Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rantin' makes me feel good

I like to think that I know you, dear reader - or more specifically, how warmly you will receive the various posts that find their way onto this blog. I have a feeling that half-hearted posts that blindly shoot in the general direction of religious conviction will be endured, albeit begrudgingly. I'm also fairly certain that posts entirely personal in nature will be tolerated, should I lather them up in a sufficient coating of self-deprecation. Overly-bloated, self-indulgent rants that require far-too much scrolling are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but more often than not are skimmed over in order to glean the enlightenment surely squirrelled away in one of its innumerable dark crevasses.

I'm sure that you read the less-than-stellar posts on this blog, because you're searching for one like this: one in which the extent of my wrath manifests itself on some poor unsuspecting 'tard who decided to opine about something in a manner that isn't quite open for discussion. I assure you that this is coming, but first, I must contextualise on where this came from:

During my last academic semester at the University of Limerick, the UL Journalism Society was founded, with a view to creating the piss-poorly named magazine, Ink. After forcing myself to attend two meetings, I was quite convinced that the people involved were utterly devoid of any merits that would make for a good magazine, both in terms of generating interesting content, or actually getting the buggering thing into production. I was also quite troubled by the fact that the magazine was devised as an alternative to the paper already produced by the Students' Union, but the contributors were all the same!

Sure enough, it failed to launch, thanks to a moronically impractical adherence to the committee-structure on which all Societies of the University of Limerick must conform. A lack of interest in the project kept me (and others, more than likely) from getting more involved, as my untameable elitism refused to let me toil for a magazine I knew would be filled by vapid writers. I had a few ideas for articles, but this is the only one I was halfway satisfied with.

This op-ed piece is a severely dated response to a letter from the Christian Union in the campus newspaper, (which was in itself a response to an earlier letter taking them to task for some objectionable advertising). (Link to PDF)

My take on this, five months later:

Last semester, Ink contributor Donal O’Driscoll published a letter in An Focal ridiculing the Christian Union’s promotional poster that threatened infidels with the eternal torture that awaited them after death. In an attempt to clear up the “serious misunderstandings”, Saumel Watterson of the CU responded with a letter that consisted of a few biblical references and a shrugged explanation that consisted of little more than “just doing what the big man says - it’s not up to me!”.

This happened in early November. It’s old news – ancient, even. So why bring it up now? Utter, crippling disappointment at the lack of responses it received. How is it that in a university, a place for the nurturing of intellect, some fruitcake can write in with inanities such as “we deserve to be thrown into that lake of fire”, and not suffer any reprimand from the student body? I opted out at the time, as I had already appeared in the letters page twice that semester taking others to task for lesser crimes, but with mere weeks remaining of my academic career at UL, I cannot leave in good conscience without restoring equilibrium.

As a way of defending the muck that the Christian Union peddles, Sammy asks “if your friend was in such danger and didn't even realise it, you would not frivolously say to them, "Hey-diddily-hey, neighbour!" You would desperately try to warn them”. It’s possible that I’m being too hard on wee Sammo here, as he was more than likely hoping that a string of incoherent non-sequiturs would transubstantiate into solid rhetoric, but his god forsook him. I will commend his emo-tacular endorsement of the Bible for moral support when he splutters “I am a coward (though God is training me to be brave)”, even if it makes sane people like me want to scream things like “get his guy 20ccs of premarital sex, stat!”

The CU obviously have a somewhat flattering view of themselves, given their poignant pontification on matters of truth, such as how “it often offends us, but we need to hear it”. This causes me considerable mirth as a person who embraces the facts, unlike moronic Bible-thumpers such as Samuel Watterson. I find the very fact that we attend the same university insulting, as he is either incapable of critical thought, or willing to ignore any shred of intellect that cries foul during his nightly sessions of talking to an imaginary friend whilst on his knees. Has he ever opened the book of “truth” that he claims to lead his life by? There are so many examples of outright contradictions between reality and the Bible, and within the holy book itself, that even the slightest indulgence would only serve to distract me away from ridiculing the dearth of intellect that one man has no shame in admitting to.

Again - maybe I’m being a little harsh here. After all, the Bible does attest to be the exclusive source of truth on supernatural matters. But doesn’t the Book of Mormon do that also? Come to think of it, the Koran makes the same claims. Which raises an interesting point; if Samuel Watterson were involved with the Muslim Union, would we be accosted with posters reading “strike terror into the hearts of yours and Allah’s enemies” as we strolled towards the cafeteria? Would the notice boards around campus implore us to “smite at the necks and cause a bloodbath of the unbelievers”?

Somebody needs to explain to the members of the Christian Union that just because something is old, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good source of moral guidance (you needn’t look further than the latest conversation with your racist grandmother for proof of this). Believing that bad people will burn in hell is backed up by as much proof as believing that martyrs get 72 virgins in heaven. The frankly batshit insane notion that a round piece of bread turns into the flesh of Christ is every bit as likely as the batshit insane notion that unhappiness is a result of some tosser called Xenu nuking the earth 75 billion years ago.

If you think I’m being intolerant towards religion right now, you’re absolutely right – what’s wrong with intolerance towards irrational beliefs? Chances are you have a sufficient grasp of rationality that you avail of to dismiss nutters who predict the end of the world based on a message in their alphabet-os, or the homeless guy who claims to be Jesus Christ. Try directing that same rationality towards your cherished beliefs and then see how outraged you feel you’re entitled to be. Just because we’ve grown immune to Christian hate speech against non-Christians, it doesn’t mean it should be tolerated in any shape or form.

I’m aware that Christianity was vital in civilising western society, and the core of the modern, sanitized Christian philosophy is certainly something of merit, but the constant focus on death and empty threats of perpetual suffering are the pernicious aspects of religion that I could never endorse, let alone use as the basis to promote a social gathering. In the future, rather than waste finite resources of paper, ink, and students’ time, I suggest that Samuel Watterson and anybody who espouses his views save themselves the hassle of writing ill-conceived letters, and instead tattoo “I have no intellectual integrity” across their foreheads.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Bodily Effluvia"

I’ve had a slight illness these past few days that has flared up into a veritable plague, sapping my energy levels and causing my nose to leak a considerable amount of goop. In preparing for the last exam of my undergraduate existence, I spent two unproductive hours at the packed library today, quietly leaking bodily effluvia into a bundle of tissues in as subtle a fashion I could manage. The concern for my fellow-students wasn’t shared by the smoochy couple in the seats next to me, who only took a half hour or so to repulse me away from my favoured spot on the first floor. It’s frustratingly distracting trying to study when there’s a guy next to you who constantly disappears from your peripheral vision to the sound of lip-smacking. I wish cancer upon his libido.

In other news, my weakened state has caused me to fall off the wagon with regard to my Coke embargo, as I’ve quaffed about a pint or so of the stuff in the past few hours as I vainly attempt to get my energy levels up to a useful level. So far I’ve had little success, but the sudden influx of sugar is making my teeth hurt, which is bound to perk me up somewhat!

As much as I loathe the recent practice of my overly nostalgic friends who have framed every social interaction for the past three months as “one of the last times we do” something, only to recalibrate the sentiment for the next “last time” mere days later, I have to admit that I am quite thrilled with the thought that this could be the last time I sit an exam at the University of Limerick. Of course, after this milestone of epic proportions, I’ll be recalibrating for Friday, when I’ll be handing in my last project at the University of Limerick!

It’s the bits that come after that point which scare the living shit out of me.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Picking on the little guy...

I'm not quite sure what to say about this. I checked my e-mail a few moments ago to be greeted by the following:

Seems one of my videos was reported for copyright violation. A video I liked because it would probably keep the people in it from ever entering public office. A video that garnered a paltry 1,011 hits over the course of 14 months! Surely there are bigger fish to fry? What's worse is what's said within the notification I got by e-mail:

In order to prevent this from happening, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others.

Seriously? What's the point? A YouTube without copyright infringement is like Islam without the misogyny. Where's the fun in that? I was fully aware of all the talk about eliminating the copyright infringement, but I thought that it was just to keep the greedy corporate whores happy!

Enjoy the videos while you can, dear reader, for their days are numbered.

(Until I upload them elsewhere, at least)

EDIT: The video in question has been reuploaded to MegaVideo - hopefully they won't submit to corporate pressure!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Before anyone chastises another person for being 'intolerant' of religion, please think about what you are promoting the tolerance of.

This first one is almost comical, but not quite:

Iran launches new crackdown on dress code offenders
Iran's religious codes require women to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothing to disguise their bodies in public, including offices where they may work with male colleagues.

Police sometimes check offices to ensure the codes are upheld and can shut them down. Some coffee shops have been closed after police said workers or customers were not meeting standards.

This one is quite long, and potentially upsetting, but the first minute should give you the gist of what is being said:

Friday, May 02, 2008


When I write essays, I use Wikipedia as part of the brainstorming process. Of course - given the wiki nature of this invaluable web resource, students are warned not to use any of the information found there. I think people are overly cautious. Think of all the amazing things you can learn online for free, like this, for instance:

Now I know that a mineral is a stupid occuring substance formed through some guy's butt! Either this is a childish farce, or this entry was written by the creator of the universe.

I'm going to hedge my bets on this one.