Category Archives: Links

Interview with Rev. Ivan Stang, leader of the Church of the Subgenius

As a Subgenius, I always enjoy reading about Ivan Stang’s work in founding the Church and where it all comes from. I thought this interview on In-Sight was particularly interesting.

3. Before moving into the core discussion on the design, development, and foundation of the Church of the SubGenius, you have discussed the core elements of any religion, what three things does any religion need to have to flourish?

A religion really needs only one thing: to make believers feel like they’re better than everyone else. A perceived oppressor and a perceived savior are helpful, but the main thing is telling people what they most want to hear.

I have observed seemingly educated people falling for the most blatantly ludicrous notions simply because it was what they most wanted to believe. As my Pappy said recently, “I believe what I need to believe.” To me that sadly sums up the human condition. I have seen some extreme and depressing examples of this, resulting in my having to personally deprogram the gullible from my own fake cult! In some notable cases, I failed.

Pathologizing civil rights is a stupid strategy.

It seems to be a common strategy for people seeking civil rights to pathologize their activity or preferences as a way to garner sympathy, but, as Brave Lucky Game points out, this doesn’t really make any sense logically.

The same influence also has some effect on the fat rights scene—sure, mostly by concern trolls, and not so much with the “fat rights scene” (it’s largely rejected by, well, everyone). The script goes pretty much the same way: “It’s so horrible to live a life that’s so fat and disgusting because of that fat and disgusting body. Haven’t they suffered enough? I mean, being fat is worse than anything!”

In a slightly different way, pathologizing children is used to “fight for their interests,” too. Look at how inferior they are! Look at how ignorant and illogical they must be to not know everything about civilization! Clearly, their brains just don’t work right, and that’s why they’re pure and innocent. And let’s not forget that many cultures assume that being a teenager is essentially an unfortunate temporary mental illness.

And to another point, it’s something that pisses me off a lot in the “pro-choice” community. Nobody ever wants an abortion; it is a horrible, bad, wrong thing that we’d absolutely do away with if we could figure out a way to stop women from whining about their rights. Because, really, come the fuck on—it goes beyond adoption, beyond financial and emotional means, beyond every ridiculous fucking excuse out there: sometimes, you just don’t want your genes to go on. Sure, 99.999% of everyone with a uterus would prefer “not getting pregnant in the first place” to having an abortion. But pathologizing abortion—and the choice to have one—is just more support for the concept that abortion is a horrible, shameful thing, no matter who you are.

What would a female utopia be like?

Even though I spend most of time opposing things, I also think it’s important to talk about what we support. This entry by witchwind discusses what a female utopia would be like. In doing so, she connects with other areas than just feminism, like childism, environmentalism and self-government. I don’t agree with all her points (for instance, her reliance on Green energy is flawed, as the video that will be posted tomorrow will demonstrate), but I think it’s worth looking at.

Stupid Things White People Say

Here is a short list of great quotes from comments on this entry. Have I learned something about myself? Hell yea. And that’s not even including the comments I trashed, some of which were long, incredible rants about how racist and evil I am.

So what have I learned?

1. I’m racist because I notice racism.

“Could it be that the people that notice are rascist? Is there any possibility that someone who didnt see the world from a bigoted point of view see racism?”

“So was Nina Simone a racist?
To me it’s a song celebrating diversity – we find what we look for…”

“Well there is a general sense that the average person who doesn’t speak Chinese may not understand that I Ching and Change and ding dang are entirely innocuous terms. People with racist proclivities will hear what they want to hear.”

2. Apparently everyone who watches a television ad that has a song in it immediately does research on the song and what it means, so I should have assumed all that information when analyzing a television ad.

“You didn’t even research the song.”

“So glad someone commented about the actual meaning of the words. Why didn’t the poster who started this article do the research.”

“Anyone who takes 15 seconds to look up the origin of the song, it makes no logical sense that it’s racist.”

3. Nina Simone was black, therefore the advertisement (which she had nothing to do with) is not racist.

“I can definitely at least point out Nina Simone never would have intended for the song to be taken as racist, but rather the opposite.”

“All you haters out there claiming this is a racist song: I have attached a file showing the song writer, Nina Simone performing this song. She wrote it in 1982. By the way, Nina and her band are all black. So, yeah, this is a very racist song.”

4. Apparently everyone who watches a television ad understands Chinese.

“Ding dang I do believe means certainly in chinese.”

“定 当, or “ching chang” means “certainly” in Chinese. You can basically take it to mean the same thing as “fo’ sho’.””

5. It’s not racism (or it’s not important) if it’s not done against black people.

“Start with white folks wanting to use the “n” word just because hip hoppers are too stupid to stop using it…that’s your racism…”

“Darling it’s only racism if it’s pertaining to African Americans…”

6. I have huge personal failings compared to Martin Luther King.

“Also, all that cussing makes you sound like a trailer trash drug whore, not a blogger trying to raise awareness. Your “style” isn’t the way MLK did his thing, now is it?”

7. Apparently I’m white and I’m deciding what racism is and what it is not. (I thought that issue was pretty well settled, but seems not)

“I don’t think Nina Simone would feel it was racist, let me guess your white? I wish white folks would stop deciding what is racist and what is not and let the people effected by actual racism be the judge of that.”

8. Hello white entitlement.

“I’m tired of hearing/reading “whitey”, “cracker”, that I’m racist simply for being born white, or that I have “white privilege” because I was born white. Who’s prepared to write a blog about Chris rock and his stereotypes against all races, that he makes millions off of? Whatever other comedian, musician, or entertainer that makes money off of making fun of people, just because of how/where they are born? My point is that, people aren going to take this seriously, while you ignore all of the other BLATANT forms of racism being committed every single day. Scholarships for specific races ONLY, groups for specific races ONLY, separate but equal as long as blacks and Latinos are treated special because of their “oppression”. Are we now oppressing whites to punish them for something they didn’t do? There would be no outcry of racism like the one we would get if we formed a peaceful, whites only group (such as the NAACP) or provided a scholarship that only white people have access to. Whites are literally denied access to certain scholarships because of their race, and that is ok?? I just don’t understand raging against a commercial, when there are so many more important things you could rage about.”

9. And the prize for the whitest thing anyone wrote:

“I love this song and don’t see it as even slightly racist. I think we all need to remove the race card and just enjoy the song. After all, color IS a beautiful thing. Black IS beautiful, so is red, yellow, white and all the other colors of the earth that we were all created from. Why don’t we all just take the racist idea and throw it out and just enjoy the song from a very talented lady”

A personal story about sex slavery in America.

A former sex slave wrote about her experienced for Cracked. It sheds a lot of light on how sexual slavery operates in Western countries.

When I got a little bit older, the first person I intentionally tried to reach out to was my great-aunt. She was always nice to me, I thought. I tried to tell her, “Mom makes me go places with these men.” She listened. And, just like the lady I let it slip to at school, she went right to my mother. “What is all this [Jane] is saying?” And my mom, being cunning, said: “Oh, no, she’s just being over-dramatic. She’s trying to take attention because I caught her in the house with a boy.” Once again, that defused any suspicions. As soon as mom got me home, she burned me.

You know how counselors in school made a big show of saying, “If you’re ever abused, come to one of us and we promise we can help”? Well, I confessed to my counselor. Want to guess what happened? He didn’t go to my mother — no, he brought in my stepdad and said, “Tell him what you just told me.” Which immediately froze me; I couldn’t speak. That night was the closest he ever came to killing me.

It’s kind of a fanciful story to believe — a 15-year-old tells you she’s being sold, beaten, burned, and choked, and all these people are involved. I don’t necessarily blame my counselor for being confused. I barely believe it myself. The community we lived in was already pretty big on corporal punishment, so bruises and cuts were shrugged off as, “She must have been acting out.”

“But what about Child Protective Services?” Well, this was out in the boonies, where A) nobody is big on government interfering with family and B) everybody knows everybody else. In my case, the local CPS officer was one of my cousins. She turned her back and just wrote it off as a family secret. The first cop that knew about my plight also happened to get his regular drug fix from my dad, and so he looked the other way.

Why do BDSMers get away with arguing consent?

Deirdre Skye (as a fan of Alpha Centauri, I heartily approve of this nickname), writing for Feminist Current, asks why it is that BDSMers get away with arguing that consent makes their particular brand of hierarchy AOK but we easily see through this ploy when it’s used to support other hierarchies.

Hypothetically, it would be possible for Walmart to create a new private school, Walmart Academy, which would allow parents to send their young toddlers for residential education through the age of 18. Walmart Academy could teach desirable employee traits as personal and civic virtues — or, indeed, as the only behavioral choices that wouldn’t lead to punishment.

After such an education, students would be given Walmart jobs for life. They would be cheerful in their work, trained never to express dissatisfaction, boredom, or anger. Each of them would want his or her job — some would feel their jobs were, in fact, necessary for their life satisfaction.

It is doubtful that many of us would be swayed by the notion that these hypothetical employees chose their jobs. In the same way, most of us would not be comforted if we learned that the North Korean people really did think their leader was a living god, or that they were quite happily starving.

We can see, then, that consent — even enthusiasm — of the exploited is not necessarily a useful paradigm for evaluating whether that exploitation is moral.

This principle is simple, even intuitive, in these situations.

So why does BDSM get a free pass?

What if 1984 was written by a radfem?

“Do you remember,” [O’Brien] went on, “writing in your diary, ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that penises are male sexual organs?”

“Yes,” said Winston.

O’Brien held up his left hand towards Winston, and pointed at his crotch.

“What are penises, Winston?”

“Male.”

“And if trans activists say that penises aren’t male but female — what are they?”

“Male.”

The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial had shot up to fifty-five. The sweat had sprung out all over Winston’s body. The air tore into his lungs and issued again in deep groans which even by clenching his teeth he could not stop. O’Brien watched him. He drew back the lever. This time the pain was only slightly eased.

“What are penises, Winston?”

“Male.”

The needle went up to sixty.

“What are penises, Winston?”

“Male! Male! What else can I say? Male!”

The needle must have risen again, but he did not look at it. The heavy, stern face and hallucinations of biology books filled his vision. A male sexual organ appeared before his inner eye like an urechis unicinctus, weird, blurry, and seeming to vibrate, but unmistakably male.

“What are penises, Winston?”

“Male! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Male! Male!”

“What are penises, Winston?”

“Female! Female! Female!”

“No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think they are male organs. What are penises, please?”

“Male! Female! Male! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop harassing me!”

Abruptly he was sitting up with O’Brien’s arm round his shoulders. He had perhaps lost consciousness for a few seconds. The bonds that had held his body down were loosened. He felt very cold, he was shaking uncontrollably, his teeth were chattering, the tears were rolling down his cheeks. For a moment he clung to O’Brien like a baby, curiously comforted by the heavy arm round his shoulders. He had the feeling that the trans activist was his protector, that the pain was something that came from outside, from some other source, and that it was O’Brien who would save him from it.

“You are a slow learner, Winston,” said O’Brien gently.

“How can I help it?” he blubbered. “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Penises are male.”

“Sometimes, Winston, sometimes they are female. Sometimes sexual dimorphism doesn’t exist. Sometimes they are just a feeling. You must try harder. It is not easy to become a submissive supporter of identity politics.”

The Onion nails another one.

The Onion occasionally comes up with genius articles, and this is definitely one: Man Going To Trust Society’s Determination That He Deserves His Privilege.

Pointing to his strong educational advantages and the fact that he has never once felt threatened by law enforcement, Naylor acknowledged his situation contrasts starkly with that of individuals who lack the resources necessary to ensure they will never have to try particularly hard to obtain the things they want.

“I look around and see a lot of people who don’t have what I have, which leads me to conclude our social institutions have these built-in disparities for a purpose—one that I trust makes perfect sense,” he said, explaining that “someone probably would have done something about it” otherwise. “In fact, I would go so far as to presume that, for some reason or another, these people do not deserve the same personal, professional, and monetary leg up that I’ve had every step of the way. It’s just common sense.”

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