It’s Halloween. I frikin’ love this holiday. Candy, parties, famous lore-related costumes, inappropriately topical costumes (and the resulting fallout), pumpkin carving, The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror special, going to a tiny Vogue Theatre to see Rocky Horror Picture Show, and all that other awesome crap. It’s a day specifically for fun (or if you’re fundamentally religious, evil hedonism and satan-worship…or something).
I often get asked why I like this holiday so much – about as often as I get asked why I like cheesy horror movies and awesome shows like Supernatural. Because it’s fun, you downers! If it’s not your taste, super. But I don’t really get a lot out of the other major holidays – mostly because of their glaring Christian-ness – so I find Halloween a good chance to let loose and have some fun. I realize I’m a skeptic and an atheist, but I freely enjoy the paranormal, or even the religious, in a fictional context. So, let me have this! :) A skeptical girl’s gotta have her fun sometime. It’s when those things are presented as real with no (or very poor) evidence that I don’t appreciate that stuff so much.
I have nothing but fond memories of Halloween – except the grocery store’s insistence on taking down the Halloween candy 2 weeks early to put up the more expensive Christmas candy. Bastards. But then again, Quality Street……
Chocolate digression. I’m back.
Anyway, I did a week long special of Halloween myths last year and here they are if you’d like to read them. Just remember that even though they’re annoying myths, it’s ok to have fun with the supernatural…as long as we’re all clear that so far it’s make believe (prove me wrong, Ghost Hunters) and we don’t drink and drive.
I had to slip that in there – this year let’s not drink and drive so hard that I don’t even have to be preachy next year at all.
Hi all, if you’re still out there. I’ve been way quiet lately.
I’ve been involved in a number of outside skeptical projects this week (yay!) so I have been seriously neglecting this blog (boooo!).
Once things slow down a bit, I will have a more enthused update.
There is more news in the Balloon Boy story that lit Twitter ablaze last week. Not only was the boy found safe and sound (that rhymed, Marge, and you know it rhymed), but he might be getting a new mommy a daddy secondary to negligence, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, filing a false police report, and conspiracy! Moar…
Which is what this asshole might as well have said. He even played the “I have black friends” gambit…right after refusing to marry an inter-racial couple (a white woman and a black man) in Louisiana. It’s like he was reading from the “I Swear I’m Not Racist” cliche handbook.
I’m going to make a statement here which may or may not blow your freaking mind: You can have black friends and still be racist. OMFGWOW!
What decade is this? The excuse was that he was concerned for their children. He’s not racist, he just doesn’t think races should “mix that way”. Wow. WOW. Dude. No, that is racist. That is all kinds of racist. You have black friends and that’s super, but you feel that you have the right to tell them who they should and should not marry based solely on race and the mixed status of their children. That, sir, is racist.
And the “think of the children” argument? That is low. Especially as he even suggests they go see another JOP to get married, which certainly doesn’t prevent them from having children. So what is his “protest” really accomplishing other than making him look like a dick who is stuck in the 1950s and making this poor couple jump through more hoops for no good reason? We live in a continent with years of oppression of black people and inter-racial couples – that context is important in this decision. The fact that he is ok with this shows a disturbing lack of social awareness.
AND this is a JOP. It’s not even like we high-and-mightys can blame some “backward” religion. This guy works for the US government. So now even secular marriages are subject to personal values and rules because they are just so concerned…you know, for the brownish children.
Except he betrays his real bias – inter-racial marriages, according to him, don’t last as long. So his predictive powers have granted him the right to preemptively deny marriage to clearly unfit couples. Except no, that’s insane and clearly racist. He has no right to deny a marriage to anyone based on race. To get married by a JOP in Louisiana, you pay a fee and wait 3 days. That’s it.
He has no remorse for this and feels he has done nothing wrong because he didn’t actually prevent them from getting married. No, maybe he didn’t prevent anything, but he did manage to make an inter-racial couple feel marginalized and discriminated against…in 2009. Good work.
Hat tip to porlob.
Minor edits for clarity and grammar – meaning unchanged.
to whoever is trying to reset my password: kindly fuck off, please. thank you.
that is all.
Earlier this week I posted about an article that was reported (vaguely) in New Scientist. Some helpful Twitter folks were kind enough to forward me the original article so I could comment more thoroughly…eventually. Here we go. [Edit: I completely forgot to post this before I left for the long weekend. Kimbo fail.] More…
There is a new post on Skeptic North about homeopathy naturopathy in the Maritimes (Edit: I wrote this incorrectly the first time, had homeopathy on the brain). I have this to add: More…