CHIRP Record Fair – Chicago … Vinyl is as resurrection-y as Jesus

click to enlarge

I feel guilty for not having a turntable in my house.

Between my brother Jon and my brothers in laws Michael and Jason, I’m surrounded by vinyl lovers.

Jon loves music. He listens to and buys more music than you knew existed. Long before he owned a turntable, he was buying records left and right. Jon owns and operates an online record store called Whoa Tone Records. You should check it out.

My brother in law Michael is a well-known Chicago DJ and he owns and operates Gramaphone Records with his husbandy partner Jason. Here’s a video I found of Michael playing at the “Boom Boom Room” at Green Dolphin Street.

On Sunday, Michael, Tina and I went to the CHIRP Indie Radio Record Fair.

Sometimes when you’re not faced with information, you don’t know you’re missing it. I find that’s true for most things … especially religion.

Being at the record fair, it made me aware of just how affectionate toward records and music people are. The demographics of the event were primarily white, but surprisingly young. There were women there finger through stacks of records that you wouldn’t expect had a need to buy a stack of 20 records, but — believe me — they were there.

The Loneliest Monk (click to enlarge)

While we were at the fair, there was a band on stage performing called The Loneliest Monk. I liked them a lot. Michael and Tina were neither here nor there there. Here’s a performance I found on YouTube (below). The female playing the cello, Michelle Morales, is — apparently — well known for her cellist abilities. She sings on most tracks, but this one she just plays:

I’m starting a fund to buy a turntable system. Something rocking. Something great. So if you want to send money … let me know.

Britain Closes Airspace as Volcanic Ash Spreads, but the image of the smoke is beautiful

In an unprecedented necessity to keep air travel safe, European air traffic has been closed down for the most part due to volcanic activity in Iceland. You can read the Times online article here.

Check out this image of the smoky plumes:

Check out this graphic that depicts just how extreme the closings have become:

Gosh, a volcano. It must mean the end of the world. Yawn.

[Via The Daily What]

Cynical C defects from the Catholic Church … officially

Cynical Chris has one of the best blogs for finding all kinds of humorous and non-theistic media.

Today he posted a letter he wrote to the Catholic Church explaining his need to be officially recognized as defected and free from the bonds of being connected with the church. I’m going to repost the letter here.

I have to admit, when I first read the letter, I thought he was making a joke and he was asking for defecation. It’s funny how the mind works.

What impressed me about the letter was how well it was written and how well it reflects my views, despite the fact that I’m not Catholic. A lot of the information applies to me.

Here’s his very well written letter. Let’s all hope he hears back. If you’re Catholic, I suggest doing the same thing. I wonder what I might be able to do as a protestant.

April 14, 2010

Bishop George W. Coleman
c/o The Diocese of Fall River
47 Underwood St., PO Box 2577
Fall River, MA 02722

Dear Bishop Coleman,

I am writing to inform you of my defection from the Roman Catholic Church. I was born an atheist and then baptized into the Catholic Church as an infant which of course made it impossible for me to give my consent. My mother was a Catholic and mistakenly believed that it was her duty to raise me with her religion.

Soon after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, my faith in Catholicism and religion in general began to fade. My childhood belief in God and the supernatural was replaced by a love of science which piqued and satisfied my curiosity about the world in a way that religion had never done for me. My love of literature led me to explore the writings of atheist and humanist authors such as Mark Twain, Robert G. Ingersoll, Bertrand Russell and Kurt Vonnegut. Their thoughtful words on the human experience taught me to think whereas priests had only taught me to believe.

I have been an atheist now since the early 1990s and my convictions of a world devoid of superstition, demons, and deities grows stronger with each passing day. I have, however, neglected to officially sever my ties from the Church. The Church’s position against women’s reproductive rights, its political opposition to allowing homosexuals to find happiness in marriage even outside of the Church, and the aiding and harboring of predatory priests who sexually abuse children has made me realize that I cannot in good conscience remain silent while still being counted as a participant of an organization whose ideals I find reprehensible and morally wrong. Therefore, I consciously and freely state that I am defecting from the Roman Catholic Church and wish that my name be removed from church records. I was born in 1974 and baptized at:

St. Andrew the Apostle (formerly Saint Joseph’s)
19 Kilmer Ave
Taunton, MA 02780

I would greatly appreciate it if you could send me written notification that you have complied with this request. I am fully aware of the consequences of my separation from the Church and accept them. I have found more love and comfort amongst family and friends than I ever could find kneeling in abject servitude to an ancient delusion. As an atheist, I have been able to find this love and happiness without the fear that myself or any of my loved ones could possibly spend an afterlife in eternal torment because they didn’t follow certain rules designed to keep people fearful and ignorant. Letting go of the belief of a deity has helped me keep an open mind and treat people of all different races, religions, genders and sexual orientations with the respect that is deserved and required for us to live harmoniously together. I no longer live for the good of a god, but only for the good of mankind.


Christopher D. Cole

P.S. I do wish to thank the Diocese and St. Joseph’s Church in Taunton, MA for the lovely bible that they gave to me after my confirmation. I read it from beginning to end as was suggested. The monstrosities contained in that book by a “loving” God upon his followers helped hasten my departure from the Church more expediently than any atheistic book ever could.

I don’t care who does it, atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu … if someone can get the pope arrested … I’m completely for it

If I went out tomorrow, and I volunteered with Big Brothers and Sisters of Chicago, and then I took some kid out and I assaulted him, I’d be thrown in jail.

I hope I would be. I wouldn’t want to live in a society that allowed such atrocities.

I don’t like the idea that pedophiles have been given carte blanche to walk free after molesting innocent children or teenagers. It’s appalling.

So whoever steps up to be the hero in this situation with the pope, I’m going to give them a standing ovation. Seriously, I hope it’s a catholic who brings the pope to justice. If it’s not a catholic, I hope a Christian does it. If it’s not a Christian, goddamnit … someone … for the love of humanity … just do it.