Friday, September 30, 2011

Gay Abortion

I've seen this thing a few places online. "Hey, pro-lifers! What if the baby you save turns out to be gay?" This is the worst pro-choice argument ever.

Abortion and gay marriage are separate issues. Your opinion on one does not determine your opinion on the other. I'm pro-life and pro-gay marriage because both are the best options. And the dumbass argument does say something: gay fetuses are SCREWED.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Defining Evangelicals in an Election Year

I've come a long way since my days as a left-wing liberal. Still, I read the Sojourners blog sometimes. Here's a great post, Defining "Evangelicals" in an Election Year. I'm sick of people who assume all evangelical Christians are Republicans.

More posts on politics and religion coming soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Religion and Personality

Different churches draw different personalities. There's differences in doctrine, worship style, race, and class. There's also personality differences. This is true for Protestant denominations. Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, etc. draw people with different attitudes and personal habits. If you drink alcohol, you're gonna join the Episcopal or Lutheran churches. If you're dead set against drinking, you're gonna join the Baptists. If some Baptists are intolerant toward alcohol, some Episcopalians are intolerant toward people who don't drink. It also depends on how much you care about the creeds. Many Episcopalians say the Nicene Creed every week but don't believe it. I like the Methodists because they have both the fundamentalist nutcases and the extreme liberal nutcases. I'd rather have both than just one.

Converts go to whatever group attracts their personality. It's more reliable than what is or isn't true. I don't drink or smoke and I'm a semi health nut, so I'm a good target for the Latter Day Saints. On the other hand, I admire Catholic Social Teaching and I like liturgy. Catholics are pretty open to all personalities, but a lot of Catholic converts are a certain type of person. The Young Fogey. The fan of GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, George MacDonald, etc. The medievalist. The history nut. They're in some Protestant churches but they're a dwindling minority. Protestantism has little to do with church history any more. It's sad.

It may work for other religions too. Most Wiccans are bisexual goth women. Not all, but most. I was interested in Orthodox Judaism for a while. I liked the strict rules. I don't know much about Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. In the US Buddhism draws the same kind of people who become liberal Christians.

A lot of people deconvert from religion altogether. Most people here are raised in religion so most agnostics and atheists are converts. There's a difference between agnostics and atheists. Atheists are sure there's no God, but agnostics aren't. This is mainly a personality difference. If fundamentalist Christians deconvert they become atheists. If the more tolerant kind deconvert they become agnostics. Agnostics are more laid back than atheists.

The Young Fogey

Almost all subcultures are more shocking than the mainstream. Flappers, hippies, punks, etc. They all shock by being more radical. Young Fogeys shock by being LESS radical. They're young men who dress and act like it's 100 years ago. They love old upper class British culture, smoking pipes, Evelyn Waugh novels, traditional churches, and tweed suits. I used to read a lot of blogs by Catholics and liturgical Protestants. Most of the bloggers were Young Fogeys. A lot of Catholic converts are Young Fogeys. Liturgy and history attract these people. Most Young Fogeys are British, but I've met American ones too. The Chap Magazine's a good tongue-in-cheek look at the Young Fogey.

I'm not a Young Fogey and I never will be. I like rock music and I hate wearing ties. I'm not an Anglophile. But I respect them. Apart from the Amish the Young Fogeys are more subversive than any other subculture. Or they were more subversive. The Young Fogey: an elegy says they died out by 2003. It's not true because I've met a bunch online and a few in real life, but Young Fogeyism isn't what it once was. Too bad we never had a big Young Fogey movement in the US.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness

Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness on TV Tropes

This is a great idea. The scale goes from 1 to 11, of course. Go to the page for more detail, but here's a quick overview:

1. Acoustic rock
2. Slightly lighter rock
3. Average rock
4. Slightly harder rock, lighter punk
5. Hard rock, punk
6. Heavier hard rock, lighter metal
7. Classic metal, power metal, hardcore punk
8. Thrash metal, heavier classic/power metal, metalcore
9. Lighter death/black metal, heavier thrash metal
10. Most death/black metal
11. Extreme death/black metal, grindcore

The page goes into more detail on what makes some songs heavier than others. Distortion, speed, instrumental solos, vocal styles, etc. I don't agree with where they put a lot of songs. Metal fans want to put metal ballads at 1 when they should be 3 or 4. On the other hand, the Beach Boys page claims they get up to 5. And there is no way Muse's "New Born" is heavier than "Stockholm Syndrome". You'll disagree with some of the others. The web site can't agree with itself on some songs. The Mohs Scale main page has Metallica's "Battery" at 8, but it's a 9 on the Metallica page.

They say it's hard to place rock bands who don't use guitars. I don't know where Kraftwerk or Depeche Mode would go, but they're barely rock to begin with. Ben Folds Five and Van der Graaf Generator are two rock bands without guitars and they both get to at least 4. Of course they distort other instruments. Ben Folds Five had distorted bass and VDGG had distorted organ.

I say drumming has a lot to do with it. Songs with loud drums will score higher than bands with quiet drums, drum machines, or no drums. There are exceptions. Some extreme metal bands use drum machines.

It's a useful way to think about rock music. A final warning: TV Tropes will suck you in for hours.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What matters more?

It's funny how people get so angry when they're mad about personal stuff, but they're calm when they're mad about important stuff involving other people.

When someone hurts you: "ARRRGH ***** **** **** * *** *********!!!"
When someone hurts someone else: "That's very sad. We should stop this."

Example: People are all sad and somber about a real injustice - the state of Georgia executing Troy Davis, who may or may not be guilty for murder. But if someone insults their favorite sports team, they get PISSED. Someone got on my case today - they were dead serious - for supporting the wrong college. I haven't seen anyone get that pissed over Troy Davis. What's really more important?

Liberals are the worst at this. They forgive Hitler but not creationists. Conservatives and libertarians are a little better but not much. People never send their rage to the right targets. The world would be a better place if they did.

People are worthless.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kill the Heretic!

It's human nature. If someone disagrees with you, they're evil and you should kill them. You should destroy their writings. You should shut them up at all costs. If you're good enough at it, nobody will know what they stood for in the first place.

One example is the medieval church. I'm a Christian and I'm fine with doctrinal purity, but the church went to extremes in the old days. We only know about a lot of heresies from books arguing against them. People destroyed heretical books. During the Protestant Reformation the church/government killed reformers. For years Christians oppressed Jews, even tho Jesus and His first disciples were all Jewish.

Oppressive governments do the same thing. The Nazis and Communists killed lots of people for disagreeing with the party. Not for doing anything. They killed people for other reasons too. Nazis hated Jews, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and a bunch of other groups. They didn't do anything to the Nazis apart from existing.

We don't kill people or destroy their books any more in the Western world. Now we insult people, call them names, make fun of them, etc. It may not kill people but it hurts their careers. Here's a form of oppression in the music world:

Most rock critics praise genres like rockabilly, garage rock, 70's punk, post-punk, and early alternative. They trash genres like progressive rock and metal that don't fit their narrow view of rock.

When I was younger I didn't like progressive rock apart from Pink Floyd because things I read told me not to. People said it was "pretentious" and "self-indulgent" and it "violated the spirit of rock'n'roll". Then I discovered Procol Harum, who led me to Yes, who got me hooked on other progressive rock like King Crimson, early Genesis, Dream Theater, etc. Now I know rock critics are full of crap because those bands made great music. In the standard history of rock, punk "destroyed" progressive rock, like how grunge "destroyed" glam metal. Progressive rock bands and glam metal bands didn't do anything to offend punk and grunge bands. The rock purists killed the rock heretics in a heroic act to restore standard forms of rock.

Disco had a worse backlash from rock fans in the late 70s. There was a disco record demolition in 1979. That's real oppression.

I'm not the only one who sees a connection. John McFerrin says "I like a lot of punk rock and post-punk, but the punk "revolution" was really an inquisition." Nile Rodgers from disco/funk band Chic compared the anti-disco movement to Nazi book-burning.

The worst part is most rock critics hate religion. They embrace rock music like it's an alternative to religion that lets them do whatever they want. They probably say "religion kills so avoid it" like most anti-religious people do. But they still got the "kill the heretic" instinct because it's human nature.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ME ME ME ME ME

Most people only care about themselves and people who are like them. On Facebook you can tell a lot about someone by the political pages they like. If somebody likes Human Rights Campaign, they must be gay. 95% of outspoken feminists are women. If somebody has a more obscure issue they support, there's a good chance they're connected to it. If someone says "punish the deed, not the breed" (which I agree with) they probably own a pitbull (which I don't). Disability rights advocates are usually disabled. If someone wants to end discrimination against a group, it's a good chance they're part of that group. Most "bleeding heart" liberals don't care unless you're not white, female, LGBT, disabled, not Christian, or don't speak English as a first language. They only care about other discrimination if it involves them. And like anyone else they hate a lot of people, such as fundamentalists, fat people, "rednecks", etc.

It gets even dumber when you got someone like me who's in every majority group. We turn into your classic bigots and it's the same impulse. Almost everyone who complains about "political correctness" is white. I had people on a message board get mad at me for being a Christian once, but I don't experience discrimination or persecution in real life. There's some hate crimes against white people but not a lot. I take male privilege with a grain of salt because the gender roles are so strict for us - men have to be assholes but women can be whoever they want. But women still get paid less than us and still get treated like second-class citizens, and men don't, plus I've never faced any discrimination from being male. There is no prejudice against straight people, but homophobia is rampant here. Other religions and ideologies do face discrimination, especially Wicca and Islam. As for the language barrier, if you want to piss off a hardcore conservative, greet them en espaƱol. There's a reason people like us are rarely "bleeding heart" liberals: we don't get anything out of it. A ton of us are libertarian tho. Also, we're ignorant of prejudice because we never experience it. But experiencing prejudice doesn't make people more tolerant. It only means they care about issues they're connected to.

In short, people suck and I'm better than most of them. But people don't suck completely. There's no reason to hate somebody if you didn't get to know them first.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Most Useless Machine Ever!

From rural Saskatchewan, Canada, land of snow, Tim Hortons, and "eh", comes the Most Useless Machine Ever!



You can do many things with this, such as making two useless machines fight:



The uploader, SaskView, says "this is a metaphor for your hard-earned tax dollars at work". I don't know if it reflects Canada's parliament, but it sure looks like US Congress!

10 Genres of Metal in 3 Minutes

Raz Ben Ari plays 10 genres of heavy metal in 3 minutes. It's very good apart from him calling glam metal "glam rock". You can hear the differences between the styles.

All parents are disappointed in their kids

All parents are a little disappointed in their children. They're disappointed their children didn't turn out like they did.

Some cases are obvious, like when the parents are strict religious conventional types and the kid becomes a pothead atheist punk/goth kid. This happens a lot. Some cases are less obvious, like when the parents are pothead atheist punks/goths and the kid joins the Latter-Day Saints. This happens more than you think.

However, all parents are disappointed their kids didn't turn out like they did. They want their kids to be younger versions of them. They're happy when their kids act like they do and they don't like when their kids are different. They want their children to turn out the way they wanted. They may know someone who they want their kid to be like and they're disappointed their kid didn't live up to it. Whatever it is, parents are mad their kids didn't turn out like they did.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never forget 9/11/01

A few weeks ago some jerk asked "When's it okay to make September 11 jokes?" I told him it's been 70 years since Pearl Harbor and we still don't joke about it. Some things are off-limits. I like humor and jokes, but you don't joke about losing 3,000 lives. You just don't.

Just For Being Americans by Dave Barry - A rare serious column from Dave Barry. It's incredible.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Racism is not dead

There's a rumor going around about a gas station refusing service to a soldier. Someone from the Middle East owns the gas station. It's probably false, like it was when it hit Corbin, KY and other places around the US. A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, and people jumped on it and started making jokes about Middle Easterners, talking about how they hate us. I replied that we have Arab-American and Persian-American soldiers, and the gas station guy was a jerk regardless of race. I said "don't blame it on his race or ethnic origin, blame it on him being a jerk".

If it did happen, the gas station attendant will probably get fired. That's what happened in Fort Worth, TX, where a Marine really got refused service.

I figure if somebody comes from Iran or Pakistan to open a business here in the USA, they probably like our country. If they didn't, they wouldn't come here and open businesses. And refusing service to a soldier is plain stupid. No place that refuses business to soldiers can stay open for long.

The "all Arabs hate us Americans" crap reminds me of "all Japanese hate us" or "all Germans hate us" from World War II. Remember the Japanese internment camps. Arabs have gotten off a little easier from 9/11, but lots of people still hate them. This is a bad time to be an Arab-American. Or Persian, or Indian, or Punjabi, or Egyptian. Prejudice is stupid.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TV Weather

People expect weather to be like it is on TV shows. Case in point: Summers in Mississippi last from May to October. This summer's been hot even for us. It broke 100 degrees a lot. The heat index was 120 one day. So people are desperate for relief. A tropical storm came thru at the beginning of September. At the same time as a cold front. Now it's really cold for summer - yesterday's high was 69. This is weird for September in Mississippi. September's summer! It's in the 90s! But it's not to most people here. Most people get their culture info from TV, and in TV land September is fall. Never mind the fact it's gonna heat back up next week, people say "Welcome to fall!" It's the same people who can't believe it stays hot into October every year. People pay more attention to weather patterns in TV land, which is based on weather patterns in the Great Lakes states, than they do to the weather patterns here!

If I wrote for a TV show, I'd set it in the Deep South and I'd give it real Southern weather. Summers would be long and hot. Winters would be mild with one snow event per year - on the same date in January every year. The snow would shut everything down. Spring would have severe storms every day, and fall would be comfortable. Christmas would not have snow and half the characters would whine about the lack of snow - the same characters who whine about snow in January. It would rain every Easter like it does in real life.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

FIRST POST

Welcome to my new blog, Will of the Majority. The name's ironic: I'm in all the majority groups but I never have majority opinions. This blog doesn't reflect the will of anyone but me. Plus nobody's gonna grab the name for a hate blog.

About me:
1. I'm a Protestant Christian.
2. I'm moderate in politics. I hate the right wing and the left wing equally. I respect libertarians more but I disagree with them a lot.
3. I'm a straight white guy so I don't deal with prejudice much.
4. I live in Mississippi. This alters how I see things.
5. I care about people who are different from me, unlike most of humanity.

Some ground rules:
1. No comments. I don't have the patience to deal with them. I won't change your mind and you won't change mine so there's no point.
2. I post about whatever I want to. I won't post about my personal life.
3. Most of my posts on serious topics are halfway between serious and silly.
4. There will be occasional swearing. If you don't like it, don't read it. I'll avoid anything too bad but anything else is fair game.

Why don't I use my real name? I don't want to. I don't want my real name attached to the blog. A lot of my friends know about the blog already so that's not an issue.

EDIT: I enabled comments. I'm a sellout.