Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Retrospective

Well 2012 is drawing to a close.
I started this blog in 2012 and I really should work on a regular update schedule for it in 2013.

From its start this blog was designed to be a more personal one. One where I can feel out the boundaries and boarders of what my Atheism means to me.  I feel like that part was a success.

So here is to a bright new  2013!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What I am Not doing the Holiday Season

I like Christmas.  I do.  Holiday, Xmas, Winter Solstice, I don't care what it is called.

But that doesn't mean I turn off my critical thinking for flashing lights and a cup of egg nog.  I am easy, but not that easy.

Here is what I am not going to do this Christmas.

- War on Christmas.  The "War on Christmas" is a myth.  Atheists don't want Christmas or any other Holiday.  I am not going get all bent out of shape if you wish me a Merry Christmas.  I will wish you a Happy Holidays back.

- I am not buying anything from the Boy Scouts.  I left the Boy Scouts because of their stance on atheism and I will not support them today because of their stance on gays.   I know this only hurts the small troops, but too bad.  I have money give to charity, they want it, they are not going to get it.

- Same token I am not giving any money to the Salvation Army.  I used too, every year.  I won't anymore.  Until they change their stance on homosexuals.  Again sorry, but I don't have to give my money to you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Teen Suicide and the Internet

So there was this page up on Facebook that basically mocked teenage suicide victims.  I am not going to link to it mostly because it is gone now.  Though like anything on facebook or internet in general it is only gone as much as it takes someone to set up new digs elsewhere.  The owner of the page, some shit-for-brains that calls himself ***Luigi*** plans on putting the page back up as soon as his ban is up.

We run into this all the time on Wikipedia.  We have banned the vandals, but there are always more.

My fellow atheism bloggers (can I say that? have I been around long enough?) want to go the petition routes.  I get that. Really. I do.  I have been there. Many, many, many times.

I applaud their efforts. I do.
I worked a suicide hotline when I was in grad school. Since 2002 I have donated to the Trevor Project.
I have even worked with a community of friends of mine to raise even more money for the Trevor Project.
(see my other blog for more details on that).

So this asshole is going to come back. Will petitions do the trick?  Maybe. Sure. They have worked in the past. But in my mind they carry less weight than doing something.  Let people know that teen suicide is a terrible reality.
It's been a long time since I was a teen.  Hell, it's been a long time since I was in grad school!  And as adults we forget how things are for teens, were for us as teens.  I had it good.  I was a normal kids with great parents, great siblings and in a pretty decent school.  Not everyone has that.

So for my part I am going to ignore this douchebag and just donate money to the The Trevor Project.
I suggest you do the same. Or donate time. Or help educate others.

The trouble is you can never, ever stop all the assholes.  But you can minimize their effect and you can maximize the things that counteract them.

If you want to give to the Trevor Project this is a great time to do it.
Here is a page to help you.

Or how about this one.  Reach out and help the kids that need it.


So one of the things you do as a blogger of any sort is read a lot of other blogs.
I do. Lots.

Being an atheist blogger I therefore read a lot of free-thinker, atheism, skeptic and related blogs in addition to science, religion and human rights ones.

One topic that comes up a lot both here and even on my RPG blog is sexism.

So I consider myself a forward thinking guy.  I am a white, hetro-male that identifies as a white hetro-male.  I know most of the songs on the classic rock radio stations, enjoy a big fat steak I like the way women look.
I also consider myself a feminist, gay-friendly and human-rights-centric sorta guy.
I helped raise close to $9k for the Trevor Foundation to help with teens that try to commit suicide or have suicidal thoughts because they are gay.  I write my Senators and Congressmen all the time to push for legislation to help ALL people regardless of race, sex, gender identification or sexual orientation.
It has been my distinct pleasure to know a literal spectrum of people and I consider myself the one that has learned more from them than them me.

Yet I find I have nothing I can say when comes to talking about this.

I mean to many of the people I want to help I look exactly like the Devil and I have run into more "thanks, but no thanks" than "thank yous".

I have no story to tell that would give me reason to help.  My childhood was great. My adult life is great.  So there is no apparent drive for except my own desire to do what is right.

I saw this interesting post on "How to Be a Male Ally",
I thought it was great but still put other questions in my head.  None of which I am sure of the answers.


I guess that is what I am rambling about.  Analysis Paralysis. I am not sure what to do or say because I am blinded by data and questions.

I guess I'll take advice from one of the luminaries of my other blogging sphere.  In RPGS, Sci and Geek culture one of our "voices" is the actor Wil Wheaton.  Yeah Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: TNG.
He is a cool guy in real life and I have met him a couple of times.  He has a saying, in fact it is called Wheaton's Law:  Don't Be a Dick.

I guess that is what I should do.  Don't be a dick.  That's not a final answer, but it's not a bad start.