Sunday, July 29, 2012

Haha Look at the Mentally Ill Man! LOL!1one

I love to walk. And Philadelphia is a great city to walk in. It's efficient grid-pattern satisfies some long-lost Teutonic need for order that lives deep down inside my genome. When it comes to walkin' depending on my mood I'll either go for a relaxing stroll through Forbidden Drive or perhaps a more interesting walk in Center City. I don't follow the rule about not taking pictures or looking up lest someone look at me as an easy target (go the fuck ahead, I've survived the Rome metro motherfucker). So I tend to wander about, taking my time, and I people watch a lot.

Everyone here will have someone else's wallet when they get off.

And what I've watched is a fucked up attitude Philadelphians have towards people in need. Now, most Philadelphians are decent folk and are willing to help out a person in need. Somehow this completely disappears once you go south of Vine or north of South. Once you cross the limes, you're on your own buddy. Standing outside of City Hall MFL stop was a dude in his underwear. At first I though perhaps this gentleman was sagging, as the youths call it, but alas, his pants were no where to be seen.

At first I wanted to laugh, but then I saw the confusion in his eyes. Something was wrong, people were laughing at him, and he looked lost.

What did I do? Nothing. I kept walking. Not because I didn't care, but because I know that no authority would have cared. There was a cop 15 feet from him, directing traffic. Between the Black Hebrew Thessalonian Monastic Philistine Israelites and the incense burning dudes he didn't give a shit.

No one did. People were laughing in that horrible schadenfreude tone. If you've ever seen someone getting beat up in North Philly and heard laughter from the spectators, you'll know exactly what I mean. It was fucked up. Welcome back to Philly Mr. Skeptidelphian! Here's what you missed!

I don't have anything else to say, other that I'll try to write more than 3 posts in one year.

Monday, February 14, 2011

so hay u do tuterin?

Holy shit I get some dumb fucks sometimes. Today took the cake.

*reads introduction*
*corrects some minor grammatical errors*
"Oh so this is about the American dream? So you picked Jerry Reese, Bill Gates and MLK. The only one there that makes sense is probably Bill Gates BTW."
*continues reading*
"Who the hell is Bill Williams?"
"Oh I changed the name because teacher knows almost everybody and I am worried that she will mark me wrong if something is wrong."
"You do understand that if you get something wrong, that's how you learn right? This is fraudulent, to make this stuff up, right?"
"It is?"
"You also mention Paul Allen and Microsoft in the same paragraph and Bill Gates in the introduction. How stupid do you think your teacher is?"
"Hold on, this MLK stuff - it's in a different font and spacing. Did you write this?"
"So where did you get this?"
"No, what specific sources? You need to cite them."
"If I Google a sentence, will the rest of this text show up?"
"Okay because I'm going to Google this right now."
"Yes, it will."
"So you copied this from the internet?"
"Well that's plagiarism you know, that's academic fraud. It's also illegal in PA. You'll get an F for the course if you hand this in, you know? You might get kicked out of the college too."
"If you don't hand me in a paper you wrote yourself, I'm going to have to tell your teacher, I'm not getting in trouble over your plagiarism."

Holy fucking shit how dumb are some people?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

No One In This City Can Drive

Jersey drivers suck - we know this. The Jersey Slide a maneuver by which a driver goes from the left lane to an exit on the far right, obviously favored by clueless Jersey housewifes and drunkards because you have to drive five miles to Chili's to get a buzz on since your development has no bars nor sidewalks. Philadelphians complain, rightly so that Jersey drivers suck. But the old adage "it takes one to know one" is apt here. Philadelphians are shitty drivers but for a wholly other reason:


No one uses turn signals. I don't understand, am I supposed to be a fucking psychic and telepathically know that you're  going to merge or come out of that spot? Are you too tired to flick your ring finger and put the signal on? I know, your fingers are greasy from your goddamn KFC chicken. How did I know? You threw the bucket out the window as you merged.

Not very skeptical, but something very annoying nonetheless. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas/Holiday Village Nonsense & Surrounding Peripheral Nonsense

Seeing that the whole issue with the Christmas Village has been settled, I think it is appropriate for a fully retrospective commentary on what has to be some of the most ridiculous crap in the political correctness/religious nonsense category for this year. I'm not sure if this whole issue went national or not, but for those who don't know Philadelphia has a Christmas Village set up by our City Hall. It's located on a 1970s soulless concrete hell known as Dilworth Plaza. So the city rents the space out to a business that sets up a German style Christmas village that sells Christmas related stuff as well as completely unrelated touristy garbage. But besides that it's kinda nice (although made out of cheap particleboard) and looks pretty at night.

That concrete is so 70s Berlin.
So the whole flap about the Christmas Village is that it's called Christmas. Somebody complained and our masculine and forthright Mayor Nutter decided that in the spirit of political correctness that he would courageously remove Christmas from the sign and dub the site the Holiday Village. After legitimate complaints of blatant PC nonsense, coupled with not so legit religious indignation and accusations of THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS STRIKES AGAIN the steadfast Mayor Nutter decided that the sign shall be put back, PC be damned! At least the union boys who put the thing up and down would be employed for a week or however long it takes them to do simple tasks.

What kind of complaints did the Mayor receive to prompt this? Apparently a story about a little Jewish girl complaining to her father that, "Dad, why don't we have a village?" Assuming that the story is true, a good father would have rebuked the little girl, saying "No daughter, it says Christmas Village not Christian Village. Because if that was the case he could have said, "We do have a village, it's called New York City". Lame jokes aside, this was an utterly stupid anecdote justifying an even more stupid decision.

Now I'm all for it being called Christmas Village, because that's what it is. Yet I am an atheist. "What gives, all you atheists hate religion and want to eat the baby Jesus." Shocking, I know, but I don't care about Christmas. It's sufficiently secular these days and it is part of American culture to the point where it seems okay for a Christmas themed festival to be hosted on public land leased from the city. We need more festivals, obviously not overtly religious, but still. I just like celebrating. Especially Christmas. Food, gifts, and alcohol - what's could be better?

Now just a week after this whole issue I decided to get a haircut. I've been getting haircuts from the same guy for as long as I can remember and I've always enjoyed thoughtful conversations with the man. I don't remember it ever being political, but we talked about science and sci-fi all the time. This time was no different, we started about the arsenic-based life which we both found fascinating and talked about how there has to be life out there that is utterly incomprehensible to us. The conversation shifted to cosmology, and to Stephen Hawking. I said something about how I respect the man but people hang on his every where. I said that it doesn't matter whether or not the man thought there was a god. It's just one guy's opinion on a subject of which there is no experts. However, there was dissonance in the room. I was saying that I think it's silly to care what one person thinks about a vague concept of "God" because there isn't any evidence for such a being therefore I don't really care period. He, assuming appropriately given my Catholic upbringing, thought that I was coming more of less from a "who are we to question the mind of god" sort of place.

But I wasn't. I hinted at my irreligious nature, which was met with unusual silence. I know the guy is open minded but I didn't know how he would take a revelation of my atheism. I really don't share it with people unless I know them better because saying I'm an atheist outside of certain circles is still not always advisable, even in a (supposedly) liberal city like Philadelphia. So I didn't say the A-word.

Then the topic of the Christmas Village came up. I said it was ridiculous non-issue borne out of political correctness. Which it is, but this guys thinking, "Yeah, this kid's alright, he's on my page." He then says something along the line of, "Well I mean we're a Christian nation and that's what it is. People should respect that or get out."

My reaction.

So I'm confused here, is he talking about immigrants? I asked, "What do you mean by 'get out'? Who are we talking about?" He said (keep in mind these aren't exact quotes), "You know the Muslims."


But I didn't. I said, "What Muslims?" "You know, the ones that work at city hall." "You mean the ones who converted because their boyfriend did in prison (this phenomenon will be examined in a later post) who also work at city hall? They're not even devout, I've heard those types talk about getting drunk. They wouldn't care about Christmas, they still probably believe in Jesus." "Exactly."

I never felt that disappointment before. You know,when you realize that a family member who claims that they used to go out and jetski all the time when they were kids is actually just relaying their dreams as truth because they used to watch the boys go jetski but never went out with them and decided to live vicariously through lies told to children? Well this was ten times as bad as that. The realization that a man that I respected, who held respectable beliefs regarding science and had good taste in sci-fi was full of shit when it came to politics and religion.

But that wasn't the end of the conversation. He said that he expected that sort of complaint from an atheist. That was the tipping point. I said, "I'm an atheist, and I don't care." He wasn't expecting that. He then started to ask me what I thought about ten commandments and religious figures built into the architecture, and whether or not I thought that stuff should be defaced from buildings. I shared my opinions while trying to demonstrate the "Christian nation" comment was untrue and the whole bizarre Muslim comment wasn't relevant. I came looking for a haircut. Not for a debate. Needless to say my next one should be interesting.

Snow in Philadelphia

You may or may not be from Philadelphia. If you are not than you have no idea how seriously we take our weather. Those from more snowy parts of the world may scoff at our reactions but you must understand, weather is a big deal here. An inch or two of snow is enough to render all major highways backed up, resulting in speeds below than the unofficial speed limit of 80mph. Expect your thirty minute commute to turn into an hour and a half trek for your survival. Two or more inches results in widespread panic.

3 inches of snow is forecast for tomorrow.

This panic is colloquially known as an "eggs, bread, and milk" alert. Philadelphians rush to the supermarkets to purchase these essential foodstuffs. In the event of power outage it is essentially to own the most perishable foods known to man. Citizens polish their favorite plastic porch chair or trash can and get ready to mark their parking spot. This marker is sacred, to move it is to suffer death. Literally.

A Mini could probably park there.
Anything more than six inches will result in apocalypse style panic. People will bar themselves indoors, concerned parents will run on the bodega to make sure they have enough survival rations (funyuns, cheese doodles, hugs, Malta Goya) for the coming weeks where all city services will stop. Others will commit suicide, despairing at the thought that such a storm could exist in this world. Glen "Hurricaine" Shwartz's bow tie will begin to spin uncontrollably.

It also provides white noise for falling asleep to.

Initial Posting

Hey you, you one person who ever going to read this. This is my first post. How about that. This blog is basically going to be a place for me to complain about nonsense that happens in and around Philadelphia. Lots of bullshit abound in this city, from lots of new age woo to political corruption embedded into our city's laws. This blog won't be purely science or atheism or political, but touch on pretty much everything that goes on in my life that I find some form of nonsense within.