Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Twelve Days of Atheism

Thus begins my assault on Christmas...

Hey everybody, I am planning to do one of my musical atheist bits this weekend based on the Twelve Days of Christmas. I have a few ideas for the gags (Five burning Korans anyone?), but in case any of you have an idea for one of the days of atheism make a suggestion in the comment section below.

In case you missed any of my past musical bits here's a few of them!

I know the God Blues isn't the most popular of my musical bits, but it's my favorite.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deli Fundamentalism, Hinduism, and Yoga

This was inspired by the New York Times article Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga's Soul. Yep, some Hindus think there isn't enough Sky Fairyism in modern day yoga.

The Jewish Deli Defense League (JDDL)


It is clear that Americans love their delicatessens. However, it is equally clear that Judaism has lost control of the local deli. Numerous sins have been committed in local eateries. One of the most notorious are pastrami on rye sandwiches lathered in mayonnaise - read this from Exodus 1:1-2

And lo! An Egyptian handed Moses a pastrami on rye with mayonnaise. Moses sayeth, "What the f*ck is this? We have got to get outta here."
In response to this crisis the JDDL is creating the Campaign to Restore Judeo-Deli Awareness.
  • Patrons will be given a TSA-style patdown to ensure that non-approved condiments are not smuggled in (yes, we are looking at you, salsa).
  • Sandwiches will be renamed one of the 613 mitzvot (commandments). A tasty tongue sandwich will be renamed To keep a Canaanite slave forever (#199).
  • Owners or patrons deviating from the JDDL's Guide to Delicatessens will suffer the traditional Mosaic punishment - getting stoned to death. On the plus side those on death row will be given a To keep a Canaanite slave forever sandwich.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Skepticism, Atheism, and Relationships

This is a true story.

I am not making this up. Names have been changed to protect the original source from possibly getting his sorry ass divorced.

Last Tuesday was like any other Tuesday. A typical day on the hamster wheel of life. Then my phone rang. I picked up.


"Dude, I've got a story for Purgatory." It was one of my close buddies, who is an atheist.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm an atheist and I just had the thought I haven't talked about it with my 1 month girlfriend. I'm not sure if I should avoid the topic, talk about it as soon as politely possible or just let things continue until she notices it. What do you think?

This is an anonymous question left on the Ask Me Anything Page.

First, I'm going to be straightforward and answer your question - be honest and forthright about your atheism.

What I try to avoid is the Sunday morning talk show syndrome. A question is asked to the guest (typically a politician though not always) and the guest spends five minutes speaking without giving a yes or no. Or the person gives a very nuanced answer which may be nice if talking to policy wonks but doesn't really work
in that educated -layperson format. That's why I went with the straight answer and now I'll tell you what brought me to that conclusion. Afterwards, I'll state a differing (though valid) opinion on the matter.

How did I come up with the honesty is the best policy answer? A short story from my personal dating experience is in order.

Though I've been married - for a while let's leave it at that - I vividly remember dating. Traumatic experiences are like that. I had been seeing this girl for a while and we were in that hot monkey sex stage of the relationship (arguably the best part of any relationship). After a round of the aforementioned monkey sex, I was happily staring at the ceiling and thinking about what a nice job of plastering that had been done. She started talking about EST, Erhard Seminar Training (now Landmark Forum). She mentioned that EST is an organization where "students" spend $700 dollars for an intense weekend seminar so that they can grow... optimize... actualize... and any other "ize" that could be thought of. I laughed and said something like, "That is the most stupid thing I've ever heard of!"

I should've went with my gut.

But I was in the hot monkey sex part of the relationship and my brain wasn't thinking correctly. She gave me the you're close minded argument and I fell for it. Now, I never went all ESTy and such, but I did attend one of their graduations which entailed an hour long sales pitch to separate me from my money. During this sales pitch the "moderator" (salesperson) actually implied that if I wanted to stay with this girl I should sign up. Our relationship did end after (and I'm not making this up) she took a Sex and Relationships course at the local center. That was my worst (and funniest) breakup ever.

So, I would be honest with the girl so that when (and if) you enter the hot monkey sex zone they know what they're getting into. Think about it. Say that you're not upfront and you two build an attachment. Then the atheist thing comes up and it's possible you've got all these conflicted emotions going on between the two of you. To tell you the truth there have been certain personal facts I've told my partners straight up just because I didn't want any confusion down the line. This is who I am, period. I've never had anyone throw me to the curb because of it.

Now comes the different opinion that I feel I need to give. I'm being honest with saying honesty is not always the best policy. Is this going to be a long term relationship or a short-term fling kinda thing? If, let's say, you're shipping off to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban next Thursday and the other person knows this I wouldn't be too concerned about the atheist stuff. You've been seeing this person for a month, however, and that situation doesn't seem to apply to you.

I hope you found this useful.

Feel free to email me with anything else, LaughinginPurgatory@Yahoo.com

Stand - Up Update

Here is a small update on how my stand-up routine went this past Monday. But before talking about Monday how about going over what preparations I took?

This past week was primarily dedicated to writing jokes. Not just any jokes, but jokes with quick setups (one or two sentences) and then a good punchline. My joke writing time was in during the mornings after the kids had gone to school. Ali (aka Pitbull) has half day kindergarten so I've got two and a half hours to myself. During this time I do a variety of menial tasks (laundry, some cooking, maybe a quick hour of yard work) along with some bloggy stuff like keeping up with the latest atheist happenings.  Thirty minutes was  dedicated to writing jokes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Atheist on Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims came to America to obtain religious freedom for themselves - not others. - Dr. Donnelly

History teachers (in my experience) are an eccentric lot. As many of you know, I attended the prestigious institution known as Brockton High School (BHS). BHS had a bit under 5,000 students, and my graduating class was approximately 900. I was a poor student (I turned my sorry ass around as an undergraduate and graduated with a 3.5 GPA). One of the teachers that got through my wall of apathy was Dr. Donnelly. He was a madman who wielded his t-square like an axe and had a rolled up sock that he threw at people. The man knew how to get students to pay attention.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

News from TIT (Theistic Institute of Theology)

The Theistic Institute of Theology (T.I.T.) has made several cutting edge discoveries recently.

You are still going to Hell if you use a condom. Other theistically inclined organizations have recently stated that it may be morally OK to wear a condom. TIT responds to this outrageous statement with the results from a  study that has taken years to complete (a longitudinal study for you smarties). In this experiment individual souls were tagged with an  EPS (Ethereal Positioning System) device. This device was not only able to determine the location of the soul in the after life but also monitored whether the subject had ever used a condom (whether the
subject was the user or the usee was also recorded). Over an exhausting 50 year period the data clearly shows (0% chance of error - this is divine metaphysical stuff we're talking about - take that science!) that anyone who used any sort of condom went to Hell. On the other hand the control group (those who never used condoms) also went to Hell. Ergo, the findings conclusively show that we are all fucked.

Atheists plan a Pearl Harbor like attack on Christmas. TIT codebreakers have noted an increase of godless chatter about the upcoming holiest of holy days. Though nothing is conclusive atheists seem to be  planning a variety of subversive activities ranging from not singing Feliz Navidad to noting that Americans really worship Santa Clause. The Pearl Harbor like attack may involve paying off Santa to slip a copy of the pop-up book God Sux into every good (and bad) child's stocking. Good Christian parents are urged to shoot Santa on sight just in case the jolly fat man has gone rogue.

God is going to vote for Sarah Palin in 2012. The Almighty has sent a text to TIT Professor Merryweather (author of the cutting edge paper Rocks are Hard and Water is Wet) that he is going to write in Sarah Palin's name for the 2012 vote. He knows Sarah isn't going to win, but wants to support Tina Fey's career (she is hot, after all).  The Republican National Committee has issued a statement that God can vote for whichever Republican he wants too. However, if God votes in Arizona he will still need to show his papers proving US citizenship.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


How did I spend my Saturdays when I was a wee lad?

TV, lots and lots of TV.

Mornings would revolve around Bugs Bunny and his entourage of animated cohorts. Afternoons were a treat. The Creature Double Feature - true to it's name - would show two excellent films d'art. Classics like Godzilla were followed by Dracula Meets Billy the Kid. Some were scary and others silly. But they weren't real. They didn't scare me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Heaven Exists!

I found this little gem on the New Humanist site. It's from the theological atom-splitters at Fox.

You have been warned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Atheist Dad

A few short bits from my life as an atheist Dad.

At the Store
The boy (Will, 8) and I were in the supermarket. I was planning to make a chicken curry (mmmm... curry) and checking out the prices of  diced pineapple.

He looks at me, "Why don't you just buy that one?" In terms of diced pineapple packaging it did look pretty spiffy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prayer is Still Not the Answer

What does bipartisanship mean to you?

It's a simple question, isn't it?

For our purposes let's use the Merriam-Webster.com definition
: of, relating to, or involving members of two parties ; specifically : marked by or involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties Church Group Urges Prayer as Key to Bipartisanship on Veterans Issues , and I braced myself for incoming craziness.  Here's how the piece starts.
I knew the basic definition before looking it up (as would most people... I hope).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Standing Up - Part Deux

I am happy to announce that I did not suck at my open mic comedy thingy last night. Considering how badly I have sucked the first time around at other activities (bicycle riding, using a pogo stick, and sex), last night was good. I'd even call it a marginal success - maybe a 52%  vs 48% on the good vs suck ratio.

Before I tell you about the act I'll delve into how I prepared. First, I figured out that the performance aspect would be my biggest hurdle. The writing would take a backseat (in terms of the investment of time and energy) to memorizing the lines and practicing the delivery. As Jon Stewart said on the Daily Show (to paraphrase), "I just read the news and make funny faces." Second,  I did have to write out the material. This took a few days of coming out with a few funny stories about this being my first time at stand up, Fox News, and atheism. Third, there was the sexy part of the process: practicing and editing, editing and practicing, and then some editing and then some practicing. After a while I didn't even know if the material was funny anymore.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Top Ten Reasons Why I'm Pretending To Be Possessed

This was inspired by the recent article in the New York Times (click here).

We're counting down so we'll start with ...

10. It's not my fault! My drinking, the cursing, my mucky smell, is not due to some character defect (or lack of bathing), but from demons!

9. I get to drink all the holy water and eat all the holy wafers I want - yummy.

8. I get to play the pity card  post-exorcism. You don't know what it's like to have a demon use you as a sock puppet! Now gimme a raise.

7. While "possessed" I will get time off from work. I have a lot of sick time to use, and I hear watching TV, porn, and eating Chinese food assists in the exorcism process.

6. I just want the attention. There I said it.

5. I'm writing a screenplay about pedophiles, and I wanted to get a close up look.

4. I think I'd be good at  projectile vomiting.

3.  I'm bored. Being a responsible adult sucks - time to shake things up a bit.

2. I'd get new material for my stand up act and for the blog.

1. Chicks would dig me. I'd be the really bad, bad boy!

Richard Dawkins Answers Reddit Questions

I thought I'd share this with you all. I found this on reddit.

Teaser: Dawkins reads some hate emails at the end.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Randi Foster - Part Deux

I don't go to bed angry - ever. Something could be bothering me during the waking hours, but my sleep time is sacred. What? What about the sleep terrors I had in the past? Meh, I attribute them to sleep apnea. When your brain doesn't have enough oxygen it tends to enter freakout mode - ergo the sleep terrors. I've been free of those nocturnal terrors for a number of years due to my constant praying to the Sky-Fairy for deliverance (it couldn't have been those science based interventions). Regardless, I woke up this morning and went about my normal routine, and then I realized...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christian Bullies and Randi Foster

When I write comedy it's difficult to know where the "line" is. You know what I mean, the line where something is no longer funny and is just wrong. One of my shorts (Johnny Baptist 2) originally had a joke that referred to the Holocaust. No, the joke wasn't making fun of the Holocaust, but making fun of a redneck preacher who didn't know what it was (Johnny). Here's how it was written:

Jewish Guy: What do you mean when you say "Know Jesus and be a complete Jew?" I'm so Jewish my parents were in Auschwitz.

Johnny Baptist: Where?

Just before the shoot a few of my friends gave me the "the Auschwitz joke should go" talk. I was uncertain, but decided to alter the line.  A few days after filming I saw a commercial for The Sarah Silverman Program. Sarah looked into the camera and gave a big smile, "You say Auschwitz, but I say Wowschwitz".

Dammit! I should've stayed with my original line.

What does that have to do with anything?

Randi Foster,  a 12 year old middle school student, got beaten up after she attended a Fellowship of Christian Students meeting at her school. The attackers (members of the Fellowship) thought she was into sports and knew she had a guy's name. In their minds, that made it OK for them to attack her. Checkout the video

I was thinking of making fun of the Fellowship of Christian Students and then my sense of common decency stepped in. A young girl was jumped and beaten because her fellow students thought she was gay. It doesn't matter that the perpetrators clearly demonstrate that Christianity is a religion mired in superstitious authoritarianism (as are most faiths). Sure, comedy acts as a way to shine light into the darkness of the human psyche, and making fun of the Fellowship is fair game.

But a 12 year old girl was beaten up.

By other children.

I'm not laughing.

This is Purgatory.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do Soldiers Wear Bulletproof Jockstraps?

Seeing that this is Veterans Day I decided to write about a question that must be on most of your minds.

Do soldiers wear cups?

You know...  a jockstrap.

Watch any MMA (mixed martial art) cagefight and occasionally you'll see one of the guys get kicked in the privies, the family jewels, the...

you know what I mean.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Free Speech is Under Attack - You Can Help

Peter Parker: Spider-Man wasn’t trying to attack

the city, he was trying to save it. That’s slander.

J. Jonah Jameson: It is not. I resent that.

Slander is spoken. In print, it’s libel.

— “Spider-Man,” 2002

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Standing Up

I was at a bar last night.

I wasn't there just to drink or socialize - though there was drinking and socializing. This was a research mission. I'm planning to do stand up comedy at an open mic next Monday (11/15) at that bar,and felt it was necessary to checkout the scene first. Sure, I have seen comedians do shtick on TV, but I haven't seen live acts for quite a while. This is what my research yielded.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Courage and Atheism

I had a dream last night.

I was having tea with the Devil. The Devil, it seems, is a young woman from the sub-continent. Who would've guessed? She was quite attractive, too. It was strange that an Indian girl would be Satan and  I had a thing for her. You may not know this about me, but I'm typically attracted to the pale, red-headed geeky type. She wasn't much of a talker, however, and at that moment neither was I. It was all about the tea.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Billy Graham is Honorable Just Like a Prostitute is Chaste

Some people just don't get it.

I was on Politics Daily and saw this story Billy Graham at 92: Faithful Honor the Man and His Message.

I thought, maybe there was some other guy who is named Billy Graham that is 92. Could it be that this article is about the anti-Semitic evangelist?

I decided to read on.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My New Super-Cool Religion: Subsidize Me!

Deep in the bowels of Purgatory, the team (my dog Ruby and I) to create the world's newest and most super-cool faith have discovered the most important religious tenet of all - we don't want to work. How will the super-cool holy survive? Taxes. Specifically, taxes from the non-holy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blasphemy, Sex Talk, and Ham Sandwiches

How many times have you used the Lord's name in vain?

Now the obvious moment is during sex. Even I, atheist guy, will refer to the fictitious divine being during the act. However, if I have done a particularly stellar job I will say, "I am a fucking god," or "I am God!" afterwards. This does not happen frequently because I have high standards.

You get the picture.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Training Day and Atheism

I was at a training for work recently. The three hour class was on being a Human Rights Officer. Yes, my fellow Purgatorians(?), I am the Human Rights Officer for the residence where I work. For those of you not in the know, I work with men who have brain injuries. Seeing that the disabled are... well disabled it's important to make sure their rights are protected. No, there isn't more money that goes along with the extra responsibility.  How did I get this task?  I'm glad you asked. Before becoming the Human Rights Officer I was the Diversity Representative, and I felt like an idiot (more so than usual). I was the only DWG (Dopey White Guy) in a very diverse workplace. It didn't seem right that I was leading group discussions about diversity. Here is an example of one of those conversations,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Atheism, The Walking Dead, and Voting

I watched the the pilot episode of AMC's new series The Walking Dead, and I wasn't disappointed. Even if you haven't seen the commercials, the title tells you a lot about the show. Zombies. Lot's o' zombies. This category of beastie is arguably the least desirable critter one would want to be. Vampire? I could deal with vampire as long as it's not that glittery Twilight kind. One of the hidden advantages of being a child of the night is that I'd have quite a bit of time to indulge in all of my hobbies and minor obsessions. Think about it, how long would it take me to find a victim and indulge? Not long. I would have mad time on my hands! Being a werewolf is manageable, too. If I can control the metamorphosis into canine then I'd just be a normal guy who has to be a bit more aware of hygiene issues due to all that fur. But being a zombie means your dead; not sexy dead like a vampire - just dead with an incurable case of the munchies.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ten Reasons Why I Don't Believe in Democracy

1. The Super Friends never had any votes. They just did what Superman said. If it's good enough for them it's good enough for us (P.S. I will be playing the part of Superman).

2. Doing Democracy is hard, and requires reading, concentration... Oh hey, I think that new zombie show is on AMC. See ya!

3. Democracies don't last. I saw a documentary where a republic fell apart even though they had Jedi knights. What chance do we have?

4. Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Tom Tancredo. Even if they don't win, just the fact that they have wide support is soul crushing.

5. I've watched American Idol too many times.

6. Democracy requires even good (less bad) politicians to lie to you. No U.S. politician would win office if they told the populace what had to be done (maybe politicians in Britain can - they took an axe to their budget, but we're not the Brits).

7. I've seen the old news reels of Mussolini's Italy and it looks very clean. I think that says a lot.

8. I think it's really too much to ask people to get off their asses to go vote. I mean, they should give out treats at the polls, maybe cheesy-poofs. I like cheesy-poofs.

9. What has democracy done for me lately? Crappy commercials and really insipid debates? Screw democracy.

10. For those of you who still believe in democracy, I suggest outsourcing our voting to the Swiss and let them handle our mess. Then we can blame them when things continue to suck.

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