#Truth

And of course, Michelle Gregg,is a Christianist who refuses to accept any responsibility for her lack of attentiveness saying only, “God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him…Accidents happen.”

No, bitch. BAD PARENTING HAPPENS.

Alternate Universes

Ben and I were heading home the other day and as we were driving down Lincoln and crossed 22nd Street, I was reminded of a time—a lifetime ago, it seems—when my family almost bought a house in that neighborhood.

It was during eighth grade—or perhaps shortly after I’d graduated. Dad was rightfully proud of the work he’d recently done for Hallcraft on their new Biltmore Highlands subdivision, so one sunny Saturday we headed over to what seemed at the time to me like the far east side of the valley to check it out. I don’t know how the talk started, but before I knew it we went from looking at the model homes to being shown one house in particular a few streets over that my parents were actually considering buying. It was a large, beautiful three bedroom, two bath place with a courtyard entrance, a spacious kitchen and a large family room with a fireplace. The bedroom that was to be mine was significantly larger than my current room, eliciting no small amount of excitement on my part. The room also had two windows instead of one.

My enthusiasm was tempered somewhat by the fact that it would now actually cost to phone my best friend (apparently calling from certain Phoenix exchanges to certain Glendale exchanges back in the day incurred wasn’t free).

This move also meant that my sister and I would be transferring to a new school district, something I think caused my parents’ eventual decision to bail on that house and that particular subdivision.

We did end up moving into a new home a few months later, actually only about a half mile south of where we had been living, so the seed had definitely been planted. I’m sure economics were also a factor; we got a much larger house for less money in Hallcraft’s Bethany Heights than we would’ve gotten if we’d moved to Biltmore Highlands.

Ironically, even though my best buddy and I now actually lived closer to each other than we had previously with this move, after high school started we drifted apart and each went our separate ways. (I found out many, many years later that Neal—whom I’d known since 4th grade—transitioned to Angela sometime in our twenties. He’d always told me he’d felt like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, so this did not come as a huge surprise.)

What does all this have to do with the title of this post? Well, I got to thinking how different (or perhaps not) my life would’ve been had we actually moved to Biltmore Highlands and my sister and I had been forced into a new school district.

Obviously, I would never have met the people or made the friends I did if I’d gone to a different school than the one I did, but I wonder if life post-high school would’ve actually been that different. I’d still have undoubtedly gone to the University of Arizona in Tucson and had similar experiences. Or would I?

A currently popular idea in cosmology is that there are an infinite number of universes, each one calving off and growing on its own, depending upon what choices are made. And not just your choices, but multiply that by the billions of other souls on this rock and it boggles the mind. Multiply that by the number of possible planets and potentially sentient beings in the universe, and it truly becomes an unimaginable number.

So it’s always an interesting “what if” game to play. What if I’d actually gone to ASU instead of UofA, stayed in school and gotten my degree? What if I’d kept on going the night I walked out of The Joshua Tree and never met Dennis? What if Bernie and I never visited San Francisco—much less moved there?

I suppose there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that if this multiverse idea is in fact reality that somewhere, maybe as close as the orbit of an electron—there are universes where Hitler was never born; where JFK was never assassinated; where you are just as likely to be President of the United States as you are to be living in a cardboard box under an overpass; a world where the Dark Ages never occurred and Christianity never gained a foothold; a world where you actually bought that Apple stock in the 90s; a world where mankind has already colonized the solar system and is moving out to the stars…

Holy Fuck

Mitch Moreland of the Texas Rangers

Where were the guys who looked like this when I was that age? I guess they were probably out there, but didn’t even register since I was so busy looking for Mark Hamill clones…

I Wish I Believed in Hell

Stop worrying about Target’s bathrooms and start looking in your own damn churches, you motherfucking kiddie-fucking assholes!

From Towleroad:

TEXAS. Bureau of Investigation arrests two pastors for seeking sex with underage girls: “Jason Kennedy, 46, who held the role of children’s pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Knoxville, and Zubin Parakh, 32, who is listed as the creative pastor at LifeHouse Church, were both nabbed in the undercover investigation. According to a police report seen by WVLT Kennedy had agreed to pay $100 for a half hour with two girls, one of whom was 15. Kennedy faces patronizing prostitution and trafficking charges—and could land in prison for up to 60 years. Kennedy has lost his job at Grace Baptist Church as a result of the investigation.”

Quote of the Day

That sense of noblesse oblige disappeared somewhere during the past generation, when the newly global employer class cut regular working stiffs loose, forcing them to compete with billions of foreigners without rights or political power who would eat toxic waste for five cents a day.

Then they hired politicians and intellectuals to sell the peasants in places like America on why this was the natural order of things. Unfortunately, the only people fit for this kind of work were mean, traitorous scum, the kind of people who in the military are always eventually bayoneted by their own troops. This is what happened to the Republicans, and even though the cost was a potential Trump presidency, man, was it something to watch.

If this isn’t the end for the Republican Party, it’ll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters. They bred in their voters the incredible attitude that Republicans were the only people within our borders who raised children, loved their country, died in battle or paid taxes. They even sullied the word “American” by insisting they were the only real ones. They preferred Lubbock to Paris, and their idea of an intellectual was Newt Gingrich. Their leaders, from Ralph Reed to Bill Frist to Tom DeLay to Rick Santorum to Romney and Ryan, were an interminable assembly line of shrieking, witch-hunting celibates, all with the same haircut—the kind of people who thought Iran-Contra was nothing, but would grind the affairs of state to a halt over a blow job or Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.” ~ Matt Taibbi, writing for Rolling Stone

The Illustrated Man

He took his shirt off and wadded it in his hands. He was covered with Illustrations from the blue tattooed ring about his neck to his belt line.

“It keeps right on going,” he said, guessing my thought. “All of me is Illustrated. Look.” He opened his hand. On his palm was a rose, freshly cut, with drops of crystal water among the soft pink petals. I put my hand out to touch it, but it was only an Illustration.

As for the rest of him, I cannot say how I sat and stared, for he was a riot of rockets and fountains and people, in such intricate detail and color that you could hear the voices murmuring small and muted, from the crowds that inhabited his body. When his flesh twitched, the tiny mouths flickered, the tiny green-and-gold eyes winked, the tiny pink hands gestured. there were yellow meadows and blue rivers and mountains and stars and suns and planets spread in a Milky Way across his chest. The people themselves were in twenty or more odd groups upon his arms, shoulder, back, sides and wrists, as well as on the flat of his stomach. You found them in forests of hair, lurking among a constellation of freckles, or peering from armpit caverns, diamond eyes aglitter. Each seemed intent upon his own activity, each was a separate gallery portrait.

—Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man

Mark All As Read

My normal weekday morning routine consists of getting up at 6, letting the dogs out while I dispense their food, and then sit down for about ten minutes to skim my newsfeed before Ben’s first alarm goes off, signaling that it’s time for me to get in the shower. After I’m showered and dressed, I make my breakfast and then return to the news feed for the next half hour or so while I’m eating before I head off to work.

I wasn’t much of a news junkie prior to moving to San Francisco in the 80s. It was there that I developed the habit of reading The San Francisco Chronicle during lunch, concentrating on the local news because I wanted to learn as much about my newly adopted city as possible (and of course, to see the daily Bloom County).

Of course, with 9/11, I—like the rest of the country—was glued to my television every waking moment as the story unfolded. As I recall, it was around this same time that I started reading more news online, and ended up with a list of sites I visited every morning to get my daily fix. It wasn’t until I met Ben many years later that I learned about News Readers (R.I.P. Google Reader) and I was able to consolidate everything into one convenient package.

Just as the internet diversified, so have my online interests, prompting me to sort my feeds into various groups: Audio Equipment, Blogs, Politics, Tech, Picture Blogs, and of course Menz.

This morning upon my initial perusal of the Politics group and as I read the headlines, I thought, “Nope. Not today Satan. Not today,” and immediately marked all as read. I don’t need my entire day colored by news of hateful people doing hateful things.

Don’t get me wrong; I adore Joe.My.God. and Towleroad. But frankly, if it weren’t for them I probably would never have heard of people and organizations like Brian Fisher, Todd Starnes, Mat Staver, “One Million” Moms, The Alliance for Defending Freedom, or the rest of the circus sideshow of right wing lunatics salivating over the thought of imposing a christian theocracy upon these still (the last time I looked) secular United States—because frankly those individuals and groups aren’t as important as they think they are.

So today my plan is just to keep knocking down the Politics folder as read without actually reading anything in it every time something appears and see if it improves my overall mood any…