Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

I've given this a lot of thought and here they are...

Resolutions from Purgatory

  1. Develop the Wave Motion Gun and retrofit the Battleship Yamato. I'll be the only guy on the block with my own spaceship and uber-weapon. The Gamilons and Comet Empire lackeys can suck it!
  2. Nap more often. I want to. I need to. Goddamn it, I'll do it!
  3. Pretend to be a responsible adult. It hasn't worked so far, but hope springs eternal.
  4. Drop ten pounds. This isn't funny. True, but not funny.
  5. Work on my very own Ponzi scheme. Folks will need to recruit others to cash in. I think I'll promise unrealistic rewards that can never be obtained. Oh wait, isn't that religion?
  6. Work on my relationship with my son. When he hears that I won't be home he currently says, "Yay!"
  7. Do more stand up comedy. Develop a variety of non-geeky jokes. There are not enough geeks in the general population to appreciate those jokes (i.e. smarty pants humor) at open mics.
  8. Answer the eternal question: If God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are of the same substance is that substance ketchup or catsup?
  9. Make a movie where the audience can only understand every third word Jeff Bridges says. Give Matt Damon a character who gets a speech impediment during that movie so that he too is barely understandable. Name that movie True Grit.
  10. Write the Pope and ask him his official policy on sexual abuse by Priests: venial sin or just an oopsie?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bullies, the Faithful, and the Godless


They are out there.

Everyone has been a victim at one time or another of a bully, and being in the monkey business (what I call the human service field) has given me a close up view of bullies and their victims. I used to work at a therapeutic residence for boys who had a wide variety of behavior problems. Behaviors like petty theft, getting into fights, refusing to go to school, etc. that caused the court system to get involved and place them into a structured environment where these boys would get counseling.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Islamic Consumer Products From Purgatory Incorporated

Due to the demand for Islamic consumer products Purgatory Incorporated has come out with its own line of merchandise for the followers of Allah and his best bud Mohammed.
  • The Sus domesticus Koran Lovingly bound in the hide of the noble Sus domesticus (domestic pig) this edition of the Koran is printed in the blood of this noble animal. Illustrations are abound! *Note - As we all know, Mohammed's image can not be depicted so the ever so lovable Porky Pig will take his place. An illustration of a frozen waffle will appear in the place of Allah. 
  • Special vaccinations that are Allah-certified! There have been several instances where Islamic holy men have declared Western vaccines to a no - no.
Purgatory Inc.'s vaccines have none of these anti-Allah ingredients. We use only the best  inactive substances for our medicine - that and a lot of prayer.

  • A New Book About Mohammed - Why Mohammed Wasn't a Pedophile (Probably) What devout Muslim hasn't faced this question from his non-Muslim friends: Since Mohammed had a nine year old bride, doesn't that make him a pedophile or at least a Catholic priest? Until the time that such blasphemy can be dealt with properly (you know... by stoning the blasphemer to death) here is a book to justify Mohammed's freakishly icky side. (Hint - God said it was OK!)
I know, I know some of you other Sky Fairyists are feeling left out.

For Hindus, Purgatory Inc has brought you...

A lifetime supply of water from one of the world's most polluted waterways - the sacred River Ganges!!!  

Say you're a Hindu and living far from India. You want to take a little bath in the Ganges and wash away all your sins and attain immortality. No! Any old water that contains massive amounts of industrial waste  won't do. That's why Purgatory Inc. will deliver to your home gallons and gallons of the disgusting stuff whenever you want. To insure authenticity Purgatory Inc will not filter out any partially cremated corpses (yes, you read that correctly) that can be found in this holy river. Enjoy!


    Monday, December 27, 2010

    My Son - A True Believer

    My son, Will, is a true believer. Though he is only eight years old his heart belongs to his Lord.


    He has mastered all the arguments to support his belief in Lord Kringle.

    Q: How does Santa fly?
    A: It's magic.

    Q: How can Santa eat all those cookies that kids set out for him?
    A: He is fat you know.

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    ALERT! The Universe Doesn't Give a Sh*t About You.

    Hi! I got this email today and I thought I'd share it with you.

    From: The Universe
    To: You Sods on Earth.

    I have been watching you people for sometime and I am not impressed. Have you all taken a personal inventory of your lives lately? From what I've seen (and I am the Universe so I see an awful lot, thank you) most of your lives are dedicated to impressing the others of your kind. Whether it's buying the perfect body deodorant or buying matching monogrammed towels and robes most of your time would be better spent counting the grains of sand at the nearest beach. Personally speaking, that's fine with me.  However, when you drag me into your sad little psychodramas is when I draw the line. This is what I have to say to you -

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Me vs Santa

    Question: When did Christmas become a week long event?

    Answer: Ever since my kids became Americanized (i.e. consumers).

    Here's my favorite Christmas song.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Our Biggest Problem

    What I am proposing may shock you.

    I love liberty and freedom as much as the next person.

    But I urge the president to declare marshal law right now. Better yet Obama should declare emergency power and disband the legislature for six months and rule by decree. You did know that the president can do that in a national emergency, right?

    The emergency I speak of is real and the danger is imminent.

    The US is full of idiots. We are at a critical mass of idiocy.

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Dating, Hanukkah, and Sky Fairies

    I was reading through the New York Times the other day and an article caught my eye under the Fashion and Style section, What the Rabbi Said. The tag line was Looking for a Blessing to Marry.

    My sixth sense for crazy went off.

    I was not disappointed.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Thor vs Right Wing Lunatics

    When I heard that a movie about Thor (you know, Norse god with the giant killing hammer) was going to be made I thought, "Oy, here is a prime target for the Religious Right to get up in arms about. Heaven forbid, if there is an earthquake in Los Angeles anywhere near the day Thor is released Pat Robertson will be on TV declaring it's God's vengeance because Hollywood is promoting pagan gods." As we get closer to the release date, summer 2011, there will be more stories in the zeitgeist about the evils of worshipping the Green Lantern or some other superhero.

    Migraines and X-mas

    I was planning on posting last night, but a minor migraine pulled the plug on that idea. On the positive side this was the first migraine I've had in over a year! I plan to post twice today. The first one is a bit from last year around this time (most of you may be recent denizens of Purgatory and haven't read this).

    You know I've gotten two solid posts from setting up the Xmas tree.

    But first...

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Working the Funny - Stand Up Success

    Last night I did an open mic comedy set...

    and I didn't suck.

    In fact, "good" is the appropriate term

    Before getting into last night's victory I should review my previous defeats (after all, this is Purgatory). The first three attempts at doing stand up comedy were less than stellar. The first time was an automatic write off. Very few people are going to be good at anything the first time. Considering that all of my experience has been writing and behind the camera, performing was virgin territory and sucking to be expected. The second attempt at stand up I was hanging out with one of my drinking friends beforehand. That lead to me going onstage with a six pack and maybe a mixed drink in me (it's difficult to recall). Maybe I could be one of those comedians who perform flawlessly while dunk? After my set that hypothesis was resolved - Andy can not perform drunk. The third time up I was confident that I wouldn't suck. However, it seems that I needed to learn more than just not to be drunk while onstage. I got less laughs than the time I was intoxicated

    I was getting... concerned.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Prayer as Terrorism

    "I am praying for you."

    When I hear that there can be a full range of responses.
    1. Indignation This is fairly common response from atheists - especially if the Sky Fairyist knows you are one of the godless.
    2. Sarcasm "Gosh, can you pray for God to pay my yearly Economist magazine subscription? It's fairly expensive...[to be continued below]" I find sarcasm to be a close second amongst my peers.
    3. Make sure that person never says it again by rambling I call this the Grampa Simpson Defense. I will continue the Economist magazine rant from above."... and I just had to buy two cars a few months ago [this is true] and even though they were used, expenses do add up. That reminds me of when I was painting my fence this past October..." The other person will flee. They will think I'm insane, but I get that anyway.
    4. Laugh the laugh of EVIL  This is my nuclear option. I watch the McGlaughlin Group, a geeks news show on PBS, and they often have "Mad Pat" Buchanan on. After watching Pat for years I am now able to simulate his EVIL laugh. When he unleashes it an angel loses his wings - at least a Protestant angel. You do know that angels are segregated by sect, right? Unfortunately, there are only so many angels to go around and the Shakers only have one. Tough luck for them. They should've procreated a bit, eh? But I digress, the laugh of EVIL will discourage anyone from ever talking to you again.
    However, when people say they are praying for you they typically are not asking God to kill you.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Job Interview? Praying Ain’t Gonna Help You

    Here is a guest post from my friend Laurie. She writes the blog Laurie's Job Search Tidbits - Take a Bite (a bit of job search advice, a bit of comedy). By day she is a job counselor. By night she writes about the problems that people have trying to find a decent job. Laurie just came out with an ebook What Color is Your Straightjacket? A Pocket Guide to Getting and Keeping a Job Without Going Wacko.  


    There are those who believe that, if they don’t get that job offer, it’s just “not meant to be,” and that it’s up to fate, or God, or some other benignly delusional concept. The fact is, you can pray ‘til your knees bleed, and it won’t help you. If such an entity does exist, it’s doubtful that he or she really gives a flying toenail about your employment status. So although there are factors in a job interview that are beyond your control, you want to take responsibility for preparing as effectively as you can.

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    Having Fun on Noah's Ark!

    I was thinking about Noah's Ark and what kind of entertainment did they have? I mean, shovelling animal crap and praying that God doesn't forget about you isn't really bringing in the fun. I have done some high level research and here is a top ten list of fun activities on Noah's Ark.

    10. Tuesday and Thursday were "When Animals Attack!" night. It's a little known fact that there were more people than Noah and his family on the Ark. On Tuesdays and Thursdays one of these "extra people" would be placed in a cage with the ravenous beasties. Those folks were just going to drown anyway.  The bears, lions, and tigers liked fresh food that they could play with. So, Noah would gather everybody and enjoy family night. That's what I call traditional family values.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    I'm looking to read the bible (mostly for humor value). What's the best version to read? By best, I mean the one with all the dogma unabridged and included (don't want to miss the good stuff).

    This was an anonymous question left on the Ask Me Anything Page. I really like answering these questions because it makes me grow in unexpected intellectual directions.

    I was on Facebook the other day and asked my buddy Mike what he thought about bibles. He's the guy I go to when there is a hardcore bibley question that needs to be answered. Here is what he wrote.

    The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is probably the most accurate translation from a scholarly perspective - often disliked by fundamentalists and evangelicals alike. Ironically, there are King James Version (KJV) only fundamentalist/evangelicals, but there are also fundamentalists/evangelicals who realize the KJV is based on less historically accurate Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Therefore, many of the current translations are meant to replace the KJV. The interesting point is that Dawkins and Dennett feel that the KJV is the best bible because of it's artistic qualities which are lacking in more modern translations including the NRSV. Nontheless, if the issue is scholarship and accuracy, the NRSV is the way to go.The Harper Study Bible and Oxford Study Bible are both pretty good - especially the Oxford. I believe that it is particularly good in that it is very useful for non-believing scholars while also appealing to more liberal believers. It's somewhat objective and non-committal. Also, it deals more with the texts than whether or not the stuff is true or false.
    Me? I use the bible that I got when I graduated college - the New International Version (NIV). The NIV was cobbled together in 1965 in response to the New Revised Version (NRV). It seems many evangelicals didn't like the NRV because it wasn't evangelical (read: crazy) enough for their tastes. I like crazy, so it's no surprise I use that edition. Mike's overview does make me want to pick up a NSRV and an Oxford Study Bible.

    Who knows, maybe Santa will drop me those two editions in my stocking (I've got a big stocking - like a four foot long stocking I've had since I was a kid).

    All in all, if you are reading the "Good Book" (wait - I just threw up in my mouth a little bit) for shits and giggles then any of the above listed bibles should do. However, if you're not into grinding thorough 17th century English you may want to steer clear of the Kings James Version.

    I hope that has helped.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Gods, Dinosaurs, and Faith

    Dinosaurs - Atheism's Gateway Drug
    I was on Meaning Without God today and read his post concerning kids' love of dinosaurs as the way many start to figure out the Bible is not... what's the word?


    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    What I Want For Christmas

    Here is a small list I'm cooking up for Santa.

    Trebuchet - A trebuchet was the big artillery piece of the medieval battlefield. As you may discern from the picture to the right that a trebuchet used a counterweight to generate force, unlike a run of the mill catapult that utilized torsion. Why do I want a trebuchet? I am sick and tired hearing about that ridiculous ark the religious loons are building in Kentucky. I say build your ark and we'll test your dime store faith against my trebuchet and the laws of physics. My prediction? Trebuchet 1 Ark 0.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Holy War

    Name that war!

    What 20th century holy war killed over 100,000 US soldiers?

    Korea? Nope, that conflict couldn't really be called a holy war. It was about nationalism and communism, but not religion. Also, there were 33,741 US deaths in Korea.

    Vietnam? Again, no. Vietnam was about colonialism, nationalism, and communism. The total US deaths in Vietnam were 58,156.

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    My Further Assault on Christmas - A Modest Proposal

    I saw Fight Club five times at the movies when it came out.

    I saw who Framed Roger Rabbit seven times when it first came out.

    What does that mean?

    I am old.

    I'm glad we have covered that.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    The 12 Days of Atheism.

    Well, here is my version (yes, there are others out there) of the 12 Days of Atheism. I have a new found respect for actors since I started the stand up comedy and done these singing shorts. When you write and direct you get to play god (ironic isn't it). Performing is miles away from that. It may be that I'm new to this aspect of art, but getting in front of the camera or a group of people is, what's the word?



    Not easy.

    Here's the song...

    Here are the lyrics.

    On the first day of Atheism my true love gave to me
    a fictitious God in a pear tree.

    On the second day of Atheism my true love gave to me
    two twirling atoms.

    On the third day of Atheism my true love gave to me

    On the fourth day of Atheism my true love gave to me 

    On the fifth day of Atheism my true love gave to me
    five burning Korans.

    On the sixth day of Atheism my true love gave to me
    six *clepsydras.

    On the seventh day of Atheism my true love gave to me
    seven continents drifting.

    On the eighth day of Atheism my true love gave to me
    eight copies of Cosmos.

    On the ninth day of Atheism my true love gave to me

    On the tenth day of Atheism my true love gave to me

    On the eleventh day of Atheism my true love gave to me

    On the twelfth day of Atheism my true love gave to me
    twelve comics about Darwin.

    *Clepsydra as explained by Carl Sagan in Cosmos -
    A brazen sphere with an open neck and small holes in the bottom, it is filled by immersing it in water. If you pull it out with the neck uncovered, the water pours out of the holes, making a small shower. But if you pull it out properly, with the neck covered, the water is retained in the sphere until you lift your thumb. If you try to fill it with the neck covered, nothing happens. Some material substance must be in the way of the water. We cannot see such a substance. What could it be? Empedocles argued that it could only be air. A thing we cannot see can still exert pressure, frustrate my wish to fill a vessel with water if I were dumb enough to leave my finger on the neck. Empedocles had discovered the invisible. Air, he thought, must be matter in a form too finely divided to be seen.

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Telling My Five Year Old Heaven Doesn't Exist

    Why do writers write?

    It's an interesting question. When you think about it the writing profession is a pyramid-like structure. At the very top are the people who get paid very, very well. Stephen King is an example of the uber-writer who sleeps on a mountain of cash. In the middle of the pyramid are folks who get modestly paid. These folks include columnists in local newspapers, writers who do jokes for comedians, and/or those who grind out weekly TV scripts. Then you have the vast majority of writers who don't get paid at all. Nothing. Zip.

    However, they all write for the same reason.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Angel Sex and the Noah's Ark Theme Park

    This is Purgatory.

    Kinda looks weird at the beginning of the post, eh?

    I'm sure you have heard about the asylum the lunatics are building in Kentucky. You know, the Noah's Ark Theme Park. Yep, it's being built by the same delusional monkeys that have brought us the Creation Museum. The park developers are bragging that the ark will be to scale! How big was the floating zoo? Genesis 6:15 states 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high (NIV Study Bible).  Now, I'm not a mathematician or a zoologist but that seems to be a rather confined space for two of every animal, right? We all know that there was two of every animal on the ark (Genesis 6:20). Maybe. Maybe not. Just a few lines after God tells Noah to take to take 7 of every clean animal and 2 of every unclean critter (Genesis 7:2). If I were Noah I would be: 1) concerned that God doesn't seem to know what He wants (two of every animal yesterday, today it's 7 clean and 2 unclean, tomorrow... who knows?); 2) making sure not to mention the incongruity - that kind of talk will get me voted off the ark.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Updates, Updates, Updates...

    UPDATE #1

    I called one of my senators today - Scott Brown (R-MA). I called his Washington office (#202-224-4543) to urge him to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT). Brown has made overtures that he would vote in favor of the John Lieberman sponsored NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which would end DADT. However, it isn't over until it's over. What's so frustrating for me at least are the obvious reasons why the current policy needs to be changed.
    1. 25 countries already have gays and lesbians openly serving in their military.
    2. Almost 8 in 10 Americans support gays and lesbians openly serving.
    3. 13,500 service men and women have been ejected out of the military because of this policy which includes important Arabic and Farsi translators. 
    4. Britain allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly back in 2000. There was the crying and gnashing of teeth by some in the military, but guess what? The reforms went smoothly.
    5. As conservative icon Barry Goldwater said, You don't need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight. 
    There's more to list, but I hope I've made my point.

    Anger and Atheism

    I was talking to a friend of mine (who will remain nameless, of course) the other day, and he was not happy. This unhappiness stemmed from a recent series of run-ins with the various people (not me) in his life. As typical of many people they wouldn't be considered bad, but their actions implied a distinct lack of consideration for his feelings.

    "It's clear that they don't respect you. You're being treated like a doormat," I quipped.

    His eyes opened and was caught in the eureka! moment.

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