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Another line from Kristin Hersh's Rat Girl, and she's writing about the sort of music Throwing Muses was doing in 1985, but it's true of every sort of writing I've ever done:

"It's hard to learn something that no one can teach you."

Actually, it was Leslie Langston (the band's original bass player) who said that. Kristin Hersh wrote it down.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,169 words on the new vignette, which now has a title. I'm calling it "John Four."

Also, my old passport came home to me yesterday. I'm very pleased that it was sent back to me. I just asked Spooky exactly who sent it back to me, and she said, "I don't know. The passport people." So, thank you passport people. I wanted to be sure I got the old one back (though it now has two holes punched in the cover). It has my immigration stamps from places like Dublin and Shannon and London.

Spooky says "fuck" a lot more than I do. Which is saying something, because I say "fuck" an awful fucking lot.

Jupiter was amazing last night. I sat in the front parlor, and it amazed me. This startling, beautiful point of light just left of the moon.

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Weird rehashed thoughts about "God" this afternoon (I can't pretend it's still morning). Like, is it not obvious that there's something seriously warped about the idea of a god that demands praise, and if you don't deliver, you'll have really, really bad shit happen to you? I mean, in Xtianity, it's pretty much that simple. Love me, and tell me you love me every chance you get, or you get sent to the bad place when you die. Imagine if a human treated you that way, a human being with comparable expectations. Tell me you love me, and that I'm the best, and tell me that over and over and over, on you knees, head bowed, or I'll beat you. How can something this self evidently wrong not be self evident to everyone?

Anyway, speaking of vicious "gods," I have a snazzy looking ad for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon. So, lights, action, tentacles:



---

How did the world suddenly grow so brittle?

Comments

( 29 comments — Have your say! )
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
The Xtian God has co-dependence issues...

Clearly.

Edited at 2010-09-21 05:53 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)

... and here I thought it was ego issues and an inflated sense of self-worth, but now I think that was just me impressing my own worldview on the fucker.

I think a complete psych profile would be complicated.
corucia
Sep. 22nd, 2010 04:11 am (UTC)
I think a complete psych profile would be complicated.

Nah, it's simple - He just needs to get laid. Look how much He improved between the Old and the New Testaments, and that was just once. A few more times and He'd be as mellow as can be...
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greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
He's not a happy god ...

Aren't we told repeatedly he's "jealous"?

How can something be omnipotent and omniscient and omnipresent and still be so petty as to be jealous?

Edited at 2010-09-21 06:25 pm (UTC)
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(no subject) - miakodadreams - Sep. 21st, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
I can't reconcile that.

That's probably because you're actually thinking about it, and, in truth, this is Medieval bullshit that never made any sense. It was never meant to be questioned.

Edited at 2010-09-21 06:08 pm (UTC)
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(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)

That is because Christianity is not a religion, per se, but rather a primitive form of mind control.

Sometimes, primitive forms survive because they're so damned efficient.
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greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)

I seldom ever discuss this.

It has this thing built into, at the most fundamental level, that dissuades you from discussing these (to me obvious) flaws.
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(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Sep. 21st, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Sep. 21st, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
miakodadreams
Sep. 21st, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
It is a difficult thing to discuss when it's drilled into your brain from birth. You don't recognize cult behavior when it's all you've ever known, when your friends and family and school mates and neighbors and co-workers all buy into it and enforce that as the only acceptable option. And generally it's not until you somehow catch a glimpse of life outside those boundaries that you start to question the rhetoric.

I imagine that's why book burnings and bannings are so popular with a particular mindset. Remove access to dangerous knowledge, and you remove the impulse to question why.

So, there's a follow-up for everyone who's commented. What was the trigger question that started your escape? Mine came when I was around 13; I was heavily into mythology at the time, and when I eventually realized that so many other cultures had dying-and-resurrecting gods (Osiris, Quetzalcoatl, Soma, Tammuz, Dionysus, Jesus, etc.), I couldn't help but wonder why the church had picked Jesus instead of, say, Osiris or any other corn king.

Oh, that did not go over well at all with my dad or the pastor. The questions (and fights) pretty much spiraled out of control from that point on.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
When I was six, my mother tried to teach me the catholic catechism, most likely the Baltimore Catechism, and the first question and answer therein is "Who made the world?"; "God made the world." I looked at my mom and asked, "How do we know this?" She said, "Because the next question is 'Who is God?' and the answer is 'God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.' I was old enough to know that that logic was faulty although I needed a few years to figure out what the fault was.

If only I'd been able to grasp the fallacy of tautology and circular reasoning at age six.

Edited at 2010-09-21 08:19 pm (UTC)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)

What was the trigger question that started your escape?

I may answer this again tomorrow, in the entry, but:

1) Science, and specifically the earth sciences. The religious people around me insisted that what was obviously true about the world was not true, and that I was wrong to trust in reason over superstition.

2) An seemingly inexplicable and rather violent loss of faith, which I fought for years.

3) The same point you raise about other mythologies.
shaula82
Sep. 22nd, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
I accept that religion can be a great solace to some, especially in desperate situations, and Christianity is also a big part of my family's culture. Coming from a place where religion was strictly forbidden for 20+ years, and where priests were more often than not informants, I can see how for a lot of people, the strength to go on came from their private spiritual beliefs, which in that time and place may have been the only form of subversion and resistance possible.

That being said, and this is specifically about Christianity, it never made sense to me to be given a body and mind that could lust after and love multiple people (of different genders/sexes/sexualities), be petty or jealous, or social circumstances that could make us steal or kill ourselves or others, only to make the very things our minds and bodies are capable of forbidden. This was one of the paradoxes that led me away from being a Christian in my teenage years.
sisyphusiren
Sep. 21st, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
I haven't read the other comments so I don't know if it's been said, but someone is paying homage to you specifically, because you are at the top of the flier.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
but someone is paying homage to you specifically, because you are at the top of the flier.

That actually makes me feel a little weird.

Edited at 2010-09-21 08:20 pm (UTC)
ashlyme
Sep. 21st, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
Reading this thread, I've got my "angry atheist" head on, though the truth's not really that simple.

I was an Xtian back in the 80s. I was scared of a lot of things (nuclear war was fairly paramount in that list of fears). My parents were atheists in this phlegmatic English "we're not religious" kind of way. My mom, and reading about evolution, weaned me off it; the Christian god I still see as a bogeyman. I was lucky that I got out of it when I was still a child. Nowadays I never know whether to describe myself as atheist or pagan.

Gah. Sorry for the blather.
miakodadreams
Sep. 21st, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Fear's a big part of Christianity -- or at least it was in our house. The worst was when our church made all the preteens watch those terrible old post-rapture movies about those who were "left behind" to suffer boils and torture and betrayal before finally being beheaded. A loving god, indeed.

Even now, 25+ years later, I still wake up occasionally and my heart catches if the house is too quiet. It's a programmed reaction; when I was a kid, I would have to go around and make sure each family member was still safe in their beds, or I would never get back to sleep.

Nowadays I never know whether to describe myself as atheist or pagan.

I have that problem, too, for a variety of reasons, but I decided to go with "panentheistic Pagan," a term I encountered via Michael York. (It's close enough.) Unfortunately, I work at a Catholic university. There have been more than a few awkward exchanges related to religion.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC)

the truth's not really that simple.

It rarely ever is.

I was an Xtian back in the 80s. I was scared of a lot of things (nuclear war was fairly paramount in that list of fears). My parents were atheists in this phlegmatic English "we're not religious" kind of way. My mom, and reading about evolution, weaned me off it; the Christian god I still see as a bogeyman. I was lucky that I got out of it when I was still a child.

This is sort of fascinating, if I'm reading it correctly. The norm usually involves breaking away from the beliefs of parents and family, in my experience (and as was my case). Good to hear about parents on the right end of the thing.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 21st, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)

Even now, 25+ years later, I still wake up occasionally and my heart catches if the house is too quiet. It's a programmed reaction; when I was a kid, I would have to go around and make sure each family member was still safe in their beds, or I would never get back to sleep.

Good to know I'm not the only person scarred by "Rapturphobia."

but I decided to go with "panentheistic Pagan,"

I think I've settled into atheistic pagan rather comfortably.
schroteri
Sep. 22nd, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Billed above Stuart Gordon at a Lovecraft fest is preeeeetty awesome!
greygirlbeast
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)

Billed above Stuart Gordon at a Lovecraft fest is preeeeetty awesome!

Yeah, it is.
cimeara
Sep. 22nd, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
I've always been one of those who say "I try to make things better, I try to avoid doing harm. If there's a deity out there who says that's not good enough for his (or her) paradise because I didn't say particular prayers or follow particular prescriptions or avoid particular prohibitions, then I don't really want to go to their paradise anyway."
greygirlbeast
Sep. 22nd, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)

I've always been one of those who say "I try to make things better, I try to avoid doing harm. If there's a deity out there who says that's not good enough for his (or her) paradise because I didn't say particular prayers or follow particular prescriptions or avoid particular prohibitions, then I don't really want to go to their paradise anyway."

Ditto. Only I add, "Hesheit can go fuck itself with a rusty screwdriver."
mira_ceti
Sep. 22nd, 2010 10:03 am (UTC)
Argh!! Too bad i didn't saw this conversation when it happenend yesterday..

"Hesheit can go fuck itself with a rusty screwdriver."

I have to remember that one.
( 29 comments — Have your say! )