I may not be able to muster enough mental energy to produce something original that is coherent today; so instead, enjoy (or, possibly, groan over) these news stories that I’ve found over the last few days.
There’s probably very few people at present who have not heard all about the Russian “anti-gay speech” laws and all of the other atrocities that are occurring in connection with them, and the possibility of the U.S. and other countries boycotting the Winter Olympics that will be there in 2014, on which George Takei has been taking a particularly inspiring lead. Stephen Fry is doing the same for the U.K. at present, and is taking some direct flack for it from a Russian politician.
My comment on the notion that the best way to combat Russia’s stance on these things is for gay, lesbian, or bisexual athletes to go over and compete for their countries and win is: fuck you, world leaders, for saying that. They run a much higher risk of being arrested for “being in Russia while gay, lesbian, or bisexual” at the moment than they do of even getting a chance to compete; and imagine if a GLB athlete won, and was asked to comment afterwards, and said “I want to thank my coach for all his support, and also my partner,” as would be perfectly expectable in that situation, and then they got arrested for it. That’s fucking bullshit, and it shouldn’t happen, but it will happen, or the athlete in question will have to censor themselves in their moment of triumph, and that is no triumph at all for anyone other than the Russian homophobes and the country of the athlete concerned, of which many people may not give a rip about their safety nor approve of their sexual orientation…and, why should someone make those sacrifices if their country and their government doesn’t back them up 100% on who they are in what they’re doing for their country?
And also, let’s not kid anyone and keep saying that “LGBTQ” people are at risk in all of this and should be included, etc. The “T” (and certain other parts of) that acronym cannot participate in the Olympics at all at this stage, so let’s not be inclusive just for the sake of being inclusive with this when a whole section of humanity is barred from ever being in this kind of event. I have had the experience far too often of “subordinate your actual identity for the benefit of the larger group’s success, education, etc.” to ever be all right with it going on again for anyone in relation to sexual orientation, especially on an international stage like this where so much is at stake.
Pelops is fuming in his hero-shrine over this, folks…
In other news, a recent study suggests that atheists are smarter than religious people, to which I must respond, “Oh, really?” First of all, who is being considered “religious” there? If it is “religion” according to the Barnes & Noble and various other bookstores’ definition of “religion,” then that means Christians; and if it is “Christians,” then are we talking Jesuit-educated Catholics, or are we talking home-schooled non-denominational Southern megachurch attendees? If it is the latter, then of course I’d say “Duh!” to that; but if it is Buddhists, or Hindus, or pagans of various stripes, the percentages may differ strongly on this. So, more information and proper contextualization, oh-so-smart atheists who obviously created this study, would be better for this to be considered truly and fully “scientific”–you know, that religion that all of you espouse so loudly but don’t realize is just as much a religion as any other religion?
I like what Neil DeGrasse Tyson said on this matter…
(He’s said this same sort of thing on other occasions, but I couldn’t find the precise video of it I’d seen before, but the info and the interpretation is similar here.) No matter how “smart” some people are, and no matter how scientifically or philosophically educated a person is, there are still those among them who are “religious” for some value of that term, and I don’t think we can argue that they are somehow “deficient” or “not-as-smart” as their peers…so, something is obviously going on there, and it is interesting and worthy of study, as Prof. DeGrasse Tyson indicates.
Finally, this story interested me because I saw it after I wrote this post the other day. It is the message of a father who is “doing it right,” I think, who is giving his advice on sex to his daughter in a way that is sane, sensible, and even exemplary, which you can read here. What I like best about it is that he actually says that she’ll break the hearts of male, female, and genderqueer individuals in her time, and he doesn’t say one or the other is better or worse than any other, or off-limits. That’s really excellent, I think.
How about y’all? What are your thoughts on any of the above?