Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Let's get specious!

Hey look everybody! Dr. Patrick Johnston, a pro-life activist and the Director of Personhood Ohio has solved the riddle of gayness, and the answer is boobs. Yes, boobs.

"Wait, boobs? You sure about that?"
-Some gay guys

"I don't know, boobs sound right..."
-These lesbians
"Damn you Specious Reasoning! This is 
not over, you hear me? This is not over!"
Yeah, move over scientific consensus that sexuality is determined by a complex combination of genetic factors and early life experience,  Dr. Johnston knows the score:

"The gay pride parade in Columbus is 500,000 strong - why? Because the women go topless. San Francisco and Chicago isn't that sick!"

-Dr. Patrick Jonhs-wait, Doctor? 
Like, a medical doctor? Really?

"Dude, gravity! What the fuck?"
-Sir Isaac Newton
Johnston wasn't the first to notice that gay people exist, but he was the first to make the connection between gay people and boobs. In much the same way that Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head, Johnston's eureka moment came when dancers from a nearby strip club picketed his church topless. Certain that God would be offended by the women's reckless flaunting of the breasts He gave them, Johnston launched a one-man crusade against public nudity in Ohio. But why would topless women want to protest a church in the first place? Welp, it turns out that members of Dr. Johnston's church have been protesting the club, The Foxhole (gross), for years:

Literally ones of Ohioans rushed to their
 phones to register their outrage at tits. 
"Please call or Email your state senator and state rep. (Musk & Cosh. counties, Ohio) to urge them to ban public nudity (women exposing their breasts to married men and children against their will). That's how nude women protested our church on Sunday in response to our church's evangelistic outreach in front of their strip local strip club [sic]. "

-Dr. Johnston in a statement on-yeah,
I still can't believe this guy is a real doctor

Critics are quick to point out that what Johnston is working himself into a rabid lather over would also make it illegal for women to breastfeed their children in public, so in many ways Dr. Johnston hates babies.
Pictured: Babies, the objects of Dr. Johnston's scorn.
Uh, maybe I missed the part where God
told Johnston to harass the local strip club...
But seething baby-hatred aside, I think Dr. Johnston's problem has to do with moral relativism; the idea that different people may have different values and perspectives. An idea that Dr. Johnston thinks is bullshit. He talks all about this on his blog. Yes, he has a blog too. Also, he's a novelist, but more on that in a mo. Johnston insists that there are absolute rights and absolute wrongs and the Bible will tell you which is which. And that's totally cool, I guess, like if that's your thing, but the difficulty arises when you try and lay your religious baggage on others. That's when the tits come out.

"I don't get it: I'm bludgeoning them to
death with my mace and by extension,
God's love. So why won't they convert?"
Like, of course the dancers don't feel that giggling their breasts at paying customers is a moral failing. It's their job. No amount of evangelical outreach is going to change that. Like seriously Christians, you can't just keep shrieking 'Jesus!' at everyone you disagree with and then wonder why nobody likes you. It didn't work during the Crusades and it's not going to work against The Foxhole (gross) and yes, I am totally going to keep bringing up the Crusades. It was a tremendously dick move and a lot of the world's problems can be traced back to it.

Anyway, you're probably wondering what all this has to do with gay people. The answer, of course is, nothing. Johnston was just conflating gay people with topless people because he's angry that both exist. In fact, I think he's just an angry person.
Above: An clenched fist, not unlike the one I assume Dr. Patrick Johnston shakes angrily
skyward every morning before kicking a puppy and then grumbling about gay people.

If that description didn't give you
an erection, you're clearly a terrorist.
Remember how I mentioned that he's also a novelist? No? Well I did, stay with me. So he's the author of The Revolt of 2020. Check it out here, and then go shower. Spoiler alert: it's about a christian who must stand up to the tyrannical, pro-choice American government of 2020 which wants to take away his guns, raise his taxes and pass hate-crime legislation that will make religion illegal. Yup, this is the kind of thing that keeps Dr. Patrick Johnston awake at night. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Let's (not) talk about sex!

As I may have mentioned before, I'm not a parent, so when I get all righteous about something having to do with education or something, keep in mind that I'm a childless shut-in and probably shouldn't be talking about things that don't concern me. That said, I think this is some serious bullshit: the Fremont, California school board has decided to ditch a new sex-ed text book for discussing sex.
Last year, local parents successfully lobbied to remove Watergate from the
Social Studies curriculum due to suggestive references to 'tricky dicks' and 'deep-throating.'
"Pregnant? I don't understand,
August doesn't have an 'R' in it..."
Wai-wah? Yeah. The district made the decision to temporarily stop using the text book after some concerned parents freaked out about some of the content and put together a petition. What content? Why the sex part of course. Besides hootenannies and wing-wangs and what to do with them, the book also refers to sex toys, masturbation and even, brace yourself: orgasms. In fairness, the book is intend for college students, but the board had initially decided that ninth-graders could use the information before they become pregnant and riddled with STD's.

Anyway, the superintendent relented as soon as someone mentioned the word "attorney" and the school will, for now, use the previous text despite the fact that it contains outdated information and factual errors. Yup. They'd rather have their kids lied to about sex than expose them to racy, yet informative, diagrams of naughty bits.
Thanks to concerned Fremont parents, children in the district will
remain safe from information about sex. Unless of course they have
access to the internet. Or watch cable. Or if they talk to their friends.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

The word you're looking for is 'squee!'

Hold on tight everybody, because we're about to get nerdy. Really nerdy. Ready? Here goes: it looks like Babylon 5 might be getting a reboot. Holy shit! I mean can you even-wait a minute, you don't seem to be freaking out. In fact, I would characterize your reaction as something between disinterest and feigned confusion...
Oh, don't look at me like that. You know full well what I'm talking about.
Above: No.
For those of you who don't remember (or are pretending not to, Doctor...) Babylon 5 was the other mid-nineties space-station show. Yes, there were two. Well, ok, three if you count the short-lived Space Rangers, which we won't because that show was objectively garbage. I love Linda Hunt and all, but it really was unbelievably terrible. The point is, the 90's were a great time to be a dork. Most people are familiar with the Star Trek TNG spin-off Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was about a space station that sits at the mouth of a swirly blue portal that leads to distant parts of the galaxy and was run by a guy with a magic destiny and a dead wife who finds himself caught up in a war between galactic civilizations.

Meanwhile, Babylon 5 was about a space station at the mouth of a completely different kind of swirly blue portal that leads to distant parts of the galaxy. It was run by a guy with a totally distinct magic destiny, but a similarly dead wife who finds himself caught up in a war between galactic civilizations.
The one on the left is a wormhole which is a hole in the fabric of you know, space while the one
on the right is a jump-gate which is a hole in-whatever, look, it's like the same goddamn thing.
Executives: It's not their job to be creative.
It's their job to exploit the creativity of others.
Coincidence, right? While it's true that Deep Space 9 came out a couple of weeks before Babylon 5, B5's creator J. Michael Straczynski pitched the show to Paramount (DS9's production company) a few years earlier, even handing over notebooks full of his ideas. Because if there's anyone in this world you can trust it's network executives. Anyway, all the blatant similarities and the perception of plagiarism split nerdom in twain, pitting fan against fan, geek against slightly bigger geek. Not since Genesis Vs. Super-NES had our community been so divided.

Fortunately the enmity was ended when Majel Roddenberry, widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, made a guest appearance on Babylon 5 as a bald psychic alien with six hoo-hah's. Incidentally, B5 was like way more comfortable talking about alien genitalia than Star Trek ever was.
Roddenberry's appearance on B5 finally put an end to-yes, Centauri have six. Move on. 
Finally, these fans will be able to go five
minutes at a Comic-Con without having to
explain who the hell they're supposed to be.
According to this, Straczynski wants to reboot B5 as a movie, which I'm kind of on the fence about. The series often featured community theatre-level acting and special effects worthy of Playstation 1, so a big-budget fancy-pants remake would be a totally welcome upgrade. On the other hand, the show was kind of a five-year soap-opera in space, so condensing the story into a two-hour movie or (shudder) trilogy of movies might necessitate leaving out a lot of the details (i.e. the Centauri and their hexa-junk). Either way, I think we should all brace ourselves for a serious uptick in B5 cosplay.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Terminator 5: Pre-Judgement Day

I think we can go ahead and judge this book by its cover. Well, metaphorically. In this case, the book is a movie and the cover is its terrible, terrible title. Still with me? Behold:
Arnold Schwarzenegger Tweeted® this Instagram© earlier today and-holy shit,
did I just type Tweeted this Instagram? Those aren't verbs and nouns respectively.
Welcome to a future more grim than any predicted by the previous Terminator movies.  
The University of Genisys:
"Because your future starts in the
burnt-out ruins of human civilization."
Yeah. There's going to be a Terminator 5 and unless this is all some elaborate and admittedly hilarious hoax, it's going to be called Terminator Genisys, which, objectively speaking, is a terrible title. Shortly after the image hit the Insta-tweets or whateverthehell, it was met with an outpouring of ridicule and nerd-rage. Because Genisys. Genisys? For real? I mean, it sounds like a-oh, wait, it actually is a credit union in the northeast. Did nobody google this first? I was going to guess third-tier for-profit online university, but credit union is pretty spot on too.

You do not want a call from God's lawyers.
He's like the Harlan Ellison of religious texts. 
I'm guessing that the choice has a lot to do with the fact that the studio can trademark a title like Genisys because it's a made-up word. Genesis on the other hand, is already taken by Sega and the Bible. Remember when the appropriately named SciFi Channel became the egregiously named SyFy Channel? It's like that. It's awful, and you can't begin to fathom how it made it past a focus group, but there it is and eventually we'll just get used to it. Grudgingly.

Anyway, what do I know? I thought The Dark Knight Rises and Star Trek Into Darkness were just about the worst titles ever (and they kind of are), but the films themselves ended up being kind of decent. But then again this is the fifth movie in a series that should have ended two movies ago. I mean, did you see Rise of the Machines? This does not bode well.
Terminator 3 revealed that Arnold Schwarzenegger's character is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell which,
when damaged, explodes with the force of a small nuclear weapon. This begs the following questions:

A) Why the fuck didn't Arnold just walk up to Sarah Connor in Terminator 1 and set off his auto-destruct?
B) Why the fuck am I sitting through Terminator 3?

*Actual institute may not match photo.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Everything's Breeder in Texas

Yes, by all means, let's hear
these people out...
It's become standard practice that when a gay marriage ban gets shot down by a federal judge, he or she will issue a stay so that opponents of same-sex marriage can put together an appeal. This appeal, up until now, has invariably consisted of some horseshit about how gay people are God's punishment for 9/11. Next there's a debate, people wave signs outside the courthouse and everyone pretends that rabid-foam homophobia is an equally valid viewpoint and that we'll just have to agree to disagree on the whole damnation thing. The original ruling is upheld, gay marriage licenses are issued. The end.

But hang on. Last week, in a stunningly original move, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an appeal not based on bronze-age social taboos. In his appeal, Abbott argues that the State of Texas can ban gay marriage because same-sex couples can't produce offspring.
"Well he's got us there. We got this thing off Craigslist."
I feel betrayed. By science.
"Texas's marriage laws are rooted in a basic reality of human life: procreation requires a male and a female. Two people of the same sex cannot, by themselves, procreate..."

-Texas Attorney General and graduate of 
8th grade sex-ed class, Greg Abbott

Well, yeah so technically two gay people can't-but that's not really the...goddamnit...

Above: what inevitably happens
when you let gay people be parents.
Abbott goes on to argue that the State should encourage opposite-sex marriage (or Marriage Classic®) "in order to minimize the social costs that can result from procreation outside of stable lasting relationships." Wait, social costs? Is he saying that Texas should prevent gay people from getting married because they can't make babies on their own and if they do somehow get their hands on one, they're just going to get divorced anyway and then the kid will end up on welfare or in jail? Because holy shit, Greg, I mean, holy shit.

He thinks he's the Texas AG, which is
 correct, but he can still go fuck himself.
Allow me to sum up Abbott's argument, which I see as two-fold: firstly, he's saying that that gay relationships are inherently unstable and short lived, and that children raised by gay parents will become a drag on society's resources. Secondly, he's saying that the sole purpose of marriage is procreation and that marriages that fail to produce children are valueless. I'd like to address those points in order: firstly, Greg Abbott can go fuck himself. Secondly, no really, he can go fuck himself, I mean, who does this guy think he is?

"Sorry childless couple, dogs don't
count. Your marriage is a sham."
-Greg Abbott
Ok, fine, two people of the same sex can't swap genetic material with each other and crank out a kid. Whatever. What in the name of hell does that have to do with a legal right to be married? If the State is going to ban same-sex marriages because gay people can't procreate without outside help, is it also going to ban marriage between straight couples who can't, say for medical reasons, have kids? Or marriage between people who choose not to have kids? And if not, why not? If the ability to procreate is the requisite for a legal marriage in Texas, then that needs to be the rule for everybody, doesn't it?

Look, maybe this is the childless shut-in in me talking, but having functional and compatible reproductive organs doesn't necessarily mean that two people will make good parents and it certainly shouldn't give them some kind exclusive right to the tax-breaks, hospital visits and gift registries that come along with marriage.

Dear Jack and Nicole,

Congratulations on your sexual orientation and subsequent wedding. Please enjoy this crock-pot: a symbol of your biological ability to produce offspring. May the union of your male and female genitalia produce viable offspring and ensure our great state's future.

Best Wishes,