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Functional Atheist
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Jul 28 Functional Atheist commented on I Saw Three Black People in Vienna Today....
The concept isn't okay (yet).

But it might be within a decade or two. It isn't mean-spirited. The wink, the irony, the whatever-the-fuck Tarantino-esque playful and affectionate retro-70's thing will probably be okay eventually.

And yeah, @2 and @10, it is nice of you to advise Dan to hit the 'real' Vienna, but I'm sure he's doing just fine on his own. His taste in restaurants and bars is sophisticated to the point of being "super fancy pants"--he's an American tourist who is among those LEAST likely to opt for chain shop slumming.
Jul 1 Functional Atheist commented on SL Letter of the Day: A Glorious Chorus.
He's comically clueless. My guess is Dan is reminding us all that he has to wade through many insistent and often exasperating inquiries.
Jun 25 Functional Atheist commented on This Is Such Bullshit.
Why should those who don't neatly fall into an ideological camp be viewed with spurious contempt?

For example, a couple decades ago there were millions of Americans who would describe themselves as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal."

I can't believe all of those people have been absorbed by either the right or the left. Isn't the spirit of compromise essential to get anything done in a winner-take-all two party system?

If everything is seen as life-or-death ideological purity tests, and any compromise amounts to a betrayal, we have a formula for routine, broadly popular government functions becoming an ordeal to fund--and anything even mildly controversial becomes impossible to address.
Jun 25 Functional Atheist commented on Savage Love.
I'm confused. Was the first letter writer a woman or a man?

I confess that the gender ambiguity of the letter itself had me wondering prior to reading Dan's response to the letter. I appreciated Dan's slap-down regarding opposite sex couples trolling for thirds in lesbian bars, partly for the slap-down, and partly for clarifying the ambiguity, but now Joan's comments have left me re-mystified as to the facts of the matter.

Jun 8 Functional Atheist commented on About That Hate Crime I Committed at University of Chicago.
The problem with letting manufactured outrage get under your skin is that you end up feeding trolls.

They so badly want attention that it just encourages the further manufacturing of outrage, and the spinning wheel of finger-pointing and stamping of feet takes on the appearance of a perpetual motion outrage machine.

Dan, you pledged not so long ago to stop giving Fox News attention when they're being intentionally provocative--when they're being total trollish tools, which is their favorite pose, because it stirs things up and garners them more attention than they merit.

I respectfully suggest, Dan, that you apply that same principle to trans trolls. They just want the attention that comes from leveraging your fame and name, Dan--stop feeding them.
Jun 3 Functional Atheist commented on BREAKING: Woman Not Wanted at Gay Orgy! Must Credit HuffPo!.
Ragu continues to make the world a better place by proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that racism, sexism, and homophobia are thriving among the very worst people on the far left.
Jun 3 Functional Atheist commented on We Lost Someone Special During Last Night's Game of Thrones.
So the dude linked to....seems to assume that all bisexuals are, of course, straight down the middle 50/50, and to presume to ask if that's not the case with a particular bisexual is a deep affront to every bisexual everywhere.

C'mon dude. How are you doing bisexuals any favors by assuming that of course, they're all the same, and invariably don't have any leanings one way or the other?

What an asshole.
May 30 Functional Atheist commented on Living Near Skinny People Makes Overweight People Unhappy.
@10 I think you meant snarky rather than smarmy.

As a fat guy, I also feel that contempt and judgment and so forth, nocutename. Maybe it is worse for women, probably it is, but men aren't immune from those clucking worries about what others are thinking.

But you know what? I have much to be grateful for. And I've learned that making my own peace of mind dependent on the views of others is a formula for misery. (There's also the reality that at least occasionally I'm bringing my own paranoia to the table, and am making assumptions about the perceptions of others that are not in fact correct).

I know it is easier said than done, but I advise dismissing those thoughts that other people are carrying on an internal monologue of judging and shaming and sneering. Even if it is true, that's their problem, their baggage, their bias.

May 24 Functional Atheist commented on Where Would I Get a Drink Tonight?.
I've never had Sicilian blood orange liquor, venison carpaccio, or fiddlehead ferns, pickled or otherwise.

I'm such a fucking rube.
May 22 Functional Atheist commented on Ta-Nehisi Coates on Reparations in The Atlantic.
I don't see the analogy between marriage equality and reparations. Both are vaguely under the heading of 'social justice movements' but that's about it--the parallels ethically, legally, and financially are thin to nonexistent.

Consider the Supreme Court's increasing hostility toward race-based affirmative action. True, the court still allows those laws, but it is clear that the states are free to pass laws forbidding race-based preferences in higher education and other contexts. Race-based reparation payments would surely be scrutinized by the court, and probably not very sympathetically.

The difficulty of documenting who has American slaves in their ancestry is just one of several practical difficulties in determining who is eligible, and for how much. Asserting African American ancestry is not the same as proving slave ancestors--plenty of black Americans are the ancestors of post-1865 black immigrants.

Marriage equality didn't come with a bill to pay. No funding required. Not so with reparations.

Tort law is based on showing individual standing--some person has to demonstrate that they personally were wronged or harmed, and by whom. Ancestral damages are a different kettle of fish in terms of torts.

I just don't see it happening.
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