Sunday, July 23, 2006

Larry Forrest on the war in Iraq

The writer of this piece, Larry Forrest, is currently living in Norman but has plans to move back to Tulsa.

I am so goddamned tired of this nanny-state bullshit! It's not enough that naughty words be bleeped, but the speaker's mouth has to be blurred so as to keep lipreaders from being corrupted. Worse, our foul-mouthed, hypocritical Prude-in-Chief signed legislation in June that increases the fine to $325,000 for each instance of broadcast indecency.

What insane culture we live in. The whole damn country has a conniption fit over the quickie revelation of one female breast during a Super Bowl halftime show, but we fall for the neocon job that landed us in Iraq, and we allow that illegal, immoral, and irresponsible war to continue. That, my friends, is the real obscenity.

Of course we all know that Dubya cusses a blue streak, and that if he were fined for every expletive he fails to delete he'd be in hock to the FCC for millions of dollars. Yet that son of Bush can sign legislation that effectively chills broadcasters from using his favorite cuss words. Hey, I'm all for little children not being exposed to vulgar language, but that's why parents and channel changers exist. If the former can master operation of the latter, then their children will be spared a life of crime resulting from hearing such shitty words as spurt forth from the mouth of our Pastor-in-Chief. Look, it's just not the responsibility of Uncle Sam to censor every program so that it will [be] acceptable to the most prudish of prudes.

Rather than censor documentaries about war, or the daily coverage of the gory carnage in the Middle East, I think we should show it in all its realistic horror. Show the bloody corpses, show the decapitated heads, show the wounded in hospitals--let's hear their screams of agony (the universal language), let's hear our troops cursing the enemy, the weather, and--yea verily--even our leaders in Washington, DC.

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I read that somewhere in Iraq a teenage girl was murdered, decapitated, and the head of a dog sown on her neck. If this is so, a photo should be taken and shown on every goddamn media outlet: it should be on the front page of The New York Times; it should be on billboards all across the country; it should be on milk cartons. The caption would read: "This is your fucking war, America! This is what your tax dollars are buying. This is what happens when you go to war with barbarian religious fanatics who are happy to die for their barbarian God and happier still to murder for Him. This is what happens when you don't pay attention to what the hell is going on around you. This is what happens when you allow yourselves to be seduced by all the flag-waving, jingoistic bullshit your "Christian" leaders flummoxed you with. Wake up, you dumbshit assholes, before it's too late!"

Whew! I really went off on a rant there, didn't I? But it's hard not to be blind with anger when you consider the blatant stupidity being practiced right before our unbelieving eyes. As Bob Dole put it during the 1996 presidential race: "Where's the outrage?" Relatively speaking, there was very little then to be outraged about. Now, however, there's a flaming shitload.

Wait a minute: what am I upset about? Maybe the FCC is right. Maybe, in fact, it doesn't go far enough. Concerning the WWII documentary: sure, let's mute the sound and pixilate the mouths of those who swear. But more than that, we shouldn't allow people to see that most common outcome of war: dead bodies. Instead, let's superimpose cute little teddy bears and ducks and bunny wabbits and TeleTubbies on all those ugly corpses. We certainly don't want people to get the impression that war is hell, particularly when it's being fought for a noble cause, like the war in Iraq. Yes, I can see so much better now.

Thank you for inserting the brain probe into the back of my skull, you kind and patriotic FBI agents.

I love Big Brother.



Sunday, July 16, 2006

HAT Minutes 7.16.06

There were 16 people in attendance at today's HAT meeting at Hardesty Library. Attending were Stan, Larry Hi, Randy, Polly, Brian, Gail, Ron, Jean, Harold, Mary, Russ, Elaine, Marilyn, Audrey, Don and myself. We gained two new members today: Ron McDaniel and Elaine Liddell. Welcome to you both.

Due to the annoyance of the music at Border's on 81st St., those who attended the Humanist Study Group meeting on July 9 at Border's decided to change the venue for the next several HSG meetings to Hardesty Library. Polly took the initiative of reserving a meeting room at Hardesty for the HSG. I can't recall if the meeting time is the same or not, but I will check with Polly and get the word out about the change.

[Polly says the new meeting time is 1pm.]

There is also a change in venue for the Food & Fellowship gathering this Saturday, July 22. Originally set for Furr's Cafeteria, the F&F venue will now be a Chinese restaurant on 71st St. I think the name of the restaurant is Hong Kong, but I will have to check with Polly, who is reserving a meeting room there for us, to get the correct name and address.

[Polly says, Hong Kong on Memorial at 73rd.]

Following the F&F, Stan is hosting a showing of a film produced by the ACLU. The showing will be at the Tulsa Central Library. More details will be sent to members as they become available. As of now, Stan is still trying to obtain a copy of the video. He has ordered a copy, but it has not arrived yet.

I read a short piece at the meeting by William Falk, editor of The Week, a newsmagazine. The jist of the piece is that there have always been crackpots predicting the end of the world, but now some of today's crackpots have access to weapons which could kill hundreds of thousands of people. I also read a satirical piece by George Carlin from his book When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

Randy will not be able to host Movie Night on Saturday, August 5. We are looking for a volunteer to host that Movie Night. Anyone willing to host it should contact either Randy or Dan.

The program was presented by Harold Dundee. It was a chapter by chapter overview of the book The Naked Mind by Shelton Gottlieb. It was quite an interesting presentation, made even moreso thanks to Harold's personal acquaintance with the author.

As always, feel free to emend these minutes by adding your own commentary using the comments option. I try to be complete, but I usually forget to include something that was talked about.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Freethought Events for July 2006

July 2006 Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., July 1, 7pm
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St.

Sat., July 8, 10am
Secular Singers at the Bradleys. All are welcome. If you play an instrument (lightweight and portable), bring it.

Sun., July 9, 2pm
Humanist Study Group at Border’s, 81st & Yale. Topic: American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips. Discussion leader: Dan Nerren. Read chapters 5, 6, and 7.

Sun., July 16, 1pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting at Hardesty Regional Library. Speaker: Harold Dundee on The Naked Mind by Sheldon F. Gottlieb.

Wed., July 19, 11:23am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Sat., July 22, 11:30am
Food & Fellowship at Furr’s Cafeteria in The Farm shopping center.

Sun., July 23, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous/Tulsa Atheist Meetup Meet at Border’s Bookstore on 21st St., second floor. (Go to to sign up for meetups.)

Questions? Call Dan at 798-3629