Are you there, God? It's me, Eric.
I know we haven't spoken in a long time, partly because I know you're very busy with governing the universe and I realize the only people who get to talk to you are prophets, televangelists and Republican presidential candidates.
First, thanks for the opposable thumbs. I know evolution was your idea to piss off the South. You truly do work in mysterious ways.
My reason for talking to you is simple.
I'm having a crisis of faith.
I'm finding it very difficult to reconcile mankind is good anymore, that our motives are pure and benevolent. Many horrid people with money and influence run the planet and are convincing the meek and humble that absolute power reigns supreme over kindness.
Personally, I don't agree. I think humanity needs to be kind.
Only by recognizing our own pettiness and prejudice can we fully embrace our destinies and forge a world for all, not just a few with their own private jets.
I know this sounds preachy, but you're probably used to hearing sermons all the time. You're probably used to hearing prayers and your words mangled from the mouths of the self-righteous and selfish.
Speaking of which, is this Tim Tebow guy serious?
What a showboating assclown! If he gets any more holier-than-thou, the church might canonize him.
I mean, he just threw a touchdown pass, not heal lepers or walk on water.
Sorry. I didn't mean to trash talk your kid. You know I admire your son's work. Loaves and fishes. The Beatitudes. Driving the money changers from the temple. Excellent stuff!
I guess the reason I'm writing you this is because my faith is shattered in the genuine goodness of humanity.
Take American politics. It's not about presenting an uplifting or workable vision for the betterment of Americans. From the speeches, the caustic barbs and the vicious mudslinging, American politics devolved into a gladiatorial bloodsport or nasty schoolyard fight.
Mankind has taken leave of the free will and common sense you gave them to produce a rabble of judgmental, superstitious, bickering obstructionists who care not a wit for compromise, but exist solely to trash the opposing party. They view the opposition not as individuals but as concepts, as vague stereotypes. It's easier to hate stereotypes instead of view them through a more realistic lens.
Our national dialog is clouded by dangerous rhetoric and idiotic rants best suited for drunken hobos wandering the bus station than political commentators.
"Obama is a socialist commie."
"Corporations are evil incarnate."
It's class warfare. Rich versus poor, haves versus have-nots.
The hypocrites are out in full force these days. Newt Gingrich lectures Bill Clinton on family values, yet asks for an open marriage so he could bang his mistress.
It isn't exactly honest when a politician wants to set a series of standards for themselves while holding everyone else (the peons) to a wholly different standard.
And Rick Santorum! Don't get me started on him!
I guess what I'm saying, God, is there's too much us versus them and not enough brotherly love. There's more greed instead of more generosity. There's more assholery instead of kindness.
I guess it's impossible for me to watch the cable news networks and not see a vapid parade of mental midgets blather on about Obama being the antichrist, or Mitt Romney being a Mormon with offshore bank accounts, or some heroin-addled celebrity in rehab.
We're better than this, I know we are.
I'm weary of rolling the Sisyphean boulder only to have it tumble backwards ad infinitum. We're in a real slump, here, God. A dearth of creativity or imagination. A cultural and social morass where ideas are mired by avarice and selfishness. We've become a distopian world where communications occur at the push of a button, where our cool dispassion and distance are detrimental to apathy. We live in a world where prejudice, bigotry and intolerance have conquered man's heart.
Yet despite these ridiculous and destructive things, we live in a wondrous age of technological and scientific progress. Yet coupled with the devolving social mores and etiquette, all of our e-mails and instant messages are hastily scribbled bits of ephemera and mental masturbation designed to validate our own political, cultural or religious differences.
Look, God, I know you're probably rushed. You've probably got a galaxy to create or a school bus filled with Ecuadoran children to topple into a river.
But I'd like to have some sign that things can get better for our country and world.
And if we're genuinely screwed and that Mayan apocalypse is going to happen in December anyway, I'd still like to know.
I want to buy my girlfriend something nice for the occasion.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Wikipedia goes dark.
Google censors its logo.
Reddit is down..
Wired redacts its content.
SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, the Protect IP Act, are two pieces of legislation designed to handle Internet piracy by making it easier for federal authorities to remove suspected pirated content from the Internet. The bills would make it difficult for sites operating outside of the United States to distribute copyrighted materials such as movies and music. Critics charge these bills go over and above what they were designed to do and impose a de facto censorship on copyrighted materials.
The bills would extend not only to torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, but to personal blogs (like this one). See, I use images cobbled from the Internet. These copyrighted photos were shot by someone else and intended for use elsewhere. Yet the amorphous, free-flowing structure of the Internet allows users (such as yours truly) to scoop up and use these images at my own folly, and thus post an image of President Obama blowing a wolverine or Christine O'Donnell sacrificing a goat.
Now I'm all for people, especially artistic hipster douchebag types, getting paid. One less hipster douchebag out on the street in a Guy Fawkes mask is a good thing.
Yet I can't abide by the way SOPA and PIPA were written, in such a heavy-handed fashion.
Under SOPA and PIPA, this blog would be censored. The federal nannies would swoop in, cut out the images that were copyrighted...without due process.
In protest, sites like Wikipedia, Google and Reddit have gone dark to raise awareness of SOPA and PIPA and the effect it would have on daily Internet use.
As long as the blackout doesn't effect BarelyLegalCumGuzzlers.com, my afternoon should be golden.