Friday, May 26, 2006

Deep thoughts on porn, sex toys, and the NSA

I spend much of my time pondering things. I like to ponder on God, the universe, the current state of things, why "ponder" is such a fun word to say, why I don't use the word "pontificate" more often to keep from using the word "ponder" too many times in one sentence. But I digress.

I have often pondered on this very page the absolute hypocrisy that is our society. We tolerate images of someone blowing off another person's head in prime time television but show a glancing shot of nipple and there is outrage. Strippers are not allowed to strip fully nude in most cities in America but wearing a thong made of dental floss makes it OK. Random rules that do not define a clear value system only serve to confuse. Until recently sodomy (defined clearly as any deviation from male-female vaginal sex although usually used in reference to homosexual sex) was a felony but having an unlicensed concealed pistol is only a misdemeanors. Sales of sex toys for any purpose other than "novelty" (i.e. for actual use on the sex organs) can get you arrested in many states yet selling guns at gun shows without a background check is fully legal.

The way I see it, if government is going to legislate a moral code, the least they can do is pick a logical one. I say we stick to the simplest code, do no harm to others, respect people's privacy (yes NSA, that is means you), keep government out of our bedrooms, and for the love of God get over this puritanical idea that the human body is "dirty". I am not saying put porn in front of our kids, I am saying don't warp our kids by telling them all displays of flesh are porn. I am not saying we should run around naked, just stop making a big deal when someone has a "wardrobe malfunction". More people saw Janet's nipple as a result of the huge deal the Christian Right made out of it than ever saw it during the Super Bowl. Remember Mark Twain's admonition, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

Finally, I cannot let another week close without talking about NSA wiretaps. Wired Magazine published papers filed in a lawsuit against AT&T by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation in which a former AT&T technician discovered full AT&T cooperation with the NSA in illegal internet monitoring and phone tapping using hardware hosted in AT&T central offices in many major cities across the country. As a sys admin I understand just how far reaching this is. For the non-geek, here is a quick rundown. AT&T controls most of the backbone of the internet. If you monitor AT&T, you get to monitor most traffic on the net. Even if AT&T isn't your direct provider, most data you send through the net will hit AT&T equipment on the way. The hardware used monitors all data, it does not filter or encrypt it. If you put it on the net, email it, or use Voice Over IP phone service (i.e. Vonage, RoadRunner, Packet8, etc.) the NSA has a full, unencrypted copy and no judge to oversee that data's usage. Use a keyword like "jihad" and you get flagged for review even if you say "jihads suck".

To paraphrase Ben Franklin, "He who gives up liberty for security shall have neither." Those seeking to destroy the American way of life aren't overseas in the desert with rags on their head. They are in our government, slowly chipping away at our freedoms. We Americans have become lazy and fat. Had our founding fathers had the same level of motivation as modern Americans we would still be under English rule. We saw a blip of the revolutionary spirit during the civil rights movement. Those young revolutionaries are now dying, their legacy getting squashed by lazy apathetic Americans who think the W is out to protect them.

Quizzy Goodness

Since my last posts have been a bit heavier and I forsee another heavy one soon I figure I'd lighten things up a bit with the results of this quiz I took.

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Captain Jack Sparrow


88%

Batman, the Dark Knight


88%

El Zorro


88%

William Wallace


83%

Neo, the "One"


83%

Maximus


79%

Lara Croft


79%

Indiana Jones


75%

James Bond, Agent 007


71%

The Terminator


67%

The Amazing Spider-Man


46%

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Friday, May 19, 2006

Fun with incendiary devices

The last couple of days have been strange here at work. Yesterday I pulled in to work and saw the whole crime scene squad gathered around the front of the building. Being a simple oilfield valve company we tend not to be touched by the hand of crime often. As it turns out late Wednesday night two thugs in an older Chevy Corsica pulled into our front lot and proceeded to hurl two Molotov cocktails at our building (with all the skill and aim of a two year old girl, I might add). One hit a window and bounced off only cracking the glass and the other hit brick. Neither did much real damage other than some black marks on the brick and cement. These idiots not only failed at damaging us, they also chose to do this right in front of our video camera which caught the whole incident. I downloaded the videos to CD for the police and pulled some really good stills. While their faces aren't as clear as I might like you get an exact description of their clothing, height, build, etc. Not only that but their car is missing its hub caps.

Later that day while I was in the middle of playing CSI:Corpus Christi, two black guys show up asking to speak to the owner. They proceeded to ask my boss, "where's my money" to which his response was "what are you talking about?" They seemed befuddled that he knew nothing of said money and took off. Not before I caught their images on the same camera though. They were in an older model Ford truck and the apparent "leader" had an afro that would make Leon "Ladies Man" Phelps go, "damn that brother has a big fro". This kind of crap really tempts me to take the concealed handgun class. It would definitely help if we could skim shit like this off of the gene pool.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Audio post goodness

this is an audio post - click to play


Now not only can you see and read me, you can hear me too...Be afraid...Be very afraid...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Unleashing the inner heretic, Da Vinci Code style

The "Da Vinci Code" movie is generating quite a stir amongst Christians. I for one am loving it. People all over the world are all in a flap over a book (and the resulting motion picture) that in any library or bookstore is clearly filed as FICTION. Can anyone here explain to me how a book clearly presented as fictitious could spark claims of blasphemy?

So, in this FICTITIOUS world Jesus was married and had kids. La dee freaking da. For the sake of argument, and because nothing excites me more than pissing illogical people off, we will examine this concept using something that has no place in religious dogma, logic.

*Devil's advocate mode ON*
If I remember my Sunday school classes correctly (and I should, I taught them) we were taught that it was righteous to marry and have babies ("...multiply and replenish the earth..." as the old testament puts the Lord's admonition to Adam.)

For those of you who may have missed this section of high school "Life Science" class because your parents were uncomfortable with you learning about your naughty bits, this is done through males and females copulating (a.k.a. having sex, making whopee, getting their horizontal mambo on, mattress dancing, and just good old fashioned fucking.)

Why would the son of God be exempted from this command? He was sent to fulfil all righteousness. According to Christian dogma one should emulate Christ in all ways. If Christ fulfilled ALL righteousness then he performed ALL of the possible righteous acts. To say otherwise contradicts scripture. So by saying "he fulfilled all righteousness" and saying "he never got married or had sex" you are saying "anyone married and having sex with their spouse has committed un-righteousness."

Beside all of that, he choose one person above all others to reveal himself to first. Mary Magdalen. He did not visit his mother or apostles until after he saw Mary. He had not yet ascended to the Father (if you believe the New Testament account). Imagine, he visited her before God himself. Can you imagine the nagging if he hadn't? Ask any married man who they would visit first if they came back from the dead. If the answer isn't their wife she is liable to nag them about not coming first till they wished they weren't immortal. Jesus visiting his wife first was a matter of sanity preservation.

That is right folks, if Jesus fulfilled the law in its fullness as stated clearly in Christian dogma, he got laid. Deal with it.
*Devil's advocate mode OFF*

Now that I have made a few over-zealous Christian heads explode, did anyone bring the popcorn? I hear this movie is supposed to be good. Besides, every good Christian knows, Tom Hanks is the Anti-Christ...

Friday, May 05, 2006

New Photo

I have updated my profile photo to one took today, thus accurately reflecting my change in hair length and my new glasses. Feel free to drool.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sex, porn, and Eva Longoria

PLEASE NOTE: Some portions of this entry may not be suitable for children, the elderly, or anyone who blushes at the mention of the words penis, vagina, or raging cock monster.  (Actually I don't use the phrase raging cock monster anywhere in the actual post, it's just fun to say.  Raging cock monster.  You may now continue.)

It is about time I tackled the issue of sex here in Untitled Life.  Popular thought holds that sex is dirty and taboo.  From the youngest ages we are taught by our parents that sex should not be openly talked about by their own unwillingness to bring it up.  By the time my parents worked up the nerve to bring it up I had already sorted through all of the previous year's Club magazine (for the articles of course) and was working on the new collectors album issue.  My parents to this day still don't use the scientific words penis and vagina.  Oral and anal sex were never mentioned and anything but the most rudimentary forms of sex were perversion. 

I entered Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (aka Texas A&M with a much higher blood alcohol content) at 17, two days after graduation.  I had my first binge drinking experiences within a week and started smoking after two weeks.  I lost my virginity to a girl whose name I barely remember.  I spent my entire freshman year (and a few years after that) drunk and waking up with strange women.  Sex was as casual for me as a quick, "Hi, how are you doing?"  I lost count of the women I slept with and to this day don't even remember most of them.  The scariest part is, all of it was unprotected.  By all rights I should have caught something or impregnated someone.  This stemmed from a lack of real education.  Why?  Because no one really wanted to teach me the do's and don'ts of sex.  I am a statistical anomaly.  My unscathed survival is, to put it bluntly, an astronomically unlikely occurrence.

Our society encourages sex for minors by making it a dirty little secret.  The things I wanted most growing up were the ones that were taboo.  Drinking, smoking, and above all else sex held an overpowering allure for me.  The only reason I didn't lose my virginity until the age of 17 was that my parents kept me home under lock and key when I was not at school or work.  I only got to view the taboo things from a distance.  Since they were taboo the only way I could learn about them was through sources that, looking back, did not contain accurate information (porn, friends, HBO, etc.).  Looking at these things now I can see why this country is warped.

It is from that perspective that I approach the topic of sex.  The puritanical approach to sex education (or non-education) is getting innocent people killed and it is time it stops.  Our government refuses to allow teachers to fully address real questions about sex for fear of offending one puritanical group or another.  "Talking about sex honestly only encourages kids to have it" they say.  Don't talk about it and they WILL do it.

Further they regulate sexual activity between consenting adults who should be able to decide for themselves what they do with their partner(s).  Eva Longoria caught flak from ABC (a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Corporation and the network that shows Desperate Housewives, where her character has sex with a minor) for publicly stating that every woman should own a vibrator.  Women all over this country have to purchase toys for their own pleasure through private parties that are often raided by police because male politicians aren't secure enough in their manhood to understand most women can't orgasm from male penetration alone.  These male politicians also cannot grasp the idea that women masturbate for release just like men do.  If you believe men don't masturbate there is a call holding on line one for you from Santa Claus. 

The booming porn industry today shows that sex is definitely on our minds.  I personally enjoy a well made porn every now and then (ok, maybe more often than that).  Porn is good, in moderation.  Yes, it supports objectification of women.  So do bikinis, Victoria's Secret, and women themselves.  Get over it.  Porn should not be in the hands of anyone under (and many over) 18.  My reason is, it presents a fantasy.  In it all women orgasm on command and can bend into the shape of a pretzel.  Further, girls in porn are all willing to share.  This is rare in the real world.  Porn sets you up for failure unless you recognise the fantasy and distinguish it from reality.  Just like paintball does not prepare you for real combat, porn does not prepare you for sex.

Why do these myths persist?  Because our society frowns on free discussion of sex.  Children are told at a young age that masturbation will make them go blind or that an old bearded man in the sky who watches all they do will punish them for touching their own bodies.  When they ask where babies come from they get answers they learn are wrong in science class and learn to distrust their parents.  It is time we as a country get over our sexual hang ups.  If we can't be honest about something that is on our minds all the time, what can we be honest about?  The only people being helped by our current mindset on sex are psychologists who make millions every year counseling us about sexual hang ups and misinformation.

By the way, happy masturbation month.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Letting out my inner dissidant

Note: This post contains some political ranting but this time I think all should read.  More importantly, I think all should take the challenge I pose in the last paragraph.

Today kids we discuss the meaning of the word ludicrous.  Ludicrous is literally defined as absurd or inviting ridicule.  Ludicrous is people showing how much they want to work by taking the afternoon off.  Ludicrous is the United States Senate thinking a $100 rebate check will offset the damage $3.00 a gallon gasoline will do to my bank account.  Ludicrous is having politicians say it is illegal to sell sex toys to consenting adults.

Yesterday there was a nationwide walkout to show support for immigrants rights and to protest new immigration regulation.  Restaurants closed, small businesses were crippled, and work ground to a halt.  Forgive me for being logical here but aren't the reforms to curb "illegal" immigration?  Wouldn't making it a simple process to get a legal guest worker card allow people who would otherwise have to sneak in under cover of darkness a legitimate path to a better life?  I support a movement to improve life for legal immigrants.  I support making it easier for people to become properly documented so they don't have to hide from police and are entitled to the benefits of law-abiding American life.  The marches and rallies to support "immigrant rights" only serve to harm the cause of those who wish to come here legally.  I have a friend who spent some time in Mexico city on a research program for his PhD.  While there he fell in love with a girl and they were married.  She was pregnant with his child when they came to get her immigration papers filed.  Due to legal red tape she could not legally enter this country for over a year.  Immigration quotas for Mexico are set extremely low because illegal immigration is so high, as it was explained to my friend by the INS employee assigned to their case. He, over the course of the next year, only saw his wife twice because he had to return for his doctoral program.  He missed the birth of his child because our government cuts legal immigration numbers to mitigate the influx of illegals.  Yet people stopped work for half a day to say this should remain as it is.  Ludicrous.

This morning on the Today show (on NBC) I saw a story on a Senate plan to mitigate high gas prices by sending taxpayers a $100 rebate check at the end of the summer.  Oil companies this quarter have turned record profits, over 12% above this time last year, which might I add were record at that time.  The Senator they brought in to discuss this said the Senate would investigate to see whether there was price gouging but he did not believe there was.  I get that senators might believe most Americans are bad at math.  Tests have proven that.  I am insulted that he would flaunt that belief in hopes it might sneak past those of us in the top one percent who actually understand basic math.  Further even fewer Americans get supply and demand which is another thing oil companies count on.  Currently oil reserves and inventories are at record highs, supply is good.  Demand may be high but the ratio is still heavier on the supply side.  Some blame unrest in the Middle East.  This explanation is bunk as that region has never been stable.  By that logic gas prices would have never been low in the first place.  Add to that the reserves in Iraq are now available for trade.  Oil prices are high because I.Q.'s are low.  Americans are dumb enough to bend over and take it squarely in the ass and only complain about the lack of lube.  Had this happened with the founding fathers we would still be under English rule (think Boston Tea Party and "no taxation without representation").  Americans would revolt, but we are too busy letting reality TV rot our minds to learn math well enough to figure out we should.  Ludicrous.

In Texas as in many other states it is illegal to sell toys intended for female gratification.  Toys that are sold here are only to be sold as novelties and not allowed to be described by their actual intended use.  To do so can have you thrown in jail and fined.  Now I think sexually explicit material should not be in the hands of minors.  I agree that places where these things may be sold should follow age verification rules just like night clubs.  I think sexual activity should only be shared by consenting adults.  I find it absolutely ludicrous that anyone thinks the government should control any aspect of what consenting adults do in their personal lives.  I think all laws preventing any type of sexual activity between consenting adults should be immediately ruled unconstitutional.  To do otherwise is ludicrous.

We need a revolution.  This government cannot stand with those currently at the helm.  It is time to issue a call to arms.  Get government out of our bedrooms and back looking out for the actual interests of the citizenry.  Anyone backwards enough to believe that sneaking across the border should be fully permitted, gas prices as they currently stand are not gouging, or that the government should have any say in my sex life needs to be removed from any position of power right now.  We need to get off our collective asses and vote, run for office, lobby our congressmen, and rise to a full scale revolt!  (To any militia men who might read this, put your assault rifle down, my revolt is one of voices and ideas.)  Democracy is about majority rule.  In America the majority are too lazy or apathetic to vote, much less rule.  Free government should serve the people.  Our government serves only itself.  When will the original American fire that inspired our founding fathers flare up inside each of us?  Will it be the day you can no longer afford the drive to work?  How about when the welfare system stops being able to afford to feed the immigrant population?  Maybe when the police show up at your door because you and your significant other tried a new position? 

I know only a few people may ever read this.  I challenge every one of you, even those who disagree with one or another of my points, if you a sick of where things in America are going, link to this post in your own blogs, send it to your friends, comment on it, think about it, DO SOMETHING!  Without other voices raised with mine I am a lone man screaming into the wind.  With a million others we are the wind.