Stupid grownup alphabet.
Does it hurt one’s public image if I e-smoke when I do speaking engagements? I normally dress up for those, but I’m in technology, where mores are quite lax and jeans are quite common.
Will it hurt my image if I were to e-smoke while giving an engaging and riveting talk? I’m already seen as a bit of a provocateur, but I don’t want to cross the line into gauche.
Laughing at “engaging and riveting talk” and “I’m already seen as a bit of a provocateur” (sure you are, pal). But I’m interested in whatever etiquette he thinks is indicated by a dress code of jeans. In college that would have been the most formal; lower steps included skirt-and-pants, public pajamas, and cutoffs.
The grammar of this is also great. “Does it hurt one’s public image if I e-smoke”?
And I guess the most important thing to me about being an atheist is that I’ve never, ever, EVER sat down a believer and tried to hoodwink or zing that person into coming to my side. I’ve never laid a logical trap and congratulated myself on it and wondered why it didn’t work. Because I respect what everyone believes and leave them to it.
But in my life, at least a hundred people, about whose opinions of my religious beliefs I could not care less, have assumed it’s their place to tell me what to do, show me the light, reintroduce me to elementary-school-level arguments for the existence of God, or say that it must be so hopeless to believe what I believe.
Oh, barf for days:
I’ve freaked a few atheists out by telling them: You don’t understand doubt nearly as well as my friends who are believers. Faith is a much harder struggle than just smugly shelving the question of doubt, imagining you “know” something. You don’t understand it.
I thought about being sarcastic here but it’s not Bad Headlines Day anymore. Listen, Maria Bustillos, you apparent simpleton, if you believe there’s no struggle in atheism equivalent to the struggle of belief in God, then you need to grow a brain that does more than just keep you alive.
It’s shitty and painful to admit to yourself that you really don’t and can’t believe in God, not ever, not under any circumstances. Imagine being colorblind and knowing that all these other people saw the red and green, they knew the difference, they couldn’t even imagine life without seeing the difference. They distrust you for not seeing it!
I can only speak for myself and tell you, Internet, that as soon as I was capable of thinking for myself I became an agnostic, and it took me 15 or 20 more years to let myself think and say that I am an atheist. Guess what: It’s not great and I’m not smug. Identifying a fact about yourself is not an attitude problem. Grow up. Being a skeptic is the ultimate form of doubt, and for its most extreme purveyors, nothing anywhere in the world is ever certain. Does anything sound more stressful than that? It doesn’t to me.
Loving this sour-grapes dig at Michelle Obama, New York Times!:
She later changed into boots and a cardigan by Reed Krakoff and added to the outfit a sparkly belt from J. Crew, which served no apparent purpose beyond a plug for the retailer, or to remind us that belts are one of her signatures.
The piece is lulzily headlined “First Lady and Fashion Are No Longer So Combustible.” I guess “It’s Not Even Holding Any Pants Up You Guys” was too combustible.
Today’s headline-scrutinizing is brought to you by a bunch of idiots at the NYT.
NYT’s Motherlode blog ran a piece by a 40-year-old mother of one who’s hoping for a second, who’s recently realized she is anti-choice after years of claiming the opposite. It’s a gobsmackingly myopic piece of writing.
It’s understandable that she couldn’t comprehend the complexities of what abortion and reproductive rights meant when she began supporting them in her teens.
But I get the impression that the underpinnings of her support for those concepts never altered as she moved into adulthood; so, she reacts to a friend’s pregnancy entirely selfishly, as if the friend has the new car she would like but can’t afford. I see no adult comprehension or compassion, no matter her politics.
Ahhh, Miss Manners:
Miss Manners once witnessed freshman orientation at [a prestigious] college, where the dean, to be funny, said: “One of you shouldn’t be here. I’m sorry, but your letter of acceptance was sent by mistake. Please see me afterward. You know who you are.”
There was a dreadful silence where the laughter should have been.
Last June, someone stole my beloved first car, a 1996 Chevy Corsica that I named Abraham Lincoln like I do to nearly every object in my life. I don’t know why it was stolen and I’ll never know why. For a month there was a rental, a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. After that there was a 2000 BMW 328i named Little Max, until someone turned in front of me in one of the busiest intersections in Chicago on Halloween. While we waited for the police, the other driver passed around a plastic pumpkin filled with candy. A family friend loaned me a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville whose name I never learned, but whom my friends and I lovingly called the Bonerville. Now I have a new forever-car, a 2003 BMW 325xi that I haven’t named yet but that must be female: “There she is,” I say, when I find last night’s parking spot.
Yesterday a colleague and I talked about dream cars. The best dream cars, he told me, aren’t the rarest or foxiest or most expensive, they’re simply the first cars we fell in love with as kids, the first cars we drove — some usually very normal car that we love forever for some reason. I wondered if it wasn’t as simple as the way we imprint on our parents, the way we love our first era of musical awakeness for the rest of our lives. My dad jokes that someday I’ll join a Corsica collectors club. And it’s the most funny because maybe I will! Someday, maybe thirty years from now, somebody’s beloved grandmother will pass away after a wonderful long life and there’ll be a pristine Corsica under a cover in the garage. Are you listening? I WANT THAT CORSICA.
Intimacy isn’t possible unless you share who you are, fully, even (especially?) the stuff you’re afraid to share. That’s not to say you should spill all and just cross your fingers that loved ones won’t make you pay; choose people carefully, get to know them, then wait until you know enough about them to feel safe, and until you trust yourself enough to carry on even if the person lets you down.