The Last Road

Living every day like it's the last… because one day, it will be.

Of Elevators and Keynotes and Other Fancy Things

Posted by Rystefn on July 7, 2011

So apparently people have been following my comments back here. Given that my last post was a year and a half ago, I don’t imagine it’s serving much purpose. Now, I can’t imagine a reason why anyone would follow one of my comments back here unless they cared to some degree or another about what I’ve been saying, I guess I should go ahead and spell it out neatly, in plain English, all in one place. Yes, this is going to offend some people. No, I don’t give a shit.

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Posted by Rystefn on December 16, 2009

Ok, so I haven’t posted in a long time around here. Life’s been pretty crazy of late, even by my own standards. I may or may not be updating semi-regularly again soon, but I couldn’t allow this to pass without comment.

Of course it wasn’t a slut-shaming, woman-hating, sex-hating culture that divides young women into “good” (virginal) and “bad” (fallen) and allowed a 13-year-old girl to believe that she had ruined her life forever by showing a boy her tits… Parents, teachers, administrators, pastors, bullies, slut-shamers, fools, woman-haters, hypocrites, tell me why YOU think they are killing themselves. Do you know? Do you know why Hope Witsell hanged herself? Do you know why she thought she had no future?

It wasn’t because she made a momentary, impulsive expression of her barely-adolescent sexuality (or gave in to peer pressure from boys who felt that her body was public domain; if the latter, that is just another horrible thing to add to this horrible thing, but either way it was not because she took a picture of her boobs). It wasn’t because of a media-manufactured techno-trend. It wasn’t the internet. It was not that, as this putrid “news” article disgustingly asserts, “The downward spiral of Hope’s life was unstoppable.”

If everyone I know who had a picture of their boobs on the internet before their 18th birthday killed themselves, I’d have a lot of dead friends. I wouldn’t be around to remember them, though, since I’d be dead too.

It wasn’t SEXTING.

It was you, adults, all the adults in her life.

Uptight, sexually-repressed fucktards aren’t just hurting themselves. We should not feel pity for them. We should feel anger, rage, Hell, toss out some hate while you’re at it. They deserve every ounce of scorn we can heap upon their heads. Save your pity for their victims.

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You Are the Oppressor

Posted by Rystefn on August 8, 2009

This relates to the discussion here and here.

I know I haven’t exactly made a big deal about around here, but this blog was created for a different reason. Since it doesn’t really serve that purpose anymore, I may as well start putting it here as well. So far, I think the only real indication I’ve put up that I’m an atheist is the Dawkins scarlet A in the sidebar over there. If that lead some of my readers to think I’m one of those quiet, polite atheists who don’t stir up trouble, the you don’t know me very well. I’m one of the loud, angry, strident atheists who make a scene in public if I hear someone make an offhand comment that “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance isn’t that big of a deal, or that America was founded a “Christian Nation™”.

You may not know this (it’s easy to wear blinders when it’s someone else’s problem), but there is a concerted effort in this country to oppress the nonbelievers. Atheists are among the least trusted groups is America, despite being among the least violent and least likely to commit crimes of any kind. People toss around phrases like “militant atheist” to make themselves feel better about claiming people demanding equal rights need to be quiet about it. We live in a world of real militants. Militant Islam is not Muslims standing up and demanding fair treatment, it’s Muslims picking up weapons and killing people. A separatist is someone who wants to separate. A militant separatist is someone who is killing people about it. We use the same definition of “militant” for every religion and philosophy it’s ever been applied to… except atheism.

If you’re one of the people who use the phrase “militant atheist,” then you’re one of the oppressors. If you’re one of the people who say atheists shouldn’t be so loud/angry/strident/impolite/irreverent/willing to disrespect a cracker, then you’re one of the oppressors. If you hear about a civil rights rights struggle, and don’t get involved, then you are the oppressor.

Every day, I hear some asshole say we’re alienating potential allies by being so vocal. Really? There are people out there whose willingness to see us get the freedoms that are our right hinges on how polite we are? You know what I say to that? Fuck those people! I’m not interested in trading angry oppressors for kinder, gentler oppressors. I will not allow my rights to hang on the whim of another, whether that other wants to deny them as a matter of course, or simply because I said the word “fuck.”

You do not have the right to not be offended. Whether you’re offended by my language, my disrespect, or the fact that I reject your belief system doesn’t matter. You do not have the right not be offended by me, and you do not have the right to deny me mine because you are offended. If you think you do, the you are the oppressor. If you think to yourself that you’re a nice person, not like those raging, angry fundamentalist types, so you shouldn’t have to hear us shouting about being oppressed, guess what? You’re oppressing us, too. At least the openly anti-atheist crowd are honest about it. “The world would be a better place without atheists in it” is oppressive, but guess what? So is “the world wold be a better place if I never had to hear about the atheists.” If you wish we would just shut up or calm down or get over the little things or any variation on the theme, you’re not just enabling the oppressors. You are the oppressor.

I know someone is going to come along and say something against me for having an “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality. That’s not accurate. There is a third group: the group that doesn’t realize anything is happening. You know what’s a good way to get someone’s attention? Shouting. If you’re telling us to stop shouting, you’re telling us to stop trying to tell the people who don’t know that there’s a problem. Whether you’re doing it intentionally or not, you’re trying to stop our fight for civil rights before it even really gets started. That puts you squarely against us, doesn’t it? If you wonder why people are mad at you even though you’re polite and soft-spoken and don’t want to take away our right to vote or hold office or not have our children indoctrinated into your delusions, that might be why.

It’s because you are the oppressor.

Posted in atheism | 4 Comments »

The Next Morning

Posted by Rystefn on July 21, 2009

So I’ve been writing more lately, and I thought I’d share. Quick bit of background: This particular piece is set in the world of ShadowRun (imagine a cross between Blade Runner and D&D), and features this guy, a former teen pop star turned shadow criminal: Station

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40 Years

Posted by Rystefn on July 20, 2009

Following up on my last post… 40 years ago today humanity took our first steps on an alien world… While Luna is not so distant we cannot easily see it on almost any night we care to look up, we shouldn’t downplay what a momentous achievement this was. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look at the sky for a bit.

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Posted by Rystefn on July 16, 2009

40 years ago today, something momentous happened. By now, I think everyone reading this knows, it’s the anniversary of the launch of the first manned spaceflight to the moon. In the four decades since, we’ve only returned a handful of times, but it marks one of the most powerful dividing lines in human history. Before that, we were a species confined to the narrow spaces of one single world. After, we have become a spacefaring people. So go out and lookm at the moon tonight. Remember how far we’ve come and dream about how much farther we’ll go.

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Running Hawk

Posted by Rystefn on July 16, 2009

So here’s a piece of short fiction I wrote recently. It’s still pretty rough, but I think it holds up fairly well. I’ll probably smooth out some of the more obvious D&D references sooner or later, but since I wrote for someone’s D&D game, the references went in when I wrote it, and they’ll stay for a while, at least.

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Happy Day

Posted by Rystefn on July 13, 2009

Yes, I know I’m likely to catch flak for this. No, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me that several of the people involved no longer consider me a friend or that the rest never did. It doesn’t matter that one of the principles apparently has a pretty serious dislike for me. It is still a happy day for me to find out Rebecca got married this weekend.

It is, in fact, just about the coolest wedding I’ve ever seen. Those of you who don’t know anyone else involved will still appreciate the execution, I think, and get a kick out of the ringbearer. For me, the joy on so many faces I have come to know and to care about is more than enough cause for happiness. I’ve been a lot of places, and seen a lot of things, but nothing in this world can compare to the wonder and joy of love. I doubt anyone reading this will ever understand how much it means to me for someone I only ever met in person once to be so happy, nor why it should affect me so. Hell, I doubt if I really understand it myself. Still, this is honestly one of the happiest days I’ve seen this year, and I’m endlessly glad of it. I wish the both of them many long and happy years.

Rebecca, if you ever read this, I owe you for one wedding present. Since I don’t exactly know where you’re registered, I’ll just say that any object or action it’s in my power to give is yours for the asking. All I ask in return is that you be happy.

Edit: Almost as soon as I posted this, the song “Let Love In” started playing, and I got all teary-eyed all over again. What can I say? I’m a romantic at heart.

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Hilarity Ensues

Posted by Rystefn on June 22, 2009

So I’ve been something of an angry asshole over the last few weeks… ok, let me rephrase: I’ve been an angrier asshole over the last few weeks. The people who understand need no apology, and the ones who demand apologies will never understand. Even so, I’ve apologized to everyone I feel deserves one, and I’d like to reiterate that now. To everyone I’ve already said it to, I’m sorry for taking it out on you. To everyone else, fuck you. I stand by what I said, and if I was harsher than usual about it… well, life’s a bitch. Wear a helmet.

In other news, Greg Laden made one of the great unintentionally comedic comments here a few days ago, when I called him out for maybe taking hyperbole a little far with the statement that “If you buy ivory, you are poaching an African Elephant.” His response was:

And, I’ll have you know, I never speak in hyperbole. Ever.

Of course, when I pointed out that he was either being dishonest, ignorant of what the word “hyperbole” means, or possibly making a hilariously awesome comment, he decided the threaten to ban me and delete all my comments unless I grovelled on hands and knees before him and begged his forgiveness for having the audacity to shamelessly point out his failings in public. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. Neither grovelling, begging, nor banning… he did delete the post and my response to it as well as my comment about his joke (which he has left so far). I’d like to think he did it to remove the evidence of his own stupidity, leaving the above quote for comedy value. I’d like to think that, but I just can’t give him that much credit. I’m rather of the opinion that he did it out of anger, and left his own joke thinking it was evidence of him putting me in my place, completely oblivious to the hilarity.

Needless to say, the sort of place where my comments are deleted for pointing out screamingly obvious flaws in the poster’s logic isn’t the sort of place I care to frequent. As I said there, I won’t be returning.

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The “Rape Switch” and Other Folly

Posted by Rystefn on June 5, 2009

So I’m tossing this out mostly from memory, I apologize if I mischaracterize anyone’s stance in this post.

Over the course of the last few days, there’s been a fair bit of discussion on the subject of rape. I guess in that way the Silence is the Enemy thing I referenced in the previous post is working. I’ve been pretty heavily involved, off and on, in a discussion that began with Greg Laden‘s forwarding the idea of a “rape switch.” If you’re interested, you can see that discussion here, here, and here.

The idea is a loose metaphor designed to illustrate that there are certain situations in which otherwise noncriminal types will become rapists. It’s not a particularly apt comparison, and there’s been no small amount of discussion, both about the phenomenon and the metaphor itself. None of that is terribly important to my point in this post, but if it sounds interesting to you, feel free to head over and join the discussion. It’s already spilled over to several blogs, and I’ve no reason to doubt that it will likely find its way to a few more.

No, the reason I’m posting is this line: “The switch being on does not mean that rape will happen. It simply means that the man (with the switch on) is now a rapist, whether he actually rapes or not…” You’ll find that in this post, about halfway through the fourth paragraph if you wonder whether or not I might be taking it out of context. I assure you, I’m not. In context, Mr. Laden is directly calling all soldiers in combat rapists. Regardless of whether or not they rape. Mine is the first comment to that post, and in it I point out that this is redefinition of the word “rapist” and isn’t the right way to make the point he’s trying to make.

Over the course of the discussion, I point out that he’s calling a lot of innocent people rapists, including myself, several times. A few other people also point out this problem, but he refused to back down, trying to brush it off as an unimportant and uninteresting semantic argument. Those of you who know me will be unsurprised that I persisted in bringing it up until I got a direct response. You might be surprised what the response was. I know I was. It most certainly wasn’t the apology that I had been asking for for two days. In his own words, “You are a rapist.” That’s not in general, by the way. It’s directed specifically at me. That’s from the comments here. In fairness to Greg, he did follow it with: “Rystefn, one of the many things you are not getting is that it is actually OK to be a rapist.”

Keep in mind, he is saying this without more than a slight indication that he thinks I might have possibly actually raped someone in the normal usage of the word. He did, however, classify as a rapist by two different definitions of his own and classify my actions with certain completely consenting adults as rape. As I pointed out to him at the time, he has managed to both directly offend me personally, but has also blanket-classified all soldiers in war as well a significant number of the BDSM community as rapists. While he was at it, he called that subsection… well, How about we just use his own words again?

I cannot imagine being sexualy[sic] aroused under those circumstances. I think someone who can or is classifies as a very different kind of person than we think of for any normal male walking around in regular society. Don’t you think? If not, get help now, please.

Now, again, lest we think I’m seeing malice where there’s only miscommunication, once again, after I pointed out that he had just roundly condemned much of the BDSM crowd, his response was to stand by it: “You seem to be saying that you area[sic] person aroused by the violent act of rape, and capable of doing it, and that you do in fact do it.”

Frankly, at this point, I’m not even sure how to respond to this anymore…

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