Don’t look back in anger


 

EDIT: The original videos I posted are not available any longer. I’ll post videos I find when possible.

We’ve been watching the Manchester One Love concert today. You know, the concert organized by Ariana Grande after the attack in Manchester two weeks ago.

I’m sure everyone gets upset by these terrorist attacks. But I become particularly affected by them. I often cry as I weed through initial reports of unnecessary violence. Whether religiously motivated or just fucking dim bulbs with penchant for ruining a lot of good people’s day.

I’m not a fan of all of the music I’ve heard today, but the emotions and the power behind the artists, the art and the fans was a needed resuscitation from the negative bullshit commandeering all of our feeds/news cycles/screens.

Even the music from artists I don’t necessarily care for, I found my cheeks drenched with a mix of emotions, mainly in support of seeing this massive crowd bound in solidarity and love is therapy I didn’t know I needed.

Google the concert and listen to the stuff you love. Hopefully somewhere it’s being streamed again.

Fuck terrorists. Fuck terror. Fuck violence. Fuck hate. Fuck people who hurt other people and don’t have the decency to search out a way to fix/mend/ameliorate/listen/learn.

Fuck ’em.

become a better conversationalist? yes please


I feel compelled to share this post from Kottke in full:

10 ways to have a better conversation

Celeste Headlee is an expert in talking to people. As part of her job as a public radio host and interviewer, she talks to hundreds of people each year, teasing from her guests what makes them interesting. At a TEDx conference two years ago, Headlee shared 10 tips for having a better conversations that work for anyone:

1. Don’t multitask.
2. Don’t pontificate.
3. Use open-ended questions.
4. Go with the flow.
5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know.
6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs.
7. Try not to repeat yourself.
8. Stay out of the weeds.
9. Listen.
10. Be brief.

Watch the video for the explanations of each point. I’m pretty good on 1, 5, & 7 while I struggle with 3, 4, and sometimes 6. 9 is a constant struggle and depends on how much I’ve talked with other people recently.

Information roundup!


Here’s a roundup of many things in the world that seem to attract my attention.

Best Podcast I’ve heard in a LONG time: S-Town. About a “shit town” in Alabama with so many twists and turns it’ll blow your mind. 7 episodes of “holy shit” and “I wish I knew John B Macklemore.”

The protests in French Guyana are likely a large world event you may not have heard of yet.

This religious scholar claims Jesus was a mushroom. Finally, someone makes some sense.

A few links from one of my favorite blogs TYWKIWDBI:

A modern equivalent of death by crucifixion

“The Nazi War on Cancer”

Questioning the Passover story

“Even if we take the earliest possible date for Jewish slavery that the Bible suggests, the Jews were enslaved in Egypt a good three hundred years after the 1750 B.C. completion date of the pyramids. That is, of course, if they were ever slaves in Egypt at all…

…one of the biggest events of the Jewish calendar is predicated upon reminding the next generation every year of how the Egyptians were our cruel slave-masters, in a bondage that likely never happened… I’m talking about real proof; archeological evidence, state records and primary sources. Of these, nothing exists.

It is remarkable that Egyptian records make no mention of the sudden migration of what would have been nearly a quarter of their population… Furthermore, there is no evidence in Israel that shows a sudden influx of people from another culture at that time.

…let us enjoy our Seder and read the story by all means, but also remind those at the table who may forget that it is just a metaphor, and that there is no ancient animosity between Israelites and Egyptians. Because, if we want to re-establish that elusive peace with Egypt that so many worked so hard to build, we’re all going to have to let go of our prejudices.”

Links from another favorite blog: Kottke: 

Cute illustrations of bread birds

Experiencing grief can feel like tripping on hallucinogens

Elegantly carved birds immersed in watercolor paint

Other miscellaneous links:

Melania Has To Nudge Trump To Place His Hand Over His Heart During The National Anthem:

Alex Jones’ lawyer argues Infowars host is ‘playing a character’

Within his first 100 days, Trump has played golf, not once, not twice, but 19 fucking times. 

Hot Damn Altruism. Dylan Matthews gave a kidney to a stranger


This video documents one guy’s decision to gift a kidney to a stranger.

A little bit About: 

I’d wanted to give a kidney for years — at least since I first heard it was possible after reading Larissa MacFarquhar’s New Yorker piece on “good Samaritan” kidney donors when I was in college. It just seemed like such a simple and clear way to help someone else, through a procedure that’s very low-risk to me. I studied moral philosophy as an undergrad, and there’s a famous thought experiment about a man who walks by a shallow pond where a child is drowning and does nothing, because leaping in to save the child might muddy his clothes.

If I kept walking around with two kidneys, when there were more than 100,000 people on the kidney waitlist who would most likely die in the next five years if they didn’t get one, was I doing anything different from that man, really? Wasn’t I, like him, letting another person die to avoid a small cost to myself?

I grew up in a Christian church that put a huge emphasis on social justice, on Christ’s message being one of radical empathy and selflessness. One passage that always stuck with me was Luke 3:11: “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none.” Well, I had two working kidneys. There were people with none. What to do next felt pretty clear.

Admitting “I don’t know” or defeat or simple reality is so so hard for some


Yesterday, Pat Robertson went on the air and was cock sure God would give republicans the votes necessary to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Said Robertson, “They’re going to give it to the president. Mark my word: it will pass. They will get those extra votes. It will go through. They’re going to work together to give us tremendous health care.”

Whelp, Robertson was wrong. Does that mean God and he don’t have the relationship he thought he did? Does that decrease Robertson’s ability to listen through his tender ears and whether or not he listens to God (or Satan) … or his own hopes like the rest of us, believers included?

It won’t matter to Robertson. It won’t indicate anything new to him. He’ll continue going on air with hyperbolic remarks, many will include his so-called connection to the so-called creator of the universe. And for that reason alone, it gives him the right to say appalling things, because something invisible speaks to him and his supremacy to all sentient beings trumps all other logic about human sexuality, human welfare and human happiness.

Speaking of Trump.

Yesterday Trump and his zoo of bananas not only failed to overturn ACA, he had the gaul to blame it on the democrats. The democrats, the party that holds no majority anywhere in United States Politics.

“We were very close, it was a very tight margin. We had no Democrat support, no votes from the Democrats,” says Trump with more confidence than a coked-up drunk picking up women in a bar in Chicago’s Viagra Triangle neighborhood.

“We were very close…” Like Russia’s very close to the United States.

“We were very close…” said the long-lost family member about the recently deceased rich grandfather.

“We were very close…” said the basketball team that got trounced by 100 points.

I can’t get my head around arrogant confidence.

He also said, “I guess I’m here what, 64 days? I never said repeal and replace Obamacare — you’ve all heard my speeches — I never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days.”

That stands in stark contrast to EXACTLY what he said on the campaign trail: “When I’m elected on November 8, we will immediately repeal and replace Obamacare.”

He didn’t say “eventually” or not with in 64 days … he said, “immediately.”

E-fuckin-mee-dee-ut-lee.

Or go here where he said that repealing Obamacare will be SOOOOOOO easy.

What is the fucking problem with admitting defeat? And if you don’t want to admit defeat, just say, “Huh, it looks like we need to revisit this legislation to cover our bases and really provide to the American people what they deserve, what we promised …” and move on? What’s the problem with that?

What conceit is necessary to bald faced lie about why the legislation failed to pass. “The Democrats” got in the way. I mean, “The democrats, many Republicans, and 83% of the American public … they got in the way.”

Let’s fight for the majority and not the elite select few who already have amazing healthcare, great incomes, amazing access to a network of possibilities.

Trump also wants the ACA to explode/implode/die a fiery death. I hope to hell that the millions of Americans who voted for that monster Trump and are benefiting from the ACA are hearing this, taking note, and will revise their voting strategies in the future.

I can say, as a subscriber to the ACA, that I’ve seen the slow demise of its offering. It’s awful. And from what I can tell, it’s the Republican’s fault for pushing ill-will on the legislation so that it worsens. Because AARP, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association are all standing behind ACA.

My hope is that those who stand behind it, which seems to be a lot of influential people with hopefully some deep pockets to, gosh, invest into this marketplace, will help turn up the nosedive and help the ACA succeed. Because too many people stand to lose when their healthcare is ripped out from under them, and we should be putting American’s health first. If not first, in the top five of American ideals.

As for everything else Trump wants to do to destroy America and this planet by defunding the EPA, the NEA, PP, NPR, PBS, et al … let ’em. It’s that he’s acting like he’s got a boner for superfluous war that’s got my panties wadded up.

But then again, this old man speaks to America as if we’re all toddlers, because he himself is a big baby riding in a big chair, pretending to be a leader, shamelessly having blow out temper tantrums every time he can’t get his way.

When I was a child … I spoke like one, too. I was cocky. I was confident. And almost all the time, I was and am now … wrong.

Grow up, Mr. President. It’s damn time.