February 26, 2007
That's right, I am a silly person who actually thinks the cashier at McDonald's is in full command of at least an 8th grade education.
At the same time, this naivete leaves me gobsmacked when people like Jay Leno do their "Man on the Street" bits where commoners are asked simple questions and, to the amusement of the host and seemingly the audience, they return idiotic answers.
Apparently, idiocy is far more widespread and profound than I thought and I shouldn't give people so much credit.
I was reading over on the Scientific American blog:
28 percent [scientific] literacy means that 72 percent of Americans aren't literate enough to understand the average science story in a newspaper. But according to Duncan, it gets worse:
This level of science illiteracy may explain why over 40 percent of Americans do not believe in evolution and about 20 percent, when asked if the earth orbits the sun or vice versa, say it's the sun that does the orbiting--placing these people in the same camp as the Inquisition that punished Galileo almost 400 years ago.
Stop. 20% of Americans think that the sun revolves around the earth?
Oddly, the evolution thing doesn't surprise me since I was raised among redneck religious fanatics. I actually went to a school that taught Creationism for two years during my grade school education.
But revolves around the earth. Really? Seriously?
I wonder if these are people who just don't know or if these are people who vehemently insist on a geocentric view of the solar system.
That question is the concern that the author of that blog post brings up when he points out the error in the alarm expressed over these statistics.
I can't help but point out what I feel is a systematic error in his, and many other scientifically literate folks' thinking:
The equation of a lack of scientific literacy with religion, creationism, cultural conservatism, ignorance and a general hostility to science and technology.
[emphasis in the original]
Basically, just being ignorant of science isn't the same thing as being a religious whacko who is actively antagonistic toward reason, science, and technology. Although, this begs the question in my mind of what methodology are these people using in their lives to understand their environment.
I'm not ready to discuss at this moment his argument that those who oppose his view are not merely ignorant (lack knowledge of relevant facts) but stupid (willfully evading the facts), but I did want to express my astonishment that so many people are one or the other.
This means that if I walk into the subway after work and I start asking people about the revolution of the sun and earth, then about 20% of people will give me the wrong answer. That scares me.
February 15, 2007
Feb. 15, 2007 — A week after a former NBA star revealed he was gay, retired Miami Heat star Tim Hardaway made some incendiary comments about gays Wednesday on a Miami radio show.
"You know, I hate gay people," Hardaway said during an interview on "790 the Ticket."
"You know, I let it be known I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people," he said.
"First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team," he said. "I think the majority of the players would ask for him to be traded or they would want to get traded."
The show's host said: "You know that what you're saying there though, Timmy, is flatly homophobic."
Hardaway replied, "I am homophobic. So yeah, I don't like it."
Late Wednesday, Hardaway apologized for his comments, saying in a statement: "I want to apologize for my comments … regarding gays. My comments were offensive and I regret making them. I'm sorry to anyone I have offended."
Sports Illustrated: 'Homophobic' Hardaway says he hates 'gay people'
"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people," he said while a guest on Sports Talk 790 The Ticket. "I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
"First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room."
If he did find out that a teammate was gay, Hardaway said he would ask for the player to be removed from the team.
"Something has to give," Hardaway said. "If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that's upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate."
He later apologized for the remarks during a telephone interview with Fox affiliate WSVN in Miami.
"Yes, I regret it. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said I hate gay people or anything like that," he said. "That was my mistake."
Tim Hardaway, you're a jackass and a fool.
I bet that you guys could guess what bothers me the most about this story.
I hate that. Everyone knows he doesn't mean it. Demonstrating that asshats like Hardaway lack the strength of their convictions, integrity, isn't news.
And he isn't apologizing for actually being an asshat, he's apologizing for other people being upset that he's an asshat.
If there's anything more ridiculous than apologizing for something you meant to do, "I let it be known...," it has to be apologizing for things you have nothing to do with like other people's feelings.
We all know there are people out there with stupid ideas. It was recently commented on this site that there are adults who don't know the difference between dinosaurs and dragons. (It's horrifying to me to think that that could be true.) There are all sorts of people constantly proclaiming their belief in God, gods, spirits, ghosts, fairies, unicorns, or a any of a host of imaginary things. There are racists, sexists, homophobes, and people who don't believe in atoms.
I want all of those people to be open and unapologetic for their ideas. I want them to be loud. I want them to go on television, radio, and to the newspapers proclaiming their beliefs. And I want people to discuss those ideas.
Tim Hardaway doesn't want to be in the lockerroom with a gay man. Newsflash, Hardaway: gays love the lockerrooom and there is a 100% chance you've been in the lockerroom with one of us at some point in your life. I assume nothing worthy of note came of the experience and yet you insist that you don't want that to happen ever again. Why? Because you're an idiotic, loud-mouthed jackass.
I wouldn't have my jackasses any other way.
All y'all idiotic jackasses, I want you to stop being so quiet about it. I want you to stop apologizing. I want you to stand up and be counted.
Here I am! You know what I think. So, why are you so scared to do the same.
I admit that I have far less to lose. I'm not a celebrity. I'm not a politician. It's not likely that anyone in business is going to be an asshole like Hardaway and actually refuse to do business with me for any stupid reason like the fact that I'm gay or white.
Hey, Hardaway! Did you know that Coretta Scott King, you know, wife to REVEREND Martin Luther King Jr., was a vocal supporter of including gays in the civil rights movement? You're no better than a racist with your idiocy.
But be a racist. Be a homophobe. Be an idiot if that's what you choose to be.
When Tim Hardaway and others apologize for other people being offended, they're really asking me to forgive them for being an idiot. They're asking me to feel guilty for being angry because they're an asshole. They're asking me to suspect my proper, rational judgment of them and their stupid ideas.
I'm not at all sorry. I am not guilty of anything. I will not apologize for you being stupid. You're stupid and it is not only my right but my duty to my lifelong happiness and life as a human being to identify you as such. It is proper that my emotional response to idiocy is anger.
And Tim Hardaway wants me to not be angry. The only way I can not be angry is if I don't identify him as the asshole he is. How can I not do that? He is. He's right there in front of my face.
The question of whether or not to think is answered in my book. "I am therefore I think." So, when presented with facts, "Tim Hardaway hates gay people," I immediately consider his ideas and judge them according to my values.
To say, "I'm sorry people were offended," is as very passive and roundabout way of saying, "Stop thinking so that you can keep loving me." It is our approval that he is concerned about and that's the only reason he offered an apology. He has not changed his mind and has no intention of examining his ideas. All he wants is everyone to feel good about him. It is the night song of a second-hander.
No, Timmy. I didn't think anything about you except that you were a good basketball player. Now, I hate you and there's nothing you can do about it... except maybe gay sex. Have gay sex and I will think about being indifferent about you again like in the old days.
Please don't tell me no one else is thinking about "Hardaway" as a gay porn star name, either.
February 08, 2007
Well, the man did go through THREE WHOLE WEEKS of therapy. That's kind of a long relationship for many gay men and even Ted Haggard says it felt like three years.
My thought is that one should first know the proper words for things before applying terms like "poop" and "hoohaa." Those words can only be properly regarded as jokes and children need to be educated about the reality of things before they can make jokes.
Also, some people don't know those words are jokes. They think those words are less "offensive" than the proper name for those things. I'm not sure what's offensive about "defecate" or "vagina," really. I mean, if you say "poop" or "hoohaa" you're talking about the same thing. It seems to me that by using the proper term for those things, you actually avoid being vulgar and opt, instead, for the clinical.
So, imagine the eye rolling I did when I read this.
Local 6.com: 'Hoohaa' Marquee Sparks Complaints
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- A modified marquee in which "Hoohaa" replaced a word in the title of a play after a driver complained about finding the previous wording offensive continues to draw attention.
The marquis for Atlantic Theaters advertises a number of plays including, the Masquerade Ball, Band Jam, and now The Hoohaa Monologues.
The Hoohah Monologues is a replacement title for The Vagina Monologues -- a well-known play about that part of the female body.
Apparently, some woman's niece saw the sign and apparently asked her what it meant. She claims she was offended that she had to answer the question.
How hard is it to just tell the child, "Oh! 'Vagina' is the name for the part of your body between your legs from which you urinate. And that's the name of that play because that's what it's about." Or was she offended by having to define 'monologue?' I don't know.
She's clearly an idiot and needs to grow up. Children need to know about their bodies and it's best to teach them what they need to know and tell them what is and is not polite conduct regarding certain topics. They're children and learning this stuff is what they do.
Now her niece is going to think 'vagina' is a bad thing.
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