Expanding on the recent theme of the last several entries...
I've been meaning to tackle this issue for years, and am just now getting around to it. If you're a gamer, and a regular denizen of the various interwebs, then you've probably heard the name Anita Sarkeesian at some point. (In fact, you're probably sick of hearing that name.) I'm not sure how relevant this issue still is, or if it's drifted away from the spotlight, but for some time, Sarkeesian was making quite a bit of noise a
I live in a culture (The United States of America) which manages to be obsessed with physical beauty and sexuality, while at the same time demonizing it. No easy feat. It's also no secret where the vilification comes from--it's our religious and puritanical roots. I'm told that not every culture has the bass-ackwards perspective on sex that we do, and that many of those cultures think we're completely bat-sh*t insane. No surprise there. And of course, there are cultures with far more unheal
[This is a Life Advice vent I wrote couple of years ago. I wanted to save it in my blog for easier access.]
I've had some stuff in my head for a long time that I need to organize and get down. I'm male, hetero, almost 30, single. I'm sick and tired of living in a society that perpetuates the unfair double standard that women are beautiful, and men are ugly, simian australopithacines that can be manipulated with sex. All my life, I've wanted to be beautiful, and all my life, I've felt li
Nothing would please me more than to reach a point where I don't feel the need to talk about religion anymore. Every time I write about it, I tell myself that it will be my final word, and that I will move on to other things. And yet, I cannot resist coming back to it given the kind of insanity I see on an almost daily basis. The other day, in the newspaper, I read an opinion piece by a local resident saying how America will always be a Christian nation, no matter how long time goes on for, a
Today's entry will not be an original work of my own. Instead of writing one my usual essays, I'd like to share an important work of someone else: Sam Harris's The Fireplace Delusion. I think that this essay is vitally important, and should be read by every single person living in a developed, first world country.
You can either listen to the essay as read by a narrator on youtube (not Sam himself):
Or, alternatively, you may read it on Sam's blog if you wish:
I don't just love talking, candy-colored ponies--I've always loved equines of the real life variety as well. I love horses. I took riding lessons at a public stable for a couple of years. Got pretty good. Unfortunately, I got jaded with it for a few reasons, but the biggest reason that I eventually quit is because I started having an ethical dilemma about keeping and riding domesticated horses.
All of the horses at the stables were kept in fairly small stalls, their entire life consisti
Episodes, movies, specials, spin-offs, shorts, books, toys, apparel, cosplay, music, fan art, fanfics, reviews, posts, blogs, fan videos, memes, animations, 3D models, video game mods, and yes--for me, even clop. When I look back at the past five years since I discovered the show and add up every minute that I've devoted to Pony, it's pretty staggering. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. Well... except for a girlfriend. I'm only human.
I've loved this MLP journey so much. I can har
Today's blog entry will be about the show for a change. I have always loved the lore surrounding cutie marks, and I find it fascinating to discuss them. I was prompted to write this post when I stumbled across a Dr. Wolf video in which he posed the question of whether or not Pear Butter rejected her cutie marks when she married Bright Mac. Such an idea was instantly captivating to me. Before I respond to it, I would like to post a short piece I wrote some time ago in a thread asking about cu
The late, great Christopher Hitchens is one of my all time favorite writers, speakers, and thinkers. Simply one of my all time heroes. There's scarcely a word he's ever spoken that I disagree with. However, there is one video of him that stumbled across that I found rather disappointing. Before continuing, I highly recommend reading Can Men Be Beautiful? as a prerequisite. If you choose not to, you may find yourself rather lost.
So, assuming you just came from that other blog, you know
Of the four basic literary comparative devices, the only one that most people are familiar with is the "metaphor"--the figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance. We all know what metaphors are. We typically use them on a daily basis. Many people may also be familiar with the term "simile"--a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared. Similes tend to use the words "like
Today will be one of my more counter-intuitive and possibly controversial ideas. I want to talk about what it means to be shallow in terms of one's character. What is shallowness, really? But before I dive into the depths, a bit of preface on the subject of free will is in order. In recent years, I have come to accept the fact that free will, insofar as most people think about it, doesn't exist. If you've never heard or read any lectures on this idea, you may find yourself quickly losing th
Nearly every religion is based on the promise of immortality after death. For as long as humans have existed, we have feared death, and for many, the only solace is the bedtime story that when we die, we will be reunited with loved ones and get to experience everlasting joy in heaven for all eternity. Countless peoples have based their entire lives on ensuring that they are admitted to this paradise when the time arrives. People teach their children what they need to do in order to get into h
I recently read a news article that an American city, which shall remain nameless, just passed a bill to enshrine all of its police and fire vehicles with the phrase "In God We Trust". This is absolutely appalling. Moreover, as I have argued previously in this blog, this sort of encroachment of religion into state should be appalling to all religious people as well.
Religion has no place in state or government affairs. God has no place on our currency, or on the sides of law-enforcement
Abortion is a topic that I do not enjoy writing or thinking about. It's something I prefer to avoid, because this debate always seems to end up unpleasant for all involved. Yet, it is vitally important, so I will give my opinion and try my best to say something useful.
I touched on abortion in The Ethics of Life, which I definitely recommend reading as a prerequisite to this, but I feel the topic warrants an entry all its own. Incidentally, I apologize if I repeat things that I already s
In my last piece, I argued that immortality wouldn't be the blessing that it's cracked up to be, but rather a curse. Today, I tackle the opposite side of the same coin: suicide.
My thoughts about suicide are quite simple. I have always believed very firmly in complete bodily autonomy. I believe that your body is the only thing you can ever truly own in the purest sense. No one can tell you what you can and can't do with your own body as long as you're not infringing on the rights of oth
I regularly find it utterly bewildering, dismaying, and depressing that the majority of the world seems to believe in ghosts, spirits, and anything else that would fall under the umbrella of the "supernatural" or "paranormal". I certainly do not, because I don't believe in anything on insufficient evidence, and neither should you. Incidentally, this goes for things like astrology and psychics as well. I was tempted to write a separate piece on this, but I don't think there's enough material t
It's no secret that I'm a self-proclaimed fashionista. I love fashion, and I love making and wearing spectacular, interesting, and outrageous things, as well as pushing the boundaries of gender norms. Clothing is one of the most fun, creative, and personal ways that we can express ourselves. Some time ago, I was wearing a burgundy velvet coat while I was out and about. Actually, that coat was one of my tamest outfits, and not something I made myself. In fact, it was a replica of Aragorn's c
It's a ubiquitous sentiment that love should always be unconditional, but I have never believed this to be true. Moreover, I believe that love is always conditional, whether we admit it or not. Contrary to what is sounds like, this is actually a good thing.
Love always has certain, basic conditions, mostly being that there is still something recognizable to you in the person you love. If a person changes so vastly that there is nothing left of the person you knew and loved, then it would
During the 56th episode of his Making Sense podcast, entitled "Abusing Dolores", my favorite thinker and philosopher, Sam Harris, explained that it would be monstrously evil to create conscious, artificially intelligent machines that are capable of suffering. To do so would be a highly unethical crime, and would create suffering where there was none before. I completely agree, but I believe this begs a follow-up question--perhaps the most important question ever asked: if it's unethical to cre
This one isn't any sort of public service essay--just a personal vent. I've referenced Game of Thrones enough times on this forum that anyone who follows me probably knows that I watch that show. I mean... who doesn't? That would be like saying, "I enjoy pizza." Like... duh. Did we really need to be told that? So, I watched the finale, and I never planned on writing anything about the show in my blog, but now I feel I must, but probably not for the reason you might think. Suffice it to sa
It's been quite awhile since I've written anything in Stop & Talk. Been busy.
Today I'd like to float an interesting idea that I've thought about for some time. I believe that promises are essentially meaningless. This isn't the bitter, cynical viewpoint that it sounds like. I actually believe that promises do little to nothing, in fact, to change anything that one person would tell another. The concept of a promise is largely unnecessary, in my view.
Think about what a promis
I wasn't planning to ever write about this, and truth be told, I don't really want to, but I feel I must. I opened the paper the other day and saw a headline about yet another outbreak of measles in the northwestern United States. What has happened in the past few years in the U.S. with regard to vaccinations is so despicable, so intolerable, and so pernicious that it is truly beyond words or comprehension.
I've been aware of the "anti-vaccing" movement for as long as it's existed, but pa
When it comes to the subject of capital punishment, it seems a ubiquitous requirement of anyone on the political left to be against it. Most liberals/democrats/leftists are against the death penalty, and always have been, as far as I am aware. While I have absolutely no loyalty to any party, camp, tribe, or movement, and typically reject all political labels these days, it's also a fact that I typically fall left of center on most social issues. However, I am actually for the death penalty, a
I am a big proponent of honesty. I believe that honesty is the bedrock foundation for all relationships--the "master virtue", if you will. In fact, I believe that healthy personal relationships cannot exist if dishonesty is involved. I am even opposed to so called "white lies", and believe that they are corrosive to personal relationships in subtle ways. This doesn't mean that I think people should openly broadcast every thought they have to everyone, á la The Invention of Lying. It's perfe
If, when, and only if it becomes exceedingly unnecessary to properly undermine the extensive and uninhabitable eccentricities, which, under normal circumstances would defeat the purpose of such extraneous matters, that are heavily scrutinized and routinely serviced on a regular basis with or without authorized clearance en route to various and/or particular paranormal anomalies, one must immediately compromise or police the accurate and precise microcosms in order to effectively prevent he outbr