Shambling After

I’ve advertised, supported, linked, and done everything within my blogging power to promote a number of my friends. Just take a look at my blogroll: Acadia Sunrise, Gorgeous Green Mama, Mr. Jay Gatsby. And now that we’re tight, tight Facebook friends, even Ashley F. Miller.

I support these people because I like what they’re doing, what they might do, or just the fact that they’re doing. I wish more people would blog. Back in my dark days of actually being an English major (no, Christopher Maloney, I no longer am one), I came across a lot of fellow writers who really knew what they were doing. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely anyone else will ever read much of what most of them have to say – of what they can say.

But I think the bloggers I’ve listed above have that same quality of knowing what they’re doing. At Acadia Sunrise, there’s the clear intent (and accomplishment) of making a connection between nature and prose. Gorgeous Green Mama has some similarities, but with a distinctive community/family flavor. Mr. Jay Gatsby’s writing is driven, clear, and unambiguous. Ashley F. Miller reminds me a bit of my own style, first with the summarizing then with the analysis. But she is certainly her own blogger, bringing a particular wit I’ve just spent the past 10 minutes trying (and failing) to define.

But I mention that all these people know their way around the English language because I don’t want to offend them when I gush over how insanely…good…Shambling After commands her prose.

It may seem as though I am complaining about the way Cairo is. In reality, all of this is what I like about it. Life is not easy here. Every morning you wake up in 109 degree weather, sweat-soaked and more exhausted than when you closed your eyes, you remember that you’re alive. Every time you turn away a begging child on the streets of Cairo, you remember that you’re alive. Every time you walk away from an epic cat battle on the streets, you remember that you’re alive.

My greatest fear is that I’ll leave Cairo, return to my monotonous life, and forget how unbelievable it feels to feel…

And the thing is, yes, out of context “an epic cat battle” sounds like a joke. But within the structure of considered prose, it means something; that I have a vivid idea of just where this cat battle happened, of the particular cats involved, of the numbed people on the streets, is a good indication that the writing is effective.

Keep reading.

I think he hit them all

Dominic Speirs is a quack supporter. He’s been busy in the comments defending the greedy, immoral, scummy snake oil salesman Andreas Moritz, but he decided to branch out to Darwin.

Darwin didnt even believe his theory of evolution. And the word ‘evolution’ and ’survival of the fittest’ didnt turn up in his books until the 4th edition of origin of the species. (And both theorys were lifted from another man)
Darwin was influenced by his parents who were members of the Lunar Secret society. The Lunar’s agenda at that time was “to destroy in the mind of man the belief in god”. He was more easily convinced about the lack of a god/spirit by the death of his daughter.

But ultimatley he was a man of God/spirituality and by the end of his life believed firmly in God or some higher force which permeates the universe.

If this guy wasn’t in Andreas Moritz’s Facebook woo group, I might have to declare Poe’s Law. Not only does he trot out a mass of creationist misconceptions that have been addressed who-knows-how-many-times, but he gets the constant misspellings in there, too – it looks like he hit all the requirements of being a creationist. I’m thinking this sort of thing should become the gold standard for noting when a blog is starting to take off: once the egregiously cliche creationists start popping up, the blog is on its way.

But this always raises a question for me: how do people get this crazy? PZ Myers talks about Reality Rejection Syndrome.

It isn’t just creationism; those beliefs have a surprisingly high correlation with denial of climate change, denial of HIV’s role in AIDS, anti-vax nonsense, rejection of the Big Bang, dualism, etc., etc., etc. At the root of these problems is discomfort with modernity and change, resentment of authority, anti-intellectualism, and of course, goddamned religion, which is little more than a rationalization for maintaining barbarous medieval values. So, yeah, face the facts: creationism isn’t just a weird reaction to bad science instruction and those annoying godless liberal college professors — it’s just one symptom of a deep-seated mental derangement.

That seems to describe Speirs pretty well. He’s not simply into woo and silly creationist beliefs (read: lies); he despises all that is founded in science and modernity. He’s like a Republican without the nasty social libertarian streak (as he has thus far indicated; the night is young).

Mr. Jay Gatsby offers a similar analysis:

Instead, fundamentalist American movements seek to redefine and protect their culture in an age of mass culture and state-based morality creation. Especially after WWII the state’s role in the creation of the ideals of morality has expanded at a planetary rate. Fundamentalist groups, knowingly or not, reject this principle and use religion as a cultural basis.

The religious ideals on which Speirs rests are likely either Christianity or New Age, amorphous woo. The first is likely just based upon 1) statistics and 2) the fact that he embraces the crazy. But I lean towards the latter because these woo fans don’t like to be pinned down; they reside in vagueness. As MJG puts it,

What is most curious about fundamentalist groups is their lack of clear definition. Fundamentalist identity is not based on what is. Instead, the groups define themselves against the “other;” what is “not” takes precedent over what “is.”

This describes no group better than the generic woo-worshipers. As one said to me in an email,

I bet your spirit guides are really hopeing you will knock this off so you can just get on with your life.

“Spirit guides” is so vague, it would be impossible to mount a coherent argument against it/them. I don’t mean to indicate that religions are rational or anything – they aren’t – but the more learned followers of mass religion are able to at least mount a case for their crazy beliefs (however weak the case may be). The woo supporters aren’t even interested in doing that; their interests rest in rejecting what’s popular and embracing a minority…nothingness.

Mr. Jay Gatsby blogs

Mr. Jay Gatsby has a new blog, Historically Speaking. Despite Mr. Gatsby’s well publicized, shady history, he is now up to telling us honest, non-shady history as it relates to current events.

Go check it out and then add it to your blogroll (as I did).