A Swiss before dying

As of the time of this writing, he is dead. Raise a glass, cheer, be happy. No, I’m not referring to someone awful. I’m referring to a respected Scientist from Australia, Dr. David Goodall. And why are we to cheer? Because he wanted this.

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No joke on this one. Farewell Doctor.

Dr. Goodall died listening to Beethoven, by his own choice, as he wished. Now to the part that isn’t cheerful. People actually fight against this. Physician assisted death is illegal almost everywhere. Dr. Goodall had to travel to Switzerland from Australia to exercise his will, because… well, actually no good reason at all. (I know the movie reference pun of a kiss before dying is extremely dated and old, but so was Dr. Goodall.)

Even where it is legal, there are some restrictions that don’t make sense. Canada has legalized it, but have made a number of restrictions that do not account for life long disability, loss of cognitive function, (pre-declared intent) or just Like the good Dr, getting old and not having any quality of life anymore.

Why? because… NO ACTUAL REASON THAT MAKES SENSE. And yes, I was shouting there. Because the three arguments against self-determined death are all horrible. The first is predictable. “Who are we to play God.”

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Respect life! Oh, the person? Who gives a shit about that as long as they don’t die in a manner of their own choosing!

We can immediately dismiss that nonsense. I don’t care what your “God” thinks. so moving on. The next is the “People will coerce people to die for their own gain!” First, I want to know what kind of sick mind you have if this is the first thing that pops in to your head. And second, properly legislated and administered right-to-die medical care would catch that shit. People who argue this act like people are going to be pushing old people to the hospital in wheelchairs and the doctor will put them down like a horse with a broken leg, no questions asked.

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Grandma stopped putting money in my card. No use for her, now.

The last of the primary arguments made is the slippery slope argument. Which is awesome because it’s one of the few times they actually NAME the logical fallacy they are using, and are unaware of the irony. They argue that if terminal people will want to die then disabled people may want to die then people with ingrown toenails may want to die. I am deliberately being absurd, because it’s absurd argument. One thing they stick to is depression, and people just dying because they feel sad. First, fuck you, that’s not what depression is. And two, if you think clearly enough, the primary reason people take their own life due to mental illness is because they NEVER SEEK TREATMENT. (Yes. I’m yelling again.) Imagine having legislation that caught all these people who fell so depressed they can’t go on and their illness is identified and treated? Suicides due to mental illness would go way DOWN.

Not one single reason has ever been forwarded that indicates people should not be able to choose a merciful, peaceful end to suffering, or debilitating incurable conditions that steals any quality of life. And like always, the argument is divided along the political lines.

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Turn left.  Left. If you turn right you end up in a one way dead end.

 

This is a basic human right. Not a political football. Fuck anyone who says otherwise. Mercy and empathy resides with choice.

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Pictured here: not merciful and painless.

Smartassicus out. (Just on this piece. I haven’t made THAT choice yet.)

Tape it to make it legal

Disclaimer:  In the following piece I do not propose to speak for the people I am speaking about.  I do not intend to group or classify them a ubiquitous entity, they are each unique, autonomous human beings.  This is a work of opinion.

So… Stormy Daniels, hey?  Big news, isn’t it?  An adult film star sleeping with the Cheeto. Scandalous! Titillating! (Use of pun intended or not dependant on if you think it’s funny.)  And totally disgusting.

What? no.  Not her.  Not what she does.  The only thing I find off about her is her taste in men.  What’s vile is the way that people have spoken about her since the story broke.  Slut. Hooker. Whore.  And it’s not limited to the right-wing trying to discredit her.  It’s also invective being used by opponents of Trump to make HIM look bad. (he doesn’t need the help, folks.)  Liberal, “progressive” people saying things like, and I direct quote:  Raw-dogging a porn star.

This piece is not about Stormy.  She is just an example of the vitriol society has towards sex work.  It’s about the utter hypocrisy that is displayed across political spectrums.

 

Let’s start with the obvious.  Pornography.  I’m not going to debate the merits of porn.  I am not interested in arguing about who watches it, why, etcetera. (WOMEN WATCH PORN.)  What’s fascinating about it is that it’s legal.  It is the exchange of money for a service.  Being compensated for sexual services.  What makes it legal?   Recording it and selling it.  Yet sex work is criminalized.  the only difference is recording it.

Now in what fucking universe does that make sense?  (Ha. Fucking.)  No, this isn’t an invitation for the puritans to start an anti-porn argument.

 

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Which would be odd, they seemed to be in to some pretty public kink.

 

When it comes right down to it, sex work is perfectly legal as long as you record it in some fashion, be it photographs or video.  The hypocrisy is that there are an uncountable number of people who have no issue with porn, watch porn, think nothing of the legality of porn… yet are opposed to sex work.  They are adamantly opposed to a woman using bodily autonomy for income. (unless they get to watch a video of it I suppose.)  you can type in to google any particular type of porn you’d like to watch and get results.  It’s as if the sex being broadcast changes it from sex work to something entirely different.

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Used SFW to not show unwanted nudity.  Now I’m getting emails from cookie fetishists.

 

This is the part where it get’s tricky.  Because I want to raise my voice in unison with sex workers.  I want to be on their side, but run the risk of misrepresenting individuals in sex work whose attitudes or opinions differ than mine.  I hope that any who read this would challenge anything I say that is not ok. I write this from a place of privilege and can easily misfire.

But the reality is that pretty much every anti-sex work argument is based on fear mongering, myth, and outright lies.  People argue that it fuels human trafficking.  The opposite is true.  The criminalization of sex work leads to criminalized operations.  When it’s illicit, the unscrupulous monsters will swoop in.  Predation on underage women is not a sex work issue, it’s a pedophile issue, and must be addressed entirely separately. (this is also not an issue of gender, as sex workers come in all gender expressions.) Kid diddlers aren’t going to stop when legal consenting adults operate as sex workers.

Likewise, Sex workers are not responsible for your marriage.  They aren’t making your spouse or partner cheat.  I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the argument that because it’s available, it’s at fault. This is one of the most specious arguments, and stop blaming a sex worker for your lousy partner.  I have heard there are some workers that won’t even provide service to someone if they suspect they are married.  Who’s the immoral one?

Sex workers choose to be sex workers.  Yes.  There are examples where people have turned to sex work as a last resort.  Just like people will take any job that they don’t want but have to put food on the table.  The fact that it is sex work is irrelevant to the reality that frequently (and when it comes down to it, most of us) do things we aren’t enthusiastic about to pay the bills.  But that doesn’t mean sex workers aren’t happy with sex work.  I have befriended a number of people in the business of sex work on twitter, and the prevailing attitude is they like what they do.  The things they hate are bad clients, judgmental shitheads, and people who try to barter a deal.  Not the work they chose for themselves.

Sex workers DO NOT SELL THEIR BODIES.  They provide a service that uses their body.  So does your masseuse, chiropractor or physiotherapist, house painters, plumbers and so forth.  Society differentiates because it’s sex.  Not because it’s work.  And it’s the underlying hypocrisy about sex that is the issue.

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You loved Pretty Woman but turn your nose up at this.  I see you.

 

Sex workers do not all operate the same.  They are not cold-hearted profit seekers with no regard for people.  That’s us regarding them.  Not the other way around.  I can’t speak for all sex workers in this regard.  The only thing I can do is speak my own experiences.

First is the interactions with sex workers who I have befriended online.  They have all been caring, wonderful people.  I do try to remember that they need space and time management because they are working with clients, primarily.  But that isn’t unlike me not bothering my friend at work when he has a work deadline.  Peel away the preconceived judgements about sex workers, and SURPRISE! They are thinking, feeling, people.

But I want to use a deeper example to personalize it.  I am right now in a wonderful relationship.  It wasn’t always so.  I was in a near sexless marriage that came to an end.  Despite the lack of physical affection I received,  I remained faithful. (at least physically.  Pornhub probably had my family history.)  After the break up, I desired sex.  Not abnormal.  But the thought of the bar scene turned my stomach.  One, I wasn’t sure I wanted another relationship EVER.  That changed. But at the time I felt like, fuck it, I’m done.  But I also didn’t want to be a user.  I am not condemning casual sex.  I have had sex with people who had no realistic future of a relationship, the key being it was not a misleading attempt to dangle a relationship so you can get some sex.  It was two adults who had regard and care for each other that chose physical expression and that’s just fine.

But I am appalled by (mostly) men who play the I want a relationship game and then ghost when they get their rocks off.  That is not the person I want to be.  I hate these men with the fire of a thousand suns. (do NOT “not all men” me. I’ll spit on your sneakers.)  So I sought the services of a sex worker. Twice.

Was it ideal for me?  No, for FULL enjoyment for me I require a deeper connection with the person, but the experiences were not negative.  I chose not to use the back page classifieds, because there are no assurances that I wouldn’t be fueling an abused person.  The symptom of illicit sex work in the first place.  I chose local sex workers.  They were independent, intelligent women who screened, addressed security concerns appropriately.  They were prepared, provided protection, and fully disclosed exactly what their rules were.  (Side note, don’t try to break a rule.  It makes you an asshole.  If it says no kissing, she means it.  No, I didn’t try.  I’m saying don’t be an asshole.) Just like no shirt no shoes no service, you don’t have an excuse to flout it.

One was more businesslike, and was “in charge” of the sexual service.  This was her stipulations.

The other was warmer (although the first was not unpleasant by any means) and was more interested in some get to know along with the service.  There was an awareness of a need for more than just sex, but human contact.  Hugs and conversation before, cuddle and a kiss on the cheek after, and not a rush to get out.  (I do not think someone leaving right away is an issue, it is after all, a business arrangement.)

I differentiate because people just don’t seem to give a fuck that sex workers are complete individuals who run their business as they see fit. It is well past the time where sex work is decriminalized. Yet things like SESTA keep getting forwarded by people who want to maintain archaic moral standards while not living up to them themselves.

Now here’s the parting shot.  Some may have read my experiences and sneered.  Thinking I couldn’t get a woman to sleep with me without paying (I didn’t try.) or that I engaged in immoral behavior (fuck your morals.)  Some may read this and never look at me the same way again.  I don’t give a shit.  If the take away from this is “Oh my god, he had protected, consensual sex with a sex worker instead of leading on someone or engaging in activities I didn’t want to and paid for it, what a scumbag”  you can walk out the door.  I don’t care what you think.  I did the right thing for me, and what I felt was the best thing to avoid anyone being hurt.

 

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Disclaimer: I am not, in fact, a Honey Badger.

But it’s not about me.  It’s about the sex workers who need society to stop treating them like a disease and realize that THEY are the most honest of us, in reality.  To my friends online in the sex work industry,  I beg your indulgence if I missed anything, or spoke an untruth based in ignorance.  My voice is on your side, for what it’s worth.

Smartassicus out.

 

 

 

 

Dogmatheism

 

So I decided to stop being a coward and write a piece that isn’t something most of my followers will agree on.  The bad news is I’ll lose some followers.  The good news is this blog isn’t read very much so it won’t be many of them.

It’s about atheism.  And Religion. And, well… Religious atheism.  I sense in advance the hackles going up on the neck of atheists who have consistently had to ward off the Christian argument that Atheism is a religion.  I know. it’s not.  No deity.  No set of rules. No afterlife, no supernatural, etcetera. It does not in any way resemble a religion.

Except, when there are a number of atheists that are dogmatic as fuck.  They lurk on social media waiting for anyone to dare mention the word Jesus or God or prayer, and in they zoom.  It’s really the digital equivalent of street preachers screaming at people, except with different insults.  They are the prime reason why atheists have a reputation to be awful.  Because these particular ones are.

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Do you have a moment to talk about our NOT lord and savior Jesus Christ?

 

Now before I continue, let me make a few things clear in short, quick bullets.

  • Yes, I’m an Atheist.
  • Yes, Religious indoctrination can have lifelong negative effects.
  • Yes, I am concerned and adamantly opposed to laws created based on religion.
  • Yes, I have had harsh words with the religious before.

 

See, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with honest debate.  If a theist and an atheist want to go at it, I think nothing of it.  And yup, often enough, the theist is just being a big old dick.  That’s the time I tend to say something.  When I see asshattery, I sometimes say something.  And the leaders of the pack?  The Ken Hams and the Joel Osteens?  Sic ’em, Tiger.  The con men don’t deserve any mercy.

But if you find yourself searching religious terms to chirp at theists, you might be what I’m talking about. (no, I’m not talking about parody accounts)  I’m talking about the shit stirring dicks who find people NOT on the media platform to debate, and jumping on them like a starving mosquito.

God isn’t real!  you’re so stupid! Tell your sky wizard to smite me! (ok. don’t see that last one much.)  And it goes on and on.  Either it riles up the theist in to a mudslinging match, or just gets the person blocked, which they count as a win and move on to the next person on the word search.

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I’m not an angry atheist, there’s no such thing, so fuck you, Jesus freak!

 

If you find yourself calling Theists stupid or crazy, you’re who I’m talking about.  There are stupid theists. There are crazy theists.  Neither are true as a collective.  Making the mistake of indoctrination as stupidity is one of the things that people who never received indoctrination tend to think.  (If they did, and STILL say those things, that’s a double dose of being an asshole.) I spent 75% of my life under the yoke of indoctrination.  Now either that means I suddenly stopped being crazy when I discarded my faith, and had IQ points jammed in to my head, or it’s not true that theists are stupid or crazy, which means it’s just the low hanging fruit of insults for the lazy troll.

I respect the FFRF and the ACLU.  They have worked many times to stop theocratic decisions from infecting public areas.  But I think we need to pick our battles.  For instance, Billy Graham was laid in honor at the capital rotunda.  Probably one of the biggest breaches of church and state we’ve seen in a long time. But as far as legislation goes, is entirely meaningless.  It set a bad precedent, I’ll grant you that.  But no laws were created that will impact atheists.  The battles that need to be fought are the ones with lasting ramifications.  Religiously motivated abortion laws.  The remaining states where it is illegal for an atheist to hold public office. Forcing prayer back in to schools.  Things that are actually going to cause people problems.  Technically that includes the removal of all religious icons on public lands.  I agree that is proper according to the constitution, but I’d far rather see all the confederate statues come down first.

So there is a point to being a vocal atheist. Of course there is.  But here is a little tip.  If you are just insulting theists, and trolling them, you are accomplishing exactly zero.  It’s basically troll masturbating.  Trying to get as many angry theist responses as you can so you can come to climax.

I know what some people say it is.  “Mocking religion is important, yada yada.”  well first, I don’t think that’s true.  Freedom of speech dictates you can mock as you please, but it just makes you kind of a twat.  More to the point, it doesn’t do anything to help people realized that atheism is not the ugly boogeyman it gets made out to be.  If you want to entrench a theist further in to their positions, calling them morons is about the most effective way you could do it.  Which makes me believe that people who do that aren’t in the slightest interested in truth, but in being an asshole.

There is also some weird pride in atheism thing that I simply do not grasp.  “I’m proud to be an atheist!” ok.  Thumbs up sign. Cool story!  Why?  We talk about atheism as simply not believing in the existence of gods, which is all it is, but then are proud about it?  Well then I must be proud to not belive in ghosts, unicorns and intellectually honest Trump voters too then!  None of them exist!  There have even been twitter poll contests of who the most atheisty atheist was.  Boil it down to voting who’s not belief is the better non belief, and you realize exactly how silly that really is.

 

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Josh found a 5035th god not to believe in, and claimed the 2017 Atheist championship.

 Let me humanize it. My entire family is Religious.  I was too.  Grew up in it.  I am the sole atheist in my family at this time.  Now tell me what would it serve for me to attack their beliefs now?  My daughter died years ago. My mother and father think she’s in heaven, and they will see them again.  I would not in a million years try and steal that happy lie from them.  When people have asked me anything, I have spoken.  I don’t pander to their religion, but I don’t needlessly look down on them.  They, like I, believed what they were taught to believe by the people who they are supposed to trust the most.

So what does this all mean?  Am I taking a kick at atheists as a whole?  of course not.  Am I saying that you’re wrong to debate or discuss with someone online regarding atheism?  Not at all.  But I doubt you’ll get much return on your investment.

All I’m saying that there is a stereotype of Atheism as a religion of angry god hating people, and there is a reason why.

And even if you do just debate, without pejorative or insult, maybe give it a rest once in a while.  There are actually some cool fun people out there who aren’t believers that are fun to talk to that don’t talk about atheism all the time!

And perish the thought, even some believers too.

 

Please send hate mail to Idon’tgiveafuck@whatever.com

Smartassicus out.