Another year, another needless finger to the Christians

I think skepacabra pretty much said it all.

The latest round of atheist billboards don’t impress me any more than they did last year. Not because I care about offending anyone, but because I find it pointless to go out of the way to give Christians the finger rather than promoting a positive message about atheism. These ads don’t tell anyone what atheists are about, but they do give a solid impression that atheists are obsessed with Christianity in particular – for some reason.

Or did I just not catch the Hanukkah sign that makes fun of the Jewish? ‘Cause we all KNOW that oil lamp thing is a Myth, right?

Next year, could we maybe try to make a name for ourselves for fostering a sense of community and charity rather than going out of our way to use expensive billboard space to remind everyone that Christianity exists?

There’s a time and a place for more aggressive tactics, but a promotional billboard is not either. And if not promotional, what is the billboard for? It’s not supportive either. It seems like some atheist orgs need to think harder about what message they are trying to get across and choose their forums more wisely.

We’ll see you next Christmas… sigh.

The Odyssey

I had to go away last weekend to take a course for work. What should have been a reasonably boring and uneventful trip quickly became a frustrating ball of crap, starting with the cancellation of my flights (of which I had many, because when I was booking – well in advance, btw – there were no direct flights at reasonable times or cost). More…

Thanksgiving

I am thankful for the people who farmed the food I ate today.

I am thankful that I get to eat turkey at least once a year to celebrate the end of the harvest, which where I live (lots of farming here) is a big hairy deal. And it’s delicious.

I am thankful to my husband who helped me peel all of the root veggies for the feast.

I am thankful for the sharing of recipes and the existence of summer savory.

I am thankful for all of my family, friends, and coworkers.

I am thankful that the skeptical community does what it does to try to help people every single day.

I’m also an atheist, which apparently perplexes some people on Thanksgiving. I don’t need a diety, I have lots to be thankful for right here.

G33k and G4m3r girls

So I ignored the G33k and G4m3r Girls song/video when I first saw it in my RSS in a “who cares?” kind of way. These kinds of videos come out all the time and I ignore most of them. But my husband follows some of the same feeds that I do so I watched it when he got home from work.

What I saw made me react in a few ways, not the least of which was “meh” with a dash of “seriously?!” In short, my interest was piqued by the title (“ooh something about me”) and lost by the contents (“oh wait, these women don’t speak for me at all” *sad face*). More…

There, fixed it for you

Today a Facebook friend linked to a video entitled “To all the women behind their soldier’s [sic]…this video is for YOU!” and it is a perfect example of what contributes to deployment loneliness. And bad grammar.

As a “soldier’s wife” I appreciate the sentiment and recognition of mutual emotional sacrifice when the military are sent on deployment, but I’m disappointed with the hetero-normative sexism of internet videos/messages (and even some of the provided material from the military) that assume soldiers are men and there’s a noble woman behind each one.

I know how lonely and boring it is for a spouse to be deployed, particularly as I was still seeking employment when my spouse was overseas. I can imagine that loneliness would be compounded by being ignored by the very people trying to be supportive. So I want to take some time to give a shout out to the men behind their soldiers and all of the homosexual couples that have spouses/partners overseas. All of the people behind their soldiers, whoever they may be.

Women are soldiers. Gay people are soldiers. They also might have spouses back home. Where’s their public support? There are no Google results for a quoted search of the phrase “men behind their soldiers” (well, now there might be after this page gets cached). What a shame.

DBAD

Hey Big Skeptics, when you’re all done talking past each other can we get back to actually preventing charlatans from selling magic beans?

The grassroots are still busy here trying to call attention to real issues while you distract everyone with your bickering about “tone”. Provide some concrete solutions or get back to real life with the rest of us so we can save some frikin’ lives instead of worrying about who is the most introspective and philosophiest of them all.

Are you involved in a skeptical project, gentle reader, that contributes to your community or tackles a particular skeptical issue? Tell me about it in the comments.

Two new shows to check out

Well, one is new-ish.

Most people probably have heard about this already, but just in case some people haven’t: Phil Plait’s show Bad Universe premiers this Sunday night on the Discovery Channel – check your TV listings for the time. Here’s a preview.

Another awesome show that I’ve started to watch this week is Huge, about a group of teenagers sent to “fat” camp. It’s on ABC Family so Canadians might have to get creative in finding the show, but it’s worth the effort. Great writing, great cast, great subject matter. They’re about 9 episodes into the season at this point.

I don’t want to get too much in detail so I can avoid spoilers, but I’ll just say that I’m very impressed so far with the fact that there is an entire show full of average sized-to-overweight people and they are treated with respect, having the exact same sorts of problems any teenager would have but that are usually represented by¬† Hannah Montana types. Often shows will have the one “fat kid” and they are oafish, silly, bullying, dumb, “funny to make up for the whole fat thing, cause otherwise who would like them”, etc. In a nutshell: they are caricatures. This show is not about that. It deals with significant emotional issues surrounding body image, pressure, sexuality, friendship, trust, and willpower. Definitely check it out.

Here’s the preview:

Here‘s a news interview with one of the cast (embedding disabled).

[Hat tip to overthinkingit.com for turning me on to the show in the first place. Link contains some spoilers.]