvious inability to read and comprehend the book that he uses to promote the death of other men while he flouts the rules himself  is what makes him a hypocrite and the sports idiot of the week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Screaming Thoughts

Today, this pastel sold for US$119.9 million today, which is higher than the entire GDP of the Falkland Islands and Niue combined. The work is one of 4 pieces created in 1895 by Edvard Munch, but the first one to land in private hands. And it certainly speaks to me.

If I was a rich bastard with a big Koch-sized bank account, I would be all over this. I would buy this and travel all over the world with it. I'd even (gasp!) let children near it and maybe even let folks take pictures. And when I'd be all old and dry, I'd donate it to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the magical place where I got to see King Tut's sarcophagus when I was very small.
**Sidebar: After viewing the exhibit, I would draw plans for ancient city layouts and imagine myself as the monarch and whatnot. I'm sure that most 5-year-old kids would be freaked out by seeing a dude's coffin, but it was the beginning of yet another new obsession for me.***

 Regardless of whether it is a burial shroud or a poem about a beloved pet, art stirs the psyche in ways that too few children nowadays are permitted to experience. Today is so literal and finite; it's about numbers and goals and achievements and having parents live vicariously through their offspring.

But kids need to express themselves and to see another's masterpiece is to potentially think and feel a message, be it the artist's or the interpretation. That 3 minutes staring at a man or society's greatest accomplishment is a moment of freedom from all of the daily mental noise that too few of us are permitted to enjoy and I think kids should be able to have a piece of that serenity.

In the absence of the billions I would like to spend bringing children the joy of viewing art, I wish for all of you to take a bit of art time with your own kids. Take the kid to a play, or a museum or gallery for sure, but also don't value the ability to throw a football over that which fosters the imagination required to create new plays. Permit your little human to enjoy their own thoughts, goofing off, dressing up, painting, and whatever moves them without criticizing them for it. Let kids be kids; for them, everything is art, whether they're drawing a statistical grid (okay, that was me) or painting the Arc de Triomphe. Fantasy is reality in the growing mind. Actually, adults could use a little as well.

Also, I painted this. See, art is for everyone, even this old math geek.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Octo-Thoughts and Things

So it seems that Ms. Nadya Suleman is in danger of bankruptcy, owing nearly $1 million on her home and other debts. Thusly, she has decided to do what she claimed she would avoid, and will star in an adult film.

The mum of 14 will grace the creepy screen in a starring role, with various hypothetical scenarios being bandied about the interwebs, the most reliable sources stating that she will wank for the world in an attempt to stave off foreclosure and provide for her enormous brood.

My first thought when I heard about this plot was "Who would watch THIS?", but in reality a lot of people really would. Let's face it, Ms. Suleman is not a bad looking multiple mama, and some people may even see her as a modern kind of fertility goddess.

My next reaction was "What about the CHILDREN??!!!" Well, what about them? Sure, some are old enough to be aware of what mum is doing, but they've been part of a sideshow before. Besides, isn't it just a tad sexist to freak out about Octomum but have a reality show starring a single-dad gonzo anal performer? (Family Business) If this were a dad of 14, it would be no big deal, in fact it wouldn't even be news.

And, with reference to the kids, isn't it far more responsible in our welfare-shaming eyes for Nadya Suleman to support her kids? It actually seems kind of honourable that she is doing what she can to avoid the taxpayer teat, even if it means showing her own. I actually admire her for stepping up to the plate, even if it seems to be a little delayed.

So, here's it in a nutshell. This woman will probably make decent coin for showing off her netherregions, and she's an adult. And I have no problem with her or anyone else selling sex, even if the concept doesn't personally appeal to me. Right now, whether in pornography, in a brothel, or under a desk, you can be absolutely certain that somewhere in the world, someone is selling sex, and hopefully they're enjoying it. Every moment of every day, there are fathers and mothers who are getting paid to get laid, mind you most will not become famous for their time.

 It's a dog-eat-dog, capitalist, voyeuristic world in which an entire family (the Kardashian-Jenner clan) can become fabulously wealthy because one member can give a perfect blowjob, and if Nadya Suleman so desires, she can line up for her slice of the perverse pie served to the peculiarities that become the world's most well-known sex workers.

Please stand by.

WTBlue F*ck Of The Weak

TW: Child abuse, transphobia, homophobia, religious abuse, misogyny, very wrong things

In one week, there will be a ballot measure that will edit North Carolina's constitution if passed. Amendment One states that marriage shall be the union of one man and one woman, but will also ban previously allowable domestic partnerships. North Carolina, being the liberal hotbed that it is, has already banned same-sex unions, but this will ban many heterosexual partnerships as well as cement No Homo in the annals of time.

One of the self-proclaimed couples promoting the ban on all marriages not "holy", is Sean and Pam Harris, he the senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, and she the dutiful (and usually) silent half of the partnership unequal-but-perfect-in-the-image-of-god duo.

Being the MAN of the house, Mr. Harris believes he knows what to do about non gender-conforming kids. And being one such kid, I do have an idea of exactly what he's talking about, but these are current and future children that will bear the pain of his vicious insecurities. The following will be painful to hear if you have a shred of humanity. If you're one of the new GOP who parrot the party's radical right ideology, you'll adore it.

This is what is wrong with the state of affairs in the United States and many other parts of the Western world in under 2 minutes. When religion, and the most extreme interpretations thereof, have a chance to affect state or federal constitutions, liberty loses.