Take Away 10 Points
I had to take 10 points away from myself, because I actually said to another person, “Well, it is what it is.”
It makes me shudder even now as I think about it. Yeesh.
My Sister Continues To Do Well
I joke about my sister making me feel a bit like an under-achiever, but really I am quite proud of her. Her latest achievement is having been appointed to the Minnesota State Council on Disability by Gov. Mark Dayton.
10 points, Nancy. Next stop: the White House!
Missed Opportunity, But A Tasty Piece Of Chicken
Each week I stop by Popeye’s and get a bite to eat. Recently, I encountered a chicken tender that appeared to be rat shaped. It was very similar to a piece of chicken a fellow had gotten at KFC which he claimed was actually a battered, deep-fried rat. It was tested and it turned out to be chicken.
I didn’t have a camera, so I couldn’t document it. I suppose I could have brought it to the attention of the store manager or taken it home to get a picture. I could have done something like that. I could have raised a fuss. Got a free meal maybe.
I ate it. It was chicken. And it was tasty.
MN Twins Beat The Hated Yankees, But…
As I recorded the show, I noted that my MN Twins were beating the Hated Yankees by quite a lot. 10 – 0 at the time. The Twins did go on to win 10 – 1.
I noted that since moving into Target Field the Twins have not won a home series against the Hated Yankees. Well, they still haven’t. The Twins lost the next two games against the Bronx Bombers.
Have I mentioned I hate the NY Yankees?
It Would Be Over…
Then I talked a bit about one of our less great Presidents of the Untied States: Franklin Pierce. Pierce was a handsome man and the son of a war hero, and that helped him along in his political career. As did having the very popular Nathaniel Hawthorne as a friend.
Hawthorne wrote a political biography of Pierce, something common in politics in those days, that was truthful, but very well worked to give the best impression of Pierce as was possible.
Tragedy had struck Pierce and his wife three times in their marriage. They had three sons. Each had died very young. The longest surviving son, Benny, was killed as the family traveled from Boston by train shortly before Pierce was sworn in as President.
The train had rolled into an embankment. All aboard survived save Benny, who was horribly crushed. It is quite likely that his mother, who had clung to her only surviving son, was the first person to see him after the accident.
I have a son the same age Benny was (11 years old) and when my wife and I talked about this tragic event we agreed it would be over. How does a parent continue their life after such an event?
Pierce was already expected to be a mediocre, at best, President. After this tragedy, he drank very heavily throughout his term in office and, when his term came to an end, his own party wanted “Anybody but Pierce.”
New Horizons, Pluto, And SCIENCE YEAH!
ABC Would Set Up A Straw Man, What Would You Do?
ABC’s series ‘What Would You Do?’ creates scenarios in public places to see how average Americans will react. The series, in part. challenges its audience to examine their own prejudices in various situations. Would people intervene? Would they look the other way? Would they act kindly or like jerks?
ABC decided to have an actor play an atheist upset and made uncomfortable by a Christian family (also actors) saying a prayer before eating their meal. The “atheist” confronts the family. “Save it for church!” she says.
This being done in Texas it’s not surprising the real people speak up for the family. And so would I, for that matter. The family was within their rights to pray before a meal. Remember, I am an atheist. And atheists aren’t concerned with private citizens saying a quiet prayer in public.
The problem is that ABC uses a straw man atheist. They create an image of an atheist that just doesn’t exist. Imagine the producers doing this same scenario with instead of an atheist they use a Muslim, a Jew, or a Hindu as the “stop pushing your religion on me” patron.
Atheists would care if the family and the other restaurant patrons had forced the “atheist” to also pray, which seems a little more likely. That’s when rights are violated. Atheists also care when government endorses a religion or pushes religious views on its citizens. “In God We Trust” and “under God” for instance. They also care when private citizens come knocking on the door to tell the occupants of the “good news.” When’s the last time an atheist knocked at your door to tell you what not to believe in?
The problem with the straw man created by ‘WWYD?’ is that, this being a nation with a majority identifying as Christian and not knowing very many atheists, their audience will have the negative image of atheists, already the most distrusted group in America, reinforced by this segment. One angry commenter noted that ABC stopped just short of showing the atheist eating a baby.
This unrealistic and negative portrayal of atheists is less likely to lead to the public saying, “That atheist is an asshole,” but more likely lead to the public declaring, “Atheists are assholes.”
That’s just wrong.
Movie Recommendations: None
I ran out of time again this week, so you can watch whatever you like.
Closing song: ‘Angler’s Treble Hook’ by $5 Fiddle
That’s it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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