March 22, 2009 § Leave a comment
“This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world,” Palin said in a statement released Friday. “These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community.”
And the shit hit the fan. But, besides the fact that Obama made a plump joke and just got downgraded from Messiah to Belsebub, I’d like to take a minute and reflect on Palins statement here. I’ll point out the part I’m wondering about:
“our world’s most precious and unique people”
Isn’t this… well.. Isn’t this a bit like talking about puppies? “You are such a cute little puppy, the cutest and best puppy in the WORLD”. Or babies! “Such a beautiful little lovely baby, aren’t you just the cutest most precious baby in the world!”.
Yeah, what’s wrong with that you might say.. Well. IT ISN’T the cutest puppy and the best baby ever. And the people competing in the special olympics aren’t our most precious people. Every human being has an equal value as an individual, but I’d say that our most precious people probably are doctors and farmers, and scientists, maybe? Our most unique people.. Well, they do seem to live in USA all of them at least.
And think of this, if your kid draws some sort of incomprehensible doodle on a paper and claims it’s a duck, you’ll say “yeah, it’s such a good duck too! What an artist you are!” and you’ll pin it up on the fridge. You might even torture you’re friends by calling them up and tell them about the remarkable doodle duck (and your friends will hate you, and no longer be your friends. Don’t ever call me to talk about doodles your kids made, ok?), and for your kids level of skill (eye hand coordination, etcetera), it might be a remarkably good doodle duck.
But it’s still just a freaking doodle. If you take it out of context, and put it in a museum, people will walk by and say “Hey, isn’t that just a kids drawing?”. Because it’s not art.
Conclusion: Just because you are extremely good at something on your level, with your skills, with your background, it doesn’t mean that you actually are good at it. I suck at math for example. I have a very high level of understanding of logical problems, in comparision to others with my level of math ed, but that doesn’t make me good at math in general. It’s just a way of saying “oh well, it could have been worse”.
So, no, this is not about our most precious and unique asset to the human race, at all. It’s about people who are extremely skilled at what they do, in context of their background. Can please agree on it that there is an important difference here? And that differnece can be simply put like this: In one of the cases you pat people on the head like if they were babies. In the other you respect them enough to put their skills partly in context of both their background, and the real world.
Now you choose.
February 8, 2009 § Leave a comment
I read about an Australian columnist being banned because his article was anti-semitic (you can read the full article here, but beware of really creepy comments), and I have to say that even if the article might have been a little bit harsch and biased, but seriously, it wasn’t anti-semitic.
Sometimes it feels like the notion amongst pro-israel people is that every negative comment ever uttered about Israel is anti-semitic, Israel can do no wrong. This is plain silly. Israel is doing a lot of wrong, a lot of the time.
I’m one of those thinking that the conflict between palestine and israel is more complex then we normally think of, but I know one thing that never ever lead to peace, and that is cramming in 1.5 million people in gaza, behind a wall, destroying the lifes of everyone within and then bombing the place. Israel has become the bully, and is now the state commiting the warcrimes towards others, rather then the people of Israel being the victims of such crimes.
January 27, 2009 § Leave a comment
So, ok. I re-read yesterdays post and went “omg, why do I sound like a drugged housewife in happy-land?”, maybe there was something in my food.
I think it’s the english thing again, it’s hard to sound smart in another language then your first, you end up sounding like some la-la-ing moron with the brains of a drugged and comatoze caterpillar.
I read an article in a swedish “news” paper just now, about why the new male stereotype is a post teenager that never lets go of his PS3. I’m talking positive stereotyping now, you know, the boyish looks, the male friendships, the trendiness and metrosexuality. The theory was that this came as a result from various things all related to the role of their dads more or less, and slightly tilted because womens role has become more serious. Yeah, men lives in such a bubble, don’t they.
Is it just me thinking it is damn obvious that the reason that men never really grow up is because women do? First: They don’t have to any more. Who would if you didn’t? Second, if women takes responsibility for something, it automatically becomes low statur. Women go to university? Home made man is the thing, no education, work your way up. Women read fiction? Men read facts (for those of you who don’t know, fiction was suppose to make women insane, we were too weak to understand it wasn’t real or something.), fiction is waste of time. Women write about politics? They’re bitter. Men write about politics? They have insight. To quote Magnus Betnér: “Being a dick is bad, but being a cunt is always worse.”. So, while women try to actually make something out of their lifes, trying to get a career is now boring, dull and low status, while playing PS3, becoming reach for making an ass of yourself a la random MTV-fucktards and such, is high status. When women started to enter the intellectual circles for real, it became fashionable to be dumb and uneducated. A real man work with his hands, or a real man don’t talk about blahblah, he does something about it instead. Blah blah.
Here in sweden, about 60% of higher ed-spots are occupied by women. It might get higher. Do men want to actually have a functioning and equal society around them, if so, they should shape up and get an education. Because I don’t think this will hold for ever. Higher education can’t stay as low status, since most jobs demand it. Instead the market will ever so slowly start favoring women, and suddenly it’s we who are on the high status end. It was suppose to be equal, and if men only could stop shunning whatever females been close to like kindergarden kids, it might be easier to get there.
And don’t throw the new friendly soft metrosexual in my face, the guy who talks about feelings and drinks lattes. We all know that the glue of that ideal was that it existed only inside a “no women”-zone.
I know, to most people this is a non-issue. For some reason, feministic discussions are less important then any other discussion about equality. I mean, off course everyone should be treated equal regardless of skinncolor, but now women, they always nag about everything. Lets leave them out of this.
Oh, and now to something completely different:
If you are in need of the perfect procrastinator, I’ve found it with the help of Carp and krinkle and the others on CHAOS (I seriously can’t remember who it was.). Here it is
I mean, who doesn’t want to spend all day watching a live feed of random african animals?
January 24, 2009 § Leave a comment
.. to Sam Harris: Letter to a christian nation.
I’d like to say that atheists are humble. Humble since they assume that they are not the ones who has to answer. Most of us leaves answering the big questions to the big minds, like Hawkins and his pals. But I can’t claim to be humble. I’m humble when staring into the abyss of possibilities that is the universe, but I’m everything but humble as a person. My bad. Still, this has nothing to do with my atheism. I happen to be a person too, quite arrogant and aggressive even at times. But please, do show me a hardcore religious who isn’t just that.
The freedom of thought, religion and speech does not give you the freedom to be an idiot.
One thing though. There is one problem with atheism vs religion is that atheism is mostly found amongst highly educated or intellectuals, in societies with a functioning and equal system, with fair amount of gender equality and so on. In wealthy enviroments. Can you see what I see? It is the possibility of a new class war. Elitistic atheists (like me) might very well only conjur up underdog feelings amongst the religious. I can’t solve this. But, I can give a suggestion. Let’s not preach for the poor. Let’s put up proper systems for education instead and teach things that are rational. And then, when we all had an equal chance to make up our mind, then, then we can take this discussion again.
I promise you, that the few religious people who would be left, wont be the sharpest tools in the drawer.
January 18, 2009 § Leave a comment
I had too. I’m so sorry, but I had too.
You see, the whole transition of power in the united states from a man who was portraited as stupid to a man who has been portaited as Messiah, isn’t all good.
I like Obama a lot, and I think he can do a lot of good for US and for the international relations with for example Europe. But there is a difference between liking a politician and thinking he might have positive impact vs thinking he will save the world. He wont. He might make it a little bit better. But he wont save it, you or anyone.
My guess is like this, Obama will have power in up to 8 years, depending on if he survives or not (I hope he does, but it’s USA, they have more nutcases per square meters then my wardrobe has lonely socks). The the power will shift back to republican, the “underdog” christian rightwing part of USA will go completetly apeshit and Joels army will launch their first real war on the ungodly, Sarah Palin will push and cheer it on, and war will be upon us, all the infidels who don’t believe in 2000 kcal meals, jesus as the only saviour and the rapture, xxxxl-sized t-shirts and I don’t know, what more do they have? Anyway. I think that independent of how this goes, it will sooner or later go apeshit, and USA will be the country starting it. Most likely they will start it with a comment of “but they are a threat to us by not being like us, so now we have to defend ourself against them”.
Luckily Obama has already shaped a political role as a diplomatic man for himself, so the war rethorics of Bush at least has to be looked over before recycled. Afghanistan will probably suffer a bit from this. Iran might gain something, in other words, Iran might loose something. Remember that all the countries or leaders who lashes verbal attacks at the US, need the US. It’s the visible enemy.
I can feel the same worry about Europe. I mean, we don’t like USA, I’m so sorry, but we don’t. We like the people, but we don’t like the country ok. My own personal grudge is off course the religion, that we for some reason allow christian fundamentalists, but not muslims. I think they both should go. It scares me that someone who is convinced that the fact that science as yet can not explain everything means there is a god, is actually allowed to rule countries. May it be Sweden, Russia, Kirgiztan, Jemen, USA.
Anyhow, back on track. I worry about the fact that much about the european identity revolves about not being like the US. For example, many of our presidents and prime ministers can make coherent sentences, use multi-syllable words and some of them even try to create a system that is favorable for the poor, rather then multi national companies. Not all of them mind you. Still, they have all benefited from the aversion against the states. What will happen now? How will we define ourself?
And, most of all, how will we handle it if Obama turns out to not be all people hope for. Many people in the states seems to be in some sort of mass hysteria, and I’m not sure I’m trusting them to see what their president is actually doing.
I mean, if he would say “lets nuke north korea”, I’m pretty sure many americans would bring out the flag, wave it around and say “YEAH” and not think more about it. “Lets nuke norway!” would get the same reaction, mostly because quite a few people wouldn’t even know it was a different country.
But except for being very suspicious and a bit scared that from tomorrow the world will have it’s blind fold on for eight years until the right wing christian lobby starts wrecking the world to pieces again, I have to admit I’m exited. I reckon that those neo-conservatives wont wake up one morning and realize that they are hated by everyone and if there was a god, he would probably be highly embarrassed by them. I don’t think they’ll suddenly realize just how right wing they are, and just how bad it is. But, at least they’ll have less say for a while. The world is just a little bit safer, for now.