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June 20th, 2006

Puke.

Okay, we've all heard the phrase it made me want to puke but until yesterday it was just a phrase to me.

As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time listening to radio. Talk radio was a nice break from the music, and BBC and NPR were the choices. I was listening to an NPR interview with a self-acknowledged christian history revisionist about how they want people to believe that the US is a christian country.

I'm paraphrasing the quotes below because I can't find a excerpt, but it's nearly word for word.

Q: So obviously you face some opposition from secular society. How do you plan on fitting them in with your vision of how the US should be?

A: I think you mistake our goals. We have a very long view. We're not concerned with where the US is today or next year. We want a christian world. We want to bring the entire world to unity with our savior Jesus Christ.

It was all I could do to keep from puking all over my dashboard.

Just don't shove it in our faces.

I have always gotten really angry when I hear the phrase just don't shove it in our faces when used about lifestyles. Cigarettes you can shove in someone's face, but lifestyles?

Living in liberal California, it's hard to point out specific things as arguments against that.

But returning to the mid-west (where this phrase is uttered more often) is a harsh reminder of why this phrase is complete and utter bullshit. Christianity is totally shoved in your face from every angle. In Utah, it was the church of the LDS people. The new racetrack where every race had to start with a Christian prayer. Where the ballot measures, I kid you not, were evaluated in the press based on whether a good christian would vote for them.

The problem is that anywhere that one group has dominance, they have the ability to constantly shove it in your face. Few are as good about this as religious zealots. They want to shove their beliefs in your face and down your throat, but for you to keep your alternative lifestyle away from them.

Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all.

There is nothing like stopping pretty much anywhere in the midwest to remind a person why they are safer on the coast. And frankly, to make one think that hopping the pond to escape this madness may be inevitable.

Treat people as *YOU* think they deserve.

So this is hopefully my final rant from 3 days of talk radio.

So apparently some famous female singer/actress/something? in India apparently bought herself some trouble. She was at a party dressed in a way that apparently made it acceptable for some random male to grab her and kiss her. She of course complained to the media who were at the same party, and complained to the police. This is all good.

So what do all the of the people calling in the show think?

1. If you dress a certain way then you are asking for ...
2. It wasn't just the dressing, she was acting...
3. You get what you deserve when you dress that way...

Um, hello? First of all, this wasn't Fox News this was NPR. Why the hell was NPR falling over dead and accepting these kinds of responses?

Someone clarify this for me: SINCE WHEN DOES THE OBSERVER GET TO DECIDE THE APPROPRIATE AND ACCEPTABLE MANNER OF SEXUALLY TOUCHING SOMEONE? You wore a shirt with your belly button showing, which means you wanted to have sex with me, right? It's rape to you but you asked for it, right?

This isn't just anger, this is real, true confusion on my part. On what planet does this logic make sense? Who in god's creation actually thinks that the person who is being touched isn't the person who decides if it is acceptable?

Tell me... how exactly does one dress that will say the appropriate thing to every individual you could possibly meet in a social situation?

This is nonsense. And it's not that I disagree or think they are wrong. I just can't even understand how anyone could really believe this.

I mean seriously, in Psychology study individuals making these kind of statements would be
(C) Psychopathy due to Negative Integration
not Normal, not Confused and not Disintegrating psychopath (the fun kind movies are made of) either. This is someone whose intelligence is subservient to primitive, inflexible drives, leaving them incapable of empathy or guilt.

So why is NPR accepting these kinds of answers without alerting local authorities? Why is this an acceptable answer under any form? Shouldn't crap like this be bleeped out and more sane responses be put on the air?

3 little piggies and a Fox.

Okay, actually fuck the three little piggies. This is just about the Fox. Fox News in particular.

So yes, I can confirm that most of the mid-west is tuned into Fox News all the time. They don't watch sports. All the TVs in all of the restaurants I've been to have been tuned to Fox News. (except for this nice greek restaurant I found this morning which was tuned to CNN.)

So I've gotten to hear a lot of Fox News programming, and I'm actually not that shocked or dismayed by what I hear. I've learned a lot about why the mid-west is confused.

It's not that Fox News is always blow-hard conservative. They aren't ... well, aren't always. But the truth is that their channel is full of nonsense that doesn't present anything coherent EXCEPT for the editorials.

It goes something like this:

1. Bring up a subject
2. Raise an interesting question
3. Let an editorial idiot piss his pants about the topic in detail for 4-5 minutes.
4. Call up an expert
5. Ask the expert irrelevant questions
6. Interrupt the expert as much as possible
7. Keep everything real short and snappy. Timeline, timeline!
8. Summarize what issue with something halfway between the random thoughts you had, and what you picked up from the expert AS IF the question had been answered by an expert.
9. Let an editorial idiot ramble for a few more minutes.

So even if we are willing to assume no deliberate attempt to subvert the audience (which I will assume until the end of this post and no farther) the problem is that the unknowing person on the receiving end of this broadcast only hears coherent statements from the editorial ranting person. They don't get anything coherent or understandable from any other form.

I really think this works. I mean hell, I bought it on two different topics until I got to where I had wireless Internet and could find out what the expert kept trying to say when they were interrupted.

And the really sad thing, is that it doesn't have to be deliberate. You could do this exact same formula with a liberal bent, just replace the editorialists. It's a News News News lots of News but No Information approach that is likely to work with anyone who doesn't have the experience and disbelief necessary to employ critical analysis to the information presented.