reileen: (Default)
I was reading through back-entries in the archives of Slacktivist's dissection of the Left Behind series, and found this list of permutations on the Number of the Beast to be amusing:

0.666 Number of the Millibeast
0.00150150... Reciprocal of the Beast
25.8069758... Square Root of the Beast
443556 Square of the Beast
1010011010 Binary Number of the Beast
1232 Octal of the Beast
29A Hexidecimal of the Beast

$666/hr Billing Rate of the Beast's Lawyer
$665.95 Retail Price of the Beast
$699.25 Price of the Beast plus 5% State Sales Tax
$769.95 Price of the Beast with accessories and replacement soul
$656.66 Wal-Mart Price of the Beast
$646.66 Next week's Wal-Mart Price of the Beast
$55.50 Monthly Payments for Beast, in 12 easy installments...

668 Neighbor of the Beast
666 F - Oven temperature for roast Beast
666 grams - The molar mass of the Beast.
6.66x10^23 - Avagadro's Number of the Beast
1.0106x10^1593 - Factorial of the Beast
2.82347 - log of the Beast
-0.0176416 sine of the Beast
999 the dyslexic Beast
$666/month Rent-a-Beast (for your own private affordable apocalypse!)
666 KiloBeasts should be enough for anybody

Next up, from the "Only in the Philippines" department, we have the members of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center dancing the Hare Hare Yukai dance from the anime series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Check out the related links for other songs they've performed.

I'll let it pass, and hold my tongue
reileen: (Default)
From Daily Kos, by the inimitable, tireless, and courageous [ profile] dogemperor: When the spiritual advisor of a presidential candidate (Republican John McCain) runs a church that pings nearly every item on at least four different respected "checklists for coercion" and is basically on the same level as or even worse than the churches run by Scientology or the Moonies, you have a BIG FUCKING PROBLEM.

Did you know that there are demons for handwriting analysis and anal fissures? No, seriously.

(If you're interested in finding out more, be sure to check out DE's main Daily Kos blog - he's posted a number of entries recently regarding the infiltration of one of John Hagee's church retreats by one of Rolling Stone's journalists. It's true that Taibbi's article has a bit of a snarky tone to it, but DE, who grew up in this type of atmosphere for at least 25 years before finally breaking away from it, was able to confirm Taibbi's observations about what went on at the retreat and what it did to people.)


I was out today with Melissa and Lauren for our usual "Beat-the-ACEN-mob-to-the-Pocky-and-other-snacks" trip to Mitsuwa Marketplace, a Japanese marketplace up on the North Side. Intrigued by Kagura's (from Gintama) fascination with sukonbu, I went and bought some, but it looks like I bought the konbu for making soup stock with, not the snack kind. Whoops. Well, now I have something I can possibly experiment with using my meager cooking skills.

Did you know that there are apple-flavored KitKats? No, seriously. I bought one. Haven't tasted it yet, though.

I remember when rock was young
reileen: (general - strawberry)
From MSNBC: Born-again virgins claim to rewrite the past

Across the country, "revirginization" appears to be gaining steam. Spiritual efforts to reclaim virginity emerged back in the early 1990s and now, prompted by abstinence-only school courses taught to thousands of girls nationwide, and by religious teachers, there are reports of more and more young women like Watts attempting a sexual do-over. Other women are opting for a more radical route to reclaim their virginity: surgical replacement of the hymen, the small membrane that stretches from the walls of the vagina and that typically breaks when a woman first has intercourse — or for many other reasons, from tampon use to vigorous exercise.

In the last few years, say doctors who perform the surgery, a steady stream of patients, many motivated by the conflict between mores in this country versus their country of birth, or the country of their parents' birth, are interested. "The rate of inquiries is increasing," says Dr. Denise Baker, a Bradenton, Fla., surgeon who performs the procedure on about 100 women a year.
[emphasis mine]

Okay, look, I can get wanting to be a "spiritual virgin" again, sort of. I personally find the idea a little silly (barring instances of rape or sexual abuse), and this quote encapsulates one of the problems with the logic of "re-virginalizing":

“To some people, remakability is precisely what cheapens the thing in first place," Carpenter says. "Virginity is not special if you can be a virgin again.”

But come on now. If I physically lost my hymen, I would not want that fucker back again.

Of course, I'm speaking from the standpoint of a privileged, culturally Catholic middle-class girl in suburban Chicago. If you were in a situation where being able to physically prove you were a virgin was going to save your life, I can completely understand wanting to undergo the surgery, i.e.:

Alinsod’s typical patient may have been born and raised in the United States, but with significant family in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, the Middle East. Without evidence a new bride is a virgin, she risks being rejected, or, worse, the victim of an “honor killing.”

But something like this -

Once in awhile, Baker says, she’ll get a patient who just wants to give a present to her husband. “One patient of mine gave it to her husband as an anniversary gift," says Baker. "She was not a virgin when they got married so we re-attached her hymen to reproduce that experience.”

- seems completely ridiculous to me. If I'd already had sex prior to getting married and wanted to give my manslave a gift, I wouldn't want to recreate an uncomfortable, awkward situation for me - I'd want to give him lots of Hot, Wild Sex. (So says the aromantic asexual...)

Honestly, something's wrong with how we've been handling the concept of virginity. It's completely, totally fucked up for a million and one reasons, and I wish people would stop making such a big deal over remaining a virgin.* I can understand wanting to have some sort of way to mark the point at which one fully(?) becomes a sexual adult. But I don't see how or why that should translate into mass idolization of celibacy, either before or after the first time you have sex. This isn't like Ye Olden Tymes where remaining chaste until marriage was required so that we all would know who inherited what from whom. I don't see any real practical need anymore to place importance on remaining a virgin until marriage. That's not to say that choosing to abstain from sex until then is a bad choice, and certainly we shouldn't demonize anyone who decides to make this choice, for religious reasons or otherwise. But trumpeting the abstinence-only approach to sexuality as the only way to go, which is mostly based on an idolization of virginity, has been shown to not work (although you may want to check out some of the comments by people over at Dark Christianity with regards to some of the specific details of this particular study), and in fact may have contributed to rising teen pregnancy rates (although this article isn't very in-depth about the numbers and methodology by which they came by this information).** My point is, the idea of "re-virginalizing" as well as our common understanding of virginity in modern American times is just part of a larger problem of unhealthy attitudes towards sexuality which need to be fixed somehow.

(I will admit to struggling with my own personal hypocrisy over this issue of sex and virginity. Logically, I'm a pretty liberal person. Emotionally, I still get the visceral "omgslut!!!!11" reaction when I find out that people I know who are close to my age have had sex - a reaction which I blame on having gone to private Catholic schools for grammar school and high school. It probably also has something to do with the fact that I haven't had sex yet either. Hey, I'm workin' on it, aight?***)

I have a number of thoughts on the spazflailfest that is the concept of virginity, but I unfortunately do not have the talent to articulately verbalize them all in this entry, so instead I invite y'all to check out Hanne Blank's Virgin: The Untouched History. She explores various aspects of virginity, raising from the biological to the historical to the cultural. Or you can bug me about something in the comments. Talk to me, people!

yeah, I've been up and down your block

*Yes, I realize the possible irony in me saying this, seeing as my matron is Artemis, one of the three virgin goddesses of the Hellenic pantheon. However, the term "virgin" back then meant "a woman not beholden to any man," and did not have the sexual overtones that we modern folk attribute to our perception of the term. Regardless, I don't think that Artemis had/has much of a sex life, but it's really none of my business.
**Those crazy Freakanomists have gotten in on the whole abstinence-only sex ed thing, too. Did you know that abstinence-only sex education is like South Africa's driving test?
***Er, the "getting over my hypocrisy" stuff, not the "haven't gotten laid" yet part. Dirty jokes aside, I'm actually kind of a prude.
reileen: (Default)
The path I take to the nearest Borders here in downtown takes me past a number of quaint fashion boutiques, from the unknown (Roberto's something-or-other) to the more well-known (H&M, Urban Outfitters). Forever 21 falls into the the latter category. I'd been at a Forever 21 store before, but I hadn't visited there in a while, so while on my way to Borders tonight I took a brief detour into the fashion freezer. I was almost too busy admiring the cute styles before remembering something that [ profile] dogemperor mentioned in a comment long ago on [ profile] dark_christian: that Forever 21 might actually have ties to the Christian dominionism movement. The possible giveaway? "John 3:16" is printed on the bottom of their shopping bags. [ profile] dogemperor never followed up on his/her suspicions as far as I know, so I decided to do a bit of Googling myself and see what popped up.

Wikipedia, as well as this Google hit, mentions that the founders of the Forever 21 chain (which includes Heritage 1981, a store I'd never heard of, and Gadzooks, which surprised me), Do Won Chang and his wife Jin Sook, placed the Bible reference (just the reference, not the actual verse) on the bottom of Forever 21's trademark yellow shopping bags as a way to express their devout Christian faith. However, the most suspicious thing I've dug up on them so far that could possibly relate to dominionism is the fact that they donated $3 million to Fuller Theological Seminary in SoCal. And while Fuller is evangelical (and the alma mater of Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life), its mission statement contained nothing of the dominionist sort, such as the late Falwell's Liberty University (official site here).

Forever 21 isn't off the hook for some people, however. It's been accused of "stealing" designs from Gwen Stefani, Diane von Furstenberg, and Anna Sui. But apparently this sort of copying is entirely legal:

The logos and labels that adorn apparel and accessories are protected by trademark law. But the designs of the garments themselves – the cut of a sleeve, the fit of a bodice – are not. Copyright law does not cover most fashion designs because clothing is a “useful article”, a class of items that falls in the jurisdiction of patents and not copyrights. But patent law is almost irrelevant to fashion designs, both because the patent standard of “novelty” cannot be met by most designs, and for the practical reason that the patent application process proceeds too slowly to be meaningful for most fashion designs, which live a brief commercial life and then disappear.

Which makes enough sense to me.

Along similar lines, though, some people are concerned with the dual-message that Forever 21 apparently espouses as a result of juxtaposing nigh-invisible evangelism with the latest in young adult fashion trends: "Girls, go get your freak on tonight, but be sure to repent in the morning."

What concerns me more is the issues with sweatshop labor, where Forever 21 allegedly was not paying its garment workers minimum wage or providing decent working conditions (long hours without overtime pay, no drinking water fountains, no breaks, cockroaches in the factories). It appears to have been resolved, however.

On the bright side, Forever 21 doesn't use real animal fur in their clothes!

a dress wearing a face in the doorway
reileen: (Default)
If I thought I could run to Japan to escape religious looks like I'm dead wrong.

Soka Gakkai, a branch of Buddhism, is to Japan as the Religious Reich is to America, apparently. Both Soka Gakkai and the Religious Reich exhibit signs of being a dangerous cult, and are heavily affiliated with a prominent political party in their respective countries.

I'm a bit busy to look up more info at this moment, but this will definitely be something I'll check out later.


Also, I could kill the architect of this house who thought that placing the A/C vent on the floors of the upper rooms was a good idea. Thanks to that flash of brilliance, my room is perpetually steamy in the summer no matter how high we turn up the aircon. Hot air rises and cold air sinks, dumbass.


I think I feel like changing my general icons soon. I want more icons, but the ads make my LJ layout look fugly. :'(


Bush is the one who's spending over $6 billion on the war in Iraq and he's talking about "runaway government spending"?!

it's gettin' hot in herre, so take off all your clothes
reileen: (general - strawberry)
From [ profile] dark_christian: Dobson, Armageddon, and Our Government

A transcript from the article quoted within the comm entry reads as follows:

Rosenberg:...And given the events going on in our world today, people at the Pentagon, people at the CIA, people at the White House are asking to sit down and talk about these issues, to understand the Biblical perspective, because it is uncanny what is happening out there and it deserves some study.

Dobson: Joel, you are doing a great work. What you just mentioned of people in the Pentagon and the CIA are asking you for interepretations of what you see that allowed you to write these books. I think that's done by divine inspiration. And I appreciate it.

Wait. There are people in the Pentagon who are seriously talking about foreign policy stuff with someone who thinks that nuclear war is ordained by the Christian God? Yahweh, save me from your followers, please!

In other news, boy, do I ever need to do some serious spiritual and philosophical journeying. Because I am sick of feeling threatened by the littlest things. Things that are overly zealous and perhaps illogical to me, but ultimately harmless.

put on your lederhosen/and try not to step on little Pikachu
reileen: (Default)
Linked to from [ profile] dark_christian: Christian pediatrician denies child service because parents are tattooed

A family is turned away by a local pediatrician, they say because of the way they look.

The doctor said he is just following his beliefs, creating a Christian atmosphere for his patients.

Tasha Childress said it’s discrimination.

She said Dr. Gary Merrill wouldn’t treat her daughter for an ear infection because Tasha, the mother, has tattoos.

Yes! Because that's totally Christian! There's a law in Leviticus that says you can't treat kids whose parents have tattoos, and one of the Ten Commandments is "Thou shalt not chew gum"! Let me tell you folks, this doctor is the epitome of Yeshua bar Yosef, because Jesus never went among people whom others considered skeevy and never consorted with those who could be deemed socially appalling and...oh wait.

I mean, shit, people. I don't care what the fuck the law says you have a right to do, but it is morally wrong to let a child suffer like that just because of your anal-retentive beliefs that don't even have feet of clay, especially if you're in the healing profession. And it's even more disturbing when you consider that the kid was denied an exam because of her parents. Yes, I am abusing italics. That's how pissed I am.

ETA: Okay, I've just re-read the article, and something's off here. The article mentions that there's another mother who has been treated by this doctor, and she says that she has tattoos and not a word was ever said about them. So we're missing a part of the story, it seems.


Triskaidekaphobia, take one. I make three noticeable mistakes at the beginning, middle, and end of the song. How convenient.

thirteen hells your death shall be, to freeze within the icy blaze
reileen: (Default)
Okay, so God got pissy over humankind and decided to destroy them all, except for Noah because he thought Noah was a faithul minion and thus he was worthy of being saved, yeah? God flooded the earth for 40 days and 40 nights, then decided maybe that wasn't such a hot idea after all, and thus made a secret pact covenant with Noah to nevar evar destroy humanity again.

This covenant was symbolized with a rainbow.


lost in a dying world, I reach for something more
reileen: (Default)
This post from [ profile] dark_christian provides thoughts on how many of the louder Christians nowadays (i.e., those of the televangelist ilk) blaspheme the very doctrine they claim to follow and keep holy. Also, a link to an absolutely beautiful song called "The Word of God" by Catherine Faber (right-click and save to download). Come on, it's free music!*

Excerpt from the lyrics:

High above the mountaintops, where only distance bars
The truth has left its footprints in the dust between the stars
We may watch and study or may shudder and deny
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the sky.

did you know you're so beautiful

*No, I don't condone music pirating at all. Nope. And I certainly never do it. Nevah.


reileen: (Default)
Reileen van Kaile

April 2010



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