Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

now what...

Now that we've unceremoniously dumped John Winston Howard into the wheelie bin of history and the new Labor government has signed off on the Kyoto Protocol, all is well with the world, right?


I'm worried.

I'm worried that we'll just assume Labor will do the right thing and therefore there won't be the same energy exerted to keep those bastards honest as there was with Howard.

I'm worried that the Climate Change issue will degenerate into an Obfuscation Fest and a great show of Going Through The Motions whilst we (helped by vested interests among Big Money) fritter away what little time remains of this very final window of opportunity before we tumble over the threshold of irreversibility and into a disasterous future which is accepted as a fait accompli.

I'm worried that lifestyle addiction, rampant consumerism, and continuing population growth will strip the planet of vital resources, leading to Earth becoming Easter Planet.

I'm worried that by the time the planet is trashed, all non-money-driven cultures will have been wiped out by a planet consumed by money-driven imperatives and a culture of 'survival of the richest'.

I'm worried that it will all degenerate into an "every man for himself" shitfight for what little resources are left.

I'm worried that between now and then, the vast majority of people will convince themselves that they are powerless to change this outcome even though they live in "free and democratic" countries.

I am NOT worried for myself, dear reader, as I'm sure I will be dead by then, but I fear for you, dear _younger_ reader, and for your children and your children's children.

I'm NOT worried about this blog, as by then the internet will have ceased to be and will be a forgotten aberration thereof...

I'm NOT worried about history, as it will be the end of history... and the beginning of a new pack of lies told by the mass-murdering, lying, cheating "survivors" to their gullible children.

[quietly hums tune of "We don't need another hero" as he presses PUBLISH POST button]


Blogger me & God ... said...

yup. well that's entropy innit? despite her longing for grandchildren my mum always tells me not to have grandkids...

at my hippy art school they tell us, go on... you're smart!! you guys can save the world from extinction. but i don't believe them.

January 13, 2008 2:02 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I guess, Nora, it's now or never when it comes to people considering the decision whether to get politically active or not. And this IS a political issue. Any outcome changes will be achieved only through political action. I'm reminded of that well-worn aphorism which says:

"There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen,
those who watch things happen,
and those who wonder what the fuck happened."

Where will your God be in all of this? Sitting commiseratingly on the sidelines? (Don't answer these faceteous atheism-inspired questions of mine. I'm just being a fuckwit.)

January 14, 2008 6:36 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

It's a bit different with me Nora, but I sorta agree with you.

The truth is my mother keeps on encouraging me towards parenthood but I couldn't care less given where I think the world is going the next 20 odd years.

But does that make me apolitical - no, of course not. In fact my decision to not bear children is itself political - it's about changing the world for the better!

I support Gerry and Elvis Presley - It's "Mao or never..." for the environment and family life in China, for example!

January 14, 2008 11:50 AM  
Blogger Nora said...

no. you're no fuckwit. u've just experienced some things that have made you really bitter. i cant empathise but actually i know you're very intelligent, and even if i don't agree with every single word, you challenge me about a lot of important things that my peers aren't smart enough or wise enough to challenge me about.

actually i wasn't saying i'm politically apathetic no. nope, u're right. being politically active is v important. i guess what i meant was that i just believe that all things physically are going to pot. i mean more than a handful of futurologist have predicted and confirmed the whole climate change thing has gone past the point of no return. so it's just a waiting game now. and all the eco-friendliness and money and changes in technology aren't going to save humanity... (which is my line of work) maybe we'll be able to prolong things a bit - kinda like developments in medical technology, prolonging life, having some temporary cures - but never preventing death, which is inevitable.

for now, i guess i'm planning to get my degree, find a job in a design or engineering firm in the Europe or US where we're learning from our mistakes. somewhere with a strong ethos in environmental concerns, suck up as much as i can about how to make systems and 'machine's' that will change the way ppl think whilst brushing up my mandarin and then when i'm a bit older, go back to China (where the environmental issue is almost non-existent (the last time i was there) and at the moment is ALL about the Beijing Olympics...) and try and open some eyes about it from there. where the manufacturing happens...?

Well what kind of Christian would I be if I didn't speak up about God when questioned? At the end, as from dust we came and from dust we'll go (take it as an image for now), when it's all ended in a tragic mess, He'll be there, asking us to give an account of what we did in life with the intelligence and the abilities He gave us.

Been thinking about your other questions as well. I had to "ask a friend" to come up with an answer... (i'm not the smartest.) but u wanna hear? u got an email add?

take care, clever man! you have to keep writing. sometimes u intimidate me but most of the time you encourage me to use my brain. (unlike facebook)

January 14, 2008 12:25 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Sure thing Nora -

I like your reflections. At the moment I'm reading "Between Existentialism and Marxism" from Jean-Paul Sartre. He really doesn't mince words Sartre, everything he does has a purpose behind it, from writing novels to philosophy.

Maybe it's his influence you notice in this exchange with you!

January 14, 2008 7:54 PM  
Blogger hip said...

Jerry & Nora,

The biggest problem I have is the difference between you. Jesus was a politically-active pacifist and Jerry is an atheist. Wherever I find this dichotomy it becomes apparent that anyone operating on a purely zero-tolerant belief system, whether political, theological, or economic, is compromised intellectually.

There will never be a true synergy in the great church of the left because it's tolerant of all who seek a similar "utopia", another zero-tolerant concept. There is no great synergy in right-wing fascism either, they're merely the packrats exploiting these deep fissures in human culture. Maybe a truly globalised monoculture appeals to some, but humanity's rampant free will doesn't allow, and can't be governed by, any zero-tolerant regime.

I wish I could offer some solutions here, perhaps "Do Unto Others" -- in the way Jesus meant it, but not while Capitalism promotes the theft of human rights, not while women are almost totally excluded from the process, and not while intolerant Baptist Bullshit is being hammered into our grandkids.

We didn't evolve intelligence to make us more sociable, we thrive because intelligence makes us extremely adaptable, civilization is a temporary adaptation we exploit in order to satisfy our baser animal instincts to survive and reproduce at any cost. Because I have five grandkids, non-violence is not an option when dealing with humans. Lovelock's Gaia, you would have to agree, concurs.

January 14, 2008 8:18 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Nora, I'm not anywhere near as intelligent as I'd like to be. So you think we've already gone past the tipping point?

Well, if you're right, an ice age can't be too far away they tell us.

There's an email link in the sidebar.

I'm sorry if I intimidate you or anyone else, it's not my intention.

Hip, I'm probably an agnostic more than an atheist. I have no proof that there is no god.

Zero tolerance? Don't know where you get that idea from. I'm trying to be tolerant, I'm trying to advocate tolerance. Even Jesus taught tolerance.

Pacifism? It's the most powerful political force you'll ever come across when applied properly.

Utopia? I thought hippiedom was a utopian concept too.

January 15, 2008 12:48 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...


No email link...

OK, the add is:


January 15, 2008 12:58 AM  
Blogger hip said...

Gerry, sorry, didn't mean to imply you were intolerant, that's clearly not the case. We're all lefties here, it's our acceptance of many abstract notions that defines us. However, no tribe can be wholly tolerant, the dumbest hippy knows that "Utopia" hates troublemakers, hippies are intolerant of violence and the Semitic Jehovah is zero-tolerant of everything, including Jesus. There has to be a balancing act. Your agnostic view is a balanced, politically correct and defensible form of fence sitting and you are soo not a fence sitter. The same can be said about nonviolence, unless you're zero tolerant about it.
Oh, yeah. Utopia is a hippy concept. You know what they say about hippies. Feckwittery in spades.

"at my hippy art school they tell us, go on... you're smart!! you guys can save the world from extinction. but i don't believe them."
Nora, please forgive me if you find my atheism intolerant and offensive. You probably won't believe me either, which is a pity because your art school dudes were telling you straight. You have the power and the nous to use it, God's speed.

January 15, 2008 5:59 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hip, why do you say that Christians practice zero tolerance? Ditto for atheists. Are you saying that all _belief_systems_ are zero tolerant per se? Is that a belief system you got there, Hip? Do you know what a Straw Man (41) is, Hip? Are you constructing a Straw man?

January 15, 2008 11:35 AM  
Blogger hip said...

Christians? you can't be a little pregnant. Atheists rarely legislate to protect their asshattery. They don't terrorize children with heaven/hell constructs and they certainly don't build wickermen to burn in public atonement.

"Are you saying that all _belief_systems_ are zero tolerant per se? Is that a belief system you got there, Hip?"

Yay, at last, welcome to my irony! now read my initial comment with the ironic content intact. Zero Tolerance invariably ignores its own impossibility. And, you're confusing belief with opinion. Faith is z-tol per se, opinions are what ever you make of 'em. To build a straw (wicker) man you first gotta misrepresent the target. I do not believe that I have done that, I think that's just your opinion. We're both tolerant enough to accept a wide variety of opinions, as long as they're logically consistent, but belief systems, those that deny both logic and fact, go through to the keeper. No irony there.

"(Don't answer these facetious atheism-inspired questions of mine. I'm just being a fuckwit.)"
I just lurve to rock n roll.

January 15, 2008 5:41 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...


Your logic is very tempting to me as I follow it. However the "neither church of left or right" argument reminds me of Tony Blair's promises, and while it pleases one to remain "as is", you could equally make the argument that's just denying the revolutionary in you!

As Noam Chomsky once remarked, "I do not have to make arguments for peace, it's the capitalists that have to make arguments for violence". (Or something like that).

It's the right-wing who are trying to convince me that Jesus is political, or that Jesus is very importantly a man (like Opus Dei), or that Jesus is against "impurity of thought" (like Pat Robinson on teenage masturbation fantasies).

They are making the arguments - I just believe in a peaceful world without such ideological baggage! Why would we want to escape from our secular humanist nature? Why "escape from freedom" as Fromm would say?

January 15, 2008 8:20 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hip, why is a belief system "zero tolerant" per se?

Would a belief system which teaches and encourages tolerance be zero tolerant?

What exactly do you mean by "zero tolerant" and why do you apply this term to Christianity (whatever that is).

Explain yourself, man!

Also Hip, "Atheists rarely legislate to protect their asshattery. " ???

Oh yeah? Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot all made religion illegal, i.e. they made atheism compulsory.

And anyway, atheism is a belief system too. Atheists have absolute faith in the belief that there is no god. So are they "zero tolerant" too?

I'll come back to the straw man thing after you've satisfactorily explained what you mean by "zero tolerance" in the context in which you use it.

NOW we're bloggin'... :-)

January 16, 2008 12:05 AM  
Blogger hip said...

If you mean Tony "packrats exploiting these deep fissures in human culture" Blair, then mate, you've got new labor on a biscuit. He does have a nasty way of punctuating his b.s. with little gems of predictable wisdom, and you're right, I do sound like that. G'day Matthew.

Your last par gets to the nub.

If your jailers are the vast majority of your fellow citizens, the question becomes "where do you escape to". The hard right preach to uncritical faith-based types (dare I call 'em a flock?), they preach z-tolerance because that's what faith-based means (I'm coming, Jerry), the right claim authority over morals and demand constant vigilance against the powers of darkness wherever they lurk. The hard right have God's Big Stick and no shortage of moral dickwads to wield it. (Tim Blair and his arsemonkeys, or living in a small country town should provide sufficient analogy.) In this way the community become the guardians. In that black-and-white, with us or agin us mentality, you risk losing your place among your peers. Farsebook, you'll notice, isn't popular with serious bloggers because the psychopathic need to be loved keeps their debate hamstrung with niceties. Lowest common denominator stuff.

The shorter hippy: Pagan Religions pioneered turning communities into watchdogs. The far right emulate religion, they set the targets up by misrepresenting them, then turn their attack-sheep loose. I am talking about straw-man here, in earlier times the Pagans called them Wicker Men -- Guy Fawkes and Bonfire night, Jesus, loaded up with the collective's sins and immolated (in effigy). The ability to con the debaters into self moderation is more powerful than subverting them into silence.

My revolutionary zeal is intact and beavering in the back room. The Status has been Quoing far too long, but I'm just not the "Leader" type -- if folks ever started following me anywhere I'd reckon I was being invaded...

Jerry, I need some breakfast and a big bowl of sweet black Bushels to settle my trembling knees. I'll be back with the rest of my cardboard-and-string legs directly. Grrrr.

January 17, 2008 4:11 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

the "shitfight" over what resources remain is pretty much under way. Didn't you get an invitation?

January 17, 2008 12:22 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...


That's a brilliant point - pagan religon tended to empahsise qualities different to the consumerist, cold war ideologues in the TV-inspired churches.

Johnny Howard our former PM, he gave alot of government welfare-to-work contracts out to wierd far-right churches like HillSong Emerge, because the more liberal organisations like the Salvos wouldn't touch their obligation based programs.

Abbie Hoffman the guru of many US counter-culturalists in the hippie era, I once heard held a lecture called "Sleepers", in which he pointed out that centuries ago children who slept alot, due to the violence and mortality of the world - the "black sheep of the family" - were considered divine and close to nature, and yet in conservative circles today are often seen as nuisances.

You make a lot of good points. I think with the Tony Blair-John Major types we see a type of postmodernism a claim that religon "won the cold war" against communism prominent in right wing theology in the last 20 years.

They are not really the people Fromm had in mind when he wrote "Escape from Fredom" - I think Fromm's major point in that particular treatise was aimed at understanding the 1930's politics, what actually "drives" (marx's term)mass behaviour.

I agree Gerry - now we're blogging!

January 17, 2008 2:43 PM  
Blogger hip said...

Hip, why is a belief system "zero tolerant" per se?
It's my informed opinion. See below.

Would a belief system which teaches and encourages tolerance be zero tolerant?
Nope. That system wouldn't collapse simply because it failed ...Teaching and encouraging is not intolerant of failure. You may have faith that you're doing it correctly and failure may destroy your faith, but the system remains.

What exactly do you mean by "zero tolerant" and why do you apply this term to Christianity (whatever that is).
I'll use the mechanical analogue: Balancing two needles, point to point is a zero-tolerant system -- any disturbance at all and it ceases to exist. All Religion are predicated on a deity. This is non falsifiable, thus untestable. In logic parlance it's nonsense, but they hold it up and rub my nose in it and defy me to knock it down in using logic. This is the equivalent of pointing to nothing and declaring they have a system that cannot be disproved (one for the Agnostics). When you narrow them down, they begin to mumble about facts making making allowances for faith.
Now, if a Christian looses faith in God's existence, even though nothing else changes, the entire system collapses because it is solely dependent on that faith. i.e. Can the system tolerate change? No. It's zero tolerant. Sure the Churches are still there but for the individual they cease to have meaning.
The Sumner-Miller methodology is exactly the opposite, you search for weakness, you modify, rethink, swear a lot and then you you publish so all your scientific mates can laugh at you. You expect that. Your theory gradually changes and become more robust and tolerant of skeptical attack. To underline this point, look at the millions of pages written by the Faithful trying, in vain, to discredit Darwin. His is a very tolerant theory. (Up there with gravity.)

Explain yourself, man!
err, I wave my arms when I talk?

Also Hip, "Atheists rarely legislate to protect their asshattery. " ???
Oh yeah? Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot all made religion illegal, i.e. they made atheism compulsory.

My first draft said "Atheist don't Legislate..." and I thought, "geez, I bet some nitpickin' cousin mentions Jo, Pol and Mao." So, here's one I prepared earlier... "Ten thousand years of human history and you can only think of three?" My theory can tolerate that.

And anyway, atheism is a belief system too. Atheists have absolute faith in the belief that there is no god. So are they "zero tolerant" too?
Offhand, a pronouncement such as "Atheists have absolute faith in the belief that there is no god" strikes me as a self-serving definition. You are assuming Atheism comes in only one flavor. More accurately atheists don't believe in deities. It defines an absence of faith. They looked hard, saw nothing, walked away. This isn't faith, this is common sense. Some may be persuaded into populist atheism and can change their minds at will, but atheist have looked hard and found nothing at all. In the absence of testable data, they won't believe it!
Bruce, over at The Thinkers' Podium ( (under topics the think about -- atheism) Is a gold mine in a gold mind.

I'm paraphrasing here:
Depending to the epistemology of the atheist you'll find "strong atheist", "weak atheist" and "Agnostic" --
Strong: I know for a fact that God doesn't exist.
Weak: God may exist but you haven't substantiated it so I don't believe you.
Agnostic: I have no clue, but I'm prepared to suck-it-and-see.

Only the "strong position expresses a belief, or faith, and would probably qualify as Zero tolerant. Your questions assume only strong atheists exist whereas the majority are in the weak category. Even this is conditional -- a normally weak atheist is told "God exists in the milkshake beside your keyboard". He checks, finding no milkshake there, rejects the notion from a strong position.

I'll come back to the straw man thing after you've satisfactorily explained what you mean by "zero tolerance" in the context in which you use it.
The straw man construct is borrowed from Pagan religious rites. Contextually significant implications there.

NOW we're bloggin'... :-)
If a Dipshit Hippy can make you think just one Alternate thought.... :o]

January 17, 2008 7:25 PM  
Blogger hip said...

Thanks, Mathew.
I've long complained about the demonisation of all things "hippy", particularly under Regan and Thatcher. Pot smoking, the Pagan sensibilities and Cheech and Chong imagery overwriting Hoffman's counter-culture reasoning. Hoffman is what I'm about. Drug-fucked loony toons and layabouts are mostly right wing spin, applied like plaster to hide the serious anti-war, anti-capitalist intellectual content. I have no doubt that many of the blog readers here exhibit such faith in Ron and Maggie that they swallowed it hook, line and stool. Hoffman is blended with O'Leary's acid and ferals are described as hippies.

"Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit." - Abbie Hoffman

Greensmile's right, I've completely derailed the topic.

January 17, 2008 8:34 PM  
Blogger Nora said...

o CRAP. i was away for a few days studying for exams n wow... that's a lot of words since last time i checked.

matt :) nice to 'meet' you, i will check out the book.

hello hip nice to meet you too :) u hve 5 grandkids wow. i'm just 21, admittedly not so well read up / thought-out as yourself on theology. when i made that comment about my lack of belief in what my tutors tell me... i meant it with an open mind. i mean, i need some convincing that's all, but it doesn't mean i'm not gonna try with all the abilities and connections i've got. so you think ppl who have a faith are compromised intellectually? can u explain it? (sorry if i ever sound bimbo-ish compared to you guys)Christianity professes to be about love. have u read the whole bible?

gerry - i deleted my facebook account heehee. i read a pretty convincing article about the dodgy terms and conditions and the plans of the guy behind it. glad the real blogging's back.

will get an email to u soon, was thinking of scanning some things in for u, might take a while.

January 17, 2008 10:46 PM  
Blogger Nora said...

St. Augustine said that "Understanding is the reward of faith, therefore seek not to understand that you may believe but believe that you may understand." isn't that what scientists and inventors do? when they hypothesize and think something's going to or not going to work? and then their work leads them to believe or disbelieve certain things. surely it's not merely a case of grasping things in the mind? plus, isn't it so called human 'intellect' that got us where we are today? or is it a lack of it?

January 17, 2008 11:03 PM  
Blogger phil said...

Well Gerry, I spend a few days away and suddenly your blog springs to life. Not only that but all your correspondents are of even disposition, they know how to conduct a conversation and, "everyone's a winnder." Well done to establish the environment where such a conversation can take place, it dure doesn't happen on any of the other blogs regardless of their ideological orientation.

So you think we're rooted, to use the technical term? I don't think we need a particular kind of faith (ie one with a name) to keep going but I do think it's in enough of our DNA. Some will get politically active, some won't, some will just vote. I'm not enough of a historian to know whether society has changed over time, but I can readily imagine that the arguments we are having today are reruns of others conducted over the years/eons. Malthus, for example?

Anyway I dips me lid to those who do get up and make a stand.

January 17, 2008 11:23 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Shit! Merde! Scheisse! Skata! Kuso! So many commenters, so many comments, so many points to try to respond to!!! Aaaarrrrggghhhh!!! Here goes...

Greensmile, yep, we got the invite and went to the party. Now we're getting another one to go to Iran. Can you tell your people to stop "inviting" us?

HIP: [1] It's Gerry with a "G" not a "J". Read PROPERLY!!! :-)

[2] The word is "analogy" not "analogue". Write PROPERLY!!! :-)

[3] You're being very black and white in your labelling/perception of Christians. You're setting up an either/or straw man. Few things are so black and white, so either/or. Therefore you are projecting onto the many an attribute of the few. Logical fellatio, old boy. e.g. Many people who consider themselves to be good Christians are ambiguous or agnostic when it comes to the topic of God.

Then you say (about Christianity) "Can the system tolerate change? No. It's zero tolerant." Excuse me, but I think this is patently fatuous. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, in fact every "ism", is an ever-evolving ever-changing thing and only those of a fundamentalist/Taliban mind try to stop them evolving. Could it be you are projecting your own fundamentalist (rigidly black/white) nature onto Christianity, Hip?

[4] Re: "atheists don't legislate": Ten thousand years and I can only name three??? Are you familiar with the "not only, but also" concept? I know it flies in the face of a black/white (fundamentalist) nature, but maybe, just maybe, you can get your brain around such a "soft" concept?

[5] "More accurately atheists don't believe in deities. It defines an absence of faith. They looked hard, saw nothing, walked away. This isn't faith, this is common sense."
Intellectually dishonest, old chap. The truth is that based on your failure to perceive a God you ASSUME/BELIEVE there is none. Stop obfuscating and prevaricating, Hip. I've done this thing to death elsewhere in this blog and I'm not wasting my time with it here. Atheism is just another a belief system - end of story. You want no-belief? Remain agnostic.


Those wanting to continue to debate atheism/christianity/etc/ are cordially invited to the next post which I've created for exactly this purpose, in THIS post we are returning to the topic!!!


Nora, is that article about facebook online? Got a link to it? Sounds interesting. As I said to Hip, the debate about faith, facts, atheism, Christianity, etc has been moved to the next post.

Phil, thanks for the accolade. The "I think we're rooted" theme is not new, nor, I imagine, was it new on Easter Island when it was used for the last time, just before the island's ecology stopped supporting the population, and the rest, as they say, is history...

January 18, 2008 3:08 PM  

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