January 2007

First of all, Ctrl-A and Ctrl-S are too close together. While trying to delete the template of the message, I accidentally posted it. One can only imagine the confusion that would result from an empty message with the subject “Assimilation is the gateway to bestiality!” Moving on.

A few days ago I found a curious group on Facebook. Don’t worry if you can’t access the group because you don’t have a Facebook account or whatever. Here’s the short of it:

JEWISH BOYS LOOKING FOR HOTTIE JEWISH GIRLS!!How many single jews are there?? We need to hook all yall up with other HOTTIE JEWSSS>>>>Can we all join together and rid the world of ASSIMILATION!!! If your jewish and are single (even if your not but have jewish single friends) join the group and make sure that all your jewish friends do as well.

Looking past the grammar and spelling mistakes and the fact that this might be satire (lets hope so), we come to the central message of the club: “Can we all join together and rid the world of ASSIMILATION!!!”

Taty had a curious response to this club. At first, I shared that viewpoint. However, I now realize that there is nothing strange or unique in this. This club simply strives to keep the gene pool small, to contain the members within a particular society and discourage inter-mixing with other societies. What’s so peculiar about that? Time and time again we have seen behavior repeat itself in the world around us: the poor marry poor, the rich marry rich, whites marry whites, blacks marry blacks, Chinese marry Chinese, Catholics marry Catholics. This is the way the majority of the world behaves, sticking with what they know, so to speak. The world may be getting smaller, but where close personal ties are concerned there are still oceans between us.

Is this a subconscious act or do people actively decide “must be from my village, must like Wagner, must have same shoe size”? For most people, a person of similar background is the only logical choice for a mate. Their parents did it, everyone else is doing it and it simply seems inevitable. I speak of “most people”. Realize that the majority of the humans that have ever lived have stayed most of their lives in their small communities. In today’s world you may take it for granted that people are able to come together across great distances, from across a state, a country, a continent or from a completely different hemisphere. If you can do this, you are lucky. It is this lack of options that gives us the first explanation for anti-assimilation.

Second, people tend to stick to familiar things. It’s easy, it’s safe. Then, on a related note, people fear change. On a certain level, it’s easier to stick with someone from one’s own culture than to venture and discover something different. Why bother having to adjust to a new set of customs and traditions when the old come so naturally. Then, there is a certain stigma associated with cross-societal interaction. Regardless of the fact that it’s already the 21st century, there are still cultural barriers restricting such things as inter-racial relationships. This can be both a subconscious act of choosing the tried-and-true path or the conscious decision weighed against the perceived “risks”.

Third, and this does not fall under either the conscious or the subconscious, there is simple incompatibility between societies and their members. This is separate from the stigma I mentioned previously. While the respective societies may be accepting of a member’s choice, it’s possible that the differences could be too large to withstand the pressures of a relationship. For example, a clash of religions has been known to drive people apart. This is how Michael explained to me the exact meaning of 2 Corinthians 6:14: a person of faith needs religious support from their mate, so while the Bible does not state that a religious person isn’t allowed atheistic friends (for example), it does mean that a religious person should be sought after in marriage. Michael’s words, paraphrased. Of course there are other incompatibilities: a steak-lover would find it hard to live with a vegetarian, as a crude but sufficient example.

To attempt to explain the title of this post, take point two (familiarity, fear of change, social stigma) and extend it to an illogical conclusion: first, whites start dating blacks, then men marry men, then Christians and Atheists stay at a bed and breakfast together*, then bestiality!

*Thanks to Rachel for the bit about bed and breakfast. Apparently there is a B&B owner in England who is simply flabbergasted about a potential law requiring equality for homosexual couples. This man is a good Christian (or whatever) and will not have sinful practices on his property. Go ahead and play a little game where you come up with helpful suggestions on avoid “sinful practices” on the owner’s property. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Make sure that no two people of the same sex stay in one room
  • Make sure that the guests present a marriage certificate, so as to avoid the “sinful practice” of premarital sex
  • Check the guest’s luggage for condoms, in case the owner’s religion forbids contraceptives
  • Make sure the woman is not on the pill or has a surgically implanted birth-control method, for the same reason
  • Make sure nothing sinful happens during the guests’ stay. This includes those evil things sexual acts some people do in the privacy of their homes. Might have to resort to night-vision cameras in every room.

In a somewhat related case, a Florida woman went to the police after being raped. She was given one of a regiment of morning-after birth control pills and then arrested. Seems there’s a four-year-old charge against her. She was held in jail for two days during the course of which the woman was not allowed to continue the morning-after regiment. Why? The officer in charge of the jail declined to give woman the pills as it was against her (officer’s) religion. Argh!


Nadia, a CTU employee of Middle-Eastern descent, is flagged by Homeland Security during a nuclear crisis. Milo, a co-worker, doesn’t agree and has a curious response:

This is ridiculous. She’s lived in this country since she was two years old. She’s a registered Republican, for crying out loud.

I actually had to pause the show, stop laughing and blog about this. Funniest quote since Jack’s “Our government has no integrity!”

I was just reading the SNL article on the Wikipedia and something struck me. No, it wasn’t a jackhammer. The whole article only utters the phrase “cue cards” once, and that’s only a reference to a dyslexic cast member who had trouble with memorizing her lines.

This is like an article on South Park not once mentioning the word “controversy”. Or an article on Communism without a reference to the Soviet Union. Or a dozen consecutive posts on this blog without a single religion/tradition bash.

A Jordanian man shot his 17-year old daughter in the head four times because he thought she wasn’t a virgin. After she was tested and shown to still be a virgin and he, the father, signed a statement promising not to harm her.

Here’s the story.

He did it for “family honor”.

To hell with “family honor”. To hell with tradition. To hell with religion. 20 women are killed each year in Jordan by their families over similar matters. 20 women! Until recently, Jordanian law was so lenient with “honor” killers that some got a sentence as short as 6 months. 6 months for the murder of a young woman in one’s own family. I cannot begin to express the disgust I feel at the traditions, beliefs and general societal norms that lead to this being entirely acceptable and even defended.

I don’t have a list of countries I dislike. That’s not how I feel. I dislike the actions of groups of people. Aside from the obvious injustices perpetrated by various societies around the world, I mostly object to the reasons for those actions. I don’t dislike China. I dislike the Chinese government for their ignorance of basic human rights and outright disrespect of human dignity. I don’t dislike India. I dislike the people who, by way of ignorance, tradition or simple sexism, are killing thousands of newborn girls each week. I don’t dislike America. I dislike the Americans who, in the name of God and country, tread on the Constitution and consider the Bill of Rights a “list of suggestions”. I don’t dislike the Church. I dislike the members of the Church who wage war on the unholy masses and in a thinly-veiled attempt at equality try to seed national law and school curriculum with prejudice and intolerance. I don’t dislike Jordan. I dislike the society that derives inhuman laws from centuries-old traditions and religious texts. I dislike the society that finds murder more acceptable than dating, all in the name of religion and a higher moral state. What can one say of a society’s moral state when murderers are looked up to as the beacons of light amid the dark desert of immorality?

Don’t ask for a reason, but I just came up with some curious new Olympic Events.

Olympic Bodily-Fluids Competition

The objective is to expel various bodily fluids, determined by the event, from the height of a water-tower, into a target area on the ground. The target area is not immediately under the tower (for challenge) and will be split up into several partitions. The smallest and most challenging partition will be a small cup. The winner is determined by finding the ratio of the volume of bodily fluids in the cup to the volume in the rest of the target area.

The most obvious are of course the spitting and urinating contests. But I am sure that the public will embrace the arterial-spray contests with open hands. I’m sure that in some dark, angst-filled room there is an undiscovered Olympic-class athlete who can make precision shots from his jugular vein.

Not enough people make fun of the pope.
Well, at least GameSpot is trying. Even if it’s not particularly offensive.

Just saw “Children of Men”. One of the best movies I’ve seen, one of the most touching and has some wicked action sequences.

Minor spoilers follow. Bite me.

First, the basics: humanity is infertile. No one has been born in the past 18 years. The whole of the world is circling the drain, and England is center-stage of the film. It’s having problems of its own, those of a rebel uprising and an attempt to deport all illegal immigrants. The problem of illegal immigrants isn’t touched on much and we aren’t too sure who the rebels are or what they want. Regardless. The main character, a very awesome Clive Owen, finds himself at the center of events that are simply beyond one man. He has to transport a pregnant woman to the mysterious “Human Project”. Yes, pregnant. And… we’re off!

Co-starring is Michael Caine (in a wonderfully drugged-out John Lennon imitation), Julianne Moore as Owen’s long-ago wife and leader of the rebellion, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Julianne’s second in command. First off, Chiwetel Ejiofor is as awesome as ever. Second, so is Caine. In fact, the whole cast is top notch.

The movie is an artistic masterpiece. More is said through the use of background images than through traditional story-telling. The dialog is never pointless and always telling us more of the story. One of the best things about the movie is the point-of-view (POV) camera shots. I think the producers have created a masterpiece and have defined the use of camera mid-action. There is particularly long tracking shot, at the end of the movie, that lasts 9 minutes and goes from shoot-outs on the streets to tanks being deployed against a building. Imagine the opening scenes from “Saving Private Ryan”, transposed to an urban setting, all overlaid with the sickening feeling that the first child born in almost two decades is in mortal danger.

The film is also very emotional and touching. In fact, it might be too much so. Or maybe it’s just me. I tend to be pretty affected by movies, and this one was no exception. The feeling of loss, hopelessness and the overall dark mood stuck with me long after leaving the movie theater. Or maybe that’s just me and not the movie. Bah.

Watch it, if you can. I had to drag my ass to the oh-so-comfy chairs at Lincoln Square Cinemas because, as the law of American films states, the number of movie theaters a film is playing on is inversely proportional to its quality. See for yourself: the current #1 movie in America is “Stomp the Yard”, with a Tomato rating of 25%. #2 is “Night at the Museum”, with 40%. In fact, go to the current Rotten Tomatoes Box Office stats page and notice how the rating of the film and the number of theaters it’s playing at is related. “Pan’s Labyrinth” has a score of 97% and is playing at 6 times fewer theaters than “Museum”. Anyways, back to the post in progress.

Actually, we’re done. That’s a wrap people! I’m off for the day. Maury, hold my calls and reschedule that thing tomorrow.

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