Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I don't know about any of you, but I am in shock that people are STILL bashing John Cusack over this. First of all, this was not even remotely violent, nor was it wishing death on everyone. All these people who are saying that he is urging people to kill Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich and whoever else they bring up are seriously out of their minds. Obviously, the tweet jokingly says he is for a cult center outside of their houses and FOX News Headquarters. It does not even have to do with wishing death on anyone AT ALL. All this started just because some uptight right-wing Jesus-freaks do not believe in having a "mosque" (which is not even what it is) at Ground Zero, despite the fact that the Constitution (which they think they are defending) very clearly states that people have the right to freedom of religion in the First Amendment. This is not, like, the 16th Amendment (not that it matters.) But, this is the First Amendment. Because freedom of religion was what this country was founded on (well, if you want to be patriotic, at least, despite the fact that this land was stolen and people were murdered and tortured to the max for being "uncivilized.") Yet when Glenn Beck preaches his violent rhetoric and an armed assassin inspired from his show tries to kill a distinct group of people who Glenn Beck has publicly targeted, this is "not his fault," or the topic is "irrelevant." Yeah...well, that's a bunch of bullshit. Have these people actually listened to Rush Limbaugh and others like him speak? Or were they just dropped on their heads at birth? I have not seen John Cusack fans go out and attempt to murder anyone at Fox News. Yet, I have seen more than one Glenn Beck fan attempt murder. Is this NOT a sign?
Please, you sexist, racist, anti-progressive, right-wing nitwits--spare me from your batshit crazy hate-spewing anti-masturbation agendas. If I wanted to be fucked in the ears, I would have ordered it on the menu. Thanks a lot, America.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
First off, let us take a look at these ten, or rather 12, commandments:
1. I am the Lord your God
2. You shall have no other gods before me
3. You shall not make for yourself an idol
4. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain
5. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
6. Honor your father and mother
7. You shall not murder
8. You shall not commit adultery
9. You shall not steal
10. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
11. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
12. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor
First of all, when studying human beings who lived before biblical times, we have proof that ideas of altruism and "morality" did not just spontaneously occur with the Bible. They already had these ideals long before the Bible came around. Second, why is it that more of these commandments have to do with jealousy than actual crime? Also, when comparing the ten commandments to, say, the laws in America, why are there not any commandments about rape or abuse? Why are there not commandments about torture? Furthermore, some of these commandments aren't carried out through law. For example, people do not go to jail for adultery nor do they for not keeping the Sabbath holy or for lying to someone. The ideas of crime and what the Bible says is crime do not go hand-in-hand with each other. Therefore, they cannot coincide. The people in America who want this country to go "back" to it's biblical roots do not realize that doing this completely violates the Constitution. Also, their beloved founding fathers were not even as Christian as they would like to claim! Most of them were Deists, Atheist, or they just flat out despised Christianity. People would always like to judge others by what they believe is right or wrong, disregarding their own behavior. That is why I strongly believe it is better for everyone for religion to be separate. If people want to believe in it, that is fine, but others should not have to die for it.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Though science is never an absolute truth, it provides support to a certain idea that is likely to be true. Science is always changing, and the whole point of it is to find new evidence to prove or disprove something true. It is not meant to be stagnant. So refuting an argument because science is not 100 % correct does not prove anything because nothing in this world can be defined completely. The point of the matter is that there is an immeasurable amount of information in favor of that particular idea and no one has yet been able to disprove it. To me, this is like a court case. The judge and jury do not physically know what happened because they were not present during the crime. The consensus is based on evidence and reasonable fact. Hearsay is not admissible.
Thus, we are required to use our logic to determine what is likely to be true and what is likely to be untrue. Science is not black and white. Science is not saying "THIS DOES NOT EXIST." Instead, science says "There is no evidence of A, but there is evidence of B which is more likely to be true. Until given valid evidence in support of A, we cannot conclude it as an absolute truth. And, in this case, A is religion and B is scientific law and order. While many believe that Science is not believing in God or supernatural elements, that is not so. Science is not Atheism. Do not misinterpret my words to say that Atheism is a bad thing. I am just attempting to portray the fact that many people confuse Science and Atheism to be one in the same. Science is always changing. There is no bias (at least that is the goal of Science). Atheism is Science, but Science is not Atheism, if you get my drift. Therefore, it is ignorant to say, for example, that everyone who believes in evolution is an Atheist. We cannot define science on a basis of religion because it is merely fact and theory. Atheism comes into play as a rejection of religion and an affinity to base one's beliefs off of science. Misconception between science and religion are part of the reason why there is such a gap in our communication with one another.
Common Sense is Not Science
Usually, the ideas that science prove true are not very obvious--observable, yes--but not obvious. Likewise, things that seem obvious are not necessarily science. Common sense may tell us that the earth is flat, that the Sun rises and sets, that the Earth is not spinning at over 1000 miles per hour, that bowling balls fall faster than marbles, that particles don't curve around corners like waves around a floating dock, that the continents don't move, and that objects heavier-than-air can't have sustained flight unless they can flap wings. However, science shows that these ideas are wrong. Therefore, when someone says that evolution is not true because you cannot observe it in front of your eyes, that does not mean that it is necessarily false. As they would use the argument that just because we cannot see God does not mean that God does not exist, the difference here is that there is an immeasurable amount of evidence to back up the concept of evolution when there is no evidence to back up God. I'm not saying God exists or does not. I am simply putting forth the idea that people need to re-evaluate their own arguments. Since many theists like to use the argument that we cannot prove evolution true based on the grounds that it is not observable, then they should re-consider their whole contradictory argument they just said about God: that just because you cannot see God does not mean that God is not out there. If these people can accept this, then why can't they accept evolution and other scientific ideas that actually are observable?
Just Because Many Claim It To Be True, Doesn't Mean It Is
Just because many people believe in some kind of religion does not mean that it is true. I do not believe that their beliefs should be "punished," per say (First Amendment rights are essential!), but I do believe that they are opinions, not fact. I have noted how many Christians like to show how other religions are wrong based on some outlandish events that have been noted to have occurred, such as instances noted in the ancient Greek religions. However, many accounts noted in the Bible are just as outlandish. Just reading the Bible brings up many questions on its validity. It seems many Theists argue that the Bible is true because The Bible says it is true. Where is the logic in that? No one could even THINK about making an argument like that as evidence in court.
Christianity: The Stagnant Bible vs. The Changing World
The Bible is suppose to be stagnant. People argue that since the Bible says something specific, then that is the final word. However, when bringing up a practice from the past that is not widely accepted today, they say that times are changing and that the Bible was written during a different point in history. Well, what is it going to be? You can't claim parts of the Bible and disregard other parts. You either follow through with it or don't follow it at all. The Bible itself even says that. So, really, people who follow it are technically supposed to follow everything written and not change it's verse to modern times. Even I can find myself hypocritical at times, though, because I believe that if people are going to follow the Bible, they ought to follow the entire thing and not just the aspects of their choosing. Yet, there are some people who reasonably follow the Bible only in regards to history and a *general* sense of morality, and I, logically, do not think there is anything wrong with that. I do suppose if someone would be better suited to follow morality and cultural ideas from many other cultures if they are going to follow their own version of spirituality. However, if they are only going to follow a few parts from the Bible and nothing else, they might as well just be Christian and follow through with the entire religious base. I am not telling people that is what they should do, I am just showing my thoughts when I observe this and the issues these aspects of religion raise.
Faith vs. Knowledge
The Bible notably condemns knowledge. Some would argue this, but when you look at what is noted in Genesis with Adam and Eve, God specifically did not want them to eat from the tree of knowledge. He wanted them to be innocent and not exposed to evil. But why would He entrust in people to follow his beliefs if He did not want them to be knowledgeable? How would they know if they had no knowledge? If God did not want to send people to Hell, then why not create a universe full of peace and obedience? Also, on this idea of knowledge being condemned...how were Adam and Eve supposed to know not to eat the apple if they had no knowledge? They wouldn't have understood good and bad...that would be like giving capital punishment to a one year old for eating a crayon even though you told the child not to. The child would not understand unless he or she had enough knowledge to know better. Where is the mens rea? How is it that a murderer can "repent" and get into Heaven, yet an unbaptized infant will go to Hell? A rapist who repents and believes in God will go to Heaven, but a good, kind-hearted individual will go to Hell for not believing in God? What about animals? Do they go to Hell for not believing in God? How is this just? How is this love? To me, this sounds like a dictatorship and its token bloodthirsty need for a complete alliance to the powerful one, without question and without objection.
The Natural Laws
I would also like to point out that the Bible seems to display a completely different set of natural laws, such as how animals can talk, humans can live for hundreds of years, and such, just to name a few. Why would God have created plants before creating the sun when they need the sun to survive? Why did all of these natural laws suddenly change, especially when the Bible is so against change? The Bible does not even believe in various cases of microevolution, let alone macroevolution...it is evident that the Bible and its content is meant to be stagnant, even though we can scientifically and empirically see that this is proven otherwise.
Furthermore, why were Adam and Eve even created with genitals? The sole purpose of genitals is procreation, but God didn't make this happen until after they disobeyed him. This does not make sense. What really does not make sense is that though both Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, Eve got much worse punishment. Women are always considered temptresses in the Bible. Even if a man sins, it is somehow a woman's fault for "tempting" him. Yes, blame it all on the women and give them painful punishment, possibly death for this kind of "behavior." This is no different than the mindset of the Nazi party--they are evil, so we must punish them. But then again, Hitler followed the Christian faith.
This brings me to my original point. The fact of the matter is, people are always trying to refute scientific evidence. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they do not. That is why there are theories and hypotheses. People cannot refute gravity because it is inevitable. People can try, but the point is, it takes a substantial amount of evidence for a hypothesis to turn into reality, and evolution is possible and existent in this universe today. One would think that it would be more outlandish to believe that animals could tempt humans into doing the devil's work than the fact that they can evolve over time.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
As the bloody war in Afghanistan and Iraq takes on its 104th month, making it America's longest war, The citizens of the US finally became aware of the truth behind this war with the disclosure of U.S. classified information by Bradley Manning. Many saw these documents that shed light on the "Collateral Murder" as horrific whereas others immediately noted it as an act of treason.
US army intelligence analyst Private Bradley Manning allegedly wrote to the former hacker Adrian Lamo, “Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public.” Following this Manning was arrested in May 2010 for leaking the classified data to the public. Questions of whether this act was considered ethical or treason, good or bad, have arisen all over the nation. US Republican Congressman Mike Rogers and many others call for the execution of Manning. The question is, is exposing war crimes a crime?
Manning was arrested by agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command in May 2010 and held in pre-trial confinement in a military jail at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. On July 5, 2010, two misconduct charges were brought against him for "transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system" and "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source". The charges included unauthorized access to Secret Internet Protocol Routers network computers, download of more than 150,000 United States Department of State diplomatic cables, download of a secret PowerPoint presentation, and downloading a classified video of a military operation in Baghdad on 12 July 2007. Manning is also charged for forwarding the video and at least one of the cables to an unauthorized person. The maximum jail sentence is 52 years. Lieutenant Colonel Eric Bloom has said that "as part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the next step in proceedings would be an Article 32 Hearing, which is similar to a grand jury. An investigating officer will be appointed, and that officer looks into all facts of the matter, does an investigation, and upon conclusion, the findings will be presented to a convening court martial authority. The division commander will consider based on what is in that, what the next steps are. Either there is enough evidence or not enough evidence to proceed to a court-martial ... A date has not yet been set. We haven't even identified the investigating officer. We're still in the early stages of this case".
Wikileaks have said that they are unable as yet to confirm whether or not Manning was actually the source of the video, stating "we never collect personal information on our sources," but saying also that "if Brad Manning [is the] whistleblower then, without doubt, he's a national hero" and "we have taken steps to arrange for his protection and legal defense". Manning's official military attorney is Capt. Paul Bouchard. On June 21, Julian Assange told The Guardian that WikiLeaks had hired three U.S. criminal lawyers to help defend Manning, but that they had been denied access to him. Boing Boing asked Lt. Col. Eric Bloom whether Manning was "represented by any civilian attorney" and Bloom responded, "I do not know of any rebuffing. I've been in the military for 26 years, and I've never heard of any party's attempt to secure legal representation being denied. We don't rebuff representation." A military spokesperson told CNN that Manning was processed at the Quantico detention facility on July 29. As of July 31, he remained in solitary confinement. The official told CNN that Manning could be taken to a military judge in Washington in August, but that it would likely be delayed. Manning has been considered a "person of interest" in the leak of over 90,000 documents to Wikileaks pertaining to the War in Afghanistan, which were released to the public on July 25, 2010.
As we look further into this situation, Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." In the United States, treason is specifically defined in the United States Constitution in Article III Section 3 as follows:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Therefore the United States Code at 18 U.S.C. § 2381 states "whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States." The requirement of testimony of two witnesses was inherited from the British Treason Act 1695 (Since 1945, however, this has been abolished in British law and treason cases are now subject to the same rules of evidence and procedure as a murder trial, but the US requirement still stands barring an amendment).
When objectively considering all sides of the situation here, was Manning actually trying to levy war against the United States or even aid the enemies? His main objective was getting the truth out there, and if we, as citizens, do not have the right to object to the government's practices, especially when it involves the murder of innocent civilians for no reason whatsoever, than we cannot say that this nation is a democracy. This was not meant to harm the United States. If anything, it was meant to bring us together so that people could stop dying over these horrid lies. If Manning committed treason, then what about Reagan selling arms to Iran and Bush outing American agents? The reason for this is not because Bradley Manning was trying to "help the enemies" but because this footage is proof of what is really going on. Of course government officials want him executed. But we, as a nation, cannot be fed the lies government officials are telling us just because it sounds coherent, when in reality, it is not. My main argument is that the US cannot execute Bradley Manning over telling the truth. The whole reason we even have freedom of speech is so that when the government DOES do something wrong, we have the right to change it. If people want to follow the Constitution so strictly, then they must consider that it also says that Americans have the right to overthrow the government if it becomes corrupt. By not allowing both sides to be heard and executing those in opposition sounds more like a dictatorship than a democracy, to me.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
First of all, perhaps this idea of "connection" should be defined. Personally, I believe there are two kinds of connection: formal - the kind of connection you make with someone you know as well as the contact you make with people in person, and informal - the kind where you simply share information. Basically, social networking is a medium for informal connection. There is nothing necessarily wrong with informal connection. It is appropriate in many situations. However, many people get these concepts confused and often boundaries are broken because people do not know how close they are to someone they talk to online. For example, take someone who talks to someone else who they do not physically know on a social networking site. Perhaps they can be quite friendly with each other and talk everyday about their lives. They can consider themselves friends, but then when it comes to physical face-to-face interaction, things change. People wonder if they are like how they portray themselves online. People wonder if things will be awkward if they met in person. People may even be scared about how other people think they portray themselves or what kind of agenda another person has when meeting them. Sometimes people may make a relationship to be more than it actually was, and sometimes people can be completely unaware of another's desires. No one necessarily knows who is who, online. You could talk to someone and think they are friendly and then you find out that they have bodies hidden in their basement. Although, this happens outside of the virtual world as well. No one really knows another person, anyways. Should they? There has also been an increase in the need for people to share their personal information online. Perhaps anonymity is part of what makes the human experience.
I know that it can be relieving to share secrets and let people know about what your life entails. In the end, I think people just want to be understood. I, personally, have taken part in this. However, part of what makes a person interesting, is the things that they don't say. Isn't it much more meaningful to share secrets with the people who you care for most instead of with the whole world? I would rather have a few people know everything about me, than millions of people. That's why celebrities have such a hard time, at least. Western Civilization is all about sharing information to the maximum potential. I do not think many realize this, but it can be a bit smothering at times. I had recently read a book titled Blind Faith which was about a futuristic society where everyone uploaded every single experience they have per minute onto social networking websites controlled by the government. People shared so much, that it became a requirement, especially at work, to keep up the social appearance. And this was not modest. People uploaded videos of sex, death, birth of children, going to the bathroom, everything. Many women did not wear shirts because the sexual desire for getting what you want instantly (much like with communication methods) prevailed. There was no desire for discretion. Now I am no one to say that people should limit what information they say, and only be cordial and like-able to others. I do not believe in that at all, actually. I am all for crudeness and discomfort. It makes things interesting. However, there is a lot of meaning with discretion. Predictability is a whole other factor. It is a good thing to change things up a bit. Sometimes silence says much more.
Another thing we see with social networking and texting is confusion and ambiguity. I do not know about you, but I have had many experiences were I was not sure what exactly someone was implying, if it has undertones, or if it was meant to be sarcastic. Technically, only 7% of communication is through words. The main way we communicate is through body language, and with texting, it is not there. Subtleties in the way certain words are pronounced and emphasized (through this context of body language and how one perceives what they are saying) are important factors in understanding humans. So, when people only communicate through texts and emails, that touch of human perception and understanding is lacking. Sure, people may figure out objectively what is being said, but do they know and feel, emphasize, see, hear, touch, taste, or smell what is being said? It is hard to necessarily comprehend using all of the senses, but people use more than eyesight and hearing to communicate. People are so concerned with sight and hearing that they forget about the other senses, some of which are incredibly important in human interaction. You don't truly know someone until you can sense how they feel, smell, and taste. It probably sounds crazy, but it's true.
So is internet good? Not necessarily. Is it bad? Not necessarily. While technology makes the world around you easy, although it's okay to indulge somewhat, do not forget to live. Relationships with human beings are not easy, and although social networking tries to make it so, it is not. Just remember that. Moderation is key. Never replace people with the convenience of objects. After all, you cannot take them with you. All you really have is the memories and experiences you have had in your life, and people truly make those experiences. No one, while on their deathbed, wishes that they had more time to spend with their iphone. Don't forget to experience real communication with a human being, because although informal ways may be convenient and appropriate at times, they should not be priority.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Why does it seem that if a woman acts sexual, "dirty," or "inappropriate," she is considered a whore? Sexism stems from a hatred or fear of women, not from the idea that men see women acting like "sluts," so they automatically objectify them in those situations. That is not how sexism starts. If anything, women should be allowed to be risque instead of being condemned for it. It has been argued over centuries how a woman should always be "proper" and "ladylike" because a man will never see anything but sex in a whore. A woman should always keep her legs closed and her shirt all-the-way buttoned because this, ladies, will keep you from being raped. The women who dress like prostitutes are asking to be taken advantage of. The actual term for this is the Madonna/ whore complex. The desirable, pure woman is the Madonna--suitable for marriage, and procreation. The other kind of woman is the whore--suitable for sex only, and destined to be considered the scum of the earth. You see, sex is for men, apparently. And these women are so detestable that men only want sex with them. Does anyone else see a problem with that? That is like saying, I hate abortion so much, I am going to work at a Planned Parenthood clinic as a doctor, performing these abortions so that I can prove a point and then tell them that they are the scum of the earth for letting me do what I just did. What kind of point does that prove besides the fact that you are a heinous hypocrite?
The funny thing is that how a woman dresses has nothing to do with rape statistics. If this was the case, then why do so many infants, children, elderly women, and even boys get raped? They aren't dressed like hookers. So how can people say that the way they dress "grabs negative attention?" If I was a man, I would be offended because that is like saying that if I see cleavage, I am not going to be able to control myself and will end up raping that woman standing over there. It is not a feasible explanation. The way women dress or act has no effect on how men treat them. Of course, many would argue this, but let's consider the reasons why I say this.
People say that if a woman dresses too revealing, men are only going to see her as a "piece of ass." Now, how many men do you know only pursue women in short skirts and low-cut tops? I have seen men hit on all kinds of women, from nuns to cashiers at 7-eleven. What they wear does not matter. Sure, they may get more of a sexual response with certain outfits as opposed to others, but the fact of the matter is that men do not try and obtain sex only from the scantily clad girls they run into. We don't look at a guy and complain that his package is showing too much because they can see a little bulge in the pants. Besides, trying to attract a mate is instinct. Female baboons will show male baboons their asses when trying to attract a mate. Those skanky baboons! Don't they know that the males are only going to want their ass? :/
Never Kiss on the First Date
Sex is an Industry
Moreover, we have the institution of pornography and prostitution. Now this is a tricky situation. The sex industry is one of many problems because of the direct objectification and defamation that goes along with it. But let's really look into this. It is true that there are some horrible acts desired in certain kinds of pornography, however, the idea of naked women in the public eye is a completely different matter. If a man was shown in a porn getting stimulated in the ass with a large vibrator, would people complain that it was objectifying him? To me, this just seems like it is making women fall into this "victim" category. And, when animals mate in public, possibly with more than one mate (much like an orgy) is this defamation of the sanctity of life? I would argue that it is not. Of course, animals are different, and humans are noted for their higher levels of thinking and reactions within personal relationships. So, I understand the sanctity of having sex with a partner with whom you feel deeply attached/connected to. However, I cannot condemn acts of sex displayed in pornography on the basis of objectification. If I was to condemn anything, it would be the pornography that is specifically geared towards objectification/rape/etc. Pornography itself is NOT, people just assume that showing sex for stimulation purposes IS. This is not to say that I do not think that porn stars have the possibility of living a sad life. Many women become porn stars because of dysfunctional family relationships and sexual abuse. When people act out in that way, it does, indeed, make me sad. But, when women (or men) on their own free will decide to be apart of the sex industry because they enjoy what they do without any motivation from a haunting past, then I praise them for doing what they want to do while facing so much criticism.
Rape Isn't Female
Why Not Be Wild?
So, here we get back to the wild women of the west. Is it such a bad thing? If anything, the people telling us that sexism is caused from how we act are the ones who are sexist because they are defining what women should be like. If there's one thing that I know, independence is a turn on. They say that women need to be the cute, proper little housewives that depend on men to kill spiders in the shower and take them shopping every so often. But, do men actually like this? I would say that the majority of men that I have met do not. Men love a firey, wild, independent, and intelligent woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. After all, people want their space, and an independent woman is more likely to give it to men than a needy go-with-the-flow housewife. This is a good thing...it creates unpredictability in a relationship. It creates a longing to be with someone, because, well, life cannot be that easy. There needs to be some kind of dysfunction for it to even work.
“Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free til they find someone just as wild to run with them.” (Sex and the City)
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Agalmatophilia, also called Statuephilia or Pygmalionism after the myth of Pygmalion, is an uncommon sexual fetish or paraphilia. Essentially, it is a form of sexual attraction to statues (usually but not exclusively nudes), and possibly lifelike mannequins and dolls as well. This fetish also crosses over into a transformation fetishism in the form of fantasies about people transformed into any of those objects. For many, the idea of immobility or loss of control is arousing. There are also fantasies about paralysis which sometimes cross over into hypnofetishism and robot fetishism. Statuephilia has a small but highly devoted community. In fact, a number of famous art photographers have extensively featured sexualized life-sized dolls in their work, such as: Hans Bellmer, Bernard Faucon, Helmut Newton, Morton Bartlett, Katan Amano, Kishin Shinoyama, and Ryoichi Yoshida.
Agalmatophilia has been around just as long as sex has: all throughout time. The idea originated with the myth in which Pygmalion, a Greek sculptor, fell in love with a statue that he had carved. According to Ovid, after seeing the Propoetides prostituting themselves, Pygmalion, somewhat of a misogynist, became 'uninterested in women', and his statue was so realistic that he fell in love with it. He offered the statue gifts and eventually prayed to Aphrodite to bring her to life. Aphrodite ended up granting his wish, and the statue soon married Pygmalion, also giving birth to a child. This myth is one the first depictions of a kind of agalmatophilia. It was not until the publication of Richard von Krafft-Ebbing's Psychopathia Sexualis that there was a clinical study conducted on this fetish. Ebbing recorded the case in 1877 of discovering a gardener falling in love with a statue of the Venus de Milo and attempting coitus with it.
An important fantasy for some individuals is being transformed into the preferred object (such as a statue) and experiencing a state of immobility or paralysis. These fantasies may possibly be extended to role-playing in a manner of being transformed into what appears to be a "rubber doll" or a "latex doll." It is particularly common for people to have sexual arousal associated with objects and substances.
Within statuephilia is a branch of the fetish referred to as doll fetishism where individuals become aroused by seeing their partners' unique characteristics minimized and transformed into more uniform doll-like features. The "doll" can be male or female, and usually altered to have the body type of a Barbie. To get that shape for the doll, they put on a desirable wig, breast forms, a tight corset giving the "doll" a small waist, a strap on vagina if male, buttock augmentation pads, and a revealing outfit. To show off the new proportions, the outfit is generally made of tight leather, latex, or spandex. There are virtual worlds which offer unique opportunities for exploring this fetish, where individuals are represented by modifiable avatars. People are able to adorn themselves with fake skin, hair, and costumes, even going so far as to being identified by a number instead of name. There are also some fetish sites that feature videos and animated pictures of individuals achieving orgasm onto or by use of dolls or figurines. There is even a considerable large market targeting people with these desires. The RealDoll is a life-size sex doll manufactured by Abyss Creations in San Marcos, California. It has a PVC skeleton with steel joints and silicone flesh, and is advertised as "the state-of-the-art for life-like human body simulation." Female dolls include realistic openings in their vagina, mouth and anus. Male dolls can include a penis of varying size and flaccidity, based on the buyer's specifications. These dolls are also able to be bended and altered into different poses. A RealDoll is relatively expensive, averaging $5000 and up depending upon what accessories are selected.
Another extension of statuephilia is robot fetishism, sometimes called ASFR or technosexuality. This is a fetishistic attraction to humanoid or non-humanoid robots. This can also be extensive to a fetish involving people achieving orgasm by acting like robots or seeing people dressed in robot costumes. A less common fantasy involves transformation into a robot, however it is still directly related to agalmatophilia. Robot fetishism is sometimes viewed as a form of erotic anthropomorphism and when the idea of transformation or role-playing is involved, it can be thought of as a form of erotic objectification.
By its enthusiasts, robot fetishism is more commonly referred to by the initials ASFR. The initials are based off of the phrase from the now defunct newsgroup alt.sex.fetish.robots. Many of these enthusiasts refer to themselves as technosexual or as "ASFRians." For some, robotic appearance, motion, and sound are important for arousal. For others, a completely life-like android that appears to be human is desired. The ability to remove parts of skin or other bodily appendages in order to reveal circuitry is quite pleasing to some, and equally distasteful to others. Some prefer an android to appear human-like and others prefer a more mechanical looking robot with a metallic surface. ASFR is divided into two distinct but sometimes overlapping types of robotic fantasy.
The first of group is simply based off of a desire to have a ready-made android or gynoid partner that is desired for sex, companionship, or any combination of the two. The main distinguishing feature of this type is that the android is a completely artificial "built" and manufactured solely to fulfill the desires of its owner.
The second type of fantasy is referred to as transformation. This involves a human who is either willingly or unwillingly turned into an android. That person can be either oneself or one's partner, or sometimes both. It is usually the process of transformation that is the focus of this fantasy.
Many people in the ASFR community prefer either one or the other. In some cases, this preference is very strong and divisive within the community. People may even be repulsed by the behaviors of the opposite group. In other cases, there is equal appreciation for built and transformation. A recent informal survey of technosexual members found that three fifths prefer built while the remainder prefer transformation or some combination of both. Some ASFRians may not even wish to use synthetic partners at all, and instead would prefer human partners to participate in their fantasies.
This ASFR fetish can only be acted upon in a limited number of ways, primarily through fantasy, involving either self stimulation or sexual role-playing with a partner. ASFR art is therefore very important to aid in the reinforcement of imagination for sexual stimulation. ASFR art content includes science fiction movies, television shows, novels, short stories, illustrations, manipulated photographs, pornographic content, songs and even television commercials. However, recent developments in robotics and can lead to the production of more advanced synthetic partners than the what is capable with mannequins and dolls such as the RealDoll.
Agalmatophilia in the Arts
Agalmatophilia is sometimes featured in the arts, prominently in Luis Buñuel's L'Âge d'or, where the female protagonist sucks a statue's toe, and in Tarsem Singh's thriller The Cell. The film is based on a serial killer named Carl Stargher who drowns his victims, who are all young women, and then bleaches their bodies so that they resemble dolls. He then proceeds to masturbate as he hangs himself above the corpses. Later on, there is a scene which takes place inside his mind. Here, a psychiatrist finds a collection of grotesque, corpse-dolls inside display cases attached to crude machinery that jerks them about in sadomasochistic sexual poses. This grotesque act is a representation of how the killer perceives his victims.
The film Metropolis also explores this fetish. In this film, the mad inventor Rotwang kidnaps the heroine Maria. He's created a robot to be a replacement for a woman he loved, but it needed a soul so he imprints the image of Maria onto his Robot. The scene itself is filled with the trappings of the mad scientist film before there ever was a visualized Dr. Frankenstein's lab. There seems to be a reoccurring theme with mad scientists creating robots or dolls that come to life. There is the Bride of Frankenstein. There are a number of pulp serials full of hypnotized femmes such as Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, and My Living Doll. Around the 60's, however, it seems that the films and shows are starting to drop all the trappings of what is called "The Frankenstein Complex." The robot men and women are no longer trapped by programming gone awry, where they become out of control and wreak havoc on an arrogant humanity. We now see the beginning of artificial beings that are just as "alive" as their organic counterparts.
As we progress into the 70's and 80's, we find more and more instances of "The Pinocchio Syndrome," where benevolent and sometimes not so benevolent artificial creations want to be "real, live" people. Of course we still see the Frankenstein Complex in such creations such as Blade Runner, Westworld, The Stepford Wives, and Star Trek, but now there is an added tone of eroticism. The robot is no longer just an artificial creation meant to carry out the labors of mankind. In Westworld and The Stepford Wives, there is a noted misogynist backlash against women by an ever more emasculated male population, resulting in machine-like control over these individuals. Priss is even cited as "Your Basic Pleasure Model" in Blade Runner. These mechanical counterparts develop evolved thoughts and feelings of their own much as depicted in human beings. Even Austin Powers and The Terminator depict this fantasy in an artistic form.
The Mindset of Doll Fetishists
Pygmalionism & Mind Control have their own followings in such a way that people into them might not ever look at a robot story or picture. But the concepts are quite similar to technosexuality in a lot of respects.
A fascination with control seems to be a constant between the three main areas. There's usually the constant of someone being in control and the constant of someone, or something, being controlled. For many, the control seems to involve a kind of Startup/Shutdown behavior as well as the immobile and pose-able aspects. The idea is that someone has exerted control over another person's body or mind, rendering them into an artificial seeming being or object. For others, the idea of stripping a person of their will and/or personality into a mindlessly obedient and programmable "robot" generates the highest forms of arousal. Often in overtly robotic themed Mind-Control media, the presence of transformation stories, turning the free-willed person into the object of desire mentally, and sometimes physically, are very evident. Some are even into the idea of the robot, doll, or mannequin malfunctioning or being severely damaged.
The fetishisms associated with agalmatophilia are not necessarily misogynistic and objectifying even they may seem to be. Although men who participate in these fetishes outnumber women 10 to 1, there are many women who participate as well. The sexual stimulation results more from a need of control and sexual gratification without emotion from either counterpart. It can be easily misunderstood as a shallow, cruel, and heartless depiction of sexual stimulation, and although this may be true for some, it is not true for all. Some use this as a way of performing derogatory acts without actually harming anyone. Whether this is a good thing or not, it is more of a concern when people perform these acts on actual people. Fetishism is like a sickness for some and just a feeling for others. There is not a good way to describe it because it varies so much in individuals, and it is hard for people to distance themselves from many acts that seem grotesque and cruel. Agalmatophilia is a difficult concept to comprehend, especially when considering the mental states behind these fantasies. However, one should always consider whether the actions harm real individuals or not. In some cases, this is just a derogatory fantasy. For others, this is just sexual gratification that stems from loneliness or the lack of confidence in an ability to find a partner.
Gross, Kenneth. The Dream of the Moving Statue. Cornell University Press. 1992. Print.
Krafft-Ebbing, Richard von. Psychopathia Sexualis, With Special Reference to the Antipathic Sexual Instinct: A Medico-Forensic Study. 1906. Print.
Meghan Laslocky. "Real Dolls: Love in the Age of Silicon." Salon.com, 11 October 2010. Web. 11 April 2010.
Scobie A, Taylor J. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences: Vol 11, Issue 1: "Agalmatophilia, the statue syndrome." Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 1975. Print.
"Technosexuality." The Pygmalion Syndrome. Winter Rose. Web. 11 April 2010.
"Transformation vs. Built Poll", Fembot Central Message Board. Web. 11 April 2010.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
#actualchurchnewsletters Don't give up. Moses was once a basket case!
#actualchurchnewsletters The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility.
#actualchurchnewsletters Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 P.M. ...prayer and medication to follow.
#actualchurchnewsletters Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM, Please use the back door.
#actualchurchnewsletter pastor would appreciate it if the ladies would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
#actualchurchnewsletters Bible Study will be held Thursday at 10AM. All are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.
#actualchurchnewsletters The ladies of the Church have cast off old clothing of every kind.They may be seen in the basement on Friday.
#actualchurchnewsletters Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person(s) you want remembered.
#actualchurchnewsletters For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
2. We can scare male bosses with mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.
3. Our boyfriends' clothes look gorgeous on us -- guys look like complete idiots in ours.
4. We can be groupies.
5. Male groupies are stalkers.
6. We've never lusted after a cartoon character or the central figure in a computer game.
7. Taxis stop for us.
8. Men die sooner, so we get to cash in on the life insurance.
9. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.
10. Free drinks.
11. Free dinners.
12. We can hug our friends without wondering if they think we're gay.
13. We can hug our friends without wondering if we're gay.
14. New lipstick gives us a whole new lease on life.
15. Condoms make no significant difference in our enjoyment of sex.
16. It's possible to live our whole lives without ever taking a group shower.
17. No fashion faux pas we make could rival the Speedo.
18. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her ass.
19. If we have a zit, we know how to conceal it.
20. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.
21. We don't have to memorize Caddyshack or Fletch to fit in.
22. We have an excuse to be totally cranky at least once a month.
23. We can talk to people of the opposite sex without automatically picturing them naked.
24. Our friends won't think we're weird if we ask whether there's spinach in our teeth.
25. We have the ability to dress ourselves.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
"Neocon Logic: This Statement is Untrue"
"The Modern Free Market System is False But a New Revelation Shall Come"
" They Would Feast on Themselves: All the Money's Gone, Nowhere to Go"
I decided on:
"No Currency Left to Buy the Big Lies"
In the pre-capitalist reality, James Madison said when he put power in the hands of the business elite, he would be entrusting "enlightened statesmen and benevolent philosophers who would devote themselves to the welfare of all."
Clearly, he believed this statement in the way I guess some modern Republicans do. The only problem was that he eventually realized this didn't work and in 1792, disillusioned and worried about the democratic experiment, condemned what he called "the daring depravity of the times." He went on to denounce the business elites who, given ultimate power, "become tools and tyrants of government...they overwhelm government with their powers and combinations and are bribed by its largesse." That's how he perceived the system he had helped design. In 2008, this is an apt description of the Republican relationship to government and power.
Finally, some blue light, tectonic plate shifts, a sea change, we hear... a wave of despair carrying us to a new place. The bastards are finally meeting their grisly ends and will be discarded and abandoned as men come to power who will actually try to govern. I know we're supposed to be civil but I'm not a real believer in this method when dealing with crimes.
What does the sea change mean? How can we help people understand what is happening and help them contextualize it?
First the past: Senator McCain, Governor Palin and assorted surrogates are delusional and breathtakingly corrupt. They disgrace themselves and their country as they lie, smear, slur and write it off as political manner.
Yet the creeping truth must frighten them late at night: there is no currency left to buy the big lies.
There is no more money left to loan or borrow the big lies or to sell them. No more money left to pay off the debt, the wreckage in the wake. The orgy of excess has drained every bottle, smashed the furniture and left the cupboards bare. All that's left is derivative debts -- bets between liars and lies. Trillions of dollars. Turned capitalism into a Ponzi scheme for trading worthless paper. No real value anywhere. No matter how much money Ben Bernanke prints.
We are asked to stand over the abyss and experience our own destruction as another political game show -- just another surreal horse race. We watch millionaires and paid Republican hacks appear on television yelling "Socialist!" at Obama as if the Bolsheviks are coming to rape our daughters. These are the same people who oversaw the greatest upward redistribution of wealth in the history of this country. The same people who, through general lawlessness and a privatization frenzy, succeeded in shredding the Constitution, turning war, illegal domestic spying, security, border patrol, interrogation, and even torture into profitable industries gorging on the state.
So define the big lie: free marketers want free markets. Not so, the facts say. They are the biggest welfare freaks on the planet.
These men and keepers of the faith would lecture us with a straight face on the evil socialists/ communists/terrorists /vampires/space aliens who would dare "redistribute wealth" by amending the tax code. Two wars and the only shared sacrifice they want is more tax cuts for the rich and for the U.S. citizenry to continue shopping. As Sidney Falco said, you gotta give it to them, their gall is gorgeous.
If we stay the course, we are told, we will finally, one day, reach that shining city on a hill, the free market-based fundamentalist utopia. Even though all evidence points the other way, we should listen, reason, step back and watch them as they devour what's left of the government. They will feast on themselves -- the feast of carrion the Book of Revelation tells us -- but I digress, sort of. It's over. This would be a great system if there were no human beings.
Mathematical realism. Eat what you kill. The bottom line. Greed is good. Graphs and flow charts and metrics for success. All social organization is based on profit as the unifying force and engine of the common good and even social justice; worship the market, even as you corrupt it.
Our perfect system will provide for all.
And yet Wall Street cripples America and the world because it won't adhere to the same rules it says we must obey for the good of freedom. Because reality won't be a slave to their machine.
And so this is how we can rationalize privatizing war. At last look, with 630 corporations like Blackwater and Halliburton getting 40% of the $2 billion spent each week in Iraq, no one can doubt the corporatist dominance of the war machine.
Mathematically, the market crash shouldn't have happened according to their system, but human feelings make panic and panic cannot be calculated. I would bet that someday someone will discover that math adheres to a quantum reality: the participants and the observers affect the outcome. I digress again. But not really.
Instead of an international consensus based on trust and global community, the Neocons say trust no one, need no one, ask no one. Rigged, "open" markets are created at the barrel of a gun after bombing a country. We must all bow to the market.
Collapse, chaos, lawlessness. And even the market voted with its feet.
The era of market idolatry is over.
This is the end of Milton Friedman, Reaganomics and supply-side theory. This ideology has never been about free markets but a fundamentalist vision that is a cover for naked aggression and a social contract based on fear and greed. The government's job is to create optimal conditions for corporate profit, to privatize everything in sight and to sell off its own body parts. To literally devour itself.
So we have laws that allow borrowing money against derivatives -- basically a bet between two people who create nothing without collateral. They leveraged the public financial health on something you wouldn't be allowed to do in Vegas. It illustrates the corruption that has become institutionalized through deregulation and a culture of predatory greed. Alan Greenspan testified that he was shocked: business didn't regulate itself. The common good was not achieved by greed. Naomi Klein read him the definition of crony capitalism and asked if it fit the description of the Bush administration's relationship to its favorite corporations.
I suppose he was shocked about that too. His testimony was incredible and felt like it was coated in lies or at least standing deeply in their shadows. But one doesn't doubt him as a true believer, absolved of messy feelings of collective responsibility. We made him a high priest even though we saw the suffering and the cruelty of the system.
The final irony of the free-market Darwinist model is instead of the strongest and best surviving, it's really the weakest and the worst. From a moral and spiritual point of view this is hardly in doubt. See George Bush. The gospel he purports to serve tells us this but perhaps he saw Christ as a conqueror. I've always doubted men who call themselves Christians who live by the law of the jungle. The gospels, the Koran and the Torah make no bones about it: wealth is not strength; power often represents not the brightest and the best but the weakest and worst. The beast in the Book of Revelation is not a horn-rimmed devil but Rome. Empire. Any empire. Every empire.
As Bush leaves office, the real truth is this: the new economies of the world disprove everything he ever said. Apparently that doesn't matter.
Neoconservatives will lie in the weeds and gather forces, the same players in a revolving door. They want back in and if history has proved anything, worshiping the markets is not enough. We must actually kill to feed them. A horrible cross-pollination of fundamentalism, dementia and market fever has turned America into a willing enabler of corporate cannibalism. Nothing else to call it when murder is seen as a legitimate extension of economic policy. Preemptive war is not only justified but openly referred to as a market opportunity. The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must. As we look out at the wreckage -- world economies collapsing, nationalized banks and a complete loss of trust -- we can see the hypocrisy as all are revealed as true socialists on the way down, crying in their scotch and Ambien as they run to the state for cover.
Many, like the Financial Times, endorse Obama. But let's remember when the F.T. and the Wall Street Journal talked glowingly and starry-eyed about the "Baghdad Boom" -- as horrifying a moniker as Shock and Awe. It was not the site of a gold rush, it was the sight of massacre and armed robbery. Now these men jump like rats off a death ship but don't be fooled. Francis Fukuyama and company will just lay low, regroup and rebrand. They speak openly about such things, beaten but unbowed, with no moral connection to the fiasco they have fostered. They speak as passing spectators watching the Weather Channel, (see Frum, Kristol, Brooks and all the rest), rather than intellectual architects, defenders, and foot soldiers in an illegal war and the thirty-five year assault on the New Deal.
As we help Obama try to implement another New Deal, I asked Naomi Klein about the parallels to The Shock Doctrine as it's polar opposite. She told me:
"I have been talking about the need for a progressive shock doctrine in speeches a lot. I call it disaster populism and the key difference is democracy. The right has been using shocks to suspend and sidestep democracy, declaring states of emergency and the progressive use of shock to enlarge and deepen the democratic space to bring more people into the political process. This is why it is important to remember that the New Deal did not come only from kindly elites handing it down from on high, but also because those elites were under massive popular pressure from below. We can all use shock and crisis to move the political direction of the country, but the progressive route is a democratic one, the right is an authoritarian one, even if it takes place within an electoral democracy."
The real challenge is to erase the delusion that greed equals freedom and prosperity, let alone the hideous lie that it somehow spreads justice. Amazingly, we are asked to listen to this gibberish in political life no matter how high the bile rises.
Many believe economies must serve humanity and not the other way around. Economies must make a moral connection to the republic. Brace yourselves free marketers: the quality of economic and human transactions will have to take priority over money. Faith and hope have to manifest in the social transactions we make.
A new social contract could be coming based on a real currency my friend Kevin McCabe calls the currency of grace. It is a currency of economic fairness and institutionalizing concepts of shared responsibility; a currency based on the gold standard that every human has value and should be awarded respect and opportunity, the dignity that comes from human beings protecting each other from the values and ideals of a Darwinist world. Its spirit is in Keynesian economics, a mixed economy with regulated markets and social spending. In the new era, we must remove fundamentalist right wing economists as the high priests and kings. Their ideology will stay dead only if we remain vigilant and call things what they are. It's a battle for the idea of America and it's just beginning if Senator Obama becomes president.
We should worship God if we want to, not the markets.
R.I.P Studs Terkel.
To see this article on HuffPost go here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-cusack/no-currency-left-to-buy-t_b_140250.html
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010