Archive for January, 2010

The Blood Boils

Posted by on Sunday, 24 January, 2010

I picked a fight on Facebook last week. That is not like me. Sarcastic comments on people’s posts – sure, I do that all the time – but this was different. This was not done for amusement, this was done out of rage. Someone posted a link to an article, along with some mocking commentary of their own. (Like people do, nothing unusual about that.) I read the comments and I read the article. Without rehashing all of the details, let me just say that the topic was related to the authenticity of Old Testament. (Quite loosely related in my opinion, but a hot topic none the less.) I felt that the poster’s mockery misrepresented the article on a number of points. For whatever reason, on this particular day, I was so offended by this that I felt the need to call this person out, on Facebook, in front of all of their friends.

That was a bad idea. A couple of volleys from each side later, this person condescendingly claimed that I was “too smart for that.” Now, I do not appreciate being told what I am or am not smart enough to think, but that is not immediately important, because as it happens, *one* of the ambiguities I was arguing about was, in fact, patently ridiculous. And no, I am not stupid enough to believe it, unfortunately however, I did make the mistake of assuming that my opponent WAS. It did not seem like there was much to be gained by mentioning that fact at this point. In fact, by now I was preparing to throw down the gloves and really rip into Christians as a whole (as I have a thought or two on that subject as well), but fortunately I realized that this whole exercise was poorly conceived and felt it best to quietly withdraw, before I said something that I REALLY would regret.

I do not, however, think that I was wrong. I was certainly wrong to engage the enemy on their own turf as it were, and I regret being belligerent about it. That does not, however, mean that my objections were not valid.

If that were the end of it perhaps it would not even matter. However, this was not an anonymous internet encounter, this is someone that I know, that I have already seen since the incident, who had the opportunity to gloat to mutual acquaintances that I had been “schooled.”

That is what troubles me most. That is why the specifics of the article and the argument itself are irrelevant for the purposes of this post. The simple fact is, my emotional response did far more damage to the cause of “healthy skepticism” than if I had said nothing at all. On Facebook, in front of all of their friends.

I have long felt that the best argument against any position is a fool arguing in its favor.

All in All, I Guess It Was Good Pizza

Posted by on Wednesday, 6 January, 2010

Last night I dreamt of evil. Not the normal running/chasing sort of evil that usually appears in dreams. I dreamt of two superimposed realities. It was sort of like taking on and off special filtered glasses, and I could see that seemingly innocent, or at least innocuous, people were actually evil, demonic in fact. And they were everywhere, and I could not tell which reality was true. I woke up terrified, and I had to go to the bathroom but I did not want to leave the safety of my bed; to leave my room and step out into the dark hallway. I did though, because, you know, I am not six years old.

Then I went back to sleep and dreamt of some kind of business complex with a tower. Someone was trying to pull a heist of some sort. (By “someone” of course I mean myself and Bart, possibly also Homer, Simpson.) We were hiding on some kind of balcony or platform overlooking a room, and threw some kind of special light bulbs down onto the floor, in order to distract my father who was working in the room below. Then I jumped into a five story tall, wooden, spiraling escape slide.

Whatever. Let’s get to the good part.

Some (unspecified) uncle of mine was going to be getting married to a woman who happened to have a famous relative. Neither of them is really important, other than to set up a context for my meeting with one Lady Gaga, who was soon to be my step-niece or cousin-in-law or whatever. Now, I do not know about you, but I personally know exactly two things about the Lady Gaga: that she consistently wears the strangest outfits imaginable, and that you can not read her poker face. So my slumbering mind had to invent some details. I met Miss Gaga, appropriately enough, at the Y Circus. In my dream, she was a 14 year old girl. [And if I may be so bold as to speculate just one more thing about the real life Lady Gaga, I am almost positive that she is older than 14.] She had pink hair and whatever your definition for “too much” makeup for a 14 year old, she wore more than that. She did seem like a sweet young lady, although it was almost impossible to talk to her because she went everywhere with an entourage of four or five other girls (handmaidens perhaps?) and an older matronly woman as a chaperone. Also, she had magic confetti given to her by a wizard that was the source of all of her powers. I seemed to be the only one around who thought that this was friggin’ insane probably not true. Later though, on the tour bus ride to I-have-no-idea-where, the chaperone pulled me aside and politely but firmly informed me that, silly as it may be, under no circumstances was I to publicly criticize the magic confetti. Pretty sure the Lady and her followers all believed in it though.