Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Best Description Ever!

Gavin M. at Sadly,No! on Instaputz Glenn Reynolds:

which is as a shifty and vain provincial lawyer orbited by a growingly despised resource of fools, one indeed that seems to be purifying through self-attrition into an n-dimensional hyperturd of elemental Duh.

My cap is doffed. Well done, sir! I say, well done.

Update: In the same thread, one of the best comments I have seen in a while:

James K. Polk, Esq. said,

March 25, 2009 at 5:25

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.

The other, of course, involves orcs.

Friday, March 20, 2009

On Working

I've come to the conclusion that working for a living is not ideal. Now that I approach graduation, I very much want to stay in the warm if unremunerated cocoon of academia.

The fact is, as good ol' Gary would say, I just don't like the hurly burly of daily commerce. I'm happiest in a library, researching and reading or just dreamily looking out the window. I would be pleased to spend the rest of my life doing case law research. With Westlaw and Lexus, I would never really need to leave my house, but I actually wouldn't mind going to work if work was located in a library, especially a library minus rugrats.

Well, I doubt I shall be able to arrange this, at least not right away. I just hope I can get my foot in the door at a civil rights, immigration, or defense firm. I really, really don't want to work for Teh Man.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Waitin' Around to Die/Heartworn Highways

Some more great country folk, and bonus horse shoeing tips. Warning: This might make you cry.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday in the park

I'm not a country fan, but I do like random stuff, mostly really old school country by people like Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Sr., Hank Snow, Patsy Cline. I can do without the Toby Keiths and the Hank Jr.s but what I like I really really like.

My first experience of Steve Earle was a short story he wrote about a funeral and the country music drug culture, I think it was called A Eulogy of Sorts. I got interested in him from that story, and read up about him. Great politics. Then I gave the music a shot. I like quite a lot of it, although some of it is a little too country for me. But the following song is always gonna be on my short list for favorite songs ever:

I 'spect he was still sort of junked out when he did this show. He sure was fine looking when he was younger. At any rate, enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I hate daylight savings time.

That is all.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I'm always surprised at how shocked many people are when you tell them you don't believe in a god or gods. "You don't?" they ask, eyes wide like those of a child hearing a really spooky story. Frequently, they ask you why you're "mad at God," as if god was kind of a pissy authoritarian dad who'd handed down some extra-heavy punishment for forgetting to put your bike away for the night.

So you explain to them that you can't be "mad at God" because you don't believe there's a god at whom to be mad. Then they think you must be really sad. "Don't you feel empty inside?" they ask. "No," I say truthfully, adding, "Actually, going from agnostic to atheist was the most freeing moment of my life. Going from wanna-be believer to agnostic was the second most freeing moment."

The simple truth is that my mind was not at peace when I was trying to make myself swallow some mythology or believe that there was some great force moving behind the scenes of our day-to-day existence, looking down on us and noting every naughty thing we do as well as every good or holy thing we do so as to jot it down in some sort of cosmic ledger. My brain was able to clearly recognize that this was stupid, not to put too fine a point on it. To try to force one's mind to believe things that are clearly against reason is painful.

Of course, there was never any chance that I could believe in any of the actual mythology of any religion. Anyone who can actually swallow the Noah myth, for example, is either nuts or a total moron. Anybody who thinks the earth is only 6000 years old is either stone ignorant where science is concerned or is afflicted with a critical case of denial. I knew this when I was a young child. How anyone swallows this silliness is impossible for me to understand. I don't mean to pick on Christians alone, mind you. All creation myths are silly, although some are much prettier than others.

I liked the aesthetics of Catholicism when I tried to be one during my teens. I loved the candles, the incense, the flowers, the liturgy. Loved the responses from the pews to the priest's "peace be with you," all those voices replying "and also with you." I never had a negative experience in the church. But I never believed in it. Not even a little bit. Could not. Later, when I tried to embrace Wicca, I had somewhat better luck. It makes much more sense to honor nature and accord holiness to the earth that nurtures and bears. The sun, the sky, the moon and the rain are, after all, real things which can be observed and tested, and they hold an obvious power. If you grant the first absurdity, that these things are sentient and aware of us individually, the idea that you might be able, through some sort of worship or incantation, to harness or direct that power for your own ends seems a fairly reasonable one.

But it's granting the first absurdity that trips me up. I'm unable to swallow it, and ultimately I really believe that is a good thing. Voltaire said, "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." This is true. If one can convince people that some invisible force exists that holds the keys to paradise, then those people can be convinced that this force wants them to kill people who hold a different belief in another invisible force. That few people see what a dangerous and terrible thing this has been for humankind is, to me, frankly terrifying.