Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Monday, April 30, 2012

And that would be desirable because...?

As an atheist, I'll be the first one to admit that I don't always understand why people do things. I don't get praying or speaking in tongues, I don't really understand the fatalistic acceptance of "god's will" or the unfounded assumption that everything that goes on in the world is really for the best at some abstract level. I am, in a word, accustomed, to being confused by the people around me on a fairly regular basis and, for the most part, I'm able to live with it. And yet, even with my general ability to handle things that don't make sense to me, this one stands out as particularly bizarre:

Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) has appealed to the Islamist-dominated parliament not to approve two controversial laws on the minimum age of marriage and allowing a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours of her death according to a report in an Egyptian newspaper. 

The appeal came in a message sent by Dr. Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, to the Egyptian People’s Assembly Speaker, Dr. Saad al-Katatni, addressing the woes of Egyptian women, especially after the popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

She was referring to two laws: one that would legalize the marriage of girls starting from the age of 14 and the other that permits a husband to have sex with his dead wife within the six hours following her death.
Okay, so, I don't mean that the opposition to said law doesn't make sense, I mean that the motivation to pass the law doesn't make sense. As pretty much all of you know, I'm a married man, and in the hopefully unlikely event that my wife were to up and die, I do not think that my first thought would be, "Well, it'd be a shame to waste a perfectly warm corpse." Nor would my second, third, or fourth thoughts be even vaguely in that direction. I am utterly and completely at a loss to explain not only why someone would react to the death of their spouse with the sudden urge to bang the corpse, but also why this inclination would be so widespread as to garner support from lawmakers.

Just... what the hell, Egypt?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy Boobquake!

The title to this post aside, I actually found myself rather divided about whether I should celebrate boobquake this year like I did last year and the year before. On the one hand, any excuse to get my wife to show off is a good one, but on the other hand the originator of boobquake, the inimitable Blag Hag, has specifically said that there is not to be another one. I respect her reasons, too, much as I would love to have this become an official free thinker's holiday. So, on the whole, I had basically decided to celebrate boobquake privately this year.

And yet...

And yet, I somehow can't quite bring myself to do that. You see, the original boobquake was inspired by an Iranian cleric who insinuated that earthquakes happened because women dressed immodestly, inspired men to have dirty thoughts, and that pissed god off because he's a huge prude.* We here in the United States laughed at this, as we should have, and shook our heads at the ignorance. Of course women's breasts don't cause earthquakes- that's just silly. But the thing is, underneath the whole earthquake bit was something much darker- a desire to constrain and control women and female sexuality. And the problem is, that isn't something that we in the west can laugh at, because we have plenty of it here.

No doubt in recent months you've noticed all the debates over covering contraception under insurance, and remarks that a woman who wants birth control to be covered (in much the same way that a man's boner medicine is covered) is a whore. We've seen moves in Arizona to give employers the right to fire women for using birth control, to demand private medical information pertaining to birth control, and to charge women for the privilege of having their privacy violated. We have the widespread effort to delegalize abortion, even in cases where only a moron would object. And don't even get me started on the insulting analogies between a woman who has sex before marriage and used pizza boxes or filthy water. We can laugh at an Iranian cleric all we want but, at the end of the day, a lot of people here in the U.S. are just as prejudiced, just as hateful, and just as fearful of women as he is. And all too often they're willing to do what they can to restrict and constrain women. That bothers me.

It bothers me for a lot of reasons but, right now, it especially bothers me because I am the father of a beautiful, active, happy little girl. She is going to grow up in this world and I don't want people telling her that she's a whore if she wants to use birth control. I don't want her to hear that she's filthy and disgusting if she has sex with a boyfriend. I don't want her to be treated as though she can't make her own decisions and I don't want someone else's belief in a bronze age fairy tale to make it more difficult for her to take care of herself. I love my daughter so very much, and I want her to have a world where she can have premarital sex, dress how she likes, and be who she wants without others trying to control and contain her. My JezLil is a beautiful spirit, and I do not want to see that spirit shackled.

So today, however you would like, celebrate women as powerful, intelligent, independent people. If you want to do it boobquake style, go ahead, but if you want to do it some other way, that's good too. Because boobquake isn't about boobs, it's about women.




* This is despite the fact that this cleric presumably also believes that god personally designed every bit of genitalia on the planet. I mean, bloody hell, male Right Whales have eight foot penises with testicles that weigh one ton each. I seriously doubt that cleavage is gonna shock god.


As a final side note: I apologize if this post looks a bit wacky. Blogger has updated its interface and, so far, it's about as attractive as a naked Rush Limbaugh.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why would someone want this product?

This just in from the Total Drek Asian correspondent, who has been freakishly busy lately: Looking for a new way to enjoy a corndog? Why not try a corndog made to look like a giant yellow penis?



Briefly turn on nearby men with filthy minds, before forever scarring them by biting, chewing, and generally grinding this wang substitute into mush. Yay?


Hat tip to IAB for publicizing this thing.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Aww, man, his preachers got smoke bombs?

That honestly would have made sunday school so much more fun.

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Friday, April 06, 2012

The comparison is striking.

Every now and then I notice something that reminds me that people differ, and often wildly and incomprehensibly, in what they regard as plausible, and what standards of evidence they impose on assertions. This, it so happens, is one of those times. Specifically, I was recently perusing the usual wretched hive of scum and villainy when I ran across a pair of headlines that were remarkable for the contrast they posed. The first refers to President Obama and something he said, or perhaps didn't say, at a recent prayer breakfast:



Or, in plain text:

Obama's gaffe reinforces doubts that he's a Christian: Jesus was merely "a Son of God," Obama said. Contrast that with John 3:16, the favorite verse of Tim Tebow and most Christians. [Emphasis original. Seriously]


Now, if you follow the link they provide, you reach an article that gives slightly more detail on what was said as well as the context:

Speaking to a group of Christian clergy at the Easter Prayer Breakfast he hosted at the White House on Wednesday, President Barack Obama referred to Jesus Christ as “a son of God.”

“It’s an opportunity for us to reflect on the triumph of the resurrection, and to give thanks for the all-important gift of grace,” Obama said of Easter, which is this Sunday. “And for me, and I’m sure for some of you, it’s also a chance to remember the tremendous sacrifice that led up to that day, and all that Christ endured--not just as a Son of God, but as a human being.”

The Christian faith teaches that Jesus is the only Son of God. John 3:16-18: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”


So, just to recap: Obama, the President of an allegedly secular nation, attends a breakfast for clergy of a single religion, quotes scripture, refers to their particular deity figure in terms that assume the facticity of the Christian account, and makes a rhetorical point that the supposed "son of god" was also a mortal man- a point Christianity itself often emphasizes- and he's suddenly maybe "not a Christian" because he didn't say the. It's hard to imagine what he could have done to convince these morons that he is a Christian short of, I don't know, being anointed by Yahweh in person. But let's leave that aside.

No, the thing I find interesting here is that even though we have essentially no documentary evidence to back it up, and the bible is rife with contradictions and variations in the story, leading to the conclusion that it's more likely to be folklore than fact, Obama is being chastised for daring to suggest, however inadvertently, that Jesus might not have been the only son of god. He's still saying Jesus was a son of god, mind you, implicitly supporting the notion of an invisible friend in the sky and that one specific individual had a special relationship with said friend, he's just accidentally implying that Jesus might not have been an only child. And for that, he's a bad dude.

And then I spotted this other headline:



Or, again in plain text:

Who is Barack Hussein Obama? Is that even his legal name? What hospital was he born in? We don't know! And it should be a State's job to know, when appointing Presidential electors.


Thus, when we have tons of documentary evidence supporting the identity and origins of a man who is standing right the fuck in front of us, Conservatives can't believe it. But when we have a wild assed story about a dude with a crazy relationship to something that doesn't appear to exist, supported only by a handful of mutually contradictory stories that probably weren't all written by who they were claimed to be written by? So totally plausible that even questioning it is cause for censure.

Seriously, what the hell?

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Presented without further comment...

...because, and I say this with perfect sincerity, I have absolutely no idea where to even start:



Then again, it isn't like we're lacking a precedent:



Ah, Japan. When will you cease providing such wonders?

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Monday, April 02, 2012

This just makes me want to cry.

Seriously. It's the end of an era.

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