Comic Relief: De-Satanized!

Welcome to part 4 of Comic Relief. To see the full series, go to the Comic Relief Index.

I mentioned in the previous installment of Comic Relief that the third appearance of Lady Satan (in Red Seal Comics #17 in 1945) was reprinted in Weird Horrors #1 in 1952. But I must admit, at the time I had only casually glanced at Weird Horrors #1, and had not read it. But now, having read it, I realize that it wasn’t merely reprinted, but actually drastically reworked into a very different story, with completely new dialogue and whole panels removed or added. So the question becomes, is it an improvement? Another way to phrase this might be, would you ever expect the kind of hack writer who takes a seven year old story and pastes his own new dialogue over it to improve anything?

Let’s take a look and find out!

It's deja vu all over again!

It’s deja vu all over again!

Well, it’s mostly like the original. They removed Lady Satan’s domino mask, and changed Underbite’s hair to white and pants to brown, but other than that it’s the same image…except….

Wait! “The Werewolves Howl”? It’s called Lady Fucking Satan, not The Werewolves Howl! What the fuck?

If someone is a nurse, then they can't be ignorant. That's a...strange epistemology.

If someone is a nurse, then they can’t be ignorant. That’s a…strange epistemology.

“Josephine LeBlanc”? That’s bullshit! Her name is motherfucking Lady Satan.

And she lives in New Orleans now? If that were the case, then the animal in question wouldn’t be called a “werewolf”. It’d be called a Loup-garou or Rougarou. Get your Cajun lycanthropy facts right! Just talk to someone from New Orleans. It’s not that hard.

Anyways, like the original story, this one begins with Lady Sa—-errrm, Josephine LeBlanc driving through the middle of nowhere and stumbling upon some lost children. The dialogue is changed to offer additional (and unnecessary) exposition, but it’s pretty similar to what we got in the original story, with one glaring exception. The children automatically know who “Nurse LeBlanc” is. In fact, everyone in this story seems to know who she is. Do nurses ever gain that level of celebrity and/or notoriety?

Are you gonna do this "ye" and "shall" thing through the whole comic? Yes? Fuck.

Are you gonna do this “ye” and “shall” thing through the whole comic? Yes? Fuck.

This is something you come across often if you read Golden Age comics: Captions that explain what you’re looking at in the panel. It’s annoying, but it’s something you get used to. The practice continued into the Silver Age, and even some modern day writers of the hackier persuasion do it.

But, please, comic book writers, don’t do this. Let your artist’s images speak for themselves. If you feel like you must offer additional explanation, then either A) the art sucks and lacks clarity, or B) you’re just pasting unnecessary verbiage on the page.

Also, I can’t help but notice those trees in the background. This is supposed to be New Orleans, right? Well, I lived in New Orleans for a while, and most of the trees have Spanish moss growing on them, so I can’t help but notice its absence in the background. This story is set in New Orleans in name only, isn’t it? Yes, indeed, as later there’s a scene set in the “bayou”, and yet not a single Cypress knee is visible. This is what happens when you take a story set in a generic setting and shoehorn it into a specific setting.

Anyways, the story proceeds mostly like the original, except that Josephine LeBlanc lacks the magical powers that Lady Satan suddenly obtained in the original, meaning that everything that happens is more boring. For instance, in the original Lady Satan repels the werewolves with Xanda Power. I have no idea what Xanda Power is, but it sounds cool. In this one?

I hope you also brought your Shark Repellant Bat-Spray.

I hope you also brought your Shark Repellent Bat-Spray.

*Yawn.* It would’ve been more interesting if she had actually gotten rabies.

And of course the Creepiest Panel Ever makes a reappearance, but with more dialogue than in the original.

Aaaaugh! Not again!

Aaaaugh! Not again!

How the fuck does everyone just know who Nurse LeBlanc is? And why would a nurse be dressed with a red cape?

And why does the author of this piece of shit think you can improve a story simply by throwing in more dialogue? In almost every panel of the reprint, the gross amount of dialogue has been increased. This is not how good writing works.

Anyways, so Not-Titty Satan follows the car again, it goes over the bridge again, and she has to rescue the children again, and she tracks him back to his lair again. Only with no magic involved. Boring.

But wait, you ask. In the original, Lady Satan vanquished Master Werewolf with magical finger fire. How will non-powered Josephine LeBlanc accomplish this? Well, see for yourself…

The comic repeated refers to him kidnapping 3 children, but they only ever show 2. I guess math is just yet another thing this comic utterly fails at.

The comic repeatedly refers to him kidnapping 3 children, but they only ever show 2. I guess math is just yet another thing this comic utterly fails at.

Um, what? Is it ether, or Vapor of the Vampires? Is it both? Why does it kill him? Why does it come in that weird looking flask? And why does it completely annihilate his corpse? Why is the complete lack of evidence a running theme in this story? Why does he think she drowned, when earlier on an inserted panel showed him clearly see her with her head above water? How does she know that werewolves are allergic to ether? Is this just common knowledge among nurses in New Orleans? How does she know to go to the old plantation? Why the fuck was it so important to set all this shit in New Orleans?

Ugh. I’m wasting my time asking all these questions. The ultimate answer to all of it is, “Because they took a Lady Satan comic and sucked all the life out of it.” The original was campy good fun, the remake was just plain dull. Kinda like the relationship between the original Total Recall and its shitty remake. And I can’t help but wonder if they didn’t change her name because in 1952 they were afraid to call a hero “Satan”.

Fuck you, 1952.

How to be a Christian asshole, Part 2

Look at this face.

Ray Comfort: Heartless Assdouche

Ray Comfort: Heartless Assdouche

See him, all smiley and pretend-friendly looking? This is how he presents himself apart from his words. This is the face of the politician who kisses babies when he’s not slashing the Welfare budget that would feed them. This is the face of the used car salesman who isn’t capable of thinking anything other than, “How can I rip this guy off?”

I’ve spoken before about what a loathsome, hideous human being Ray Comfort is. But I want to make sure something is crystal clear. Ray Comfort hates you. He hates your mom. He hates your dog. He absolutely despises humanity and anything that’s good in this world. There is not a fiber of his being that doesn’t want to see you and everyone else burn and die. And until the day comes when we are all immolated and all of human history is dust, his only concern is to find a way to squeeze money out of his gullible Christian followers. He is not capable of thinking or doing anything else. He is composed of cynicism and hatred. He can’t be any other thing. He is the worst thing humanity has to offer. And he probably eats puppies.

He shows it whenever he transitions from plastic smile to using actual words in the English language. Take, for example, his regular column at WingNutDaily, which is called “Atheists Ask”, and which purports to be his answers to questions from “atheists” (which in his vernacular means anyone who doesn’t believe exactly what he believes). His most recent entry, from 2 days ago, shows beyond the shadow of any doubt that he hates each and every one of us.

ATHEISTS ASK

How could a man stone his own son?

Exclusive: Ray Comfort answers biblical questions posed by skeptics

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Any time WingNutDaily claims some story is “exclusive”, that means that it’s so bad that no other news website would ever publish it. This is no exception.

“Deuteronomy 21:18-21: ‘If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.’ – What’s the context of this, Ray?” – Bridgette Patterson

Bridgette is being way, way too nice. Do you really need context to a passage that states that parents should murder their own son? And that the whole town should join in on giving him a painful, tortuous death? There is no context in which that’s okay. None whatsoever. If the Bible commands people to do that (and it does), then the Bible is evil. Full fucking stop.

These kinds of questions are usually answered with mealy-mouthed equivocation and vague excuses by Christians. But not Comfort. Oh, no. He wants you all to know that stoning disobedient children is A-OK with him.

Israeli law was meant to produce fear. And it certainly did because it would seem that no youths mouthed off at or beat and murdered their parents. No doubt they showed respect, because there are no incidents in the entire Bible of any youths being stoned for disobedience to their parents. Again, this was because their criminal law produced a fear of consequences.

You know what society needs? More fucking fear. That sounds great!

I love how he thinks that the Bible not mentioning the victims of this draconian law means that they don’t exist. That’s not how oppression works, Comfort, and you know it. The victims weren’t recorded because they were the dregs of society. They were tortured, murdered, and forgotten, right down the Orwellian memory hole. What are the names of all the people Stalin killed? What are the names of all the people burned as witches in the early modern period? What are the names of all the black people lynched in the United States in the early 20th century? We don’t know. And we never will. The people who killed them didn’t even consider them to be proper humans, and didn’t see fit to record their names any more than they would the names of the cattle or sheep they slaughtered.

At this point, most Christians become moral relativists and say, “Well, things were different back then. So killing your kids was okay in ancient Israel, even though it’s not okay now.” This is because of cognitive dissonance between their barbaric belief system and their upraising as decent human beings. They don’t realize it, but they want to put the Bible’s barbarism in the past and live decently in today’s world. But not Comfort.

In recent years American criminal law has become spineless. It has lost its ability to produce fear. Murder someone and you may get six years in prison and be released in four. Richard Ramirez was found guilty of murdering 13 people. One of his victims was mutilated with multiple stab wounds, and her eyes were gouged out and placed in a jewelry box. On May 30, 1985, Ramirez attacked Malvial Keller, 83, beating her to death with a hammer. For his heinous acts he got free board and food for life and was allowed to get married and have conjugal rights.

When the law isn’t feared you have a nation that has had more than 380,000 people murdered since 1990. You have a nation where mass murder is so commonplace it hardly gets time on the news. Welcome to lawless America – who is afraid to take the life of a guilty mass murderer like Ramirez, but will fight tooth and nail for the right to take the lives of babies in the womb.

I want to emphasize that I am not being hyperbolic in any way when I call Comfort a loathsome human being who is filled with hatred. He lacks the basic decency that causes most Christians to want to find excuses for why the most barbaric shit in the Bible doesn’t apply today. Comfort wants it to apply. He wants people to live in fear, and he wants us to kill more people. He also wants us to put the value of fetuses that don’t have developed brains (and therefore lack experience and personality) over the lives of actual humans who really do have life experience.

Ray Comfort longs for the day when parents could viciously murder their sons. That says all that you ever need to know about him, really. But we can go further in analyzing this.

Note how, when asked for context, his only response is, “People should live in fear.” That’s all the context he needs, and he apparently believes that this is an adequate answer. He honestly thinks that he’s given a sufficient answer to this “atheist’s” question. He is fully in the authoritarian mindset. He read Machiavelli without realizing that Machiavelli wrote The Prince under the premise “Authoritarianism is awful, but if you must be an authoritarian, this is how to do it.”

Anyways, on to the next atheist’s question:

“Ray, you are an idiot. Your opinions on creation have no basis in reality. In order to understand what we are and where we come from we must study every detail of our planet and beyond, not close our minds and [say answers that] were spoon-fed to us by sheep herders that loved slavery and murder.” – Big Mike

I like you, Big Mike.

Studying every detail of nature shows design and order – from the atom to the universe, and that speaks of an initial cause that is unspeakably intelligent. I believe that was God. An evolutionist or an atheist doesn’t know what it was and usually closes his mind to even the possibility of it being God.

I loathe you, Ray Comfort.

No, there is not any sign of design in the atom or the universe. And there is no order in the universe. There is regularity, but that is not the same as order. Just go into any natural setting and look at the way plants grow to see what I mean. Plants will grow in any place that they can. Out of crevices, between randomly strewn boulders, off of other plants. Hell, there’s a pipe 7 feet off the ground against a cinder block wall in my apartment complex, but some dirt got wedged between it and the wall, and a plant grew in the dirt. Of course, it died after a few days. But life can’t predict something like that, because it has no purpose and no order.

Life spreads out wherever it can. It’s like a fluid splashed across the surface of the Earth. It is anything but ordered. It’s beautifully controlled chaos, with the only control being the principles of chemistry that determine its molecular make-up and the imposition of natural selection. No one designed it. Only an idiot would make life the way it is, and that’s part of what makes life so fascinating.

Creationism goes hand in hand with authoritarianism because it wishes to impose false order on something which is much more properly chaotic and free. It is no coincidence that the guy who thinks we should all live in fear is also the guy who thinks that an invisible being micro-manages the universe. He’s just taking his view of how laws should be imposed on humans and applying it to the natural world.

“If I were God, I wouldn’t sentence you to eternal torture just for not worshipping [sic] me. What an evil, egomaniacal god you worship.” – Tristan Miller

Ah, the doctrine of Hell, another Christian precept that many Christians find embarrassing. The reason they find it embarrassing is the same as before. No decent person would ever want to torture someone forever for any reason. Torturing someone forever just because of what they believe is even worse. On some level most Christians realize this, so they try to rationalize Hell away.

But, again, not Ray Comfort.

You are minimizing your crimes against God by just speaking of “not worshipping” Him. The truth is that if you die in your sins you will be damned for lust, lying, fornication, stealing, blasphemy, ingratitude, covetousness, idolatry, etc. You don’t realize it but you have a multitude of sins (as we all have).

Did you know that every single time you have lusted after a woman you have committed adultery as far as God is concerned? Did you know that each time you have done that you are “storing up His wrath”? Think of your secret sins that you thought no one knew about. God has seen them. Every one of them. Think of how many times you have done things you knew were morally wrong – because of the voice of your God-given conscience. He has seen each one, and the Bible says that His just wrath “abides” on you (see John 3:36). That’s why you need a Savior. Please, take the time to do the test on

This is the entirety of Comfort’s answer. Yes, even that broken sentence at the end (at least at the time I’m reading it; maybe they’ll fix it later). WingNutDaily needs a better editor. I have no idea what test Comfort might have been referring to, and honestly don’t give a fuck. Whatever he meant to say before the column got cut off, it was almost certainly just more horribleness.

Comfort is basically just affirming Tristan Miller’s charge. God is an evil egomaniac. Why else would he insist that his wrath abides in us, and condemn us to eternal torment just for masturbating while thinking of Angelina Jolie? Like Ray Comfort, he hates everyone. He’s a judgmental, selfish, arrogant prick, and no one in their right mind would ever worship the Christian God that Ray Comfort describes. God is a wannabe dictator, ruling through fear and intimidation, who wants to control every aspect of your personal life and make you feel constantly guilty and afraid over every single move you make and every thought you think. In other words, he’s just a projection of Comfort’s authoritarian fantasies, a simulacrum of a truly horrible man.

Why Comics?

A good post by my friend Matt over at his new blog. Check it out. 🙂

Ill Diablo Likes Comics

Why the hell write about comic books? Why the hell even read comic books?

“You’re thirty-two years old, man!”

…I get that a lot.

I’ve been reading and actively collecting comics for twenty-one years now, and I’m not about to stop anytime soon. The first comic I actually purchased with my own money was a newsstand copy of G.I. Joe #80, cover date Late November, 1988. I couldn’t have asked for a better gateway drug to comics: a stand-alone issue, the story was basically about an island rising up out of the ocean which Cobra claimed for their own, and the Joes swooping in to say, “Fuck you, you can’t have it!” As was the case with G.I. Joe, this issue also served as a blatant advertisement for that year’s new assortment of action figures, as the Joes’ assault was largely perpetrated by brand-new characters introduced just in that…

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A failure of irony

Bill Hicks famously said that fundamentalism breeds a lack of irony. Fundamentalists often have extreme difficulty recognizing telling contrasts between what is said and what is implied by the context in which it is said. Often times, this failure can come in multiple layers. Take, for instance, the publication which calls itself American Thinker, which frequently publishes utterly thoughtless dribble that only repeats right wing talking points, such as the piece we’ll be looking at today, in which author Paul Schlichta actually quotes an author without realizing that the author was being ironic.

What’s wrong with Same-Sex Marriage?

By Paul Shlichta

There’s nothing wrong with it. The fact that bigots and fundamentalists keep trying and always failing to make the case that there’s something wrong with it is evidence of this.

This year, June’s wedding bells had a discordant tone, as they ushered in a raft of same-sex marriages.

It’s funny how bigots always feel the need to speak of gay marriage in the most ominous tones, hoping to convince the reader that it’s the fucking scariest thing in the universe. In actuality, it’s utterly innocuous, and will have no effect at all on the vast majority of people. But maybe if we talk about it in Vincent Price voice, and have a Theremin playing in the background, and use a metaphor that invokes Edgar Allan Poe, we can make it scary. OoOOOooooOOooooOOOOooo!

By the way, since when are rafts ushered in by anyone to anything? Did I just miss some recent event where bells usher in rafts?

I hereby invoke a panel of experts — Fr. Thomas Vandenberg, G. K. Chesterton, and Kurt Vonnegut — to explain why such marriages are a dangerous debasement of the concept of marriage.

Bells, ushers, rafts, and now juries? Unmix your metaphors, Mr. Shlichta. You clearly don’t understand how writing works.

And really, Kurt Vonnegut? The agnostic socialist renowned for his transgressive writing that was frequently banned by conservative prudes and moral busybodies? You’re invoking him? This ain’t gonna go well for you.

Fr. Vandenberg’s new book, Rediscovering a Pearl of Great Price , is an inspired exposition of the full meaning of Christian marriage, It should be required reading for couples planning to marry, although some of the passages may come as a surprise:

The greatest gift a husband can give his children is to love their mother, and the greatest gift a mother can give her children is to love their father. That is what will keep the proper balance in the family and make their home environment secure. That is what will free the children from their primary fear, which is to be abandoned by one of their parents. Why do they fear that? Because that is what has happened to so many of their friends at school.

This is clearly bullshit. The greatest gift parents can give their kids is to love their kids. Even parents who hate each other and get divorced can still raise a good child by letting their love for the child overcome whatever disdain they have for each other. I’ve seen it happen, so I know it’s true.

Even if we go along with Vandenberg’s pseudo-philosophical ramblings, how is this a problem for gay couples? If they love each other very much, then they should be fine parents according to this. You have failed to make your point.

Marriage is supposed to have the ambitious goal of providing children with a nurturing and reassuring base from which to learn to face the world. Therefore, parents must not only be good persons, not only a man and a woman (so as to provide the dual role models psychologists say they need), but also so unshakably devoted to each other that their mutual love can withstand all the temptations and shocks that life will hurl at them, as well as the abrasion of living with each other.

You see what Shlichta’s doing here? He’s throwing in “man and woman” as if it’s relevant to Vandenberg’s quote, but his parenthetical justification actually involves something completely different from what he quoted above. Instead of being about the importance of loving each other (which gays are perfectly capable of doing), it’s actually about “dual role models”. As if some other man or other woman couldn’t fulfill that role for them.

To this end, sexual passion and the bewildering differences between the sexes jointly play a vital role.

“Bewildering”? Does a vagina really confuse you that much? I can just imagine Mr. Shlichta at home, staring in utter disbelief as his wife inserts a tampon, muttering to himself, “I…I don’t understand…What’s happening???”

As Chesterton put it:

The differences between a man and a woman are at the best so obstinate and exasperating that they practically cannot be got over unless there is an atmosphere of exaggerated tenderness and mutual interest.  To put the matter in one metaphor, the sexes are two stubborn pieces of iron; if they are to be welded together, it must be while they are red-hot…

Great. More metaphors. Besides, if men and women are so irreconcilably different, doesn’t that mean same sex marriage might be the better option?

Therefore, as Fr. Vandenberg goes on to emphasize, sexual intercourse is not merely a permitted “perk” or a reluctantly tolerated means of procreation but rather a vital and holy part of marriage…

If there’s one thing that makes my skin crawl, it’s a fundamentalist attempting to talk about sex. Seriously, if someone came up to me and said, “I slid my hard cock into her wet pussy, stuck my finger up her ass, and fucked her while she called me ‘daddy’ and cried,” it wouldn’t skeeve me out as much as the sentence quoted above. Not even if he added, “Then I made her lick expired Miracle Whip off my taint.”

…a divinely sanctioned means of demonstrating and intensifying conjugal love to make it withstand the rigors attendant upon raising children.

That’s how you see sex? It makes it easier to raise your kids? Fucking weirdo. How the fuck do you get off calling the gays “perverts” when this is what’s going through your mind when you fuck your wife?

Fortunately, as with all animals, men and women have the proper equipment for such activities.

He means cocks and cunts, which not all animals have.

The corresponding parts of the male and female body interact quite neatly for both mutual pleasure and procreation.

I feel so sorry for any woman you have ever slept with.

Not so for homosexual men and women. Whether or not there is anything wrong with their desires, they simply don’t have the proper apparatus to fulfill them.

This is entirely predicated on you knowing what they desire. You do not. Like all sanctimonious busybodies, you just assume you know what everybody’s business is and insert yourself into it. I’m not gay, but I would bet that if you said this to a gay person, their response would be to tell you to take your proper apparatus and fuck yourself with it.

They must resort to clumsy makeshifts, like cargo cult devotees trying to make airplanes out of straw.

A cargo cult is a phenomenon observed on Pacific islands after WWII. During the war, many islands, inhabited by hunter-gatherer tribes who had little contact with the outside world or modern technology, became the home of make-shift airfields. The soldiers at these airfields sometimes shared what they were flying in with the natives, who referred to it as “cargo”. After the war, the airplanes and soldiers (and cargo) disappeared, and on some islands new religions emerged in which the natives built airplanes out of bamboo and straw to try to make the cargo come back. They obviously had no idea how an airplane actually works. The physicist Richard Feynman used cargo cults as a metaphor for pseudoscience–someone who reconstructs the superficial appearance of something, but has no comprehension of its inner workings. Mr. Shlichta is invoking this idea.

Keep this in mind when he quotes Vonnegut later.

Alternatively, they submit to grotesque operations, trying to alter their bodies to suit their desires. The artificiality of these attempts to mimic normal sexuality will inevitably distort the emotions that arise from them and will tend to adversely affect any children living with them.

You know that part of the Bible where Jesus says, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”? Yeah, Christians just kinda ignore that. They fucking LOVE judging people, and this article is just dripping with judgmental attitude.

You see those transgender people? They’re grotesque! And they’re just trying to mimic MY sexuality, which is totally NORMAL. It’s normal to view sex as primarily geared towards making you raise kids better. I’m normal! They’re the grotesque weird perverted ones!

Homosexuals who engage in such desperate expedients shouldn’t be condemned for wanting to do so. As the psychoanalyst in Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You Mr. Rosewater  explained:

Let’s assume that a healthy young man is supposed to be sexually aroused by an attractive woman not his mother or sister. if he’s aroused by other things, another man, say, or an umbrella, or the ostrich boa of the Empress Josephine or a sheep or a corpse or his mother or a stolen garter belt, he is what we call a pervert. Let us hasten on to the admission that every case of perversion is essentially a case of crossed wires…

Vonnegut was being sarcastic, you fucking nitwit. All you have to do is just read a little further down the page to see that. Here’s what immediately follows the Vonnegut quote above:

Mother Nature and Society order a man to take his sex to such and such a place and do thus and so with it. Because of the crossed wires, the unhappy man enthusiastically goes straight to the wrong place, proudly, vigorously does some hideously inappropriate thing; and he can count himself lucky if he is simply crippled for life by a police force rather than killed by a mob.

You see that part about police brutality and lynch mobs at the end? That’s the part where a rational mind reflects on what he/she read before and realizes it shouldn’t be taken on face value, that Vonnegut is actually making a quite different point than what a literal reading of the words might indicate. It’s called fucking irony. But for our noble busybodies at the American Thinker, that just doesn’t register with them. They see “pervert” and their feeble minds go no further.

In fact, there is neurological evidence that at least some homosexuals are wired differently and cannot help their proclivities. Others contend that homosexuality may be one of the aftereffects of sexual abuse during childhood. In recognition of such factors, the Catechism of the Catholic Church proposes the apparent paradox of condemning homosexual acts while urging that people afflicted with homosexuality be treated with sympathy.

Every major psychiatric organization has reached a consensus that homosexuality is not dangerous and should not be treated as a disorder. So everything in this paragraph is pseudoscientific bullshit that has no bearing on modern psychological medicine.

But we cannot debase the whole concept of sex and marriage merely to oblige them. The objective of what a gay activist has called the “”war we’ve already won” is to reduce marriage to a lowest-common-denominator status that will inevitably include polygamy, which is already being touted on ABC-TV as  “normal” and being campaigned for in Canada. That’s too high a price to pay for making homosexuals feel better about themselves.

None of this follows from anything you’ve said above. Not a single bit of it can be logically inferred from anything that proceeds it in the article. It’s just yet another bigot declaring by fiat that gays are evil because imaginary Jesus says so.

And the gay marriage initiative is not about making gays feel better about themselves. It’s about treating them like humans who have the same rights as other humans. Honestly, I don’t give a fuck about how they feel. All I care about is treating people equally.

Unfortunately, the institution of marriage is currently being attacked by several forces that, deliberately or inadvertently, are destroying it and thereby undermining our society:

  • The current fad of cohabitation. Single mothers usually do not assume this role voluntarily but are forced to do so by the perfidy and selfishness of men who desert them when they become pregnant. In consequence, the children suffer from the absence of a father and seek a male role model and mentor, often by joining gangs.
  • Ultrafeminists, who regard men as “the enemy”. They encourage the idea that men are unnecessary for raising children and regard lesbian couples as the new “normal”. To this end, they cite psychological studies that fall apart when examined.
  • Our protosocialist state, which seeks to diminish the concept of family in order to make the state the primary “parent”. This may be one reason why liberals are so enthusiastic about same-sex marriage — because it weakens the status and importance of families.

Now we’ve degenerated into the all-too-typical right wing freak out about how gays and feminists will destroy the universe. I especially love how his first point (aside from confusing cohabitation with single mothers) puts all the blame on men, and then his second point puts all the blame on “ultrafeminists” who supposedly hate men. Make up your mind, assfuck.

But whatever the causes, the debasement of the concepts of marriage and family will destroy us. Lycurgus achieved it in ancient Sparta and produced a nation of racist brutes. The USSR tried it, with partial success, in the last century and begat a dysfunctional society that is now painfully groping its way back to normality. These are hardly encouraging precedents. The legalization of same-sex marriage is a decisive step down that slippery slope.

Neither the Spartans nor the Soviets legalized gay marriage. And, in fact, both society’s were actually quite conservative. And Lycurgus, as our primary source Plutarch even admits, probably never even existed. He’s a legend, cobbled together from the storied lives of several different Spartan kings.

Of course, I’m not at all surprised that your ultimate evidence is fables and legends. That’s all religion is good for.

God hates flop

Creationists are a special kind of crazy. Their entire fucking belief system centers around gullible acceptance of fanciful stories, and their lack of self-awareness and intellectual reflection means that they view everything else in the world in terms of unquestioning acceptance of imaginary tales. They just aren’t capable of thinking any other way. If they were, they wouldn’t be creationists.  And since they write hoping to influence (i.e. corrupt) young children, their prose is geared towards generating simple-minded mnemonics and catchphrases rather than eloquence or mellifluousness. Hence the title of this recent article from creation.com:

The 3 Rs of Evolution: Rearrange, Remove, Ruin—in other words, no evolution!

The genetic changes observed in living things today could not have turned bacteria into basset hounds—ever

Alliteration nourishes the lazy brain.

Mr. Catchpoole is clearly hoping to add another catchphrase to the creationist repertoire. Maybe “Rearrange, Remove, Ruin” will join other creationist stalwarts like “From Goo through the Zoo to You” and “Were You There?” and “Design Implies a Designer” and other empty bromides that creationists endlessly regurgitate without ever actually thinking about. But probably not.

Anyways, let’s look at what Mr. Crotchpull has to say.

Evolution textbooks cite variation as being something upon which ‘evolution depends’.1 However, when one examines closely the claimed ‘demonstrable examples’ of ‘evolution’, they actually fall into three categories, which we can label here as the ‘3 Rs’.

Spoiler: He doesn’t actually look at any demonstrable examples (in scare quotes or otherwise). In fact, there is no discussion of any recent experimental evidence anywhere in the subsequent article. I’m sure you’re shocked to learn this.

‘R’#1: Rearrange existing genes

Careful examination of many purported instances of ‘evolution in action’ shows that such ‘variation’ actually already exists, conferred by genes that already exist.

In science, careful examination means looking at evidence gathered from experiments or collected from nature. In creationism, careful examination means ignoring distinctions and nuance and creating false dichotomies.

Of course evolution involves variation that is already there. It wouldn’t work the way it does if it didn’t prominently involve pre-existing variation. Natural selection does not create out of nothing. It modifies what already exists. This has been a core principle of the theory ever since fucking Darwin himself proposed it over 150 years ago.

Creationists want us to believe that there’s some kind of XOR relation between pre-existing variation and new variation. But there is nothing of the sort. Evolution involves both pre-existing variation and new variation. Both are essential to the theory.

Here’s a simplified example that shows this, and also how such genetic variety might be misconstrued as ‘evidence of evolution’. The two dogs in the top row of Figure 1 are a male and a female. They each have a gene that codes for short hair (inherited from its mother or father) and a gene that codes for long hair (inherited from the other parent). In combination, this gene pair for fur length results in medium length hair.2

Congratu-fucking-lations, you’ve achieved a less-than-rudimentary understanding of partial dominance. And need I even mention that he’s not referring to any actual dogs that were part of any actual experiment, but rather just to a cartoon drawing that accompanied the article? Keep that in mind.

A casual observer, looking only at the outward appearance, i.e. unaware of what is happening at the genetic level, might think: “There were no long-hair dogs in the parents’ generation. This long hair is a new characteristic—evolution is true!”

You’re operating under the assumption that the casual observer is even dumber than you are. People had noticed this phenomenon long before the theory of evolution came along, and Darwin was well aware of it.

But such a view is incorrect. The only thing this ‘evolution’ has done is to rearrange existing genes. There’s simply been a sorting out of pre-existing genetic information. There’s no new information here of the kind needed to have turned pond scum into poodles, Pekingese, pointers and papillons.

But such a view isn’t what evolutionary biologists are talking about. Your make-believe situation with the dogs is utterly fucking irrelevant. Experiments such as Richard Lenski’s long term E. coli experiments have demonstrated again and again organisms evolving new genetic traits which weren’t there before. Unlike your make-believe dogs, they did this with real organisms and used real genetic tests to see what genes were there already and what genes appeared in later generations. Why is it so hard for creationists to understand that reality trumps Magical Pretend Land?

I’ve got actual experimental evidence. You’ve got cartoon dogs. I win.

‘R’#2: Remove genetic information

What about natural selection, adaptation and speciation?

None of these represent the generation of any new microbes-to-mastiff genetic information either. In our ‘hairy dog’ example, if we were to send our new population of dogs, some with short hair, others with medium or long hair, to an icy, very cold location, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see natural selection at work, killing off any dog that didn’t have long hair (Figure 2, Line 1). When the survivors reproduce, the only fur-length genes passed on to the offspring are those that code for long hair (Figure 2, Line 2).

Thus we now have a population of dogs beautifully adapted to its environment. Biologists encountering our ice-bound population of dogs, observing them to be isolated3 from other populations of dogs, could argue that they be given a new species name.

So here we see natural selection, adaptation, and possibly even speciation—but no new genes have been added. In fact, there’s been a loss of genes (the genetic information for short-and medium-length hair has been removed from the population).

We don’t see anything here, because you’ve demonstrated nothing. You’ve taken a completely imaginary scenario and invented arbitrary rules for it. And here’s where you really fuck up…

Note that such examples of natural selection, adaptation and speciation are often portrayed as evidence for evolution, but the only thing this ‘evolution’ has done is to remove existing genes. If this population of exclusively long-hair dogs were now forcibly relocated to a steamy tropical island, the population could not ‘adapt’ to the hot climate unless someone re-introduced the short-hair gene to the population again, by ‘back-crossing’ a short-or medium-length hair dog from elsewhere.

You have your imaginary bullshit. I have actual evidence. The precise situation you describe has actually happened in real life, and guess what? The result was exactly the opposite of what you say.

In 1971, lizards were transported to the island Pod Mrcaru from the island Pod Kopiste in the Adriatic Sea. In 2008, the lizards on Pod Mrcaru were examined, and were found to have evolved a number of new traits, the most striking of which was a cecal valve in their stomachs. A whole new valve, in under 40 years! Genetic tests showed that they did not interbreed with any other lizards–they were wholly descended from the Pod Kopiste lizards, even though those lizards do not have a cecal valve (in fact, cecal valves are extremely rare in any species of lizard). This is exactly what the creationists insist cannot happen, and yet it does.

Once again, you have some cartoony shit that you pulled out of your ass. I have actual evidence taken from nature. I win.

This is exactly the sort of thing that our crop and livestock breeders are doing. They are scouring the world for the original genes created during Creation Week4 but which have subsequently been ‘bred out’ (lost) from our domestic varieties/breeds of plants and animals because of breeders artificially selecting certain characteristics, which means other features are de-selected (lost).

This just downright idiotic. Here’s an example. In the picture below, on the right is an ear of corn. On the left is corn’s wild genetic ancestor, which is called teosinte.

499px-Maize-teosinte

There is clearly more going on here than just a few genes being missing. The entire overall structure has been radically altered.

Strike three for your bullshit cartoons and imaginary scenarios.

So how about that third R?

However, there are forms of dog genes today which were not present at Creation but have arisen since. But those have not arisen by any creative process, but by mutations, which are copying mistakes (typos, we might say) as genes are passed from parents to offspring. You would expect such accidental changes to wreck the existing genes, and that’s what happens. For example, the dog pictured in Figure 3 has just such a mutated gene, resulting in ‘floppy ear syndrome’.5

“Wreck”? What the hell does that mean? That’s not a scientific term, and it is never defined in this article. Instead, the buttfuckingly stupid example of floppy ears on dogs is somehow supposed to explain how mutations “wreck” genes.

Dogs with this genetic mutation have weaker cartilage and cannot lift up their ears. So they just hang, floppy before dinner, and sloppy after it—unless their owners are diligent in cleaning them. Such regular attention to ear hygiene is necessary, as dogs with floppy ears are prone to serious ear infections, which can even lead to hearing loss.6 Not that their hearing was especially good anyway. As you might expect, dogs with erect ears are far superior to floppy-eared dogs at detecting prey by sound.7

So fucking what? The dogs that have floppy ears have no need to hunt prey by sound, so they aren’t harmed by this at all. This is like saying that a dolphin is “wrecked” because its limbs aren’t strong enough to walk around on land. When would it ever need to do that?

I can remember reflecting on this when I was an atheist/evolutionist, and wondering how such floppy-eared dogs could have ever evolved and survived in the wild.

You must have been the stupidest atheist in the universe.

I now know that they didn’t.

Yeah, no shit.

Instead this mutation in the genes has arisen since the original “very good” world (Genesis 1:31) was cursed as a result of Adam’s sin (Genesis 3:17–19). The floppy-eared mutation in dogs is but one example of how a post-Fall world is very much “in bondage to decay” (Romans 8:19–22).

How the fuck did you get from floppy ears to bondage?

And, no, that is not the explanation.  Floppy ears are an example of paedomorphosis, which can result from developmental processes like neoteny or progenesis. This involves alterations to regulatory genes which alter the time or pacing of sexual development and cause juvenile traits to be retained in the adult animal. It’s been the subject of experimental research ever since Dmitri Belyaev was able to recreate how dogs evolved from wolves, except this time using foxes. And he did this 50 years ago.

It’s not “wrecking” the genes. It’s making alterations which, if adaptive, will be preserved by natural selection. In the case of floppy ears, for domestic dogs “adaptive” means “humans like it”, and that’s what we see with dogs.

Why is this so important to consider, in the context of evolutionary claims that no Creator was necessary?

It’s not. Evolutionary biologists already understand floppy ears much better than you ever will, and unlike you, they have actual experimental evidence to back up their claims.

Evolutionary biologists, when pressed with the facts about natural selection, will concede that natural selection by itself can only remove existing genetic information. However, they argue that in tandem with mutations, natural selection would be a creative process.

But the floppy-ear mutation, for one, is a classic example of the widespread degradation of the genome—a downhill process. For microbes-to-man evolution to be true, evolutionists should be able to point to thousands of examples of information-gaining mutations, an uphill process, but they can’t.8 Mutations overwhelmingly ruin genetic information. Therefore evolutionists looking to mutations as being evolution’s ‘engine’ do so in vain.9 Thus they are left with no known mechanism capable of ever turning microbes into mutts—i.e. no way of ‘climbing’ up the supposed evolutionary ‘tree’.

This is why creationist fail. They fundamentally misunderstand the theory they’re arguing against, and end up making stupid arguments like this.

Evolution is not teleological. It has no direction. There is no path. “Good” and “bad” mutations are only good or bad relative to the environment the organism lives in. What’s good in one environment might be bad in another.

For this reason, there’s no such thing as “degradation” of the genome. What counts as a “good” genome depends on what kind of environment we’re talking about. In the wild, floppy ears might not be good. But living with humans, dogs with floppy ears have been successful and bred widely, and from a natural selection point of view that’s all that matters.

Note that while mutations degrade genetic information, sometimes an advantage arising from such degradation can outweigh the disadvantage vis-à-vis survival. While a floppy-eared mutant mutt might not last long in the wild, under human care—i.e. with regular ear cleaning—the equation changes. And what about the key moment when a buyer is looking for the ‘cutest’, friendliest pup in the pet shop window? Indeed, there is increasing evidence that the floppy-eared characteristic is strongly associated with tameness.10,11 Little wonder then, that floppy-eared dogs are so common today.12

Wait, so you acknowledge what I said earlier??? Then in what possible way could you mean “degrade”? Obviously you acknowledge that floppy ears actually benefit dogs in their human environment, so they’re not bad. So they haven’t been degraded or wrecked. Or is it that even in your tiny little creationist head you’ve never bothered to clarify just what the fuck those words are supposed to mean in this context?

Look, you’re conceding the point here. You’re acknowledging that in the right environment, a mutation might provide a survival benefit and, as a result, be preserved by natural selection. You basically just said that the evolutionists are right and natural selection preserves adaptive variations. In just one paragraph you completely undermined whatever garbled, nonsensical point you were trying to make about “degradation”. And yet you go on after this to spike the football and celebrate your victory over evolution, like a team that never looked at the scoreboard and doesn’t realize that they lost the game long ago, and in fact that last touchdown was in their own end zone. It’s just sad, really.

The Three R’s fail spectacularly. They’re supported by no actual experimental or observational evidence. Instead, they stand on only imaginary scenarios which either do not have any real life counterpart or are just childish recreations of rudimentary concepts. They don’t propose anything that evolutionary biologists hadn’t already considered (and often rejected). And in the end they undermine their own point. They boil down to a self-contradictory collection of nonsense founded on imaginary tales with arbitrary rules.

In other words, they are typical of religion.

“Disturbing”

I’ve written about MassResistance before. They’re an incredibly bigoted anti-gay organization in Massachusetts who are, for all intents and purposes, just big fat fucking sore losers who can’t handle the fact that gay marriage is legal in their state.

There are tons of bigots out there. But if anything really stands out about MassResistance, it’s just how up front they are about saying that they are oppressed by gays simply because gays exist and are gay in their presence. All bigots ultimately feel this way, but most try to hide it and fabricate nonsensical reasons for why they’re bigots. But not MassResistance. They object to gays existing at all, and that’s quite apparent in their coverage of a recent gay pride parade in Boston.

CAUTION: SOME OF THE PHOTOS BELOW MAY BE DISTURBING

Here’s what they mean by “disturbing”.

A person who's different from me. I'm disturbed.

A person who’s different from me. I’m disturbed.

Yep. The most disturbing photos they can come up with are men who dress like women. But to MassResistance, a man wearing a dress is just about the most horrifying thing in the universe. In fact, they want to make sure we all know that a man wearing a dress is THE primary thing that frightens them.

Making a dysfunctional and dangerous behavior the “new normal”

If the transgender movement achieves its goals, this is what people in your businesses, government offices, classrooms, and public facilities will look like — whether you like it or not.

BELOW: These are all MEN

Men might wear dresses in your presence! Oh, the humanity!

Like I’ve said before, this is MassResistance’s fucking M.O. Merely existing while gay is an affront to them, and they routinely condemn gay people on no other basis than the fact that they aren’t hiding, ashamed, in the closet. But they go beyond that. Ed Brayton recently highlighted a MR article making excuses for Russian bigots who attacked gays for the “crime” of kissing in public.  And their bigotry goes even further than that. They recently posted a supportive article about legislation that’s on the verge of becoming law in Nigeria. Here’s what will happen if it is enacted:

Nigeria’s House of Representatives voted Thursday to ban gay marriage and outlaw any groups actively supporting gay rights, endorsing a measure that also calls for 10-year prison sentences for any “public show” of affection by a same-sex couple.

Just to be clear: Man wearing a dress? MassResistance calls this “Disturbing”. Russians physically assaulting people and Nigerians denying free speech and putting people in jail for 10 years just for kissing or hugging in public? MassResistance calls these atrocities “bold steps to fight back.”

There are fascists in America. People who think that violence is an appropriate response to a minority daring to be different in their presence. People who think that conformity should be enforced by law. People who think that disagreeing with them should be outlawed. People who think that the worst thing in the world is having to be in the presence of other people who don’t live the way they live.

I don’t use the word “fascist” lightly. In fact, I hate the fact that so many people use it loosely, and this might very well be the first time I’ve called someone fascist on this blog. But if anyone deserves to be called fascist, it’s MassResistance. They go well beyond the bigotry seen on most other fucking right wing dingleberry websites. They may not be fully fascist, but they definitely fall under the category that Umberto Eco called Ur-Fascism. Eco lists the traits of ur-fascism, and MassResistance meets them all:

  1. The Cult of Tradition (part of any movement to deny gay marriage)
  2. Rejection of modernism (a constant refrain is that the modern world has degenerated due to fags)
  3. Action without reflection (Supporting Russians who throw eggs at gays who kiss in public? Check.)
  4. Disagreement is treason (Supporting a Nigerian law that outlaws gay rights groups? Check.)
  5. Fear of difference (Duh. This is most of what they do.)
  6. Appeal to social frustration (They actually rationalize Nigeria’s law by saying Nigeria has an AIDS epidemic–never mind that most of those AIDS victims are straight)
  7. Obsession with conspiracy (The Boston parade is a conspiracy to promote transgenderism!)
  8. Enemies portrayed as both too strong and too weak (Gays are taking over! But they’re also degenerates who all die of AIDS!)
  9. Life is permanent warfare (Again, this is pretty much all anti-gay groups.)
  10. Contempt for the weak (MR actually argues that the gays who were assaulted in Russia INCITED violence against themselves merely by kissing.)
  11. Everyone is educated to become a hero (This goes hand in hand with the religious right’s persecution complex)
  12. Machismo (That man’s wearing a dress! Shame him!)
  13. Selective populism (Even the name MassResistance suggests this. They claim to speak for the masses. But they do so in order to crush a minority whom they despise, and the majority of Americans actually support gay rights. So they only speak for “the people” in their own twisted minds.)
  14. Newspeak (This is another one that’s so common on the religious right that it’s hard to find a religious right organization that doesn’t do it.)

MassResistance certainly isn’t the only group that fits this bill, but they are definitely one of the worst anti-gay groups–much worse than, say, NOM. Their complaint is that gays exist at all, and they have repeatedly endorsed violence and draconian tactics to address their complaint, and blamed such anti-gay violence on gays themselves. If they’re not already fascists, they’re uncomfortably close.

North Carolina gets shittier every day

As if the nasty vinegar-heavy barbecue sauce weren’t bad enough, North Carolina seems bound and determined to proclaim to the rest of the world just how much the state fucking sucks. Last year it became the most recent state to amend its constitution to ban gay marriage, and yesterday they decided even that wasn’t enough. Now, they’ve decided to add a new layer of racism onto the shit sandwich that is their state.

North Carolina’s governor says he agreed to repeal a law that allowed inmates to challenge their death sentences on racial grounds because it effectively banned capital punishment in the state.

“This law is bad, because it doesn’t allow us to kill enough black people.”

Any time someone tries to tell you that the South has changed since the days of slavery and lynchings need only read the quote above to see that that’s a bunch of bullshit.

North Carolina legislators barred death sentences “sought or obtained on the basis of race” in 2009, when both houses of the state General Assembly were under Democratic control.

The, legislation, known as the Racial Justice Act, allowed condemned convicts to use statistical analysis to argue that race played a role in their sentencing.

Sounds like a fair, just, and rational law. No wonder it only lasted 4 years.

Republicans who took control of the Legislature in 2010 weakened the law last year, overriding a veto by then-Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat.

Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican elected in 2012, followed legislative action and signed its complete repeal Wednesday.

Fucking Republicans. Every time it looks like this country might take a tiny step forward, they grab it and drag it back into the Dark Ages.

“Nearly every person on death row, regardless of race, has appealed their death sentence under the Racial Justice Act,” McCrory said in a statement Wednesday. “The state’s district attorneys are nearly unanimous in their bipartisan conclusion that the Racial Justice Act created a judicial loophole to avoid the death penalty and not a path to justice.”

No, the state’s district attorneys want to kill more people so the ignorant voters will have their barbaric blood lust sated and keep them in office. The district attorneys, whose job it is to get people convicted, are not the people anyone should be consulting on this issue. This is like asking an oil company if we need to drive more. Of course they’ll say yes. But no one should care what they say.

The state still allowed capital punishment even while the Racial Justice Act was on the books. But state Democrats said the law resulted in at least four convicts being taken off death row after judges ruled that their sentences resulted from racial bias, with their sentences commuted to life in prison instead.

So the law only managed to help 4 people in 4 years before Republicans tore it up and flushed it down the toilet. You fucking suck, North Carolina Republicans.

About 53% of the 153 convicts awaiting execution in North Carolina are black, according to the state Department of Public Safety, while about 40% are white. African-Americans make up about 22% of the state’s population, according to Census figures.

Nope. No racism in North Carolina. None whatsoever.

The lynching days never ended. The only thing that changed is that nowadays it’s the state government that’s targeting blacks, rather than an ignorant mob of drooling redneck fuckbuckets. Or, more accurately, the voters took that ignorant lynch mob and made them the government.