A Dog and a Half: “Grounded” review

“Circumstances of birth are nothing more than random, and should never be a source of pride or shame.” – Penn Jillette, Penn and Teller: Bullshit, Season 4 Episode 7: Reparations

I don’t really know why people think their ancestry actually matters. I guess it’s because of this weird obsession some people have with the past.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of the documentary series, Who Do You Think You Are?, which takes celebrities on a tour of their ancestry. And the title is enough to annoy the hell out of me. I’m sure it’s interesting to learn what our ancestors did for a living, but saying that in any way tells us who we are (as implied by the title), is just fucking asinine! But I guess, Who Do You Think Your Ancestors Were? doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.

I’ve said all this before. The only practical thing genealogy teaches us is: What type of genetic predispositions we have to certain illnesses. It’s not really useful to anyone other than medical professionals.

But what about ancestry in a broader sense? I hear you ask! Surely it matters if our ancestors come from Asia or the middle east! It’s our heritage, our culture! If our ancestors were from Africa, shouldn’t we start practising ancient African tribal religions? If our ancestors were Jewish, shouldn’t we start practising Judaism as well? And what about royalty!? Surely if we have pure royal blood, that’s something to be proud of! We should start wearing crowns, and demand to be called lady or lord or whatever!

No! No! No! No! And finally: No!

Whether our parents are Jewish, or African, or the King and Queen of Spain, or anything else, doesn’t matter in the slightest. It’s certainly interesting, don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t change who we are. I mean, if I found out I descended from Jewish people, I might gain a greater hatred for the events of World War II, but it wouldn’t change who I am, nor what I believe. And I wish this was a message that was told more often. But when they had the perfect opportunity to do so, the writers of Littlest Pet Shop decided to squander it instead. Which I find very fucking irritating. Continue reading

Royal Pains: “Magical Mystery Cure” preview

I am a skeptic in every sense of the word. Not just in the traditional sense, scientific skepticism, but in the sense of simply not trusting people at their word, no matter what the context.

Of course that kind of worldview is not easy to maintain. After all, it takes a lot of work to fact check every word said by every politician and public figure. So often, you might not have a choice. You might not have time to run detailed research into, for example, the Bengazi incident, when several american diplomats were killed. You might not have time to look into the death of Aaron Swartz, and find out if the Justice Department pushed him to suicide. So it’s easier to take people at their word.

But sometimes, finding the truth is not that hard. All it requires is two minutes of thinking to get to something close to the truth.

For instance, take the statements made by Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, just last year. Anyone with half a brain knows what he was saying makes absolutely no sense. How could the human body identify the type of situation it finds itself in? And even if it could, why would the human race evolve a method to stop the passing on of our genes? It would be a good thing for the woman, but not humanity at large, and that’s what evolution prefers to benefit.

Then we have another issue: Women in the military. Specifically, front-line combat positions. The counter argument to this is that it damages unit cohesion, or that woman cannot possibly carry their comrades off the battlefield like men can. Think about this for ten seconds and you’ll see how ridiculous this is. First of all, damages unit cohesion? That men and women cannot get along and be just friends? At some point they’re going to have sex? That’s asinine. I’ll tell you this much, some of my best friends have vaginas, and I never banged any of them. It never seemed needed. And as for physical strength, I can tell you from personal experience that’s bullshit. My prom date back in high school was a giant. She would have no problem carrying her comrades off the battlefield, let me tell you.

See, with a bit of thinking, you can arrive at the truth pretty quickly. And it’s this technique that got me to an unsettling realization when the latest news on My Little Pony dropped earlier this week.

Um... what!?

You see, it appears that in this season’s final episode Twilight Sparkle will grow wings get coronated as a Princess. And it didn’t take me long to realize that this could be very… very… very racist. Continue reading