#BlameOneNotAll and then tell me #WheresMyCookie

This bullshit is making the rounds now. Sure, just what we need: a social media campaign to tell us basic decency warrants celebration. Oh, your professor doesn’t behave inappropriately around you? I GUESS HE DESERVES A MEDAL FOR THAT.

Also, those messages are obviously Photoshopped onto the signs the girls are holding up. Makes the whole affair look especially forced and insincere.

“She died while protecting herself.”

The young woman who recently died of her injuries from a gang-rape in Delhi was named Jyoti Singh Pandey. Her father, Badri Singh Pandey, wants the world to know who his daughter was. Avicenna shares with us the news that Jyoti’s friend Awindra, who was attacked along with her, has regained consciousness and explained how the police were completely incompetent and unprofessional.

I’m very sorry for your loss, Mr. Pandey. I’m sorry that you and your wife have lost your daughter, whom you clearly adored and who was going to do good things with her life. I’m sorry that your sons, Gaurav and Saurav, have lost their big sister. I’m sorry that Awindra, who seems like a very decent young man, lost his friend. I’m also sorry that Awindra was put through such a horrible experience. I’m glad, however, that Jyoti had a father like you while she lived.

Also, before I go: I don’t agree with the death penalty. I don’t think it’s an appropriate use of state power to kill prisoners, especially when we know that suspects are occasionally wrongly convicted. In the case of the six men who attacked Jyoti and Awindra, however, if someone spotted them outside a courthouse and shot them all dead, I wouldn’t shed any tears.

Do they never tire of being the world’s biggest bully?

It seems that the Catholic Church has found a new way to make live miserable for people who don’t respect their authoritah: have them arrested for stating facts.

Last month we started a petition in support of Sanal Edamaruku, the President of the Indian Rationalist Association facing charges of “deliberately hurting religious feelings” over his exposure of a supposed miracle at a Catholic church in Mumbai. Edamaruku pointed out on TV that the source of “holy water” dripping from a crucifix in the church was in fact a leaky pipe, and this prompted three local Catholic organisations with close connections to the Catholic Archdiocese of Bombay to file complaints against him with the police.

Having been denied “anticipatory bail”, Edamaruku was at risk of being held in custody ahead of any trial, and was forced to avoid his home whole he filed for anticipatory bail with the High Court in Mumbai.

Look, Catholic Church, I know you all have a reputation to uphold, but seriously…

…can you just take a break, for a while, from being horrible, disgusting, human-rights-stomping assholes? I realize that assholery, horribleness and the stomping of rights are your job, but perhaps you could take a little holiday?

Just, look at this. There’s a church in Mumbai that has some water dripping from a crucifix, and they’ve been telling their parishioners that this dripping water is of miraculous origin. So, this dude Sanal Edamaruku comes in and says, actually, that water is just from a leaking pipe. And you all accuse him of “deliberately hurting religious feelings” and sic the police on him? You all have “hurt feelings” and so he needs to be put in jail? Really?!

It would be nice if I could go a week without hearing of some fresh atrocity coming from the Catholic hierarchy. Wouldn’t you like to take a bit of time off from work, and come back feeling all refreshed for a new round of stabbing kittens through the face?


3 Movies I Enjoyed, 3 Things That Bugged

Freedom Writers

Here is my problem: I like my fictional characters with some dimension. I can do without villains who are all darkness and heroes who are all light. Among the chaos and tribalism of Long Beach, LA in 1994, the character of Erin Gruwell is just too uniformly, unrealistically good. I’m sure the real-life person of Erin Gruwell is a woman of integrity, generosity and courage, but I don’t think she was ever as perfect as the character we see in the movie. There’s nuance all around; her students are both victims of the gang culture and its participants. They suffer from LA’s damaged race relations but they’re also part of the problem. Gruwell’s colleagues are sympathetic up to a point; after going through 12 years of public school in the U.S. and teaching for 2 years in Albania, I can absolutely relate to Imelda Staunton’s character stating that “you can’t make someone want to learn.”

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