Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Time to Ruin Your Day by Talking About Abortion

So, this one time, I had the honor of being asked by a friend to go with her to her abortion.

Now, I know that "honor" is a weird thing to see in that sentence, but let me explain a little: My friend- we'll call her Polly- was dating a man who lived in a different state.  Despite the fact that she was on the pill and he always wore a condom, well... somehow that little ball of cells still got fertilized.  I know, it sounds impossible to a lot of people, because they were totally using protection.  But actually, when you look at the stats, condoms are actually really easy to screw up (and even when you use them right, they aren't infallible). On top of that, it's also stupid easy for the pill to have problems and pregnancy prevention is actually a lot more complicated than most people realize.  On top of that, I'm pretty sure Polly might actually be some kind of genetically perfect super-human, grown in a lab by late-era cold war scientists.  (She denies this, of course, but it would explain her crazy fertility powers.)

The point is, that whole "It works almost all of the time" thing means that it still screws up whenever "almost all" isn't that time, and that's how Polly and her boyfriend ended up pregnant.  And that was a problem, for a bunch of reasons, but I'll just stick to the practical ones: They both worked full-time jobs in exhausting, high stress fields; they lived a thousand miles away; and Polly was finishing her degree.  On top of that, they'd only been dating a few months: this accidental pregnancy couldn't have been more of a terrible idea.  Which is why- duh!- they'd tried everything they could to prevent it.

But as I've said a thousand times before, Nature is a Total Bitch. And that little microscopic protein chain was one tough bastard, and there she was.  Stuck with a newish long-distance relationship and a pregnancy that couldn't have been timed worse.

Straight talk, because I know lots of people will disagree with me (but fuck 'em), I absolutely think Polly did the right thing.  And even if I didn't, it wouldn't matter, because holy shit, it's her body, not mine.  And no one- NO FUCKING ONE- has the right to tell anyone else what to do with their body. Your life, you gotta make your own moral choices about it.  Polly decided that the right thing to do was to terminate the pregnancy.  It was not a decision she made lightly, but it was made with the best of intentions for herself, her future, and her family.

Now, as a dude, I don't know anything about what it's like to be pregnant, to have a baby, or to have an abortion.  Waaaay out of my scope of practice.  So, rather than explain the mechanics of it, I asked Polly to explain what her abortion entailed for herself:

"Driving there was scary but the staff and clinic was so lovely.  There was a couple there that was really depressing.  They were college students who were in love and were trying to hide their sexual activity from their parents.

"They weighed me.  Pricked my finger to figure out blood type and took vitals.  I went and read a book and then had a sonogram with a very nice lady with very cold gel on my belly.  Then I spent an hour answering questions in the counselling section.

"Yes, I understand sex and birth control.  No, I don't feel unsafe at home.  I have a support system and am not going to kill myself.  And am making my own choice.  I did think about keeping the baby and it wasn't feasible (this is the correct response, or they spend another hour discussing other options).

"Then I peed and popped a horse sized pill and drove home.  Woke up at 4 am to shove 4 tiny pills up my twat.  And had the most fiery and painful one-day cramp session of my life.  Gorey, not fiery.  Blood everywhere, like I was murdered or lost a limb.  Then I slept for two days, and had a light bleeding for a month.

"And then you came with me to the two week check-up.  Which was very similar to the first experience, except for the trans-vaginal sonogram which I wasn't expecting, and was violently scary since I wasn't expecting it.  No counselling session that time, though, just a review of my circumstances and bleeding."
-Polly Elders-Luker*
*Not her real name, unbelievably enough, but if you catch the references, good on you!

See?  Before she told me that, I didn't even know that I was only there for the follow-up, not the initial appointment.  That's how little I know about abortions!  Hilarious! And weird.  And sad, and holy shit, is it just me, or does it seem like the public is totally misinformed about this stuff?  I thought trans-vaginal sonograms only happened in horrible nightmare places like Alabama, not SOLID BLUE states like Illinois.  But it does, and it did.  And holy shit, you guys.  That's horrifying.

Why would I feel "honored" to be there for her during this horrible, gut-wrenching experience?  Well, despite the fact that 1 in 3 women in this country get an abortion at least once in her life, there's a ridiculous social stigma against it, considering the country is basically split evenly on the "pro-choice"/"pro-life" divide.  As I said, her boyfriend lived several states away.  She felt she needed someone to be there, just as a sign of encouragement, who wouldn't judge her as "immoral" or whatever, and someone who would keep it private.  And she asked ME to do that.  So yeah.  THAT was a huge honor, to be trusted like that.  If you can't understand that, maybe you need to read up on the concept of "human empathy"?  Just an idea.

The now totally GOP-controlled Congress and various State Houses (which are often even crazier) have spent the last few years doing their level-best to undo Roe vs. Wade.  I could list dozens of cases in which these men- and I do mean men, because most women approve of abortion rights for reasons that should be obvious- have been trying to cripple the law of the land.  These assholes have no respect for women, and no respect for human rights, end of discussion.  I'm sorry, there's just no room to maneuver on this one.

If you're personally not comfortable with abortion, THAT'S OKAY.  Don't get one.  But when you actively try to stop a women form getting their own, from controlling their own body?  Fuck you, you fascist.  No, really, you are a fascist, that is literally the definition.  You think you know how someone else should live their life better than they do, so you're actively trying to force your control over them.  That's awful, and who are you to tell them how to live?  Kindly fuck off.

Birth control, abortion, these things have always been around.  There were Ancient Egyptian remedies for having children, the Roman Empire had there version, hell, they invented the condom in the goddamn Middle Ages. Abortion isn't pretty.  It's not a nice thing to think about, but it's something that we, as a society, need to grow the fuck up about.  Sex is gross but feels great, everybody poops, and most sane people don't want to reproduce before they feel they're ready to have a child.  That's not immoral, that's a totally well reasoned, ethic desire.  Stop saying "the child was destined to happen", because destiny can blow me. Repressed moralists can bitch all they want, but you would think that only a sociopath would want to go back to the days of Back Alleys and Coat Hanger abortions.

I once actually had a debate about that with someone on the other side of this issue.  I asked this friend about the morality of inevitable abortions; how even if abortions were "morally abhorrent", wouldn't clean, sterile abortions be better than a mother-to-be risking her life with a back-alley one?  If the whole "Pro-Life" opinion (what an absurd term) was all about saving lives, isn't saving one life better than risking two?  And what he said (again, it's almost always a "he", isn't it?) chilled me to the bone:  "If she's going to abort a baby, she deserves to die."

...
WOW.

That is probably the most fucked up thing anyone has ever said to me in a sincere, honest-about-their-opinion conversation, and it is HORRIFYING.  If you think the possible "life" of a microscopic ball of protein is more valuable than an actual human being, then we have nothing more to discuss.  There is nothing Pro-LIFE about wishing a woman to die.  If you believe that, then fuck you and your homicidal patriarchy.

Again, I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should or should not do!  Everyone, man, woman, or any of the complicated genders in between those old models: No one should make your life choices except for you.  But the kind of assholes who try to control other people- specifically people who aren't rich white dudes- those people are douchebags.  And we should treat them as such.

Because there shouldn't be this social stigma.  I guarantee you know someone who has has an abortion, whether you realize it or not. No one should have to be embarrassed that they decided they weren't ready to have a baby.  That isn't immorality, that's just well reasoned finances! Oh, and "moralist" crowd?  We could spend days talking about the terrible immorality about having kids before you're financially ready. (Also, FUCK YOU, and here's a link.  You should kindly go read it, if you're still confused.)

Polly and her boyfriend didn't work out.  And 3 years later she casually mentioned that one time I went with her to the abortion clinic, and honestly?  I totally had forgotten about it, but yeah, that was a thing that happened.  And I sort of half-jokingly mentioned I could write about it, and then she thought that would be a really good idea, and here we are.  Polly has finished school and continues to work in her rather demanding field.  She and her boyfriend are no longer together, and considering the drama involved in that particular break up, I, for one, am glad there was never a baby involved.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reflections on the Last 24 Hours...

I'm trying really, really hard to confront my feelings honestly.

And see, just by framing it there, I'm already setting myself up for disaster.  "Confront" already implies a battle.  A war with myself on an issue.  So maybe that's the wrong way to frame it, because I'm not at war with myself at all.  I know exactly where I stand.  It's just everyone else I have a problem with.

I haven't blogged anything since April (my life has been stupid busy lately, on top of the not-at-all-secret project that I'm working on), and actually, I have another post that I was going to put up today, that's been in the works for awhile.  But then last night happened, and honestly?  I don't think I'm ready to post it today*, because there's been enough  terrible bullshit after the grand jury announced it's decision in Ferguson.  And I think I need to talk about that.

Ferguson.  My generation's Watts (or something).  And it's all so goddamn predictable, and that's one of the saddest parts for me.  Not the saddest part, because holy shit, (white) cops murdering black teenagers for no reason (except they're black) is clearly way more important and horrible than however I feel (Jesus, how is that even up for debate?).  I can't pretend to actually know how Watts compares- I wasn't alive in 1965, and, oh, yeah, I'm a white dude, how the fuck should I know how to understand the black experience?  I can't, so I won't try, but I'm still sad and angry, and doing my best not to break down in my office right now.

Because I'm bombarded with facebook pages and friend's comments that I find so ignorant right now, and all I want to do is scream at people- some of whom I care very much for.  And they're just so wrong, and so casually racist, and I'm having trouble dealing with it, and OH MY GOD HOW I FEEL DOESN'T MATTER ONE BIT, BECAUSE JESUS FUCKING CHRIST ANOTHER WHITE GUY IS GETTING AWAY WITH MURDERING A BLACK KID!!!!
And I just... I can't deal.  And maybe I shouldn't, because we're all fucked by the system, or whatever.  It's so predictable, and so sad.  And I don't know what to do except to write about it.  Because that's what I do.  And maybe I can persuade some of my "friends" to reexamine things.  Maybe not, who's to say?

I was 7 years old the first time I saw police brutality in action against an innocent teenager.  Okay, actually, innocent isn't the right word, he'd just stolen some potato chips from a grocery story (god forbid).  Perhaps in the cop's mind that warranted the shots that were fired, even if he had confused that teenager for a different perp.  In the policeman's mind, maybe "Shoot first" makes sense, at least in this country (For some reason, most of Europe seems horrified by the US's public servants' penchant for sending bullets firing).  This was, for me, a very informative experience.  So, no, I won't pretend I'm neutral.  I've never trusted the police, I doubt I ever will, and I say that as a white middle class male.  I can't imagine how much worse it must be for people who aren't the most privileged class of people in this country.  Also, fuck you, no I won't stop saying this, but my opinions don't matter, because COPS KEEP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE JUST FOR BEING BLACK!

And I could reduce that, say "Cops keep killing people just for being ..." but that's not actually honest.  You can look up the stats, that's what Google is for.  Michael Brown.  Eric Gardner.  Kimani Gray.  Kendrec McDade.  Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.  Tamir Rice.  Guys, this isn't hard to find out.  Akai Gurley.  No, for real, all you have to do is google "black people killed by police". John Crawford.  Actually, just type "black people k-" and Google literally fills in the rest for you.  Ezell Ford.  That's how fucking obvious this shit is.  Kajieme Powell.  This list could literally just go on and on.

Yes, I'm biased against the police.  I'm the first person to admit that.  But holy shit, is it really that hard to see that there's a problem here?

"Because, yeah, no one really listens."
That's how Film Critic Hulk put it in his brilliant essay on Do The Right Thing after Brown's murder this summer (and oh my god, have you seen Do The Right Thing?  It's fucking brilliant, absolutely necessary viewing!).  Because it's hardly like Mike Brown, Darren Wilson, and Ferguson, Missouri is an isolated incident.  This isn't about any one person or event.  This is about all of us, our society.  We killed Michael Brown for being a black teenager in America, and then we let Wilson off the hook for it.  That's why Ferguson is rioting again.  That's the real reason for all of this, and if you don't understand that, then yeah, I guess I can see why you're so upset about all those (mostly black) people acting up around the country.  You don't understand that we are ALL responsible for this.

All those names I listed before, and everyone I didn't list?  Well, the cops who killed them were literally the paid representatives of us, "We, the people".  If we don't hold them responsible, then we're saying what they did is okay.  Cops are far more likely to get away with horrible crimes than civilians, that's just the math.

And so no, no one is surprised that Darren Wilson is getting away with murder unpunished.  No one was surprised when George Zimmerman got off for killing Trayvon Martin either, and he wasn't even an actual cop, so of course Wilson gets off.  We can be sad, or offended, or (if somehow you still don't get the god damn point) happy about it.  But NO ONE is surprised.  This is America.  This is what happens.

And I can't do anything but reflect on how awful it is, and know that my feelings don't matter.  I can't fix this, because this is us.  Michael Brown is still dead, like all the others; his family mourns; his community mourns; and so many people are angry at other people for being angry and I don't know what to say.

Nothing changes the fact that another teenager died for nothing.

"Is it wrong for people to riot?" Sure, but that's not- "Is it so wrong to call for peace?" No, but again- "Why can't they just hold a vigil or whatever?" OH SHUT THE FUCK UP. Maybe instead of asking why they're protesting, you should consider what they're protesting about.  Maybe you should ask yourself why it's okay for a cop to gun down a teenager.  Maybe YOU need to check your racism at the door.  My god, I am so sick and tired of listening to white people who don't understand their own white panic.  I'm sick of it, and I don't know how else to say it.  Also, AGAIN, my opinion, just like theirs, is the least important part of this, because COPS KEEP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE FOR BEING BLACK.

Nobody thinks that the protests in Ferguson and around the country are happy nice times.  Not the protesters, not Brown's family, not Governor Jay Nixon or his National Guard, nobody.  But they're a response to a systemic problem that we continue to ignore.  The awful inevitability of Ferguson. It's appalling.  And it just keeps happening, because WE let it.  That's on all of us.

Again, I'm quoting that review, but it's the honest, strongest truth.  "It's impossible to do the right thing when no one seems to care when the wrong things are done to you.  It's impossible to do the right thing when no one listens."


*= Give it a day or two, I still intend on publishing it very soon.  Even though it may offend people, well... tough titties?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brent and Katie Got Married: Muppet Treasure Island


This one is late for a bunch of reasons, but its cool.  It's here now, and that's what is important.

Happy birthday in 15 minutes to Katie!  Oh, and also to me.  We share the same birthday, Walpurgis Night, the best holiday there is.  Its just yet another way that we're better than everyone else. :)

Next time!  Someone KISSES someone ELSE!  Oh, and tacos may be involved.  Guess you'll have to read it to see.

Previously:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Monday, April 21, 2014

Brent and Katie Got Married IV: The Quest For Peace


Family and Easter stuff delayed this, but we're back!

Not a whole lot to add here, other than to say I think making Kevin K stare at the ground in panel 2 was hilarious, and that's drool, not blood, coming out of Tommy's mouth in panel 9.

Oh, and there was A LOT more wine chugging than I drew here.

Next time: Let's get on with the wedding already!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brent and Katie Got Married Part 3: The Search For Spock



Part three:  Oh, look!  Patrick and K-Wolfe showed up!  And so does my crippling anxiety over totally trivial matters!  Awesome!

I know no one else cares about sacred architecture, but as someone who obsesses over weird old stuff, I assure you, the trauma was very real.

Next time!  The bachelor party!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Brent and Katie Got Married: Part The Second


Part two: a couple brief vignettes before more of our friends arrived to join us.  I'm pretty sure I really was wearing my Batman t-shirt when Katie picked me up at the train station.

I don't think Brent was just making up the story about Columbia's weird zoning and street construction ordinance rules, but if he was, a 5 second Google search didn't prove it.  So there's that.

Next time: Patrick and K-Wolfe shows up, and I prove that city planners aren't the only crazy people in this comic strip!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brent and Katie Got Married: Part 1


PB & J (&K) is back!

Okay, it's only for a special for the next week or so, but to celebrate my friend's wedding anniversary, I'm making a comic special about the Incident in Columbia (as I am forebodingly calling it as of right now).

This is basically real dialogue, I really did swear never to read 1st Corinthians.  Its a family joke, and no, Katie didn't get it, either.  But if my sister or my father read this comic it will make them laugh.

More tomorrow!  (Probably.)

Friday, April 4, 2014

"On Wanting Versus Having" or "A Semi-Serious Thing About Life, and This Time No One Had to Die For Me to Write It!"

"I wish I had your life!"

It was such an odd thing to hear her say. We have been friends for years, she's bold, funny, beautiful. I'm a little bit in love with her, in that way that I'm a little bit in love with a lot of interesting, crazy people. Never once have I been bored spending time with her, so perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised when, for the hundredth time, she'd said something to me that made me pause and consider things.

But still, why would she want to be me? Maybe it was because she's been going through a rough spot for a couple months; maybe it was just all the scotch we were sipping (I was sipping. She was still trying to figure out how to properly drink scotch.). But for whatever reason, she was envious of me and my continued existence. That didn't make sense- she was beautiful and glamorous and dangerous. I'm a loner who writes on the internet. For free. 

Not to get all "Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Star Trek" on everybody, but this much is true: Having is not as pleasing as wanting.  Once you have something, anything, it becomes less desirable.  Its just human nature, and there's no point fighting that.

Truly, the pinnacle of human wisdom and knowledge.

On top of that, how we perceive ourselves is never how others perceive us. Never mind that most people have no idea what they actually look like (because we, as a species, are terrible narcissists) (Yay narcissism!), if someone asked you who do you think you are, and then asked someone else who they thought you were, do you really think the answers would be the same?  Everyone has their own personal demons.  Everyone has their inner self-doubts that they never want the world to know about. And that fundamentally changes how they view themselves compared to others.

And that's not to say we can't be too hard on ourselves!  You're inner self-doubt is probably your own worst enemy, and you're probably way harder on yourself than anyone else.  Unless that's just me.  Maybe I'm just crazy, and no one else keeps their creative forces down and suppressed by doubt and questionable self-worth.  How the hell would I know how you feel?  I'm a monster and I know it.

How you categorize yourself- loner, joiner, Star Trek nerd, Newt Gingrich- like pretty much everything else in life, is probably total bullshit.  We're all lying to ourselves about stuff, and we forget that everyone else is just a person, like us, who is probably just as clueless and vulnerable.  We see friends, or parents, or famous people, as some how different, even alien to ourselves.  And it's all totally silly, because everyone is the same, deep down, except for people who think Indiana Jones 4 was a good film (those people ARE monsters).  (*cough*momanddad*coughcough*)

I want tons of stuff!  I want a new apartment, to be a supervillain, to be rich and famous, I could use a sandwich right now.  But none of those things would actually make me more content than I am now.  Not in the long term.  Everyone thinks they want someone else's life, but that's only because we think it's really different from ours.  But it probably isn't.

Everyone has to find their own way, and just wanting something won't accomplish jack.  Set goals, try to achieve them, and if you mess up, that's okay.  We're all fuck ups.  It's human to fuck it up.  Just try not to hurt people, and when you fuck up, make amends.  You want a meaning to life?  There's one right there.

Maybe my life looked better to her than her own, and maybe we were just drinking scotch and shooting the shit.  Hell if I know.  I'm just some asshole talking about bullshit online.

(Just like everyone else.)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

In Which the Origins of Mankind Turn Out to be Incredibly Stupid

I was never going to do a big "Adam and Eve" post, mostly because everyone already knows that stuff.  I mean, I know I did a Noah's Ark post and a Jonah and the Whale and/or Big Fish post, but those were done to remind people about the stuff that's usually left out, like Jonah being a whiny little bitch or Noah getting date-raped by his son.  But I recently got in to two separate conversations on the same day with friends of mine about Ken Ham's Favorite Bible Story, so what the hell, we're here.  Let's talk about how Adam and Eve are just the worst.

Genesis Chapter 1, God gets bored because there's nothing out there in pre-existence, so he spends most of a week fixing that by creating the entire universe, bing, bang boom.  On day six, he invents man and woman, promises them that everything in the world is under their domain, tells them to bang out a baby already, and lies down to take a nap.

We open chapter two with God taking said nap, which is now called Saturday, and its awesome because you don't have to do anything on it, you can just screw around and party all day.  Saturdays rule.  But then in verse 4 something weird happens, and God has to remake all of creation, again, from at least Day 4 status, and if you think I'm joking, go ahead and check it out.  God makes the universe.... and then he makes it all over again on the next page.  THIS IS NEVER PROPERLY EXPLAINED.

Now, I know, because I'm really not an idiot, that Genesis is actually a very condensed volume of a bunch of different stories, all loosely tied together with shoddy editing skills (like, even worse than most other books in the bible).  These are two different myths of creation with similar parts that got slapped together by someone, and somehow no one ever fixed the blatantly obvious discrepancy in the book itself.  Now, if you want any sort of official religious explanation for this, you have to start reading byzantine Jewish mystical texts (or just google stuff) to learn about Adam's FIRST wife, Lilith, and how she was a badass lady who liked to have sex on top, and that was awesome, so of course God had a problem with it, so she was banished out of paradise to become the mother of demons and stuff.  Which, yes, is pretty great stuff.  So, obviously it doesn't count as official in the damn Bible.

Anyway, whatever.  So God creates everything again or whatever, but this time just makes a man, Adam, and no lady who might want to ride him cowgirl style.  Also, this second time around, God tells him that he can have whatever he wants again, EXCEPT for this one tree, it's off-limits.  Maybe it's a punishment for enjoying awesome, non-missionary sex in a non-canonical text, I don't know.  But no fruit from this one tree right here, ever, or you're going to die.  Apparently foxglove is totally safe, because this one tree is the only source of danger at all to early man, and God is too busy to bother putting up a fence around it.

One day God walks by, and finds Adam asleep, so he removes one of his ribs (What.) and magically transforms it into a woman.  I know that this is after all the "creating the universe in 6 days" magical nonsense, but surely at some point some member of the early Hebrew priesthood must have realized how little sense that made.  I just.... huh.  Moving on.  They then spend naked time together, but no cowgirl this time.

So, later on, there's this snake, see?  The snake can talk.  It's gender is not revealed, but I'm going to refer to it as a he, simply because most people do.  Also, this snake has legs.  So... It's sort of less a snake, more of a long lizard?  I mean, come on, bible nerds, I know you take this stuff way too seriously, but even you guys have to admit that this legged, talking snake thing is completely insane.  And don't give me that Catholic nonsense "the snake is secretly the Devil!" stuff, because one.) that's not at all even suggested in Genesis, you added that crap later, and two.) bullshit, this is the part of the myth where we learn why snakes DON'T have legs.  It's mythic storytelling 101, don't make this weird.  And think about it, following your literal interpretation nonsense, every single species of snake ever is the direct descendant of this one, particular snake, six thousand (or whenever) years ago?  That is not possible, in like... a bunch of ways.  I'm not a herpetologist, but seriously, come on now.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Okay, so this talking, walking around-ish snake sees Eve, right?  And he basically decides to mess with her head, because snakes are jerks like that.  We all know that snakes are jerks.  So, he's all like, "Yo, Eve, so you can eat anything you like, right?  Like, anything you see is up for grabs?"

And Eve's all like, "Why hello, Mr. Talking Snake that also walks on actual legs!  Basically, yes, we can eat whatever we want, except for this one tree way over there, if we eat anything off of it, we could die.  But everything else is ours!"  Eve is way earnest, in my version.  Like, she is just so excited and happy, you know?  She is also dumber than a sack of hammers.  I mean, come on now.  Talking snake.  Is there anything more sinister and evil than a talking snake?  Other than a talking spider, maybe?


A brief poll of my friends could not reach a consensus over which is the lesser evil.

So, since the snake is obviously evil, he basically just tricks this rube into killing herself.  He goes, "Oh, babe, listen here.  You won't die, if you eat that.  God has magically made you immune to all poisons, as the writer alluded to six paragraphs ago.  All that happens is, if you eat that fruit, you'll become, like, super smart, so that you'll never ever be conned into doing something really stupid by an obvious charlatan."

Poor judge of character that she is, Eve automatically believes this sinister serpent's sadistic silver-tongue, and she goes to the tree and grabs some fruit.  As she's chowing down, Adam sees her and goes, "Hey babe, whatcha-"

"EAT THIS!" she demands, because whether it's an apple or a fig or a pomegranate or whatever, this fruit is delicious.  And he eats it, because of course he does, he's AT LEAST as dumb as Eve is.  But then the magic fruit makes them embarrassed of being naked, because this magic tree is way repressed, so they make clothes.  Apparently the knowledge of Good and Evil involves a Home Economics class.

Its a rule that any time you write about Adam and Eve you have to include an old time-y painting of them.

Later, God comes back to the garden, and he can't find Adam and Eve, despite being omniscient.  So he calls out, "Yo, Adam, where you at, dog?"  And Adam pokes his head out from behind the bushes, because even though he and Eve made themselves clothes all of three verses ago, they never quite worked out how to put said clothes on, because they're both goddamn morons.  (I cannot stress that point enough.)

So Adam says to God, "Hey, dude, sorry I'm hiding, it's just that I haven't figured out how to put pants on yet, and so I'm letting it all hang out at the moment."

And God is all "Wait a damn minute!  How do you know you're naked?  You're dumb as hell, I made you that way on purpose for some undefined reason!  Have you been eating off the Out-of-Bounds Tree?"  Adam has, of course, but along with being a moron, he's also a dick, so he immediately narcs on "The Woman" (actual quote) and places all the blame on her.  She tries to explain that she was tricked by a talking snake, and basically at this point, everything is fucked.  Except God decides not to kill them, but there's no explanation of why he does that, because basically the writers forgot that key point.  He just punishes everybody, instead.

For being the clever little jackass that started all this, God takes away the snakes limbs, which is why all snakes everywhere don't have them- though no mention is made about removing his ability to speak, so maybe all snakes everywhere can secretly talk, but they don't do it around humans because that fucked them over last time?  THAT SEEMS PLAUSIBLE.  Then, to punish Eve for being so stupid, God makes women have painful periods and other gross things, and promises to make childbirth awful from now on (The fact that no one has ever given birth before- therefore no one would notice a difference- is best left ignored).  And Adam can't stay in paradise any more because of RULES, but hey, tricked by a hot naked chick?  God's been there before.

(God is pretty sexist, you guys.)

Adam and Eve leave paradise forever, and they go out to have babies that would end up inventing murder, and also A LOT of incest is implied.  So, if you believe this story is actual, literal truth, they were expelled for some amazingly stupid reasons that were easily preventable if the omniscient creator of the universe had even a lick of sense.  Alternatively, if you think of this story as more of an allegorical myth about mankind attempting to "be like the gods" with that silly "knowledge of good and evil" stuff, well, Prometheus is a better story.

Oy. God is terrible.  Adam and Eve are terrible, and dumb, and they inherited God's awful parenting skills.  The snake is terrible, but at least he gets a pass, because you just expect a talking snake to be evil, EVE.  Jesus Christ Monkey Balls.  This story is waaaaaay dumber than you remember when you really look at it.  Wow.  Answers in Genesis? My aching ass.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Elisha is Not to be Mocked: A Tale of Balding and Bears

I've made fun of Biblical prophets a bunch of times before, for a bunch of reasons. They're usually self-proclaimed, often incompetent, and they are all usually hobos.  Also, prophecy is a bullshit concept, and I'm a rather notorious skeptic of religion based on hobo-induced fear mongering.  But this story is probably supposed to teach me the error of my infidelic ways, because trust me, this Elisha guy?  HE DOES NOT FUCK AROUND.

So, Elisha was basically the Robin to Elijah's Batman. Now, lots of people would mean that in a negative, second-fiddle kind of way.  That's because most people are idiots. "Robin" is the preferred role, trust me.  You see, if you were Robin, you would get to spend all your time hanging out WITH BATMAN.  If you're Batman, you have to spend all your time PUTTING UP up with Robin.  Take that, everyone who is wrong.  (I will note that I didn't come up with that argument myself.  But it's a damn good point.)

Also, Batman chose each Robin in various ways, all based on several merits and usually with an inherent desire to save them from ending up like himself, a child left alone by tragedy.  Elijah chose his Robin by sitting alone in a cave for a while until the voices in his head told him to make this guy he'd never met his successor.  But hey, prophets are hobos, as we have established.  No point quibbling over their mad non-logic.

Sorry, I'm getting off track with Batman analogies.  Anyway, Elijah went up in a flaming chariot to Heaven, and Elisha was the new head prophet dude in Judea.  He went on to perform all sorts of miracles and got rid of all the dysentery in Israel by inventing soda water (or something); you know, the sorts of things your Old Testament prophets are supposed to do even though they are impossible.  There's also a good bit of local sectoral violence he gets involved with, but again, Old Testament, this is to be expected.

Except for this one time, when things got super hardcore.  And not to editorialize any more than usual, but wow, things really, really get out of hand in this little romp.

One day Elisha was out in the town, on his way to some holy site, or maybe off to heal the sick, or bless some faction in whatever petty local dispute happened to be going on at that moment- boring, typical daily activities in a holy prophet's line of work.  Only this particular day, Elisha was accosted. By a horde of children.

Children who were making BALD JOKES ABOUT HIM.

Couple of things here:  First of all, man, Elisha, I get it.  Children are The Worst.  Like, there are a couple kids that amuse me and I like them well enough, and I definitely look forward to watching them morph from being vaguely mischievous into being full on terrible (like myself).  But as a general concept?  Yes.  Children are terrible.  Just awful. Cruel, nasty, fowl-mouthed little monkeys.  A pox upon them.

Second, I know dick all about being bald.  I mean, my hair is amazingly thick. Hair scientists have asked me to donate some of it so that they can unlock the secret of its lush fullness.  (I told them I'd be happy to, once they paid my $100,000 finder's fee.  We're still in negotiations.)  So I have no idea what it feels like to be mocked for hair loss.  It must be horrible, and I pity the lesser men who have to deal with the slings and arrows of those insults.  Especially when the insults are made by children.  Who are horrible.

But holy shit, Elisha takes getting offended to terrifying new heights.  I mean, even if these kids were making bald jokes on an Uncle Grandfather level, they couldn't deserve what happens next in this tale.  This guy DOES NOT take being insulted for follicular failure very well.


This Uncle Grandfather.  Not whatever that new shit on Carton Network is.

For having dared to insult his male pattern baldness, Elisha calls down the wrath of God himself to smote these sons of bitches who, I remind you, are like 8.  For mocking his topee-needing cranium, Elisha demands that the Lord God smites him some tweens right this damn minute.  (It must have been the worst comb-over in the history of forever.)

And because God is a notorious asshole who finds this hilarious, he obliges in the most over the top way anyone could imagine.  God sends two lady-bears to murder the hell out of these little brats, right goddamn now (Why the story is oddly specific about the gender of the bears, I have no idea.  But it is very clear on them having bear vaginas, a phrase I have never typed before in my life.).

And so, the bears murder 42 children for the sin of making bald jokes at God's current favorite hobo.

Clearly, this is a situation warranting murder-by-bear.

This is how the story ends.  42 children, eaten by bears.  Over a joke that could have been avoided with a proper wig, if Elisha was so damn ashamed about his hair loss.  Also, if God loved Elisha so much that he give him super powers and stuff, you'd think fixing his hair situation would have been easy.  But no, God reverts to indiscriminate murder of total innocents, yet again.

I have nothing further to add.  Child murdering bears.  Over a bald joke.  And remember, Elisha and God are supposed to be the good guys in this story.