What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary – I wrote too soon: WordPress’ question for 1/7 “What do people incorrectly assume about you?”

I thought that WP wasn’t going to send out a inspiration for bloganuary so went ahead with my own.  Lo and behold, they did send one last evening.

So, what do people incorrectly assume about me?   Not that much, happily, but many often assume that since I don’t show my emotions often, I don’t have them.  I am *not* a hugger, and most women just don’t get that. 

I consider my emotions private.  That does come somewhat from being very emotional when I was young and being humiliated for that.  Not always fun being a highly sensitive person.  But I also often just don’t see the need to show what I feel.

Of course, I also have people of the theist persuasion ever so sure that I simply *must* agree with them, but they incorrectly assume that about every non-believer in their particular version.  I do enjoy dissuading them of that conclusion.

What the Boss likes – Bloganuary – one of my own questions “What most influenced your adult personality?”

I don’t’ think WordPress is doing suggested questions for weekends so I made up one of my own, or rather my spouse did.  “what most influenced your adult personality?”

For me, it was having someone support me, aka my spouse, and role-playing games.  I could try out being brave, having an opinion, being a leader, etc all in a safe space where things weren’t “real”.  It made a HUGE difference for me and I am so glad.  I owe a lot to Dungeons & Dragons and my gamemaster husband.     

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary – “What makes you laugh?”

January 7th, so what makes me laugh?

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!”” – Conan

Or something like that. My taste runs to the absurd. I love Monty Python.  I knew of them and managed to rent a “video disc” of Life of Brian when I was in high school.  I was watching it with my parents, and gee, didn’t know about the full frontal nudity in it.  My sense of humor was nothing like *anyone* in my family. 

Along the same type is Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy:  ““In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.”


I also love Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters.  This is one of my favorite Jonathan Winters skits:



I loved Steve Martin’s “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, since I love film noir detectives. 



The Carol Burnett Show was also a favorite, with Tim Conway, Harvey Corman, Vicki Lawrence, etc. 

Of course anything by Mel Brooks is marvelous.   Blazing Saddles is the best, though Young Frankenstein and Robin Hood: Men in Tights are great. 
*Definitely* not safe for work and has the “n” word, but in the best way possible.



But the best are the Marx Brothers.  You may think you’ve never seen one of their movies, but if you’d seen a classic Bugs Bunny, etc, you have.  They originated most of the classic skits.




and whatever gods bless Margaret Dumont, the perfect straight woman.

What the Boss likes – Bloganary – “Who is someone that inspires you and why?”

This was a hard one.  I am inspired to keep dealing with humanity by my spouse and my cats.  Until I win the lottery, I’m stuck with dealing with people.

I am inspired by those who keep trying.  Although, if I were a health care worker, I’d have given up because of the stupid selfish fucking morons here in the US. 


I have great hope in humanity but I really can hate humans.

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary #5 – “What is something you wish you knew how to do?”

So, here we are at Day 5 for Bloganuary (a day late).  This is the inspiration “What is something you wish you knew how to do?

I have no musical ability whatsoever.  I wish I did. I was forced into being in “choir” in elementary school, since the music teacher (who looked a fair amount like Margaret Hamilton aka Wicked Witch of the West, but not so cool) was a friend of my aunt, the teacher.  I then caused problems with reading the music book and finding out that “This Land is Your Land” isn’t quite so jingoistic in the later verses. 

I then was in high school, and, since having friends in the band, was stupid enough to join the “choir” and was assigned “second soprano” aka any girl who can’t sing a damn note.  I did meet some great people there, including one who was in my spouse’s Army Reserves unit and they both visited me when I was recovering from gallbladder surgery (I have the 7” scar, it was before laparoscopy).   Bastards, but they did likely keep me from having adhesions since they made me laugh so much.  That little morphine machine was well used.

I’ve tried to learn piano and guitar and my little worker’s hands just don’t make the reaches. 

I do love music though.  When I was in high school, I listened to show tunes, which I’m sure caused consternation since I was singing the soundtrack to “Hair” at the top of my lungs in my mid-teens.  Now, if you know what that all entails, you’ll understand why that is hilarious.  I never saw the movie until I had met my spouse and he showed it to me.  I then realized why “White Boys Are So Pretty” was a completely ridiculous song. 

I think my parents would have been happier if I had been listening to metal.  Of course, being a good Christian girl, I heard the complete bullshit of backmasking and how rock and roll was going to destroy the world.  Funny how that was just as much of a lie as the entire religion. 

Now, I like Scandinavian metal, anything by Jim Steinman, Lindsay Stirling, Without Temptation, Steam Powered Giraffe, etc.

And I still like show tunes. *beware* the videos below might not be entirely safe for work.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUb1p8fm7Ag



What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary #4 – “What was your favorite toy as a child?”

First off, I was an unusual child.  I was reading at 3.  I was a girl.  I had no interest in baby dolls in the least. 

My favorite toy was something my mom supposedly got from an “educational” toy company but I’ve never seen its like since.  It was a set of colored pieces of transparent plastic, all connected at a point so you could move the pieces around, combining colors.  I’d give a lot to get that toy again.  I loved that I could see pure colors if I held it up to the light.   It gave me such unadulterated joy. And of course, everyone thought I was very weird to be so entranced by it.

I took it *repeatedly* to show and tell.  I’m not sure if folks outside the US know about this odd thing in at least some US elementary schools back in the 1970s.  A child had to bring something in to “show” and “tell” about in front of the class.  It was nothing more than pure misery for me, being introverted and just damn scared of everything.  It’s my experience with this toy, and with “show and tell”, that makes me suspect that, if I were a child now, I’d be diagnosed as highly functioning autistic. 

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary #3 – “Write about the last time you left your comfort zone.”

The last time I left my comfort zone is quiting a job about 4 months ago.  It was quite a mess, having been hired by a director as an assistant and then about 6 months in, she vanishes, and the company didn’t bother telling anyone until a couple of weeks later.  They never explained to anyone what exactly happened. 

I was able to just leave, thanks to the support of my spouse, but it was still a risk since the pandemic has made my employment history more than a little odd looking, and I *hate* risk.   And here I am, starting the new year with what should be a great job, working for a renewable energy company. 

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary #2 – What road trip would you like to take.

January 2 – What road trip would you like to take?

To bat country!    Which is a reference to one of the most demented and hilarious books, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson.  The movie with Johnny Depp wasn’t bad, but do read the book. 

““We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers… and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.
Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”

and a bunch more quotes.

Now, for a more serious answer.  I’d like to take a road trip into the Rockies, to satisfy my love of geology.  I’ve been to Mt. Rainier, which is terribly cool, but I’d like to see a *lot* of mountains.  We have little worn-out things here in Pennsylvania, the roots of several mountain building (orogeny)events over billions of years.  You can see the repeated folding and upheaval here.

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary here on WordPress: “What advice would you give to your teenage self?”

I’ve decided to do the Bloganuary challenge here on WordPress.  I’ll be given a prompt to write about each day.

January 1, 2022 – What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Some background would help, I suppose.  I grew up in very rural area in Pennsylvania, USA, first on a farm and then coming home from summer camp found we had moved.  My father had finally had enough of his abusive father.  Alas, we were still in the same rural area.

High school was tedious and terrifying for me.  I was the purple plaid sheep, rather than just the black one.  If you might read the origin story over in The Boss’s Office, you’ll also see that my church also tore itself apart during this time.  That started me on the journey to being an atheist.

So, what would I tell my teenage self?

1.  No one knows what they are doing either.  We are all making this up as we go along. 

2.  You are one of those 20% or so of the population who is highly sensitive, and an introvert.  You are also being emotionally neglected but your parents were too, so try not to blame them too much.  You are an INTJ woman (valid or not, this describes me very, very well).  All of these mean you are different and that is not a bad thing. 

3.  Crying isn’t bad and no one should make fun of you for caring about things.  

4. You were expected to act like an adult since you were as smart or smarter than those adults around you.  That wasn’t fair at all. 

5. Failing isn’t the end of the world.  (I did finally get this when I failed a ridiculous assignment from a teacher who demanded a book report that had to have 30 specifically written sentences in it, e.g. with gerunds, participles and infinitives, etc. I wrote a good book report, on “Brave New World” no less. And finally took control by saying “screw this idiocy”. when I got my paper back and saw the “D”, I just laughed and it felt *so* good.) 

6. You will grow up and be a decent, humane, empathic human being despite everything.  You will get married to someone who is perfect for you so you won’t feel so alone anymore.  You also won’t be the anti-christ as you once thought since you didn’t hear any god talking to you like people around you claimed to do.  They are making this up to fit in and to feel special;  or they might just be nuts.  Don’t waste any more time on that nonsense; you are far more morally good than that idiot god of the bible. No amount of apologetics will make it work.

7.  Everything you do is your responsibility.  Slow down.  Think things through.  Choose wisely.  Your intuition is better than you think.

8.  Occasionally, don’t think at all.  Just do.  It’s scary, but you can do it.  You are strong, brave, thoughtful, smart, and you are the hero you want to be.  Captain Kirk has nothing on you. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: the problem of suffering and how a Christian excuses his god

A fellow who I’ve crossed swords with before has listed 7 reasons why his god, one of the versions of the Christian one, isn’t a bastard for allowing suffering in this world. I asked him about how heaven fits into all of this and it quickly became an excuse fest that this god “could” create a world without suffering, but didn’t for some mysterious reason. It also ended up in a rather strange claim that there are “classes” of angels, which means rank is important to a supposedly omniscient/omnipotent/benevolent god. Where is that lovely equality that so many Christians claim? I suspect the answer would be that the angels are “satisfied” with their position. Seems I’ve heard that argument somewhere else….

Where is an omnipotent god that can create a world without suffering and with free will? Why is this god now limited? As for my opponent’s claims that it is not immoral to create a world with the possibility of suffering, he has one problem: the question is missing something. What the question should be: Is it immoral to create a world where it is guaranteed, perhaps not for a certain individual, but for someone else? Shall we not care what happens to our fellows? As I have observed before, Christianity is a religion based on selfishness. Everyone is out for his own place in heaven.

BTW, there is nothing new here in content. If you are a frequent reader, you’ll see the same points again.

  1. Free will necessitates the possibility of suffering.

The first problem here is that the bible doesn’t support free will. As soon as the bible claims that everything is this god’s will and plan, free will ends. As soon as this god interferes with any human action, free will ends.

He also tries to claim that suffering is “always a possibility” if free will exists. Nothing supports this either. As for refusing to follow this god’s directives, do tell what those directives are since Christians do not agree on what their god wants. If they have no idea what this god wants, then there is no way to “cause unnecessary suffering” by not doing something.

  1. God’s plan of redemption and glory far outweigh all suffering.

A baseless assumption since there is no evidence of this god nor that any plan that it might have exists. This is to make a promise that never can be checked out, something quite necessary for a charlatan. The fraud selling his miracle elixir to a townsfolk is never around to be held accountable if the liquid doesn’t do what is promised.

My opponent tries to claim that some suffering results in improvement, which is true for a few things. The problem is when the suffering serves no purpose at all. Recently, a poor fellow’s 5 month old baby died of brain cancer. To try to claim that the suffering was beneficial is simply a sycophant’s excuse for his tyrant. The reward is never always greater.

“God’s promised eternal glory is more than enough to inspire faithful, joyful perseverance.” A promised never fulfilled is worthless. And since this promise is also accompanied with threats of eternal torture, it is nothing more than the actions of an abuser.

  1. God’s just judgement will right all wrongs.

Another baseless claim and we can see from the bible, that justice is not important to this god at all. Justice is based on fairness, equalness in treatment. This god has no problem at all in harming humans for the actions of others. There is nothing “just” about killing a child for the actions of its parents, nor damning an entire species for the supposed actions of two of them. If we are held accountable for things we cannot change, then free will is again destroyed.

Our Christian tries to claim that this god somehow takes into account what we could/would have done, and nothing in the bible supports that invented bit of nonsense. This was made up in order to invent a new Christian god, one that isn’t the vicious one in the bible. If this bit of nonsense were the case, it makes no sense for this god to hold all humans responsible for “original sin”, since if it takes other realities into account, it would be negated for everyone.

He also tries the claim that suffering can “create space for greatness” aka “builds character”. Nothing shows that this is needed, especially in the bible where Job got no better from being abused by this god.

  1. Suffering is not evil in itself and can actually be a means for good.

Hmmm, tell that to the 6 million+ who died in the Holocaust. Do they say how great it was to suffer and they would have preferred it not be “easy”?

No.

And if suffering is so great, again, how does heaven fit into this apologetic excuse? Why should a child starve in some country and I have no problem in gorging myself to repletion? Per our Chrsitians argument, the child should be happy for the misery.

They aren’t. What we have is an apologetic made up by a first world Christian who wants for nothing, and piously tells others how they should be happy to suffer. Gee, it must be god’s plan for this to happen, and then our Christian doesn’t have to feel responsible.

  1. Suffering teaches important lesson.

See the argument against this pious bullshit above. That a god has to harm people to teach others is nothing more than a tyrant making an “example” of some people to keep the others in line. To say that this god makes harm happen so we are dependent on it shows this god to be no more than an abusive parent or spouse.

This argument is where the Christian thinks he is so important that other people deserve to be harmed for his benefit. Someone can starve to death so he can learn compassion. Someone can be killed by terrorists so he can learn to not be complacent.

Again, the selfishness inherent in the religion rises again.

  1. God shared in the suffering of his creation.

Actually, no it didn’t, not even per the bible. At best, this god had an uncomfortable weekend when it decided it needed to have itself killed by a blood sacrifice by torture to make itself happy.

There was no loss, and per the gospel of John, not even a moment of fear. I do love the hilarious list of what this imaginary character went through. Poverty? No. Shame? No. Ridcule? Per the bible, he didn’t care. Physical pain and torture? Depends on what gospel you read. Death? Nope, he didn’t die at all, but just kept on living. Difficult travel? Nope, nothing supports that even in the bible. Isolation? Nope. Abandonment? Again, depends on what gospel you read. Rejection? Didn’t care. Danger? He managed to get out of situations by just disappearing. Emotional stress? Again, which gospel? Celibacy? Per the bible, this is the best thing to do, so no suffering presented. Ignorance? Well, that’s not limited to this god or ol’ JC, and again, rather hard to be ignorant if it is omniscient. Homelessness? Not at all, he was always welcomed unlike most homeless now. The struggles of fame? Depends on what story the Chrsitian wants to claim: either everyone knew ol’ JC or no one did. The loss of a loved one? He just raised them from the dead, rather impossible for humans. Submiting of one’s will to God the father? He is this god and again, per John, no problem with this at all.
This god stepped into nothing at all and deserves no respect for a blood sacrifice by torture that was needed by it because its failure in Eden.

  1. God could morally create an almost limitless number of possible worlds, this is just one of them.

Rather curious that a Christian would try the multiverse hypothesis to try to claim that it’s okay that this god causes suffering here because maybe in the next one over, it’s just fine. Doesn’t do much for the person suffering from intractable pain here. Immorality doesn’t change if you happen to do a benevolent things somewhere else. Hitler may have liked dogs, but he still was an immoral bastard.

It ends with the Christian being aghast that someone might look at suffering “negatively”. Yep, we should all just ignore how this god fails so we can keep thinking we get our magic presents.

Sorry, I’m not that immoral. If a human tried offering any of the above excuses for malevolent actions, they would be laughed at and scorned. That such excuses are okay for a god shows how followers don’t question tyrants, either imaginary or real.

For more on the problem of suffering, John Loftus has compiled a new book “God and Horrendous Suffering”. It’s a little salty in price, though I’ll probably get it, but you can see some of the arguments on his website, Debunking Christianity.