I’d like to take a minute to make a quick introduction. I post under the name secularJihad because I am a fervent, some would say militant, atheist. I am out to destroy Christmas. I would prefer most churches be bulldozed or turned into all-ages rock venues, unless they have some intrinsic artistic, cultural or architectural value. (Most pre-fab box-built megachurces from the last 20 years don’t.) Religion is ridiculous. That’s my opinion. It’s the opinion of many other atheists, and it’s the opinion of most religious people as well…as long as they’re referring to someone else’s religion. People get defensive about their own particular brand of superstitious nonsense. The fact is that most people adhere to whatever religion they were raised in, unless they wise up and break free. Most don’t have any good reason why they believe what they do, its just what they’ve always known. Maybe it’s time to reconsider? I think so.
I’m highly critical, to the point of being insulting, to most faiths. Most religious people are as well, again, as long as their own diety isn’t being ridiculed. I don’t have any such restriction. The idea of Saturn eating his children is just as silly as the idea that Yahweh magically knocked up a young girl and then killed her offspring to teach us a lesson, or the idea that drawing a cartoon of a prophet somehow forfeits the artist’s right to exist. They’re all equally non-compelling mythologies to me. If you think Richard Dawkins is overly harsh toward religious people, you should probably avoid my posts. I think he’s about as gentle at his most annoyed as I am on an average day.
When I’m not pissing on other people’s most closely held beliefs, I enjoy a variety of pastimes. Most are music or computer related, or both. I’m an avid music collector, mostly focusing on grunge-era independent music, shoegaze, metal – from Black Sabbath to Mastodon, AMREP noise and various forms of electronic and experimental music – particularly Bill Laswell’s far reaching ambient collaborations and remixes. I’ve been a bass guitar player since I was about 13, and a so-so drummer since I was about 30 (had to wait until I was a homeowner for that one). I’ve played in several bands, with long-ish stints in a six piece noise metal band, an instrumental post-rock band, and a stoner/sludge metal band. I love most music, but loud and heavy wins out most of the time.
I record my own music, but not nearly often enough.
I’m also a digital artist, specializing mostly in 3D still illustrations. Most of these begin in either 3D Studio MAX or Photoshop. I was professionally employed as a digital artist and photographic retouch-er for over a decade, and have recently moved into the graphics software industry. I still do creative work on the side when the job sounds interesting, and when I have time. I also create images for a variety of royalty free and rights managed brands that are sold on-line.
Racism is bullshit, as are most forms of discrimination, and should be avoided.
I am a vocal opponent of most laws restricting personal freedom, especially when they originate from religious doctrine, or modern perversions thereof. One person’s freedom to follow their faith ends when it cramps my style. I am awkwardly Libertarian in that regard. I oppose the drug war, and support gun ownership. I’m pro gay marriage and pro choice. Basically, I don’t care what you do, that’s your business, and don’t tell me mine. In other respects I proudly support many Socialist principles, and so do you, whether you know it or not. Our grandfathers would have all been worked to death in soot-filled factories if not for Socialists. Socialists gave us the weekend, and the 40-hour week. Hard battles were fought to give us these benefits, and they’re being eroded. Don’t believe me? Check your Blackberry. I also support government health-care and public schools. I don’t mind paying a high tax rate for a government that provides for me in times of crisis, and ensures my basic needs will be met if I am unable to meet them myself. And I don’t mind if my taxes go to help someone else who is in this position. My odd mixture of political beliefs makes me unpopular at nearly every political round table, but more often than not, I identify with progressives and Democrats. I generally oppose war, but in particular I oppose open-ended wars against concepts, rather than targets.
I prefer medium-light bass strings.
I’m supporting Obama/Biden in ’08, and have donated a few hundred dollars to their campaign. (Though it pains me that Biden was such an ardent proponent of the drug war.) It comes down to this: Do I want to live in a bright shiny sci-fi future where we all float around in pollution free hovercars and everyone is happy and free to express themselves creatively, or do I want to live in a charred industrial waste-world where we are surrounded by a wall that’s piled high on both sides with flyblown emaciated bodies of those trying to get in, and those trying to get out? I personally choose the former, and while I don’t think Obama will magically transport us from Fuckedville to Utopia in 4 or 8 years, I do think that electing him could be something that future generations will point to as the turning point in taking us there. Regardless, the politics on this page are my own, and Barack Obama does not support this message.
Spicy food, FTW!
I like animals, but strongly prefer cats. A cat is happiest when she gets to just chill out and enjoy her space. I get this. Eat. Sleep. Stretch. Yawn. Pet me. Litter break. Bath. Repeat. Simple. I get it. Dogs tend to get all up in my business in a way that I find a little bit intrusive. They’re ok when they’re calm, or when I’m jacked up enough to want to actually play with them, but that’s almost never. Cats can be annoying little shits at times too, but in general my money’s on them.
I am tentatively embracing the Apple Mac platform, though I’ll probably always have a few home-built PCs around.
I started out blogging on MySpace, but moved to WordPress because MySpace’s blog implementation is amateurish and doesn’t syndicate well. I tend to blog on the topics of religion, politics, music and computing, which should be no great surprise if you read the rest of this post. I try to infuse a little dark humor into my caustic vitriol. I am an admirer of the late Bill Hicks, and in particular of his ability to cut through all bullshit and speak with equal enthusiasm on topics from pornography to music to politics to the great existential questions. There are a lot of unfunny black-hearted cynical fucks who like to think they’re a little like Bill. I’m one of them.
Steve Jobs is a cocky prick, but I do love my iPhone.
I spent most of my college and post college years, when I wasn’t at work or studying, getting high with friends. I had a great time. Though I don’t know if I’d do it with quite as much gusto if I had a second chance. I think I could have accomplished a little more if I’d been a bit less pacified and a bit more focused. I recently completed a 5 year period of total sobriety. I have to say that in some ways, my life got a lot better, and in other ways it pretty much blew. I’m a bit awkward socially to begin with, and being the odd man out at every social gathering wasn’t easy. At any rate, 5 years seemed adequate to prove a point, and I’m back to being party-optional. Though I’ll probably pass more often than partake. It’s hard enough for me to manage all my work and personal obligations without inhaling an additional handicap.
So that should be enough to start. Maybe too much. More to come…