Monday, October 30, 2006

   If you are familiar with the whole Pirates vs. Ninjas debate that has raged on the Internet for the past two years, you will know where I am going with this. If not I suggest you head on over to to get an idea.  Unfortunately, the opposing Pirates site is down, but it still lives on in the memory of many.  So, in that spirit I give you the following facts about Mormons.   Of course, I will credit them to Jeff Lindsey and the good people at Fair and Farms.

       1.) Mormons are Reptiles
       2.) Mormons try to baptize people all the time
       3.) The purpose of Mormons is to annoy and convert people.


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Friday, October 27, 2006

   For various reasons I had to reset the template of the blog, ,as you can see I've been rebuilding the link list, trying to add blogs I'd forgotten to add or didn't add for whatever reason when it was built.  If you were on my link list before e-mail me at sinisterporpoise@  (Do not use the e-mail blogger lists as my address as I was not happy with this particular change.)

     And if I still don't link to you it could be because of one of these three reasons:
            1.) I haven't got to it yet
            2.) I forgot.
            3.) I think your blog is written poorly and I refuse to link to you.

             If the case is number 3, I will not tell you. :P

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Who can rewrite the Book of Mormon?

Do you ever wonder why Mormon theology makes such good science fiction? In the television arena, we have the original Battlestar Galactica. (Please don't talk to me about the new one. I have such fond memories of the old one that I cannot stomach the new one, yet it would be watchable if it hadn't tried to connect itself to this now campy old series where they have the ship much larger than an aircraft carrier running on a Apple IIE.) In fiction, a number of good science fiction writers are Mormon, the most notable perhaps being Orson Scott Card. (His novel, The Worthing Saga follows the Book of Mormon discovery story closely and even has a “Moroni” stand-in.)

It seems to me no one in the church hierarchy or even the average Mormon seems to wonder why their theology converts so well to the genre, nor does it seem to me that any Catholic asks why their theology converts so well to horror films. Admittedly, most of them are well done horror films and not the Evil Dead variety, but it still begs the question.

Perhaps it's because Mormonism, if we don't accept the Book of Mormon as literal truth, starts out with a foundation of a badly-written alternate history novel. We also have some force-like elements in that only men can use the priesthood, although perhaps a comparison to Dune would be more appropriate here, because in Frank Herbert's classic, there's a religious organization that admits only women. (Well, that's not entirely true, but it seems that the men who have tried have as is put in the novel not failed, but “tried and died.”) So, perhaps Mormonism would suit itself better to space fantasies such as Star Wars.)

Now let's go further, we have God originating on the planet Kolob, which of course makes it into both versions of Battlestar Galactica as the home world of humanity. Not only that, god has a body and apparently needs to engage in certain activities with a wife or wives to create new spirits. (Which reminds me, has anyone ever noticed the look on men's and women's faces when the discussion of polygamy arise? A man will have a tone and a look of “Yeah, let's bring back the good old days.” His wife, if present, will have a facial expression which conveys the message of “I'll kill you if you ever try it.”)

Perhaps the church would be better off if they recommissioned someone to rewrite the book of Mormon from a different set of metal plates which are in their vaults. Which material doesn't matter since the plates will be taken by an angel afterwards. Let's say platinum just because it's more valuable than gold.

Who should be hired for such a project? Personally, I'd prefer Douglas Adams, but as he has hied to Kolob or wherever the dead go, that might be a little difficult. I think Terry Pratchett would be up to the task, but if I were him, I'd be tempted to make the leadership of the Nephites more like the wizards who inhabit Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University. Perhaps Stephen King should be hired, at least then the book would keep some people awake, rather than putting everyone to sleep.

Regardless of who does it, I think if the church admitted the book was fiction and in bad need of a rewrite, the old Mark Twain claim of the Book of Mormon being “chloroform in print” would go away. Too bad H.P. Lovecraft isn't around anymore. At least the book of Mormon could doctrinally support Mormonism's claims of multiple gods, even if most of the gods H.P. Lovecraft uses are malevolent.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Peter Priesthood

Well, while my bit of detective work into Molly to Molly the Mormon's identity proved to be incorrect, and I am unfortunately not free to release her identity. (Much like the person who had dinner with Carly Simon and found out who the song “You're so Vain” was about. Unfortunately, while there probably are people who would pay a good deal of money for the latter information, it seems that dear sweet Molly is only known among us here in Outer Blogness and by the people who have mistakenly taken offense to her writings.

No, today my subject will be Peter Priesthood. Unfortunately, I cannot support those of you who think this is Bishop Rick. While the assumption that he was Molly was understandable as they do have similar writing styles, I am afraid after seeing Peter's lovely blog, that his writing style is too dissimilar from Bishop Rick's to make the assumption that they are the same person. I also do believe this poor misguided soul is serious in some of his comments.

Peter, I know you do not read this blog, nor are you likely to at any point as you'll probably take the advice of a good Relief Society member like Molly, but I really think you do need to reconsider some of your thoughts. Your friend – if he is gay – is unlikely to be helped out of the condition by organizations such as Evergreen or Exodus. Therapy may help him if it is causing him distress but the truth is the condition is not a mental disorder. It may or may not have a genetic component, science has not cleared the issue up yet, but the evidence seems to be leaning in that direction.

So, though I doubt you'll see my blog, Mr. Priesthood, if you are serious about trying to help your friend, the first thing you can do is be there for him, and the second thing you can do is come research, especially about your own church's less than stellar treatment of such people. By the way, the title of this entry links to his blog.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Does Religion promote freedom or violence? I don't know, maybe both.

Now that I have my beloved and apparently improved OpenOffice back, I can take the challenge of taking up longer entries again. The computer troubles I had are over, but it doesn't mean they were any less annoying. At least I won't have the tendency to use the passive rather than active voice any more as it seems the program now has a grammar checker.

Anyway, I wish to returned to a book I've read earlier. I've often see Christians take credit for Christianity leading to greater freedom in the West. Now, it may be that I'm not enough of a historical scholar of the Renaissance to know whether or not this is true, but it seems to me Christianity regardless of how well intentioned it was can be blamed for severely limiting the freedoms of Western Europe during the decline of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages, but the writers who typically make this claim aren't Catholics – they're Protestants. While it is true that the Rise of the Protestant movement did lead up to the Age of Enlightenment and the reforms that would eventually be embodied in the writings of Locke and the American constitution, I'm not sure it's a cause and effect relationship.

After all, who can we credit more with wanting to limit freedoms today? The fundamentally religious who are involved in Politics, or those who follow their religion or proclaim no religion at all? Don't get me wrong, I'm not against religious people and I'd be lying if I said religion hadn't played a major role in my life (which since this is an Outer Blogness blog, many of you already know.) I don't know if I'm rightly suspicious of those who want to base their politics on their religion or not. I believe the two should be separated. This may or may not be possible since our ethics and morals do guide our political beliefs, but ideally, the politics should be based off the practical needs of a country. It's one thing to believe for religious reasons that one should not drink. It's quite another to force the entire country to that belief when most people clearly want alcohol. (The example of Prohibition is also why I'm in favor of the legalization of many drugs. I have no desire to use them myself, but it seems that we're just strengthening drug cartels with our currently policy.)

I think the deeper issue here is that people want to see good in whatever belief system they practice. Certainly, I will not deny that religion has done much good, but I will not deny that it has done much harm over the years as well. This is especially true of religions that claim they have exclusive rights to the truth, as these are the ones that are most likely to try to convert the unbeliever by the sword. (Okay, although the sword has time honored poetic status, a more modern analogy may be by the gun.)

I think it's natural that humans will sometimes fight, but perhaps we can stop fighting over stupid things like which God is right until we can produce absolute proof that God exists (I believe He does, but that's not to be mistaken for sure knowledge.) Maybe we can fight over more important things like ending oppression.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Molly the Mormon

I, like many of you in Outer Blogness, would love to know who this person is. The current suspiction points to Bishop Rick, who currently is omitted from my bloglist, but that's simply because I have a hard time remembering the name of his blog and have enough problems tracking down the problems with the link list that are currently taking place.

I must admit when I first encountered this -- er artist -- I thought it was a rather poorly written parody attempt. Unlike many of Molly's readers, I knew at once not to take it seriously. Although I have been taken in by several of Landover Baptist's shut down Landover Baptist sites, it was immediately obvious to me that this was not serious. (On the other hand, I do consider this to be the best form of satire when it's so close to the actual people they're making fun of that it's hard to tell if they're serious or not.)

So Molly, I hope you continue long into the future and if you want to e-mail me and tell me wo you actually are, I won't tell anyone. I would like it however, if you'd add me to your list of blogs not to read.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Need to be Pretentious? Here's some Help

My alter ego, The Sinister Porpoise dug this up. I take no credit for it. Honestly!

For various reasons which have been well covered on the Internet, Latin is the peferct language to be a pretentious snob in. (Although this blog does not show evidence of it, I do have a keen interest in Roman history, specifically the late Republic period. However, there are times when you simply just don't have the right phrase. So, with respect to Henry Beard who wrote the bestselling Latin for Every Occasion and Latin for Even More Occasions, I thought I'd present you with a few handy sayings. (Please note when I say these I use the Classical, not the Catholic pronounciations.)

Useful Phrases

So, you've suddenly found that you need to say a few choice words in Latin. Here are the phrases1, with handy English translations.

Nescio quid dicas I don't know what you're talking about
Nemo hic adest illius nominis There is no one here by that name
Ita erat quando hic adveni. It was that way when I got here
Nihil declarandum I have nothing to declare
Raptus regaliter Royally screwed
Ut si! As if!
Vescere bracis meis Eat my shorts
Re vera, potas bene Say, you sure are drinking a lot
Noli me vocare. Ego te vocabo. Don't call me. I'll call you.
Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult
Canis meus id comedit My dog ate it
Die dulci freure Have a nice day
Fac ut vivas Get a life
Fac me cocleario vomere! Gag me with a spoon!
Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem Stand aside, little people! I am here on official business

Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam. I have a catapult. Unless you give me all of your money, I will fling an enormous rock at your head.

Utinam barbari spatioum proprium tuum invadant May barbarians invade your personal space
Quo signo nata es? What's your sign?

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt... You know, the Romans invented the art of love...

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure. I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant May conspirators assasinate you in the hall

Magister mundi sum! I am the master of the universe!

Non sum pisces I am not a fish

Radix lecti Couch potato
Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Unitam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy

Cogito ergo sum I think, therefore I am

Cogito ergo doleo I think, therefore I am depressed

Senito aliquos togatos contra me conspirare I think some people in togas are plotting against me

Vah! Denuone latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur. Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.

Nihili est - in vita priore ego imperator romanus fui That's nothing; in a previous life I was a Roman Emperor

Aio, quantitas magna frumentorum est Yes, that is a very large amount of corn

Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est The cheque is in the post (mail for Americans.)

Non illigitamus carborundum Don't let the b'stards grind you down

Nonne macescis? Have you lost weight?

Minime senuisti! You haven't aged a bit!

Id tibi praebet speciem lepidissimam! It looks great on you!

Capillamentum? Haudquaquam conieci esse! A wig? I never would have guessed!

Braccae tuae aperiuntur Your fly is open

Subucula tua apparet Your slip is showing

In dentibus anticis frustum magnum spiniciae habes You have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth

Abutebaris modo subjunctivo You've been misusing the subjunctive

Heus, hic nos omnes in agmine sunt! Hey, we're all in line here!

Non, mihi ignosce, credo me insequentem esse No, excuse me, I believe I'm next

Nonne de novo eboraco venis? You're from New York, aren't you?

Bumper Stickers and Vanity Plates

Sona si latine loqueris Honk if you speak Latin
Balaenae nobis conservandae sunt Save the whales
Frena pro feris teneo I brake for animals

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults

Sic hoc adfixum in obice legere potes, et liberaliter educatus et nimis propinquus ades If you can read this bumper sticker, you are both very well educated, and much too close

Incitatus Speed demon
Vagans Cruising
Litoralis Beach bum
Mannus Mustang
Fractum Jalopy

Advanced Quotations

The following phrases are for those who can speak Latin while at the same time maintaining a cheesy accent. This is harder than you think. Despite all your best intentions to do a perfect rendition of Clint Eastwood from the film Dirty Harry, celebrity Latin accents invariably transform into something more akin to Manuel from Fawlty Towers.
Quid agis, medice? What's up, Doc?

Dic mihi solum facta, domina Just the facts, ma'am

Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn

Farrago fatigans! Thuffering thuccotash!

Fac ut gaudeam Make my day

Illius me paenitet, dux Sorry about that, chief

Tuis pugis pignore! You bet your bippy!

Diabolus fecit, ut id facerem! The devil made me do it!

Osculare pultem meam! Kiss my grits!

Credidi me felem vidisse! I tought I taw a puddy tat!

Si fallatis officium, quaestor infitias eat se quicquam scire de factis vestris

If you fail, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your activities

Te capiam, cunicule sceleste! I'll get you, you wascally wabbit!

Conlige suspectos semper habitos Round up the usual suspects

Certe, toto, sentio nos in kansate non iam adesse You know, Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

Me transmitte sursum, caledoni Beam me up, Scotty

Names and Titles

Translations of the names of some famous bands and television shows.

Cimictus The Beatles
Inlecebrae The Temptations
Lapides provolventes The Rolling Stones
Ille quis The Who
Mortui grati The Grateful Dead
Simitatores The Monkees
Pueri litoris The Beach Boys
Illi silices The Flintstones
Insula gilliganis Gilligan's Island
Zona crepusculi The Twilight Zone
Opus: quod fiere non potest Mission: Impossible
Dies felices Happy Days
Navis amoris The Love Boat
Iuvenes inquietesque The Young and the Restless
Pretium iustum est The Price is Right

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Amish School Shooting

Well, it's been a fun past few days all around. I've giving my hard drive a throgough cleaning although perhaps a better metaphor would be destroying its former civilization and rebuilding it from the ground up. This computer only has to hold out a few more months, then I am going to replace it. For a free computer, it's worked wonders though.

Although that sums up the state my computer life has been in for the last two weeks or so, it's not all that important to me today. Instead, I wish to discuss the shooting of the Amish schoolgirls.

While we have to give the Amish credit for asking forgiveness and putting us all to shame by attending the assasin's funeral when I first heard this story my first reaction is that I hope he burns in Hell. (Forgive the language, but attacking a Pacifist group and furthermore targeting children who were not connected to your original grievance is low in my opinion.)

There are two issues that this brings up in my mind and gun control is not one of them. The first is if stressing some generally agreed upon code of ethics would help crime to go down. The second is the difficulty of obtaining mental help when it's so badly needed. From what I hear the assasin never got over being dumped twenty years ago.

While it is true there's a stigma attached to seeking out a mental health professional, I'm willing to bet the perpetrator was aware of the issues and just let them fester. Perhaps we should do more careful screenings in our society for these kinds of problems as typically most people will not seek out help unless they are forced or they realize there's a problem. While I believe the assassin fell into the former category, I cannot say for sure.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Never Had to Knock on Wood Lyrics

Because I've gotten a lot of searches on this song, I'll post the lyrics here. Technically the song's title is "The Impression that I Get." Since one searcher was looking for information on the song's meaning, I'll give him my take on it. The singer is glad that he has never had times in life when his character has really been put to the test but he knows it's just a matter of time before he's faced with such a situation and he's not sure what the outcome will be.

Have you ever been close to tragedy
Or been close to folks who have
Have you ever felt a pain so powerful
So heavy you collapse? No, well

I've never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could
It makes me wonder if
I've never had to knock on wood
And I'm glad I haven't yet
Because I'm sure it isn't good
that's the impression that I get

have you ever had the odds stacked up so high?
You need a strength most don't possess
Or has it ever come down to do or die?
You've got to rise above the rest. No, well...

I've never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could
It makes me wonder if
I've never had to knock on wood
And I'm glad I haven't yet
Because I'm sure it isn't good
that's the impression that I get

I'm not a coward,
I've just never been tested
I'd like to think that if I was,
I would pass
Look at the tested and think there but for the grace go
I might be a coward,
I'm afraid of what I might find out.

I've never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could
It makes me wonder if
I've never had to knock on wood
And I'm glad I haven't yet
Because I'm sure it isn't good
That's the impression that I get

Now go enjoy some good brassy ska punk or swing music.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The 59th Street Bridge Song

I know many people will write about General Conference but I thank whatever higher power you may or may not believe in that I did not catch this semi-annual Mormon occurrence. (Is that the correct word or is it biannual? I'll have to look that one up again.)

Despite a few setbacks things have been going fairly well for me. I've nearl.y reached one of my long term goals and am actually starting to make more money online than I am at my current job. (On the downside, this means I have a exciting new world of how taxes on enterprises you make over $400 a year get filed. Not looking forward to that discovery at all.)

Yet despite a new and frustrating venture into the undiscovered IRS country, I've actually been in a pretty good mood lately. Moreso than I have been in the past couple of months. It seems though that I really do need to sit down and start planning some things out. It's not that I can't do this, it's just that like many other people I have a tendency to procrastinate. It's not even that I don't have a plan mentally, I just have to put it down on paper.

Perhaps this is the one good thing about my religious background. Goal setting is useful and even journal writing is useful, but not as the Mormons like to present it. I'm glad my early journals were missing. The pathetic attempts to make them sound uplifting would make me sick. That's not what they're for, now I use it as well as other mediums such as this blog to work out my emotions.

Still, it just feels good after trying for so long to finally achieve what you had set out to do in the first place. Of course, I may keep my job simply for socialization purposes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Computer Troubles

I've been out of commission computer-wise for the past two days. As it turns out I did not as I had originally feared fry my motherboard, on the other hand, my keyboard had water spilled on it and the one I normally use is now trying out. Fortunately a frequent customer where I work had a spare and was willing to give it to me so I can type away.

It's a shame as apparently I missed some big bill that passed that I find further enforces my opinion that the Bush administration cares not for the higher principles of the Republican party or even basic human rights, but I generally do not discuss politics here and will for the most part refrain from doing so today. I'll have new posts again for you soon.