My Old Kentucky Homesite

Archive for the ‘Idiots’ Category

That Godless Yankee … (Etc.) … Bastard, Me

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 06/05/2010

OK, here’s a wacky idea I had. I’m hoping that at least some of you will take part, and also ask your friends to join in.

Apparently, our local rag, the Lexington Herald-Leader, runs a kind of contest each year: The Readers’ Choice (Awards). You’ve probably seen this kind of dumb thing in your own hometown paper, although some of the questions here in Lexington seem unusually stupid.

What or who is your favorite:
bank?
horse farm?
local bourbon?
dentist?
place to have a baby?
area vineyard?
place to buy UK apparel/merchandise?
cosmetic surgeon?
consignment shop?
place to buy a Derby hat?
local rising star (any career)?
place of worship?

Now, it so happens that one of the categories on the 2010 ballot is:

Who’s your favorite local media personality (newspaper, TV, radio, blogger)?

I think it would be a hoot if it turned out to be that godless Yankee commie homo-supporting baby-killing bastard, me. So I’m asking all my readers to click on this link, scour down the page until you come to “local media personality … etc.” and enter my name: Larry Wallberg. No explanation. Just Larry Wallberg.

Obviously, I don’t expect to win, or even come close. But if I could garner even, let’s say, fifty votes, that ought to give the yokels at the paper pause — because, aside from the idiot at the Life + Stupidity section to whom I complained about a month ago, they won’t have a clue who I am.

If, by some fluke, I do happen to win, I promise that I’ll say or write something outrageous in response. I doubt that I’ll be able to find a New Yawk atheist version of Sacheen Littlefeather to collect my prize, but whatever I do, it will be appropriately hilarious and heathenly.

Thanks. (Just for the record, I also hate what Kentucky did to its Native Americans.)

[Update on 06/05/10 at 4:15 p.m.: PZ Myers, over at Pharyngula, is kindly helping to skew the poll. Hmmm. I’d better start thinking of a sufficiently atheistic acceptance speech.]

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Posted in Idiots, New to Kentucky | 60 Comments »

Oh, Susannah, Go Ahead and Cry for Me. Yourself, Too.

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 06/03/2010

Last Saturday, I had an email from reader Susannah Roitman. She’s another transplanted New York atheist, now surrounded by Lexingtonian Jesus-jumpers, so we commiserate with one another electronically from time to time.  Susannah said she was sure I’d read the local rag that morning, and she was looking forward to my response.

As it happened, I’d been preparing for out-of-town guests who were scheduled to arrive later that weekend. So, being in kind of a rush to slurp down my Chocolate Cheerios and get to the wine, cheese, and cookie store, I had skipped my daily dose of dumbth. Besides, I already had planned to write a crucially important blog entry about a vocabulary contest. (See previous post.)

But, in deference to my new friend, I did take a quick look at the front page of the Herald-Leader, which immediately revealed what I thought she was talking about. A brightly colored banner boldly proclaimed that the Annual Guide to Vacation Bible School was being featured in the Life + Drivel Section.

However, it turned out that she had something else entirely in mind. On that day’s Opinion Page, every single one of the “Readers’ Views” had been mailed in response to a month-old letter written by an atheist. That letter’s title, obviously assigned by the Editor, reveals its contents: “God Exists? Prove It!”

To tell the truth: I don’t think I’d read that specific letter. If I had, it certainly wasn’t memorable. I tried to find it online, but unfortunately it was no longer available – even though the Op/Ed Powers-That-Be had chosen to run nine refutations, taking up half a page of prime newshole. Still, I can guess, with a high degree of certainty, the kinds of arguments the original letter-writer would have used in his time-wasting effort. (Since his name wasn’t mentioned, let’s just call him Mr. Heathen.)

Obviously, Mr. Heathen had had a terrific idea when he tossed off his note to the newspaper. By dint of his sharp reasoning, his never-heard-before points, and his oh-so-probing questions, he was going to show up the area’s religious nuts for what they were. Hell, his logical debating abilities would probably cause a mass deconversion.

Um, not quite. The responses, in summary, were:

Letter 1: I can’t touch air, either. But it’s there, right?
Letter 2: How can the universe have been created without a creator?
Letter 3: John Wesley once said [a paraphrase of Pascal’s Wager]. He was right. Mr. Heathen stubbornly refuses to consider the evidence, which is why he doesn’t know the “joy of hope for the future.” But there must be a god, because otherwise life is “sterile and meaningless.”
Letter 4: Mr. Heathen has not looked deeply enough inside himself.
Letter 5: Can Mr. Heathen prove that he exists?
Letter 6: Mr. Heathen has to have faith. He’ll remain ignorant of the truth unless he reads the bible.
Letter 7: You can’t see air. But it’s there, right?
Letter 8: You can’t hear, see, or smell gravity. But it’s there, right?
Letter 9: Mr. Heathen is obviously going through “a very tough time” — or he has disdain for all religion. But I kinda agree with his point. Maybe. Sorta.

Brilliant!

Without doubt, most of those responders were graduates of Vacation Bible School. So I turned back to the god-shilling on the Life + Propaganda page, and I learned that: “With its games, songs, snacks, crafts and Bible stories, vacation Bible school is a hallmark of summer for many Kentucky kids.” Good times, eh?

There then followed a listing of approximately eighty brainwashing opportunities. Apparently, quite a few of the programs are offered by more than one church. In case a recalcitrant child fails to be fully immunized from secularism the first time through a “course,” the parents can send him or her back elsewhere for a second mental dunking.

Anyway, here are a few of the interesting subjects available. Unlike the Life + Inanity section, which just listed these in date order (how useless for true believers who know that god is timeless), I’ve organized these by theme. For the most part, I’ve resisted the urge to add humorous comments because — let’s face it — I can’t get any funnier than the names of these classes.

Bible Crap You Need to Know About Egypt

  • Egypt: Joseph’s Journey from Prison to Palace
  • The Egypt File: Decoding the Mysteries of Life
  • Mighty Moses
  • Spend a While on the Nile
    [Note: Your mummy will be proud!]

Adventures in Exotic Christian Lands

  • Baobab Blast: God’s Great Get-Together
  • High Seas Expedition
  • Jungle Journey: Exploring the Nature of God
  • Soul Survivors on Danger Island
  • Lava Lava Island
    [Note: Usually known by its shortened form, La-La Land]

Adventures in Exotic Christian Lands: Kentucky Equine Division

  • Off to the Races: Learning about One of God’s Creatures (and Kentucky’s Favorite) Through Art, Music and Science.
    [Note: This one is full of horseshit. Literally.]

Hey, Guess Who Made Outer Space?

  • Galactic Blast
  • Planet Zoom
    [Note: No need to beam me up, Scottie. Jesus will take care of that in the Rapture.]

Get Up, You Young Lazy Christian Bastards.  There’s Work to Do!

  • Rise and Shine for Jesus
  • Hero Headquarters: Where Kids Join Forces With God
  • Step Up and Go Green for Jesus
    [Note: Children will be taught how to make lime Jell-O molds for church picnics.]

Kickin’ Back With the Big Guy

  • Praise Party
    [Note: Festive hats and horns will be provided, but BYOB. (The last “B” stands for “bible,” of course.)]

Let’s Not Forget to Pander to Minorities

  • Hip-hop Hands of Praise
    [Note: Formerly known, in God’s Glory Days of the Grand Tradition of the South, as “Happy Darkies’ Hands of Praise.”]

Got any more questions, Mr. Heathen?

Posted in Freedom from Faith, Idiots, New to Kentucky | 5 Comments »

You Wash, I’ll Dry

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 05/02/2010

I know that many of my readers are unduly concerned about the huge oil slick spreading along the Gulf Coast. You homosexual, baby-killing, godless commies don’t know that we have a MIRACLE SOLUTION available for any minor environmental incovenience caused by all that goo.

That’s right! If every American family washed just one lovable animal with dishwashing liquid, we wouldn’t have to worry our pretty little “drill, baby, drill” heads any more about the nasty effects of that essentially harmless ooze. What do you think about that, you crazy water-huggers?

Posted in Idiots, Playing Politics | 13 Comments »

Don’t Believe Kentucky’s Ill? A Proof!

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 04/01/2010

Augggh! Is there a witch-doctor in the house? A few weeks ago, many of us non-troglodytes were up in arms about the changes made to Texas educational standards by the wingnut-dominated Board of Education in Austin. Now, those revisions look positively benign next to the new standards adopted yesterday in — where else? — Kentucky. Here’s a small sampling of the sickening thoroughbred horseshit that will be shoveled into students’ heads starting next September:

(1) Poor dinosaurs will no longer be referred to as “prehistoric animals.” Instead, all the critters that lived millions and millions of years ago are to be designated as “antediluvian creatures.” Board member Lola Firpo wanted to get this standard through, and she got it. But she tried to mask her obviously Creationist terminology by saying, “Most people use ‘antediluvian’ as a synonym for old. ‘Prehistoric’ isn’t correct, because dinosaurs like T. Rex and that one with the three horns, I forget its name, must have a history, because otherwise we wouldn’t know about them. So I tried to think of a good descriptive word that we could also add to vocabulary requirements. ‘Antediluvian’ just came gushing into my head.”

(2) Remember the Founding Fathers? You can probably name a few of them without wracking your brain: Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Adams, Washington, Franklin. Did you mention Jesus? As of next year, Kentucky’s school kids will essentially be taught that the so-called “son of god” was one of the sires of our country (which I guess makes Yahweh America’s grandfather). Rollo Piaf, a 9th-grade history teacher and new Board Member, sang to reporters: “Even those few of our citizens who don’t consider our country to be a Christian nation, will readily admit that the philosophy of Jesus Christ was the most significant factor in forming the Founders’ idea of a Constitutional republic. I mean, look at Thomas Jefferson. He was a famous atheist, but he wrote a whole book praising Jesus’s thought. So I think it would be criminal not to teach that to our students.”

(3) In all science classes, when the work of Sir Isaac Newton is discussed, students must learn that he wrote: “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done. Is any other explanation possible?” Lori Apfol (who, ironically, is a Jew) justified this standard by announcing, “Our Kentucky education system is one of the finest in the nation, kinehora. But last time I looked, none of our kids was as smart as Isaac Newton. So nu? If God was kosher even to him, who am I to have the chutzpah to say that the Lord’s not good enough for our fartootst students?”

(4) Looking for a mention of evolution or Charles Darwin? Don’t attend biology classes in Kentucky’s public schools. The Board recognized that the basic principles of life had to be taught if our state’s students were to be competitive with college applicants from more enlighted parts of the country. But at the suggestion of member Ira Pollof, “evolution” will now be known as “the planned system of genetic changes” and Charles Darwin will be referred to only as “a small-time theorist from England.” On the other hand, teachers will still be permitted to call Genesis “the Controversy.”

(5) Forget making a distinction between ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans. Citing the “scholarly” (ha!) writings of one Prof. Ollia (Kentucky’s hardy Secretary of History from ’14-’41), the bible-thumping majority agreed that all civilizations before the alleged birth of Christ will be lumped together as “ancient people.” Ollia’s view, now adopted into our state standards, was voiced loudly by the impassioned fundamentalist preacher/educator, Board member Olaf Porli. “Most a them ol’-timey pagan guys was as alike as two turds from a catfish. But nothin’ them folks ever said or done or even thunk was god’s honest truth.” One moderate Republican at the session tried to point out that we should see those ancients as fore-runners. But Porli immediately responded, “A course they’s furriners. So why does Kentucky’s innocent child’n need to hear that kind a ignorant, un-American crap? If you ast me, what goes on elsewhere in this world is none a are goddang bidness.”

(6) Originated by a Medieval Catholic priest named Fr. LaPolio, the mind-crippling concept that the number 3 is “special” will be touched on in elementary arithmetic classes. Students will be required to learn multiplication and division by 3 before being taught how to do the same operations by 1, 2, 4, 5, or any other integers. However, multiplying 3 x 222 will be expressly forbidden.

(7) Of Mice and Men is being dropped from the 10th-grade literature curriculum. Pilar Lofo, the only Latina on the Board, claimed that the Spanish word for “mice” is also Caribbean slang for “Christians with small penises.” She also pointed out that the author wrote disrespectfully about the two main characters, George and Lenny, who were “obviously” symbolic references to God (same initial) and Jesus (since “J” and “L” are separated by only one letter, which, through no coincidence, happens to be the initial of “King of Kings”). English students will instead be required to read the graphic novelization of the “Left Behind” series or watch the New Testament on the American Bible Channel.

Lexington needs a Paul Revere to ride through the streets shouting, “The Christians are coming! The Christians are coming!” We certainly have enough fast horses in the area, although the jockey would probably have to wear a Wildcats jersey if he wanted to get people’s attention. Perhaps Kentucky native George Clooney could get himself an outfit from the revolutionary era and do something to really make us proud. Until he does, though, our state’s officials will continue acting like fools – even when April 1st isn’t the date. O, for a pill!

Posted in Holidays, Idiots, New to Kentucky, Random Rants, Seriously Silly | 32 Comments »

Great Moments in Stupidity #2

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 03/30/2010

The following true story is stupid on so many levels that I can’t even begin to count them.

(Please be aware that the previous sentence is just a figure of speech.  Obviously, I could begin, simply by saying “one.” Or “un,” if I happen to be French. Which, heureusement, I’m not.  But since the levels of idiocy are infinite, I’d have no chance of ever reaching the end. So why start?)

So there was a crucially important measure that the Republican-led Kentucky Senate booted today from an education bill dealing with the selection of public school personnel. The killed measure contained an urgently needed addendum to the proposed law. But now, sadly, it’s no longer under consideration.

The murdered amendment called for the legislature to make a desperate plea for a well-deserved boon. If the additional language had been included in the bill, Kentuckians would have received some much-needed recognition by one of our most cherished national institutions.

That institution is, of course, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (which is unfortunately up North, in Massachusetts of all damn Yankee places). The state’s Democrats apparently felt that an education bill was an appropriate document in which to urge the enshrinement of Joe B. Hall (no relation to the building), a former UK coach. With his 297-100 record, and one national championship, Hall certainly qualifies as one of the greatest academic heroes the world has ever known. So how, in a state that’s so hoopsmanic as Kentucky, could that proposed resolution fail?

Well, it seems that Hall is not a Republican. To be more specific, he’s a Democrat, and he sometimes lends his eminent personage to the cause of raising money for his party’s candidates.

Shockingly, the Kentucky conservatives said, “Screw basketball and the donkey it rode in on!” David Williams, the Republican President of the Senate, carried his anti-socialist animosity beyond acceptable limits. He had the audacity to point out that the Hall measure had nothing to do with the bill in question.

When someone in the news media dared to accuse Williams of playing politics with the state’s religion, the Senate President got rankled. Did party loyalty have anything to do with the Senate’s decision? Williams astutely, and articulately, replied, “With Joe B. Hall, you’ll have to ask him. I don’t know. We try not to dictate entities like the Hall of Fame. If that is so, maybe the Hall of Fame might be telling us how to run the legislature.”

Fortunately for those of us who are not Republicans, the matter won’t end there, because a Concurrent Resolution by the (Democratically controlled) House repeats the request. The House resolution begins:

WHEREAS, Joe B. Hall, a native of Cynthiana, Kentucky, is beloved across the length and breadth of the Commonwealth for his many achievements and contributions to his university, his community, and the sport of basketball, and is known fondly for his warm demeanor and strong character …

A bunch of “whereas”es follow, ending with

… it is the view of this august body that the North American Screening Committee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame should review his nomination in a most favorable light[.]

I don’t see how a group of overgrown goofballs can be referred to as an “august body” —particularly in light of the fact that it’s only March. However, I am comforted to learn that the Democratic “Yes We Can Score” may once more triumph over the Republican “Foul!” I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hall issue is a major factor in the next statewide election, particularly if President Obama visits here to push for the coach’s induction.

In the meantime, excuse me while I dribble into my glass of bourbon.

Posted in Idiots, New to Kentucky, Playing Politics | 13 Comments »

Great Moments in Stupidity #1

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 02/04/2010

Since my last post dealt with modern-day legislative idiocy in Kentucky, I feel it’s only fair to acknowledge that governmental  numskullery is limited neither to the present day nor to the Bluegrass State.  Tomorrow, February 5, is a significant date in the history of Representatives Gone Wild. Here’s why:

In 1896, through a set of bogus calculations, a Hoosier “mathematician” named Edwin J. Goodwin arrived at an “aha!” moment. Working in the appropriately named town of “Solitude,” he discovered how to square the circle, a problem that had been unsuccessfully attacked for millennia by far greater minds than his. But with the confidence only possible to a crank, Goodwin was sure that his results would be useful to real estate speculators, political wheeler-dealers, and various hustlers of all kinds. Of course, being a true get-up-and-go American, he  planned to sell his “invention” to everyone who would pay for it. But, first, he needed some official recognition.

So the “genius” copyrighted his work, and then made a money-making suggestion to his state representative. How about if Goodwin granted Indiana the right to use his formulas for free, in exchange for a share in the royalties that were sure to come ringing in from around the globe?

Thus it was that Democratic Representative Taylor Record submitted

a bill for an act introducing a new mathematical truth and offered as a contribution to education to be used only by the State of Indiana free of cost by paying any royalties whatever on the same, provided it is accepted and adopted by the official action of the Legislature of 1897.

Apparently, none of the elected representatives realized that a mathematical “truth” could be protected neither by copyright nor patent – nor, for that matter, by any other governmental action.

On February 5, 1897, that bill was resoundingly passed in the Indiana House of Representatives by a vote of 67 – 0.  Although the document didn’t spell out its truth in so many words, it essentially established a new, improved value for one of the most important ratios in mathematics. From thenceforward, at least in the state of Indiana, pi would equal 3.2.

On the advice of a real mathematician from Purdue, however, several Indiana senators contrived to have the upper house’s vote on the bill postponed indefinitely. When the year was over (all 365 days of it – even in Fort Wayne, Kokomo, and Muncie), the bill was dead.

Still: Happy (Almost) Anniversary, Indiana Pi Bill! Please make mine coconut custard.

Posted in Idiots, It's History | 25 Comments »

All of ‘Em

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 01/16/2010

Katy Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
Sarah Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.
Katy Couric: What, specifically?
Sarah Palin: Um … all of ‘em.

Glenn Beck: Who’s your favorite Founder?
Sarah Palin: Um … well … all of ‘em.

Wallberg: I’m delighted to have Sarah Palin with me tonight as my guest on “Book Blather.” Ms. Palin, as most of you know, is the titular author of …

Palin: Well, if I may interrupt you for just a minute here, if I may. I don’t think most Americans care whether a person is titular or not. Here in this great country of ours, God gave men and women the same wonderful freedom.

Wallberg: Yes, well, thanks for coming to discuss books, Ms. Palin.

Palin: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Because I love books. I even wrote a book because I love ’em so much. It’s called Going Rogue and you can buy it on your computer or in a book store or at WalMart or even some gas stations. That’s how much I love books and magazines. And newspapers, too, and uh-huh. Greetin’ cards. I think all Americans understand me when I say that we are a greetin’ card nation, because all of us do love to receive. In the mail. Y’know. Christmas and birthdays and such. Greetin’ cards.

Wallberg: Yes, getting a card is nice.

Palin: And it’s, I think, fundamental to the American way of life. Our freedom to send each other little poems on Christmas and Easter and. Oh, all kinds of occasions.

Wallberg: Well, let me ask you, since this is a program about books. What’s your favorite novel?

Palin: Um … all of ‘em.

Wallberg:Every novel ever written is your favorite?

Palin: Well, of course, I do like some better than others. But they’re all my favorite, really.

Wallberg: Can you name one novel that you like better than others?

Palin: Well, I’d rather not single out … of course I really enjoyed readin’ Going Rogue. Which I also wrote.

Wallberg: What about novels by some other authors, besides you?

Palin: Y’know, I also liked readin’ The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan, which I didn’t write, but I feel I coulda, because I agree with everything in it. And it’s about a great American who had lots of … um … wit. And wisdom, too. Somebody wrote it whose name I forget for the moment but it doesn’t matter because it’s mostly filled with stuff that Ronald Reagan said. So, really, it’s like he wrote it. And he was a great American who loved freedom only somebody else typed.

Wallberg: Those books you mentioned aren’t novels.

Palin: Oh, you want me to name a novel?

Wallberg: Here, I’ll help you. How about Huckleberry Finn? Or Moby Dick? Or The Sound and the Fury?

Palin: So you’re talkin’ about schoolbooks?

Wallberg: Well, any novel.

Palin: I’d have to say that one of the novels I like best is Goodnight Moon,  because I tell it to Trig and Trapp and it helps put ’em to sleep. So it works, which is what good ol’ American know-how is all about. But I think stayin’ awake is OK, too, and many of the people I respect most, like George Washington and Ronald Reagan. They stayed awake when they could.

Wallberg: Let’s forget about novels, shall we?

Palin: To answer your question. I could never forget about novels because all of ‘em are my favorite. But you betcha.

Wallberg: Let’s move on then. How about Shakespeare’s plays? Did you ever read any of those?

Palin: Um … all of ‘em.

Wallberg: Even The Two Noble Kinsmen? Nobody reads that one.

Palin: You’re tryin’a confuse me, arencha? If it’s one of ‘em, I read it.

Wallberg: And do you have a favorite?

Palin: I’d have to say … um … all of ‘em.

Wallberg: Well, do you prefer the tragedies, or the comedies, or the histories?

Palin: Y’know, Larry, I prefer … um … all of ‘em. Because every freedom-lovin’ American has to deal with tragedy and comedy and history in their own life. In my own experiences, for instance, I’ve had to deal with tragedy, which was losin’ the election to Barack Obama. But I also like comedy, I Love Lucy and such. But I think we Americans can learn most, mostly, from the histories.

Wallberg: I take it you’ve read all of Shakespeare’s history plays?

Palin: Yup.

Wallberg: And I suppose it might be too much to ask for you to name a favorite?

Palin: Oh, they’re all really good. Maybe I like the one about George Washington a little bit better than the others because he was a great Founder and a great American.

Wallberg: Is that the one where the main character says, “To be or not to be?”

Palin: You’re tryin’a to trick me, I think. So no. George Washington didn’t say that. He said, “I chopped down the cherry tree.” Maybe he said “I choppeth downeth the cherryeth tree-eth,” because that’s how  people talked in Shakespeare’s day, y’know? But it still means the same thing in plain English or Shakespeare’s Latin or whatever. Which is chop, baby, chop. And that’s why most of your socialists and commies and atheist liberals find it hard to understand those Shakespeare books. Because they have good old-fashioned language and family values.

Wallberg: Do you have any other favorite Shakespearean quotes.

Palin: Well … um … all of ‘em. But maybe I also liked it a lot when George Washington said “God bless America.” Which I know God does,  because we’re his favorite country.

Wallberg: I thought he loved all of ‘em.

Palin: Well, maybe he does. But the best places in the world are our small towns here in the U.S.A, where the people are hard-workin’ and patriotic. Like Wasilla and many others. So I’d have to say that God maybe likes us a little bit better than Russia or Afghanistan or Eye-Rack. Or even London and Asia and any of those other foreign countries. Because they don’t love freedom and God the way we do. And that’s why I wrote Going Rogue. To resonate with people who want to resonate with my great vision for America.

Wallberg: Could you share with our audience any final thought about books?

Palin: Gee, I have so many thoughts, I can’t really name a favorite. I like all of ‘em. Maybe, if I hadda pick one, I’d tell people to buy Going Rogue. Or, for any great American who loves freedom and doesn’t like to read, watch me on TV.

Wallberg: Why don’t you just remind the folks what network you’re on?

Palin: Um … all of ‘em. Aren’t I?

Posted in Books & Bookshops, Idiots, Pop Culture | 19 Comments »