If You Look Up “Gullible” in the Dictionary…

Facebook for Dummies

Every couple of months, a new status update worms its way through Facebook promising to protect the “private” information you’ve been sharing with a bunch of virtual strangers on the internet.  The newest one hit last night, and boy…it’s really…something?

Let’s just cut to the chase here.  If you reposted that, there’s a big part of you that is a gullible moron.  Now, I know that sounds mean, but seriously.  You just read something online – a place not known for its veracity – and then reposted it without doing any research at all.  People repeating what other dumb people tell them is one of the surest symptoms of being dumb.

In the future, you should realize that if a bunch of your dimmest friends on Facebook are reposting something on Facebook and engaging in an internet meme, that internet meme is probably total bullshit.  Let’s consider some of the biggest ones the last couple of years:

Remember when you guys all posted that video about that mean African warlord so some rich white kids could make money and encourage U.S. military involvement in an oil-rich foreign nation…because we all know how well that usually turns out, and how many innocent children that saves?  Oh, wait.  No it doesn’t!   And remember how you were going to buy your anti-Kony kits and bring him to justice this year and have a special day on 4/20 (you still did that) for that Christian evangelist organization who’s running it?  Remember all the research you did before you reposted that?

What about the time when you changed your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon to help prevent child abuse?  I know, it sounds silly now, but you were just trying to raise awareness about the problem of child abuse and cover that 0% gap of adults who aren’t already aware of that problem.  We can all agree that raising awareness is a good thing, right?  Well, no.  Raising awareness in an incorrect way is a very, very bad thing, because you’re encouraging people to do something that doesn’t need doing and then making them feel good about the nothing they just did.  Those are bad things.

Also, willfully disinforming people is a bad thing.  Everyone has the right to their own ignorance.  But go ahead and skip spreading it, okay?  There are enough of you already.

Remember how you, you internet anti-geniuses, convinced everyone that there was a question about Obama’s citizenship status?  Or how you convinced your uneducated friends that Einstein thinks The Secret really works, or how the Tea Party formed thinking the United States was founded as a Christian nation?  Those are all products of dumb people reposting things they don’t understand without questioning them.  That’s the mark of the anti-intellectual and it’s a good reminder of just how the education in our country is declining.  But let’s move on…

Let’s go straight for the actual status update:

There are ways to know that the “legal notice” isn’t a legal notice at all without doing any research.  First off, there’s an exclamation point – “For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!”  Legal notices generally don’t feel the need to yell at you and the validity and strength of the statements held in them don’t change on the basis of exclamation points.  That should seal it right there, by the time you finish the first paragraph.

If that wasn’t good enough, the convention the post refers to is the “Berne” convention.  Not “Berner”.  Although, I suppose, if there was a Berner Convention, and if it did discuss this, and did decide that there were new laws, and that your statuses were binding legal documents, it STILL wouldn’t supersede Facebook’s privacy policy which YOU ALREADY AGREED TO!!!  <– Exclamation points (not legally binding)

But let’s throw that away.  Let’s say that you reposting that nonsense really was legally binding and compelling.  That actually makes you look worse, oh bottom of your class.

If you just read and reposted something that in some way was going to legally affect your rights as a person and you did so because you read it on the Facebook Wall (!!!) of one of your dumbest friends you, my dear, are the dumbest friend.

We’ve established that you have no legal knowledge and no ability to research subjects and find answers.  Could you possibly expect yourself to know which passages of legal mumbo-jumbo (or in this case nonsense) would even be GOOD for you??  I could call up a lawyer right now and have him write a couple paragraphs that would probably commit you to serving a prison sentence in solitary confinement and you would repost it right away without knowing the difference.

And that’s the point.

Now you may think that this is trivial and I’m a jerk and why would I take the time to write this…and you may be correct on all counts.

But, it’s this sort of passive idiocy that allows Fox News to exist and for elections to be about topics which don’t matter at all.  It’s this sort of thing that lets people believe that the gays are ruining their marriages.  It’s this sort of thing that convinces people that global warming doesn’t exist or that evolution isn’t real.

Just because a bunch of people you know think something is true, that doesn’t mean it is.  Especially if those are your dumbest friends with the worst taste.  This is why you feel like it’s okay to listen to Nickelback.

Remember when your mom asked you if your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you?

Well, congratulations.  You just did.

Pulpit Freedom Sunday

More money, please...it's for god. He's broke.

This past Sunday, pastors from nearly 100 churches around the country participated in an event called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” where they willfully broke the law to preach to their congregation about politics, endorsing policies and candidates.

They do so in protest, because the law that allows religious organizations to have tax exempt status also requires that they refrain from taking political stands in church.

There are churches that have exploited their tax exempt status to become truly rich organizations whose pastors lead lavish lifestyles, to say the least.  But then again, churches have never been shy about taking money from the members of their congregations after convincing them that their “generosity” will help them find their god’s favor.  People used to be forced to pay tithes…now it’s just “encouraged”.

The pastors involved in Sunday’s initiative do so on the basis that the law violates their First Amendment right to freedom of religious expression.  They claim that free speech cannot be limited…

Continue reading

Protest Too Much

Yay for tits.

This past weekend, in Venice, California, a women’s equality group held a rally called Go Topless, in favor of women having the right to bare their breasts just like men can.

I don’t really have breasts, but let’s just skip that part.

I’ve got no qualms with women going topless, ever.  Well, as long as they’re good looking, but that’s just a preference.

But some guys do have a problem with it, and those guys are apparently Christians.

Men literally showed up at the rally to protest women’s breasts as offensive and indecent.

When Christian men show up to protest women being naked at a rally where women get naked, this is also known as repressed religious nuts getting to see some new tits for the first time ever.

So just be honest with yourselves, nutjobs.  You liked it.

Now stop being such whiny little pussies and let women take their shirts off if they want.

Refudiation

...whom from whence stupidity flows...

If you read the title of this and thought, “Hey, that’s not a word”, you’d be correct.

It’s not.  You knew it.  I know it.  Everyone with some semblance of an educated person’s vocabulary knows it.

Guess who doesn’t?

Sarah Palin.

Over the weekend Palin attempted to respond to the planned construction of a mosque/Muslim community center in the “Ground Zero” area of Manhattan.  Naturally, she took the viewpoint that would most appeal to her target audience – uneducated xenophobes – on her choicest form of modern day communication, Twitter.

Between that and Facebook, the majority of Palin’s political platform emerges in what might be the least appropriate means of putting that platform forth.  140 characters simply isn’t enough to tackle any legitimate issue with any level of sophistication.  But then, what more would we expect?

“Ground Zero Mosque supporters, doesn’t it stab you in the heart as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, please refudiate.”

Um…what the fuck is that even supposed to mean?  Leaving aside “refudiate” for just a second, why would “Ground Zero Mosque supporters” feel stabbed “in the heart” for something they support?  And when did Sarah Palin become part of the “heartland”?  Alaska, quite literally, couldn’t be any further from the “heartland”, and while Palin spends night and day pretending to be just another red-blooded American, she also “palled around” with Alaskan secessionists and participated in exorcisms.  And all of this while stripping Hollywood gifting suites bare and promoting abstinence while her daughter got pregnant sometime before her 18th birthday.  Oh, yes.  Typical small town, morally sound, Christian woman from the Heartland, right?  I’m sure that’ll be exactly what we learn from her reality show.

I digress.

Once Palin’s aides noticed that she used the “word” “refudiate” in a highly public way again, the Tweet was removed and replaced with a new Tweet, of nearly equal stupidity.

It seems clear enough that Palin was combining the actual words “refute” and “repudiate” into one senseless word.  Here are the definitions:

refute:  to prove a statement or theory to be wrong or false; disprove

repudiate: to refuse to accept or be associated with

To “correct” the mistake (too late), Palin wrote, “Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real”.

Recalling the definition of “refute”, it’s fairly clear to see that Palin’s 8th-grade vocabulary led her into the danger zone again, as the word “refute” doesn’t work in that context.  You can’t disprove a building plan.  That doesn’t even make sense.

Never one to admit a mistake, Palin did what she does best and attempted to extoll the virtues of anti-intellectualism, claiming that just as Shakespeare coined words, she could as well, on the basis that English is a “living language”.

She wrote: “Refudiate,” “misunderestimate,” “wee-wee’d up.” English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”

This is pure, unadulterated nonsense.  “Misunderestimate” is a meaningless word spoken by former President, and fellow moron, George W. Bush.  Using that as an example of what’s allowed in the English language is absurd.

Refute and repudiate cannot be combined into a sensible word.  Their definitions don’t go together in any way, shape, or form.  They are two words with separate meanings, and they are individually sufficient in their usage.

There is no latent need for the “word” “refudiate”, except to aid Sarah Palin in trying to cover up her own idiocy.  (If you look on her Twitter feed, you’ll find plenty of examples where her vocabulary needs refudiating.)

That doesn't mean anything.

And does Palin really believe she has the same poetic license that William Shakespeare had?

We’re talking about one of the truly inspirational artistic geniuses of all time versus an attention seeking, politically ambitious woman who needed to attend five different colleges (one of them, twice) before graduating with a Bachelor’s in communications after six years and who reportedly scored a whopping 841 on her SAT…425 verbal.  (Note: there is no way to really be sure that the reported SAT score is legit – can’t they produce her real birth SAT certificate? – but it is believable.)

I actually get angry at myself when I feel like I have to write about such an enormous piece of human waste, because I know that, like any reality show faux-celeb, her “star” actually rises with the more attention that’s paid to her.

Unfortunately, this retard (yes, I said it), influences the political conversation in this country and that, in turn, has some bearing on our lives and how the country is governed.  If we allow her, and others like her – the Tea Party, for instance – to just go on saying any fucking thing they want, regardless of its truth or relevance, we’re doing a disservice to ourselves.

So, like, sorry, I guess.  I don’t want to have to write this.

You Wish

Hey, Deepak Chopra, you only wish you could actually do the things you pretend to be able to do.

Dingbat / jackass, Deepak Chopra took responsibility for Sunday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Baja, Mexico.  That’s right.  He said, on Twitter of course, “Had a powerful meditation just now — caused an earthquake in Southern California.  Was meditating on Shiva mantra & earth began to shake. Sorry about that.”

Well, that didn’t happen.  I’m guessing / hoping that what he said was tongue in cheek, but even if it was, the faux-Jedi-master was probably taken at his word by a good portion of his silly flock.  Don’t believe me?  Look at the @ replies to Chopra’s Twitter account.  People are actually amused by his “connection to and with the earthquake”.  I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Chopra is just lucky that the earthquake happened in an area better prepared for it than Haiti.  I wonder if his crowd of semi-informed readers who can’t wait to give him more money for snake oil would have been laughing and fawning under those circumstances.

As it stands, the quake caused multiple deaths, the destruction of homes and schools, and thousands of Mexican citizens being left without electricity.

Maybe, since Chopra believes in his methods so strongly, and since he obviously must be the expert, he should spend each day meditating on having no earthquakes.  While he’s at it maybe he can manifest some peace in the Middle East, the end of oppression, a cure to world disease and hunger, and a time machine too.

You know, because Deepak can influence the world around him through quantum mechanics.  Oh, no wait, he can’t.  Because while thousands (millions?) of “positive thinkers” love to pretend that there’s some sort of science behind Chopra’s ideas, The Secret, etc… the community of theoretical physicists doesn’t seem to agree.  And unfortunately, Chopra doesn’t either.

Though he passes it off to his readers as a factual relationship between the mind and the world outside, he has no problem admitting that it’s a metaphor.  Sounds sort of like Bible apologists actually.  If you don’t believe me, take five minutes and watch Richard Dawkins make him look ridiculous face to face.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdcB7FIrXXI

If you need more, watch his attempt at “debate” with Sam Harris from a couple of weeks ago.

Chopra, like most motivational speakers and writers, creates the greatest success for himself.  It doesn’t really matter what he says, it only matters how it’s received.  He’s made millions upon millions of dollars by deliberately misleading his readers.  Even those who will go to the grave believing that his methods worked for them aren’t proof that the methods are true, any more than a person living a full and satisfying life as a practicing Christian proves that people can turn water into wine.

People want to believe that they can make their lives better by thinking (feeling?  praying?) hard enough, but that just isn’t how it works.

And how ridiculous is it that this grand message of the influence of “consciousness” was relayed via Twitter?

Couldn’t he have just mentally implanted this message in the mind of his people by making it so?