Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chasing Amy

"I love you."

 "And not in a friendly way, although I think we’re great friends. And not in a misplaced affection, puppy-dog way, although I’m sure that’s what you’ll call it. And it’s not because you’re unattainable. I love you. Very simple, very truly. You’re the epitome of every attribute and quality I’ve ever looked for in another person. I know you think of me as just a friend and crossing that line is the furthest thing from an option you’d ever consider. But I can’t do this any longer. I can’t stand next to you without wanting to hold you. I can’t look into your eyes without feeling that longing you only read about in trashy romance novels. I can’t talk to you without wanting to express my love for everything you are. I know this will probably queer our friendship - no pun intended - but I had to say it, because I’ve never felt this before, and I like who I am because of it. 

"And if bringing it to light means we can’t hang out anymore, then that hurts me. But I couldn’t allow another day to go by without getting it out there, regardless of the outcome, which by the look on your face is to be the inevitable shoot- down. And I’ll accept that. But I know some part of you is hesitating for a moment, and if there is a moment of hesitation, that means you feel something too. All I ask is that you not suppress that - at least for ten minutes - and try to dwell in it before you dismiss it.

 "There isn’t another soul on this fucking planet who’s ever made me the person I am when I’m with you, and I would risk this friendship for the chance to take it to the next plateau. Because it’s there between you and me. You can’t deny that. And even if we never speak again after tonight, please know that I’m forever changed because of you and what you’ve meant to me, which - while I do appreciate it - I’d never need a painting of birds bought at a diner to remind me of."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Religion's Intellectual Ceiling


[Forward to 1:40 for the magical moment.]

We do understand the tides, actually. Now, if he used an example of something that we don't currently understand, this would be less susceptible to comedic mockery than, "Tides come in, tides go out, you can't explain that." Yes we do. We've known how to explain that for the last couple hundred years. Give a better example. If he said, "There's dark matter and dark energy forcing the expansion of the universe so fast that it's accelerating. You can't explain that." Right! We can't explain it. I don't think Bill knows enough about physics to tell us what we don't understand yet.

But here's the paradox: If he wants to use that line of reasoning for his explanation of God, all we have to do is come back and ask, "If you don't understand something and the community of physicists don't currently understand something, does that means God did it?" Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, there's a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn't understand. And a talk show Bill might have conducted 200 years ago would have said, "The planets do retrograde? You can't explain that. Must be God." And at the time we'd say, "You know, you're right." And then ten years later we'd understand it. So then what do you do?

Winds and fire and lightning were explained by Aeolus, Vulcan and Zeus. The moon and earthquakes were explained by ravens and turtles. Over the centuries, science has proved physics and evolution as the catalyst and answer for mysteries, and not ethereal deities that judge us from on high. Christianity is merely one of the newest religions to form and try to use their god as the explanation for the currently unexplainable. Until we find the answer. And then it's on to something else to assign "God" to.

If that's how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then the notion of God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance. It's getting smaller and smaller as time moves on. So be ready for that to happen if that's how you want to come at the problem. It's simply the God-Of-The-Gaps argument that's been around forever.

And for the record, I don't even mind or care if someone wants to say, "You don't understand that? God did it." That doesn't bother me. What does bother me is when a person is so content in that answer that they no longer have curiosity to learn how it happened. The day you stop looking and trying to learn because you're content "God did it," I don't need you anymore.

You're useless on the frontier of understanding the nature of the world. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Disaster Porn"


A lot of people got shot this summer and since we’re not going to do anything about any of it – not even a token gesture with real impact – it’ll happen again soon. And everyone’s reactions will be exactly the same. So just imagine another shooter. Let’s say he’s got green hair this time and he hated working at Lobster Pot – it doesn’t matter. This is now the mass-shooting template for America:

► Day one: The shooting. The shock. The live coverage. Footage of crying people hugging and police in riot gear making their way through the building. Death tolls indicate the amount of coverage: Below five: it’s a one-day story. If it’s above five, it’s officially a national tragedy. Brian Williams is going to be there all week.

Both candidates release statements saying they’re shocked by this senseless tragedy and their hearts go out to the victims and their families and the community at large. They will rebuild.

► Day two: We find out who the gunman is. We’ll also find out it was easy for him to build a small arsenal. Interviews with neighbors former teachers, etc. Lots of shots of candles and teddy bears by a fence.

► Day three: We find out someone warned someone else about the gunman being a nut. The media asks, “Could more have been done?”

The NRA sends out a fundraising letter saying Obama will use this to come and take your guns.

► Day four: Here come the stories of heroism. They replace the stories of tragedy. You’ll hear the term “guardian angel.” A lot. Because viewers can only do tragedy for so long. They want to hear about someone taking a bullet for a loved one.

► Day five: Liberal columnists start pressing the gun issue. Conservative columnists respond by saying more people with guns could have shot the gunman earlier. Nobody changes their mind.

► Day six: President Obama tells us to search our souls. Which sounds better than “Really, stop asking me to do something about guns. It’s election season. And I don’t care.”

And we’re done.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sketched


Everything's different now.

The desk is gone. The chair's moved out. The last of her clothes have been handed back to her. Long ago, the empty apartment, the empty passenger seat, the empty rooms, and the empty driveway. Stuffed animals, movie theater stubs, DVDs, recipes, rings and things.

It's strange. A part of me always felt like she was just on vacation. Like she was coming back. Like this was all just some alternative universe I was stuck in, still in queue to go back home.

But we're on our way now, both of us on the road to just becoming people we used to know.

I don't know how long we've been broken up for - I haven't exactly been counting. Some days it feels like it was last night. Others, like it was merely years ago.