Takei on Phelps

79 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    Apparently, Mr. Sulu knows how to "engage" in polite, civil discourse even with those he disagrees with.

  2. Pablo says:

    Of course, Phelps is no more dead than any of the rest of us will one day be. In fact, he may be less dead. I suspect he'll still vote.

  3. ULTRAGOTHA says:

    I’d rather there was a huge silent line of people along the route to the cemetery holding up signs that say “God Loves Everyone”.

  4. Grifter says:

    Takei is a classy guy.

  5. Frank Somatra says:

    Hold on. You mean to tell me that you didn't watch Star Trek and consequently love George Takei?

    Clark, the SciFi nerd? http://www.popehat.com/2013/10/10/clarks-science-fiction-review-policy/ http://www.popehat.com/2013/12/21/clarks-favorite-books-part-1-science-fiction/

    :)

  6. tarran says:

    I don't think he was a tormented soul.

    He was running a very succesful scam that kept his clan in shekels.

    They traveled from polity to polity extracting money in the following manner:

    They would act outrageously and be arrested. They would then turn around and sue the authorities for violating their civil rights. The authorities recognizing that they were in for an expensive battle that they would likely lose on points of law would settle.

    I was baffled that once the scam became clear, people still kept allowing the WBC to troll them.

  7. Craig says:

    Can he be called dead who never truly lived?

  8. tom says:

    TIL: Fred Phelps was a civil rights activist who defended the rights of african americans, risking life and limb to do so. Shame about guys like him is that they think they're doing good in the world by protesting funerals and reminding us that they project hatred of gays on god.

  9. Ken in NJ says:

    They would act outrageously and be arrested. They would then turn around and sue the authorities for violating their civil rights. The authorities recognizing that they were in for an expensive battle that they would likely lose on points of law would settle.

    I think this is mostly an Urban Legend. Several of them have state jobs, and one of them is (was?) a nurse. They do win some cases, and likely settle others, so it's a good bet that their constant frivolous litigation is a nice little supplemental revenue stream, but it's unlikely that it covers even the cost of their picketing, much less the rest of their lives/business/church

    Here's an interesting discussion of it

  10. Anon Y. Mous says:

    One less widely disseminated aspect of Phelps' politics: He was a Democrat.

  11. Lagaya1 says:

    Often, a classy response is the most effective smackdown.

  12. Clark says:

    @Frank Somatra

    Hold on. You mean to tell me that you didn't watch Star Trek and consequently love George Takei?

    Clark, the SciFi nerd?

    I love science fiction.

    I don't consider Star Trek science fiction.

  13. A. Nagy says:

    "highly controversial" to whom? Nobody likes them. I know that's the Huffpo article and not you but it's still annoying.

  14. John Farrier says:

    I don't consider Star Trek science fiction.

    Pistols at dawn, sir.

  15. A. Nagy says:

    Phasors at dawn, sir.

    Stun or Kill?

  16. Tarrou says:

    I see a lot of people going this "high-minded" rout.

    Fuck that, the man was scum. People seem determined to forget about his vile ideology and the vapid and idiotic way in which he conducted his ridiculous crusade (really, protest the military for gays, the only place in America you couldn't openly be gay* at the time? Apparently Phelps was immune to irony). We should not. If we're going to point to the crazy Jihadis and ask the muslims if that's how they want to be portrayed (and I do), we should also hold this example up to christians in the same manner. We should not forget the lengths to which theological certainty can drive people.

    And we should wish fondly that the remainder of his church follow him swiftly to the grave. Screaming if possible.

    *Including the Catholic Church, unless I am very much mistaken.

  17. delurking says:

    Phasers, dammit, not phasors. Phasors are related to imaginary numbers. Phasers stun or kill people.

  18. John Farrier says:

    @A.Nagy — or even, better: bat'leths!

  19. tom says:

    I don't consider Star Trek science fiction.

    Ohgod. You're one of those idiots who thinks that Star Trek is real. Aren't you. You… I… I just… I have no more words for you.

  20. A. Nagy says:

    Phasers, dammit, not phasors. Phasors are related to imaginary numbers. Phasers stun or kill people.

    I just realized how staggeringly few sci-fi books I have read that use phasers.

  21. Tizzy says:

    @A. Nagy

    How fazed are you by that revelation?

  22. HandOfGod137 says:

    I don't consider Star Trek science fiction.

    The stuff about atheism and guns and sitting in a fortified compound knitting your own yoghurt and cursing the guv'mnt I could take. This, however, is beyond the pale.

  23. StephenH says:

    Takei also posted to his facebook feed:

    Today, Mr. Phelps may have learned that God, in fact, hates no one. Vicious and hate-filled as he was, may his soul find the kind of peace through death that was so plainly elusive during his life.

    I have a deep respect for Takei, for having this position.

  24. Al says:

    Martin: As your president, I would demand a science-fiction library, featuring an ABC of the genre. Asimov, Bester, Clarke.

    Student: What about Ray Bradbury?

    Martin: I'm aware of his work…

  25. Kratoklastes says:

    "Today, Mr. Phelps may have learned that God, in fact, hates no one."

    Ummm, no – at least not without contorting the term 'may' to include likelihoods as near to zero as makes no odds.

    Today, Mr Phelps is just a pile of dead meat – everything he believed about a genocidal foreskin-obsessed Sky Wizard was nonsense, and imaginary friends in the sky can't "hate" or "love".

    For atheists like me, the gallimaufry of primitive nonsense that "believers" believe in (highly selectively) places the WBC and the Catholic Church on roughly the same level of ludicrousness… but the WBC, if anything, does less social harm because it can't be taken remotely seriously by anyone of moderate-or-better intelligence (anyone with an IQ above the lower bound of a 1 s.d. interval around the mean).

    In fact, WBC and Phelps and his ilk are more honest than most believers in the "Jeebus" adaptation of the Iron Age race-cult whose core ritual involves genital mutilation. They are 'full throated' and full-blooded believers, who take the book at its word and do not try to tart it up… and if folks think that what Jeebus said is worth listening to, they ought to be aware of some of his schpiel:

    "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:27)… Classy.

    Everybody is atheist with respect to all but one (or a few) gods: it's highly likely that nobody here believes jointly in Yahweh (the aforementioned psycho genocidal foreskin-eater), Crom, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl and Marduk. Full-throated atheists just go that one logical step further and eliminate all imaginary nonsense.

  26. Sigmadog says:

    Phelps' death almost makes me wish Hell actually existed. Almost.

  27. Nat Gertler says:

    If you didn't like Phelps, you don't go protest his funeral not just because you're taking the high road, but because such a protest would be given him victory. He did not live his life as someone who wanted to be loved or to be ignored; he chose WBC targets so as to get attention and rile people up.
    Even if you believe that he is not around in any form to see it, there is still no reason to reward him with the negative attention he sought and his fellow church members still seek.
    If you must do something – go out and build. Go out and love… if possible, love someone who is difficult to love. If you want to target what he hated, help make life better for gays, for those who have served in our military, for those who are not Christian.
    Loving well is the best revenge.

  28. Sigmadog says:

    Loving well is the best revenge.

    And laughing. Laughing is great revenge.

  29. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    Star Trek wasn't Science Fiction. Science Fiction posits a change in science or technology and examines the possible effects on people. Star Trek was Space Opera, and pretty decent Space Opera for the time.

    Anthology series aside, there has been damned little actual Science Fiction on television. The show that immediately springs to mind is Ghost in The Shell; Stand Alone Complex. Doubtless there are others, but I stopped watching broadcast/cable about a quarter century ago, and while I have dipped into a show or two since they have mostly been either Space Opera, Fantasy, or Whodunits in SF drag.

    Which isn't to say that they haven't been good, or fun.

  30. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    The worst thing I can think of to happen to Phelps is that he be confronted with the certain and unavoidable knowledge of what he was, and left to cops with that knowledge, knowing that if he can repent he will be forgiven.

    But I am a Theist.

  31. NotPiffany says:

    If we really, REALLY wanted to piss off this dead follower of an asshole god with bad aim and his family, we would ignore him. No taking the high road, no taking the low road, just no acknowledgement whatsoever. That would really piss them off.

  32. AlphaCentauri says:

    @NotPiffany — There is a major divide among Christians. Some ascribe to the belief that all that is necessary is to say that one believes in Jesus. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved, period. That leaves a lot of wiggle room for people like Phelps who claim to be Christian and act like the spawn of Cthulu.

    Others believe that it isn't possible to actually take Jesus seriously without taking his teachings seriously, which requires us to actually love our enemies, and to attempt to serve anyone in need, even our enemies, even people like Phelps who pervert Christianity itself.

    I don't know what faith Takei follows, but his forgiving response to Phelps is a better witness to Christian principals than most Christians ever manage.

    Ignoring people is better than aggression, but Christianity actually requires us to care about them.

  33. Demosthenes says:

    George Takei's current schtick has two facets: 1) being a snarky ass toward people who don't agree with him — particularly on gay marriage, and 2) doing guest spots that take "comic" advantage of his best-known role. Speaking as a lifelong Trekkie who is not in favor of gay marriage, this has made my opinion of him go down considerably.

    Having said that, his response to the death of a man whom I frankly consider anti-Christian and whose actions were permeated with evil is a model of charity and compassion, and I endorse the sentiment.

    I just wish I could believe that Takei meant it.

  34. Dan says:

    @Kratoklastes

    Everybody is atheist with respect to all but one (or a few) gods: . . . Full-throated atheists just go that one logical step further and eliminate all imaginary nonsense.

    I grow somewhat weary of reading this, mainly because it's utterly nonsensical. An atheist is a person who believes there is no god. Atheist as an adjective describes the state of believing there is no god. Refusing to believe in one (or any number) particular god(s) is not a mark of an atheist.

    It's as though I were to describe myself as an anarchist with respect to totalitarian dictatorships, but not with respect to constitutional republics.

  35. Hiccup says:

    I have nothing to say about the deceased, his organization, or anything that may bring any attention to either.

    I WILL say that I hope that further comments will not be an atheists vs religion or mention anything about that which I will not name, but a lengthy discussion about science fiction and Star Trek. If any member of that organization should search for any blog or discussion of the individual who is no longer living, they will find that people quickly find something more interesting to talk about.

  36. Randall says:

    Perhaps Takei is a better man than I, but I will always celebrate when evil passes from the world. We are well rid of Fred Phelps.

  37. Clark says:

    John Farrier

    Pistols at dawn, sir.

    Decisions, decisions.

    My carry .40, my plinking .22, or my shooting league .45?

  38. Clark says:

    @Kratoklastes

    "Today, Mr. Phelps may have learned that God, in fact, hates no one."

    Ummm, no – at least not without contorting the term 'may' to include likelihoods as near to zero as makes no odds.

    I would absolutely accept "NaN" as an answer.

    …but you're purporting to calculate this with a precision to – and beyond – epsilon.

    Pray (cough) show your work ?

  39. Clark says:

    @C. S. P. Schofield

    Star Trek wasn't Science Fiction. Science Fiction posits a change in science or technology and examines the possible effects on people.

    Or at the very least, involves science.

    Thank you for tee-ing up the ball for my new blog post: "Are Women Ruining Science Fiction?"

  40. Sheriff Fathead says:

    @Clark

    Pistols at dawn, sir.

    Decisions, decisions.

    My carry .40, my plinking .22, or my shooting league .45?

    You mean you don't have a Webley 0.577 Boxer?

  41. Clark says:

    @Demosthenes

    George Takei's current schtick has two facets: 1) being a snarky ass toward people who don't agree with him

    Yes. One of the reasons I'm not a huge fan. He is, on occassion, hilarious, though – I'll give him that.

    Having said that, his response to the death of a man whom I frankly consider anti-Christian and whose actions were permeated with evil is a model of charity and compassion, and I endorse the sentiment.

    Exactly.

    I just wish I could believe that Takei meant it.

    Civilization is 80% showing up on time, and 19.999% acting "as if".

    As I'm a civilized gent (or at least aspire to such), I'll take Takei at his word.

  42. Clark says:

    @Dan

    Everybody is atheist with respect to all but one (or a few) gods: . . . Full-throated atheists just go that one logical step further and eliminate all imaginary nonsense.

    I grow somewhat weary of reading this, mainly because it's utterly nonsensical.

    Agreed. Well argued.

  43. Clark says:

    @Hiccup

    I hope that further comments will [ be ] a lengthy discussion about science fiction and Star Trek.

    Here is my short version of why I hate Star Trek (TOS, TNG, DS9, E, old movies, new movies, action figures, Saturday morning cartoon, lunch box, fotonovel, tattoos, conventions, and anything else I've missed):

    All fiction is about conflict.

    Science fiction, at its best, is about mankind encountering new situations, to which the human virtues of rationality, bravery, intellect, and creativity are applied. The new situations can either be new physical phenomena (e.g. Ringworld, Lucifer's Hammer), new adversaries (e.g. Kzin, Draka, rogue Nexus units, the memes of Directive 51), or the old conflict of man vs. man …in a new environment (e.g. The Postman, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress).

    Star Trek, IMO, is about mankind encountering the same old situations with the same old antagonist (although sometimes they have latex bumps on their foreheads). Rationality, intellect, and creativity are only rarely used. Despite the premise ("exploration!"), the actual deliverable of the franchise is not novelty, but comfortable repetition.

    In short: Trek? Bah!

  44. stakkalee says:

    In honor of Mr. Takei, better make it a .38 special.

  45. Sheriff Fathead says:

    @Dan

    Refusing to believe in one (or any number) particular god(s) is not a mark of an atheist.

    Early Christians got called atheists because of their refusal to acknowledge the official gods.

  46. Courtney says:

    Clark, if science fiction can be the same old conflict of man vs. man in a new environment, can't that also be considered a form of comfortable repetition?

  47. Dragoness Eclectic says:

    @C. S. P. Schofield

    Space Opera is a sub-genre of Science Fiction. What you are being purist about is often called "Hard" Science Fiction, under the more inclusive umbrella of "Science Fiction & Fantasy", or "Speculative Fiction".

    If you try to tell me Doc Smith didn't write science fiction, I shall point and laugh.

  48. Dragoness Eclectic says:

    @Kratoklastes:

    It's a good thing I have seen thoughtful posts from intelligent, educated atheists on other blogs, or you might lead me to think that "atheist" was Internet slang for "stupid, ignorant, self-righteous troll on the topic of religion". We already have several slang terms for that, like "fundie" and "YEC", so don't confuse the issue.

  49. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    @ Demosthenes

    being a snarky ass toward people who don't agree with him — particularly on gay marriage

    While I won't hide that I tend to agree with most of Mr. Takei's positions, I also don't think that making fun of bigots and fools is an unreasonable or undesirable thing. For example, I think that it is entirely appropriate to make copious amounts of fun of the remaining Westboro crew who continue their anti-gay bigotry. You don't disagree that folks such as the WBC are deserving of mockery, do you?

    Do you have any ready examples of Mr. Takei directing that snark toward targets you believed were undeserving?

  50. Should Be Working says:

    If science fiction must "involve science," do the Culture novels qualify as science fiction? I have a horrible memory for books, but I don't remember much actual science in the Culture novels. The Culture was so advanced that their technology resembles magic more than advances that you could reasonably extrapolate from our current understanding of science.

  51. I was Anonymous says:

    @Pablo:

    Of course, Phelps is no more dead than any of the rest of us will one day be. In fact, he may be less dead. I suspect he'll still vote.

    I didn't realize that Phelps lived in Chicago!

  52. A. Nagy says:

    Thank you for tee-ing up the ball for my new blog post: "Are Women Ruining Science Fiction?"

    Speaking of women in sci-fi I keep hearing good things about Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, which is apparently the front runner for the Hugo this year by a mile.

  53. Mike says:

    @Clark

    He is, on occasion, hilarious . . .

    Speaking of sci-fi, I'm hoping this phrasing was a shout out to Firefly, but it may have just been fortuitous.

    Mal: Well, they tell ya, 'Never hit a man with a closed fist.' But it is, on occasion, hilarious.

    Of course, you may say Firefly isn't sci-fi either, but instead a space western or some such. Doesn't matter to me, I take the internet-controversial position that it's still awesome.

  54. ULTRAGOTHA says:

    A. Nagy, Orbit has a sample of Ancillary Justice on line.
    http://www.orbitbooks.net/excerpt/ancillary-justice/

    It hooked me.

  55. Troutwaxer says:

    IMHO, Star Trek is sometimes very, very good science fiction – note the TNG episode where Geordi is taken over by an alien virus and turned into a creature which can't be perceived by any human.

    Sometimes Star Trek just stinks – I'll point at the early TNG episode where the white security officer fought the black, "savage" aliens for possession of the cure to a deadly disease. (I hope she was fighting for the cure to racism, but I don't think it's likely.)

    Taken as an average, Star Trek is not science fiction, but when the show gets it right they produce excellent stuff!

  56. Clark says:

    @Troutwaxer

    IMHO, Star Trek is sometimes very, very good science fiction – note the TNG episode where Geordi is taken over by an alien virus and turned into a creature which can't be perceived by any human.

    Actually, I agree.

    I found several TNG episodes to be really solid SF. There was also one where the universe kept getting smaller – because they were in a simulation, perhaps? – that was excellent.

    I let my desire for a good carpet-bombing rant blur away fine details.

  57. stakkalee says:

    Clark, have you ever given Farscape a go? It seems like it would be right up your alley.

  58. alpha4centauri says:

    Having a Russian, a Japanese, a Black woman and a human-alien interspecies hybrid on the bridge of the Enterprise probably seemed unlikely — and pretty uncomfortable — to viewers back in the 60s.

  59. Matt S says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    I also don't think that making fun of bigots and fools is an unreasonable or undesirable thing.

    Well, it depends on what your goal is, right? If you're blowing off steam, or believe the target isn't worthy of consideration, go for it.

    But if you try to engage them in dialog in the future, you may find out that you've made it more difficult. It may turn out they don't respect you at all, because you haven't shown any respect towards them.

  60. Xtifr says:

    Someone once defined science fiction as "what science fiction editors buy". I confess, I've never found a better definition. :)

    That said, I'm old enough to remember when ST:TOS was first on the air, and my parents were active, convention-attending SF fans at the time, and in their opinion, and mine, it was, despite its warts, the closest thing most people had seen to actual SF at the time, even if you adopt a more restrictive definition.

    Just look at the people who wrote for TOS. Many of them also wrote for Analog. And yes, their stuff for Analog may have been better, but TOS was as close to real SF as television had gotten since the Twilight Zone, and remained the closest for many years afterwards.

  61. Robert Curry says:

    The trouble with tr*****s, and the rest of Star Trek…
    Very little science

    Very, very boring !

  62. mythago says:

    @Matt S.: If such people have already demonstrated they do not respect you under any circumstances, to the point of advocating that you be deprived of equal protection of the laws – and in some cases, to the degree of advocating violence – it seems odd to say that they would totally have changed their minds and listened if you just hadn't posted that snarky meme to Facebook.

    Regardless, Takei clearly understands the difference between snarky political commentary and dancing on graves.

  63. Jamie says:

    Science fiction is fantasy with physics instead of magic.

    I say this as a huge fan of science fiction. Greg Egan and Vernor Vinge should have weekly textual analyses in place of that work of fantasy that gets all the attention.

    The central problem of science fiction is believability, and the near future approach. Charlie Stross has talked about how difficult it is to reconcile near-future, believable SF with publishing schedules and a world that seems to out-weird a very strange mind.

    There are a few different ways to approach that. Suarez embraces it and makes it absurd. Banks took it to pure fantasy as a way to play with emotion. Stross struggles hard to keep on a bleeding edge, and can't even write pure fantasy without giving in to the need for a physics related trope. Which is why I love him, and Vinge. The Bobble Wars was the best science-nerd revenge fantasy EVAR.

    I have to be agnostic about Star Trek. It doesn't do anything for me, but I don't like TV in general, and movies tend to make me twitchy. So it would be similar to critiquing, say, yoga poses. I don't do them, I don't know how to analyse them. The best I can say is that I found the ones I've seen to be about as boring as Three's Company.

    The only SF TV I ended up watching was the X files. I was sleeping with someone who was obsessed with it, and trying to make sense of it was unfortunately a niggling irritation.

  64. Demosthenes says:

    @ Clark:

    Civilization is 80% showing up on time, and 19.999% acting "as if"…I'll take Takei at his word.

    Fair enough. And I am trying to do that. I'd certainly like to believe he's that classy.

    @ Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    I'd like to cite something from your post as an example of why I won't be engaging with you on this topic.

    While I won't hide that I tend to agree with most of Mr. Takei's positions, I also don't think that making fun of bigots and fools is an unreasonable or undesirable thing…You don't disagree that folks such as the WBC are deserving of mockery, do you?

    No, I don't disagree, although I do try not to mock them. I consider them a sad blemish on the face of Christendom, unworthy of any serious attention beyond pity and silent counter-demonstrations. But given the selection of your attitudes and beliefs you cited above, and the fact that I have already identified myself as not in favor of gay marriage, I have what I feel is a reasonable suspicion that you'll end up either implying I'm a bigot, or stating it outright, within three posts. I apologize if my presumption is incorrect. But there we are.

  65. Demosthenes says:

    @ Clark:

    Star Trek, IMO, is about mankind encountering the same old situations with the same old antagonist (although sometimes they have latex bumps on their foreheads).

    Human history is filled with repetitions of the same few sorts of encounters, played out with only comparatively minor cultural variations. I see no reason to suspect contact with alien life forms will play out much differently in at least some instances, although it may well be disastrous for one or both species involved.

    Which is my way of saying: I'm blowing you a space raspberry!

    There was also one where the universe kept getting smaller – because they were in a simulation, perhaps? – that was excellent.

    The episode in question is "Remember Me." One character (the doctor) thinks that people are being deleted from the universe, and that it is shrinking in size. In fact, the universe is fine…she is trapped in a static warp bubble which is slowly collapsing in on itself and will kill her if she doesn't escape. It is classic science-fantasy…not science fiction…because the warp drive as shown in Star Trek is ludicrously bad science, and thus there could be no such thing as a static warp bubble as depicted here. (Though, with Alcubierre drives possibly in our future, who knows what might happen?) It's a great episode, though.

    The fact that I remembered all of that, even the name of the sci-finomenon, without Googling scares me a little.

    @ Xtifr

    That said, I'm old enough to remember when ST:TOS was first on the air, and my parents were active, convention-attending SF fans at the time, and in their opinion, and mine, it was, despite its warts, the closest thing most people had seen to actual SF at the time, even if you adopt a more restrictive definition.

    It's still sci-fi, even if the "sci" part can sometimes be a little hand-wavy or look a little silly as the years go by. I think it was Orson Scott Card who wrote something like, "If your characters do some impossible thing by praying to trees, you're writing fantasy. If they do it by pressing a button, you're writing science fiction." That's still the most satisfying definition of sci-fi I've ever seen…impossible things happening at the press of a button.

  66. Jamie says:

    Demosthenes – preemptive victimization claims are the fallback of someone who knows they are losing. Which is fine, this is the normal way things work. Carry on.

    In the mean time, gays are getting married. Having kids. Being incredibly boring. Arguing with HOAs and high school advisory committees. This isn't my particular fight, but it does seem like you've already lost. I would advise a rear-guard measure, accepting that the butt fuckers are just as boring as you are, and try to coopt them. When they are us, amazing things and all that.

  67. Demosthenes says:

    Jamie: Ten years ago, I held the same positions regarding the public recognition of same-sex relationships that I do today — no to marriages, yes to civil unions. Ten years ago this November, my state enacted by referendum a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I voted against it, because I believed then (as I do now) that constitutions should be restricted to defining relationships between people and government, instead of between people and society. I only mention this because I'm sure that's not the image you had formed of me, and I enjoy exploding misconceptions.

    I do confess to feeling a quiet amusement at how a certain segment of the population has changed their opinion on people like me — from tolerant members of the mainstream to bigoted dustbin-of-history relegates — in the span of a decade. Personally, I think it says less about me than it does about the ephemeral and unprincipled convictions of most Americans, but I suppose history will have the final word on that.

    As for you…I think the worst thing I can say about you is that while you plainly intended to offend me, and while you succeeded, it wasn't for the reasons you thought you would. Homosexuals are human beings, you cretin. They have value, and worth, and essential dignity. Referring to them by a demeaning and sexually explicit term in order to chastise someone else is to reduce them to bare means to your end, and fail to treat them as the ends-in-themselves they are. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. I'm sure you won't be.

  68. Jamie says:

    Demosthenes –

    I made no such assumption. My admittedly provocative language had the appropriate effect – you we're offended. The gay man I live with thought it was funny. His take was to wonder if vagina-fucking was equally offensive.

    And sure, you make an argument about the nature of law. Fine. That you want to deny some people the right that we give other people is, in my view, wrong. Fortunately for me, I think most people are coming around to that notion. Common law happened for a reason.

  69. Manatee says:

    I respect Demosthenes for his willingness to put it all on the table without trying to dress things up any or to cover up his actions with rhetorical flourishes.

    I have never heard anyone say, "I read your post that 'I don't see anything wrong with mocking excessive political correctness.' Given the views you espouse, and the fact that I have expressed that I belong to [race that isn't yours], I have what I feel is a reasonable suspicion that you will say something overtly racist to me or make a strong implication of the intrinsic inferiority of people from my race, within three posts. My apologies if my presumption was incorrect, but I thought it would be safe to play the race card preemptively, just in case."

  70. John Farrier says:

    Star Trek, IMO, is about mankind encountering the same old situations with the same old antagonist (although sometimes they have latex bumps on their foreheads). Rationality, intellect, and creativity are only rarely used. Despite the premise ("exploration!"), the actual deliverable of the franchise is not novelty, but comfortable repetition.

    Well, yes, it could get repetitive. There were some truly great episodes (Darmok, Inner Light, Duet, Doomsday Machine) but most of Star Trek was a steady diet of good enough fare to last for (if you don't count the animated series) 25 seasons. No other science fiction franchise can claim to be as good for as long as that.

  71. don Roberto says:

    Demosthenes, the laws do define the relationship between government and the people. American society has pretty much already decided that equality (and not separate-but-equal, let alone separate-but-not-really-equal, such as civil unions) is the way to go. The laws are not mandating that anyone like SSM, merely that those marriages will have the same position before the laws as M-F marriages.

    You seem to object to being tarred with the "bigotry" brush. I can hardly blame you: who wants that epithet? Perhaps you could explain why wanting to deny a group of people equal protection under the law doesn't qualify.

  72. Warren Vita says:

    I've only recently started watching Star Trek TNG, and I have to agree with Clark's assessment that it (mostly) isn't science fiction. There are some interesting episodes though, like one where an advanced civilization occupied another dimension of space-time, and presented itself as "God" to a planet of relatively simple human-like people.

  73. princessartemis says:

    The gay man I live with thought it was funny. His take was to wonder if vagina-fucking was equally offensive.

    Let him know that the answer is yes, it is just as offensive as a descriptor.

    If you doubt, consider the term "motherfucker". As if many of us arrived on the planet without the aid of such a man and the mother he fucked.

  74. Azeri Filly says:

    The protestors outside the Westboro Baptist Church held a sign that said, "Sorry for your loss."

    Sometimes we get wrapped up in anger and vengence and it's nice to be reminded that the best thing to do (and Christians would likely say its the Christian thing to do) is to turn the other cheek.

  75. don Roberto says:

    princessartemis, I believe that particular epithet is meant to imply fucking one's own mother, not just any mother.

  76. Lago says:

    I'll take solace in Fred Phelps's passing. In fact I'll celebrate his passing, and I hope people show up to his funeral with God Hates Fred signs.

    I'm sorry, there's just no reason to extend the courtesy of basic human respect towards a man like that, even if he was a "tormented soul." Though I do respect Takei's reserved response to his passing.

  1. March 20, 2014

    […] docket today in celebration of the death of Fred Phelps. George Takai may be taking the high road, but that man was a dickwad and the world is better off without […]