Feb 23 2007

Over 1,000,000 served

Chile con queso con rajas at El Chile in East Austin. Departing somewhat from the standard Velveeta model, the queso at El Chile appears to contain, in part, queso.

It was one of those momentous moments that, had anyone been conscious when it ensued, would not soon have been forgotten. I allude to the stately occasion of some silent, unsung hero having been the 1,000,732nd (since December 14, 2005) visitor to I Blame The Patriarchy. The majestic event slipped into the mists of time without pomp or flourish while I, no more a spinster aunt but an excrescence of the Tempur-Pedic, was fated merely to digest insensibly a big fat Tex-Mex dinner and an Inspector Appleby mystery.

Which slightly dotty peer of the realm would turn out to be the mastermind behind a series of elaborate art heists? This was, it stings my heart to admit, the question occupying my mind when by all rights I should have been throwing a yacht party in the Seychelles for brave iconoclast Number 1,000,732, whoever she was, and for all the rest of you august mavericks who doggedly persist against the mighty tide of pernicious hegemon to Blame The Patriarchy.

Although I suppose Number 1,000,732 was one of the 18 knobs who arrived via Google, searching for “15 year old girls nude.” It would be too good to be true if she turned out to be the lone searcher for “Twistolution” or (I know. As a soporific, other bloggers’ zany search strings are right up there with the classic two-Seconals-a-glass-of-armagnac-and-The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire insomnia cure, but indulge me; I don’t ask for much) “plastic gonads hanging from truck.”

Which brings me to my next point: the Shulathon is scheduled to commence in about a week, so if you haven’t finished The Dialectic of Sex yet, my gentle suggestion is to get crackin.

I leave you now with a couple of remarks from Richard Dawkins (with whom, if he actually were what he looks like, i.e. a middle-aged spinster aunt with a horse farm and a decent record collection, I might consider taking up).

Polls suggest that approximately 95 per cent of the population of the United States believe they will survive their own death. I can’t help wondering how many people who claim such belief really, in their heart of hearts, hold it. If they were truly sincere, shouldn’t they all behave like the Abbot of Ampleforth? When Cardinal Basil Hume told him that he was dying, the abbot was delighted for him: ‘Congratulations! That’s brilliant news. I wish I was coming with you.'” [1]

1. Dawkins. The God Delusion. Houghton Mifflin, 2006 p. 356.


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  1. jenevieve

    Wow, those chips look delicious. Sometimes I wish I were back in the States.

  2. norbizness

    Congratulations on joining the millionaire club! Let us celebrate by lightin Swisher Sweets from the Conoco station on South 1st with Monopoly $100 bills!

  3. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    There’s legislation being introduced in Maryland to ban the plastic truck ‘nads.

  4. Tara

    What a clever way to put it! ‘will survive their own death’ – I think I’ll use that!

  5. teffie-phd

    That statistic is pretty shocking. Though the sociologist in me wonders if that’s the question people are asked or if it’s “will they go to heaven?”.

    I figure I’ll be going crackle crackle in the big oven and my kids will place my urn in the garage.

    Congrats on 1 million hits. Means the blaming is spreading.

  6. Bitey

    Most enthusiastic congratulations and most humble thanks.

  7. thebewilderness

    I have had the Abbot of Ampleforth attitude since I was a child. My family considers it suicidal. I call it adventurous.
    The one thing I simply cannot fathom about anti-abortion religionists is all this carrying on about how you mustn’t kill a blastocyst because life is so precious, and oh, by the way when you die you go to a far, far better place. WTF? This makes no sense to me, and while I declare myself a Christian, I am totally creeped out by organized religion. Disorganized religion is perhaps the better choice.

  8. kathy a

    i guess we tend toward nachos in california — velveeta at the stadium, something more like food elsewhere.

    teffie has the right idea about that poll — what the hell were they asking? doesn’t sound right, not at all. but even staunch athiests tend to believe the loved one is around in memories and such, so maybe it was a badly worded question.

    but teffie — gaaah! about your imagery. my stepmother decided to attend dad’s cremation, and we figured that was not a good thing for her to do alone, so we all showed up, dropped little rememberances in dad’s casket, said goodbye again. they fired up the oven, pushed dad in, closed the door. then they decided to check on the flame situation. i’d recommend to all that this is *not* a visual memory worth having of a loved one. [shit, i do go on.]

  9. Rene

    Congrats on the million-somethingth hit! May your dominion increaseth apace. Somebody needs to offer you a major book deal with a nice fat advance; if that silly Wonkette gets one, why not you? And re: Michael Innes and Richard Dawkins — I can’t think of two better men with whom to while away the waking hours.

  10. mg_65

    Cool one million!

    I love Michael Innes. Just needed to say that, now back to lurking.

  11. Sylvanite

    Sigh. I haven’t even acquired the Smith book yet. There’s no way I’d be able to finish it in time. It’s taking me over a month to read Richard Fortey’s Earth fer cryin’ out loud. While Fortey does have a very British vocabulary, the book isn’t exactly Ulysses. Stupid, life, always getting in the way of what I’d like to be doing.

    Congrats on the millionth hit!

  12. Sylvanite

    Oh, and I haven’t gotten to reading The God Delusion yet, either. Or The Golden Compass, The Republican War On Science, or any of the Pratchett books I have sitting around. Among many others. I don’t know how the patriarchy is to blame, but I know that it is!

  13. vera

    Here you go, Sylvanite: If the mountains of money spent on warfare had been put toward the cultural and technological advance of humankind, none of us would have to labor any longer. Machines would be doing all the work and we’d spend all our time reading, dining, strolling along the reclaimed beaches and forest pathways, and driving our flying cars. There’d be plenty of time for you to read your pile o’ books. (Good pile, too!)

    These marvels have not occurred on schedule, and for that, IBTP.

  14. Alarming Female

    The God Delusion is my next read, right after I finish my snooze with Carl Sagan’s Demon-Haunted World. The topic is fascinating, but he does go on. Quite the pedant.

  15. Alarming Female

    Didn’t mean to suggest that everything I typed was worth emphasizing–just trying to give the titles their due. Oops.

  16. inspiredbycoffee

    I’m confused! Who was it? This mysterious zillionth visitor? (I’m just closing in on a pathetic thousand on my own!!!) Did they post a comment? Are you just gonna leave us hanging? Or is it cleverly encrypted somewhere in your post and I’m just too slow to get it!? Incidentally, I read virtually the whole of “The God Delusion” in the bookshop the other week. Good stuff, I thought. Books are ridiculously expensive in Australia! That’s how I justify my blatant cheapskatedness to myself.

  17. Spinning Liz

    My children have been given orders to have me taxidermied after my death, whether I survive it or not, and to prop my stuffed remains in my favorite rocking chair reading Shulie Firestone for all eternity.

    “August mavericks who doggedly persist against the mighty tide of pernicious hegemon” is such a fine fine phrase. If only Ms. Firestone’s prose were half as invigorating, eternity would fly by the wink of an eye.

  18. Corvus

    Okay, so this has nothing much to do with your post, but: you mentioned the Seychelles casually. You actually know what they are. I love you with the power of a thousand burning suns.

    (I spent a few formulative years there as a child, and I get tired of explaining to people that no, their knowledge of geography is not perfect and I am not making up mysterious islands to confuse them.)

  19. cassy

    As I take a break from Ms. Firestone every two pages to absorb the deep meaning of her words; I will also ponder if there will be any Democrats running for the presidency still standing before the primary season begins.

  20. Joanna

    Wow! That’s amazing! Thanks for letting us blame together.

  21. Starfoxy

    “The one thing I simply cannot fathom about anti-abortion religionists is all this carrying on about how you mustn’t kill a blastocyst because life is so precious, and oh, by the way when you die you go to a far, far better place.”

    For Catholics, at least, there is some internal consistency. According to them one must be baptised to go to the far better place. With that set up, abortion amounts to calling a soul into existence only to send it straight to hell before it is even born and has a chance to be baptised. While that clarifies the rabid opposition to abortion, it does nothing to clarify how a guy with such poor planning skills got to be God in the first place. You’d think he could come up with something that would let the little tykes into heaven.

  22. edith

    Shulathon! I can’t wait.

  23. Frigga's Own

    “it does nothing to clarify how a guy with such poor planning skills got to be God in the first place. You’d think he could come up with something that would let the little tykes into heaven.”

    Actually, before the current pope, the little tykes got to float around Limbo for all eternity. But then God had to screw up the design by making a succession of dudes infallible, so now everytime one of them passes gas a new doctrine, God has to change the master plans.

    I believe that my soul will outlive my body, but that it will go on to do menial labor in the records department of existance. And also it will be the only one that knows how to make the celestial coffee and unjam the otherworldly copier. It would almost be nice, except for the realization that I’ll probably only earn 3/4 of the heavenly brownie points my male co-workers earn, while recieving none of the credit for holding the whole team together. Still, it almost beats retail work.

  24. ChapstickAddict

    Yeah, Limbo was abolished only just recently. Although, I don’t know how that affected the flying baby ghosts that were unfortunate enough to die before it was abolished.

    Also, ever since I started studying medicine and the brain, I no longer believe in souls. It’s a hard concept for me to fathom sometimes: that one day you’re alive, and the next you’re not, and your life likely won’t mean more than a hill of beans to most of the world. Either that or I’ll be stuck processing paperwork, like Frigga said (I need to watch more episodes of Dead Like Me).

  25. B. Dagger Lee

    Dear Sylvanite:

    Nothing is more important than reading The Golden Compass.

    yrs, B. Dagger Lee

  26. Elle

    Let it be me. Maybe I was the millionth plus visitor. I found you via Tennessee Guerilla Women, which I found while looking for comments on Amanda Marcotte — who ignored the taboo against naming male parts and excretions and was attacked from all sides. I blame the patriarchy for just about everything — well, everything. So, now I have discovered two great websites.

  27. Silence

    Dear Sylvanite:

    Nah, read the Pratchett first. The world according to Pratchett is a great and glorious thing.

    And many congratulations to Twisty. I’d send you an enchilada in the mail from our very terrific Mexican resuraunt downtown, but I’m afraid it would get soggy in the mail.

  28. SusanM

    > Richard Dawkins

    The God Delusion is fantastic. I like Randy Newman, too: “If I believed in an afterlife, I’d drive faster.”

    Congratulations, Twisty! Here’s to the next million.

  29. SusanM

    Frigga: I believe that my soul will outlive my body, but that it will go on to do menial labor in the records department of existance.

    God, Inc!

  30. SusanM

    Stupid frames. The videos are here (or on YouTube):

  31. greengirl

    Congrats Twisty and a big taco to celebrate!

    Frigga’s Own: I loved your “Doormat in Heaven” scenario.

    As for life/death issues, as Roger Waters sings on “Amusing Ourselves to Death” – “what God wants God gets.” Apparently God wants misogyny, war, poverty and Wal-mart and reality TV. After death, well all I can think is that one can’t fall out of the universe so we’ll all be around in one form or another

  32. Sylvanite

    Of course, I meant the book by Firestone, not Smith. Aaagh! My brain hurts!

    Whatever – The Dialectic of Sex shall have to wait, alas. My husband suggested (based on my posts here) that I should try to get some reading done today – I think I will!

  33. thebewilderness

    This is old, and it is a joke dialogue with a libertarian. Still, it is reminds me of conversations feminists have almost daily.
    From PZ:

  34. maribelle

    Congratulations, Twisty. And as one who has been regularly nourished here, I would just like to say ::burp::.

    That statistic is pretty shocking. Though the sociologist in me wonders if that’s the question people are asked or if it’s “will they go to heaven?”.

    With a 95% yes vote, the question was most likely “do you believe in life after death?” (For which a very strong case can be made, btw–in some form or other.)

    I started reading the “God Delusion” and haven’t gotten very far yet, but I was immediately struck by how rigid the “God” he is denouncing is; many people don’t believe in the literal white-haired-man-in-the-sky image anymore but retain some of the more idealistic beliefs about God.

    I wonder if he has been exposed to some of the more liberal church views, and/or nuanced new age ideas, or other religions that suggest a more elastic and emcompassing view of “God” (also called Spirit, Gaia, Great Mother, Great Spirit, etc etc.) as a positive force for good in the world but not a personified diety.

    But then again I’m a UU; we’re spiritual thrill-seekers by nature, and support an individual’s search for truth and meaning.

  35. Sylvanite

    From what I’ve read about the The God Delusion (since I haven’t had time to read the book myself yet), Dawkins is pretty much shooting at standard christian believers with the book. I don’t think he’s necessarily targeting Unitarians. More the usual groups of Protestants and Catholics, if I understand correctly. Those folks tend to have more rigid views of “God” – especially the ones who fall under the “born-again” label. There are certainly plenty of biblical literalists around this country.

  36. Twisty

    Dawkins doesn’t “shoot” at anybody. He merely argues against the existence of an invisible deity, and against the practice of limiting one’s lifelong intellectual enquiry by looking to unsophisticated superstitions for explanations of physical phenomena.

  37. Sylvanite

    Er, perhaps I meant “targeted” as in “targeted audience” for his arguments. I knew I had misgivings about my use of the word “shoot.”

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