Thoughts and grumbles over morning Chai – 001

You know, there’s 2 things bugging me this morning about society. Don’t ask me why they popped in my head today as I enjoy my morning chai, they just did. 

1) People who, instead of giving their personal opinion, try to make their opinion a universal truth everyone else is supposed t believe (eg. “she’s ugly,” “he’s boring” instead of “I don’t find her attractive,” or “his interests don’t appeal to me”)

2) People who freak out when *I* try giving my personal opinion and are assuming I’m making a judgment call or being prejudice. (eg. “I am not as attracted to darker skinned women” gets met with “Racist!” or “I don’t find most body piercings appealing” gets met with “you’re repressing my right to express myself!”)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and everything has at least some kind of beauty. There’s as many different kinds of beauty as there are stars in the sky or people who have lived and died throughout all of human history. 

So to tell someone they’re ugly just because you think they are not the kind of beauty you find appealing is total bullshit, and to tell me that I’m not allowed to have my own tastes that differ from yours is equally bullshit. You’re welcome to find someone covered head to toe in piercings and tattoos to be incredibly beautiful and artistic. And I’m welcome to find it a little disturbing, even if artistic. I’m not telling people not to do it just because I say I don’t find it appealing. Do whatever you want, your idea of beautiful is no less valid than mine – but remember, your idea of beauty is YOURS. It does not have to be mine, and you don’t have the right to make false accusations about my integrity just because you and I disagree due to having totally different artistic tastes.

That said, just because you might find someone excessively obese or dangerously anorexic to be beautiful does not mean it’s right to tell them it’s healthy and right; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes, but health is health, and promoting both mental and physical illness is just plain harmful and dangerous. Beauty should be encouraged to be preserved, and encouraging obesity or anorexia is the opposite of that. It’s totally okay to be a little curvy/plump or a little thin, but obesity and anorexia are not “curvy” and “thin.” They are taking those too far into extremes and have become health issues. When I use the word “fat,” I don’t talk about a person’s appearance; I am talking about a part of the human body, and everyone needs a certain minimum level of body fat to maintain basic health, the trick is not letting that ratio go out of balance, either too much or too little, and though the threshold of what is too much or too little is different for each person, there’s still a universal range everyone should stick to.

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A CALL TO ARMS – Raising the rental allotment for all on Income Assistance

I’ve had enough.

I am on permanent disability. As with the other 2 types of income assistance (welfare and short-term disability), my rental portion of my cheque is $375 per month. If our rent is less, we get that amount cut to what the rent is. If the rent is more, we’re SOL and have to just pay it anyway.

As an example – I was renting a place for $650 a month. My cell phone bill that I was stuck on because I got locked into a contract was about $90 a month. My internet and land line so I can keep in touch with my family were about $90 a month as well. My monthly cheque is $886.42 a month. Let’s do the math:

  • 650 + 90 + 90 = 830
  • 886.42 – 830.00 = 56.42

That’s right. I had only $56.42 to cover all my other bills for a whole month, including food. The food banks only give enough food for a person with a low metabolism to eat for a week, and that’s available only once a month. I suffer from an overactive metabolism and require almost twice the average intake of food. And guess what – the amount I would need for food just happened to be the amount of my comforts cheque that was eaten up by my rent each month. I tried bringing in a room mate, but it was a tiny 1 bedroom, so I spent the last 3 months trying to find a new place to live; the last month of that was spent homeless and couch surfing, because there is literally nothing available for less than $500.

My mother is in the Southern Interior of BC and is also on permanent disability (severe case of Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and now osteoporosis). She is looking for a place to live by herself with 1 indoor cat. She cannot find anything for less than $750.

My brother (Also PWD for the same reasons I am) and his girlfriend are now looking for a place for themselves and their new baby. They can’t find anything for less than $750.

One of my best friends is on short-term disability (BPD, Compassion fatigue, debilitating migraines) with her 2 cats (therapy animals, so no, can’t just get rid of them), and is currently couch surfing. She can’t find anything less than $550.

Finding room mates is not really an option. Finding a landlord willing to rent to a few people that are all on assistance is even less an option. Just getting a job in the current economy and without college education is not an option, either. Living alone is not feasible merely because there are no places for rent for only $375 a month. Even in the small outlying towns, rent prices have skyrocketed to insane levels. Right now, in Vancouver, it’s more cost effective to be homeless; they lose their rental portion, but the comforts portion doesn’t become wasted on overpriced rent. People in prison are better off than people even on disability, let alone regular welfare. Did you know that employers won’t hire you unless you have a mailing address? For most jobs, they actually can’t hire you unless you have a permanent address; if you just give them a friends address and they find out, they can terminate you for falsifying your application. People have been fighting to get income assistance raised for a while, but honestly, I do understand why the government won’t raise the comforts portions of income assistance cheques. In and of themselves, the comforts portions are enough to survive on, IF that money goes to things like food and transportation and household supplies (toiletpaper, shampoo, the usual.) The problem is, it’s not going to that stuff; it’s going to our RENT!

Want to get more homeless off the street? Want to get people working more, paying taxes more, and not simply leeching off the system? Don’t want to increase the comforts cheques more? I’ve got your solution:

Raise ONLY the rental portion of Income Assistance from $375 for a single to $650 for a single, from $570 for a couple to $775 for a couple, and from $660 for a family to $900 for a family. Only the rental portion. Keep the other rules in place; if the rent is less, the portion is less. The comforts portions of the cheques are, honestly, fine as they are. I’m not trying to push for that to be increased; as much as I want more money, I’m fine having to find a job if I want to do anything better. But the rental portion is another matter entirely; what good is leaving the comforts portion as it is going to do if we can’t afford rent anywhere in the province?

This is a call to arms. I’m sending this message to any who will stand with me in making this change. I’m sick to death of fighting every day just to have a safe roof over my head. Please, join me in making this happen.

http://www.bccpd.bc.ca/docs/hs13.pdf

http://cmha.bc.ca/files/overdueincreasepwd_1.pdf

http://blog.bccpd.bc.ca/?p=1002

http://www.straight.com/news/bc-welfare-rates-need-go-right-now

No such thing as coincidence

I just had an interesting experience today, but I think to best explain I will need to follow the chain of events a little.

I’m a gamer and a storyteller. I always have been. I love the way video games have become a new storytelling medium. I love making things and seeing people enjoy my creations. Being creative was rarely encouraged by most people, though, when I was growing up, despite my mom doing her best to be encouraging of it. I could go on about that part of my life for pages, but I’ll do that another time. Short is that I learned to repress my creativity and that it was only acceptable in certain careers that I was too dumb or disabled to be allowed to do.

I want to make the world a better place. I’ve struggles for years in how best to do that. After the messeI’ve had with girlfriends and other people labeled as disabled, once I finally stopped denying the fact that I am highly intelligent (I am not saying that arrogantly, and it’s more of a curse than a blessing), I had thought the best way to make a difference was by going after a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. I’d toyed with the ideas of Joinery/Construction, a BBA, and even computer programming; Joinery was discouraged because of how expensive materials are and people think I’m too clumsy. A BBA was fascinating, but the cutthroat nature of business people just feels wrong to me. Computer programming of any kind was discouraged because of lots of reasons – too much competitiom in the industry, not enough jobs, not enouh pay, it’s not a respectable career…. Etc. So I thought a Ph.D. in Psycholigy was good, and people seemed to find that idea something they could at least respect a little. Moving to Vancouver put that 10-year plan into a full stop, though.

These days I’ve been fighting depression, anxiety attacks, and their resulting lethargy for months now. Somehow, the Arts Institute of Vancouver got my contact info; I don’t remember how, though I know I did give it to them willingly on a whim when I saw they had game development courses. I was sure I’d never be accepted and was sure no one would be happy if I was. After the Arts Institute called me a few times, about once a month, I asked them to remove me from their call list, thinking I’d never hear from them again. Apparently, I was wrong, as almost 2 months ago, I got a call from Ali, one of their admissions officers. I was about to dismiss it when something inside me said, “Why not go see? What do you have to lose? Just go ahead and do it, you know you want to. Do it for you, to hell with other people’s approuval.” So I did.

Despite how hard it was, I actually mannaged enough “bravery” and energy to get off my butt and, surprise surprise, was accepted into the Arts Institute of Vancouver. I was able to get unofficially accepted into the Visual and Game Programming diploma program. And you know what? It’s not only the right thing for me, it’s just simply what I want. I plan to live to 120 years old at least, lots of time yet to figure out how to change the world. Who knows? Maybe somehow, somewhere, I might find a way to use my programming skills and previous knowledge of psychology and leaening disabilities to help people. It’s just been a matter of clearing my old loans at TRU out of default and waiting for the official acceptance.

Today the official acceptance letter arrived (I really wanna frame it) and I got a call from Ali to come in and finish the paperwork. They need me in before 2pm and yet, despite the urge in me to not be late on this, something in me held me back a bit longer than I think I would have otherwise. I was feeling lethargic and mildly depressed, so ended up dawdling longer than I probably should have. I already have my own ideas as to why I felt this way, but this entry won’t be for going into that. I finally told myself I was being too lazy and needed to get this done, so went and caught the bus.

As I was on he bus, an East Indian man wearing headphones and carrying a box of pizza started talking to the lady bus driver right beside where I was sitting. He started what sounded like a polite conversation, but I immediately picked up on the signals that he was trying to convince her that it was ok for him to eat his pizza on the bus, because she could just go ahead and be ok with it. It was a pathetically weak argument, especially when taking into account the reasons why the transit company has the rule of no eating on the bus. Something inside me urged me to join into the conversation and politely ask if he understood why the “no eating” policy even existed. Turns out he did not, so I very politely and mildly enthusiastically explained the safety reasoning and cleaning reasoning behind it. It was clear he was not pleased at having simple and irrefutable logic shut down jis desire to just eat his pizza anywhere he wanted, and he got off at rhe next stop.

The driver and I had a chucke about it and started talking, having a very enjoyable conversation about jerk passengers and jerk drivers, both being in full agreement. There came a few moments where I had trouble hearing her, though, so I moved closer and (out of respect for her personal space) politely informed her I was doing so because my Auditory Processing Dissorder (APD) made it difficult tomake out her words from the distance I was at. She was unfamilliar with APD, which is understandable; it’s not a hugely common disorder. I explained it simply and clearly, as I’ve learned to do over the years. She understood easily, but that’s where things became interesting. A lady sitting where I had been just before I got up to chat with the East Indian fellow overheard my explination but apparently missed hearing me say before the explination what the disorder was called… And she asked me if I’d ever heard of Auditory Processing Disorder. It was a bit difficult to keep from chuckling.

It turns out that the lady’s daughter has Auditory Processing Disorder, and is even recieving treatments to help improve. I honestly had no idea that any treatments even existed; there weren’t any known to exist in Kamloops, and I had been told that the few that were experimental were expensive and not covered by basic or PWD medical. We got to chatting and she told me that her daughter’s treatment was expensive indeed, and part of the treatment was, as she described it, an incredibly ugly and boring video game.

My first though immediately was, “I can make it better.”

There are no such things as coincidences. The bad events in our lives are not just random events in a shitty world or merely punishments for wrongdoings we assume we deserve. The bad happens to teach us how strong we really are, and nudge us towards the place and time in our lives we need to be to reach our truly greatest potential, and to change the world for the better, in our own way rather than in the ways that others dictate is “acceptable.” Just because it seems like the world may seem against you, listen to that still small voice of defiance inside you, and find the voices of encouragement that echo that decent. Rise up and say to those who would quash your strenghts, “Not today. Today is my day.”

Ali, when you read this, I want to say thank you for being that echoing voice of defiance I needed right at the moment I needed it. I am in your debt.

My Entry Essay to the Arts Institute of Vancouver

Greetings; my name is Peter J.T. Langdon. I was asked to write a short essay about why I wish to study video game programming at the Arts Institute of Vancouver. I feel the best way to do that is to tell you a little about myself and about where I’ve been in life.

I love stories. I love everything about stories. I’ve always loved reading, watching, listening to, and telling stories. I firmly believe that stories make up a large part of who we each are as people, and bind us as a society, more than governments or borders. Stories allow us to explore our past, our present, and our future. They allow us to delve into the depths of the two most fascinating, while at the same time most terrifying, words of the English language: “What If…” These words inspire the philosophers and scientists of our world. The stories we tell give us answers and open possibilities these words hint at. These words have been explored for centuries in various mediums; photography, literature, film, theatre… and now in video games. Video games are, to me, the ultimate in interactive storytelling, the ultimate in expressive art forms. They combine all other forms of media in an interactive format never before equaled. I want to explore how they are made, how they are structured, and how they work. I have my own stories to tell, too, and what better way to tell my stories than video games?

I grew up living below the poverty line in a small town, often an outcast due to financial status and because I was always a little different; at 13 I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and other “severe learning disorders” as they called them. I was shunned and ostracized even worse, and grew up being told I was less than “everyone else,” that I was stupid, that I couldn’t learn, that I amount to nothing. They are wrong. I’ve learned, through many personal challenges, what my strengths and weaknesses are.  In recent years, I have come to more fully realize that I have far greater potential than any of those naysayers would have led me to believe, and how foolish I was to have listened to them. My “learning disabilities” may make some jobs harder for me, but they make me stronger in other areas, and I want to focus on those strengths. To hone them and make them even better. I have a talent for stories, and a passion for games of all kinds. I’ve always had a knack and a fascination for computers; when I was working internet technical support for Convergys, I was top of my team for technical knowledge and customer satisfaction.

Between 2006 to 2008, I tinkered with an MMO server emulator and was single-handedly growing a community of players for the game that server emulated. My passion for the intricacies game development truly began, however, with the announcement of Star Trek Online by Perpetual Entertainment. I started wondering how they’d implement the art, gameplay, sound, writing, etc. I started hunting articles and information on the subject; what the various jobs were, what education or training they looked for, what the process of building a video game truly entailed. After Perpetual lost the licensing and Cryptic Studios picked it up, my fascination with the development process grew. It’s continued to grow and grow through the life of the game. My dream job would be to be the Assistant Executive Producer on Star Trek Online, and take over the EP role when Daniel Stahl himself retires from the industry. That particular dream maybe too specific to be likely, but that does not change my desire… nay, hunger for the industry and to be a big part of it.

I have the raw talent and the determination; I need the training. Sure, I could go to several different schools and get similar diplomas; but mediocrity was what was dumped on me as a child, not what I want for myself. I don’t want to just simply be “good enough.” I want to be great. I want to be the best I can be. I want to ascend higher than the life I was trapped in as a child, I want to be the best. I want my name to be known by people around the world for quality, innovation, and creativity. That means I need the best skills, taught by the best schools. The Arts Institute of Vancouver is the one place I know of that can teach all the skills that I want to learn at the level of quality I hunger for. The Arts Institute has a reputation for producing some of the best talents in the industry, and I want that kind of reputation at my back. I have no doubt whatsoever that I can and will earn it.

The past 10 years have been a torrent of personal failures and disasters, I admit. I’ve followed job and career advice of the wrong people, and neglected to follow my heart. For all these years, I have been setting aside my passions and dreams to live what others have said is “better” for me, putting my trust in others before myself. No more. I’m ready to take my life into my own hands, to live the dream that’s been mine all along, and share that dream with others who’s passions make them my peers, rather than conform to the standards and desires of others. I’m ready to take on these new and exciting challenges, struggle through these academic battles for the priceless treasures of knowledge and skill, to conquer my personal dragons, and join the ranks of the victorious in this field of expertise. I know that I will not let this institution down. Thank you for your time, and your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Peter J.T. Langdon

“Live each moment as though it were being used in an epic montage.”

Where is my God now? Same place he always was.

A buddy of mine who is apparently Atheist posted this picture in his stream on Google+:

It’s something a lot of Atheists use as their “reasoning” to insist that there is no God. It is something I’ve thought about for years. Many people don’t have an answer. Many have turned away from Christianity or other religions because they feel that any suffering by humans, or even animals, is a sign that God does not love us or that God does not exist. Now, I can’t tell you what to believe; that’s not my job. What I will do, however, is tell you what I believe. I’m not saying what you should believe; you can agree or disagree all you want. This is just my beliefs, and whether they are truth or not, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t matter. It helps me sleep at night, and helps give me reason to better myself and the world around me, often by helping others where I can.

The picture is pretty heart-wrenching, I know. Where was my God on this day? Right where he should have been – meeting that little child on the other side, welcoming him/her home. How arrogant are we as a species to keep assuming that what happens here on Earth is the end-all and be-all of existence, that pain and suffering are nothing but pure evil and unnecessary for our existence. How little we understand of the possibilities and potential of our race, or the role of God in our existence. God is not here to simply take away our suffering. His job is not to fight evil and rescue us from our own consequences. Those are our jobs. His job is to help us understand how and why we need to do those things.

I believe that our existence on this earth is more like children going to elementary school. It’s just one stage of many. We’re here to learn and grow and expand our understanding, and put ourselves to the test. Just as children cannot comprehend the depth or intricacies of how far human joys and suffering can extend that we as adults can understand, we cannot fathom how much more than what there is in our limited ability to comprehend or experience that there is in all of existence. We only experience a small fraction of what there is. Even our hearing and visual spectrum are limited; who is to say whether our ability to experience joy and happiness or pain and suffering are not equally limited?

Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Why does God let people die before their time? I don’t believe he does. He may let us die before we have experienced all we want to, but I do believe he allows us to move on when we have experienced all we really need to. Why does God let murder and rape happen?

Three reasons, as I see it –

1) those that commit the crime are free to make the choice, but not free from the consequences to their souls, and nothing they do will free them from getting their judgement by God in the next life.

2) In the case of natural disasters, fires, etc. – I honestly believe that God has left Mother Nature to work of her own accord, to a large extent; I believe He still will not let us perish unless we have accomplished enough (though I admit I do believe in a limited kind of reincarnation, but that’s for a totally different blog post), but otherwise he lets Mother Nature react as She sees fit. So to say that God causes hurricanes or earthquakes or volcanic eruptions is, IMHO, incorrect. I think Mother Nature is indiscriminate of who She sends natural disasters to, and if anything, we as a species are having more effect on the when/where.

3) A- in the case of rape,  the victim, whether they realize it or not, is actually strong enough to survive the ordeal, physically and emotionally; they can choose to build strength and help others who have been through similarly horrific ordeals. How they choose to view it and recover from it is their challenge, while those around them are equally tested in how they choose to react to the victim and the assailant. B- in the case of murder, I honestly do feel that, though there was much good they could have done here on earth, they’ve done all that was required and/or that He has need of them for works on the other side.

To me, this life is not the end, but merely the beginning, and though we must not seek death and must make the most of the life we have been given, death is merely a graduation to the next level of our eternal education. We are naturally saddened by our loss, of course; but I do believe we will see our loved ones again, and that it is merely a matter of time until we ourselves graduate from this life to the next. When we do is not for us to say; He brings us all home, when the time is right. When we see suffering and pain in the world, we assume that God is not there. Maybe he is, though; maybe we are not seeing the strength of the souls who suffer, and we impose our own ideas on what God should be doing. That’s not our job. Our job is to help those in need and in pain, as best we can, and trust that God is watching over their spirits, which will always take precedence over their bodies. The body is currently merely a shell; a housing for our spirits. We focus so much on the suffering of the body that we start to forget that it’s the spirit or soul that we need to think about, and that goes on far longer than our bodies do. We suffer as part of a huge, interwoven set of challenges and tests meant to help our spirits grow, not the other way around.

The physical and emotional pains we suffer in this world are horrible, yes. I am not trying to lessen the need to ease the suffering of others, or justify people hurting others in any way. But pain and suffering exist, and they exist for a reason. We will never fully escape them. Sometimes we make mistakes, and we cause pain on people; it’s part of being human, and learning better is equally part of being human.  Bad things sometimes happen to good people because those good people are strong enough to overcome them, not because God does not love us or they were really bad people pretending to be good. We suffer because we must; we learn from our hardships and our pain. We would learn nothing at all without them. Never seek to suffer, and never seek to cause suffering; but when it comes, don’t ask “why me,” because the answer is “because your soul is strong enough to learn from it.”

A Klingon proverb: “If you cannot fail, you cannot succeed.” There is truth in that. Suffering is not always punishment; sometimes it is a challenge in and of itself. Sometimes the challenge is for us simply to endure and hold fast to the belief that we can get through it, and sometimes the challenge is also for those around us in how they will respond to our pains. Sometimes it comes because another failed their challenge and caused it; the victims were allowed to be the victims because they can withstand it, even if they don’t think they can. God knows better than us what our souls can endure, and what our bodies can take. We all need to learn both compassion and long-suffering; life on Earth is hard, and it’s always going to be.

All too often, we view our existence merely as what we do and accomplish within our lifetimes. We forget that God views our existence as it is; as more than just what we learn and experience here on earth. It’s what we were before, and what we will become after. Everything we learn here is for the next part of our cycle; this is merely a stepping stone. It’s a vital one, so we must make the best of it while we are here; but a stepping stone, nonetheless.

Like the old saying goes – life is not about running away from it’s storms, no matter how dark or horrid they may be; it’s about learning to love what we do have, to sing and dance, despite the rain.

Christianity vs. Atheism: Atheists, lose 150 Experience Points.

I’ve always had a huge beef with the whole Atheism vs. Christianity soap-opera bullshit. Both sides piss me off over and over, and often give me new reasons to hate both factions. It’s like Horde vs. Alliance in WoW; both sides give me a damn headache and act like idiots, while touting that they are smarter, more open-minded, and/or better than the other. And frankly, I have just as many gripes and rants about both sides equally.

So this morning I was wandering my various social media news feeds, and I came across this little jem:

Seems pretty logica... Wait... What? O.e

Ok, I loved it right up to the idiocy of this part here: 

WTF is this!?

Even Elrond is not amused by moronic Atheists. You should see how pissed he gets at Cultist Zombie Christians, though...

Excuse me? What the hell is this bullshit? You call this crap “Free-Thinking” or “Open-Minded?” This is anything but! From this point on, the whole flow chart goes to shit, but I’m going to focus just on these two points for this blog in particular. Note that I reserve the right to rant in future entries about further idiocy in this flow-chart.

Now, let’s break down my issues with each one of these two “examples,” one at a time, in the order that they appear.

Example 1: Um, no, just because it has more evidence does not make it true at all, it just makes it more likely at the moment to be true, and expecting me to assume it’s true is just stupid and foolish. That one line is the most closed-minded piece of BS I’ve ever heard.

That’s not a “basic principle of reasoning,” at all, that’s a “my rules, I gotta be right” escape clause for narrow-minded fools attempting to assert faked intellectual dominance over others because they are no more able to accept the possibility that they are wrong than the buffoons they are attempting to argue with. As the friend that originally posted the image into my news feeds said after I mentioned I had a problem with that particular line had said, “Just because something has more supporting evidence doesn’t mean that the evidence is all that much ‘quality’.

This line of reasoning from the flow-chart doesn’t prove that anyone is right, it only makes the person demanding that concession look stupid and childish. “My argument seems more logical and seems to have more evidence currently, so you gotta say it’s right whether or not it’s actually right, or you’re just being closed minded, because I said so and I’m smrt!” This doesn’t make Atheists credible at all. It just makes him an arrogant, closed-minded asshole. Just because one argument has more support, does not automatically make it “truth” or “fact,” it simply means that it is most likely true based on current evidence, and evidence can change as our understanding of the universe grows and expands. Only an idiot can assume that there is no more evidence to find. If our legal system worked on such principles, consider how many innocent people would be unjustly imprisoned, or how many people would die from diseases because we stopped looking for the truth.

Admitting that one line of thinking is the most likely is intelligence; then assuming all others are completely false and no longer being open to the possibility of new evidence, as that quote suggests, is just plain stupid, and the opposite of what “free-thinkers” or “scientists” claim to promote. It’s no less closed-minded than any Christian who refuses to listen to an Atheist’s “evidence.” (Which, mind you, much of that evidence is open to interpretation and isn’t even “fact” but “opinion.”) Just because much of the scientific community blindly accepts certain theories as “fact” (the origin of the universe, the details of the process of evolution, the age of the Earth, etc.) despite having 100% perfect knowledge or proof of it’s validity, does not make them actual fact and does not mean that any form of Creationism theory/hypothesis about the nature of the origin of life on Earth is automatically false, Christian or otherwise. it simply makes them different.

Example 2: This makes no sense whatsoever in a debate between Christians and Atheists, especially since I see more examples of Atheists trying to disprove Christians than I see Christians actively trying to disprove Atheists, yet the Atheists keep demanding that the Christians be the ones bearing the burden of proof. In those circumstances, it’s not actually the Christian’s responsibility, but in fact it’s the Atheist who is asserting their position that God does not exist, that there is no heaven or hell, or any other specific arguments that I’ve heard Atheists try to push on others. In which case, the obligation is on THEM, not on the Christians. And to be honest, they’ve never once been able to give any conclusive or convincing evidence of their case. I’m not saying that Christians have been able to prove themselves right; only that Atheists haven’t, and they need to get off their damn high horses about the whole thing. If anything, Christians have been able to continually give evidence that throws doubt in the Atheist argument, which may not be proof that they are right, but doubt is doubt. Which means the Atheist beliefs are not facts at all – they’re just beliefs. Get over it already.

Hey, Atheists: you want to prove yourselves so superior to the common Christian limited mentality? Then bloody well agree to disagree, drop the arrogant desire to verbally bully people of other beliefs into submission, and continue scientifically exploring the universe with Critical Thinking. Do some good in this world, then brag that it wasn’t God that told you to do good, but your own choice. Prove through your actions that you really are better by spending more time helping to fix the problems in the world without God instead of trying to waste your time and the time of Christians with stupid little asshat flow-charts like this POS.

The Language of Anatomy, Sex, and Gender Fluidity – Not As Universal As We Need?

I’m having a bit of an issue with the English language. Primarily with how we use the words “He” or “She” in current western society.

DISCLAIMER: This is purely opinion, and not meant as an attack on anyone whatsoever, merely intending to point out a little issue we’re all having with communication.

I think the language being used to describe those of a transgender or gender fluid nature has, thus far, been greatly hindering the needed acceptance and understanding of such individuals, by themselves and others. Personally, I think that the uses of the words “gender” and “sex” are being greatly misused by many people. For example, I found this interesting little “infographic”  –

Great concept - but personally, way off the mark I think. The right should say "Anatomical Gender is..." and the left should say "Gender Identity is..." at least until we English speaking idiots can find a set of terms that clearly differentiates the two concepts for everyone.

I honestly don’t agree with this, as it’s written. I feel there is a BIG difference between “gender” and “gender identity” that needs to be clearly defined and used, and I feel this infographic isn’t doing that difference any justice. The word “gender” has been used for a very long time for determining the biological gender of creatures as having male or female anatomy. “Sex,” to me, is a verb that specifically refers to an act that is commonly known as “sexual intercourse.” “Sex” is basically short for “sexual intercourse.” I never agreed with it being used as a term to refer to anatomical gender (ie a person’s sex being male or female) or as the process of determining anatomical gender, like when chicken farmers “sex” the new chicks. That just sounds more like bestiality, and I dunno about you guys, but the whole visual of a tiny, cute little chick having a farmer’s pecker shoved in it’s… *shudder* That’s just gross. Seriously. That’s disgusting and disturbing. Don’t sex the chickens, farmers; gender the chickens.

I think that when it comes to sexual preference or personality, “gender” alone does not fit either case; “anatomical gender” & “gender identity” do somewhat fit. But only somewhat. Which means we need to find new language to be able to clearly define and separate the two concepts of “anatomical gender” and “gender identity.” I do not agree with just using gender tp equal gender identity and sex to equal anatomical gender;  when I have sex with my girlfriend/spouse and mention I did to a friend, I don’t need some smartass asking if it turned out to be male or female. The terms I’ve mentioned, though, still don’t quite work either, because they imply that masculine/feminine psychological outlooks, attitudes and behaviors are tied to male/female anatomy, when they are not. They can be influenced by societal conceptions of stereotypes that are based on anatomical gender, but gender identity itself is not locked in by anatomical constraints. If they were, there’d be no such thing as homosexuality or transgender.

There’s a big difference between being psychologically masculine/feminine and being anatomically male/female. I think that male/female should refer to your anatomy, whereas masculine/feminine should refer more to your psychology/personality/sexuality. Gender identity and personal aesthetics, I think, should be referred to in terms of being masculine and/or feminine rather than simply male/female, because it’s more dependent on psychology rather than actual anatomy, whereas actual anatomical gender should be refereed to as simply male/female. This especially goes for social interactions and impersonal “titles” like He/She. My personal opinion is that whether a person is specifically referred to as He or She should be dependant on anatomical gender, not gender identity. To use those two “titles” based on gender identity is just confusing people in general, especially with people who are gender fluid, and easily switch between or identify with both masculine and feminine psychologies.  And have you ever tried using “S/he” in casual conversation? How do you even pronounce that? I’ve tried, it just doesn’t work. It seriously bugs me.

This confusion has just been complicating things and causing a social rift between gender fluid/transsexual people and “mundanes,” for a lack of a better way to put it. A cat that acts like a dog & psychologically wants to be a dog is still a cat; That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the cat acting like a dog or being treated like a dog on a social interaction level; but when we take her to the vet, she’s still medically treated as a cat, regardless of her “identity” as a dog. As far as I’m concerned, the same goes for humans, for the most part. We humans have the medical prowess & technology to, to some extent, alter our biological gender; but why are we causing such confusion with our words and language, just because we identify with a stereotype or a gender identity that is not, in western society, commonly considered a “default” for our anatomical gender?

If you’re a guy but you want to be a woman or insist you’re a woman that was just “born in a man’s body,” that’s totally kewl with me.There’s an operation for that,  but be serious – wanting to become a woman and actually being one are two different things. If you’ve still got a shlong, putting on a low-cut mini-dress and 6-inch stiletto heels doesn’t magically mean you no longer have a shlong.

You may disagree with my viewpoint, and you’re welcome to, but if your a male saving up for a gender swap operation, until you’ve actually had that operation, you’re still a “he” in my books; I’ll keep calling you a “he” until that operation, no matter how damn feminine & sexy you look in a small tight miniskirt and tank top. Growing a nice rack isn’t what changes what’s down between your thighs. The same goes for me for women wishing to become men; if you don’t have any kind of man-bits, whether surgically constructed or not, and were born physically a girl, then you’re going to be called “she”by me.

If someone prefers to be masculine/feminine in their personality and behaviors, then I’ll respectfully treat them in the fashion they wish to be treated, regardless of anatomy; that doesn’t mean I’ll not call anatomical males “he” or anatomical females “she” based on their anatomical makeup rather than their gender identity.  Being insulted by my doing so, also, is just plain childish and silly to me.