Rafa\’s Corner of Nonsense, Part Deux

… where Rafa\’s thoughts see the light of day…

You Win, Religious People: God Doesn’t Love Me

I had always fancied myself quasi-religious: although I did not necessarily subscribe to all the trappings of Christianity, I did believe we were created as equals by a loving God that, although ethereal, had a palpable effect on this world through the deeds of those who upheld His values of goodness, charity, and most importantly, love. However, it has become apparent of late that perhaps my faith in the fairness and love of this God have been woefully misplaced, which is a fact that has been revealed to me thanks chiefly by those who supposedly follow His word the closest: deeply religious people.

When California’s Proposition 8, which if approved would inscribe in the state’s constitution that marriage was exclusively between a man and a woman, passed, I was saddened first because as a believer in freedom and equality, this was a stunning blow to what I deemed was the positive forward progression of civil liberties in the United States of America: California already allowed same-sex marriage, and this reversal had implications not only in that state, but also for other states that, emboldened, would inevitably be following suit in upcoming elections. I was also saddened because my fiancé and I were making tentative plans to seal our union by getting a marriage license in California (a mostly symbolic gesture, since our native state of Texas had already passed a similar proposition, thus making our marriage null and void where we live).

However, what dealt the most personally hurtful blow to this outcome was learning how it had been religious organizations (mainly the Church of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons are they are commonly known) that had not only donated heavily to the cause of passing Proposition 8, but also organized community door-to-door campaigns to spread their message. Bear in mind that this was not a massive, well-organized campaign to end world hunger, to stop the genocide happening right now in countries we do not hear of on the news because they are poor, or even to ensure that homeless people had somewhere warm to sleep this upcoming winter; no: all this money and effort spent by devout followers of Christ was to prevent the state of California from granting legal benefits to consenting adults of the same gender that wanted to prove their commitment by getting married.

I have read that their spokespeople have stated their message was not “anti-gay,” but rather “pro-marriage”: however, spending that much time and money preventing gay people from getting married belies that argument. More out-spoken detractors of same-sex marriage have protested with signs that read things like “God Hates Fags”: and you know what? For the first time in my life, I am inclined to agree. It is easy to dismiss the hateful ramblings of a few fringe zealots, of which, after all, there are in any group; however, when so many church-going, God-fearing, well-meaning religious people do what they did to make sure Proposition 8 passes, I can no longer deny what is painfully true: God does not love me.

If God did love me in spite of my homosexuality, why would the Bible, the sacred book written from His divine inspiration, be full of explicit anti-homosexual sentiment? Why would God have penned such words, if He knew that, millennia hence, they would still be used as fodder for hatred and rejection of millions of His own children? If God wanted to make it clear that homosexuals are, to His eyes, just as loved and worthy of respect as heterosexuals, why didn’t Christ make explicit statements to that effect, so that His followers would behave accordingly? The answer is clear: God wanted this to happen; this is His will.

God does not love me, and neither do His followers here on Earth. Though many claim to “love the sinner and hate the sin,” expecting me to believe that is, frankly, insulting: religious people “love” homosexuals in the same gritted-teeth, disingenuous way they “love” murderers and rapists, because not “loving” them would entail not being a good Christian. It is a contradiction to claim to love someone and at the same time fight tooth and nail to strip them of the same civil rights everyone else has (and rights they themselves briefly enjoyed), only to cause them anguish and feelings of despair. If they loved homosexuals as they claim, they would show it with deeds, not just say it with empty words.

So, religious people, you win: you have convinced me that the God I thought had created me in love, actually condemns me for who I am, and how I did not choose to be. I feel unloved, bereft, forsaken. In your quest to ensure that my legal rights are squashed, you have won an electoral victory, and lost a soul.

Somewhere, God must be smiling.

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November 15, 2008 Posted by | Rant, Thinker | 22 Comments

If I had wanted to listen to an instrumental solo, I would’ve gone to a Yanni concert

Well, the summer concert season has finally started (for me, at least), as I went to see Huey Lewis and the News and Chicago (yes, I am an old man: now shut up and get off my lawn, young whipper-snapper!).

Anyway, attending this concert reminded me of two of my concert pet peeves: the first one is that the band inevitably never plays the one song I want them to play (regardless of how famous said song is). For instance, Huey Lewis didn’t play “If This Is It” and Chicago didn’t play “Glory of Love.” I swear to God, I could go to a Right Said Fred concert and they still wouldn’t play “I’m Too Sexy” (not that I’d go to a Right Said Fred concert, even if they weren’t currently employed, sadly, as Right Said Fred impersonators in the Hollywood Walk of Fame).

But on to my second concert pet peeve (and what prompted me to break my months-long absence from the blogosphere): long-winded instrumental solos in rock concerts. I mean, really: we get that you’re all awesome musicians, and that only the vocalist gets all the glory and all the chicks (although my favorite bands are getting so long in the tooth that nowadays the vocalist probably just gets the juicier incontinence medicine endorsements). However, do we really need to hear a 10-minute drum solo? If you’ve heard one drum solo, you’ve pretty much heard them all (actually, after hearing one minute of a drum solo, you’ve heard them all!).

How about if the audience, when purchasing the concert tickets, signs an affidavit stating that every band member is as important as the next, and that each one rocks in his own right? If we do that, could we do without the boring, lengthy and unnecessary solos? For instance, in the Chicago concert we were “treated” to a flute solo. A f-l-u-t-e solo. In a r-o-c-k concert. I’d understand that if I had gone see a concert for Yzman, Master of the Ocarina… but a rock concert?

So, where do you, ficticious reader, stand on this whole concert solo business? Is it a part of the concert experience, or is it an evil that must be eradicated with bloodshed, if necessary?

July 3, 2006 Posted by | Rant | 14 Comments

More on the wine rant…

I forgot to add, amidst all the rantiness of my previous post, that I don’t hate wine in and of itself; true, I don’t like its taste, but then I’m not ranting against olive juice or some other decidedly repugnant drink I don’t like but that other (not-quite-as-sane) people do like.

What I dislike is the cult towards wine in our society, the way something which is nothing more than a drink has been elevated to some élite status, to where it’s a symbol of style and sophistication. What’s the big deal about wine in particular?

I also hate how it seems impossible to have any kind of “romantic interlude” without involving either wine or champagne (which is nothing more than wine with soda farts floating in it). Who was the pompous lush who decided that for it to be romantic it must involve spoiled grape juice in some form?

So again, my rant is not due to the fact that I personally dislike wine. For instance, I like coffee; however, the way some people talk about coffee (where the beans are from, the way they’re ground, the process of making the coffee, the things they add to the coffee), they make it seem as though it’s rocket science and makes me want to bash in their heads with a big ceramic mug and then just blame it on a caffeine overdose. It’s just coffee, people!

Follow along if you can:

Coffee beans + boiling water = coffee

Just like:

Grape juice + lack of refrigeration = wine

Drink up if you want, wine lovers, but really, get over yourselves!

March 8, 2005 Posted by | Rant | 9 Comments

News break, wine-drinkers: wine’s just rancid grape juice!

I’ve never quite understood the fascination some people have with wine. If some extraterrestrial came down from the skies from their home planet, Fernobulax Prime, and you had to explain to him what wine was, you’d be hard-pressed to say anything that doesn’t boil down to “it’s rancid grape juice.” Of course, Fernobulaxian’s grasp of English is tenuous at best, and they get testy pretty quickly when they try to understand something and cannot, so I’d recommend avoiding this situation altogether.

But I digress. My point is, what’s so damn special about spoiled grape juice, where there are people who study wines for a living and make it sound like it’s such an important thing, and who come up with annoyingly hoity-toity terms to describe it, such as “earthy” or “fruity” (whereas only one adjective, “rancidy,” is actually accurate, even if the word doesn’t actually exist).

I guess the answer is that people are sheep. Someone in olden times (where they didn’t have refrigeration and drinking rancid juice was just a normal occurrence) decided that this wasn’t spoiled grape juice, mais non, Monsieur! (I’ve decided this person was French, and I defy you to contradict me): this was WINE! Nectar of the Gods! Heavenly ambrosia suckled from Mother Nature’s liquor-engorged teats! Succulent spirit that makes you gently caress the face of angels! Rancid grape juice! Sorry, what? Too much truth on that last one? My bad!

The point is that once people got it into their heads that drinking old grape juice was not disgusting, but actually chic, then everybody started doing it to feel cool, to belong to the élite who drinks something they would have thrown out of their fridge if they didn’t have a whole culture dedicated to savoring it instead. I mean, really folks: one-month old grape juice? Disgusting and trash-bound! Decades-old grape juice? Delicious and veneration-worthy! Baaaaah!

My question is, why grape juice? Can’t you pretty much ferment any juice, make it alcoholic and get it to taste like ass? I will now try to see if I can get enough idiots to start drinking spoiled mango juice: I’ll just give it a snobby-sounding French name, such as “manginé,” say I’ve been aging it for decades in barrels made of wood from Noah’s Ark, and that instead of tasting “fruity” or “earthy” people should notice it tastes “pious,” or “religiousy” (and you’d be surprised how many people would start using those very same adjectives to describe it, too!).

You know what would make my day? If someone came up and announced to the world that this whole wine-drinking thing had been a giant practical joke, cooked up by those feisty Romans thousands of years ago, and that all wines in the world are just Welch’s grape juice left out of the fridge for a month. White wine? They just added some water! Rosé wine? They added some water AND some red coloring #11! Yup: you are all ignorant, pompous asses, and nothing more than sheep for declaring which wine went best with which food or which wine should be drunk in what season of the year. It’s all spoiled Welch’s grape juice, morons! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

What say you? Are there any wine-lovers in the hizzouse? If there are, I must inform you that giving me money is chic and all the cool people are doing it… and you wouldn’t want to be “uncool” and not give me money, would you?! 😉

March 6, 2005 Posted by | Rant | Leave a comment

Spongebob made me gay (retroactively)!

There seems to be very few things in this world in which religious nuts (or “Christian Activists,” as they call themselves presumably because “Retarded Fucking Morons” was taken) do not see the looming threat of the “gay agenda.” Really: it seems gays have nothing better to do than try to turn people’s kids gay by luring them with anthropomorphic characters that have no apparent gender and engage in nothing that even remotely ressembles a sexual relationship, homosexual or otherwise!

Proof of Christian activists’ obsession is the following CNN article where one of them denounced a cartoon featuring Spongebob Squarepants, Barney, Winnie the Pooh, the Rugrats, and other children’s characters, which was conceived to impart the concept of understanding people’s differences, as a thinly-veiled attempt to promote “celebrating homosexuality.”

I don’t know, but unless Winnie the Pooh was frenching Eeyore behind a tree or Spongebob was giving a dirty Sánchez to Barney, I find it hard to believe anyone would see any gay subtext in a children’s video! Unless, of course, they were raging closet fags.

Why is it that these “Christian groups” have to proclaim their Christianity in their names? Maybe it’s because if they didn’t, judging them solely on their actions and attitudes no one would know they’re Christian! If their behavior is to be taken as becoming of their faith, it seems the answer to the age-old question “What would Jesus do?” is “Act like an intolerant, hateful prick.” Who knew? They must have read their own Bible, titled “Jesus Loves Everyone (Except The Gays),” or perhaps “If You Are A Religous Nut, Feel Free To Judge Others.”

My favorite part is that Jerry Falwell not only “outed” the purple Teletubbie, Tinky Winky, but went further and declared him “a gay role model.” Really? Is the gay ideal to be purple, have weird antennae, carry around a purse, and have no penis? Sorry, but that hardly seems like any fun!

January 20, 2005 Posted by | Rant | 6 Comments

Yes, Céline, a baby burst forth from your poonany: get over it!

I’d like to know why is it that every artist that has a baby suddenly feels that something mystical and magical has occurred, and feel compelled to talk about it obsessively. The “miracle of life” happens countless times a day, every day: I don’t know about you, but I prefer my miracles to occur more sparingly, like someone walking on water, seeing the image of the Virgin on a grilled cheese sandwich, or the Red Sox winning the World Series.

One of the latest such artists (or artistes, as it has previously been explained by my friend César in this post) is the English-as-a-second-language Céline Dion. It seems Céline was impregnated by a man’s seed, and 9 months later, c’est un miracle!, a baby came out of her vagina. She has now written a CD about it (festooning it with a creepy collage of baby pictures), and recently even published a book (demurely titled “Miracle: A Celebration of New Life”) full of pictures of her and the baby in several gag-inducing poses. This, for your enjoyment, is the book’s cover:

Really, Céline: if we all sign an affidavit stating that your baby is the most precious baby in the world, and that its conception and birth were the most miraculous occurrences in the modern world, will you stop writing songs about your baby and force-feeding us pictures of him? If so, I know a lawyer and I’m sure he’d gladly draw up all the necessary papers!

January 5, 2005 Posted by | Rant | 5 Comments

When did this turn into a nation of pussies? (Part II)

In my last rant, I said:

I’m sorry, but I couldn’t sit in silence any longer: when did the United States turn into a nation of crybabies and pussies? I am talking, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, about the recent fanatical political correctness craze that seems to be plaguing our country.

I used to think that in a democracy, where people have freedom of expression, citizens should be able to, you know… freely express themselves. Silly me! It seems you can only express yourself if what you’re saying doesn’t offend some constituency with political or economical clout behind it.

For instance, the show Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, where controversial topics were discussed in a frank manner, was cancelled after Bill Maher made a comment stating that he was tired of the 9/11 terrorists being called “cowardly,” since he thought it took courage to get into a plane with the purpose of crashing it into a building and killing yourself in the process, and that in fact it was more cowardly to go into a war where you could just push some buttons and bomb far away targets without getting yourself in danger (I am, of course, paraphrasing from memory, but that was the gist of it).

While I think most rational people would be able to see at least some logic in that statement, in any case the remedy is simple if you disagree with Bill Maher: change the fucking channel! It only takes one push of a button (or turn of the dial, if your TV set is ancient) to change the channel and vow to never see that show again (to which I would say: “Why in God’s name were you watching a show called Politically Incorrect if you did not want to hear politically incorrect statements, you idiot?!”).

But no, this wasn’t enough for some über-sensitive individuals: they made a stink about it, called the show’s sponsors, made a big issue out of it, until some sponsors decided to bow to the pressure and state they were no longer going to advertise themselves during the show (and thus hurt it financially); the show was eventually cancelled.

I cannot fathom how people that say they love democracy and the freedoms it provides its citizens could do something like this; it’s as though they’re saying that people can freely express themselves as long as what they’re expressing is exactly what they themselves feel. In my opinion, “freedom of expression” is only significant if it means you tolerate the existence of opinions different from your own; if everyone thought the same way, what would be the big deal? True freedom of expression is, and should be, hard for all of us; if it were easy, it wouldn’t be worthwhile.

People have a myriad of opportunities to be good Americans and demonstrate their love for democracy, but squander them by acting this way, like overly-sensitive babies crying because their feelings were hurt and trying to impose their sensibilities on the general population. Sure, the advertisers that withdrew their support of the show had every right to do so: it’s their money and they can choose to support whichever shows they like; sure, these angered viewers had every right to express their disapproval of the show to its sponsors… but why go through all that trouble, if it was just easier to change the channel, and more democratic to let opinions different from their own coexist with theirs?

Now, feel free to express your opinion on this matter… 🙂

January 5, 2005 Posted by | Rant | 4 Comments

When did this turn into a nation of pussies? (Part I)

I’m sorry, but I couldn’t sit in silence any longer: when did the United States turn into a nation of crybabies and pussies? I am talking, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, about the recent fanatical political correctness craze that seems to be plaguing our country.

Case in point: Janet Jackson’s black booby. Who, exactly, can be that offended by a booby? Boobies nourish us when we are little, and for many it’s also the source of entertainment during adulthood. True, they usually are not wearing sun-shaped metallic pasties, as Janet’s was, but still, what’s the big deal?

The truth is, in this country, sexuality and profanity are vilified while violence is seen as commonplace; we can see Rambo (I to III, take your pick!) or any gory horror film in our TV sets, or see horrible violent images during the 6 o’clock news, but perish the thought of a naked breast or even the slightest hint of a penis tarnishing the screen! For most of us, seeing someone being beheaded, shot, or otherwise killed, is not part of our daily lives, or, if we’re lucky, not part of our lives at all. However, sexuality, nudity and profanity make up a part of almost everyone’s lives; more likely than not, you either have a penis or will get to see one within your lifetime (unless you’re an uggo); you either have breasts or will get to see some within your lifetime (unless you’re an engineer).

So why is it that it’s OK to see violence and gore on TV, but not sexuality and nudity? And don’t get me wrong, guys, I’m not arguing against having violence on TV: our parents grew up watching shows and movies where cowboys slaughtered indians for less-than-noble purposes, and few of them are out there making bloodbaths in reservation casinos.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this… make me proud. 🙂

January 5, 2005 Posted by | Rant | 2 Comments

Farewell to Clippy!

Before diving into my current rant, let me just say that I know I’ve been a lazy-ass lately and have neglected my blog. To my surprise, two of my friends (César and Omar) had apparently checked it a few times and have egged me on to write some more, so thanks for the support, guys. 🙂

Now, on to the rant!

If you have ever used Word 97, you have met Clippy. Here, in all his glory, is Clippy:

Clippy is a creepy, anthropomorphic animated paperclip (get it? paperCLIP -> Clippy? Oh! These geniuses at Microsoft, hollowed be their name!). Clippy’s job is to annoy the fuck out of you when you type, and pop up every once in a while and make inane remarks and suggestions about what you’re typing (à la “I see you are writing a letter to your baby’s mama! Do you want me to help you find nice ways of saying: Try and prove the baby’s mine, bitch!?”).

Even more unsettling was his lecherous leer and his suggestive wink, as though he were suavely saying in a thick, Banderas-like accent: “Oh, I can fix that for you. I can fix that for you gooood.” I’m sorry, but I prefer less innuendo from my office assistants.

Anyway, an article I read states that Clippy will not be on by default starting in Office XP. There were even some animations (voiced by Gilbert Gottfreid) depicting Clippy’s post-Word life, and a poll as to what he should do next. Personally, I think Clippy should be unbent and used for lock-picking, or at the very least, used to burst pus-filled boils; I’d be happy either way!

What do you think should happen to Clippy?

November 20, 2004 Posted by | Rant, Thinker | 1 Comment

Political fanatics are idiots… or morons, I haven’t yet decided…

I think people who are rabidly rooting for any politician are idiots. Ok, maybe not idiots… perhaps morons. Yeah, that’s better. I’m going with “morons,” people: deal with it.

I shall elucidate. 🙂 Unless you are the candidate himself (or herself, don’t get your knickers in a twist, ladies), you were sired by the candidate, you are the lifelong spouse of the candidate, or are somehow related by blood to the candidate, there is simply no way that you could be so sure that the person isn’t some conniving scuzzbucket that isn’t lying through his teeth about everything he says, and is secretly scheming to take over the world while stroking a cat all day in his hidden evil lair?

Actually, you could even argue that if you’re related or married to the candidate you’re definitely sure that he’s a lying scuzzbucket (like that time he told you your cat Miffy had gone to a farm in the country when in reality it had been in-grained in an 18-wheeler’s tires, or like that time he told you he was working late in the office when in reality he was doing lines of coke off of the ass of a Brazilian hooker he met in Cabo).

How could people that have never met the candidate adore him so much, how can they be so sure he’s the one who’s gonna save the nation from foreign attacks and fix the economy and create jobs and make kittens crap gold and turn the Grand Canyon into a flowing river of milk and honey and convert the Everglades into a sugarplum forest full of gumdrops and candycanes? Maybe I’m just a cynic (yeah, right, “maybe”)… but how can you be so sure of any of that if you personally don’t know the guy? Or even if you do personally know the guy? Or even if you are the guy? (I mean, it’s real easy to over-estimate one’s own abilities as a creator of a sugarplum forest).

What is your own take on this topic? Is over-zealous fanatism for a political candidate reasonable? [Note that if you say it is, I will think you are a moron: you have been warned!]

October 24, 2004 Posted by | Rant | 3 Comments