This is Chris H's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Chris H's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Chris H
San Francisco, CA
A cuddly intellectual pervert from the Bay Area.
Recent Activity
Chris H is now following Susie Bright
Sep 10, 2012
I think that we could really stand to have a long, complex conversation on the difference between clinical and colloquial language. There's a lot of people on the left, I think, who get caught up in trying to refine language down to proper usage based on what a word means in a clinical or literal context, not taking into account its implications in the larger society. One of the problems with criticizing people for the colloquial use of words like "crazy" is that inevitably this approach is directed against words that are most likely to be used in highly emotional and stress-filled situations, and people really need ways to express themselves in those situations. When we over-critique colloquial language, we risk making our legacy be a bunch of people who are emotionally mute. Like you, I've suffered from depression a lot over the years. It's almost my emotional default setting. When I'm really far gone, when my mind feels completely shattered emotionally, crazy is a really good description of where I feel like I'm going. It's actually pretty restrained. It might be clinically inaccurate, but it expresses the frenzied loss of control that builds up in my mind, and the sense that just one more thing will send me spinning off into oblivion. Sometimes words need to be looked at for what the speaker is saying, rather than what the dictionary says the word means.
1 reply
I was at one point going to Episcopal Sunday School and Mormon Sunday School on alternative weeks. After my folks got divorced, my dad decided to go for the cliché and got engaged to one of the secretaries at his office. But since she was Mormon, he had to convert to get married. Yes, my dad came to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for pussy. (I'm sure it's not a unique story.) The relationship fell through before the marriage happened, though, and he got engaged to another woman from the Temple who was herself a good argument for how religion can enable mental illness. (Admittedly, though, by the same standard she was also a good model for the argument that Teddy Ruxpin enables mental illness.) I was exposed to more of Mormon culture than I ever want, and I didn't even get the really crazy shit. One of my strongest memories is when some of his friends were driving my brother and I to the wedding reception. On the way, the father of the family turned around and just said, "So, when are you guys joining the Church?" The assumption that we would join, sooner or later, struck me like a slap in the face. I was already kind of creeped out by the authoritarian, Stepford-like nature of the church, and his assumption that he didn't even have to ask if we'd considered it, or what we thought of it, deeply pissed me off. My brother and I stared at each other for a moment, our mouths open, and then said almost simultaneously, "Uh.... We're not." I remember a lot of silence after that. The other thing I remember was a really, really bad play that showed at the local Temple. It had something to do with these two guys who were close friends as souls in the cosmic pre-life, then meet each other in their lives on earth. One of them ultimately dies as the other cradles him in his arms; even then I found the play to be heavy on the homoeroticism.
1 reply
I'm all for giving some harsh punishment, lleelly, but I have to cringe at the idea of actually seeing him naked. Maybe we can skip to the punishment without the porn angle?
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2010 on Tears at Greta Christina's Blog
1 reply
This is one of the most important arguments to keep in mind about Christianity in particular. A lot of secularists and liberal theists claim that the problem with Christianity is the Christians— Jesus himself was a very advanced moral thinker. On the contrary, as you show here, Greta, an awful lot of the problems with Christianity come directly from the teachings of its founder. Bertrand Russell famously observed that no truly humane person could believe in Hell, and that this was a major blow to Jesus's status as a moral thinker. The morality of Heaven isn't usually dealt with as extensively. Well done.
Toggle Commented Jan 12, 2010 on The Immorality of Heaven at Greta Christina's Blog
1 reply
Greta, as one godless hell-bound atheist to another, I'd like to take the opportunity here to wish you a Merry Christmas, and more importantly, to thank you for your writing and for being you. I can't express how much it means to me to read such clear, intelligent writing on both sexuality and atheism on a regular basis. Thank you, and here's to a happy New Year for you, Ingrid, and the rest of us.
1 reply
Good answer, Greta. Even the question made my brain hurt. It's probably a result of watching too much porn.
1 reply