Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We'd better get moving if we want to stay ahead of the weather

Good afternoon! Today is the darkest, most brutal storm of the century here in Chicago. They say that this storm is gonna have more of some kind of barometric pressure than the one that sank the old Edmund Fitzgerald all those years ago and subsequently gave birth to that terrible Gordon Lightfoot song (ed. Note: does it seem strange to anyone else that ‘lightfoot’ is recognized by my spellcheck [but in a SHOCKING twist ‘spellcheck’ is not!] Seems like someone over at the software-making place has some highly dynamic taste in shitty music).

Well, I’m in the thick of it right now. I’m watching some trees whip around and checking out some dude bringing kegs into a bar. Seems downright terrifying out there. I mean, fuck. The traffic cones are threatening to blow over. There are clouds covering almost half the sky! OOOOOOOOH. I battened down the hatches at my house for this shit, people. Took in all the shit off my porch, boarded up the windows, got some whiskey and some toilet paper and some drinking water and the last coke on earth and buried it in an underground bunker and for what? The Edmund Fitzgerald was obviously a total pussy of a boat. There. I said it. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be walking around all elderly and wearing a sail right by the highway or anything, but I’m hardly terrified by the weather today.

Frankly, it’s a bunch of hooey; the climactic equivalent of the 24 hour punditry that derails important news and makes (for example) some Yosimite Sam looking Koran burning hick, or a rehabbed Burlington coat factory a front page story. The weather people finally got their own Terry Jones in this storm with the catchy trappings of a famous boat and song and the thrills of almost unheard of barometric readings (hold onto your seats!) and they’re off! Only problem is that shit’s not all that devastating and well…the whole thing is easily debunked by, you know, looking out the window.

This kind of sensationalism, however, gets harder when you’re talking about things that you can’t just walk outside and stand in, like say, when people started saying that getting your kids vaccinated would lead to autism. Never mind that on one side was the whole medical community, doctors, nurses, researchers: you know, the people who know what the fuck is going on, saying things like “um, this is not true, and in fact, it’s gonna lead to shit like whooping cough and measles and so on having a resurgence (which is happening as we speak, actually), so seriously, please PLEASE vaccinate your child” and on the other side was respected iconoclastic medical personality Jenny McCarthy. I mean, um…

This should have not even been an issue. Jenny was parroting the ideas of a UK doctor who has since admitted that his claims had no basis in research results or any other sort of fact, and who has subsequently been thrown in jail for peddling his pseudoscience. There’s no point where the quack and the former host of Singled Out (look it up, kids) should have been given an equal platform alongside all the Rest of the Medical Professionals in the World, but a funny thing has happened in our 24 hour media cycle of a universe. Suddenly, two opposing viewpoints can be presented as THE two sides of an argument (see: should we build a mosque right on Ground Zero or not? Which side are you on [notice there’s no room for the {highly logical} ‘um, this isn’t a mosque and it’s not at ground zero’ viewpoint])? and voila! We’ve got people not vaccinating their kids because some dipshit with a communications degree and 24 hours to fill decided that putting the skanky wingnut and highly dangerous fringe up against the entirety of rational thought, pragmatic and responsible discourse and general sanity would be a great idea because it’ll play and create follow up stories that can fill subsequent 24 hour cycles ad infinitum.

In a way, it reminds me of religion. And here’s what I mean: There’s no inherent difference between hardass atheists and fundamental religious people. They’re both arrogant and cocksure and refuse to listen to any opposing viewpoints and they’re both pretty much talking out of their asses when it comes to their ideologies, because the ‘big questions’ of the universe don’t have answers, so no: you’re not right, atheist prick, and no, you’re not right, fundamentalist religious nutjob. You’re just both arrogant deesh that don’t really know what you’re talking about and won’t listen to reason.

BUT, the thing that happens all too often is that the smug atheist is placed up against a person from a specific faith, and at that point, the game becomes totally skewed. I mean, there’s a legit debate in “is there a higher power/something more than science and dirt and recycled energy and entropy” but when it comes down to “Is Jesus the son of god, or is there no god,” well, come on…if those are my choices, I’d be an idiot not to side with the atheists. The bible, as we all know, is full of recycled stories from Egyptian, greek and other various mythologies and well, (spoiler alert!) it’s all a bunch of bullshit. You’d have to be kind of retarded to really, truly in your soul think that the bible is anything more than a haphazard handbook, hastily amended and rewritten hundreds of thousands of times that’s kind of oriented towards a general idea of how to deal with the possibility of something greater existing out there. To think of it in terms of any specifics at all is just dumb. A guy who was living in the middle east 2000 years ago wasn’t friends with people named John and Matthew and Paul, for starters. It’s just not an accurate document. BUT, for whatever reason, people insist on giving this one highly wacky perspective a fifty percent share in the entire talk of cosmic perspective.

That’s why, if you get your news from talking head tv, you’re likely kind of stupid. It’s not your fault, and it’s not to say that you’re not educated, but you’ve been ingesting a dumb dualistic view of a highly polyglot world that can’t be easily reduced to for/against arguments, and the idea of the entire perspective is based in no small part on the programming ideas of dumb people that work for TV and have to fill up time in schedules.

Anyway, long story short: this storm ain’t shit.

33 comments:

maggiejoan said...

FIRST

also, this is one of the best entries yet. No joke.

Sean said...

hahaha... the matthew, john, etc part made me chuckle...

Scott said...

yeah, the "storm" part of the storm was pretty rainy. But the wind does not seem so scary. I have been at cubs games that felt like they had scarier wind than this.

Seagull Steve said...

No offense BK, but the atheist versions of big questions (the origins of life, the earth, homo sapiens, etc) make a hell of a lot more sense than the nursery stories you can find in "Holy Books". Maybe thats not something you should really just gloss over when thousands of Socks await your every word?

peter said...

i agree with the comment above mine...the atheist prick at least has some legitimacy behind is hard-headedness and perceived arrogance

squelch84 said...

Dude... what are you talking about? The Storm(tm) was so intense this morning that it took TWENTY FIVE MINUTES to get from my home in Rogers Park to my work in Niles. That's an entire FIVE MORE MINUTES than usual. The Storm's(tm) unbridled power manhandled the entire Village of Skokie, knocking out a power line around the intersection of Touhy Ave. and Carpenter Rd., CRIPPLING traffic to an almost zipper effect. Shit dude, that right there cut into my coffee run this morning. Not cool, Storm(tm).

Brendan Kelly said...

Jesus christ (heyoo!)! Just fifteen minutes ago, I wrote a whole thing here about how badly old "seagull Steve" missed the point of what I was saying and I mentioned that I'm not usually in the habit of indulging such point missing but in this case blah blah blah, and I urged him to go back and reread what I wrote and see if he could figure out why his interpretation of it was so...I believe I used the word "dumb." But then I thought to myself, "Nah, people aren't that stupid and most people have basic reading comprehension skills and not only will they mock steve's knee jerk pop-absolutism-posing-as-skepticism, but they will also understand the gist of what I'm saying and not see it as a dumb entreaty for people to give any one faith and atheism equal playing time, since, you know, that's EXACTLY what I was saying was a stupid thing to do" but then you, peter, came along and proved me wrong. Sigh. Sheeesh. Sorry to waste everyone's time. I could have just not deleted this the first time when it was short and to the point.

limited nobility said...

will the underused "beextrix potter" please kindly yet pedantically make seabreezin steven apologize to brendan.even though steve helped illustrate the crux of the point he was attempting to deride

dustyfloors said...

This storm is lamer than swine flu.

Candice said...

jenny mccarthy is a total fucking idiot.

Owner Operator said...

"There’s no inherent difference between hardass atheists and fundamental religious people. They’re both arrogant and cocksure and refuse to listen to any opposing viewpoints and they’re both pretty much talking out of their asses when it comes to their ideologies, because the ‘big questions’ of the universe don’t have answers, so no: you’re not right, atheist prick, and no, you’re not right, fundamentalist religious nutjob. You’re just both arrogant deesh that don’t really know what you’re talking about and won’t listen to reason."

THIS SHOULD BE ALL OVER THE INTERNET EVERYWHERE!

Owner Operator said...

oh also... if i got stuff t my job wrong as much as a weather man did i'd be unemployed, hey anyone would...

Dave said...

Jenny McCarthy sure was annoying on Singled Out. That being said, i would still occasionally pleasure myself while she was on.

peter said...

haha sorry brendan, i do see your point, about it being stupid to just let two sides control the whole argument, and i agree, so i apologize for my post, i guess i just have more sympathy for the atheist side of the argument. i think the post was far from a waste of time, it's one of the better posts i've read in a while, so i definitely didn't mean to give that idea...
see you in durham for DTFH fest, where i won't identify myself as the guy that made that comment...

limited nobility said...

oh yeeeeaaahhh...would ya really characterize the wrathful,archaic, barbarism of say the old testament as nursery school fodder?You wuz all kindza wrong dawg!Is someone gonna stream that god damned none more black record or what?

limited nobility said...

not @peter.coincidence n shiiitt.........

Owner Operator said...

limited nobility that would be poor form to stream thed none more black record. go buy it ya bum

limited nobility said...

Mmmmmmmm....owner operator-If I agree to stop posting today maybe you could as well?.....

Andrew said...

singled out was a great show.

anybody remember the show "Say What? Karaoke" ? I had a dream about it the other night where I was rapping to "99 problems"
It was kind of awesome.

Jamie said...

I got 99 problems but the wrath of god ain't one

bdt22405 said...

i just got around to reading this today. it truly was a great post and a weak-ass storm.

it's not a new concern by any means, but you're dead on balls accurate when you say that not everything can be reduced to 2 distinct sides. and even if they could, one of the sides probably doesn't deserve equal time and consideration, especially on a 24 hour news cycle that can essentially catch fire and cause public opinion to do a complete 180 very quickly and in a very irresponsible way. sure, drastic paradigm shifts are great, but only if there is actually something else to back it up besides jenny mccarthy's beautiful tits. like...science/data/proof, maybe?

and as a general rule, i pretty much stop reading or listening altogether when someone prefaces anything with, "no offense," because something really dumb is about to be said. but shit, birdman, you really did miss the point. wow.

anyway, these comment sections recently have been making my bk bsc blog boner go bye-bye.

It's A-me, Martucci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
It's A-me, Martucci said...

"Heeey-- bird watchin may not be the greatest niche to carve for oneself...(dramatic pause)...but it's MY fuckin' niche!!"

--seafoam steve in a drunken slur with that squint-eyed self-satisfied glazed grin common to all secretly-dumb types while intoxicated, to an uninterested but attainable brunette who derives her self esteem from the 'moral high ground' angle of being a social worker and following a strict vegan diet for the past year and a half

Robb said...

Owner not to be an antagonistic crum bum but how would streaming the new NMB be "poor form"? Streaming highly anticipated records is pretty common practice these days, at least in the punkz wurld. I wish theyd stream the damn thing as well

Sean said...

I already got it... it's sickkkk

Robb said...

Yeah I went ahead and ordered it...I just wanted an early taste. Should arrive on my doorstep juuust after I've departed for fest. it's only appropriate

Bridgett said...

@squelch84: The Great Lakes Cyclone (as the lady on the radio called it) added a whole whopping five minutes to my commute also. Power was out at Dundee and Waukegan, and the douche nozzles that share my commute can't figure out what to do at a 4-way stop. And the lovely Northbrook police couldn't be bothered to direct traffic. Gotta ride around in their Magnums and Tahoes and eat donuts. AND THEN. I got to work and the power had been out shortly, so I had to restart a bunch of assholes' computers because they can't do it themselves. And it's cold in my apartment because the windows suck. Fuckin' wind, man.

Donnie said...

HA...Singled out.

limited nobility said...

bibbyteenumbers-I actually have a general rule about "dead on balls accurate".perk up man,cuz this about ta get reeeaal gooooood!

Jody said...

Remember when John E. Trash from the band "Home Grown" was on singled out?

Donnie said...

Jody - Dang I wish I saw John E Trash on singled out.

Who remembers when Eric from Boy Meets World was on it?

limited nobility said...

The star of barry gordy's last dragon flick was on singled out.im pretty sure

doorstopper said...

I call Strawman. I get the point of the post but your portrail of atheists isn't accurate(compard to my experince anyway). The majority of atheists would say they think that theres a 99.9% chance god doesn't exist but you can't prove a negative so there is always a possibility (but obv not some old dude with a beard shotting lightning bolts and turning people into salt). I'd also query the concept of an atheist ideology, in the same way not believing in the tooth fairy (that has as much evidence for it's existance as god) doesn't mean you have an ideology.