9.30.2008

Pet Peeve #1: Exodus 20:7

The following is my very first posting as a new contributor for Diary of Fools, the second coolest blog ever.

The reader must be warned. The following may contain offensive material. I’m assuming that I’m dealing with a very mature audience who will understand the purposefulness that I bring to this post.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." It seems like a rather severe judgment for one who simply says "my god," don’t you think?

But I ask you, do you really, way down in the farthest depths of your soul, truly believe that God, Creator of all things, including Southpark and Hustler Magazine, really gets pissed off over something like that? If he’s cool with violent criminals repenting, allowing them passage through his pearly gates, then I think he could let “God Dammit asshole, let me pass!” or “Jesus Bloody Christ, the speed limit is 60!” or even, “God is watching you motherfucker!” slip by, right? Because, that’s just my morning commute.

And what about sex? One of the main points Jesus makes in his teachings is the importance of love, and he wasn’t talking about hugs. Believe me. And unless God is totally gay, I wouldn’t think he’d mind it so much hearing “oh god, oh god, oh god!” during an orgasmic spree of lovemaking. On a personal note, I’ve resorted to, “Oh scientific method, oh scientific method, oh scientific method, ooohh!”

First, let's assume that the traditional view is correct and you are not allowed to use God's name to curse. This leads to creative alternatives, such as "Gosh darn", "Geez" and "Jiminy Cricket". If you’re opposed to saying, “Jesus Christ” or “Oh, my God” as expletives, shouldn’t you also be opposed to the shortened versions? By saying “Oh my Gosh”, aren’t you, in a sense, promoting the very saying “Oh my god!” They mean the same thing, right? It’s like your fake Louis Vuitton designer handbag. You want to make people believe you’re fashionable or rich, just like you want to make people think you’re religiously pure. But really, you’ve just bought a shitty handbag from a sweatshop in China and you haven’t attended a church service in over two years. So, by trying not to be religiously offensive, you actually are. A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet. Ya hear.

And am I supposed to believe that by rewording something God will let you get away with it? If he’s like most guys, he’s not listening to you anyways.


Besides, God isn’t even his real name. That’s, like, saying my name is Person or Girl. Wasn't the original context of this verse a restriction on saying the name "Yahweh"?

Cursing is a gift to the English language, a gift that we have in far greater complexity than any other species on this planet. A gift most people take for granted. Cursing isn’t supposed to be a thought process. It is raw and tense emotion - allowing swearing to invoke deep and unavoidable emotional connections, whether good or bad. If you need to take the time to change “Oh my God”, to “Oh my gosh”, you really should work on finding more meaningful, less offensive words.

The third commandment is meant to restrict actions more so than words. It is broken in more ways than just a bunch of Pagans and dirty hippies screaming "God Damn it!" or "Jesus H. Christ!" Our society worships money, beauty, and power. WE say that God says this is wrong and this is right. We elect officials who profess God's name but do not live answerably to it, worshiping with their tongue and not their heart (or brain). They think they are placed there by some higher power and then they make the decision to go to war and screw the poor. I think that every time we are acting with prejudice, we are taking Yahweh’s name in vain.

9.15.2008

Biochemical warfare

My co-worker crawled into work this morning coughing and sneezing. Her pale and withered zombie-like body crept through the hallways, her germs filling every nook and cranny of the office, like bacteria spreading on a Petri dish. She opened the door to the refrigerator, the bathroom, her office, my office, her nose dripping like a sieve. She said, “It’s just allergies.” Bullshit. I heard that line a thousand times. Fast forward to the next day, allergies are gone, now she decides that she is, in fact, sick but “not contagious”. Bullshit again. Fast forward to the next day, she calls in sick with the flu. As did all the people she had meetings with, the FedEx guy and the cleaning lady.

Some say she’s just a hard worker and dedicated to her job. I prefer inconsiderate douchebag. Soon the sickly germs will spread, making half the office sick or paranoid about getting sick. No one dares to question who got them sick in the first place because they’re too busy trying to convince people…”it’s just allergies.”

Why not call in sick? For some people, no work means no money. That has to change - the Employers need to start weighing the costs of good medical care against the potential for on-the-job productivity losses. For others, not using your sick days means an extra vacation day. Or, maybe they plan to play hookie - calling in sick when they really just want to sleep in or enjoy a three day weekend. Or, they’ll hold on to their allotted sick days in case they are sick later in the year. I don’t care if you’re Mother Teresa or Gandhi, I don’t care how important your job is or how no one else has the training to cover what you do. You’re not as important as you think you are. People who come to work sick should be locked up - general population.

Employer groups refer to this as “presenteeism.” Presenteeism discusses the problems faced when employees come to work even though they are sick. This has negative repercussions on a business performance level. Wikipedia says, “presenteeism can have catastrophic effects on a company's output and present hidden long-term costs and wider social problems beyond the enterprise. An employee who arrives at work despite illness may only operate at a fraction of his or her normal capacity despite requiring the same expenditure in wages, social contributions and taxes as an employee operating at 100%. They may also be more prone to mistakes, and in the case of contagious diseases (e.g. Influenza), they may transmit the illness to fellow employees, causing a larger fallout in work efficiency.”

I’m not asking a lot. Just quit getting ME sick. I’m tired of applying hand sanitizer every five minutes. I'm tired of being paranoid. I'm tired of listening to people blow chunks into their snot rags, coughing and wheezing up a storm. No one’s going to look at you and say, “Wow, I really respect you for coming into work when you’re sick, risking the health of every person you come in contact with. You’re such a trooper, we should promote you!”

Go home, dammit. Take some Nyquil and pass out. It’s not like you do anything anyways, except drink coffee and talk about American Idol.

9.08.2008

English Please

English Please

That's what it says. I started this one on the ferry ride back from the San Juan Islands last week. I like it.

9.04.2008

The car that cried burglar

Car alarms. The morning wake up call goes something like this: a harsh crescendo of Bee-oop bee-oop bee-oop bee-oop. Followed by a descending high pitched Beeboobeeboo beeboobeeboo beeboobeeboo. Then, a long upward boooOOO boooOOO boooOOO boooOOO and a staccato of beep beep beep beep beep. Continued with a HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! and finally, a repetition of ‘Please step away from the vehicle.’

There is no evidence that car alarms work. They only create a false sense of security. According to my friends that steal cars, thieves will even intentionally trip the car alarm to mask the sound of breaking glass. My friends can disable them in seconds.

Once people started figuring out that the car alarm could just as easily go off from a speck of dust that came within a micrometer too close as it would a burglar, they stopped caring. Eventually, becoming more annoyed than anything. And at this point, people are more willing to assist the burglar than alert the owner of the vehicle. In fact, a recent poll revealed that your upstairs neighbor is 100% more likely to key the word “douchebag” on the hood of your car if your alarm goes off again at 4:30 am! Dude. Not cool. They’ve become so ubiquitous that we’ve become used to the sound, they are no longer effective. It has become the quintessential Boy Who Cried Wolf story.

The insurance industry says they don’t prevent car theft but they do increase noise pollution. I propose a World ban of obnoxious car alarms. Now silent, inexpensive anti-theft devices are available, like Car Alarm Pagers, Keyless Entry Systems, Vehicle Ignition Kill Switches, the LoJack System and Steering Wheel and Brake Locks. And if you’re not too lazy, you can always detach the Face Stereo Dash that your lazy ass keeps forgetting to do.