Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Filthy Atheists"

As I indicated some nine days ago, I attended the third (I believe) meeting of the Mid-West Humanist association, with a great deal of trepidation that was proven unfounded. The fourteen or so other people in attendance were bright, eager people from 21 to 65, of various backgrounds, each with an interesting tale to tell and a fascinating perspective on the religious peculiarities that exist in Irish society.

Being the non-writing aspiring writer that I am, I figured that since I had found an organisation that I could conceivably contribute to, I'd better volunteer my services to their blog, and after a rigorous vetting process that involved lifting one's hand to indicate willingness, three new authors joined the fray, myself included.

The first thing I contributed was a repackaged rehash of one of my pet-projects on this blog, 'Saints and Shitters', which may well have found a new home, if the reception there is warm enough. I've since followed it up with some new content, in which I laud the average Irish Catholic (typical contrarian prickery, eh? Lambasting it on my personal blog, only to join a pack of filthy atheists and have a change of heart).

For the sake of brevity, I've grotesquely simplified everything down to a level where America = bad, Ireland = good, but I'm hoping the bones of my idea will prompt some bit of critical thought.

You should should see this development as A Very Good Thing, as it means that my espousal of atheism has found a new home, leaving me more space to fill with unbridled PMSing.

Please to enjoy: In praise of Irish Catholics - which features the phrase "the only thing that comes close to this woman’s offensive ignorance is her aesthetic repugnancy" - religious broadside and fatty-bashing in one blog! I'm like a pig in shit!

Monday, October 20, 2008

define: sully

One of my favourite websites of recent times is - a vast educational resource that I use to inform myself on a vast number of topics, from internet memes I haven't encountered to the non-standard use of a word that doesn't make sense in its usual context. Most crucially, UrbanDictionary has minimised those awkward moments in which I must ask an acquaintance what a phrase means, only for him to describe a sexual act so depraved that it surely only exists in theory.

Putting that randomly-divulged piece of trivia to one side for a moment, I'll introduce another! Lame as it is to admit, I get a small kick out of the fact that my nickname (and blogging handle) is also a verb:

sul·ly [suhl-ee] verb, -lied, -ly·ing, noun, plural -lies. –verb (used with object) soil, stain, or tarnish. mar the purity or luster of; defile: to sully a reputation.
–verb (used without object) become sullied, soiled, or tarnished.
I've gotten some mileage out of this over the years - even if it mostly consists of me lecherously threatening to 'sully' my girlfriend when I've run out of idle threats to send her way - but until today I've never been bored enough to look it up on UrbanDictionary. Of the 17 results, some of them are quite mundane, others are quite funny, and one or two evoked an irrational paranoia that the author could conceivably be talking about me! So let's have a looksee, eh?

A charismatic,but cheeky person with the power to annoy and entertain people around the world.can be random and unpredictable at the best of times.

a ''sully'' is sitting in the corner.girl sits down with a lot of food. sully:woah,take it easy on the munch there. girl:are u calling me fat? sully:are you calling me a liar?
"Random"? Maybe. "Entertaining"? Why not! They even incorporated my latent misogyny into the usage example! Urban Dictionary is great! Let's see what else is on here...

This one was posted on my 22nd birthday (I kid you not!):

[...] Favours the nazi regime over drunk easy women!! [...]

Sullys eyes are imfamous for giving people the impression that he is imagining having sexual relations with underagers![...]

Also believes to be batman...this is just a excuse for him to dress up in the costume so he fits in with the kids!
sully.....i tink ur of the homo majority!
Hmmm... Not sure I like this one quite as much. Some of these accusations are mere misunderstandings, of course. I would rather be reading about the Nazi regime than entertaining intoxicated women, but who wouldn't? The perma-pensive look on my face could understandably be misconstrued as intent to play the kiddie fiddle in today's paedophile-obsessed society, and my Batman impersonating proclivities hark back to a childhood obsession with a certain Snickers ad, and nothing more.

Let's look at another one:
a male child who strangely resembles shirley temple and will not shut the fuck up. Most teachers hate "sully" and wish him to never speak again. A "Sully" will frequently ask stupid questions that will either end up in a very short sentence, or a reprimand for asking something so stupid (if a reprimand occurs a "Sully" will give a long, unnecessary explanation of what was going on through his mind when he asked the question). Somehow he manages to pull good grades out of his ass. He also embarrasses himself in front of others and then when laughed at he says, "I did it on purpose to get a laugh."
NOTE: "Sully" is capable of saying "you know" 14 times in a short monologue.
Sully, shut the fuck up!

This person has to be talking about me - I do pull good grades out of my ass, I am prone to asking questions then explaining my motivations for doing so, and I do on occasion sacrifice my dignity to amuse others. And while it's true that teachers to find me quite offensive, the part of the description that tips me off the most that I'm being attacked anonymously by the internets is this irrefutable evidence:

Of course, not all of the entries are a libel on my character - it seems that there are alternative uses for the word 'sully' that cast the aforementioned idle threat to my girlfriend in a much more sinister light:

Get a girl mid-orgasm, pass out drunk and pee inside of her.
"I've been cleaning piss out of my vagina all day because some asshole gave me a Sully last nite."

Hmmm... I'm not quite sure what the point of this exercise was, but it's soured my opinion on Urban Dictionary somewhat. Ban this sick filth!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Any Takers?

While my final year project was in its gestation stages I joined the forum, thinking I could probe its users for information and ideas relevant to the thesis, and also because I wanted to bolster the meagre 150 or so members they had at the time (which has since grown to over 800, I'm happy to note).

Registering was about as involved as I got, as once my thesis topic was established I had no need nor inclination to converse with anonymous internet types about a topic that can get quite tiring quite quickly.

Regardless of this fact, I received an e-mail yesterday alerting me that someone from the messageboard had sent me a private message:


As an member of living in the Mid-west I thought you might like to know that there is a new group of Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics meeting in Limerick.

Our website is at and our next meeting is in the Castletroy Park Hotel at 11.00 on Sunday the 19th of October.

Hope to see you there

I have a natural aversion to such gatherings - my concern is that it could be an opportunity for a group of people to unify for the purposes of mutually affirming one another's 'beliefs*', (or as a more eloquent friend described it, a 'circle jerk') - which would fly in the face of my personal philosophy, and therefore not be a thing I want to be a part of (I'm talking about the belief-affirming here, although I should probably clarify I've no interest in circle jerks either).

Of course, there's a chance that this is an organisation that is interested in something a little more cerebral, and if the (rarely updated) blog linked above is any indication, there's at least one like-minded soul (inappropriate metaphor intended) involved that I could happily engage in conversation with.

So then. 11am - Sunday the 19th of October - Castletroy Park Hotel. Anybody want to accompany me on my investigation into this group?

*= I put 'beliefs' in apostrophes because atheism does not involve belief - it involves repudiating the claims of religion, most of which are demonstrably false. I should have just said 'disbeliefs', but I enjoy asteriks. Really spruces up the blog.

Monday, October 13, 2008

10,030.54 Kilometers

See that red dot on the leftmost side of the picture of the Earth? That's where I am now.

See that red dot on the rightmost side of the picture of the Earth? That's where I'll be in two weeks time!

As you've surely figured out by now - I'm quite excited by this fact.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It seems that I'm an asshole

So randomly today, I found myself the unwilling participant in conversation with a person who told me that he hurled himself off the top of a five-storey building in an attempt to end his life.

There was a moment of silence, in which he expected me to react, but to chase away the silence that met him, he topped off his story:

"That was the first time I tried to kill myself"

Not wanting to get into a touchy-feely conversation with the how or why behind this person's mental illness,I decided to try and end the conversation as politely as possible:

"It's true what they say - you never forget your first time."