December 24, 2009

Completely Wrong

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:31 am by fuckyourfavoritedreams

This is a post from October that I wrote for my school and I am reposting it because of the recent Copenhagen summit.

Not Evil Just Wrong is a documentary that will showing on October 18, 2009 at Washington University In St. Louis. It is trying to be the largest opening release by making release packs available for $30 on the internet. It is a counter to “An Inconvenient Truth,” the famous documentary by Al Gore. It also deals with other issues, namely the banning of DDT. The general theme seems to be this– global climate change isn’t happening, it would be okay if global climate change did happen, and the media is trying to trick you into freaking out.

Let’s start with the most easily refuted claim. This isn’t proclaimed outright in the trailer but it has been mentioned by the writers/directors elsewhere since the announcement of the movie. They claim that the ban on DDT was the result of hysterical environmentalists. What it does not consider is that DDT contributes to cancer of the everything. I know that that is a Wikipedia article, but you can check the citations (they are abundant and accurate). DDT was banned because it is horribly destructive to human beings. They claim that it would prevent malaria worldwide, but mosquitoes are increasingly resistant to DDT. This claim is horribly disingenuous and any credibility this film hopes to have are extinguished here.

So, let’s do a point-by-point refutation of the movie. 0:00-0:31 is just clips of scientists saying that global climate change is real and fixing this ecological crisis “won’t be easy.” Won’t be easy? Then it’s evil!

0:31 is where the bold text comes in. “BUT NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME, SCIENTISTS, MEDIA, AND ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE SPEAKING OUT.” It then shows a beach that was probably kept from being ruined by ecological conservation groups. Clean water and whatnot. At 0:45, a “scientist” claims that it would actually be a good thing for the earth to warm up and that “ice is the enemy of life.” It just showed pictures of polar bears in the opening! Polar ice cap melting poses an immediate threat to polar bears. How can they deny this?

The statement at 0:50 is ludicrous. Al Gore doesn’t claim that sea levels are going to rise 30ft in the near future. It’s really that simple. The guy talking calls this a “Very disturbing misstatement of the science.” I can’t help but agree.

At 1:05, the man says “the 21st century is not the warmest the Earth has been in the last thousand years.” I wonder where his “scientific data to show for it” is. This chart begs to differ:

Then, at 1:12, comes some alarmism of their very own. They talk to average people with country accents, like you and me. Because these type of people know enough about geology and meteorology to make cogent arguments about global climate change. The everyman basically claims that fixing our effect on the global environment will cost people their jobs in pollutant factories. Even if that were true, would it matter?

That much is true; the changes our society would have to undergo if global climate change is occurring would be drastic, e pur si muove! The fact that global climate change is happening has nothing to do with how it will effect the common man.

The trailer proclaims in bold font: “THEY WANT TO RAISE OUR TAXES. THEY WANT TO CLOSE OUR FACTORIES.” Then the man on the screen proclaims that “Hundreds of billions of people will die!” Hundreds of billions! That’s more people than there are people! “Al Gore needsta go on about his bidniss somewhurs else.” “They want to go back to the Dark Ages and the black plague!” It keeps going. I can’t even believe that they have the audacity to claim these things. Surely no one on the fence about this issue will buy into those claims.

If you attend WashU, please publicly state your opinion on this bit of garbage. I know it is the right of the WashU students for Liberty to show this, but it any dissenter’s duty to criticize this movie at every point. Global warming should not be a political issue. Scientists do not disagree that global warming is happening and that people are at least partially to blame. This knowledge will keep us from destroying ourselves and the earth along with us.


Tiger Woods and The Problem With Religion And Monogamy

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:27 am by fuckyourfavoritedreams

I’m sorry this is old news, but I wrote it while it was relevant and am posting before it becomes even more irrelevant.

It has been impossible to watch television recently and not see Tiger Woods’ face and testimony from all of the women that he allegedly had sex with. Affairs are very common news stories for the 24-hour news networks (John Edwards comes to mind). It seems like several times a month, unlikely people are outed for having sex outside of their marriage.

This is because monogamy just doesn’t work.

In general, monogamy doesn’t work at all, and the idea that it does comes from religious belief that that is the way that it should be, which is strengthened by examples, which are usually people that stay together because their religion tells them that it is unacceptable to divorce. Since religion is losing its hold on the United States, we are now beginning to see figures suggesting that most marriages will end in divorce eventually.

This is because humans are evolutionarily serial monogamists—we tend to be with one partner at a time and then move to another. We do not mate for life. Some people are more comfortable in polyamorous relationships, and there is nothing any more condemnable about that.

Religion is to blame because it keeps sex as something that is sacred and evil and special and awful at the same time and says that it should only be with one person, and that once you choose that one person, you are filthy if you choose to have se with anyone after that. Even people who aren’t religious feel queasy thinking about serial monogamy and especially polyamory, so it has been imprinted into each of us by our religious society. I know that I, personally, had a long time of dealing with my feelings on the subject, even though I was never religious.

I am not defending Tiger’s actions. When you are not in an open relationship with a person, and you have sex with another person, that is called cheating. He violated his wife’s trust. That is what condemnable here. Not that he had feelings for other women. Perhaps if we as a society had a more open view of sexuality we would be able to engage more openly in sex and open relationships would be possible. Without this negative social pressure about open relationships, people could have sex with people besides their spouse and be open about it with their spouse and there would still be trust in the relationship.

Because of our society, people think that they own their partner’s sexuality and vice versa. Some people even get jealous if their partner masturbates. This is completely ridiculous and a product of a backwards religious culture that won’t allow sex to be a personal, enjoyable, guiltless experience.

December 10, 2009

Richard Cohen is scum.

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:27 pm by fuckyourfavoritedreams

I found these videos through Pharyngula, and though it is extremely uncool to just rip a blog post from PZ, I feel that it is important that I do this, both because of my recent becoming comfortable with my sexuality and because of a person story I have about someone I know who has been involved with Richard Cohen.

One of my favorite teachers was my junior English and French 1-3 teacher. He was very outgoing and slightly flamboyant, and several rumors circulated that he was gay. I, of course, didn’t buy into anything without seeing real evidence, which no one seemed to have. He had a Veggitales Poster in his room and a bible quote behind his desk and mentioned once that he taught a Sunday school class (but never did anything to violate my rights as a non-theist). I wondered: if he were gay, how much cognitive dissonance was going on?

Then I met his ex-boyfriend. He’s actually a friend-of-a-friend, so it was kind of shocking. He said he broke up with my teacher because my teacher couldn’t handle being gay, and was generally unstable on the subject of his sexuality. That fit pretty well with the information I had gathered about his religion. I felt very bad for him– I am from a non-religious family, so I don’t know what it is like to be threatened with eternal punishment for things I have absolutely no control over. He must be terrified every day of his life.

It doesn’t end there, though. We all had to use his computer one day for a French assignment, and I went first and I accidentally saw an email that was on the top window. I saw that it was forwarded to him and several other people, all male, and he was the only school faculty emailed. It was signed “Richard Cohen —” I really hoped that wasn’t what I thought it was, but I looked it up after school and it confirmed my fears. My teacher was going to a gay conversion seminar over spring break. Sponsored by Pizza Hut.

And I can totally see how he bought into it. On the “Causes of Same-Sex-Attraction” portion of their site, they list: unresolved family issues, artistic nature, neglect, poor family dynamics, and being a teacher’s pet. Because of how well I know him, I know that he fits all of these. Coupled with his guilt from his religion and his parents not accepting his homosexuality, you can see why he thought that going to Richard Cohen would solve all of his problems.

I wanted to talk to him very badly and tell him that what he was doing was wrong. I wanted to tell him that his parents didn’t matter and that his religion was bullshit and that sex was a healthy expression of love between two human beings. Of course, there would be no way that I could tell him that without destroying the professional relationship we had, which would have made high school awkward as hell for the rest of my stay there. Still, I wish I had told him in some way and just said “fuck the consequences.”

Richard Cohen exists because of Christian guilt and nothing more. My teacher should not feel guilty for being himself, and he shouldn’t be taken advantage of by scumbags like Cohen who tell them that his guilt is deserved and that he should change. Cohen pretending he is pro-gay rights is insulting to gay people who are comfortable with their sexuality.

Fuck, this makes me so mad.